“You might as well jump. It’s not worth it. Who cares anyway?”

It was the mid-1980s and I was standing on the cliffs of a beautiful seacoast near a town where I was ministering. The winds were blowing, the water and the waves were hitting the cliffs. It was magnificent—until I heard that voice, out of nowhere.

It didn’t make sense because God was moving in incredible, supernatural ways. Revival was breaking out everywhere we went, and people were getting saved, healed, and delivered. But during a moment of weariness, I began to doubt my calling, my abilities, my worthiness. And the devil tried to ensnare me in a lie.

Then I looked up, and the sun was rising. A new day was dawning! God filled me with hope to continue. And the fruit that was birthed from that trip still flourishes today.

Whether He uses the beauty and magnificence of creation or inspires us in some other way, when we look up toward Him, God gives us the courage to press on and press in to a new time, a new beginning, a new sense of what’s He about to do. And I can tell you, after 43 years of saying yes to God, it’s worth it.


Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV)

We are in a new season. A new day is dawning and God is about to do some exciting, powerful things. But we must also let go of things from our past so we aren’t weighted down when we need to be free. We need to move forward and be part of what God wants for us now.

Jack LaLanne, considered the original fitness guru from the 1960s-70s, celebrated his 70th birthday by pulling 70 rowboats with 70 people over 1.5 miles through the San Francisco Bay. He was handcuffed and shackled. Obviously, it would have been much easier if some of the weight was lifted. And that is what God is saying to many of us today who are carrying weight from our pasts, our mistakes, and our regrets, wondering why we are not walking in the fullness of His presence.

So many of us carry an enormous amount of weight on our shoulders, and we don’t even realize the magnitude of the burden. Even if we say we are free and we love the Lord, the reality is we often hold on to a lot of things that keep us back.

In his book, Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately?, David Wilkerson said: “It is always the wrong person on the cross.” Jesus didn’t deserve to be crucified, yet He went there for us that we might be saved, healed, liberated, and delivered.

When Jesus tells us to take up our cross and follow Him, He’s not saying to take up His cross—only He can do that. But sometimes people hurt us or we get offended. We put ourselves on our own cross and never move past that moment because we get stuck in the hurt. Meanwhile the people who hurt us move on with their lives, often not even remembering what we were wounded or hurt about. Through Jesus we can let go of the wounds, pains, sins, offenses of the past, because He has liberated us. The apostle Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:1: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty in which Christ has set you free, and be no longer entangled in the yokes of bondage.” Jesus carries our burdens and has provided our freedom!

We have to let go. We have to lay aside the burdens of the past, the weight of our regrets, the hurts of those who offended us. We must ask God, “Do a work in me so I can move freely into what you have for me. I want to be a part of the harvest. I want to be a part of this corporate anointing of Your abiding manifest presence.”

We need to ask God to help us let go of the burdens and the weights that are keeping us from the destiny He has for us. This is a new day dawning. It’s time for us to step into our moment so we can participate with God.


In their walk with God, many believers are content with simply worshiping. Even King Saul was moved by worship. When David played the harp for him, he felt the peace of God. But when it ended, he went back to his old self.

There is a difference between visitation and abiding, between worshipping as a segmented part of our church attendance and dwelling in His presence. Living worshipers want God to abide in them 24 hours a day, every day. When we experience the abiding, manifest presence of God—when we dwell in the house of the Lord—it changes everything, and He is able to do things that seem supernatural to us. But they are not supernatural to Him!

How do we do this? Certainly with worship, but also by having the gift of a servant’s heart. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. As Kingdom leaders, we cannot think we have arrived at our destiny by believing we don’t have to perform such tasks anymore simply because of our position. As a Kingdom servant, those tasks are far from menial.

My pastor friend Randy Needham heard the Lord speak to him a few years ago about abiding, leading him to change the name of his church from The Worship Center to Dwelling Place. It was a challenge to go beyond Sunday morning worship as usual to the place of seeking His continual, abiding presence. It was an invitation for Him to abide, and the impact has been nothing short of incredible.


Invitation. Communion. Revelation. Expectation.

In Luke 24, after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to some of the disciples who were walking on the Road to Emmaus, but they did not even recognize Him until they invited Him to abide with them. The moment they broke bread with Him, their eyes were opened and they knew they had been in the presence of the Lord! Through the disciples’ invitation for Jesus to abide with them, then through communion, their eyes were opened. They received a renewed revelation of Jesus and a longing expectation for the things to come.

Salvations, healing, and deliverance take place as a natural outcome of inviting God’s abiding, manifest presence. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Him to simply show up once in a while. I want Him to abide with me always.


As a person of Japanese heritage, I have always been intrigued by the Japanese culture, history, and values. In ancient times, there were Christian Samurai who were servants for the king. When they were persecuted, they had an internal conflict because the sole purpose in life for being a Samurai was to serve and to protect their overlords and the Emperor; but as Christians, they were committed above all else to serving the Lord.

The Samurai followed the Bushido Code, or code of honor—virtues that, interestingly, have biblical foundations. When I began to process and research this, I discovered there was a huge Christian influence in Japan hundreds and hundreds of years ago. It came before much of the Shintoism and Buddhism ideology; it came after Christ. So there was an influence of Christianity in Japanese culture that is hardly recognized today.

Eventually, Christian Samurai in Japan were forced underground due to persecution from the Shogun. They were called “Hanare Christians,” meaning they were “separated” or “set apart” because they had made a decision to be first and foremost set apart to the King of kings.

The ancient Christian Samurai remind us that we are set apart for the Lord and separated unto God—if indeed we are abiding with Him.


I’ve had the pleasure and the privilege of doing ministry in 50-60 nations over these last 43 years, things I could have imagined myself doing. But God did it because I said yes to Him! By becoming hanare, set apart, separated to God. By inviting His abiding presence. But most of all, by trusting in Him.

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” (John 14:1 NLT)

The most difficult thing for us to do in our humanity is to trust God. We can have the faith of a mustard seed to move a mountain. But it’s another thing to trust him.

It’s a new day dawning, but we can be sure the devil will try to discourage us by telling us we’re good enough or worthy enough or smart enough. He may try to tell us the grass is greener on the other side. In fact, the ones God wants to use the most are the ones the devil tries to discourage the most. Romans 12 tells us we can battle these lies by renewing our minds with the washing of the word. We need His word and His manifest presence so we can stand against the devil when he begins to say, “Who cares? Just jump. It’s not worth it.”

Sometimes we don’t know it’s worth it because we haven’t developed enough of a track record to have the stories yet. But the stories are coming! The stories are out there. And the more we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, the more we will see and experience the places and stories we can’t see or imagine right now. When we make the choice to trust Him, we enter into a place that is free from our past and move into what God has for us now, a hanare season to be set apart for Him.


“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV)

We are living in a time when resistance to the Gospel is skyrocketing, Biblical truth is viewed with indifference or even hostility, and weekly church attendance is on the decline. That’s why it is so vitally important that we equip and restore the Church as a cornerstone in the community and a lighthouse to the lost and hurting so we can be prepared for those He brings to us!

I sense right now we are in a new season of evangelism that won’t be cumbersome or difficult, like the days when we spent hours out on the streets. Instead, I believe, God is going to do the evangelism. Scales are going to come off people’s eyes about so many areas of life where evil has replaced good. They’re going to wake up and want to get saved! The question is: Are we ready disciple them?

We were each created for such a time as this. We don’t have to compare ourselves with anybody else. John 14 tells us that in our Father’s house are many rooms—which tells me there is room enough for each of us and the unique gifts He has given us to use together for His glory.

When we’re standing on the cliff, when we’re in that place of challenge, when the devil is lying to us, we must remind yourselves that God has a greater plan—He has not forgotten us because He is a good, good Father and He wants to take us to a victorious, glorious, magnificent future!

“Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your healing (restoration, new life) will quickly spring forth; Your righteousness will go before you [leading you to peace and prosperity], The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 58:8 Amplified Bible)

When we choose to abide in Him, trust Him, and set ourselves apart, the lies of the enemy fall to the wayside and a new day dawns before us. As I’ve grown older, and hopefully wiser, I’ve learned by experience that God is always faithful.

It is a privilege to serve the Lord, to say yes to all He has for us. We can trust Him because He will never lead us astray. And I’ll say this until the He takes me to be in His presence: It’s worth it!