What Moves God

Posted: July 4, 2009 in General

Recently during a large worship meeting, a series of interactions occurred between me and Holy Spirit that eventually led to a pastor who had been sitting in the row behind to ask me a powerful question. He simply asked me, “What moves God?”  At that particular moment, I was deeply under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Before I could really even pause and consider the question, what burst out of my mouth was: “LOVE!” The pastor, in a somewhat startled state of confusion, muttered:  ”No..No…that’s not it. What REALLY moves God?” I replied, ”Faith? You’re expecting me to say faith? THAT’S IT.. he replied zealously.. FAITH MOVES GOD!”

Although this idea is popularly preached and extensively written about, it ultimately reflects our gross misunderstanding of the Father and the very foundation of His ways. Now don’t get me wrong, faith is essential. But the more important faith question that must be asked before we can determine what moves God is, “What do we have faith in and who or what does faith move?”  Most everyone has heard the most quoted faith scripture in Christendom found in Matthew 17:20 about the mustard seed and moving mountains. If anything, this mountain is the Mt. Kilimanjaro of fear/unbelief that separates us from trusting in God’s zealous desire to move on our behalf. It’s not enough to believe that nothing is impossible for God to do. We have to crush the mountain of doubting that He actually delights in moving on our behalf! This is precisely why this verse instructs us that after you’ve spoken to that mountain…”nothing will be impossible for YOU!” We will then be compelled to walk daily with Jesus on top of the sea that the mountain was cast into.

Hebrews 11 is a powerful narrative of what faith has empowered man to do. But faith has never been described scripturally as the source of empowerment for God. The scripture that most clearly reveals the source of God the Father’s motivation in any action toward humanity is found in the first phrase of the most memorized verse of the Bible:

“For God so LOVED the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16)

WOW! It’s the LOVE of God that moves Him to act on our behalf in times of trouble! We see this theme of immutable love established throughout the old testament (such as Psalm 44:26) and up through the book of Revelation, culminating in the beautiful marriage of the Bridegroom and His Bride!  LOVE moves HIM while our FAITH in that unmatched and unfailing LOVE (Goodness, faithfulness, kindness, etc.) moves US!   6And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:16-18)

Passages of scripture such as Matthew 7:5-13 where Jesus heals the centurion’s servant and Luke 8:43-50 about the woman who was healed from twelve years of bleeding are all indications of faith in the goodness or LOVINGKINDNESS of God, not in any action or measure of faith that the human possessed. The centurion knew that if he could simply make Jesus aware of the situation at his home; He would be moved with compassion and could simply send a word of healing to his servant.  The woman knew that if she touched him, the overwhelming supernatural force of God’s love would move on her behalf. One of the places where this is most commonly misunderstood (and therefore preached in error) is in the areas of finances and physical healing. This errant preaching is often recognized by the emphasis of our ability to move God through our human actions, sacrifices, vows, seeds, etc. as opposed to the preaching of God’s unfailing and unconditional love towards us.

For example, the large meeting that I mentioned earlier was with a very well known “faith healer”. The message that he preached was out of Psalm 66, about making vows and bringing a “burnt offering” to the Lord in order to show your faith and initiate the move of God on your behalf. As he gave an altar call, he began to encourage the people to fulfill their vow by giving $10k, $5k, $1k, or $100 donations to his ministry. As I watched these people who were in desperate need of healing, move to the altar…I heard the Holy Spirit say, “the price has already been paid. Isaiah 53.”  Righteous anger gripped me because I knew that faith in Jesus…the sacrificial lamb and the one who was sent from the Father because of love, and slain to become the last  “burnt offering” on behalf of humanity, had not been preached. What HAD been preached, was that our act of faith is what would cause God to be moved to bring healing or deliverance on our behalf. This foul spirit of extortion which turned the house of God into a den of thieves, was the same spirit that Jesus addressed in Matthew 21:12-14.

God in His great love has warned us that this type of misunderstanding and manipulation of biblical doctrine, would be commonplace in the last days and that men “would not suffer sound doctrine”              (2 Timothy 4:3). Many would argue that this man must not be in error because people were still miraculously healed. But what we understand about God is that He uses mankind in spite of themselves, not BECAUSE of their greatness or how “anointed” a particular person may be. This is how a scripture like Matthew 7:21-22 can be fulfilled:

22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

God moves and heals because He is ravished with love and He answers those who call on Him regardless of man. This is why men like a Ted Haggard or a Todd Bentley, can be used of God mightily for years…being celebrated by the Church, and yet be living in unprecedented moral compromise.  What would have happened if those with a check in their spirit would have prayed for the exposure of sin and for repentance to happen BEFORE they were completely fallen?

Therefore, we are to be vigilant and watchful….correcting, exhorting, rebuking, and giving opportunity for men to repent (or change their mind/actions) while there is still time. Futhermore, when we have repented and examined our ways (Matt. 7:1-3), we must not be afraid to call out sin and call others to repentance no matter what platform this person may have. 1 Corinthians 2:15 says, “He that is spiritual, judges ALL things…” .Therefore, we are commanded to judge or “discern” rightly and to pray earnestly for this man and for other spiritual leaders in the earth to be preserved in the way of truth. Pray for the purification of the Bride and for the fear of the Lord to be established in our hearts, lest the lampstand be removed. Finally pray for a generation who will be bold and without compromise, to rise up in the authority of Christ and to have roots that grow deep into the soil of God’s jealous love.  Let He who has an ear, hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to the Church.

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Why Godaganda?

Posted: May 5, 2009 in General

Two years ago, I was thumbing through the local arts and culture events listings. I saw an ad for the monthly  “Indianapolis Free thinkers and secular humanists” meeting which was being held less than a 5 min. walk away from my home. The ad encouraged, “ALL PEOPLE are welcome.” So, I decided to go and see what this was all about…mainly to listen but also to speak boldly if such a moment was presented. As I arrived at the restaurant, I was greeted by an interesting group of about 15-20 folks ranging from about 40-75 years old. Excited about a newcomer, especially one who was under 30 and black…the group enthusiastically welcomed me. When orders had been placed, the group proceeded to chat about various things ranging from the medications that they had tried in order to treat their depression, to the plague of religion and Christianity that has ravished humanity for so long.

As one who is deeply in love with Jesus, I sat and listened with deep sadness as these people raged against the Church and the governance of God. One lady was particularly passionate about stopping the spread of “godaganda” that had so infiltrated our educational, political, and cultural institutions. A few weeks later,  I was sitting in my office at a local church where I was the director of Creative Arts, reflecting on how my job title meant that I was supposed to be having the most fun….but my reality mainly consisted of attending and planning meetings. Where was the vibrant artist culture that I had imagined would emerge from our congregation? Why was it so hard to awaken Godly passion and bold expression in my heart and in the hearts of others? Somewhat aimless and discouraged,  I would do random things to pass the time in between meetings. One day as I sat and played around in the “highly sophisticated” music software program Garageband, I glanced at the clock and saw that I had been playing with this program for four hours! I thought..”WHAT AM I DOING? God FORGIVE ME for wasting time. I know I could have been doing  SOMETHING for you…something more spiritual…than this.” Suddenly, the Spirit of Truth…whispered…” You’re doing EXACTLY what I want you to do.This is my song….it’s called Joel 2, read it.” He then began to illuminate this truth:

1. When you purpose to renew your mind in the Word of God daily…your thoughts become more and more like Christ’s as your mind is being transformed into the likeness of the mind of Christ. “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Prov. 16:3

2. The grace of God is a transformational power that works independent of our awareness or intent, leading us into Holiness and directing our activities to conform to Father’s will. “Thou wilt shew me the path of life.” Psms. 16:11

3. Holy Spirit truly loves it when we cease to strive and allow our bodies to be instruments or portals for the supernatural sights and sounds of Heaven to crash in upon the darkness of our daily human routine. ‘The Kingdom of God is within you.” Lk. 17:21

This was the day that I realized that the Lord had led me to create my first peice of Godaganda. The word Propaganda originally meant “the dissimenation of information.” But since the World War 1 era and the rise of evil dictators who used media to gradually manipulate thoughts and opinions in such a way as to indoctrinate whole societies with certain ideologies…it has taken on a completely negative persona in modern day society. However, we are totally immersed in a propaganda society. The media, movie, and music industries have created ways to consistently and systematically unleash torrents of propaganda that are bent toward MAN’S agendas and have successfully indoctrinated a generation in anti-Christ ideologies. Therefore, it’s time for a generation of artists to arise who KNOW the Jesus of the Bible, to harness the power of God’s Spirit to create Godaganda and systematically introduce the nations to the GodAGENDA.