The Difference Between Behavior and Identity

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The focus of the Old Testament was always on behavior, but the focus of the New Testament is on your identity in Christ, not on your behavior at all. Here’s the thing: God didn’t want to change your old nature.

Even the priesthood was temporary. When they died out, you had to replace them. But here we have Jesus as our permanent High Priest because He is never going to die, so the new covenant now is so much more profound than the old one ever could have been. The New Testament is founded on who you are in Jesus because the old you is dead. It was too bad to be cleansed, it had to be crucified. Continue reading

Intentional Prophecy

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We’re all in Christ learning to become Christlike, and prophecy is part of that discipling process. Here’s the thing we have to learn, though, especially about prophecy amongst people we know. Spontaneous prophecy is the baby end of the gift of ministry. The Bible has got more to say about crafted prophecy, prophecy that is written down, prophecy that is rehearsed. We need to get into a habit of writing prophecies down, thinking about people, rather than just relying on spontaneous utterance. Of course, spontaneous prophecy has it’s place. In fact, once I was running through an airport and the Lord said, “I want you to prophesy over that person.” That’s totally spontaneous.

But when I’m living in fellowship, and I’m living in community, I think prophecy should not be spontaneous. It should be written, it should be crafted because it comes out of real fellowship when we sit down and we think about one another. We think about one another, we don’t just meet once or twice a week, do something spiritual and go home again.

Fellowship means we think about one another. We sit and we consider. I ask questions all the time to the Lord about my friends because I’m intrigued. I want to know. I’m in their story and part of their journey. I want to know what’s going on. I have files on all my friends! It’s true! The CIA has got nothing on me. Continue reading

God Is Present-Future

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Why does God give us prophetic words that can be so far into the future, we often feel that we cannot connect with them now? He loves us to have a horizon in our life; something to aim for and head toward in our relationship with Him.

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare and not your calamity, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). These plans will connect us with our destiny, identity, and calling.

The principle of a future directive word is: The Father puts words into our long-term future because He wants to explore them in the Spirit and bring them into our present relationship with Him.

There are two ways that we walk in the natural. Firstly, we look at the ground around our feet so that we do not stumble or step into something nasty. Secondly, we look ahead at where we are going. Our horizon may be limited, but we look for landmarks of note to guide us.

What is true in the natural is also true in the Spirit. We look at where we are now in our fellowship with the Father, and we look ahead to where He is taking us in relationship. It is normal for us to have two perceptions on life; we live today and plan for the future. Continue reading

Bringing Your Destiny into Today

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To really understand your identity, you have got to actually put it in the same place with your destiny because sometimes we understand who we are here in the context of who God says we are becoming, present-future. Present-future is the anointing to determine your life in the present by the prophecies, promises, and plans that God has for your future.

Your present-future is who you are now, that is your identity, and who you are becoming, that is your destiny. You are a paradox of identity and destiny. You are knowing who you are now, you are knowing who you are becoming, and you are living in a way that makes that future more readily accessible. That means we are never stuck now, but we have a defined way of opening up our life to all of God’s possibilities when the enemy is trying to get us to focus on what is wrong or not working. The future allows us to make the present different. We can aim at something beyond our current circumstances and bring that into the present to help us with the fight. Continue reading