We recently sat down with John and Anna Mix, California Tent Coordinators for Awaken The Dawn, California. We found their passion and perspective of the Father’s heart so powerful that it needs to be shared.
Family holds a power unlike any other. When division dies and love is at the core, nothing can break the bond of a close-knit family.
Each family is different. All across the world, there are various kinds of family dynamics, so many different ways of living and getting along (or not at all). The one thing that is proven true is that, whether we admit it or not, we all long to be loved and to be whole—to be part of something bigger than ourselves—to be part of a happy family. Fortunately, this is what the Father had planned for us all along. Since day one, He had unity in mind. He had His family in mind along with a clear picture of what that would really look like. Because truly, family was His big idea. And to be one, big, united, powerful, unconditionally loving family—it’s purely His heart for all of humanity.
Through our own experiences, we’ve unfortunately witnessed or endured dysfunction. (I’m sure we can all attest to that in one way or another.) These experiences may have taught us a bit about our humanity, however, it is not Kingdom reality. No matter what we’ve gone through or how far we may have pushed people away (to try to protect ourselves), we were never called to be independent and accomplish things on our own. The Trinity is even our best example of that. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit all work together in beautiful unity. They are individuals, yet they are one in the same. They hold the same heart and carry the same vision, yet they have different roles in the family.
To think that we are better off without each other is a lie from the pits of hell. We are getting to a place where the truth outweighs the deceit that for a while has blurred our vision. Instead of rivalry among denominations or technicalities that simply don’t matter (a.k.a. religion), we are living in a time where family is priority. Love, the Father’s love, is our number one priority and immediate forgiveness is non-negotiable (no more excuses).
“When [God] created us,” says Anna, “He created us as His family. And then we act like orphans all the time, but really we’re coming back to who we were made to be. . .and our authority and place in that. We’re seeing a shift from individual movements to the movement of sons—really, the Body of Christ, growing and moving together. And it’s not looking like individual, little sign-posts anymore. It’s the collective. I think all of us, to a certain degree, somewhat run alone in things that God’s given us to do. And so, we’ve done our best—we’ve given our best. And then we’ve realized, we’ve gotten to a point where we’re like, I can’t—I don’t want to do this by myself. My heart is for the body. My heart is to run with my brothers and my sisters. It’s to be joined. It’s to be family. It’s to really fulfill the Father’s heart.”
It is going to take a maturing process to fulfill the Father’s heart and become the family we were always meant to be. Just as it takes years for children to grow up and mature before they can really be trusted with responsibility, so it has been years of us fighting with others and ourselves, growing up and maturing as the sons and daughters of our loving Father. We’ve always had a seat at His right hand because of Jesus. We’ve always been sons and daughters since we accepted Him, but it doesn’t mean we automatically started living like it.
We may not be physically dead, but for too long, we’ve been spiritually dead. And with it, our hope and idea of a healthy, thriving family has since been dead with us. The best thing, and our reality, is that our Father is patient and kind. He stays faithful and hopeful that we would mature, that we would wake up to Him, by His grace and design. John says, “My understanding of the Father’s heart is always redemption and transformation. Because to take something away or to kill something is easy. To give life is really only in the Father’s purview. To create or to give the breath of life—to reanimate, to give new life and, of course, raising the dead—those are all trademarks of a loving Father and a Kingdom that has the power in the name of Jesus and the creativity to even imagine those things, and then to bring those imaginations to fruition.”
What Really Matters—Unity
“The true, mega church is not in any one building, or in a stadium or auditorium or colosseum,” says John. “The true, mega church is global. And we’re outside the walls. Anywhere we are that [God] is, that’s the [true, mega church]. We’re realizing that as family, there are these parallel streams that’ve been running. And when you’re parallel, you don’t necessarily touch or make contact or have any realization of the stream that’s just over the ridge next to you (or what have you), but these streams are beginning to form a confluence; and some people have called it ‘blended waters.’ When you have these different waters, when you have multiple water sources, and you blend them together and you treat them properly and distribute them into the system, you’re gonna get better quality water than from any one source.”
Now that the walls are falling in our hearts, we can see the man-made barriers collapsing all around. Speaking on what really matters, Anna says, “Stuff naturally begins to fall away because once we determine to look at each other the way Jesus sees us, the way the Father sees us, we don’t see that stuff anymore. We don’t see the divisions and the separators anymore—we see what makes us one. So that other stuff, it will become irrelevant naturally, I think, as we continue to choose each other in love. In Him. In Christ, not just love.”
“‘Blood is thicker than water,’ says John, “but love of the Father, the love of Jesus—the Spirit—is thicker than blood. We’re grafted in, we’re adopted in. We are received, we are loved, we are forgiven. This is the whole “coming together” for us. It looks like sons and daughters—mature—carrying the gifts and doing it with grace, doing it with love, doing it with power…”
It is going to take a movement for things to shift in our culture, and it starts with us. We can’t teach what we don’t know; we can’t expect to reproduce who we aren’t. The way John describes his children’s bond paints the perfect picture for us to follow. “They have different personalities and they rub [against] each other. But at the end of the day, they’re family. They’re brothers and sisters and they love each other with all their hearts. They have to give up a little of themselves. They have to set aside some of their angst, some of their pet peeves or whatever. Hopefully that comes naturally, to be in each others presence and just love on each other.” “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27) and with Him, we can step up, come together, beautifully unified. We can learn to love and be loved as the family that He has always purely desired.