Led By The Spirit

    Greetings,

Only children of God know the true freedom of being made free. We are new creations of God in Christ and we know the freedom of being children of God. As sons and daughters of God we are led by God’s Spirit within us. We are not just led by being told what to do. A different Spirit, a different motivator, in our being leads us. The seven-fold Holy Spirit of God is the substance of that motivation within us (Isa. 11:1-2). Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel, the Spirit of Might, the Spirit of Knowing, and the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord. We are one body with one Spirit and it is by the leading of the Spirit that we can fulfill our part in the calling of Christ. We are led by one Lord, one Faith, one Submersion, one God and Father, one God Above All, one God Through All, and one God In All (Eph. 4:4-6). Our desires, actions, responses, submission, contributions, communion of love, and power of destiny all come by the power of the Holy Spirit within us. It is not a matter of being told what to do, it is a matter of being empowered to become who we are in Him.

Many times, we cry out for revival in our land or in our lives. I believe that we need more than revival. We need the constant, continually increasing, and very intimate reality of Christ in us. Revival alone is an Old Covenant concept. It is a longing for God to show up and do something. Revivals come, and revivals go. Revivals make an impact, but then they often turn into memories and future expectations. They become events of God in our lives that we look back upon and remember, and experiences that we long to see again. In either case, revivals alone become the substance of an Old Covenant. Revivals aren’t meant to last. They are merely meant to inspire us in the midst of the journey.

My wife Bonnie and I have been married for almost forty-one years. We don’t live for revival. We live for a constant renewal of life within us by the power of our love towards one another. We know that we are one flesh; therefore, we are inspired in our commitment, our actions, our responses, our submission, our contribution, our communion of love, and our power of destiny with one another in our journey together in life. We have had our moments of inspiration that seem like revivals in our relationship, but the strength of our covenant is in the everyday life we find together. We are inspired in our commitment, actions, responses, submission, contribution, love, and dedication because we are led by a spirit of oneness in all that we do. This is the testimony of a New Covenant life! A New Covenant life is a constantly NOW Covenant reality. It is the same in the body of Christ. Mere revivals aren’t meant to last. They are part of the journey and should be expected in the seasons of life in the kingdom. They wake us up to new things in Christ, but the life of Christ is an intimate, renewing, and refreshing relationship with God in all things. The secret is the mystery of Christ in us who empowers us to live in all times.

Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

The power of New Covenant Ministry is that God made us free, He made us sons and daughters. The best that you could come to God in the Old Covenant was as a servant. The New Covenant is a place of a Father and His children. It is the place of God and His offspring. It is a place of abiding with Him, not a place of doing things for Him.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

                   Books by Ted J. Hanson

 

Posted in #newcovenantleaders, Leadership Development | Leave a comment

People of Praise as the Community of God

        Greetings,

Being the body of Christ is about becoming us and revealing the testimony of Christ’s life influencing the world from the testimony and power of us. We have to see ourselves as us, not just in the setting of Sunday service but wherever we are in life. I don’t do anything in life as an independent individual. I do it for the purpose of the gate of heaven, the church. This includes my everyday word and even my own natural family. Ephesians chapter 1 reveals that our hope is the calling of Christ and our riches are His inheritance that is in us and the testimony of His power in through us for His glory. It is not our calling, our inheritance, or our power. It is us for His glory, but it is always us in connection with other believers.

Isaiah 2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. 3 Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

The prophet was prophesying concerning God’s heart for the earth in the future. His words were in regard to Judah and Jerusalem. Israel was never intended to be merely a nation. It was a testimony of the day when God would make all tongues, tribes, peoples, and nations a part of the Israel of God. God’s way was never a nation. It has always been a kingdom, but the kingdom of God is an internal kingdom. It is in our hearts. It consumes our lives, so the kingdoms of our lives become testimonies of the kingdom of our Lord and Christ. There are physical expressions in our kingdoms that testify of the internal kingdom of God in our hearts. When Isaiah was prophesying about Judah and Jerusalem, it was for more than these natural realities. He was prophesying to the spiritual reality of what that it is. To understand it, we have to translate the words. The name Judah means praise. It can be a people of praise or the praise of God in the earth. Jerusalem means vision of peace. It is being able to see that there is no separation between men and God. The spiritual reality of these two things is for all people to become the praise of God and for all people to become the community of God that is not separate from Him. The prophet was speaking to humanity in eternity concerning being the praise of God and the community of God in the earth. Praise is something we are. It is not just something we do. When we become fully alive for God’s glory, that is praise. When we become an imitation, a fake, or an actor – that doesn’t praise God. When we become the excellence of who we were meant to be, that praises Him. When we live for Him with all our heart, soul, and strength, that is praise. When we live for ourselves, that is not praise. When we live for Him we find life more abundant because He doesn’t need anything from us. He gives us life, breath and al things. When we give to Him our life, our breath and our things, we discover there is no end to the increase of the life, the breath, and the things He gives to us. We enter into the joy of having a relationship with God who is a giver. We manifest as sons and daughters of God – givers of life. When we are together as the people of God, the church, the gate of heaven, Zion – we become the community of God known as Jerusalem. The prophet was speaking about that Jerusalem and Judah.

He will teach us His ways,

And we shall walk in His paths.

For out of Zion shall go forth the law,

And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

What are the ways, paths, law, and word of the community of God? It is a community with a justice system of love. This means it is a community that will have to exercise love and demonstrate love for God and one another. It isn’t just a place to be loved, but a place to grow in being able to love. I wonder if we can expect that to be challenging at times? It is a community of diversity. It is diversity that springs out of one Spirit. It isn’t unity through diversity because of the diversity, but unity through diversity because of the strength of One Spirit. It is one tree with many branches. The strength of the tree is not in the branches, it is in the connection of the branches to the one trunk of the tree. There are diversity of expressions, but one family in the family tree of community.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #thechurch | Leave a comment

The Power of the Church

Greetings,

Jesus came to this world and manifested as the Christ, the stature of our heavenly Father in human form. He was the stone that struck the statue of self upon its feet. He struck the statue of self in the place of belief and His Word and Spirit proved to be stronger than the lies and deceptions set as the foundation of self-seeking humanity. His ability to transform the high places of our hearts by the higher place of the Father’s love enables a transformation of our actions, imaginations, and influences in the world. The Stone of Christ is the substance of each and every stone in the mountain of God.  Every stone in the mountain of God is the likeness and image of the Father. The beliefs of self-seeking are established by the control and manipulation of human desires. They are like the iron and clay found in the feet of the statue in the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2:31-45). The foundation of the stature of Christ is different than the foundation of the statue of self. The beliefs of the heart of those who find themselves in the stature of Christ are established upon the will of the Father and not the self-seeking, self-preserving, self-fulfilling ways of men. It is not the will of a man (iron) nor is it the will of the people (clay) that reveals the likeness and image of our heavenly Father. It is not control or manipulation. It is not about what we can get in life, but what we are for the sake of blessing others. We are here to bless. We are a blessing. The transformation happens in the mountain of the Lord. It happens in the corporate place of Christ’s life. It happens in the body of Christ, the church, the place of divinely joined members of the habitation of Christ.

Let’s go to the mountain of the Lord and He will teach us His ways. I am here to be a blessing. I am here to give. I am here to bless you. I believe it, so now I am acting as a blessing. Instead of making judgments according to the flesh (brass), I am demonstrating actions that speak of my love. I believe I am blessing, so I am going to be who I am for your sake. I am going to act in a way that causes you to come alive. I am living to multiply, not to add to my own life. What does that do? It changes what I think about. It changes what is in my heart and in my arms. What am I believing for the future? I am believing that what cannot be changed today is going to be changed in the generations of tomorrow? This church doesn’t exist for me. It exists for the children that haven’t been born yet. My life is for my children’s children and their children. I am imagining a world beyond me. I am believing for the impossible. I am living for what cannot be changed today to be changed tomorrow. The result will be a new influence – a greater principality – The Principality Christ. The Prince of all princes is the influence of my life.

If the feet of this body were a man named Paul, then the waist and the thighs was a man named Timothy, so the chest and arms could be faithful men, and the ultimate head could be others also. This testimony of the stature of Christ goes into a third and fourth generation. This church is here for a third and fourth generation. The influencers of the world live like this and the church almost never does and that is why some in the world have more influence than the church. The church often lives for today with little thought of tomorrow. The gospel of the kingdom of God is the kingdom of God filling the earth.

My wife does not need me praying illegitimate prayers like; “Honey what do you want to do next year? I don’t know babe, if there is a next year. Let’s not plan too far out. If it is the will of God that I still love you in five years, then we can maybe do that.” If our covenant relationship includes a way of it ending, it will end. If we don’t have a covenant plan, our plans will come to an end. Martin Luther, from the reformation, was asked what he would do if he know Jesus was coming back tomorrow? His answer was, “I will plant a tree today.” In other words, he was not planning on Him coming back today. If He does fine, but he was putting something in the earth that never ends. We are here to put something in the earth that never ends. How awesome is this place! This is the gate of heaven! This is the place that changes the beliefs of hearts of men. This is the place of Abraham, that then becomes the place of Isaac, that then becomes the place of Jacob, that then becomes the place of Israel!

We are not going away. We are not disappearing. I have already decided that when I am gone from this earth that I will still be in this earth. I am putting as big of a mark of who I am in the earth for the sake of us. I have already decided that my sons and my daughters are smarter than me and my grandchildren and great grandchildren will do greater things still. I am living for that. I was glad when they said, let’s go to the house of the Lord. This is the mountain where the ways, the paths, the Law of God, and the Word goes from Jerusalem. The word is the influence of the Lord. These are beliefs, actions, imaginations, and influences. We can expect to be challenged in our ways. God’s beliefs are going to challenge our beliefs. The path of God is going to challenge our paths. The law of God is going to challenge the law as I see it. The word of Jerusalem is going to challenge the world of Ted. I need to be a part of the community, so His beliefs become my beliefs, so His paths, His actions, become my paths. I need to be a part of His mountain so His law, the law of love, becomes the law of my heart and mind. I need to be a part of His house, so His word becomes the word of who I am and who we are as an expression of Him.

In all of this, it is us! This is a great thing! I am not shopping for what meets my needs. I am expecting to be changed. I am expecting to be transformed. I am expecting to be challenged to grow. I am expecting to get old, but I am also expecting to flourish in my older years. On the outside I am 62, but on the inside I am eternal, and I am dreaming more. What am I dreaming about? What are we going to become? This is the family of God.

Food For Thought,

 

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #thechurch, Leadership Development | Leave a comment

Lead To Transform Beliefs (2)

Greetings,

The church is filled with members who are growing in the testimony of the stature of Christ. The stature of Christ is transforming the statue of self in our lives. It is like the dream of Nebuchadnezzar. The key to the destruction of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was a crushing of its feet. I believe that the iron of the feet was a testimony of the control of man. This characteristic was made manifest in the dictatorial rule of the Caesars of Rome as a sign of how things are in the systems of the world and the testimony of self. The feet of the statue were also a testimony of manipulation. The clay in the feet was a testimony of the will of man, as Rome was also a democracy. The feet of the statue stood upon a testimony of the will of a man and the will of the people, both reveal a belief system propagated by control and manipulation. This is only true when humanity bases its beliefs upon the knowledge of good and evil. Jesus was a man of grace and truth. He stood upon believing His heavenly Father, and thus all of His standing was rooted in the Tree of Life.

The waist and thighs of brass in the statue were significant of the actions of the flesh that facilitate a judgmental rule of self. A belief based upon the knowledge of good and evil will inspire actions based upon good and evil, but those actions will be fear based and self-preserving in nature. They are actions of natural sight and are absent the substance of faith that expands a belief of love and life.

The chest and arms of silver in the statue were symbolic of the imaginations of the heart. Whereas the heart of Jesus caused Him to see the joy beyond the cross, the imaginations of the statue of self are self-gratifying imaginations and motives of the heart that are even willing to sacrifice the future for the present realities of men. Those imaginations are centered upon self and not those that cause the children and the children’s children to possess the gates of their enemies. Rather than being those who release blessings with the hands of inheritance, they live as takers with the hands of self-gratification.

The head of gold was a testimony of the influence of self. Those influences are rooted in a belief system that desires to be blessed more than living to be a blessing. It is seen through the reality of actions that are not willing to yield, but done to take whatever is needed to preserve the image of self. Those actions are actions of addition and not those of multiplication. Self-preserving actions propagate self-gratifying imaginations that spend tomorrow’s inheritance today and leave the generations bankrupt in their ability to possess the gates of the enemy.

Jesus destroyed the foundation of beliefs propagated by control and manipulation. Like the promise given to Abraham, He knew He was born to be a blessing; therefore, He lived to bring His Father’s blessings to the world. His beliefs were fully based upon a REVELATION of BELIEVING GOD. He was not changed by the controls or the manipulations of men.

Jesus eradicated the actions of the flesh that facilitate the judgmental rule of self. Instead of seeking to add to His own life He lived to multiply. He lived to give to others. His actions were fully based upon a REVELATION of BELIEVING GOD and were not influenced by the judgments of men.

Jesus transformed the self-gratifying motives of the heart to become life-giving imaginations of hope for our children and our children’s children. He lived for the generations and thus the imaginations of His heart were fully based upon a REVELATION of BELIEVING GOD. His thoughts were for the future generations of men and his hands were the blessing hands of inheritance.

Jesus established the influence of the Father in our lives so we can influence the world with the inheritance of His name and not the influence of self. The families of the earth will be blessed because of the likeness and the image of the Father made known in the flesh of men. Jesus’ influence was fully based upon a REVELATION of BELIEVING GOD. He didn’t attack influence with influence but eradicated it by the power to transform beliefs.

Jesus stood in a true heavenly belief that revealed a heavenly rule, a heavenly imagination, and heavenly influence for all mankind in the earth. He was the man who could see, listen, discern truth, and speak clearly on behalf of His heavenly Father in this world. He did this as a human being and thus He has the power to transform the beliefs of humanity to change the world!

We are called, appointed, anointed to tear down the high places in the earth through the ministry of reconciliation to God in Christ. Those high places are the seat of heaven in the human heart. Where there is no gap between God and men in the human heart there is no end to the increase of His government and peace. When the Word and the Spirit conceive in the heart, the place of heavenly belief is established and there is an empowerment of changed actions. Those actions stimulate the imaginations of the heart to believe for the peoples, nations, and generations of the world. It is through the power of the heart’s eye that we can believe for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done upon the earth as it is in heaven. Those changed beliefs, actions, and imaginations establish the principle things of heaven as an influence in and to the world in which we live. The stone of Christ and a REVELATION of BELIEVING GOD will fill our lives with the glory of God!

Our leadership style must never be that of control and manipulation. We must lead to activate, facilitate, and release God inspired beliefs, actions, imaginations, and influences. All of these are rooted in a REVELATION of BELIEVING GOD! We must lead to inspire others to live their lives on the foundation of a REVELATION of BELIEVING GOD! It is a place of God-dependency and not self-sufficiency.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #leadershipinthechurch, #newcovenantleaders, #thechurch | Leave a comment

Lead To Transform Beliefs

Greetings,

The key to the destruction of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was a crushing of its feet. I believe that the iron of the feet was a testimony of the control of man. This was made manifest in the dictatorial rule of the Caesars of Rome. The feet of the statue were also a testimony of manipulation. The clay in the feet was a testimony of the will of man, as Rome was also a democracy. The statue stood upon a testimony of the will of a man and the will of the people, both reveal a belief system propagated by control and manipulation. This is only true when humanity bases its beliefs upon the knowledge of good and evil. Jesus was a man of grace and truth. He stood upon believing His heavenly Father, and thus all of His standing was rooted in the Tree of Life.

The waist and thighs of brass in the statue were significant of the actions of the flesh that facilitate a judgmental rule of self. A belief based upon the knowledge of good and evil will inspire actions based upon good and evil, but those actions will be fear based and self-preserving in nature. They are actions of natural sight and are absent the substance of faith that expands a belief of love and life.

The chest and arms of silver in the statue were symbolic of the imaginations of the heart. Whereas the heart of Jesus caused Him to see the joy beyond the cross, the imaginations of the statue of self are self-gratifying imaginations and motives of the heart that sacrifice the future for the present realities of men. Those imaginations are centered upon self and not those that cause the children and the children’s children to possess the gates of their enemies. Rather than being those who release blessings with the hands of inheritance, they live as takers with the hands of self-gratification.

The head of gold was a testimony of the influence of self. Those influences are rooted in a belief system that desires to be blessed more than living to be a blessing. It is seen through the reality of actions that are not willing to yield, but done to take whatever is needed to preserve the image of self. Those actions are actions of addition and not those of multiplication. Self-preserving actions propagate self-gratifying imaginations that spend tomorrow’s inheritance today and leave the generations bankrupt in their ability to possess the gates of the enemy.

Jesus destroyed the foundation of beliefs propagated by control and manipulation. Like the promise given to Abraham He knew He was born to be a blessing and therefore He lived to bring His Father’s blessings to the world. His beliefs were fully based upon a REVELATION of BELIEVING GOD. He was not changed by the controls or the manipulations of men.

Jesus eradicated the actions of the flesh that facilitate the judgmental rule of self. Instead of seeking to add to His own life He lived to multiply. He lived to give to others. His actions were fully based upon a REVELATION of BELIEVING GOD and were not influenced by the judgments of men.

Jesus transformed the self-gratifying motives of the heart to become life-giving imaginations of hope for our children and our children’s children. He lived for the generations and thus the imaginations of His heart were fully based upon a REVELATION of BELIEVING GOD. His thoughts were for the future generations of men and his hands were the blessing hands of inheritance.

Jesus established the influence of the Father in our lives so we can influence the world with the inheritance of His name and not the influence of self. The families of the earth will be blessed because of the likeness and the image of the Father made known in the flesh of men. Jesus’ influence was fully based upon a REVELATION of BELIEVING GOD. He didn’t attack influence with influence but eradicated it by the power to transform beliefs.

Jesus stood in a true heavenly belief that revealed a heavenly rule, a heavenly imagination, and heavenly influence for all mankind in the earth. He was the man who could see, listen, discern truth, and speak clearly on behalf of His heavenly Father in this world. He did this as a human being in this world and thus He has the power to transform the beliefs of humanity to change the world!

We are called, appointed, anointed to tear down the high places in the earth through the ministry of reconciliation to God in Christ. Those high places are the seat of heaven in the human heart. Where there is no gap between God and men in the human heart there is no end to the increase of His government and peace. When the Word and the Spirit conceive in the heart the place of heavenly belief is established and there is an empowerment of changed actions. Those actions stimulate the imaginations of the heart to believe for the peoples, nations, and generations of the world. It is through the power of the heart’s eye that we can believe for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done upon the earth as it is in heaven. Those changed beliefs, actions, and imaginations establish the principle things of heaven as an influence in and to the world in which we live. The stone of Christ and a REVELATION of BELIEVING GOD will fill our lives with the glory of God!

Our leadership style must never be that of control and manipulation. We must lead to activate, facilitate, and release God inspired beliefs, actions, imaginations, and influences. All of these are rooted in a REVELATION of BELIEVING GOD! We must lead to inspire others to live their lives on the foundation of a REVELATION of BELIEVING GOD! It is a place of God-dependency and not self-sufficiency.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

 

 

 

Posted in #leadershipinthechurch, #thechurch | Leave a comment

The Power of the Mountain

          Greetings,

Spiritual forces affect the beliefs of the hearts of men. Those beliefs determine how people act and that creates the reality of the imaginations of their mind. What they think about inspires the influence of their lives. This is the way of human beings. All human beings live their lives based upon what they believe. Those beliefs determine how they act. How they act determines what they think about all the time. What they think about determines how they influence the world around them. We cannot change the world by attacking influence with influence. We have to change beliefs. We have to destroy the high places of beliefs. We have to destroy the hosts of wickedness in high places – heavenly places in the heart. In the mountain of the Lord, God changes our beliefs. This inspires changed actions and changes in what we think about all the time, which changes our influence in the world.

Galatians 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”

The gospel, the good news, that God preached to Abraham was not the good news that when we die we can go to heaven. The gospel that was preached to Abraham, the good news preached to Abraham, was good news that would change the beliefs, actions, imaginations and the influences of people.

Genesis 22:15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

When we know we are a blessing, we live to be a blessing and God causes us to be a blessing.  Because we believe we are a blessing, we live to give greater value to then next generation. We act as those who give blessings instead of those who live to take from others. Instead of adding to our lives we will multiply. Instead of being a needy person, we will be need meeting people. In multiplying God will multiply us. He won’t make us the big man or woman, He will cause us to be men and women who make others big. Our descendants will possess the gates of their enemies. They will change what is not changed right now. Our children’s children will be greater than us. In our seed, all the families of the earth will be blessed. This is the gospel of the kingdom of God. It is the only thing that destroys principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and hosts of wickedness in high places. it is the only means of destroying selfish beliefs, actions, imaginations and influences.

There is a great story in the Scripture where Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream (Dan. 2:31-45). The dream troubled him and he gave an order for his counselors and wise men to tell him his dream and its interpretation. God blessed Daniel and his friends with the dream and its interpretation. In the dream King Nebuchadnezzar saw a great statue of extraordinary splendor. It had a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, waist and thighs of brass, and legs of iron with feet of iron and clay. Then a stone not cut with human hands struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. The crushing of the feet of the statue caused the entire substance of the statue to be crushed and become like chaff from the summer threshing floor and the wind carried them away so there was no trace left of the statue. The stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. The interpretation of the dream revealed that Nebuchadnezzar and the kingdom of Babylon was the head of gold, King Cyrus and the Mede Persian kingdom was the chest and arms of silver, Alexander the great and the kingdom of Greece was the waist and thighs of brass, and the legs of iron with feet of iron and clay was indicative of the kingdom of Rome and its carnal ruler Nero. In the time of Rome the rock of Christ would destroy the kingdoms of self by crushing the selfish beliefs of men through the selfless sacrifice of Jesus and His God willed resurrection as Christ the head and body to change the world.

I believe this image was not limited to the four nations represented in it, but that the four nations represented in it were a testimony of the image of man throughout all time. What should have been the image of the heavenly Father had become the glory of self. It revealed humanity in a self-righteous condition without dependence upon God. It took a human being, the Seed of Abraham, to crush the image of self by the testimony of the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His person in flesh (Heb. 1:3). That human being was the man Jesus Christ.

Food For Thought,

 

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #thechurch, Leadership Development | Leave a comment

The Church – A Place of Challenge

         Greetings,

We are the church. We are the body of Christ. As the body, it is about life coming off of us for the testimony of Christ in the world. We have to see ourselves as us, not just in the setting of Sunday service, but wherever we are in life. We don’t do anything in life as independent individuals. We do everything for the purpose of the gate of heaven, the purpose of the church.

Isaiah 2:3 Many people shall come and say,“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

The mountain of the Lord is the house of God. It is the place of His habitation. This is the place of God’s presence, purpose and rule. This is Zion. It is the church. The Spirit is calling all people to the mountain of the Lord. He is calling us and it is for the hope of the calling of Christ, the riches of His inheritance in us, and the working His power through us to accomplish His purposes in all things. It is not our calling, our inheritance, or our power. It is us for His glory, but it is always us in connection with others. The church can be a challenging place, because the greatness of God is revealed in and through the church.

Many people have chosen to not be a part of the church because they believe it is a terrible place. They come to this conclusion because they experience challenges, conflicts, and legalistic conclusions in church settings. There are many challenges and misunderstandings in the church. People often separate from the church in order to become a smaller community. Smaller community should be a part of every community of Christ. My body is a complex and has many parts in its reality, but it is comprised of two or three cells coming together for life in each place of connection in my body. There is a truth in the need for small community, but there is something of the greatness of the purpose of God missed when we only seek connection at our table. In our Father’s house there are many rooms, but it is a house and not isolated rooms. Without the connection of intimacy in the rooms it is just an external structure, but when each room becomes a life-giving expression of Christ it becomes the fulness of the house of God.

In the mountain of the Lord, God teaches us His ways, therefore, our ways will be challenged in the church so we can decide to choose His ways over our own. We are more likely to be offended in the church than in the world, because it is there that God teaches us His ways. I am not giving excuses for wrong attitudes or actions in the church, I am simply saying that each of us must own our role in and as the church and exhibit God’s way towards others. His way is to be merciful, forgiving, self-controlled, at peace, and all that manifests the fruit of the Spirit. Those things will be challenged. Ways have to do with our beliefs. Every relationship that ends is because someone believed they were right. The moment we say someone is wrong we are also choosing to say we are right. Our ways are going to be challenged in the mountain of the Lord.

Our actions are going to be challenged in the church. Our paths are going to collide with the paths of God. Are we going to walk in the path of the Lord or in our own paths? Our paths include our actions in life. We can expect that the church can be a place that will challenge our actions, because it is in the church that we learn to walk in the paths of the Lord.

A third thing that is challenged in the church has to do with what comes out from us. Out of Zion goes for the law. What is the law? This is not the law according to the knowledge of good and evil, right and wrong. It is the law of love. Love will be challenged, developed and drawn out of us in the mountain of the Lord. It is one thing to act as though we love someone, but it is another thing to imagine they love us. My wife and I have been married for over 40 years. We believe we love each other so we have acted this out. We make actions of love toward one another. That has been challenged over time and at times we have each had to imagine we love each other. We have had to be creative in our thinking that goes beyond than what we can see. Love has had to become more real than natural sight at times. This third level, the law going forth form Zion, is love going beyond what is actually visible.

Paul said that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood. Why didn’t he just say we battle against spiritual forces? Why did he say we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood before he mentions spiritual powers? He said this because it always comes in a flesh and blood package. It always manifests through people, but people are not the real issue. He describes that we wrestle against principalities, powers, rulers, and hosts of wickedness in high or heavenly places. These four things can also be described as influencing forces, imaginations or creative powers, actions of rule, and beliefs comprised of word and spirit that create a strong hold in our hearts. Beliefs produce actions, actions promote imaginations, and imaginations empower forceful influences to the world around us. The highest of these things is in the foundation. Whatever we believe determines how we act, how we act determines what we think about and what we think about determines how we influence the world around us. Before these things can be addressed in the world, they must be realized in the church.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #thechurch, Leadership Development | Leave a comment

Leading Others Into His Way

      Greetings,

As leaders in the body of Christ we are called to lead members of Christ’s body to the place of becoming like their heavenly Father. Leaders set an example in being people who embrace the character, nature, way, power, and authority of God in their lives. We are not responsible to simply teach people the principles of God, we are responsible to demonstrate to them what it looks like to embrace Jesus as Lord of our hearts. God’s thoughts define who we are and He is inside of us. Our thoughts do not define who God should be, His thoughts define who we should be. His thoughts are different than ours are naturally. His thoughts are generous, merciful, gracious, expectant, triumphant, and many other attributes that reveal He is a giver of life. We are not called to walk a path of discipline in the flesh. We are called to walk a path empowered by the Holy Spirit within us. This is what makes us the church. Being the church is a governmental expression of being the place where God lives. Being the church is being the visible expression of His internal kingdom that brings life to the world around us. Being the church is the fruit of God’s presence in our hearts as individuals and in our midst as corporate members of a family joined together by His Spirit. We are joined together by His Spirit to be an expression of His Spirit in the world we live in. We are being transformed by His presence within us to walk in His ways and to walk in His paths in all we are and do. The key to being who we are is not based upon our natural birth. It is based upon the supernatural change of transformation that happens in us because Christ is in us. How we were born naturally does not define who we are. Who we are becoming because He lives in us is what defines who we are. As leaders, we must lead those we are responsible for into this testimony. We must first embrace the continual change within us and then we must envision, feed desire, present the value, and inspire a willingness to purchase that change within the hearts and minds of those we lead.

The cultures of the world should not define who the church is. The culture of heaven should define who the church is. The church is not to condemn the world. It is to be salt, leaven, and light in the world that inspires the nations to stream into the stronghold of God’s love. We are to be the steadfast mountain of God’s presence that invites those bound to the thinking of the cultures of the world to seek out being a part of an expression of the culture of heaven.

The church is to be an expression of the community of heaven. What is the secret to being the community of heaven? There is much focus and attention being given to being the community of God, but the secret is to first be a temple of God’s presence. If we don’t find the temple established by the Holy Spirit, we will seek to build one ourselves. If we simply seek to build a Christian community of what we consider to be love and life we will fall short of what God’s community truly is. What God calls love, we often define differently. What we call love is very often twisted from what God knows love to be. At the same time, we can find these same misunderstandings in concepts of judgement.

Isaiah 2:3 Many people shall come and say,“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

I want my thinking to be changed by the thinking of God. I don’t want God to change how He thinks. I don’t want Him to become like me, He already did that. He became like us so we could become like Him in all things. He can empathize with us in our weaknesses, but He expects us to boldly come and find His strength in all things. His mercy will free us from the judgments that condemn us and His grace will empower us to be transformed to never be the same again.

Hebrews 3:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

As leaders in the body of Christ, we must lead others into the path of boldly coming to God throne, reaching out to receive His mercy, and diligently searching to discover His grace that transforms us to become expressions of His community in the earth. He mercy is new every day and it is by His mercy that He forgives our iniquities, transgressions, and sins. His grace can be found by those who seek to allow Him to transform their lives. His grace empowers life-transformations in our lives. It is His grace that visits our internal iniquities and transforms the secret place to eradicate the root of transgression and sin. His grace radically transforms us from within. This is where His thoughts define us. Christ in us is the hope of glory!

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you again for your prayers and your financial support. Good things are happening! Please consider making an end of the year donation to House of Bread. We have many goals for 2018 and we are believing for God kingdom’s influence in many life-giving ways.

House of Bread Ministry. Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

Posted in #thechurch, Leadership Development | Leave a comment

The Testimony of ‘Us’

    Greetings,

If God’s ways are different than the ways of the world, what makes them able to be different? Whatever we perceive God to be is how we will hear Him when He speaks. If we believe He is a judge, we will hear His words as words that judge. If we see Him as a Father, on the days He makes judgments, we will not be shaken because we will understand they are judgments of our Father who loves us. His justice system is a justice system of a Father who loves us, not of a God. He never wanted to be God, that is what He is. That is not who He is. If we perceive Him for what He is, we may never know who He is. If we know who He is, than we can trust what He is. If we make the shift in our minds to see Him as a Father who love us, we will not read the Scriptures the same way. We won’t hear them the same way. We won’t share, teach, or even preach them the same way.

The church is the place. The community of God is a place, as the gate of heaven it is a place. Jerusalem is a place, as the mountain of the Lord it is the place where we learn the ways of God. When we, as the community of God, are challenged in the ways of our hearts towards one another, we are really being challenged to choose the ways of God or the ways of the world. If you spend every hour of every day with me, at some point in life I am going to offend you and you have to choose. Do you measure me by the ways of the world, or by the ways of the Lord? I am going to be wrong sometimes. When I am wrong, will you look at me through the measurements of right and wrong or will you look at me through the eyes of love. Those of you who are parents, you know it is easier to look at your children through the eyes of love than it is to look at your neighbor’s kids through the eyes of love. You have let your children get away with things you would not let your neighbors get away with. You love them. You see them as family. You don’t see them as strangers. You see them as ‘us’. The mountain of God is like that.

God doesn’t want us to see each other as strangers. He wants us to see one another through the eyes of God’s ways – through the eyes of love. I am really good at doing what I want to do I am terrible at doing what I am told, unless I want to do it. I have to decide to want it, or I am not going to be good at it. I make a terrible slave or servant, but I make a wonderful son that serves. When I want to do something, nothing will stop me. I traveled two months with a broken foot because I wanted to. The real issue is our hearts. The mountain of God is not a place we come to experience the disciple of the flesh. It is a place we come to embrace the willingness of the Spirit. The real issue is the desires of our hearts. In community, issues are going to arise that will challenge us in the desires of our hearts. Unless it is tested by something that tries to be stronger, there is no real proof of true community.

God gives relational connections to family members, but also to those who lead in that family. A family doesn’t just consist of brothers and sisters, it includes dads, moms, uncles, aunts, grandpas, grandpas and various elements of generational love, life, testimony, destiny and inheritance.  Things will happen in life that are difficult to walk through. The real test in difficult times is the ability to be one together or to seek to be one by ourselves.

If I am in a battle of war, I want someone to lead. If someone has the grace to lead, I want them in the battle with me. I want to listen for their direction. I want someone to see the big picture so I don’t die in the little place I am standing. I want someone who can see beyond what I can see, so I don’t make a wrong move and die in the battle. I would like someone with an aerial view. I want someone who can see beyond what I can see to lead me. That would be a gift to me. In relationships, there are gifts of leadership.

When leadership leads, it’s destructive, detrimental, and deathly to try to lead instead of them. Leadership is given to us to lead us. They help us be who we are in relationship to the big picture. It is not a matter of one being more valuable than the other. It is a question of being us or disconnected in some way. To be us, we need leadership. We can be individuals all by ourselves, but we can’t be us without a gift of leadership to be us.

God is going to speak to us, but He is going to speak to the leadership in a way that helps us become ‘us’. When God speaks to leaders concerning the direction as ‘us’ it is important for ‘us’ to position our hearts to hear what God is speaking to the leaders.

When our leaders say, we’ve heard God say this is the direction we are going, we don’t go to God and say, God are you saying we are to go in this direction? When we do that, we are asking an illegitimate question. At the same time, we can’t just obey and blindly follow, that is not faith. This is control. Faith comes by hearing God in our hearts. When leadership says they have heard God we are to go to God as members of that body and say to God, I know You have spoken this. I need to hear this also in my heart. What is my part in this? Speak to me God, I need to hear You. What does this mean for me in my life? If we say, did You really say this? We are putting ourselves in the role of leadership. If we just say, the leaders said this, I am going to do this, that is not God either. We have to be people of faith.

My son is my pastor and in the corporate setting of ‘us’ as a community, there are things that God want to express through ‘us’ as a community. When my son says he has heard God say something to ‘us’, even though I am an apostle and spiritual father in his life, even though I was the senior pastor for twenty years, I never go to God and say, God did you say this? That is an illegitimate question. I would be positioning myself to be the senior leader of the congregations. If I do that, I will hear illegitimate things. To be the community of God we must know who we are in the community and we must seek to be ‘us’.

Food For Thought,

 

Ted J. Hanson

 

Posted in #thechurch, Leadership Development | Leave a comment

The Church is Who We Are

    Greetings,

Isaiah 2:1-2 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. 

What would make a church a part of the mountain of God? It would be a place where God is higher than anything else in our hearts. It would be for the expression of God to be higher than anything else in our lives. The truth is, every mountain is made of a lot of stones. For a congregation to be a mountain, it would mean that every member needs to be a rock. Jesus said the church is built upon the rock of revelation of Christ that empowers each of us to become a testimony of Christ. It is the testimony of our lives being empowered by the huge rock of relationship that God builds His church. He is building the church and the gates of the realm of the dead cannot prevail against it.  Another metaphor for the church is the mountain of God. It is the place where the little rocks like Peter become a part of the big rock – the testimony of Christ. When that happens, the nations flow into it. They are drawn to the life of each stone in the mountain.

What happens in the mountain? If a congregation is an expression of the mountain of God that is higher than all the other hills in the community, its members prove to be more dependable than anything else that can be seen in the city. When members of the city look at the testimony of a stone in the mountain, they begin to stream into the mountain. What happens in the mountain?

Isaiah 2:3 Many people shall come and say,“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

The mountain of the Lord has to be the place that God lives. We need God’s presence more than anything. We want Jesus to be famous in our midst and in the city. The manifest presence of God transforms our lives and our cities. For this to happen, each little rock in the mountain must see God as more than anything in their lives. As leaders, we must be examples of rocks in the mountain of God. We lead by allowing God to manifest in our lives in a way that others can be touched and inspired by His testimony in our lives. In the mountain of God, each little rock manifests God in their life. When all the stones come together, the most notable and recognized thing is the presence of God. God lives here! We don’t walk out of our gatherings together to say we are walking out of the house of God. We are saying the stones of the house of God are going into the city. No matter where we find ourselves in the city, we are still us. No matter where we find ourselves, we are part of the mountain of God. We are the church! It is not some place we go. It is a place that others can come to, because they are drawn to the testimony of our lives.

The church is not a place we go, it is who we are. We go into the community with the presence of God. It is not the responsibility of leadership or the worship team to give us the presence of God, they lead us by helping us experience the presence of God, but we each vessels of His glory. We don’t gather together as a church to get the presence of God. We come and we are reminded of the presence we always carry. So, we become the presence of God in the coffee shop, the presence of God on the construction site, the classroom, the taxi cab, and in our homes. We are part of the mountain of God in the earth. In the mountain of God, we have the presence of God and then what happens in this mountain? He teaches us His ways. In the setting of coming together in a meeting, or being in relationship in everyday life as the community of God in the local community, we are being taught God’s ways. What are God’s ways? In the justice systems of the world it is right to demand your rights. In the justice system of the kingdom of heaven it is right to give up your rights for the sake of others. In the justice system of the world, when someone hates you it is right to hate them. In the justice system of the kingdom of heaven, when someone hates you it is right to love them. In the justice system of the world, when someone does something to you that is unforgivable it is right to not forgive them. In the justice system of the kingdom of God, it is right to forgive them. In the justice systems of the world, it is right for the guilty to die, but in the justice system of the kingdom of heaven it is right for the innocent to die for the guilty. These are God’s ways. They are ways of radical, extravagant love. Each stone in the mountain of God is different than the stones in the mountains of the world.

As leaders, we are examples of stones in the mountain of God. Being an example of a stone in the mountain is more important and any program we can offer. It is the power of inspiration to the other stones in the mountain of God. We must lead by being an example in the ways of God to those we lead.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

Posted in #thechurch, Leadership Development | Leave a comment