“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Colossians 3:2-3 NKJV
I am sitting on a plane going into Karachi, Pakistan as I write this blog and the scriptures above have been my meditation during this journey.
When you pioneer things in the the faith, you have step out in faith, you often take great risk, and you will be often told are you crazy?!
Sometimes the voices here on earth telling you your crazy to take such a risk, can seem louder then the Holy Spirit. This journey has been no exception, people criticized my wife or I for making a trip, questioning what about your son? What if this, what if that.. They were many what if's... Why do you want to do that type of stuff with your life?All of these emotions and worries that were being driven by fear kept coming up. As the voices of opposition external and internal got louder, the Holy Spirit kept opening door after door, and we had to determine in our hearts to do one thing, fix our minds on the things above. God orchestrated this, funded this and we just had to keep our eyes and our hearts on what's above. It's no longer our lives, we gave them to Him! Sometimes, we say it, we preach it.. And God asks us, are you sure you really mean that? Show me...
Are there valid concerns in this life, certainly! Are there valid concerns for this trip,certainly! The question is should this dictate my response to doing what God called me and confirmed to us to do? No.. If my eyes are fixed on Him, if my life is hidden in Him.. Then I yield my life, daily, and say Yes..yes I will go to Pakistan, Yes I will go to North Korea, yes I will plant that church in Cardington! Yes, Lord your servant hears! That is called walking by faith, not by sight or feelings... And it is risky, sometimes doesn't make sense in this world, but it part of stewarding this great seed of faith, encounter and His Spirit that each of us has been give. Faith is not always easy to walk in, but keeping your eyes fixed on what heaven is doing makes it possible! I promise when you step out in faith you will never go back!
“The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.”
Proverbs 10:32 NKJV
If you are walking in the righteousness of Christ, you know what is acceptable, what is real truth. Loose lips don't just sink ships, they sink people, cities, regions.
Our lips need to declare what is acceptable, true and right into atmospheres in our homes, churches, workplaces, and cities. That means coming into agreement with what heaven is declaring not what we see! Speak things that are not as though they are!
Sadly, what we broadcast often is spirit of judgement and call out truth of sin but not anything restorative. Yes, I know sin a mile away when I see it, that doesn't take a spirit filled person to come to that conclusion, after all Pharisees knew what sin was but did not see truth when it was before them.
What if, we began to become spiritual gold diggers, looking for a treasure in a field of dirt? That takes the power of the Holy Spirit to see gold in a person, nation or city that's a mess. Begin declaring the gold the Lord sees into the atmospheres daily in prayer and come into agreement with heaven.
Now to be clear, I am not talking about cheap grace here, being easy on or tolerating sin, ignoring sin or removing disciplining of believers. I am simply saying lets declare what is acceptable to heaven over a city, person, situation. Our lips can sink ships, cities, and people but they can also raise an Army! What will you say this day? We can create an open heaven when we begin to agree and declare on earth what heaven declares!
Pray about making a declaration over your family, city and church!
“By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.”
Proverbs 11:11 NKJV
What we say matters! How many times have we spoken a blessing over our city, our churches, our nation, our region? We have the ability to bless and curse as Ambassadors of the Kingdom but more often then not most believers withhold blessing and unleash a critical spirit over a city or a church.
Above all the gifts and talents the first thing we as believers need to learn to steward is our words.
We know scripture tells us we have the power of life and death in the tounge! Why then do we continue release words in speaking to our friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, and prophetically that do not release life or reconciliation.
Sometimes, we have to be the voice of hope in a city that has lost hope, sometimes you have to be the voice of hope in a church that has lost hope.. Before you speak watch your words.
So my friend are you restoring or destroying! Jesus' ministry came to bring life and life abundantly, the enemy's ministry came to steal, kill and destroy. If your words don't bring life then what ministry are you truly serving? Watch your words- bless and do not curse!
Mark is an Apostolic Leader and global church planter. He is the founder of the Upper Room Church in Cardington, Ohio and he is currently planting a church in Pakistan as well as several regional campuses in Ohio. He is a former combat soldier, teacher, youth pastor, young adult pastor,who has traveled worldwide.