Posts Tagged ‘peace’

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)

Sin’s Progress

“Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.” (Psalm 19:12-13)

Remind yourself that sin has a progress! It takes you further than you want to go, costs you more than you can pay… and it keeps you longer than you intended to stay. So give it no ground! (Jms. 1:13-16)
· It goes from passing temptation to chosen thought (errors).
· It goes from chosen thought to object of meditation.
· It goes from object of meditation to wished-for fulfillment.
· It goes from wished-for fulfillment to planned action (secret faults).
· It goes from planned action to opportunity sought.
· It goes from opportunity sought to performed act.
· It goes from action to repeated action.
· It goes from repeated action to delight (presumptuous sins).
· It goes from delight to new and various ways.
· It goes from new and various ways to habit. (idolatry)
· It goes from habit to idolatry, demanding to be served.
· It goes from idolatry to sacrifice.
· It goes from sacrifice to slavery. (bondage & dominion over me)

We can fight the good fight of faith: (2 Cor. 10:3-6)(Eph. 6:10-18)
1st) Pull down strongholds of the mind
2nd) Cast down everything that argues with the knowledge of God
3rd) Bring every thought into obedience to Christ
4th) Punish all disobedience, when obedience is achieved

Recognize that you do not have to open the door, when thoughts come knocking at your heart… don’t think about, meditate upon or even entertain evil thoughts, because they aim to rob you of your peace and joy in Christ! Hide the Word of God in your heart! (Psa. 119:11)(Heb. 4:12)

Secret of the Glory

“At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from Him, He turned around to the crowd and asked; “Who touched my clothes?”. “You see the people crowding around you – and yet You can ask ‘Who touched Me?’” His disciples asked. But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. The woman came and fell at His feet trembling with fear and told Him the whole truth. He said to her; “Daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering”. (Mk 5:30-34)

This is an amazing story, because Jesus did not walk through the crowd looking for His next victim. There was no deep revelation in His mind that somewhere in the crowd was a woman with an issue of blood. Not at all! Yet that is often how people think of healing. “If only He would get a word for me?” We have seen so much showmanship and we have little understanding of the Glory of God.

Jesus healed all who came to Him, because He carried an anointing that released the perfect will of God (Lk 4:18-21).

Jesus said that He only did what He saw His Father do. Notice: She had heard about Him! She heard that Jesus was healing everyone and that power was going out of Him at the very touch of His garment. Her thought… “If I can just touch the hem of His garment.” What was the secret she understood? It was the secret of the Glory of God. She knew in her heart that God was good and that doctors had failed to cure her.

  • He didn’t pray for this woman.
  • He didn’t give her a healing!
  • He didn’t lay His hands on her.
  • She touched His garment and her faith placed a demand on His anointing… the Glory of God!

You see, the real secret we must uncover in our day is the secret of the Glory of God! The Apostle Paul said, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). There are riches in the Glory that are yet untapped, because we have not pressed in to touch, or put a demand upon the anointing that rested on Jesus.

Worship:

When you and I enter His Presence, awaken our senses to the voice of the Holy Spirit and wade into His atmosphere in worship; we are touching spiritual substance. Let me repeat that… “we are touching spiritual substance!” Its unseen with human eyes, but through faith we can navigate through the realms of Glory and fellowship with God. That is the time to put a demand upon the resources made available by the heavenly Promises of God.

Our Inheritance:

Touch the hem of His garment… go ahead and pull upon the rich inheritance He has purchased for you. Don’t wait to get to heaven or hope for a preacher to get a word for you. Your inheritance is for you… even now (Eph 1:13-14) and you can access it by faith today. Tell Jesus the whole story, but then look for His goodness to show up in your need.

He is still asking “Who touched Me?”

Clothed in Glory

It’s interesting to me that all of the creatures God made had coverings… except man. Animals had fur, birds had feathers and fish had scales or shells. But man did not have any outer covering, as he didn’t need it before the fall. Why? Because God clothed man in His Glory.

“You made him (man) a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him (or clothed him) with glory and honor.” (Ps 8:5)

God’s Original Intent:

The atmosphere of the Garden of Eden was permeated with the same splendor as heaven. There was no sin in the beginning and man walked with God everyday in a peace filled relationship in the “cool of the day”. This means they walked together in a spiritual dimension where they shared a oneness that was maintained by God’s Glory (a covering) and God’s Honor (atmosphere).

The Garden of Eden was Heaven on Earth:

The original Hebrew word for “crowned” means “to encircle”, “to surround’. In other words, Adam and his wife were surrounded by God’s Glory and Honor. They had been clothed with the Glory of God and didn’t need natural clothing and they were living in an atmosphere of perfect relationship and did not need natural knowledge. God was giving man a wonderful environment to rule, where God would truly be their provision and protection if this stewardship could be maintained.

Losing the Glory:

However, once they had been deceived by the serpent and sinned, they were no longer able to focus on spiritual reality as the Glory that once clothed them, seemed to lift. They found themselves naked. Notice that they immediately respond to their new condition by becoming afraid. They made coverings for themselves and hid from God. This is an interesting response since Adam and his wife felt no shame of being naked before they sinned (Gen 2:25).

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Gen 3:7)

Why would they even consider making coverings for themselves? Weren’t they the only human beings in the Garden of Eden? Weren’t they surrounded by only animals, birds and fish?

Hearing God’s Voice:

The reason is given when Adam is answering God’s call “He answered, I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Gen 3:10). Adam and Eve were afraid, because they were naked before God. I understand being ashamed, but why would they be afraid? They were afraid, because they were naked and had lost their original God given Glory. Now they found themselves controlled by a deception, a satanic lie that they needed natural covering and natural knowledge to sustain their lives. This came as a fulfillment to what God said to them earlier, “…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen 2:17). The moment they were no longer in God’s Glory, they died spiritually and inner peace was replaced with fear.

Spiritual Death:

We are able to see a powerful expression of God’s Fathering love in the moments following the broken relationship. God, seemingly unaware of man’s location, calls out to man and asks him of his connection to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God says, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Gen 3:11)

Spiritual Life:

Then God makes the first sacrifice, in order to clothe them properly.  ”The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them” (Gen 3:21). God would spill the blood of a lamb; one of His created beings, to provide a garment suitable to cover human shame. This would serve as humanity’s first revelation that spiritual life is in the Blood.

The Apostle Paul said it this way, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God” (Rom 3:23)

Our spiritual death has its connection to sin by the loss of our covering (God’s Glory) and our relationship (God’s Honor) based on His Presence (Holy Spirit atmosphere). Yet the Apostle Paul goes on to tell us of the reality of God’s grace… God’s favorable actions toward us who trust in Christ Jesus. He  tells us that God has restored access to His Glory and Honor in the free gift of salvation. Access to all that was lost could be restored through the Blood of Jesus. 

“We have been freely justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24).

The Gospel of Restored Glory:

This good news cannot be overstated, because it is not accomplished by anything man can do (Rom 3:20)(2 Cor 5:21). God proved His love by sending Jesus to die for us, in our place and for the spiritual relationship to be restored that once was established in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says that when anyone turns to God in faith, a veil is lifted from their hearts and they are enabled to behold the Glory of God in the very face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 3:16-4:6). As believers who continue to look into that Glory a transformation takes place, whereby we are being changed into the same image (God’s original intent) from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor 3:18).

Jesus Said – Be Clothed In Glory: Power from On High!

“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city (Jerusalem) until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Lk 24:49)

Fully Persuaded

“Being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.” (Rom. 4:21)

This is an exciting time for many as change brings new opportunities and a fresh season in God. Our energy and sense of purpose are intensified when we feel like God is handing us a new assignment… often it feels refreshing. Yet – I want to encourage you… set your face like flint and be fully persuaded in your “promise”. You need to understand that as you are moving into new places, new levels of conscious decisions are required. God says, “All things become new”. Not all that you have understood up to this point will be of value in the next season and not everyone will share your new found joy. Some of your former mentalities and relationships might even try to oppose or stop you if they can!

Leaning on Others:

As we are serving the Lord in our daily assignments, ministries and lifestyle choices, we have learned to lean upon others and others learn to depend on us and watch us as we move forward. They’ve learned to depend on our character and become comfortable with how we work or how we respond to life in transition. Something is always changing, but in Christ all things are established for our peace and consistent increase. Beyond the expectations of others, is the Highest Calling we know – to lean on God! In effect, we can bless others more when we bear evidence of a life that is fully persuaded by what God is saying… fully persuaded by what God is doing… and even fully persuaded when we are unaware of where it will lead us! I often have to remind myself to never set my heart by the opinions of man.

Move in the “Now”:

When the time comes for a change many find it hard to believe that it is the will of God for you and they may even speak against it. Those who do not speak faith words are not to be listened to. You are wise to surround yourself with people who pray and find their greatest hope in God. They believe in your success and pull blessing into your path. Every time they speak your name in the Throne Room of Heaven, something is happening for your good in God’s purpose. It’s at this point that you will discover who is on the Lord’s side! Lean forward into your “now” moment and allow the momentum of grace to shift your thinking and your living. You have never been here before and you will only know the direction by hearing God’s Voice.

I say: BE FULLY PERSUADED and HOLD YOUR COURSE – for the Lord is calling you up and out to a new place where He can enlarge your influence! (Mic. 2:13) Your King, Jesus will pass before you!

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