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Graham Cooke, Wednesday Afternoon 1

May 1, 2008

http://gracefellowship.libsyn.com/index.php?post_category=2005%20GOIAM%20Conference

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Graham Cooke Wednesday Afternoon 1

These journals all came out of my four months a year in mediation. They’re mostly about the Lord and my relationship with him. They take about two hours to read and a month to study. Each one has exercises to bring you into experiences of what they’re talking about.

When Jesus asked his disciples, who do people say that I am? He got four distorted images. Eh? Various names, prophets and even an unmade one just in case. Then he asked, who do you say that I am? That is the most important question in the world, “who is God for you.” Who God is for you is the single most important thing. Our role in leadership is to help ppl come to understand who God is for you in the context of your life. Ppl need to have an upgraded view of who God is.

Then there’s one on crafted prayer…if I came up to you and said I had a word for you and walked away…what’d your question be? Dude what is it? I want to know… Right now Jesus is standing at the right hand of the Father intercessing for you. What are you going to ask Him now? What’s your question? What’s he praying? Now if you know the holy spirit is praying for you…what is your question? What if you are the three fold part of the three fold part of prayer which means you can always have your prayers answered? Many evangelicals…teach that when something happens you prayer. I believe that is a mistake. You do not enter the presence of God through prayer…you enter through thanksgiving. If you pray without seriously giving thanks then you are more likely to pray out of your fear and trauma and anxiety, panic…God I pray that you’ll do this, and Father do this…o, o, do this… and you can see the Father sitting there going, what is this, multiple choice? What if there is only one prayer to pray? What if we are supposed to pray with the answer and not towards it? Eh? Crafted Prayer.

I love to spend all my time in the presence of God. I’d love to be a hermit. My favorite time is in the wilderness. I believe that God is pleased with you when he takes you into the wilderness. Jesus is the model. His baptism, heaven opens, holy spirit descends in bodily form yahoo, a voice says This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased …next thing: wilderness. I’ve heard a lot of stuff preached about the wilderness..I do believe that there are a lot of different wilderness experiences but I believe they can all be about delight. You either enter wilderness by design or by default.

Moses entered by default: he murdered a man. After mount carmel the prophet went to the wilderness b/c he was scared of jezebel…God said what are you doing here? You’re supposed to be on that mountain, get there. Wilderness is designed to take you to a place with no distraction so you can meet with the Lord and be delighted. In wilderness he provides everything for you and he loves that. He works in two ways: hiddenness and manifestation. He loves to reveal himself get down in your world and say, ta-da here I am. There are times when he comes to you and there are other times when he withdraws from you b/c he wants to pull you into his world. So he works both ways…manifestation is when God comes to you and you feel him physically. In your emotions, head, heart, etc. You feel him and it’s wonderful.

There are times when God pulls away from you and removes himself from your emotions. He works through hiddenness and is not in your emotions and he brings revelation to you. Walking through renewal you can see those ppl of manifestation—they’re the ones making barnyard noises and dancing like an octopus on crack. Then there are those who came out and they had just been prayed for and they were like the rock of Gebraltar. When you come to a renewal meeting you need to come with a journal and pen. For you it’s not receiving stuff in your emotions. It’s about receiving wisdom and revelation. God has things to say to you and you need to soak in revelation. So here’s these two guys on the road of ameaus. They’re miserable. Jesus says, why the long faces? They say to Jesus, are you the only one who hasn’t heard of all the things and Jesus? Jesus being the rascal he is says, what things? The truth is you cannot receive deep truths when God is present b/c he is too much of a distraction. When he is present you have to worship b/c that is what it’s all about. Jesus’ disciples couldn’t understand anything when Jesus was there but when Jesus left then they received great revelation.

Okay that’s enough of the commercials.

I have two aspects of my ministry: One, I want to make God radiant to people. That’s the chief role of a prophet. I have the best job in the world…I get paid for bragging on God. Second, I function as a consultant to help churches through transition. I usually work with a church for 3-5 years, depending on the nature of the transition. Some are from good local churches to resource churches. Funny thing when you develop into a resource church all your resources come under attack. There is a particular pathway to develop a resource church. Then resource churches developing into an apostolic centers. Which is a whole different warfare and paradigm for preparation. I love that whole process b/c it’s not just about prophesying the thing but to help pave the way.

So the process of transition…
I wrote the book of prophesy for the evangelicals who hate prophesy in hopes that one day they’ll like it.

There is a contradiction with prophesy…you can’t there through here…he gives you a prophesy about your future and while you stood there is praise then he trips you up throws you in a dark room and beats the living daylights out of you. How many have had prophetic words and the opposite thing has happened to you. You start to think false prophet eh? There is a contradiction in prophesy and contradiction is the journey from revelation to manifestation. Contradiction is the journey from prophesy spoken to prophesy fulfilled. The process of seeing the prophetic fulfilled is first of all God gives you a word about your future and that is supposed to mean you got one. A little clue there.

Then what happens next, God starts to confront all the stuff in front of you that will prevent that future from materializing. So you don’t go from revelation straight into a manifestion of what God is doing…you go from revelation to confrontation. Instead of going up, you actually go down. Joseph got a word that one day his father and brothers would bow down at him; the next thing he is at the bottom of a pit looking up at them. His life has gone in the opposite direction. God doesn’t reveal the process of how the prophesy will be fulfilled. So there is nothing in the word about how he’ll be sold as a slave, about him being thrown into prison for being a potential rapist, nothing about him actually interpreting dreams to a world leader of his time.

It’s like david, it’s just a normal Thursday looking after the sheep and he’s a little bored. He looks down and sees a commotion going on and then someone comes to get him. Then he gets a quick scrub around his face..just behave yourself. All his brothers are lined up there looking all glum. His dad is making daddy faces, behave or I’ll give you a good talking later; behave yourself because Samuel is here. There’s Samuel, and David is quaking…what have I done wrong? I haven’t done anything that necessitates Samuel coming. The Samuel says, He’s the one. David thinks what have I done now? Samuel says things about him to be King. David thinks, cool, what a great Thursday this is turning out to be. He’s thinking about palaces, mucho dinero, I’ll never have a problem with getting girls again…what a great life.

Nothing in that prophesy about being chased around the world by a megalomaniac, hiding in holes, never sleeping in the same place nights running…forgot to mention that, Sam, huh?! His life went in the opposite direction. God took him into a season of preparation. When God gives you a prophetic word he holds the future in your hands. I know the plans I have for you but unless you allow me to touch this, this and this then this will probably not happen. So he plunges you into a season of confrontation where he lovingly confronts you with everything that will prevent you from realizing that future.

But for God it’s never just about confrontation but also about transformation. Confrontation and transformation go together. So He sends the holy spirit into your life and convict you about your sin and to convince you of who Jesus is for you. The holy spirit will never convict you of sin without convincing you of who Jesus is for you. That is why sin abounds, grace can much abound because in the grace we get convinced of who Jesus is for us. We realize what we need to put off and what to put on. If this is true for individuals then this is also true for the church. When you get prophetic words over your church then ther are seasons of preparation. The bible says ps 106 about joseph that until the word of the Lord came to pass that same word tested him. There is a shaking that goes on in confrontation. Even the things that God has promised you come under challenge at some point. Contradiction is the journey from revelation to manifestation.

There was one guy I prophesied to who got really upset. He said I am so angry with you b/c I have aids and I’ve been given four months to live and I came here needing a word about my condition and all I got was this crap about ministry and stuff. I told him that that meant he was meant to live then. Here you have a word for months and this one for your ministry in the next few years. I think that means you get to live. You choose. You came in here concerned about AIDS and God isn’t so you get to live.

Two years later this guy comes bouncing up to me and asks, do you remember me? I said, no. He said he was the guy with AIDS and he said, I was really annoyed that you didn’t pray for my sickness. I didn’t know why you wouldn’t pray for my sickness. So I thought about the word you gave me and realized that if I took hold of the word then it would be health to my flesh. I could have told him that but he wouldn’t have received it. Some ppl just have to get it for themselves and you have to be quiet and allow the holy spirit to tell them.

Contradiction is a journey. Your life will go in the opposite direction but only for a season. God wants to confront the things in you that don’t work

I love the Lord b/c when the Lord convicts of sin he always has a gift. The holy spirit always has gifts..it’s just in his nature…he comforts…in so many ways. I believe that as leaders we have a gift to give to ppl. Our best gift is that we see ppl the way that God sees them and we speak to that. Eh? I think that one of our gifts should be that we understand the ways of God. That is wisdom…that we know how God thinks and we know how God likes to do things so you automatically align yourself with what he thinks and does stuff. He’s going to do it whether you like it or not. He’s totally consistent in his nature but unpredictable in how he does things. God won’t do things the way you think he should b/c God runs with different logic than we have…it’s called faith.

So this is the template for dealing with ppl. Every time God teaches you something then he tests you on it and each test is designed to establish the experience. You can’t fail any of the tests of God; you just get to take it again and again and again and again and again and again and again. If it was up to me I’d fail you straight up but God insists on being gracious. So he lets you take the test numerous times until you pass. I wish it wasn’t true as well but it flippin well is, so there.

We must enable ppl to be brilliant. That’s our real job. We’re not here to manage the church we’re here to help every single member understand who God is for them, who they are in Christ, how to have a brilliant relationship with the holy spirit, how to understand their destiny and move towards it, and how to be a man/woman with absolute excellence. That’s our job so we need to understand the process by which that is going to happen. PPl need to have a revelation of who they are in Christ and who God is for them.

One of my friends contracted cancer and my question was, What is it that God wants to be for you now that you are sick? Start there before we even start praying for the sickness…we entered into a dialogue. Not a discussion—that’s when a decision needs to be made. A dialogue is there to explore all the possibilities and have no intention of making a decision right then. She came to a place of understanding in her heart that God wanted to be her wholeness and not her healer. Ppl come to a place of complete revelation they are fully persuaded and are convinced… faith rises when you hear the holy spirit…faith was rising and prayer became fun and we weren’t praying like a widow but as a bride…like Esther. We must pray prayers that arise out of a romance b/c we are incredibly loved. He will not deny us anything b/c he loves us. We are praying out of a place of intimacy and favor and romance and love. It’s confidence to call down. We need to start asking the Lord to open windows in heaven. We need to have a third heaven experience. Too much warfare is earth bound and we are stabbing upward. If we are heaven bound then we’ll stab downward. We have to get to that place …then you can do in 2 years what would take 5.

We are coming to a times where there is a “let there be” word…it’ll be spoken again before Jesus comes back. The gap btw prophesy spoken and prophesy fulfilled is becoming narrower and narrower…Why? B/c God is redeeming time. He is looking for therefore is a ppl who are truly prophetic in how they live. They don’t just visit prophesy when all else has failed. They actually live there b/c they are a prophetic generation. They live by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.

We need ppl to be released into a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus. Every person in your care needs to come under that spirit. It is our pleasure and joy to release that. I need you to see who you are in Jesus and what God wants to be for you now. You need to come under a spirit of wisdom so that you can understand the mind of God and you understand the way God is working right now…then you’ll get a revelation of how to position yourself because of who you are and who you’re supposed to become. When you understand the revelation then you move into confrontation—the next square on the journey.

I enjoy loving confrontation. I don’t enjoy it b/c I like problems b/c I don’t. What I like most about confrontation is declaring who you are supposed to be I the Lord. Declaring the problem and the provision. This is who you are. I like working with the transition. Every problem comes with a provision attached. That is the goodness and grace of God. It’s how he thinks, works and how he is. Love covers a multitude of sin. There’s always love next to sin. There is always grace next to sin. Where sin abounds grace much more abounds. In that love and grace there is a gift that God wants to give that will replace the problem. We have the pleasure and joy of telling people. I’m excited when I see sin in the church b/c the only time you see sin proves that the holy spirit is at work. When you sin the holy spirit will straight to it and duke it out. Better to have sin present than sin hidden. If it’s present it’s b/c the holy spirit has brought it out of the ground. We need to partner with ppl and the holy spirit and do it joyfully. I’m so happy with where you are right now b/c you need to see this about Jesus.

There is only one way to get rid of the pleasures of this world and that is by introducing the pleasure of being outrageously loved by God. Then all other things pale in comparison. We have a great job of enabling ppl to become brilliant in Jesus. We need to love our job. We need to feel romantic about the church as leaders. We need to feel about the bride as Jesus does. We need to love our ppl and love seeing them transformed. Yah there are guys I’d like to gorot in love. But you know I can get over it real quick. Yah there are ppl that are incredible grace growers…they are there to grow grace in your life.

My first years in ministry I was followed around by three guys. They felt they were on a mission from God to save ppl from me. I was the first to start a school of prophesy in England. So they would find out where I was going and visit that city first and warn everyone about me and print leaflets and show up at the events and would chastise me. He’d say that I was demonized. I was crying out to the Lord, dear Lord please kill ‘em and make it slow. He didn’t answer that prayer so I modified it—just mame them. He didn’t answer that either. They would still come and they’d sit right in the front row taking notes looking like the Brother’s Grimm and would produce a newsletter detailing all the stuff and send me a copy. Gosh… They showed up for two years every single event…we used to call them the three stooges.

Then one night I had a dream and I have a lot of dreams and they usually start with me in the throne room with the Lord. I sit on his lap my arm around his shoulder and we’re just chatting. The he said, Grey do you want to see something? Yah! He gave his command and this angel wheels in this block of marble. Then he says, you want to see something else? Yah…He spoke over his shoulder and Jesus comes into view and then he digs his finger into the marble tracing a figure and he gives me a slow wink. The Father says, do you want to see it made? Sure. So three hands with hammer and chisel start chipping away at the marble. The marble says, you know they’d work faster if you encourage them. So I said, okay chaps all power to your elbow. And the Lord said, What was that? I said, well you know… so I started shouting and there is pandemonium in heaven and then I’m on the edge of the throne holding onto the father for balance and pointing and then there’s lots of encouragement and laughter…Then it’s finished and I’m absolutely warn out. The father said, what do you think. I started crying… then the father said, that’s how I see you—that’s what I’m making you into. He asked if I’d like to see the three ppl behind the hands. I said yes. Then out popped the three stooges…and I started screaming! AHHHH! I woke up my wife yelling…I know why the stooges are here!

A few weeks later my secretary tells me that the stooges have booked in and I can’t wait. There they are with their placards…my boys. I bounce up to them and say, “how are you guys? You’re so faithful! You come to every event!” I can hear them, he’s on drugs…just look at him. Now I know why they are here…they are here to assist me to become brilliant. There they are…my three babies…handsome aren’t they? Like the three kings. Your perspective changes your position. And your position alters your petition. Before I asked for God to kill them and now I am so grateful. Now I’m thinking, what are they here to do? So they challenge me on every single thing I say so I need to be ahead of them. So these guys actually push me to become a brilliant teacher. They push me into revelation. They push me in everything. They push me me into a place of grace that was foundational. They are the ppl you’d love to cheerfully give away…but they are here for a reason.

Confrontation…what is it that is going to prevent your church from moving into the next level? What obstacles are there? What opposition is up in front of you now? What is the transformation that God wants to bring? Let’s get excited about things against us b/c standing right next to us is something marvelous. What is that? That is God. He allows in his wisdom what he could easily prevent with his power.

What are you up to Father? I know you. You are always up to stuff…God is brilliant…knows exactly what’s going on…has everything worked out… it’s confidence in the nature of God for you…ask him what he is up to…every problem comes with a provision attached to it. Right around the provision is a promise…Step into the problem holding onto the promise knowing that there is a provision. Every problem you get is an opportunity to prove the word that God gives you. The word is a key to open the experience and provision he wants you to have. This is the stuff we lose b/c we don’t understand the nature of how things work in the heart and mind of God. Transformation…contend with ppl for their transformation. I won’t let you go until you’re brilliant and if you’re not going to become brilliant in this life then I’ll kill you and make you brilliant in the next one.

You must see what God has for you…I need you to see this transformation that is available…otherwise you won’t ever get past the stuff. You’ll always be dealing with the stuff. Let’s get past this stuff so you can take what God has for you. I’m the same with churches too…I can stand up and say things like, guys I’m disappointed b/c last time this was released and nothing has happened. You guys have not moved into it. I make an assessment… there is a jump you can make here in the spirit and you need to make it…

Transition…my first question is in the leadership: do they have it in them to make the jump? All transition comes through battle: Two battles…to get free and to stay free. To take ground and to keep it. We have to fight…we must ask about our leadership if they have it in them. Are their best fights behind them or ahead of them. We must ask this about our leadership. A good fight is one that you don’t lose–you win b/c when you fully walking with God you are condemned to victory. You’d have to be an idiot to lose this fight, eh? Are their best battles ahead or behind? We have to determine, was all their fighting to get us to this place? The how do we honor them and at the same time divest them of their power in leadership if they’re not going to be the best for us in the future. How do you do this with honor. They’re not going to be good enough for the next season. There’s probably going to be a supporting role and they’ll be brilliantly productive but for right now we need a Joshua to take us into this next place. Who is that? Who among us have a hunger for the battle?

This is my 33rd year of ministry and I actually think that this has all been training for the season ahead of me. I think that the best battles are to come. I know the mind of God and I say that with genuine humility b/c that is what wisdom is…knowing the way God thinks and how he does things. Then going into situations and going, this is what the Lord’s doing and this is how we need to align ourselves…I am so excited with the war that is coming…we get to be excited on the battlefield. You have never laughed until you have heard God laugh at his enemies.

How do you walk with a God that when you get on a battlefield you are thinking about strategies and tactics. God is thinking about menus…He’s thinking what kind of sandwiches, cakes, coke, diet coke for strange ppl…what do we have for lunch….dinner….He’s so confident in his own ability. He can reduce your army by 99% because he may not have fun in it’s present form. He changes your army by whether he likes the way you drink water or not. What’s that about? Gideon must have been pulling out his hair. He’s thinking dear God if everyone fights to their best ability then maybe we’d have a chance. God mentions to his angels, o Gideon might have too many ppl down there. This may not be fun. Besides I know these dudes..if by some fluke they get a victory they’ll be impossible to live with giving high fives going we’re bad. So he gives the word: anyone who is scared right now can go home. 22,000 people can’t believe their luck! This is a contemporary story, burning rubber in the parking lot…now 10,000 guys outnumbered 16 to 1. Dear God it used to be 4 to 1.. we have to kill four and then have a coffee…now the sergeants are saying just got to kill 16 and you can have a McDonald’s too. Then God says nah, there’s still too many eh? Send them down to the river and he ends up with 300. The guys are standing in a line thinking, what did I do wrong? I paid my tithe. I worked in the Sunday school, I’ve even worked the PA. What did I do wrong? My mom told me never to leave the Baptists…What am I doing here? Another sergeant comes along and says God want your shield. What do you need my shield for it’s the only thing btw me and certain death. What does God need it for? That’s a big pile of shields. Then this truck pulls of with vases…here’s a vase. Thanks. Then another truck shows up and they start handing out trumpets. Now I got a vase in one hand and trumpet in the other. One guy goes, Gideon, I can’t play the trumpet. If I’m holding a vase and a trumpet, which hand do I hold my sword with? Gideon’s sweating profusely. And God says, Gideon do you want a prophesy? Well yes. So God says well go down to the enemy’s camp and I’ll give you one. Can I not have one here? And so this is like form the planet bizarro eh? This is just the Lord having fun. I do believe that he wrote most of the Monty Python scripts eh? Someone explain to me then, how Gideon…The enemy has at least 160,000 men…acres and acres of canvas…he’s walking around their camp tripping on things thinking, I hate my life. So how did he end up outside the one tent where a guy that just had a bizarre dream? Gideon is thinking I don’t’ know what I am doing; I should never have got into the ministry. The guy screams “ahh ijust had a dream…that this huge brown loaf of bread came crashing down and destroyed our camp!” “That’s the sword of Gideon!” Gideon is going, brown loaf of bread, sword—I don’t get it. The enemy is prophesying their own destruction. Then Gideon neals down and worships God. That’s how bizarre your life is supposed to be…The thing is beloved, we walk with a guy who is hugely confident…I mean look around the room…that’s confidence…have you looked at yourselves? haha, he chose us. What were you thinking? He is so confident in his own ability. It’s such a delight to follow a confident God.

I hope that you are getting the fact that you are supposed to live a life where you are delighted with God and delighted with who you are and who you are becoming. I am so intrigued by the man I am to become and I like the journey that is taking me there.

God doesn’t get disillusioned with us b/c he didn’t have an illusions in the first place. He knew exactly what he was taking on and what you were like. He is not put off by anything. He wants to give you the same heart for the ppl that he has put in your care. It’s about transformation. I confront ppl because I get annoyed with the hindrances they are living with and I can see the transformation that God wants to do and I am so desperate for them to make that connection b/c I want to see the word of God manifested in their live. I want to see the actuality of it. A prophesy spoke five years ago…it’s about time you see it happen. I want to see God manifested in their life…God is absolutely intentional…about everything. He has absolute intension toward you and is focused on it..

Anyway I can feel a caffeine spirit…eh? Haha so let me pray to seal some of these things and then we can go get a cup of coffee..

Guys please, please, I want you to get it. That God absolutely adores you…who he is for you and who you get to be for ppl. There is an excitement here! There are transformations that belong to us in the spirit b/c of what Jesus has done for us. They jolly well belong to me. I am quite intense about it as you can see. I am. If I could slice off the tops of ppl’s heads and crown Jesus into them and then stitch them back together I jolly well would! I am so passionate to see ppl become who they’re supposed to be. I adore the church and want to see her take her rightful place and to be the best thing in the world. We’re not married to God yet so we are the girlfriend of God. So turn to your neighbor and say hello girlfriend…haha…you see all the guys go dude…haha…

Father thank you. You have such joy in us…such joy and you are utterly magnificent. You are astonishing, astounding, amazing, incredible… God we can only ever think and talk about you…everything is possible b/c you are with us and for us. My prayer right now Lord is that we’d all be filled with the possibility of delight. You are so delighted with me…I know I feel it and I know it. In the hardest place of my life in my most broken place you are delighted…my prayer is that we’d be filled with your joy over us that we’d learn to laugh again and practice the art of belly laughing….fighting is wild…it can be funny…Jesus was only acquainted with grief, it wasn’t a lifelong friend. I want us to understand that we are the beloved of God. It is our pleasure to be the voice of God. Holy spirit I love you so much. Please put a conviction in my heart and a persuasion in my mind that I am outrageously loved…

Okay let’s go have a coffee…

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