It’s winter here in New Zealand, it’s cold; I’m cold! The past few nights have been the coldest this nation has seen for a long time.  Yet today I’m sitting here looking out my window on a cloudless blue sky with bright yellow lilies opening up before me in the garden. Today is presenting to me two contradictory pictures – cold temperatures along with a bright blue sky which speaks to me of warm summer type weather. Why am I sharing that seeming contradiction? Because it illustrates something the Lord spoke to me a few minutes ago…

I felt the Lord say “I’m going to open the eyes of my deaf people.” My response of course was “Whaaat…? That doesn’t make sense Lord.” And it didn’t, until He began to unpack it to me.

The Lord began to remind me that hearing activates internal sight. He reminded me that recently, while at Revival School, I had really noticed again just how much my internal sight is activated when people say things. They say things and I literally see what they say, which can be frustrating at times, depending on what people are saying. (I had wondered at the time why my focus was being drawn to noticing that; now I know.)

We all do it to a lesser or greater degree; we see what is spoken. That’s why we’ll be listening to someone describe something over the phone and we’ll say “Oh, I see”, yet we’re actually hearing them speak, not watching them show us something.

It’s like that when the Lord speaks, too. It activates internal sight which, if focused on and mulled over, begins to grow something inside us – desire; and desire when it comes is a tree of life (Prov 13:12). We actually live out of what we see!

The deafness the Lord was talking to me about is not a literal physical deafness, it is the deafness brought about by time constraints and the busyness of life. It’s the things that drown out the still small voice of the Lord during our daily life. That deafness and blindness is about to be lifted from peoples’ lives and a clarity of hearing is beginning to open up that will cause an opening of internal eyes to see to a whole new degree.

And what is seen will begin to be lived out of.

The following is a prophetic word the Lord gave me for you regarding the above revelation…

“I am going to open the eyes of my deaf people! I know, your first reaction will be “But Lord, I’m not deaf.” Have the cares of the world dulled your eyesight and hearing? Do you see with the clarity you’d like to see with? I am offering to you eye salve and ear drops made from the purest of Heaven’s oil. I will apply them myself so you can be assured there will be no “hit or miss” with this treatment. As I apply them they’ll give you a whole new realm of clarity in seeing and hearing. That seeing and hearing will become within you a tree of life, and out of that tree of life many new things will be birthed, in your life and in the lives of those you minister to.

New dreams will be released to you, new hopes and desires stirred and awakened, new vision and visions will be given that have the possibility of releasing the Kingdom into earth and the future into now. New assignments are being given out to those who have these renewed eyes to see and ears to hear; and there are new chances to co-operate with Me in releasing heaven into earth that will bring life to many. Ask me now for new eyes to see and ears to hear; and as you do expect me to open up new things to you. New revelation will flow, new ideas, dreams and visions; this is both my promise and my surety of provision to you.”

Ask the Lord to give new sight to your deafness. Ask Him to apply eye salve and ear drops to wash away the crustiness life has caused to come to those areas. Ask for new clarity in your hearing and new vision for your life, it’s waiting there now for you. I’m putting my hand up and saying “Yes please, Lord, apply eyes salve and ear drops to me. Open my eyes and ears in a whole new way to see and hear and live in the light of what You and Heaven are doing.”


I apologise for this article being a bit longer but it’s length is necessary to do justice to the subject matter involved.

In light of recent events that have happened in Christendom, people have asked me about some of the things happening to people in revelatory encounters and whether they are real, valid and scriptural; and how we know.

Revelatory encounters are certainly on the increase in the Body of Christ and many people are having and are claiming to have had Throne room encounters, heavenly encounters with angels and people, revelations regarding the revealing of the sons of God, courtroom of Heaven encounters, and more. Many of those experiences are legal, real and valid but some are not and we must learn how to distinguish between the two types.

I want in this article to drop a plumbline for judging the validity of the revelatory experiences we may have. (For those that don’t know, a plumbline is a cord weighted with lead that is used in building to check that vertical structures are true. It is used symbolically to refer to the divine standard against which God, the builder of his people, tests and judges them. It also symbolises the standards by which God will rebuild his people. Zech 1:16; Zech 4:9-10 1)

The base plumblines for assessing our revelations are these –

  • The nature and character of the Godhead – God is love, is good, His mercy triumphs over his judgement; He is faithful, kind, holy, righteous and much more.
  • What scripture shows us about God, His ways and His plans for mankind.
  • The finished work of the Cross and what that resulted in as shown in Scripture – Gods plans for the restoration of mankind to his original status and into the image of Christ, the healing, wholeness, righteousness, holiness etc that the work of the Cross accomplished.
  • What scripture shows us about the way we should walk out our salvation and life in Christ.
  • What scripture shows us are acceptable experiences and what aren’t.
  • Love – receiving it, becoming it and living it out – if our revelations do not include this work in us then we are nothing, have nothing and do no lasting good (1 Cor 13:2,3).

The things listed below are an important part of the process of assessing revelatory encounters based on the plumblines above.

  1. Any revelation that denies the Godhead as being who they are, denies that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, or denies that He is above all other principalities and powers is a deceptive one. Jesus is not simply a man, a prophet, a healer, a man of light and goodness. He is the embodiment and full revelation of the Godhead. He and the Father are one and He is one with Holy Spirit, not less than or subservient to either nor they to Him. They operate in the fullness of oneness, honouring each other and their different functional roles within that.
  1. Realise that all people’s encounters are subjective (every time) – that is, how we see them and understand them is influenced by personal feelings, tastes, opinions and perceptions, our backgrounds and woundedness from life experiences, our knowledge of the true nature of God, the finished work of the Cross, our knowledge and correct understanding of scripture and more.
  1. Realise our knowledge is at best incomplete – “For we know in part and prophesy in part”…1 Cor 13:9 – 12. None of us can claim full knowledge or understanding, so we must be willing to submit our experiences for weighing and assessment. On our very best days and in our most deep revelations we still only know in part and we will sometimes get our interpretations wrong – no individual knows all truth; they are not God. We do not stand alone as islands of revelation – our revelations together should build toward a truer picture of who God is and who we are in Christ like jigsaw pieces do towards the full revelation of the big picture.
  1. We are told in Scripture to judge or weigh prophecy and (by inference) prophetic revelation (1 Cor 14:29). That judging or assessing is done by others; not just by ourself. On our own we cannot have anything but a subjective opinion of what something means because of the life lenses we look through. We must therefore be willing to submit our revelations to others who are mature believers and leaders and be willing to be called to account for them. Prov 11:14 says “Where there is no counsel people fail, but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”
  1. We are called to walk in love and it is ultimately by our love that we are distinguished from all others (John 13:34,35) not by our experiences. Others will sometimes disagree with our interpretations of our revelations and sometimes we will disagree with their interpretations; that’s life and that’s different people looking at the same thing through different lenses. But even if we disagree we are called to not break relationship but to continue to live in love (1 John 2: 9-11). Breaking relationship and love is never the right way to deal with something. This does not mean you have to still be buddy buddy besties, but love is a heart stance that refuses to let go of God’s best dreams for the other person and continues to act and speak in an honouring way to them and about them.
  1. We are to test the spirits (1 John 4:1-3). Not all revelation comes from God; not even all the good-looking, good feeling stuff. The demonic are well able to disguise themselves as being good and give us deceptively good experiences (2 Cor 11:14-15). Just because you supposedly talked to a historical figure or saint does not mean it was that person or that the experience was a valid experience from God, although it very well may have been. (God took Jesus into an experience where He talked to two men who had passed into eternity – Moses and Elijah, so it can happen – Matt 17:1-6) Can those you meet in an experience call Jesus their Lord? Do they inspire deep reverence and worship for themselves (warning bell) or do they actively dissuade you from that and turn you to worshipping Jesus? Do they invite you to continue accessing them for revelation or do they turn you to Christ in the way they speak and act? Does what you’re experiencing line up with what is revealed in scripture about God and the Kingdom?
  1. True revelation from God brings humility and pruning into our lives. In Scripture we see that true Heavenly experiences brought humility into the persons life who had them; and that also while having them they saw aspects of their nature that needed to be corrected. (Is 6:1-5; Acts 22:6-10; 2 Cor 12:1-10) We cannot come face to face with the goodness, mercy, grace, purity, righteousness and holiness of the King and His kingdom without seeing areas of our lives and mindsets that need adjustment. That doesn’t mean it needs to be a serious, or joy lacking experience, even a fun-filled true Kingdom experience will have the effect of working in us humility and pruning us as we see where our lives and thought patterns do not align with the Lord and His kingdom.
  1. True revelation should bring fruit that is measureable and lasts. An experience may be real but if it has no measurable fruit in our life or the lives of others it is either an invalid or wasted experience. The experiences we have should bear good Kingdom fruit in our lives – things like causing us to worship and love the Godhead in a greater way, to be in awe of them – their nature, character, love etc. Those experiences should set us free in areas, from bondages, and wrong mindsets. They should increase our love for other people, our respect for scripture etc. They should end up with us walking in a greater release of Kingdom realities on earth, e.g. healing the sick etc. Experiences without measureable fruit become self-focused at best and narcissistic deceptions at worst. It is not all about you and your experience; it never was and never is. The Lord’s plan for your experiences in Him is way bigger than you, even though you will be blessed beyond measure in them.
  1. Your experiences say nothing about your spirituality, character or your maturity. They are not commendations and recommendations of you to others. They are not to promote you in your ministry. They simply say you had an experience and that you have a good Father who loves His children to experience revelation about Him and His kingdom.
  1. Too many of us take literally what is often symbolic. We must turn to Holy Spirit for the right interpretations of our experiences; it is part of his role to lead us into truth. All through scripture we see that very few of the visual revelations people experienced were literal in their meaning, they were mostly symbolic. They are given like this because we have been invited into a walk of dependency on the Holy Spirit not on our mind and intellect. So we must ask the Lord for understanding and for His wisdom; our own understanding will in most cases translate our experiences wrongly because we think from a human perspective with human and often worldly or carnal thinking. All too often I meet people who have wrongly interpreted their revelations and have come to believe something that is not consistent with what scripture shows us or consistent with the nature and character of the Godhead.
  1. We are called to be led by the Holy Spirit in all areas and that includes accessing revelation – even though we are called to access the things of the Kingdom by faith (rather than from just a sovereign download of revelation and experience) we should still be asking Holy Spirit if this is what He has for us to access at this time. Even in the midst of an experience we need to be led by Him not just by our desires and wants. Often in the midst of an experience I will see something and want to investigate it yet on asking Him He has said something like “not this time, that’s not what you’re here for at the moment”. Some might be tempted to think that is staying in a place of immaturity but it is not immaturity, it is staying in a place of dependency and that is far different. Immaturity is doing your own thing, your own way, irrespective of others and how it affects them.
  1. God can move extra biblically – in other words show us things that aren’t in scripture. Throughout scripture we see many firsts and new things being revealed. God often shows things and then gives understanding later but that doesn’t mean all new revelation is from Him. And we cannot afford to blindly think it is. Even the elect can be deceived (Mar 13:22; 2 Tim 3) All revelations must be weighed and assessed by the things outlined above especially by the overall counsel of Scripture, whether it lines up with the work of the Cross, and judged by mature New Covenant Apostles, Prophets and Theologians. Sometimes that can take time to work out and the theology regarding new things can take years to form. Even in Scripture wisdom was applied when they said in Acts 5:37-39 …”if this counsel or work is of men it will come to nothing. But if it is of God you cannot overthrow it, you may even find yourself fighting against God”. So we should not be quick to jump to judgment and call something heresy (after all we all have some wrong beliefs about the Lord and his kingdom to some degree). But when God does release new revelation into the Body of Christ we must be willing also to move forward in it if it is proved a true revelation from Him; not to pull back and kick out because it doesn’t fit our preconceived ideas of how God does things.
  1. We are called to grow up into maturity in Christ, into His image, not just into ethereal experience. Jesus is our example and what we are to be becoming like. He was both incredibly heavenly minded and intensely practical – He was not some Christian mystic lost in some esoteric experience that was wasted on himself alone. His experiences had measurable fruit that lasted in his life and others. We may have experiences and even teach from them but if they do not have the effect of changing us into the image of Christ then they are invalid and wasted experiences.

Experience is a vital part of growing and all life is based on both experience and understanding; but if our experiences take the place of what Scripture tells us are part of Gods will for our lives then we are out of line. If they do not lead to us releasing the Kingdom into earth in tangible measureable ways – living a greater outworking of love, honouring our brothers and sisters in Christ, feeding the poor, helping the widows and broken, bringing healing to those who are wounded physically and emotionally, discipling nations etc. then they become self absorbed experiences that do nothing except to heighten knowledge and possibly foster a feeling of spiritual superiority.

God is calling us to grow up into maturity, to be those who rightly divide the word of truth, to rightly interpret our experiences, and to become mature believers who walk in true revelation and understanding that leads to the establishing of His kingdom in the earth. And we are, albeit slowly; around the world there are people having genuine heavenly encounters that are resulting in lives and communities being radically changed. Let’s continue to move forward in that. Let’s hold up the plumbline of Truth to our encounters and then move forward into all God is releasing with confidence because our revelations have been weighed and tested and proved true.

  1. Plumbline – https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/dictionary-of-bible-themes/7254-plumb-line


I had been asked to paint during the worship time here at Revival School NZ in Te Anau so I allowed my thoughts to turn to asking the Lord what he wanted to release through the painting I would do. The Lord had been stirring my heart over the past few months regarding the wonderful things he had in store for the Maori people of our nation. As I waited on what He wanted me to paint, in my minds eye this painting is what I saw. It is a a mixture of collage and paint – the Maori woman and the koru being collaged onto the canvas and the rest painted. I would have loved to be able to paint the woman and koru as well but I only had just over an hour to get the painting finished. Painting in a worship time always has an element of tension as you usually need to be able to express what is in your heart in the allotted time. That means you must simplify and distill your idea down as much as possible so that at the end of the worship time your idea is at a stage that people can know what you are trying to convey.

So here it is – the painting is called Cloud Piercer because a seer or prophet sees beyond the natural realm into the heavenly or supernatural realms. They have eyes that pierce through the clouds of this realm into others. Cloud Piercer is a call to the Maori people’s ability to see into the revelatory realm to come forth again, their calling as a prophetic people, as Matakite (the Maori word for prophet or seer), to be awakened for the Lord and for the good of the nation.

The clouds represent the cloud of God’s presence (the glory) being released and covering the nation – they surround the woman – that’s a call to be children who walk in the midst of the cloud and who ascend and descend out of the cloud of his glory – a people called to be cloud piercers.

The ladder represents the ability and call to live from two realms simultaneously – the eternal kingdom realm and the earthly realm. It also represents the ability to access the heavenly realm for revelation.

The seven eagles represent the prophetic mantle over the nation, a part of which is being able to ascend and see from above and beyond normal abilities – with supernatural ability, to see the Lords plans and strategies and also to see the enemy’s strategies from above (from being seated with Christ in heavenly places) and to inform others of what they see from there. The number seven represents perfection & completeness. The eagles also represent the Haast Eagle (which was our nations largest bird but is now extinct) and it represents the restoration of all things.

The land represents the nation, the woman rising from the land represents her oneness with the land and the Koru signifies that in Christ we are one reborn cosmos – people and land – redeemed from the curse, sanctified and set apart for the purposes of God through and in Christ Jesus.

So with this painting I release an awakening, a calling forth, a resurgence of the prophetic and seer gifting amongst the Maori people of Aotearoa New Zealand. I release angelic messengers to bring revelation of God the Father and Christ and their great love for them and purposes for them.

I declare – Matakite – prophets, seers – wake up, wake up, wake up. – Tihae Mauriora, Tihae Mauriora, Tihae Mauriora!

Have you ever wondered “what if…”

I was thinking about some “what if’s” the other day and I decided to make a series out of my thinking. No I’m not going to give you the answers only pose the questions – you get to come up with your own answers in consultation with Holy Spirit. Why not actually ask yourself the following questions over the next month… All the questions are based on promises in scripture, see if you can guess which scripture this comes from…


The following word was given this morning at Fiordland New Life Church in the worship time by Lyn Packer. It is given for the Church in New Zealand but is also a word for the Church in the nations as well.

“I say to you, victory is your starting point, not need! Provision is your starting point, not need. I’ve given you eyes to see; will you see, will you look from my perspective?

I’m raising up a company in this nation; a company of burning hearts, a company of those who see rightly, whose starting point is the as yet unseen reality of my promise. I am raising up a company of those who will take me at my Word and see that my promises have been fulfilled before they are given, who see the provision has arrived before its journey started. I am raising up those who see ahead of time to an already established reality and I am doing it in this place, in this time.

Can you see them? Can you see them, because they are you! I am doing a work in your life that will forever shift your sight line! Today I decree a shift in your sight line. No longer will you be satisfied with seeing through veiled or faithless eyes; no longer will you be satisfied with seeing from a ‘needs’ perspective. Today I say you shall now see with spirit eyes; the eyes of a seer are released today, here and in this nation. I give you eyes to see, and to function. from the place of victory already established, from provision already given.

See beyond time. See my already established future, my hope, my plans for yourself and this nation of New Zealand. I have given you my promises so that you may know ahead of time what your tomorrow will look like.

 You are about to step into a prophetic window of time that will establish what your future and the future of this nation will look like. It is a crucial time, weighty in its implication and in its reality.

Listen for me in what you hear, look for me in what you see. Look beyond today; see your future and begin to live in that now. Who said there must be steps you must take? Who said there must be levels to ascend. What I say you can do, you can do. 

Do not say “I am too immature, I need more healing before I’m ready.” I have already made provision for it, it is already established as I see you. I will take care of character as you walk in submission to me. I have already brought you into fullness of maturity in Christ. Stay in Him, lean into Him, rely on Him. Exchange your weakness for His strength and it will become your strength. Step into your future today. Don’t put it off into tomorrow, you can walk in it today. Go beyond now and walk in tomorrow today. I operate beyond time, so you can walk according to my vision, what I see, not earth’s timeline.

Victory is your starting position; maturity is your starting position; provision is your starting position, because they are already established in me, in my plans for you and for the nation. Do not look at this nation and say “It is too hard.” It is already accomplished in me. I am making you and I am making this nation a company of burning hearts. You, my called out ones, my burning hearts, will move through this nation and the nations of the earth, sharing the reality of my Kingdom.”

A declaration to make

“I declare that I am a part of the company of burning hearts that you are raising up in this time. I have eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to understand what You are doing in this time.

I declare that victory is my starting place, that provision is my starting place, that maturity is my starting place; those realities already exist because of how You see me. I declare that I walk in purpose and destiny already because You see my end from my beginning. I am Your child, called by Your Name, destined to burn with Your love so men will see and be drawn to You!

 My jurisdiction is first this nation then the nations of the world. They are mine. You have given them to me as my inheritance and so I take my place in Your company of burning hearts, as one that will burn for You!”


On Sunday evening as we worshipped I felt the Lord declare that there is a paradigm shift in revelation happening in the Church by his decree at the moment – that He is releasing further revelation of our union with Christ.

In Ephesians 4 the Lord calls us to grow up in all aspects into maturity in Him, and that’s what this paradigm shift is about. We have come through a period of a few years where He has focused us on the Father’s love and that will not finish, there will always be a revelation of that love, just as all previous revelations continue on and we see deeper things in them as He reveals them to us. Now He is awakening a deeper revelation of our union or marriage relationship with Christ. During this Kingdom age we will come to understand and know by experience the fullness of that relationship.

Jesus made a covenant with us (a marriage covenant) that allowed us to become the bride of Christ; he made it both as mankind’s representative and as God. He told us in that covenant all that He would bring to the marriage union as God and all that He would bring to the marriage union as mankind’s representative. He knew we could never keep the terms of the covenant by ourselves, that’s why He made it! We step into that covenant of union by faith, in Him. We step into it in Him, with his faith; we now live in covenant relationship with Him by the faith of the son of God.

This is not a focus on first love, on the feelings that come with that. They will never fade, in fact they will grow and deepen. This is a not a focus on the wedding, the ceremony, that has happened, you are in union with Christ if you have believed in him and asked him to give his life to you. Don’t look back and hanker for the wedding to happen all over again. There are many who hanker after that first giddy love because they love that feeling. That feeling isn’t wrong but it’s time to add to that.

This is an asking by the Lord of the question “What does it look like to be married to Jesus? What does it look like to live in that place of married love, purpose and fulfillment?”

It’s a time to ask – what comes next, how do we walk in the reality of what has taken place – one heart, one mind, one spirit with Christ. It’s this he is leading us into. It’s a shift in focus – into walking as one.

There are many in the body of Christ who will say “we know about the bride of Christ”, but this is a deeper revelation of that truth. Just as we are not to stay babes in Christ, immature; so we are not to stay babes in the knowing of love. There are many in the body of Christ who have fixated on being the bride – like in an earthly relationship where the girl gets fixated on the wedding. But remember, the wedding is just the beginning.

“There are those who seek me as bridegroom because they love the feelings, but there will be days when the feelings are high and there will be days when the feelings are low. That’s when you walk in the knowledge of my love, in the knowledge of that oneness, that union. That is not a time to say that I have left you, I am one with you; that cannot happen. I have promised to never leave you nor forsake you”, says the Lord. “Look past the wedding. What does it look like to walk as one with me… resources, provision, family relationships, raising spiritual sons and daughters, ministry together, partnership, mutual love and submission and so much more.”

He is calling us back to the eternal reality of Eden – delight. This is related to the marriage relationship of the bride and bridegroom. He is calling us to know what it is to walk in the garden of delight with him, to tend the garden and see it grow and mature into a garden of seasoned delight. This is talking about love and desire but it’s not the giddy desire of first love, it’s the mature desire of love fulfilled, of love that has deepened and grown over time into a garden of deep delight within us because it’s matured and has added to that desire of first love. First love is good but there is a deeper love, a maturing of love that adds devotion, companionship, and oneness of heart, mind and purpose to the first love of desire. Don’t keep hankering back to first love, never lose your first love, your desire; but add to it maturity of love.

This is a shift in focus that is happening according to the Lord’s purpose, He’s calling the Church into maturity, as equals with Christ in covenant relationship, a true covenant partnership of husband and wife working together to release heaven into earth.

A couple of weeks ago we were ministering in Dunedin and the Lord gave me a word that was for both the church there but also for the church in the nation (New Zealand).

The Lord said – I am changing the frequency of the Church. Everything has a frequency you know, everything receives and transmits frequencies, light and sound. The church has broadcast on a certain frequency but the frequency has been slightly off and I am turning the dial, retuning the frequency, just a little but it will have a huge effect. To reset the church’s frequency I must reset your frequency, you have a frequency and I am changing your frequency. Your frequency has been off and I am resetting your dial, resetting your receiver, tuning you in to my spirit like never before. And as that frequency is changed expect to see a huge difference, expect to see your light shine like never before.

Wholeness has a frequency you know. The frequency of wholeness needs to broadcast in the towns and cities of this nation, needs to walk these streets and broadcast into the ground and the airwaves of the streets of this nation so it can be realigned to the frequency of the Kingdom of Heaven. To do that I must change your frequency, I must bring you into the manifestation of your already received wholeness. The wholeness I gave you through my death and resurrection, that resurrection power that brought you into life, into glory.

My church needs to learn again to walk by the Spirit not by the flesh, her frequency needs to be adjusted. I’m re-tuning your frequency so you walk by my Spirit. Don’t let your mind try to change your frequency, it’s your mind that does that you know, you receive something by my Spirit and your mind goes “Oh-oh that can’t be God” and tries to reset the frequency. Stay in the Spirit, learn to walk in the Spirit.

I am releasing a disruptive glory in my church like has never been seen before. What does disruptive glory look like – when you walk down a street and a blind man screams because he can suddenly see, that’s disruptive glory. Expect to see your light, which is my light; heal people as you walk past them. When you walk into a room and people run to you saying what must I do to be saved, that’s disruptive glory. Do you want to see my glory released, to see the earth change around you and begin to bear fruit like never before, that’s disruptive glory.

Let me reset your frequency, ask me too and I’ll do so and you will walk more easily by my Spirit into my increasing glory.

Over the last few decades particularly there has been a disturbing trend that has mushroomed; that is the “Christian celebrity” scene. This in turn has led to something I call “celebrity led Christianity” which has crept in to the Church and has caused some people to become more celebrity led in their Christian walk than Spirit led.

In many ways celebrity status Christianity it is nothing new – the Christians in Corinth had the same problem saying “I am of Paul, I am of Apollos” (1 Cor 1:12). Yet during the last half century the tendency to elevate people and their teaching to celebrity status has reached a new high-water mark. This has, I believe, largely happened because of the increase in media saturation particularly through the Internet; not to forget the devils purpose in it of turning people away from their priority of loving and following Christ first and foremost.

Why does someone become a favourite – usually because they preach what we believe or because they bring us fresh revelation. If they preach what we believe then the trap is that it can subtly feed our ego and sense of pride. And if they bring fresh revelation then the feelings of thankfulness and emotion we have because of that can sometimes causes us to focus more on that person than on the Holy Spirit who is in fact the one who leads and guides us into truth. Liking what someone shares and liking them as a person isn’t wrong – it’s when that liking slips over into a subtle idolatry that it’s wrong.

While it is not always bad for preachers to become popular there are inherent problems in that. One is the problem of preachers believing their own PR and getting sucked into the celebrity trap. This has in some cases led to pride and fleecing the flock with some preachers charging thousands to speak in a church meeting or conference either because they believe they’re worth that much or they have big money hungry organizations to keep running. The size of an organization is not necessarily a indicator of it’s effectiveness in the Kingdom. Also they can fall into the trap of believing that they have the monopoly on “their revelation” or on the truth.

Another problem comes on our end, when we accept everything someone says simply because they are popular, one of our favourite preachers or are our Pastor.  The more popular someone is the more influence they have over people and there is a danger in this because they are not infallible, they do not always see things correctly, they are growing in understanding as well as character – as we all are! Don’t fall into the trap of accepting blindly everything your favourite preacher says just because they say it.

We all see things through the lenses of our current theological understanding and preachers are no different; they all preach from their place of current understanding and revelation. That understanding should develop and change as we gain more understanding and the Lord gives us more revelation. In five years time I may look at some things I believe now and be less convinced of them or I may be more convinced of them – depending on the fresh revelation and understanding that the Lord has given me. We must make sure we don’t fall into the trap of believing that our current understanding will be our only one on any subject – it can and should change as we grow in understanding and maturity.

In this media driven world we live in it is so easy to fall into the trap of relying on what our favourite preachers say without checking it out in scripture for ourselves or asking the Lord about it. In some cases we are even taught not to question those who hold some sort of position of authority. Asking questions is sometimes seen as sowing discord or being rebellious or even worse leading to someone being labeled as having a Jezebel spirit; the amount of times I’ve seen that happen over the years isn’t funny! The reason why it is seen like that is often because a leader was themself taught never to question authority figures or sometimes because of insecurity in that leader’s life.  An insecure person will sometimes be tempted use their position to prove or bolster their sense of worth.  So if their teaching is questioned they will sometimes see it as a personal attack or an attack against their credibility and not see it as what may simply be a very reasonable enquiry.

By our fascination and promotion of Christian celebrities we are in danger of building a Church that relies mostly on other peoples revelations, that no longer thinks for itself or asks the Lord for direction to the extent that we should. In fact it may be hard for many of us to accept that our favourite preacher has somehow become someone of celebrity status to us and a subtle idol instead of being simply a brother or sister who is on a journey of progressive growth and revelation just as we all are.

There are people that are gifts to the body – the five-fold ministry is a part of that, but even they should keep pointing you back to Jesus as the focus of your attention and not try to draw you to themselves. Their job description is to train the body for it’s work of ministry, not to just do the ministry themselves, become a celebrity and build a following.  They are given to train people in how to hear from the Lord for themselves and follow him, becoming good Kingdom representatives and sons and daughters who grow into maturity, releasing heaven into earth, bringing freedom wherever they go. If they are not doing this, then they’re possibly not a real five-fold ministry person or they have gone astray from their calling.

Today do take the time to do a spot check. Are there those that you follow who have become someone of celebrity status to you? Do you accept whatever they say without checking it out for yourself; if you do then determine to change that. You have the freedom to question and to grow, the liberty to think for yourself and to learn how to function as a mature son and daughter of God, walking a Spirit lead life not a celebrity led one. By all means, honour people and their gifting but don’t make them something they were never meant to be. Don’t fall into the ‘celebrity status Christian’ trap.

It’s Easter and traditionally it’s the time to tell the story of Jesus’s death and resurrection. Usually in the telling we focus on the aspect of salvation and how we can know God and have a relationship with Him if we will give our life to Him.

Yet the message of Easter (the gospel message) is not about us giving our life to Him; it’s really about Him giving His life to us! It’s a subtle difference in words but a huge difference in outcome! God doesn’t need our life but we definitely need His! Without His life in us we are dead – dead in sin and dead to knowing Him.

We often concentrate on Jesus’s death and the aspect of Jesus forgiving our sins. But I don’t believe we concentrate enough on His resurrection and its meaning, which is “life”, new life – God giving His life to us in order that we may fully live and that He may live in us and through us.

When you actually think about it, that’s huge! God – the One who is love, freely gives Himself for us and to us. That’s the good news, in fact that’s really good news!

What does that actually mean ….

  • God’s love is unconditional and is not dependent on anything we do!
  • His love and grace have nothing to do with how good or bad we are!
  • In His love God gave Himself to win us back, not just so that He could know us and we know Him, but so that we could know the reality of Him living in us and through us!
  • We can live our life knowing His love, grace and favour flowing in and through us if we believe and accept what He did for us and allow Him to give His life to us!
  • He will supply all that we need to live that life of grace and favour! All of it, everything! We don’t supply any of it!

Wow, that’s really good news!

I believe that the concept of us ‘giving our life to God’ comes from our belief that because of what Jesus did we owe Him everything, which includes giving our life to Him. Yet He doesn’t ask for our life in exchange for giving us His; He gives His life to us freely. Our giving our life to Him in any way, or loving and obeying Him, is simply a response to that love, not a prerequisite for obtaining that love. Yet we have made it a prerequisite. Over the last couple of centuries we have introduced into the Church the ‘sinner’s prayer’, which we maintain must be prayed in order to obtain God’s forgiveness and have relationship with Him. Yet the only thing God actually asks is that we believe / accept what He did for us. “Jesus answered and said, This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”John 6:29

His forgiveness is already a fact, whether we accept it or not. We don’t have to do something in order to get it. He did something, He forgave while we were still dead in our sin (Rom 5:8). Then, in His resurrection, Jesus invited us into newness of life; His life – flowing in and through us!

The good news is that we can know the reality of a loving relationship with the Father because of what Jesus did. The good news is that by His death and resurrection Jesus has provided for our salvation, our healing, our wholeness, and a life of fullness and prosperity in all areas of life – “He has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” 2 Pet 1:2-4.

When we accept what Jesus has done and allow Him to give His life to us we are made new creations in Christ; the old ‘us’ is crucified with Christ. (How that transpires may be a mystery to us, yet it is still true and real). We are grafted into Christ and His loving grace brings us into a living relationship with Himself, the Father and Holy Spirit. We become sons and daughters of God. We then get to live no longer by our own efforts but by the life of His Spirit living in us. There is nothing we can do to earn His grace and favour; He gives it to us freely. It is a free gift from God. Rom 5:15-18

We live and walk by faith, which is based not just on cognitive belief but on relational trust, and the more we walk in Him and experience His love and faithfulness, the more we trust and can walk in faith. (Faith is belief in and experiential knowledge of His love, trustworthiness and faithfulness that comes from knowing and experiencing His character, His loving nature and His provision in every area of our lives).

The Good News message is all about God’s grace and love – love displayed, love given, love lived in!

In this life of God’s love, grace and favour…

  • We don’t have to give our life to God in order to get salvation – He gives His life to us when we ask Him into our lives. Gal 2:20
  • We don’t have to try and become close to God – He came close to us, He made us intimate with Him – in fact you can’t get closer than being “in”… Rom 8:9,10 2 Cor 1:21
  • We don’t have to earn His pleasure and His love – He gives it freely. Eph 3:17 1 John 4:16
  • We don’t have to keep asking for forgiveness over and over again – His love is such that He has already forgiven every sin we will ever commit – ahead of time!
  • We don’t have to try to become holy or sanctified; He has made us to be holy and sanctified in Him.  1 Cor 1:30 1Pet 2:9
  • We don’t have to try to become righteous; He has made us righteous in Christ. 1 Cor 1:30
  • We don’t have to try in our own strength to not sin; sin has lost its hold on us. His grace (and His Spirit) teaches us how not to sin Tit 2:11 – 13
  • We aren’t justified (made good enough) by our works but by His work Gal 2:16.
  • We don’t owe God; He gave all things freely, not so that we would be indebted to Him, or owe Him anything  Eph 2:8
  • We don’t have to try and keep in His good books; because of what Christ did we are loved and accepted unconditionally as His beloved child. Eph 1:16
  • Just as we were saved by grace so we are kept by grace Col 2:6
  • We can’t finish (in our strength) what He started; He will complete the good work started in us Gal 3:3  Heb 12:2
  • We don’t have to struggle to know the will of God; His will is that we know and live in everything that is good, acceptable and perfect. Rom 12:2 Ps 23:3
  • I don’t read the scriptures to find out what I have to do, the rules I have to live by; I read them to find Christ in them Luke 24:27 , to learn about His nature, character and heart for me and mankind, and to learn how His Kingdom of love functions.
  • We don’t have to try… because of what He did we get to rest in Him. Matt 11:28 Heb 4:3  
  • We don’t have to keep begging God to provide – He has already done so. 2 Pet 1:2-4 Mark 11:24
  • We don’t have to serve; we are not servants, we are sons and heirs. Any service we do is a response of love and allowing Him to serve mankind through us John 4:19 Eph 2:10 Phil 2:13
  • We were not saved because God needed workers; He saved us because He loved us and wanted us back in His family Phil 2:13 Eph 2:10
  • We are no longer under the law (any of it) but under grace; we live by a new law – the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. He has set us free from the law of sin and death Rom 7:5
  • We are made whole and complete in Him; In Him we live and move and have our being. It’s His life in us that causes us to live this abundant life. Col 2:10
  • We don’t have to jump through hoops to become free; He has set us free already. Gal 3:13 John 8:32
  • God does not want complete control of our life; He wants to give us His life and teach us to walk as mature sons not as puppets or slaves/servants John 10:10

You have been forgiven, buried with Him, raised with Him, made alive in Him and, filled with Him. You get to live in Christ and Christ lives in you and through you and… He supplies all you need to live that kind of Christ life! Now that’s good news! That’s the gospel of his glorious grace and that’s the love and grace that we get to live in!

Last month in our ministry newsletter we featured an article by Stephen Crosby that unpacked the verse “The just shall live by faith”. We had a couple of emails regarding it so I thought I’d share a little bit more on its theme this month. (see original article here)

In his article Stephen shared that from a Jewish perspective/understanding faith had more to do with relational trust than with cognitive belief. Obviously both are needed, but as western Christians we have tended to believe that faith has more to do with mentally understanding something than relational trust. This has caused an imbalance in our Christian walk on a large scale with many Christians filling our churches who read the Bible, listen to sermons, give mental assent to what they hear and end up with a religious belief in Christ rather than a living, growing relationship with Him. We hear and understand that the Christian life is one of relationship with the Lord yet for many that relationship is a formal and somewhat uneasy one, based on their ability to believe in their minds instead of trust in His nature and character.

The Bible tells us we have all been given a measure of faith (Rom 12:3) and that we need to believe in the Lord (John1:12; 6:29). That’s where the problems lay – we think that believing means agreeing in our mind. Yet believing has as much to do with relational trust as it does with mental agreement. We can only truly believe someone when we know that we can trust them.

When we initially come to Christ we trust that what is shared with us about Him is the truth. And when He comes into our life, filling us with Himself, we find out that it definitely is true! From there we get to know Him, and He proves over and over again His faithfulness, love, trustworthiness and so much more.

So when troubles and challenges come our way we look back on that track record and know that because He previously came though in all those times, He will do so again. That track record of His faithfulness is what builds relational trust. And relational trust makes it easy to walk in faith because we know He can be depended on to come through.

So when it comes to the Lord asking us to do things that require faith, it’s actually relational trust that we step into more than cognitive understanding. We still need the cognitive understanding but that is not all we need; we must combine the two, understanding and trust. It’s this combination that will get us through. We read in the Word testimonies of His faithfulness to others; we read His promises to us and we recall His faithfulness to us. We then step into the reality of His faithfulness, knowing that as He has come through in the past, He will do so again. He will provide all that we need to accomplish what He calls us to, and what our need in that situation calls for.

The Christian walk is one of relationship, not mental assent, so it figures that faith must also be about relational trust not just mental assent and understanding. Everything in the Christian life is about trusting in the Lord, knowing that He has already granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness and that He will supply all our needs according to His riches in Christ – He’s done it many times before and nothing is going to cause Him to violate or break that trust you have in Him. You can depend on Him and put your faith in Him – He is trustworthy. That’s why you can walk and live by faith!


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