Posts Tagged ‘God is a Father’

The Stubborn Heart

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” (Mk. 9:23-25)

It has been my experience, that literally thousands of people struggle with unbelief. Real barriers stand between their desire and the reality of God’s Will! Like this father they hear the words that Jesus would love to heal, deliver or bring hope; but they are stuck. They know the truth that if they could just believe, nothing would be impossible… but there is no believing, no receiving and no “heart” at all. There is just the nagging reality of hopeless effort, tears and shameful discouragement. And worse yet for many, they construct a new theological platform of resolve… “I will choose to not believe any longer, because it just leaves me hopeless!”

The Spirit of Unbelief:

The inability to obey the instructions of Jesus and trust in the Promises of God, often leads to this frustration. We want to please the Lord and experience all that God has said, but something in us resists faith. We find we “cannot” believe even when we want to. This can be due to a “spirit of unbelief”. Lies, deception, fears or offenses can find their dwelling in the heart and be controlled by a demonic spirit that paralyzes the heart in unbelief. This spirit is real and dangerous, it is pervasive and advancing across the landscape of Christianity and it lives in the midst of the “Church culture”… where all is not fine in paradise!

Authenticity:

I receive many emails and calls about this issue and I find it a bit shocking that the problem is so wide spread and growing. Yet in my opinion there is a root cause that we must uncover and shine the light of truth upon… people are living superficial lifestyles. They rarely stop and contemplate the meaning of their existence. To ask the simple question, “WHY!” is not blasphemy, nor is it going to lead us into deception. Perhaps it would even offer a lot more authenticity to our journey!

Jesus said in Matthew 7:7… “Ask, seek and knock… and the door will be opened!”

Authentic communication with God – opens the door of relational truth. Things that are difficult for us to understand, come into the light of His wisdom and love. God is a “father”, He knows how to take care of His children and He is faithful. He is anticipating our needs to be vocalized and to come streaming into His Presence (Heb. 4:16). The Apostle Peter, who seemed a lot like us; said you and I need to be “casting all our care upon Him, because He cares for us” (1 Pet. 5:7). He cares for us… and He knows all about our issues of faith. This idea that we can avoid our problems and they will just go away… well – that is the greatest deception of all! They do not go away, in fact they produce the fruit of disappointment, which I spoke of earlier. We tend to create and believe a false perception of God’s heart toward our reality.

So – here’s the point…

  • Stop living without meaningful communication with God!

Spend time telling God of the frailty of your faith, the brokenness of your heart and the weakness in your perceptions… ask Him “why?!” and then wait… wait… wait… for the doors to open! They will, my friend they will… they will open wide and the King of Glory will come in. Who is this King of Glory… He is the Lord Strong and Mighty! (Psa. 24:7-10)

One Body in Christ

“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” (Rom. 12:4-5)

Three important Truths are emphasized in the Apostle Paul”s use of the “body” analogy in explaining the Church. Simple as it may sound, there is and always will be a need to remind ourselves that there are no super- Christians and no professionals in the family of God. God is a Father and expects us to recognize that He knows what is best for His Children. I hope you can hear the “Fathering” voice of God flowing through the Apostle Paul’s words.

1) No Lone Rangers: 

No individual Christian can function effectively in isolation and sustain any longterm victories for God. The Church’s highest goal is to embrace the value of standing with one another… as One Body in Christ. Our calling is the advancement of Christ’s victory in the world. Just as there are many parts of the human body and the individual parts enable the effective performance of that body, so we are part of the body of Christ. And His ongoing power is made most effective when we stand with each other. Its true, we are many individual members, but each member is important! We are tied together in our offensive posture in proclaiming the Gospel and defensive posture of protecting the weak… ”members of one another”. No member of Christ’s body can battle against our adversary alone and win. We lock arms and lift the burdens together. The devil is a fierce and cunning warrior. His demonic host of wickedness are accustom to the spiritual realm and understand invisible realities that are difficult for us to maneuver. The Church of Jesus Christ is an army that can only function as one dynamic, faith filled unit, when interdependant and coordinated as one in Christ Jesus.

2) Humility Matters:

No member of Christ’s Body should feel more important than any other member. No Christian has exclusive rights to God’s grace nor can any single member move without an effect on the rest of the body. This, perhaps, is one of the Apostle Paul’s major teachings in the passages dealing with the body function.

Some of the Corinthians were saying, “I don’t need you” and/or “I’m more important than you” and Paul made it clear that humility must be at the center of their attitudes. In a parallel passage in his Romans letter (Rom. 12:3) Paul says “…don’t think of yourselves more highly than you ought”. He also wrote, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Eph. 4:2). These are powerful exhortations considering the explosive nature of the Kingdom at this time in history.

Why did Paul emphasize humility, gentleness, and patience in these passages? Because, attitudes define altitude in the Kingdom of God. As he went on to say, “There is one body and one Spirit”  (Eph. 4:4). This is essential when we understand, we get our source of life and revelation of God from the Holy Spirit! He said to the Corinthians; “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body… and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13). These are powerful realities that make the focus of our faith produce real impact. Though one person may have a more public position, in God’s sight even the person who may go unknown and unnoticed, is just as important and necessary to the body (1 Cor. 12:22-23).

3) Unity Releases Blessing:

Every Christian should work hard at creating unity and aligning their hearts to one another in the Body of Christ. Just listen to these words of the Apostle Paul:

  • “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Cor. 1:10)
  • “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of Peace.” (Eph. 4:3)
  • “…let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Rom. 14:19).

The Apostle Paul was exhorting these Believers to do everything they could to “build one another up”. The atmosphere of mutual edification is the anointed place where God commands blessing and favor (Ps. 133). We want impact and we long for God’s voice to carry weight in the culture… well, this is how we do it! Unity is an awesome platform that establishes the authority of God and produces supernatural influence in the world around us.

“For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Mt. 18:20) 

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