Story and Journey
Insights from Graham Cooke and Steve Tipps
Been reading Pastoring People Prophetically by Graham Cooke and some things he said really connected with me – I’ve added my own insights in what I’m sharing with you today.
This message is for me and it’s for you and is meant to go on beyond this time together – to consider – to think about – to do something with
This time together is an encounter with God for the things we share are Spirit breathed and we come away changed whenever there is an encounter with God…
You are on a journey with the Lord
Going out not knowing where you are going
Abraham walked off his map
We are walking off our map –
We see each other walking off our maps – doing things and going places that weren’t previously part of our stories
There was no map when you started moving – the map was formed as you began moving
God doesn’t give you details about where you’re going – just general coordinates. Situations change – opportunities make themselves known and you know where you are supposed to be – the coordinates… Now you have to make your way there
Often He is silent and only holds His hand out for you…
When you walk off your map you have no clue in what direction you are moving.
All you know is “I can’t stay here” – I don’t want to go back there – I know that’s death
The present seems to be killing me – so the only shot at life I’ve got is somewhere out there – and I’m not too sure about that…
Thing is God may seem so silent…
There are times God does not speak for a reason – He doesn’t want you to know ahead of time because the journey contains the experience and encounters you will need that then becomes part of your story and completes another place in you in your journey…
Those times are the best times – What God offers you is not knowledge about where you are going – it’s just sensitivity – experience all of the journey – crank up all your senses and pay attention…
He’s going to hold His hand out and say why don’t you take hold of that – you don’t know the direction you’re going in until He starts moving and you get the tug…
It’s not about the direction in which you are going with Him but walking at the pace at which He’s walking…
He’s keeping you close to learn sensitivity so you can learn about peace and rest so you get into the true rhythm of your life – in harmony with the Spirit that is unique for you…
This allows you to walk through the day the way He wants you to walk through the day.
Often we pay more attention to the ministry activities in our lives than we do the relational activities – doing things for someone or for some purpose which is good – consider the value in being with someone in the way that’s needed for that particular place and time…
He’s not giving you direction for function – but instead teaching you to walk the way He is walking… Let Him be for you what He wants to be for you
Each of us has a story
What is the story that brought each of us together now – for such a time as this… Do you know the story of those beside you?
What have each of us gone through to be here?
What good stuff has brought us here for this time…
Even as I ask these questions your mind is forming answers. Take the time to write down your story in a more complete way including not only the facts but how you were feeling, the circumstances you were dealing with, etc…
We’re going to come back to this…
Story and Journey…
Everyone has a story…
I have some questions that I will pose to you and to myself as we share this time today – write them down and take some time and actually answer them for yourself…
What’s going on in your life?
Where are you with the Lord right now?
What’s He doing with you?
Think on these and take the time to answer when you aren’t pressured by time. It’s in the answering of these questions that you will feel the pressure of His hand giving you direction for the next step…
Questions from Pentecost
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God- fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked:“Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs–we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?
Questions from Pentecost:
What does this mean?
What must I do?
We think our own story is difficult enough to live out so there’s a tendency to shy away from involving yourself in someone else’s story…
God is not trying to fix us. He’s trying to resource us… we are already a part of each other’s story – to the degree that we allow each other to play a part…
I’m going to talk more about story and journey in a few minutes, but wanted to open up the box and get some additional building blocks out for us to consider and to use…
Encouraging prophets and Building prophets
Both of these are needed – the encouraging prophets let us know that God sees us and truly encourage our minds and spirits to continue on in this journey
The building prophets ask questions with the purpose of building us up…
In most churches of which we have been a part, Pastoral ministry has carried the weight for years and years – often with no mention of the prophetic arm of the ministry
Absence of the prophetic means the pastoral ministry has grown up incomplete – not wrong – incomplete – mindset that people need to be fixed so they can walk with the Lord properly – a “present – past” perspective
God doesn’t work that way – He has a “present – future” mindset
God has dealt with sin once and for all – He’s not dealing with sin in us.
God is consumed by life – He’s not dealing with our sin - He is dealing with our righteousness
1 Cor 1:30
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
God has already dealt with sin in Jesus – sin is already dead and buried – He’s not dealing with our old nature – We don’t have an old nature – we have a new nature – but we are dealing with the sin habit
Dealing with a new nature – establishing a race of people that have never been seen on the face of the earth before Jesus
God did not come to restore us to the garden of Eden
He came to create a whole new race of people never been seen in the earth before – that’ s new creation
He’s not come to restore us to the old creation
He’s not come to restore us to the glories of the old testament
In the old testament He lived among people and came upon people.
In the new testament He lives inside people
In the day of Pentecost there were people with fire on their heads
When we read the Bible we’re looking for the next part of our story – the next part of our journey – who we are
Pastoral and prophetic must be combined in a much stronger way
Present – future mindset
Present Past – stuff in your past is affecting you right here in the present
The Cross took care of those things
Must be alive to God
What does being alive to God mean in your situation right now?
Put your life in context – your life as it is occurring right now is not the book but the chapter
If you’re not enjoying this one, what does my next chapter look like?
If all your thinking has brought you to the place you don’t like, have another thought…
Think again – isn’t that what repentance is? Think again
Sometimes we allow things to happen in our life because we are stuck in terms of how we are thinking
You can only change a mindset with a mindset
God want’s to give us a new mindset of Life and Peace
You are responsible for the mindset you have
If a thought is causing you to be angry, sad, depressed, hurt… You could have a different thought about that – choose one that makes you kind and joyful… choose to think the best and to pray for the person that may seem to be the source of how you are feeling – shift this mindset which is hard because it is most likely familiar…
You’ve got where you are sometimes because - You’re asking the wrong questions…
Do you have those moments when you go red with embarrassment when you think about what you used to believe??
What does this mean?
What must we do?
Two great questions
We need a means in our own lives to translate what’s happening to us into “story” and “journey”
So if you don’t like the chapter you’re in, what is it that you want the next chapter to be about?
How do we get out of this chapter in a brilliant way so that we don’t have to revisit it later?
Some of us have gone through the same circumstances because we didn’t get out of those circumstances well the last time we were in them which is why they’ve come round again.
These circumstances come around again because you still need to learn something – you still need to become something in the middle of those circumstances rather than being delivered from those circumstances…
When we are at what we feel is our lowest and most difficult times we are closer to God than a breath… It is in this place that He moves in you to raise up that warrior and infuse you with perseverance and strength as you become what He wants you to become in the middle of those circumstances – as you learn what He wants you to learn so that you don’t have to go there again…
If we are truthful, Church is typically a great place to learn avoidance – most of the time we haven’t built an army but instead established an audience that doesn’t know how to live properly…
In church we desire impartation…
The reason that most people love impartation is because it seems like magic…
You lay hands on me and I won’t have to go through all of this stuff… I’ll be wonderfully changed - which is really another form of lunacy
God works in our lives in two ways –
It’s not either / or
It’s not if I get the impartation I won’t have to go through the process
When God lays hands on you, you have an encounter with God that changes who you are immediately
Then the process is required to establish the identity as you become who He intends for you to be in your circumstances
Encounter will lead you into process.
When God prophesies over you, you might not have an encounter but He might take you straight into process almost immediately
In process He will lead you to encounter and impartation
It’s like meditation – there are only two ways into that room
One is through knowledge and the other experience
If you enter meditation through knowledge, you will have to leave it by having an experience
If you enter meditation through encounter/experience, you have to leave it by having knowledge that you have gained through that encounter / experience
It’s a paradox – two conflicting ideas contained in the same truth
You have to die to live
You have to give to receive
Church is a building and a body
How can we be both at the same time
Your life is a story…. And a journey
When we relate to each other and other people in terms of their story and journey, you will find it will make it easier for those whom you care about to come to grips with things they don’t want to touch.
It helps make people responsible that is encouraging and part of building up – because it’s their story
Too many people are playing a bit part in their own movie
Their past is playing the starring role – difficult people having a starring role in the story of their life
Need to write some people and things out of the story and write some new people in
What’s your story right now?
Where are you right now?
What’s going on with you and the Lord?
Where are you?
What’s He saying to you right now?
What is it that the Lord is becoming for you right now?
What is it that the Lord wants to be for you right now that He couldn’t be at any other time? All the good and bad encounters and experiences have brought you to this moment in time… Your perseverance and strength and tenacity for life have brought you to this moment in time…
What is it that the Lord wants to be for you RIGHT NOW that He couldn’t be at any other time?
What’s that about?
What’s your journey right now?
Where have you been?
Where do you think you’re going?
Where are you right now in relation to that?
What is the fixed point that the Holy Spirit has before you right now?
What are you moving toward?
Sit down and answer these questions for yourself – find a time to clear you mind with a journal and a pen and record your answer.
As you write your answer, be still and thoughts will come into your head that you did not originate bringing new questions, answers, ….
You are beginning the next chapter in your story – one that He is writing with your hands and mind as it influences your actions – your relationships…
Think the way the Holy Spirit wants you to think – creating a new mindset…
Each of us has a story – Look around you and be deliberate in making time to learn each other’s stories and while sharing those stories you will find that you release the control of those things or people in your past as we come alongside each other and navigate the journey we are currently living – with eyes looking forward on the future…
What is the story that brought each of us together now – for such a time as this… Do you know the story of those beside you?
What have each of us gone through to be here? What hurts? What wounds? What good stuff has brought us here for this time…
Steve Tipps, 6/22/2014
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