Devoted to the Reality of Jesus

Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to shouts of “Hosanna” and ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’ (John 12:13). The people adored Him spreading their coats and waving palm branches as he passed into the city. They heard the word from Bethany that he had raised Lazarus from the dead (John 12:17). He had resurrected Lazarus after four days in the grave!!! What a miracle! This must be the Messiah, the promised King of Israel, the one that would deliver them from Roman rule, restore their nation, and bring freedom after over 500 years of dominion by other nations. However, by Friday he was betrayed, denied, arrested, tried, convicted, scourged, and crucified. No crowds gathered at the cross. What happened! How could such adoration turn to antagonism? How could celebrating a king turn to crucifying a criminal?

What happened was a change in perspective, a change in the people’s perspective of who he was. When He said ‘my kingdom is not of this world’ (John 12:36) the perspective of the crowds and even some of the disciples changed. When he did not resist his own arrest perspectives changed. He would not deliver them from Roman rule. He would not restore their nation. You see the crowds adored their concept of a messiah, a king; but were not devoted to the reality of the messiah, the king. Adoration is based in emotion. People often adore TV personalities, a professional persona that is not reality. When the reality of that person’s life comes forth adoration is fleeting, and only a few are found devoted to the real person. Devotion is based in consecrated commitment to a deeper reality.

In Christianity we are called to be devoted to the King and his kingdom. Paul said he desired that we ‘may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord’ (1 Cor. 7:35b). Adoration, while carrying some emotional value in our soul, will not endure in tough times and challenging circumstances. The American church mindset adores the American concept of Jesus and His kingdom. It is a concept based on an emotional projection of who they think He is rather than the deeper reality of who He is. It is based in a cultural expectation of what they desire him to be, rather than who He is…one to be worshiped in Spirit and in Truth…one deserving of complete devotion and consecration in spite of circumstances or unanswered prayers.

The early church was devoted to Him and His kingdom. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer (Acts 2:42). When we have single-minded devotion, our life rises above circumstances. It rises above Palm Sunday adoration. When we have focused consecration on His kingdom and His rule, we overcome unmet expectations and disappointments.

I challenge you today to be ‘devoted’ to the reality of the King of Kings and His kingdom. As we approach Resurrection Day, the reality of Jesus will be found in your devotion to Him.


A Prophet For Today

Many prophetic voices speak in America, perhaps more than in any other nation. Yet, we in the church and the national culture seem to reflect the days of Jeremiah, rather than Haggai.  As a ministry leader, I view prophetic voices as those who primarily encourage and edify the church, or those who primarily challenge and confront the nation and the culture. There are relatively few in the latter category today. Those that challenge the culture are experiencing great opposition spiritually and politically. 

One such voice is Franklin Graham. Mr. Graham may not consider himself a prophet given his evangelical background, but he speaks and confronts the nation, politicians, and occupants of the White House. He confronts Islam and Jezebel with holy courage. When prominent pastors and leaders are choosing to flow in the cultural currents, Franklin is choosing to confront it. He reflects the confrontational prophetic heart that pierces at the point of the spear. He is as Elijah and the church is called to stand with him let him know he IS NOT ALONE in this battle! He speaks as one outside the traditional charismatic circle of prophet, but his sphere of influence far exceeds that of most prophetic voices in Pentecostal and charismatic circles!

As he confronts the national powers beyond the church he runs into demonic resistance and backlash from principalities and powers alerted to his anointing and leadership influence.  Recently Mike Bickle, founder of International House of Prayer in Kansas City, called upon the church to intercede and pray for Mr. Graham (Charismanews.com 2.20.15). I applaud Mr. Graham’s courage and support Mr. Bickle’s call. This is a clarion call to the intercessory heart of the church.

In December of 2014 the Holy Spirit told Deborah and I that our ministry must focus on America in 2015. I believe this word reveals a window of opportunity for America to embrace the Christ of the covenant and reject the culture of corruption. I believe it will only require a remnant to respond. Small numbers of passionate, influential, purposeful people change nations. People like Franklin Graham. That being said, the battle facing Graham and a few others during this time is intense. The forces of darkness are alive and they are attacking. As we intercede with Jesus and His power at the center of our support for Graham the Lord will lead Franklin and others in a triumphal procession (2 Cor. 2:14).

I call upon you and your ministry to pray for and intercede on behalf of, and in support of Mr. Graham and others like him. He is forging a righteous pathway for this nation. May God get the glory, and the church gain the victory!