We can change the world around us!

What is ‘Church’?

Church is where most believers go to assemble with their brothers and sisters in Christ. However, church is not limited to a building. Church is not a ‘sanctuary’ that we go to, church is us.

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

As a result of the work of Jesus on the cross, we are fully forgiven from sin and then fused into union with Christ. We are brought into a new way of being human, as sons and daughters of God. Every believer on the planet was born-again into a new spiritual family.

The Ministry Center, or our local church is where we gather together in worship and learn about our identities as sons of God in the context of family.

However, what happens there was never meant to stay within the four walls of our local worship center.

Miracles, prophesying (for those of you who need clarification; it’s simply speaking over a person how God sees them), fellowship, dreaming big, and loving is not to remain in the building that you happen to meet in. It happens where you happen to be!

If we don’t learn who we are and that we can change the world around us, then there’s potential for us to believe that ‘church’ is the only place where we can experience freedom and safety. There’s a problem with that thinking, it cripples people.

The ‘sanctuary’ isn’t our church, it’s inside of us. We are the sanctuary. We carry the presence of God.

As some of you may know, I love baseball. Just a few years ago, I was playing in the minor league farm system for the Los Angeles Angels. I played for two seasons, then was released of my contract. Often times I reflect back on those years as to what I did right, or what I did wrong. Clearly, I would love to have made it all the way to the major leagues, but I didn’t.

To be vulnerable and honest, I believe that it wasn’t my lack of talent or ability that got me released. It was my mindset.

In my immaturity as a son, my perspective was that the baseball world was a dark place. Every player there who didn’t happen to go to church was (I’m exaggerating some) someone who could potentially be my next ‘project’. My teammates were guys that I needed to fix, or get that one on one time with.

They weren’t already approved or forgiven in my mind, because they didn’t partake in the religious activity that I did. Therefore, they weren’t accepted in my mind by God, because I didn’t accept them. Did I enjoy them? Yes, most of the time. It was more like I tolerated them, but in reality they tolerated me! I still have some former teammates that I talk to from time to time. The funny thing is, because I was so religious in my thinking, I often times felt so overwhelmed by the darkness there. Church! Where’s the church?! Where’s the chaplain?! I need to get out of ‘here’, and go ‘there’! Lord help!

So many of those guys walked in more of a renewed mind of freedom than I did!

Since the status of my heart and mind depended so much on my performance, whether it be spiritually or physically, freedom came only in snippets! I remember one of my Dominican teammates, Luis Jimenez, would chuckle as to how wound up I would be when I failed. He wanted to see me free, because he was free! He could see the religion all over me, he would do whatever he could to make me laugh and to offend that religious spirit. He was a riot, thank God for Luis. Love that guy.

My point is this, let’s become more mature. How about we no longer regard anyone according to the flesh? Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:16 this.

16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.

Just as Christ is raised up and seated next to the Father, let’s look at the people in our world around us differently. If there’s a person who claims to know Christ but acts hypocritically in their lifestyle, treat them as though they are already like Christ in love. When they find out that is not who they are, they will realize in Christ they already are free and it will manifest! If there’s a person who doesn’t know a thing about Jesus, treat them as a person totally forgiven and absolutely adored by the Father in heaven. Build relationships with no agenda! Love people well!

How about we find ourselves just as comfortable in our spheres of influence as we do when we’re around our fellow believers?

What if ‘Church’ happened where we happened to be? Is this how we change our world?

Equipping you to conquer,

Ryan Groth

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We can co-labor with God.

GOD DOESN’T WANT TO “USE” US

Most of us have heard time and time again that God wants to “use” us. The thought sounds amazing! However, I think we can use better language to really describe what our loving Father really wants to do.

It doesn’t feel good to be “used” by someone in most cases. We are usually left looking back uttering complaints about how we didn’t feel like we had a say.

Being “used” by God sounds like he is making us do something that we don’t really want to do! In reality, it’s his heart for us to co-labor with and partake in his good works!

WE CAN CO-LABOR WITH GOD’S HEAVENLY PLAN

When we are tapped into the heart of God, we are continually informed by the power of the Holy Spirit what his agenda is in our lives. The encouraging news is that co-laboring, or partnering with his glorious efforts will always be enjoyable! We will never feel “used”! Partnering with God is a beautiful work in which he will always provide the grace to see it done supernaturally.

IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE STRIVING TO PARTNER WITH HIM, THEN THINK AGAIN…

Jesus prayed, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Bringing heaven to Earth is the work that we all get the privilege to enjoy. It’s what we were created to do naturally. Jesus described that his way of doing work is out of rest and lightness.

Matt 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Yokes are what farmers would place over the necks of oxen to work the land. Jesus is saying, come up underneath this yoke of mine and partner with me as we do my work. Then what he says is that his yoke, or his work, is easy and light!

ASK GOD HOW HE WANTS YOU TO CO-LABOR WITH HIM

Our destinies foundationally are the pleasures of getting to know our God in relationship. Additionally, his plans are to prosper us and see us go from glory to glory. Believe it or not, a christian’s ultimate ascension is NOT to be called to preach from a pulpit! Being a full-time minister isn’t some measurement of having arrived as a believer.

Owning a business, being a karate teacher, managing a grocery store, or being a nurturing mother at home can be a much more powerful and fruitful role than being on staff at your local church! When we are partnering with God in his design for us, we will feel overwhelmed with pleasure and glory!

We are all called to radically love. Pure love is the pinnacle of the human life. We’ve heard it said, “love what you do, and it won’t feel like you’re working a day in your life!”

Dream with God as to how you can partner with him! It will absolutely blow your expectations away!

Equipping you to conquer,

Ryan Groth

Quality of a Conqueror: Meekness

GOD IS TEACHING ME MEEKNESS

Holy Spirit has been leading me into his heavenly qualities, and showing me some incredible things!

A quality of his nature that I’ve been learning on a daily basis is meekness. My desire for this post is to give understanding as to what meekness is. To tell you the truth, I believe all of us already have meekness.  I also believe that we will truly continue to conquer as we apply this virtue in our lives!

MEEKNESS IS NOT WEAKNESS

Power restrained. That’s meekness.

Powerful knowledge withheld for the sake of love. That’s meekness

Meekness is having so much glory going on inside that you can talk for hours, but you don’t say much.

Meekness in action is grabbing with both hands the sides of your heart and stretching that thing over a situation, over a circumstance, or over a person’s life.

Meekness is the art of resisting what could be beneficial to do or say, but instead is withheld because the powerful act to withhold is really a more effective way to express love in that situation.

Each time I exercise meekness, I feel an explosion of the fruit of self-control tingle in my body. It makes me feel so alive. It’s the heart of the Father, I believe. He could easily become impatient with us in our inexperience, but instead he just gently pursues us with his loving kindness to see us through. He sees past the imperfect behavior traits, and expresses his heart of validation.

Meekness says “I love you” when it’s more natural to criticize. Walking in meekness is walking in power.

THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH

Psalm 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

My conviction is that “inheriting the earth” is being positioned by God into seats of great influence and leadership somewhere in the Earth. Authority from God.

We need to stretch our hearts out with both hands, cover people, and speak life when it’s not looking too good. God wants us to partner with him and show us amazing destiny, but we can’t handle it unless we partner with his meekness.

WE ALL WANT TO BE LIKE OUR FATHER

As we grow deeper into the knowledge and experience of our wonderful heavenly Father, we begin learning more about his character. We begin understanding more of his nature, and in return we become inspired to demonstrate his likeness in our personal lives. This is our response to being an audience to his greatness. We are provoked to replicate that of which he does, because we have been born of him!

God calls us “more than conquerors” in Christ. This is because he is encouraging all of us to be like himself, echoing to his kids his very personality to conquer.

You’re amazing, go ahead and be meek!

Stay fired up,

Ryan Groth

Recognizing voices and staying free!

So we are free in Christ.  In this man Jesus, in whom we have been totally grafted into, we are free from any and every attachment that sin once laid hold.  We are either free, or we are not free.  We are either in a prison cell, or outside of the cell. Think about it.  Thankfully, whether we feel it or not, see it or not, the truth is that we are completely free in Christ once having placed faith in his work.

WE MUST STEWARD THIS FREEDOM

Wonderful is the news that we don’t have to get ourselves free, get ourselves healed, and get ourselves delivered.  Christ supernaturally transformed us from the results of the unfixable sin that the law couldn’t fix.  Christ did the job, and he did it well!

So the question is, how do we steward this freedom?  What responsibility do we have in this thing?  Just because we are free from the “power of sin and death“, doesn’t mean we’re incapable of sinning.  God says in his word that he makes a way for us to re-present him well even in the midst of evil surroundings.

He gives us GRACE; divine enabling power.

1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

TO GROW IN FREEDOM, WE MUST RECOGNIZE VOICES

There are two voices out there in the world.  God’s voice, and the devil’s voice.  God is for you, the devil is against you.  God is good, the devil is evil.  God comforts, the devil condemns.  God speaks love, the devil speaks fear.

WE’RE IN A FIGHT, NOT AGAINST OURSELVES BUT AGAINST THE DEVIL

As a new creation in Christ, it’s impossible for our new nature to tempt us.  Silly to think, isn’t it?  It’s unfortunate, but what most christians see as their own “flesh” dragging them down is actually the stinkin’ devil and his demons tempting you.  The reason it can actually work, is because they got us thinking it’s us!

As I mentioned in my last post, we are more than conquerors!  We must realize that our old nature is dead.  It’s our responsibility to only take ownership of thoughts that are Christ’s.  No longer do we take ownership of evil thoughts.  How could we as new creations come up with evil thoughts?
The devil and his little stinkers are the ones tempting us.  Once we recognize temptation as an outward activity in the spiritual world, then we can simply dismiss that thought and move on in our freedom.

Everyday I conquer and destroy demons of fear, shame, guilt, self-pity, and the like. Hoorah!

Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against (our own) flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Bold added

TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV)
Paul talks some more in the book of Philippians about what we should think about.  What if the entire church thought about heavenly things?  What if we are always thinking from Heaven to Earth, rather the other way around.
What if an entire generation saw life from the perspective of Christ as his body?
Phil 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
It would be great to hear your feedback! Love you all, blessings!
Equipping you to conquer,
Ryan Groth

Are you experiencing a new thought life?

JESUS GAVE ME A NEW THOUGHT LIFE!  

I was reflecting the other day about how much my life has changed since I’ve heard the good news of the gospel.  My greatest personal breakthrough, as a result of the message, has occurred in the way I think.  One night I was in my condo sitting on the couch, and Jesus just walked into the room.  The lights were all off, it was late, and my wife was studying in the other room.  God’s presence was so strong, and I began to worship him from the sweetness and overflow of my heart.  As I sang a new song to him, tears began flowing down my face when I sang the words, “Lord, you’ve given me a new thought life!”

ECSTATIC BECAUSE OLD THOUGHTS HAVE NO HOLD

The tears ran down my face. For years even after Jesus came into my heart at 16, I was still being tortured with condemnation.  Thoughts like, “you still need to please God, you’re not living holy enough.” Or a lustful thought would come across my mind and then here comes the voice, “see, you’re a terrible Christian because you still struggle with lust.  You’re never going to get free, so you might as well sin.  After all, everybody has something they’re hiding.”

RENEWAL OF THE MIND

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

My tears while sitting on the couch that night were tears of joy.  Because I finally had believed that in Christ, I’m spotless.  In Christ, my old sinful man was nailed to the cross with him, and buried with him.  The truth of “being raised with Christ” and having “the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead, now living in me” became something I believed.

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…Boom! (sound effect added)

BEGIN CONQUERING YOUR THOUGHT LIFE

Being “more than a conqueror” in Christ is a process of continually overcoming enemies that intend to hinder our transformation into God’s image.  However, I believe transformation truly occurs when our minds become renewed.  Transformation into Christ’s image is a by product of the renewing of the mind.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Encountering the Father’s love, seeing myself how he sees me, and taking ownership of my new nature in Christ has been something that radically freed my thought life.  As a matter of fact, it’s made it all brand new!

OWN ONLY CHRIST

Let me ask you, do you still experience thoughts of shame? Thoughts of guilt? Thoughts of condemnation?  I understand these thoughts feel very real!  The good news is, that in Christ we can’t take any ownership of those thoughts.  It’s silly to, because Christ’s accomplishment on the cross paid the price for those thoughts.  He came to give us life, and life abundantly.

In my next post, I’ll peer deeper into some helpful principles that have helped me steward this life of freedom.  Be expectant, it’s going to be good!

Equipping you to conquer,

Ryan Groth

Boldness: required for change

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Recently my wife and I traveled with a team of youth and leaders to New York City.  Our agenda was to simply bless everybody that we saw: by ministering in churches, prayer meetings, and street ministry.  The experience was amazing, but one thing that was required for us to actually bless the city of New York was boldness.

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

During our ten day mission in the city, our boldness increased each day.  The momentum increased in each of our team members from day to day. It increased to the point that there was no fear in our team as it related to what people think, or in questioning if what’s in our hearts is real or not.
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Experiencing rejection, an awkward look, or maybe getting laughed at by a stranger is about the only danger you can run into when you’re agenda is to bless complete and total strangers.  However, the reward is unparalleled when the boldness is released to bless somebody.
Bold: adj.: not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring: a bold hero.
Just a quick story to back up my point.  Part of our team’s mission in blessing the streets of New York was to do a Jesus flash mob!  One of our talented youth played Bruno Mars’ song “just the way you are” in a public place.  We also had other youth playing a drum and dancing beautifully.  Our team began to gather like strangers around them, and at a certain point in the song we broke out in couples dance.  After the dance we could pick up a flower out of a bag with a prophetic word attached.  (Prophetic words are encouraging, comforting words from God describing His love for them).  We gave a flower to one of the strangers surrounding the area, and in one instance the woman who read it cried on the spot.  She was totally touched by the word on the card, because of the way her day was going, she was down.  She read the card and cried, saying, “I now know for sure that God is with me, I am going to work knowing that I’m losing my job.”
Let me say that for me to dance like that in public required ALOT of boldness.  However, once the boldness came, it was as natural as a smile.
So my hope in you reading this is for you to get bold in blessing people.  Don’t let fear of rejection or doubt of your hearing the voice of God hinder you from being bold.
The rewards get better as you go!
Blessings,
Ryan Groth

Guiltless, shameless, and un-condemnable.

As you may have read in one of my recent posts, “you are all born to conquer”, I described your inevitable nature of being a conqueror as a result of being a child of God.

The mission is to peel back the mentally fortified walls influenced by lies from the devil, and reveal to you the glorious empowerment of sonship and explore the adventures in Christ.

Conquering is a part of your destiny, and your destiny is this…

Destiny is God’s purpose for your life.  Our destiny isn’t necessarily a job, a position of influence, or even a family.  Those are all wonderful things that describe checkpoints along the way of our destiny.  But, if there’s one perfect way to describe what’s possible for us in this world, it is this: Christ Jesus Christ is our destiny.  Which in layman’s terms says you are not striving to be like Christ, it’s you being in Christ himself.

His nature, his character, what he considers to be normal in heaven.  This is exactly our inheritance, and I believe it’s available for us now.

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The Kingdom “at hand” means that it is in front of us, leaving behind the sinful life we repented from.  Now we are destined for a supernatural life, enamored in heavenly freedom.

2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV: Now this Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Christ’s victory became our victory.

I believe that Christ doesn’t know anything that would hinder him from experiencing perfect union and intimacy with his heavenly Father.  There isn’t a hint of guilt, shame, or condemnation that Christ is dealing with right now.  Absolutely nothing is separating Christ from the extravagant love of his Father. It’s laughable to think anything otherwise, don’t you agree?

But the good news is, Christ died and rose again on your behalf so that you can place your life in those sentences above.  Christ went on the cross as you so that you can be invited into the same kind of love that the trinity lives in.  Wow!  God is pleased with Jesus, and he feels the same way about you.  Ok, smile now if you aren’t already! 🙂 That’s good news!

Because of what Christ has done on your behalf, you currently and eternally stand:

Guiltless, shameless, and UN-CONDEMNABLE.  

God the Father is pleased with you.

So we’re free.  What did Jesus actually set us free from?

Perhaps I could spend a lifetime getting very specific about answering this question, but I’ll keep it short and sweet.  Guilt, shame, and condemnation as a result of sin.  These three symptoms can be viewed synonymously, so I’ll approach them that way (although I know they’re different in definition, each stem from the same root).

Guilt hinders, shame isolates, condemnation imprisons.  All of them limit us.  They suck.

Christ says you are currently and eternally:

Guiltless, shameless, and UN-CONDEMNABLE.  

Please comment or share!

Equipping you to conquer,

Ryan