As many of you know, I have spent the last three months at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City as part of the Intro to IHOPKC internship. I really felt the Lord wanted that time set apart unto Him, and to be more cutoff from social media outlets, etc. so I apologize for the extreme lack of communication on my part! But recently, the Lord has really been teaching me about stewardship, and that everything He gives me I am meant to steward it well, my time, my money, and even the things He has taught me. With that said, I am going to take quite a bit of time to "steward" what God has been teaching me in this last season. He provided me the opportunity to come to IHOP-KC and be prepared for Him, and now He is calling me to help prepare others. So I pray that the Lord will touch you and teach you through all that He has been teaching me, so you, too, can go teach others!
I have been beyond blessed to be under the leadership of Matt & Dana Candler as they have stepped into leading Intro. Their hearts burn with passion for Jesus, abandoned love unto Him and others, and truly are such faithful servants of our Lord. Matt has such a great way of leading our hearts and knowing what we need and how we need it ministered to us. I have learned so much from them and am so grateful to continue this journey with them. The first day of class Matt taught us about the specific mandates of IHOP-KC and how that then relates to us, so I am going to attempt to reteach what he taught us through my own personal worldview. Enjoy!
What do you want to do when you grow up? What are you going to do with you life? With your career? Who are the people you need to know? These and many others are some of the questions we are bombarded with our entire lives. What are you going to DO.
For me, this has always been the main focus of my life. I began planning for college in middle school, with high and lofty dreams of success and greatness, always striving in school so that I could go and DO something with my life. I excelled in high school, went to college, but then decided to give myself to even bigger dreams of taking over the world with a life of fame in the modeling/Hollywood industry and really doing something significant with my life. But even now after being saved, I still have the question lingering of what I am going to do. I can be so driven by the next great cause, taking over the world for Jesus, huge evangelistic exploits, and global impact. Every heart has a longing, a natural God-given desire to do things of significance, to be a part of something that matters.
Another question that has driven my life is who you need to know. In Hollywood, it was who I need to know to get me my next gig to get me to the next level of fame. Now it can be what great leader do I need to know, to learn from so I can have as much impact as they've had. Or who do I need to marry? Who am I to my family, my friends, the people I lead? Who you know is another question that tends to drive our lives.
Yet, both of these questions, what I am going to do and who I need to know, if they drive your life and decisions, they put a ceiling on where you can go in God and in life. If those questions are the driving force in my life, then my abilities, my strengths, my opportunities, and who I know will be the only things that dictate my potential, how far i can go, and ultimately the destiny of my life.
So what question do we then need to be asking to live a life without a ceiling of strengths and connections? On that day when I meet Jesus face to face what will actually matter to Him? What will HE ask me? What will actually make my life "great" and help me to live into God's best for my life?
The number one mistake we all make is to decide what we are going to DO, before we decide WHO we are going to BECOME.
Who are you? Who are you without the job, the successes, the failures, the impact, the people you know, all the temporary things of life that can change or be taken away in an instant, what are you left with at the end of the day when it is just you? When we look at the Bible, we don't find much on the job we are supposed to have, the person we are supposed to marry, but we find a LOT of information on who God wants us to become.
Every follower of Jesus and every congregation has basic truths and standards we ALL are to live up to and live out, but just as there are different majors in college, we too, all have different "majors" or things that the Lord has highlighted for specific people as their concentration within the big picture. And we need ALL parts of the Body of Christ to work together with all of their individual focuses in order to actually get that big picture. At IHOP-KC, they have essentially been mandated by God to focus on the identity of Jesus as Bridegroom, King, and Judge. Bridegroom meaning intimacy with Jesus, the one who loves us, protects us, and will do anything to win our hearts. King meaning it is His role to make decisions and rule over the earth. Judge meaning the one who will act upon the things He sees and the decisions He makes. These are not different Jesus's, like today I want the nice Jesus, when I need help I need the other Jesus, and the Judge Jesus scares me, no. It is One Person, just different parts of who He is, who He always is. He is always a King with the heart of a Bridegroom who responds as a Judge.
Colossians 3:3 says, "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." Your life, your identity, that question of "who am I?" is HIDDEN in Christ, in the knowledge of who HE is. Want to know who you are? Find out who He is and then you will begin to find it.
So what does that mean in light of Him being a Bridegroom, a King, and a Judge? Well as you begin to go on a journey into who Jesus is in those ways, you will find yourself as a bride, a priest, and a pilgrim. When you grow in the knowledge of Jesus as a Bridegroom, you find out that you are His Bride, you grow in your identity as the one that He died for, that He paid for so He could love you, the one that He will protect, provide for, and cherish as a husband does his wife, that you are fought for by a jealous Husband who will do anything to win your affections. When you grow in the knowledge of Jesus as a King, a GOOD King with a heart of your Husband, you find out that He has called you to be a priest, a kingdom of priests, that are made and set apart to minister to Him, to give Him glory, to serve Him in love, to understand the heart of the King and ask Him in prayer and intercession to make just decisions on the earth and release His resources. This is best seen in the context of night and day prayer and worship, for that IS His will, as we see throughout the entirety of Scripture, and how He establishes His government on the earth. And finally, when you grow in the knowledge of Jesus as a Judge, a Judge who is on YOUR side because of the blood of Jesus and will judge in perfect fairness, you find out that you are now a pilgrim, a sojourner on this earth because this world is no longer your home. You live in the light of eternity, storing up rewards in Heaven because that is how your Judge will act on your behalf, by responding to how you loved Him in this age through rewarding you in the next. And you respond in urgency to the hour of His return in preparing others to live in this light as well.
So lets begin to ask the question "who do I want to become?" rather than "what am I going to do and who do I need to know?" And as your grow in knowing Jesus as your Bridegroom, your King, and your Judge you can then focus your life on your identity and who you are BECOMING - a bride, a priest, and a pilgrim. The other questions will be answered out of the overflow of this reality being worked in you. They are always secondary to who you are, and THAT is what is most important to the heart of Jesus for you life - for you to KNOW Him and know who you are in the light of who He is. And know that He is far more jealous to give you revelation of who He is than you are to CONVINCE Him to give it to you.
FEEL the truth of His heart over you and your identity today. Love & Blessings!