Featured

How Big Are You Thinking?

The scriptures tell us as believers we have the mind of Christ. This is not merely for “religious” thinking, but rather that we can begin to think with a kingdom mentality, to begin to see and think on a scale and with the scope of God’s mind for our lives, our family, our finances, our calling and our destiny.

God wants to give you God sized dreams, visions and goals, not man sized. We must begin to open our hearts and minds to imagine what God sees for us.

1 Corinthians 2:16 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

16 For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.

 

Advertisements

That You’re Joy May be Complete

Our Father desires to gift us and give to us not only out of necessity, but in the midst of our desires and our intimacy and relationship with Him.

His desire is to see our Joy complete. It is important for us to know God’s word so that we know what He has promised to us and that we can ask in a manner boldly with full confidence because God has esteemed His Word above His name.

When we learn what it means to be a Son of God, we begin to walk with a new understanding of our entitlement and with a regal attitude that identifies us as the Royal Family of God.

We will be satisfied with nothing less than what God’s Word proclaims for us as rightfully ours and we will execute with all authority and power that which has been freely given. We will live a life of expectancy and abundance because we know that our desire to pursue and release the Kingdom of Heaven on the Earth brings about all things in our lives with a violence and unapologetic intensity.

The days of living a life for Christ that is laissez faire are coming to an end as we begin to behold Christ, toe to toe, eye to eye, face to face, full on in the brilliance of His glory.

When we will no longer be satisfied with a simple church service, a church program, entertainment value, support groups, intellectual pop psychology pep speeches, condemnation by way of tradition and law, lack of love, mercy and grace, we will begin entering a time of the outpouring of God’s glory and power on His people, because there is a bountiful harvest awaiting thee reap, a harvest searching for something that is real and offers a complete deliverance and empowerment rather than a sympathetic ear or a spiritually neutered attempt to mask the symptoms of the larger problem. They are searching for the solution, the answer to the problem, the complete deliverance and the power to pass on to others the ability to overcome that which was a stronghold in their own life.

There is a life that was modeled by Christ, that we have the entitled privileged to grasp and envelop as our own, that is a far cry from the diluted state of what is now called being a Christian.

There is a life of discipleship and even greater of sonship through Christ that offers so much more in the way of power, authority, prosperity, joy and abundance is ALL areas of life itself.

It begins with opening all parts of our life to the Lordship of Christ, and seeking a hunger that burns within us to be all things in Christ. A desire that can only be birthed in us by God’s spirit alone. A weak and desperate cry is heard and honored by God in our willingness to even ask.

He supplies the Hunger, He supplies the love, He supplies the Faith, He supplies the Power, He supplies the victory, He supplies the promises, He supplies the abundance…..we simply supply the yes….over and over to anything and everything we supply the YES.

Jesus, I will cry out and I will ask, I will ask for more of you, more of your revelation, more of your spirit, more of your wisdom, more of the desire to love you, more of the desire to seek you, more of your lordship, until I embrace fully all that you have promised, all that you have freely given, all of the your gifts, until I live the abundant life to rule and reign with you, with power and authority as a complete son of God!!

24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

25“Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

Fruits & Gifts

Growing up in Pentecostal or charismatic circles, there was always a heavy emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

In fact, it is believed by many that the expression of the gifts especially that of the gift of tongues, is the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

As I have grown to desire more of the gifts especially those gifts such as prophecy, miracles, healings and faith, I believe Holy Spirit has begun to widen my scope and view on the way the gifts work and how they are not a stand alone expression of God’s Spirit.

It is my belief, that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are tools given to us in order to help foster the growth of and as a result of the working of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and NOT to be a substitute for them.

So how do I arrive at this conclusion?  Well I want to give you some of the following points to help clarify.

The bible tells us that “As a man in his heart, so is he” to paraphrase.  In essence this means that the outward behaviors and actions of a person are the result of the thoughts and emotions they have inside.

A behavior always starts as a thought or thinking pattern.  It is the mind that drives the body into action.

Just as with our minds and bodies, it is Christ, our head who drives us (His body) into action.  Just as Jesus could not act on His own without the direction and example of the Father, so we too, as the body are dictated by the direction of our head; Jesus Christ.

Every outward action of His body being a result of His thoughts and emotions.

Sometimes, it appears that the outward actions of a person are good, noble and even righteous (especially when we see what appears to be gifts of the Spirit such as prophecy or tongues) but when examining the intent behind such things and the heart condition of said people, it does not necessarily take long to discern what spirit is really in operation behind it.

It is much like seeing an apple that looks firm, ripe and delicious only to bite into it and find that it is soft, mushy and rotten inside.

Sometimes this may seem difficult at first to disseminate, but it is not impossible.  The fruit test, not the gift test ultimately tells us about the connection to God’s heart that a person has or may be lacking.

I want to be clear here as well, that when this is perceived, it should be our motivation not to criticize or condemn.  Our hearts must be in the right place and in line with the heart of Jesus – to see these persons come into the knowledge of God and to be connected to Him in deep relationship and to operate in the fullness of all that God has dreamed for them!

Part of my reason and really largely the reason for writing on this is to address why we have the gifts of Holy Spirit and the real motivation that should be partnered with them.

The gifts of Holy Spirit are for the sole purpose of expressing the love of God and fostering relationship and connection to His heart.  Everything that God does and is, is to that end.  If it is not motivated by that and to that end, simply put it is not of God’s design.

Am I saying that God cannot perform gifts through people who are not connected relationally to God?

No, the scriptures make it very clear that there are going to be many who can operate in faith and even the revelatory gifts but absolutely do not know God nor are they connected to His heart:

Matthew 7:21-23 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.

22 Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?

23 And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].

So what IS the will of God?  In the scriptures above Jesus explains that anyone who does the will of His Father keeps the Fathers commandments.   So what are His commandments?  Let’s examine what the Word says about this:

Jesus gives us the very simplistic mandate that is God’s will and His mandate or commandments for us:

Matthew 22:36-40Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

36 Teacher, which kind of commandment is great and important (the principal kind) in the Law? [Some commandments are light—which are heavy?]

37 And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect).

38 This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment.

39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.

40 These two commandments sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets.

Ok, so now we know what the commandment is which inherently expresses what Gods will or desire of us is; to love.  But, what does that look like?  How do we love?  What does love do?  What IS love?

The Apostle Paul gives a very in depth outline of this:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].

So where does the fruit of the spirit come into play?  The fruit of the spirit is the result of the love of God reigning in our hearts.  It is the manifest evidence that the spirit of God lives in our hearts and has Lordship there and that we are connected relationally with God.

Galatians 5:22-23 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,

23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].

It is this love, this nature and these attributes or characteristic “fruits”, that produces by default the great motivation and the power to operate in the gifts of the spirit in the way God has intended.

When we couple the heart of God with the gifts of God, then we see real power at work with the right motivation because we have the right connection to God – A relationship in which not only are we able to use His gifts, but we know Him and He knows us.

When Jesus performed miracles of healing, it was because He was overcome with compassion.

The definition of compassion:

sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

synonyms:  pity, sympathy, empathy, fellow feeling, care, concern, solicitude, sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance, kindness, humanity, charity

Compassion is the result of a heart that is ruled by love.

The gifts cannot and will not ever be a substitute for nor will they be evidence of relationship with God.  Ultimately, without relationship with God and coming to know and live out God’s heart (by demonstration of the fruits of the Spirit and keeping His commandments) the gifts of the Holy Spirit are useless to us in the context of being connected to God relationally, because exercising a gift is not the same as participating in intimate relationship.  Paul makes this abundantly clear when writing to the church at Corinth:

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

13 If I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such [a]as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 And if I have prophetic powers ([b]the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody).

3 Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing.

As the new testament church, we want to see the gifts of the spirit manifested.  We want to see the sick healed, the cripple walk, to preach the gospel and bind up the broken hearts of people.  We welcome and desire these things greatly but we want to do so keeping the right order of priority.

We want and desire these things but not at the expense of sidestepping or neglecting the pursuit of love, of relationship with our God so that we may make His heart and His will our own.

1 Corinthians 12:31 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

31 But earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces (the higher gifts and the choicest graces). And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one that is better by far and the highest of them all—love].

1 Corinthians 14:1 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

14 Eagerly pursue and seek to acquire [this] love [make it your aim, your great quest]; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy ([a]interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching). 

Taking on the heart and will of God is not about being a servant, it is about becoming like God.  Manifesting His inherent nature and character through us because it is in our DNA to do so.

There is so much that God has for us and we must never allow ourselves to become so focused on one blessing that it robs us of all the others and especially that the blessings and gifts do not rob us of or supersede relationship.

Even if our love is weak, it is not through works or gifts that we grow stronger, it is in beholding God.  Spending time just in His presence, getting to know Him and be in relationship with Him, ultimately we come to revelation by experiencing God Himself.

To close, I want to offer the following excerpt from the teaching entitled Abiding in Love: Experiencing the Heart of God by Mike Bickle of IHOP.

“In 1 John 4:9, John declares how the love of God works in terms of our personal experience. John says we love Him because He first loved us. What he means by that is we love Him to the degree that we understand that He loves us. We will only love God to the measure that we see He loves us. In other words, the source of our love for God is rooted in our growing understanding of how much He loves us. Our love for God is actually a response to revelation of His love for us.

Our worship of God is a response to revelation of the love of God. We love more and we worship more when we see more. When we gain more revelation, more insight—I use the word revelation and insight interchangeably—when we gain more insight, we love more, and we worship more.

So whenever our love is weak, which mine is continually, I will focus my attention on gaining more understanding of how God feels about me. When I see the way God loves me, it tenderizes me, it changes the way I see myself, and it changes the way I see you.

The answer is always rooted in gaining more understanding, seeing more. I urge young people in their quest to love God with all of their heart, “Do not try harder, but see more. Focus on seeing more. Put your energy into gaining more understanding of the heart of God toward you instead of trying harder to love. Do not grit your teeth and determine this time you really mean it for real. Put your energy in seeing more, because when you see more, you will feel differently. You will see yourself differently; you will see people differently. On the inside you will feel differently, when you feel this glorious free love of God that He gives towards us.”

 

 

The Power of the Blood

A lot of Christians live a life of fear that there is the threat of Hell always looming over every mistake they make or over some outward thing about their life.  That believe God must be appeased or He will punish them and make them suffer and that ultimately He does not really love them or will withhold His love and goodness over the slightest infraction.

 

This kind of living is not only damaging to the Body of Christ, this testimony of such believers makes for a poor witness to those who wrestle with the same fears but are not yet believers of Christ.

 

Sadly, many Christians do not grasp the full scope of the power of the blood of Jesus Christ.  They act many times as if the blood will wear or wash off or that it’s redemptive power is only good if they are doing their part to make it work or maintain it.

 

As Christians, we need to repent of this – in other words we need to change our thinking and pray for greater revelation concerning the depths of power that is found in the blood of Jesus Christ.  A good place to pray from is Ephesians chapter 1 concerning this.

 

Unknowingly, by living this way, in their minds they dilute the power of the blood of Jesus Christ applied to their lives.  This is so often caused by religious thinking rather than having revelation.  Religious thinking is a counter-agent against the truth of the unfathomable power of the blood of Jesus Christ.  Paul the apostle emphatically addresses this in the scriptures:

 

Galatians 3:1-3

 

3 O you poor and silly and thoughtless and unreflecting and senseless Galatians! Who has fascinated or bewitched or cast a spell over you, unto whom—right before your very eyes—Jesus Christ (the Messiah) was openly and graphically set forth and portrayed as crucified?

 

2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the [Holy] Spirit as the result of obeying the Law and doing its works, or was it by hearing [the message of the Gospel] and believing [it]? [Was it from observing a law of rituals or from a message of faith?]

 

3 Are you so foolish and so senseless and so silly? Having begun [your new life spiritually] with the [Holy] Spirit, are you now reaching perfection [by dependence] on the flesh?

 

They live a life that is devoid of real intimate relationship with God because they do not know His heart towards them.  God is not in the business of desiring to send people to Hell, making people grovel before Him or punish them. He is in the business of making people His children, and making His children into Kings and Priests who will rule and reign with power and authority beside Him both in this life and the next.

 

The simple truth is, that God desires that ALL should be saved and has absolutely NO desire that ANYONE should go to hell, but rather that we would experience abundant life and His love and Goodness and there is nothing that can separate you from the love of God.

 

In fact, did you know that God Himself is not responsible for anyone going to Hell?  Oh that sounds almost like heresy to religious thinking doesn’t it?  Truth be told, God does not send people to Hell just because He has a whim.  People make a choice to go to Hell themselves by consciously rejecting Christ, who was punished, died and even went to Hell for us.  He conquered them all (sin, death and hell) and has provided the atonement for righteousness and holiness, everlasting life and complete freedom from sin and it’s punishment.

 

God however, made us to be beings that have free will and to make our own choices because love requires free will to be given.  God cannot force Himself upon us and even though many will go to Hell because of their choice, it does not negate that God loved them and did everything He could do to offer them freedom and life.

 

There is nothing you need to do to appease God by your works in your own abilities to gain His acceptance and love and there is no terror, condemnation or fear of punishment to be experienced in relationship with God.

 

Everything has been provided to us through Jesus Christ.  Our acceptance of Him by simple faith forever nullifies the threat of Hell and gives us the full inheritance of a son of God.

 

Don’t believe me?  What does God Himself day about these things in His Word?

 

Concerning the Threat of Hell:

 

John 3:16-17

 

16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

 

17 For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.

 

John 10:10 (Jesus Himself speaking)

 

10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it [overflows).

 

What Jesus did on the cross not only is enough to save you from Hell, it is enough to keep you from Hell and to live a life that is fully righteous and full of grace and power to live holy.

 

Righteousness comes not from good works, but good works come from righteousness!

 

Simple faith and trust in Christ as your savior is what is required for salvation not your ability to do good deeds; complete trust from a love relationship with Him which He Himself initiates!

 

Ephesians 2:8

 

8 For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;

 

Concerning Fear of Punishment:

 

God is not looking for a reason to punish you nor is He in the business of withholding His love or goodness from you.  God is not a God of Karma.  Karma is not a concept any person should confuse with the nature and personality of God and is a lie that Christians should avoid embracing:

 

1 John 4:18

 

18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].

 

Romans 8:1-2

 

8 Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.

 

2 For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.

 

Finally, nothing can separate you from the love of God.  Not any situation, not any mistake not any failure.

 

God’s love for you is 100% at 100% of the time.  God loves you the way that He love Jesus – the way He loves Himself.  He is ALWAYS working for your benefit and good!

 

Romans 8:35-39

 

35 Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?

 

36 Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter.

 

37 Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors [a]and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.

 

38 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things [impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,

 

39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Start today to seek greater revelation of the power of the blood of Jesus Christ.  Purpose to no longer live in fear, but rather in faith that the blood not only has cleansed you but keeps you.

 

Live in freedom to pursue your dreams, make decisions and enjoy abundant life.  Your Father will direct you and guide you lovingly and has sent His Spirit to teach you, guide you and empower you.

 

Trust that the sin issue is conquered and your salvation is secure by faith.  You have kingdom business to be about and not cowering from defeated enemies!

Being Anxious For Nothing

The bible tells us to be anxious for nothing and not to have worry.  The bible also makes it very clear that we are not given to a spirit of fear.

Philippians 4:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV)

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 1:7New King James Version (NKJV)

7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

So how do we reconcile and justify the fact that we have emotions of fear or even anxiety when something happens to us?  Are we sinning when we have an emotional response from something that causes fear or anxiety?

Does God expect us to act in a sublime fashion as if nothing has happened at all?

The answer in short is no.

God created us fearfully and wonderfully.  God expects us to have emotions and feelings.  This is how we experience things in the natural.  We experience joy, love, anger, fear and so on.

Having a feeling of fear or anxiety is not a sin and it is not wrong for us to experience these things in the right context and manner.

Our bodies have a natural fight or flight response that is an automatic body response that takes over when we are startled or come into a situation where our safety is threatened.

It is natural to feel physical and mental effects from these scenarios.  It is also natural that our emotions can be affected as well.

A person who gets up to speak in front of a crowd may experience nervousness or anxiety before or during their presentation.  Again, a natural biological and mental reaction that ultimately stems from our fight or flight response.

Yet another example is that we may have grief and anxiety when a loved one is hurt, ill or passes away.

There is no doubt in my mind that Abraham was overcome with emotions of anxiety and worry when the Lord told him to sacrifice his son Isaac.

Even Jesus wept when He stood before the tomb of Lazarus.

So the question is not whether we can experience fear or anxiety. The question is whether or not we give it dominion over us and accept the appearance of the situation as the final truth over what God’s Word says.

Ultimately, we must give first place to the Word of God as absolute truth which means that we act in faith and not fear.

In the scriptures I presented earlier, Jesus and Paul both are talking about a mindset, a paradigm, a way of thinking and living, not merely a reaction to something we experience.

Jesus wants us to have faith in Him.  Jesus told the disciples that He would never leave them and was in them and with them until the end of the world.

I may experience fear or anxiety, but I don’t have to hold onto it.  I can give it to Jesus to bear for me.  When I am weakest, He is strong for me.

Jesus also told the disciples that He would leave His peace with them, not the peace of the world, but His peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Paul tells us that we have the mind of Christ because the spirit of God lives in us and because that spirit lives in us, fear has no place of dominion in our hearts and minds.  Rather, love rules and reigns casting out all fear.

All of these things still extend to us all as believers.

God designed our confidence and our ability to overcome fear and anxiety on a relational basis.

Our confidence and courage comes from revelation that God loves us so much and that He is always for us and has nothing but good for us.  It also comes from a revelation that God wants to and will meet or needs, but not only our needs, He wants to fulfill our hopes and dreams.

This is why for yet another reason the prayer that Paul the Apostle prays in Ephesians 1 is so important for us to continue to pray over ourselves and the Body of Christ:

Ephesians 1:15-21New King James Version (NKJV)

Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom

15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

Ultimately, we were not created to be subdued by fear or to wrestle ongoing with anxiety.  We were created to be conquerors, overcomers and to rule and reign with Christ.

We don’t have to pretend we don’t have emotions or reactions to things that happen to us in life, we just don’t have to be a slave to them, for we have the mind of Christ and the Spirit of God that rose Jesus from the grave living in us.

From faith to faith, glory to glory, through Christ, we will triumph over all things.

God’s Will for You to be Well

When it comes to the gifts of Holy Spirit, we can all agree as Christians if not on much else that every denomination and/or church has a differing paradigm or theology on whether they are still available or not to believers.

Perhaps the most significant or most prominent gift debated is that of healing. Specifically, the argument being is healing God’s will?

Many argue that God can heal, having the capability to heal, but it may not be His desire or will to heal someone who is sick.

Some churches go so far as to teach that sickness is put upon people as punishment for sin.

But what does the bible say about these things?  What is the desire of God and what is His heart towards us regarding these matters?

Well, first of all we know that scripture is profitable for doctrine according to II Timothy 3:16-17 so the scriptures are where we will draw from.

II Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So as we examine scripture, we want to look for what is the consistent example and what is the established standard of behavior set by God and demonstrated by Jesus regarding healing?

We know that the scriptures tell us that as a man is in his heart, so is he.  Essentially meaning that a man’s speech, behavior, his personality and his actions will reflect what is in his heart.  So applying that logic to the man who is Jesus, we can determine what His heart, inherent desire or His “will” (if you please) is from studying His outward behaviors.

There are approximately 31 examples in the scripture of Jesus specifically healing people.  This does not even take into account the scriptures that mention Jesus healing people that are general and broad such as “and he healed them all” in Mathew 12:15.

Because of this overwhelming display by Jesus, we can surmise that the heart of Jesus or His will was to see people healed, restored and well in their physical bodies and minds, not just their spirit.

So we have established that God does heal.  Even though we have not even examined the scriptures in the Old Testament about God being healer, for the sake of time and length we are focusing on the New Testament church by examining Jesus.

We know that the will of God is demonstrated by Jesus because Jesus Himself told us in John 5:19-20 that what He does is by the Fathers direction:

19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.

Jesus lived a life surrendered to the will of the Father.  Which means that the will of Jesus, His heart and emotions, His desires towards us are those of the Father.

Jesus then demonstrated the heart of the Father as he healed people.  We can conclude by this alone that the inherent desire or will of God is for us to be healed and well.

But let’s not stop there.  Jesus was asked point blank by one of the persons if he was willing to heal him.  If someone is willing, it shows their ever ready desire to carry out something that is requested of them.

Matthew 8:1-3

8 When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. 2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Jesus also makes it very clear what not only His desire is,but what His purpose is when he speaks in the synagogue and reads from the scroll of Isaiah.

Luke 4:17-19

17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,

Because He has anointed Me

To preach the gospel to the poor;

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives

And recovery of sight to the blind,

To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Jesus vindicates the prophecy that was made about Him by the Prophet Isaiah.

Now let’s examine healing from the perspective of the cross.

Jesus told us that He came that we might have life and that more abundant:

John 10:10

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Jesus is making a contrasting example – that whatever the enemy is or does, Jesus is and does the opposite.

Jesus said that it is the enemy who comes to steal.  Let’s examine that for a moment.  Steal what?

Your health, your prosperity, your joy, your faith.  We know that the enemy does not simply come to steal spiritual things.  Jesus delivered many people who had demons and gave these things back to them.

The enemy comes to kill.  Kill in what way?  In any way he can, diseases, cancers, diabetes, you name it.  Jesus however restores life.  How is life restored?  By restoring the body, restoring the mind, not just the spirit.

The enemy comes to destroy.  Again, destroy what?  Anything he possibly can whether your physical body, your mind, your loved ones or possessions.

To summarize, Jesus is saying that whatever the enemy comes to do, HE is the answer to and not only is He the answer to it, it is His desire and his will for us to be free of these things and the attacks of the enemy.

When we look at healing from what was accomplished on the cross, we can ascertain that Jesus not only was punished and crucified for our salvation but so that we can be well and healed.

1 Peter 2:24

24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

If you take note of the tense Peter uses, he says you “were” healed.  Looking at the speech, we can make the determination that Jesus’ sacrifice not only healed the listeners in the past but that Jesus is still “presently” the atonement for the present and the future.  Peter is reminding them of what Jesus did and will continue to do.  That the action Jesus took provides healing both now and in any future event.

The context in Isaiah uses the wording “you are healed” which remains ever-present in the “now” or in the middle of the need for healing.

Some argue that the time for healing and miracles have passed or that yes, Jesus and the apostles healed people and did miracles, but that no longer applies to us since we have the bible.

I can’t think of a more absurd line of thinking.

Hebrews 13:8

8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines.

Paul makes it very clear that Jesus Christ never changes.  His character, His heart and His will for us never changes.  So then it begs the question, if Jesus exemplified the heart of God while He walked as a man through healing and in addition spoke that we would do the same things He did and more because His spirit live in us, how could we possibly conclude that Jesus has changed His heart and mind about wanting us to live in health and be well?

Jesus made it very clear and simple that what He ordained or exemplified would be carried out until He returned.

His will, His desires and His heart being carried out through us as His spirit lives in us.  This is carrying out His work as outlined in Matthew chapter 16 – the Great Commission.  The problem is many theologians stop at verse 16.

Matthew 16:15-18

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

So, we have established that the inherent will or desire of God’s heart for us to be well and healed through the actions of Jesus Christ and through scripture.

But what about people who say that sickness is God’s wrath and punishment for our sin?

We have to ask the question first and foremost, how can there be any judgement if there is no guilt?

Paul writes in Romans 4:14-15

 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

How can we be guilty of breaking the law (sin) if the law no longer applies?  Our righteousness or seemingly lack of is not built upon our actions, our righteousness is founded on our simple faith in God and through grace, we no longer have sin accounted to us.

Paul writes again in Hebrews 8:12-13

12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Let’s take it a step further going back to Romans 8:1-2

8 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

The Spirit of LIFE in Jesus Christ has made me free from the law of sin and death!  God has made me free from the law, sin and death and has no condemnation for me.

Now, even if we say that God uses sickness sometimes to bring us to repentance, how do we reconcile that to Romans 2:4?

4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

The only way to reconcile the two is to understand that while God may allow sickness, it is NEVER His will for us to be sick.  Everything He does is because He is good and is longing to lead us into relationship with Him and to restore and bless us.  His complete desire has been and always will be that we are full of life and well.

 

 

False Freedom

Facebook and much of the media has been inundated lately with shocking accusations of sexual abuses and misconduct of the most egregious kind by Hollywood elites.

What astonishes me more is the apparent shock and surprise that the secular world seems to have about this.

As if the “Pandora’s Box” that was opened with the sexual revolution could have no possible devastating effects on our society.

This is the fallout that results when there is a “false freedom” that is embraced by society.

Proverbs 29:18 (NIV) gives some wise insight to this:

“Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.”

Whether you are a Christian or otherwise, there is an undeniable truth in this proverb;  appetites left unrestrained and without knowledge of morality or restraint of man’s carnality can cause their morality to spiral into a state of entropy.

The New Living Translation put it into these words:

“When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.”

This is why subjective morality is so dangerous.

Society wants to say, “who are you to decide what is moral and just for me?”  or “you can’t judge me.” But if there is no “law” or rather no standard or instruction by which morality can be established, it begins to break down every social construct of what is considered sacred, innocent, moral and just and gives way to the full depravity of man.

We give our children borders, we give them structure and wisdom concerning their health, safety and wellbeing and rarely do we let others question our sovereignty to do so.

Even if you want to push religion aside, should we then not as a society have the same audacity to demand that society exercise some moral decency and restraint?

The problem with the sexual revolution that started in the 1960’s is that it has crumbled from being about perceived “freedom” into total anarchy.

One cannot reconcile temperance with lasciviousness.

But, that’s the real truth that the enemy never divulges.  Since the very beginning, Satan has been using this same kind of lie.

He used this against Adam and Eve in the garden.  Telling them they would in essence be “free” of Gods restrictions on them.  That they would be like God themselves and be omniscient or all knowing!

He twisted the truth of God’s word and they embraced a “false freedom” that led to death.

There is a truth, a knowledge that brings us to a place of understanding (revelation) that left to ourselves in our own minds and abilities that we cannot live a life that is good enough, moral enough or righteous enough.  It is through Christ alone (as He alone is the The Way, The TRUTH, and The Life) through which we can have and live a life that practices righteousness, holiness and goodness.

That we may live a life of restraint and of power over sin and indulging the appetites of our carnality.

One final thought, behavior modification is never going to get the job done.  The secular world teaches this and much of the church has even adopted this standard and system of thinking, pushing aside the reality that we are dealing with an issue that is influenced by supernatural entities.

This is why to see real change and change that is lasting, there must be a supernatural response – a change that takes place in us not only in our minds but in our very spirits.

Romans 6 New King James Version (NKJV)

Dead to Sin, Alive to God

6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

I Am the One He Loves

There is something that has been burning in my spirit as of late.  There has been a stirring inside of me, a Holy Spirit stirring.

Not of the gifts, not of outward signs and wonders, but an unsettling of my status quo in my love relationship and friendship with God.  It seems that God is up to something in upsetting my comfortable place of friendship and relationship with Him.

There has been a whirlwind blowing in my heart, which is making me ask new questions and begin to look at my own personal and unique relationship with this man Jesus Christ.

As Holy Spirit has begun to stir my heart up in a new way concerning Jesus, I remember one recent day I was praying and I was asking Jesus what was it like for Peter and John to have known him in the physical, to have walked with him.  What would it be like to have a relationship with Him like theirs?

As I thought and prayed this, immediately I heard the Lord speak into my spirit and ask my “why would I want a relationship with him like theirs?”

As I thought on what he asked, it occurred to me as he continued to speak into my spirit that I have the opportunity to have a singularly unique and special friendship and relationship with Him.

As conceited or braggadocios as it may sound, from this experience I understood that the Lord was showing me that all the friendships and relationships he has had with men throughout the bible are no more or less special or captivating to his heart than my own.

It has begun to change my thinking of what is possible in MY relationship with MY beloved Jesus.  I think often we look at these figures in the bible and we think that if we try to compare ourselves to them as if we can have the same kind of intensity or level of relationship with God such as the likes Moses, Joshua or David, we think too much of ourselves.

That if we dare to presume that we can have the same type of intimate friendship and love relationship with Jesus as Peter, John, Paul or any of the apostles, we are presumptuous and have hubris if we compare ourselves to them and their standing before God.

My question is however, why not?  If there is nothing I can do to make God love me more or make him love me less, then our focus does not have to be on worrying about quantity.  Our focus should be on quality.

This has begun to change my prayer life and how I interact with Jesus and Holy Spirit.  I know Jesus and Holy Spirit love me and in return I also love them.  But beyond just loving them now my focus is shifting to what can I do to bring them joy?  How can I make their hearts jump with laughter and joy?  What is it I can do or say to them that specially catches their attention?

You see I am becoming jealous over my love for them, just as their love is jealous for me.

John had it right when he zealously regarding himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loves”.  What a confidence and declaration!  Furthermore, what less right do I have to make the same proclamation?

Is Jesus just Jesus or is he MY Jesus?  My desire is to live for Jesus and to interact with him and Holy Spirit as if I were His favorite, as if I were his ONLY love!

I look at the story of Enoch, where the bible tells us that He walked with God and he pleased God so much that God took him.

What was it that so greatly pleased God, what was his walk with God like?

I strive and purpose not for the same walk as Enoch, but to have such a connection to the heart of God that He notices me EXTRA specially!

I am moving into a new paradigm of thinking in how I can be connected to the Lord.  I am beginning to no longer see those examples of people in the bible that were friends and lovers of God as someone I can never aspire to be similar to.

I am now beginning to see them as examples of what is possible in my OWN relationship with God and while I am at it, why limit my relationship with him to only what they experienced?

Why can’t I demand and yearn for things even greater in my heart and connection with Jesus?

We don’t have to see this as a competition.  All that we want in terms of depth of love and friendship and relationship is available to us and all that we want to give to God, he will receive of us.

He is enraptured with us and he loves the individuality and uniqueness of each of us.  He created us to experience one of a kind love and connection to him and for him to receive and experience the same from us.

I can be motivated and inspired by the examples of those long past in the bible and their personal relationships and friendship with God, but I do not have to use them as a ruler or measuring rod, nor let them be a glass ceiling as to the possibility of what my own relationship and friendship with God can and will be.

So, from now on I want to live my life and have my friendship and relationship with God to be as if he and I have a special secret that no one else knows, that is just between him and me; that I am his favorite, that I am the one he loves.

All Things Working Together

There is and always should be a relationship between the fruits of Holy Spirit and the gifts of Holy Spirit.

For the body of Christ, we know that Paul said we should desire the gifts but that we should pursue love.

1 Corinthians 14:1 (AMPC)

14 Eagerly pursue and seek to acquire [this] love [make it your aim, your great quest]; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy (interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching).

We must as the body of Christ be ever vigilant in creating, growing and maintaining a culture of honor and love if we want to see greater outpourings of the gifts of Holy Spirit and the glory of God inhabiting our personal lives and corporate settings of church services.

Those who believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit have always had inclinations to believe that expression of certain behaviors or demonstration of specific gifts that may seem odd to non-charismatic church goers are evidence that the Holy Spirit is at work.

As a personal believer in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I would agree that the gifts are definitely an outward sign that the Holy Spirit is present and serves as evidence of visitation by the Holy Spirit and an outpouring of God’s love and goodness.

In fact, I have an increasing zeal and hunger to see these gifts manifested with greater intensity and to see God’s spirit poured out more in an effort to experience greater measures of His love and glory!

In measuring the movements of God in the church, this however, is what I like to think of as a “short interval” measuring rod of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

In other words, the gifts and manifestations are something we may experience ongoing, frequently and very open and publicly.

There is also a more subtle and often sidestepped and certainly left out of the spotlight yardstick by which we must also measure the presence and outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

This measuring rod is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 (AMPC)

22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,

23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].

In truth if we want to see greater legitimate measures of the former, we must position ourselves in a place of humility and allow the latter to be birthed in us understanding that we cannot produce them in of ourselves –  to be completed in us it has to be birthed by the Holy Spirit.

As pastors, it is ever so important to keep a watchful eye that these essential fruits are present, thriving and abundant in the church and not see them as merely an individual checklist for believers to take care of on their own.

If we don’t see the evidence of these fruits both individually and corporately, as both the body of Christ and as leaders we should be alarmed.

In fact, I believe personally that one of the quickest ways to see the manifestations and expressions of the gifts disappear is to neglect pursuit of the fruit of the Spirit.

Fruit is an interesting thing.  It grows on a tree or a bush that is plentiful.  Fruit generally serves two main purposes:

  1. To reproduce the life inside of it, allowing for a greater expansion of the species of fruit.
  2. To be a source of food to others, selflessly giving its body to be consumed for the benefit and health of another.

As I ponder that, it makes me immediately think of Jesus and what he did for us:

He gave himself to be a source of life for us, going to the cross selflessly giving his body for our benefit and health.

Then he also put the seed of His life inside of us, so that we could go forth sharing that seed, casting it onto good ground in order to produce more fruit.

It is wonderful to explore the vast and great qualities and facets of God and how they all work together to bring forth his will and his kingdom through partnership with us.

We have to as believers not allow ourselves to become singularly focused or confined to carnal or more importantly religious thinking in our pursuits of God, but to be stretched to have the mind of Christ.

The four creatures and angels in the throne room constantly cry Holy is the Lord God almighty as they receive fresh and new revelation of the attributes and character of God and His holiness, righteousness, love, goodness and justice.

As His beloved, we must resist the urge to camp around a movement, a gift, doctrine or singular revelation.

We must be free and fluid to the ongoing and fresh revelations Holy Spirit wants to give us about the truths of Jesus Christ.

Like fresh manna, we need continuous fresh and new revelation of the heart of God what He is doing and how we are a part of that.

We have to continue to open ourselves to have freedom for even greater depths of wisdom, understanding, revelation and relationship daily.

Ultimately we want to embrace completeness of what God wants to accomplish in and through us.

All of these things are designed to work together for a greater relationship with God and with each other.

We must be vigilant and watchful that we not neglectful in embracing and pursuing ALL that God has for us.

I will leave you with this final thought:

Romans 8:28 (AMPC)

28 We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.

When Paul wrote this, I believe he was not merely referring to unpleasant circumstances that we may not understand in their present time.

When we look at the much larger picture, we have to understand that everything God is giving us, teaching us and instructing us about ultimately works together, hand in hand according to HIS design and purpose.

All the smaller things are working towards a much larger endeavor and we cannot lose sight of that larger picture by only seeing a very small part of it and holding to that singular part.

Be it the gifts, fruits of the Spirit, callings, anointing or the many other things which could be named, we must endeavor to see and embrace all things that God wants to give us together for His kingdoms sake.

An Ever-Present Help

“God helps those that help themselves”.  It is a saying that I have heard my entire life in and out of church.

While it seems to have the appearance of being righteous thinking, there is really a false humility that is associated with it and it is a line of thinking that destines us for failure and fatigue.

Granted, God wants us to learn to be good stewards of the things we are blessed with and it is important to God that we are obedient to do what God asks us, but that’s not really what this statement is saying.

This statement is actually implying conditions upon God’s goodness, His concern for us and his willingness to help us based on what WE can do for ourselves in our own strength.

By doing so, it in essence agrees with the line of thinking the Galatians had that Paul sharply rebuked them for in chapter 3;

Galatians 3:3

3 Are you so foolish and so senseless and so silly? Having begun [your new life spiritually] with the [Holy] Spirit, are you now reaching perfection [by dependence] on the flesh?

Throughout the scriptures, there are numerous teachings and examples of people who tried to reply upon themselves and their own works and through them met with failure.

Believing that we can help God do what only He alone can do, eventually leads to pride and pride eventually leads to distancing ourselves from seeing God as our all in all.

We begin to hold God at arm’s length only letting Him in to help us when we can’t manage the situation or it is something that is drastically far beyond our control or ability to do for ourselves.

God however, is not content to only be someone on call or standby for our life crisis.  God wants to be involved and help us with the small details of our lives.

God is in the business of helping us even in things that he has given us grace to do in our limited strength.  Even though it is something that we may be able to handle such as a decision or small task, He is still with is and in us giving us strength as we rely on Him.

Phillipians 4:13 tells us:

13 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

But what about those people who just can’t seem to get it together or what about that issue or besetting sin that keeps coming around and hounding us?

Each time it comes around, we try to do the right thing.  We want to make good choices, (after all we are responsible for our actions right?) but even in spite of our hearts desire to make the right choice, to do the right thing, we fall down in weakness.

After doing so, the enemy comes with a laughing chorus to ridicule us, to shame us and to accuse us.  His goal, simply put is to get us to take responsibility for something that Jesus has already conquered in our lives.

He wants us to see our identity wrapped up in failure and to take responsibility for failing God so that we will not embrace the truth of our situation and our identity- that Jesus has already defeated the enemy and that He sees us already as we are going to be through His eyes.

He has already taken care of every need and he has already provided the strength and ability for us to rise up and be who he has called us to be – and the beautiful part?  It had nothing to do with anything we could do on our own to help ourselves.

The phrase I introduced at the beginning of this blog, is nothing more than an ideology that the enemy tries to get us as believers to embrace so that we rob ourselves of the power of the grace of Jesus Christ.

Grace is so complex.  It is full of mercy and full of gifts and promises but it is also full of power that allows us to live in a way that is above sin, crushing it under our feet.

Grace allows us to do those things that in our natural ability or strength we cannot.

Paul said this of his weaknesses and grace:

2 Corinthians 12:9

9 But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

God does not simply help those that help themselves, God helps those that cannot help themselves and He lovingly helps those whom the world has labeled as beyond help.

To quote the lyrics of a song by Someonebrave, “There is no sin unforgiveable, when I’m looking in His eyes”

There is no failure, no mistake, no weakness, no situation that Jesus did not give full provision for when He went to the cross.

He alone finished the work, He alone has seen to every detail of you becoming a champion in His kingdom.

There is perfect hope for you when you cannot help yourself and there is revelation and peace in knowing that God Himself will be your strength and your resolve and bring you to a place on complete victory.

What God has Called Righteous

Our position before God is something that the enemy challenges constantly in our minds and even before God Himself.

The scriptures tell us that he is called the “accuser of the brethren”.

We can have complete confidence however that our position and standing before God is taken care of; that we stand holy and righteous before God because of what Christ has done for us and in us.

Acts 11:9

9 But the voice from heaven answered a second time, ‘What God has cleansed and pronounced clean, no longer consider common (unholy).’

Let it be settled in our hearts and minds that we are righteous and holy through Jesus Christ. The power of the blood of Jesus makes us both holy and righteous but even more; it helps us to practice righteousness and holiness.

What is the difference you might ask? Practicing is the outward expression into the natural of what is the intrinsic or internal character and make up of something or someone.

When we become a new creation; being made a Son of God, our identity becomes new, something never before existing.

Our old Adamic nature and being (pertaining to the lineage of Adam) becomes reborn into the image of Christ.

In this process, we put on the identity and the substance of Christ becoming both His righteousness and His holiness.

The practice of righteousness and holiness then becomes the outward display and manifest character of who we now are in Christ.

Holiness and righteousness are not something that we have to earn additionally or apart from gaining our new identity in Christ. They are inherent to the metamorphosis.

Learning to walk and practice our inherent character and identity of righteousness and holiness is developed through the teaching by and through the power of the Holy Spirit being present in our lives and by the outpouring of His power and gifts on us.

By settling once and for all that our identity and to whom we belong inherently has made us both righteous and holy before God our Father, we can put to rest any fear and concerns about the security of our salvation and our standing of being righteous and holy before God.

Once we have done that, our focus can be completely directed towards learning from the Holy Spirit how to practice righteousness and holiness and naturally express that which is in our nature to do – to be righteous and to be holy.