Posts Tagged ‘trusting’

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)

Beyond the Limits

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)

If you want to experience a fresh reality of life, influenced by the power of God; you need to discover how to live beyond your limitations. There is a Living Resource in Jesus. He is the Christ – the Son of the Living God, mighty to deliver and faithful to strengthen the weary. I can almost hear: “Yeah, that’s easy for you to say. If you were in my situation you would see that it’s not that easy to change things.”

Changing things will not change things!

For most people there is a natural resistance against the unknown, even if it is wanted desperately. People do not like to be where they are… but they are afraid to risk what they have relied upon.

I want to let you know of the 3 things that will limit God’s power in your life and offer you the alternative that will not require you to change anything… God will do it for you! These might feel like baby steps, but they will benefit you and your awareness of God’s activity in your life. Sometimes our biggest hurdle is that we lean on ourselves when we think we are trusting God! So, let these sink in…

1. Fear limits God – So Let God Love You!

When we are afraid we start becoming anxious and reason things out. Fear of men, fear of rejection, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of losing friends, approval or your job, all kinds of fears come to the surface when life gets overwhelming. Let me remind you that love casts out ALL fear! The people who do not know the love of God, fall apart like a house of cards in a wind storm. They cannot handle the weight of adversity, because they cannot trust His care for them. To know God is to allow Him to love you, just as you are… warts and all. You can always tell the size of a man’s character by the size of the problem it takes to discourage him.

2. Unbelief limits God – So Let God Prove Himself!

Unfortunately we live in a culture of unbelief. The news, our friends and family, and even most churches; often speak and act out of unbelief. You may not doubt that God can do amazing things, but you might wonder why He would do anything for you… its about His willingness to do it. Recognize God is willing, because He likes you.

I can have the faith that God can heal, but at the same time not believe that He will do it right here, for me. That is how the leper felt when he asked Jesus if He was willing to heal him (Mk. 1:40-41). Jesus was willing!

I can know that God supplies all my needs, but still not walk in an assurance that He will do it when I’m in a tight spot. That is how the Apostle Paul felt when he was in need (2 Cor. 7:5-7) for when he arrived in Macedonia (Acts 20:1) he had a difficult time “with trouble all round – conflicts outside and anxiety within”. But God, who cheers the depressed, gave him comfort by the arrival of Titus. That encouragement and strength was what the Apostle Paul needed… supernatural grace to reign in life!

3. Disobedience limits God – So Let God Speak to You!

If God tells you to do something – do it, even if it might not look like the smartest thing to do. Who cares about what other people say when you have a word from God? You might need some wisdom in how or when to step up, hut remind yourself that you’re not alone. God can even bless a mistake made out of faith more than a mistake made by doing nothing! If you step across the line and stop over thinking what God should you, you will see His power begin moving in your life.

So get rid of fear and unbelief and be obedient to what He says and you will see greater miracles in your life. You will find yourself trusting in the One who makes the impossible possible… in the One who is always for you!

“And if God be for you who can be against you?” (Rom. 8:31)

Favorable Outcomes

“For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.” (Ps 5:12)

We do not need to be a “big shot” to enjoy the blessing and favor of God. God blesses the righteous and surrounds them with His favor as with a shield. The “righteous” are people of childlike faith, who know God’s heart toward them. Children are amazing; with wreckless abandon, they place their highest priority on fun and laughter. They are not considering how to work the system or follow the rules perfectly. They are relying on favor in their relationships to produce favorable outcomes.  

Enjoying God:

Enjoying God produces favorable outcomes! Those who enjoy God and love His Presence are able to experience His favor like a shield. Think about it, a shield is a protective covering and refuge when our weaknesses make us vulnerable in the midst of personal trials, storms or battles. Being shielded is perhaps the most wonderful quality favor can offer us. Being shielded gives us a place of safety, where peace and rest can become our resource. Its God’s shade in the midst of the scorching sun.

 Notice the promise of Psalm 91:1-2:
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is My Refuge and My Fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Those who spend time and energy developing their relationship with God consistently discover that favor is part of His promise. Living under the influence of the Holy Spirit is full of benefits and rewards that make life a blessing. Our active fellowship with God helps us recognize His divine power, that according to the Apostle Peter, has given us all that we need for “life and godliness” (2 Pe. 1:2-4).  

People of Faith:

Make note of this principle: As people of faith, we are pulling upon invisible realities… Kingdom Realities. Favorable outcomes are hinged to God’s will for our lives – He wants good for us! Yet we must recognize some basic truths of how the Kingdom of God works in order to believe our future will be blessed (Mt. 13:1-52). Trusting and learning to lean upon God’s wisdom and power will bring invisible realities into our natural realm of experience. God wants His Children to pull heavenly resources into their daily routine. He wants us to live in Him… in His environment – His Presence & His Glory. 

Letting God be “Father”:

The Blessing of God is so much more than money or provision, its a favorable position. Its the position of the “righteous” whereby God takes an active role in our lives. He is our Father, but letting Him actually “father” us is where the Blessing gets activated. God’s thoughts toward us are good and His actions are even better (Jer. 29:11-14). He listens to us, reveals Himself to us, delivers us from trouble and actively speaks into our lives moment by moment… simply because that is what fathers do.

Our Father offers the Blessed Place… A Position in His Heart! (Jn. 14:3)

Glorious New Places

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:16-18)

Don’t give up! I have learned that no matter how uncomfortable a period of transition is, it is the only avenue into “New Places”. When we lean into change, it keeps us moving forward. Faith and momentum are designed to operate together as our hearts are established in Christ.

Forward motion starts with just one step, but enduring motion is a powerful activity of focused faith. We have the assurance, our steps “are ordered by the Lord and He delights in our way” (Ps. 37:23). This means that God has a plan for us… a good plan (Jer. 29:11). He knows what is needed to conform us to the image of Christ. If we can believe, nothing will be impossible on the way into our destinies.

The “Peter” Kind of Faith:

Taking that first step often requires the kind of faith Peter had when he stepped out of the boat and walked on water in response to Jesus’ voice (Mt. 14:25-32). It might sound a bit wreckless, but it was stirred by the invitation felt inside the heart of Peter. Hearing and trusting the words of Jesus allowed Peter to do something that was impossible in the natural. I know it might shake our theology a bit, but we must catch what Peter’s first step brought him into… a greater weight of glory. Peter was doing more than walking on water, he was taking a step out on the words of Christ. The sound he was hearing in the natural caused his heart to transition into the supernatural. This is what faith is all about! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17).

Distractions:

Winds kick up and trouble begins as soon as that first step is taken. Its not that hard to connect to your heart when you have a “Peter-like” personality, but that strength is often a weakness. We must remember that weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning (Ps. 30:5). Believing produces a momentum of assurance that carries us into the second and third steps with faith. 

The devil watches our second step almost as much as the first. His goal is to distract, discourage and disappoint us in our efforts… so that we miss the joy of the morning. Don’t allow the storms of your transition to cause you to lose sight of God’s promise! The battle is inevitable, but the strength of your stance is the knowledge that Jesus is already out there where He is calling you. To the degree that you are unhindered by the distractions, you will be successful in Kingdom transitions. Weathering transitions successfully requires a well engaged trust… so place your trust in Christ! 

  • Abraham trusted and ”did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.” (Rom. 4:20)
  • Job said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15) 
  • David declared, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” (Ps. 56:3)

Whether in the darkest night or the joyful celebration of morning, each period of transition in your life is designed to lead you to glorious new places. These are places that are renewing our inner man and working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Set your gaze on promotion and allow each one of these appointed moments to take you to a higher level spiritually! The ultimate goal is that you become more and more like Christ.

Signs Following

Nothing less than... all.

When we as a Christian people find ourselves in need, we look to God in humble reliance and prayer. Our belief is set in the context of His promises. The Apostle Peter wrote that God’s, “…divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Pet 1:3-4).

 The incredible goal of Peter, was to show us the process of getting our needs met, our lives engaged and our ministries growing to advance the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. He tells us that; because we have escaped a corruption that is in the world through sensual lust and arrogance, we may be partakers of the “divine nature”. You might ask, “what is a divine nature?” Well, that is a good question, because it kinda sounds like we become godlike …and in a way we do.

 The divine nature is life by God’s promises.

 Not a set of doctrines, but a level of reality where God’s facts become your facts. Notice that in Peter’s statement about God’s power meeting our needs, that they are hinged to our knowledge of Him. Our knowledge of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit lays the platform for the divine nature to have influence in and upon us. Now before you get concerned about how little you know about God, realize Peter is not talking about trivial information, but intimate relationship. The stuff that connects our hearts together. What you know about God should not be based upon data or trivial facts, but evidence that has been proven through personal relationship. You have escaped corruption to become God’s child. As sons and daughters, we relate to our Father with a bold awareness of promised access and privileges… eating at His table, asking whatever we desire and resting our heads upon His breast. These are the joys of fellowship with God. It is rich and full of spiritual knowledge that renews our minds and transforms our behavior. We begin to live out of this new set of priorities, “facts” if you will, that are experienced in His Presence, but become our reality.

 Knowing our Heavenly Father intimately, trusting Christ passionately and following the leading of the Holy Spirit completely; these are the tools that accomplish a lifestyle of partaking of the divine nature. His reality is becoming our reality! Its increasing daily and the fruit of this kind of lifestyle becomes a resource for everyone we come into contact with.

  • “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)
  • “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.” (Mk 16:17-18)
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