Tag Archives: Relationship

Grace Does Not Equate To Complacency

     Grace does not equate to complacency nor does God’s unconditional love mean that God accepts us living lives contrary to His intentions. The more the acceptance of the message of God’s grace grows the more I hear of groups perverting this position by devaluing the quality of life the God desires for every single person to experience. For anyone to continue in a lifestyle which is contrary to God’s desire for us as His children and to say that it is acceptable because God loves me and Jesus took away sin, is total foolishness. I have never met a parent yet, who truly loves their children, say to them, “It is okay to live a life of sexual promiscuity, drug addiction, alcoholism or anything else that would inhibit you from experiencing the best quality of life I desire for you because I love you.” With God when it comes to us, His children, there is no toleration of acceptance for us to experience anything less than His total provision. This is what Jesus died for in reconciling us unto our Father so that we can for all eternity experience a perfect union with God. In his sacrifice then Jesus also made it possible to experience total wholeness so that being free from anything that would influence our lives to consider choices contrary to God’s design for our lives, we would have liberty to experience the fullness of God’s desires for us.

     This does not mean that God gets angry with us when we fall short of experiencing what he desires for us because many of the things that influence us to desire less than what God has for us come from such things that are demonically driven. Many people have repressed memories of events or circumstances that inhibit them from believing that they are loved and valued and deserve everything God has to offer. In cases like this it is the healing process that removes these influences from our hearts and replaces them with God’s love so we have full, healthy lives where the fruit of the Spirit, righteousness peace and joy, are a part of our daily lives. No one deserves anything by earning it from God because our Father unconditionally loves us He and gives us this quality of life as an expression of his love. Therefore to settle for something less than Papa desires for us is in a sense to reject Him.

     I do realize that all of us fall short of experiencing the fullness of His provision. Some more than others. But just because we fall short does not give us the right to become complacent with where we are at. In my personal opinion I believe that complacency is of a demonic nature because it’s influence detours those under it to from seeking out healing and wholeness in order to experience the quality of life that God desires for us. When someone says that it is acceptable for someone to live their life in a way which is contrary to God’s desire because of love and forgiveness, then they are missing the point all together. Jesus did not go through what he did so that we could remain in a lost state of mind and still have a relationship with our Father. He suffered so that we could be delivered and set free from all things that would keep us from experiencing the fullness of our Father.

     There are many who try to use the grace of God to justify any need for accountability and therefore say that because of His grace we are allowed to go through life doing whatever gives us pleasure because Jesus made everything acceptable. When I talk about this subject I am not saying that one is disqualified from “going to heaven” because of what they do since salvation is a gift from God which is received in faith, but the reality is Jesus said that eternal life is intimacy with our Father. If our beliefs, thoughts, actions, desires etc. are not in agreement with God, then we are not fully able to experience eternal life now to the degree that we can due to a lack of intimacy. Not a lack on God’s part but on our part. By God’s grace we can not earn anything from God, for we are innocent in His eyes, but grace does not mean that we will experience intimacy or His quality of life for us independent of participating with God in it.

     We see the grace of God manifested through Jesus in that only through being in union with Jesus can we be found righteous, for no one can be found righteous through their own efforts in trying to obey the Law for righteous requirements. By God’s grace then there exists a way, which is effortless on our part, to experience eternal life through Jesus. God’s grace then is not the empowerment to live at a sub-par standard, nor to help us even keep the commandments of the law, but the ability for us to receive His quality of life experientially in living a righteous, holy, loving, peaceful, joyful, fulfilled life by receiving healing in areas of our lives where we need it and living intimately with God. Where the focus of our lives ceases from what we do and how good we can be through our own efforts, solely unto our relationship with God.

    Again though even as believers if we allow situations and circumstances to influence our lives or accept ways of living our lives contrary to those in which God created for us to experience, then no matter how good we may feel about it or how happy we are, we are cheating ourselves out of God’s love and desire for us. To say that in living a complacent life we are experiencing the fullness of God is an erroneous statement at the least. It devalues God’s love for us, his desire and gifts for us as well as ourselves.

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Prayer Must come Back in Schools, and America must return back to GOD?????

      There are statements being said all over blogs and other postings about subjects like, “Prayer must come back in schools and America must turn back to God.” There is a problem though with this and all the statements like it and that is it does not represent Christianity but is the epitome of religious dogma. When people make statements like this it makes me question whether or not they truly are even believers or are they just pawns in the religious order of things. Such thoughts and statements convey that if we do things that give the appearance of being holy or Godly then we will be holy. This is total bunk and deception. The reality is that forcing ones religious point of views on someone so they are trained to act a certain way will no more make one a Christian than setting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office will make them a surgeon. Believers are called believers because they believe in the finished works of Jesus and accept their true identity in Christ. There is no other way to experience this identity other than by faith, which has nothing to do with works. I would not say there is no good out of exposing people to the truth but we only need to look at all the Christian schools and you can see that even in a heavily saturated God focused setting that rules and regulations do not produce relationships.

     Paul’s message to the world was one of an eternal relationship with God which was made possible by Jesus. It is by believing that Jesus is who he is and has accomplished what he did that we can partake in this restoration of fellowship and intimacy between us and our Father. For those who do truly believe there will be a change in their beliefs and behaviors, but to think that behavior modification will turn people into believers and establish a healthy relationship with God is wrong. What many are failing to see is that all over the world, and more so at home in America now, people’s hearts are changing to become more worldly and humanistic because those who claim to be Christians are not representing true biblical Christianity. Paul had no problem in the big picture of changing the way the world viewed God during his ministry because he believed the truth and shared it in very real, tangible and practical ways. Today you will most likely hear all the rules and regulations you must keep in order become or maintain your Christian status rather than what God has done to restore you back into a relationship.

     Hopefully those who really want a relationship with God will wake up and realize that as Paul put it all things are lawful but not all things are expedient or edify. Placing burdens on people makes them in bondage to the burden instead of being free to experience the relationship the God desires to have with them. The bible teaches us that the Law made no one righteous but revealed sin and empowered sin. If those who claim to be Christians practiced true Christianity than just as Paul was able to influence the world by making true disciples, who in turned made more disciples, then also would today’s Christian have the same effect. But going after the world with this forced slave labor mentality that is preached so widely today as the carrot at the end of a stick will only keep producing the same results that it is currently getting.

     If we truly start representing Christianity then America will turn back toward God, not by force but out of love and respect. If America and others keep preaching though religious dead works, rather than relationship, it will only keep getting worse. I get to talk to people regularly and the number one thing I always hear about is how they have this idea that because they have done good things or view themselves as a pretty good person they think they should go to heaven. They get this idea because of the weakness there is in the church saying that we are who we are by what we do rather than what God declares in that we are who we are by faith.


All Things Are Permissible But Not All Beneficial

1Co 10:23, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”

Paul said that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. Living a life where the manifestation of sin is still dominate in your life because you are focused on sin is still living in bondage to sin. Being free from the Law does not benefit us if we feel a freedom to live a life contrary to the plan and purpose of God, but in being free from the Law we are free from condemnation, guilt and shame. If sin then does manifest it does not have the power over us it once had which is to drive us away from God and try to dissolve our relationship with God from our point of view. Without guilt, shame and condemnation we never have a desire to question our relationship with God and see Him in a false way as someone who is judging our value based on what we do, but know that His love for us never waivers and is always unconditional giving us a desire to not let sin rule our lives but love rule our hearts.


The Resurgence of the Question: Is America a Blessed Nation?

The Resurgence of the Question: Is America a Blessed Nation?

Since the reelection of the president of the United States of America I have seen several articles dictating that America is either blessed, or cursed depending on ones individual point of view, because of who is in office. I honestly can say that for much of my Christian experience I was corralled into the same way of thinking. After all if I heard it once then I have heard it thousands of times, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”. 2Chronicles 7:14. In fact not from reading but hearing it so much I have it memorized, but the fact is this statement has absolutely nothing to do with the way Americans have been taught to think.

There are several reasons why this scripture is used out of context and the biggest seem to be ignorance and prejudice. In ignorance I am relating to the fact that there is only one nation that God has ever made a covenant with and that is Israel. For Americans or any other country to think that they have a special covenant with God for any reason is just pure arrogance because God never promised to cut a covenant with any other people or nation. In fact The Jewish nation according to scripture will still experience the fulfillment of this covenant. I was taught my many well meaning pastors and teachers that we, the American Christians, we now the spiritual Israel because God was pissed off at Israel for rejecting Him so now out of spite He has chosen us. Thank God this is not even remotely true, but it is only an extremely prideful belief concocted out of ignorance and prejudice.

I did say that prejudice is a driving force also in believing that America has some sort of special covenant with God based on the aforementioned scripture because you have to be totally blind to ones own faults in order to think that oneself is perfect before God while another is a sinner. It is the same driving force that gives idiots the desire to proclaim that God is judging America because of what a targeted group of people have done. It is the whole my secret sin is okay but yours is plain to see so we will crucify you. I have learned from Paul that whatever our first impression of a judgment against someone is reveals our heart. I looked at preachers who taught heavily against an adulterous lifestyle, which were brought down by the same thing. I am not advocating any kind of immorality but scripture shows us that through loving one another and allowing the nature of God to manifest in us and through us healing takes place and what was driving one to do such things gets replaced with how God sees us. So one no longer will have the same drive to destroy oneself but to experience the God quality of life that Papa has intended for them all along.

America is no more or less blessed than any other country outside of Israel, but what truly influences the status of a country is how the majority of the people believe. If America were truly a Christian nation and truly understood what that meant then yes it would appear as though we were a blessed nation, but that would only be by appearance only because of experiencing what God desires for all of humanity. It is not geared to any one person or any one nation but the more people who believe in the truth and experience the facts of it then the greater influence it can have on those around them. America though has a Christian religion for the most part and not an understanding that it is all about our eternal relationship with God and not a bunch of stupid rituals.

This makes me also think about people who get in such an uproar because they take the Ten Commandments off of some building or what not. Again I call this ignorance of scripture. Paul tells us the purpose of the Law, which includes the Ten Commandments, was to strengthen sin. If we would read the bible God said that in these days, that which we are in now, the Law has been written on our hearts and not on stone. I do not have to wake up every morning and read “Do not murder” to ensure that I do not go out and murder someone. Ironically once again though Christians today, and I say this outside of those who are Jewish Christians, still do not get it in that the Law was given to the Jews and never ever ever to be a part of the life of anyone outside of the Jewish nation. As Christians we need to quit manifesting stupidity and read. When Paul went to the Jewish council how much of the Law did they impart unto the gentile believers. This is it in total; “Acts 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.” The observe no such thing mentioned here is in reference to the Law given unto the Jews and even later Paul talks about you can eat whatever you want with a clear conscious.

America will only appear to be a blessed nation if we believe and embrace the truth about the finished works of Jesus thereby experience the quality of life He died and rose again for us to experience. But not just in this physical world as we now know it but eternally in a reconciled relationship between us and our Father. This is the whole point of Christianity in that we have been reconciled unto our Father and now have life eternal, which is scripturally defined as; “John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” The word know here is an intimate knowledge out of relationship, as in how Adam knew Eve and she conceived. Life is about relationship and not religion.


Not Everyone Will Enter

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

There are a couple of points worth noting here. The first you will see repeated all through out my notes which is Jesus came as a Jewish rabbi teaching Jews about the Law. He never taught against the Law so when we hear him say something about doing something to fulfill the Law then we need to not turn a deaf hear but take it with a grain of salt. So then the second and main point is this, Jesus is specifically saying that there are people who will do many mighty things in His name, yet there is no relationship between them and Jesus therefore no salvation. Paul has taught us the truth in Romans that we are saved by faith and not of works. There are no works that can improve or qualify our salvation. In fact there is no other way to be saved but only by faith in believing that Jesus is Lord and He was the atoning sacrifice for all sins. This does not mean that we as believers will not bear fruit, for it is God’s desire that we bear much fruit. The issue Jesus is pointing out here is as He noted in other times in that no one can produce good fruit on their own, in that good fruit only comes from being intimate with Jesus and it is His fruit we bear not our own. Here he is talking about those who are trying to bear their own fruit not out of intimacy with Jesus. There are many who go to church services every week and do many things to help build a testimony, in a physical building or some programs, to their ungodliness because they are trying to be a part of doing man’s works and not something that was born out of a relationship with Jesus.

       This is what is means to be a worker of iniquity. It is one who out of their own efforts tries to do the things that resemble the fruit of having a relationship with God, yet there is no true relationship. Many believers have tons of peer pressure placed upon them by the churches today to produce fruit yet this goes totally against what we are taught in scripture. I still believe the best example of this is pregnancy in that a woman naturally cannot just do something to become pregnant by herself. Yet out of intimacy with her husband she becomes fruitful effortlessly. Yes she has to carry the child but the conception of the child happens naturally. And in this same way the fruit of God out of intimacy with Him is conceived in us and manifested through us.

      So with all this said then the question is how can we do the will of the Father? Simply stated believing in Jesus and His finished works is to truly do the will of our Father. It was for the purpose of our salvation that Jesus was sent, and only by faith in him can we partake in this great salvation. It is the Father’s will that none should perish and Jesus made that possible, yet as scripture declares not all will believe and will perish.

 


Tribulations

Romans 5:3-5  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  4  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

     There may be other applications to these verses but here is one explanation that I have witnessed time and time again. The question I started out with when I was receiving revelation on this was, “What are tribulations?” According to Strong’s we are talking about affliction, anguish, burdens, persecution, trouble – literally the symptoms of pressure. When do we experience pressure, when exactly do these various instances have the ability to influence the quality of life that God desires for us to live by? Pressure seems to build up in us when we are not resting in Him. So when we are not at rest in Christ is when we experience pressure which produces these bad fruits of various sorts.

     There is a promise though that as we remain faithful in laboring into rest we will go through a process that will produce the fruit of God in our lives. My explanation for this laboring into rest is going from a co-dependent relationship with God to a totally dependant on God relationship, which is going from trying to add or incorporate God into our lives to seeing God as our source for all things.  As we experience tribulations, again because we are not fully resting in God quite possibly because ones heart is not fully persuaded of a truth, over time this builds patience, giving experience then causing us to have hope and hope in God will not fail because God’s love fills our hearts by Holy Spirit.

      So one may ask what does this mean? As I said it is a process with the conclusion of increasing our ability, or possibly better said our natural state of being, to rest in God. It is a process of being fully persuaded in one’s heart and mind about the truths of God and the finished works of Jesus. Sometimes this can be a quick process and other times it seems to take forever, but the reality is the timing has nothing to do with God. The amount of time involved almost always has to do with our acknowledgement of our inabilities and surrendering to God’s capabilities. Replacing the pride that we have in our lives with God’s love.

      Here is another way of looking at the same thing. Tribulations are a direct correlation to your independency from God. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:10 that in his weakness God is glorified. In other words once we realize, acknowledge and accept, we are dependant on God because of our inabilities to produce, then God’s glory manifests in us and through us. So as we delusionally try to remain independent of God and tribulations come our way they will have whatever their maximum capacity is of influence over our lives until we get to the point where we finally realize that we alone are incapable of dealing with that situation and turn to God. Now to someone who already is at rest in God, totally dependant on God, most tribulations may not even be a speed bump in their lives. Yet as these same circumstances try to influence the life of one who is not dependant on God and does not already know the outcome, they will be moved by the circumstances since they are not able to see past them to the conclusion.

     I am not trying to belittle in any way some of the tribulations people face but merely trying to show a process that one can go through and find healing or the power in overcoming by resting in what Jesus has done. Upon understanding the whys and hows I am hoping to remove the victim mentalities that we sometimes adopt in many cases because we feel defenseless or overwhelmed. A major factor in living what many call a victorious life is the simplicity of trusting Papa.

     Paul said something that I have come to live by, but it was quite some time before it went from being just intellectual regurgitation to a way of existence. In writing to Timothy he told him the godliness with contentment is great gain. After being the source of much of my tribulations for many of my years in keeping up with the Joneses, I have finally started to learn to rest in God and in a very real way experience contentment. This does not mean that I do not enjoy the finer things in life when they are available, but regardless of my circumstances I have learned to not try to change the circumstances as we are taught to do, but learn to be content in them until I am trough them. Look at Paul’s life and you see this as there were good times and bad, but they did not influence his life in such a way as to where he lost hope. He always knew that no matter what God was now and intimate part of his life and that He loved him completely regardless of the circumstances. Again this does not mean we just let life pass us by, but instead of trying to force it to happen we can patiently wait on them to some our way. Remembering that the good things in this world are temporal anyhow, but the best things in life are eternal.


Jesus Is A Reflection Of Us

      “Every human life is equally valued and represented in Christ. He gives context and reference to our being as in a mirror; not as an example for us, but of us.” Every since I read this quote by Francois du Toit I have had to reevaluate the way I look at things in my relationship with God. I have really been  blessed in that I have had the privilege this past year of doing nothing other than studying the Word and listening to others. Thankfully this path started out in a message of grace and God’s unconditional love, which I have come to realize that is the only way  love can truly exist or it is a counterfeit. In retrospect month after month the revelation that God really loves me and there are no strings attached has continued to grow and now after 14 months of experiencing this growth I finally think that my heart has been prepared to not only hear but to start believing the truth. It seems like it has either taken this long to finally hear something that caused a paradigm shift in what I thought or that my heart was finally softened to be able to agree with what my mind and ears were hearing; quite possibly both worlds colliding for just such a time for this.

 I can honestly say that in these past 14 months I have spent well over 3,500 hours just reading, praying, and listening to teaching that has helped condition the soil of my heart. In all that time I have learned that God is love, in fact it is the very essence of his existence, and all throughout the bible this love manifests in pointing to his Son Jesus. In these past months the religious theologies and doctrines I grew up with have been challenged, debunked and purged out of my belief system. I would not say 100% of them as there were things that I believed to be true which still remain true and very foundational basic concepts. Occasionally in this process something that I was not aware of still pops up, but in these cases there is not much of a struggle because it was usually hard for me to believe much of the things I had originally learned seeing that it did not bear the fruit of Christ. Yesterday was one of these days, when I read that quote. I had known from reading and hearing that we are complete in Jesus yet even with everything I have come to believe in just being a son, just existing in the way God desires for us to walk for the maximum fulfillment of life, I had not realized I was still trying to become like Jesus. But when I read, “…not as an example for us, but of us.” I had to change my focus and beliefs about myself and just like Adam quit trying to become who I am already.

 The first scripture that I thought of when I had this shift was Romans 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” I will not debate this but the simple fact that God predestined us means that it was his will or desire for us and not something where we have no choice in the matter. After Jesus went to the cross everyone from that point going forward became a new creation and here is a simple why. Adam made a choice to try to become like God and in doing so sin entered into the world through his unbelief. I think we are missing something here because even though man could not keep the law for righteous requirements, as Adam instantly proved, we know that is was not impossible to do because Jesus did. My point is that it was not impossible because of the law itself but because of man. With that said now as a new creation the law cannot come into play at all because Jesus removed the law, so if in ignorance we try to fulfill it in some capacity, it has no bearing on our righteousness. We also have a born again spirit. Some debate on when this occurs and personally I think this was a one time event that occurred already at the cross. Personally my opinion, and that is all it is, is that just like being born through the womb in that we had no choice in being born again spiritually we had no choice. Some think that being born again is equated with believing on Jesus for eternal life and no where in scripture does it state that. Jesus said that unless one is born of a woman and Spirit they cannot enter in the kingdom of Heaven and Jesus in fulfilling prophecy made this possible. The reality is though whether it was at the cross or if it occurs when one believes does not matter as long as it did  and because until one believes nothing is going to change in their lives anyhow.

 O.k. so I know I said a few things on this one scripture but I still did not say why this scripture stood out first. The reason it did is like I said I was inadvertently trying to become like Jesus or as the scripture here says conform to his image, and though this is a way of interpreting this scripture it is correct to say that God designed us to be like his Son, remember we were created in his image and likeness. So we are not becoming like Jesus, we are like Jesus and Jesus made it possible for us to live like him. In this being predestined to conform or as I said designed to be like Jesus, we know Jesus coming was a part of the overall process for us as sons to be able to be who God designed us to be. We know that Jesus played a part in this overall process of mankind’s design because he was the lamb slain from the foundation of this world, meaning that he was to be sacrificed before man was even created. In that Adam failed, because he could fail, Jesus came and by removing sin, fulfilling the law for righteousness and destroying the works of the devil making it impossible for mankind to fail, because our quality of life and our relationship with God have nothing to do with what we can or cannot do but solely on the fact if we believe on Jesus. Our works have no bearing on our identity and the only thing they can do is reflect what we believe to be true in comparison to the truth.

 Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” This made me wonder if this great revealing was based on our unbelief in the fulness of our identities. What if I choose to believe and am fully persuaded in my heart that Jesus and I are one in union and walking in that understanding choose to believe that Christ in me is the hope of all glory, the physical manifestation of the goodness of God. Col 1:25 Under these circumstances could this glory that is to be revealed actually reveal itself now and not in some distant time? I guess the point that is so important for me to understand and to make to you is Christ is an example of who we already are and that by simply believing we can allow who we are to surface. We have Jesus as our example, not to become like him by changing what we do, but he is our example of who we already are and has we believe in the truth and walk in it we by default will conform to his image, which is God’s desire for all of us.

 Paul said in Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” I have heard many teach on this saying that we can attain three different levels of God’s approval and I never agreed with that, even if they say they are preaching the grace of God. I really believe Paul is trying emphasize the point here in by changing what we believe about ourselves, specifically our identities, so that in simply being who we are created to be we will prove not only to ourselves but to others the entire will of God for our lives. Looking at Jesus we all know he faced persecution and scripture tells us that as believers we will, but this is not supposed to influence our identities and I always see Jesus just being Jesus. He isn’t trying to be a healer as he is healing. He is not trying to be loving as he is love. These are attributes that just because he is in the room they are going to flow out of him and these same attributes along with others are the very essence that make us who we are because we have become one with Jesus. The same Spirit that dwells in Christ dwells in us. 1 Corinthians 6:17 “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.”

 I read some details on the life of John G. Lakes, which probably many of you know who he is, and the one thing I noticed was the transformation in his life over the years in going from one who did not necessarily believe in healing to one who understood that there is no excuse for not being whole. I think this renewing of his mind came about in seeing time after time the finished works of Jesus take effect and manifest in the lives of others regardless of what they believed or where they were at in the circumstances of their lives. There is the reality that Jesus took sin out the equation so the effects of sin have no place manifesting in the life of a believer, but also just as importantly Jesus bore the effects of sin upon himself so that whatever has manifested in the life of anyone, whether they believe or not, has been redeemed in his body broken for us so they are whole. We are God’s only limit because of what we choose to believe. Jesus plainly said that these signs will follow those who believe and just after that the statement was made the scripture continues on by saying that they went forward preaching the Word with signs following. Mark 16:17,20

 I wanted to bring this up because as believers we tend to think that because we intellectually accept something as true then we believe it. This is part of the equation but what we believe in our heart is really what matters. If I say that I believe that by Jesus stripes we are healed and I am not walking in total health then I have to humbly accept the fact that my heart is still be persuaded of that fact. Jesus said if we have faith the size of a mustard seed and we say to that mountain move then is will move. Mat 17:20 Point being the evidence of faith is not in commanding the mountain to move but that it went. I also therefore think just as Mr. Lake grew in the revelation that wholeness and life is a part of our identity in Christ we too need to grow in our identities.

 It is quite possible that most of us deal with what we call the chicken or the egg debate. We can dwell for eternity on the debate of which came first, though I did find it amusing that a while back I saw something that “scientifically” that had proven the chicken itself did. Anyhow it is quite possible in how we relate to faith that we stumble across a barrier. I am not giving justification to this issue just pointing it out. In many cases we find faith never becomes active in the life of a believer until they see faith in action. And there may be something to this in that this may just be how some people function in their learning. Jesus did several acts of faith before sending out his disciples. There are also a handful of scriptures that basically saying that upon seeing they believed. This does not mean that everyone who sees something will believe it, but that is their choice to make. And in the relationship aspect of things between us and God the sooner one believes the truth the better off they will be because if they have to wait till they see a miracle to believe then they are just existing in life and not living it in the quality that our Father has created for them. Basically no matter how good one who does not believe thinks they have it, it cannot compare to the quality of life we can have from God.

 God has designed all things in this world with us in mind so that to whatever measure is possible in its fulness we could continually walk in and experience the goodness of God. I have heard many say that I am just living in a dream looking for some imaginary utopia or Garden of Eden but I know that there is a reason behind all of humanity seeking such things. God designed us to live in an environment like this and as part of our design to exist in a state of just being which is basically a normal life from God’s perspective for us, otherwise why would we all desire something similar. We only seek after something that is lost, and if something was never a part of our life to begin with, that is also not there now, we would never desire to seek it.

 In writing this and thinking about the what this means to me I noticed something that stood out. Every time we do the works that Jesus said we would do in His name and not through our effort, it affirms our identity as sons of God. Fruit is produced out of simply being a son and believing on Jesus which continuously grows the bond we have between us and our Father. So everything that manifests as a byproduct in our lives of just being a son of God reinforces our relationship with God and everything we try to do out of our own effort starts tearing down this relationship. When we lay hands on the sick and heal it is a way of receiving affirmation that we are sons. I am not stating that this is the point of healing nor even a desire from God in any way but just stating it as a fact.

 Hopefully this has inspired you to think about your life from a different perspective. I know it has caused me to start looking forward in life from a different point of view and caused a new desire for me to clean off the mirror I have of Christ so I can see more and more each day who I am already in his reflection of me.


Is It Really That Hard?

     As I started getting out of legalistic religion and receiving revelation about God’s grace and unconditional love I started pondering about how hard people try to make their Christian walk. I guess partly because we never truly see it solely as a relationship. In general we put in a whole lot of effort to make sure that no one is at peace and can never be satisfied. I started thinking then about the early church and specifically Paul. Paul was sent to share the gospel specifically with the gentiles. We have taken this way too much for granted today by not focusing on how he revealed the gospel compared to the other apostles who were sharing with Jews. Back in his day Paul was not able to whip out his iPad and show the people who he was talking to the scriptures, in fact it would not have even been practical to carry around all the scrolls that comprised what we know as the Old Testament. And take into consideration most gentiles could not speak Hebrew let alone read Hebrew.

     Anyhow the point I am trying to get to is if Paul was able to walk up to someone it would not be too practical to tell them that God loves them and is their Father, but sin entered into the world so the Law was created which no one could keep then Jesus came along to freely give us what the Law could not do. These people would have probably looked at him like he was nuts thinking this guy, Paul, wants me to believe that there is something wrong with me and that God is my Father but yet gave us the Law which actually separated us from him instead of bringing us closer just so he could send my brother, who I never knew of, to die for me. Now if you were not raised around the gospel you got to admit that sounds a little strange.

     So what did Paul do? Well he did things like demonstrate the gospel instead declaring it. You can talk about God, going from the very beginning of time to the present to try to convince someone enough that God loves them enough to heal them, after you persuade them who God is, or you can just heal them so they need no persuasion just the facts of what happened. God’s way is a whole lot easier and more effective.

     I think for the most part preaching the gospel to those who never heard is trying to add too much self into it. I am not saying it cannot be done because obviously millions believe on Jesus every year. But out of those how many were influenced by miracles instead of just going with the crowd or doing so to shut someone up. When I say self in this matter I mean that it is us, not God, who is trying to intellectually persuade someone to believe. And  if we are trying to systematically go through scriptures to do so it just does not seem practical.

     With that being said you know there is no reason why anyone would have to go to the Old Testament. I am not telling you not to, I read it regularly and I am well aware of Paul’s lecture on all scripture is profitable, but we are in a family now and in a family how do we learn who we are. How much did you have to read about your personal family growing up to experience it? I did not read a book about mine, but I sure know about it and lived as a part of it every day of my life. I know you should read the scriptures because in them they help reveal God’s grace all throughout history. I mean look at some of the main people in our family tree in the scriptures. Thieves, prostitutes, liars, adulterers, murderers, you know the typical family tree. If you don’t think God’s love is unconditional and his grace is overflowing then just read about these individuals whom God remained faithful to even when they did not.

     When I was talking about not going straight to the Old Testament I meant that when one shares the love of God through miracles, signs and wonders, like Jesus has told every believer to do so, then you don’t need a whole lot of history for someone to believe that there is a God and that he loves them. I think it has something to do with that whole “actions speak louder than words” thing. Now some will say there were people who saw miracles in the bible and they did not believe. That is true and that is the minority. Peter did one miracle of healing and 5,000 believed. I would rather share the love of God and have 5,000 lives restored into fellowship with our Father then to lose 5,000 because one person did not want to believe.

      So getting back to my point or question is it really that hard? Specifically I am talking about living and sharing the gospel. I think back to the 30 plus years I spent off and on trying to achieve something that I only now  realize was totally impossible because God had already freely given it to me. Talk about feeling like “You have got to be kidding me!!!”. I just thank God that part of what he has freely promised is the restoration of all that was lost. Whew, I don’t know how and I don’t really care I just know that I am looking forward to the next 30 plus years receiving abundantly. So the biggest thing is the reality that it is not hard at all. It fact it is has simple has living out of who we are, our true identity as our Father sees us, and just resting in him.

     Now I know it does not sound hard and that is because it isn’t and it is not suppose to be, but when you believed for most of your life that you need to take care of yourself because no one else will help you, well it is a little hard to persuade your heart overnight to just totally trust in Jesus in all things. The reason it is not hard is because it is not about you, or better yet your abilities. It is solely about being in Jesus and what Jesus has done.

     The best thing I can do is compare what the life of a believer should be like is what is was for Adam and Eve prior to being deceived. They fellowshipped with one another and God daily and the interaction with God was very intimate and very real, probably in ways that most of us have yet to experience. They tended a garden that God planted and ate of the fruit that God grew. Man I am getting tired just thinking about all that work. I know a bit too sarcastic but why do we think it has to be more difficult than that. Didn’t Jesus come for just such a reason to reconcile the world unto God? Let’s face it if God fully provided for Adam and Eve then through Jesus he has done the same for us and we are the only one standing in our own ways.

     Why do we think we have to do anything to help God? That can only come from being under a Law mentality because if you go to someone who has never heard of God and miraculously minister to them the love of God but never teach them Law but grace then they have no problems believing and receiving.  I think the biggest issue simply lies in the fact that as a part of our identity we just have not been fully persuaded in our hearts that God truly loves us to such an extreme that he would be so gracious to us with not wanting something in return. Why? Probably because most people are comparing God to themselves and others just have never experienced such a love. Yes we all should experience the love of God. Love that is not experienced is useless.

 


I Surrender All

     When we make a conscious heart filled plea to God to use us, most are surprised that the world seems to come tumbling down around them. Those who are accustomed to being performers are the most susceptible and here is why. When ask God to use us we are not looking at who we are from the right perspective. In most cases when we ask God to use us we are looking at our ability without realizing it is solely about God himself alone working through us. But even beyond this in asking God to use us means we are missing something in our relationship, not that God is holding anything from us but we are missing some sort of revelation. In almost all cases this type of question comes out of not having a sense of ones own value. You may not feel this way but the simple fact is there is nothing more valuable in this physical existence than yourself.  God who is beyond measure in value came to us through his only begotten son Jesus to lay down his life for all of humanity. Many think this is the only reason Jesus came but it is not. Jesus came to restore the relationship between us and our Father as we were lost sons and daughters of God, and Jesus had to die to restore that part of our fellowship, but that is not the only reason he came. In the ministry of Jesus he did not show us who we could become be he shows us who we already are. 

     As yielded willing vessels unto God we are to be a conduit of his grace, mercy and unconditional love. It is all about humility in the kingdom of God and not our will but his. Do not think though that this is about depriving ourselves because to the degree that God has the freedom to rule and reign over your life is to the degree that you will experience his blessing and promises. God moving in you and through you will allow you to experience the quality of life that God has always desired for you. Though as a result of a shift in the way you think what might have held value to you at one point in your life will change to what is truly valuable to God. One of the greatest revelations you can walk in is the day you realize that you have lost any rights because you surrender all your life and die to selfishness. Many that do not experience the joy of the Lord in their lives on a moment by moment basis have never died completely to their self and every time God tries to immerse one in himself because of self they pop right back up like a float in the water. I am not talking about having a lack of desire though but specifically the idea of trying to do things in our own strength without God, where the whole point of this relationship is to rest in Him.

     If you normal personality is already truly humble then for God to get you to be at a place where He can answer your desires will cause less disturbance in your daily life. But if your mentality is basically, “ok God tell me what you need done and I’ll do it”, then you are probably in for a rude awakening. This is why so many Christians struggle in a church that is performance based because that is totally contrary to God. Do not misunderstand God wants and gets results, but it is God that wants to move and not us. Too many times when we ask God to use us and then our world starts to crash we will go to leaders of sorts and get “help” telling us to read more, pray more, give more, help more etc. There is nothing wrong with any of these but the work God is trying to do in your life is to get you at a place of resting in him. The more you try to do then the more you are working against God, who is trying to get you to a place of brokenness where you get the revelation that it is not about you and your ability but it is all about none of you and all of God.

     Surprisingly I was able to make it this far before I wanted to make a correction in our way of thinking. I know that in general most mean well when they say the word use but the reality is our Father does not want to use us. God loves us and to use someone implies that there is something dysfunctional in the relationship. God does not want to use us and his desire is just for us to manifest him in our lives to reach out to others and influence the world just as naturally as breathing. Because we are sons of God then we should just walk as a son and influence the environment around us as sons. Many think in being used that they have made God more pleased with them or have earned something from him but God already is as pleased as he can be and everything he has is ours.

     This is totally the opposite of how things in the world function  so it seems counter intuitive to just naturally do without reward. In the world you do get rewarded for how much effort you personally put into the circumstances in your life. Most people who have acquired great wealth in their lifetime, outside of some believers, have done so because they have sacrificed much of their lives to get the reward. Another way of looking at this is people also try to fulfill the desire God has placed in them through natural means. As a for instance when I look at the profession of a medical doctor I see someone who God’s compassion has touched their heart and they truly want to see people healthy and whole. But outside of God how do you do that? Well they dedicate years of their lives to learn how the body reacts in certain situations to various stimulus and then try to do what they can to influence it to return to normal. Say someone has a heart issue because of a weakness of some type. A doctor then can try to operate and manipulate certain aspects of the heart because they know that once they do what they do it should heal a certain way and function properly. Their desire is to do in the natural what God can instantly accomplish through the spirit. I am thankful for doctors by the way because they give many a second chance to come to the truth about our identities in believing on Jesus.

     In relation to what was just mentioned I wholeheartedly believe that if we were to submit our lives to God and we see healing start to flow in the body of Christ once again that those who desire to be doctors because they want to see people well, which is a desire that God has placed in their hearts, these individuals would be strong in the releasing healing if they were to become believers. I often wonder about Luke, who was a gentile physician and became a believer, in after seeing what Paul had done in healing the sick, not by natural means but by the power of God, how this impacted his life.

     So when we truly want to be used by God, which usually comes from the desires God has already placed in us to experience, we really are just wanting God to be a part of our daily lives in a very active way and we are not to be surprised if a bumpy road lies ahead. Hopefully though in understanding this instead of running around trying to figure out why the sky is falling you, you recognize that there is just an area of your life that you need to let go of having total control over and give it to God. Don’t fight it with the natural reaction of thinking you have to do more but embrace it by learning to let go and totally rest in God.