The Two Big C’s – Cam and the Church

Leading up to the Super Bowl, there was talk among some people about a prophecy spoken over the Carolina Panthers. If you haven’t heard about this before, you can find more information here. In short, there is a prophecy that when the Panthers win the Super Bowl revival will break out. I don’t know how the two will weave together or any details, just simply that their win at the Super Bowl will be a demarcation in time that will separate the before and after in a way that is spiritually historical.

When the game started Sunday, I had a feeling that it just wasn’t going to happen for the Panthers. And part of it was because of Cam Newton. I had a sense that it would almost be a horrible thing for him if they won this year. How would he ever learn humility? One thing that really stuck out to me during the first few minutes of the game was Cam’s jersey number, number one. Now obviously this wasn’t the first time that I had seen his jersey number, I just previously had never paid much attention. But this time, as I watched I thought to myself, why do people expect humility from a guy who chose number 1 for his jersey?

Then yesterday, the day after the Super Bowl, I was watching a program ESPN did on Cam  on YouTube. Not sure when this originally aired but I was shocked, like eyes WIDE OPEN shocked, when I saw Cam’s high school footage and he was wearing the number 2 on his jersey. So I begin to think, okay…when did the switch to number 1 happen? The piece goes through his Florida State Days, his Junior College days and his Auburn days…all the number 2. So today I do some research on the internet and find that Cam wanted the number 2 but the player at the Panthers who had the number 2, Jimmy Claussen, wouldn’t give it up. The crazy thing is, a year later, the same player Claussen switched from the number he wouldn’t give to Cam, to a different number all on his own. Now tell me that isn’t strange!

What is my point with all this? My point is simple. Could it be that the Church is right where Cam Newton, jersey number 1, is at this point in time? Full of potential? Full of purpose? Poised for revival? Totally equipt to do the job set in front of them? Equipt in a way that is new and different and maybe never seen before? But being held back by one thing, the same thing. In the fourth chapter of James scripture teaches us that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Could it be that the one thing that is holding back Cam, is the same thing that is holding back the church? Could it be that the Lord is holding back because he is waiting for a completely surrendered, completely submitted Church? Could pride be the resisting force in all of this?

I believe God is calling to his people and saying that it is time to take the ax to the root of those things that are holding us back. It’s time to acknowledge that if there is any area of our life where we don’t wake up and realize how desperately we need God, there is a self-seeking, sub-rebellious pride still alive and well functioning in that area of our lives. Maybe we see the need for God’s help in our marriage, or our health. But the areas where you feel you have got it together, where you know what you are doing. Could those areas be where pride is growing in the shadows?

I think that Cam, like the Church, needs to return to his roots. It’s time to pull that number 2 off the shelf. Who cares about the jersey’s that people have…hey – they’ll be worth more in the long run. What a testimony it would be, and what a heart change it would show, if he were to reach for that number 2…because after all, there is only ONE who is above all things.

 

cam newton

What Do You See?

fall

I was riding down the road today, and something was bothering me. At first I couldn’t figure it out – but then I realized what it was. The trees still have all these fall colored leaves on them, and I feel like it’s Christmas. So I start talking to the trees and I say “Listen…I am going to need you to start LOOKING LIKE IT’S CHRISTMAS!” And suddenly, something drops in my spirit.

I hear the Spirit of the Lord ask me a question…”so you are going to let what you see determine what season you are in?”

Man. What a question. As I drove down the road, and the revelation of what was being said began to slowly unfurl itself in front of me – questions and truths started falling in my spirit the same way the leaves were falling from the trees.

How often do we let what we are seeing with our natural eye determine what we are believing? If the Lord speaks something to you – why do you let what your natural eye sees deter you from believing the promises of God in your life? If the Lord says it is December the 4th, then why let some orange and yellow leaves tell you something different? Even when the leaves are real? 

But isn’t this just what the enemy likes to do? Take our eyes and point them towards what we can see in the natural to distract us from what is taking place in the spirit? In the natural you absolutely can go up to the trees and touch, and smell, and even eat the leaves if you want. But does that change the fact that we are 21 days away from Christmas? No! Should that change your heart from being filled with the spirit of Christmas? The spirit of the season you are in? Of course not! Should you let what you are seeing effect how you are feeling? If your trust is in the Lord, then – NO!

So why not apply this truth to all the other areas of your life? Maybe in the natural that person you know the Lord wants to connect you with seems risky, but what about in the Spirit? Are you supposed to put your trust in people or God? Maybe in the natural it seems like someone has let you down…but are you looking at the leaves on the trees or are you asking the Lord to show you truth in a situation through your spiritual eyes?

The eyes we see with in our spirit have a much different perspective then what our natural eyes see, matter of fact, they see from heavenly places. Our natural eyes can fool us with what is in front of us, and because of the REALity of it – doubt and unbelief can easily take root in your spirit and soul. But the Lord beckons us to be a people who see and hear what the Spirit is saying to His bride. (Rev 2-3) You cannot be a person who walks by the spirit until you allow the Lord to shift your perspective into one that sees by the spirit.

Stop looking at the outward man. Stop evaluating people based on the checklist you have made that says they have it all together. Surrender to the eyes of the Lord and acknowledge that God has the right to use whoever He wants, whenever He wants, however He wants and realize you will only be able to see this in the Spirit. Stop looking at what people are doing – what your husband, or wife, is doing, what your friend is doing  – and start asking the Lord to show you in the spirit who that person is…chances are the enemy has been using some leaves on their tree to distract you from the truth of who they are and who they should be to you. Or most importantly – who HE says they are.

All in all, the question seems to me, to be this – will you believe it when the Lord tells you what season you are in, or will you choose to look through natural eyes at the leaves falling all around you? Will you have eyes to see past the waving flags of the enemy, sent to distract you from what God is doing in your life, to deter you from your destiny, and will you choose to focus upon the promises of the Lord?

The Lord is speaking to us. He is saying “I am doing a new thing,” and asking us all, “will [we] perceive it?”

Well…God said it’s a new season…so, will you perceive it?

new thing

 

Grandma Jean

Jean Louise Bennett had a beautiful spirit. She was a mighty servant of God. She led her family in all the ways that mattered. She led them to church. She showed them how to be a devoted spouse, even when it wasn’t always easy. She taught them to pray. Showed them how to love the unlovable. Taught them that all they needed was a  made up mind and the blood of Jesus. At 29 years old I am fortunate enough to not have many regrets. But among the few I do have, not getting to know Grandma Jean better is a big one. I regret not bringing my kids around to get to know her better. I regret not gleaming more of her wisdom. I regret not just sitting around and listening to her make others laugh. I regret not being around to taste her infamous pie – or any of the food she cooked for her family with so much love. Nobody went hungry when they were in Grandma’s house.

With all those regrets it is pretty obvious that my memories with Grandma Jean were limited – but there is one that I truly call myself blessed to experience. As it became apparent that she was making her way towards her eternal home we went to visit her at her house. Grandma’s house was physically small but like her, was large in spirit. When you sat in her living room, on her red sofa, you didn’t feel like you were in a small living room. Maybe it was the love in the house that made it always seem like there was enough room for everyone. As we all squished into the room she sat in her recliner dozing in and out of sleep. The television was playing in the background. As I sat across the room from her, quietly watching everyone around me a friend of hers from church came in. I was silently praying and could already feel the Holy Spirit in the air. Suddenly all the men and children went outside. It was as if God had taken his hand and ushered everyone except the women out of the house. Grandma sat in her recliner with her daughter, who was knitting a dish rag next to her – and her friend came over towards her to pray over her and anoint her with some oil. After she prayed over her – my husband’s Aunt started singing “Jesus kept me, another day, yes he did”. The Spirit was so thick in the room I don’t think an unbeliever would have been able to breath had they walked in. I looked around and myself and the other women in the room all had silent tears rolling down our faces. I think the tears were a mixture of a lot of things – pain, grief, the Spirit, joy. But mostly, I think the tears came from all of us knowing. Every woman in that room knew. We knew it was true – that Jesus had kept her another day and in doing so blessed us all with another day with her.

I don’t have many things I care about accomplishing in life. I don’t care about being a millionaire or climbing the corporate ladder. I don’t care about driving a fancy car or living in a huge house. At the end of my life, if my family loves me, respects me and feels about me the way we all felt about Grandma Jean, I will know my purpose on this earth was met. My life will have made a difference and I will be able to go home to meet my Father with the same peace I saw Grandma gracefully take with her on her journey to her eternal home.

The Web of the Spirit

Lately I have been feeling a thirst for the Psalms in my spirit. Maybe that is because they are so full of everything that encompasses this human experience – hope, joy, peace, hurt, heartache.

Often it seems that the Holy Spirit is the least understood and least utilized of the Trinity between believers. When you start talking about the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost people who are not “sold out” for Christ often get uncomfortable. That saddens me. If people only knew the depth and fullness that the Holy Ghost can bring to your life and your relationship with Christ….

In the James Cameron movie Avatar the “higher power” or diety is Eywa. She is made up of all living things. Her power runs throughout their land in an interconnected web made up of nuero trasnmitters. This is all centralized in the mother tree, a place where all the spokes of this web kind of come together. The Na’vi people have tails that they plug into this web and allows them to bring balance to things like wild horses or wild flying creatures and control those things. So where am I going with all of this? That is what the Holy Spirit is – it is an interconnected web that all leads toward the Father and the Son. In the web of life that is the Holy Spirit, I find time and time again that God will use the Spirit to start me on an assignment or give me revelation about something and throughout my day and week I will see that theme reinforced over and over and over. This brings me back to Pslams and David. Earlier this week I was looking for scriptures on identity and it took me to Pslams. And then I was looking for scripture on moods and it took me to Psalms. This morning my e-mail devotional (which I hardly ever read by the way) took me…guess where? – you got it – to Pslams. God is pointing me in the direction he needs me to go to find what it is I need right now. And I feel my soul thirsting for it. I have never read the book of Pslams. This has happened to me before – the Holy Ghost has taken me to the book of Acts and the book of 1 Corinthians. Did I ever finish these assignments? No. So what happens when you don’t follow through with the assignment that God lays on your heart? You miss a blessing. I don’t know what blessings I missed but I know I missed them. All because of my lack of follow through, my inability to be faithful when I don’t FEEL like it, my inability to be faithful when I don’t feel covered in the peace and joy of God. I have to get consistent. God has been ministering this to me for quite sometime.    And I have really got to listen. I am tired of missing out on blessings, on opportunities all because I can’t get consistent. I can’t be a finisher. The word says in Ecclesiastes that the end of a thing is better then the beginning. And I know this. But what have I ever finished?

I thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I thank God for the way it drops things throughout my day and week through it’s interconnected web. I thank God for the way the web of the Spirit connects those who are in the body with me – the way we all say the same things even when we say them differently. I thank God for the current that runs through the web of the Spirit. Always below the surface trying to bring forth God’s glory and His will through unity. I want to be a finisher. I want to be in unity with MYSELF and with other believers.

God showed me where to start – but will I find the tenacity to finish? That is today, and has always been, the real question.