Good News

The below words aren’t mine. I listened to an online prayer meeting last night and heard the message I could listen to everyday for the rest of my life. I have heard this all over the world and spoken it to others myself. I get absolutely emotionally lost in this good news. My spirit becomes so satisfied and rich with the presence of God basking in this truth. I couldn’t help but go back to the recording, transcribe it, and share it here. May it bless you.May it touch you. May you feel God’s spirit, his presence, his life in the room with you as you read this.

In last January and February I did a deep dive into Romans.

I want to meditate together on what’s been purchased for us, on what Christ has done in us. How many of us ever look at yourself, or you make a mistake, you do something stupid, and you feel bad. Right thinking produces right living. Often times in religious cultures we try to do right living first  before right thinking, right believing. But repentance is to change the way we think. It means to go up to the next place. And so let’s just meditate.  I’m not going to preach at you.

Romans Chapter 4,5,6,7 and 8. I’m convinced you can’t actually know your identity in Christ outside of these passages. When I begin to read these, Romans 4 really shows how faith works. 

Abraham is the father of faith.  He believed God before he had the sign of circumcision. Before you feel the breakthrough, before your family is saved, before your healing is manifest. Before you feel saved, before your prayer language. Before he saw all those things, he believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. That’s how faith works and he’s the Father of faith.

Romans Chapter 5 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Peace of mind starts with God. Peace of mind starts with Faith in Christ.

Faith in what he’s done.  And you can’t add to the blood of Jesus.

How many of you have felt the unrest and the anxiety and the fear of America and all that’s going on in the world.  How many of you guys have felt that? I have to continually go to the heavenly places, Ephesians 2.  I’m present with Christ in the heavenly places and just dwell above the storm.

We’ve been justified by faith. Just as if we’d never sinned. Thank you Jesus for Peace.  Jesus thank you for peace. Somethings you have to cast out. Other things you crowd out. We’re going to crowd out anxiety right now. Holy Spirit come. Peace rush in like a river. If you have been battling anxiety and fear, lift up your hand. We just release the peace of God over you right now.

We have access by faith into this grace by which we now stand. We stand. We’re standing and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Thank you Lord. Peace is not the absence of chaos, its the presence of a person. Thank you for your peace Lord.  Come Holy Spirit, thank you Lord.

You know it says in Romans 5:17, If by the one man’s offense, death reigned through the one man, much more those receive the abundance of grace, ABUNDANCE of grace and GIFT of righteousness. How much grace do you need? It’s never going to run out. No, you don’t understand Tom, I’ve had a tough week, tough day. I know me too but its an abundance tho that is never going to run out. It’s a gift of righteousness that we reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.  How do we reign in life? Through receiving the abundance of grace, the gift of righteousness. Put your hand on your heart and say, “Thank you God that you have made me righteous. I am righteous in your sight. Thank you Lord.

How many of you need grace today? God is my source of everything. I have nothing without him.  How much do I need? An abundance of grace. Romans 5:20 says where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. Grace abounded much more. I feel like some of you guys we’ve been listening to accusation. We’ve allowed the enemy to make ourselves the worst enemy and we’re accusing ourselves. How many people need to let that go right now? Yes, let that go right now.

Speak to yourself, “Heather, time to receive some grace. Time to give yourself some grace. Time to give yourself some grace. God has more than enough grace for us but sometimes we’re the hardest on ourselves, right? Say this over yourself, “Say Heather, You’re not the judge. You’re not God. Jesus Christ is Lord. 

Chapter 6 So What are we going to say, that continue in sin so grace may abound? Certainly not! How should we who died to sin live in it any longer? Don’t you know that those of you who were baptized in Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? There we were buried with him through baptism into his death, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, even so we also should walk in the newness of life. If we have been UNITED together in the likeness of his death, certainly we shall be in the likeness of his resurrection.  We have been made one with Christ. He is Lord. We’re made ONE with Christ. We are united, co-crucified, co-buried and co-raised in Jesus. 

Oftentimes we get a religious mindset and we say I am going to go and I’m gonna pray to God, and that’s okay, but more than that God wants us to commune with him, commune together. The blending of two pitchers of water. They no longer cease to be separate entities, they become one. Impossible to separate. This is a perfect picture of our relationship with God, because we have become one with him. One with Christ. Isn’t that a good word? You are one with the superpower. You’re one with somebody who is gracious and kind, he is constantly true, it’s who he is. 

Put your hand on your heart, we’re going to receive this. This is an encounter time, say “I’ve been united with Christ through his death, burial, and resurrection. I am crucified with Christ. The old me is dead. DEAD DEAD. Dead dead dead. Dead to offense, dead to lust, dead to lying. Dead to everything else that ’s not Jesus, so I let it go.  Thank you for the blood of Jesus. That we’ve been made one with you Lord. One with you Lord. Knowing that our old man was crucified that our body of sin might be done away with that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

We died to the husband of sin as the authority over our lives. I died to my overshadowing husband of sin over my life and my perspective of my life, and now the wife has been set free to marry another. And this other that she just married wasn’t another man but the spirit of God, Christ. So she has been united with Christ. There is a marriage union that has happened. There has been a death, I have died to the law, I am no longer married to that, instead I am united in one spirit with Christ. I am one, united with him. Forever.

And the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead now lives inside of me.  This is why God has taken away our ability to enjoy sin. Which is why sometimes stuff starts kicking up and can come to God and there is a fountain that has sprung up, it’s never going to dry out.  That’s a fountain called the blood of Jesus. There is ONE hope for a life burdened down with guilt and shame and that’s the blood of Jesus that the cross of Christ has purchased.  Can I say it’s not your enneagram number? It’s not your personality profile, its the blood of Jesus, one blood. Amen. Makes us new.

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death, for what the law was powerless to do, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh that we might be united with Christ.

This is the gospel.  There is only way to the father, one way to hope and that’s through faith in Jesus, that’s through trusting in him and what he’s done in our lives. We have been set free from the spirit of this air.

An untrained, unschooled, unqualified woman meets the son of God, goes home and becomes the first missionary evangelist the world has ever seen, possessed with conviction of the Son of God she has seen face to face.  When you see the Lord as who he is, you don’t have to have all the qualifications, you’ve seen something and you’ve come alive.

Quit managing an image for everybody else to think that your something and step into freedom! Do not let pride keep you from getting right with God. I’m going to lose my life to get right with him, washed clean in the blood of Jesus.  You’re going to get free tonight and leave here so full of HOPE.

Thank him for righteousness, peace, and joy in his holy spirit, the free gift of righteousness. I feel like there’s about to be a blast of supernatural risk. The currency of faith of heaven touching earth. Taking risk, going for it, its messy sometimes, terrifying, ABIDE IN HIS GRACE, ONE WITH CHRIST.  When I realize I’m united with Christ, that puts me on a foundation, to look at all the thoughts that come across my screen and to sift those things that are not him, and drink the things that are him. When condemnation comes across my screen, keep going, when accusation comes across my screen, nope that’s not it, keep going, and I just worship. Just stay seated with Christ in heavenly places.

Jesus thank you that we are united with Christ, one with you, we worship you God. Come holy spirit, fill us up. For the rest of this meeting I want us to come with authority.  John 1:12 says as many as who have received him he has given the right to be called sons of God, a badge to cop, its the authority to come as sons and daughters, with risk and faith, we are going to pull down heaven, peace, salvation. We have the authority of heaven as ambassadors in Christ to declare things that are not as though they were and see heaven come!”

Tom Crandall, Bethel Church Sunday Night Prayer Meeting, June 13, 2021

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Prayer

I’m not going to be talking about prayer in groups or at meetings.  Just you and invisible other party.  Welcome to the land of our imaginations.  This wonderful, mysterious, curious place within our minds that absolutely no one else can see.  Sometimes words are the form of communication that is seen or heard in our minds.  There are endless other ways we communicate internally, feelings, physical sensations, pictures, colors, actual scene sequences, actual memories, our skewed memories viewed through feelings, songs, sounds, melodies, listening, waiting, just being, imaginary future conversations or interactions, premonitions, out of body experiences, dreams, waking thoughts, and a plethora I’m sure I have no idea about or haven’t mentioned here.

prayer

All of the above listed experiences communicate something about ourselves and God, back and forth with one another, God experiencing everything our internal spirit experiences, with us.  Immanuel, God with us, not just here on earth, but inside our very selves.  Our spirit is one with God’s spirit.  Everything encompassed in this communion I would consider as “prayer,” others use the terms like meditation or spirituality.

God’s kingdom is gloriously unseen.  It’s not at a place that has GPS coordinates.  This is wonderful, because instead, it is everywhere.  No matter what dirty hole in the earth a person finds themselves in, there God is fully alive within them.  No matter about the people around us or circumstances, there, in all his fullness, is God’s beautiful self abiding in our hearts.  Sometimes we have a harder time remembering this or experiencing it when we get distracted with ourselves, our performance, our strivings, our failures, and we believe lies about ourselves or the God that lives inside of us.  But this never the less, makes all of the above no less true.  The fullness of God lives within you.  How awesome is that!

The first step in prayer is getting past our own religious performance involved with our interaction with God.  God’s kingdom I imagine is a lot more like a children’s outdoor jungle gym than a church service.  Modesty and restraint are not necessarily going to help us here.  I would say the beginning of prayer is basically being completely and 100% honest with this God that lives inside us and this also involves 100% honest with ourselves.  This concept sounds easier than it seems.  Our minds are filled with justifications and self-perceptions that sometimes aren’t true.  But no mind, moving forward.

Honesty with ourselves and God is just the foundation of relationship.  Prayer is simply relationship.  This does not exclude asking things and communicating needs, but involves so much more.  God watches movies with you, rides bikes with you, cooks dinner with you, rides in the car with you.  God lives with us!  I enjoy expressing my feelings and verbalizing my questions and frustrations with God.  When I intentionally chose to share life with him is often when I also get to enjoy his participation in mine.  God will communicate love to however you are open to receiving it.  He will tell you he loves you and he is with you daily.

SPIRITUALITY

Maybe you are more a picture person, or a word person, or feeling person, but when you engage with God in your imagination it may be unseen but it is possibly more real than any relationship you have living in these tents of flesh called bodies.  Engage with God and have fun with him.  He wants to set you free of your fears but he also wants to make you laugh.  He is a gentleman and will not force you to engage with him, but he is looking forward to every moment you do.  Love is the great mystery of our inner world with God, his kingdom of beauty and strength inside of us.  He loves to respond to all that you offer himself of you.

Character     Covenant     Creativity

Family     Freedom    Gift Giver

Joy    Judgement    Kindness    Trust

Love     Praise      Prayer     Self-love

 

Trust/Rest

I’ve been around the idea of trust for sometime, but I didn’t really begin to think about rest until listening to a series on it maybe seven years ago.  I never realized how powerful rest is.  When we strive and fear and fret, its not only so exhausting, its just simply a less fun way to be alive.  I think it helped me to answer the question, what does trust look like?  It can and often, looks like rest

Our imagination can cause our heart to tighten up and our breath to shorten when we imagine some undesired outcome.  Sometimes this process of fear is actually worse than even what we’re fearing!  Most times, these imaginings never come to fruition and they are nothing more than a haunting illusion.  But the goal of fear in our lives is to cause us to become our own Gods.  This is never in our job description.

The only thing that interrupts this is a living relationship with the one who is God.  When we know he is good and we know he is in our future situations and events as much as he’s in our immediate moment, we will rest in the face of illusions of possible frustrations or disappointments.  I think one of the ways God displays his greatness is actually in the personal details of our lives.  He’s really good at.

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In the kingdom of God, a living relationship with a good father, brother, and friend (just a few of the dimensions of our relationship with God) keeps our heart at rest.  Because we experience his love for us, we believe it, we remember it, and we trust rather than react like someone who is alone and needs to fix/control things when there could be an event or situation outside of our expectations.

In God’s kingdom, peace doesn’t have to be forsaken.  If there is a thought or conversation that threatens it, when you recognize that feeling, it is okay to let go of control, to change or fix something.  It is okay not to figure everything out or why something went wrong.  It is okay not having everything figured out for things to come.  It’s okay.  You’re going to be okay.  You are living loved.  And there is someone very capable with you sharing in your experience who is not worried, not fretting, not far away, and who understands and loves you very much.

Trust/Rest is just one more wonderful attribute of God’s wonderful invisible kingdom.  I have forgotten this in certain situations and events in my life.  I can feel his tangible love even now.  And just recently I have been able to completely let go of things in the past I don’t understand, aren’t fixed, and can’t change.  I can trust/rest God completely with the past as much as we can with illusions of our future.  He really is good and moves on our behalf.  It is a beautiful journey of courage that only love creates: surrender.

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Character     Covenant     Creativity

Family     Freedom    Gift Giver

Joy    Judgement    Kindness    Trust

Love     Praise      Prayer     Self-love