The video is here.
The goal of Releasing Kings is to connect people with their hearts – thereby connecting them with what God has written in their hearts for the Kingdom and with the person of Jesus. The heart of God’s people is weary of the soulish and intellectual treadmill, and hungry for experiences in the presence of God. We are thirsty to enter the Kingdom, not just see it in others or put it first on our mental priority list.
In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” …”I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:3-8 NIV
When Jesus dwells in our hearts, we are always longing for the real, always feeling loss from that which is void of His Spirit. I am not hungry for more meetings or more knowledge, even though I’ve received much from them. My heart is longing for the genuine – both in spiritual experiences and practical life. Dreams do come true. The wealth that funds those dreams can be produced. But how does it happen practically?
The heart – Every good and perfect gift obviously comes from God (James 1:17). However, all those blessings flow from and through hearts that have been prepared as vessels or channels of that blessing. Everything we believe, say and do flows right out of our hearts. What our minds think doesn’t really matter – in fact (to my surprise) there is no word in Hebrew for “mind.” It’s what is in our hearts that matters.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Prov 4:23 NIV
“The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. Matt 12:35 NASU
We experience our external life through our five senses, but the interpretation of our heart is what defines our reality – which may not be reality at all! We don’t see things the way they are, we see things the way we are… the way our hearts are scripted.
One person can experience loss or setbacks, and become depressed if that loss has been the experience of his heart. Another may see the same experience as an opportunity for a resurrection, and start shopping for his breakthrough. Both will receive what their hearts expect. All of us have already made some of these choices in our hearts. We can’t just mentally understand the verse; we have to “experience” resurrection in our hearts.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Rom 8:28-30 NIV
Yes, but how? – Cultivating a healthy heart comes through Biblical meditation. Please don’t run for the hills! This is really practical, new and exciting… something I’ve experienced in a way that caused me to redefine my entire vocabulary. The first step is knowing the important role that our heart plays in our walk with Jesus. It’s the connection point between the Holy Spirit and our spirit on one side, and the outer life of our body and soul on the other. Can you see where it starts? “Spirit gives birth to spirit.” Can you see why Paul said he spoke in tongues more that everyone? He was preparing his heart to receive something big. Signs and wonders are supposed to confirm His words… and the words that we speak in His name. It’s a pretty cool experience that starts with prayer, praying in the spirit and meditation.
Meditation – Mediation has three aspects: past, present and future. In our hearts we are picturing our past (almost like a movie) and re-experiencing what went right and wrong. The healthy edit that we make to our history is that we allow God to show us how he redeemed our past and resurrected something great from it. God wasn’t the author of our grief, but he is the one who works “everything” for good. In meditation we “experience” that goodness in every disaster in our history. We become grateful for who we are and the path we’ve been on because we can see God’s hand in it – redeemed purpose.
For example, my mom died a long, slow and painful death from cancer when I was 16. I couldn’t even identify with that memory for years. I couldn’t allow myself to feel the pain. However, the Lord reminded me one day that her death was what made me open to getting saved when I was 18. She is the reason that I’m a believer, and one day I will thank her personally. It was a huge tragedy that has become an even bigger grace to Release Kings with heart. I’m very grateful.
I do the same thing with past successes. My high school basketball team never lost a home game when I was a junior and senior. We won our local championship both years and I saw my name in the paper every week. Those same feelings reignite whenever some exploit happens in the Kingdom. It’s easy for me to envision success because of that experience. There is a movie in my heart.
The present – There is always a multitude of people and events swirling around in our current experience. Meditation is allowing us to see the Kingdom in all that goes on. It’s seeing what the Father is doing right now and jumping in to help. It’s taking the time to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in everything around us. If I’m “reacting” to a circumstance (a trigger that sets off an emotional reaction), Jesus can connect the dots to the circumstance in our past that our heart is using to freak out… and He can exchange the hurt and fear with His view so that our hearts are healed and respond His way. We’re not relying on pretense, self-will, or self-discipline. Heart healing happens at a root level. It’s not a psychiatric band aid or religious pretense.
The Future – The kingdom is built on the dreams that God wrote, and is writing, on our hearts. We have to picture ourselves in those more-than-conquering roles that are almost too good to be true. I always allow myself to dream about what I’ll experience at the next conference, or what the next month of trading will produce, or what business opportunity will show itself. I try hard to keep up with Jesus… who promises to do exceedingly and abundantly beyond all that we can ask or imagine. I give myself permission to dream as big as I can… to share as much of His heart for the Kingdom and have as much of his love for people as my heart will hold. I imagine the fruit, the fun and the increase so vividly that I experience the feeling of it beforehand. Meditation has a strong prophetic overtone. It’s how God talks to us.
Mediation is what prepares my heart in advance for exploits. We should not be surprised by the goodness of God. We get to taste it before it happens.
PS: One other thing has happened in this process of experiencing my heart. I’ve changed my vocabulary to make room for experiencing the heart of life. Here’s a snapshot:
Thinking – Making new connections in pictures and experiences, vs. memorization of data for later regurgitation.
Reading – Sharing the author’s heart, experience and perspective (an encounter), vs. intellectual exposure to information.
Learning – Experiencing a new truth (He taught me and He said, “Lay hold of my words with all your heart; Prov 4:4 NIV), vs. adding information or memorization.
Faith – Seeing and believing something already in the heart of God; received by revelation, vs. self-will and self-discipline – forcing ourselves believe and act on a principle or concept that is not in our heart (religion).
Meditation – Seeing and experiencing the past, present and future in light of the Kingdom, vs. memorization, trances, letting your mind go blank, chanting, etc.
Understanding – Watching how something works for others, vs. intellectual theory
Wisdom – the experience of something working in my life, and applying it again.
Transformation – Entering a new experience by reinterpreting an old one. Exchanging our heart’s images, scripts and pictures so that triggers don’t trigger and reality is seen from God’s perspective, vs. changing intellectual concepts, ideas and information.
Deception – Substituting words for experience (a form of Godliness that denies the power).
Revival – Experiencing God in a building.
Reformation – Experiencing God in a culture.
Mastery / Maturity – A living reality that can be demonstrated, measured in spiritual fruit and practical dollars, vs. sharing intellectual theories or just talking about experiences (clouds without rain).
Discipleship / discipline – Instead of me holding you accountable for my agenda, I’m holding you accountable to define and pursue the desires God wrote in your heart. I’m giving you permission, encouragement and tangible help. In return, we’re finding the synergism between your heart and my heart and the same agenda gets done… from the heart.
Clive Wilson is a friend who has known me for several years and is familiar with Releasing Kings, has attended our conferences, etc. He suggested that I look into Larry Napier’s work on Rediscovery of the Heart because it ties in with so much of our work at Releasing Kings. Clive is right, and I want to recommend that you take a look at it. I liked it so much that I became an affiliate http://rediscoveryoftheheart.com/johngarfield …haven’t been able to stop watching the videos. They are really good.
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