February 2014 was a whirlwind of travel. One stop was Gastonia, NC where Keeli and I spoke at the Grace Upon Grace conference. I began by reading a quote from John Crowder. This quote is one of the most detoxing, myth busting, religious attitude killers I’ve ever heard. So often, believers observe and mimic the patterns and habits of leaders in the church. But the wonderful thing about maturing as a believer is that we don’t have to stick with those bad habits. There is grace to move on and come to a fuller understanding of Jesus Christ’s finished work and your inclusion in that work. In today’s world of social media, skewed facts, hasty conclusions, and brutal attacks are prevalent. In fact, one would conclude that most believers feel more called to be a watchdog or whistle-blower than a minister of the Gospel. It’s a tendency developed by self-righteous living. True discernment is not publicly calling out the faults of others, nor is it a gift to be abused by self-exaltation. Discernment is a gift, like every gift, that should be operated from a place of love.
With that said, don’t be quick to get on a bandwagon of divisiveness, hate, slander, or libel towards other brothers and sisters in Christ because their church has activity you may not be familiar with, teaching you don’t agree with (or completely understand), or trends that are foreign. I implore you: do not jump to conclusions without understanding the context. Any “watchdog” can create a blog and spout off hate, create division, and be an instrument of confusion to the church and the world. Nasty blogs tend to bind rather than create an allowance to enjoy God’s grace and freedom.
After speaking, Keeli and I teamed up with our friends, BJ and Lisa Sullivan, and had an opportunity to pray with an array of people. It was one of the best times of prophetic ministry we have ever had. The message of grace tends to free people from the idea that something else must be done in addition to Jesus' finished work. The requests weren’t weird, strange, or off the wall. The requests for prayer were real and honest. No super spiritual conspiracy theories or deliverance from the yabba-dabba-doo spirit of Beebop and Rocksteady (Ninja Turtle reference!). The Holy Spirit did amazing things, called people back to a place where they were fulfilling their call, began restoring marriages, and speaking His language of love to them.
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. The quote that I read from John Crowder’s video “A New Language”. May the words bring a newfound freedom into your life.
- I am not pressing in anymore. I’ve been pressed into.
- I’m not contending anymore. I’ve been contended for.
- I’m not a God chaser anymore. He moves way too fast. He chased me down, roped and hog-tied me, bagged and dragged me.
- I’m not seeking God anymore. He found me.
- I’m not even drawing close to God. We’re not getting closer. We are in union. We are Siamese twins.
- You will never hear me say anything about overcoming the flesh. The fleshly nature was circumcised away.
- You will never hear me say anything about killing the old man. The old man has been co-crucified with Christ.
- Some people say, “You’re only human.” I’m not. I’m a new creation.
- Some people say, “Well, nobody’s perfect.” I am. Unless you think Christ was incompetent on the cross.
- Some people say, “Well, we’re all sinners.” What Bible verse is that? As a matter of fact, John says if you continue in sin, you’re a child of the devil.
- I don’t talk about dry times. I don’t talk about dark nights of the soul. I’m done with dessert theology.
- I’m not asking Him to purify my heart. He gave me a new one.
- I’m not asking Him to open the heavens. The veil of His flesh was torn and all of heaven was open with it.
- I’m not asking Him to take me into the holy of holies. That’s where I’m seated right now.
- I don’t pump people up into intercession. I think He’s done an adequate job of it.
- I don’t pump people up into fasting. He fasted so that I could feast.
- I don’t pump people up into godly sorrow. He was a man of sorrow so we could be a people of joy.
- I don’t overemphasize confession. It’s just admitting your sins to see that they’re already forgiven.
- I don’t overemphasize my faith. It’s His faith that saved me.
- I don’t overemphasize repentance. It’s a fruit of salvation, not the price tag to buy it.
- I don’t talk about insiders or outsiders. I don’t talk about saved or unsaved. I don’t talk about good or evil. I don’t talk about yin and yang. I don’t talk about good cop-bad cop. I’m just talking about Jesus and His inclusion of all humanity on the cross. And I don’t talk about forgiven or unforgiven. The only distinction is believer or unbeliever. The Gospel changes everything… The scandal of grace.
To watch the entire video, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e25DSxQcp7Q