253. Framing Your Reality

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Living an illusion

True reality is not what we have come to know through our earthly experiences. The ‘world has been pulled over our eyes‘: we have been living in an illusion veiled as reality. We see what we see, and confirmation bias kicks in to make sure it is all we will ever see… unless something extraordinary breaks in to challenge that.

Outside the church, many people are exploring the possibilities of changing their reality: one popular author promises the ‘definitive guide to bending reality for beginners’. He is pushing the boundaries of what can be done in this created dimension. The trouble is, we will never be truly limitless until we expand our minds and our thinking to include revelation of the Truth from the dimensions of eternity.

That is what we are being called to engage in. Let’s allow God to unveil this for us. When we come to know the Truth we can experience true reality.

What is your reality? Is your reality shaped by what you have experienced and what you have seen? Can you trust what you see? Some scientists investigating the apparent paradoxes associated with black holes believe that our universe demonstrates characteristics we would expect of a holographic projection. In that case, what are you really looking at?

Is your truth relative or absolute? If you see only from your own perspective then it is relative; it only becomes absolute when you see from God’s perspective.

Creation responds

Our consciousness functions as a series of electrical impulses in our synapses passing along neural pathways. We have learnt to interpret those signals: our brain interprets them as thoughts and sensations. But we can also use those signals: science confirms that the world of matter and energy responds when we learn to focus them by meditation (or worry).

Your consciousness has the ability to affect energy and matter from a
quantum perspective. The double-slit experiment demonstrates that light is an energy wave that carries the potential to become a matter particle depending on whether it is observed or not.

The Truth may be beyond what I can presently imagine or think (Eph 3:19-21). ‘Renewing our mind’ (Rom 12:2) is the expansion of our consciousness to know our true potential. God chose the foolish things to confound the wise (1 Cor 1:27) – we do not need a degree in quantum physics, only Jesus the Truth in order to operate in these things. In fact if we do have worldly wisdom, we are likely to continue getting the same old DIY results.

Our minds must be enlightened or illuminated by the light of Truth. The vast sum of God’s thoughts about each of us (Ps 139:17-18) reveal that we are sons of God, created in His image, with a destiny to rule the universe with Him. That truth will unlock the true potential of our sonship, the creative image we are made in.

Waking up to knowing the Truth as a person (Eph 5:14) will set us free to be who God intended us to be. It will challenge our present perception of ourselves: we can know the truth from God’s perspective and align ourselves with His thoughts about us. We can see ourselves free from addiction; we can see ourselves healed; we can see ourselves loved, accepted, affirmed, significant…

Quantum power

Our conscious thought has quantum power and the universe responds to the focus of our consciousness. The mind of Christ confers on us the capacity for the ‘greater works’ which Jesus spoke of (John 14:12). It is time to embrace the potential possibilities of who we are because of who He is.

One of the core principles of quantum physics is the idea that reality (the photons that produce the light-illusion we all occupy) exists in infinite possible states… until we observe it and thus collapse all potential versions of reality into the one single option we have chosen to live inside.

Here is a practical example of how it works:

Imagine you are sitting on your sofa at home and you are struck with the desire to do something different. You could do an infinite number of different things. As you weigh things up, what you start to focus on becomes more likely to occur: you could get up and go to the bathroom; you could switch on the light; you could walk outside; you could go to the kitchen; you could turn on the TV or your computer or check your phone; you could go to the off licence (liquor store) or you could go to your dealer.

Past rewards, memories and compulsions can drive you towards your choice of reality. The possibility exists for you to immerse your consciousness into any reality you want but you must decide which action you will take. You must make a choice of which reality you want to ‘observe’ coming into existence at the cost of becoming ‘blind’ to all other options.

As soon as you select a reality, the options you did not select begin to fade out of conscious thought, out of observation, and become less likely to occur as you continually move away from them in pursuit of your selected reality.

But that option which you did select–well, its photons are now becoming more vivid, turning from abstract imaginary choice into tangible forms you can interact with (whether it’s the light switch, the TV, bathroom, drink, drugs or whatever). In this way your internal consciousness, those chemicals produced and synapses manipulated by your thoughts, can alter the physical photons that surround you.

God or DIY?

So what reality do you want to create? From which source will you draw your choices? God or DIY?

If you are choosing from your past you may be:

  • hiding your passion and creativity because you’re afraid you may not be good enough.
  • agreeing to plans you don’t really want to be a part of so that you can ‘fit in’.
  • staying in a job that doesn’t fulfil you because you need the money.
  • pursuing relationships that you know aren’t healthy because you don’t want to be alone.

Our present reality is controlled by the programming of our past experiences and knowledge. Our future reality will continue to be a self-perpetuating fulfilment unless we choose to see from a new heavenly reality perspective.

If you do decide to escape your own DIY source and get God’s perspective, then you will have the power to envision a future reality that does not currently exist. So rather than simply choosing from an existing menu you wish to engage with, you can instead create new photon-forms that never existed before and inject them into reality.

We have this incredible ability called imagination: to envisage something in our mind and then summon it into being. Everything you see today: buildings, cars, planes, the device you are reading this on, even
the clothes on your body, they originally existed only as thoughts formed inside someone’s mind. They were all once inert pieces of quantum possibility until someone came along and chose to pursue their creation.

Creating reality

This quantum wave collapse is called ‘popping a qwiff‘. You can see or observe a God qwiff (something God shows you that is not yet real in
this dimension) and, by popping that qwiff, cause that potential to become your reality. Information flowing from your future possibilities is waiting for you to observe and ‘call those things that are not as though they were’ (see Rom 4:17).

“The quantum leap of knowing your purpose and assignment is waiting as a God qwiff for you to pop!”David Van Koevering.

God has dignified man by giving him the power to choose, and to create his own reality aligned to those choices. The choices mankind has made independently of God, and without the reference point of love, have created the chaotic DIY state the world now exists in.

When we are reconciled and restored in relationship with God himself
our mind can be renewed. This opens up the potential for us to access the eternal mind of God, and then our future reality can be realigned from an eternal, godly perspective.

DIY methods of framing reality (drugs, alcohol, food, pornography, relationships, religion – or whatever) will keep you in bondage. Choose another future, focus on another reality; see your freedom and your God-given destiny, and you cause them to materialise around you.

Sons arise!

Let’s not be limited by our DIY past: instead let’s be creative sons of God, creating a better future. All of creation has its eyes fixed on us, looking for true sons to be revealed.

Will you be one of those sons?
Will you accept the call?
Will you embrace your destiny?
Will you accept His yoke and learn from Him, the Truth?

Let the sons of God arise!

Let the sons of God arise! Declaration by Mike Parsons via YouTube.

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Intensive – October 30th to November 1st 2018

Sons Arise intensive 3 Expanding Our Reality image with link

Expanding Our Reality: Deconstruction and Restoring Consciousness

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My Journey Beyond Beyond

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250. Pillars In My Mind

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

The truth that love reveals

When we behold God face to face it can lead us to experience metanoia (a radical shift of thinking), removing the veils and renewing our minds. In the last post I described how my introduction to the mind of God was like a conversation: communion, fellowship and oneness between God the One as Three and the Three as One.

He told me “Son, you can be one as We are One: your body, soul and spirit at oneness, unified and restored to godlikeness to be the light of love to the world. Let the conversation of love surround you and immerse you and fill you. Let the truth that love reveals define you; let it unveil your true image in Me. Know who you are by reconnecting with who you have always been. In Me, see your true image framed in love’s conversation, revealed in love’s true expression.”

One time the Father said “Come, walk with Me”, and we were walking in His garden. We were in a place of total rest, the most beautiful, living, vibrant place I had ever seen, felt, smelled or engaged with. Then it changed before my eyes into something completely different in colour, form and fragrance. And then it totally changed again. He said “Look through My eyes” and for just a moment I glimpsed all the infinite possibilities which exist all at once and I felt His pleasure and enjoyment in it all.

It was like a mind-expanding trip to prepare me for what was to come.

Free from limitations

Again, the Father said “Come, walk with Me.”

This time everything was dimly lit and it took time for my eyes to adjust. There were light pathways crossing and connecting but it was as if the power was down. He explained that we were walking in my own mind! We came to a gulf, and beyond it I could see doors that I somehow knew were closed but not locked. The Father said He would bridge the gulf for me, just this once. I saw a path extend across to one of the doors and knew the possibility of new pathways developing in my mind. I felt and sensed the potential possibilities of the eternal reality of who I was always intended to be as a son. Capacities that have been locked and hidden can now begin to reconnect. God wants us to be free from the limitations imposed by following Adam’s DIY tree.path.

We walked across the light bridge He had made for me. I knew it was up to me to open the door, so I reached out with my mind. I embraced the possibility of opening that door to discover new dimensions of reality. The door opened and I just gazed with amazement at ‘now’; seeing beyond time and space, I could envision all the possible creative choices I could make at that moment.

“Which one do I choose?”

That was my first thought. It was a fear-based response, the fear of getting it wrong. Because I was walking with the Father as a son, heart to heart, I immediately felt that fear just melt away. I saw a golden thread intersecting my time streams, fixed at both ends but flexible and movable by my choices, and I realised that as a son and heir all my possible creative choices were good and acceptable and would all lead to positive outcomes.

Pop the qwiff

I saw beyond the boundaries and limitations of my consciousness disconnected from true reality. I saw that I could choose a possibility, that I could (in quantum language) “pop the qwiff” and collapse the possibility into a reality.

I came out of this encounter and immediately I was faced with an opportunity to apply what I had just learned. I looked at my watch: it was 7.45am and I was due to meet Jeremy in my office at 8am. I saw the reality of being there on time and I chose to realise it and felt at peace. So I went upstairs and got ready to go out. When I came down and looked at the kitchen clock it was 7.55 but my watch (a Citizen Eco-Drive which never stops) still showed 7.45am.

I decided to test this reality. So I went out into the garden to water the plants in my greenhouse and feed the fish. After all that, my watch was still at 7.45am. Just as I was about to leave, my wife Deb reminded me that she needed the car that morning. I was going to have to walk. It is not that far, it takes about 10-15 minutes, so I set off. It was still 7.45 by my watch. Halfway there I noticed it had started to move again and I got to the office at 7.55am.

Pillars in my mind

“Son, walk with Me”.

We walked again within the recesses of my mind. “Son, look at the dysfunction of the broken paths. Look at the mindsets that are like obstructions blocking the pathways. Look at the rigid networks conforming and framing the pathways within your mind. Now see fluidity and beauty of the pathways that can be formed by your renewed mind linked to Mine.”

I saw the comparison. I saw the simplicity of the truth of the ‘now’ possibilities and compared it to the complex construct built from the interpretations of truth and reality that come from religion and culture.

“Son, let Me renew your mind to a new level, open up your mind to Me. Let the truth remove the cages constructed by following the pathways of the knowledge of good and evil.”

I saw a framework, a construction with pillars holding it up and a grid or series of connecting cross members as if bolted onto the pillars. He started to shine a spotlight onto these pillars:

“Son, these are the pillars upon which your paradigms are built.” He focused the light of truth on each of the pillars in turn:

  • Evangelicalism
  • Sola Scriptura
  • Greek thought
  • Hebrew thought
  • Augustinianism
  • Protestantism
  • Scientific rationalism
  • Cultural relativism
  • Humanism

It was not lost on me that there were 9 of them. There are 9 fire stones, stones of revelation which Lucifer the light-bearer was intended to reflect. Those 9 stones became counterfeited and perverted as 9 veils that frame our minds. Each veil filters the light of God and distorts the image of God and His image in us. Each veil controls how our mind interprets the data we receive.

The covering cherub’s role was to absorb and reflect the light released from the throne of God. He was responsible to release frequencies that would carry the image of God, revealing our sonship; but instead he chose the DIY path and led mankind down it too.

The veils are mindsets established from beliefs that someone has taught us; revelation from old theological truth meant for a previous day, the resting place of words that frame our belief systems. There is a new revelation of truth for our day to discover.

Deconstruction

“Do you want Me to deconstruct your mind?”

I did not answer right away but pondered for a while. Several days, in fact – I even had to google what some of those pillars were! Eventually I said “Yes, Lord, deconstruct the frameworks of my mind. Strip away the presumptions and the assumptions of my thinking. I want to think like a son.”

“Son, I can continue dismantling this from the outside or I can remove the foundations of the dogma, the pillars and supports of the constructs so that they collapse. This may be traumatic and disorientating for a short while but will be the most effective and quickest way to free your mind and consciousness from its constraints and restrictions.”

“Father, please remove the dogmatic foundations of my beliefs and restore the true foundations formed from eternal truth. Pull the pillars out!”

“But please do it one at a time!” I added quickly.

Mindquake

As the pillars were ripped from my mind the constructs began to become unstable. It felt as if my mind was wobbling – like I was having a mindquake. The truth began to challenge my established and entrenched beliefs and my mind was being set free. I started to see things I was not able to see before and realised how many assumptions and presumptions I had been living according to.

“The limitations are being removed and the realities are being expanded. Son, you are created and crafted with the creative nature of I AM as a son of God. Your true potential is limitless but is controlled by the boundaries that exist within your consciousness. Rest in the deconstruction at the end of the 7th day to embrace the new beginnings of the 8th day reality.

“Son, I am the master of all reality. Everything is contained within Me. I AM, therefore everything is contained within the infinite potential possibilities of My mind. You have access to My mind so your mind can be conformed and freed from its limitations.”

Beyond

These things are beyond what we can imagine with our present knowledge and ways of thinking. By faith you too can open up your mind for Jesus to walk in it, to reveal the veils and constructs operating in you, and invite Him to remove the pillars. You may share some of the pillars my thinking was built on; you may not. Like me, you may want to say ‘Please do it one at a time’.

But if you are to move on into the fullness of sonship, they are going to have to go.

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242. Enjoy The Ride!

Mike Parsons
and Jeremy Westcott

God is Love. He really is! Having a relationship with Him does not involve trying to please or appease Him. He loves us unconditionally, and there is nothing we can do that would cause Him to love us more (or less). He is Love.

Our view of God has become so distorted that many people, not only outside the church but even within it, believe He is angry with us and only keeps us in line through fear. They are getting Him confused with some other god. Love that is forced, coerced or demanded is not love at all.

“Heresy!”

Ironically, this deep truth that God is love is often seen as heretical by members of the religious institution because they hold to a warped theological image. If anyone dares to challenge doctrinal assumptions and presumptions it always provokes accusation. I have been told myself that I am ‘on the slippery slope away from orthodoxy’ as if that is something I should avoid at all costs. The implication is that backsliding and a complete loss of faith are the inevitable result.

I am not so sure. I believe that God is challenging our preconceived, pre-programmed ideas about Him. Those preconceptions and programming are largely a consequence of our place (and century) of birth, our family traditions and other sociological factors. In another time or place the received truth about God passed along to us would have been different anyway.

All roads lead to…?

God does not want our knowledge of Him to be conditional upon when or where we were born, or the religious tradition we were first introduced to. I do not believe He wants something so important to be based on that sort of accident. Regardless of our religious beliefs (or lack of them) He is reaching out, looking to engage every single one of us in a personal relationship. To that end He pours out His Spirit on all flesh (Acts 2:17).

‘Does that mean,’ said Mack, ‘that all roads lead to you?’
‘Not at all.’ Jesus smiled as he reached for the door handle to the shop. ‘Most roads don’t lead anywhere. What it does mean is that I will travel any road to find you.’ (William Paul YoungThe Shack).

Orthodoxy

Orthodoxy is an interesting concept in itself. The word is defined as ‘an authorized or generally accepted theory, doctrine or practice’. With our 20000+ denominations you can easily see how rare ‘generally accepted’ might be! So whose orthodoxy is it that we are in danger of slipping away from? Roman Catholic orthodoxy? Anglican or Presbyterian orthodoxy? Reformed, evangelical or charismatic orthodoxy? Or even Orthodox orthodoxy (take your choice of Greek or Russian)? We cannot slip away from most of those since we never actually subscribed to them in the first place.

Almost all of us, if we are honest, believe something different today to what we believed 10, 20, or 50 years ago. God never changes, but through fresh revelation He is continually unveiling aspects of Himself we have never seen before. We call this ‘progressive revelation’. Any ‘orthodoxy’ can only be a snapshot of someone’s view of God at a particular point in time, which perhaps explains how many versions of it there are.

But The Bible Clearly Says…

Every scripture we read today is a translation into English (or one of dozens of other modern languages) and they all reflect the translator’s particular viewpoint or understanding (those compiled by committee no less than those by individuals).

The Passion Translation and Mirror Bible state their viewpoints front and centre. The translators of the King James version had to adhere to a set of rules drawn up on the King’s behalf by the soon-to-be Archbishop, Richard Bancroft. For example, they were explicitly prohibited from translating ‘ekklesia’ (church) as ‘community’, ‘assembly’ or ‘congregation’, most likely in case people realised it was supposed to have a legislative, governmental role. There is no such thing as an objective, definitive translation (even if you do call it ‘Authorised’).

Those who are able to read the original languages fare little better. We do not have complete manuscripts and where more than one version exists it is clear that alterations to the text have occurred.

Canon of Scripture

Proponents of protestant evangelical orthodoxy would have us believe it is very different from its Roman Catholic counterpart, but in reality much of its theology stems directly from the councils, doctrines and creeds established by the early Roman Catholic and Latin Church.

The very concept of a ‘canon of scripture’ was only introduced in 397 AD at the Council of Carthage. Carthage was the one school (out of six) in the ancient Christian world which held to an angry, retributive view of God, possibly because it was also the only one where Latin, not Greek, was the language in common use. Augustine was from Carthage, and he had no understanding of the Greek in which the gospels and letters were written; if he had, he would never have developed such a distorted view of God.

The Council delegates bartered over what books were to be included. Perhaps they forgot that Jesus warned His disciples of the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod, of political and religious spirits, but their eventual selection was more politically than divinely motivated. So although all scripture is ‘God-inspired’ (1 Tim 3:16), we may well have differing views about what Paul meant not only by the word translated ‘inspired’ but also by ‘scripture’.

Fear and control

The Emperor Constantine united church and state for his own political ends. Almost 1300 years later King James directed the Bible translators to translate in a way that would ensure there was no conflict between church and state and would maintain his control over all sections of society. In fact, much of the history of the Western church can be summarised as the exercise of fear in order to control people, and ‘orthodoxy’ is still being used in the same way today, to defend and protect entrenched positions and to suppress valid questions and ideas.

Fairy tales

It is very healthy to doubt what you believe, rather than just accepting it as the truth. There is far more to God than any theology or doctrine can contain. I agree with this statement I heard quoted by Brad Jersak “When doubts appear in me it means that I have outgrown my incomplete idea of God, my imperfect knowledge of Him” (Metropolitan Anthony Bloom: Doubts).

It is only through experience that the nature of God can be known. It can only be subjective, and that is not a bad thing. People will warn us that without something objective to rely on (usually they mean the Bible) we will end up believing fairy tales. Well, I suggest we have been believing fairy tales already and God now wants us to come to the knowledge of the Truth (a person, not a doctrine). Love will always be our plumb line.

Mind-quakes

Many of my experiences have revealed God’s love at a new level I would never have believed possible. They have challenged and unravelled most of my theology and doctrine and I am not looking for new ones; nor am I asking you to do anything but to be open to engage God’s love for yourself and see where that takes you. Where it has taken me is into an experiential relationship in which heaven has opened up.  I have come to know ‘the breadth and length and height and depth’ of that love (Eph 3:18) and how ardently He desires everyone to experience it for themselves. Even death is not enough to stop Him loving us.

My encounters with God created cognitive dissonance within me (that is, they caused me mental stress and discomfort as I tried to hold on to two or more mutually exclusive and contradictory views, ideas or values). I had a choice: I could fight to hold on to what I had thought to be true or I could allow the Truth – Jesus – to renew my mind. I chose the second, and it was not easy. It wobbled my head. It felt like ‘mind-quakes’. Explosions of truth shook loose the belief systems I had.

Conversation

God spoke to me a lot during the process. He told me, “Reveal the Truth, unveil for people your testimony of who I am… Son, reveal Me, the true Me. Let the Joshua generation know the true Me unfettered by the old orders of the theology of intellectual information”.

One day, God said, “Let me show you My mind”. I am not going to describe it visually, but it was like being in the midst of a conversation between Father, Son and Spirit that is continual and is all ‘now’.  I got just a brief glimpse of God’s reality, and saw that He was connected to everyone that had ever lived, is living or will live, all at once (that is 108 billion and counting). He was connected to everyone in the ‘now’, knowing every choice and every decision made every microsecond. His loving desire was to bring good out of every choice, to redeem even the most stupid decisions of every person (and we all make them). This love is not limited to a select group of people but is extended to everyone at all times and in all places.

It was a living experience of what Paul described in Romans 8:28, that ‘the love of God causes everything to mutually contribute to our advantage’ (Mirror Bible). Our view of God influences how we see ourselves and the world that we live in, and this experience changed that for me. Our view of everything has to be aligned with Love. His love won’t relent. God desires us to know Him (Love) by personal experience so we can know ourselves as His children and bring His kingdom of love to the world.

The real slippery slope

I love Chuck Crisco’s acronym for ‘heretic’ (I have tweaked it just a little):

Happy Enlightened Righteous Exploring Truth In Christ.

On those terms, I’m willing to be called one. So for myself, I have joyfully stepped off the slippery slope that for 1800 years has been taking us away from a relational, loving God towards a false image of Him horribly distorted by religion.

I encourage you to do the same: to discover for yourself the true nature and character of God who is Love.

I joyfully jump onto the slope that goes from the pinnacle of modern theology and doctrine back to the beliefs of the apostles and early church fathers who were relationally discipled by Jesus and His disciples in love.

I encourage you to jump onto the same slope – and enjoy the ride!

Soundtrack: You Won’t Relent (Jesus Culture) via YouTube

This blog post is adapted from Mike’s teaching in the ‘Engaging God‘ subscription programme. Find out more…

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  • Then join us from March 8th to 10th, either in person (£65 GBP) or via the livestream (£30 GBP), for Engaging The Father, the first of our Sons Arise! conferences for 2018.
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226. Nothing Can Stop Us

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jer 29:11).

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! (Psa 139:17)

Do you know what God thinks about you?
Not what you think, or what the world thinks, but what God thinks?

Not Mission Impossible

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will (Eph 1:3-4).

He has chosen us to be sons, to be part of His family, to be those who will engage with the earthly and the heavenly, the natural and the supernatural, in order to fulfil His commission to restore creation to original purpose and design. This may not be Mission Impossible but still, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…”

Sorry, Frank

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this
(Isa 9:6-7).

God’s intention is that Jesus’ kingdom will have no end. It will bring peace and wholeness, not just here, or in this time, but through everything else that is out there and through all eternity. And God is going to get His way: all He asks of us is whether we will be part of that or not. That is our choice: the pathway to eternal life or the pathway of humanism. The pathway of the tree of life, or the DIY pathway of the knowledge of good and evil.

His way, or My Way (sorry, Frank).

Don’t miss your destiny

Many biblical figures lost their birthright or only partially outworked their destinies. Here are just a few from the Old Testament (I am sure you can think of others):

  • Adam and Eve
  • Cain
  • Esau
  • Jacob
  • Reuben
  • Simeon and Levi
  • Judah
  • Moses
  • Solomon
  • Jeroboam

Let’s check our hearts: have we become cynical, sceptical, critical or judgmental because of past experience, disappointment and disillusionment? That is what can happen when we allow life’s circumstances to affect how we see ourselves and our future, rather than what God says about us. The same is true if we have become earthbound rather than heavenly, settlers rather than pioneers, apathetic, passive, lazy, selfish, fearful, rebellious, comfortable, safe or materialistic; none of those will help us fulfil our destiny.

When Jesus looks at the destiny written on our scroll, is that what He sees in our lives? Does He recognise the person He created us to be? Or, like the bridegroom in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matt 25), does He say ‘I do not know you’? That chapter continues with the story of the talents, representing the destiny God has given us. Let’s be like those who took a risk and gained more as a result, rather than the one who dug a hole in the ground and hid the money.

‘Throw out the worthless servant into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (Matt 25:30). This is not ‘hell’ by the way. The weeping and gnashing of teeth is an expression of anger and frustration when those who have wasted their destiny realise that they have missed out on God’s best for them.

Choose

We can choose to serve God or we can make ourselves god; but we can’t do both.
We can choose to follow what God says or we can choose to follow the philosophies of men; but we can’t do both.
We can choose to worship in spirit in truth or we can choose the worship that pleases us; but we can’t do both.
We can choose the lifestyle of holiness or we can choose the lifestyle of the world; but we can’t do both.

“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Our destiny is designed for us to make an eternal difference. Choose it, and nothing can stop us; we will not allow our past to rob us of our future. We are intended to be overcomers, prevailing over every obstacle that is placed in our way.

So will you choose your eternal destiny?

Today I choose to accept my mission.
Today I choose to accept my calling.
Today I choose to accept my destiny.
Today I choose to accept my commission as a son of God.
Today I choose to surrender my will and my ways to You.
Today I choose to serve the Lord.

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SoundTrack: We Are The Free – Matt Redman

“Nothing can stop us, we’ll be running through the night
And our passion will not die…”

The image of Frank Sinatra, taken from the trailer for Pal Joey (1957), is in the Public Domain.

224. Called According to His Purpose

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).

Do you know His purpose for your life? That is what we mean when we speak about destiny. Destiny is not ‘fate’, not ‘que sera sera‘, predetermined without any choice or pursuit on our part. It is God’s pre-agreed plan for our lives – and we can choose to pursue it or not. That choice has consequences for us, not only in this life but beyond.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer 1:5).

We are not all called to be a prophet to the nations like Jeremiah. But each of us is called according to God’s particular purpose for us.

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book (scroll) were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

(Psa 139:16-17).

Supernatural record of God’s intention

At conception there is a flash of light. Our natural DNA carries the natural record of our genetic ancestry, but when our spirit enters at that point, it carries our destiny, the supernatural record of God’s intention for our life. It is deposited within us for us to discover. It is like a letter of decree, a commission for us. We can access our scroll of destiny in the heavenly record room, or have it revealed around the arc in the heavenly tabernacle, but God also wants us to seek out and pursue the promptings within us which draw us towards His purposes for us.

And along with the destiny comes all the provision necessary to fulfil it. If we stay on the path we will find the provision, but there is no provision for pursuing our own agenda if we get off the pathway.

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule” (Gen 1:28).

Adam forfeited his destiny through rebellion and disobedience, choosing the pathway of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but Jesus came to restore and unlock our destiny for us so that we can follow the pathway of the Tree of Life. Creation itself is longing for the day we step up and fulfil our destiny to rule both in the earth and in the heavens (see Rom 8:19-20).

Maturity

Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father (Gal 4:1-2).

We want to grow into mature sons, not to remain as immature children. Our heavenly Father assigns angels, the seven spirits of God and the cloud of witnesses as those managers and guardians who will help us come into maturity so that we don’t miss out on our destiny.

Thus says the Lord of hosts, “If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here” (Zech 3:7).

There is a process revealed here which leads to maturity, following the pathways of relationship and responsibility; a progression from the earthly (servant, bondservant, steward, friend) to engaging in the heavenly (lords, kings and sons). Both heavenly and earthly pathways are necessary for us to fulfil our destiny. When we hear the heart of God, it will lead us to fulfil the call of God: everything we do will come from relationship with God, not for a relationship with God (which only leads to religion and bondage). And God really wants us to hear His heart.

Walking in the garden

Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden… Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden east of Eden to cultivate it and keep it (Gen 2:7-8,15).

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8).

Our destiny is both heavenly and earthly, so we can access both the heavenly and earthly gardens (which originally overlapped). We too can hear ‘the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden’ – and that sound is a frequency, a harmony, a song, a fragrance. The Tree of Life is available to us once more, and the River of Life is flowing out of heaven to water the earth. It is our destiny to engage in this overflowing river: we are its channel as it flows through the garden of our own hearts and out into the world around us. It is a well in us springing up to eternal life (John 4:10) and becoming rivers of living water from which those who are thirsty can come and drink (John 7:37).

Our natural DNA vibrates with the chaos it was created in, but our destiny scroll vibrates with God’s eternal purposes. That frequency, vibration, sound, is being released from heaven right now. Are we hearing it, feeling it or sensing it? Let’s choose to resonate with it; it is calling us back into alignment with our heavenly destiny. If we are not yet tuned in to it, let’s be willing to train our senses through practice to recognise it (Heb 5:14). It is wooing us into relationship, into knowing God by experience and encounterrestoring our identity and authority as sons.

The eyes of your heart

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened (opened), so that you will know what is the hope of His calling (destiny), what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Eph 1:18).

We can engage the river and engage our destiny through the eyes of our heart, our imagination. Our reason is limited, but not so our imagination. As Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited; imagination encircles the world.”

Open the door

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev 3:20).

In the centre of our spirit is the door of first love. Behind it is a river of life waiting to burst through.

Open the door and let the source of life flow from heaven into your spirit.

Picture a river flowing by a green pasture
Lie down in the pasture
With Jesus, the Shepherd of your soul, beside you.

Enjoy His presence
Feel His love, His joy, His peace.
He restores your soul
Touching the deep areas of your life

to bring wholeness, healing and blessing.

Stay there for a while…
Step into the river 
Feel its energy
Touching every atom, every fibre of your being
Flowing through you.

You can breathe in that water
You can drink that water,
Receive life in abundance.

The river flows on
Through the garden of your heart
Watering that garden with life
And out into the world.

Turn, and follow it back upstream
Through the door, back into heaven.
Breathe in the atmosphere of heaven.
Sense its energy, its life, its purity.

Look at the riverbed.
See the scrolls and the gems that are there for you
To provide for you, to bless you, to be your source.

Stand under the waterfall cascading down from the garden of God
Feel it pulsating down, energising you
Let deep call to deep
Revealing the deposit of your destiny within you.

Go up the waterfall (you can do that in heaven)
At the top, walk towards the garden of God.
Jesus is waiting on the bridge ahead of you
Look into His eyes
Feel His love

He is inviting you to hand over every burden
Every weight of responsibility you are carrying
You don’t want to be carrying all that when you go in and meet the Father.

Hand it all over.

Walk through the archway into the garden of God
Experience what it is to be in the presence of your Father who loves you
The One who destines you to rule in the heavens and on the earth.

Just learn to be.

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219. Redemptive Gifts (3) and Other Influences

Mike Parsons – 

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who rules, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness (Rom 12:6-8).

We are continuing to look at the seven redemptive gifts mentioned in these verses: Prophet, Servant, Teacher, Exhorter, Giver, Ruler and Mercy. We receive those gifts at conception, and they affect the course of our lives. But there are other contributing factors that will also influence how the redemptive gifts are expressed in a person’s life.

Parenting

Every child’s parents have their own redemptive gifts, which impact how they view the world and how they raise their children. So the parents’ gifts will leave a very significant imprint on the children, independent of what the child’s own gifts are. Any potential character weaknesses of a parent’s gifting can shape the child as well.

If a child’s parents are servant and exhorter, for example, the child may grow up in a home where the exhorter is financially irresponsible and is living in denial. The servant parent will try to help meet the child’s need, and the child may grow up lacking the knowledge needed to be financially responsible and a good steward of resources, which will be a particular problem if their own gifting is giver!

On the positive side, a child who has the redemptive gift of prophet and is raised by an exhorter will most likely be much more relationally oriented than others with the gift of prophet.

Birth Order

Firstborn children tend to be more driven and perfectionist by nature. Second-born can be competitive or very passive, and the baby of the family is often much more relational and horizontally focused. Being firstborn can intensify all the strengths and weaknesses of any gift (perhaps double the benefit, but also double the challenges).

Maturity

A person’s level of maturity will colour how they live out the characteristics of their redemptive gift at different times in their life. Those who are immature (or those who are not seeking to live in the fruit of the Spirit) will exhibit the weaknesses of their gifts more than the strengths. Whilst none of us has reached perfection, we should all be working on our character issues to grow up to maturity. The recognised weaknesses of our gifting are not an excuse for immature behaviour.

Gender

It is easy to stereotype certain gifts such as prophet, ruler and teacher as being more masculine and servant and mercy more feminine, so that men often reject the idea of being a mercy or servant because they perceive it as being weak. In fact the gifts of servant and mercy have some of the strongest spiritual authority.

Women with the gifts of prophet and ruler often find it hard to be accepted, validated, and nurtured in a church setting, since the natural boldness and strength of their gifts can intimidate some men who traditionally occupy those roles.

Both men and women need to see the beauty of God’s design, instead of trying to be something other than who God made them to be.

Woundedness

Everyone has experienced painful situations and relationships that have left them wounded. Wounds can change our perception of ourselves and of God.

For example, someone who grew up with an abusive authority figure may become very self-sufficient and independent because they believe they have to make it through life on their own. If they are an exhorter, servant or mercy gift, this will seriously conflict with how God designed them to function.

How we are broken, the pain in our soul, our wrong response to pain, the coping mechanisms, and how we compensate for those wounds will influence how our gift is expressed. Any walls of self-protection we build as a way of surviving painful circumstances may hinder the proper expression of our gifting.

Left-Brain vs. Right-Brain

Whether a person is right-brained or left-brained is an organic issue.

Right-brained people tend to see the whole picture. They are generally more creative and emotional, because emotional concepts and messages operate in the right half of the brain. Left-brained people see the various parts, process logically and in a linear fashion, and think more strategically.

Some people have a fairly effective blend between the two sides of the brain and can transition between them with ease, whilst others may be dominated by one side or the other.

Each of the gifts will be expressed differently, depending on whether the person is right-brained or left-brained. For example, a left-brained teacher will look different from a right-brained teacher. Left-brained teachers will enjoy spending hours researching in the lab or in the library, whereas right-brained teachers will flourish in the classroom and light up when their students “get it”.

Prophet and ruler tend more toward being left-brained in their basic God-given essence and expression, whilst the servant and mercy gifts are more right-brained and therefore may tend to be more emotional and expressive through actions, rather than vocally.

Culture and Time Frame

The family, community and time in history in which a person lives can have a radical impact on how they perceive themselves and express their gift.

A woman with a gift of ruler who lives in a culture where women are subservient will likely have a large reservoir of untapped potential if she is not given an opportunity to shine.

Your nation and family of origin also have an impact.

Your family and your community or country have influenced you because of what they needed or what was expected. If you were raised in a nation with a redemptive gift of prophet (such as the United States or Germany), you will have natural affinity for more of the characteristics of prophet, because it is what your culture affirms and cultivates. But this does not mean that your redemptive gift is prophet.

While we are on that subject, notice that redemptive gifts are not restricted to individuals. Nations, regions, cities and churches have them too. Here are some more examples of the gifts of nations, as identified by Arthur Burk:

England – Ruler
Wales – Exhorter
Scotland – Prophet
Ireland – Teacher
Brazil – Giver
Canada – Mercy
France – Exhorter
Germany – Prophet
India – Servant
Italy – Exhorter
Netherlands – Giver
Norway – Mercy
Spain – Prophet
USA – Prophet

In summary, then, we may not know a particular individual’s redemptive gift, but we can observe external behavioural characteristics of the seven gifts. We can observe whether someone is quiet or verbally expressive, whether they prefer to work alone or to be in a group, or whether they are task-oriented or relational-oriented. But we need to bear in mind that we cannot always tell just from observation whether what we see is a true expression of their redemptive gift or is being affected by one of more of the influences we have mentioned.

Here again are the links we gave last time, to questionnaires which can help you identify your own primary and secondary redemptive gifts. But before you jump into them, you might like to read what Arthur Burk thinks of tests such as these!

[Please remember that all of these are only indicators which may give different results, and that those results may be skewed because of the ‘other factors’ we have looked at in this post].

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213. Embrace the New!

Mike Parsons

Moses had an orphan mentality. Imagine what it was like for him, growing up in Egypt. He didn’t look like one of them, didn’t feel like one of them, and probably got sick of hearing the story of how he was found floating in a basket. Apparently abandoned by his parents, he was adopted by the Egyptian royal court, adopted by an enemy system, and he was even a prince within it. Many of us have sought for success in the world’s system, and maybe even been quite successful, but it will never satisfy our eternal destiny. At the age of 40, something rose up in him, calling him to his destiny, but we saw last time how he tried to do it his own way, failed spectacularly, and ran away into the wilderness.

The wilderness prepared Moses for his future, and after another 40 years God called him again to embrace his destiny. His natural identity was as a shepherd, looking after sheep in the wilderness for his father-in-law. Sheep are really awkward and certainly do not always readily go where you want them to, which meant he was well prepared to lead a bunch of obstinate, ill-tempered, quarrelsome people through the wilderness into the Promised Land.

But when he met God at the burning bush, God took something from him: his badge of office and all-purpose tool-of-the-trade, his staff. His natural identity as a shepherd was stripped away from him, and he was given a new, supernatural ‘shepherd-identity’. No longer an orphan or a slave, no longer a success in the systems of the world, instead he was to be the deliverer for a nation. But Moses still had issues.

Let go of the old, embrace the new

Now God was asking him to lay down that symbol of his natural abilities and identity – not just a staff but all it represented: his job, his well-being, his financial welfare and his future. That was the choice he faced.

When he picked it up again, it had become a powerful symbol of all that God was going to do through him. He used that staff supernaturally in the years that followed – he threw it on the ground and it transformed into a snake (Exodus chapter 4); he used it to split the Red Sea (Ex 14:16), to bring water from a rock (Ex 17:6), and throughout Israel’s wilderness journey.

But he had to choose to let go of the old, and embrace the new. It is a choice many of us have to make. Even when we become Christians, we still face that ongoing choice: am I going to do things my way, or God’s way? And your own way never works – you feel uncomfortable around ungodly people and uncomfortable with God – you have one foot in one camp and one foot in the other.

Who am I?

But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” (Ex 3:11).

Moses began to reject his destiny, to avoid doing what God was calling him to do. God was going to use his position and experience, but Moses didn’t think much of God’s HR skills. And ‘who am I?’ – well, he was a prince of Egypt, so naturally speaking he was well-placed for the task God was giving him, but he didn’t want to do it. Certainly he had things in his past which were holding him back, but God is always ready to deal with issues like that. Unlike Moses, let’s not allow our past to spoil our present and hinder our future.

Here am I – send somebody else!

Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” The Lord said to him… “Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.” But he said, “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will.” (Ex 4:10-13).

Either he was unaware of his own abilities, or he was lying to God to try to get out of his destiny (the New Testament tells us “Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds” (Acts 7:22)). And finally he asked God to please send someone else! But God swept aside all his objections and every obstacle he tried to put in the way, eventually agreeing to send Aaron to speak for him.

God wants to set us free

God is calling each of us to embrace who we really are and what He has called us to do. He wants to set us free from everything that would seek to hold us back from fulfilling our destiny: our mind-sets, our slavery mentality, any way of thinking that prevents us knowing who we truly are as His sons.

This Moses whom they disowned, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. (Acts 7:35-36).

How many of us have felt rejected, even disowned, as Moses was? Yet God called him to be exactly what others failed to recognise in him, and even sent an angel with him for the rest of his life to ensure that he accomplished everything He intended for him. And we, too, have angels assigned to us, ready to supernaturally help us fulfil our destiny.

Familiar slavery

All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt” (Num 14:2-4).

God does not want us to miss out on receiving our full inheritance because of the issues in our lives. He wants us to deal with them. Israel saw God come down on a mountain; the Red Sea part (and close behind them, drowning their pursuers); clothes and sandals not wear out; food provided for them every day; and water spring from a rock (twice). Yet they still felt like slaves, and they wanted to go back to the ‘comfort’ of their familiar slavery instead of going in to possess the inheritance God had lined up for them. They continually rejected Moses’ authority, grumbling and complaining.

Robbed of his destiny

That rejection eventually caused Moses to react out of his insecurity. Instead of speaking to the rock (a further dimension of the supernatural that God was calling him into), he went back into his own familiar comfort zone and struck it instead. As a result, he missed out on leading Israel into the Promised Land, and there is no record of him ever doing another miracle.

Moses allowed his need for acceptance and approval from people to rob him of his full destiny. Little wonder, then, that those he led also allowed their issues to rob them of their own inheritance and destiny by refusing to go into the Promised Land.

It is possible to perform amazing miracles and enjoy remarkable encounters with God, and yet still miss out on the fullness of our inheritance. Instead, let’s allow God to reveal and deal with our issues, to heal us of past hurts and transform us into the image He has of us from eternity past.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way
(Psalm 139:23-24).

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212. Who We Really Are

Mike Parsons

We are on a journey from slavery into our full inheritance as children of God. Even as natural children, we start out as babies, infants, and coming into maturity is a process that takes time and perseverance. Yet God always intended us to have a relationship of intimacy with Him, our Heavenly Father: and He wants to embrace us and reveal Himself to us as Father so that we can begin to feel, think, and act like sons.

As we saw last time, we need to be willing to allow Him to heal any relationship wounds which hinder us from having a proper child-to-father relationship with Him.

Characteristics of slaves

Our journey has many parallels with the history of Israel coming out of slavery into their Promised Land. Like them, we may have generational slavery in our family line, yet God wants to bring us into something entirely new. Our journey is from a slavery mentality to a mentality of royalty, knowing our identity as sons of the King. There is both blessing and responsibility associated with that, and so different from thinking of ourselves as slaves:

  • Slaves own nothing
  • Slaves live in survival mode
  • Slaves have no hope
  • Slaves have no expectations
  • Slaves have a poverty mentality

God wants to deal with those slave characteristics in us so that we can know the fullness of who we are and what we have in Him. Otherwise, that spirit of slavery, or orphan spirit, will effectively prevent us from being who God created us to be. If we persist in poverty thinking, our mind will stop us fully engaging with the truth of who we really are.

If you are a slave and an orphan, with a poverty mindset, it demonstrates a lack of trust in relationship. The children of Israel knew God’s works, they saw some of the things He did, but they did not know His ways. As a result, they did not trust Him, as we read over and over again in the story of their wilderness experiences. They had been set free from Egypt, but were still thinking like the slaves they had always been. It is the same for us. We have been set free from sin, and from slavery to a world system that exists to keep us enslaved and rob us of our inheritance, but sometimes it is a real struggle to trust and to enter into a deeper relationship with God.

Every time they faced an obstacle, they blamed God, or Moses, or both. They were motivated by fear. At the Red Sea, it was “Oh! You have brought us out of Egypt and now we’re all going to die. We might as well go back”. On the mountain, when God came down, they wouldn’t go to meet Him themselves and told Moses, “we can’t go, you go for us”. Whenever there was no water, or no food, they kept on grumbling and complaining instead of trusting that God would meet their needs.

They did not know God well enough to trust Him to be their deliverer and provider: they made Moses their intermediary and then gave him a hard time as well, because he represented God to them. Authority figures are always obstacles to people who think like slaves, because they think they are being robbed by people in authority, when in reality those in authority are there to release them into sonship.

Destiny

You see, Moses had a destiny but the enemy tried to destroy it by wiping out a generation of children, just as he would later try against Jesus (with a similar lack of success). When Moses then tried to fulfil his destiny independently from God, using his own natural strength and resources to fulfil the call he knew in his heart, he experienced rejection by his own people, which caused him to run and hide from his destiny.

But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel. And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian. And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him, but they did not understand (Acts 7:23-25).

Many people will not understand who we are, will not understand our destiny. Many people will try to get in the way and prevent us from fulfilling what we are called to do. But we must not try to fulfil it in our own strength, as Moses did. If we have been trying to make our way in life by doing things that make us feel accepted, loved, approved of and valued by others, rather than depending upon God, that will always cause problems.

On the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile them in peace, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another?’ But the one who was injuring his neighbour pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us? You do not mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’ At this remark, Moses fled… (Acts 7:26-29).

How many times have we baulked at the obstacles people have put in our path? How many rejections have we experienced? Have we given up, and fled from what we know is in our heart, just because something difficult happened? If we are not actively pursuing our destiny, what happened to deflect us from it? Every one of us has a destiny from God: when He started to reveal it to us and draw us towards that destiny, did we start to try to make it happen our own way, and mess up?

After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning thorn bush. When Moses saw it, he marvelled at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look (Acts 7:30-32).

Forty years on, God appeared to Moses again, reminding him of where his heritage lay and where his destiny came from – ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.’

And this time, he would do it God’s way.

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211. The Father’s Hug

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Behold I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite their land with a curse (Malachi 4:5-6).

There is a curse, in the world, and the curse is fatherlessness: for some, not even knowing that they have a father. For others, that the father they do know does not match up to the fullness of God’s intention. God wants us to know Him as a real Father and wants us to feel loved and accepted as His real children. He is releasing His Spirit to turn the world back to Him, in an outpouring that embraces who we are as God’s children and releases that out to the world in an experiential and practical way, so that everyone can experience His love.

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Abide in My love (John 15:9).

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35).

This is Jesus’ call to us to live in His love, and it has to be practical. It has to work: as God loves us then we love each other.

My testimony

I want to share briefly from my testimony, from my journey in which I have come to know something deeper about the heart of God.

With my natural dad, I didn’t know love, affection, affirmation, approval, encouragement: really no fathering at all. Even while he was there physically, emotionally he wasn’t; and then he physically left too, leaving a big hole on the inside of me. Not knowing what a father should be, I just thought that was what fathers were like, because I didn’t know any better.

So when I became a Christian I didn’t have a relationship with God as Father. I knew Jesus, because Jesus died on the cross for me. And I know He was supposed to be my Lord. So I knew Him as Lord, but ‘Father’? – it didn’t even compute. It wasn’t that I struggled with it. I didn’t even know that God could be my Father: it was such an alien concept to me. When I was baptised in the Spirit it was like liquid love poured into me. It was an amazing experience. Yet although I felt called to something because I felt love, I still didn’t know where it was from.

The Father’s hug

My first real encounter of the love of God as Father was in a time of worship. It was like God came and put His arms around me and hugged me. I knew that was the Father’s hug. I just felt it in my spirit. Now that really challenged me: how could that be a father? And I suddenly started to realise more about fatherhood. I had a revelation of the truth that God was not like my earthly father. Now you might think that’s really simple but actually you don’t know it, until you know it.

And I had a revelation of that. God started to work that in me, but I needed ministry, I needed help,  because I could not break through into this whole area. So I had some ministry sessions, and God gave me a picture. It was a picture of a photograph, a real photograph that was in our kitchen when I was growing up. It was a photograph of me sat on my dad’s knee. It just hit me like a ton of bricks that this was a posed picture, a sham that never actually happened in reality. And it really, really got to me emotionally. In fact my whole relationship with my earthly father was a total sham.

Forgive and Release

Emotionally it was a really hard thing to do, and I had to really choose to do it as an act of will, but it caused me to choose to forgive him and release him from not being a real dad to me.

It was hard, because I didn’t want to do it: it suddenly hit me that he didn’t deserve it, that he had screwed me over for years – that’s literally how I felt. It really hit me hard. I didn’t let those emotions out right then, but I chose to forgive and release him, and God enabled me to go and see him and give him a hug. He did not know what to do, he stood there frozen as I gave him a hug and told him I loved him. He didn’t know how to respond. I didn’t have a problem with that because I knew the reason was that he’d never been loved by his own father. But when I chose to forgive him, it opened up a whole different relationship with God for me.

Now that was back in the early 1990’s. Then, just before we moved here in 1994, we had a series of meetings in the Castle Centre in the town called More for ’94. One evening I had come up and I was doing some teaching as a prelude to setting up the church. We had a time of worship and all the emotion I hadn’t been able to let out from this whole thing with my dad all of a sudden just spilled out like a torrent. I wailed and I wailed and I wailed on the floor, and all the emotions flooded out. I realised it had all been stored up inside me, and at the end of it I was glad it was gone. That was a powerful experience.

Encounter

Then about a year or so later, I had what I now know was my first encounter in heaven. Again, it was in a time of worship, and this one long note on the saxophone just took me into heaven. God took me on his knee, just like in that sham photograph with my earthly father, but this time gave me a real experience of what it was to be bounced on a father’s knee and played with. It restored something deeper again of the relationship I had missed with my father. God is a great God and wants to restore us.

A father-wound

But in spite of all this, years later when I was on a 40-day fast, going into heaven and seeing God and meeting with Him for 2 weeks, it was Jesus and the Holy Spirit I was meeting with, not the Father. Then Jesus came to me and said: “You need to meet with the Father”. I knew in my own heart I needed to meet with the Father, and yet I couldn’t. Then Jesus showed me a big scar that went right over my heart. I was looking down at this wound and He said, “you have a father-wound.”

And I started to argue: “I’ve forgiven my father. I’ve done everything I can.” He said again, “You have a father-wound.” He spoke to me in that encounter and told me He loved me over and over and over again. And each time He said loved me and I received it, that wound began to disappear bit by bit until it was completely gone. It took about 45 minutes in earthly time (I don’t know how long it took in heavenly time) but it just went on and on, because He just would not relent until that wound was gone. And it went.

Back to zero

Since then my whole intimacy with my heavenly Father has been restored. I hang out with Him in His garden, He hangs out with me in the garden of my own heart. Now that was just the wounds being healed. You see, I might have been minus 60 on a woundedness scale, and some people are a lot worse than that, if they have experienced real abuse from their earthly fathers and others. But although all my wounds were healed, that just brought me back to zero on the scale. I didn’t want to be zero. Zero is better than being minus 60, but I wanted to be on the plus side!

Intimacy

I still needed to be fathered. What was it to be fathered? I did not know because I had never been fathered. So then I had to learn, how does God father me? I had an encounter with Him one morning and I was talking to Him, but I felt something was missing: I didn’t feel intimate. And He spoke to me and asked me “Why do you feel that?”

I struggled to explain, “Because I don’t feel it felt intimate”. He said “Well, what is intimacy?” Now I was looking for the kind of experiences that other people had described. I was looking for intimacy to have all the ‘warm and fuzzies’, and to feel lovely (and actually, sometimes you do get that, which is great).

But God said “When is it you really feel alive? When do you really feel close to me?” So I thought about it. “When You are talking to me and You’re sharing Your heart with me and when You are revealing the Word to me”. He said “That’s me fathering you.” It totally freaked me out to think that I didn’t have to have a relationship like anybody else’s or experience what other people said intimacy was. I could just be me.

And for me, with my redemptive gift, God’s love language to me is sharing with me and just having quality time with Him, quality time in which we just get to hang out together. It doesn’t matter if I feel all warm and fuzzy. Sometimes I just spend an hour with Him and come out of that time with pages of notes, because He has talked to me about stuff. I know He loves me. That is for me what has brought me into a place of freedom. We all need to find the love languages of our Father: how does God love you? What is (or would be) intimacy with Him to you?

Lavished on us

Do you feel like you don’t belong? Do you feel you don’t fit anywhere? Do you still feel like an orphan? Do you feel that no one loves you? Do you still feel rejected? If you do feel any of those things (and others), God wants you to feel His love and acceptance today.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us... (1 John 3:1 NIV)

He wants to lavish His love on you today, so that you will know you’re His child. ‘Lavish’: He wants His love to just overflow, so that it almost seems wasteful, He’s giving us so much love. Another version says:

See what an incredible quality of love the Father has given, shown us, bestowed on us, that we should be given, and named and called and counted the children of God (1 John 3:1 AMP).

prodigal

We are called children of God, and that is who we really are. God’s desire for us is intimacy with Him. The story of the prodigal son is a story of reconciliation back to the Father, and He wants us to experience that reconciliation and restoration of relationship today; not as a slave, or a servant, but as a son, with the full rights of sonship.

I believe that just like the father in that story, God wants to meet you with a hug. If you need a hug from the Father today, come to Him. If maybe you have never embraced the Father in a personal way, take that step today. He wants to hug you, and tell you how much He loves you, as His child. And allow the Holy Spirit to fill you, to shed that love abroad in your heart, so that you feel accepted, valued and appreciated; so that you feel loved.

Related articles from Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC
SoundTrack (also from 1994)

We are the Fatherless – Brian Doerksen

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208. Whose Slave Are You?

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

We are on a quest, and in a battle, to lay hold of and possess all that God destined for us (and destined us to be). That quest and that battle will lead us into deeper intimacy with God.

Jesus is the firstborn Son, but the Father always desired a larger family.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (Rom 8:29).

It is my destiny and yours to be His son (this is not about male or female but about our relationship with our Father and our position as heir). Now, it is all very well knowing as a piece of factual information that we are sons, and even knowing in our head that God sees it that way, but the question we must ask ourselves is, do I feel, think, and act like His son? Am I experiencing that, and living it out? And if not why not? If I am not fully embracing everything God says about me and thinks about me, then I need to know what is preventing me so that I can overcome it, and enter in.

A heritage of slavery

We all started out as slaves. Mankind was in slavery because of what our ancestors, Adam and Eve, did in the Garden. Therefore we are all born into slavery, and we are all spiritual orphans, with a sense of separation from God. Adam and Eve became spiritual orphans because they chose to follow the DIY pathway of the knowledge of good and evil, rather than the pathway of the tree of life that God had designed for them. God wants us to turn away from following the pathway of the knowledge of good and evil, to come back and embrace the tree of life. Even good things, if we do not get them from God, can still lead us into slavery.

So because of Adam and Eve’s sin (that is, loss of identity), naturally speaking slavery is our heritage. It affects how we feel and think about ourselves and about God. Keep going that way and we end up with a wounded soul as a result of trying to meet our own needs in the only way we know how – from the world – and our spirit is disengaged from God and dead to Him. That is what is in our natural family line, and ‘sons of disobedience’ carry on the family tradition.

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest (Eph 2:1-3).

People who do not know God as Father, and do not have a relationship with Him, will carry on in the pattern set up by Adam and Eve. All of us either have lived or do live like that. Yet He never intended any of us to be ‘children of wrath’, and that is why He has made a way for us to live differently.

Whose slave are you?

Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? (Rom 6:16).

Adam and Eve chose to present themselves as slaves to sin, and the result was death, both physical and spiritual. But Jesus has given us a choice now: we can present ourselves to God.

So, whose slave are you? Who is your master?

One master brings life; the other brings death. We have a choice about who we serve, and it is a choice offered to every one of us. I choose to serve the perfect God of love rather than a fallen being who wants only to destroy me.

God so loved

This is how God made that choice possible for us:.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Take out ‘the world’ and substitute ‘me’. It is too easy to read the words ‘the world’ and think it means other people, everybody else, but not ourselves. No, it means ‘God so loved me’. It means that by believing in Jesus I can enter into life rather than continuing in death.

The Amplified version says that ‘God so dearly loved and prized…’ You are a prize, to God. He deeply desires intimacy and relationship with you. As a result of that, He was willing to give His Son so that you could become His child.

Paul puts it this way:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) (Eph 2:4-5).

And,

God sent him [Jesus] to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children (Gal 4:4).

It is by God’s grace and God’s power, through the victory of Jesus on the cross, that we were saved from the path we were going down and brought into this relationship with Him: from death to life, from slavery into freedom, from separation to intimacy.

We are royalty

God has paid the price, and bought us back so that he could adopt us as His own children, just like Jesus. Awesome! How would we feel if the Queen of England adopted us, gave us the run of the palace and access to all the people she has advising her and looking after her? If she said to us, ‘I want you to inherit all that I have’? How special would we feel? That is what the God who made the whole universe and keeps it all together has done for us!

We have been redeemed, bought back from slavery by Jesus, given a new home and a family. We are adopted as sons into the family of the King. We are royalty: princes and princesses, regardless of our history or background. What we have done, what has been done to us, none of that has any effect whatsoever on how God sees us. We look just like Jesus to Him, holy and perfect and righteous. God does not hold our past against us, unlike the devil who constantly accuses us and tries to cause us to remember our past. Since God chooses not to remember it, neither should we!

We have been born again into a new family with a new identity. We have a new heavenly home (which we can engage with now, not only when we die) and are ourselves a home of God. We have a new, heavenly citizenship, and a new (yet eternal) identity and purpose. We have come into sonship, into a relationship with our Father.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you (John 14:18-20).

…and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom 5:5).

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:35-39).

So let’s fully embrace all that God has done for us in His love, so that nothing, nothing, nothing will ever remove us or separate us from the fullness of all that He has for us as His dearly loved children.

Related articles from Freedom ARC
Other resources from Freedom ARC

If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

Are you part of the Joshua Generation?

We developed this just for you:

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Equipping a Joshua Generation of supernatural sons of God to live according to the order of Melchizedek

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*Technology permitting: automated process on receipt of payment and completion of online registration form. Terms and conditions apply.

Soundtrack: Jake Hamilton – The Anthem