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IHOP-Atlanta

April 19th, 2014

Blogs

Nathanael Flock
Go on to Maturity
Nathanael Flock
September 24th, 2009

I have recently been going through a wilderness of sorts. By God's mercy, this happens quite frequently.  It is mercy, after all, that would bring us to a wide open, dry space and turn the lights out so we must slow down and not trust in our sight, but in the Lord's leadership. This particular wilderness has been extremely difficult because my normal disciplines of prayer, meditation, etc, have brought me to further frustration. I have caught myself clenching my teeth and squeezing my fists until my knuckles are white, declaring "I MUST GET THROUGH!" But there is a more excellent way...

The more excellent way would begin by me no longer saying "I MUST GET THROUGH" but rather "HE'S ALREADY GONE THROUGH." The very fact that I, and others, focus so much on our journey, means we have not moved on to maturity, past the basics of Christianity 101.
The writer of Hebrews says, "Therefore, leaving the elementary message about the Messiah, let us go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, faith in God, teaching about baptisms, laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And we will do this if God permits." (Heb 6:1-3)
A cursory glance may deceive us in what this passage is talking about. Let us look closely at what some of the elementary messages about the Messiah are:

1). Repentance from dead works - The Writer did not say, "repentance from works that lead to death," (i.e. sin), he wrote "dead works". This is not about repentance from our sins, this is about no longer offering dead works to the Lord from a religious or striving mindset. The Greek word is "nekros" which means something already dead. To understand repentance from dead works means we deeply comprehend that we can offer nothing apart from the faith in God.

2). Faith in God - Look at the majority of the epistle of Romans and Galatians (throw in most of Philippians and Colossians too) and you have the text book for Faith in God 101. This isn't just faith in the Messiah going to the cross and rising three days later - this is deeper than Sunday school milk. This is the righteousness that comes by faith; faith that sets the heart free from striving. If we haven't spent much time pouring through Romans, Galatians, Philippians, and Colossians, then we are probably not past Faith in God 101.

3.) Teaching about baptisms - This is baptism from a Hebrew paradigm, not Greek. This includes water baptism, and baptism of the Spirit and fire (Matt 3:11). But, one of the most important points is being buried with Christ Jesus in baptism (Rom 6:3,4). I am pained to say I rarely find any teachings on this, and rarely hear anyone who can articulate the meaning of this well. I, myself, have very little understanding in regards to these.

4.) Resurrection from the dead - Perhaps one of the most exciting and joyful promises in the Word for the weary soul. I believe the Writer of Hebrews isn't just speaking of the resurrection to come at the last trumpet; he is speaking about coming out of Adam, raised in Christ to walk in the "new way of life" even now (Rom 6:4). If I don't truly understand co-crucifixion with Christ, the "new way of the Spirit" (Rom 7:6), being dead to sin but alive to God, remaining not under law but under grace, then I don't know the resurrection from the dead.

That is just four of the six "elementary messages" we should graduate from! Already I find myself wanting to dive back into the Epistles of Paul to search these things out for myself once more. I have spent the past four years studying the cross, the blood, the covenants, the resurrection, and "the new way of life" in a focused way. And yet, these FOUNDATIONS are still deep mysteries to me. I do not believe any person would fully comprehend these in any 70 year life-span, but I do believe it is possible to get a free heart from a solid foundational understanding of these to move on to more mature things. Interestingly enough, the writer of Hebrews follows the charge to move on to maturity with chapters about our royal priesthood. I think this explains why most Christians, including myself, don't have a powerful prayer life. We have not moved on to maturity because we have not yet gotten the elementary messages about the Messiah and His salvation that frees our heart completely to pray as He prays.

I have talked with many in the body of Christ about wilderness seasons and the teeth-clenching, white-knuckling Christianity I found myself back in these past few months.  They confess the same ache and uncertainties I have felt, and I'm sure you have or are still feeling. Let us then get these elementary issues truly settled in our hearts. Let us dive deep in the Word and let it divide soul from spirit so His Spirit may testify to ours these wondrous promises ordained by our loving Messiah. When our hearts are free, we will no longer say "I MUST GET THROUGH," but rather "HE'S MY LIFE, HE'S ALREADY GONE THROUGH, AND HE WILL CONQUER AGAIN." No longer I, but Christ. "And we will do this if God permits"!

Calendar

Healing Rooms
4/20/2014 3:45pm - 4:45pm

If you are wrestling with physical sickness, a chronic disease, a painful injury, or a heavy emotional burden, then there is good news for you. God's Word says that He is exceedingly kind and loves to heal (Psalm 103:1-5). During His earthly ministry, Jesus healed all who came to Him (Matthew 4:24). God has promised that the prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick (James 5:15). Therefore, we want to stand with you in prayer and faith, believing God to perform a healing work in your life.

Our Healing Rooms will be held from 3:45 - 4:45 pm on Sunday evenings weekly.

Appointments for personal ministry can be made starting at 3:30 pm on a first-come, first-serve basis. This personal time of ministry will typically last 20 minutes with one of our Healing Rooms ministry teams.

Prophecy Rooms
4/20/2014 3:45pm - 4:45pm

At IHOP Atlanta, we desire to encourage and strengthen believers through the prophetic ministry. We have prophecy teams that are trained to hear the heart of the Lord for people and to minister His words of encouragement, edification, and exhortation (1 Cor 14:3). It is our prayer that believers will be strengthened in their faith and have a clearer understanding of how God feels and thinks about them after receiving ministry in the prophecy rooms. If you desire to encounter God's love for you in practical way, we encourage you to sign up for a ministry time in our prophecy rooms.

The prophecy rooms are open on Sundays from 3:45-4:45 PM. Appointments can be made 15 minutes prior. They are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Appointments typically last 10 minutes and are recorded for your convenience.

Encounter Service
4/20/2014 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Each service incorporates prophetic worship, Biblical teaching, prayer, and ministry times. Each service is geared to call individuals to a depth of the knowledge of God, intimacy with Jesus, urgency for the hour, and the Sermon on the Mount lifestyle. Through proclamation and impartation, each service is focused on providing a place for encounter with God for the individual, as well as generating a shift in the spiritual atmosphere over the city of Atlanta. Immediately following the service, there is an Information meeting for anyone desiring more information regarding IHOP Atlanta.
Staff Intercession Meeting
4/22/2014 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Tuesday is a designated prayer and fasting day for IHOP Atlanta staff and family. We have scheduled intercession meetings at 10 a.m., 4 p.m., 8 p.m., and midnight. We ask that all staff make it a priority to attend the weekly Tuesday 4 p.m. intercession meeting, as this is the one time weekly that we come together as a community for worship and intercession. Full-time staff are required to attend the 4 p.m. and an additional intercession meeting on Tuesday. Part-time staff are required to attend only the 4 p.m. intercession meeting. This meeting is open to the public as are all IHOP Atlanta prayer meetings
Healing Rooms
4/27/2014 3:45pm - 4:45pm

If you are wrestling with physical sickness, a chronic disease, a painful injury, or a heavy emotional burden, then there is good news for you. God's Word says that He is exceedingly kind and loves to heal (Psalm 103:1-5). During His earthly ministry, Jesus healed all who came to Him (Matthew 4:24). God has promised that the prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick (James 5:15). Therefore, we want to stand with you in prayer and faith, believing God to perform a healing work in your life.

Our Healing Rooms will be held from 3:45 - 4:45 pm on Sunday evenings weekly.

Appointments for personal ministry can be made starting at 3:30 pm on a first-come, first-serve basis. This personal time of ministry will typically last 20 minutes with one of our Healing Rooms ministry teams.

Prophecy Rooms
4/27/2014 3:45pm - 4:45pm

At IHOP Atlanta, we desire to encourage and strengthen believers through the prophetic ministry. We have prophecy teams that are trained to hear the heart of the Lord for people and to minister His words of encouragement, edification, and exhortation (1 Cor 14:3). It is our prayer that believers will be strengthened in their faith and have a clearer understanding of how God feels and thinks about them after receiving ministry in the prophecy rooms. If you desire to encounter God's love for you in practical way, we encourage you to sign up for a ministry time in our prophecy rooms.

The prophecy rooms are open on Sundays from 3:45-4:45 PM. Appointments can be made 15 minutes prior. They are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Appointments typically last 10 minutes and are recorded for your convenience.

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