Take The Turn (Burning Love)
This past Sunday (March 11, 2018), our church took an extremely crucial turn that I believe is the turn off the prepared path, into the woods where there is no path laid. In other words, the turn into "uncharted territory". What's funny is it wasn't even planned.
As I wrote that sentence, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, "why do you think something prepared is how you're going to get to the place no one has prepared?"
The journey into Song of Songs has rocked my world, forever. Remember, the Bible is not the ceiling of our relationship with God, it's the floor, dare I say the door. Song of Songs was intended to be the light that shines on the places of the Father that entices us to go deeper, every day of our lives, which by the way is eternity. I'm starting to also believe, by revelation of the Holy Spirit, this is the book that will illuminate the sons and daughters who are going to lead the culture into the Kingdom of Heaven, here on earth.
I grew up in the "encounter conscious" movement. Our pursuit on any given Sunday was slain in the Spirit, speaking in tongues louder than our neighbor, wearing a nicer suit than the deacons, and letting the ones who "looked the part" the most lead while the "authentic ones", who usually didn't look the part, got talked about and pushed away. Let me be very clear, I am not and will not ever dishonor a person or a church. I will, however, heed to the call to kill the Pharisaical spirit in the church today and the wolves in sheep's clothing. Let me also be clear, I believe in tongues and being slain in an overflow of the Spirit. I just believe those should be a consequence of something so much greater than a temporary encounter. Those should be a consequence of a life of Holy Spirit revealed love from a Father who is ravished by you.
It was never about Jesus getting us to a place where we can then prove we were worth dying for. It was always about Him simply wanting us to know that He is enthralled by US. That one glance from our eyes melts His heart. That one tear from our eyes makes Him want to trade Heaven for us all over again. That one prayer makes Him saddle up all of Heaven's armies to war for us. That He created a mercy seat for us to sit with Him on to reign forever. That the veil that separates Heaven and earth is being thinned, even blown up, to the point that we can stair into the eyes of Jesus forever. Are you getting this? I pray you are because this is life-altering. I had already made up my mind to give my life to my Savior but in this love-struck place, I find the reason why I'm willing to give my life to my Savior is because He loves me.
I used to think God would only move in a service or in my life if I took a step of obedience. 100% of the time, God moves out of love. I can't change that. Obedience simply gives a megaphone to what He already decided to do.
Song of Songs 6:4-10 says this about YOU,
O my beloved, you are lovely.
When I see you in your beauty,
I see a radiant city where we will dwell as one.
More pleasing than any pleasure,
more delightful than any delight,
you have ravished my heart,
stealing away my strength to resist you.
Even hosts of angels stand in awe of you.
Turn your eyes from me; I can’t take it anymore!
I can’t resist the passion of these eyes that I adore.
Overpowered by a glance, my ravished heart—undone.
Held captive by your love, I am truly overcome!
For your undying devotion to me
is the most yielded sacrifice.
The shining of your spirit
shows how you have taken my truth
to become balanced and complete.
Your beautiful blushing cheeks
reveal how real your passion is for me,
even hidden behind your veil of humility.
I could have chosen any from among the vast multitude
of royal ones who follow me.
But one is my beloved dove—unrivaled in beauty,
without equal, beyond compare,
the perfect one, the favorite one.
Others see your beauty and sing of your joy.
Brides and queens chant your praise:
“How blessed is she!”
Look at you now—
arising as the dayspring of the dawn,
fair as the shining moon.
Bright and brilliant as the sun in all its strength.
Astonishing to behold as a majestic army
waving banners of victory.
Now all of us have a decision to make. The revelation of God's deep and intimate love for us is not a revelation as much as it is a call. God doesn't force Himself on anyone. He simply whispers an invitation and waits patiently for our response. The call is to devotion (exclusivity). The call is to respond by saying "if you're going to spend eternity showing your love for me, I'm going to spend eternity receiving it and showing my love for you."
While most leaders are figuring out how to market themselves to have millions of followers "for the sake of the gospel", I'm figuring out how I can get more and more hidden in the shadow of His wings. One results in fame, the other results in glory. I'll take a handful of people who are committed to going from "glory to glory" in a life of peculiarity (exclusivity and devotion) over a million people who care more about lasers and coffee than a kiss from the mouth of Jesus. One of the most influential people in my life is Damon Thompson. He said this last month in a meeting I was in that defines what I'm talking about perfectly. The quote was, "Would you be willing to be rejected by the millions on the planet so that a handful could burn for Him?"
People don't get me. People have rejected or devalued the message coming from this house. People have thought it was a cool "direction". I need you to know, with every bit of sincerity in my heart, I choose Him and what He wants to do in this church over anything anyone else will ever say about it. This isn't a game. This is exposing ourselves to what no eye has seen and no ear has heard. This is journeying into Uncharted Territory. If you are willing to take the journey, you're going to experience the Father in a way you never thought was possible. I don't have to, and refuse to, wait until Heaven to walk and talk with angels, see winged creatures with eyes all over their bodies, see elders throwing their crowns down at the Saviors feet, or see the glory of my king. ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. Heaven isn't a million miles in the air, it's a veil away.
Why am I writing these things? One, because I can't keep them in until Sunday. Two, because there are people who God has called to be a part of this family, but haven't made the decision to do so because you're afraid of what people will say and how uncomfortable you're going to have to get. I'm never going to beg anyone to join this. I will however be a mouthpiece for the Father calling the generals home. One of the words God gave me, months before we started this church was "all of Heaven is watching with anticipation for what I'm about to do through you." Angels are looking at US to learn the nature of the Father from those who were made in His likeness, and redeemed through an all-consuming love.
If you can't sense it, we're tapping into a gold-mine that will give us Kingdom riches beyond our ability to contain. Pour It Out. Get ready. Revival is coming in HOT.