Posts Tagged ‘Father’

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)

Wilderness Seasons

Throughout Biblical history, God has used the wilderness to test His servants in order to perfect His purposes within them. His goal is to speak to the independent heart that leans on its own understanding and call His Sons and Daughters into proper alignment with His Divine order (Hos 2:14).

The wilderness speaks of a barren and desolate area. It is a place where inner needs become intensified and there is no available resources to meet those needs. God seems to want to move us there at times to speak to us about the condition of our hearts.

Who is this that comes up from the wilderness, leaning upon her Beloved?” (Song of Solomon 8:5)

There is a heart quality about this “one” who is coming up from the wilderness that attracts the writers special attention. She is “leaning” upon her Beloved. This position of leaning demonstrates the fact that she has become completely dependent upon Him. Something has changed during her time of being in the wilderness which has resulted in her becoming submissively dependent upon the Lord.

This is the quality of Sonship that God is after in us and we must become aware that its the wilderness that produces this in our heart. How often have we murmured or complained about the wilderness experience only to find that there was increased glory as we emerged from this season.

We entered the wilderness season leaning on our own understanding and emerged leaning on our Beloved.

Shake off the fear of abandonment and draw near to the Father who speaks lovingly to His children. He wants to become the Promised Resource for our abundant life.

Becoming Flesh

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Jn 1:14)

This verse is arguably the most profound and exciting statement in the Bible. We know Jesus came to seek and save the lost, but the good news goes much farther than that. Salvation is not merely the removal of our sins, it is access to life as a new creation. Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us to offer a radical transformation of what it means to be human.

Christmas is not only about Jesus; it’s about you and me!

True Humanity:

When John wrote that Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us, he used an ancient image the Jews were familiar with. The word he used that is translated “dwelt” literally means “to pitch one’s tent”. It was a reference to God’s dwelling among the Israelites in the tabernacle, a special tent that was the precursor to the temple of Solomon (Exod. 40:34-38). The difference is that the Word, “Jesus” didn’t just dwell among humanity, He became human. He actually put on flesh and became like us… in our frailty and our vulnerability.

As the perfect human, Jesus comes to define everything it means to be human. Whatever Jesus is, that is what He has made humanity to be in Him. To be fully human is to know God (Jn. 17:3)! To be fully human is to live in the knowledge that He loves us, wants us, and will never let us go. Jesus heals and restores our full humanity, becoming for us the Glorious Revelation of how God feels about humanity.

“For God so loved…” (Jn. 3:16).

Jesus shows us what life is all about. It’s about walking in communion with God, being in relationship with the One who created us, loves us, dwells among us, and adopts us as His own precious children. In becoming flesh, Jesus showed us the Father’s love and compassion toward us. He “pitched His tent” among us, because He wants to be with us… to identify with us. God didn’t turn His back on sinners, He came to live among them, to love them and to heal them.

Sharing in His Glory

“And the Glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (Jn. 17:22-23)

The Glory which the Father gave to Christ Jesus has been offered to us. As we come to experience Him and begin to look into His Glory… we are changed. We are transformed in that place like no other place. Its a place of incredible revelation! If we continue to come up into that place, climb the mountain of the Lord, and abide in His holy place, we will be continually changed from one state of Glory to another (2 Cor 3:17-18). Glory will increase in us in the same way that faith increases when we exercise it in the trials of life. What emerges as we are stretched and transformed is pure gold… precious and tested by fire.

Weightiness of the Glory:

Gold is weighty like Glory; called “kabod” in Hebrew. Glory is the weighty manifestation of God’s Presence that is revealed more visible on the other side of tests. When we are changed from Glory to Glory through the trials of life, gold appears in our character and it is manifesting an eternal weight of Glory for us (2 Cor 4:17).

Joy in the Greater Glory:

So count it all joy when tribulations come, knowing that it is perfecting and completing you (Jms 1:2-4). You are His temple being overlaid with gold – every part of your inner and outer man is increasing in Glory. In Moses’ day there was a curtain keeping the weighty Glory separated from the rest of the temple, but when Christ paid the ultimate price of redemption on the cross, the veil was rent in two and the way burst open for the presence and power of God to fill the whole temple with Glory. So – we must not miss our opportunity to rejoice… the way is made for us to enjoy the greater Glory of the latter house of God (Hag 2:9).

Jesus Christ is your hope of Glory! (Col 1:27)

If Christ be in you and if you are allowing the Holy Spirit to form the mature stature of Christ in you, then your heart is an everlasting door that can provide opening for the King of Glory to come through into the atmosphere of your life (Ps 24:7-10). Jesus Christ is the King of the Glory.

Ezekiel 10:4 – “Then the Glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’s Glory.”

We are the Ark of His Covenant – Overlaid with Glory – a Temple of the Holy Spirit where the Eternal weight of Glory increases even as the noonday sun takes ownership of the sky.

God is Listening

God is listening

Let the new song arise!

Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one. So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power.” (1 Sam 16:12-13)

***

As the young teenage boy looked out on the flock of sheep he was tending, his heart was filled with pain. Once again, they had rejected him. The great Prophet Samuel was coming to their home, and he was the only family member not to be invited.

“Why do they hate me so much?” he whispered to himself. “Am I really that different? It’s not my fault that I had a different mother from the rest of them.” Pain and lonely seasons were nothing new to this young man, but he was about to enter a new season.

New songs lead to new seasons, God is listening.

After drying his tears, he picked up his instrument and began to worship. It was music like no one had heard before; it was different because it touched both the heart of God and man. As David played, the familiar presence of God began to wash over his being. Words he had never heard before began to flow out of his mouth and he lost himself in the love of God… where there was nothing rejecting him. His melodies of worship were interrupted by the searching cries of one of the household servants.

“David!” the servant yelled, “Come quickly! The prophet is asking for you! He has told your father he will not leave until he meets you.”

“Why does he want me?” David asked breathlessly.

As he ran toward home, the servant who was now watching his sheep yelled one last thing: “None of your brothers have been chosen.”

Its a story like no other, as a shepherd boy takes his first steps toward a throne… from a deserted place to a king’s palace. He would be nurtured along by an anointing; this touch of power from God, would birth courage, favor and honor.

Because God is listening!

So the next time you are considering the path which leads back into the deserted place, remind yourself that its the sound of praise that brings the chosen child to the prophetic call…

Where God is listening.

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