The Presence Filled Life : Why being WITH God is better than working FOR Him

I love Pastor Rick Warren and Saddleback Church.  Pastor Rick and Saddleback have shaped my life in many wonderful ways and the fruit of their impact has been really good.  I loved the Purpose Driven Life long before it became an international best seller.  Our church in Nevada was a pilot site (1 of only 300 in the country) for 40 Days of Purpose before it became a huge global campaign success.  Much of my ministry leadership for over 25 years was purposeful, strategic and successful.

But a nagging dis-ease continually gnawed at my soul during those years.  It was not until 2006 that I began to understand a basic truth about my life as a follower of Jesus. Back then, the truth would come slowly and progressively over time.  Even now I continue to grapple with the reality of how deeply embedded the subtle deception is in my spirit.  This truth would unmask me more than once:

I loved the purposes of God more than His presence.  I led the people of God to fulfill His purposes but not to enjoy His presence.

There, I said it.  The purposes of God gave me focus, gave me energy, made me part of a crusade.  I liked overcoming, I liked building, I liked being strategic, and I liked galvanizing others.  I did not like sitting still, I did not like listening, I did not like waiting, and I still do not.  Bible passages like John 15 where “abiding” is described were easy to glide right by.  When reading Matthew 25 and hearing about sheep and goats with those described as sheep  “doing what I commanded”, I could easily hear that teaching.   But when Mary is affirmed for “choosing the better part” by sitting at the feet of Jesus while her sister Martha worked herself to a frenzy, I was embarrassed by relating more to Martha than Mary.

During this period of discovery, I also began to understand something more about the nature of my relationship with God:  I related to God as an orphan and not a son.  As the discovery of my orphan spirit was made clear to me, I began to understand two formulas:

Purpose over Presence=Performance
Presence before Purpose=Power

Thankfully, God was working way upstream for me.  In 2006 my wife Pam and I went through our most intense spiritual experience ever (a ministry called Restoring the Foundations which we will explain later on), and in 2007 Pam received a special calling to a ministry of presence with the Lord.  Through these experiences and a host of others, we began to move to the front edge of life in the presence of God.

Today we are walking every day as sons and daughters of the King of Kings.  Our hope is that we can share some of what we have learned and are learning.  We are digging our own well together personally and as a couple.  Our hope is that you will experience the Presence Filled Life.  It is our firm belief that living the presence filled life is the most purposeful and pleasing invitation you will ever receive from the Father.


Presence Filled Ministry Mandate

Manifest presence of Jesus
Authority of Scripture
Great Commission.
Great Commandment
Saved.  Grounded.  Healed.  Equipped.
Love Jesus and Serve people.
Spiritual authority.
Family and church.
Spiritual Parenting
Principle of Agreement, Key nature of agreements (blessing, danger)
From God vs. For God, moving to With Him
Presence.  Dependence.  Abundance.  Joy.  Peace.   Seed time and harvest.
Ordered vs organic

Community. Identity.  Belonging. Attachment disorder.

John 16:12-15:  12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.

Moving from a functional paradigm for ministry to a relational paradigm for ministry.  Gary & Carissa, the Mission

Identificational Repentance by Leaders as key to revival


House church and cell church. Neighborhour. Gospel advancing movements.   China.  House church. Touch ministries

Art of neighboring.  Prayer walking neighborhood.

Thinking about your life with God as interval training vs sprint or marathon

Season of  Moses and Joseph and Daniel and Nehemiah (Marketplace ministries)

Truth is undeniable.  Facts are unreliable.

Proverbs 9/10.  The fear of The Lord is the beginning of Wisdom

Culture of Honor

4 roles.  Use kindergarten story and up to 256.   1+1 is not 2

Move from solely declaration to incarnation

Compassion and not condemnation.   John 3:17…just as the Father satisfied his Justice and Mercy in the cross of Jesus, so the church must let its light shine and declare the Kingdom in a way that draws people to the Father.  It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. (Romans 2:4).

No breakthrough without a revelation  of the goodness of God (Chip Ingram).  It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).   How does the church manifest this to the world?

Spiritual Disciplines are always related to Freedom

Spiritual mantle of authority transferred from Bryce to me and in front of staff and students and

God wants to unleash a river and we keep breaking up into streams

Good Samaritan story shows the reality that the problems of the world are so important to Him that He offers two religious people the chance first.   After that He sends the Samaritan.

Goodness of God. Grace Gratitude.  Good works.  Glory.


Dr. John Jackson is the President of Jessup University. He’s the author of 10 books, the most recent being “Grace Ambassador”. He’s a transformative leader, committed to equipping believers and fostering change in their local communities… Read more

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