Pearls of Wisdom: The Supernatural Power of Kindness

Please and Thank You are still magic words.  I saw this on a FB post and smiled and agreed. Wholeheartedly. Please, by all means, be courteous. Thank you. After spending years trying to fight my way through the world, I learned that saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ opened doors and hearts in a different way. Ever so slowly, the Lord made me aware that every person is having a hard time, most of the time. So a little courtesy goes a long way. And…

Never sacrifice the truth for the “Being Nice” Game. This game breeds dishonesty more than it fosters compassion for others.  Instead, speak the truth in love. But how?

Through the Holy Spirit’s characteristic of Kindness.  It is truly the mark of greatness. And it is not automatically acquired but chosen.

For me, it began with an Amanda Cook song called “Kind.”  This song haunted me actually. It’s a calming melody, but eerily charged. Like a war cry ringing out of the shadows at dawn.

Then God used it to rock my world.

My daughter worked late night hours at a job I was not crazy about. I was in turmoil over what I sensed was happening in the spirit. And she and I were doing our then-typical dance of silent and suspicious.  One night she texted that she was on her way home. It was  2 a.m. and I was furious over the breach of curfew but the Spirit brought this song back to mind:

“Kind” (click to listen)

You are not a tyrant King
You do not delight in suffering

Your power doesn’t compensate for insecurity
‘Cause You are not a tyrant King

You are not an angry man
You do not treat us with contempt

Your voice is sure, Your eyes are soft, Your smile, confident

‘Cause You are not an angry man

You are kind
You are kind

Your love is a fury all its own
Sweeping the dust and turning feet towards home

Carrying the orphans and resetting broken bones
Your love is a fury all its own

Your love is powerful enough
Without the fear of punishment

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I cried as I listened to it over and over. I was struck by the comparison, hearing the Spirit ask after each line:

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Uncomfortable. The New Normal.

“When you walk into the room, everything changes.” Uhm yes. God changes everything. And yet, our concern about preserving our comfort zones often causes us to miss Him as He passes by, or worse, we close the door in His face. Why on earth would God’s people be so nervous about being with their God?

Great question. The short answer is about control. The long answer is about trust.

The short answer
We are not, and have never been, in control of God. We only control our responses to Him. The good news is, He freely offers the supernatural life to any person or body of believers that will ask “and receive” He revelation. The bad news, He freely honors any person or body of believers who refuses the supernatural. Either you can be in charge or He is.

The long answer
We don’t know how to trust God’s power. We know in our heads that He is all-powerful. But say the word “supernatural” and we get “uncomfortable.” We don’t really want to get too close to that power. In today’s Christian circles, we categorize God’s power into buckets of acceptable or unacceptable, weird or normal, legitimate or heresy, received or rejected. All this is based on our teaching, good or bad, and our experiences, good or bad. My friends, this is a scary and revealing reality. Because if the people of God are not careful, we will find ourselves being separated as well.

Jesus taught his disciples and rebuked the Pharisees. He apprenticed and tested his followers. He blessed them with power and authority. He washed their feet. The Pharisees…not so much. Although they had great knowledge and influence, Jesus publicly cursed them.

Are you nervous yet? Are you uncomfortable?

 

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The Happy God Who Cleans Your House

Monday night, Vince Gibson led an open worship session at Fuse Church. It was rich and intense and wonder-full. The Spirit was heavy on us and among us.  At one point, Vince started asking  Jesus to take us to the “deepest parts” and to sweep away the darkness and the lies.

While we were singing “sweep through the deepest parts,” God granted me an incredible vision.

I saw Jesus sweeping through my “house”  and I knew in the spirit that we were inside my tabernacle, my dwelling place of God. But He was whistling and singing and smiling.  Think of the seven dwarves singing, “Whistle While You Work” in Snow White.  It was like that. Yes. Crazy.

As I watched Him, I laughed and shook my head, clearly this did not make sense.   “What’s He doing? Why is He so happy? I asked.

“There is no shame in your dirt anymore,”  the Spirit said at my side. “He has already paid for it. So He is happy to get it out.”

The Spirit and I stood there together for a moment watching Jesus playfully  sweep up dirt and debris with a broom and dustpan. If you can imagine, He was kind of dancing around and laughing. A crazy kind of joy welled up in my heart. I was relieved and exposed and freed all at the same time.

Then Jesus turned and looked at me with a huge smile and said, “I love your house. I love it when it’s clean.”JesusLaughing

Wow.  I haven’t been able to shake the joy on His face.

Who is this God that does not shirk from our sin nor does He hesitate to get into our souls and get His hands dirty?  What kind of God is so full of joy in our process of redemption?

Praise the name of Jesus.

Yes I know we are responsible for keeping our tabernacle worthy of His presence. But His joy moved me to tears.

Something shifts in these moments. Motive changes. Desire increases. Love abounds. I want to keep my life clean when I know that He loves my house so much. Courage grows when I grasp  He willingness to take out the darkness and dirt that I am afraid to even acknowledge.

What I am afraid to touch, He sweeps away Himself.

What a Savior. What a Friend. What Life-changing Joy.

 

 

 

The Beauty of White-Haired Worshippers

Yesterday I had the complete delight of singing on the worship team of Fuse Church. As I stood on the stage, I realized I had the best seat in the house. From that vantage point, I could see God’s people, all shapes and sizes, all ages and stages of faith, coming together for one common purpose — to love on Jesus.

It was beautiful to witness the Holy Spirit woo us into worship and then our adoring response. I was nearly out of my skin.  And one woman on the front row took my breath away. I have no idea her age but her hair was white, her back slightly bent. She was alone and yet so very connected to her King. Her arms, thin and shaking, kept lifting in praise.  Over and over my gaze would land on her frail body and strong spirit.

I could see she was praying, and worshiping, and being loved on by her Father. Priceless.

Try to hear my heart as I recount this.  I was so moved by her apparent age and obvious heart for God that I uttered a cry:  “Lord, let this be me till the end.”

I don’t know her story. But I see that at the end of her life, she has found the answer to her questions and it is Jesus. I want to fight the good fight. I want to run the race to the end.  When all else fades: beauty, money, strength, reputation, good works, even relationships — I pray my hands will still be lifted in praise to my King. I want the worship of God to be my legacy regardless of the length or status of my life or color of my hair.

How about you? Whose footsteps are you following in? Who are the white-haired worshipers in your life?  Who has gone before you and led the way in worshiping God through the seasons of life?

Give me a quick response. And let’s thank God for using these people to “spur us on to good works.”

I’ll go first. My mom is 83 and still plays the piano at her church. Even arthritis doesn’t stop her white-haired worship. And my dad at 85 can still sing some Gaither hymns like you’ve never heard.  Your turn. Go.

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