By Eric Reeder
Founder and leader of RISEmovement
This morning I heard, "we can't change history unless we change how God is viewed and how we are viewed."
This seems to be the fundamental work of Jesus. Richard Rohr has said, "Jesus didn't come to change God's mind about man, but rather change man's mind about God."
Too much doctrine has Jesus' Father looking like Zeus. That has shaped hearts who go on to shape history in a courtroom understanding with a distance judge who is a cold arbiter of justice understood as punishment instead of mercy. So we have a punishment based society centered on who did what to who and who is going to pay. Father's heart isn't about who's going to pay. It's about who's going to forgive.
When we are renewed in seeing Him that way, we become those who look to forgive instead of those looking for payment from our offender. This walks out in marriage, parenting, friendships, business, and society. Our view of Him determines how we respond. If we see Him responding in anger and punishment, we'll think that's the way things are to be done. Like any child observing a parent, we will follow what we see of Father.
The view of an angry, punishing God obsessed with our moral or immoral deeds has built a culture of rebellion, anger, fighting, punishment, retribution, and scorn. If we want a different culture in our hearts, our homes, and our cities, it'll require seeing God differently.
We are to understand Father is like Jesus not like Zeus.
By Eric Reeder
Founder and leader of RISEmovement
Jesus isn't afraid of sin. Jesus isn't turned away by sin. Matter of fact, Jesus is drawn to the results of sin. Jesus shows up to display forgiveness. He arrives when death is the result so life emerges. Jesus receives the brokenness leaving us with healing.
Jesus always offends the law and the "protectors of the law". He walks toward the very one rejected by the religious order and selects him. Taking it further, Jesus doesn't just call the tax collector to His company, He goes with Levi to his company. Jesus goes in the house with "sinners" and reclines. Relaxes. He goes right in there. Drawn. Compelled. Lead by Holy Spirit. Jesus only does what He sees Father do. He went to the rejected to give them belonging. He didn't stand on the street and call them to come outside. He went in. Jesus goes in where sin is.
We should expect that even in our own sin Jesus is stepping in. Even in areas of life we fall short, miss the mark, rebel, He is right in there with us. When shame, rejection, guilt wants to yell the loudest, He can be heard above the noise.
Jesus going in Levi's house messed with the "protectors of the law". They were offended and criticized Jesus. Jesus didn't seem bothered. He had brought His disciples and followers right into the house to be among the outcast, sinner, broken, law-breakers. The Pharisees wouldn't even talk to Jesus. But Jesus answered their criticism by say He came for the sick.
Sin drew Jesus. Sickness called Him in. Brokenness compelled Him. He couldn't stay away. He was/is the answer. It would be an injustice for Him to stay away. Love won't stay away.
Sin, sickness, brokenness isn't the final word. Jesus is. He never withholds Himself.
Sin doesn't keep Jesus from us. Sin produces brokenness. Jesus frees us from doing what causes brokenness. He shows us the way of Life and life full of abundance. He went in Levi's house so sin would no longer be the control of their life perpetuating sickness and destruction. Jesus runs toward sin so it's removed and we can live whole. He's like David running straight at the tyrannical giant. Jesus' goodness ends sin's tyranny so our lives aren't under the control of brokenness. Love can't stay away.
by Eric Reeder
Founder and leader of RISEmovement
Jesus was Emmanuel, God walking around with us. He was right in the midst of broken, sick, sinful, deceived people hanging with them without issue. He was in the midst of darkness displaying light at all times. He didn’t push people away, He came to them and then called them to come to Him. He never told people to come to Him without having had moved toward them first. He is not removed in the presence of sin, or sickness, or brokenness. He is close and available and changes the situation.
While Jesus was telling people about Father, there came an amazing opportunity to show people what Father is like. A paralyzed man is lowered down in front of Him. Jesus moves out of teaching and into showing. He wasn’t going to just talk about Father. He was going to display Father. That is an important aspect that we all need to live. We need to show people what Father is like.
Jesus makes one of that craziest statements as He steps forward to take care of this gentleman. Jesus goes straight for the jugular. He goes to the “elephant-in-the-room”. He doesn’t even talk of the disease. He goes to the heart of the matter. He shows us what Father is like. Jesus says, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” What?!
Jesus makes this statement of truth and it rocks their world and rocks ours. Jesus doesn’t announce his forgiveness as if it was never there before. Jesus proclaims what has always been. Father walked in forgiveness toward that guy. He walks in forgiveness toward us. Jesus hadn’t died on the cross at this point. So we have to conclude that the cross didn’t create or provide forgiveness. The cross was the display of forgiveness that was already in play from the goodness of Father. How else could Jesus state that this guy was forgiven if forgiveness was dependent on the cross? This guy didn’t even confess his sin. Jesus just displayed that Father had already forgiven him so now go free and embrace the healing available to you from Father’s goodness.
It’s basically impossible to feel worthy of a healing if you don’t realize your value through Father’s love that has always had forgiveness toward you. That is why Jesus went straight to that point. He wanted this guy to experience Father’s goodness and awaken to his value so we would no longer be paralyzed. When hearts awaken to the depth of Father’s love and value for us it heals what has us paralyzed. Our hearts, our minds, and even our physical body respond to the “all-liberating” truth of Father’s love. Our paralyzed state is remedied and we pick up our mats and live like we never have before.
by Michelle Harding
Founder President of Life by Design Ministries, Hurlock, MD
Senior Leader at Church of The King, Easton, MD
Merriam Webster defines “Roadblock” as:
1 a : a barricade often with traps or mines for holding up an enemy at a point on a road covered by fire
b : a road barricade set up especially by law enforcement officers
2: an obstruction in a road
3: something that blocks progress or prevents accomplishment of an objective
Roadblocks are one of those things that we encounter in life. Where I live, the state of Maryland is building a long overdue and much needed bridge to replace the one that currently stands there. That bridge is a source of great frustration in our community, you never know if it will be stuck open, or if you are on a boat; if it will be stuck closed, or if you will drive over it and pavement begins to fall into the river beneath you. And as we wait on the completion of this new bridge, we encounter roadblocks almost every day. A few days ago, while sitting in traffic waiting for my turn to pass through the one lane open to traffic, frustrated that it was taking so long, the Lord spoke to my heart. He said, “Wherever there is progress, there will be roadblocks, things that will deter, delay, and distract.”
When I looked up the definition of roadblock and saw its various meanings, I was struck at how parallel they are to our spiritual journey towards destiny. In making progress in our lives we will face barricades, traps, and landmines placed there by the enemy of our souls. Dark forces are indeed at work to hinder the progress of the Kingdom of God in us and through us. Often times these seasons feel like a barrage of unceasing enemy fire seeking to enforce the lies that once held us back or mindsets that keep us paralyzed in fear.
Sometimes when there are obstructions on the road to destiny, they are not for our detriment, but for our good. There are times Father, in His deep love and mercy towards us, will allow delays forward to cause us to take a new direction or delay us so things can be made safer ahead. You see, just like the roadblocks I face every day traveling over that bridge here in my community, there are days it is best to wait for things to clear and sometimes it is best to take an alternative route. I look for signs around me that will help me gage the best choice. In the same way, asking Father and being led of the Spirit, we can discern if the delay is best waited on or if we are to seek a new direction.
In my own life, often the roadblocks I have faced stem from unbelief in areas; lies I’ve believed; or a wrong view of Father and my relationship with Him. Still others we face are past hurts, things we get hung up on, and bad habits. Roadblocks to our destiny also include, financial difficulties, divorce or bad relationships, continued sin cycles, job loss, death of a loved one, trauma, abuse, addiction, unforgiveness, depression, self-hatred, or a notorious past. There are many other things that could be added to this list, it is by no means meant to be exhaustive, since each of us have traveled our own roads in this life and have faced many roadblocks in it.
But as the final definition above shows us, the reality is roadblocks can block progress or prevent us from stepping fully into our destiny. We will face roadblocks, but there are truths that can propel us further or shift our current trajectory to step into our destiny. One of the most important to remember is roadblocks are temporary, but how we handle them determines the outcome. The verse that comes to mind here for me most often is Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.”
Trusting Father is essential. Our unwavering assurance of His love is the ground work for every area we trust Him with. Complete knowing, that He is a good Father, a loving Father, a giving Father, and a trustworthy Father becomes the plumb line of every issue of our heart and lives. In my knowing how thoroughly and unquestionable His love for me is, nothing can overtake me.
Another point is we cannot lean on our own understanding. Why? Because often our understanding is skewed. Things like our past, the culture we were raised in, the lenses religion has put on us, wrong doctrines, and just plain bad teaching can distort how we see, perceive, and understand situations, circumstances and people. This is why the next portion of our instruction is so important in Proverbs 3:5-6.
We are to acknowledge Father in all our ways. According to the “Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament”, the word here for acknowledge is the Hebrew word “yada”. In its simplest definition it is “to know”. But a closer look reveals that it is tied to the “knowing possessed by God in which nothing can be hidden” It also speaks to it being something He teaches man and is parallel to wisdom and understanding, instruction, and law. So to sum “acknowledge Him” up it means that if we will know Him, we will taught by Him wisdom in our ways, but it requires a contemplative pursuit of His wisdom and knowledge.
To be contemplative is to make thoughtful observations, it requires reflection, deep and considered thought. It is to be purposeful, intentional, and expectant. And most importantly, prayerful. His wisdom is often mined out of the hard places in our lives if we will be contemplative seekers of Him and His wisdom. So as we acknowledge Him in all our ways, it is important that we are not dogmatic in what we know, but are willing to ask ourselves hard questions and that we are willing to allow the Lord to offend our minds to get to our hearts.
In doing these things we have a promise! And in our knowing of His Love and faithfulness to us, our Father is a promise keeper. So, He promises us as we trust Him, not leaning on our own understanding, and acknowledge Him in all our ways, He WILL make our paths straight. We can trust Him with the roadblocks and we can trust Him to lead us forward or around the obstacles. Your destiny is straight ahead!
by Chad Waller
Lead Pastor of Vc2 Tennille, GA
Author of "Ash Sculpting" and "Synergize"
Owner of Waller-Hill Publishing
I find it interesting that many creative people struggle with depression. Though this may seem like a generalization, it is founded on many years of observation and on my own personal experience. Depression, in a very true and insidious way, tends to short circuit creativity. It causes us to misplace our confidence that things can get better. May I remind you that hope is not a wish, but is a confident expectation of the goodness of God. It is confidence that God's goodness still prevails. However, as we give place to depression, we begin to think there is no use in trying, pressing on, or working anymore towards a favorable outcome. Often, this seems to be when people become exasperated and simple want to give up. Feeling they have lost their creative edge, they bang down on the keyboard, throw away the canvas, rip up the page, or walk away from the project at hand.
As I am writing this, I realize some may possibly think this far fetched and maybe even silly. Well, I am writing in particular to creative people (i.e. Artist, Musicians, Writers, Dancers, Actors, etc.) and I am confident they can connect with this thought. The feeling that nothing seems to be coming out the way you feel it, hear it or see it. This moment often causes us to feel down cast in our souls. We can begin to misplace our hope by looking to ourselves as the source of creativity and wondering what happened to us. You must stop and remember who is your source!
Psalm 43:5 "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God."
So when our soul is cast down, or may I even say depressed, there is turmoil within us. This turmoil causes us to struggle with creativity and makes it difficult to even focus. The battle within us can be fierce and produce much disruption that keeps us from accomplishing what we desire to create or even creating anything of significance.
It is interesting that David tells his soul here to hope in God or to have confidence that God's goodness still prevails. He speaks to his soul and encourages himself that he will again praise God. He reminds himself that God is his salvation and simply that God is his God! I find this so important because God is my source. He is the Great Creator and I, His creation, have been entrusted with creative power and I create for His glory and honor. I have to remind myself that He is the source and I am only a channel of that creativity being released from the source of all life! In Christ, and by Christ and through Christ all things exist! And it is all for His glory! So my confidence and hope are in the Lord!
I am certain that discussing this could cause someone who suffers with depression to say I am being insensitive or possibly that I don't understand how hard it can be for those who fight depression. The truth is, I have fought depression much in my life. So I don't speak as an outsider looking down on anyone who deals with this. And yes, I know there are medical things that can cause depression. I also happen to know that our God is known as Jehovah Rapha, the Lord my physician, and that Jesus Christ bore my sicknesses and all my diseases on the cross! By the stripes of Jesus I have been healed–spirit, soul, and body! So I don't just lay down and accept any disease, be it it physical or emotional, but I stand declaring what the Word of God says!
I cannot give place to depression in my life. It short circuits what I have been called to do and created for. It stifles my creativity and slows down my creative juices. Depression causes me to focus on myself and my problems and not on God and is often caused by me being more self absorbed that Christ focused. My life is not my own, it belongs to Him and as I fellowship and commune with Him, more creativity flows than I ever dreamed possible. It flows from a place of confidence. It flows from a place of hope. Deep inside I see that I can make a difference and things can be better. Then I stop focusing on the negative and I begin to see the limitless possibilities that Father God wants to release. My soul places its hope and trust in the Lord and I find wells of creativity. Then I create from that place–that place of HOPE!
Hope in the Lord oh my soul, He will not fail you!
by Chris McKelvey
Founder of Fire Starter Ministries
What comes to your mind when you think about Authority Leadership and Power Leadership?
I would like for you to take a moment and write down what you feel is the difference between Power and Authority according to
your world view. Then continue this study.
One has a Father’s heart towards leading and the other has an Orphan's heart towards dominating and controlling. Here are the definitions that we will be focusing on, so that we are all on the same page…
Authority~ The skill of getting someone (or a group of people) to do something towards a common goal with
enthusiasm and camaraderie.
Power~ The ability to get someone (or a group of people) to do something towards a common goal because of your entitlement.
There are two key words that separate the definitions: the word skill and the word ability.
Moving people skillfully is hands on.
The word skill in the dictionary means~ to work upon. Watch how this works. As we walk in Authority, we skillfully work upon each individual to move them towards the common goal. We want to move them towards the common goal, not push them. Moving people skillfully is hands on. This is the Father’s mentality: to help people to move others in the direction of His will. Being right beside them, moving them towards the goal and when the
time is right, we release them to accomplish the goal through their gifts, talents,
No one likes to be pushed to the ground.
The word ability in the dictionary means~ possession of the means …. to do something.
Power is the ability to push people towards the common goal. Just because you’ve been given the entitlement of a Mother, or the entitlement of a Husband, or the entitlement of a
Pastor or the entitlement of a Boss on your job, does not give you the right to push
people around. This is the Orphan mentality...“My way or the high way”. It is not hands on like the Father’s mentality, but rather it’s pushing them towards the goal and leaving them out to fend for themselves. Walking dominantly in the power of your entitlement really can turn people off. That kind of attitude pushes people into getting the job done, but it can cause strife and disharmony. Unfortunately, the gifts, talents, and anointing to do the job, gets stifled. The Father’s mentality moves and the Orphan mentality pushes.
The Father’s Mentality moves and the Orphan mentality pushes.
“Authority” is skillfully working upon each individual and “Power” is forcing your ability of entitlement .
Authority moves, Power pushes. The Father’s mentality moves people with
a hands on approach. The Orphan mentality pushes people away and its
hands off with no real guidance. Real Authority is guidance with freedom;
where Power is abandonment with chains of restrictions. We need to walk in
Authority Leadership so that we can utilize all the gifts, talents, and
anointing a person carries for the Kingdom sake.
Authority is guidance with freedom, Power is abandonment with chains of restrictions.
Our next study will bring us to a breakdown of even a greater proportion of the definition of Authority.
by Elexio Baillou
Founder of PAGA
Author of "The ABC's of Prophecy"
Itinerant Conference Speaker
Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas
Because the commission of God's Apostles is national and multi-national in its sphere and reach, it will require individuals gifted and graced to accommodate the advancement of God's kingdom in such a work, first among which is the prophet.
Prophets unlike Apostles are not always national and multi-national officials. Rather the uniqueness of their gifting and revelatory administrations makes it so that they are able complement the work of God's Apostles within the territory assigned to them.
Consider it this way, The Apostle can be compared to a sower who plants seed (word and works) within their particular metron which if given the time and right environment will bear much fruit. However, this is only so if in fact there are 3 things in operation:
1. The right climate
2. The right soil
3. The right protection.
The Right Climate:
Herein is where Prophets are indeed essential. Prophets by nature are both thermostats and thermometers. They have an unusual capacity to determine the atmosphere within a particular sphere in which they dominate. Thus, they (like thermometers) can with time and training determine the readiness of a region to receive what God has given to an Apostle and like thermostats they can adjust the atmosphere to a degree that the people and realm is prepared for what the Apostle has to release therein. This is very much Prophets tend to be so passionate, adamant, and skilled in worship and intercession. Their makeup is such that they can do what is necessary to mobilize the kind of climate needed for what God would do for the advancement of His kingdom through His apostles. This is why you will tend to see them mobilizing prayer, worship, and intercession..it is done to PREPARE the way ..even as John the Baptist
The Right Soil:
Prophets through their preaching and teaching and other revelatory expressions will prepare the soil, which are the hearts and minds of a people called to receive the Apostle's doctrine. They will plow and press until the soil of people's hearts until they are prepare for the corporate movement of God's Spirit in and amongst them for the express purpose of advancement and territorial change. Every farmer will tell you that it is fruitless to sow seed into dry, hard soil. Doing so will make the work all the more unproductive and difficult. Yet, Prophets can mobilize people in unity and oneness making the word of God through His Apostles more effective and their work far easier.
The Right Protection:
The greatest word to describe the work of God's Prophets is SHAMAR. To shamar is to guard, to watch, and to keep. Prophets do on earth what God does in heaven, they watch for the performance of His word and His intention. Thus it is not unusual to see prophets laboring tirelessly to see the facilitation and full manifestation of what He has pre-ordained and dictated to occur. They will boldly confront any and all things deemed demonic and hazardous in its effects. They will rebuke it, confront it, expose it, and compel it to leave through whatever means necessary. Simply put, prophets will labor to remove whatever is perceived to be a threat to the advancement of God's Kingdom, which comes through His Apostles.
This more than any other reasons is why Apostles and Prophets must learn to co-exist. Their relationship though many times conflicting and challenging is nevertheless essential, and it is only through mutual honor, submission, and co-laboring will what God has designed to be released come to pass. For the work of the Prophets protects what God is doing through His people will the work of the Apostles bring clarity to what God is doing. We cannot afford to have one without the next.
by John Paul Sprecher
Leader and Founder of iloveyouson.org , Malachi Miracle Movement, and YoungLions
Hello RISE family! I want to apologize that I did not write my blog last month, but I have a reason that will prayerfully be sufficient. On April 28 my beautiful and radiant bride Paula gave me my second son Judah Edward Sprecher. Since then our house has been bursting with FATHER’S LOVE at new heights…and a few baby cry’s and dirty diapers scattered in between! Abba is so good, and I can share with you that my personal fire and experiencing of Father’s love has never been stronger. I want to share with you this month some stirring from Father that is happening deep in the vaults of my heart. I pray it makes sense and will cause a RISE inside you of Father’s love during this month of Father’s Day!
I was holding Judah late one-night last week, and Father spoke to me, “My son, in the same way you love holding and beholding the new life in your arms right now, I experience an even greater measure of this feeling every time a life is BORN AGAIN into Me. The overwhelming joy of the father’s love I am giving you right now is to bless you because I love you, and to share with you a taste of what I feel in My heart towards EVERY child that I am Father too.” Immediately as Father spoke this, my heart flooded with fire, deep affection, and revelation about His heart-beat. Father’s love brings both the most intensely STRONG and delicately TENDER revelations of Him into our inner being! That is the best way I can describe what is happening to me, and my prayer is that this will continue to happen to you and the RISE family continually. Yes, more and more Father of You!
Father’s love has no match and no rival in its effect on created life. Jesus absolutely knew this, and knew His Father. He knew the power of the Father-child relationship being restored back to its perfect union! That is why He was willing to pay such an unimaginable cost to unite Father and child back together again. Now, we are truly beginning to know what Jesus knows. Now, we are beginning to awaken to Father and the full power of this relationship being restored into its perfect union! Guys, the planet will not be the same because of this! Whole cities, churches and families will be radically restored as Father’s love hits the hearts of men and women like a fresh bursting spring coming up from the deep…hitting the deep places inside us! The greatest movements and shakings of our time are not going to come from evil…but from the heavenly collision of Father and His children being reunited again!
Blessings RISE Family
by Matt Brown
Founder of RISEaboveLouisa
MATTHEW 8 23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. 24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm
27 The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!”
I'm going to challenge you to take a look at the the story of Jesus calming the storm from a different perspective. We are going to look at this from the perspective of a Son/Daughter, not from someone who is unsure of their identity. Most (if not all) of the time that I hear this story told, it is told from the perspective of the disciples. When the boat began to rock and water began to fill the boat, they began to run around in a panic because they didn’t yet understand who they were, or who Jesus was for that matter... but Jesus was able to sleep through the storm because He knew who He was. He knew He was a Son and knew that He had the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of Him.
We too often live life without this powerful realization. We have the very same Spirit living inside of us that raised Jesus from the dead. The same Spirit y’all. Not a similar spirit, not a spirit kinda like the one Jesus had, but the SAME Spirit. This is exactly why Jesus said we would do even greater things than He did. When we settle it in our hearts that we have this same Spirit dwelling inside of us, it’s a game-changer.
The Bible doesn’t tell us the names of who was on the boat with Jesus during this storm. We can assume that at least a couple of the disciples who used to be fisherman may have been on the boat at this time. During this storm, they reverted back to what the world told them they were, not who they were in Christ. Matter of fact, they couldn’t have fully understood who He was quite yet. Their fear and distress was a direct result of their lack of identity. They didn’t know who they were and they allowed the atmosphere to control them because of that.
When they came to Jesus for help, He was asleep in the boat. Upon awakening He got up, spoke to the wind and the waves, and the storm stopped. He knew who He was and He knew the power of the Spirit that was living inside of Him…. and when a Son or a Daughter is secure in their identity and is walking with the realization that the Holy Spirit is active inside of them, they can sleep during storms. They can speak to the winds and waves of life and calm the atmosphere.
Sons and daughters change the atmosphere, the atmosphere does not change them.
Recently I heard the song "Carrier" by Nathan Isaacs and the lyrics are as follows (paraphrased):
I call this viewpoint the elevated perspective - as opposed to the whiny, defeated, “poor pitiful me” Christian perspective that seems to constantly fill my facebook feed. Sons and Daughters who are secure in who they are don’t allow the atmosphere to change them. Sons and Daughters who are secure in who they are speak to the atmosphere and things change. Sons and Daughters aren’t what the world tells them they are. Sons and Daughters carry Father’s authority. The identity of a Son or Daughter isn’t wrapped up in what they used to be… Their identity is secure in who God says they are. Be a Son. Be a Daughter. Sleep unphased during your storm. Speak to your storm. Speak to someone else’s storm.
“And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
2 Corinthians 6:18
Pastor Mic Cox of The Anchor Parkersburg talks on how we lead and pastor people in hope. Excellent input and insight in a very needed topic.
Click for the short audio:
Eric Reeder is joined by other leaders of RISEmovement to reveal the heartbeat of The HOPE-filled Gospel.