Leadership Team

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Is oneness the same as togetherness? This past year the Lord has really been ministering to us about being one in His body. It is not about unity. People who totally disagree with each other and have totally opposite belief systems can come into unity over something. Being unified does not make us one.

Spending a lot of time together doesn't make us one either. Agreeing with each other or finding a place of peaceful coexistence doesn't make us one. We can only become one when God makes us one.

People who live together are not one. People of the same sex are not one. People who have pledged their undying faithfulness to each other are not one.  The only people who are one are a man and a woman who have been joined together in God’s covenant union of marriage and the Body of Christ made one in covenant with Him.

That is why God says marriage is the earthly reflection of His relationship with His Church. It is not because our marriages are such screamingly great example of faithful covenant love. It is because those are the two relationships that create oneness through covenant. That is also a reason Christians should never divorce.

We are one because God has made us one. It is not something we have to strive to obtain. It is not brought about by works or sacrifice. It is an established fact. God said it, God did it, and that is that.

Our unity, our togetherness, our fellowship are all outflows of what God has accomplished in the spirit. They are the effect, not the cause of oneness.

So, to the original question, "Is oneness the same as togetherness?"  What of our brothers and sisters who are prisoners for their faith, alone in some dark cell? Are they one with us even though we are not together? What of husband and wife separated by miles and years because of war? Are they still one? Or a comatose spouse who cannot fellowship or participate in relationship? Is that couple still one?

We ask you to think about these things now and through convention because many times in the Body of Christ we associate oneness with togetherness. We are one with those with whom we associate or with missionaries on far fields, but not so much with those we differ from or those who disagree with us.

"Lord, we ask you to teach us what it means to be one, both with You and with our spouse. Teach us the depth of oneness and let us experience the power that comes from walking in that oneness. Teach us now and when we are together at convention that when we are apart we can still flow together in oneness. Amen."

"I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.  And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are." John 17:9-11


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Friday, December 10, 2010
Faith and Marriage

One of the saddest phrases on earth is used by divorcing Christians who claim to have "irreconcilable differences". What can possibly be irreconcilable for those who follow Christ, the one who reconciled all?

There is a lot of talk in the Body of Christ about faith: faith for healing, for finances, for getting or getting rid of things, for situations, or for people. Yet there is little faith spoken or exercised when it comes to marriage.

We've often wondered what would happen if a person told a pastor or a counselor, "I've decided to murder my spouse.  Our relationship is impossible and I don't see any other option." Would the response be, "Well, it's not God's best but I understand that is the only option you have left. We have murder recovery workshops that will help you and your children heal after the murder."?

Absurd? Yes, but if you replace the word murder with the word divorce, you have a conversation that is repeated again and again in the Church every day of the week.

In Matthew 19 and Mark 10 when Jesus was speaking about fidelity in marriage He said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible." In and of ourselves, we cannot overcome situations, we cannot foster love when it has grown cold, we cannot face tragedy and continue victorious, but in Him we can.

If we truly believe that the God of the entire universe has a covenant with us through the blood of Jesus Christ and that Jesus Himself lives within us, why do Christians limit fidelity in marriage to what we are personally capable of achieving?  It is His power, His love, His victory that are available to us and our part is to walk in them. 

This ministry has a very specific call of God on it. We are not called to teach couples how to communicate or how to fight fairly. We are not called to conduct get-away weekends for couples or sponsor couples' social activities. All of those are great for marriages, but they are not what God has asked us to do.

He has called us to uphold the truth and the depth of marriage covenant throughout the earth, based on His covenant with us. He has called us to be a prophetic voice in the earth, upholding His standard and calling His bride to fidelity. In this hour, with marriage under attack on all sides, the standard must be clear and steadfast. We look forward to hearing His voice together at Convention 2011.

"..when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8


Posted by: 2=1 @ 4:30:00 am  Comments (0)
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
A Foundation of Faith

Years ago when our marriage was under attack, we experienced a crash course in learning to walk in faith. It is easy to speak of faith when little is on the line, but talk becomes cheap if we cannot stand for the critical. It was a long lesson, extended over many years, but in the end we had learned the faithfulness of God and had walked through a miracle. When our restored marriage was still very young and tender, God called us to marriage ministry. We certainly had no expertise of our own and so every step of the way was a step of faith. We trusted God for everything.  Every word we wrote and every lesson we taught came from the heart of God as we waited on Him.

We had no income, we had lost our home and almost everything we owned in a financial crash, and every day was a new chapter in trusting God for our lives. We took many ministry trips with only enough money to get there, trusting that God would bring us home. Someone once said, "God can send you anywhere in the world if you are willing to buy a one-way ticket."  We learned to do just that and He never failed to get us home again.

Faith wrote the lessons of each course, faith grew the ministry, faith gave us the courage to step out and watch God transform marriages. It was all Him and if He did not do it, nothing would happen. 

Somehow through the years, though, faith got crowded out by growth and organization. Meeting the expectations of others replaced the simple ability to do what God says even if it doesn't make sense. We took on the responsibility for the life of the ministry and the welfare of leaders in the ministry. The need was great so we made many changes to the make it easier for couples to lead groups, easier for them to be faithful. We had been willing to pay the price, but somehow we felt we had to "protect" others. When you take on responsibiity that is God's alone, it is exhausting.

We have repented and given it back to Him. Couples need to respond to His voice, not ours or yours, and be faithful to His calling. Faith grows in a season of need. When we cannot do it ourselves and we have to trust God completely, faith increases. We all need to walk through those times. There is great freedom in letting go and letting God and right now we are in a wonderful place.  We are eager to hear His word for the marriages and families of the nations. And we are excited to see what He is going to do at Convention 2011.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  Hebrews 11:6


Posted by: 2=1 @ 4:40:00 am  Comments (0)
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