Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Lord prepare me to be a living sanctuary for You. My body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, so I offer it as a living sacrifice. I lay down all I am and have and ever will be at the foot of Your cross. I consecrate body soul and spirit to You and covenant my ears, eyes, mouth, heart, hands and feet to You.
Forgive me that my ears have been hearing the wrong voices. Cover my ears with Your blood to be circumcised and pierced to hear your voice only. Forgive me for having wandering eyes, lusting after the wrong things. Take every plank out of my eyes and forgive me for judging others hypocritically. Cover my eyes with your blood to see You and fix my eyes on Your visions alone. Forgive me for speaking wrong things. Cover my lips with your blood so no corrupt word comes forth but only that which is necessary for edification.
Give me a pure heart. Forgive me that my mind is full of wrong thoughts, give me the mind of Christ. Forgive me for a stubborn and rebellious will. Align me with the Father’s will. Forgive me for emotions controlled by the flesh. Holy Spirit come and control my emotions and release Your love, joy, peace, kindness, longsuffering, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in me.
Cover my hands with your blood. Give me clean hands to heal and not hurt, build and not destroy, give and not take, embrace and not push away, serve and not be served. Cover my feet with your blood. Wash them from the filthiness of this world and put Your gospel shoes on them. Forgive me for walking in wrong ways and help me have a walk worthy of Your calling so that wherever the soul of my foot treads I can claim it for Your Kingdom.
Monday, January 2, 2017
To hallow anything is to set it apart as something special. So, to 'hallow God's name' means to thank Him and praise Him as the most special one in the universe. Biblically, a person's name means their character and authority and is not a simple label. So, the 'names' of the Lord refer to His very nature, particularly as revealed in Scripture. Hence, the best time to 'hallow His Name' is after reading Scripture. As You read your 10 chapters* ask the question 'What do I read about God that I can praise Him more?'. You are looking for aspects of His character that You can hallow and not technical titles that you can list out (such as all the Jehovah names of God). Try to focus on one aspect of His character that jumps out at you as you read Scripture.
When you have finished reading your 10 chapters* you should launch straight away into speaking aloud your thanksgiving and praise to God. You can use some of the verses you have read as helps to hallow His name by reading them out in a personalized way. For example, you have just read Ephesians and the aspect of God's character that strikes you is His Fatherhood. You can go back to Ephesians 1:3-5 and start by proclaiming something like, "My wonderful Heavenly Father I bless You, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. You have blessed me with every spiritual blessings in the heavenly place in Christ. Truly You are a good father who only blesses and You have chosen me to be holy and without blame in Your love, to be adopted as Your son! All praise to You my glorious Father.” You can continue by using Ephesians 1:17; 3:14; 4:6; 5:20 – try it now!
Let this stream of continuous thanksgiving and praise keep coming forth without stopping until You sense the Presence of God and your praise will transform into deep worship. You will know when this hallowing of His name turns to worship as your heart will melt and love and adoration for God will flow freely. In this place of worship the Lord will deal with Your heart as You meet with Him. This is the time You will come into repentance and consecration which is next step in the journey.
* 10 Chapters of the Bible a day is a recommendation and not a legalistic practice. I could also say read 30-40 minutes of the Bible a day. Basically, its reading big enough chunks of the Word to get the big story and the context and enough to soak in.
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Monday, March 7, 2016
The above picture shows a helpful comparison between the Fivefold Ministries to the key functions in film making. Here I have used the example of the Hobbit film series.
The Apostle can be likened to the writer, in this case J.R.R. Tokien, who sees the unseeable and creates something quite new in his imagination. Tolkien literally created a new world (Middle Eath) with new inhabitants (Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Orcs) and new languages (Elvish and Dwarvish) in amazing detail. Apostles are the spiritual entrepreneurs, the eyes that see new things that need bringing to life.
The Prophet is like the film producer, Fran Walsh in the case of the Hobbit, who creates momentum in fulfilling the writer’s vision through Christ focused questions. For the Hobbit movie she asked the probing question of why no female charactes were present and, to the horror of Hobbit purists, added in Galadriel and Tauriel. Prophets will stir things up and be provocateurs in stirring the hearts of people to get behind the vision. As a producer’s main role is to garner resources to make the vision a reality so the prophets seek to release God’s Kingdom resources by speaking God’s “now” word to the Church. They are the ears that hear God’s directives and will make sure these words get to the people’s ears.
The Evangelist is like the Casting Director, Liz Mullane in the case of the Hobbit, who creates moments of invitation for the right people to get involved. Liz got whole farming communities and entire classes of university students in New Zealand involved in being Elves or other inhabitants of Middle earth for the Hobbit movies. The Evangelists are the arms that reach out far and wide to recruit newcomers into God’s Kingdom adventure.
The Pastor is akin to the Director of the movie, Peter Jackson in this example. Peter is the main “face” we’re aware of when we think of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, but had a huge team working alongside him. Just as the Director turns the understanding of the cast into meaningful engagement so the Pastor comes alongside the saints to encourage them to give their best for God’s Kingdom. Peter Jackson would often embrace the cast and jump into their place to show them how to act a certain scene. The Pastor is the heart that embraces and releases others to give their best for God. He is the interpreter who shows others from his own life how to walk the road before them.
Lastly, but not leastly, the Teacher is like the film Editor, Jabez Olssen in the case of the Hobbit films, who systematizes all other focuses. The Editor brings everything together into an understandable unity. Jabez spent hours in the background working on his computer to edit together all the pieces and came up with an awe inspiring end product. Teachers will spend hours, days, months, unseen, digging deep into God’s Word and bringing truths together that can be presented to give understanding to the people. They are the mind that works hard to let the Church know the truth. They are integrators who bring together all the disparate views of the other leaders into a unified whole.
The modern day use of “Pastor” is very misleading and the person who is called by that title may actually be an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist or Teacher rather than a Pastor in the Biblical sense. Ideally, all five leader types should be present in a church to provide the full God-given support, help and guidance needed. I believe that God will provide all five to every local church but not all are fully released due to a variety of reasons. Some may be full time, employed by the Church, but others may be lay leaders, called to plug into leadership gaps.
This is an except of my forthcoming book, "Painting the Picture".