Posts Tagged ‘Israelite’

Disciple Shift

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” – Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” – Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” – Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (Jn. 1:47-49)

Although I have been a Christian for over 30 years, I am still coming to terms with what it means to have a Kingdom perspective. It is not a religious worldview. It is the worldview of being a royal son of God. I want to see myself the way Christ saw Nathanael, as a man without guile or deceit, as a true spiritual disciple waiting for the King. I have come to understand that mental barriers are bigger than natural barriers when it comes to stepping out of the shadows of orphan-hood. Jesus has seen us, knows us and is calling us out of the shadows and into the Kingdom of His love and power. It is time to make the “disciple shift” – and truly learn from Him!

A Disciple Called Nathanael:

I love the story of Nathanael (John 1:43-51). In order for Nathanael to follow Jesus, he had to undergo a change of perspective. He had to shift his thinking from a traditional Jewish worldview to the Kingdom perspective that Jesus demonstrated and taught. Yet, not only was Nathanael successful, but he would experience the greatest move of God of all time. He became a passionate disciple of Christ and Apostle in the Early Church. He listened to the teachings and experienced the ministry of Jesus, watched the healing and participated in the miracles. This was the Kingdom of God with power and it was rushing in to sweep him up into a lifelong commitment of fresh perspectives. I believe that Nathanael’s story can be seen as a prophetic picture of where the Church needs to go today… from religious tradition to Kingdom discipleship.

Four Key Shifts:

  1. From Servants to Sons: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (Jn. 1:12)
  2. From Future to Present Kingdom: “We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (Jn. 1:45)
  3. From Human Reasoning to Spiritual Reality: ”Nazareth? Can anything good come from there?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (Jn. 1:46)
  4. From Broken Dreams to Open Heavens: “Nathanael answered and said to Him, Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel! Jesus answered and said to him, Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these. And He said to him, Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (Jn. 1:49-51)

A Triumphant Reality:

Shaking ourselves free of the former perceptions of tradition and religiosity causes us to rise from the shadow of Nathanael’s fig tree and become Kingdom Disciples. Jesus tells His Church to once again “Come and See!” We are not of those who shrink back to lame formulas without power, because we are Kingdom People (Heb. 10:39). We have shifted the way we think, because we have experienced the love of God and been washed in the Blood of Christ Jesus. He has made us kings and priests to God the Father (Rev. 1:5-6) and our experience with the Holy Spirit has clothed us in the Glory poured out at Pentecost (Lk. 24:49). We do not need to live with only the dreams of the past or hopes of a future move of God. We can live in a present move of God!

These things are available to Kingdom Disciples. We do not need to wait for revival, but we do need to change the way we think. Revival is here – we live beneath an open heaven! This is our triumphant inheritance through Christ!

Until Famine Breaks

There’s a wonderful story in the Bible that exemplifies the power of merging the principles of faith and surrender. During a terrible famine, the Lord told the Prophet Elijah to,“Go to Zarephath… I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” (I Kings 17:9-16).

  • Make a note that the Lord did not command a wealthy businessman to provide for Elijah, but a destitute widow.

We enter the story with the woman facing starvation about to prepare a last meal for herself and her son. Amazingly, even though she is not an Israelite she greets Elijah with faith saying, “As the Lord your God lives. . .” (1 Kings 17:12).

God’s way to activate faith and to bring her into a supernatural provision was to require her to give over the little she had to fulfill the purpose of God. What seemed like an insensitive and even cruel command would become a new beginning, Elijah orders her to feed him first and then make food for herself and son. Although she did not know the plan and provision of God, Elijah knew and urged her into both faith and surrender. As a result a new season would begin for her and her son, God provided for her miraculously:

“The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty” until the famine broke (vs 16).

We must all, at times press into the prophetic promises of God and enter this “until famine breaks” season. Knowing how to set our eyes on God even in the midst of difficult times can release a courage that looks strange to those around us… yet to whom we look is more valuable than how we look. Faith in God and surrendering to the beat of His heart will always bring the breakthrough we desperately need in life (2 Sam 5:20).

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit” (1 Cor 2:9-10).

Humbled & Hungry

“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut. 8:3)

Wow, here is an interesting reality. Imagine, you are an Israelite, recently freed after a lifetime of slavery! You just experienced the frightening miracle of the Red Sea… and you come out safe and dry on the other side! You turned to watch as the same walls of water which gave you protection, close to offer you security – by an amazing drowning death on your enemies! You joyously celebrate and dance at God’s victory and deliverance! You feel invincible, knowing God is on your side! Never again will you doubt the One who proved Himself so mighty and faithful!

But now the scene is different, it is a few days later and you are tired, thirsty and hot. You are not at the threshold of the “promised land” yet. Instead you are wandering aimlessly in a desert filled with serpents and scorpions. Now you are feeling tested! Will you trust and believe in the God you have followed?

The Faith Dimension:

Do you believe God mightily delivered you from the power of the enemy to leave you wandering through the desert of confusion and silence? Was this His purpose? Just as the Lord led the children of Israel out of Egypt into the wilderness… so He leads you! The devil did not lead you… God did! It was the devil’s goal to enslave you! We must be people of faith, realizing there is a purpose in the midst of dry times!

Hunger does something to the human soul!

  • (1st) God humbles us.
  • (2nd) He causes us to hunger.
  • (3rd) Then He feeds us with manna – “Angel Food”.

Choose to Pass the Test:

Praise is what Angels do best… it is a release from their well fed experience – in Heaven’s Glorious atmosphere! Indeed the “Holy, Holy, Holies” are a response to what is seen and heard in the Presence of God! Praise will awaken your faith, its the heart’s spiritual quest; to hunger feed on the riches of God’s Promises! This is our spiritual reality as believers…  to praise the Lord in the midst of the wilderness, the worship and sing in the midnight hour and to come to the heavenly table in the season of hunger. We are in training, baby! All along He is teaching us, bringing us to a place where we discover the true nature of our hearts, the true passion of His heart and… the true riches of His Glory.

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)

Jesus said to His disciples, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” (Jn. 4:32)

Humbled & Hungry… Because “…man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the Mouth of the Lord.”

God’s Point of View: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exod. 19:4-6)

Faith to Surrender

In order to break the famine of lack and release the abundance of heavenly resource means we need the faith to surrender… to offer our little for His abundance! There’s a wonderful story in the Bible that exemplifies the power of merging the principles of faith and surrender. During a terrible famine, the Lord told the Prophet Elijah to, “Go to Zarephath… I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” (I Kings 17:9-16).

  • Make a note that the Lord did not command a wealthy businessman to provide for Elijah, but a destitute widow.

We enter the story with the woman facing starvation about to prepare a last meal for herself and her son. Amazingly, even though she is not an Israelite she greets Elijah with faith saying, “As the Lord your God lives. . .” (1 Kings 17:12).

God’s way to activate faith and to bring her into a supernatural provision was to require her to give over the little she had to fulfill the purpose of God. What seemed like an insensitive and even cruel command would become a new beginning, Elijah orders her to feed him first and then make food for herself and son. Although she did not know the plan and provision of God, Elijah knew and urged her into both faith and surrender. As a result a new season would begin for her and her son, God provided for her miraculously:

“The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty” until the famine broke (vs 16).

We must all at times press into the prophetic promises of God and enter this “until famine breaks” season. Knowing how to set our eyes on God even in the midst of difficult times can release a courage that looks strange to those around us… yet to whom we look is more valuable than how we look. Faith in God and surrendering to the beat of His heart will always bring the breakthrough we desperately need in life (2 Sam 5:20).

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit” (1 Cor 2:9-10).

Angel Food

“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut. 8:3)

Wow, here is an interesting reality. Imagine, you are an Israelite, recently freed after a lifetime of slavery! You just experienced the frightening miracle of the Red Sea… and you come out safe and dry on the other side! You turned to watch as the same walls of water which gave you protection, close to offer you security – by an amazing drowning death on your enemies! You joyously celebrate and dance at God’s victory and deliverance! You feel invincible, knowing God is on your side! Never again will you doubt the One who proved Himself so mighty and faithful!

But now the scene changes, its a few days later and you are tired, thirsty and hot… and terribly hungry. You are not at the threshold of the “promised land” yet. Instead you are wandering aimlessly in a desert filled with serpents and scorpions. Now you are feeling tested! Will you trust and believe in the God you have followed… the God who will test you by your hunger?

The Faith Dimension:

Do you believe God mightily delivered you from the power of the enemy to leave you wandering through the desert of confusion and silence? Was this His purpose? Just as the Lord led the Children of Israel out of Egypt into the wilderness… so He leads you! The devil did not lead you… God did! It was the devil’s goal to enslave you! We must be people of faith, realizing there is a purpose in the midst of dry times! Hunger does something to the human soul! (1st) God humbles us. (2nd) He causes us to hunger. (3rd) Then He feeds us with manna – “Angel Food”.

Choose to Pass the Test:

Praise is what Angels do best… and the “Holy, Holy, Holies” are a response to what is seen and heard in the Presence of God! Praise will awaken your faith! Praise the Lord in the midst of the wilderness, the midnight hour or the season of hunger. We are in training, baby! All along He is teaching us, bringing us to a place where we discover the true nature of our hearts, the true passion of His heart and… the riches of His Glory.

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)

God’s Point of View: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exod. 19:4-6)

“…Man does not live on bread alone but on every Word that comes from the Mouth of the Lord.”

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