Posts Tagged ‘received’

His Word to You

Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” (Lk 1:28)

Here we have the amazing story of how Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel who told her she would become the mother of the Messiah. Naturally Mary was shocked and asked how such a thing could be, since she was a virgin. The angel did not go into a longwinded explanation, but simply told her “the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Lk 1:35). That was good enough for Mary and she responded with a powerful declaration of faith: “Let it be to me according to Your Word”.

Discovering Favor:

That simple reply is at the heart of the mystery of answered prayer. Mary came to believe that as a virgin she would become pregnant and give birth to Israel’s long awaited Messiah. There were probably a lot of young Jewish women that might have hoped for that privilege, but Mary didn’t just hope it – she lived it. She knew a secret, because God had revealed His Word to her. Yet, she would come to live it out, only as she discovered her favored estate with God. For Mary to have felt favored by God would seem normal and expected in Jewish households, but a divine revelation from the angel Gabriel would have certainly emphasized its reality.

Favor Establishes Faith:

Now there would be nothing absurd about Mary’s belief in God, because she was finding His favor in His Word to her. It was rooted firmly in the Word of God’s supernatural encounter. God’s Word to her made faith… reality and had made the ridiculous… reasonable. As the angel told her, “With God nothing will be impossible!” I can almost hear a shout of “Amen!” as she embraced the words. “I am Your maidservant! Let it be to me according to Your Word.”

Receive His Favor:

Most of us are not likely to experience a visitation from Gabriel, but we have encounters with the Holy Spirit waiting for our embrace right now. The Bible is filled with words for us from God and there are angels that accompany our activities everyday. As Kingdom Agents, we are designed to walk in the favor of God and establish an atmosphere around our lives that allow His voice to become recognizable.

Like a fragrance, Mary found that favor longs to be discovered. You can be told that it is there, but it must be received and experienced, to be sought out and appreciated. God’s Word to you is like Mary’s secret, dependant upon your willingness to recognize His favor.

Keep Your Worldview Biblical

We can be taken “captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

If we don’t really believe the Truth of God and live it, then our witness will be confusing and misleading. Most of us go through life without recognizing that our personal worldviews have been deeply affected by the world. Through a wide variety of influences, the secularization of America has created a warped view of history, morality, science and the origins of life. It affects our thinking more than we realize. When we choose to leave our worldview to chance, we will be taken captive by hollow and deceptive philosophies that depend on human reasoning not on Christ.

1. What is a Worldview?

A worldview is the lense from which we view reality and make sense of life and the world. It’s the basis of our thinking… our ideology, philosophy, theology or belief system.

For example, a 2 year-old believes she is the center of her world, a secular humanist believes that the material world is all that exists, and a Buddhist believes he can be liberated from suffering by self-purification.

Whether conscious or subconscious, every person has some type of worldview. A personal worldview is a combination of all we believe to be true, and what we believe becomes the driving force behind emotions, decisions and actions. Therefore, it affects our response to every area of life: from philosophy to science, theology and economics, law, politics, art and social order — everything.

2. What’s a Biblical Worldview?

A biblical worldview is based on the infallible Word of God. When we believe the Bible is entirely true, then it becomes the foundation of everything we say and do.

Someone with a Biblical worldview believes their primary reason for existence is to please God.

3. How does a Biblical Worldview get Diluted?

Here is the big problem. Non biblical ideas don’t just sit in a book somewhere waiting for people to examine them. They bombard us constantly everyday through societal relationships and media, like television, music and movies. We  have become a media crazed society.

For example, most Christians would agree with 1 Thessalonians 4:3 and other Scriptures that command us to avoid sexual immorality, but how often do Christians fall into  sexual sin? Is it simply because they are weak when tempted, or did it begin much earlier, with the seductive lies from TV or movies?

4. Why does a Biblical Worldview Matter?

Because we live in a selfish, fallen world! The ideas and philosophies that govern its behavior appeal to the desires of our flesh. Our minds kinda work like a computer… our programming tends to function based on what information has been received. We often end up believing things that we have not really thought through. Without even knowing it, our lives can be shaped by the things we see and melted or conformed to the patterns of cultural norms, rather than Biblical Truth.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

However, by diligently learning, applying and trusting God’s Truths in every area of our lives — whether it’s going to a movie, communicating with our family or working at the office — we can begin to develop a deep Biblical faith that will stand against the unrelenting tide of our culture’s non biblical ideas. If we capture and embrace God’s perspective on reality and trust it with unwavering faith, then we begin to make the right decisions and find oueselves equipped for every good work. In the end, its these decisions and actions that reveal our witness for Christ. We must fight to keep a Biblical Worldview.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Rom 12:2)

Seeds Invite Conflict

Seedlings
Seedlings

“The Sower sows the Word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the Word is sown. And when they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the Word that was sown in their hearts.” (Mark 4:14-15)

 In the Parable of the Sower we see one of the most overlooked secrets of the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God comes to us under enormous conflict. What might seem like a normal little teaching from our Sunday School years; takes on a more serious tone when we realize that our enemy, the devil is watching us and waiting to pounce.

Kingdom Reality Uncovered: 

Jesus reveals three things about Satan in this Parable. First, he comes “immediately” as though he were coming with fierce passion. Second, he comes for the “Word” that was sown in the human heart. And finally, we see that his ultimate destination is the heart. He is after the Word with a fierceness that most Christians do not recognize; yet because of the cunning nature in which he comes, we often miss the process altogether.

A Battle Ground:

The human heart is a battle ground over the influence of the Kingdom. The Apostle Peter said that we must become vigilant or awake and alert, because our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet 5:8). We are under surveillance and Satan pays close attention to what happens at the “gates” of our hearts. This reality of a devouring lion coming to snatch away the Word makes us realize that the Seed sown in our hearts carries more potential than we often understand. Otherwise, why would Satan be so attentive to the heart.

The Word has Seed Potential:

Jesus says the sower goes out and sows the Word into the soil of the human heart. That is how the Kingdom arrives in the human heart. The Word of God is sown by means of power-packed seeds planted through preaching, teaching, reading or studying the supernatural flow of God’s Word. Its not static or just a written set of doctrines in a book called the Holy Bible. The Word is “seed” dropped into hearts like seeds are dropped into soil, with germinating potential. This amazing potential is the life-giving element which can change the whole dynamic of what takes place in the heart. The Word brings the potential for something carrying God’s thought process; that is, God’s DNA to be released inside of us. When the Word is received and believed, it brings life to the soil.

It is a threat!

It sets off an alarm in the spiritual realm, because it threatens all other kingdoms that carry dominion in the heart. Therefore, the moment the Sower sows the Word, there is an immediate reaction from Satan and his cohorts. It is the opportune time for all authority to be shifted and yet it is also a season of conflict.

The Issue is the Soil: 

Our application of these words of Jesus is vital! This Parable has been taught incompletely by well-meaning ministers for years. The point of the story is about the influence of the Kingdom of God in and through the heart of humanity. Although Jesus speaks about four types of soil or heart conditions, He is mostly focused upon our adversary rather than our heart. This tells me that He is wanting us to catch a vital principle of warfare rather than a purity lesson. Does purity matter? Absolutely; but in battle, purity often just makes us a bigger target. To just purify the heart does nothing to resist the devil’s schemes. We must step up into our authority as believers and embrace the potential in the Word sown into our hearts.

The Key is the Word Itself: 

Notice its the Word that Satan is alarmed about, in fact your heart is no threat whatsoever without the life-giving Word sown into it. Obviously the key to overcoming the conflict when the heart is under attack… is the Word! When the Word comes it invites conflict to crack it open (think about seed) so that it can release its power, release it hidden resource, release its influence within the heart. Don’t miss the hidden potential by becoming focused upon the conflict, the trial of faith or the experiences of testing, hurt or persecution; God is calling us to undergo transformation within ourselves for greater impact in the world around us.

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