Thoughts on the Kingdom Pt. 2

Written by Pastor John Garcia on .

The More Excellent Way

However, not all the signs of the Kingdom are equal. Remember, like the Corinthians, we may experience the supernatural, but still be called upwards to the more 'excellent way' (1Cor 12:31). As necessary as they are, even some of the supernatural signs of the Kingdom (the gifts and operations of the Spirit) can sometimes distract from the main play—from the Giver himself.

As the descendants of Greek culture, the West is prone to the Corinthian distraction with gifts and super-apostles, with charisma and personality, looking only on the surface of things and taking pride in what is seen, rather than what is in the heart (2 Cor 10:7; 5:12). Nevertheless, through the sound of competing voices, through the crazed crowd of celebrity Christians, there is another sound being heard and it is the sound of heaven; of deep calling to deep; of the heart of God calling to the hearts of men and of our hearts burning within us: When You said, Seek My face, my heart said to You, Your face, O LORD, I shall seek." (Ps 27:8).

Prayer Culture

Written by Pastor John Garcia on .

Culture, simply defined, is the sum total of the lifestyles of a particular group of people. It involves not only our actions, but those unspoken ways that we communicate and interact with one another. It involves those things that we grow up with, and become "second nature" to us without our even thinking about them. The Islamic world, and even the Hindus and Buddhists, pray as a lifestyle. I would dare to say, many Christians pray as a custom or when in need. This mustn't be so any longer! Prayer must become a lifestyle. It must be a part of our culture. We cannot wait for "Life" to happen before we actually begin to pray.Prayer should be the arena where "life" takes place; where the gateways which influence our lives are revealed. A gate is an opening or an entrance. In Scripture, the gates were a very important place because it was where . . . people assembled; the laws were read; proclamations were made; priests and prophets delivered their discourses, admonitions and prophecies; business was conducted. In each of these areas, people assemble and important decisions are handed down to us. Those who are leading in these arenas have great influence over us. What are we supposed to do? I believe we are to go in by prayer and possess these gates.

Goliath and His Kin-Folk

Written by Pastor John Garcia on .

There has been a subtle, but persistent spiritual attack --a cloud of unbelief– that has settled on a number of people. Some folks have not even noticed how unbelief has unnoticeably crept into their thought life; others have been in major battles, suffering from relentless questions concerning the validity of God's promises. People are finding themselves in circumstances that are far removed from what they hoped or envisioned.

If we look at the heroes of faith in the Scriptures, we will find people that, without fail, found themselves in circumstances that were unlike anything their faith expected. If we pursue our investigation, we will also see that it was in the "unexpected place" that God established character in His servants, which in turn released power that fulfilled destiny.

Here's the scene: You're in a battle with sickness, oppression or some similar need. However, you seek God and, in some way, the grace of God touches your life. Your victory may have come through a word or prayer or some other experience, but you absolutely know the Lord delivered you. Using the one of your five smooth stones of divine grace, you defeated your Goliath.

Consecration

Written by Pastor John Garcia on .

Consecration releases authority and the supernatural. Genuine consecration combines prayer, humility and judging yourself before the Lord. Jesus said, judge yourselves that you be not judged . It is an examination of the human effort, so we might yield ourselves more fully to the divine effort. Consecration is a conscious process of spiritually purifying ourselves for the purpose of operating to a greater degree in oneness with the Lord.

Consecration will involve the removal of the beams of our own eyes that create schisms within your family, the Body or at work/neighbors; Avoidance of “evil-speaking” and premature judgments; Eliminating the rumor-mill or hearsay as a means of input in the decision-process; Averting the orientation toward formulas which undermine the wisdom and revelation available for specific situations; and Removing the infiltrators from within ministry circles who demonstrate a pattern of evil-speaking and division.

I Give Up

Written by Pastor John Garcia on .

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life."

“Never, never, never, never, give up!”

There is an unspoken posturing found in the Church today that tells us that there is something inherently wrong with giving up. Of course, the context of the circumstance reveals whether or not giving up would be appropriate. For example many people are encouraged to give up bad habits in order to make their life better. But in movies, on television, in books and magazines, we are bombarded with story after story that inspires us because someone did not give up when it would have been so easy to do so.

Recently, a reminder was given to a group of missionaries that “giving up” was a normal and natural attribute of the Christian life and also of the missionary life. The Bible is filled with stories that teach us that following obediently after God does mean that we will give up much in order to do so.

Abraham gave up. He gave up his homeland, his family, and his plans for he was told to go to a place that would be revealed to him at a later time. Jonah, we see in 2 Kings 14:25, was minding his business, faithfully fulfilling his responsibilities and duties as a prophet, serving his God and the people of Israel. Then one day he was asked to give up both his comfort and his control in order that he might go to Nineveh and preach salvation to a people doomed for destruction.