From the desk of Steve Shultz:
This is a real eye-opening article by Joey LeTourneau. Joey's article will help you to "SEE" from a perspective that you may not have thought of before – a Manger perspective... Here's a hint:
"Jesus' birth in a manger was the most unique and powerful entrance into His purpose and calling the world has ever seen. It's what I call God's manger strategy. We cannot aim for a Christlike calling without also acknowledging unlikely, but Christlike methods along the way."
Now you'll have to read on to find out much more... enjoy!
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Recognizing God's Manger Strategy: Birthing His Promises and Purposes
"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7
Jesus' birth in a manger was the most unique and powerful entrance into His purpose and calling the world has ever seen. It's what I call God's manger strategy. We cannot aim for a Christlike calling without also acknowledging unlikely, but Christlike methods along the way.
The world often does not have room for what God is doing, the love He is lavishing them with, or the ways He is pursuing them. The typical places, such as an Inn, are already too full. So God looks for the mangers in our lives to birth His promises and our purposes.
Our Foolish Prize
"I will bring adversity on all flesh" says the Lord. "But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go." Jeremiah 45:5
It's a confounding strategy really, one in which I often find myself needing to be freshly renewed to. The verse above from Jeremiah is both piercing and powerful! Often, when we find ourselves striving for an open door at the Inn, God is saying, "I've already got the perfect place set, for I will give you your life as a prize in all places, even that which looks like a manger." As we learn to trust God in the manger, without striving for the Inn, we will see promises and purposes born we could have never even conceived on our own.
"But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence." 1 Corinthians 1:27-29
Changing Our Measurements
"Do you not say there are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together." John 4:35-36
Heaven's purposes and earth's measuring stick often contradict one another, yet we find ourselves compelled to aim for the first while still measuring by the second. Israel was waiting for her Messiah and King, their intention was right, but their measurements were off so much so that most missed Him completely. Why? He arrived in a manger and continued to be revealed through such unlikely, underdog-like strategies.
Many people are waiting to walk into their purpose and calling for this season. But what if that purpose is already swirling all around us and we just struggle to see how our current manger-like position measure up to the vision or promise we've seen in our heart? Perhaps you see the manger around you and find it more of a burden than an entry point. Earth may show you a manger all around you, but God sees the most fertile, ripe ground that His harvest could ask for.
God measures differently than what is seen on earth. Some of us are supposed to sow what others will later reap. And still, sometimes we get to reap what others have sown. Rarely do we find ourselves in a place of doing both, yet that is precisely the measurement we too often apply. We may be sowing with God abundantly during a season but may not realize it because we are actually measuring ourselves based on reaping, and vice versa.
Jesus said the fields were already white for harvest, but others didn't immediately see it that way. There are fields all around you going unseen that may be incredibly ripe, or, there may be dry, empty fields waiting for you to sow for a season before you move on to the next field. An empty field is not always a negative assessment from God's perspective; it may be an invitation to sow into that which someone else will reap for generations.
New Eyes to See
"And Elisha prayed, and said, 'Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.' Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha." 2 Kings 6:17
When I was 18, I went on a very unusual sort of fast. I actually fasted from sunglasses for one year. Why? Because I wanted to see differently; I wanted God to open the eyes of my heart to a new level. Now, obviously, not wearing sunglasses didn't actually cause a change, but they were symbolic. I did not want to allow one worldly thing to shade my vision with the Lord; I wanted to learn to see and measure the way He sees for myself and for others. I was never the same after that fast.
As Elisha prayed for the young man, my family and I pray for you now – for the new lenses of your heart to come alive. In the name of Jesus, we release new vision over you and your circumstances, to see the manger around you the way God sees it, ready to give birth to the best prizes and promises God can measure.
Your manger is not insignificant, but strategic and purposeful. We break off the measuring lies of the enemy and bind your measurements to God's alone. May you see yourself, your life, your circumstances, and others as God sees. May your new eyes give birth to His everlasting promises to sow, to reap, and to join Jesus in the whitened harvest He has declared before us all. In Jesus' awesome name, Amen!
M.A.R.K. 10:14 Family/Heavenly Hope Ministries
Website: bringhishope.org / uncommonvision.org
Joey LeTourneau, his wife Destiny, and their four daughters live near Denver, Colorado. They travel extensively, empowering the Body of Christ to draw near to their First Love and live out the life-giving testimony of Jesus to the world around them. They desire to see the Father's heart fully revealed to the world, and through such see a multiplication of life so abundant the whole world will know the true nature of our Father! Joey has authored two books, Revolutionary Freedom, and his new release, The Life Giver.