Are you ready to stop living the meaningless life of frustrations with obligations, distractions, busyness, mindsets, and your past? Are you ready to choose a new master? The master that Jesus is, is a master that proved His love to you. He will still prove his love today.
Does our Creator wish for us to “be anything” or does he want us to be His son/daughter? What sort of person is this Creator? Is he close? Is he knowable?
I’ve been doing a lot of self-exploration this week. One of my mentors taught me to take a study leave four times a year. This study leave is my first time in a year. You can tell I don’t like to spend this much time in the quadrant of important not urgent.
We live in such urgent times. We live in a time where everything is immediate, and everything seems immediately essential, i.e., massively distracting. So I’m asking the question today, what’s important? This got me thinking about us as a culture and how we don’t know the answer to that question right now of "what is important.". This age is one where almost everything seems as if nothing is important. Indeed, our foundational institutions are not necessary; we have torn them down.
I grew up in a generation where our best band’s number one hit was titled “Nevermind”. So I understand not believing the best of foundational institutions, in fact, I’ve been part of the process. But as I was talking to a new friend and mentioning this issue, he came up with the line, ” If not them, then what?”.
We’ve torn down all of them: starting with God, then we move to our teachers in our schools, our parents, and family and all its foundations, government, 🐋The Church indeed, music, other people, Friends, marriage, parenting, family, gender, and everything else I won't have time to mention.
So here we are standing on a vacant piece of ground that once held the house of our culture. I used to make a living in construction and sometimes I would tear down a house. But the reason we destroyed that house was that you were going to build another one. There was a dream attached to the tearing down. There was a plan. In fact we went so far as to get cultural or city approval of those plans. We hired an architect to make the arrangements. We went to a bank and got money to tear down the house to rebuild the home, which we had plans for, which we got city approval for, which we put on the market, which we presented to the culture in the hopes that an individual would purchase it.
So what am I saying?
Folks, I think we have torn these things down, our foundational institutions, without any idea of what came next. We now are looking at the vacant lot of our culture, nation, and institutions and it scares us and excites us. Part of ourselves is happy with the sections we had a hand in tearing down. Those pieces of life hurt us deeply, cut us to the core of our being. We couldn't live in a house that existed with the things we destroyed. It's just that I don't think we could see the future and certainly didn't have a plan of rebuilding through all of our pain and all of our frustrations. How could we?
I also believe that many of us have started to realize that there isn't anything left on the lot to live in and sleep on when we are tired and need rest. It scares us to our core. Or at least it mildly concerns us for the future. We might have found a sleeping bag of sorts, and that will work for now. But, somewhere deep inside you is that reality and you have avoided recognizing it. It has almost seemed like a conspiracy theory. Like a weird dream. What do we do when there isn't anything left to believe in, to live in, to live for, to dream about?
But there is hope.
We are gathering a group of people who no longer think it valuable to tear down but are ready to build again. Don’t get me wrong we’re tearing stuff down, but this time we have a plan. We are gathering a group of people who wants to build their own house on a street in a neighborhood in the city. These houses are our lives; these houses are our families, these houses are the values, the principles, the new institutions, the new faith, even our daily routines.
We are gathering a group of people who are ready to build a new kind of community.
We call it, The Church KC. Basic, simple, a starting point, a beginning.
I invite you to join us! Bring your friends, bring your family, bring people you have met along the way, bring back your hope, bring back your dreams, bring back your positive emotions, bring back your faith.
Let's start building the ‘then what’ today!
Pastor Drew Smith
This is a prayer I have started to pray. Lots of wonderful and complicated truth in it. Learn as you pray:
My dear Lord Jesus, I come to you now to be restored in you, renewed in you, to receive from you all the grace and mercy I so desperately need this day. I honor you as my Sovereign, and I surrender every aspect and dimension of my life totally and completely to you. I give to you my spirit, soul, and body, my heart, mind, and will. I cover myself with your blood—my spirit, soul, and body, my heart, mind, and will. I ask your Holy Spirit to restore me in you, renew me in you, and lead this time of prayer. In all that I now pray, I stand in absolute agreement with your Spirit and with my intercessors and allies, by your Spirit and by your Spirit alone.
Dearest God, holy and victorious Trinity, you alone are worthy of all my worship, my heart’s devotion, all my praise, all my trust, and all the glory of my life. I love you, I worship you, I give myself over to you in my heart’s search for life. You alone are Life, and you have become my life. I renounce all other gods, every idol, and I give to you the place in my heart and in my life that you truly deserve. This is all about you, God, and not about me; you are the Hero of this story, and I belong to you. I ask your forgiveness for my every sin. I renounce my sins. I ask you to search me and know me and reveal to me where you are working in my life and grant to me the grace of your healing, deliverance, your holiness, and a deep and true repentance.
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me and choosing me before you made the world. You are my true Father—my creator, redeemer, sustainer, and the true end of all things, including my life. I love you, I trust you, I worship you. I give myself over to you, Father, to be one with you in everything as Jesus is one with you. Thank you for proving your love by sending Jesus; I receive him and all his life and all his work which you ordained for me. Thank you for including me in Christ, for forgiving me my sins, for granting me his righteousness, for making me complete in him. Thank you for making me alive with Christ, raising me with him, seating me with him at your right hand, establishing me in his authority, and anointing me with your love, your Spirit, and your kingdom. I receive it with thanks and give it total claim to my spirit, soul, and body, my heart, mind, and will. I bring the life and work of the Lord Jesus Christ over my life today, over my home, my family, my household, throughout my kingdom and domain.
Jesus, thank you for coming to ransom me with your own life. I love you, I worship you, I give myself over to you to be one with you in all things—spirit, soul, and body, heart, mind, and will. I sincerely receive all the work and triumph in your cross, death, blood, and sacrifice, through which my every sin is atoned for, I am ransomed and delivered from the kingdom of darkness and transferred to your kingdom, my sin nature is removed, my heart is circumcised unto God, and every claim being made against me is disarmed this day. I now take my place in your cross and death, dying with you to sin, to my flesh, to this world, to the evil one and his kingdom. I take up the cross and crucify my flesh with all its pride, arrogance, unbelief, and idolatry [and anything else you are currently struggling with]. I put off the old man. Apply to me all the work in your cross, death, blood, and sacrifice. I receive it with thanks and give it total claim to my spirit, soul, and body, my heart, mind, and will.
I bring the blood and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ over my life today, over my home, my family, my household, my vehicles, finances, over all my kingdom and domain. I bring the cross, death, blood, and sacrifice of Jesus Christ against Satan, against his kingdom, against every foul and unclean spirit, every foul power and black art, against every witch, and against every human being and their spirit, their warfare and household. I bring the cross, death, blood, and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ to the borders of my kingdom and domain, and I stake it there in the name of Jesus Christ.
Jesus, I also sincerely receive you as my Life, and I receive all the work and triumph in your resurrection, through which you have conquered sin, death, judgment, and the evil one. Death has no power over you, nor does any foul thing. And I have been raised with you to a new life, to live your life—dead to sin and alive to God. I take my place now in your resurrection and in your life, and I give my life to you to live your life. I am saved by your life. I reign in life through your life. I receive your hope, love, faith, joy, your goodness, trueness, wisdom, power, and strength. Apply to me all the work and triumph in your resurrection; I receive it with thanks and I give it total claim to my spirit, soul, and body, my heart, mind, and will.
I bring the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ over my life today, over my home, my family, my household, my vehicles, finances, over all my kingdom and domain. I bring the resurrection and the empty tomb of Jesus Christ against Satan, against his kingdom, against every foul and unclean spirit, every foul power and black art, against every witch, and against every human being and their spirit, their warfare, and household. I bring the resurrection and the empty tomb of the Lord Jesus Christ to the borders of my kingdom and domain, and I stake it there in Jesus’ name.
Jesus, I also sincerely receive you as my authority, rule, and dominion, my everlasting victory against Satan and his kingdom, and my ability to bring your Kingdom at all times and in every way. I receive all the work and triumph in your ascension, through which Satan has been judged and cast down, and all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to you. All authority in the heavens and on this earth has been given to you, Jesus, and you are worthy to receive all glory and honor, power and dominion, now and forever. I take my place now in your authority and in your throne, through which I have been raised with you to the right hand of the Father and established in your authority. I give myself to you, to reign with you always. Apply to me all the work and triumph in your authority and your throne; I receive it with thanks, and I give it total claim to my spirit, soul, and body, my heart, mind, and will.
I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ over my life today, over my home, my family, my household, my vehicles, finances, over all my kingdom and domain. I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fullness of the work of Christ against Satan, against his kingdom, against every foul and unclean spirit—every ruler, power, authority, and spiritual force of wickedness, their every weapon, claim, and device. [At this point, I specifically name all foul and unclean spirits that I know have been attacking me, such as fear, doubt, accident, injury, death, the religious spirit, pride, arrogance, etc.] I send all foul and unclean spirits bound to the throne of Christ, together with every back-up and replacement, every weapon, claim, and device—by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and in his name. I command the judgment of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the heads of those that refuse to obey, and I send them to judgment, by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and in his name.
I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fullness of the work of Christ against every foul power and black art—every hex, vex, and incantation, every spell, weave, web, veil, shroud, charm, and snare; against every ritual, sacrifice, and device; against every vow, dedication, and sacrifice, every word, judgment, and curse—written, spoken, unspoken, or transferred to me. I command them disarmed and broken by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and in his name.
I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fullness of the work of Christ against every witch, cult, and coven, every channel of black arts to me. I cut them off in the name of the Lord; I send the glory of God to them to turn them in Jesus’ name.
I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fullness of the work of Christ between me and every human being—their spirit, soul, body, their sin, warfare, and their household. I bring the full work of Christ between me and [now I name people I’ve counseled or prayed for, family members, folks in crisis looking to me, etc.]. I command their human spirits bound back to their bodies and their warfare bound to the throne of Christ in their life. I bring the full work of Christ between me and my household and all people, in the authority of Jesus Christ and in his name.
Holy Spirit, thank you for coming. I love you, I worship you, I trust you. I honor you as Lord. I receive all the work and triumph in Pentecost, through which you have come, you have clothed me with power from on high, sealed me in Christ, become my union with the Father and the Son, the Spirit of truth in me, the life of God in me, my counselor, comforter, strength, and guide. I honor you as Lord, and I fully give to you every aspect and dimension of my spirit, soul, and body, my heart, mind, and will—to be filled with you, to walk in step with you in all things. Fill me afresh, Holy Spirit. Restore my union with the Father and the Son. Lead me into all truth, anoint me for all of my life and walk and calling, and lead me deeper into Jesus today. I receive you with thanks, and I give you total claim to my life.
Heavenly Father, thank you for granting to me every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. I claim the riches in Christ Jesus over my life today, over my home, my family, my work, over all of my kingdom and domain. I bring the blood of Christ once more over my spirit, soul, and body, over my heart, mind, and will. I put on the full armor of God: the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel, helmet of salvation; I take up the shield of faith and sword of the Spirit, and I choose to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of your might, to pray at all times in the Spirit.
Jesus, thank you for your angels. I summon them in the name of Jesus Christ and instruct them to destroy all that is raised against me, to establish your Kingdom over me, to rebuild the shields and hedges of protection around me and my household, and to minister to me your ministry. I ask you to send forth your Spirit to raise up prayer and intercession for me. I now call forth the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout my home, my household, my kingdom, and domain in the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving all glory and honor and thanks to him. In Jesus’ name, amen.
God has been teaching me about how powerful and influential I am! LOL! I'm joking! He has been doing the exact opposite of that! Isn't it amazing as we age that we discover how little we know? We find out this by gaining knowledge. I found out that my children sure do see a lot more than I do about extraordinary things. There are unique things they know about hugs, love, time, and intimacy that I don't.
We will get more into that at the end. For me, the way I enter into their specialized knowledge is through the discipline of a tiny word. "Yes." Here is how it works. "Dad, will you pick me up and carry me to bed?" Yes.
Will you sit next to me? Yes.
Can I go with you? Yes.
Will you play with me? Yes.
Trust me; there are times that I want to say No. I wish I could say that those times were few and far between. Honestly. I don't think so. But if it is at all possible, say 'Yes'! Say 'Yes' even if you don't want to. Trust me; you will get into it. The principle of 'yes' works in other areas as well.
I learned about time from great teachers. I learned about time from doing life too. But the challenge for me hasn't been controlling my time or monitoring what I wanted to do. The problem was letting others have a say in what I was going to do. It's called relationships. We are changed by our relationships permanently. Forever changed. We impact each other. If we want intimate and life-giving connections, we are going to have to say 'Yes' a lot more.
Now I'm not talking about the Yes we say to other things. The Yes we say to our greed is going to have to change if we are going to say Yes to people. There is a trade we have to make. But first, we have to figure out what those Yes people and organizations are in our life. We want to be around them more. Sit down and think about who in your life will you start saying 'Yes'!
For me, those people are my family. Also, it's my church family. Indeed, Jesus is top of the list. Me saying 'Yes' to my important people starts to answer the 'No' for others. It's not a hard 'no'. It's more of an "I wish I could, but I can't." A Soft NO. So who are those people and things we can and should say Yes too?
The first person on my list I want to say 'Yes' to is Jesus! Why? I want to say 'Yes' to him because it's to my benefit. Come and follow me for my burden is light and my yoke is easy. I will give you rest. He is the best thing for me, and all he wants to do is to bless me and not curse me. So Yes, Yes, Yes, a thousand times yes! Yes, I want to serve Jesus at my local church! Yes, I want to love my family! Yes, I want to help others and build into them because I get so much in return in my spirit! Yes, I want to give Jesus my money because he promises to bless me. Yes to all the good things. Then we really won't have any room for the bad. Then the 'No' becomes obvious to us because it's drowned in our life of 'Yes.'
So, will you join me and start to say 'Yes'?!
God loves you!
See you this Sunday. It's going to be a great day!