Persevere In Loving Others

I have a bit of a confession to make.  Generally speaking, I am one who loves people, quite easily too, but there are two groups of people that have been harder for me to not get agitated with, to say the least.  These two groups of people have, in the past, caused the love all people theme music record to scratch, after which point I find it difficult to show them love.

One group is my friends who are always going on and on about hate speech, what is and isn’t politically correct and how conservatives are bigots.  I am fine with that until I start to see them, and only them actually, posting things on Facebook condemning, belittling and demeaning people who don’t think or believe as they do.  These are also the same group of people who says the infamous, “If you believe x, unfriend me now!”  Seriously, isn’t this the definition of bigotry?  Isn’t this intolerance personified?  Did the definition suddenly change because the shoe is on the other foot?  It’s interesting to see this over and over and I can’t even say it’s my liberal friends because that’s not true.  I have liberal friends who are more consistent with their beliefs.  Their stuff actually matches.  Plus, it’s always baffling to see Christians who are more liberal in their thinking than some of my non Christian friends who appear to have far more values and morals that are consistent with how God calls us to live.

The second group is Christians.  The ones who miss the good old days of preaching hell and damnation to anyone within earshot.  This group, more than the other, is tough to deal with as this group is supposed to be different. Here’s the thing, we are to model Christ, point blank.  I’m open to the possibility of missing it but I have never seen where Jesus approached sinners (unbelievers) in the manner that I have seen other Christians approach them, in order “to get them saved.”  John 3 :17 says God sent His son into the world, not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.  Jesus came to save sinners, not judge them.  He became sin for sinners so they could possibly escape judgement by believing in Him (see 2 Cor. 5:21).  I just don’t see where there’s any room for followers of Christ to behave in a manner that contradicts how Jesus walked here.

When they brought the woman who had been caught in the act of adultery to Jesus, he didn’t choose the guy with the best arm to throw the first stone.  He didn’t bring more shame and guilt down on her, and he could have, he never committed any sin mind you.  Instead, he said those infamous words, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.”  Then, after they all left, he asked where her accusers were and when she said they had left, he said that he, spotless, sinless Jesus, didn’t condemn her either. He told her to go and sin no more.  Why?  Because if she did that again and was caught, he may not be there to stop them from killing her!

When Jesus saw Zaccheus up in the tree trying to get a good view of him as he walked by, he didn’t knock him off the tree and shame him in front of the crowd. He could have very well done that.  Zaccheus was a mess and everyone knew it and hated him for it.  Jesus astounded them all by telling Zaccheus to come down because he was inviting himself to have dinner with him, lol!

The only people I recall  Jesus going off on were the Pharisees, the religious leaders who claimed to be about God’s business. He referred to these people as a hypocritical brood of vipers.  These were the know it all folk who “were only doing what was right.” They didn’t care about people at all.  They loved their positions, titles, places of honor and all it afforded them and they didn’t like Jesus coming around changing things, drawing the attention away from them and their agenda.

These days, the Lord is working on my heart towards such groups.  He is helping me to see past their behavior and pray for them with love.  He’s doing this really cool thing where He shows me what’s behind it all whether it be an orphan spirit, religious spirit, fear or a combination since oftentimes the orphan and religious spirit seem to go hand in hand.  When this happens, I can begin to have compassion for even the harder to love people who oftentimes need love the most.

Also, here’s the thing, we are commanded to love one another as Jesus has loved us.  That’s a tall order.  Romans 13:8 says owe no man anything but love, saying that love is the only debt that should remain outstanding for us all. So you see?  I can’t afford to not love others, no matter what.  Also, when one experiences the love of God, it’s not so easy to not pour out that same love on others, especially those who obviously need it most.

So let’s change the world together by becoming love and giving it away.  We have been empowered to do so.  He wouldn’t have commanded it if it were an impossibility.  Let’s choose to love on purpose the next time we come across those we tended to find unlovable in the past.  After all, we have received so much love from Him.  We have freely received.  We should be more than happy to freely give.  We can do this!

Heaven’s Invasion

I deleted the post that I published yesterday.  I started that post a few days before but around 4am.  I couldn’t sleep, so I ended up erasing it all and writing something different, and publishing it from my phone.  The problem is, what you received was the incomplete first draft that I thought I’d erased. So here goes round two. 🙂

When I’d moved to NJ from DC, I was a staunch word of faith girl.  You couldn’t tell me anything. My goal was to pretty much find my church in DC, here in NJ, and live happily ever after.  Of course, that’s not at all how things went.  Over around 7 years or so, we went up and down NJ and NY, visiting churches.  Some, we stayed at for months, others, weeks and some, we visited once.  Although I didn’t realize I was prophetic, I knew God always told me definitively what church I was to join as a member.  He said nothing as we visited these churches, but I tried to make a few of the churches work.  Eventually, I saw how silly it all was and just gave up.  We stayed home and worshiped and studied the Bible and attended whatever church related events we were invited to.  We were believers without a home base.  At first I was upset about it but after a while, I began to hear from God more regularly, for myself.

I began to realize that I didn’t need someone to tell me what God was saying for me, I could hear from Him myself.  As I read the Bible, things that I had seen so many times before, jumped off the pages at me as something totally new and different.  It was amazing.

Then, I began to miss what I had growing up in church, community.  I felt confident that I could hear from God for myself and others, still not realizing that was prophecy, lol, but I missed people.  I love people.  So, after visiting The Holy Land experience in Orlando, FL, I began to ask God for the community I longed for.

Here’s the thing, God is a total show off.  To say that He gave me more than I bargained for is a gross understatement.  In this moment, I have to chuckle and admit, that He never did give me the church I wanted.  He did so much more.  He gave me Heaven’s Invasion. Heaven’s Invasion is nothing like any church I have ever seen or heard about, other than the first century one in the Bible.  In fact, it isn’t a church. It’s not a business at all.  It’s a regional gathering of believers.  It’s a place where Holy Spirit is Boss.  Where our pastor who we simply call Russ, is famous for saying that he isn’t in charge and asks, “What’s God saying?”

The mic is always open, it is never policed, and because we can all hear from God, people coming up to share what they see, hear, or sense, is a regular occurrence.  There are flags and dancing. The worship is literally intoxicating.  Angelic visitations as well as our resident angels fill the place every Sunday.  Prophecy and healing and miracles flow freely there.  In fact, when you come for the first time, you are bombarded with prophetic words from God that leave you feeling so loved and important to us and to God, because the truth is, you are.

Heaven’s Invasion is a very different place.  Firstly, we meet Sunday nights at 6pm.  Then, instead of starting with praise and worship, we start with the preaching/teaching, saving the best part for last.  No two Sundays are ever the same there.  One of my favorite things is that although we are a group of prophets, evangelists, teachers, pastors and apostles, you won’t hear anyone putting their function in front of their name.  It just doesn’t matter.  Everyone understands that those offices are simply functions.  Just as my husband doesn’t go by Air Traffic Controller Jermaine, there is an understanding that you simply do the job, there is no need for a title.  Jesus never stressed the importance of titles.  Because everyone is shedding old mindsets that are a result of the orphan spirit, we all agree that our favorite title/position is that of sons and daughters.  That is what Jesus modeled.

The best part of Heaven’s Invasion though, is the love.  My friend said, “Heaven’s Invasion is not a church, it is a family.”  She also said that she and her husband were really impacted by the obvious love that abounds there.  This is a place where there are no cliques, no hierarchy, no made up “office of the elder” (I mentioned the five fold offices above, better yet, see Ephesians 4:11), it’s just sons and daughters coming together and man… It is beautiful. I have never been to a place like this before.  Never imagined it could exist, but it does. We all chat daily, we go out to eat together, this weekend, there was even a sleepover! Together, we are doing what Jesus did and called us to do.  Just today, we received a video message from a guy who had Leukemia.  We have prayed with and for him, some of us visited him in the hospital.  We commanded sickness to leave his body and today, he sent us a video saying that the doctors can find no cancer in his blood any longer. Hallelujah!!!

I am so overjoyed to be a part of this family.  The people here are truly my family in every sense of the word.  My prayer is that more gatherings that truly exemplify the heart and nature of Jesus become more popular than the more common modern day pharisee movement we see happening.  I would love to see the places that hold such great significance in seating arrangements, costumes, titles and degrees, fade away.  I would love to see the bride of Christ arise, shed this orphan spirit that permeates so many facets of the Church, and be content with being sons and daughters, knowing that this is the best position ever and is without a doubt, more than enough.