The Golden Calf – possessing 2

Let us explore further the reason why issues of ‘having’ caused the nation of Israel to

English: My Desk

English: My Desk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

backtrack so dramatically on all the vows they had taken before God.

When Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the Lord has said we will do.” Exodus 24: 3

They had  promised to obey him and be His people just a month before and now they are reveling before a golden calf in idolatrous worship. (chapter 32)

We have considered the idea  that emptiness and lack of direction was felt by the nation due to the fact their leader (Moses) was away for 40 days and nights. This meant that the people tried to fill a leader sized hole with ‘doing’ and with ‘having’. The children of God were not used to making their own choices, having been slaves for so long, and the freedom they now experienced in wide open places caused an unease and insecurity. They tried to fill the new culture with the old ways. It is said that some wild animals are kept in cages for so long when they are released in the wild they will stay put in the cage because freedom is too daunting for them. We hear stories of prisoners so overwhelmed with freedom  and choice  they  re-offend in order to stay within the security of bars.

What if the ‘having’ things includes  people over you for feeling of security. They may be bars on your windows and locks on your personal doors of freedom – but they bring positions of security. This having secure positions means wanting labels for people so that we know who is who and what is what. We call people elders, pastors, evangelists, administrators, leaders, stewards, musicians and may give them badges such as lead musician, trustee etc. We are comfortable then with their label, we know we have all areas covered, we have people in the boxes we have put them in, the role they are now allowed to move around in, we  can understand how everything fits together. We have understanding, we have positions, we have control. Our labels link in with ‘doing’ – doing things for identity. I know that I ‘do’ the PA and that is who I am  – it gives us purpose, meaning, usefulness and sense of achievement.

What if church is to be organic, a family of people. If everyone has freedom to do what is on their heart  there are no boxes to contain people in or pedestals to put people on. There are no clear boundaries in which you have to adhere, a flow of heart connections and Spirit leading. What if everyone is free and powerful to do what is on their hearts?

In a culture of honour and serving there is no hierarchy, no patriarchy, no matriarchy and no uniformity. There is place for  clear leadership but this is done without labels at times – eg someone could lead worship from within the congregation without a stage, microphone or label. The shepherding and leading  is done from a foundation of serving and not from a place of control.  There are no power struggles as each family member honours gifting, call and freedom of others. There is no jealousy as each feels fully loved and accepted.

The onus is on people with anointing to lead well. This means that leaders cannot  rest on a label until they retire or lean on their position to feel that they have a right to make decisions or think they understand. In this organic family all have a voice, all are comfortable to express their gifts and those who are anointed for the moment are given room to clearly lead with deference in their serving. Jesus the King of Kings lead by example and serving – he gave people choices without persuasion.

For all of us it is a challenge to stay fresh in the Holy Spirit. To not just do the things we are on a rota for, or asked to do – but to be what we are. There is a difference between doing to gain acceptance and purpose, and knowing what your purpose is and just being who you were made to be. However eccentric, crazy or bazaar our anointing may seem to others we need to let the real us out. Let’s be who we truly are.

Today: Ask the Holy spirit to show you if there is anything you do to gain acceptance through what you do. Start by recognising your anointing and who you were made to be and start to deliberately to rest in who you are.

The Golden Calf continued – possessing 1

When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain,

IMG_0334

IMG_0334 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt. Exodus 32:1

1.   Make us= doing

2.   Make us some gods = possessing

There are many adverts that tell me I cannot be fulfilled in life without owning an object or living a certain way. It will make me beautiful, glamorous, successful and desirable. I know that you know that. What constantly surprises me is how much this culture of ours has subtle ways of leaving its imprint on my life and affecting the way I think and live. Having spent two weeks in the Philippines around those who have nothing I realise how petty we are in the west and much time/money we spend on image and self promotion.

Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please.  I will give it all to you if you will worship me.”Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say,’ You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’  Luke 4:5-8

The Devil tempted Jesus to own/posses all the kingdoms of the earth. To have the authority – that sense of power in owning them. The Israelites wanted to own their own influence and rule by making gods. They would have the power in owning their own gods who would have to do as they asked. Idols move where you put them, they don’t speak back, they bring a focus in your life and they look good too.

Life isn’t about having – but about kingdom. Sometimes we mix up dreams of this world for a Godly vision. We want to have a nice house, good family, respectable job, success in what we do, children that are brought up well, cook well and live well – this is no different to the world. We make it sound like a vision but really it is an earthly dream – those in the world want to have all these things.

There is a different between heart desires and kingdom vision. Kingdom vision is supernatural and not of this earth. For example I am trained as a primary school teacher. I want to influence children and families to live well, to knit together community, to bring love to the children – most teachers would desire this this is not a heaven vision. A kingdom teacher with vision will want to bring heaven to the earth – to do God’s will in heaven as it is in the earth. What does this look like? Supernatural gifts of the spirit being used to bring love, peace, community, family, healing, release, binding up broken hearts etc It is the difference between wanting to have reputation and fulfilment against using all of heaven’s resources for God to be promoted and his will fulfilled.

How do I know what is precious to you? – your conversation will give it away. What is the chat as you walk? Is about what you are having for tea, who you are inviting around, what or does your conversation include kingdom talk, dreams, healings, revelation and heaven excitement?

We are the Prophetic Message

 

Gan Eliezer, Rehavia, Jerusalem

Gan Eliezer, Rehavia, Jerusalem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What a strange man. Eating locusts, dressed in camel hair, no wife, no kids, no house – what was he thinking?  His name was John the Baptist. He was a man declaring that there was something coming far more important that this life, these pleasures. He showed his message in his life he lived.

Moses second son was prophetic too – by the name he carried.

Exodus 18:4 Eliezer – which means ‘God was my helper, he rescued me from the sword of Pharaoh

Moses sent his wife and 2 sons off to stay with Jethro (his father in law) to keep them safe. This was sometime before the Israelites escaped from Pharaoh. One month into the journey around the wilderness and Moses sees his children and wife again. What a fantastic re-union. How he must have missed them. Moses tells them all that has happened and about the amazing miracles God did – the way he helped them cross through the sea.  Eliezer heard all about his name being fulfilled. He understood who he was. He had found his identity.

The name of his son shows what faith Moses had that God would rescue the Israelites. Even before the mass exodus Moses named his son “he rescued”. This was a brave step to stake his belief so clearly in the name of his child. Everyday when Moses looked at ‘he rescued’ he must have wondered when his freedom was going to come.

Jethro is delighted at the testimony Moses brings.  He sees the hand of God in all that had happened. The testimony takes him to the presence of God in worship. Aaron and all the elders feast in God’s presence.

My name means noble and for years I only felt shame. God brought me out into a place of freedom where I saw his grace on my life and I understood who I was. I discovered my identity as a noble princess of the King. It is something that I am still discovering and coming to an understanding of. As I change and tell my story I am the message. I rub off God’s love and goodness into other peoples’ hearts.

Your story (testimony) of all that God has done for you will turn peoples hearts to God. You will cause them to desire a relationship with God. Be generous in sharing your story around.

Today: What does your name mean? Feel free to adopt a prophetic name that you see being fulfilled. Eg loved of God, free son, adventurous daughter etc Share your story with someone today and be the message to them.

Father who loves to walk (with us)

Get your boots on! We are off for a walk. It will take effort but you will see and hear things

holding hands, se 39th ave

holding hands, se 39th ave (Photo credit: cafemama)

to delight you on the way. The birds singing, squirrels scurrying and the trees whispering to one another. It will make you feel alive and your heart vibrate with life!

I love walking. I feel close to God when I walk. I have been learning, however, that he enjoys walking with me also. In fact He has called me out of bed recently to go on a walk because His heart is to spend time with me. I have been shocked some mornings by His excitement.

 Ex 17:1 The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, travelling (walking) from

place to place as the Lord commanded.

Nehemiah 9:12 By day you led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take.

Micah 6:8 He has shown you, what is good. To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

One of the first things we see God doing with mankind in Genesis is walk and talk with them. He would spend time with Adam and Eve wandering around the garden.  How does a spirit God walk? Has he special legs? Anyway, it seems that He still likes walking with us. He likes to wander with us through the paths of life keeping a conversation of intimacy open. He does not ask us to journey or adventure alone – He is with us all the way. He is in not rush to be anywhere – he is just enjoying your company.

He will even walk with you (escort you) for a good night out. Perhaps a feast in a great hall. He just wants to be with you – because he loves you.

He escorts me to the banquet hall;

  it’s obvious how much he loves me. Song of Songs 2:4

Today: Perhaps go on a physical walk with the knowledge that God walks with you.  Or sit down with God. Make an effort not to pray but just enjoy his company.

Lies and labels

In Exodus 5 we find that because the Israelites  were trying to find freedom to go and worship their God Pharaoh put the pressure on big time! Do not be suprised if whilst try to shake of inhibitions and find freedom that your enemy starts putting the pressure on for you to stay the same. We must be careful that we don”t react in fear but stand strong.

 “That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people:  “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw.  But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and worship our God.’ 6-8

Traditional target arrow and replica medieval ...

Traditional target arrow and replica medieval arrow. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They are lazy!! What a label for a people crying out under the constant work load demanded of them. If I was trying day in day out just to keep going and get everything done  and someone turned around and called me lazy it would be like an arrow to my heart.

I have had arrows like that thrown at me before. Often I dodge them as they are thrown in jest – “Oh Alison you are crazy!” . I can brush them off when I don’t agree with them. They do no damage to my heart and I do not listen to them. But sometimes things people say stick to me. I remember a lie said to me once by a leader – “You are negative that is why you are not feeling happy”.  I agreed with the assessment of me  as I listen to them and the arrow was given permission, by me, to land into my inner life.

The arrow started to cause problem with my daily living. It was painful and caused me to accept other lies. I thought “I am negative and a bad influence on other people and I will just bring everyone down”. I stopped talking in fear that I would be negative. My lack of interaction in conversations made me think up questions whilst people were talking and I thought that it was a symptom of being negative. I  sometime thought the questions were wrong and perhaps I was not good hearted after all—- I think you get the picture.

The key to dealing with lies that people throw at you is not to agree with them. They can only stick on you if you let them. If you brush them off they loose their power straight away. Laugh at the cheek of the enemy to try and stick  false labels on you. The time that is hardest to brush off a lie is if you know that there is a glimmer of truth in it. You see the sugar coating is true so you swallow down the whole pill into your depths thinking that the medicine is yours.

Today: List all the lies and labels people have put on you over the years. It might be a church leader, school teacher, friend, spouse, parent etc. Sit down and break agreement with the lies you have agreed with and allowed in. Tell them they have no place in your life.

Don’t just read this post but be deliberate in taking each of those arrows out – they wont go away by chance 🙂

The call to unshackled worship

I remember the first time I danced before God. It was in a Spring Harvest meeting 1984 

English: freedom in the rain.

English: freedom in the rain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and I was sat a long way back. The song was ‘I get so excited Lord every-time i realise I’m forgiven’ It was a battle of wills for me but knew if I was excited I couldn’t sing the words standing still. I felt so embarrassed to start with and then a freedom burst inside that I had never felt before. I stopped taking myself quite so seriously. It was a breakthrough in truth that still causes me to dance even now.

 

 “This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.” Exodus 8

 

The Israelites were  eventually given freedom by Pharaoh  in order that they could go and worship their God. They were not randomly allowed to go free – there was a reason, a purpose. Our primary call, our purpose in being free, is to worship God.  Lets use our freedom to worship God with unshackled hearts and hands.

 

In the story Pharaoh didn’t like this ‘free’ worship – he wanted to restrict and control the worship the people brought their God. He perhaps felt threatened that the people thought there was someone higher, greater and more powerful than he. It must have hurt his ego somewhat. He agreed to let God’s people go to worship Him but he tried to lay down guidelines in which to restrict them

 

  •  Ex 8:25 go sacrifice to God in this land

This is worship with not much effort or movement. There is no change to the position of what they are doing already. This keeps complete control on the activity.

 

  •  Ex 8:28 don’t go far away

This is worship with tight restrictions. You can worship a little way off but don’t go mad you still have tight limitations as to what you can do.

 

  •  Ex 10 :11 Go now you who are men

This worship is not inclusive of the whole family. It lacks united generations, enthusiasm of the young, wisdom of the old, practicality of the experienced and dreams of those starting out.  It lacks unity, togetherness and therefore power! It is only half a family encouraged to worship.

 

  •  Ex 10: 24 Let your flocks be held back

This is worship of our body only but doesn’t include the sacrifice of our money or time. If we withhold our finances and belongings our hearts are severely restricted in overflow and abandonment.

 

Let us use our freedom to worship God with crazy overflow. To go all the way. To do what we feel God telling us to do – no matter what. This is what we were set free for.

 

Today: Is there any expression of worship that you struggle with or do not express? Eg lying prostrate, dancing, giving, standing on your chair, etc. decide that you will not be held back any longer but you will make full use of your freedom to bring all your worship

 

Made for Heart Connections

Our hearts  were made to be connected.

The Heart

The Heart (Photo credit: petalouda62)

 

I look around and see iphones, ipads, yourgymn, ipaper it all about me (or I). I sit on my facebook by myself. Watch tv by myself. I wonder what has happened to community and the heart of living together. Have we, the church, picked up the ‘I’ culture or do we recognise how integral community is?

Let us look at the beginning of how God made us and the very nature of who we are:

The way we were made

  • In God’s image

Genesis 1:26-27 (NLT)

 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in  our image, to be like us. .. So God created human beings in his own image.  In the image of God he created them;  male and female he created them.

God has always been an us  ‘Father , Son and Holy Spirit’. He has always  been in perfect relationship, sharing heart, ideas and creative fun together. Here we find God chats among himself and comes up with the creative idea to make man. There is a consensus and God together makes it happen. God forms man in His/their image.

When he made mankind he made  ‘a them’.  He didn’t make a ‘he’ or a ‘she’ but a ‘them’. We were made in the image of God to be in perfect relationship, sharing heart, ideas and having creative fun together.

  • Not made to be alone

Genesis 2:18

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”

Because God  has always been ‘a them’ He has never been  lonely. It is in his nature to enjoy company and open hearted relationship in unity. We were made in God’s image with His DNA. We were made to be together in open hearted relationships with soul companions, it is against our very make up to be on our own. God desire is unity with us and unity among us.

  • Made to be open with each other

Genesis 2:23-25

“At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone,    and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’    because she was taken from ‘man.’”This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.

The idea of being naked goes further than not wearing clothes. It is a picture of the open honesty Adam and Eve  shared. There hearts were connected in such a way that nothing was hidden and their weaknesses were not a hindrance. They were one in body, heart and spirit. They were joined in heart connection and this is shown in the oneness that intimacy brings through physical union.

Heart connections

The heart is more than just a place we love from it is the core of our being and passions in life. If we are hiding our hearts in hurts and disappointments we cannot connect our hearts with others.  This leads to loneliness and rejection that is against the way we were made to be. Is this why so many are suffering from metal illness and depression in our society? We are living against our very nature hiding our hearts in brokenness.

Today: Recognise that you were made in God’s image to be in heart connection with others. Think about the state of your own heart and how easy you find it to be connected to others. Determine that you will seek to go to the healer and get your heart healed up so that you can join it in relationship with God and kingdom lovers.