Redefining Normal

We can’t properly understand what is abnormal until we understand what is normal, and just because something is common does not mean it is normal. Contrary to popular belief, normal isn’t what most people do.  It isn’t what is common.  Normal is the way God created things to be and thus how they function properly- not what they are given the influence of Satan and fallen man, which corrupts. Normal is the original intended purpose of a thing, or the standard by which all else is compared.  And abnormal is the degree to which we vary from that. Normal is what we should all be striving to get back to.  In short, we need to view normal the way that God views it, not the way fallen man views it.
It is common for man(kind) to be arrogant and proud. It is common for man to be rebellious and selfish. It is common for man to sin and reject God. But none of this is normal. None of this is the way it was intended to be.  None of this is the standard to which we should strive.  All of this is far from what God intended at creation or intends for us now.
I am so angry and tired of people who normalize sin, apathy, abuse, lukewarmness, worldliness, idol worship (In America that looks like the worship of sports, celebrities, money, status, etc.) and all the other things clearly laid out in scripture as not of God.  And I don’t care if the whole world decides something is “okay” just because “everyone does it” and it’s therefore “normal.”  I don’t care if every professor, government official, and psychologist in the world says something is “okay” or “normal”.  If it falls short of what God originally intended then it is NOT okay.  It is NOT normal.  It is NOT the standard.
And while we all fall short of God’s standard, that does not mean we get to lower the bar or change it to our liking.  I’m not trying to be dogmatic or lacking in grace.  I’m simply trying to express that God doesn’t change His standards just because we fail to meet them.
The bar is already set. God says “Be ye perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:48).  This has been and will always be the desire of God.  When we face God’s throne, we aren’t going to be judged based on the average level of sin per person.  We aren’t going to be weighed in the balance compared to our neighbor.  We’re going to be weighed on one side while Jesus – ultimate perfection – is on the other side.  We’re going to be judged and compared to perfection and held accountable for anything and everything that falls short of that.
God is going to point at Jesus and say “this was the standard set for you, this is my normal”.  And we will clearly see all the ways we fall short, except this time, we’ll have no more excuses and what government or society deemed “okay” will no longer matter.  We will be judged in comparison to Jesus’ perfect example and whether or not we lived up to that, not the hellish standards of fallen man.
Those who live in perpetual awareness of the difference between our lives and Christ’s also live in perpetual awareness of our lack – our depravity – our impossible state.  They’re the ones who continually cry out “Abba Father, forgive me a sinner unclean.”  They’re the ones who both know and desperately cling to our High Priest and perfect sacrifice, Yeshua.  Because we know that it is only by His blood and His works that we are saved from God’s judgement and wrath.  Oh, how deeply our souls know our own depravity.  How painfully aware we are of our need for Him.
It’s when we start normalizing the sin which is common to man that we stop seeing and feeling our need for Yeshua and start thinking we’re “okay” simply because we’re common.  Let us never fall into the trap of thinking that God has lowered His standard of perfection just because we decided it didn’t matter and thus began our slippery slope away from Him.
Yes, oh yes, how deeply we need to redefine normal.  How much we need to see the gulf between us and Him, so that we may know that it was never because of our works that we were saved, but only because of the perfect work and blood of Christ that we have been saved from wrath.  How unworthy we are, and how worthy He is.  Glory be to God for His love.  For He truly is the author and finisher of our faith.
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The War Drums Beat


On Sunday morning, I arrived early for an appointment and stopped at a local park to drink some coffee and wait.  This is what I saw.  Immediately I recognized this scene from the last dream I had (see Dream Of Martial Law).  This is almost exactly what I saw in my dream, except in my dream the moon was much closer and bigger.

I sat here praying.  Praying for God’s Spirit to move upon His people to bring them closer to him and to protect them.  Praying for God’s Spirit to move and convict the lost and bring them into the fold of His protection.  Praying for my own heart and soul.

The last two days have felt very heavy in the Spirit.  A seriousness and solemness along with a sense of alertness.  The Spirit has been convicting me of sin in deeper ways and bringing my own heart into a deeper sense of repentance.  The urgency feels tangible.  The heat of the Spiritual battles going on right now are intense.

I pray that all those who are marked by Christ be found safely in the shadow of His wings.  I pray that all those who are lost will run full-speed into that safety…before the Spiritual battle reveals itself in the physical…because it’s close.  So close that if you put your ear to the ground, you can hear the war drums beat.

The Black Horse Dream

I had a few dreams last night, but I only remember this one.


I was sitting inside a glass house with friends.  It was dark outside.  We all knew we were in the beginnings of the times of judgement.  We knew we were in the White Horse time period, but we were still somewhat complacent.  Nothing really bad had happened yet so we had no emotional sense of urgency about anything.   Perhaps we were a little more awake than normal but we weren’t afraid.

Suddenly, there was a whirlwind of black smoke and out of the whirlwind came galloping a black horse.  In the dream I was aware of the different horses in Revelation but I was confused because I knew the red horse is after white.  The black is supposed to come after the red so I was looking to see if it was really black.  I confirmed it was definitely black (the color black does symbolize death and destruction but it was out of order).  I was confused because of the switch in colors and didn’t understand what was going on.

We were immediately overcome by the smoke and horse and we had no time to escape or hide.  Everyone was scrambling and I immediately fell to my knees praying that God would seal me and hide me from this horse judgement and protect me from it all.  I knew that God would protect me if I was sealed by Him.  I wasn’t sure why the colors were out of order, but I knew I needed to pray that I be marked and sealed for protection.

I knelt and prayed, then I woke up.

Truth Arising

I wrote this blog four months ago but apparently forgot to publish it.  I just found it in my drafts folder and read through it.  Oddly enough, it seems even more apropos now than it did when I wrote it four months ago.  This world is changing quickly and I believe we are entering into the close of this age of grace.  I pray so hard that the blind will start to see and those who sleep will awaken to the truth and realities that surround us each day –  before it’s too late.


God has been greatly moving these last months and as expected, the climate is heating up.  The winnowing continues as secrets long kept in darkness are brought to light.  The keepers of secrets are scrambling, projecting their evil onto truth-tellers in a desperate attempt to get the limelight off themselves, demonizing those who expose them, and eventually hoping to lull everyone back to sleep.

Those who are spiritually awake can see through the smoke screen of lies, but those who sleep still follow them.  The winnowing continues to polarize people as those who wake up begin to take a stand against the corruption and those who don’t continue to perpetrate it.

Though I see the temperature heating up and the polarization becoming more pronounced, these lies and deceptions are ancient.  Whispers of the enemy so subtle we believe them without question, as though they’re our own thoughts.  As though they’re just universal truths.  We rage against the real truth without even knowing we’re doing so…or why.

It’s always the same with evil and while it’s presence seems to be a continual surprise, it’s methods are always the same.  Sometimes I wonder how hopelessly deceived people must be in order to remain so blind to what surrounds them every day.  Scripture speaks so often of evil, even exposing it’s methods that we may recognize and avoid it.  And yet we remain blind and led around like sheep to the slaughter.

 

 

 

These Present Sufferings

Sometimes God makes you struggle for a long time before giving you understanding as to why.  Sometimes the understanding never comes and you just have to struggle your whole life without it.  Other times the struggle and the understanding come together.  I like those times.

I have a mixture of both these days.  There are long-sufferings so old I’ve long given up hope of  seeing resolution on this earth, and then there are shorter frustrations that turn around pretty quickly.

Like today, the internet went down at work just as two groups of customers walked in.  “Perfect…just my luck”, I thought.  I made the first set of drinks hoping the internet was just experiencing a glitch and would come back on so I could take their credit card payment.  No such luck.  I took the second set of orders and apologized that it was taking so long.  When I explained that my internet was down, one of the men in the second group said it was okay, that he could pay with cash.  He then offered (or rather insisted) on paying for the first set of customers in cash as well.

This sparked a short conversation about currency, during which a lady walked in and got in line.  She paid for her drink in cash, but then decided to add something else to her order.  The second group of customers had left (the ones who paid for the first group’s order) but the first group was still there.  To pay it forward, they left cash to pay for the lady’s order before they left.  She wasn’t aware of what had happened, so I explained it to her.  She was so touched by the gesture, she left $5 to pay for whoever came in next.  That $5 is now sitting under my register waiting for the next customer who walks in.

As luck would have it, my internet returned right after the whole group left and now I’m standing here wrapping my heart around it all.  My very first thought when the internet went down was “great, of course this would happen to me…”.  But now, not 30 minutes later, at least two people were blessed because of it…something that never would have happened if I was able to take that first payment.

I wish all frustrations in life were so quickly resolved.  But God is also showing me tiny glimpses into the long-sufferings that have plagued my life for, well, all my life.  Least of which being the torments and traumas that have so mangled my inner being.  The evils of this world bother me more than most, I think.  Probably because I have lived my entire life on the losing side of them…a fact I’ve been giving God my what-fors about lately.

Today He showed me something, though.  He gave me a glimpse into the inner-beings of the so-called “winners”.  You know, the ones who always seem to have life work out for them, get what they want, somehow always get others to give them things/serve them, etc.  He showed me inside the ones who don’t have the slightest idea what struggle and suffering really is…and it was not pretty.  In fact, it was so ugly it turned my stomach and changed my mind around from “why me?” to “thank you, Lord.”

He showed me that there is a choice between an easy life with a sick, petrifying soul or a difficult, suffering-filled life with a purified one.  Each soul can either submit to the purification process, which means submitting to suffering, or they can reject it..in which case Satan is right there, dressed like an angel, waving a “This way to the easy life!” sign.  And most people follow that sign…that road is wide, after all.

But given what He showed me, I’m happy choosing the difficult life.  Injustice bothers me more than anything in the world, and that’s not likely to change.  But God showed me something – that those who have it so easy never make it to the mountaintops of God’s presence.  Why?  They never develop the legs for it.  So many people sell their spiritual heritage for ease and for comfort.  They get winded and turn back to their comfy chairs and baby bottles at every inconvenience…how could they ever survive the storm that is our Lord’s presence?  And it is a storm.

So I stand here again and thank God, even for the sufferings I don’t understand.  Why?  Because I know it is producing in me a strength that will one day be able to withstand the all-consuming fire that is our God.  Our perfect, omnipotent, fire of a God.  And on that day I know that I will bow at His feet having accepted the sufferings from his hand (not always gracefully, but accepted nonetheless).  And I’d rather do so as a weather-beaten warrior than a whiney little baby.


So thank you God, even for the sufferings I don’t understand.  Because I know that in you, no suffering is wasted.  Give me grace to trust you more, and more than anything….come.  Lord Jesus, come.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. – Romans 8:18

 

 

 

 

Dream: The Sleeping Lion

I used to dream so many dreams.  Or at least, since I hear we dream every night but don’t always remember them, maybe I should say I used to remember my dreams much more.  My dreams were always so bright, vivid, colorful, and God would speak to me in them.  Some were so prophetic in nature it was a little scary.  But the last year or two have been full of dark and silent nights and I’ve wondered what happened to my dreams.

Last night, I dreamed again…

I dreamed I was laying down in a small little space, not terribly sleepy but I was supposed to be in bed.  Suddenly, there was a lion laying next to me.  A huge, beautiful, golden lion.  He was sleeping next to me in this closet-like space but instead of thinking or feeling any sense of danger, it was the most comforting and safe feeling I’ve ever felt.  As I lay there, my arms wrapped around him and I buried my face into his majestic mane.  He was so soft and warm, I lay as close as I could to him and rested so happily in his majestic presence.

In the closeness and safety of the moment, God spoke and I knew the lion was going to wake up.  I knew as soon as he awoke there was going to be judgement on the whole world and all the nations.  I knew this was the moment the Great Tribulation would begin.  I knew it would be so swift and sudden that nobody would expect it.  I knew it would happen all at once.  Everything we’ve ever known to be true about the world was going to change in a moment.

Suddenly, I could hardly contain myself.  The anticipation was so great it filled my soul to the brim and I knew I’d never be able to sleep so long as we were on the precipice of such an event.  I was so awake I knew I’d never be able to sleep now…all I could do was wait for him to wake up and all I could feel was intense…almost unbearable…anticipation.

I got up and sat down next to him with eyes trained on him so expectantly – like I didn’t want to miss a thing.  I wanted to be the first to see his eyes open.  I wanted to be RIGHT THERE with him the moment he awoke.  In my mind I kept thinking, “Wake up!  Wake up!”  I wanted to scream at him to see if he would awake, but I knew the timing was not in my hands.  I only knew it was going to happen suddenly, and that I wanted to be right there and ready when it did.  I could hardly wait.