Does Your Barrel Leak?

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The oak barrel sits, ready to receive its prize. No thought is given to what it has endured to get to this place. Once it was carefully constructed, the real preparation began; boiling, flushing, toasting and more, all awaited this single barrel. The importance of each step will make the difference in its ability to keep the prize – one that is full of life, rich, and desirable. The prize – New Wine!

Spiritually we talk of New Wine and with excitement and anticipation begin a frenzied chase to find it – conferences and concerts abound – though will you find it there? You may experience a manifested encounter with the presence of God and be stirred for “more”, but will it stay when you get home?

New Wine poured into an unprepared vessel leaks out.

Just as the oak barrel is prepared for its prize, we, too, are prepared.  However, it is not about “doing” things to get ready – trying to pull it down from heaven – it is about “being” made ready. Preparation for us looks similar to the barrel – we will go through the boiling, flushing, and toasting as we surrender to the loving hand of our Heavenly Father.

As we hunger for the presence of God – that hunger stirs a deep love within – that love turns to desire – that desire erupts into a longing, and that longing pushes us to the feet of Jesus.

As we spend time in silent adoration at His feet, a mindset of yielding to only what is Him, solidifies in our heart – something changes; the vessel is prepared. As we chose to lay aside all the distractions, choose to step into worship, into reading the word, into prayer, and into fasting – suddenly, we are there. All of these choices are not about coercing Gods hand, but about a love that is growing – a love that desires His presence above everything else – a love to see His face. In that place of passionate pursuit, we find His presence; there we begin to experience and hear Him – right there in our own living room His presence manifests. We become a vessel that He has prepared to carry and distribute His New Wine. We will no longer leak!

As we wait at His feet, He pours a continual flow of New Wine into and through us. Then, as we walk into a gathering of passionate pursuers’ – we will enter into an atmosphere that has been saturated in worship, word, and prayer. The love, excitement, and joy will pulse as a single heart-beat from the Father and we will find ourselves in the presence of an explosion of Glory.

Every part of our lives will begin to have one central focus – Jesus! Our alignment to the Father’s voice, His plans and purposes will stir a passion – passion to say YES, LORD as we live a lifestyle full of New Wine from heaven.  We will see others drawn to us by the intoxication we are now walking under – they will ask, “Where have you been? Why does your face shine? How can I get what you have?” – sharing the gospel will be easy. Our prayers will change as we hear and do as Holy Spirit directs. We will see His answers and miracles abounding all around us. Our faith will be WHO we are, not something we do.

Join me as we fight off the distractions, begin to walk a lifestyle of passion, and choose to daily sit at the feet of Jesus!

Be ready to say YES, LORD as He directs you to pour out New Wine to those around you.

Matt. 9:17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved. (ESV)

 

 

 

 

 

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Shore-up Your Foundation

If you find yourself in a place where you perceive your foundation to be unstable – call your ultimate repair man. The result is always a 5-star review – He only does perfect work.

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Foundations are built to support the style of home they are designed for. A single-family dwelling foundation could never support an office building, as well as an office building foundation would be inappropriate for a single family. Foundations are in place to allow everyday living to prosperously move forward but they are also designed to withstand the environmental impact on the building they support.

When storms, floods, and earthquakes unexpectedly impact a community, often the homes still standing are those with strong foundations. The same applies to your spiritual life. Your spiritual foundation is built on Christ, the word of God. Your promise is a solid unshakeable foundation that will weather any storm.

However, during your own impacting events (your personal storms, floods and earthquakes) you may often think that your foundation has been pulled out from under you and that it no longer even exists. But, once you have said YES to the Lord He never walks away, never forgets you, and never pulls that foundation away – He knows your name.

II Timothy 2:19a But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” (ESV)

In the natural we now have old cracking shifting foundations that can be lifted up, filled in and re-stabilized, giving strength and support back to a previously unusable building.

Though you have a promise, spiritually, that says you don’t need to ever require that type of major repair you can find yourself needing some shoring-up. It is an easy process – simply turn from where you find yourself, look up and the one who built your house stands there ready to complete all necessary repairs. He already paid for them – they belong to you free of charge. He knows your name, the building He is building within you, and the purpose He desires to accomplish.

If you find yourself in a place where you perceive your foundation to be unstable in any way – don’t hesitate, don’t continue living in that shaky building – call your ultimate repair man. The result is always a 5-star review – He only does perfect work.

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (ESV)

 

On The Road

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In disappointment, confusion and hopelessness the miles to travel toward Emmaus left room for venting to one another. And then – along came a stranger that drew near and joined their walk. Not knowing whom this stranger was, the story of the origin of their sadness was poured out as they stopped in their tracks on this dusty road.   After much time together that day, they recognized him only as they sat to eat and he broke the bread, but then he was gone.

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” Luke 24:32 (ESV)

Often clouded by disappointment, confusion and hopelessness – we too, don’t look up, don’t hear, and don’t see our savior right there on the dusty road with us. Today, He still comes along side – draws near – as we walk this difficult journey.  He still opens to us the scriptures and He still speaks words of comfort and encouragement through words that will burn within our hearts; they are found in a living book! There is only one book that can do that! It is alive and new every morning. The word of God – letters on a page – that open up to us the Kingdom of God.

How can that be?

No matter how many days, years or decades you have read this book – today it can burn within your heart a new understanding, a new revelation.   As we lift this book, read and allow the spirit of God to speak, it changes from words on a page (Graphe) to understanding (Logos) to revelation (Rhema) and transformation on that dusty road is eminent.

As you walk this road of life pick up his word! Allow His words to be opened up to you, to burn within your heart, to lift the heaviness that life has thrown at you; for it is here that you will find life, a life abundant.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (ESV)