Archive for September, 2013


Chapter 1 Summary – The Normal Christian Life 

In this chapter Bill basically states his thesis for the book; that it’s normal for Christians to have an appetite for the supernatural; to just live in expectation of the kingdom.  He tells a story about how a person was miraculously healed of multiple conditions at a wedding.  He says that these kinds of things are becoming more common place or “normal” happenings in their community.   Powerless Christianity is not normal.   Normal Christianity is when believers move in God’s power.

At the end Bill argues that for this to happen a transformation of our minds needs to occurs when the Holy Spirit comes upon desperate people.   Bill then says that our mandate is to raise up a generation that will understand normal Christianity as moving in God’s power.

Chapter 2 Summary – Commission Restored

This chapter is about our commission as humans to co-labor and co-create with God. The Lord’s plan has always been to share dominion with us over the creation.    The Garden of Eden was the original area where God and humans would share the dominion over the earth.   Eden was where Adam was to learn how to co-labor and co-create.  The plan was for Adam & Eve to procreate and extend this arrangement of shared dominion. But of course this was lost by the Fall.  Not only was it lost but now dominion over the world was given over to the satan.   From that point on the Lord determined to take dominion back from the satan.  Jesus came and did just that. But Jesus did not come in full divinity. But came as a man just like Adam (Romans 5) in order to win back the place of humanity to share dominion with God again.  Even though he is 100% divinity, he emptied himself of the right to use His divinity. Instead He depended on the Holy Spirit’s guidance and empowerment.  In so doing Jesus reclaimed humanity’s right to share dominion with God on earth again.  His concluding point is that believers hold the Key of David, that is, that when believers declare the gospel to others we allow others to “see” the Father. When we fail to declare we prevent others from seeing the Father.

Chapter 3 Summary – Repent to See

In this chapter Bill talks about the need to have a repentant mind. By repentance he means having a changed mind and heart – a mind that has been changed to think differently and go in a different direction. The repentant mind believes for the kingdom to breakthrough.  God has brought His dominion close to us again and made it available to us again. The kingdom is “at hand” for us to lay hold of again.  We have to learn how to do this. It starts with having a transformed or new mind that understands and expects to be able to do this.  The best description of a repentant mind and heart is in fact the sermon on the mount in the beatitudes.  He says on pg 40 “This is how the repentant mind looks.”  The beatitudes describe the “desperation” for God and see heaven and have earth be changed to be like heaven.  Hearts and minds that are desperate, broken, mourn, are pure are most apt to see and lay hold on the kingdom.

Ah-Hah Moment

When Bill Johnson explained about the Garden of Eden as an area under the dominion of both God and Adam.   Eden represents God’s plan and dream of shared dominion over His creation with us.  I don’t know that I thought of Eden that way.

Daily Impact:  I just finished reading Heidi Baker’s book “Compelled by Love” – wow!  If you haven’t read this book, move it to the top of your list. Seriously!! This whole book is a mediation on the Beatitudes and how she has seen them in her ministry in Mozambique.    She shows over and over how a person who is in daily desperate need for the Lord to break through and believes for the kingdom being “at hand” (just right there in reach), are the people who see the Lord break through. I think that Bill Johnson is coming from the same place. The Lord has been calling me to “dispossess” and divest more and more; to let go of things, my own abilities and resources and to live in dependence upon him; to put myself in situations where I can only depend on Jesus breaking through; also to totally re-arrange my finances to make more of what he has given me available to him.  Also reading what Bill Johnson says increases faith. right?  We are co-inheritors with Christ. Christ has won back our rightful identities as those who share dominion with the Father over the world.  The kingdom is “at hand”! The implication is that Father’s will for us is to always be able to access his dominion on earth. So pray until it happens. right?

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chesed->love

I guess I should explain the term ‘chesed’ or ‘hesed’. It’s the word found in biblical Hebrew and is all over the Hebrew scriptures. It is often translated as simply “love” or “lovingkindness” or even “mercy” depending upon the translation and the context. But it’s real meaning is more like “steadfast love” and even “enduring love”…and even “loyalty” and “covenant faithfulness”.  It is the word used to describe God’s persistent loyalty and compassion for us.  His compassion springs from His commitment to us; and conversely, His commitment and loyalty spring from His unmovable compassion for us. They are dimensions of the same thing: His steadfast love!  Most places you see “steadfast love” in the Psalms, for example, this is it.   It is also found in Micah 6:8.  This is the term David used to describe to describe who God is and His character. It’s the way God has relationship with us and how He wants us to have relationship with Him and with each other – ‘steadfast love’ – ‘faithful/loyal compassion’.  It so shaped David’s thinking that he extended ‘chesed’ to others. It was the basis of his relationship with Mephibosheth (2 Sam 9:7) and Hanun (2 Sam 10:2).    Our Lord Jesus carried this understanding forward as the model of relational community.  In Matt 9 Jesus went to Matthew’s house where there were tax collectors and “sinners” (you fill in the blanks!).   When the religious folk complained about Jesus hanging out with them, Jesus responded “I wish you understood this. ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice'”. This comes from Hosea 6:6.  The word that is translated “mercy” in Matthew is you guessed it,  “chesed” in the Hebrew. When Jesus said that I’m sure that the Pharisees understood the full dimension (at least intellectually) of what Jesus said to them. Jesus was reminding them of God’s steadfast love for us just as He had for Matthew and his friends. The only thing that would “heal” them was for the Pharisees to cross the threshold into Matthew’s house and show them “chesed” –  compassion that is absolutely committed and loyal to them – and loyalty that springs from unrelenting compassion.   I am so, so thankful that this is who my Lord and Savior is to me.  Thank you Father for your love; thank you Jesus for crossing the threshold into my dirty life and sacrificing yourself even to death to heal me; thank you sweet Holy Spirit for living with me every breath.  With all my strength I will try to “chesed” you in return. 

my path

MtWhitney

The gospels (Luke 5:16 e.g.) record that Jesus frequently drew away from the crowds to “lonely” or “deserted” places to pray.   I guess this would qualify.  I love this picture – it’s a trail I took in 2011 for the 3rd time that took me to the top of Whitney.   Whitney is that big flat-top in the distance.    Just look at it!  It’s desperate! and it’s dry!  In some ways it depicts my path now.  I am desperate for a new touch from the Father while thankful for every previous one.  Paradoxically I am in a season of deeper growth than I ever thought I would experience while knowing my path to this point is leading me to the precipice of a glorious break-through realization of His presence.

I am so thrilled to have this season at E58 SOM and the possible answers to prayer it presents!