Each year, I experience God’s nature as a gracious, loving Dad. Along with His gracious hand, I have also felt His discipline and loving rebuke. John 3:30 says, “He must become greater; I must become less.” As I look back on the previous year, this scripture fits like a broken in pair of jeans. 2011 has been a year of God growing me up in many areas – I must decrease, so he may increase.
I want to reference a song that was sung at the 2004 Christ For the Nations live album recording called, “We Prepare the Way” (watch video here.) The song begins by saying, “Oh Lord, give us new hearts and new minds, for Your glory…” How true this has been! God has been renewing my mind. A large part of failed ministry, burnout and offense comes from anti-Kingdom thought patterns (mindsets.) The depravity of our sin-bent minds must be redeemed. Jesus’ sacrifice covers our sins but his Kingship reigns in our minds. The lyrics and melody to “We Prepare the Way” have been ringing in my spirit and have served, especially in recent history, as an important plumb-line for my life’s call. I needed a new mindset for ministry: TO DISPLACE THE DARKNESS. TO BRING THE KINGDOM. TO PREPARE THE WAY.
Prepare the Way
As I mulled over that song, I performed a diagnostic check on my heart, mind, and attitude. I heard God say, “new mind, My glory.” His glory has been my passionate pursuit, my life’s call and my addiction. It has been my experience and my observation that most Christians remain in 1st gear. We want to camp out at new heart.
Postmodern Christianity has weakened the message of the church to a critical point. In our rebellious nature, we don’t want the church, a pastor (or God for that matter) changing our MIND. After all, we are entitled to our opinions (even when it goes against Holy Scripture.) This is the enemy’s goal and strategy! If he can keep our minds continually focused on the message of salvation, then the message of the Kingdom is never birthed in us, therefore, never distributed to the world! The selfish ambitions of pop culture Christianity have birthed a weak Christianity incapable of preparing the way for the glory of God. The Kingdom of God is a displacing force that removes darkness and it is still active in many parts of the earth where it has been taken! It was an ear-popping utterance to hear “new mind, My glory” during my prayer time! Since then, I have made my ambition His purposes. Displacing darkness, bringing the Kingdom, preparing the way.
Since our beginning in serving the local church full-time, we have overwhelmingly experienced the grace, discipline, provision, mercy and love of Father. What an honor it is to have the attention of the King of the universe, our FATHER, operating in our lives . Being somewhat of a band-geek, I view my ministry as one giant crescendo. Things of the spirit, God’s voice, Biblical understanding, Kingdom principles, His heart for His people and a love for His Church have continually grown louder and louder. God has been growing me up (Read Hebrews 12.)
The best is yet to come. The way of the Lord is being prepared. We will displace the darkness, bring the Kingdom and prepare the way.