by Eric Reeder
Founder and leader of RISEmovement
Jesus walked right into the very thing that opposed Him. He didn’t walk into to condemn it or contend with it. He walked right into it in His authority as Son and the atmosphere changed. He began revealing Father not as a scribe that talked about God from a second-hand experience. Jesus spoke of Father from a first-hand relationship. He wasn’t quoting someone else’s idea of God. He shared who He KNEW Father to be.
This authority was a refreshing shock to those around. To have someone carry such life and settledness was totally impacting. It set a new tone and awakened hearts to see there was more than what they had experienced. Jesus was in the midst of the “old” releasing the “new”. It captured hearts and attention.
Right in the midst of the religious, dead order was the presence of the demonic. It was never threatened or nervous to be among the lifeless place of the law. When Jesus brought the light of life and the goodness of Father onto the scene, the demonic responded and was exposed. These demons recognized the Son. There was a different authority from a son then there was with the institutional leaders in their titles and speeches. The demons recognized their work was going to be destroyed. It was going to be able to remain because the Son addressed them.
This freed that individual and liberated the hearts of all there because they saw the “new” operate and it caused an awakening throughout the region. The Son brought a revelation and revealed an authority that required hearts to consider what to do with the difference they just experienced.
I am calling for an era where SONS enter lifeless situations not to prove something of themselves but reveal Father and see that authority liberate and awaken souls and systems!
May we recognize our relationship as sons authorizes us to change atmospheres and expose the hold of brokenness so the dark hold on hearts and homes is released and removed!!
Jesus didn’t run away from the demonic. He showed up and the demonic ran. When sons show up, that which titles and positions couldn’t remedy is resolved. We must have sons walking into religiously bound territories, dark territories, demonically captive territories and release the new, fresh revelation of a good Father. Churches need sons. Businesses need sons. Government needs sons. Families need sons. Cities need sons. Nations need sons. History needs sons!
Walk in who you are into any situation.
by John Paul Sprecher
Leader and Founder of iloveyouson.org , Malachi Miracle Movement, and YoungLions
The United States of America is locked in an epic battle for who will lead it. Everywhere there are voices competing for our ears and our votes. Promises promises…and more promises. These promises are spoken out to mostly pessimistic, but at the same time, hopeful hearts. Many people hope and pray that maybe this will be the year that our nation finds its way into our “promised land”. Our potential presidential candidates are trying their best to say what the masses of their parties want to hear. They are locked in an unending dialogue of personal self-promotion, personal self-exaltation and comparisons. It is a vicious game we play for the prize of sitting in a place of power over the nation.
If we dare to look a bit deeper, this whole process is rooted in a very orphan-driven system. This fallen process is what has been burning in my heart as God’s son living in this hour. Is this orphan, self-promoting, put down and beat each other up “flesh -fest” the kind of HOPE we are really looking too? Is this system the only way to get power to bring HOPE to the nation? Is there no other real alternative? These questions are stirring like fire in me! Is this the best we have to offer our children, the needy and those broken by the very injustice this system brings?
“Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins that He might deliver us from this PRESENT EVIL AGE, according to the will of our God and FATHER.”
I believe with a resounding cry the answer is NO! This is not the best we have to offer. This is not the only way available to bless and lead a nation. There is a higher WAY! There is a FATHER-BASED system of doing things! There is a WAY of God-promotion, God-exaltation and God glorification that will bring the wealth of Abba’s Kingdom to America in full. That WAY is Jesus Christ, the great “anti-orphan” who opened the door to a whole new WAY for the world! Father has released HOPE in and through His own daughters and sons living in America today. The WAY is working through us to help America find its way back HOME. Friends, we absolutely must pray for our national government and candidates, but we must remember that there is a far better FATHER-BASED system for America to live in! As we seek Him to open our eyes to its power and potential – lived out through powerful authentic spiritual family united from city to city – our nation will see that there is a GOOD Father who is actually delivering us from this present evil age. There is a greater and better alternative to HOPE in. There is ABBA FATHER and His own blood bought family on the earth… poised and positioned to turn a nation back to HIM. Oh, there is such HOPE in the FATHER LOVE for us!
by Janet Henry
A hope FILLED gospel is a perspective change. It lacks the pressure of feeling like we need to do anything to be in right standing with God. Getting into the presence of God and the word isn’t a ritual that is required to be a Christian. The perspective change is understanding that we find ourselves, our identity in God’s presence and in His word. We find LIFE!
Don't you feel your best when you've been in His presence? Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the LIFE.” When do we feel the most inspired, encouraged, joyful, hope filled? When we've been with Jesus, right? It's because HE is LIFE! It's not about the messenger who brings a great word, it's the LIFE in Jesus that your spirit, soul and body find nourishment and healing and IDENTITY. It's not about empowerment. It's not about what you can do or become...it's about who you truly ARE! You're fullness is in HIM. Your LIFE is IN HIM.
I believe when Jesus asked the twelve disciples if they were going to leave after many others had left, Peter had a glimpse of his recent walk with Jesus and how he had, for the first time, experienced LIFE to the fullest. His identity was changed, he saw himself as Peter, the Rock. Jesus asked “do you want to leave to?”, and right in front of Peter stood the option of LIFE or death, so crystal clear, that all he could say is "where else would we go?"
“I have set before you LIFE or death…choose LIFE!” Deut 30:19
by Matt Brown
Founder of RISEaboveLouisa
God has been speaking to me about His breath for a couple weeks... Here is what He says!
God says that since the very beginning, the moment His breath entered the atmosphere, LIGHT began (Genesis 1:3).
It is a beautiful bright light that can never be extinguished. This light defeats all darkness (John 1:5) and is the source of all true HOPE (Hebrews 6:19).
Then, just like with Adam, when His breath mixes with our flesh, LIFE occurs (Genesis 2:7). instantaneously, abundantly, and eternally . He says that once this simple, yet extravagant mixture takes place, it can NEVER be undone (Romans 8:38-39).
There comes a point where His breath is our breath & our breath is His breath, completely indistinguishable.
When God breathed Jesus into Mary's womb, He impregnated her with the ONE (Jesus, aka God in the flesh) who would go on to change the trajectory of the world forever (Luke 1:26-38).
Jesus said that we will do even greater things than Him (John 14:12-14). So what God said to me was, I have impregnated each of you with the One (the Holy Spirit, aka God inside of me) who can change the world. Every follower of Christ gets God's breath injected into their DNA and every follower of Christ has the ONE who can and will and does change the world. And every follower, just as Mary surely did, wonders if they are worthy, if they are capable, if they can handle it.... And God, the Creator, the Equipper, the Comforter, says YES!!!
Now go change the world. Do even greater things! God says He isn't just with us.... He is inside of us, inseparable from us, and our amazing journey on this side of breathing oxygen is getting to be along for the ride, becoming more and more like Him.
He says keep breathing my Sons and Daughters, keep breathing. It's your nourishment, your protection, your comfort.
by Eric Reeder
Founder and leader of RISEmovement
Alignment = arrange in appropriate relative positions; a position of agreement and alliance
Hebrews 9:10 - … until the time of reformation.
Greek word for reformation here is: diorthosis which means “to make straight or aligned”
Ezekiel 37:1-10 is all about alignment. It reveals how the breath of God brings things into its appropriate place for maximum contribution. When we see things, and even ourselves, in dry conditions and having minimal effect, we should investigate if there is proper alignment.
Ezekiel saw this valley of dry bones separated and out of alignment. The bones were dry and non-functioning. It is amazing to see these same bones standing and being an impacting force once the breath of God brought them into alignment.
Alignment is key to so many things. The planets are aligned properly, our homes are to be aligned as God prescribes, our spines need alignment for optimal health and mobility, a car needs aligned to drive well, an army must be aligned in mission and as a unit, and we all need the right alignment in relationships. Alignment speaks of agreement and contribution.
All of these examples provide insight to the importance of the agreement each part has to another and what each part does in relationship with another. Alignment is vital to anything with purpose and a requirement to function. In other words, life and progress happen from proper alignment.
Hebrews 9:10 is a unique verse in that it is the only place the word reformation is used in scripture. The book of Hebrews is so amazing in how it lays out the depth and scope of Christ’s supremacy over the old covenant. The author of Hebrews was presenting the gospel of the New/Better Covenant and how it supersedes and abolishes the Old. It is calling those of the Old Covenant and each generation forward to align with Christ and the New/Better Covenant He established. The Greek word diorthosis is the root word to the English word orthodontist. You can see the picture. We are called to be aligned and made straight in the work of Christ. It is amazing that the concept of alignment is used in the extremely vital requirement of being in Christ. It really puts weight on the understanding of alignment.
I think the modern Church has not emphasized alignment much because the view of the Church has been predominately a “sheep fold” instead of an ambassadorial army (Ecclesia / Matt 16:8). As long as sheep are within the fold or pasture, they are free to roam and go about as they please. They get to eat and sleep, but at the end of the day, not much progress or advancement is made. That gives us a picture of sheep just waiting for something to happen, and if they can just stay in the fold they will be ok. But God has called the Church to much more than wondering around, eating, sleeping, and waiting for another day. He has called us to restore ruined cities, disciple nations, and display His glory.
In order to advance in this assignment, we are required to adjust/reform from the disjointed, independent, roaming around way of Christianity. We must come into alignment with relationships, direction/vision, leadership, and understanding that will allow us to contribute in ways that cause advancement of His purposes. This brings dry, separated components into formation and to their feet as a glorious force of His Kingdom.
Generations must align, families must align, congregations must align, businesses must align, and leaders must align. Alignment brings order. Order brings power that overwhelms chaos. The absence of chaos provides a fertile place to thrive.
by Elexio Baillou
Founder of PAGA
Author of "The ABC's of Prophecy"
Itinerant Conference Speaker
Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas
In an effort to continue our previous discussion on the topic of the five-fold ministry, I thought it would beneficial if we would begin this aspect by speaking about the ministry of the Apostle. However, though I could develop an extensive, systematic discourse on the Apostle, I thought it would be beneficial instead to share from my heart regarding the Apostle as opposed to a lengthy discourse at this juncture.
Typically whenever the term Apostle is utilized in this present day, many different images are conjured up within the psyche of its hearers due to the fact that this particular administration though very much present within the corporate Body of Christ and the world today, it is still not understood and those who authentically and divinely endorsed to manifest its power and wield its authority not readily embraced. As such we tend to ignorantly and unintentionally ensure the stagnation and forward motion of heaven’s agenda in and through us corporately as a Body, as well as curse our own selves to immaturity and being tossed to and fro by the many nefarious doctrines in operation within the world today. Thus, we must take time to understand, embrace, support, and glean from God’s Apostles as He has always intended.
As many of us understand it, the term Apostle is derived from the Greek word APOSTOLOS meaning “sent one”. However, many of us do not realize that individuals called by the Lord as Apostles are in fact the spiritual equivalent to the General’s within an army sent by the King of a faraway country for the express purpose of colonizing and culturing a region and territory that was very much diametrically opposed to the kingdom from which they emanated. Thus God empowers, ordains, commissions, and enables them to represent Him within the pre-defined regions they are sent to.
Such individuals sent by the Lord Jesus Christ are given the responsibility to bring the Kingdom of God into a living breathing reality wherever they are SENT and are empowered to bring forth the revelations given to them for the express purpose of indoctrinating and baptizing a particular community of people in the truths given to them. As such, we can typically identify such individuals by the messages they preached and taught and fully expanded in the Body of Christ. They pioneer new revelations and establish entire works and affect regions through what God has spoken to them.
For example, Jesus brought about and taught us the revelation of the Kingdom, Paul revealed to us the New Covenant and Grace, Dr. Myles Munroe revealed to us the mystery of Purpose, Dr C. Peter Wagner revealed to us the mystery of Spiritual Warfare and the Apostolic Ministry, Dr. Lance Wallnau revealed to us the mystery of the Seven Mountains, and Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams revealed to us the mystery of Territorial Prayer. The list can go and go on and will likely go on into eternity as God mobilizes Generals into each generation for His express purpose.
This is because the Lord has made it so that every Apostle sent by Him and from Him are given a specific commission which in operation will find manifestation through them and pierce the darkness of the lives of all whom they touch and affect the regions into which they are sent.
After serving the Lord from the time of my early youth to this present stage of my life, I have had the privilege of seeing this administration in operation in many different ways, from extraordinarily mature to very perverse. I have seen great fruit within my life because of the service of great ones and tasted the bitterness that can be wrought from immature and perverse ones. Yet, as I consider the era in which I live and this moment within Church here in the western part of the world, my heart even more deeply yearns for the expression of true Apostles that are Christ-like in fruit and function.
Without such a revolution and progression we risk raising up another generation of Christians who are as frustrated, confused, and lacking clarity corporately as we have in this hour. The very demonic forces and attacks the Apostle is meant to counteract and counterattack will themselves continue unceasingly drawing the church more and more into the hands of the adversary who will only utilize such opportunities to destroy, discredit, and denigrate God’s Body.
However, the Lord in His wisdom and omniscience has seen this hour and has been progressively re-instating the Apostle in their proper position within the Body of Christ, and we are now able to see the re-instatement of this administration and thus glean from its strength.
by Chris McKelvey
Founder of Fire Starter Ministries
There are moments when leadership can be a weird thing. Sometimes its so fast and furious and at other times it's slow and peaceful. Whether your in the camp preparing for battle or on the front lines, I believe we must have a "Paul," a "Barnabas," and a "Timothy" in our lives to keep a sense of balance.
Paul, is someone you look up to. A spiritual leader that you know who has experience and wisdom. Someone that impacts your life with integrity and knowledge. Pastor Drew is my Paul and I always try to include him on any major decisions in my life.
Barnabas, is someone who you can run to. This is someone in your life that is a true friend. Your confidant and prayer warrior. Someone you can have spiritual intimacy with and know everything about your life and still has the capacity to love you for you. Now, if your married please understand that your mate is or should be your best friend. But as a leader, you should have someone of your respective gender to be that Barnabas. My buddy from Bible college, Jason, has always been there for me and I for him. We have weathered many storms together and rejoiced from many mountain tops.
Timothy, is someone you can pour into. This is a person that looks up to you who wants you to share your wisdom and understanding with them. I have a few young men I mentor. Eric and Tye. Both are in their late 20s and love the Lord with all their hearts. I talk with them every week and our families get together ever so often.
Each one of these "musts" are very important to a servant leader and are vital to our standing on solid ground throughout our walk of life.
Which one would you say you struggle with? Usually, the Barnabas, among most leaders, is the most challenging. Having to open up to someone and really let a person know your strengths and weaknesses doesn't sound that appetizing. If you will let your guard down, God will bring along side of you that person who will be there for you through thick and thin.
I will finish with this thought.
A threefold cord is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
Look up to...
by Michelle Harding
Founder President of Life by Design Ministries, Hurlock, MD
Assistant Senior Leader at Church of The King, Easton, MD
We know when building a structure, before we build there has to be a solid foundation. The greater the edifice, the more important the foundation. So, as we begin to unlock our prophetic destiny, it is just as important that a solid foundation is laid in our lives. I believe this starts with being firmly established upon the bedrock of our identity as sons of the Living God. All too often, we cry out to God to know our destiny, to know our purpose, to understand why we are here. The problem with this approach is, we have somehow come to believe our destiny is locked up in what we do rather than understanding that who we are releases what we are to do.
I believe we see this modeled for us in the life of Jesus. Before Jesus entered His full time ministry, He went to the river Jordan to be baptized by John (Matthew 3:13-17). In verse 17 we read;
"and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." (NASB)
I am struck by the Father's choice of words here, Son. The Father could have said, "This is the Messiah, My Prophet, the King of kings or Lord of lords. But, instead the Father said "This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased." On the mountain when Jesus was transfigured and spoke with Elijah and Moses, the Father tells Peter, James, and John (Matt. 17:1-8),
"This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him! " (Matt. 17:5)
The launching pad of Jesus' earthly destiny was released from the affirmation of a good and loving Father to His beloved Son. Above anything else, Jesus was the Son of God and knew the love of His Father.
'Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him, that you may marvel."' (John 5:19-20)
These verses in John give us a beautiful glimpse in to the relationship of the Father and Son. I wonder how often we've read this passage and thought that Jesus only healed or delivered someone if God was in heaven doing it at that exact moment. But in reality, this verse is about Jesus' intimate knowledge of His Father. Jesus is showing us He knew His Father's heart. He knew that His Father's heart was to heal, to deliver, to liberate, to love. He had such an intimate revelation of the Father that when any saw Him, they had seen the Father. Hebrews 1:3 tells us Jesus was the exact representation of the Father's nature.
To pull this together, what I hope we see here is that Jesus' destiny in the earth was released from the place of sonship and that sonship flowed from a place of intimacy. Jesus knew who He was and He knew who the Father was. This truth is foundational for us to walk in our destiny as well. Knowing our love and acceptance as a son and to know our Father intimately. To know we are His beloved son and in us He is pleased. We are His children and we are so loved, and so accepted.
Look at these passages:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John1:12-13)
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:14-17)
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27)
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are.” (1 John 3:1)
We will walk most powerfully and fully in our destiny when we are rooted in our identity as sons of God and flow in our destiny and purpose from the place of intimacy with our Father. We are His children, born of His Spirit, a brand new creation. We are a new breed, empowered by love, clothed in righteousness, and crowned with authority. A right understanding of who we are positions us to walk in our destiny and to receive the fullness of the inheritance of the Kingdom of God. From this place we find our purpose and the Father reveals all we are to do.
by Pastor Mark Wargo
Lead Pastor at Cross Current Church, Port Huron, MI
Author of "Beyond Betrayal - No More Broken Churches"
One of the biggest detriments for all leaders is the trap of the fear of man or people pleasing. I have found that many, if not all, church leaders have struggled with this at some point in their leadership tenure. The biggest challenge typically comes in their earlier years of leading, but when not dealt with has the potential to derail and destroy any leader. It’s an area that Father wants to help his leaders grow through and He will use anyone and anything to help us get over it. The bible tells us that the fear of man will prove to be a snare and if you have experienced this at all, you know that this is true!
Prov 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
The fear of man, or people pleasing is the obsession of what others think about you. Many times, a leader who is a people pleaser is so overly concerned about the people they are leading that they can miss the direction of God completely. It’s when a leader says ‘yes’ when he really feels to say ‘no’ or visa versa. You know the decision to make and yet you won’t because of fear. A leader who strives to please people more than Father can have an appearance of ministry momentum, but the fear of man proves to be a snare and eventually you will see that you are trapped in it. Been there, done that!
If you’re going to lead your people and advance the congregation the right way, you must overcome the traps of people pleasing: Here are some practices to help you.
* Trust what you feel:
You don’t need everybody in your corner. You just need the right people. You’ll find out who the right people are when you step out and do what Father is leading you to do to. Point: People may have hired you at a church, but they did not call you or anoint you for the task. God did that so trust what He is leading you to do. Don’t allow the voices and approval of people dictate your leadership. What I have found many times is that the biggest cheerleaders are the ones that will leave you when you stop the fear of man! And there will always be those who will leave you badly and there will always be those who love you greatly.
* No Fear Allowed:
When I was in the season of breaking the people pleasing, I posted a sign in my office that said ‘No Fear Allowed’. This was a reminder to me that fear would no longer dictate what kind of leader I would be. I find that leaders who are people pleasers are inundated with fear. Fear of man. Fear that if one gets upset and leaves, that everybody will. Fear of making wrong decisions. Fear that lack of confidence within will be exposed, etc. We all have to wrestle down the fear issue. Make the decision today that you will no longer allow fear to dictate your leadership.
* Be Secure:
Leaders who are people pleasers are insecure. The lie is that with more and more people agreeing with us, the more secure we as leaders will be. That is not the truth. It is only a façade. Don’t base your security on how much people like you, but on how much Father loves you. God’s plan is that His leaders would be secure in their calling. Insecure leaders are wishy-washy leaders and people really want a leader they can trust. Stand up today, see Father looking over you. Be secure in being a son/daughter today.
Advancing congregations begins with us as leaders. As we become healthier, we will lead healthier, and the people can become healthier.
You got this!
by Chad Waller
Lead Pastor of Vc2 Tennille, GA
Author of "Ash Sculpting" and "Synergize"
Owner of Waller-Hill Publishing
The birth place of our creativity is so important. We see something that we believe we can make a difference in, we have an idea, an invention or simply a new way of doing something that is going to make things better, but what motivated us to see this? Is it hurt or hope? I ﬁnd the two positions will often effect the outcome. I also ﬁnd they are worlds apart.
Living with hurt, instead of forgiving, allowing God to heal it and moving on into wholeness, produces an overwhelming selﬁshness in our lives. When in this condition, everything we do seems infected by that hurt. Even when we create things, it comes from a place of selﬁshness and self-serving desires.
The difference in creating from a place of hurt or a place of hope speaks to the amount of healing we have allowed our hearts to experience. I have encountered folks who were hurt in church so they launched out to do church "differently" because "nobody was doing it right" and they had creative ideas that they believed would make a difference. The problem is unless we allow God to deal with our hurt and bring us into healing, we birth things from that place of hurt. The greatest of ideas and best laid plans, though maybe well meaning, will be seasoned with ﬂavors of resentment and bitterness and will possibly only lead to more hurt. We must learn to create from a place of hope.
Hurt can be such a subtle thing. I believe it is easier for some people to cover or hide hurts more than others. Many of us may express our hurt and possibly are even very vocal about it. While others tend to hide the fact that anything bothers them. Either way, if not dealt with, hurt produces things in our lives that are toxic. The hurt of rejection from a parent, that caused you to swear to never be like them, the pain from an abuse or the sting of a broken relationship all produce within many of us a desire to not allow that to happen to us again. And this leads us to create something else. The proverbial "I'm going to make something out of my life" promise that we make, sets in motion an attempt to create out of hurt and not out of hope.
The difference is the heart. Hurt can cripple our ability to create by the power of the Holy Spirit and to walk in all that Father has for us. That is why it is so important that we forgive, let go of the past, stop living as broken slaves who have simply been rescued for some future event and start living like the sons and daughters of the Most High God! This does not mean you simply forget what has happened that might have caused you hurt, but it does mean you deny it the right to hurt you or control you any longer!
Children of God were born again into hope! Our God is a God of hope! We have the creative force of the Universe living inside of us and the power to create and form things because our Father has made us in His image and ﬁlled us with creative ability. All of us! We no longer seek to change things because we have to prove anything to anyone. Sons don't need to prove anything to anyone. We seek to create, release, and extend the Kingdom because we are ﬁlled with the conﬁdence that our Father desires good for all men. We see things that can be different and better because we have ideas, witty inventions, better plans and we release these, ﬁlled with the conﬁdence that God's goodness prevails in all situations!
We create from a place of hope knowing our Father's goodness prevails!
Eric Reeder is joined by other leaders of RISEmovement to reveal the heartbeat of The HOPE-filled Gospel.