Expansion

Keith NIxThe Lift Church

What’s the big deal about entering another year? After all, it’s just a date on the calendar. And the calendar we go by is the Gregorian calendar, not God’s!  There is certainly nothing magical about entering a new year. But it gives us a reset button. It is a “get ready, set, go” mark on our calendar; a fresh opportunity for us to experience a better year and to become better people.

In 2016, the Lord spoke to me that 2017 would be the Year of the Open Door for us. And it has been in so many ways. Amazing doors opened for us! Each door God opened enabled us to reach thousands more with the anointing and message of truth. God is ever faithful to fulfill HIs word.

Now as we prepare to enter into 2018, the Lord spoke to me that this is the season to walk through the open door.  More doors are open for us that merely requires us to walk through. In Revelation 3:8, our Lord Jesus says, “See, I have set before you an open door, and no man can close it..”  The many times I read this verse I only envisioned the door as standing wide open with me only needing to step through. And many times that has been precisely the way.

But I realized that sometimes the message is a bit different. There are times when the door is in the closed position. We stand before it and knock, waiting for it to open, and we hear someone say, “Come on in. It’s open.”  Open? No, it is closed. We can’t see beyond the door. We are still stuck on the same side! But the voice insists! “It’s open. Come on in!”

Doors that remain in the closed position but are unlocked are considered open. We stand right now in front of doors that God has supernaturally unlocked for us. All that is separating us from stepping through is an act of obedience. So, we choose to believe and obey. I declare that 2018 is for us and you, The Year of Stepping Through the Open Door!

Six to eight weeks ago, the Lord spoke to Margie one word that complements the word the Lord gave me: “EXPANSION”! As we step through the open door, we will experience expansion. Isaiah 54:2-3 speaks of what 2018 will look like: “Enlarge the place of your tent. And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings: Do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. 3 For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations and make the desolate cities inhabited.”

 It’s time for expansion!  We must prepare!  We must by faith, turn the knob, push the door and see it swing wide in front of us. Then we step through and believe for His glory!

Just the beginning of this month, Margie, in prayer again heard the Lord say, “It’s time to go on TV now.” We’ve been praying about this for a long time but waiting for the timing of the Lord. I had already been in talks with the station manager and tentatively set a date for early 2017, but this word came as a clear confirmation. The Lord followed it with a vision where Margie saw my dad as a little boy in front of a TV set! The implications are clear! There is a “Larry Nix” out there somewhere who will encounter Jesus through our media outreach! Just think of the multiplied thousands God has touched through Dad’s ministry, and it all began in front of a TV set. This is what expansion looks like!

Three days following that vision, I received word that our airtime is paid for!  Hallelujah!  And we are stepping through this open door. But we need to upgrade some of our video equipment, we need a new media computer, we must add more lights, and we need to make some changes to our stage design, including floor covering, sound panels, etc. These upgrades alone will literally be in the thousands of dollars. These upgrades will enable us to produce a quality and anointed program that will impact tens of thousands through our streaming, TV and other media outreaches.

And it is time to step into a new dimension of what I call, facility security. The wonderful building, we are currently leasing is still up for sale with an ugly “For Sale” sign, in the front yard. This sign must come down! It is time for the status quo to change! Stepping through the open doors requires faith and obedience on our part and the release of miracle power on God’s part.

Will you help us “stretch the curtains?” I am asking you to pray concerning an end of the year financial gift to help us in this expansion season. Your donation of any amount will be huge for us right now! I believe that your faith-filled prayers and your financial gift will add just what is needed. You and a company of others will stretch the curtains, so many more will experience the goodness of our Lord Jesus!

We will not spare or hold back!  Now is the time to walk through these doors the Lord is unlocking before us. Thank you again!  Together we will see His glory impact this generation in GREAT AWAKENING!

 

 

 

Living Facade Free

Keith NIx

Have you ever watched a scene play out where a character keeps making things harder for themselves because they pretend? They pretend they don’t need help. They pretend everything is going great when in reality it isn’t. They wear a “tough guy” facade to cover their pain. They portray themselves as not needing anybody: they are self-sufficient and self-made. You can see that they are making themselves and those they love more and more miserable. If they do admit issues and someone reaches out and offers help, they act as if “they don’t want to bother anyone.” So they remain aloof and continue to dig a lonely hole of defeat. As you watch the movie, read the book, or observe real life, your heart breaks because they continue to live broken when they could be made whole. You know if they would only humble themselves, stretch a little and peel off the mask their life would be so much better.

The reality is that many times it isn’t just other’s, it is us. We all wear masks at times. Sometimes we are well aware of the masks we wear, but other times we are so accustomed to them that we believe it is our true identity. Bishop Tony Miller said, “We never discover our true identity in God as long as we project our facades!” It is time to find out who we are meant to be and let God bring our true identity to the surface.

Bishop Tony Miller said, “We never discover our true identity in God as long as we project our facades!” Click To Tweet

Look at what the Holy Spirit said through Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:16-18, “Nevertheless, when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

LIVING MASK FREE

The passage we just read gives us three important keys to living free from the facades that rob our true identity:

First, God’s great design for us is to become like Jesus! He didn’t come to the cross, taking our sin and our death, just to rescue us from hell and get us to Heaven one day! For much of the church, salvation means little more than a get out of hell free card and a golden ticket to paradise. But God has a far greater plan! Paul writes it this way, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many..” [Romans 8:29] This is the heart of the Gospel! Jesus came and became like us so that when we can become like Him. He gives us HIs DNA, and we begin to look like Him in our thinking, our motivation, our talking, and our doing. We share in the family likeness. Wow! This is salvation’s purpose!

This is the heart of the Gospel! Jesus came and became like us so that when we can become like Him. Click To Tweet

Second, our “becoming like Jesus” only comes to maturity through the power of His word and the Holy Spirit. As a believer looks and keeps on looking into the Word, he or she transforms into the image of the Word. The key to freedom is to continue in the Word; to look and keep on looking! “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Make the decision that the Word is the first priority and the final authority of my life! I choose to let the Bible I mark, mark my life! I look carefully and continually into the word and allow it to work in me. [See James 1:21-25]

This transformation through the Word only happens by the power of the Spirit. As the prophet declared, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of Hosts.” [Zachariah 4:6] Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. The letter of the word kills but it is the Spirit that gives life. Jesus promised that He would come to us and live in us through the Holy Spirit. Learn to yield to Him and let Him live big in you today! [See 2 Corinthians 3:6, John 14:16-18]

The third key is this: every time we turn to Christ the facade falls off! You and I can’t do this ourselves. We don’t have the power in ourselves to live in real freedom. But Jesus does! He accomplishes it for us and in us by the power of grace as we turn to Him. This must be more than a one-time decision! It is learning to look to Jesus in each and every situation. We must continue to turn to Christ and trust His love to lift us from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory until one day we look just like Him.

We must continue to turn to Christ and trust His love to lift us from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory until one day we look just like Him. Click To Tweet

*If you would like to go deeper read my blog entitled Change?! Really! And watch this message from our Stretch series:

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What Size Is Your Heart?

Keith NIx

Years of labor by dozens of skilled craftsmen with an incredible budget produced one of the most beautiful and exquisitely decorated ships ever. Also, armed “to the teeth” with bronze cannons it was arguably the most powerful vessel in the world. King Gustavo Adolphus sought to lift Sweden to the ranks of the great naval powers of England, France, and Spain in the 17th century. It appeared accomplished on August 10, 1628, as the newly commissioned Vasa set sail with great fanfare and over 100 members of Swedish nobility on board.

Tragically, the Vasa sailed less than one nautical mile before a gust of wind pushed the top-heavy vessel dangerously close to tipping. The sailors were able to correct it only to have a second gust of wind push it over again this time with water filling the open gun portholes. Within a matter of minutes, Sweden’s finest ship lay beneath 100 feet of water in the Stockholm port with more than thirty dead. The Vasa became a maritime disaster!

The greater tragedy is that it didn’t have to happen. An Admiral had earlier tested the Vasa’s seaworthiness and found it to be too top heavy. Others who worked on it knew that the weight of the cannons added with the opulence of the decorations created a disastrous future. They knew the Vasa could still be a mighty vessel, but they needed more time to make the necessary adjustments. None would dare approach the King with their concerns. Aldophus was unapproachable. His ego would not allow questions. His demanding attitude would not allow for more time. The smallness of his heart would cause him to be remembered more for failure than success.

The smallness of his heart would cause him to be remembered more for failure than success. What about you? What will your legacy be? Click To Tweet

What about you? What will your legacy be? Is your heart large or small? Of course, I’m not asking about the muscle that pumps blood but the spirit that is the real you. Is your heart large and loving or small and suffocating? Is your ego bigger than your heart? Or do you live with an increasing sense of God living big inside you and enabling you to live big?

Live big? What does that even mean? It simply means to live the life God intends for you to live. The Psalmist prayed it this way, “I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart.” [Psalm 119:32] It isn’t possible to live God’s way without the Lord expanding your heart’s capacity to receive and love.

If your heart is small, it is suffocating the life in you and those around you. If your heart is large, it is allowing life to flow freely through you – increasing you and those around you. A powerful way to gauge the size of your heart is by asking yourself this question: How do I react when I am questioned or challenged in what I believe? Do I become defensive and argumentative? Do I turn off and away from anything that suggests I need to take a fresh look at something? Or do I listen with an openness to learn and a willingness to yield to reason?

If your heart is small, it is suffocating the life in you and those around you. Click To Tweet

James instructs us that so-called “wisdom” in a heart that is envious, bitter and filled with selfish ambition is not true wisdom but originates from an earthly, sensual and demonic source. “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle.) [It is willing to] yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity.)” [James 3:17 Amp(c)]

I encourage you today to check your heart. Ask the Lord to make it larger. Stretch yourself out before in Him in humility and honesty. He delights in growing us up into His thoughts and ways!

Stretch yourself out before in Him in humility and honesty. He delights in growing us up into His thoughts and ways! Click To Tweet

Take some time to listen to the full message I taught recently at The Lift and let God STRETCH YOUR HEART:


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Change?! Really?

Keith NIx

“Really? Do I have to change? But I don’t like change. It makes me uncomfortable and uneasy and (_____.)”  You fill in the blank.  The answer is “Yes.” Change is inevitable! Sadly, many view it as something to fear or hate; spending much of their energy doing all they can to avoid it. But change is necessary for everything living and growing. Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” How are you doing with the change in your life? Are you embracing it or resisting it?

Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” How are you doing with the change in your life? Click To Tweet

Why do so many resist change? The answer is quite simple – change often hurts! Leadership expert Sam Chand says it this way, “Growth equals change; change equals loss; loss equals pain; so inevitably, growth equals pain.” It is the rare bird who welcomes anything that might hurt a little. And we all know that change always hurts at least a little. Most are content with what makes them comfortable, and all change requires the toll of discomfort be paid.

Most are content with what makes them comfortable, and all change requires the toll of discomfort to be paid. Click To Tweet

Remember in elementary science when you studied the marvelous yet mysterious transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly? While very few are attracted to a caterpillar, almost everyone is in love with the butterfly. Of course, a butterfly is a different insect from the old caterpillar, right? Not entirely. The butterfly is, in reality, the caterpillar reborn through the unusual and seemingly magical process called “metamorphosis”.

Metamorphosis is the radical change from one image into another. I have never yet interviewed a caterpillar turned butterfly, but I imagine that the process may be a bit uncomfortable at times. It certainly seems lonely and includes a dark period in which the transformation takes place. But God works some of His greatest wonders undercover and out of sight. the Bible teaches that God uses this same process in those who belong to Him. The root of metamorphosis is a Greek word

The Bible teaches that God uses this same process in those who belong to Him. The root of metamorphosis is a Greek word metamorphoo which is used four times in the New Testament writings. It is used twice regarding Jesus [Matthew 17:2 and Mark 9:2.] The word translated transfigured in these verses speaks of the transformation Jesus allowed a few of His disciple to witness. For a brief period, He wore the glory that He had with God before His humbling himself in the incarnation. And what glory it was! John later wrote, “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

The other uses of metamorphoo are in reference to the followers of Jesus. In Romans 12:2 the word is used when Paul says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” It appears again in II Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

The plan of God for your life is not primarily about getting you to Heaven one day! Click To Tweet
The plan of God for your life is not primarily about getting you to Heaven one day! The good plan God has for us includes the radical change of transformation from the fallen image and identity of this world into the glorious image and identity of Jesus! This is what Romans 8:29 is talking about, “…He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…” Wow! Think about this! Our destiny is to be like Jesus! This transformation began when we first accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior.[ 2 Cor. 5:17] It will be completed one day in the future when “we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” and “we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.” [1 Corinthians 15:51,52, I John 3:2]

Wow! Think about this! Our destiny is to be like Jesus! Click To Tweet

In between this beginning and end, we must learn to yield to God’s process of change in our everyday lives. God is leading us from one degree to higher dimensions of glory. His dream will not be fulfilled for us until His image is in us. Sadly, many in the church today are content with what makes them comfortable. They don’t want metamorphosis; they want to believe that they have already arrived or will someday arrive. But they do not want the uncomfortable seasons that are required for glorious change to take place.

Sadly, many in the church today are content with what makes them comfortable. Click To Tweet

We are creatures of habit. We find our security in the routine of common, nonchallenging situations. Some of us are not secure except when we feel in control. Fearful, selfish living has robbed many of the generous, adventurous spirit modeled by Jesus and the early church. Religiosity has caused many to live earthbound lives when God has called us to soar by Spirit power through life.
But I encourage you to embrace the change! Don’t “draw back…but…believe.” Hebrews 10:39. 2017 is the year of the Open Door! New dimensions and the fulfillment of God’s promises await you! Don’t give up but keep moving forward. God is changing us from the image we now bear to another image. He is getting us into shape so that the promises can become real in our lives. Just as the butterfly is a caterpillar who has reached destiny, your destiny is awaiting you. Keep yielding to the working of God’s Word and Spirit in you, endure the lonely days and dark nights, struggle with Holy Spirit determination, and s-t-r-e-t-c-h your wings to soar!


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