Posts Tagged ‘quality’

Wilderness Seasons

Throughout Biblical history, God has used the wilderness to test His servants in order to perfect His purposes within them. His goal is to speak to the independent heart that leans on its own understanding and call His Sons and Daughters into proper alignment with His Divine order (Hos 2:14).

The wilderness speaks of a barren and desolate area. It is a place where inner needs become intensified and there is no available resources to meet those needs. God seems to want to move us there at times to speak to us about the condition of our hearts.

Who is this that comes up from the wilderness, leaning upon her Beloved?” (Song of Solomon 8:5)

There is a heart quality about this “one” who is coming up from the wilderness that attracts the writers special attention. She is “leaning” upon her Beloved. This position of leaning demonstrates the fact that she has become completely dependent upon Him. Something has changed during her time of being in the wilderness which has resulted in her becoming submissively dependent upon the Lord.

This is the quality of Sonship that God is after in us and we must become aware that its the wilderness that produces this in our heart. How often have we murmured or complained about the wilderness experience only to find that there was increased glory as we emerged from this season.

We entered the wilderness season leaning on our own understanding and emerged leaning on our Beloved.

Shake off the fear of abandonment and draw near to the Father who speaks lovingly to His children. He wants to become the Promised Resource for our abundant life.

Love Unlocks Joy

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us – that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” (1 Jn. 1:1-4)

Behold what manner [quality] of love the Father has bestowed on us… (1 Jn. 3:1)

We are to behold the heart of God in order to understand the quality of the Father’s love! It was a love for Jesus and for us. Love empowered the disciples… and as they began to behold it more and more, they found ways to abide in it and feel joy growing on the inside. The Apostle John is overwhelmed by the fellowship he experienced with Jesus… and it was the best reality he could offer to mankind! He was saying – this is what we declare and shout from the rooftop – “Come, experience this fellowship with us!”

To behold God’s love is to stay focused on it and not neglect it as we pursue other things. We should study the Scripture through the paradigm of love, because it promises incredible joy. It will not just establish our understanding, but abiding in the Father’s love will fill us with joy in believing, trusting and obeying (1 Jn. 5:3).

Transforming Joy: Inexpressible & Full of Glory (1 Pe. 1:8)

As we behold the heart of God, and experience His love; we feel joy! Joy is that deep sense of well-being that empowers us with confidence. It can make all the difference in the face of disappointment, temptation, and persecution. In fact, Jesus spoke about love at the most difficult times in order to empower His disciples. Nothing so fills the heart with joy and transforms our perception of reality – like knowing and abiding in love.

Note: There are four foundational truths related to experiencing God’s love in John 15:9-10!

  1. The Truth of Father’s passionate love for Jesus… “As the Father loved Me”!
  2. The Truth of Jesus’ intense and active love for us… “I also have loved you!”
  3. The Truth of Abiding in this supernatural substance… “abide in My love!”
  4. The Truth that joy is the reward of walking it out… “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love… These things I have spoken to you, that…your joy may be full.”

Sustained by Joy:

This joy empowered the disciples to walk in victory no matter what they faced! Even after the devastating experiences that surrounded the cross. They suffered the shock of Jesus’ sudden death, the deep shame of betraying Him, and the threat of death and imprisonment from political authorities. They needed joy to face crisis and handle even the normal temptations in life. When love is the abiding truth, then joy is sustaining! We are called to experience a transforming joy that is based on beholding and abiding in God’s love.

We must never be content with a silly, giddy, superficial substitute! Be filled with the Holy Spirit! (Eph. 5:15-21)

Confident in Love

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” (1 Jn. 3:1)

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:5-8)

How can you know that God loves you?

To become confident in the love of God, we must see it and experience it!

Confidence is a soulish reality… kinda like a knowing on the inside, in your heart of hearts. A person feels confident when they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what they are experiencing is reliable and trust worthy. When we become confident in the love of God it becomes the truth that stabilizes our belief system and strengthens our hope. The Apostle John says, “Behold” or look intently, at the kind of love the Father has bestowed or lavished upon us… see and experience its quality, its depth of passion and its supernatural power. It will transform how you see yourself and others, because you will see His beauty and extravagance toward all people… sinner and Saints alike!

The 2 Ways of Seeing & Experiencing Love: 1st) It is demonstrated in the Cross! 2nd) It is poured out by the Holy Spirit!

  • The Apostle Paul tells us that God reveals His love in two different and complementary ways. The demonstration of the cross is public; the work of the Holy Spirit is private and personal. The demonstration of the cross is historical; the work of the Holy Spirit is contemporary. The demonstration of the cross is objective; the work of the Holy Spirit is subjective and experiential.

1st) God demonstrates His love at the cross… sending His Son in our place!

To “demonstrate” something is to make a show of it openly, even to prove it as the truth that matters most. God demonstrates two important things with the cross: His justice (Rom. 3:21-26) and His love (Jn. 15:13). In the cross, He shows all of humanity that He would not allow sin to go unpunished, but in that same cross; He also demonstrates His unique love for us… by giving an immeasurable gift, the Sinless Lamb of God. It was the richest gift heaven could offer, given for those who had lost their way.

Now according to the Bible, the essence of love is giving… “God so loved… that He gave us His Only Son” (Jn. 3:16). And love is measured partly by the cost of the gift to the giver, and partly by the unworthiness of the person receiving it. Since man was hopelessly lost in sin, it helps us recognize the price of this gift. Mercy, the compassion to not give us what we deserve; was involved in the demonstration. How could any sinful man deserve forgiveness… only God would love so much as to pardon the sinner, without a guarantee of any remorse or reconciliation. It was an act of love and tender mercy… and when we behold the manner of love God gives, it moves us to make some kind of decision. We can embrace the gift and let it change how we see or reject it and live with the counterfeits of lust, pride and selfish ambition.

2nd) God “pours out” His love through the Holy Spirit!

There is a unique reality to the love of God… and its the reality of relationship! God communicates His love toward us, because He is passionate about our fellowship. God not only “demonstrates” His love by having sent Christ to die for us; but He also “pours out” His love for us to experience – Him, in all His fullness. He does this through the Holy Spirit!

*The Holy Spirit teaches us by revelation. The Holy Spirit speaks into our hearts about God’s love for us (1 Cor. 2:12 & Eph. 1:17-18). He opens our hearts to understand that Christ’s death was not just some abstract gift that God gave to humanity, but that Christ died for “me”, because He loves me. He takes passages from the Bible and opens them up to our hearts so that they nourish our confidence in God’s love and goodness.

*The Holy Spirit helps us to relate to God personally. The Holy Spirit creates the open door of fellowship, so that God is not perceived as a distant “judge”, but as a warm and loving Father, with whom we share in very personal and intimate ways. He helps us communicate with God in prayer (Rom. 8:26-27) and He assures our hearts that we really are God’s sons and daughters (Rom. 8:15-16). Our confidence increases by our familiarity with His heart toward us!

*The Holy Spirit comforts and strengthens us. God’s hope and peace and joy are made available to us in the midst of painful and anxious situations (Jn. 14:26-27, 2 Cor. 1:3-7 & Eph. 3:14-19). The Holy Spirit not only works through our sufferings to produce God’s character in our lives; but He also assures us of an abiding love in the midst of trials and tests. This is why, while non-Christians point to suffering as the proof that God is not loving, Christians point to suffering as the context in which they experience God’s love in deeper ways!

*The Spirit expresses God’s love to us through His people. He is moving in the Body of Believers, the Church; so we experience forgiveness, encouragement, affection and favor in spiritual and personal ways (2 Cor. 7:5-6 & Eph. 4:29-32). They speak His Word to us, pray with us, communicate His peace and offer forgiveness and hope. And we get to experience the Holy Spirit moving in us for others, as well!

Perhaps the greatest reality of all is that we were made to receive and give love… “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 Jn. 4:16).

Put God First!

“But seek first (strive and pursue) the Kingdom of God (His ruling Dominion) and His righteousness (right standing, purity and holiness), and all these things (necessities of life) shall be added to you.” (Mt. 6:33)

I have learned that spending time with God is a vital necessity in my life. Something amazing is adjusted in my mind and ministered to my heart when I make God my first and highest pursuit. In fact, I cannot do what I am called to do if I don’t seek the Presence of God every day… early and passionately! I need that supernatural peace and sense of anointing that I feel in His Presence! If I don’t make time for God first, then everything else seems to become more difficult… at times even falling apart or hitting the inevitable “wall of resistance”.

Selfish Ambition is Subtle!

Selfish ambition often masquerades as important priorities in our daily routine. Yet when we hit the wall of resistance, it is because God is speaking… calling us to His side for fellowship. You see, God apposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (Jms 4:6). Its my own pride and selfish ambition that stand as barriers to living the life that Christ has promised… the abundant and overflowing life (Jn. 10:10). The abundant life is the Holy Spirit directed life. What I am continually reminded of is that God is waiting for me to begin the conversation and He will spend as much time with me as I will give Him… as much time as it takes for grace to begin to flow.

Quality, not Quantity:

If you measure your seeking by the amount of time, and set a timer for 30 minutes or 3 hours; you might find you feel nothing and believe there is no value in putting God first. But we must realize, time in God’s Presence is measured by quality, not quantity. He is waiting for the shifts in your mind and heart!

“Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.” (Isa. 30:18)

Jesus tells us to repent, or change the way we think and see… for the Kingdom of God is at hand (Mt. 4:17). Indeed, the Kingdom of God is within reach and we can experience its influence when we set our minds and hearts for encounter. This shift of setting our “inner pursuit” is the connection He looks for… its our ability to enter into His fellowship, find His counsel and pursue His priorities. This is what honors Him most and releases His grace like showers of blessing in our lives. The best part is that by pursuing what pleases God… empowers us to accomplish more and experience peace that goes beyond our understanding.

Putting God first every day, allows every thing in life… to find its proper place!

Beholding Glory

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Jn 1:14)

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor 3:18).

Beholding Glory changes you; not because you can understand or comprehend its quality, but because it calls something up from the inside of you. An image, the image of the One you were created by. You see Jesus is the image of the Father and you and I have that same image knit into our being. We cannot call it out, but He can bring it forth as we gaze into the face of Jesus. Its like looking into a mirror, looking into the Word (Jms 1:23-25) and seeing our reflection… “hey I know that person, its me”. Me? Really? God has shone a light upon my heart and the more I look into the face of Christ, the more I see who I am really meant to be.

  • “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6).
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