Turning Around

Turning Around

Several years ago, my husband and I went on a road trip, a three-week road trip from Florida to Arizona. Arizona and Utah are some of my favorite places to explore. However, after we drove cross country, we found out that a lot of the parks and places to see were closed due to a residual pandemic from Covid 19. 

It was a challenging road trip in our motorhome driving through major windstorms moving across the USA. We took Interstate-40 going out. After a week in Arizona doing as much as we could to explore the areas that were open, we found ourselves constantly saying, "Turn around" or "Go around". Now we laughed about this. We tailgated with another couple that was pulling a car, and if you've ever done any RV, you realize you just can't turn around as easily as you can in a car, the length of it, as well as the extended length of a car. So, using the words "turn around" or "go around" isn't as easy as you might think, but yet we laughed.

We had a few more weeks of our vacation left so we decided to go back to the east coast. We literally ended up back-trailing from Arizona to Florida on the exact same road, Interstate-40, which was so bizarre because that was not our plan. Our plan was just to get out and have a great time, but not to backtrack but that’s what happened. 

This journey was during the time of Counting the Omer from Resurrection morning to Pentecost. As my husband was driving through the open lands of New Mexico on our way back, I heard the Lord say, "Rethink these words, 'turn around, go around' revisiting things," and the word repent kept coming up in my thoughts. 

How often we've used the word “repent” in the Christian arena as pulling somebody from, "You're no good, or you’re going to go to hell if you don’t repent and get your life back with Jesus." This may sound truthful but the person who speaks this from a religious spirit has a subtle message of intimidation, degradation, and unworthiness. Often, it's followed through with, "You're never going to be good enough, or now that the grace of God has allowed you to come into the Christian community because you have repented, you need to do this, this and this." It may sound like they have your best interest at heart, but it is based on “fear” which is not from God.

So, as we have made our turnaround back to Florida my thoughts and conversation with God are revisiting the word “repent” from the way I was taught most of my life in the church, and how this word has a stronghold in the church and community of believers by the way it is interpreted. As soon as you say “repent”, somebody who may not be a believer in Christ often cringes saying, "Oh, I don't want to go to hell. What do I need to do?" kind of stuff. Very fearful. Well, on our turnaround, we had to use caution, we had to rethink, we had to review, but our turnaround experience brought newness.


When we first drove west, we missed a lot of stuff. We were up against a lot of heavy winds, so we were having to monitor our vehicle. These winds were strong enough to turn over semi-trucks so we had to be very careful when gusts would suddenly come upon us. Driving back the winds were mild so we were able to slow down and relook at the same landscape that we had just crossed over a week before. We found ourselves commenting to each other, "Wow, we didn't see that. We missed that too."

This is the approach we need to consider with Scripture - to revisit many of the places that are very familiar. Places in the Bible you can probably quote with a hidden agenda that says, “Thus says the Lord.” If you've been a Christian for a long time, as soon as a portion of Scripture is stated, often somebody can finish it very easily. Our challenge is God's ways are new every morning. His words are new every single day for us. Yet, we will interpret that familiar Scripture with the same interpretation we did many years ago.

If we are processing the word according to the way we learned it the first time, maybe 10, 20 years ago, we're missing a very vital thing that John wrote to the church of Ephesus about. You missed your first love (Revelation 2:4). Our first love should be a new day every day with Jesus. Every day is an awakening, an attitude of gratitude, of "I love you. I'm excited about today. Yeah, I might have these aches and pains. Yeah, I might have this or that," but every day should be, "I can't wait to go and do a little bit of reading of my Bible." Or, asking Jesus, "What do you have for me today? What do you want my heart to share and to know with a burning passion so that when I go out into the world, your word and voice are leading and guiding me in speaking truth?"

Using the word “repent” in the Christian community is often translated as "turn around from ‘sin.’” One of the key verses that are quoted in Romans 3:23 is, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

It is used in the context of no one is good, and only by the grace of God can we make it into heaven when we die. When the word “sin” is used in this context, then we desire to “repent” because of the fear of not going to heaven. Unfortunately, this is a foundation that much of the Scriptures are taught from in the leadership of the church. If the foundation is wrong, so will the rest of the building.

The word “sin” is an identity issue of not knowing who we truly are when we come into the world as a baby. When we are taught the foundation is the old Adam nature everything else is built upon that concept. The truth however is that Jesus came to reconcile all humanity back to God because He is our Father who chose us and created us in His image. That image has no fear or darkness. God did not screw up when He created each of us before we were conceived in our mother’s womb. Jesus went to the cross and was raised from the dead abolishing all that the first Adam had done in Genesis – falling from the awareness of our identity in Christ.

The word “repent” is to turn around to Jesus to see the truth of what LOVE, LIGHT, and LIFE in you really is for, “As He is, so are you today in this world” (1 John 4:17).

Much of our shifting from the plumbline of TRUTH has come from the position of leadership in our churches.    


“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:1-2).

Paul was not one of the twelve disciples who became apostles. In fact, he murdered Christians. Yet by the will of God, he was given a calling on his life for the saints, not the non-believers. If you have a calling on your life by the will of God, this doesn't necessarily make you a pastor, teacher, or an evangelist. Paul talks about the five-fold ministry to Ephesus to be the apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, the pastor, and the teacher Ephesians 4:11).

We have a whole lot of people in church leadership calling themselves a pastor, but the reality may be their calling is to evangelize - just getting out there and telling you the good news that Jesus is not dead. He's alive. If they are in leadership, but don’t know your name or where you worship, they are not a pastor.  They may be functioning in leadership of the church, but not in the office that Paul described as pastor. They might be functioning in the office of an evangelist or as a good teacher, but a pastor has a shepherd's heart. So, if pastors of these huge churches have the heart of a father, that would be like parenting thousands of kids. Good luck.

The next question to be asked of this role of pastors with megachurches would be how many wives the pastor has with all those kids he’s responsible for what we call “congregation”? Solomon went crazy over that, but that's the reason why heartfelt pastors have small congregations. They know you by name and your family. They have a father's heart that says, "I'll be at that hospital at two o'clock in the morning if you need me." They understand your situation in life with the love of a parent, not just a minister of a church.

This is a foundational area in the body of Christ we need to revisit. It's not that evangelists don't have a strong heart for leadership. We need the evangelists. We need the teachers. But an area that has a lot of problems that we've had is the prophets and the apostles because for centuries, through church leaderships and seminaries and Bible colleges, they have taught the apostles, and prophets don't exist for today. Many Christian doctrines teach that the New Testament church today does not need these two offices and that this was Old Testament fulfillment. That's not what Paul was talking about though because he talked about a five-fold ministry. If we are functioning as a church of leadership with only evangelists, pastors, and teachers we are missing two fingers of the hand ministry of the body of Christ. Have you ever tried to pick up something using just your middle finger, ring finger, and little finger – no thumb or first finger? This is an illustration of our spiritual deficit in the body of Christ. Then if the three offices are functioning, but not by the calling of the will of God because humanity has labeled them all “pastors” we have another foundation that we need to address. 

Some denominations have recognized we need the apostles and prophets, but they have renamed the word apostle into church planting, or missionaries. It sounds good, but that's the office of an evangelist. We need the prophets and apostles who have a calling from God for the body of Christ for today. Not prophets trying to make a new thing, but bringing in the finished work that was already completed by Jesus Christ at the cross and resurrection The Old Testament spoke about a coming time, yet already completed, coming into the unity of what was already spoken thousands of years ago by former prophets and re-bringing it through not from a future time, but from a finished work that was already completed (Hebrews 11-12). 

What are the apostles doing for today? Most of them are behind the scenes. A lot of them don't even have a title and have never been to a Bible school.

Oftentimes, it might be the quiet woman, a little grandma figure sitting on the back row, but she sees, and she hears, and she understands things from a depth that is so, so deep coming from the voice of God. That person knows they have a calling from God as a son or daughter of the Highest God to speak to the mountain issue and say, "Let there be light." The apostolic anointing does not get on a stage and declare, "I'm an apostle." They are the behind-the-scenes people often not looking to get recognized. But when push comes to shove and you're in a warfare, that apostle will go up to the forefront, lay hands, and decree, "Let there be life," or decree and say, "Not on my watch will you die. Not on my watch will cancer have authority. Not on my watch will that family fall apart. 

Not to bring attention to themselves, but because of the agreement of oneness with Jesus Christ that that apostle's anointing carries. They know they are married to Christ Jesus, and it is by His name, nature, and identity they have the authority as a wife to move in this world today.

The apostle’s anointing lifts the prophet, which lifts the evangelists, who lift the pastors coming alongside and showing them greener grass for their sheep, and then lifts up the teacher to help clean the ears a little bit more. This is what Paul is talking about here. He was not trying to elevate himself as "Whoa. Look at me. I'm one of these other guys over here." No. He's saying that there's a new beginning. There's a new understanding that the old man is dead and there's a new creation in Christ, and "I have an apostolic anointing to speak that message. I understand this message, but if this message here is not spoken, then the other offices of the five-fold ministry of leadership for the body of Christ are just busy out there trying to do something, but they can't really grab hold of much."

Many of you have an anointing in ministry for the body of Christ as an apostle. You find yourself writing things down. You don't know who to share it with. You get these little nuggets, little just quick things that say, "I don't know where that came from, but it has so much life to it, so much love to it. I don't even know if it's in the Bible, but I feel it so desperately in my heart, and I'm just waiting for God to show me." And then somebody else will come along and say, "He showed me that too, a little bit maybe from a different angle, but on that same life-giving, birthing process." Now when the two of you come together, that's an apostolic anointing. And you go into what's called a Jewish Midrash where you share back and forth and say, "Yeah, but this is a hindrance because I was always taught this," or "This is a hindrance because I was always taught that."

But to help to break the hindrance, just as the two archangels on the Ark of the Covenant look at each other and then they investigate the word, the mercy seat, and then they look at each other. What do they see? They see the face of God. They see the truth that's setting them free because the Word is there within them, and it's speaking life. The scriptures now have flames of fire coming forth, not just printed material, but living and moving and winds flowing. This is Pentecost. This is the day of Pentecost where your tongue becomes a flame of fire of life and love, not just speaking in a new language of an unspoken tongue, but a new language that says my natural mind doesn't understand it. That's the apostolic anointing. That's what starts the church coming together.

You see, the church is not broken in its bones. It is just not connected in the joints. But when we start connecting the joints together and we bring all of what history has said, not to unravel or de-value it or say "You got it wrong all this time," but to build upon it, build upon what all of the different denominations have been speaking and sharing throughout the generations and building upon the apostolic anointing that Peter said, "Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God," and that Christ in you is part of the bone of His bone and the flesh of His flesh. Paul tells us that Jesus Christ is the head, the church is the body, the arms, the legs of one body called CHRIST. 

So, repent – turn around and see who you are according to what your Heavenly Father says to you:

“For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you. (Psalm 139:13-18 NIV)