Category Archives: Spirit of the Age

Stability

What is that?

It has no color, no energy, no vibrancy

Stability doesn’t change the world

Jesus wasn’t stable. Stable doesn’t heal a leper. Stable doesn’t offend pious religious leaders.

Stable doesn’t lay dead in a cave for three days and then walk out with a new body.

He tells us to die. To take up our cross.

Pretty sure that’s not stable, either.

Stable doesn’t believe that a broken person can be redeemed and restored.

It tells the heroin addict he has no hope… but of course, stable says it in a nice way.

Stable says to marry the wealthy business man over the man radically in love with Jesus.

Stable says it’s not practical to be generous, to live simply, to be a stranger on the earth.

Practical. Balanced. Stable.

Are you sure this is what you want? 


Last night, as I worked well into the morning, I watched a documentary about Amish teenagers. Apparently, there is some sort of ritual when the Amish turn 16 where they are sent out into the “real world” so that they can make a decision whether they truly want to be baptized into the Amish religion or to leave their confined lifestyle behind. I was surprised at my own response to the reaction of these teenagers. Instead of feeling disgusted by “religion” or “legalism”, I found the innocence and purity of these girls somewhat enduring. They didn’t seem to feel restricted by their lifestyle. What many think is fun and amusing in the world, they considered to be defiling. I assumed that these young women would be full of religious pride but instead they were actually quite humble and compassionate toward the people they saw in living darkness. One girl in particular went on to talk consistently about experiencing God’s pleasure throughout the day and that it was so much more satisfying than going to a nightclub or listening to a rock band, even after they had experienced both of these things. And honestly, I felt that she was very sincere about her opinions and that she actually believed that experiencing God’s pleasure was so much more enjoyable. I couldn’t help but smile.

There’s a real danger in gaining the whole world; in being successful, in being beautiful, in gaining wealth. I’ve seen very few people be able to pull it off and still be able to enjoy God. In fact, in my own life, I’m finding that sometimes it is a little bit easier to experience God’s pleasure when you are in the dungeon. More and more, I see the reality of God’s pleasure over me even when I am feeling weak and pitiful. I think people that are always experiencing difficulty are ones that God is shaping to really bring change in the Kingdom of God. Whether it is God forming character in them or simply teaching them to depend on Him in intimacy, difficulty tends to be a pathway to higher things in Jesus. If you are truly experiencing His enjoyment during difficulty, it creates a certain depth in your relationship with Him.

So what does this pleasure look like anyway? How do we make it happen? How do we experience it?

I think it starts with believing who God says He is and believing the truth about who we are to Him. It’s knowing that He is captivated by us and takes pleasure in us as well as obtaining revelation about who He is, His personality, and His attributes which we can find in the Word. We can experience His pleasure by meditating on scripture, singing about Him, and simply sitting before Him, allowing His love and mercy to wash over us. It’s forbidding doubts and fears to take entrance into our minds and filling those places with truth about Him. And when we make mistakes or let sin gain entrance into our hearts, God uses repentance as an invitation to experience His passion for us. I have been hearing Mike Bickle say the same thing over the past five years and I am just now believing it about myself: God actually likes me. HE LIKES ME! He doesn’t just love me but He likes who He made me to be. He likes all the little quirks that I hate (not the sin, just the quirks). When we understand this about Him, feeling pleasure in His presence is always available to us.


In a farm house (think ‘wizard of oz), looking out the window… only to see several black tornadoes in the distance drawing closer to the home I was in. I walk outside and suddenly start floating into the air and then soaring above the tornadoes with none other than my… laptop? I am moving fast flying over and even THROUGH some of the tornadoes. It is an exhilarating feeling. I then land in front of the house again, rush in and hide in the bath tub (good place to go durning a tornado if you don’t have a basement). I wake up.

Recently, Jesus (my best friend) has been speaking to me about writing again and I actually feel like I’m getting more oppurtunities than I have had in awhile. I believe that spirit-led writing and art and music are going to be part of the epic end-time battle… God vs. evil. However, I’m feeling deeply insecure about it. I haven’t written a short story since college, five years ago. I believe that as a prophetic messenger, God will not only be using our voices but elements of art that convey the power and beauty of God. This art, inspired by the spirit of God will have an anointing on it, far more powerful than the demonic anointing that comes from music and media tainted with the spirit of this age. I still feel insecure about it… to the point that I think I will vomit. Ridiculous, huh?

Being in inner healing is bringing a lot of junk from my childhood to the surface. It’s stirring up a lot of past insecurities and pain that God has finally begun a process of healing on. I think it’s for this reason… so that I can contain and receive ideas and dreams from heaven. It’s not a fun season but it is definitely one that is valuable and necessary… but it’s still killing me!


* The following statements are not necessarily the beliefs of the International House of Prayer but are based on my own opinions… the opinions of Brooke Turner.

I am not a heresy hunter therefore I want to first affirm some of the sincere qualities of the emergent church. I have been a participant in the Emergent Church movement in recent years and some of those involved in this movement are people that are very much beloved by me. This is not intended to bring hurt or cause disunity in the church, however, I felt the need to share my heart about this matter because it is an area of great concern to me.

The emergent movement began initially to address the great decrease in church attendance among young adults. It was clear that traditional church culture was not drawing the lost to Jesus. And so in observation of this dilemma, a web of ideas began to circulate among many young leaders. The underlying theme seemed to be: “how do we get the world to like us more so that in return, they will start coming to our churches/home groups etc?”

I believe that many “emergents” have a sincere burden for the lost. Many of them are characterized by great compassion for the poor and the marginalized. They have a desire to break out of the traditional Christian culture mode and relate to the lost in a new and fresh way. This is admirable considering the great majority of the church seems to feel more comfortable hiding behind the four walls of the church than venturing out into the world to love and serve the lost.

However, I have many concerns about the direction the emergent church has gone in recent years. The primary reason I have these concerns is because I believe that we are at the end of the age. Unlike a large percentage of the church, I believe that instead of being “sucked up” to heaven during the tribulation… we will actually be living here on earth. The tribulation will be used to purify the Bride of Christ and make them ready for His return to earth (2 Peter 3:14, Revelation 19:7-8). If you can find a verse supporting a pre-tribulation rapture, I would love to find out where it is because I haven’t seen one and personally… I would love to stay up there in heaven while hell breaks out down here on earth… but it ain’t gonna happen that way, folks.

The emergent movement has challenged the explicit truth of the Bible that we are to live Holy and blameless lives (Ephesians 1:3-5). Instead of using intimacy with Jesus and the powerful gifts of the Holy Spirit living inside of us to draw unbelievers to the truth, they have instead utilized compromise as a bridge to the lost. This may sound harsh but I myself have experienced this. In fact I was one of the promoters of this style of evangelism: “let’s hang out in bars, drink what we want and that way the lost will feel more comfortable around us.” Did it lead anyone to Jesus? I don’t remember one person coming to Jesus through this method and even if there was such a person, they sure weren’t being fed the truth of the gospel.

Why are we so concerned if the world likes us? We are actually suppose to expect that the world HATES us. 1 John 3:13 says, “do not be surprised brothers, if the world hates you.” In Jesus’ conversation with His father before his death on the cross he prays for us, His followers, “I have given them Your Word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.” John 3:19 says “this is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds are evil.” Yes. It is uncomfortable to be around people who hate us because we love Jesus. We are commanded to love them anyway but we are not given permission to join them in their sin. It pains me to think that we are using a false message of grace to exploit the work done on the cross. Grace is not a reason Jesus gave us to sin. Grace was given to us to empower us to keep from sinning. Sinning just because we can is a mockery of what Jesus has done on the cross.

So how do we reach the lost then? I have a few ideas 1. PRAY. Pray for the lost to know Jesus. Pray for specific people. Pray for their hearts to be open to the gospel. Pray for encounters with Jesus and dreams in the night. GOD is a real, active, and personal God and He is always moving. He wants evangelism to be a partnership with Him… not just some idea that we come up with on our own. 2. Prophesy. Yes. That’s what I said. 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 says that “if an unbeliever or someone does not understand comes in while everyone is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming ‘God is really among you!’. 3. Serving the lost. Feed them, clothe them, but don’t feed and clothe them without introducing them to Jesus. Without Jesus, humanitarian efforts are pointless. We are simply making their lives more comfortable as the drift away to hell.

A message of holiness, intimacy and purity for God CAN work in a young adult movement. Just look at my community, IHOP. The International House of Prayer is comprised mostly of young adults. Imagine that. Around a thousand or more young adults, pursuing Jesus as their ONE desire, and striving to live a life before God that is blameless. It can happen. Young adults are looking for something bigger than they are. In the words of Misty Edwards “there’s something bigger going on… something bigger than ME.”

In light of the times that we are in… and trust me… we are very very close to the tribulation… I want to introduce a few other dangers with the emergent church.

Because Jesus return is so imminent, the Sprit of the Anti-Christ is increasing rapidly. The Apostle John refers to this in 1 John 1:2-3. It is a spirit that deceives unbelievers into trusting in the false doctrine that Jesus is indeed NOT fully God and fully man. This spirit will be prevalent even in the body of Christ and well… it actually is already very prevalent. The emergent church has been characterized by a pervading deception that questions, ever so subtley, the deity of Jesus our Lord. This will start out in a seemingly subtle way and then increase in deception over time. A few years ago, I was able to hear a very popular emergent speaker. I will not share his name because it is not my desire that anyone should be ‘singled out’, but some of the things this man referred to have disturbed me for some years now. He made a statement similar to: “the book of Genesis is outdated and archaic” and then began to subtley share his unbelief in what he seemed to believe wasn’t inerrant, God-breathed scripture on how the earth was formed and created by an uncreated Being. 2 Timothy 4:2-4 says this, “3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” People who are uncomfortable with the truth of God’s inerrant Word will find someone to preach to them what they desire to hear. This is dangerous, why? 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 explains about the Spirit of the Anti-Christ or the Spirit of Lawlessness as it is otherwise called: “the coming of the lawless one will be in accordance to the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perished because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” There will be many in the church, who once called themselves Christians, who will fall away from Jesus because of offense.

In essence… we don’t have time to mess around. This spirit is in the world RIGHT NOW. We cannot allow any form of deception from the enemy. We cannot allow ourselves to sit in compromise. If our consciences are bothering us at all, we must turn away from that sin. Paul said that he “strives to keep his conscience clear before both God and man.” In humility and without religious pride, we must lay hold of the prize that is set before us… JESUS! We must live lives holy and blameless before Jesus and before the World. This includes loving each other. This includes serving each other but it also includes fleeing from immorality, darkness, dangerous theology, and drunkenness.


Yesterday was a fasting day. I was in the prayer room during the 4-6 set, taking in all the sights and sounds of a few hundred Jesus lovers gathered to cry out for mercy and pour their hearts out at His feet. I took note of my posture as I was observing the Lord moving on various people in the room. Standing up, I had one hand in my pocket and another grasping an Ozarka water bottle. For a brief moment I had a flashback of myself in this same physical posture at a show in perhaps Dallas or Little Rock, a Bud Lite or a Heineken in hand enjoying the idolization and glorification of the talent of human beings… not to mention the seduction of rampant immorality in these bars and clubs.

Now, I do have to mention that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having fun and enjoying an art form. I have been to shows that have actually inspired me to love God more (though these were performances by Christian bands) and it wasn’t just words but music that awakened something in me.

I think of King Herod in Acts 12 “On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a mere mortal.” Immediately , because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.”

Not that audiences in most concerts are shouting at the muscians “You MUST be a god!” (though I have to mention that some of them do scream things similar to this), but the majority of bands are completely idolized for their talent. If you think about the hundreds of women (whom most of the musicians take advantage of) that follow them from town to town, this might conclude some of your questions. What about the posters plastered all over the walls of teenage bedrooms? These kinds of things don’t happen to normal folks.

What I love about IHOP is that when outside people visit, more often than not, most of the people don’t have any idea who is playing on stage. They haven’t come to oooh and ahhhh over the musicians (though they might respect the gift God has given them), they have come to seek the living God.


It has been a somber yet clear and beautiful day after Mike’s exhortation yesterday during the staff meeting. Actually, I don’t know if exhortation is the right word… but I’m very grateful for Mike’s leadership and I’m grateful for the leadership of the Holy Spirit who prompted Mike to give this word of correction. There is nothing more destructive to the body of Christ than sexual immorality. It not only affects our own hearts but it affects the hearts of those we love. Trust me on this when I say that it can absolutely DESTROY the hearts of those that you have made vows with.

One thing, specifically, that I felt the Lord highlighting in my heart was the secular media. I have felt the pang of guilt as I watched a show on TV or watched a movie that was not particularly pure. Why am I watching something that Jesus would clearly frown on? We can make all the excuses we want by saying that we can’t seclude ourselves from the world and “we are in the world but not of it” but the truth of the matter is Jesus might go to a movie if it were today but He definitely wouldn’t sit through a bed scene or laugh at the raunchy humor of an effeminate charector. He wouldn’t consider a promiscuous couple to be “cute”. He wouldn’t embrace wickedness like we do when we let ourselves be entertained by it.

Art and film are beautiful things. I LOVE a well-made, well-written film. That’s why when the Lord started speaking to me last night during the meeting, things began to click in my head. Consider this a prophetic word… blog-style. Once we take the position of severing our connection with wickedness and embracing righteousness… God will honor it. How will he honor it? By filling the void that we think we have with divinely-inspired creativity… which can only be the best kind of creativity. I don’t think the believing community has done a great job with asking the Holy Spirit for ideas for higher-level artistic expression. It’s already inside of us, we just need to tap into it. IHOP has been prophesied over that we will be producing films… so let’s start believing God’s promises about this and not use the world for inspiration. Let’s use Him!