Posts Tagged ‘marvelous light’

God Shaped

“…but now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our Potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” (Isa. 64:8)

According to the experts, clay has to be in the exact center of the potter’s wheel. If not, then the clay will eventually tear apart and become marred in the potter’s hands. The desired result will not be achieved and the beauty in the potter’s imagination cannot be released.

I find it helpful to remind myself often that I, as a believer must stay centered. We are as clay, and God (the ultimate Potter) shapes us into the masterpiece best suited for His purpose. “For we are His workmanship (His masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10) We must be in the middle of the Master Potter’s wheel, if we want to become suited for Kingdom success. Our anointing, the touch of God upon our lives and the flow of spiritual influence; is hinged to staying focused on Christ. At the very center of the Potter’s Wheel is the most vulnerable place, and the most wonderful place; to live your life!

Needing a Savior:

The first step of being in the middle of God’s will is to recognize we need a Savior. We have fallen short of God’s original intent and we need someone to lift us up onto the “Potter’s wheel” again (Rom. 3:23-24). That position is where something significant can begin to take place. Being centered in Christ means we live a life of full surrender to what God, the Master Potter, wants to do in our lives. Surrendering to Christ allows Him to remove the most significant barrier – sin, and restore our originally designed relationship between the Potter and His clay. When we accept the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, He becomes our Savior and everything becomes new… our hearts, our focus and our future (2 Cor. 5:17).

Trusting His Lordship:

The second step is allowing Him to become “lord” and follow Him as His disciple. In order to see the kind of spiritual transformation we need, we have to submit our lives to Him. The Greek word for “lord” is kurios, pronounced koo-rios. In Ephesians  it says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:2). Note that the Apostle Paul recognizes Jesus as our Lord and God as our Father. When Christ is truly Lord in a person’s heart, He becomes supreme in authority and is allowed to govern the heart and mind by grace. Something to remind ourselves, is that grace is a favor that the Holy Spirit opens up to us (2 Cor. 3:17-18) as we learn to walk in humble obedience to the Father’s will and purpose for our lives (Jms. 4:6-10). Through the practices of prayer of reading God’s Word, (the Bible) we are awakened on the inside (our spirit) to the force of God’s shaping hands. This is the power of the Holy Spirit at work transforming and renewing our minds to follow His will for our life.

The Master Potter:

God is the ultimate craftsmen, shaping us with His hands and perfecting us for His Glory. We trust Him to mold us, to shape us into a vessel fit for Kingdom use. It requires faith to believe in something you haven’t seen, but as you process all that God does within you spiritually; there is an assurance that grows and shapes even the way you think. The Bible tells us that there is a renewal of strength (Isa. 40:29-31) and a restoration of heart (Psa. 63:3-7) that comes as we position ourselves before the Father. This is because He loves us with an everlasting and unconditional love. He sees in us something beautiful, something we cannot see, something that He alone will cause to emerge. And emerge it will… to display His pleasure, power and passion!

Remind yourself today that you are: “His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Pet. 2:9-10)

The Potter’s Hands

“…but now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our Potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” (Isa. 64:8)

According to the experts, clay has to be in the exact center of the potter’s wheel. If not, then the clay will eventually tear apart and become marred in the potter’s hands. The desired result will not be achieved and the beauty in the potter’s imagination cannot be released.

I find it helpful to remind myself often that I, as a believer must stay centered. We are as clay, and God (the ultimate Potter) shapes us into the masterpiece best suited for His purpose. “For we are His workmanship (His masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10) We must be in the middle of the Master Potter’s wheel, if we want to become suited for Kingdom success. Our anointing, the touch of God upon our lives and the flow of spiritual influence; is hinged to staying focused on Christ. At the very center of the Potter’s Wheel is the most vulnerable place, and the most wonderful place; to live your life!

Needing a Savior:

The first step of being in the middle of God’s will is to recognize we need a Savior. We have fallen short of God’s original intent and we need someone to lift us up onto the “Potter’s wheel” again (Rom. 3:23-24). I must find myself in God’s hands! That position is where something significant can begin to take place. Being centered in Christ means we live a life of full surrender to what God, the Master Potter, wants to do in our lives. Surrendering to Christ allows Him to remove the most significant barrier – sin, and restore our originally designed relationship between the Potter and His clay. When we accept the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, He becomes our Savior and everything becomes new… our hearts, our focus and our future (2 Cor. 5:17).

Trusting His Lordship:

The second step is allowing Him to become “lord” and follow Him as His disciple. In order to see the kind of spiritual transformation we need, we have to submit our lives to Him. The Greek word for “lord” is kurios, pronounced koo-rios. In Ephesians it says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:2). Note that the Apostle Paul recognizes Jesus as our Lord and God as our Father. When Christ is truly Lord in a person’s heart, He becomes supreme in authority and is allowed to govern the heart and mind by grace. Something to remind ourselves, is that grace is a favor that the Holy Spirit opens up to us (2 Cor. 3:17-18) as we learn to walk in humble obedience to the Father’s will and purpose for our lives (Jms. 4:6-10). Through the practices of prayer of reading God’s Word, (the Bible) we are awakened on the inside (our spirit) to the force of God’s shaping hands. This is the power of the Holy Spirit at work transforming and renewing our minds to follow His will for our life.

The Master Potter:

God is the ultimate craftsmen, shaping us with His hands and perfecting us for His Glory. We trust Him to mold us, to shape us into a vessel fit for Kingdom use. It requires faith to believe in something you haven’t seen, but as you process all that God does within you spiritually; there is an assurance that grows and shapes even the way you think. The Bible tells us that there is a renewal of strength (Isa. 40:29-31) and a restoration of heart (Psa. 63:3-7) that comes as we position ourselves before the Father. This is because He loves us with an everlasting and unconditional love. He sees in us something beautiful, something we cannot see, something that He alone will cause to emerge. And emerge it will… to display His pleasure, power and passion!

Remind yourself today of whose you really are – “His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Pet. 2:9-10)

Don’t Give an Inch!

Living Out Your Salvation:

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:12-13)

Living the abundant life God has promised every believer, should become our ultimate experience. Yet the promise is no more than just words if there is no power to restore our past broken hearts and deliver us from the bonds of sin. In Christ all of this is possible through faith and personal relationship, where we come to see His hand upon our lives. The New Testament promise is “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Col 1:27) and “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 Jn 4:4). Fullness of joy is released in us when we have an awareness of His Presence in our lives, because nothing can defeat us and we become more than conquerors in Him.

Enemy Gates:

God’s Word offers incredible principles that bring wisdom and revelation to our experiences. One such principle that is found in the life of Abraham and Sarah was that God promised to give their descendants the “gates of their enemies” (Gen 22:17). The gates were symbols of authority. Obviously then what God was offering was a promise to release favor upon Abraham’s descendants… such favor that they would have influence in their enemy’s camp. When they showed up at the enemy’s door, they could rely upon God’s promised favor to bring supernatural breakthrough. And if their enemy chose to attack, God’s hand would become the resistance the enemy would experience first… we call this a hedge of protection. Its also spoken of as an “angelic charge over us” by King David (Ps. 91:11-13). A hedge of protective security is promised to keep God’s Covenant Child in all their ways… to bear them up against stumbling and blocked vision. Notice the effect is to allow for victory against the lion and the cobra… “the young lion and the serpent you shall trample under foot”.

You might ask, so why is that important to us?

Well we are the descendants of Abraham, and heirs of this promise! Through the Blood of Jesus Christ, we can claim this promise for our own lives. When we are mistreated or have caught the enemy stealing our goods, we can call upon God to give us favor and influence in the restoration of all that has been taken. God has offered us restoration and deliverance through this wonderful promises (2 Pet. 1:2-4).

Our willingness to stand in the midst of persecution or fight for the poor, gets God’s attention because of this promise. It is a promise He has made to all of His Covenant Children. Those who believe in the God of Abraham receive the Blessings of Abraham. The Blessing of being in Christ is that we come into fellowship with the God who restores and heals all that we have seen stolen and broken in our lives. This is the meaning of abundant life, full of joy and full of glory.

The Apostle Peter said “…you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (You) “…who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Pet. 2:9-10)

Don’t give an inch to the devil! Take dominion and occupy what God has promised you!

Context for Gifts

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:19-22)

So here we are as the Church being described as the dwelling place of God in the Spirit! How? 1st “fitted together”, 2nd “growing into a holy temple in the Lord” and 3rd “being built together”… all of which must be actively in progress if the Holy Spirit is to feel welcome.

I don’t want to sound critical, but there is no guarantee that those fellowships we visit on Sunday morning are a dwelling place of God by His Spirit. And as such, they often do not qualify as a context for spiritual gifts to move in their purist form. Remember that we are told that the gifts should be used for the profit of all (1 Cor. 12:7). Our current model tends to only look for spiritual gifts to move from the pulpit. If the Spirit is not welcome to freely move in our fellowships, why should we expect spiritual gifts at all? And how do we contend for gifts to influence secular society, where real needs are most obvious? What I would like to suggest is that the context for spiritual gifts is the bond of peace.

The Prince of Peace is our Chief Cornerstone:

We must endeavor “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3), why? Because Jesus “gave gifts unto men … for the equipping of the saints, for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”  (Eph. 4:8 & 12-14). 

Spiritual Gifts have a Context:

Like bookends there is a context for spiritual gifts; that without them, gifts are nothing more than games Christians play. Notice the above underlined phrases seem to offer keys to how we keep gifts in balance. First we endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit, so that we come to the unity of the faith. The unity of faith often becomes our standard in Christian circles, because we have forsaken our commitment to the unity of the Spirit… the bond of peace. 

The Right Goal: Is the “bond of peace”? 

The right goal is peace with God andpeace within our hearts toward others. When the Body of Christ walks in love they are reflecting the bond of peace. This bond of peace is the key element that releases the “Christ” anointing. Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6 & Eph. 2:14) and has declared that the peace makers will be called the “sons of God” (Mt. 5:9). 

As Jesus stood up to read in His childhood home tabernacle, something amazing was taking place in the minds of the people. They said, “is this not the carpenter’s son?” and they found themselves having to embrace what they had never witnessed before… the Holy Spirit was about to be released in their midst. And it would come through a man they had watched grow up as a familiar member of the community. Could they hold on to their peace or would they become offended?

Jesus made the public declaration, “God has anointed Me with the Holy Spirit and I am now going to preach good news to the poor, heal the broken hearted, preach deliverance to the captive, andrecovery of sight to the blind. God has sent Me to set at liberty those who are oppressed and proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Lk. 4:18-19).

Indeed, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil, because God was with Him” (Acts 10:38). He was living as a dwelling place for God by His Spirit. And just as we would expect; hundreds of peoples lives were changed, while the leadership was offended and tried immediately to kill the Anointed One (Lk. 4:28-29).

Peace & Anointing:

This anointing was an experience that Jesus pointed to as the moment that shifted His life into ministry. His ministry was evidence that He was the Prince of Peace! He could maintain the anointing only as He maintained His peace – remember Jesus was known by John the Baptist as the Messiah by the Spirit coming like a dove and staying to rest upon Him. This gift of the Holy Spirit would release spiritual manifestations and ”gifting” only as Jesus responded according to the will of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 5:19). He had done no miracle until this experience, but everything was about to change. The Kingdom was at hand (Mt. 4:17-25) and many would see what ministry could become. He would later tell His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they also would get this same anointing from above (Lk. 24:49). He had promised them that they would do even greater works than He had done (Jn. 14:12).

The Spiritual House:

Jesus was the Cornerstone of real ministry, but also ”a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense” according to the Apostle Peter (1 Pet. 2:8). Jesus, the Chief Cornerstone has been chosen by God and precious to the foundation of the Spiritual House. We are that House! We are living stones made of the same substance as the Cornerstone. We are the peace making, sons of God who should walk with spiritual manifestations of gifts from Jesus. We are made to drink of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13), to manifest power and glory as Kingdom people (1 Cor. 4:20), be moved along by the Holy Spirit and produce fruit that ignites the generations that follow. We are also called to be chiselled off pebbles of the Chief Cornerstone, able to reflect His nature and character of peace. When this happens there is a context for spiritual gifts… that edify the Body and equip them for the work of the ministry. So that in turn, we will come to the unity of the faith and to the measure of the fullness of the stature of Christ – our Anointed One.

We are to be living stones… members of the House of God. This “chosen generation, royal priesthood, holy nation; called as His special people” kind of Church, are to reflect the Prince of Peace, so “that we might proclaim the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light!” (1 Pet. 2:9)

Tell of His Glory

“Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods”  (1 Chron. 16:23-25).  

We were created for praise! Singing, shouting and testifying to the goodness of God, shapes how we see everything. As Children of God, we have access to heavenly treasures and an open invitation to all the benefits of our Father’s House. However, it is only received by faith… a faith that seeks God as the Great Reward in life.

Freedom to Transform Reality:

Salvation is more than freedom from sin, its also the means to our freedom of expression. Praise is the overflow of the blessed life… day after day the righteous declare the greatness of God and night unto night their voices can be heard in spite of the difficulties along the way. Why? Because praise shifts the atmosphere and allows for the angelic winds of heaven (Heb. 1:7). Praise turns the mourning into dancing and the sorrows into joy. Its not just about putting on a garment of praise; its believing that God is faithful, that breaks the spirit of heaviness (Isa. 61:3). Its knowing that “in Christ” things can be transformed; old things can pass away and all things made new (2 Cor. 5:17). I know, He is worthy of my praise! 

Glory and Splendor:

We are living in times that test a believer’s fervency. I want to be found standing in God’s Glory and speaking of His radiant splendor all of my days.  Like Shadrack, Meshack and Abebnego, I want to stand in the fiery furnace with a smile on my face. I want to challenge my Goliaths and hold the ground that God has promised me. These are the days that call for extravagant worshippers to arise and lead with radical obedience. 

We must reflect His Glory as lights in a dark place. Though darkness would cover the Earth and deep darkness the people, there is a King, the Lord Stong and Mighty who will rise over us. His Glory shall be seen upon our faces and heard through our voices (Isa. 60:1-2). For it is our destiny to show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of the darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9). We are the chosen, the royal and the holy; the special people who know the mercy and continually walk in the power of the Living God.

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name.” (Heb. 13:15) Can I get a witness? 

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