May 2020

Honor in the Open

Men see your actions but the Lord sees your heart. Indeed, all things are laid open and bare before Him.

It’s what you do in secret that matters to the Lord, and what you do in secret is what you do with your heart. When the Lord spoke of doing good in secret, to not let you left hand know what your right hand is doing, He spoke of the intentions and attitudes of your heart.

Do not do things for the praise of men, for then that will be your reward; instead, honor the Lord with your heart and He will honor you openly before men, as He sees fit. The man who honors himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself before the Lord will be honored by the Lord, and no man can remove this honor that the Lord has given. Indeed, the Lord’s praise is a treasure in heaven – the place where your heart is meant to make its home. Set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things.

Be holy, as He is holy. A holy heart begins with a desire to sincerely honor the Lord. Offer your body as a living sacrifice, for this is your spiritual act of worship. And the Father desires those true worshipers, who worship in spirit and truth.

On the last day, the Lord, who is the Judge of the living and the dead, will judge the secrets of men’s hearts. Each will receive from Him their recompense for their deeds done in the body. Some will receive honor and others dishonor. Allow the Lord to judge your heart today so that you may be fit to stand before Him on the last day. For if you judge yourself, you will not be judged.

Scriptures
Phil 2:3-13
John 7:17-18
1 Thes 2:4

(Exhortation received by inspiration of the Spirit – May 11, 2013)

The Strong Man

A man’s whose strength is in God is stronger than any man without God.

The natural man is defined by his strength and character. His strength is the arm of the flesh – his natural ability, his wisdom and his wealth. His character, as measured by the world, is glorified as a conqueror, hero, provider, fighter; and so the natural man uses his strength to express his character.

A man of God is defined by the strength and character of God in him. With the arm of the Lord as his strength a man is not limited to his own natural ability but has the supernatural ability of God, giving him dominion over all things in the Name of Jesus. A man of God’s character is measured by the degree to which the character of God has dominion within his own heart, to glory of God in Christ Jesus.

A man of God’s character is more powerful than a natural man’s character because the man of God has his roots in the power of God – a supernatural power to demonstrate the nature of Jesus. A man of God can be completely weak in his own natural ability, wisdom and wealth but be (and become increasingly) strong in the mighty power, blessing, wisdom and character of God. Gentleness, meekness and kindness may appear weak to the natural man, but in the man of God these qualities are world-dominating, overcoming, unstoppable and “against such there is no law” – its the victorious nature of Jesus.

A man whose strength is in God is stronger than any man without God.

1 Cor 1:17- 2:16

Circumcision of the Heart

It is truly a miracle when the Spirit of the Living God performs a work within the heart. He uncovers the pattern of the world and of sin in the way we think and feel. He exposes our blind spots, the areas of our lives that we couldn’t see for ourselves. And He graciously reminds us of how this old pattern, this sinful, weak and condemned way has been circumcised, cut away by the Spirit of Jesus.

It is a deep reminder at the core of our consciousness that we have been brought into a new and living way. It is a mark within us that both symbolizes and actualizes the covenant of the regenerative life of Jesus within us. It is the Spirit of God operating and cutting away that which is dead in order that which is alive may grow and bloom within our hearts – to where the flame of God burns bright within our souls, His nature shines brilliantly in our face, His light pours forth from our eyes and mouths and our hands perform His works in the Name of Jesus!

Scriptures:
Col 2:12-13
John 15
Hebrews 4:12

Peace

Peace isn’t just the absence of worry or stress. Peace is the result of a right relationship with God. When we are aligned to His right way of doing, being, acting, thinking, we experience a peace that passes all understanding, a supernatural force of calm that comes from knowing that all is good between the Lord and I. Perhaps this is part of the reason why both Paul and Peter would always begin their letters with “Grace and peace from our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”.

What Is Life?

What is life? The world believes it is the sum of experiences in the physical world, the expression of feelings, thoughts and convictions, a series of events triggered by decisions and actions. But this definition of life is dependent on man’s ability to create these experiences, limited by time and space. Natural man (man without God) is limited to what he is able to accomplish with his own abilities, wealth, opportunity, and relationships. He is limited by time – the excitement fades, the glory dims, the comfort wanes in time. And if he is to revive and relive the thrill, he must do it once again, or do something new. He is a prisoner of the law of diminishing returns.

Not so with the life of God. His life is a spiritual force that is dynamic in nature. It is not dependent on time or circumstance because it is eternal – eternal life. It exists because it exists; just as God describes Himself “I am that I am”, so His life is that it is. His life is always new, always fresh, always thrilling. It never grows tired, never grows weary, just as He never grows tired or weary. His life is not dependent on natural circumstances or natural abilities to create happiness. His life IS righteousness, joy and peace. A natural life cannot truly satisfy because it cannot bring life to the spirit of a man. But God’s life is spiritual and meets the deepest need of man. And once that spiritual need has been met with His life, all other needs are secondary and are met by the outflow of that very same spiritual life. And we have this spiritual life in Jesus Christ.

Jesus said “he who has the Son has life”. In Jesus, my joy is not dependent on what I do or don’t do, what I have or don’t have, what I like or don’t like, who I know or don’t know. I have joy because I have Him. As Paul said in Philippians “I have learned the secret of being content in whatever circumstance i am in…I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me.”

Abiding in His Presence

There is nothing more precious and valuable in life than the Presence of the Lord. He is more wonderful than words can express and nothing in life can compare to Him. The value and importance we place on His Presence determines the measure of His Presence in our lives. 

In the days of the Ark of the Covenant, the Presence of the Lord would dwell among the people. However, if someone wanted to hear from the Lord, they would have to go to the person who God appointed as priest and representative, and then the appointed representative would inquire of the Lord on behalf of the people.  Under the old covenant, the priest or prophet or king was appointed and anointed by God to experience His Presence and hear His Voice. Under the new covenant established by Jesus, Who is our High Priest and King and Representative, the Presence of the Lord lives within in our hearts. He has made our heart His dwelling place. David, appointed to be king, said in Ps 27:4 that there is one thing he sought, one thing he desired, and that was to dwell in the house of the Lord all of his days and to gaze upon His beauty. In the new covenant, we are His house and we can enter into His Presence at any time. We can gaze upon the beauty of the Lord just as the priests, prophets and kings of old have done.  

In 2 Cor 3:18 the scripture says that we are transformed from glory to glory into the image of Jesus by beholding His Presence; and His Presence is the Holy Spirit Who indwells us. It is by gazing upon the beauty of the Lord that we are progressively transformed into His image. It is in His light that we see light, the light of His glory. 

So how do we experience this? By seeking His face (His Presence) with all of our heart. He tells us to seek His face, His Presence. And since He dwells in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, when we seek him with our heart, we experience His Presence, His Spirit. We do not need to look outside of ourselves or go to a physical temple, because we are the temple and He dwells within us. We do not need to consult a priest or prophet or king to know the will of the Lord, we can hear His Voice in our own hearts.  In John 15, Jesus spoke of abiding in Him. He said that if we abide (or dwell) in Him, then He will abide in us. He promised that the Father will make His home within us. As we seek His face with all of our heart in every aspect of our lives, His Presence will dwell in us and every aspect of our lives.  

There is nothing in life more precious and more valuable than the Presence of the Lord, and we have the awesome and glorious privilege of having His Presence dwelling within us. “My heart says of You, seek His face!” 

The Dominion of His Kingdom

God gave Adam dominion over the earth. Adam gave that authority to the devil through sin. Jesus won that authority back through salvation, and now we have that authority in His Name.  

Jesus taught us to prayer the Father “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven” 

We establish the kingdom of God and destroy the works of the devil in Jesus’ Name.  

The promised land was not a type and shadow of heaven; it was a type and shadow of Christ’s dominion in the earth through the church, which is His Body. There are no giants or wicked nations in heaven, but there are in the earth.  

  • Ps 2:8 – ask Me (the Father) and I will give you the nations for Your (Christ’s) inheritance. You shall break them with a rod of iron. You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s ware  
  • Eph 3:10 – (His purpose) is that through the church the wisdom (the wisdom of redemption) of God may be manifest to the rulers and powers in heavenly places 
  • Eph 6:12 – for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in heavenly places 

The last enemy is death, and death will be subdued at the Resurrection 

Cor 15:24-25 – After that (the Resurrection) comes the end (the completion), when He delivers over the kingdom to God the Father after rendering inoperative and abolishing every (other) rule and every authority and power. For (Christ) must be King and reign until He has put all (His) enemies under His feet.  

  1. Before the Resurrection, Christ must rule as King until He has subdued every power and authority that is in opposition to Him 
  1. The last enemy is death, who will be subdued at the Resurrection  

Rev 11:15 – …the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of the Lord and of His Christ