Posts Tagged ‘child’

Change is Coming

Scripture: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Thought for Today: “Welcoming the Crucible”

God knows the secrets of the heart (Ps 44:21). In fact, He knows us better than we know ourselves. Yet we still feel a bit vulnerable yielding our lives to change. We ask God to use us and we know changes are coming, but being in the crucible of spiritual discipline can feel uncomfortable even to the most mature Christian.

Our Resistance:

When God tests and tries our heart, there are always things that firmly resist, because they have become our safety net. We have relied upon ourselves and trusted in own strength at times when we could not see clearly. The Apostle Paul tells us that many have exchanged the Truth of God for lies by serving and the worship of things that offer no real peace (Rom 1:25). He reminds us that we have all gone astray and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). These issues represent the baggage of idolatry and must be rooted out for us to enjoy the freedom found in Christ.

Real Transformation:

As much as we would like to believe we can change, transformation is not really something we can do for ourselves. It takes the power of the One who knows us best. We can change habits and shift our focus, but it is God who changes the human heart. When we step into the crucible of prayer and fasting, we make the most important move toward God’s best for our lives. The refining process frees us from sinful behavior, renews our thinking and enables us to discern the will of God more clearly (Rom 12:1-2).

God Loves and Receives Us:

Transformation happens in the safe place of His Presence, where the Holy Spirit gains access to those things that hinder our progress. God knows what is best for us and He always acts in our best interest by treating us as sons and daughters (Heb 12:4-11). We are reminded that when we are chastened by God, it is because He loves us and receives us as a father cherishes and loves his child. Remind yourself today that God loves and receives you as His very own son or daughter.

“Why do you spend money on what is not bread and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me and eat what is good and let your soul delight itself in abundance.” (Isa 55:2)

For Unto Us…

New Covenant Believing

Most churches have not understood the reality of New Covenant Believing. The challenge is that the Spirit of the Lord has set us free and we are not sure what we should do with our religious standards! Trying to fulfill the Old Testament Law has caused us to loose sight of “grace through faith” and minimize the very power of the New Covenant itself. Many denominational structures have become very good at mixing the Old Covenant instituted by Moses with the New Covenant ratified by the Blood of Jesus. They have forgotten that the Old Covenant has become obsolete while the New Covenant is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

The New Covenant of Liberty:

It is our freedom… our Day of Jubilee if you will! Jesus said, “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!” (Jn. 8:36). The problem with living under religious systems is that they tend to teach the burdens of faith, rather than the freedom of belief. Stepping away from grace will always lead to a loss of freedom in Christ. But Christ has made us free to celebrate and worship in the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Understanding Covenantal Seasons:

The Old Covenant brought death (and always will), because it was designed to be a “tutor” that would bring us to Christ. The New Covenant brings life as the morning speaks of a New Day, because it reveals the victory over sin and the wealth of strength offered to the believer by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:1-11). Make a note of the word “believer”, its not a title, but an activity. You see, the central goal of the Old Covenant is to behold our sin and make sacrifices according to how we have fallen from Glory (Rom. 3:23), but the goal of the New Covenant is to behold the Glory of God as it is revealed in the face of Jesus (2 Cor. 4:6), and experienced in our personal transformation (2 Cor. 3:4-18). This means we are called to worship and celebration by what we see in the eyes of Jesus. Our praise is motivated by the fact that we are moving from one level of Glory to another level of Glory by the Spirit of the Lord… its our freedom in Christ.

How Jesus has Set Us Free:

Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I call you friends, for all the things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (Jn. 15:15). Jesus gave His disciples some of the most amazing secrets, like keys to His Father’s heart. And He made it clear that the things He was telling them would need the help of the Holy Spirit to understand and walk out daily (Jn. 16:12-15). Obedience was not going to be bound to a set of rules, but a hearing and perceptive ear. As these disciples were able to hear the voice of the Spirit, they would begin to obey the purposes of God by relationship and honor… “friendship”.

Favor & Fellowship:

The Holy Spirit is changing us and it effects our behavior, our attitudes and our believing. To live in the freedom of listening to the Holy Spirit’s Voice releases two powerful realities… favor and fellowship. Knowing you are loved and accepted by God allows you the freedom to grow in the knowledge of the Glory of God as you look into the face of Jesus. When we live in relationship, we experience the power of love and the freedom that comes to those who walk honorably toward the heart of the friend. In this case God is calling us to see ourself as His friend, His Child and His Chosen One.

Living by Human Standards:

Living by human standards distorts our view of real friendship. When we find ourselves unable to live up to the standards set by those we perceive to be more mature than us, it releases guilt, shame and issues of condemnation. When we live according to some arbitrary religious standard and find ourselves successful without the need of relationship, we become vulnerable to personal pride and boasting. It doesn’t make having some basic standards wrong, it just means they are subjective and difficult to measure in changing times and cultures.

Jesus came to do away with the measurements on all levels and substitute His life for any standard, perceived or real… we become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21).

Jesus Christ became our “Standard Bearer” so that we could walk in freedom. Being led by the Holy Spirit; and feeling the joy of a living relationship with the Father, is New Covenant Believing. Its a freedom to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit and live out of the abundance of our growing knowledge of Christ’s victory at the cross.

“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.” (Rom. 8:1)

Free to Believe

Most churches have not understood the reality of New Covenant Believing. The challenge is that the Spirit of the Lord has set us free and we are not sure what we should do with our religious standards! Trying to fulfill the Old Testament Law has caused us to loose sight of “grace through faith” and minimize the very power of the New Covenant itself. Many denominational structures have become very good at mixing the Old Covenant instituted by Moses with the New Covenant ratified by the Blood of Jesus. They have forgotten that the Old Covenant has become obsolete while the New Covenant is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

The New Covenant of Liberty:

It is our freedom… our Day of Jubilee if you will! Jesus said, “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!” (Jn. 8:36). The problem with living under religious systems is that they tend to teach the burdens of faith, rather than the freedom of belief. Stepping away from grace will always lead to a loss of freedom in Christ. But Christ has made us free to celebrate and worship in the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Understanding Covenant Seasons:

The Old Covenant brought death (and always will), because it was designed to be a “tutor” that would bring us to Christ. The New Covenant brings life… as the morning speaks of a New Day, because it reveals the victory over sin and the wealth of strength offered to the believer by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:1-11). Make a note of the word “believer” – its not a title, but an activity.

You see, the central goal of the Old Covenant is to behold our sin and make sacrifices according to how we have fallen from Glory (Rom. 3:23), but the goal of the New Covenant is to behold the Glory of God as it is revealed in the face of Jesus (2 Cor. 4:6), and experience personal transformation (2 Cor. 3:4-18).

This means we are called to worship and celebration rather than laws and commandments… in order to see into the face of Christ Jesus and be transformed by what we see in His eyes. Our praise is “motivated by” and “focused upon” these facts; that we are moving from one level of Glory to another level of Glory by the Spirit of the Lord… its our freedom in Christ.

How Jesus has Set Us Free:

Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I call you friends, for all the things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (Jn. 15:15). Jesus gave His disciples some of the most amazing secrets, like keys to His Father’s heart. And He made it clear that the things He was telling them would need the help of the Holy Spirit to understand and walk out daily (Jn. 16:12-15). Obedience was not going to be bound to a set of rules, but a hearing and perceptive ear. As these disciples were able to hear the voice of the Spirit, they would begin to obey the purposes of God by relationship and honor… “friendship”.

Favor & Fellowship:

The Holy Spirit is changing us and it effects our behavior, our attitudes and our believing. To live in the freedom of listening to the Holy Spirit’s Voice releases two powerful realities… favor and fellowship. Knowing you are loved and accepted by God allows you the freedom to grow in the knowledge of the Glory of God as you look into the face of Jesus. When we live in relationship, we experience the power of love and the freedom that comes to those who walk honorably toward the heart of the friend. In this case God is calling us to see our self as His friend, His Child and His Chosen One.

Living by Human Standards:

Living by human standards distorts our view of real friendship. When we find ourselves unable to live up to the standards set by those we perceive to be more mature than us, it releases guilt, shame and issues of condemnation. When we live according to some arbitrary religious standard and find ourselves successful without the need of relationship, we become vulnerable to personal pride and boasting. It doesn’t make having some basic standards wrong, it just means they are subjective and difficult to measure in changing times and cultures.

Jesus came to do away with the measurements on all levels and substitute His life for any standard, perceived or real… we become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21).

Jesus Christ became our “Standard Bearer” so that we could walk in freedom. Being led by the Holy Spirit; and feeling the joy of a living relationship with the Father, is New Covenant Believing. Its a freedom to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit and live out of the abundance of our growing knowledge of Christ’s victory at the cross.

“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.” (Rom. 8:1)

God Given Identity

Your God-given identity will answer these 2 questions…

1st) ‘Who has God created me to be?’
2nd) ‘What has God called me to do?’

Your Identity is Prophetic…

Its God’s intended purpose to bless and prosper you as His Child, His friend and His Ambassador. Our identity speaks of who you are, but more than that… of who you are becoming! It unlocks your imagination and awakens your dream and hidden purpose. Its a key for opening the door to where you should invest your heart for the most satisfying life God would want for you. Our Father wants you to be secure in His love and He has created every individual to be great! Yet many Christians are uncertain or conflicted about their unique, personal identity.

Some signs you may have an unclear sense of identity are:
•…a lack of personal confidence or self worth
•…difficulty accepting both your strengths and limitations
•…being affected by fear, doubt, rejection or envy
•…other people’s opinions are setting your course
•…feeling out of place or unfulfilled

Setting Your Course:

To various degrees, many of us need strength, clarity or even healing in vital areas of our identity! If there is anything the devil can do to confuse or distract you from your God-given identity… he will do it! Its really important that you shake off the enemy’s lies and set a fresh course for the Promised Land (Ex. 3:17). The land “flowing with milk and honey” is just over the hill if you know which hill to climb. That’s what a God-given identity will do for you!

9 Clues to Your God-Given Identity:

Here are 9 clues to help you explore who you are uniquely in God. If identity is a struggle for you, I encourage you to take some time to journal or pray about the points you particularly relate to.

1. Your Family Identity

‘Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…’ (Jn. 1:12)

Before you can fully comprehend your personal identity, you need to grasp who you are in God’s household. You are royalty, adopted by the King. You carry the family DNA and attributes. You are Blessed, Loved, Chosen and Qualified to reign in life… you are the Father’s Son or Daughter. You are Righteous in Christ. What does God’s Word say about who you are as a son or daughter of God?

2. Seasons of Fulfillment

Can you look back on your life and recognize times and seasons in which you felt the most fulfilled, the most alive? I call these events or seasons, “kyros moments”… where God comes near and gives you hints of your potential and points toward your destiny. This is not just about relationships, but settings – times and seasons where God is showing you your heartbeat or rhythm. What were you doing during these times, and most importantly, what aspects of your personality and passion were emerging and being revealed?

3. Prophetic Personal Insights

What has God used to speak to you personally about your life? What prophetic descriptions, about who you are; have resonated with you? Perhaps you have personally experienced the feelings when something spoken really resonated in your heart. These words may have a prophetic anointing upon them for you to pray about and consider as God continues to speak truth through the Bible. The Old Testament is full of prophecies about Jesus and He was able to see Himself in the book. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and God will speak into your life from time to time. The key is to see the prophetic voices around you as part of God’s discipleship. What words and names describe you as a person? How does God see you?

4. People Who have Believed in You.

Throughout your life’s journey, God has brought significant people across your path. These are the ones who have believed in you. These people have been gifts from God to nourish your identity and help release your potential. Who were they and what were the marks of Kingdom purpose in you, that they brought out or uncovered for growth? What did they see in you? These are often hidden, or under-developed areas about you that you may have doubted or dismissed.

5. Trials that Have Brought out the Best in You

‘For You Oh God tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.’ (Ps. 66:10)

What tests have you undergone that ultimately brought out something good or strong in you? Can you identify the positive attribute that manifested in your life? How would you describe it?

6. Identify Tragic Events

‘No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah…’ (Isa. 62:4)

Moses killed a man and fled Egypt… his identity was to be a deliverer, but at that time he was labeled a murderer. The enemy hates our identity and the image of God upon you. He aims to kill steal and destroy (Jn. 10:9-10). One of the ways the enemy does this is through strategic events that damage our identity and self-worth. The Bible calls this the “wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:10-12). Personal failure, circumstances or mistakes can injure your sense of identity and so can the abuse and rejection of others. If this has taken place in your life, God’s plan is to restore your true identity. What mark or label have you worn too long and need to cast off? Has an event or person hurt you or attacked you? You are not under the dominion of sin or evil words, but hidden in Christ and under the careful watch of angels. Now that you are alive in Christ, those marks of oppression are often hints to your calling in Christ. What is the opposite of your most tragic experience? Could this be the true identity that God wants to redeem in your life?

7. A God-Given Name

‘The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.’ (Isa. 62:2)

In Scripture, a given name was frequently synonymous with identity. In some cases, God re-named a person as a sign of their identity and destiny. For example, Jesus renamed Simon, Peter… meaning rock (Mt. 16:18). Sometimes today parents provide their children with a prophetic name that speaks of their identity, but this is not always the case. Is there a name that you have been given by God or others that you believe is prophetic for your life and describes who you are?

8. Who are you When Fearless?

If fear and doubts were not an issue, who would you be? What attributes would be displayed in your life? What is the best version of you… courageous and full of faith. Never surrender your heart to the opinion of others or listen to people’s version of what you should be? Be yourself!

9. What is Your Unique Sense of Passion and Purpose?

Your interests and the things that you are passionate about are an important part of who you are. You may even have a sense of destiny or feel a call of God upon your life. This is a valuable clue to your identity. Gideon’s destiny was to lead the Israelites in battle and lead the nation to God. God addressed him by his identity, ‘mighty warrior’ (Judg. 6:12). Abram’s destiny was to birth a Messianic lineage. God named him ‘Abraham’, which meant ‘Father of a multitude’ (Gen. 17:4-6). Do you have a sense of your purpose, or have you seen a glimpse of God’s call on your life? Working backwards, what does this say about how God sees you and who He has created you to be?

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11)

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