KEEPERS OF THE FLAME. LET NOT YOUR FIRE GO OUT!
Posts Tagged With: Priesthood
“And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.” (Ex. 19:18)
GUARDIANS OF THE FLAME.
“The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.” (Lev. 6:13)
Redeemed from fire by fire! Yes, T.S. Eliot said it well. Consumed by either fire or fire. Consumed by grace or sin. Am I on fire for God? I have been charged by God to never let the fire go out! Guardians of the Flame!
How do I live with fire? How do I feed the flame so it never goes out? What is this heroes journey? To slay a dragon, to save a city, to live in such a flame.!To light yourself on fire and live there. Where does such a life come from? It is not five of the six archetypes inside each of us. It is not the Orphan, the Innocent, the Wanderer, the Altruist, or the Warrior, but it is the Magician, the Mystic, the Priest.
You must step across the line of mere mortal and flesh, and into Spirit and Priesthood. Blessed art thou Simon, for flesh and blood hath not revealed this to you! Only God can create a bush that is on fire but not consumed. Try to do this in your own power and you will fail. It will be a strange fire, not of God, and you will be consumed, not eternally sustained. “Priesthood is a supernatural lifestyle of surrender”. (Try to explain that one.) It is mystic. It is the highest level of existence in unity with God. And every one of us is called to it. Being a Christian is more than just being a good person, it is a Priesthood.
Priesthood is a supernatural lifestyle of surrender.
If you’ve never truly been on fire, and if you’ve never truly surrendered, then you know not of what I speak. Neither do you likely believe it, and certainly not crazy enough to try it, after all, look at all the things you might have to lay down, and then what? What if you could not get them back? What if it really did cost you something, like it cost our Lord? Even that fear of not getting it back betrays you. You are not Mystic, not Priesthood, but you are still in a fearful, selfish, carnal state, and you have not tasted of God’s ultimate peace, or joy.
I find myself writing words stronger than I expected. Can I explain any of this? Hhmm, Jesus walked on water. I think water offers us a lesson. I use to be a terrible swimmer, and because of that I had a fear of drowning. My wife, who is an excellent swimmer, tried teaching me how to float, so if I ever got in such a situation, I could simply lie on my back and float. It sounded good. It made perfect sense, but there was one problem. The more you “relax”, the more you “let go”, the better you float. If you tighten up like a rock, you tend to sink like a rock, and sense I had a fear of drowning, guess what? I found it extremely difficult to float. It was very hard to relax and let go when fear was gripping me. Try it some time. You’re scared to death but you’re going to begin mentally relaxing each muscle, slow your breathing, and command your heart to slow as well. Mentally, it is a very hard thing to do, to slow the racing heart gripped in fear.
Nevertheless, floating was there for me. It was there all the time, I simply did not have the faith to tap into it. I was resisting the water, instead of surrendering to it, like a mighty eagle surrenders to a current of wind. Most of us live as little flapping sparrows, not soaring eagles. But don’t we all long to be the soaring eagle? God longs for that for us, and he offers it.
So what does this have to do with feeding the flame in us? ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!!!
If we will not surrender to the supernatural habits of a priest in Christ, i.e. a quality prayer life, faith, fasting, obedience, God’s Word, and God’s holiness, then the fire will never be sustained. This supernatural flame that fills the universe with passion will be lost to us.
Do we not believe God’s word? Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these other things will…?
Yes, this is too much for five of the archetypes in us. But not too much for the Mystic, it is where he lives! It is where he burns with passion and thrives! Because he has learned the surrender that feeds the fire! He has gone to the cave and received a God-given vision! Now he is on fire with it, like Merlin who got the vision for Camelot! And then he raised up a King Arthur, who drew the sword from the stone!
No, you would not want to live such an authentic life. That life burns too hot for most of us. We would not dare to be so alive.
A book I once was impressed with, I have puled from the shelf to remind myself of. No, not everything I read is scriptural, but I must admit this book impressed me, about these six archetypes in all of us, and a heroes journey. The book is: “The Hero Within”, by C.S. Pearson. Of course the teaching has passed through my own filters, but I’m mixing some of that into this series. There will likely be more.
Fire purifies. There is a supernatural path bordered with flames, and so alive, not many dare to walk it. Just the Mystics, the Priesthood. The Spirit of God can take us there, if were willing to enter into that supernatural surrender, get a vision from God and burn with it! It’s hard to think about yourself when you’re filled with such passion. As a matter-of-fact, you won’t even miss yourself. Good riddance to the one that was slowing you down. The true Mystic and Priest understands. Just as I eventually learned to float, so can anyone seek God and learn of this way we speak of. The Bible is the authority on this powerful life, and Jesus is its author. (“For we walk by faith, not by sight:”) II Cor. 5:7 Faith…a powerful supernatural force practiced by God’s Priesthood.
“To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and be transformed is to be a pilgrim.” – Mark Nepo (Taken from book: Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters by Dick Staub.)
“The same followed Paul and us, and cried saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us THE WAY of salvation.” Acts 16:17
Luke Skywalker did not know it, but as he went about his drab and dreary day upon the desert planet, his whole life was about to change. He was about to take not only a physical journey, but also a spiritual one, on his way to becoming something more, a transformation. He was so restless within, anxious for a great adventure. He was outgrowing his current environment, but was he ready for an encounter with Obi-Wan? Ready or not, it came. Have you outgrown your current environment?
Many are called but few are chosen. In the parable of the sower, he was casting his seeds everywhere. Those seeds were scattered into ditches, on the road, in some fields, some on good ground and some on bad. Many different things happened to those seeds. Some died on the hard ground. Some died for lack of water. Others took root quickly, but became distracted by cares of the world, weeds choked them out, and they did not make the journey. But some…fell on good ground…made a journey…were changed in the journey… and produced.
It’s so easy to be distracted. Many times we settle for way less than were capable of because we don’t want to discipline ourself to the heroic journey. Yes, there is training and discipline involved to have Jesus Every Day Intense and Judge Every Day Inspired. J.E.D.I. Theology is for those who are looking for something more, a transformation, an heroic journey that changes you, and you’re willing to pay the price to become that person, come what may.
The power is in the Priesthood. What do I mean by that? The price we pay is to learn how to live as the priest we are called to be, involving such disciplines as quality prayer, redline faith, willing sacrifice motivated in love, fasting, study, speaking to mountains, arresting the devil, standing in the gap between man and God and offering a hand up. It is a physical and spiritual journey. It is a hero’s journey. It requires courage, a sense of mission, the vision of the need, and a passion for the purpose. It requires your true commitment to rise above the “settled for” life, to live like a man or woman on a mission, because you are.
There is A WAY that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the WAYS of death. We are God’s people of THE WAY. We need to be that people in this earth. There is a way for us to live that is powerful and full of peace and passion, if we will rise to it. Jesus is that way, as we pray, Holy Spirit master me. Will the ripples of our life make a meaningful difference in our neighborhood, our city, our earth? This is J.E.D.I. Christianity. “JESUS EVERY DAY INTENSE!”
THE ENCOUNTER III > This story is written as if fictional, but it is not, I’m living this every day. This is one man’s attempt to take up the mantle of being a caped crusader for God. I am caped in God’s Covering, and Indianapolis is my city. God says, My Gotham needs me.
The next time Don rode the bus back into downtown, he was ready, blog site cards in his pocket, and wouldn’t you know, it just happened a Christian Ladies Convention was in the city. Coming up an escalator he found the Panera Bread with a line backed clear out the door! “What in the world is going on?” He saw Bibles and Christian books in hands and on tables. In no time at all he had discovered an opportunity to hand out blog site cards, and so he did, but this was not really his target audience.
He only handed out a few before finding himself back in the Garden Center, sitting on a bench and watching all the moving people again. “What is it, Lord? What’s the next step? How do I reach those people? The ones not already carrying Bibles in their hands.”
He looked at his possible points of employment he had written down. As of yet he had applied at none, but it had to be downtown. Starbucks? Chick-fil-A? Subway? These were the main possibilities. If he wanted to meet people, and make connections, food offered his best chances. He was a little nervous about being the old man amongst so many young people, but he decided he could play the role of “grandpa” if needed, for surely that is how he would be seen.
“Time to get some more prayer power going,” he concluded.
Don was actively involved in a small church of around forty people, but he also had a close friend in another church who had asked him to join them for early morning 6:00a.m., Tuesday morning prayer. Now he had tried to get a prayer group going at his church, but so far it just wasn’t working, and here was another church asking him to join them, and so he would. It would not be easy at 6:00 a.m., a definite sacrifice, but Batman had his way to save a city, and so does the caped crusaders of God.
“Can’t get too much prayer. This has got to be soaked in prayer. I need your creative wisdom, Lord. I need my steps ordered of you supernaturally. People are tired of the same old kind of out reaches. Got to be something different, fresh, new, exciting, and especially anointed! My blog site is ready. I have this tool but it is not enough of itself. I don’t have the whole picture yet.”
Thinking about his own prayer time that morning, “What about Chris, Lord? Why did he come to mind when I was praying today? I haven’t seen that young man in at least two years. I wonder what he is doing now? Still selling insurance? You want me to find him? Hhmmm, I don’t know. He moved way out east and northward somewhere. Facebook? You want me to try facebook again? DO I HAVE TOO? Okay.”
Another manhunt. A connection lost in time. God’s bounty hunter would hunt and find as the pieces of the puzzle slowly come together. Soon…many pieces are about to fall, but first…more prayers.
THE ENCOUNTER III > This story is written as if fictional, but it is not, I’m living this every day. Do you know your specific assignment from God? Have you heard a call in your heart saying: “Gotham needs me?” This is one man’s attempt to take up the mantle of being a Caped Crusader for God. I am caped in God’s Covering and Indianapolis is my city.
As Don lay in his bed that morning, fighting the early morning fog in his head, the voice had been clear. Two trips downtown walking around, loading his soul with images, thoughts, prayers, and questions to God, finally something had come through, and it was the preparing of his Batcave!
In the next room was his computer with Internet access around the world. For two years he had faithfully maintained a blogsite with a cowboy theme, because the old Don had been a truck driver, but now everything had changed! Twelve month of spiritual sabbatical and he was no longer a truck driver, never to return! At the moment he had no job at all, other than a Priest of the Most High God seeking entrance into a city, to become a guardian, a light invading darkness, and now he knew his first line of attack.
In his soul he suddenly knew, the blogsite was a tremendous tool, a Sword of Light ready to penetrate a city, but it had to change. He thought about the downtown college campus. These young people would not be attracted to a cowboy, but what had he become? How had these twelve months changed him? What was to be the new message and theme? All this had to change. And then he would create a blogsite business card that was easily handed out. Anytime he had a God encounter with someone, he could hand them a card and all they had to do was go to the site for a mountain of teaching and the opportunity to stay in contact! It was so obvious! But what would be the new theme?
“BROKEN WINGS THAT SOAR”.
Climbing from his bed he was filled with inspiration. Walking into the dark room, flipping on the light, there it was before him, a portal to his city, and the world, but it needed to change, and much time would be spent here. This would be his Batcave! His place of focus and research. His launching pad for this invasion of God’s Spirit into the city. The place he would sit meditating, listening for a word from God, waiting for the ordering of his steps, a place of complete dedication, a place of donning his cape from God, his mantle, God’s Covering, everyday before making a move, operating in the power of his Priesthood.
Hours were spent that day making changes, and he had no idea how great the potential would be, for he did not know that in just a few weeks he would reconnect with someone showing him a building full of people, downtown, sitting at computers, maybe 500 of them, going on line every day, and could just as easily go to a site called “BROKEN WINGS THAT SOAR”, as anything else. Step One was now in place. The next time he went downtown his pocket would be loaded with a simple little card reading, “Broken Wings that Soar”, and an address of “The Encounter”.
“THE ENCOUNTER III” > The story is written in fictional form, but it is not fiction, I am living this every day. Signed: Don.
Don was anxious to get a feel for downtown, but it was Wednesday and there was Church tonight. Nevertheless, he still felt led to do it, and if he was going to, then he had to do it right. “It’s not by might, nor by power, but by thy Spirit, Lord.” Have we forgotten what that means? I think we have.”
His coffee was half gone as he pondered, still setting in the dark and journal by his side. “I had forgotten, Lord. I know you have your remnant. You always have your remnant, but I don’t think they are around me. Who’s preaching it? I don’t hear them anywhere. You had to almost break my back to slow me down enough to hear. I hear ya, Lord. Push the plate back. Fast. I’m going out tonight on a spiritual walk-about. I will fast this whole day until sometime tonight…downtown…I’ll know when it is right. By thy Spirit, Lord. Have we forgotten what that means? If anything supernatural is going to come of this, I’m a Priest. I’m gonna do it right this time, Lord. I’m bringing back the ‘old ways’. The devil is going to know a ‘caped’, a ‘covered’, an ‘anointed’ crusader has come to town.”
“This is war, Satan. Yeah, that’s right, I’m talking to you. It’s no secret. You’ve heard my prayers. No sense being bashful about this. God is sending me into the streets of downtown and you already know it, already planning your devices and setting your traps. We might as well be honest about this, I see your face on a ‘wanted poster’ on every wall, and I’m God’s Bounty Hunter. I come in the name of the Lord, in his priesthood, and there will be sacrifice. I’m not the fool I used to be, Satan, when I used to fight you on your terms. I’m coming in the name of Jesus, and I’m coming for you. There will be sacrifices, and I will remember who the real enemy is. It is not my fellow-man, but it is you Satan. It is you. The evil running rampant in the streets is you. My fights not with them, my fight is with you. I fight ‘for’ them, to see you defeated in their life, and so I pray, and I fast, and I come to you in the power of a Priest, for what is a Priest of Christ about if it is not sacrifice? And what is love if it is not sacrificial? Have we forgotten, Lord? I think we have. Thank you for reminding me, Holy Spirit.”
Church service ran later than normal that night, and as Don climbed into his black 1990 Dodge Ram pick-up, it was already dark. He slammed the door, and then slammed it again because it did not always catch the first time. He sat there for a minute listening within, to his soul. He had not expected Church to run this late, did he still feel led to catch a bus downtown? He had studied it out on the Internet. He needed exact change, $1.75. The 10th street bus stop was closest to his home and it ran straight downtown. He would be walking the streets after dark, but there would still be plenty of lights and activity. He could pray at Monument Circle, get a feel for things, set on a bench in the Garden Center and watch people below, assuming he survived the bus trip.
“Yes, I still feel to go. Grab the lion by the throat and don’t look back.” He turned the key in the ignition switch and duel pipes rumbled to life. He liked the sound of that thunder, because that is the way he felt.
“Playing Your Cards Right” #4.
Which is it at your house, a Thanksgiving turkey… a Thanksgiving ham… or both?
I dare say for most of us, it is both. We have so much to be thankful for in this country. This is Thanksgiving day and everyone will be very busy with family and friends, just as it should be, but let us be careful that list reads: family, friends, and God. Let us be intentional about it.
In Series #2 we talked about the power of the attitude of gratitude. The Pilgrims knew what it meant to go hungry, I mean really hungry! Most of us do not. For all Priest of God, every day should be a day to play our Thanksgiving hand.
When Jesus healed the 10 lepers, only one came back to him and said: THANK YOU. Jesus asked, where are the other nine? That one ex-leper played his hand better than all the rest that day. He played his cards much more powerfully because he was truly grateful. The others may have thought they were grateful, but they were mostly just excited about how lucky they had just gotten. Too busy enjoying their new health to take the time to thank the One who had just given it to them. Nine out of ten failed the test that day. How do you like those odds? And I see that so often. God forgotten, or last of the list of everything else. Nine out of ten failing, but we are here to learn to play a better hand! Right? Praise God!
So today, lets play a better hand. Today, lets be truly grateful to our God. Lets love God, and love people, and love ourself like we are supposed to.
Now go, and play your best, most powerful hand. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 🙂