Learning to drink – In 1995 Sue and I went back to Toronto to the Airport Vineyard to catch an outpouring… there were meetings six nights a week and people were there from at least 60 different nations. Our congregation was glad to see me go; and to some degree pushed me out the door. As an engineer who was raised on a ranch, I didn’t naturally release my heart or my emotions in front of them. When we got to Toronto the meetings were filled with the presence of God and the speakers felt no obligation to teach a coherent message. The goal was to help people experience the Holy Spirit. Nearly every one ended up on the floor at some time. Laughter and healing were common ingredients. Waves would sweep over the congregation of a couple of thousand people – It was thrilling to see the Lord move. I wanted to be part of it all and I learned that if I was willing to surrender and allow the Lord to touch my own heart that I could laugh too. It healed something in my heart that I carry to this day and cherish very much. I’ve never again been ashamed to release my heart or emotions to simply share the heart of Jesus whether it’s tears or laughter.
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Prov 17:22
When we got home our church experienced the same thing. Waves of laughter would overtake those willing to release their hearts and enjoy His presence. We basked in His glory and enjoyed the season. I didn’t think I’d changed but my closest friends and family told me I had. It was wonderful. The revival was a season in God that has passed, but my heart was changed forever.
A bike wreck – Yesterday David and Poul and I drove through the countryside of Ukraine on the way from Lutsk to L’viv. We passed horse drawn wagons and old women watching Holsteins as they grazed in unfenced meadows. As we passed through one small town a middle aged man drove the bike he was riding into a curb and fell awkwardly in slow motion. Poul pointed out that he was drunk and had probably spent his small wage in a bar on his way home to his family. It was a metaphor for us. Let me explain.
The pull on your heart – I’ve witnessed “live” God moving through Kings to change a nation. Paul started a gate factory that employs about 15 people. Tommy, his manager, chose to staff the factory with local men from rehab. They aren’t all saved yet. The factory is two years old and they have done an amazing job of balancing the quality and production of their product in a bureaucratic culture with a staff that is not naturally entrepreneurial. The cash flow is almost positive and Paul has a vision to start 2 more factories in the future.
There are struggling church plants, new businesses in a down economy, and hundreds of worthwhile people and causes that pull on your heart. Our conference and books will play a strategic role in the Kingdom here to make missions self-supporting by Releasing Kings.
To drink or abstain – Kings with tender hearts have a huge temptation to empty their wallets and play a role in changing places like the Ukraine. Where do we draw a line and find the balance between wisdom and the party? Let me offer a simple recipe.
We’re not too surprised when youthful servants empty their wallets for a good cause. There is a camp that describes it as a sacrifice that God delights in – the widow’s mite. It’s really a poverty mentality inspired by spiritual vodka that lives for the moment.
Kings have a store of seed that God “continually increases.” They give out of the overflow of those businesses and investments. They never give away the seed that is producing the next harvest. In fact, God is calling Kings to have a hundred year vision and answer this question. How will your vision and seed pass on to the next generation so that your work will continue (and increase) after you’re gone? Those business plans that cover decades and mentor our replacements are the inheritance and Kingdom legacy God is calling us to steward.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Cor 9:8-11 NIV
Wisdom – It’s not spiritual for Kings to give away all their money. When they risk or give away their seed, they risk or give away their ministry now and in the future. Does it happen? Yes, Kings can get addicted to the anointing and give away their seed. Their wives feel exactly like the wife of the alcoholic who wrecked his bike and showed up at the door with vodka on his breath… with no money for food.
For Kings, giving feels so good it can be addictive. But God has His eye our our spiritual grandchildren and how we steward our message and our seed so the next generations can run with it… and exceed our own exploits. What has really opened my eyes is seeing what God is doing in 20 something’s. They are golden. My heart is leaping because they will Release Kings at levels we’ve never imagined. Our assignment is to steward their inheritance in the message and the money and the ministry so that the baton is passed without missing a step.
A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children… Prov 13:22 NIV