BORN IN A STABLE: YEAR-END LETTER 2016
It has taken me quite a few years to yield to the simple, ever present truth, that everything that is involved in God’s mysterious activity can be recognized as having been born in a stable.
Authentic birth of God’s purpose is always mixed with the smell, sound, and distasteful presence of the animals that are also found in the stable. Such is the origin of the “waste product” which, to my surprise, is always present in authentic spiritual activity! We are now entering the Christmas season only to rehearse the fact that there was no room for him in the inn!
On this principle, every birth related to the Kingdom must be recognized as having been born in the stable because He is a God that “hides Himself” (Isa. 45:15). We “see” Him hiding Himself in places that we are beginning to understand.
Christ’s birth in a stable is a pre-supposition we are seeking to clarify. Years of walking with the Lord reveals the fact that authentic revival or manifestation of His Presence began in a stable. Azusa Street and the Pentecostal out-pouring, can be clearly identified as being born in a stable.
There is a proverb that will help us understand this principle. Proverbs 14:4, “Where no oxen are, the manger is clean. But much strength or increase comes by the strength of the ox.” A simple explanation goes like this: if the stall is clean, no ox is present! Consequently, there is no waste material; however, neither is there plowing nor grain and fruit being produced. If the strength of the ox is desired, we must be prepared to accept and embrace the waste material!
As an expression of this Kingdom, Eric, I, and the entire Lifechangers family have all chosen to embrace the waste material i.e., human error, weakness, failure, and outright mixture. It has been made clear to us that all strength resulting in fruitfulness resides in the person of the Holy Spirit. He cannot be controlled or managed! We have chosen not to be ashamed of the complexities of what it means to walk in Spirit, seeking to demonstrate Agape, and attempting to see Father’s own wishes accomplished in the earth.
Science now informs us that “dark matter” makes up some 96.4% of the universe. For us to embrace Light, walk in the Light, and proclaim Agape as an absolute, we will experience our share of waste material.
Of the increase of His Kingdom there shall be no end! We are eager to present this Kingdom as self-transcendent, signifying that it functions best in the presence of waste material. What is most disconcerting is the biblical fact that we “love darkness,” which creates a form of warfare, a complexity of condemnation, and often an outright weariness. When will we be “free of waste material”?
This self-transcendent kingdom functions in death and resurrection. The world piles on the darkness and the waste material! The kingdom’s response is self-transcendence signifying Light emerging out of the darkness and waste material in resurrection power. John in his gospel teaches us that his Life is the Light of men and that Light shines in the darkness. It does so by means of resurrection. Darkness cannot understand, comprehend, or overcome the light. In like manner, Christ comes out of the tomb in resurrection power!
Our lesson made clear for this coming year: darkness does not have the authority or the power to keep Life and Light imprisoned in the grave. The Kingdom keeps coming with or without our invitation, our cooperation, or surprise, even our faith!
For us to choose Kingdom is to choose to emerge out of the darkness and waste material in the power of resurrection. The waste material seems to coerce us into making a most expensive and difficult choice: in the presence of waste material, I choose to embrace the Light of the Kingdom.
As I wrote these words, I could see two more aspects that were greatly comforting:
I, personally, serve as a stable into which He chose to come. He did so, knowing the great amounts of odor and waste material! I remember, as a U. S. Naval sailor, I was embarrassed to invite Him into my smelly stable.
Secondly, I could “see” about 7 billion other stables that Christ is seeking to enter, waste material and all. Evangelism then takes on a degree of His affection and willingness to meet us where we are.
As we steward this message and share the Light of the Kingdom with all that come into Lifechangers’ sphere we are grateful for your journey with us as co-workers. We have received exceptional response to the content we have made available online on the Lifechangers website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel. Several of the recent topical online teachings have been visited tens of thousands of times, confirming for us that the transitional efforts we have made this year are effectively placing the message we carry in the paths of those seeking a proceeding word.
It has been our great joy to share the treasures of our hearts with you as we all make our common journey into becoming Christ’s body. In addition to the production of the teaching content, Eric and Suzanne continue raising the children at Father’s House in Uganda and stewarding all the Lord has entrusted us with in the medical clinic, medical outreach teams, and micro-businesses. These have been practical expressions of seeing the Kingdom come in the earth and being the body of Christ.
Lifechangers often receives a large portion of our yearly budget in December through year end giving, and we need your support to continue to create and provide this content and steward the message Lifechangers carries domestically and internationally.
Would you consider supporting Lifechangers on a regular basis or through a one-time gift? We are grateful for your coming along side and making this journey with us!
You are greatly loved!
In the following video Bob shares on this idea of being born in a stable: https://youtu.be/vlG5HP2GJYE