Relationship, Not Religion



Update: My heart is full! I’m slowly gaining strength physically as my nervous system heals since my doctor ordered me to leave my place of ministry for peaceful rest back in June 2016. Though, last week I was in bed 3 days and one was in the house with all blinds drawn, ear plugs in and sunglasses on. I was over stimulated by light and noise. But, my heart is full of joy!!!!

I hear God’s voice in a fresh new way than ever before! (No distractions.) He has affirmed me over and over. While I spent regular days in prayer as a pastor, annual prayer retreats with my ministry team serving with me, and on prayer walks with prayer partners seeking His voice before doing any kind of ministry, He just didn’t get enough time with me I guess. 🙂 It feels like He pulled me out to rest and linger with Him.

This morning I meditated on how Jesus lingered longer so that he would show up only after Lazarus died in order to reveal the Father’s power! I realized that lingering with Jesus longer in my physical state will only breathe testimony to His power whenever the time is right to follow my next assignment. We truly need to die to self in order for God’s new life to spring forth!
For now, He invites me to linger longer.

Proverbs 3:
3 Don’t let love and truth ever leave you.
Tie them around your neck.
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will find favor and a good name
in the eyes of God and people.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Do not depend on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways obey him.
Then he will make your paths smooth and straight.

I once preached 3 specific sermons on Sabbath rest, the nurturing heart of God, and being family together leaving no one behind. Those messages I once spoke both comforted and convicted. I see how the enemy hates when God’s people learn that God longs to linger with us, rest with us, and invite us to be family together. I think he’d much rather us believe that God must be put in a box, and that we get to tell God how to operate.

Isaiah 43:
19 I am about to do something new.
It is beginning to happen even now.
Don’t you see it coming?
I am going to make a way for you to go through the desert.
I will make streams of water in the dry and empty land.

Acts 2:
17 “ ‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Holy Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions.
Your old men will have dreams.
18 In those days, I will pour out my Spirit on my servants.
I will pour out my Spirit on both men and women.
When I do, they will prophesy.
21 Everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

God has encouraged me over and over how Moses spent more time with God than the people and delegated leadership in order to be face to face with God. A mentor has been reminding me that how well we lead (as spiritual leaders) those who follow us, is the result of how much time we have spent with God, not necessarily to seek answers but to minister to the heart of God. Yes, to God. He longs to be in relationship with us and out of that, He leads us. We cannot lead out of our own human convictions – even human convictions we have after ‘figuring out’ our doctrine.

That’s religion and not relationship.

If persecution arises and we merely lead out of human conviction, we easily deny our ‘convictions’ in fear and betray those who trust us and follow us. We lash out at others, resort to envy or jealousy… But, if we are so deeply convicted by the Holy Spirit, and desperate for Him, nothing will deter our courage.

Let us be led by the Spirit, and not by fear, programs, tradition, religion…

Let us linger with the One who breathes life!

The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.
Jesus came to bring new life. (John 10:10)

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