6 Things You Need To Know About Getting Good Counsel

Hate to admit it, but here’s one of my favorite jokes: King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. That means he could’ve honestly looked any of them in the eyes and said, “Honey, you’re one in a thousand.”

Rim shot aside, the “joke” was on Solomon. All these wives and concubines ended up being his great downfall – and ultimately, the downfall of Israel. How could this possibly have happened to the wisest man ever? Pretty simple. Unlike his father, David, there’s very little (if any) record of Solomon surrounding himself with good counsel during his reign as king. Counselors who would have questioned his actions. Counselors who would have warned him of the consequences. Counselors who would have declared God’s sure word. But these voices were noticeably absent in Solomon’s court. He must have figured he owned the market on wisdom.

So, where do you go for counsel? Who are the wise counselors in your court? How do you respond to their words of wisdom? In a day and age where we’re just one click away from a flood of worldly thinking and values, we desperately need access to good kingdom counsel. Godly guidance that can stem the lies and confusion and seduction that aim to steal His destiny for our lives.

In this first of a two-part series, I reveal six things you need to know about getting good counsel in your life.

Strap On Your Waders

The picture you’re looking at is not one of those web-bought photos I usually pull out come blog time. It’s the real deal. Taken a few weeks ago during one of our Sunday Celebrations. After our worship time, a wonderful young woman named Annie discovered that her jeans were soaking wet, from mid-calf down. Check it out. She sure did. Looked for whatever could cause enough water to soak her pants like this. Didn’t find a thing. Nothing else was wet around her. Not the floor. Not the chair. Not her young daughter who’d been playing at her feet.

So what happened? Why the wet pants? All I can come up with is the stream of water that flowed from the Temple in Ezekiel’s vision. (See chapter 47.) The one that trickled out from under the door, growing deeper and deeper, from ankle-high to knee-high to waist-high to too-high. The one that became a mighty river with trees along its banks – trees with leaves that “will not wither” and fruit that “will not fail.” The one we sought God for in our pre-service prayer meeting.

I believe Annie’s soaked pants is a prophetic picture of what God has in store for us, as a church, in 2017. The river of His presence flowing in us, around us, and through us in greater measure than we’ve ever experienced before. Growing deeper and deeper. From ankle-high (think Annie) to knee-high to waist-high to overwhelming-high.

This river of revival is our great passion, and we can’t wait to see it overflow its banks during the coming year.

If this is something you and your church desire, please feel free to plug into this prophetic promise from God. It’s yours for the taking. Just strap on your waders and believe with us for a mighty flood of His glory during 2017. It’s time for revival.

By the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.” (Ezekiel 47:12)

 

 

 

Dangling Our Toes In The Kiddie Pool

A couple of days ago, I asked Eva what she would tell you right now if she had the chance. Her answer? “Tell them that God has so much more for them in this life. Tell them that they’re barely scratching the surface.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Which has never stopped me from trying.

Some years ago, a private investigator in Bolivia was hired to find a 67-year old homeless man wanted on some minor drug charges in Chile – a man named Thomas Martinez. The detective looked everywhere, finally tracking Martinez down to a small pub in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

Just as the detective walked through the front door of the bar, Martinez slipped out the back … before he could hear the news the investigator had been hired to deliver. A family member had died, leaving Martinez an inheritance of over six million U.S. dollars.

Are You A Flute In The Wrong Orchestra?

I’ve finally decided to weigh in. Not an easy decision, since the weigh-in is usually followed by a fight. And there’s so much to fight about these days, isn’t there? Racial injustice, gun control, police killing, Supreme Court decisions, illegal immigration, Donald versus Hillary. Keyboards across the country are burning up in response to these contentious issues.

What troubles me the most (by far) are all the believers who are climbing onto bandwagons that are driven by the winds of fear, hopelessness, anger, fatalism, and frustration. And responding in kind. It really shouldn’t be this way. (And most of us know it.)

So I’m finally weighing in. Kind of. I ran across a sermon this past week that expresses my heart better than I ever could, so I’m simply going to point you to it. I warn you ahead of time, this teaching is not for everyone. First of all, it’s about fifty minutes long. (A huge no-no in blogland.) But believe me, it’s worth it for those of you who are struggling to figure out how we, as Christians, should respond to these troubling times and issues. It’s filled with hope, love, peace, faith, and honor. And sounds an awful lot like Jesus.

The name of the teaching is “The Gift Of Discernment” (by Danny Silk), but I’d rather call it, “Don’t Be A Flute In The Orchestra Of The Enemy.” (Taken from one of Danny’s lines in the teaching.)

Click HERE to be whisked away to the teaching. 

(Note: If you’re not already a member of Bethel TV, you might be asked to sign up – for free – in order to see this teaching. I encourage you to go for it. Such a great revival resource.)

I pray that the kingdom truths in Danny’s teaching will fill you with God’s heart, and release you into the precious assignment He’s given you as His beloved child.

 

 

A Valuable Lesson From John-John

There’s an iconic photo of the thirty-fifth president of the United States that I absolutely love. You’ve probably seen it. John F. Kennedy is sitting at his desk in the Oval Office, holding some important-looking papers, a big grin on his face, posing for the photographer. And down at the bottom of the picture is the President’s two-year-old son, John-John, sticking his head out from underneath the desk.

The photo wasn’t staged; it apparently happened all the time. Seems there was a standing order by the President himself that, during normal workdays, his son was never to be denied access to the Oval Office. In other words, John-John was always welcome.

Could you ever imagine going to the White House, running through the doors of the Oval Office and crawling under the President’s desk while he was sitting there doing his presidential thing? Of course not. We’d never be so audacious. Very few people are invited or even welcome to visit the President. But a beloved son is a different matter. Think about two-year- old John-John. Where other people saw JFK as one of the most powerful men in the world, John-John saw Dad.

How To Overcome The Impossible

Have you ever faced a situation in life that had “impossible” or “hopeless” written all over it? Like a stage-4 cancer diagnosis? Or an irreparably broken marriage? Or an estranged child? Or severe mental illness? Or the Mt. Everest of debt? Or a too-far-from-God-to-ever-get-saved family member?

Mary and Martha faced the impossible. They stared down the barrel of despair. Their beloved brother, Lazarus, was dead. Four-days dead. Hopelessly dead. The huge stone that lay across the mouth of his tomb screamed, “It’s finished! He’s gone! Nothing more than the stench of decay in here! No way in heaven for a miracle to happen now!

But Jesus didn’t listen. First thing He did was remove the stone – an act of faith that paved the way for a resurrection miracle.

If you’re facing an impossible situation in life right now, you need to take the same first step that Jesus did. Remove the stone that keeps your death-to-life miracle entombed in unbelief.

Here are three things that can help you remove these stones of doubt in your life:

Six Keys To Making (Great) Big Decisions

“Who should I marry?” “What major should I choose in college?” “Should I even go to college?” “Which job should I take?” “Should I buy that house?” “Or that car?” “Or that piece of land?” “What’s the best way to invest my money?” “Should my children go to public school?” “Which church should I attend?” “When should I retire?”

These are some of life’s biggest decisions, aren’t they? I’m convinced that one of the most important courses that we revivalists should take (in God’s School of Obedience) is “Big Decision-Making 101.”

You probably don’t need to hold a prayer meeting in aisle #9 of your local supermarket to figure out which breakfast cereal to buy. Other choices in life, however, are a bit more significant – choices that can have a huge impact on you and your loved ones. It would be wise to have a plan-of-action in place for how to make these weightier kinds of decisions.

With that in mind, here are the six keys I lean on when facing big decisions in my own life:

The Yoke That You Carry

Here’s this week’s tweak: Your call to follow Jesus is not about what you have to do, but what you get to do. Tiny distinction, huge difference. Following Jesus and His kingdom ways is a delight. And an honor. And a treasure. And a pleasure. And a massive, massive privilege.

Let this roll around in your soul a bit. Because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, you actually get to to live the way He lived, pray the way He prayed, love the way He loved, think the way He thought, and minister the way He ministered.

I know you’re thinking it, so I’ll just go ahead and say it. “Wow!” (And if you weren’t thinking that, please feel free to go back and soak in what I wrote until the “wow” rises up in your heart.)

So if you feel (even a little bit) that obeying Jesus is a difficult yoke or tedious duty, I encourage you to change the way you think. From the burden of a slave mentality (“I’m required to do this”) to the freedom and joy of an inheritance mentality (“I get to do this!”) You’ll be amazed how such a simple tweak can open the doors to experience greater revival breakthrough in your life.

 

4 Things That Keep You Stuck In Your Comfort Zone

Several years ago, I walked by six young men who were offering incense at a local earth-god temple. As I passed these well-dressed professionals, I felt God say, “Stop and pray a blessing over them.” Being the godly, obedient, on-fire pastor that I was … I just kept right on walking.

Even as a host of obedience-dampening excuses filled my mind, God continued to whisper His desires. “Stop and pray.” “Stop and pray.” “Stop and pray.” A quarter of a mile later, I finally stopped, turned around, went back to the tiny temple, and laid hands on each of the men, releasing God’s presence over their lives.

These past years have seen many such struggles to break free of my comfort zones in order to obey God’s desires. Like the times He said to me …