Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Turning our D's into P's

D’s and P’s.  They keep rolling around my head as the smaller letters: d and p.  When you look at them it’s easy to see that they are direct opposites.  But, when you turn a d around it becomes a p. Why is this important?  It’s not the letters themselves but the words they represent that alert me to a reality of direct opposites, yet when the d is turned around, it becomes a p!

Think about it, the letter d begins the name of our enemy: Devil.  The letter p’s points us to our Savior:  Prince of Peace.  I realize the d’s start words such as doubt, despair, destruction, disabled, discouragement, and depression which lead to death.  The p’s lead me into life:  peace, protection, provision, promise, power and perseverance.  Who is the author of the d words?  Of course, the Devil himself.  Who is the creator of the life giving p words?  Our Prince of Peace, the Son of the Living God.

I’ve been considering the reality of our ability to take a d in our life and to turn and face the Prince of Peace to partner with him to make the d’s our p’s.  Two of the most devastating realities for people in the 21st century is depression and despair.  When the Devil gets us to believe that life will never change, we are chained into a prison of despair, no hope exists for breakthrough, we often find ourselves sinking into depression.  But, when we take our despair and depression and bring it before the Prince of Peace, we are able to experience the d’s becoming p’s of peace and promise.
George Barna has a study out regarding how people progress in their journey with the Prince of Peace in his new book Maximum Faith:  Live a life like Jesus.  He writes: 

The transformation journey has ten stops en route to wholeness and freedom. Most Americans, according to the research, never get beyond stop three (awareness and concern about sin and its effects, but not cooperating with Christ to alleviate that problem). Among those who become “born again Christians,” most never move past stop five (i.e., having invited Christ to be their savior and then engaging in a lot of religious activity). In other words, a majority of the American public never reaches the second half of the stops on the journey to wholeness.

The research actually indicates that only 2% of Jesus followers ever get to stop 9 and 10; the place where people live in peace, productivity and power, rather than doubt, despair and destruction.

How can this be?  I spend a lot of time thinking about it because following Jesus is my life passion and pursuit.  I am also privileged enough to also engage pursuit and passionate work helping others live a life of peace, protection, provision, promise, pleasure, passion, perseverance and power partnering with the Prince of Peace.

The question I wonder is, which life do you want? 

           Doubt, despair, depression, destruction, disablement, discouragement
            Peace, power, perseverance, provision, protection, passion, pleasure and promise.
Missio Lux is committed to equipping people through intentional discipleship to change our d’s into p’s.  We regularly ask ourselves and one another, “What is God saying to you?  How are you responding to his invitation?”  We walk through a Learning Circle ( in huddle; a small group of 6 to 8 people meeting intentionally to discover how to follow the Prince of Peace in the life of p’s.

When we discover that our focus has been on the author of the d’s, or living in a d place of destruction, despair, depression and doubt, we take time to observe, reflect and discuss the root of the d, and the ability to turn it around so that it becomes a p in our life.  This is called “repentance” which only means to turn around and go another direction.  The d becomes a p as we turn it around….it faces another direction.
The good news about the turn of d’s to p’s in Missio Lux is that we don’t do it alone.  We have the power of the Prince of Peace to make it happen and the support of a loving community.  It happens through yet another life giving word: prayer.  Prayer is our communion with the One who loved us so much he couldn’t live without us.  Prayer is the place where our body, our mind and our emotions come into peace.  Prayer is what reminds us we are protected and provided for; prayer brings us passion and pleasure, as we persevere through the challenge of d’s.
The d’s and p’s come with both invitation and challenge.  The invitation comes through the Prince of Peace who came to earth to experience life as a human so we would know he cares about every aspect of our lives.  Hebrews 4:15-16 state:

“This High Priest of ours, the Prince of Peace, understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
The challenge is whether we want the life Jesus came to give us enough to fight for it.  Will we do the work to repent, or change our direction?  Will we seek out a loving community who will walk with us in our journey from the d’s to the p’s?  Will we share what we are experiencing with others, so they can live in freedom too?  Will we pray often, setting aside sacred time with the Prince of Peace, so that our minds become permeated, another p, with his presence and power?
Here’s my challenge to you:
1.      Make an intentional decision to set aside three days to do a mental audit of your thoughts.  Carry around a notebook or a recorder so when a thought pops up, you can decide, “is this a d thought or a life thought?”  when you decide, record it as a d or p.

 2.    At the end of the three days, count up how many d’s and p’s you have.  Are they equal in number, or way out of balance?

3.    Ask yourself if they are equal, Is this the life I want to live, or are too many of my thoughts dominated by the prince of death?  If they are way out of balance on the d side, take immediate action and find a Celebrate Recovery or a Healing Prayer ministry, where you can find others who are intentionally facing their d’s head on and partnering with Prince of Peace to turn them into p’s.

4.    Celebrate if you have a disproportion of p’s.  This indicates you are living a life the Prince of Peace invites you to live.  It also means you have the privilege and responsibility to take your life and multiply it into others.  Jesus told us in John 15:7-8:
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
It is when we share our p’s with others, we live as a disciple.  A disciple is one who patterns their life with their leader and multiplies their lifestyle.  In our case, we want to pattern our lives with the Prince of Peace who teaches us how to live in such a way that our fruit spills out wherever we go because we are sharing the life of p’s with a world focused on d’s.

When we intentionally commit ourselves to partner with Prince of Peace to help support, encourage and equip others, the Father is filled with pleasure and in return, releases his pleasure into us.  I dream of a world where the d’s have no more power because the p’s are so filled with life which entices us to live the life Jesus came to give us.

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