Tree of Life Blog

Engaging Culture with the wisdom and power of Christ!

Monthly Archives: August 2014

I Have to Go and See this Preacher… Interrupted

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A number of years ago I was talking to my wife and planning my week.  I wanted to go to a certain conference, and it didn’t look like I could fit it into my schedule.  I told my wife “I have to go and see this preacher… I really want to go and see this preacher”…  

As I did I felt the Holy Spirit inside speak to me: “You’ve got that wrong!” he said in a small, still whisper I could barely hear.  I went over what I had said and couldn’t work out what was wrong with what I said.  So I took some time to pray and listen and the Holy Spirit explained to me that most people (including me at that time) want to see preachers.  We use visual language.  

But the power isn’t in a man – it’s in the words he speaks.  The words Jesus spoke are spirit, life and truth – that’s why we have 4 excellent records of what he SAID but there are no photos of him!  It’s not looks that matter, it’s words.  The Holy Spirit said you need to go and hear that preacher, not go see him.  You need to realize the power is in the words that he preaches, and the message.  This is confirmed by Romans 1.16-17 where Paul says the power is in the gospel, not in him.  Peter tells the crowds when the crippled man is healed – why do you look at me as if by my power the man was healed – but it is the name of Jesus that brings healing and salvation.

So now I don’t chase after men of God – I chase after their message.  I thought I was the only one who the Holy Spirit needed to refocus in this way, but after Heal the Nations I saw a lot of behaviour which shows that many, many people don’t know where the power is.  One lady thought the meetings were too far to travel to, and she was too busy, but she wanted me to drive one of the speakers to her house so they could pray for her in person.  The power isn’t in the prayer – it’s in the gospel, it’s in the message!  Another lady couldn’t make it as she was too busy, but asked me to invite one of the speakers to attend her wedding as that would make her wedding really anointed!  A pastor was very very disappointed that another one of our speakers couldn’t have lunch with her during the conference – there simply wasn’t time, but barely turned up for any meetings.  It’s all the same problem – the lack of realization that the power is in the messages.  I’ve seen people drive hours to have lunch with a preacher then drive back before their meeting… let me tell you the guy you have lunch with isn’t your spiritual father if you don’t listen to his messages.  

I know you want to see your favourite preachers, but you have to hear them!

An Open Letter Regarding HEAL THE NATIONS

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Heal the Nations is our annual conference.  On Wed 20th August, our second Heal the Nations kicks off.  We have an amazing array of guest speakers and we have a great worship leader.  We also have great ushers and hospitality people—a massive thanks for everyone who is involved.  I really love and appreciate you and your help!

Last year Heal the Nations helped people so much, and this year it is about to do the same again.  There is something about hearing the Word all day, worshipping all day and being in a positive atmosphere.  Healings happen, financial breakthroughs happen.  Lives change.  Freedom comes.  Vision comes.

I am just writing this to say that I want you to come to Heal the Nations, or at least as many sessions as you can.  Some people have contacted me and said “who is speaking when”… I have told them and indeed the speaker schedule is online—unlike a certain conference I have just been too where it was cloak and dagger!  But the truth is that if you come to hear one speaker although you will be encouraged and inspired by the Word, the whole conference has been planned with me carefully listening to God and asking who to speak and who to bring.  The messages I believe will blend together (like they did last year with each speaker mentioning that God was calling us to a feast) in a special way to inspire you and give you a healthy balanced diet that you may grow thereby.

I don’t want people to come so I can say “there were xxx people at Heal the Nations.” I don’t care—in fact the less people the more personal attention we all get!  I don’t want you to come to give in the offering, it has all been paid for in advance because of the generosity of this church and the wise planning of finances.

I want you to come because I know it will be the most awesome time of spiritual growth in your life.  I go to conferences, I know about many conferences—I know some are all about money, I know some are all about bragging that our conference is bigger than that conference.  I know that we are doing Heal the Nations for you.  God wants you to be healthy, He wants you to receive the Word in its entirety, He wants you to be a church changer, a nation changer, a world changer.  He wants you to be fully equipped to do the works of ministry.  All of the preachers at Heal the Nations are equippers—their heart is your best.  They wouldn’t be invited if it wasn’t so.

So whatever you are doing Aug 20th-23rd, plan to be where you can be equipped to be all God wants you to be.  Plan to be where the Word and the Spirit come together, where grace and faith are mixed together, and where dreams come true! 

Plan to be at an event that is going to help you, heal you, equip you, inspire you, challenge you, encourage you and lift you!

Plan to be where revival isn’t prayed for but is happening.  Plan to be where you are going to find out your destiny and begin to walk in your destiny.

Plan to be at Heal the Nations.

http://www.healthenations.net

Kings, Politicians and Civil Servants

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There are three kind of people in most churches – kings, politicians and civil servants.  Kings have authority because of birth right.  The crown prince could be a holy, generous man or he could be a selfish, mean man – but he is still going to become king because of who his parents are,  It has nothing to do with him, but everything to do with his parentage.

But the truth is when a king realizes that he has authority and that he has done nothing to earn it, but it is a free gift from his lineage, then his gratitude means that he uses his power to help people and encourage people and lift people.  And because he knows that the people that he is helping cannot take his authority or life away, so he is not scared of them.  He doesn’t oil the squeakiest wheel, or get upset if someone is more talented than him or more confident than him, because he rests in the reality that his power and authority come solely from his birthright and not his abilities. 

In fact, the king rarely thinks about his own abilities.  He is just so grateful to be a king, that he uses every opportunity he has to serve others.  He is not self-obsessed, not worried, not manipulated – nor is he manipulated.  If people don’t want his help, he just moves on – there are enough people in the world that celebrate and welcome his help for him to worry and fret or get tetchy with those who don’t.  They just shake the dust off their feet, smile and move on!

Politicians on the other hand believe that their power comes from people.  So their whole life is spent afraid of people, every action is carefully calculated and planned so it doesn’t annoy people.  Politicians always gravitate to the grey as it offends the least amount of people.  A king will wear a beautiful, colourful suit or something a bit wild – they wear what they are comfortable and what they look good in.  Politicians will never step out of wearing what will offend the least amount of people, and they very quickly end up looking like clones of one another!

Kings welcome individuality, politicians want to reduce people to numbers – cogs in the machine who only have one purpose – to like the politician.  Politicians won’t stop destructive behaviour in case it upsets the perpetrator,  Politicians will never do what is right, they will do what is expedient.  They will never preach a message that bring life and revival, they will bring the message that never upsets anyone.  They will never feed you the bread of life as some people might not like bread, but will reduce their messages to baby food and gruel in order to avoid offending anyone.

Politicians are happy when people like them, but when people fail to like them and when people leave them they are sad – even if the people were destructive and everyone else is glad to see the back of them, the politician is still sad because they believe they have lost power by losing people! 

The problem with the political life is that you cannot please everyone.  Trying to do so will cause a huge problem!  This will lead to lying, pretending to be who you are not, it will lead to insanity as you become less and less like yourself to impress people who just are not worth impressing but you think they are because you think people are the key to power!  

Many pastors, due to a natural love for people, are politicians.  It’s not easy telling someone they are in the wrong, it’s not fun when people despise you or leave your church.  But listen – some people have to leave, sometimes the most powerful thing to do is to let some people leave: blessed subtraction I call it.  The whole church feels good because the one prodding and poking is gone!  Your authority, and wisdom, and life does not originate in people’s opinion – it originates in your birth to the King of Kings and Lord of Lord.  It originates in His love for you as His child – His love that will never end.

Civil servants find their source of power and life in the rules and regulations.  They pride themselves in the fact that they do things right, and are constantly criticising others for not doing things their way.  They are also – because of their brilliant ability and other’s glaring incompetence – overworked all the time, and will make sure you know it.  Their identity is found in their work and in their knowledge of their work.  The easiest way to upset them is to suggest that they are incompetent at work, and their constant source of fear is their line manager!

The problem with that is that civil servants are not perfect – so the only way they can truly shine is to knock as many other people’s lights out as possible.  And when someone comes along who knows who they are – the civil servant doesn’t know how to manage them.  Have you noticed that org charts don’t include royalty – so the civil servant doesn’t know what to do with a king, and generally tries to control them – and fails as the king knows their identity is secure so they are not afraid of manipulation, lies or control.

You have to realize that you are a king.  You are not a politician – your power does not come from people.  Jesus was hailed and praised one day and crucified the next.  People are fickle.  Never put your security in people, you will end up bound and led by those people away from your mission.  You will become bland – and you will become a mixture of patches crudely sewn by others and added to your pure satin dream.  You don’t need people to enter into freedom, you have it!

You are not a civil servant.  Foolish rules can be put aside.  You don’t get upset if people go above your head because your line manager might be your boss on the org chart – but ultimately your authority does not come from your position on the org chart but from your heritage and lineage.  You don’t get upset if people don’t do things the way you do things, because people are more important to you than protocol – you are a king.  You are secure, your authority was decided the moment you were born and you do not have to worry about your position, what the people think, how many people are following you, what the regulations say about X or Y, and all that kind of things.  

So today, be a maverick.  Do the right thing because it is the right thing.  Have lunch with someone four rungs below you on the org chart.  Tell someone who is being a nuisance to get lost.  Don’t take praise – or criticism – too seriously.  Learn how to know your Father in heaven and draw life from Him.  

 

 

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