Prone To Love

A Simple Theology

A Simple Theology

I believe God is always saying one thing: “I love you.” And He always follows up with a question, “do you believe me?” What would our lives look like if we could answer this one question that God is always asking?

The Whole Story is the True Story

Had she the ability at the time to articulate with words, she would have said I was acting like a controlling sovereign. Instead she screamed, arched her back, kicked her legs and started crying. She acted just like a three year old. My three-year-old girl, Maddy, had determined we weren’t close enough to the river. She was furious. So was the river. It rushed past with a singleness of purpose, to plunge the depth and reunite with the rock-strewn riverbed 176 feet below.

Niagara Falls is awe-inspiring! And Maddy was not content to stand behind the railing mere feet from the edge. She wanted to taste and touch.

As I again literally wrestled her from the edge, she made it piercingly clear to everyone, including the senior citizen bus tour - I was unkind, withholding, a controlling brute of a man.

Control. That’s the word she would have used. And from her perspective, it was true. I controlled her. But if she were to grow up believing control was my motivation or even my intent it would not only be untrue, it would ultimately undermine our relationship and hold her hostage to a future without full freedom.

Lets be clear, everything I did was with her in mind, to give her a new experience, to enlarge her world, to expand her thoughts and dreams, to give her a future and a hope. Her mom and I had dressed her so she would be warm, and dry, and protected, and ready for the awe-inspiring wonder of the world. I was the excited dad who had shown her the water. I was the loving dad who held her secure while she looked on in amazement. Every thing I did was for my daughters best.

The fact is, her mom and I are the two people on the planet who most love and adore her. We have planned and cared for our beautiful little girl since before she was born. We dream of a future where she has access to everything she needs in order to succeed in life, to experience grace and joy and peace and love. Our desire as her parents is not to be in control of her, just the opposite; our passion is to empower her into great freedom.

That’s why on that brisk Niagara Falls day I forcefully carried Maddy from the surety of a cold, swift, terrifyingly painful death.

Not counting the busload of senior citizen’s, there are two perspectives in this story - my daughters and mine.

My daughters perspective – I controlled her, I restricted her from something she wanted.

My perspective – my actions had nothing to do with control and everything to do with the authority of my love. I might even go so far as to describe it as the sovereignty of my love...

Is my daughter’s perspective wrong? No, just immature. Is there truth in her perspective? If she is solely describing how she felt then yes, but it’s certainly not the truth that sets her free. Was control a part of her story? I suppose, but only because she was too immature at the time to understand the whole story. And lets be honest, the whole story is the true story.

Control would be an immature way for her to view her experience. And it’s the same for us when in our own experiences we attribute a controlling nature to God.

To describe God as in control is an earthbound perspective, its’ human reasoning at best, while it may be an accurate assessment from where we are standing, it not the truth, at least, not the truth that sets us free. Control is an immature and powerless way to describe God, it is an absolute misrepresentation of the perfection of His love. I might even go so far as to say that control is an absolute misrepresentation of the sovereignty of His love...

Control is not in Gods nature; it’s in mans perception. It only works outside the revelation of perfect love and the context of eternity. Describing God as controlling is like seeing an anthill from the perspective of an ant and mistaking it for Everest.

Or…

Describing God as controlling is like being rescued from a violent arctic drowning and then throwing yourself to the grass while emitting blood curdling screams at the top of your lungs as snot runs down your nose and tears blur your vision while nearby senior citizens shake their heads in distress.

Control is the narrowest lens through which to describe God. It takes the least amount of faith and doesn’t take into account Gods eternal and always good love. Control is not His perspective, it’s ours. Control is not the whole story and therefor not the true story.

Control is an immature way to describe Gods nature. Immaturity isn’t wrong but neither is it to be prized – it’s not the goal. Immaturity is simply life in our formative years. But if in our formative years we commit to the idea that a controlling God is the whole story, we will actually undermine the maturing process.

Believing God is controlling holds us hostage to perpetual immaturity. The narrative of a controlling God undermines our faith, trust and obedience to a God who is always good, loves perfectly and is always passionately seeking to empower greater freedom. The controlling narrative stunts our spiritual growth.

Niagara_Falls
Niagara_Falls

It was for freedom Jesus set us free. We are created and designed to live free in an ever expanding and empowering revelation of Gods love. But the idea that God is in control leads us in the opposite direction, rebellion. If we live willfully immature in our perspective, we will eventually throw off His restraint. Then, when we find ourselves battered, bloodied, a freezing mess at the bottom of the Niagara; nearly dead in our choice, we will blame Him for it. After all, He is in control. This further undermines our faith and the cycle continues - we grow further distrustful and feel even more controlled.

If we wont leave the thought of a controlling God behind, if we won’t chose to trust in a God whose love is always good, at best we will live a fractured and powerless faith, at worst we will die a painful freezing death at the bottom of the Niagara.

When God says "no," the immature way to perceive it is that God is controlling us. But the whole story is that our loving Father is giving us boundaries to protect and empower us into a mature faith - a life of freedom discovered in self-control. Every “no” is an invitation to mature and discover His heart - the authority and power of His love.

Gods sovereignty has nothing to do with control and everything to do with the authority and power of His love.

From the moment of conception to our last earthbound breath, we are invited to mature, to grow sure in love, in trust, confident in faith, transformed by grace. We live and move and have our being to discover our Fathers always-good love and to become love. That’s the whole story, the true story; the one Jesus lived and invited us into.

May we continue to discover the whole story!

Blessings

- Jason

Jason Clark is an author, singer/songwriter, speaker and director of A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s new book Prone To Love is available now.

Nothing Can Separate Us from His Love

I have prayed when my wife Karen starts to get a migraine, “Father, heal Karen’s migraine in Jesus name.” And we have thanked and praised Him for His always-good love as the headache that typically becomes a migraine fades away. I have also prayed against a coming migraine and watched, feeling helpless, as Karen still gets the migraine. And yet, while she is in pain, we have hurdled the disappointment and thanked and praised our Father for His always-good love.

We have trusted our Father in our finances, risking everything to start a company. Karen and I watched God come through miraculously giving us favor and increase. As the company prospered, we thanked and praised our Father for His always-good love.

We have trusted our Father completely in our finances, risking everything and losing the company. Karen and I have hurdled the disappointment of a failed business and substantial debt. And as we wondered how to pay the mounting bills, we thanked and praised Him for His always-good love.

We have prayed “Lord protect this pregnancy and our child” when a heartbeat couldn’t be found. We celebrated days later in the doctor’s office when life was discovered and again when our first daughter Madeleine was handed into the thankful waiting arms of a tearfully joyful new mother and father.

We have also prayed “Lord protect our child and this pregnancy” when complications became obvious. And weeks later we stood in the doctor’s office, grief in our eyes, as the devastating news was gently broken. On this journey of faith, we are learning, even in the midst of heartache, to trust in our Dad’s always-good love.

We are becoming convinced that His love is perfect, always good. We made a decision years ago that has empowered this conviction, even in the midst of heartache, disappointment and death - God gets all the credit for every good thing in our lives and none of the blame when things go wrong.

This foundational thought has freed and empowered us to trust Him; it has released grace to hurdle heartbreaking disappointment. It has led us into a deep friendship with Father God. This thought has been transformative; it has renewed our minds. In every circumstance of life, every need, every disappointment, we are learning that we can choose to see His always-good love for us. And when we can’t see it, we can choose to believe until we can.

When we measure our Fathers good love by our interpretation of a need met, we will eventually be forced to re-define His good love. God is love and He is always good – period. The moment His goodness must be re-defined, He is no longer always good. If we define His love by a need met, then if at some point the need appears to go unmet, we set ourselves up for a crisis of faith.

It’s about faith. And faith believes when there is no evidence. Faith is about trust. Faith believes that He loves us and His love is perfect - always good. It’s our trust in our Fathers always-good love that empowers us to hurdle pain, loss, disappointment and even death - to still believe.

Faith believes His love is always good. Faith believes we exist to know and experience His always-good love. And this faith sets us up to know Him more and grow sure. Until we are “convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

Jason Clark is an author, singer/songwriter, speaker and director of A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s new book Prone To Love is available now.

God Does Not Want Control

My 10-year-old boy and I had a talk last night. Ethan had briefly forgotten who he was and in that moment he said some things to mom he didn’t truly believe. I met him in his room. “Ethan, I don’t want to control you, nor can I.”  I said smiling.

This was new and Ethan was trying to follow me. I could see it in his eyes.

I went further, “God doesn't want to control you either. Control is the opposite of who He is. Its as opposite as light is to darkness. He is never about control, He is always about freedom. Did you know that?”

Ethan nodded. But I’m not sure he was with me yet.

“Son, only you have control of your heart.”

This comment led us into the wonder of the Holy Spirit. We discussed how the same Holy Spirit that lived in Jesus, that empowered Him to live a miraculous life, that same Holy Spirit that was with Him through death, that raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at the right hand of the Father; that same brilliant Holy Spirit is alive in Ethan. And one of the evidences, one of the fruits of His in-filling presence is self-control as noted in Galatians 5 as a fruit of the Spirit.

And here is where I may have begun preaching. It went something like this…

Self-control is the only kind of control God endorses. It’s the gift of choice and the evidence of His Spirit within us. Self-control is the gift of freedom.

It’s why there were two trees in the garden. In the garden, the lie that separated humanity from God was a lie of control – who had it? The fact is, Adam and Eve were walking out the perfection of their freedom through the gift of self-control – each controlling themselves.

Then Satan shows up and distorts the nature of God with a lie. The lie? God is controlling. And they bought it. They believed that God was withholding some portion of who He was; that God withheld some measure of freedom from them.

Do you understand that the seed of Satan’s lie was that God is about control? The idea that He withholds some aspect of His nature suggests an imperfection in our Father's love – as if He is not always good. I believe this original distortion of our Fathers nature is still the foundational lie that separates us from His love and the fullness of our freedom in Christ.

The fact is, Adam and Eve sold their self-control and with it their freedom to Satan. And until Jesus arrived, humanity lived in that paradigm. Then Jesus came, He lived, He died, and He rose. He took all authority and He gave us back self-control. Through the cross and in the Holy Spirit we now have the freedom to control ourselves again!

The lie that God is about control separates us from the freedom of self-control. Self-control is His perfect gift to us. Its what sets us free to be fully loved, to fully love. God has given us the full freedom of self-control; the ability to control oneself, to chose love.

“Isn’t that amazing Ethan?!” I finished in a whirlwind

I’d like to tell you my preaching blew Ethan away but the truth is I may have lost him. I gave him a hug, reminded him of who he truly was, a son loved and a loving son. I then sent him down to mom to reconnect and so mom could also let him know who he was.

You know, I could have controlled Ethan, I could have forced, manipulated or straight up shamed him into obedience, he was only 10.

I could have made him behave. But someday my boy will be a man and beyond my ability to control.

The fact is control is about behavior. As a good father, I am less interested in behavior and more interested in identity. That is to say, I want my boy to know love and in loves freedom, control himself. If Ethan knows my love and more, our Fathers love, he is set free to be a son of the King. And in that identity he can control himself – you see, behavior follows identity.

The fact is I can't truly control Ethan's heart, nor do I want to. Nor does God want to. He is never about control. His love is the perfection of His goodness, and it's always about freedom, and that freedom looks like sons and daughters living in control of themselves in the authority of His love.

God is not about control. It’s counter to who He is. He won't ever demand it. If you give it to Him, He'll give it right back. If you think He wants it, you are inviting distrust into your relationship with Him. If you insist He wants it, you are setting yourself up for a crisis of faith.

God wants you free so He gave you the gift of self control. It was for freedom He set us free, may we grow in this revelation.

***This article was an excerpt from Prone To Love.

Jason Clark is an author, singer/songwriter, speaker and director of A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage everyone he connects with to know and grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s new book, Prone To Love, is available now.

The Father Never Turned His Back

Do you know that there is only one time throughout the gospels that Jesus refers to God in first person as God? Every other time He referred to God as Father. Jesus was on the cross when this happened. In pain and carrying the weight of sin and death He cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It was a cry of absolute anguish, one that many have interpreted to mean that somehow Jesus was, if but for a moment, abandoned, left to Himself, even shunned by His Father. I have heard this moment described by many as God turning His back on Jesus.

It baffles the mind to think that an always good and loving Father would do this – leave His Son to carry the weight of sin and death alone, abandoned in His darkest moment?

And…

And I would like to suggest that the Father never turned His back, He never left, or forsook Jesus, He never abandoned, not even for a moment. His love was just as good as it’s always been.

“When you all run away from me and leave me alone, I won’t be alone, because My Father is with me.” (John 16:32) This is what Jesus tells His disciples before going to the cross. That seems pretty clear, the Father wasn’t going anywhere. But if that’s true, what do we do with Jesus anguished cry to God on the cross?

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46) This is the pivotal scripture that is used to suggest that somehow God turned His face from His Son.

prone-shadowDid you know this statement from Jesus was an echo of Jesus earthly forefather? Jesus was quoting the poet king, David, from Psalm 22. As Davidic psalms go, Psalm 22 was fairly standard. David wrestled through life’s mountaintops and valleys with the raw authenticity that makes him an Old Testament favorite.

What’s amazing is that in Psalm 22, several verses after “My God, my God why have you forsaken me,” David writes, “He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from him; but when he cried to Him for help, He heard.” (Psalm 22:24)

Its not an accident Jesus points us to a scripture that ultimately determines that God doesn’t hide His face, or “turn His back.” In fact, it’s quite the opposite, “but when he cried for help, He heard…”

The Father didn’t turn His back; He was still the always-good Father, even in Jesus darkest moment.

I saw Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion; I was overcome by the physical abuse Jesus sustained. I grew up in church; I was taught how the horror of my sin, every sin from beginning to end, was placed on Jesus at the cross. I have been amazed by His love, that He would go through the physical torment and experience the horror of sin where He had never known sin (2nd Cor 5:21). These were the realities He was facing while praying in the garden of Gethsemane when an angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)

But there is something I had never seen that has ravaged my heart in these last years.

While the physical pain is a part of the story and can’t be overlooked, I think the greater reason He was in such anguish, the reason He sweat blood, is because He knew He was about to experience something much worse and more terrifying than physical pain. Jesus, for the first time in His life, the first and only time, would be unaware of His Fathers presence.

Think about it, Jesus hadn’t taken a breath without the wonder of His Dads presence. Every thought, every experience, every heartbeat was immersed in a revelation of His Fathers always good love. Jesus lived in the lavish revelation of His Dads presence. Jesus lived in the sureness of His Fathers love; He lived consumed by His Fathers heart. That kind of intimacy is profoundly stunning.

Can you imagine an existence like this? It’s my life’s one ambition and it was Jesus reality.

Can you imagine your very existence being love and then having it ripped away, inaccessible, and replaced by fear, doubt, insecurity, self-loathing, hate and every other by-product of sin?

Jesus is in a garden and He asks His Father if the cup can be removed from Him, “Is there another way Father?” (Paraphrase). And I would like to propose, without belittling the physical sacrifice Jesus made, that the origin of Jesus distress was in the understanding that for the first time ever, He would be separated not from His Father, but from an awareness of His Father.

The Son, who only did what He saw His Father doing, would not be able to see His Dad. The Son, who only did what His Father did, would not be able to feel His Father. The Son, who was in the Father and in whom the Father dwelled, would not be able to know His presence, His love, His goodness. And this was a horror Jesus could hardly bear. But He did bear it, because God is love.

Jesus made Himself as a sin offering, for your sin and mine. He took it all on Himself, past, present, and future. Sin, the lie that separates us from the revelation of our Father, from unhindered access to perfect love, was cloaked over Jesus like a second skin.

God hates sin, it’s true.

But while Jesus became a sin offering, He never stopped being the Son. To suggest that the Father’s disgust for sin somehow caused Him to abandon His Son is to suggest that just this once, sin was bigger than love – it’s ridiculous.

And yet its what I believed most of my life, that for just a moment, the Father had to excuse Himself because mans sin and Satan’s power was just too much for Him to bear; for just a moment, a good Father abandoned His Son.

It’s the exact opposite!

Jesus, cloaked in the horror of sin, a perfect offering on our behalf, is overcome. And in that moment He cried out like David, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.”

And in that moment the Father stood over His Son, He hadn’t left, abandoned, turned His back, or scorned His Son. He was there. He knew His Son couldn’t know it, couldn’t sense it, couldn’t feel His always-perfect love. But He was there, loving His boy, proud of His Son, sharing His agony, but confident in Love, because God is love.

In the moment Jesus hung between two thieves He couldn’t see, touch, hear, or know His Dad. When Jesus became a sin offering He was cut off from His awareness of His Father. He had never been separated from His awareness of His Father, ever. And in the suffocating anguish of that moment, Jesus echo’s a prayer from His earthly forefather David, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

It’s a horrible moment, a moment where hope hangs in the balance; a moment where eternity holds its breath.

And in the agony of that moment, the Father never turned His back, He never left, His love never soured, His goodness never faltered, His light never darkened.

And then humanity is given the most stunning act of faith that has ever been, “Jesus called out in a loud voice “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.” (Luke 23:46)

The greatest act of faith that was and will ever be – “I can’t see You, I can’t know You, I can’t touch You, I can’t hear You, but I believe that You are my Father, that You will never leave or forsake me, that You are Love, that Your love is perfect, that You only have goodness and love for me. And “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

“Father,” Once again, He called Him Father.

Jesus stepped past His feelings, past His circumstances, He pressed through the devastating, very real sense of separation He felt and called Him Father. Jesus believed that His Father was still there. He couldn’t sense His Dads presence but He was still convinced His Dad was there and that His Dads love was greater than what He was feeling. “Into Your hands I commit my Spirit.” That’s faith – pure, true, world changing, life saving faith.

In the moment of absolute horror, “When everyone ran away from Him and left Him alone, He wasn’t alone, because His Father was with Him.” (John 16:32 paraphrase). Jesus stepped past what He was feeling, His last statement revealing that like David, who wrote “nor has He hidden His face from him; but when he cried to Him for help, He heard,” Jesus believed His Dad was there.

The Father never left or abandoned His Son. The Son just lost His awareness of His Dad. He experienced, like David did in his psalm, the feeling of being abandoned, but it wasn’t reality. The truth is “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” (2nd Cor 5:19)

The Christian life is about faith, a faith that believes Gods love is always good, that our Father has never, nor will he ever turn His back on His kids.

This article was excerpted from Jason's new book, Prone To Love

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 9.19.15 PMJason Clark is an author, singer/songwriter, speaker, and pastor. Jason’s passion is to know the love of God more each day. He lives to see a generation step into their identity as sons and daughters of the King and establish His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s new book Prone To Love is available now.

website: www.jasonclarkis.com twitter: @jasonclarkis

God Is Not About Control

God Is Not About Control

What if Love has all authority but does not control?

Over the coming months I hope to write a series of articles that address the misunderstanding that the sovereignty of God has something to do with control.

There is a lie regarding God’s nature that can be traced back to the Garden of Eden. It's the lie that God is about control, and a great majority within the church, and therefore the rest of the world, believes it.

The idea that God is controlling is the most disempowering religious thought on the planet. The idea that God wants control is the birthplace of religion. A controlling god has no other plan but law.

The law of the Old Testament was never meant to reveal God as controlling, it was meant to reveal humanity as in need of a Savior. And when the Savior came, He didn't come to control us, He came to give us the authority of Love so we could control ourselves. It’s called grace.

I believe that control is as counter to God’s nature as darkness is to light. It truly was for freedom He set us free. (Gal 5:1)

I believe the sovereignty of God is about Love. And love has nothing to do with control. But it does have all authority.

I believe the sovereignty of God is revealed through the authority of Love, is perfectly displayed in the life of Jesus, and given to sons and daughters through His death and resurrection.

Now that I have opened that can of worms I am off to the Apple store to hand in my Macbook Pro for a new Logic Board. Which means, the next article will have to wait until the end of the week or more likely, next week. I do have an awesome new iPad though – Thanks Karen!

If you just can’t wait, I wrote about this topic in depth in my new book, Prone To Love :-)

See ya soon!

Jason Clark is a singer/songwriter, author, speaker, and pastor. Jason’s passion is to know the love of God more each day. He lives to see a generation step into their identity as sons and daughters of the King and establish His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s new book Prone To Love is available now.

Five Signs You May Be Serving An Angry Displeased God

Five Signs You May Be Serving An Angry Displeased God Angry God Sign

“This is my Son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). This is the message the Father spoke over Jesus that launched Him into public ministry. If you think about it, Jesus got a “well pleased” before He did any of the miracles He was famous for.

Discovering our Fathers pleasure is the most empowering thing a Christian will ever do.

The opposite is true, believing Father God is angry or displeased will lead to an insecure and survivalist faith walk.

Here are five signs you may be serving an “Angry Displeased God.”

 

1) You feel shame or condemnation when your devotional life is inconsistent.

Feelings of shame or condemnation are often the evidence that you believe God's opinion of you is determined by how much you have pursued Him or obeyed Him, or loved Him...

First, God never uses shame or condemnation – those feelings come from elsewhere…

Second, you get no say in how God feels about you. God is love and His heart toward you is perfectly displayed in the life, death, and resurrection of His Son.

Third, “we love because He first loved” (1st John 4:19). Your devotional life is always meant to be a response to your revelation of His love and good pleasure.   

 

2) When you pray for someone, you use the phrase “If its Your will...”

When you are not convinced in your Heavenly Father's pleasure, you believe life’s hardships may have been sent by God to discipline or to teach a person how to be more kind, or patient, or giving or… When you serve an “Angry Displeased God,” you are forced to pray cautious insecure and even desperate prayers for others and for yourself.

God’s will isn't a mystery, Jesus told us how to pray and it started with – “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10).

Jesus also told us in Luke 12:32, "Do not be afraid, little flock, for the Father has been pleased to give you the Kingdom."

Therefore, anything that is in the Kingdom of heaven can be prayed to earth with confident faith.

 

3) You believe the scripture “take up your cross and follow me” is an invitation to suffer for God.

When you serve a “Angry Displeased God,” you often find your focus primarily on the pain and death of the cross - as though suffering equates with holiness and a Godly life.

While the verse in Matthew 16, “take up your cross and follow me” is certainly an invitation to follow Jesus in every way, pain and death were never the objective of the cross – resurrection life was always the destination. “For the joy set before Him he endured the cross…” (Heb 12:2).

“Take up your cross” is not a celebration of suffering with Jesus; it’s an invitation to live in the power of the resurrection.

 

4) Whenever the pastor preaches, you feel inadequate and determine new ways to try harder.

Jesus didn't live, die, and live again so you could try harder. He overcame in every way so you could be transformed.

Feelings of spiritual inadequacy are often the evidence that you may be serving an “Angry Displeased God.”

As I stated in the introduction to this article, Jesus lived 30 years without doing any miracles. Then, after He is baptized, His Father declares, “This is my Son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17). It begs the question, what was the Father pleased about? Jesus hadn't done anything yet.

It was the Father's pleasure that empowered Jesus to do all the things He is famous for.

Discipline and principles are very important, but the Christian faith was never meant to be about "trying harder," it's about becoming sure in Gods love. Only through the discovery of Gods pleasure are you empowered to do the "greater works" Jesus promised and the pastor is preaching about.

 

5) It feels authentic to sing, “Prone to wander” from the famous Hymn, Come Thou Fount

A sign you may be serving an “Angry Displeased God” is you believe that confessing sin proves authenticity. Authenticity isn't just about confession but also transformation. Confession without transformation is actually inauthentic.

The idea that God is angry or displeased goes hand in hand with the idea that this side of heaven you are forever “prone to wander.”

But when we discover His good pleasure, we discover the powerful truth about what Jesus purchased for us through His death and resurrection – repentance, the gift of both confession and transformation.

You can read more about this in my new book, Prone To Love. 

 

prone-shadowJason Clark is a singer/songwriter, author, speaker, and pastor. Jason’s passion is to know the love of God more each day. He lives to see a generation step into their identity as sons and daughters of the King and establish His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s new book Prone To Love is available now.

Prone To Love - Bonus Gifts Extended!

It’s been an incredible few months for the Clarks – from recording an album to releasing a book, from vacation with family to traveling and sharing the message of Prone To Love! And then there is all the amazing life taking place at our church, Crossroads - we are blessed! With all that has been going on, I haven’t been able to write for some time. But I am Get these Freebies when you get Prone to Love by Jason Clarkfinding a new rhythm to life and I have some great posts coming!

Today I wanted to let you all know that Destiny Image and I have extended the Bonus Gifts for Prone To Love. 

You can order multiple copies at a discounted rate and also receive music downloads from my new album, Heaven's Crush, which will release at the end of the month!

You can check it all out HERE

Also, there have been some pretty cool interviews and features of the book over the last weeks as well. Below are a few links.

Author of the Month - New Release Tuesday Online

Interview with Larry Sparks at Voice Of Destiny

Interview with Mitch Miller at FEVR Podcast

Bless you all!

Jason

Dear Reader, Thank You

Months earlier I had sent in the final manuscript for Surrendered & Untamed. After four years of writing that book I had discovered that writing a book was hard work, and also, just because one journey is complete doesn't mean the story is over. One day I asked God if I should write another book, but I was hesitant. I wasn't sure I wanted to write another book.

The joy and connection to my Fathers heart had become so real when writing. It had become a part of our love language; one of the ways I could tell Him how much I love Him. And one of the ways I was discovering how He loves.

So when I submitted the book idea to God, I was a little unsure on whether it was a good idea. I didn't want to disrupt the wonder of our writing times together with thoughts about, well,  you, the reader... no offense.

The difference between writing a book and a journal is who reads it later. When I write a book, if I do it well, you, the reader, are invited into my journey. You feel what I feel and see what I see. And along the way, hopefully, you discover new insights into who God is and your own story.

To write a book is hard work, I have to get vulnerable, put myself out there, suggest things that might be uncomfortable, for both you and me. Plus there's the hours, days, months, years of  trying to capture a thought or communicate a feeling. There is a contending that happens when I write, for you, the reader. A faithful plodding, and believing; and there are moments of doubt. And then after all that, there are the agents who say "maybe later" and the publishers who say no.

So, I well remember the day I asked God if I should invite you into our writing times. And I remember His immediate "yes!" His encouragement was so overwhelming, I had to stop what I was doing to catch my breath. In that moment I sensed that this would be the most important thing I would ever write.

That was four years ago. I have felt my Father's good pleasure over this book from the very first word. And while I couldn't have given you the title that day, while there wasn't a synopsis, I can say that in the last four years I have been transformed through the prone-3d-cover-tallwriting, and discovering, and living of this book's message.

The book is titled Prone To Love and it releases with Destiny Image on Tuesday Feb 18th.

And I believe it truly is the most important thing I will ever write. The message of this book has become the foundational thought that my life revolves around. It's the transformational revelation that my life exists within.

This book is about the always good love of my heavenly Father. He loves me! And I know it, and I'm becoming sure. I'm being changed, I'm being restored, and renewed.

The discovery of His love is my one passion, my life’s true ambition. Over the last four years I have been graced to write about it, to become convinced His love is the answer to all the questions, it's the one sustaining joy, it's the power of heaven to earth, and it’s the glory of sons and daughters. He loves me and I exist to become sure!

I hope you read this book. I hope it's written well. I hope you can feel what I feel, and see what I see, and along the way become sure in the Fathers love. I hope that you discover your own story – He loves you, perfectly, completely, and always.

Dear reader, I want to thank you for the honor of writing this book for you. It's changed my life.

-  Jason

P.S. - You can get it here: Books-A-Million • Family Christian Stores • Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Mardel

Let's Go Find This Kingdom Come - Prone To Love Excerpt

My new book Prone To Love releases in three weeks! I can’t tell you how excited the Clark family is about this book! For several years I wrote under the title, Let’s Go Find This Kingdom Come.

That is a line from a song I wrote several years ago titled Northern Lights. It's a wonderful title and was discussed for some time but ultimately the Prone To Love title best captures the whole book.

However, in the first chapter I touch on the thought of finding His Kingdom Come. I used the old book title for one of the sections and thought I’d post that as excerpt here.

I have also posted a demo version of the song Northern Lights below.

Prone To Love - Cover

Let’s Go Find this Kingdom Come

If you think about it, Love walked the earth in the body of Jesus. And while Jesus very much lived on earth, He very much lived from heaven. So everywhere Love went, heaven invaded earth. What’s astounding to me is that every need that was presented to Love was met and fully answered—physically, emotionally, and spiritually—through the power of heaven. And it often looked miraculous.

Love healed the sick, fed the hungry, and raised the dead. Love trumped every need, every time. Love forgave the prostitute, the adulterer, the thief, and the liar. Again, Love trumped every need, every time. Love fed the hungry, paid taxes, calmed the storm, and turned water into wine. Again, every time Love trumped.

I believe the Kingdom of heaven operates from a different core value than earth. While earth revolves around the reality of need, heaven exists in the revelation of love. Everything in the Kingdom of heaven operates, hinges, and moves in that reality. Love trumps.

Need doesn’t exist in heaven. We won’t need to be healed in heaven; there is no sickness there. We won’t need to feel loved; we will know and become love. We won’t know poverty, sadness, or confusion; our Father is rich in mercy and grace. We won’t have any questions about why we exist; the manifest glory of God will make it clear.

As a good friend of mine, Andy Squyres, says, “Earth is the only place we can love God while in need.” We have the incredible opportunity to discover that even while need is very much a part of our lives, love always trumps. Isn’t that amazing? It’s such an eternal heavenly perspective! There is no need in heaven.

I believe all of heaven is available now—all of it. We have access to the same heaven Jesus did. He revealed that we could live in the same revelation of our Father that He lived in when He taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven” (see Matt. 6:10). We can love in the same powerful, miraculous, heaven-to-earth way Jesus loved.

Jesus told us that the Kingdom of heaven, the place that operates in love, is at hand. Essentially, this Kingdom is within reach. I am convinced we are here to discover it in every area of our lives.

Let’s go find this Kingdom come!

Norther Lights [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/19354218" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Becoming Like You - Heaven's Crush EP

I was out for a run and I was asking Father God if we would be alright. After two years, I was hearing God again; I was becoming sure in a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute floodgate of His good presence. Sweeter still, in the last month He was only saying one thing.

“I love you Jason.”

We were several months behind on our mortgage, our fridge was nearly empty, our pantry was a ghost town. The bill collectors and the lawyers wanted their pound of flesh.

“I love you Jason.”

But the question I'd asked Him seemed fair, “Will we be alright?”

I got home as dusk settled. There was just enough time to mow the small unruly patch of grass in our front yard. And there were still fumes in the mower.

I settled into the seemingly mundane routine, but my heart never left fellowship with my good Father.

“I love you Jason”.

I stood on the front porch in the last light of day with one thought. It was heaven sent, it was revelatory, it was bigger, and greater, and more powerful than any other thought I’d ever had.

“It’s measureless! His love is measureless!”

In that moment, everything in my life changed.

We would be alright.

… Laughing I went in to kiss Karen and hug the kids. Karen kissed me lightly but then she and the kids ran from me while informing me that I needed a shower.

In the shower I sang, “I’m becoming like you, I’m becoming like you. Let Your love be all I know, till Your glory becomes my own”.  I leapt from the shower, wrapped myself in a towel, ran into our bedroom, riffled through papers on Karen’s nightstand, found a pencil, then back to the bathroom dripping on the linoleum, I wrote...

I’ve been Your echo, I’ve been Your shadowPotential Heaven's Crush EP Cover
But my heart is to know You so I can be Your voice
I’ve stood on mountains, I’ve knelt in valleys
From glory to glory my heart will always be Yours
 
I'm becoming like You, I’m becoming like You
Its the cry of my heart my King, that I’d display Your majesty
 
I'm becoming like you, I'm becoming like you
Let Your love be all I know, till Your glory becomes my own
 
Oh, let Your glory come down
Let Your goodness surround, we’re singing
Oh, this revival sound
Its shaking the ground, its transforming us
 

Many of you have heard me lead this song in worship over the last years. Many have asked when I would record it.

This song is one of the four that will be on the EP titled Heaven’s Crush. This song is an invitation into transformative Love. There is life on this song and album!

My heart is to release this album with my new book, Prone To Love, which releases Feb 18.

We have 9 days left to raise the funding to get this album mixed. If you feel led, please give. If you can’t give, please consider sharing on Facebook and Twitter. Go to the link below for more information on the album, to give, and share.

Heaven's Crush EP - Indiegogo Funding Campaign

Thanks to everyone who has been with us on the journey and to those who have given! I am truly blessed!

Below is a small excerpt of the unmixed pre-production vocal recording I have been working on these last months with faithful friends. It just needs to be mixed.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/129680456" params="color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]God bless

- Jason