Posts Tagged ‘unseen’

I Am Strong

Biblical Truths often seem backward and contrary to common sense… even crazy. Sometimes this is because they are stated in paradoxical ways, like the parables Jesus taught. Even when these Truths are stated in a straightforward way; they still strike us as odd, because they do not conform to worldly thought patterns we have to negotiate.

Perhaps our greatest challenge as Christians is to understand the Biblical principle of strength being released through weakness… notice the following verses.

“Consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that he might nullify the things that are, that no one should boast before God.” (1 Cor 1:26-29)

“(God) has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:9-10)

Worldly wisdom says that power is rooted in natural resources like money, good looks and intellegence. Since these resources are limited, true power is always limited to just the few individuals with access and favor.

God’s wisdom says that true power comes from the Holy Spirit and has no correlation with prestige or riches, that are hinged to natural resources. A persons influence in this world is not some kind of license to heavenly influence. True power; as it relates to the Kingdom of God, is accessible to anyone who depends on God. Jesus was the personification of this principle… anointed as the “Christ” or “Messiah”. He was the Prince of Peace; even without religious ordination or title, yet His power was directly connected to His anointing from heaven. His perfect obedience to the Heavenly Father released His influence in the Earth.

The early Church had great power, not because they had access to money or political influences; but because they were filled with the Holy Spirit! It is dependence on God; through faith, that lays hold of real power. We must believe and place our trust in the Holy Spirit to release power into our lives.

God longs for people He can wear like a glove!

Living His life through us, is how the power of heaven comes into the natural realities we so much want to see change. By the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, He demonstrates His power, He transforms culture and makes His Kingdom visible in the Earth.

It might just sound a bit strange to boast in weakness, until you begin to participate in the transformation first hand. Then you begin to see how something as simple as prayer, praise or thankfulness, can tear down walls and crush strongholds of fear. Only when we begin to understand spiritual realities; though unseen, are more powerful than the natural, will we become convinced that… ”when I am weak, then I am strong”.

The Eternal Focus

“…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 4:18)

To what does hope look? Just as faith can focus on the past and love will focus on the present, hope should focus on the future… what we are becoming!

THE FUTURE – Things Yet Unseen and Experienced

Our Spiritual Benefits! (Ps 103:1-5)
Our Spiritual Blessings! (Eph 1:3)
Our Spiritual Birthright! (1 Pet 1:3-9)

Focus Upon Christ:

There is nothing that releases more hope than to awaken ourselves to the Spirit of Revelation (Rom. 8:19)(Eph. 1:17-20). The Bible is full of open heaven experiences (Jn. 1:51), where believers come into a knowledge that transforms their understanding of life (2 Cor. 4:6). You and I are designed to have a living hope, one that moves us into faith and purpose. We experience faith bubbling up inside of us when revelation begins to flow. Our spiritual eyes begin to see the truth of who Jesus is and who God has made us to be as His light shines in our hearts. Faith comes by hearing the revelation of Jesus from the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). When our eyes are focused on the revelation of Christ, our hearts become flames of fire. We experience His love and see beyond the immediate natural realities. By simply opening ourselves up to His revelation, we experience the power of a living hope.

Its like the young boy Samuel who was awakened by a voice from heaven (1 Sam. 3:8-11). The Priest Eli wisely guides his response, ”Speak Lord, for Your servant hears”. Samuel would never be the same as he was awakened by the spiritual revelation of God’s Heartbeat. Hope changes how we see!

Focus on Salvation:

There are so many benefits, blessings and privileges based upon our New Birth in Christ. As Sons and Daughters, we are chosen and accepted in the Father’s House. Our destiny is never to be limited by our history! God makes all things new! What the past should become is nothing more than fertilizer for future fruitfulness. God is at work in us, both to will and to do according to His good pleasure (Phil 2:13). Salvation releases righteous character, Kingdom power and fresh perspective on the future. To be saved is to be delivered from the oppressive weight of a meaningless life. To be saved offers peace with God and strength through an abiding Presence of the Holy Spirit. You and I are not alone and our battles are designed to enable us to reflect the hope that resonates from deep within (1 Pet. 1:3-9)… joy unspeakable and full of glory.

Focus on the Return of Christ:

  • “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)
  • “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thess. 4:16-18)

With these words we encourage one another in our blessed hope. It was Jesus who said, “I will come again and receive you unto myself” (Jn. 14:3). Perhaps the most victorious reality of all is that Satan is defeated and Christ will return as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah! This is the focus of our hope… to become more and more like Him, for we will soon see Him in all His Glory!

Our Highest Prize

Scripture: “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.” (Acts 4:31-32)

Thought for Today: “Living for Jesus – boldly”

Our highest prize is to be found living for Jesus. Living in such a way… that places are shaken, fullness is experienced, unity is established and all things are shared among a generous fellowship. God is offering us the invitation to walk in spiritual prosperity and release His love to the world around us. Our enemies are God’s enemies, our difficulties are God’s difficulties and yet, our victory is God’s testimony. We are beginning to understand that we have full access to everything for which Jesus died. Its not about the bigger, better or more popular life, its about gaining Christ. He has captured our hearts, by loving us in the midst of discovery!

“We cannot, but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20)

Prayer and fasting can lead us to believe that our Christian faith is more about dying to self than living for Christ. Yet, we are exchanging the ashes of a misguided life for the beauty of abiding in His Presence. Though darkness lasts for the night, fresh joy gets released in the morning. The Lord, Himself becomes our Everlasting Light and shapes the way we see our world. It truly is Christ in us that is the hope of Glory (Col 1:27).

The Unveiling:

Yet, Glory goes unseen, because flesh is a veil that the devil uses to hide what is available to us (2 Cor 4:4-6). The inward, spiritual man is so much more wonderful than the outer, natural man of flesh and blood. Its the Holy Spirit’s influence that begins to delight our heart and remove the veil of flesh, so that blessing, purpose and fruitfulness can emerge as our treasure (2 Cor 3:16-18). And treasure it, we will… just try to still our voice, shift our vision or hold us back! We have understood the call to go forth in power and it is now inside us, to endure all things with bold perseverance (Heb 10:35-39).

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?… Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us! (Rom 8:31-37)

Consecration

Scripture: “Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.” (Mark 1:12-13)

Thought for Today: “Ministering Angels”

The Christian life is to be a consecrated life, one where we are fully given to God and His plan for our future (Rom 12:1-2). We are called to be Sons of God, which means God father’s us. His fathering is experienced when we listen to the Holy Spirit and yield our hearts in obedient relationship. This can be a spiritual challenge, but prayer and fasting is one of the most effective tools to sharpen our convictions and shape our lives in a way that honors God in any “wilderness” experiences.

The Wilderness:

The wilderness was not the place Jesus would go to relax. It was a place that the Holy Spirit “drove Him” while He was in a season of consecration. The 40 days of prayer and fasting allowed Jesus the revelation of His Father’s resources in a time of testing. What we must come to appreciate is that consecration opens our spiritual eyes to revelation that cannot be seen any other way. A wilderness will never be more than a place of frustration until we can see beyond its challenges… and find the Father’s resources.

The Beloved Son:

Jesus is the One God called His beloved Son, yet fathering Jesus was no different than fathering any son. God’s Child needs to be aware of all that is available in times of testing. When Jesus was in the wilderness, He felt the discomfort of hunger and thirst. He had to negotiate the decisions that would offer deliverance from temptation and provide safety from ”wild beasts”. Yet, He was not stumbling over Himself in this experience, because He had access to the Father’s resources. Remember Jesus was not in the wilderness to be defeated, He was in the wilderness to discover resources available to a Son.

The Resource of Angels:

Notice in Mark’s gospel, one of the often overlooked blessings of a fasting lifestyle is the ministry of angels. Ministering Angels are a powerful resource available to the Child of God and I want to encourage our awareness of their presence in seasons of prayer and fasting. I have discovered that angels are attracted to God’s Children when living a consecrated lifestyle. The Apostle James tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us (Jms 4:8). I would propose that angels are attracted to the same things as God.

Angelic Ministry:

Nothing should so minister to the heart of God’s Child like the angels. They are God’s ministering spirits sent forth to the heirs of salvation (Heb 1:14). We are told that they accompany us when we walk in love, even without our knowledge (Heb 13:1-2). Great companies of angels are given to watch over our lives and keep us in all of our ways, so that we avoid stumbling and falling into traps often unseen in the wilderness (Ps 91:11-12). Abraham, Daniel, Anna and Cornelius were all visited by angels during seasons of consecration.

Elisha’s Resource:

Remember Elisha’s revelation of the heavenly host of warring angels that assembled around him at all times (2 Kings 6:17). Encourage yourself today in whatever “wilderness” you find yourself driven into. You are not there to be overwhelmed, crushed or defeated! You are there to discover the Father’s resource available to the consecrated Son.

Consecration gives us the eyes to see… and the heart to believe.

The Focus of Hope

“…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 4:18)

To what does hope look? Just as faith can focus on the past and love will focus on the present, hope should focus on the future… what we are becoming!

THE FUTURE - Things Yet Unseen and Experienced

Our Spiritual Benefits! (Ps 103:1-5)
Our Spiritual Blessings! (Eph 1:3)
Our Spiritual Birthright! (1 Pet 1:3-9)
 

Focus Upon Christ:

There is nothing that releases more hope than to awaken ourselves to the Spirit of Revelation (Rom. 8:19)(Eph. 1:17-20). The Bible is full of open heaven experiences (Jn. 1:51), where believers come into a knowledge that transforms their understanding of life (2 Cor. 4:6). You and I are designed to have a living hope, one that moves us into faith and purpose. We experience faith bubbling up inside of us when revelation begins to flow. Our spiritual eyes begin to see the truth of who Jesus is and who God has made us to be as His light shines in our hearts. Faith comes by hearing the revelation of Jesus from the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). When our eyes are focused on the revelation of Christ, our hearts become flames of fire. We experience His love and see beyond the immediate natural realities. By simply opening ourselves up to His revelation, we experience the power of a living hope.

Its like the young boy Samuel who was awakened by a voice from heaven (1 Sam. 3:8-11). The Priest Eli wisely guides his response, ”Speak Lord, for Your servant hears”. Samuel would never be the same as he was awakened by the spiritual revelation of God’s Heartbeat. Hope changes how we see! 

Focus on Salvation:

There are so many benefits, blessings and privileges based upon our New Birth in Christ. As Sons and Daughters, we are chosen and accepted in the Father’s House. Our destiny is never to be limited by our history! God makes all things new! What the past should become is nothing more than fertilizer for future fruitfulness. God is at work in us, both to will and to do according to His good pleasure (Phil 2:13). Salvation releases righteous character, Kingdom power and fresh perspective on the future. To be saved is to be delivered from the oppressive weight of a meaningless life. To be saved offers peace with God and strength through an abiding Presence of the Holy Spirit. You and I are not alone and our battles are designed to enable us to reflect the hope that resonates from deep within (1 Pet. 1:3-9)… joy unspeakable and full of glory.

Focus on the Return of Christ:

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thess. 4:16-18)

With these words we encourage one another in our blessed hope. It was Jesus who said, “I will come again and receive you unto myself” (Jn. 14:3). Perhaps the most victorious reality of all is that Satan is defeated and Christ will return as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!

This is the focus of our hope… to become more and more like Him, for we will soon see Him in all His Glory!

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