Empowered From Within

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Greetings,

As leaders, we are called to lead people in knowing God and knowing who they are as sons and daughters of God. We are planters, waterers, builders, and other terms that apply to the edification, exhortation, encouragement, comfort and strengthening of the family of God. We are called to labor for the purposes of the kingdom of God in the lives of those we are called to lead. The kingdom of God is the kingdom of our Lord and Christ – Jesus. It is a kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit within the hearts of those who receive it. It is an internal kingdom that transforms the external expressions of the kingdoms of our lives and thus our kingdoms become kingdoms of our Lord and Christ. The external expressions of our lives are the outward evidence of the focus of our hearts and minds. The kingdom of God working in us is seen in the expressions of our kingdoms to this world. The unshakable kingdom God increasingly affects the shaking kingdoms of our world. What is the unshakable kingdom? Is it only the kingdom to come or is there a measure of the unshakeable kingdom in our lives today?

Hebrews 12:25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. 26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

God is speaking to us in our spirits. This is the source of our faith and the empowerment of our obedience to God in all things. It is more powerful that the external voices in our world. It is the internal voice of the unshakeable kingdom of God. It is the internal voice that empowers internal changes in our lives. It is like leaven in the loaf of bread that fills it from the inside out. It is the germination of the seed of faith that becomes a growing tree. It is the brightness of the internal light that grows brighter and brighter every day. It is the testimony of the good work begun by God in our hearts that will be completed. As leaders, we embrace this truth; and we lead others into becoming increasingly stable in all their ways by the power of the kingdom of God working in their hearts. God is a consuming fire, and He is purifying our lives by consuming what can be consumed and refining all that reveals His glory in our lives. The kingdom of God is a greater kingdom than the kingdoms of this world and it is by the working of the internal kingdom of God in our hearts that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God.

The unshakable kingdom is who we are, not what we do. Who we are determines how we do every ‘what to do’ in life. Moses had to encounter the God of fire in the bush. He had to become consumed with the passion, zeal, and purpose of God in His heart. He needed an encounter with God as his God. He needed to know that there was no separation between him and God. He needed to know that God and he lived together in all things. Moses needed a transformation by the life-giving God of heaven to lead God’s people into that same encounter in life. The deliverance of Israel from Egypt was more about becoming the testimony of the children of God upon the earth than about being freed from Egypt. Being freed from a life of sin is only the invitation to become an expression of God’s life-giving people upon the earth. God wants us to become heaven powered from within. When we are empowered from within, we can do all things without. As leaders, we must be empowered from within, and we must lead others in being empowered by the kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit in all things. By this, we can be unshakeable people of God in a shaking world, and we will shine as a light of truth and hope. We can be the light of Day into the darkness of the night!

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson




Donations can be made at the link on the home site of:

www.ted4leaders.com

www.ted4you.com or

www.houseofbreadministry.org.

Checks can be made payable to House of Bread Ministry and sent to:

House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98225

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Knowing Him

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Greetings,

What we do doesn’t determine who we are, but who we are is what empowers us to do the things we do. Who we are is most important in each of our lives. For this reason, we see the glory of God in our lives by the image that we see in the mirror. When we look at the reflection of our lives we see, though dimly, the testimony of what is happening inside of us by the power of Christ within. Our turning to the Lord is not in some distant place. It is within our hearts. It is in the place where our spirit joins the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

What we are becoming is determined by the kingdom of God within us. Christ in us is the testimony of the kingdom of God within us. He is the source of our righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. God’s expression in our hearts transforms who we are for a greater purpose than ourselves. God’s voice in our hearts transforms us for the purpose of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God isn’t about the things we see or the things we do. It is about who we are by the power of Christ at work within our hearts and minds.

Luke 17:20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

The kingdom of God is not a natural kingdom, but when we discover the kingdom of God within us it affects even the practical things of our lives. The kingdom of God is within our hearts. It is a kingdom of knowing righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

These three internal realities are all about knowing who God is and knowing who we are. It is not enough to know that God is, we must know who God is. God is the Son, Jesus; God is the Spirit, Holy Spirit; and God is the Father. He is the one who gives us life, breath, and all things. He wants us to know Him in the truth of His triune reality. Jesus is the one who saves us. He is our righteousness. He makes us come alive so that we can be life. We can only give life to our world if we are life. This is the substance of true righteousness. Christ in us reveals the testimony of being children of God because of Jesus our Savior in all things. He is our way to a relationship with God. He is our source of life. He is our righteousness. From our hearts we now know that God is our God! Holy Spirit in our lives is the testimony that there is no gap between us and God. We are growing as overcoming sons and daughters of God. We have peace in the Holy Spirit. We are sons and daughters of God! The evidence is both internal and external in our lives. We are expressions of God because there is no gap between us and God in the Spirit. This is our peace! God is our Father, and He is with us in all things. In His presence is the fullness of joy. That joy is in the internal place of the heart. It is joy in the Holy Spirit. Joy is not just happiness. Joy is the fullness of God’s focus, purpose, and destiny in our lives. God is the one who gives us all things. We live with Him in all things. God wants us to know who He is! It is a growing reality that makes us live as children, sons or daughters, and fathers or mothers in an intimate relationship with Him!

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson




Donations can be made at the link on the home site of:

www.ted4leaders.com

www.ted4you.com or

www.houseofbreadministry.org.

Checks can be made payable to House of Bread Ministry and sent to:

House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98225

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Leading To Become

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Greetings,

Today I am gleaning from a subject that I blogged on in 2017, because the subject matter is very relevant for today. I felt impressed to revisit this regarding us being able to take in our hand what God has called us to take hold of in this present hour. God wants to bring a change in us, not merely a change of what we do. It is the change in us that will bring the change to our world. God is an I AM not an I DO. We must become a testimony of “i am” in Christ. As leaders, knowing who we are is more important than knowing what to do. We are not called to merely lead people in doing things for God. We are called to lead people in becoming who they are meant to be in Christ. The confession of our hearts cannot be one of the acts of our life, but that of the character of our lives. The character of who we are will not only define what we do, but also the reason for which we do all things. Knowing what to do is not enough. We must first know who we are. When we know who we are, we can easily discover the why of all the things we do in life. Knowing why we do what we do is more powerful than merely knowing what to do. Knowing why we do what we do will empower us to do anything and everything necessary in our path of destiny. Knowing why we do what we do will also inspire us to be creative in the changing seasons of our lives. To take hold of the new thing of God does not mean we forsake who we are or who we have been. It means we embrace a more mature reality of who we are for the sake of relevance today. Merely knowing what to do can leave us easily swayed from destiny when the style, method, and way of doing things changes in the seasons of God’s unfolding grace. Our focus and our passion can be easily extinguished when what we do is more powerful than why we do it.

I have been addressing the life of Moses in his path to carry the rod of deliverance for the Israelites. Moses was destined to be a deliver to his people, Israel. As a prince in Egypt, Moses knew what to do when he saw the oppression of the Israelites. He sought to deliver his people when he murdered the Egyptian. In his heart he knew what to do, but he had to become who he was meant to be before he could be entrusted with the task. He had to know that God’s purpose cannot be fulfilled without God’s presence in his life. His forty years in the wilderness was about becoming who he needed to be to deliver God’s people. It was not about knowing what to do. He needed an encounter with God, more than he needed instructions from God. He had to lose his old life and find it new! Every season of our lives is dependent upon us finding God’s presence in our lives. Every new thing requires a new discovery of God In the center of our being. It is God’s presence, testimony, and purpose in our lives that defines the reality of every season.

Who we are precedes the ‘what to do’s’ in our lives. Leaders are God’s gift to lead others into becoming who they are meant to be in Christ, not merely what to do in life. Who we are today is part of a continual process of change. The secret to being who we are today is finding the Lord in a fresh way in our lives today.

2 Corinthians 3:16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

The liberty of life is not found in what we do. It is found in what and who we become because of Christ in us. It is in our being that we are empowered in the doings. To lay hold of the new things of God we must first become a new expression of God in who we are. How many times do congregation members measure their leaders based on whether they think they know what they are doing or not? How many times do we all measure others based upon whether we think another knows what they are doing or not? Leadership is more about becoming than it is doing. Membership is more about embracing becoming what we are being led to become than what we are being led to do.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson




Donations can be made at the link on the home site of:

www.ted4leaders.com

www.ted4you.com or

www.houseofbreadministry.org.

Checks can be made payable to House of Bread Ministry and sent to:

House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98225

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God Is Doing A New Thing

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Greetings,

We must be willing to let go of what we have trusted in the past to be able to pick up what God wants us to learn to trust today. God is always up to something new! This is the nature of life! If we seek only the comfortable places of our past, or even the present, we will be bound to a place of moments and memories and we will not find the present momentum of God’s path of destiny in our lives. As leaders, we lead others into a path of God’s will and that path is a path of God’s kingdom influence. God’s kingdom is a kingdom of internal influence upon our hearts and minds, and it is a place of faith. Faith happens when we hear God in our hearts and faith is the testimony of God’s wisdom that leads us forward into God’s path of destiny for our lives. God is always speaking, so we can expect to have to embrace things we haven’t seen, heard, or thought about before in our journey of being led by God. This is what it means to be obedient to faith. A journey of faith doesn’t happen according to our will. It is according to God’s will. What opposes faith are the things we have seen before. Natural sight is the opposite of faith.

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Natural sight is the opposite of faith and natural sight manifests as sight, sound, feelings, and anything that is propagated by creation and created things. Those created things can even be experiences that we have received from God in the past. Any time God moves in our lives it creates an experience that brings life to our souls, but if we get stuck in that experience the experience becomes more valuable to us than the One who created it. Our walk of faith must be filled with continued new experiences in God. Leading others is leading them to find the fresh experiences of God in their lives. It is about His kingdom coming and His will being done in all things.

Isaiah 43:18 “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness

and rivers in the desert. 20 The beast of the field will honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen. 21 This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.”

We are in a season of the grace of the Spirit of Knowing and it is the Spirit of Knowing that will empower us to be the people of God. This is not a Spirit of information, but a Spirit of intimacy with God and one another as the people of God. Even the things of the flesh, the spiritual powers of the way of the flesh, and the strength of the passions of the flesh will see the life of God’s Spirit prevail in the places that seemed to lack God’s presence. It is God’s presence that transforms the wilderness places to spacious places of the work of God’s grace. God’s presence in our own lives will transform us from where we have been to where we need to be today. It is in the place of God’s now presence that the new thing of God springs forth. That is the place where we find the path of God’s future and hope in our lives. The unknown place before us is the place where God can create what we have not seen, heard, or thought of before. This is the place of new life! It is not a place of our doing, but of God’s doing.

Isaiah 48:5 Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you, lest you should say, ‘My idol has done them, and my carved image and my molded image have commanded them.’ 6 “You have heard; see all this. And will you not declare it? I have made you hear new things from this time, even hidden things, and you did not know them. 7 They are created now and not from the beginning; and before this day you have not heard them, lest you should say, ‘Of course I knew them.’ “

We cannot substitute the creative ways of God for the creative ways of ourselves. To embrace the new things being created by God we must be willing to let go of things that were previously created. We must not fall for the temptation of creating something new from what God created yesterday. We must allow God to create the new thing now! God tells us things to come, but our own preconceived ideas can resist what God is telling us. We must not be quick to judge the new things by old things. We must judge all things by the Spirit of Life in Christ. God is doing a new thing!

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson




Donations can be made at the link on the home site of:

www.ted4leaders.com

www.ted4you.com or

www.houseofbreadministry.org.

Checks can be made payable to House of Bread Ministry and sent to:

House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98225

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What Is In Your Hand Today

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Greetings,

Last week, I presented that it was the rod in the hand of Moses that carried the authority and the anointing to part the Red Sea before the Israelites at their passage from the season of their past to the season of their present in their path of destiny. The rod in the hand of Moses was not the rod that he held in his hand when he was an Egyptian prince. It was not the rod that he held in his hand when he was a shepherd of sheep in the wilderness. It was a rod of deliverance! Where did it come from? How did Moses get this rod?

To receive the rod of deliverance, Moses had to have an experience with God in his day in the wilderness. Without an experience with God in his wilderness, his path as a deliverer would have led him to the rod of an Egyptian prince – a rod of a past season in his life. We must know that in this season of 2020/2021, God has been working things for our good. God is calling us into a fresh season as His people in the earth. We cannot return to the season of our past. If we return to church, or church leadership, as it has been we will be bound to a season of the past. If we embrace what is being given to us in the present circumstances of today, we will be bound to the condition of our present world. We must receive a rod of God’s kingdom come and His will being done now to move forward into what God has for us today.

Exodus 4:1 Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.'” 2 So the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.” 3 And He said, “Cast it on the ground.” So, he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. 4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail” (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand),

The rod that Moses was familiar with, the rod that Moses had depended upon in the past season of His life, had to become something new in the season of his present. God doesn’t want us to be someone that we are not, but he does want us to be willing to let go of what we held on to yesterday to pick up what He has for us today. Moses had to be willing to let go of the thing that was comfortable for him. The thing that worked for him was what was to be destiny in his hand, but he had to be willing to let it go. Holding on to the rod of a shepherd in the wilderness, would bind him to a season of his wilderness. The rod he carried was the thing he had leaned upon. He had learned to depend upon it to live in his present world. He had to let go of it, however. He couldn’t hold on to it. He had to cast it into the hands of God and let God bring life to it. The mundane had to take on the life of God. I believe that this is prophetically true for us in this present season in our world as the people of God. We must be willing to let go of some things we have been doing in order to pick up what God wants us to do now!

Whatever it is that God has called us to do is in our hands right now. No matter what stage it might be in, or what form it might take, in our hands is the destiny that God has called us to. Sometimes we fail to see it because we are holding on to it so tight, and we fail to give it to God to let it serve Him in the way that is relevant for today. We fail to give it to God and let God change it to what is necessary for today. When Moses threw his rod upon the ground it became a serpent. It appeared to be something that was a little scary. He would have perhaps rejected it in the past, but he had to be willing to pick it up in his present. He had to be willing to pick up what he threw down, even though its appearance was totally different than what he threw upon the ground. The secret was not merely in his ability to throw his rod upon the ground, but in his personal encounter with the presence of God in the burning bush.

What is in your hand? What are you responsible for? What is God calling you to be responsible for? How can you serve God with who you are and what you have today? How can you put what you have been depending upon into the hands of God and trust it to be God when it becomes something you don’t think you have seen before?

We must take what we have held on to in our past and put it in God’s hand and let Him bring life to it. What worked for us yesterday is found in the rod as it was yesterday, but what works today is found in what God makes the rod to be today. What is it that works for us today that is filled with the life that God is putting into it? Moses didn’t get a new rod. He got a transformed rod. What he held in his hand didn’t change who he was, it merely drew out another measure of who he really was for his path of destiny in life. God isn’t asking us to be someone we are not, but if we aren’t willing to grab hold of what God is putting life in today, we will be dwarfed to become who we always have been in our path of destiny.

God, help us to find You in the burning bush of our present reality. Give us faith to lay down what we think is our strength so we can find what You are putting Your blessing and life in today for the sake of those we influence in our world. The secret to our today is the rod in our hands today, but the secret to finding that rod is finding a fresh consuming presence of you in our lives. Only Your presence in our lives can empower the passion of our hearts for all that You desire today. Don’t let what You have done in our lives before be a greater flame than who You are today! Don’t let our preconceived ideas for tomorrow be a greater desire than the desire we have for You that inspires whatever You desire in our lives today. Renew us for such a day as this!

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson




Donations can be made at the link on the home site of:

www.ted4leaders.com

www.ted4you.com or

www.houseofbreadministry.org.

Checks can be made payable to House of Bread Ministry and sent to:

House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98225

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His Consuming Presence

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Greetings,

As I wrote last week, we must all embrace the reality of what God puts in our hands for each season of our lives. When we embrace who we are today, we can expect the supernatural testimonies of who God is in our lives for today. There is a Scripture concerning Moses and the children of Israel that is often misquoted. In this past season of COVID with its restraints and imposed adjustments to our lives, I have seen this text posted to proclaim what God is going to do in our day.

Exodus 14:13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

These words of Scripture can only be understood if we look at the further text of Scripture where they were given. There is a time where God says to stand still, but that was not the case at the banks of the Red Sea. God had put something in Moses’ hand that would enable him to move forward even in a day of natural challenges that seemingly offered no way forward. We can easily misquote Scripture when we look at it according to mere chapters and verses. The chapters and verses of our Bible were not added until the 13th and 14th century after Christ came. It is handy to have the chapters and verses to be able to locate things in our Bibles, but they also very often distract us from the full story of their context. The Bible is filled with statements of truth as well as simply truly stated statements. When these two things are considered together in the context of their story, they present a greater testimony of truth. In this story of Moses and Israel at the banks of the Red Sea, God did not say to stand still. These were the words of Moses. The following verses reveal the reality of the truth.

Exodus 13:15 And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. 16 But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

God didn’t say to stand still. He expected Moses and the Israelites to move forward. God didn’t show up merely because of the cry of the people at their point of facing the Red Sea. He had already shown up in the rod that was in the hand of Moses. God was demonstrating that the rod in the hand of Moses was the source of the miracle for the day. God believed in Moses and what God had commissioned to be in the hand of Moses was the authority for the now circumstance of Moses’ life. What was that rod? Where did that rod come from? How did Moses receive that rod? The story of the rod in the hand of Moses can be found in the testimony of Moses finding God in his everyday world of the wilderness. Moses had to spend forty years in the wilderness of Midian to be prepared for the days of leading Israel in the path to the Promised Land.

Exodus 3:1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

Since we have read our Bibles, we know that miraculous things happened on Mount Horeb. But in the days of Moses in the wilderness, it was a dry, and sometimes difficult, place of taking care of Jethro’s sheep. It was in that place that Moses had to discover the fresh presence of God in his life. Finding God’s consuming presence in that place held the key to the authority in Moses’ rod of tomorrow.

Exodus 3:2 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So, he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” 4 So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

God’s presence in the bush inspired Moses to turn from what he had been doing to discover what God would have him be and do. He had to know that who he was would determine what he must do in his present world and that was not determined by his present circumstances. It was determined by the consuming presence of God in his life. When he turned to look, he heard God call.

Exodus 3:5 Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” 6 Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. 7 And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” 13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.'”

Spectacular things were destined to happen at Horeb. Water from the rock, law given, golden calf (judgment), covenant made. The yet to be supernatural mountain was the common everyday backyard of Moses. It was his everyday situation. Like Moses, the mountain of God in our lives is found in our everyday situation, not somewhere else. It was the same old place that Moses had been walking around for 40 years. God had been doing a work in the heart of Moses. The Egyptian Moses had to die before the Hebrew Moses could be revealed. He, like each of us, had to die to his own personal agenda. He couldn’t be Pharaoh’s son. He had to be God’s son. Moses had to find out who he really was. 

The place that God has provided for you is not very far off.  Who are you? Who am I? God knows who He is. We are a son or a daughter of God. We are who we are, and great things are destined to happen in the coming days of our lives, but we must discover the presence of God now that is like the consuming fire of the bush. A consuming fire is a fire that gets our full attention. God must have our full attention today for us to move forward into our tomorrow. Things that have we have lost or things that we want to see happen cannot be what consumes our attention. God must consume our attention. Without God coming in a fresh presence in our lives today, we will be tempted to either stay in the circumstance of our present or to return to some no longer relevant season of our past. Where is the burning bush of God’s presence in our lives right now? Moses had to experience the consuming presence of God to discover the rod he would hold in his tomorrow.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson




Donations can be made at the link on the home site of:

www.ted4leaders.com

www.ted4you.com or

www.houseofbreadministry.org.

Checks can be made payable to House of Bread Ministry and sent to:

House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98225

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The Rod of Today

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Greetings,

Today’s blog is on a subject that is going to take me a few blogs to address. I was given this word while ministering in Wichita, Kansas last week. I was not able to record the message, but I feel it is in imperative that I write what God gave me for us to grasp hold of all that God is doing today and for us not to be bound in some season of our past.

We have come through a very interesting season. The year of 2020 and now into 2021 has proven to challenge us all with need to embrace the moment and not to hold on to what was yesterday. I believe that even what the enemy has intended for evil, God is turning for our good. We must look to God and trust God in every season of our lives. God has not called us to be someone we are not, but He has called us to be who we are today, but who we are today does not usually mean holding on to who we were or what we were doing yesterday. The essence of who we are has been seen in every season of our lives, but in every season of our lives we have had to embrace new things and new ways of doing things to be relevant to our today situation. King David was anointed with a kingly anointing as a boy, but he had to embrace being a shepherd, a delivery man of a few cheeses, a giant slayer, a servant in the courts of Saul, one who fled from Saul with honor, a leader who transformed lives, and ultimately the King of Israel. In that process, David always had the anointing of a king, but his rolls in life required him to be flexible in his function in life. In all that he did, he functioned as a king in forms that didn’t look like a king. It was not a matter of attaining to a position. It was a matter of always functioning in his world of today for the sake of the world he found himself in.

In every season of our lives, we must find our proper role for that season. Last week God took me in my mind through the many seasons of my life. I realized that in many ways I have lived several different lives. In all the seasons of my life I have found that there is good and there is bad, but God reveals His wonder and life in every season. Though who I am has not changed in them, I have had to be relevant to each, and every, season of my life to be effective in who I am in that season. I believe that every season of our lives leads to a greater glory for God’s name, but we must find ourselves in our present season and not stuck in some season of our past.

Moses was a man of some significant seasons in life. When he was born there was a great opposition to his birth. His mother had to hide him in a basket in the river Nile to save his life. He was discovered and raised by the daughter of a Pharoah in Egypt. The circumstance of his life had been greatly altered, but the purpose of his life had not. He was raised living the life of an Egyptian prince in his world. Moses had the heart of a deliverer and something inside of him desired to see the justice of God prevail for his flesh and blood people, the people of Israel. When he was a grown man, he observed the burdens of slavery and oppression that were upon his own people. One day he saw an Egyptian beating one of the Hebrew slaves and Moses killed the Egyptian. He was not welcomed by his fellow Hebrews for such a task, for they saw him as an Egyptian prince. He had the heart of a deliverer, but he needed to discover a season of becoming a true Hebrew. I believe he needed to become a Hebrew, a sojourner who knows God as Father and himself as a son. He needed to know that God was more important than merely the power to be a deliverer for God’s people. Moses found himself in a circumstance of having to flee into the desert of Midian. The name Midian implies judgment, but I believe that the forty years of Moses being in the desert helped Him find the true judgment of God’s love. Moses was forty when he fled Egypt and he was eighty years old when God called him back to Egypt to be a deliver for God’s people. Moses found himself living a seemingly different life, but the destiny and purpose of Moses remained true to who God had made and called Him to be.

It was given to Moses to be raised as an Egyptian prince, along with all the seasons that required. I am sure there were many facets to the upbringing and aspects of Moses’ life as a prince. Like me, he could probably find several lifetimes of experiences, testimonies, and memories in that forty-year chapter of his journey. The wilderness years of Moses were not less significant, they were significant for the increasing journey of destiny in his life. Moses could no longer carry the staff of an Egyptian leader, he had to learn to carry the rod of a shepherd of sheep. That rod was not a rod of great vision, it was a rod of great humility. It was a rod of great service. The sheep that he cared for were the sheep of his wife’s father and not a flock of his own. Those who have personal responsibility today are the fields where God harvests the tools of tomorrow’s authority.

As I write this blog, I know that we have all had to learn to carry the staff for every season of our lives. The staff that we carried yesterday will not work for the season of today. We must discover the rod of today and we must fully embrace it in our hands to be relevant for what God is doing today. I believe that 2020-2021 is a significant season for us as leaders in God’s church. It may seem like a season of judgment, but I believe it is a season to know the judgment of God’s love in a greater way. The season has changed, and we must find the rod of today. We cannot hold on to the rod of yesterday and expect to be relevant to the task that is at hand. God was preparing Moses for a greater rod than the rod that he carried in the wilderness, but the rod that he carried in the wilderness was essential for him to find himself in the place for receiving a greater rod for the deliverance of God’s people. I will write more on this but consider that the rod in your hand is not the rod that you carried yesterday. It is the rod of today. If we hold on to the rod that we held on to yesterday, we will bind those we are called to influence in this world to a season of the past. God is the God of NOW. He is, He was, and He will be, but He must be found today! The rod in our hands must be the rod of today and not something that we held on to yesterday. Even if we had to struggle to learn how to carry it in the past, the rod of yesterday is merely a place of comfort in our presence. We cannot be bound to what has become comfortable in our hands. We must be liberated by a fresh experience with God in every season of our lives that enables us to lay hold of the rod that is relevant for the season of our day. God wants us to embrace the challenge for our season of today!

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson




Donations can be made at the link on the home site of:

www.ted4leaders.com

www.ted4you.com or

www.houseofbreadministry.org.

Checks can be made payable to House of Bread Ministry and sent to:

House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98225

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Read Your Word Well

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Greetings,

As leaders we are called to lead people in knowing God and in becoming true testimonies as sons and daughters of God in all things. We cannot teach people to know God, but we can lead them in their process of connection with Him and in their process of responding to Him in all things. I believe that the voice of God is a very personal thing. It is the internal voice of Holy Spirit speaking to each one’s heart. The Holy Spirit is the voice, but we are responsible to discern His voice above the voice of self and other voices that seek to influence us in our world. The Scripture is a wonderful gift. It is a witness to the internal voice of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. It is not our teacher, but it is a true witness to the character, nature, way, power, and authority of our Teacher. As leaders we must lead others in reading the Scriptures well in conjunction with connecting intimately to the Holy Spirit in their hearts. When reading the Scriptures, we must look at Scripture in the context of all of truth. Truth is the person God, but Scripture is an informational truth of the Truth of God expressed. The New Testament Scriptures are filled with quotations of Old Testament Scriptures. The Old Testament is a shadow of truths found in the New Testament and the context of their quotations set a foundation for understanding their context for application in our own lives. Those Scripture quotes are usually written in oblique text in our Bible. When reading our Scriptures, we must pay attention to the oblique text! Without paying attention to the oblique text, we have no reference for what Holy Spirit is trying to reveal to us. Several examples of this are found in Romans chapter 10.

Romans 10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

These verses are often used to inspire someone to confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Although there is a certain measure of truth in that application of this Scripture, these verses are talking about something much more. In order to understand these verses written by Paul, we must also read the verses written by Moses. Paul was quoting the words of Moses that pertained to the ability of God’s people to walk and live in the Promised Land given to them by God. These verses are not about a confession that grants us entrance to heaven when we die. They are verses that pertain to a heavenly testimony within our lives in this world.

Deuteronomy 30:11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.

God’s promise was that He would be with His people on a daily basis and that He would make it possible to walk in the life He had promised. This pertains to confessing from our hearts that God is our God. It pertains to conclusive evidence that reveals an outward testimony that we are God’s people. It also pertains to a daily reality of living together with God in all things. It is not some testimony that is yet to come from heaven. It is not the result of a further sacrifice of the flesh. It is the testimony of Christ within the believer. The testimony of Christ in us in our daily lives is a witness to those around us in our world, even as Christ in the former converted gentiles of Rome were a witness to the Jews of their day.

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace,

Who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

The feet of the believers in Paul’s day were the voice that announced the salvation of God to the Jews and the Gentiles of their day. The feet of the believers were not just the word that they preached, but the testimony of the word that they were becoming because of Christ in them. This is the true message of Christ to our world as well.

Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?”

Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

The good news of Jesus was good news for the completion of the Old Covenant, and that good news was Christ in the church because of the sacrifice of Jesus for us all. That news had been prophesied by the prophet Isaiah concerning the one who would be the atonement for us all.

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”

Psalms 19:4 Their line (sound) has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run its race. 6 Its rising is from one end of heaven, and its circuit to the other end; and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The context of Psalms 19 is that creation was the word of God to people in the Old Covenant, but they would not hear. The context of Romans chapter 10 is that our lives are a testimony to those of the Old Covenant by our changed lives in Christ. The internal voice of God changes us that our lives might be a testimony to those around us and inspire them to receive Christ.

As you can see, it is important that we pay attention to the quoted words of Scripture to understand the context of God’s word to our hearts today. As leaders we must inspire those we lead to read God’s word well.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson




Donations can be made at the link on the home site of:

www.ted4leaders.com

www.ted4you.com or

www.houseofbreadministry.org.

Checks can be made payable to House of Bread Ministry and sent to:

House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98225

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God’s Absolutes

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Greetings,

As leaders we should inspire those we lead to seek to know God to the fullest in their lives. This includes teaching them to seek to understand God’s words to them. In understanding God’s words, we must seek to understand the language of God. We live in a day where many seek to define the words of others by their own definitions of those words. The truth is, we all have our own personal dictionaries to define what we believe to be the meaning of the words of others in our world. This is especially true when we create societies where there are no absolutes.

In the mid 1980s, I had a vision where I was standing in my city in a place where there is often a gathering of young people. Above me I could see a principality and he had three large chains extending from the ground to three sides of his body. The chains were each stretched tightly as the principality stretched them to his place of standing in the air. He was shouting out belligerently. He declared, “There is no God!” “There are no absolutes!” Then I heard someone say, “Pull him down”, and some began to focus on him and try to pull him from his place of standing. Then I heard God say. “I don’t want him down. I want him out of here!” I turned with my side to the principality and I lifted my hands and began to worship God. I saw thousands of young people stand with me and they raised their hands in worship to God just as I was. Jesus began to come down in bodily form in the midst of the people. As He did, I could hear the breaking of the chains holding the principality. The presence of Jesus was dispossessing the ability for the principality to be held to the ground. God was revealing to me that the way to destroy the power of the enemy was to fill the place of its standing with an expression of the body of Christ.

There are many revelations that I have received from this vision, but one thing I want to address today is that of absolutes. There are absolutes in God, but those absolutes are defined by His understanding and not ours. We cannot shape God in our likeness and image and expect to see Him for who He truly is. We must see Jesus as precious. When we see Him as precious we know we cannot live without Him! It is only then that we can allow Him to shape our hearts and minds to be as God purposes them to be in life. We are blessed to have a personal relationship with God as our Father through our adoption as sons and daughters of God by His grace found through Jesus the only begotten of the Father. We know God through the mystery of our fellowship with Holy Spirit and God as Holy Spirit is our true teacher that transforms our hearts and minds to be increasingly conformed in our image and thinking. We also have the Scriptures that have been given to us by God for our learning.

Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

The Scriptures are not our teacher. The Holy Spirit is. The religious Pharisees of Jesus’ day searched the Scriptures thinking that in them they could find salvation, but Jesus told them the Scriptures testify of Him (Jn. 5:39). The Scriptures are a witness to the voice of God, but Holy Spirit is the voice of God to our hearts. The Scriptures in their entirety are a witness to the voice of God. The Scripture is filled with statements of truth and truly stated statements that when they are put together create an infallible witness to the true voice of God by His Holy Spirit revealing principals, patterns, and values of God that are absolute in our lives. We must learn some keys in allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us the language of God. All of creation is a witness to the true character, nature, way, power, and authority of God. The language of Scripture is rooted in the language of creation. This is not the language of man’s creation or the ways of the world. It is the language of God in His creation. Man’s creation reveals man’s sin and consequences found in creation because of man’s sin reveal the weakness of man. God’s creation reveals the goodness of God and the overcoming power of His grace. The life-giving, redemptive, and healing nature of creation reveals God in His love and power. Another witness to Scripture is Scripture itself. We do not interpret Scripture by the cultures or ways of our world. We allow the language of God to be found in the language of God. Phrases in Scripture can be found in Scripture. Last week I addressed strengthening weak hands, weak knees, and finding straight paths for our feet. These phrases are found in Scripture to give us a foundation for understanding what they mean in our lives today. We must pay attention to God’s words and we must define God’s words through His generational communication to mankind. I will be giving further keys to understanding God’s words in the next blogs, but we as leaders must lead to help others understand God’s words to their hearts. The Holy Spirit teaches us by transforming our hearts and minds to agree with and become a testimony of the principals, patterns, and values of God found in the witness of His written word.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson




Donations can be made at the link on the home site of:

www.ted4leaders.com

www.ted4you.com or

www.houseofbreadministry.org.

Checks can be made payable to House of Bread Ministry and sent to:

House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98225

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Strong Hands, Strong Knees, and Straight Paths

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Greetings,

As leaders we must set an example to those we lead through a life that exhibits faith towards God in all things. This is not just at times when everything appears to be going well. It is especially true when we are enduring challenges and even when we are suffering in life. The peaceable fruit of righteousness comes to those who endure difficulty as an opportunity for manifesting as a son or daughter of God. Chastening is not about right and wrong, it is about staying in the path of life even in the midst of difficulty. This is the chastening that was endured by Jesus to be a manifested son of God in His full state of being a son of man. That chastening was not a matter of correcting Jesus, it was a matter of empowering Him to be revealed for who He really was. He set an example for us to follow as sons and daughters of God in Christ. We must never allow the testing times of our lives to manifest bitterness as was in the life of Esau who exchanged his birthright for food that merely fed his flesh. He failed to see the greatness of the purpose of his life, so he selfishly traded it away for his personal desires. We could do the same if we forget that the reason we go through the testing times of life is to bring greater life to our world and to bring those in our world to greater life. For this reason, the writer of Hebrews instructs us to have strong hands, strong knees, and to make straight paths for our feet.

Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

How do we keep strong hands, strong knees, and straight paths before our feet? We can find these answers when we consider God in the entirety of His word. There are some key words written in the book of Job in regard to the character of the righteous man Job.

Job 4:3 Surely you have instructed many, and you have strengthened weak hands. 4 Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, and you have strengthened the feeble knees…

If the instructions of a righteous man can strengthen weak hands, the instructions of God’s Spirit can do even more. Our hands are a testimony to what we give to our world. The blessings of being life-givers comes from our ability to bless our world with life. When we trust the instruction of the Holy Spirit in our lives and when we respond to His instructions we will be givers of life to all that we touch. If a righteous man can strengthen the knees of others by his words, how much more can God’s word strengthen our knees? When we stand on God’s word we can overcome all things that seek to cause us to bow our knees to things that are less than truth. I believe God’s instructions are the testimony of His Spirit and God’s words are a testimony of His truth. When the Word and the Spirit come together in our lives we can surely be who we are meant to be for the sake of our sphere of influence in this world.

What about finding the straight path for our feet? I believe the key to our straight path is the manifest presence of God in our lives. It is not about knowing what to do. It is about knowing God in all things. His presence will give us the path of life in all things.

Psalms 16:11 You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Isaiah 42:16 I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them.

As leaders we must face everything in life for the sake of others. This is not just a testimony of leaders; it is a testimony for us all. Leaders lead to inspire this truth in others. If we follow the instructions of God’s Spirit in every situation of our lives we will be givers of life to our world. If we stand fast on all that God’s has said and is saying in His word we will not bow our knees to compromise to the ways of the world. We will be overcoming sons and daughters of God in all circumstances. If we hold fast God’s manifest presence in our lives we will find the path of life and light before us in every step of our journey in life. These things are attributes of sons and daughters of God in Christ.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson




Donations can be made at the link on the home site of:

www.ted4leaders.com

www.ted4you.com or

www.houseofbreadministry.org.

Checks can be made payable to House of Bread Ministry and sent to:

House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98225

Posted in #leadershipinthechurch, #newcovenantleaders, Leadership Development | Leave a comment