Candor

Why “Your” Jesus Has to Die

death2Our Image of God Has to Die Before We Can See the True God 

Many times our relationship with God is similar to the relationship we had with our natural father, that may have lacked closeness, because our dad was absent physically or emotionally. Our present so-called high Biblical standards and sacrificial commitment to God may be more about us trying to be noticed by a distant God, because we have yet to truly accept His unmerited love for us.

Ironically the Lord has to deliver us from what seems like our very commitment to Him, in order to bring us to Himself. This is similar to what happened when Jesus let His disciples see Him die right before their eyes. The Jesus they knew and loved, as awesome as He was, wasn’t the full representation of all He was. Jesus is so much more.

God wisely has to allow our “Jesus”, our Christian formulas, our systematic theology, our dreams and our faith in other people, to die in our eyes. This needs to happen for us to fully embrace the true, resurrected Christ in His fullness. As the Lord worked to circumcise our outward flesh-nature and behavior like smoking, drinking, and a life of promiscuity in the Outer Court, He begins to carefully cut and circumcise our souls (the self-life) as well in the Inner Court.

This painful cutting is actually like a pruning that will produce more life. Truly, except a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone (John 12:24). Just as the seed may feel like it is losing everything, it is about to become everything it was destined to be. We will all experience this kind of death as we approach the veil that separates us from knowing God more intimately and experientially.

It’s not until we are drawn by the Lord, to go even deeper in our relationship with God that we discover the impurity of our prideful motives. Here we discover the seed-bed of all sin (pride or self-sufficiency) . Here we discover what really needs to die in our nature internally, not just the external surface sins. This process is usually initiated through great trials and tribulations and is often accompanied by great disappointments or prolonged suffering.

This is God’s graduate school of heaven that we call Roadkill Seminary. If it were not for the suffering and trials, we would probably be content to stay in the place of Salvation or Service (typical Christianity in America) where we just learn more knowledge without obtaining significant personal transformation. It is God’s gift to us to draw us into this difficult, unfamiliar wilderness (see Deuteronomy 8:2).

Excerpt from “The Inner Journey”

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What Christian Leaders Wish Their People Knew But Are Afraid to Tell Them

rrChristian leaders must be willing to take off their masks and the Sunday-morning professionalism and share the real needs of the ministry and its leadership. More Christians need to be trained how to support ministry leaders. That’s the reason for the book, “What In Hell…Is Going On?” – it will help your ministry know the truth about what’s going on behind the scenes, even if your leaders are hesitant to talk about the spiritual attacks he or she is experiencing.

Admittedly, this is difficult to do. One leader noted that when he began to open up and let his ministry team know what he was really battling, he was criticized. The naïve members of his ministry didn’t want to hear that they were a burden to him. They effectively said, “We don’t want to know you are human”. (Kids don’t usually like to acknowledge their parents are people too until they have children of their own.) Yet this is absolutely necessary if we are going to bring God’s people to maturity.

We cannot expect to reach a lost and dying generation by pretending things are better than they are. If Christian leaders are getting shot to pieces by their own troops, then we better say something about it. If leaders will honestly and candidly share what the real battles of the ministry are (at least to their leaders), I believe they will find a larger army of sensitive, well-informed soldiers ready and willing to lift their hands, even as Aaron and Hur supported the hands of Moses (Exodus 17:10-12). Don’t you think it is time for a candid conversation like this in every Christian ministry organization in America? I hope that you do. With a little more than a 100 pages this resource blows the lid off the secrecy and dysfunction in our ministries. Here is the Table of Contents.

1. Why This Book is Necessary

2. The Hats a Christian Leader Wears

3. Welcome to Your Leader’s Life

4. The Power of Critical Words

5. The Leader and Sin in the Camp

6. Criticized by Cross-less Christians

7. “Cains” in the Congregation

8. Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t

9. Weekly Issues Do Affect Your Leader

10. Ten Things to Help Your Ministry

11. A Word to Ministry Leaders

12. Where Do We Go From Here?

The Strategic Purpose for this Book

First, it is a specific tool to help grow up the people of God, by having an adult conversation about the realities of the Christian ministry as it is played out in the local church, home group, jail ministry, homeless ministry, mission organization etc.

Second, it gives Christian leaders and the people in their ministries a tool to initiate this adult conversation with their core leaders, facilitated by someone outside their ministry. If the material is too heavy for some to digest, they can always eat the fish and spit out the bones. At least the conversation will have started.

Third, it exposes demonic strategies hidden in the local ministry, so God’s people can exercise their dominion over Satan instead of over each other.

Fourth, it may provide new insight about differences in ministry gifting and governmental adjustments that can be made in order to reduce the number of disagreements the devil uses to hide behind as he hinders the flow of the Holy Spirit in the organization.

Fifth, it reveals the sin nature operating among religious people and thus the need for all believers to let the cross of Christ have its deeper work in our lives.

Excerpt fromWhat In Hell… Is Going On?”

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