Posts Tagged ‘Jn 14:6’

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!

Unmasking Idolatry

“And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:14)

The issue of idolatry in the Body of Christ creates an enormous distraction from the True Light of God’s Love. We are told in this Scripture that the Devil masquerades as an angel of light. His goal is to bring confusion and hide himself in the stuff God values. He wants to destroy the Truth with lies and pervert the grace of God with false promises, false leaders and false worship. What makes Satan hard to defeat is that he appears as attractive, engaging and persuasive …but its all poison.

  • Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Cor 10:14)

Here Paul is saying that we should avoid any sort of idolatry – run from it. We must not be involved in loving or valuing anything more than God. We often think of idolatry as wicked things we actually worship in place of God; but I want to propose to you that anything that impresses us more than obeying God is an idol. Things can carry influence and give Satan access to our heart.

  • Let me repeat: “…anything that impresses us more than obeying God is an idol”

Take notice of the stuff you protect (1 John 5:21).

The fault does not fall only on the leaders of our congregations. When we esteem others more highly than we should, idolatry has taken root. Priorities can get out of focus and prevent us from hearing or seeing with clarity. Our organized religious model often promotes leadership as those who “hear from God”, give teaching and fight the spiritual battles for us. We tend to enjoy the role of spectator… “service” has been turned into a word that means “entertain us” and we sit rather than do much of anything spiritually.

Called to Do as Jesus Did!

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” (Jn. 14:12)

Being a Christian is a calling to become an ”anointed one” and live in relationship with Christ, The Anointed One (Jn 14:6). Jesus is to be the supernatural resource of light that shines through us. He is the One we emulate and want to reflect to the world around us. Our faith is not about rituals or traditions or relying solely on teachers or pastors. In fact there are no buildings, pews, alters or communion cups that offer deliverance from sin or power over the Devil. The Bible tells us it is the anointing that is given by the Holy Spirit that breaks the yokes of bondage (Isa 10:27) and teaches us all things (1 Jn 2:20).

  • Trusting Christ is the best way to flee from idols!

Do we need accountable relationships? Absolutely, but only Christ offers the power that overcomes darkness and brings peace in the midst of the storms of life. Trust that is not placed into God’s hand is misplaced and falls into the grasp of convenience, neglect or worse… idolatry.

God As Father

“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name.” (Mt. 6:9)

“And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, Abba, Father!” (Gal. 4:6)

Introducing God as “Our Father”: “Abba” – Papa or Daddy

Do you realize that God was never known as “Father” until Jesus came to earth and revealed Him as such? In prayer Jesus said, “And I have declared to them Your Name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (Jn. 17:26). What name was Jesus referring to? It was the name “Father” (Jn. 14:6). There was nothing more natural to Jesus than introducing us to God as “Father”.

  • “Therefore, do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear?… For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (Mt. 6:31–32)
  • “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Mt. 7:11)

What seems natural to Jesus is supernatural to us. The revelation of “sonship” that the Apostle Paul speaks about, goes beyond just mental assent, it is a Spirit of Sonship. And it wells up within us to confirm the depth of love the Father has for us. Jesus wants us to always have this image of God stirring in our mind… that He is our Abba, our faithful Father. Why? Because it will shape every motivation of the heart.

You are Loved by the Father!

There is something about this knowledge that is more than just practical. No matter how old you are; you are still God’s child, so don’t think that your problem is too small for God. If it is important to you, it is important to your Father as well.

My friend, always remember that He is Abba… your Father!

New Levels of Faith

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)

Faith requires fresh perspective… unobstructed vision and values. 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 orphanhood. Jesus has seen us, knows us and is calling us out of the shadows and into the Kingdom of His love and power.

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 healings 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 faint hopes of a future move of God. We can live in this moment, confident of a present move of God! These things are available to Sons and Daughter, who have hearts that respond to the breath of heaven!

Wait for revival no longer… its in the heart of God’s Child! Revival is here – our triumphant inheritance through Christ!

Glory and Hidden Treasure

“In [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col. 2:3)

HIDDEN IN CHRIST: Its not that we have no access to wisdom and knowledge, but God’s spiritual treasures are hidden on purpose (Prov. 25:2)(1 Cor. 2:7-10). So that in our search and discovery we begin to value the eternal significance, experience carries with it an eternal weight of Glory. An intellectual gospel is always inferior, and in danger of limiting “God” so that He looks or acts like us. If our search leads us to believe in a god that is our size and our strength, then we need a new focus. Our diligent search is a royal privilege, a kingly duty that unlocks keys and mysteries of Kingdom reality. Amazingly, God has given us His only begotten Son to offer access to every revelation of the Father’s heart.

Real Answers:

Problems need more than natural answers. Barriers in life need the voice of the Creator of Life. Our story is to be written by a Spiritual Author not lived at the whim of a worldly system. Think about how you pray… do you ask for wisdom and knowledge or do you ask for Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge? Christ is our access, our Advocate with the Father, our intercessor who continually intercedes for us… before the Father. He will get those treasures into your hands, heart and mind if we will dig for them as for gold or silver.

The Logos:

Jesus walked the Earth and lived with humanity as the “logos” or logic of the Father (Jn. 1:1-13). Jesus was the sum total of the collective thoughts of His Father funneled down into human flesh and blood. He really was Immanuel – God with us! We are not on an adventure to gain all the information about religion, Christianity or even the patterns of spiritual living! We are on a quest to gain Christ – to be found in Him.

My belief is that we must become more invested in our personal knowledge of Christ, than in the traditional doctrines of the Church.

This faith journey requires that we become acquainted with the voice of God as experienced in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. The things we so often call treasure are not of value in the Kingdom of God. God’s spiritual activities are found working in the invisible dimension that goes beyond our understanding. They come as spiritually revealed truths and relationally experienced manifestations. Our fellowship in Christ through worship, prayer and meditating upon the Word of God, unlocks the prophetic flow of hidden reality… its life in the spirit.

Experiencing Glory in Spiritual Fellowship:

Notice the Apostle Peter remembering the experience of Jesus being transfigured on the mountain top (2 Pet. 1:17-21). “We heard the voice that came to Jesus, while we were on the mountain - God, as Father spoke from out of the Glory”. As much as that voice was a powerful experience… it was only given, because of the fellowship in Christ. What Peter wants us to know is not the tone of the voice, but the testimony of a fellowship. The treasure of wisdom and knowledge became available in the Glory of God.

Remember the time when Jesus began to set His eyes toward the cross and He says “Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again” (Jn. 12:27-30). Amazingly we see that those who stood by and heard the voice, perceived it as a natural sound… thunder. Others heard it as an angel, but not directed toward them. Jesus speaks up and said, “This voice did not come because of Me – but for your sake.” Jesus was telling them that a door was open for a moment if they desired to step through and know the secrets that would follow.

The experiences by themselves really do not matter, as much as the position those experiences put us in. They give us incredible opportunity to understand God’s Glory Realm.

  • “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col 1:27)

God has placed the treasures of wisdom and knowledge within Christ and reveals Christ to us through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Scripture. Remember that Christ is the very Glory of the Father (Heb. 1:3). God will not reveal anything apart from the revelation of Jesus Christ. Peter says to us, “We saw Christ in a way that we never had before! We will never be the same, because we now have an expanded wisdom and knowledge base to draw from!”

Apprehending Christ:

To possess the Son is to possess all that pertains to the Son, for the Scriptures declare, “He that has the Son has life, but He that does not have the Son of God, has not life” (1 Jn. 5:12). It is not that God desires to stay hidden, His goal is to give us the full revelation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Yet by apprehending Him, we will subsequently gain insight into everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3-4).

Christ is the Door:

Christ is our door of revelation (Jn. 14:6). We can have the mind of Christ through the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:16). To seek revelation into the mysteries of God apart from the revelation of Christ Himself, fails to give Christ the pre-eminence. We dare not circumvent the Kingdom’s doorway in the pursuit of the Kingdom’s treasure.

Spiritual treasure is hidden in Christ! When we gain Christ – we gain it all! (Phil 3:7-8)

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