Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mobilizing towards Vision

In light of an incredible Vision Campaign, called OCC 2012, (details at occ.org) my buddy Chris sent me these thoughts as an encouragement. Please be encouraged by them as well! Thank you, Chris, and thank you friends, for being on the journey, praying and joining us in Changing the World by Degrees!!!! Chris’s email follows:

“The word kosmokrateros (“rulers of the darkness of this world”) is a military term that has to do with discipline, organization, and commitment. The devil is so serious about doing damage to humanity that he deals with demon spirits as though they are troops! He puts them in rank and file and organizes them to the hilt. Meanwhile, the average Spirit-filled believer often doesn’t stay in one church for more than one year at a time!

“Yes, we do have more authority than the devil has; we do have more power than the devil has; and we do have the Greater One living in us. The Church of Jesus Christ is loaded with heaps and heaps of raw power. But at this particular time, that power is disconnected and disjointed by a Body that lacks discipline, organization, and commitment!

“As Christians, we have no power shortage, nor are we short of God-given authority. We simply have a great lack of discipline, organization, and commitment. In order to change this, we must buckle down in the local church and begin to view ourselves as the troops of the Lord! Once we match the discipline, organization, and commitment that the enemy possesses in his camp, we will begin to move into the awesome demonstration of God’s power!” -From the book “Dressed to Kill” by Rick Renner, p. 238

This section jumped out at me as it related to the OCC 2012 Vision campaign. What this vision is providing is direction, organization and calling us to a commitment as a church to bring all our individual focus together as ONE body and directing it towards a God honoring set of initiatives. As we succeed at this, I am super excited to see what God is going to do through it.

I appreciate the leadership that you, the elders and staff are bringing to this campaign and to our church. Continue to mobilize our “army” at OCC to come against the devil’s schemes and we WILL prevail!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

CRAVE Adventure

I think it’s at the center of the human experience. Adventure. God has planted deep within our hearts a longing for FULL life, for experiencing His Abundance, for stepping through our fear and taking a RISK with HIM…this is partially what we refer to when we use the word FAITH. Now, I know that there is another aspect of the human experience that wars with this one: the side that longs for comfort, for ease, for peace. That hobbit-ish side of each of us that thinks adventures are nasty little things that make one late for dinner.

Here’s the road that I’m walking NOW: I have heard God’s call, and we’re walking the road of RISK at Overlake Christian Church (www.occ.org). However, as we’ve taken the first few steps, I’m being buffetted by fear. Discouragement is roaring, loudly. Temptation whispers in the wings, and on top of it all is the stress of attempting something that is without question more significant than anything I’ve ever attempted in 19 years of ministry. The hobbit-ish side mentions something like maybe the status quo isn’t so bad after all.

And then it hits me: Of course.
This vision IS more important than anything I’ve ever pursued in my whole life. It has HUGE consequences: hundreds, thousands, and even hundreds of thousands of souls will be impacted for eternity. People who are far from HOPE will find it in Jesus. Slaves will be set free. Street children will be adopted into homes. Churches will be planted.

We have an enemy. He’s been taking shots at me. But not for my own sake, not because I’m important. He’s trying to take me out because this kind of thing SCARES him. Churches waking up. Hearts set ablaze. Love practically impacting lives. He hates it. So let’s pour it on.

Encouragement came this morning while reading a book by John Eldredge, called Walking with God. In a chapter called Assault. He describes what I’ve been walking through with crystal clarity. Antidote: Draw close to God, and continue to RISK for Him. After all, he’s planted adventure deep within our hearts…