To walk in the prophetic

There were some crazy ideas of “the prophetic” when I was growing up and then when I was early in ministry. There are still some wild ideas about what it means to be “prophetic” even today. Some things just keep recycling. Here is what I have concluded as I keep walking through Jeremiah and Daniel in my work on “Living in Babylon”:

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The way home

I am working my way through Daniel 6 as I continue to expand on “Living in Babylon.” (I think it may be a book one day if I can simply overcome one thing: outright fear and terror.)

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The challenge of allegiance

Our current series at Heights Church is “Living in Babylon.”

There are some reflections I have on the Book of Daniel that won’t make it into a Sunday sermon.

Here are some basic thoughts from Daniel 3 I posted our church site. 

Our most severe tests come when we don’t recognize the idol right in front of us and everyone bowing seems like the “patriotic” thing to do. I don’t refer to just our own time. I give the illustration of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Germany as well. He faced tough decisions concerning allegiance and paid the ultimate price for it.

There is a testing that will refine us in these days. We need to learn that the heat brings out the best. It’s not meant for our harm.

The days ahead can be the best for the American church. We need our eyes open.

 

refiners-fire

Living in Babylon

We’re beginning a new series this fall at Heights Church called “Living in Babylon.” As we are watching major cultural changes all around us, how do we stay deep in Christ? What are ways we can make adjustments and learn to bless our culture rather than curse the “fall of America?”

This podcast is an interview I did with Missy Hansen, a member of our church. She leads a community Bible study that is studying the Book of Daniel right now and while this interview is longer than my normal podcasts and it is well worth the listen. Take the time to soak this in and begin to process what is ahead for us as the Church in the United States.

Do NOT Quit

12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. (Dan. 10:12-13)

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

Too many prayers are abandoned far too quickly. We do not know the war that may be going on in spiritual places where if we would just stay at it, victory would come.

The enemy has a vested interest in keeping you from prayer. He battles with discouragement, weakness, fatigue, doubt, and so much more. Anything to keep you from prayer. 

Do NOT quit. One more day. One more hour. You do NOT know… but if you quit, the results may be far too predictable: the answers may not come and the enemy robs the desire of prayer from yet another believer.

Persist in prayer. Heaven hears.

The people who know their God

I’ve been meditating on the thought of the Daniel Generation that started HERE.

The foundation to all of it is we must know God. If we do not truly know God, if we are not grounded in him, the American Church will head into a new “Dark Ages.” 

Not “America.” The American Church. 

As I have tried to prepare people for these huge shifts, my own life becomes exposed. My own spiritual state gets examined deeply by the Holy Spirit. It is needed. But here’s the thing: I’m found wanting. 

Three years ago I began a prayer journey that has radically altered my own life, ministry, and church. But now that we’re at the very threshold of something new and, quite honestly, powerful, I’m stalling.

I’ve stalled in prayer. I’ve stalled in fasting. I’ve stalled in communication. This is my confession.

In the very hour those areas need increase of effort on my part, I’ve stalled it out. Hear my prayer, O Lord. I am not ready for what is ahead… but your Spirit comes and challenges me! “You’re not ready… but you can be. You don’t need to stall out!”

We MUST know God. I must know God!

My prayer life can deepen again… and I know the way.

My discipline of fasting can return… and I know the way.

The Lord can communicate through me his precise vision for what is ahead… and I know the way.

Lord, hear my prayer. Forgive me of my laziness. Forgive me of my trepidation. It is time to step up. The people who know their God take action. We are at that day.

Oh, Lord, hear my prayer.