When we have power and no authority

Mark 3:20–22 (NIV): 20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “[He is out of his mind].”

22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

When the religious leaders realize they can’t control or stop Jesus, and he has the true authority, all they have left is manipulation.

Those who are in power but without authority can only control by manipulation, fear, or false narratives. Be aware.

The Kingdom of God and wineskins

Mark 2:22 (NIV): And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”

What Jesus is doing can’t be fitted in to the existing ways of thinking and living. If people try to do that they’ll have the worst of both worlds. At the time, this meant that Jesus’ powerful kingdom-ministry couldn’t be fitted into the ways of thinking that his fellow first-century Galileans already had. They needed to think differently, to think bigger, to get new wineskins for the new wine he had to offer. Most people are threatened by that kind of challenge. (NT Wright, Mark for Everyone)

We only see what we want to see

Our perpetual struggle is blindness. Not physical blindness. Mental or spiritual blindness. From claims of conspiracy theories to fake news, we don’t like hearing what is counter to what we hold dear. And here is some news that isn’t fake: it is like this all the time. EverywhereContinue reading “We only see what we want to see”

The new journey we begin

Today is a marking point for our ministry at Heights Church. We are completely away from our old building and today’s worship service will be in our space. It’s not finished. We still have to finish up plans to get the permits to begin remodeling what will become our coffee shop and shared sanctuary space. But this is a turn.

And I’m excited. It’s the new day we’ve been called to, and while we’re still “in transition,” we’ve made a definite break between old and new.

In the first part of this new phase the Lord has graciously called me to an extended fast, so I am stretched in prayer during these first few weeks. This fast has actually been one of joy. It is one where the Lord is speaking words of abundance to me almost constantly.

This morning I am preaching on some thoughts stirring from my walk through Mark 1-4. In Mark 1 there is a bit of an outline of the ministry of Jesus and, I believe, a pattern for us to follow. Over the week the Spirit has spoken to my heart with deep conviction, “THIS is what you ARE called to.”

It’s not a matter of, “Prepare for this.”

It’s an invitation of, “DO this.”

Don’t just think about the Kingdom of God. BE the Kingdom of God.

Jesus proclaimed, he cast out demons, he healed, and he prayed. The engine of all it was prayer. He would make the time, even with crowds constantly looking for him, to seek the face of the Father. And out of that commitment came power. The Kingdom brings authority over EVERY area of life.

Today my heart is hungry for souls. People to respond to the goodness of the Kingdom of God. My heart is hungry for healing to flow. I was reflecting last night on times when the Lord personally healed me and then when I was able to witness powerful healings. I’m thirsty again. It’s not about aches and pains going away. It’s about disease fleeing. That flows from us when Kingdom authority is IN us.

Everything flows from the presence of God. In his presence is fullness of joy. He cause my cup to overflow. All of the outward authority flows from inward presence.

I can beat myself up over past failures to pray and press in. But the Spirit presses me on! I can’t be beaten by past failures! I must move forward today in purposeful prayer!