Worship God and be the master of your desires, not their slave.

Humans tend to be led by desires (I want this,) opinions (I think this,) and emotions (I feel this,) instead of by God’s Spirit. Let God make you the master of your desires, not their slave.

To believe is to rely on. When we really believe in Jesus, we will begin to rely on His presence instead of on human programs. Spirit-led worship is liberation, not bondage.

Fear of trusting God’s Spirit causes us to instead rely on human effort, planning, and organization. We should rely on the choreography of God’s Spirit. Although seemingly unplanned it’s a work of glorious preciseness.

If Jesus can communicate with His followers and we are free to obey Him, perhaps we should tear up our programs and let Him be our inner Guide. Until we transcend human effort and begin to be moved and guided by the living Jesus, we’re practicing works-based Christianity. Unless we’re daily relying on the presence and power of the risen Jesus, our Christianity is just another religion.

Jesus is the ignored inner and invisible choreographer, ready to direct and coordinate His followers from within, if we will only let Him. He is the world’s best choreographer, but if we substitute hearing talks about Him for coming together to let Him lead and direct us, we’ll never know the beauty of His choreography. When Christians meet, it would be more powerful if we let Jesus be the choreographer & we all followed His inner leading.

When you’re with a group of friends you’d probably rather they talk with you than about you. I think that’s how Jesus feels. Interact with Him. Worship is much more than hearing a talk about Jesus while ignoring His presence. It’s actively pouring your heart out to Him in passionate adoration.

When a church invites me to worship with them, I want to join them in passionate adoration of the living Jesus, but they want me to sit thru a lecture. Worship isn’t passivity. It’s full engagement in actively expressing adoration and obedience to the risen Jesus.

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Jesus’ calling on first century Christ-followers

Understanding the calling on the first century Christ-followers, who Paul wrote letters to depends on understanding the Greek word that is translated as church. That word is ekklesia. There were two ekklesias in each of the Greek cities that Paul wrote to: 1) the group of believers who Paul was writing to, and 2) the participatory town hall meeting that was the governing body of the city. Both were called the ekklesia. Each of the ancient Greek cities had a governing ekklesia (town hall meeting) and Jesus is quoted in Matthew as saying, “On this rock (of direct revelation from God) I will build My ekklesia (His government).”

All the citizens of a city belonged to the Greek ekklesia and all the citizens of the kingdom of God belong to Christ’s ekklesia. Any person present could speak out in a Greek ekklesia. In Paul’s the letter to Jesus’ ekklesia at Corinth Paul says that everyone can speak in the meeting (see 1 Corinthians 14:26). The early Methodist participatory Class Meetings tended to function as an ekklesia more than as what we today call a church. In fact, Wesley refused to call (or to allow anyone else to call) Class Meetings a church.

Paul’s emphasis on spiritual gifts in the letter of 1 Corinthians indicates that the Holy Spirit is to be active and present and directing the meeting of a Christian ekklesia. People are free to speak, but not of their own accord. They are to speak as prompted by the Spirit and when they do speak there will be Spirit-led manifestations of words of knowledge, words of wisdom, prophesy, interpretation of tongues, faith, discerning of spirits, healing, tongues, etc.

Thus, the calling of Jesus to His ekklesias in the first century (and of present-day) Christian ekklesias is to be a visible manifestation of the body of Christ with the Holy Spirit (the living, present Jesus) personally directing the meeting as the active Head (not as a mere figurehead like Queen Elizabeth or King Charles). Our calling is to follow and obey the risen Jesus both in the gathering of His ekklesia and in the world, thereby manifesting His presence and power.

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Are you locked in vigor-less Christianity?

When your problems
Get bigger
You need more
Of Christ’s inner vigor.

Daily surrender
To Christ’s vigor
In your soul
Will make you whole.

To “stir up the gift”
Of “Christ in you”
Requires vigorous
Inner action
To renew your passion.
Complacent satisfaction
Won’t do it.

You don’t need
To excuse
Your behavior
When you lose
Your vigor
And your first love for Jesus.
You need to
Relight His fuse.
And ignite
His inner dynamite.

Jesus wants to give you
Supernatural vigor
That goes far beyond
Mere deliberation
And trying to figure
Things out.

When I concentrate,
Ponder and meditate
On the living Jesus
I feel His presence radiate
From within me.

A clear vision of the living Jesus will fill you with vigor and the power to live victoriously in His glory. Daily following and obeying the living Jesus will instill more and more vigor into your life.

Vigor-less Christians have quenched the Spirit. Christ’s inner vigor never gets old, but without it our excitement for life wears down.

Wake up and experience the inner vigor of the living Jesus. You’ll love the lifetime adventure of awakening to “Christ in you.” The more you obey the promptings of the risen Jesus instead of your own desires, the more of His inner vigor you will experience.

The risen Jesus continually invigorates me and fills me with His vitality. Christ in me is a gushing river of vigor. When I read the Bible with an open heart I’m vigorously inspired by the presence of Jesus. His words burn in my heart!

If Christ is in you, sense His presence; flow with His movement; hear His voice. Without inner vigor, outward effort is hard to maintain.

If you don’t know which desires not to follow, you’ll waste much vigor pursuing deception. Doing wrong isn’t a good thing for your mental health. To “love your enemies” requires vigorous kindness that overrides hostility.

To build a church
On human effort
Human personality,
And human ego
Is to engage
In counterfeit Christianity
That substitutes
Human ability
For Christ’s
Supernatural vigor.

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What we call church (may be off base)

Love can’t be limited
To hearing sermons
About God’s love.
It must be lived
In the heart-felt unity
Of Jesus-focused community.

The human longing
For belonging
Isn’t satisfied
By the weekly gonging
Of a sermon.

An hour or two
Sitting thru
Church services
Won’t glue
Hearts together
In community

Calling something a church doesn’t make it biblical. The way we see church seems to be different than the way the Bible presents Christianity. We need to wake up and see that the religious system known as church isn’t working. It’s failing to produce multitudes of Christ-like disciples overflowing with passion for the risen Jesus.

What we call church works from the top down. The preacher speaks to an audience but what he says is rarely put into action. The biblical Christian community works from the inside out. Jesus speaks to hearts and empowers people to obey Him.

We see church as a classroom. The New Testament presents Christianity as Spirit-led community. An audience isn’t a community — even if it’s an audience for a Sunday sermon. Without interactive Spirit-led community what we call church is just a never-ending lecture series.

We see church as a man-made building, but Jesus wants to build by connecting Christians to Himself and to others in the Spirit. To sense that you belong to the supernatural community of Jesus-focused people (which spans time) is a glorious delight!

We see church as a religious meeting conducted and led by a pastor or priest, but Jesus wants to gather people under His own Headship. The Bible says we should be “led by the Spirit.” Jesus-led community happens when people open their hearts to Him and to one another. It requires more than analytical minds.

We see church as a religious organization with a hierarchy, but Jesus said, “the greatest will be the servant of all.” Jesus-focused community is life-changing. The smallest gathering of the body of Christ is two people. You don’t need a crowd to experience Jesus-focused community.

The 50+ “one another commandments” in the New Testament show that the body of Christ is a community, not a religious organization. What we call church doesn’t look like what I see when I read the book of Acts. The body Christ with Jesus as the functional Head doesn’t need a hierarchy.

When English language Bibles quote Jesus as saying, “I will build My church,” it seems like He meant a Spirit-led community, not an institution. If you’re courageous enough to speak about your love for and devotion to the risen Jesus, you’ll discover that you’re not alone.

When you really believe in someone you rely on them. If you believe in Jesus, you rely on Him not on your own effort. Often people who loudly proclaim their rights and their freedom are caught up in inner bondage.

The void!
The Spirit-led
Body of Christ
Meeting with
King Jesus
As the active Head
Is the missing community.
Gather a group
To hear and be led
By the risen Jesus.

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For hope view life as a mosaic

Some people see randomness
Others a loose collage.
I see life as
An amazing mosaic.

Don’t despair. Begin to see life is a collage of cascading creativity and a mosaic of marvelous mystery. In an artfully crafted mosaic, the ugly pieces and the pretty pieces blend into magnificence. When you align the broken pieces of your life with God’s pattern and plan, you’ll have a mosaic instead of a monstrosity.

To drift with God’s Spirit is to soak in the mosaic of His glory. Be a Spirit-drifter. Let go and flow with Christ in you. When a broken heart is fully surrendered to the risen Jesus, He turns it into a glorious mosaic.

A Spirit-led life is like a mosaic. Looking at it one piece at a time is confusing but when it all comes together you can see the hand of God. When by faith you see the mosaic God wants to make out of the circumstances in your life, you’ll want to surrender to His will.

Keep making a collage out of the good and bad events in your life until God assembles them into a life-inspiring mosaic. Many people want to decorate their body with life-long tattoos. God wants to decorate your heart with His eternal mosaic.

Because we get stuck focusing on individual events, we frequently fail to see God’s artwork in the overall mosaic of our life. In the mosaic God has planned for each person’s life even the ugly pieces will contribute to the beauty. Surrender; don’t rebel.

The living Jesus wants to lead you from within moment-by-moment. Cooperate. Let Him assemble your life like a mosaic, one piece at a time. When life’s broken pieces are fully surrendered to the living Jesus, He’ll create a beautiful mosaic.

Everyone believes pieces of truth and pieces of error. We grow when we strive to increase the one and decrease the other. If you pay attention the overall collage of your life can teach you more than the college of your choice. The Bible’s a mosaic that will change your life if you read it as a whole but will frustrate you if you analyze it piece by piece.

Every moment is a treasure but most pass by unnoticed. Look back at the ongoing stream of your moments and discover God’s mosaic.

When I let my heart
Drift with the mosaic
Of God’s Spirit,
I’m carried, comforted,
And recharged.

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Beyond Churching

If churching
Isn’t helping
You be and live
Like Jesus every day
It’s not working.

Without discipling
Is often hindering
For Christ-following.
(1 Corinthians 11:17.)

A decision to acknowledge Jesus and to start churching isn’t the same thing as surrendering to and relying on the risen Jesus daily. Christianity needs to extend far beyond mere churching. Churching with the same format week after week can easily become “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”

If you’re unwilling to say that you’re wrong when you are wrong, you might enjoy churching, but you won’t be able to truly follow Jesus. Churching should never be a substitute for cultivating and surrendering to the presence of the living Jesus in your own heart.

People like to refer to the church when in reality there are thousands of independent churches each promoting their own opinions. When people refer to the church are they talking about every institution in the world that calls itself a church?

When churching alone is seen as the normal Christian life, we’ve set our sights far too low! Churching is called a service, but Christians are called to serve, not to passively be served.

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Fire is hot–never lukewarm

Start a heart-fire.
Ask God to give you
A burning desire
To know Jesus

The fire of God must be demonstrated. It can’t be taught or explained. It transcends human rationality.

Fire is hot. It’s never lukewarm. Lukewarm Christians have abandoned God’s fire.

When God lights a fire in your heart don’t let it be contained because a contained fire eventually goes out. Fan God’s inner sparks into roaring flames until they burn up your dependence on religious forms and organizations.

When people claim their opinion to be “my truth” it would often be more accurate to say, “my error.” To say “my truth” is to falsely believe that truth is based on human opinion rather than on reality.

Our self-created “Me Hall of Fame” (often called a resume) can distract us and others from our shame, but it can’t unleash God’s power of forgiveness and restoration that will completely remove it. The shame-denying veil we wear motivates the disparity between who we are and who we pretend to be. That’s because we like Adam and Eve try to hide parts of us from God, other people, and even from self. Meanwhile God asks: “(Your name here) where are you?”

God hasn’t lost sight of you and the unpleasant realities you are trying to hide, but you have. God’s asking you to walk in the light — to openly, honestly, and verbally acknowledge where you really are — to freely expose the shame of your rebellious and hurting heart so that He can heal and transform it from glory to glory. Before you exit your life on this planet take time to consider and prepare for your final destination.

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If King Jesus isn’t first in your life, you’re out of sync with Him

When we’re out of sync with God we sink into sin. When we’re in sync with Him we let King Jesus lead us. When you find your life sinking, start syncing with Jesus and you’ll rise.

Before you speak, lip-sync with “Christ in you.” Align your words with His voice. If King Jesus isn’t first in your life, you’re out of sync with Him.

To be a disciple of Christ is to learn how to synchronize your thoughts, feelings, and desires with God more and more every day. When you’re in sync with the world and its values, you’re out of sync with God. Synchronicity with the City of God will put you at odds with the ways of the world. The Jesus-first community has hearts in sync with one another.

Our human desires, feelings, and thoughts are frequently out of sync with reality. In a world warped by selfishness and evil, our perspective will be distorted until we lay down our preferences and align with truth.

When you personalize truth by attempting to define it by your thoughts, feelings, and desires, “your truth” becomes distorted. The essence of sin is an unwillingness to synchronize with God.

The law makes us aware that we’re unaligned with God but has no power to permanently align us with Him. The Good News proclaims that Jesus shed His blood to align us with God so that we can live in the light and reflect His power and presence with ever increasing glory.

If you’re heart isn’t ruled by King Jesus, your lifestyle won’t be either. King Jesus doesn’t just command (like a country’s king). He offers people grace — His supernatural presence and power to obey Him.

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The Jesus-first community obeys King Jesus

The Jesus-first community
Experiences ongoing
Heart-to-heart unity
And takes every opportunity
To glorify Him.

Ask not, “Where do you go to church?” Ask, “How do you connect with the Jesus-first community?”

The Jesus-first community consists of Christ-followers who interact heart-to-heart with the living Jesus and with each other, keeping faithfulness to King Jesus as their top priority. Christ-followers are sent to show and say (to demonstrate and declare) that Jesus is the true King and deserves all allegiance.

Although the Jesus-first community has been divided by man-made churches and religious opinions, when two of them meet they recognize the Jesus-thrill in each other. If you strive to obey “Christ in you” as your King and Lord, you’re part of the Jesus-first community.

In a true kingdom, the king’s will comes first! If you’re a citizen of the kingdom of God, obeying King Jesus should be your top priority. If Jesus is your Lord, ask King Jesus what He wants you to do today.

Put King Jesus first! Defund self-focus. To rebel against King Jesus by ignoring His authority in your daily life isn’t a good thing.

My best sermons are the ones the living Jesus preaches inside my heart. Our religious self is sneaky and snuggles up to the splendor of God, not just to worship, but also to subtly boast. It’s easy to get distracted from a focus on King Jesus.

And even
Can’t bring
To a human heart.
King Jesus can!

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The King who matters most says: “Love one another.”

The King of Kings says: “A new command I give you: Love one another.” We have no excuse for rebelling against Him.

King Jesus is too often robbed of His authority. Like a figurehead king, He’s honored with words, but His commands are ignored.

The Romans placed a sign on Jesus’ cross (written in the Jewish, Roman, and Greek languages) that said, “This is Jesus, King of the Jews,” revealing that they were threatened by the assertion that He is King. Later they persecuted Christians because of their loyalty to the risen Jesus as their King. Throughout history, the more Jesus has been followed and obeyed as the ever-living, supreme King, the more His followers have been persecuted.

I owe my allegiance to King Jesus, the King who matters most. Christ-followers aren’t bound to a religious chain of command. They’re bound heart-to-heart to the living King Jesus. Any chain of command that comes between you and the risen Jesus is bondage.

If King Jesus is truly living in you, then He needs no human chain of command to guide and direct you. He can do it Himself. The Bible calls Christ-followers “a royal priesthood” because they communicate directly with God and are members of the eternal royal family.

The ever-living King who communicates directly and individually to each of His subjects needs no chain of command. To be “led by the Spirit” is to receive your orders directly and continually from King Jesus. When people are trained to rely on organized religion more than on direct communication with the risen Jesus, the Holy Spirit is hindered.

Whenever there’s a tug-a-war between a chain of command and your conscience, follow your conscience. Jesus will often lead you through your conscience.

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