Like a Lady

What God says about being a lady…

  • Women are image bearers more than child bearers.
    “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and   female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

  • Women are equal to men more than different from men.
    “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. Galatians 3:27-28

  • Women are defined by inner strength more than outer beauty.
    “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious”. I Peter 3:3-4


How then do real men treat a lady?

  • As divine creations, not sexual objects.

  • With admiration for their gifting/talents.

  • Passionate for them to grow in strength.

The church gets brighter when our ladies get stronger!

What Do You Want, God? (x2)

Trials are coming and we need to know what to look for when asking God for wisdom. Here's three questions and I believe they're biblically prioritized.

What do you want to change in me? This is the first and most courageous question we can ask. It's not natural and quite honestly it the most painful. Could it be that the pain of looking at ourselves is the most rewarded by God? The most natural thing to do is to be so fixated on the person behind the trial that we actually get stuck in a blame game. But the richest among us say with David, "Search me Oh Lord, try me and see if there is any hurtful way in me and lead me in the everlasting way". 

What do you want to take from me? Here's the tough news that we all know intuitively but it's tough to see it clearly when in a trial...God uses trials to pry things from our lives that we actually love. Not everything we fall head over heals for is good for us and God knows best. The only question is, will we trust him. That person we're dating, the job we're hanging onto, just fill in the blank...it may be that God is trying to take it from you. Please note: God does some of his best addition through subtraction.

What do you want to give to me? Yes, every good and perfect gift comes from God and this wisdom is a promise. When we ask the first two questions we'll have eyes to see number three! Hang on, because the prayer offered in faith will be rewarded.

Trials will come our way. We can't avoid them but we can deal with them in a way that will "make us mature and complete, lacking nothing".

James 1:2-8, Psalm 139

Chivalry: Part 2 - Secret Strength

"...but to serve"

The strength of a man has been marked, measured and sculpted since the beginning of time. Men can't resist flexing, comparing, bragging and the more slender will resort to self-deprecating. It’s all about power and a man wants to feel like he wields some power.

But rather than God telling men to relax and settle for being girly men, he casts a vision for a new kind of power and strength. This power requires no supplements or protein powder, no crazy low-rep/high-weight lifting regime, and shooting-up HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is out of the equation - even God will fine you for that.

This secret strength is tough to appropriate in our lives because men tend to default to what’s visible. We're hard-wired to not do it unless it can produce results and I mean quickly. It’s the toughest discipline to learn, but the results are undeniable.

Okay, it’s time to reveal the secret. Here it is: God makes men into irresistible hunks of burning love by building us into strong servants - servants who lead and love with valor. That’s it, the secret is servanthood.

A woman who feels loved and led by a humble man who’s aim is to serve his wife - is a truly turned-on woman. Men who exercise all the muscles of servanthood are well proportioned towers of manhood. Some have focused getting strong in a specific area but would benefit big-time by allowing God to work us out in those areas that are naturally weaker and need more attention.

The balance of these blogs will show us all the ways God intended for us to exercise this secret strength. The bulk of our content will be casting a vision for what would happen if you dared to let God work-over every part of you. The path isn’t easy, but the results will be amazing. 

Matthew 20:28

She Builds Her House

I love strong women. Well, I better love them because I'm surrounded by them. One of the strongest women in my life is my bride, Junanne. She's not loud but she knows what she believes and she's not afraid to share it. 

But the coolest thing about Junanne is that her words are almost always aimed at building me up. Even the tough stuff she has to share with me is given with a heartfelt desire for my best. She's told me more than once, "I tell you because I love you". Now that's a strong and godly woman.

Check out this proverb... 

The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. Proverbs 14:1

Every wise women is a hard worker. House building is a really tough job. Sometimes the strength of a woman can sting a bit. But I'm thankful for the strong woman God has given me. 

Rebekah Merkle presents a view of Proverbs 14:1 that is worth the read. Click the title below.
Wise Women Build: The March to Real Dignity

  Rebekah Merkle   and her husband have five young children and live in Moscow, Idaho. She is the author of   Eve in Exile  .

Rebekah Merkle and her husband have five young children and live in Moscow, Idaho. She is the author of Eve in Exile.

Give 'em God

Check out this video. Skye is a good thinker and puts forward some challenging opinions about why so many people who love God have left the church. Below I have some thoughts in response to Skye's view. Check out this video...

Having been lead pastor of a Mega Church in the past, I believe Skye hits some great points. As with most cultural observations, including church culture, it's never one-size-fits-all. But his big take-away is solid: we can engage people to the max and lose our calling to connect people with God. 

I'm planting a church in downtown Chicago. One of the upsides is our inability to own a property, it has to be a person to person ministry...period. But I think we can rent space and still run the risk of getting lost in activity, when all people really want/need is God. 

I'm walking with God today as a result of Spirit conviction, God's love, the life of Jesus, dear friends, a faithful wife, and rivers of grace. That's what we want to offer people who long to be WITH God – give 'em God.

Note: If you want to be a part of our humble beginning and desire to keep God the central focus of the church, consider joining me at the next "Vision Chicago" to hear more. Click here to get signed up. The ride with God and his kids is wonderful.

We All Need To Know WHY

One of the things that kills churches is the heavy yoke of duty. When people are asked to do things without the bigger yes, we shackle them to law without shining the light on liberty. We introduce legalism and miss the joy of walking with Jesus into a great adventure.

A great gift we can give our kids, friends, colleagues, and neighbors is a vision of WHY it is we follow Jesus. Why we pray must come before how we pray...or we might miss the motivation to pray. Why we study scripture can motivate us to study scripture as never before. The promise of abundance, success, joy, power, and a whole lot more are God's Why! He never asks us to do something that isn't ultimately linked to the bigger why.

Everyone needs to know WHY before we give them the what and how. The story behind the action is the stuff that matters the very most. Vision answers the "why" question. From capital investors to curious kids...it's the "why" that moves them. 

Enjoy this link and please share it with someone who needs to see God's greater vision for their life. 

Don't Sweat The God Stuff

True faith is thrilled by God's mercy and leaves the vengeance to God.

When the passion for justice wells up in our heart we need to release it to God so we don't lose our joy. God alone can handle the slights and injustice we face in the world. When we take justice it into our own hands we play the role of God – it never ends well.

But when we stay in a place of gratitude for God's mercy in our own life we are situated well – distracted by grace. The more we are thrilled by mercy the more we can explore the gifts of God's grace. We begin to see through the injustice of our world and into the wide open spaces of vision, purpose, and God-sized dreams.

Let go of political bitterness, bad calls at your kids ballgame, cutting words, workplace competition, and any other distraction of injustice. It's better to release vengeance to God so we can get back to being thrilled by God's mercy. Don't sweat the God stuff.

Micah 7:18, Romans 9:19

The Gospel: So Good We Have To Tell The World

Jesus came to seek and save lost people. We can't wait for them to visit church, we need to confidently reach out in love. (That's my tweet from two days ago - just hours after God met with me in his word. What came next was only a God thing.)

It was early Saturday morning and God had an appointment with me. He wanted my heart to beat fast again for the gospel – for lost people who need to hear the good news. 

I was re-reading a classic by Watchman Nee and also pouring through the gospels for God's heart on reaching lost people. And there it was, Luke 10:2, John 4:35, and Matthew 9:37, all variations of the same theme  – There's a huge number of people who are ready to hear the gospel, and many will respond by saying yes to God!

Just a few hours later God revealed this to me. He wanted me to see how hungry people are to hear about the life God offers them. I'll share the rest of this story, and some basic points of action, on Wednesday. I hope this season has you lifting your eyes to see the spiritually hungry people all around us – what a message of hope we have!

 

You're Invited: We have another "Vision Chicago" meeting on Dec. 3rd. I'd love to have you pray and consider if God would have you join the core of our new church plant in downtown Chicago. Sign-up here

Spotter Pilot: Zig Zag Discipleship

PROVERBS 19:21
MANY ARE THE PLANS IN THE MIND OF A MAN,
BUT IT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE LORD THAT WILL STAND. 

The spotter pilot was at one thousand feet and his vantage point was awesome. What he saw caused him to reach for the VHF radio and guide us to the sweet spot.

We were fishing for sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay. Our net was in the boat and we were ready to cast it into the ocean. As the spotter plane guided us, we zigged and zagged our way through other vessels. Most were hauling in good size catches of wild salmon. The spotter pilot told us to resist the temptation and keep traveling South. We had to trust that the extra 45 minutes of travel time would payoff – and it did. 

The minute we dropped our net it began to surge with the weight of hundreds of fish getting caught in our net. That day was one of the biggest paydays in our season. We couldn't have done it without our spotter.

God has a way of weaving us through the maze of life to discover his will – his perfect will. When we think we're about to zig...God will often say "It's time to zag". We can be prayed up, walking with God, and yet the plans can be thrown a curve ball, or even a sharp turn – 180's happen in God's economy but it's always for our good.

There are a few things we need to know:

1. God loves us enough to not show us the full picture. Often God will set us on a path knowing that we might not even take the trip if we knew all that was coming our way. It could be tangled, tough, and even more challenging than we first imagined. Set out anyhow. God's purposes stand the test of time. God gives us the vision we need to take the next step and often little more.

2. Zigs and zags are all a part of God's plan to keep us walking in utter dependence. It doesn't mean we missed his calling or direction, it just means that how we get there is a little different than we imagined. Every zig and every zag is just another opportunity for God to keep us in conversation with him and on our knees. The early church was guided real-time by the Holy Spirits' prompting, we will be as well.

3. It's the journey with our God that is as important as the prize or destination. We can't be so concerned about the moves we're making that we forget who we're traveling with. Psalm 23 was written for the living, not the dying. No matter how many twists, turns or dips our path takes, we're taking them with God. The journey matters because God is with us.

Whatever your path today listen to the Lord. Stay sensitive to the Spirit as he shuts one door and opens another. After every zig and zag we will look back and be able to say "I'm standing with God and he has my best in mind". Our plans may need to shift but that's how we discover God's best in the maze of life. There's a father up above who's looking down in love!

All That Glitters...

"All that glitters isn’t gold”. You’ve heard it and you’ve lived it. It's easy to get enamored with flashes of beauty. But it’s the testing of fire that proves something or someone to be the real deal – all that glitters...isn’t gold.

I could hardly believe my eyes. After just an hour of working that little stream with my gold pan...there it was! A bright gold fleck stood out from the sand and rocks as I swirled the pan. That little piece of gold screamed at me…”you’re rich”! It had taken me a good bit to navigate my way down the ravine to where I stood, but only a few giant leaps to get up out of there. I yelled for Ivan and ran with my hand held forward for him to feast his eyes on what I believed was just the first traces of my riches. 

Ivan gazed at the piece of gold and a gentle smile crept across his face. Then I heard the dreaded words. “Karl, it’s gold in color but it’s ‘fools gold’!” I was sick. My future now looked bleak. My ten year old mind had gone on a 30 second spending spree and it was all for naught. 

There’s a lot of fools gold in the world of relationships. Some are fans that will stay close as long as there is any value to be gained by being with you…and bolt when you're spent or when your value runs out. Others are purely foes from the get-go but will glitter to get along or get a leg up. Foes are never capable of truly believing the best, praying for blessing, or celebrating your victories – gold standard friends are truly rare.

"A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24

We’ve all been fans and foes to others at some point. So how do we see through the glitter to find the friend or friends who are pure gold? Here are a few thoughts:

    True friends don’t need you for what you have; they love you for who you are.

    True friends have your back when others are trying to stab you there.

    True friends celebrate your wins no matter how big they may be.

    True friends never leave you on the field of adversity, they carry you to safety.

    True friends see your potential when you can see nothing good at all.

This is just the beginning. The list could go on and on, because a true friend becomes for us what we don’t possess when we need it most. Yes, Jesus is the ultimate friend, but we sometimes need a friend who can lift our head so we can even see Jesus again. 

All that glitters isn’t gold, but never stop panning for the real deal in relationships. Some people who barely glitter are pure gold.

The Battle Is Real

Satan is not only real, he is ruthless! He has co-laborers–demonic forces. I like to call them The Committee. The "roaring lion" metaphor in first Peter wasn't for dramatic effect. The Committee works fast and goes after those who are weak, alone or woefully unprotected. They spit, snarl, intimidate and they love the taste of Christ-follower. Satan clamors for strongholds and if he can't get that, a toehold will do. But don't look for blatant manifestations of Satan. He likes to stay low key. He's a stealth, serial killer. Satan's best work is done in the shadows, just on the edge of light. If Satan can find an angle to plant a little concoction of temptation, accusation, condemnation and intimidation he's got you where he wants you, neutralized!

This is why we're hit with a stern warning, "give no opportunity to the devil". This warning is for anyone who's passionate about taking hold of abundant living and spreading broadly the "good news". Here's a reality of war: The only way Satan won't target you is when you've given up the dream and settled for a "normal' life. Just look around, normal is not enough. 

But the real battle is in the way The Committee hammers our mind. Satan led Jesus on a temptation tour, enticing Him to sell-out cheap for something that looked very good. The Committee always uses tantalizing bait and will swap-out bait until we bite. And when we bite on a lie, we get dragged through desert valleys of shame until we're left for dead. Because of this a warning is critically important. Most of us have joked about "hearing voices" in our head. But it's no joke, it's very real! Our mind IS where Satan goes to work and he brings his friends. His aim is to shame us, blame us, tempt us, crush us and sometimes just discourage us. If it goes unchecked, Satan will reduce us to living in utter emotional squalor. The real danger is to live in this pitiful place so long that you can no longer imagine a different place. It's time to take the war to the enemy.

We have a weapon of war that's designed for hand to hand combat, the truth of God's word! We need to build our lives like Nehemiah rebuilt Jerusalem, a brick in one hand and a spear in the other. Deal with each wave of attack, one at a time. Tell the enemy that your identity is secure in Christ, you don't need the approval of man. Tell the accuser you're loved and useful, you're not taking the "loser" label another day. Tell The Committee you resist bitterness and tonight the sun won't go down on your anger. Tell those terrifying whispers coming from the shadows that "perfect love casts out fear". Tell the lion in the weeds that the depression you seem to battle is not to be mistaken for abandonment or weakness, you're still God's child and under the protection of the "good shepherd". Fight back now! Cry out to God. Reject and renounce lies. Come back tomorrow for another battle, it never ends. But here's the kicker, "the gates of hell will not prevail". Tune your ear to God's Word and His voice. Listen closely, that's the voice of truth, love and life, cheering for you! 

I Peter 5:8, Eph. 4:26-27, Matt. 4, I John 4:18, Matt. 16:18

Full-Blown Exploitation of the Poor

My son forwarded an article to me from The Atlantic. Sickening, sobering, and maddening! I know, I have a number of friends who go out and grab a lottery ticket when the jackpot gets huge. The relative impact on the middle/upper middle-class is negligible. And I'm not proposing that this is the sin of all sins but it is exploiting the poor and that's reason enough to get a bit ticked.

There are plenty of vices that enslave our nation but this is a big daddy and it's worth taking 10 minutes to read some tough stats that prove we've created a monster. People are investing 7 times more money, on something nearly impossible, than grabbing a book or taking a kid out to a sporting event. Below is an excerpt from the article. CLICK HERE for the whole story.

"But it’s the poor who are really losing. The poorest third of households buy half of all lotto tickets, according to a Duke University study in the 1980s, in part because lotteries are advertised most aggressively in poorer neighborhoods."

Jealousy + Selfishness = Total Mess

One of the most validating things about God and his word is that it works. God loves to give his kids solutions. We usually have to wait a bit to see the result of our actions. But every action in life has an accompanying reaction. And when we get a clear picture of the effect of something, we can then go straight to the cause of that very thing. That's the picture we get in James. We see both the cause and effect of something that create an absolute mess. God gave us a statement through James that is incredibly didactic. "For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice."

God has never been more clear. If we work this problem backwards we can see the origin of destruction and work to remedy the situation. The effect is truly nasty. We don't need the Greek words for "disorder and every vile practice". Disorder paints a picture of chaos. Emotional, relational, spiritual and many more areas of our lives can lose all order and the world feels like it's coming unhinged. Then there's something more sinister. "Every evil practice", is humanity at its very worst. This is any action that brings harm to someone. It's the commonly practiced evil that tears away at imperfect, yet undeserving, people. Gossip, embellishment, slander, betrayal of confidence, and any other vice that tears people down, is just pure evil.

But what drives this crazy behavior? "Jealousy and selfish ambition", is all it takes to tear a person apart, an organization apart, or even tear our nation apart. This is where the guessing ends. If we see "disorder and every evil practice", it can surely be traced to "jealousy and selfish ambition". What this gives us is two practical insights: 1. Don't worry about jealous people, they'll come unwound soon enough and others will see it. You don't have to say a thing. 2. When we see lack of order and evil creeping into our life and relationships, we need to take an honest look and confess any jealousy or self focused ambition in our own lives. 

The cause and effect are clear. Maybe you need to keep your head down and mouth shut while the consequences of someone's jealousy comes to fruition. Or maybe you need to take a look for any jealousy in your own life before is steals your joy. Either way, it's God's work of grace. Let him have all of us, so we can have all that is in him.

James 3:16

WARNING: Don't Divide

Betrayal is born out of insecurity and pride. You may have suffered at the hands of someone who wanted more. Maybe you've actually infringed on territory that God never intended for you. Here's the bottom line: Never mess with God's order. He always gets the last word and we must never push our own agenda at the expense of unity. 

I was sent a great book by a new friend I met in Texas. A Tale Of Three Kings - Gene Edwards
It's a wonderful study of brokenness and a warning to check the motivation of our heart.

Check out this powerful and practical clip. "In the spiritual...

Handle loss...without losing

The sudden loss of a loved one slices to our core. But Jesus cuts through the fog and grabs hold of our heart. While we are gasping for air and hanging on for dear life, God whispers through the whirlwind of confusion and calls us to his side. 

The abiding life in Christ is most needed and most evident when nothing makes sense. It's in the throws of loss that we find strength from Jesus to carry on. When the world is medicating pain, the Christ follower can share the pain with our savior. He is never demanding but always inviting us to cast our cares on him, for he cares for us. 

Take the heavy load of grief and toss is to God. His shoulders are big enough and his love is strong enough. Jesus is the difference maker. In him we can handle loss...without losing.

I Peter 5:7

Enjoy this powerful song and video by Annie Sander.

Resistance Happens

Every positive resolution will face resistance, period! When we underestimate or diminish the strength and power of resistance, we do it to our own peril. We can’t saunter into life-change. It’s taken by force or it won’t happen. 

Maybe you think you’re not a fighter, well you better become one because we’re in a war. This war is unconventional and we can’t fight it in our own power. Resistance comes at us in varied and creative ways but all resistance can be put in a few simple categories:

  • Prideful Self-confidence - Yes, we can be our own worst enemy. Don’t blame on Satan what can only be explained by our own pride. Being unaware or unconvinced of our need for God can put us on our face faster than any demonic attack. Don’t “think you stand” or you’re set up to take a big fall. (I Cor. 10:12)
  • Strategic Satanic Attack - Satan is not a theory or a metaphor – Satan is real. Evil both exists and is strategic. There is an attempt to angle for our destruction and take us down at a point of weakness. This is why we can NEVER let down our spiritual guard. (Eph. 6:10)
  • Reckless People - Yep, people are a big source of resistance. Often they are enemies who want to harm us but at times they’re even friends who are speaking without thinking. Jesus indicted that it’s possible to be all-in with God and miss his will and way. Don’t take every word you hear as wise – always check it with the word.

Resistance with happen. It’s as certain as the rising sun. Knowing it’s coming is half the battle. 

 

No-Man's-Land

Most people live in the middle. We're rarely all the way in or all the way out. Life is neither hot or cold. The middle is not iced over and it’s sure not boiling over. There is a place we live that’s between misery and victory – welcome to No-Man’s-Land.

Joshua had seen it all. He watched God perform a jail break for an entire nation in the most epic fashion. In a short span Joshua saw the extreme edges. He experienced life as a beaten man and he received God’s vision for life in a “promised land”. He knew the misery of slavery and he had tasted the fruit of victory. But then, by the faithlessness and fear of 10 “small god” spies, he found himself doing laps in No-Man’s-Land for 40 years.

No-Man’s-Land is no place to live. But fear and faithlessness always leave us in the middle. And there are other factors that keep us pinned down – not living in the worst conditions but not experiencing God’s best either. 

We’re desperate to know what will bust us loose from life in the middle – life in No-Man’s-Land. The masterpiece crafted by God in the first nine verses of the book of Joshua is for me and you. Joshua battled mind games, fools, enemies, and he was prone to get weak in the knees, just like you and me.

The huge benefit for us is that God's raw truth and inspiring plan for Joshua is exactly what we need to experience God's promises. Joshua’s story will “equip” us fully for “every good work”. More than some ancient history lesson, God’s message to Joshua is an essential map for our life. And if you lean toward believing those voices in your head that tell you "God's promises aren't that good" or "They're out of reach for you", then this IS for you. Why not take a quick read of Joshua 1:1-9?

Freedom From A Religious Spirit

There is no greater freedom than to be unchained from judgement and condemnation. The freedom we have in Christ is permission to run from empty religion. But this liberty can only be received as we come to grips with our forms of faith that have nudged out God. In place of "true religion" we set up traditions. As a stand-in for God's Spirit we install structure. When we construct a "form of godliness" we reject the origins of true godliness. When spiritual impotence seeps from our lips, we scramble for a measurement of spirituality that validates us as we are. This spiritual spiral causes us to cling to religious systems rather than our loving redeemer. But true freedom provides more freedom than can be imagined.

In Christ, we are freed from our own construct of justification. We no longer are slaves to the system that we've set up, but are unable to live-out. In Christ, we steal the weapon of condemnation from Satan that we handed him. We get relief from the beatings evil gave us with every failed attempt to live for God. In Christ, we are freed from the shame of all of our failure. In Christ, we stand in his righteousness. In Christ is true freedom.

But it's not just us who are now free. In Christ, we free others from our flawed systems and constructs of justification. In Christ, we cease to assist the forces of evil in their assault of condemnation and shame. In Christ, we claim no self-righteousness and point every soul we meet to the righteousness found only in Christ. In Christ, we become champions of grace, celebrants of truth, and we drip with a commitment to love. True religion sets us free from empty religion. And it's all found in Christ. 

Matthew 15

It's All About Leadership

Ministry, marriage, politics, business, and sports...it's all about leadership.

If you're in a role that involves leadership, lead. Check out how bold Paul speaks to the person with the gift of leadership..."the one who leads; with zeal'. Zeal is a powerful word and defined as, "a strong feeling of interest and enthusiasm that makes someone very eager or determined to do something".

Spiritual leadership is the ability to capture the hearts of people with a vision that is beyond the leader. God gave leaders to inspire and cause us all to believe, gain strength, and build on small victories. Not all leaders have the same capacity to move people but any leader can grow in follow-ability. I love the three C's of leadership. They help us think practically on how to grow.

Character - This is the engine room of the leader. Character is developed in the "war room" of introspection and communication with God. The spiritual leader who spends time on their knees is cultivating the "gift that was given". Time spent with God and his word breeds a leader who is alert to fools and seeks out wise counsel.

Capacity - Every great leader knows that energy is the most valuable tool they possess. More than time, energy is the thing that gives leaders the band width to make decisions that are wise. Capacity must be guarded and given to the gift of leadership before any and all other activities. Rest, sleep, and quiet time fill the capacity tank of any leader.

Chemistry - Leaders know who they are and who they are not. Chemistry is the ability to bring people around you with complementary gifting. Chemistry is ruined by allowing people to be coddled who are in competition for leadership. Give a competing leader a role large enough to fulfill their own gifting or cut them lose to find their fit elsewhere. Chemistry requires contentment with every key player.

Organizations thrive or shrink due to leadership. It's all about leadership...be the leader God has called you to be!

Romans 12:8

 

You See That?

God is always up to something in and around our lives. And whether big or small - it's always dynamic. The only real question is why do some people see it and live with hand rubbing expectation while others are oblivious?

It should be said that spiritual pride is the most blinding to the works and ways of God. We can all grow in awareness of God's moves - No person can see it all. But there is a common thread with spiritual visionaries who see below and/or beyond the surface of any situation - and this is not for an exclusive group.

First, if we humble ourselves under the Father's hand, he will lift us up (I Peter 5:6). Implied in the context is a new vantage point to see the battlefield and immanent attacks more clearly.

Second, Jesus came to give sight to the blind - that's you and me (John 9:39). This verse indicates that self-will is blinding, but the closer we cling to Jesus, the more the fog will lift before us.

Third, the primary function of the Holy Spirit is to guide us into ALL truth (John 16:13). There is an aspect of the HS that is beyond the natural senses. This is why giving our mind to the truth of God's word helps us listen to the HS and navigate around our own flesh, foolish people, and constant temptation.

God is at work...I pray we see it today!