Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Commitment as a Bride

To understand more about vows and commitments, the LORD led me to a book titled “Call to Commitment”. The book tells the story of a small 1940’s community of people who dedicated their lives to Christ, to one another, and to a common life together. They demonstrated an expression of the Church as a living Body should function. As I read this book, I found within myself a deep longing for the very sweetness that this Church tasted. I needed to experience what they did. I needed to believe that it was possible to have a functioning community of humans, passionate in their diversities yet, living together as one voice. And with this voice they shouted from the skyscrapers, the great and marvelous beauties that they were aloud by God to gaze into. In the midst of all this, there was a crowd beneath crying out for some sort of truth all the while trapped in a colorless culture manufactured for the mundane. The Bride in this American Culture today, wants to believe that this unity is possible. In result of failure to perform, we sit convincing ourselves that those miracle-stories, which we grew up reading and became enlightened with, must be more than fiction. I believe that His handiwork to the utmost will be demonstrated through His Bride in the “readied” generation. I desire for us to be that generation. The Call of Commitment rests on every member of the Bride and that Commitment is one to not only the Head of this body but also to the hand, and foot, and eye, and nose. Are we willing to be committed to each other to the fullest extent?

Where does the committed life start? It begins within you. It begins within you and at some divine point, punctures through you, revealing “the mystery enclosed” to all of your surroundings. The meekness of your tamed spirit will begin to inhabit everything that you do; the way that you think, the things that you desire and the things that you do not, the way you speak and the reason to not. But this does not happen until you commit yourself to emptying your cup and commit yourself to being continually filled with Him; whatever that may look like. All life is shaken to the very core of being and every department of one’s life will be swept up in this holy transfiguration. You will never be the same. Friends, we are living in a culture where we have been carefully fed and some of us made full with the emptiness found in a counterfeit world. Futility is a choice!  We the Bride, here in this American society, need to take hold of this absolute truth: We-Need-Each-Other. I don’t want to live like the rest of the Americans do. In pursuit of privacy and peace, they proceed veiled by this “dream” and tricked into dwelling as a separate entity. Intended existence is to be shared with others. I desire something deeper, something somewhere that I can find tranquility in knowing that I am responsible for your family as you are for mine. Where we as a Bride can live as one, eat as one, and be as one.  Longing for this is one thing but attaining this is unimaginable.

I stand in awe of the Body where each member is living in the reality of devotion to the other. This Body’s foundation is built to last because they achieve their primary purpose for existence, which is to enter into covenantal relationships with each other and with Christ. There is a freshness of life and roister contained within the mere breadth of this Body that even Elohim is captivated by. The light of this Body attracts the downtrodden. The weary and poor come and find the road of peace. The hungry and thirsty unite with this Body and become partakers of heavenly feasting. Receiving and giving, the Bride walks hand in hand with Her Groom, She echoes His realm of ministry: total healing- spiritually, physically, and emotionally. They don’t have to dream anymore of being involved in the supernatural phenomena they read about, they promenade in it!

I (joseph Henson) am called to the lifestyle of being committed to you (the Bride). You (the Bride) are called to the lifestyle of being committed to me and to eachother . We are called to the lifestyle of being committed to GOD. We must fulfill our calling!

With all of this said, where do we go from here?

“Only the Holy Spirit converts, only the Holy Spirit redeems, only the Holy Spirit will make us One”- Elizabeth O’Conner (author of Call to Commitment)

“In our house He is Head of our family and makes all the decisions. For Christ, the Church was the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. To God, everything is simple- God’s love for us is greater than all the conflicts which will pass” Mother Theresa

“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 through 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… I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be One in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave me, I have given them, that they may be One just as WE are One: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in One, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me” –john17:9,10,11,20,21,22,23

Can’t you see? The greatest form of mission, the perfect commission, lies in the simple simple simple move of loving and receiving love from your Brother and Sister in Christ. This is the Kingdom! Everything else will come from this Love. The rest of the world will see the Christ that God sent for them in our perfect Love for each other. The readied Bride is the entire race throughout history that lived in harmonic love for each other, serving each other to the farthest degree. He is so delighted in His beautiful Bride! This love, was not mustered up by any human, it was divinely given by God through the example of His Son who lived as the greatest servant of all. Lets take Christ’s example and love with everything that we have inside of us. Maybe than… we will truly grasp the Call to Commitment. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

the mountains and hills shall sing

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”.
What have I to fear when the Lord my God is with me wherever I go? This passage should give immeasurable courage to anyone who believes it. Constantly God is telling us, reminding us, that He is always with us wherever we go. So we shall fear nothing! If we honestly believed and truly understood the concept of God never leaving our side, we would most definitely never be afraid of anything. Some people who are now realizing this are changing the way they are living. No more doing things in “secret” or behind “closed doors”, nothing you do is without the God Almighty standing there next to you. But this truth is only for those who believe this verse.
Mathew 28: 19&20 Yeshua tells us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, IAM with you always even to the end of the age”.
Ah, such a command as this! Knowing perfectly well that no one could possible live out this commission on his own, Yeshua follows with a very comforting reassurance. I picture the disciples (not having received the Spirit of God yet) coming to a sort of “about-face” as Yeshua was saying these things to them. Thinking to themselves, “Is this even possible? Surely He didn’t mean all nations? And how will He be with us till the end of the age?”. Yeshua knew what they were thinking, but had “inside information” about the Gift from God that was to come very soon, the Spirit of Power and Truth, the Spirit of God, which would change the world forever and empower men to live as “Sons of God”.
So God knew also the thoughts of Joshua when He commanded him to “not fear or be dismayed, IAM with you always”. Imagine this, Moses has just died and the leadership of the entire Israeli nation had been laid on Joshua, a mere assistant to Moses. The responsibility of Gods chosen people lies with Joshua now and to add to the pressure, God commands them to break camp and cross through the great Jordan river baptizing them into very dangerous and treacherous lands. You can guess the feelings Joshua was experiencing at this time, but God boosted him with confidence through His everlasting presence. This gave Joshua great courage in leading Israel into many victories and accomplishments marking him down as one of Israel’s greatest leaders.
Brothers and sisters, God has promised to be with you and I always and forever. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places through CHRIST! (Eph 1:3) We have something that the rest of the world doesn’t: We have the power to perform “impossibilities”, through CHRIST, that will change the face of humanity; not to mention start beautifying the Bride (if you want a good image of what the Bride of Christ, the Church, will look like in completion read Joel 2:2-11).  Let us pray for a renewed spirit of our mind (Eph 4:23) and for mountain-moving faith (any size is good at this point- Matt 17:20); and nothing will be impossible for us!

November 16th, this marks 2 months now since I have been in this beautiful land and marks 1 month till I return to the opposite side of the globe. I was sitting in my room the other day and was thinking about the fact that I would be leaving this land soon, I began to tear up.  I have grown very fond of this country! The people here are different that anything I have ever seen. They have a serenity about them even as they walk the streets, shop the markets, cook food, dance and sing, and especially pray. They may be missing their long-awaited messiah, Yeshau Ha’Mashiach, but they do have something that most Christians certainly do not have: they stand in great fear of the LORD! They are aware of the ever-presence of the Lord throughout all the day. In Romans 11: 26, Paul the Apostle tells us that all Jews will be saved and I believe and pray that that day will soon come.
The land here has something significant prowling around. About the feet of the everyday walkers, lies the existing scent of the promised Lamb of God that once walked, taught, and preformed wonders within. There is a “night and day” praying that has been going on for hundreds of years. And if you listen closely you can here the soft whisper of God telling you to “be still and know that IAM God”. Indeed, its as simple as that.

“For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” –Isaiah 55:12

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Walking Into Africa for a Week Long Exploit

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN ZION! I have to say that there is no greater thing than walking around the Old City by yourself. You have your headphones in, you’ve got a decent stroll going on and nothing can ruin your complete meditation on Him. The Lamb that was slain took place not too far from where I stand now eating my falafel and with that I can enjoy knowing that im truly forgiven. HOW HE LOVES US SO!
With that in mind, I must say that I was given a very grand opportunity last week. I got to attend a conference outside of Cairo, Egypt in the El Wadi Desert. It was a week that I will never forget. If you can imagine… 5000 Arab youth crying their hearts out for the LORD and about 125 beautiful people gave their lives to Him. PRAISE HIM!! The conference was called “ONE THING” and its main purpose is calling this generation to a life a prayer and fasting and worship to our heavenly Father. They are a group of anointed musicians and teachers traveling the globe to many different cities teaching on this lifestyle separate from the “norm” and changing the lives of millions wherever the sole of their feet tread. I know that God absolutely used them in my life and in the formation of revival in Egypt. I was able to spend the entire week building amazing friendships with several people. One family took us into their house for a night and treated us as kings, serving us their best foods and waiting on us constantly. The other nights we had local churches invite us to stay in their guest rooms. It was truly a God-blessed adventure!
Traveling across the border to and from Egypt was an adventure in and of itself. The security issues are insane! I was asked countless times for my passport and I am uncomfortable in telling you of the coming and going fees in Egypt. But after a couple of hours at the pyramids, munching some delicious Egyptian food, experiencing unforgettable WORSHIP, and falling in love with an Egyptian girl; I was well ready to come back to my bed in Jerusalem. I’m very blessed today and I give praise to God for everything He has done for me so far here. I continue to pray for you all, and may the ALMIGHTY GOD rain his spirit upon you wherever you are.
GRACE &SHALOM brothers and sisters

Saturday, October 10, 2009

To the Streets, with a New Perspective

Within a couple of days I find myself being pulled out of the apartment and onto the streets of inner Jerusalem, the streets that He once walked. I had a destination of my own, but God had a much bigger one for the day. After a twenty-minuet walk, I had finally made it to the “Bible Experience”. It’s a Christian bookstore near the Old City, in front of Jaffa gate. After I was done there, I was walking along the street when I saw an opening among the buildings; a possible place for a birds-eye view of the Old-City. I walked through it and found not what I was initially looking for, but actually standing in front of three huge Catholic churches. They looked like castles. I continued to walk coming across an old German prison and across from that was a Catholic school. A cluster of little Israeli-Catholic children walked by me and smiled. 

I kept walking deeper and deeper into this lighted path and I find myself drifting into a secluded village of Orthodox Jews. There are hundreds of beautiful little children around me. The girls are dressed in colorful dresses with their hair in braids and the boys are in white-collard button-up shirts along with each ones unique kippah on his head. The older siblings are holding the hands of the younger as they walk down the road in complete innocence. A husband and wife 

push their infant in the stroller as they look at me, a Gentile, invading their privacy. I continue to walk. Clothes are draped over the balcony rails set out to dry. I stride underneath them considering the simplicity of this everyday life and laugh to myself realizing how complicated and fast my “simple” existence is. Gods chosen people surround me. I can see why He loves them.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Joseph, and the HOLY LAND

SHALOM FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!!! I’m joyful in saying that I am in the heart of the HOLY LAND, Jerusalem. Which means I obviously arrived here safely, THANK you for your prayers! The past two weeks since I disembarked on this journey, I have already been very BLESSED with several opportunities. I decided that keeping a blog would be the best way at keeping you clued in, I am also going to be posting some of my journal writings as well. So if you are reading this, congratulations you have made it!

After a 10 hr plane ride from Philly, nearly 6000 miles in a daze, a couple micro waved “meals” and a good nap, I finally arrived on September 16th. The Land that we always hear about, the center of the Worlds attention, the one place on earth most people wouldn’t consider going these cautious days, there is no place I would rather be. The city of Jerusalem is very beautiful! It’s easy to see why God has chosen it to be the Apple of His Eyes.

I live with four other guys in a three-bedroom apartment not too far of a walk from the OLD CITY. Our location is amazing! There is a dessert bakery shop right across the street from us, which has already proven itself to be dangerous for me. They bake these chocolate croissants fresh every morning that people are literally becoming convicted about. Myself included!

I love being in the “FIRE IN THE NIGHT” at Succat Hallel!! I’m there at 12am till 3am, so you can imagine how my day schedule is different than your average Israeli. On Shabbat, (Friday nights) I’m there at 9pm till 12pm all by lonesome. BUT don’t get me wrong; I love having the place to myself! Our “watches” consist a lot of praying, reading the WORD, worshiping, discussing different things, meditation, etc..

I am so BLESSED!! I have already been able to travel to many places around Israel: ABU-GOSH, the DEAD SEA, BETHLEHEM, and a good amount of historical spots around Jerusalem including the WESTERN WALL and MT ZION. I still have many more places that I plan on going to!

I have uploaded some pictures on facebook. If you don’t have a facebook but would like to see the pictures you can email me and ill send them to you. ilovveyou505@yahoo.com

THANK you for your prayers and support! I’m so very BLESSED to have friends and family like you. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

By Gods GRACE alone, till next time..