Lisa Perna possesses that kind of childlike spirit and deep relationship with Jesus that I am growing toward so help me God. She has that infectious wonder and joy in the person of Jesus. In this interview Lisa shares how she encountered Jesus face to face and even danced with him!
Dancing With Jesus
After hearing about her dancing with Jesus and what Jesus told her I began to pray, “Jesus I want to dance with you.” This became a metaphor for finding that flow in partnering with Jesus and enjoying abundant life in His Presence. But we must let him take the lead in this Divine dance!
“Now repent (change your mind) of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. For he must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his holy prophets.” – Acts 3:19-21 NLT
We were created to enjoy an intimate relationship with our Loving heavenly Papa and our Creator Jesus Christ. In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, Holy Spirit informs us that we were created by Jesus and for Jesus. Like the prodigal son of Jesus story we too need to return home and when we do, we will find the Everlasting Father (Jesus himself according to Isaiah 9) running out to meet us and scooping us into his arms and twirling us about.
Growing More Childlike
Isn’t it interesting that growing as a follower of Christ means getting more childlike? I remember hearing Wm Paul Young share this quote by G. K. Chesterson:
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. Could it be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” ― G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
Enjoy the interview! Be looking for my upcoming book, The Christian Mystic – Encounters With Jesus and His Love. This book will feature many stories of people I have interviewed (including Lisa Perna) who have had amazing life altering encounters with Jesus and His Love!
In this interview with translator Brian Simmons we cover these questions and topics:
Is the Bible’s trustworthy? Brians Testimony and Encounter with Jesus! What does it mean that God is Love? What is the meaning of the Revealing of the Sons of God in Romans 8? End times and Prophecy perspectives? How important is it to marinate our minds in the Word of God?
I am currently working on a book about Encounters With Jesus and His Love and so it is a real treat to hear about Brians Divine visitation. I am delighted that he agreed to allow me to publish his story in my book!
Brian came to trust in Jesus in 1971. Brian then married and he and his wife became career missionaries. He planted churches and worked alongside Wycliffe translators serving the Piacuna people group. God directed them through an audible voice back to the United States just prior to a hostile takeover of the village. Sadly, the men Brian had put in place to lead the church were murdered.
Brian and his wife moved to New England where they pastored a church for eighteen years. When the Lord eventually led them to hand over leadership of the church, Brian then asked the Lord, “What do you want me to do next?”
God answered his request with a Divine visitation. Jesus appeared to Brian and commissioned him for the work of making the Passion Translation. He told him he would help him and share secrets with him (we talk more about this in the interview) and that persecution would come.
Watch the Youtube interview or download the podcast and enjoy this powerful testimony for yourself!
“We have come into an intimate experience with God’s love, and we trust in the love he has for us. God is love! Those who are living in love are living in God, and God lives through them.” (1 John 4:16 TPT)
Brian explains how the Scriptures are an on ramp to encountering Jesus and His love for yourself. Love is the Bibles mega theme. God’s mission for each one of us is this:
“Love the person you are with in the moment as you go though life.”
God’s plan to save and change the world is Love. Anyone who doesn’t have love, doesn’t have God. But those who live in love most certainly have God!
OUR MYSTICAL UNION WITH GOD IN CHRIST
Brian and I talk about the importance of a real intimate loving relationship and connection with God. After all, isn’t this what we were created for?
I asked Brian, “What does it mean to be “one with God in Christ?”
“So when that day comes, you will know that I am living in the Father and that you are one with me, for I will be living in you.” John 14:20
Our mystical union with God in Christ is something I’m very passionate about and something God has highlighted for me in one of my encounters with Jesus. I reference this in the interview but unpack it a bit more here:
Brian Simmons Exposed!
In conclusion, it is clear to me that Brian Simmons has been exposed as a lovely man of God who fears and loves God. His heart is centered on opening people’s eyes to the Fathers fiery heart of love for his children in his labor of love, The Passion Translation. Brian is also committed to forgiving his persecutors realizing that they are God’s servants to further refine his character.
What else did we talk about in this interview? Below are some other fine things that on the surface don’t seem as exciting but perhaps necessary to consider for many people:
Is The Bible Trustworthy?
“Every Scripture has been written by the Holy Spirit, the breath of God. It will empower you by its instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness. Then you will be God’s servant, fully mature and perfectly prepared to fulfill any assignment God gives you.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 The Passion Translation (TPT)
Brian and I began the interview by clearing through the conspiracy theory fog that claims that the Scriptures have been tampered with. Indeed, it would have been impossible to alter the Scriptures given the amount of copies of the texts that were spread throughout the known world.
The New Testament has been better preserved than any other historical document. Scholars have reconstructed reliable original autographs from over 5,800 complete or fragmented Greek manuscripts. We can trust that the translators are working from documents that reflect with utmost accuracy what the prophets and apostles originally penned by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
In light of the facts and evidence, we can indeed trust the inspired Word of God. But how then do we understand and apply what has been written? The way I see it, we must have the Author, the Holy Spirit, with us to explain it. I thank God that the Holy Spirit is a very willing and available Teacher.
Do Certain Translations Have Weaknesses?
If you think about it, to properly understand the Scriptures, wouldn’t you have to have lived in the culture and be fluent in the original languages in which it was written? We depend on translators who have studied the culture and original languages to bring the nuances and understanding out of the text for modern readers.
All translations have certain weaknesses. For example the manuscripts that the translators of the King James Version worked from had additions of a few extra notes and verses that were inserted by various scribes through the previous centuries. This created confusion as people today have formed a misguided conspiracy about “verses being removed” from modern translations like the New International Version and most others.
Translations are also inevitably swayed by the bias and theologies of the translator(s). Because this is the case, the important question for any translator is this:
Does the translator truly know and love the real Jesus? Are they filled with the Holy Spirit of Truth? Does the translation hold up under the scrutiny of other scholars and theologians?
I think you will find that the Passion Translation has passed the test.
Enjoy this interview with my new friend Jacob Rasmussen, an American photojournalist. During this interview Jacob was in Batman, Turkey and about to embark for fourteen more days to Iraq. Here are a few photos from his travels in Iraq:
In our conversation Jacob and I start by talking about our mutual interest in flying aircraft. We then dive into some of Jacobs travel adventures. One of the stories he shares is about a time he became very ill in India, was kidnapped(?), robbed, and dumped in a bad part of the city he was in. After locals lend him a little money he boards the train not knowing exactly where he is or where to go. Miraculously he makes it to his next contact who also happens to be a doctor. What a story!
Photojournalism with a Spiritual Twist
I loved our conversation about how to love others well in differing cultures by honoring them. As the Scripture says, “Honor all men.”
There is nothing like experiencing the word of God for yourself! Here are a few thoughts as you begin this journey:
Read prayerfully asking God to reveal himself to you by the Holy Spirit through his book. There’s nothing like having the author of the Word whispering in your ear along the way revealing himself to you and showing you how you fit into the story he is still telling.
Obey what you read. This is by far the most important part of the process. We must obey what God would have us do.
Blog about it! Why not? Perhaps you will inspire others to dig into the word for themselves. The blog doesn’t have to fit any mold. God made you unique and you have something to contribute in a way that no one else ever could. (Perhaps you are a musician and want to write a song about what your reading, or paint a picture, or write a poem). You have insights that no one else would see, so why not share them?
Your Time is Your Life
Your time is your life. What are you spending the currency of your time on?
Are we willing to devote 30 minutes a day to marinating your mind and spirit in Scripture? I am excited about what God is going to do in our lives through this!
I once met a lady named Martha at a local nursing home who had carved out two weeks of her life to read through the Bible. She said it was the best choice she had ever made. This is so inspiring. So what is keeping you from the most important thing you could be doing with your time?
Seeking Jesus is the most valuable use of your life.
Please leave me a comment (at the group page) about how this journey is impacting you or if you’ve read through the Bible how it has changed your life!
“In that day,
sing about the fruitful vineyard.
I, the LORD, will watch over it,
watering it carefully.
Day and night I will watch so no one can harm it.
My anger will be gone.
If I find briers and thorns growing,
I will attack them;
I will burn them up— unless they turn to me for help. Let them make peace with me; yes, let them make peace with me.” (Isaiah 27)
You know what I find fascinating about God? He longs to make peace with his enemies. He isn’t interested in doling out punishments and consequences. That is what the cross is all about. God saying to us all, “I’ll take that consequence. I’ll absorb those blows. I’ll step in front of that bullet.”
God would much rather lavish you with lovingkindness. He is a restorer of souls. He is the Father who longs for each and every one of his prodigal children to come home.
In this episode I dive into some prophetic dreams, my own story, and many beautiful redemptive Scriptures. Like these:
What does it mean to have idols in our life today? Well, here is how it reads in the New Living Translation:
“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”
There is a Scripture that has been ringing in my ears for years. It is a prayer that is found in a prayer of Jonah:
“Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.” – Jonah 2:8
I end this episode with this Scripture:
“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT)
What is it like to have Jesus for a friend? Howard Storm has experienced a close friendship with Jesus for many years now. They have been close ever since the day Howard met Jesus supernaturally in a Near Death Experience (NDE) after Jesus rescued him from hell.
In this interview, Howard told me that he felt he didn’t deserve the kindness and love that Jesus showed him then. He had spent his life resisting God, running from God and consistently choosing evil. Yet when he was with Jesus he said that Jesus not only loved him but actually liked him and enjoyed his company. Jesus embraced him as a friend and has been Howard’s best friend and confidant ever since.
“He always tells me the truth”, Howard said.
Overcome with emotion, Howard told me how he shares everything with Jesus. They talk about everything.
As I read Howard Storm’s book, one thing stood out to me. Because I have spent time getting to know Howard and talked with him in a previous interview, I now could hear his voice in his book. His tone and heart shone through the pages as I read.
I couldn’t help but think, “This is how we should approach Scripture! We should know the author so well that his heart and tone and voice are heard and felt as we read!”
That’s a cool thought!
This Life has Always Been About Relationship and Love with Jesus!
This is what I love about Howard Storms story. His focus is on Jesus, Love, Relationship, and Friendship with God.
In his NDE, Jesus told Howard his plan to save and change the world. It was simply this:
Each one of us to take the responsibility to “love the person that we are with” in the moment as we go through our life.
Both Howard and I want you to have an amazing relationship/friendship with God though the Lord Jesus.
How do you come into relationship with God?
Get alone with God. Talk to him. Tell him you want a relationship! Read the Bible and ask to hear his “voice” in the Scriptures! (I highly recommend reading the Gospel of John!)
There was a passage of the book from Howard Storm’s book Befriend God that jumped off the page as I read it. It gave me some Holy Ghost goosebumps as well. Here is an excerpt:
“If the whole world KNEW life with the living spirit of Christ in our hearts and minds this world would be a paradise compared to reality the world we have created. The promise of Christ Jesus abiding in the whole of humankind is the will of God as stated in the holy Scriptures. The second coming is the universal internalization of the Holy Spirit…”
This passage in Howard’s book goes on to unpack a picture of glorious hope about the Awakening that is God’s will. God doesn’t want to doom and gloom visions of the “Jonah prophets” false prophecies. May all those who predicted doom and gloom end up with egg on their face! May they be proven false (even if they have followed God’s direction at delivering such messages just as Jonah did). How will we escape the judgement? We will all collectively say a resounding “Yes!” to Jesus! We receive God’s mercy that triumphs over judgement just as the Bible says.
I first heard Howard’s story about 5 or 6 years ago and had a major impact on my walk with Christ and frequently look for any conferences or podcasts he is able to take part in. I appreciate you having him on and the work you do! God bless both you, your works (channel) through the LORD and Howard’s long suffering. I look at the spiritual realm very different because of his story. Keep up the Great work and Blessings to you all.”
I saw Yeshua in a dream. He was emminating light especially from his face. I approached him sheepishly and hugged him. He was pure love. Suddenly I was thrust back quite fast and distant and in my head telepathically he said to me. I AM AUTHORITY. As quickly I was pushed down a tunnel and instantly felt myself thrust into my body and instantly sprung up in bed like never before. I actually felt myself entering my body. I will never forget. Since then I could identify with nder’s. My life now is before meeting Yeshua and after. What a change. I have no fear of death cause death in Yeshua doesn’t exist. God bless.
Howard Storm has had a profound effect on my life. His testimony got me off dead center and I am again attending church and seriously, daily walking with Jesus. I am “on fire” for the Lord and much of that credit belongs to Howard Storm for sharing his testimony … a courageous and noble thing to do. My life is better because now I am more “certain” than ever that I am doing my best to please the Lord. God bless you, sir.
Read this final testimony on the power of Prayer:
I just heard his story for the first time about 3 or 4 days ago and I’ve been playing every interview of his I can find on YouTube. He has something new and beneficial to add to every interview he has been in. What I get most out of his testimony is the LOVE that he talks about. God’s love for us. God’s will for us to love ourselves. And God’s will for us to love everyone on this earth. Almost every person’s testimony of their after death experience they talk about the LOVE they felt. And they all have a hard time describing how powerful this love truly is.
My prayer is that I start loving others as God intends for us to. I pray that I do my best not to be judgmental of others. Another benefit I get from his testimony is how omnipotent God is and how present the spiritual realm truly is in our lives. Even though we can’t see God’s angels working in our lives, Howard and others describe just how present they truly are in our every day life. It’s reassuring to know that God is present and sovereign in our lives.
And another very important benefit from his testimony is how POWERFUL our prayers truly are. I pray throughout the day, but it’s exciting to hear from his testimony just how important our prayers are. They make the demons flee! Prayer changes our lives. Prayer is the mightiest weapon we have. So sad we don’t use it enough.
If you like what I’m doing and want to join the team and support this ministry, please visit our Patreon page:
Truthseekah (aka Derek) is a hip hop artist who has quite an interesting story. In this interview I asked him how he met Jesus and about his various encounters he has had with Jesus over the years. You’ll get to hear some of my own Jesus story as well.
Disclaimer: I don’t necessarily agree with all my (or Dereks) beliefs in this interview. 🤣 LOL!
No really, as with any interviews at Sozo Talk Radio, I would ask you to search out and discover the Truth with your indwelling Teacher, Holy Spirit and Holy Scriptures… in that order. Be a truth seeker!
How will we love each other well in all our growing pains? Will we still love and accept each other if we are wrong at the current moment about something or another? Every follower of Christ is on a journey to come into alignment with the One who is Perfect Theology! (Please take the time to visit a previous interview entitled, Jesus Christ is Perfect Theology! One of the Best!)
Here is one of Truthseekah’s recent songs which I am currently listening to:
What is interesting about this song, The Knowing, is that the movie by this title is what grabbed my attention in 2010. The film made God SO much more real to me. On the day after watching that film, I started blogging and my first post was about this movie!
Have you ever been struck by the notion that what we call “angels” and “demons” could also be called aliens? Have we desensitized ourselves to their reality by our labels? Could “aliens” be among us? (Derek and I think so, though I prefer the more respectful term, Extraterrestrial).
These beings inhabit the spiritual space around us and often materializing in human form just as the Scriptures tell us. (Hebrews 13:2)
I believe that as Christians, we have inoculated ourselves from the reality of the truth around us. The pursuits of the world have blinded us to the fact that the story laid out in our own Holy Scriptures is a supernatural one, with angels and demons throughout. We are in the middle of a cosmic war in the heavens. Each side of this war is fighting for us and ultimately we get to choose to whom we belong. And in our passing, the one to whom we belong will come for us, either Yeshua, your Creator, or the Enemy.
Will you belong to the Light who made you for glory? Or, will you go the way of “the world” (lust and greed and pride) and be corrupted and forfeit the grace that could be yours? (see Jonah 2:8)
There were so many experiences and deep thoughts that Derek and I discuss in our convo. One of the topics we discuss is our Oneness in Christ. There is a philosophy that explains this Oneness that many in the New Age have embraced called sacred geometry.
Just got to say it:
Sacred Geometry Belongs to Jesus!
Derek and I discuss what the flower of life means. The Flower of Life (on right) is tattooed on his arm and he also wears it around his neck as a reminder that he is connected to, and one with, the rest of the body of Christ (John 17). I think that’s pretty awesome.
I love that Derek has a heart to reach out and connect with those who are into New Age and into the Esoteric. Of course when anyone who is a believer in the Lord Jesus engages in conversation and seeks to relate with spiritual seekers who haven’t yet met the Source firsthand it gets a bit messy. The worst part is the judgements and misunderstandings we suffer from other believers.
For those in the New Age, how could the lines not get blurred of what is true or not when someone is not grounded in the One who is Truth? Is it possible that the source of New Age “truth” comes from the enemy seeking to remove the Source of truth from the truth. Satan seeking to remove you from your salvation. (Jesus name means “I AM your salvation”).
Unless we are in a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, we will remain hopelessly lost and confused.
“With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused.” Ephesians 4:17
The Spiritual Seeker
Both Derek and I have a heart for spiritual seekers because we are spiritual seekers! Has God has made us something of a bridge between “the church” and those of the counterculture? God loves those on the outskirts and even the “atheists”. I sympathize with many “atheists” because honestly, I don’t think the God that they don’t think exists really exists either.
Most “atheists just haven’t met the real Jesus yet and God remains misunderstood as “he” often is. I suppose that’s the occupational hazard for being God.
Do you long to be understood and accepted and loved just as you are? So does God.
But you are in luck! Jesus loves you unconditionally! He loves you too much to not wage war on the sin and unbelief that is destroying you. By the way, Jesus already has dealt with the sin problem. He has dealt a death blow to that insane sense of separation from God manufactured in our own minds by shame and guilt. Jesus has taken the shame and guilt upon himself and removed it forever.
Now we can:
“Come boldly before his throne of Grace and Mercy to receive Help in our time of need”. Hebrews 4:16
So let’s come to Jesus!
Lord Jesus we boldly come before your throne of grace and mercy to receive help in our time of need. We give you all of our guilt, all of our shame, all of our regrets. You died to make them your own and so we give these all to you. Thank you that we can Live free and learn to receive Love. Jesus I pray that we would mystically experience you. Would you give us an encounter with the Holy One. May we have dreams and visions and encounters. Lord may we interact with the Angels among us – our brothers and sisters who serve you in the kingdom of love. We want to know what it is to be loved beyond our wildest dreams by you, our loving heavenly Papa.
What do we mean when we say, Jesus Christ is Perfect Theology?
Jesus Christ as Perfect Theology means that we can’t come to know what God is truly like without Jesus. That God can only be known, and the whole of Scripture can only be interpreted, through Jesus alone. Jesus becomes the lens through which we view ALL of Scripture.
Whereas Job and ALL the Old covenant prophets are posing the question:
“God, who are You?”
Jesus is the answer:
“I AM what God is like.”
God is Like Jesus
The book of Hebrews begins with this:
“The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God.” Hebrews 1
“If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father.” (John 14 NLT)
Jesus never said anything that the Father wasn’t giving him to say. Everything Jesus was given to say was carefully chosen by the Father to lead people into eternal life which Jesus defines for us as restored relationship! Also, Jesus never did anything on his own. He always partnered with what the Father was already doing. The Father was expressing “Himself” perfectly through Jesus Christ leading his lost children back home.
First of all, both Ryan and I begin in this talk by relating our understanding of God growing up in the church. He believed God would only love him if he remained faithful. Ryan talks about how so many of us partner with a cycle of shame and a performance mentality that we allow to define our relationship with God. We make it about us and not about the marvelous beauty and wonder of who God is and enjoying fellowship with Mr. Joy Himself.
Jesus Christ is Perfect Theology in You
A couple of Scriptures that Ryan Kibbe shared in this interview were:
“…as He is, so also are we in this world.” – 1 John 4:17
Ryan emphasized how Christ didn’t die for a doctrinal statement but to live in you and me to re-present the Father to an orphan minded world of what the Father is truly like.
I love that! When Ryan said that we re-present the Father to an orphan minded world I couldn’t help but think of the interview I just did with Mel Wild! We talked in that episode about how the Father’s embrace is healing the orphan minded in both the church and the world. As one poet once said, “Jesus wants to save Christians too.”
Listen to what John writes in the beginning of his Gospel:
“No one has ever yet seen God. The only begotten God, the One being in the bosom of the Father, He has made Him known.” John 1:18 Berean Literal Bible
It seems that all the other prophets prior to Jesus have only have ever caught the faintest whispers of what God was truly like until Jesus revealed him. If we want to know what God is like, we look to Jesus.
All true prophets since Christ’s coming have Christ living in them. They can truly know the Good Shepherd and “see God” which is something Jesus said would be true for the pure in heart (or fully surrendered).
We, as Christ followers, are now displaying what God is like. Jesus in us is still putting God on display to the world saying through us, “this is what God is like.”
The apostle Paul writes in one of his letters to the Corinthians about beholding the glory of God and reflecting him to this orphan hearted world like Ryan mentions in this talk.
“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
What About all our Carefully Crafted Doctrinal Statements of Theology?
While it may seem like a cop out to simply say, “Jesus Christ is Perfect Theology”, I actually see this perspective as the most brilliant way to live in unity and harmony with other believers. Personally, I refuse to even play the game of defining theology as hammering out a doctrinal statement anymore.
Theology is a Person.
If we are in relationship with Truth Himself (Yeshua, aka Jesus) then we know that all errors in our understanding of this Perfect Theology will be straightened out in time as we grow in relationship.
Mel Wild and I in part two of this interview start out by discussing a Scripture from John 14:20 that has brought a paradigm shift in our understanding of our relationship with God. (Check out Part One Here!)
“On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” – Jesus
So what does this mean?
You have been united with Christ! The Trinity has moved in! You have been brought closer to God than you could have ever thought possible. We are now One with Love “Himself”.
God is Love in Whom We Live and Move and Have our Being
The truth of this Scripture in John 14:20 goes way deeper than most Christians know. I tend to think that many so called “New Agers” accept the truth of reality and what we are plugged into more readily than those that have grown up in the church. Many in the church have become wary and suspicious of the more radical (foundational) elements of their own faith!
This is exactly why we need a reformation! To come back to the roots of what it is to be a Christ follower. Will we be open to a deeper relationship with Jesus? Are we willing to receive all that Holy Spirit wants to teach us and reveal to us?
There isn’t more than Christ to discover but there is certainly more of Christ to discover. What do you think of that?
Christ and his identity and our identity in him must become the foundation for our lives! And what a joy it is to discover the mystical union and intimacy we share with God! Will we allow Holy Spirit to bring this shift into our hearts?
“God is love” (1 John 4) “in whom we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17).
Regarding the New Age
Since I brought up the New Age culture, the biggest flaw I have seen is the denial of Jesus Christ for who he truly is. Does the New Age honor Jesus Christ as the I AM? Do they recognize Jesus Christ as the Source and the Creator of all that is as the Bible reveals? Do they fail to respect or even know the Scriptures for what they are or as Jesus reveals them to be? Are they approaching truth from a wrong spirit? Even an Antichrist Spirit?
Yet many of those in the New Age recognize the fact that we live and move and have our being in love. Many of them know we come from and share the nature of this love at our core. That we are swimming in this love. That we were made in God’s image and likeness.
Transformation is rarely an easy process. Who among us actively seeks out our own change? Even if a paradigm shift (a new way of thinking – aka “repentance”) is better for us, it is still unknown. The unknown can be scary. What we know has become comfortable. Even though our experience may be miserable, it’s something we know and can control… Or so we think.
Shift Happens in the Father’s Embrace
Mel Wild in his book Sonshift talks about the shift that took place in his own life when he felt the embrace of the Father. At the time he was at the end of his rope with a business that was failing and relationships about to fail. God gave him the choice, “either face the hell in your life and work this out with me, or you can leave and do as you please.”
He was given a real choice because Love requires real freedom of choice.
He chose to face the hell of his own making and work it out with God. It was when he decided to get real with God that he experienced the profound love of the Father and this love shifted everything.
“I suddenly felt my heavenly Fathers BIG arms of love around me, hugging all the vitriolic poison out of my soul.”
When I read that line I was stunned because I had just said to my wife minutes before reading this phrase from Mel’s book Sonshift, “I feel like there is a vitriol in my soul poisoning me.”
What is the Vitriol that Poisons You?
The source of the poison in my heart was really my own lack of love. It was choosing “being right” over love. This lack of love poisoned my mind against others. I was judgmental of others. I imagined that they were all judging me as well.
My vitriol was a product of all the lies I believed about who God is and about my acceptance by, and identity in, him. My pride and fear and all my insecurities plagued my tenuous and troubled relationship with God. I often struggled with the feeling that I was a hopeless failure. I felt unworthy and unloved.
Am I good enough? Does God really love me as I am? What about all the times I have ignored or betrayed him? Does he really just forgive me? What about the lack of change I still see in my life? Am I really a new creation like the Bible says? How could I be, given my track record?
Jesus is the answer for all these questions.
Nothing ever changes or shifts for us if we only ever stare at our own problems yet refuse to shift our focus to the cure. The problem will be solved only when we look to the cure. Jesus is the cure.
Who is Mel Wild?
Mel Wild is God’s favorite (and so are you), and is the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin. Mel’s passion is pursuing the Father’s heart in Christ and giving it away to others. He spends his time trailblazing the depths of God’s grace and documenting that journey in his blog: https://melwild.wordpress.com/
Mel and I have been blogging buddies for several years now. I tune into his blog from time to time and am encouraged by his interactions with what I have been writing.
Iconoclast of a Reformation Shift
One of Mel’s friends, Mark Hendrickson, has dubbed Mel an iconoclast. What does this mean?
The word Iconoclast “has also come to refer to aggressive statements or actions against any well-established status quo. It is a frequent component of major political or religious changes. People who engage in or support iconoclasm are called iconoclasts, a term that has come to be applied figuratively to any individual who challenges “cherished beliefs or venerated institutions on the grounds that they are erroneous or pernicious””. (Source)
Is there something about the status quo that needs challenging? Do any of us hold beliefs that are erroneous or pernicious?
What is Mel Wild challenging?
Mel says, “Let’s just be honest and say that in many ways American Evangelicalism is broken. The church needs reformation. The catalyst for this new reformation and Awakening coming to the church will center around the goodness and the grace and kindness of the Father.”
Mel Wild challenges misunderstandings of the true nature of Jesus and our identity in Christ. He challenges everything that doesn’t reflect the Father’s heart of love and grace toward all his children (all of humanity).
Together, Mel and I are reaching out for the spiritual orphans whether they be the prodigal or the older brother (See Luke 15). Jesus loves you all and wants to bring a liberating Love Shift into your heart and bring transformation in the best possible ways. He wants to hug the vitriol out of us all. Are you in?
Will you trust Jesus to shift you?
(Subscribe and Stay tuned for Part 2!)
ps. I referenced a video in this talk about my own personal revelation into the John 14:20 Scripture:
“On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” – Jesus
Here is that video:
Would you consider supporting this ministry? As you can imagine, a great deal of time and effort goes into bringing this content to you.