Posts Tagged ‘servant’

God’s Pleasure

“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph. 5:17-18)

“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.” (Ps. 149:4)

“…That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:17-19)

It is important to realize that your pleasure is God’s pleasure, because you are God’s delight. His goal is your heart… to dwell there and to allow His love to find its deepest root system there! He loves you with an unconditional love and all of His thoughts toward you are good (Jer. 29:11). You can’t live beyond God’s knowledge and you can’t hide from His Presence… He will never leave you and He will always be found waiting for you (Isa. 30:18).

7 Things That Bring Pleasure to God:

1. The Prosperity of His People:

  • (Psalm 35:27) Let those who favor my righteous cause and have pleasure in my uprightness shout for joy and be glad and say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, Who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant. (Amplified Version)

2. Ministers Doing His Will:

  • (Psalm 103:21) Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, all you His hosts, you His ministers who do His pleasure. (Amplified Version)

3. Men and Women that Fear Him:

  • (Psalm 147:11) The Lord takes pleasure in those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy and loving-kindness. (Amplified Version)

4. His People Walking by Faith:

  • (Hebrews 11:1-2) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

5. Giving His Kingdom To His Children:

  • (Luke 12:32) Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom! (Amplified Version)

6. Saints Enjoying God’s Fullness:

  • (Ephesians 1:5) For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [ because it pleased Him and was His kind intent (Amplified Version)
  • (Ephesians 1:9) Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in Him, (Amplified Version)

7. Giving People The Desires of Their Heart:

  • (Philippians 2:13) [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. (Amplified Version)
  • (2 Thessalonians 1:11) With this in view we constantly pray for you, that our God may deem and count you worthy of [your] calling and [His] every gracious purpose of goodness, and with power may complete in [your] every particular work of faith (faith which is that leaning of the whole human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness). (Amplified Version)

Knowing God’s Favor

The Bible tells us that Abraham was known by God. Abraham saw the Lord and His angels. Once the Lord sent three of His angels to communicate His plans and share His purposes with Abraham (Gen. 18:1-3). When Abraham saw the angels he ran to meet them, bowed down and greeted them with these words,

  • “My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant.”

Abraham knew that the presence of angels meant access to God’s favor and the fulfilment of His Promise. God was bringing increase into his house, giving him a promised son and making him a blessing to the generations that would follow his example of faith.

Blessing and Favor:

There are some things that money cannot buy… one of them is favor. When God’s favor is on your life, wonderful things will happen to you and for you. Favor will take you where nothing else can take you. Favor can open doors and prevent calamity. Favor can help you do more with less. Favor can make a way where there is no way! The good news is that every Child of God who walks by faith is given access to favor. Favor is what makes the impact of a promise carry blessing for generations. God watches over His Word to perform it (Jer. 1:12)… because He watches over you.

Watching is Favoring:

God was watching over Abraham based upon the Promise He had made to bless Abraham and his descendants through Isaac (Gen. 17:19). Not only to Abraham; but God also spoke to Isaac personally to confirm this amazing favor. God promised Isaac that He would favor him in the same way that He had favored his father Abraham (Gen. 26:2-6). Blessing comes to Abraham and Isaac as an empowerment to prosper, because of God’s watchfulness and supernatural hand upon the Promises made. Blessing always goes hand in hand with favor. In order to be blessed by someone, you must first be favored by them.

And who better to be favored by… than God?!

Recognizing Favor:

You can recognize the favor by the blessing! Abraham was known as the wealthiest man in all the land. He exibited favor as a man of faith! As a spiritual descendant of Abraham and a Child of God, God has promised to favor you and bless you. When you embrace God’s Word; His principles and His wisdom, you will automatically find His favor as well. When you seek His mercy, kindness, and truth and reject and shut out all hatred, selfishness, deliberate hypocrisy, and falsehood, then you will not only find favor, but also good understanding and high esteem in the sight of God and man as well!

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Prov. 16:7)

God’s favor on your life translates into favor with man as well. Doors will open and opportunities will come. Blessings will run after you! Even sinners will say “yes” to you when they would have said “no” to everyone else. God will send His Spirit and His angels to cause favor to shine on you… from every direction and in all your ways.

Expect God’s favor to be on your life even as it followed Abraham… because faith in Christ activates the Promise! (Rom. 4:13-25)

Valiant Laborers

“And the Word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region.” (Acts 13:49)

“Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand.” (Ps. 149:5-6)

We mount our assault on the portals of hell and against us they shall not stand! The valiant of heart are those whose laborers are noted by courage, passion and alignment to the Word of God. These marks are the standard where soldiers emerge and warriors take shape. Indeed, the character of heaven is revealed in no better way than when God’s Saints are clothed in the power of the Holy Spirit and accompanied by angels. The advancement of the Kingdom of God is a violent overthrow of the works of the devil! It requires God’s anointing and the character to follow His heart!

No matter how we define a move of God in our day or in the days of the Early Church… we must not miss the prophetic reality of following God’s heart. One of Luke’s purposes in writing the Book of Acts was to tell the real story of the remarkable growth of God’s Kingdom. Amazing things took place in the years that followed the birth of the Church. An outpouring of the Holy Spirit clothed the Apostles with power to become witnesses in the world (Acts 1:8). Although, persecution and struggle shaped their character, never do we hear the cry of retreat. This was the work of God! Humanity’s greatest discovery was how to be filled with the Holy Spirit… and walk as carriers of the Glory of God!

This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel (or any servant of God):
“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,”

Says the Lord of hosts. (Zech. 4:6)

A Valiant Vision:

To see entire regions waiting, cultures and people groups ready to be reached with the love and power of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Our call, requires a company of valiant laborers with fresh eyes… with a vision to disciple the nations (Mt. 28:18-20). We must be found teaching and building bridges of opportunity for generations to walk in God’s destiny for their lives. Should we not stand willing and ready to risk it all for the purposes of God’s heart? Yet in order to risk it all, it will require a vision of how God sees and what God wants to accomplish.

The Prophet Habakkuk said it this way: “For the Earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14)

God is Speaking!

These are New Days in almost every culture of the world, and the sound of a spiritual trumpet has gone forth. Many with an ear to hear have already begun to assemble. To some its a whisper and to others a shout, yet there is no mistaking its purpose in this season. Its God’s invitation that is being proclaimed on the battle field and in the vineyard. Our Father has a voice that echoes on every high place… causing the nations to give birth. He is calling the weary, the lost and forsaken. His sound summons the alien to come sit at His Throne (Heb. 4:16). And from this motley, misguided lot; He will redeem and restore and revive. This is the day of the harvest, a season of in-gathering as in the time of first fruits. And the valiant rejoice in the pleasure of God. They celebrate with heaven in what is witnessed in their generation, because it was birthed in the Father’s heart long ago! (1 Pe 2:9-10)

Father, Your Valiant Laborers Stand Willing & Ready!

Real Grace

The word “grace” has significant meaning for our relationship with God, ourselves and one another. Grace is God’s love offered. As a gift is freely given, so grace must be received to be appreciated. God offers us something beyond ourselves, yet within our reach. The power of this gift called grace, grows when we truly understand how it works in connection with faith and trust.

Grace is a Person:

God so loved the world that He gave us the gift of His only Son (Jn 3:16-17). Jesus is the gift of grace to all mankind. He is the way, the truth, and the life of God, given as the full representative of grace. Through Jesus, God comes to us and reveals Himself to us, because we cannot by ourselves find God. Jesus as our advocate with the Father comes to help us know Him and believe in Him as He really is. We cannot do this by our human limitation, because we get so blinded by carnal perception. We need God’s grace.

Religious Perceptions:

Religion can be negative to our perception, as it creates a way of seeing through boxes of morality, judgment and expectations. In fact, so many people are bound to religion that Christianity is often defined more by what it rejects than what it believes.

If we are sinful (and we all are), we may not want to come to God, thinking that God is unapproachable and will punish us for our sins. We may get the idea that we must be “good enough” to be acceptable to God. But this is where grace becomes so significant. Its the gift of God!

Understanding Mercy:

All sinners experience guilt, brokenness and emotional pain. But faith is our humble belief in God’s mercy. Mercy is simply God not giving us what we deserve so that grace can become visible. When we understand mercy, we naturally turn toward the one showing us that mercy. This turning is an act of humility, because we recognize the favor (grace) being shown us is undeserved and it causes us to feel like a burden is lifted from our shoulders. There are all kinds of burdens that mercy lifts when someone favors us.

Clarifying Our Focus:

It is important that we reject sinful behavior, but never reject ourselves or the person we see sinning. Unfortunately, in real life, many of us have the tendency to blend the two into one: we often associate the behavior with the person. In this way, we become condemning and judgmental, hypocritical and proud.

This is where God’s grace becomes visible. Jesus is not a policeman, but an advocate. An advocate is somebody who pleads the case for mercy and stands on behalf of the guilty before the accuser or the judge.

Restoration and Hope:

In the parable of the prodigal son, the father is not judgemental and condemning, but a restorer of broken relationship. Jesus tells us, he throws his arms around the returning son and kisses him, while his servant is commanded to prepare the house for a party.

Consistent with Grace:

Jesus would have us see God as the waiting Father, who runs to embrace the son at the first sign of his turning toward home. “This son was lost, but now has come home! Bring out the robe, the ring and the sandals, for my son was dead and is alive again. Prepare the fatted calf… tonight we feast!” (Lk 15:20-24)

Walking in Real Grace:

The other son is caught up in the epic battle with religious seeing and self-righteous attitudes. Jesus does not approve of that moralistic attitude, because it is hypocritical. In offering grace to others, Jesus wants us to embrace people at the first sign of turning toward home. Its not that we condone what they have done as much as we embrace who they really are. He wants us to know that grace is God’s unconditional love revealed at the first sign of humility. The Apostle Peter said “…be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble” (1 Pet 4:5).

New Covenant Believing

Most churches have not understood the reality of New Covenant Believing. The challenge is that the Spirit of the Lord has set us free and we are not sure what we should do with our religious standards! Trying to fulfill the Old Testament Law has caused us to loose sight of “grace through faith” and minimize the very power of the New Covenant itself. Many denominational structures have become very good at mixing the Old Covenant instituted by Moses with the New Covenant ratified by the Blood of Jesus. They have forgotten that the Old Covenant has become obsolete while the New Covenant is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

The New Covenant of Liberty:

It is our freedom… our Day of Jubilee if you will! Jesus said, “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!” (Jn. 8:36). The problem with living under religious systems is that they tend to teach the burdens of faith, rather than the freedom of belief. Stepping away from grace will always lead to a loss of freedom in Christ. But Christ has made us free to celebrate and worship in the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Understanding Covenantal Seasons:

The Old Covenant brought death (and always will), because it was designed to be a “tutor” that would bring us to Christ. The New Covenant brings life as the morning speaks of a New Day, because it reveals the victory over sin and the wealth of strength offered to the believer by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:1-11). Make a note of the word “believer”, its not a title, but an activity. You see, the central goal of the Old Covenant is to behold our sin and make sacrifices according to how we have fallen from Glory (Rom. 3:23), but the goal of the New Covenant is to behold the Glory of God as it is revealed in the face of Jesus (2 Cor. 4:6), and experienced in our personal transformation (2 Cor. 3:4-18). This means we are called to worship and celebration by what we see in the eyes of Jesus. Our praise is motivated by the fact that we are moving from one level of Glory to another level of Glory by the Spirit of the Lord… its our freedom in Christ.

How Jesus has Set Us Free:

Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I call you friends, for all the things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (Jn. 15:15). Jesus gave His disciples some of the most amazing secrets, like keys to His Father’s heart. And He made it clear that the things He was telling them would need the help of the Holy Spirit to understand and walk out daily (Jn. 16:12-15). Obedience was not going to be bound to a set of rules, but a hearing and perceptive ear. As these disciples were able to hear the voice of the Spirit, they would begin to obey the purposes of God by relationship and honor… “friendship”.

Favor & Fellowship:

The Holy Spirit is changing us and it effects our behavior, our attitudes and our believing. To live in the freedom of listening to the Holy Spirit’s Voice releases two powerful realities… favor and fellowship. Knowing you are loved and accepted by God allows you the freedom to grow in the knowledge of the Glory of God as you look into the face of Jesus. When we live in relationship, we experience the power of love and the freedom that comes to those who walk honorably toward the heart of the friend. In this case God is calling us to see ourself as His friend, His Child and His Chosen One.

Living by Human Standards:

Living by human standards distorts our view of real friendship. When we find ourselves unable to live up to the standards set by those we perceive to be more mature than us, it releases guilt, shame and issues of condemnation. When we live according to some arbitrary religious standard and find ourselves successful without the need of relationship, we become vulnerable to personal pride and boasting. It doesn’t make having some basic standards wrong, it just means they are subjective and difficult to measure in changing times and cultures.

Jesus came to do away with the measurements on all levels and substitute His life for any standard, perceived or real… we become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21).

Jesus Christ became our “Standard Bearer” so that we could walk in freedom. Being led by the Holy Spirit; and feeling the joy of a living relationship with the Father, is New Covenant Believing. Its a freedom to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit and live out of the abundance of our growing knowledge of Christ’s victory at the cross.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1)

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