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Sanctification – Hope or Reality

I tend to stay away from controversy, at least when writing my blog. It’s not that I’m afraid to deal with the tough issues, I do in my personal life, I just don’t want to deal with the inevitable argument the ensues. Long ago Daddy told me to avoid useless arguments because they are a total waste of time and effort. Now I do welcome an honest and respectful dialogue where both parties are honestly seeking the truth, that however is not how it normally occurs. Usually I get the person that believes they know the truth and so they are going to prove it to me and everyone else. They are going to prove to all that they are right and I am wrong. I don’t have any problem with people showing me I’m wrong, I want to know if I’m wrong, but not in an argumentative way. There is a way to show someone they are in error and it is done through relationship and in humility. Rarely, and I mean rarely is it o.k. to correct someone you don’t know personally, especially in a public forum. With that being said, let’s dive into controversy.

potter's wheel

Sanctification is a really big topic within the circles I travel and I’ve seen the beautiful transformation that occurs when you understand the truth about it and in contrast I’ve seen the destruction and heartache that can occur when it’s taught incorrectly. I’ve seen so much frustration lately from people that it has prompted me to write and address what I believe to be the truth, God’s heart on the matter.

When exploring a polarizing issue like this it is important to look for the point of view that exalt’s or lifts up Jesus. In John 12:32 Jesus says that if He is lifted up He will draw all to himself. Now I realize that in this passage the word ‘peoples’ is not in the original and was put in by the translators; Jesus was referring to judgement and not people, but the principle is still the same. If you look for the explanation of scripture the exalts or lifts up Jesus and not man, then you’ve most likely found the right explanation. So that is how we will handle the topic of sanctification.

Sanctification (hagiasmós)-Means to become holy, set apart, sanctification, holiness, consecration.

Now because people see that this is a process, most look at the work and focus on it. We tend to look at the wrong, the outward actions, and focus on it, this is a result of the fall, and not the way we are intended to handle things, sanctification is no different. Jesus stated in John 8 that the reason the Pharisees could not see the truth was because they were looking according to the flesh and not by faith. They looked at Abrahams obedience and believed that was what pleased God when the reality was that it was the faith that pleased God. Yes, faith brought obedience but the focus is on the belief not the actions. In 2 Corinthians it says that we should not see any man or make any judgements about someone based on their actions, or another way to say it is we are to judge no man according to the flesh. If we do we end up being in the same condition as the Pharisees. We are to see every man by faith in what Jesus accomplished on the cross.

Many will point to Hebrews 10:14 as proof that sanctification is a process because many translations say that by one sacrifice He has perfected those who are being sanctified. First of all the word being was added by the translators and the verse should read that by one sacrifice He has perfected for all time those sanctified. It never has been a process of doing but is a reality of being. Jesus has perfected you through the finished work of the cross, it’s a one time deal that is good forever!

1 Corinthians 1:30

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption

Jesus is our sanctification, it’s not about what we do but about what He has already done. I can hear many say yeah, but look at the way they are acting or look at the bondage that believer is in, they aren’t sanctified or holy. Yes they are, you are doing what Jesus told us not to do, you are looking at the flesh and not exhalting what Jesus has done. You have to see them as the Father sees them, that is as holy, sanctified sons of God! Just because they aren’t acting sanctified doesn’t mean they aren’t. We are to be like Jesus and judge no man, but exalt them to be who He has already created them to be. We are to see the truth in them and call it forth. When they can see themselves for who Christ has made them, then they will begin to emulate the image they see. It’s not in the acting right that makes you sanctified or holy, it’s knowing that you are already sanctified and holy that creates proper thoughts and action. To spend time focusing on the spots and blemishes is to deny that Jesus has cleansed you, but to see yourself without spot or blemish is to exalt Jesus and empower you to live the life as the person God has always known you to be.

In Proverbs it says that as a man thinks in his heart so is he. Until you can see yourself without spot or blemish, until you can see yourself holy and sanctified you will not live an overcomer life. Jesus said in John 8 that if you do not believe that He is the Christ you will die in your sins. What He is saying is that if you do not acknowledge or see everything that He did on the cross you will be in bondage to the part you can’t see. If you don’t believe that He died for your healing then you will not see healing manifest in your flesh; likewise, if you can’t see that He is your sanctification then you will remain in bondage to the sin that can’t seem to get free from.

Anticipation

I have been looking at a certain item I’ve wanted for a while now, and after eight months of obsessing over it (at least that’s what my family says I’ve been doing) I finally placed the order. Now this particular item can take six to eight weeks to be produced and then delivered to me. After eight months what is another six to eight weeks, right? Wrong! Time seems to have come to a standstill in anticipation of a day when I finally receive the thing I have been desiring and waiting for. Even the knowledge that the day of delivery is virtually just around the corner doesn’t seem to quench the pain of anticipation.

the-waiting-game

Thinking about this last night, numerous Christians waiting to receiving something from God came to mind. Many who are waiting for healing, some for financial breakthrough, others for provision in many different areas. The key to all this is that they are anxiously waiting for what will happen someday. I hear it all the time. “I know God is going to heal me!” or “I know it’s God’s will to heal, and He will heal me someday.” Although those statements seem to be from people who are in faith, the reality is that they aren’t. They are in hope, not faith.

You see, faith is the substance of things hoped for; it is the reality of what God has already provided, even in stark contrast to what appears to be going on around you. Faith isn’t just mentally agreeing with what it says in scripture, or even what you have been told through a prophetic word, it is knowing it in your heart to be true regardless of what your circumstances are telling you. We are not to be a people who continually live in hope, but those that live in the continual provision of those things hoped for.

In Ephesians it says that God has already given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. It doesn’t say that He will provide it when its needed, scripture says He has already done it. Jesus embraced the whipping post over 2,000 years ago for our sickness and disease, because it says in 1Peter that by His stripes you WERE healed. It doesn’t say that if you are in faith God will heal you, it is declaring that in faith you will realize the reality of that very thing God has already provided for you.

When God created Adam and Eve, He didn’t create them on the first or second day, making them tread water, or sit and wait until everything else was done to be able to enjoy what God had for them. No, God created them on the sixth day, actually it was at the end of the sixth day, so that everything they could possible want was already there for them to partake of. They just entered in to the Sabbath rest with Him, enjoying both there union with Him, and everything He had already provided. It’s the same with us. We too are in union with Him, and we too just need to partake of what He has already done through Jesus on the cross. It just a matter of perception. Can you see it?

Ask Holy Spirit today to show you how your need has already been provided. Ask Him reveal the reality of it to your heart, then go about your life with the assurance that He will.

He is Righteous – So are you (Audio Only)

Chasing The Sun

Looking out of the window from 36,000 feet I could see the pale blue sky above and a solid layer of white clouds like shag carpet lying below. As I stared, I began listening to hear what Holy Spirit was saying. I wasn’t listening because He was moving me to, I was listening because I knew He always enjoys engaging me in conversation. As I listened my eyes drifted from directly outside my window towards the nose of the plane where I could see a warm glow from the setting sun. As soon as my attention was captured by the glow I heard Holy Spirit say, “Chasing the sun”.Chasing the sun

There I was sitting in seat 20F, heading to the Island of Hawaii. We had taken off from Los Angeles, right as the sun began to set, and so the chase was on! Funny thing about flying west just before sunset, the sun seems to hang on the horizon “about to set” for hours, giving the impression that the chase could go on forever, but gradually you slowly fall behind, the sun moves beyond the horizon and the last rays of light dim into darkness. And so it happened, somewhere over the Pacific Ocean the chase came to an abrupt halt and the realization hit; you can never catch the sun!

I realize what I’m about to say might be really upsetting for some, but will be liberating for others. You see, my experience mirrored the spiritual condition of many around the world who considers themselves God chasers. For a God chaser, God always seems to be right there in front of you, allowing you to see the soft glow of His presence, even experiencing His tangible warmth at times through visitations and encounters, but never seeming to catch Him in His fullness. Day by day is spent pursuing Someone that seems to be uncatchable, eventually the encounters can’t satisfy the appetite, enthusiasm gives way to desperation, desperation gives way to frustration, then frustration finally gives in to apathy. Apathy doesn’t mean you no longer care, just you’ve grown weary of the chase, deciding that the dream of entering in His fullness is unobtainable and so you settle for a lesser dream, you settle for a life of moving from one glimpse of His glory to another, hoping the times between won’t be too long.

Years ago I hung around a bunch of people who considered themselves God chasers. These were incredible men and women of God; individuals who had a tremendous love for God. They were extremely passionate for Him and I admired them for it. The problem was never their love and passion, the problem was they were chasing someone they could never catch. No matter how much they repented, fasted, worshipped, or soaked in His presence, they could never obtain their goal of catching God. It would never happen as long as they continued chasing after Him. How could you say that you might ask? It’s simple, you can’t catch what you already have!

Something remarkable, even miraculous occurred when you were born again. Scripture says that you became a new creation; that you became like Jesus. It goes on to tell how during this miraculous event you became one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17) and that of His fullness you have received. (John 1:16) You see, the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in bodily form in the man Jesus, and you have been made complete in Him! It’s clear, you have already obtained the very thing you keep chasing after; quit chasing and start enjoying His fullness!

So why aren’t you experiencing it? Again it’s simple! As long as you keep chasing after what you already have you are declaring that there is a separation between you and God. You aren’t acknowledging your unity, and until you begin to understand and acknowledge that you have been given the fullness of the Godhead in Christ Jesus it won’t become a reality in your life. (Philemon 1:6) It’s a spiritual principle that Holy Spirit showed me years ago. You become what you gaze upon. As you focus on the reality of God in you then you will begin to see manifestations of that reality. You will find that the things and resources of the Kingdom of God are attracted to you and that they will begin manifesting in your life the more you start acknowledging what has been given to you through the finished work of the cross. Another way to look at it is likeness attracts likeness.

Here is a practical way to implement this in your life. First you need to acknowledge to yourself that the Fullness of Christ Jesus is in you and that you are in Him. Repeat this:

I have been given the fullness of Christ Jesus by the grace of God! He was given to me as a gift that I receive. I didn’t do anything to earn Him and so I can’t do anything to lose Him! Because the fullness of Jesus is in me then things of the kingdom are attracted to me. Since the Kingdom of God is attracted to me then my circumstances and the environment around me is changed and transformed to be as it is in Heaven. My needs get met, sickness and disease gets destroyed, and life comes to those areas and people around me that appear dead. “

 Now that you’ve declared it start looking for it in your daily life. You may not see large changes or extravagant manifestations immediately, maybe you will, but most people start to see small, seemingly insignificant changes or manifestations. Maybe you find a dime on the ground, stop and think God that He provides! Maybe you see a hurting person in the store and you feel compassion for them or have the desire to pray for them. Stop and thank God that the very reason you feel compassion or have the desire to pray for them is proof that He is in you and changing you! Even if you chickened out and didn’t pray for them, thank God that you had the desire! The desire is proof of Christ in you! Then, as you begin to acknowledge the little things in your life you will start see bigger and more miraculous manifestations. You will begin to experience and enjoy the fullness of the One you love, the one you chased but never seemed to catch.

Compassion or Wisdom?

Watching a video tonight of a homeless boy being ignored by the people who passed him by, emotions began flooding over me. My mind went back to an experience I had over fifteen years ago and a lesson I learned.

Homeless man ignored

 During this time I was spending a large amount of time praying and would generally spend time praying in the afternoons before heading home from work. One day the Lord told me to start going to the church I was attending and pray. So I began going at least 4 times a week and either sit in the sanctuary or on the curb outside, mainly on the curb, and I would pray. As I would sit there most of the time my heart would be flooded with God’s love and compassion and I’d begin to cry as I prayed; this went on for weeks. One day the Lord told me he wanted me to pay more attention to the people around me while I prayed and so I made it a point to notice the people as they came in and went out of the church building. After weeks of the praying, crying, and watching, I began to realize something. No one ever stopped or took the time to speak to me. I was a young man sitting on the curb outside of a church crying and the church staff would come and go, many times look at me sitting there and then continue on. Then the Lord said, “ What good is it to do the works and study scripture if you don’t have the love and compassion to stop and help”?

I’ve heard all the excuses. If you get the homeless guy a hotel room to stay in he’ll just steal stuff or do “who knows what” in it, or if you give them money they’ll just buy alcohol or drugs. You need to be careful, you don’t want people to take advantage of you. Maybe I’m naïve but I’m really glad God didn’t say that. What would have happened if when Jesus was going to the cross the Father said, “ you know Jesus, they will just take this grace and misuse it.” Or, “now Jesus, you be careful and protect yourself, don’t let them take advantage of you”!

Could it really be that the reason we allow all these unpleasant possibilities govern our actions is because we really don’t believe that love has the power to transform. Maybe love isn’t so concerned about protecting itself but always trusts and lays down it’s own life and agenda for others because it knows that love never fails. Maybe having the love and compassion of our Father means your compelled to help. Maybe I’m just naïve and am letting my emotions control me instead of wisdom?

Why Did Jesus Come?

Growing up in a Christian home, spending countless hours in church services and Sunday school classes, I listened to many sermons and lessons on why Jesus came to earth and died on a cross. Pretty much the central theme to them all was that my sin was the reason Jesus came. It was man’s sin that was the focus or driving force that incited Jesus to come; our sin was what forced Him to the cross. Now that sounds legit, Jesus did come and He did voluntarily lay down His life and died on a cross for our sins. It is also true that if man had not sinned Jesus wouldn’t have had to come as a man and He definitely wouldn’t have had to lay down His life. Even though it is the truth, was it His motivating factor? Was sin the reason Jesus made the decision to come?

The latter part of 1998 and early 1999 I began having encounters with God where He began teaching me who He was. I began to understand His true nature. One of the earliest and most significant aspects of His nature He began to teach me was that He is love and that everything He does is done through and motivated by love. That is why John 3:16 says:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Many who quote John 3:16 or use it in a sermon tend to put the emphasis on believing in Christ and having everlasting life. Again, although that is true, that is not the central point of the verse. The central point is that God so loved. It was love that motivated Jesus to come not sin, and it’s this motivational love, or first love, that Jesus and speaks of in scripture. In Revelation 2:4 Jesus, speaking to the church in Ephesus, says:

 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

jesus-cross-and-sun

I can remember the countless sermons and lessons that I listened to about how the church of Ephesus had lost their first love; how they no longer loved Jesus the way they had in the beginning. These teachings often left me wondering if I too had lost my first love. I would ask myself, “Do I still love Jesus enough”? And after a time of quite introspection, focusing more and more on my shortcomings, my answer would always be a resounding “NO”, followed by a time of fear and condemnation. This is the way I believed, this is the cycle of my relationship with Jesus until the day I felt Holy Spirit ask me a question. Now I say felt because I did not hear the words but felt the question rise up from deep within me. He said, “Demanding a level of love and devotion, is that really love?”

I had to think about it for a while. As I pondered the question I began to wonder what kind of person would require you to love them at a certain level or you would be punished. To me, that sounds like a person who has some real self-esteem issues. Someone who isn’t sure people would love them if given the choice not to. So they put stringent regulations demanding love in order to be sure He would be loved. The truth is, any love that is demonstrated out of requirement is not love at all. So if Jesus isn’t talking about a level of emotion or love in Revelation 2:4 then what is this “first love” He mentions? What if the “first love” He mentioned is more description of when the love was than a level of love.

So I began to seeking, trying to find the earliest point in history where scripture mentions love. If I could find the first time in history where love is mentioned and see what was going on then I’d know what first love is, and I could then make sure I’d never loose it like the church in Ephesus. Then one day I found it, in John 17 Jesus talks about a love He and the Father shared before the foundation of the earth. That is a love that was even before the fall, before man was created, even before the earth was created. That has to be first love. So starting in verse 23 it says:

 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

So Jesus is praying for all those who will believe throughout history will believe; that’s you and me! He then goes on and mentions that He desires that the world knows that God the Father loves us just like He loves Jesus. Then in verse 25 He goes even further and prays that we would understand that the same love that Father God has for Jesus is in us! That’s right, IN us!

Now I knew that we have the love of God, the love He had for Jesus before the foundation of the earth, in us; so what does that look like and what does that mean? What was it like before the foundation of the earth?

John1:1-3

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In John 1 we are given a picture of Jesus, the Word, with God. Now that word with in Greek is the word “pros” which means:

properly, motion towards to “interface with presumed contact and reaction

A few years ago I had the honor to go minister in New Zealand. During that time a Maori, one of the indigenous people of New Zealand, came to a meeting and as I went to shake his hand to greet him he replied, “no, I want to greet you the traditional way.” He instantly put his hand behind my head and drew me close until our foreheads were touching. There we stood face to face when he stated that his people believed that when you stood there face to face you partook of each others spirit and you became part of the other individual. It was during that experience that I immediately knew that this was what first love looked like before the foundation of the earth. The Father and Jesus face to face with Holy Spirit between, separate but apart of both. They were all individuals yet they were one. It is in this environment, in this first love that you and I were created.

John 1:3

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Colossians 1:16

For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.

Jesus did not only create you and me but we were created in Him and through Him. When you created something from a substance, then the thing you create has similar, if not the same properties as the substance you created it from.

Genesis 1:20

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly and swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly over the earth in the open expanse of the heavens

Genesis 1:24

And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creeping things, and [wild] beasts of the earth according to their kinds. And it was so.

When God wanted to create the creatures that were in the water He spoke to the water commanding it to bring them forth. When He wanted to create creatures on land He commanded the earth to bring them forth. He always spoke to the substance from which the creature was made, but in Genesis 1:26 when He wanted to create you and I He didn’t speak to the sea or speak to the land, He spoke to Himself.

God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth.

He spoke to Himself because it was out of His essence that you and I were created. Now I realize some of you are thinking, “Hold on! God created man from the dust of the earth.” Well, yes and no. He created our earthly bodies from the earth, but it wasn’t until He breathed into that shell that it became a living soul. He had to breath into the body in order to place Adam into it. Adam was in Him, the place of his origin and the substance from which he was made.

You and I were created in Christ in the place of that first love. It is in that place of “face to face”, that place of intimacy between the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit that Daddy said let us make man. You were created in love and by love in that place of intimacy; that is first love.

First love is not a level to obtain or even something to acquire. First love is acknowledging the love, that unconditional, overwhelming, intimacy that we were created in and the position God has placed us.

What Jesus was admonishing the Church of Ephesus for wasn’t because they had let their love for Him to diminish, it was because they forgotten what first love was. The Church in Ephesus were diligently doing the things for God, patiently enduring, and hating anything that appeared to be evil. That may sound good but they had gotten to the point where they were starting to look at all their deeds and believe that is where their righteousness came from. That is self-righteousness, and Jesus came to tell them that they had forgotten that it is by the grace of God alone and not their deeds that allows them to do what they can do and be who they were created to be.

As Holy Spirit led me down this path, teaching me about love and especially first love, He was developing in me the realization that it is love and always has been love that motivated the relationship between God and man. You see, it wasn’t sin that cause Jesus to come to earth and lay down His life through the death on a cross. Sin was never the issue; it always has been and always will be love.

Fresh Revelation

Revelation – a surprising and previously unknown fact, especially one that is made known in a dramatic way.

 

Scripture tells us that Holy Spirit is our teacher. It says that He is the one that will lead us into all truth, (John 16:13) and even after 17 years of actively listening to His teaching there are still very few things in life that stimulates and energizes me more than receiving a new revelation from Him; even revelation that is corrective.

The old book.

 

A few weeks ago, the end of December 2014, Holy Spirit was teaching me about my relationship with Jesus; talking to me about the reality of my intimacy in Him and I was enthusiastically absorbing each and every word He was saying. Even though I was engaged in this newly realized revelation, my mind gradually started drifting off, beginning the process of trying to figure out how I could teach this new found revelation to others. As my mind darted back and forth through scriptures that would be appropriate to use in a teaching, Holy Spirit brought my focus back to Him with an unexpected question. He said, “ Why do you think I give you these new revelations?”

 

The question jolted my mind back to reality and I answered, “Because you are my teacher.” Then, ignoring my response He began saying, “why is it that when I teach people something, especially those who are considered teachers, they immediately start desiring to teach others what they are hearing? I don’t give you new revelations so that you can immediately start teaching others; I give them to you so you can be transformed. If you neglect this purpose and go directly to teaching others, you will not be transformed into the image of Christ but be puffed up, proud of your new found understanding. This is the reason so many leaders have fallen or fail to mentor others to have a true relationship with Jesus. They fail to be transformed and so teach out of knowledge instead of a transformed life.”

 

Holy Spirit then began to admonish me not to short circuit the process. He began telling me not be so eager to teach what He had recently given me, but allow the truth to have its way. Allowing the revelation to fulfill the task for which it was given, allowing it to transform me more and more into the very image of Christ.

 

Please don’t misunderstand me. This doesn’t mean that we aren’t to teach others, but we need to allow the revelation to become who we are. The word must become flesh in our lives in order for it to be able to transform the lives of others. It is the image of Christ others must see when we teach and not our own intellect.

Hound of Heaven

Late one evening a few years ago, probably around midnight, I was sitting in my office talking with a good friend of mine. This friend had been staying with me for a while and we had developed a routine of spending our late evenings discussing God’s nature and explaining to each other the revelations Holy Spirit had spoken to us that day and what He was teaching us. This particular evening we were discussing God’s unconditional love when suddenly Holy Spirit took me into a vision. All of a sudden I was looking at a dog, a bloodhound, and he was running straight towards me. His lips and ears were flapping up and down as he ran, flapping as if they were trying to get him airborne, and there was a look of determination in his eyes that a bloodhound gets when he is hot on the scent of the very thing he is tracking. As I watched this hound come closer and closer towards me, ignoring every obstacle and distraction placed in its way, I asked the Lord, “What is this?” Immediately I knew that the bloodhound represented Him and I represented all men. Now truthfully, I had a problem with God being represented as a bloodhound, not sure exactly why but I did until God reaffirmed to me that my interpretation was right. He then explained to me that ever since the fall of man in the Garden in Eden, He has been single in vision with His eyes set on one point in time and for one purpose. That purpose was to bring back as many of His children as possible into the intimate union with Him they were created in. It was never man’s fall or mans frailty that held God’s attention. It was man’s beauty; that image of God’s fullness that caused Him to declare man as “very good” that captured His heart, and drove Him like a bloodhound hot on the trail of it’s prey. Man was his prey and bringing man back into union with Him was God’s goal, a goal in which nothing would distract Him and nothing would keep Him from accomplishing everything His heart set out to do.

 Hound of Heaven1

There is a misconception out there among many Christians circles of belief that God’s sole purpose for sending Jesus was because man sinned and so He sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins and thereby making a way for man to one day, when he dies, go be with God in Heaven. Giving the impression that God is somewhere far away from earth, sitting on His throne and waiting while Holy Spirit is on earth frantically recruiting people to go live with God in His paradise sometime after they die. That’s all fine and dandy but unfortunately, if that belief is true, then you have to wait in eager anticipation of your death as you muddle and plod your way through life; left here by God to suffer and endure until your appointed time of death. This may sound like an exaggeration but unfortunately its not. It is exactly what many either directly or indirectly teaches from behind their pulpits every week. When you teach that God is in total control of everything and that the manifestations of the gifts of Holy Spirit have been done away with, that is exactly what you are saying. You are declaring that God chose to leave you here under the oppressive plans of the enemy until your Heavenly Father chooses to give you some rest or you die. All along indirectly declaring that God’s love for His children is on a lesser scale than that of a good earthly father. What good father would choose to leave his children in harms way without giving them the ability to overcome. A good father would so stack the deck in the favor of their children as to guarantee victory. But by declaring that God’s provision is less than a good earthly father you cause mistrust and enmity to come between God and His children. Not only is that teaching contrary to everything Holy Spirit was showing me through that vision it is also completely contrary to the very nature of God.

God has been the initiator with man from the very beginning and that didn’t stop just because of sin. God has always been the pursuer in the relationship between He and man and sin didn’t stop that, it actually intensified it because where sin abounds grace super abounds. It begins in Genesis where we see God showing up daily to walk and talk with Adam during the cool of the day. God established an appointed time for the two of them to spend together every day. Now Adam was in communion with God and could be in contact with God at all times, but even with that God set a time for them to spend one on one intimate time together on a daily basis. This was initiated by God and not Adam. Even after Adam sinned and that common union was severed God still kept His appointment with Adam to talk with him and Father him. Look at Genesis 3:9.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?

 

Years ago I was reading this passage and I began wondering why God had called out to Adam, asking him where he was. I mean, God is omniscient, He knows everything, He would have already know where Adam was and why he was hiding. So being the inquisitive person that I am I asked Holy Spirit why He asked Adam where he was. Then came a response I wasn’t expecting. Actually, I had to do some research before I completely sure that it was Holy Spirit that had responded. He said something like, “I didn’t’ say that” or “that’s not what I said”. I thought to myself, “but that’s what it says right here in the Bible”! So I looked up the verse in the original Hebrew and the word used for “where” is the word ay. Now ay can mean “where” as in where are you but can also mean “what” as in what are you. You see the difference? God was not asking Adam where he was but asking him what he had become. God was fathering Adam and trying to get him to understand exactly what had happened. Even in the midst of Adam’s betrayal God was the pursuer, He was fathering Adam beginning to counteract any false impressions Adam was beginning to form about what had happened and even more importantly, any false impressions Adam was beginning to form about God’s nature and intentions.

Next we read in Exodus God pursuing His children by sending Moses back to Egypt to bring His kids back to Him so they could once again be in relationship with Him. He was once again revealing to them who they were created to be by breaking down any false impressions they had formed about themselves and about God. Why do you think God commanded the Israelites not to create idols? Why was this so important that God made this command number 2 on the all important thou shalt / thou shalt not list? Was God really that worried about competition with a hunk of metal, wood, or stone? Was He offended that they would bow down to an object instead of bowing down to Him? Was He intent on not letting anything get the praise and worship that He alone desired? Of course not! A man made carving does not intimidate God. He does not get His feelings hurt. He does however know that our relationship with Him is directly related to how we perceive Him. The Israelites assumed that He was like all the other gods they had know in Egypt. And like the others, they assumed that the God of their fathers wanted them to build an image of Him and worship it. But it is God’s heart’s desire that the thoughts and images we form in our mind are based on real personal encounters with Him, which will be consistent with scripture. Not assumptions based on experience alone. It is only during these personal encounters with Him that His true nature is revealed to us, not through the ideas and teachings of another man. God is fully aware that when you create an image and worship it, then that very image you create will define the limits of your relationship with Him. Any image that we create is a representation of our hearts belief of who we think God is. It will be a constant physical reminder reinforcing those beliefs. God, being the good father that He is, was trying to destroy all false impressions they had concerning Him and by doing so re-establish the intimate relationship He longed for.

Now lets surge forward to John 3:16.

 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

 

Here we see God pursuing man by giving or sending His Son.

In Luke 19:10 it states once again that God is the pursuer, the initiator, the one who is taking the responsibility for the success of this relationship on Himself, not leaving anything to chance. He is doing everything He can do to ensure we are united in union with Him.

for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

In Luke 15:4 we catch a glimpse of just how obsessed God is about you.

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?

 

God’s not satisfied to have most of His children. He’s not even happy to just have the majority. He is obsessed to have all and it’s His hearts desire that none should perish but all come to the saving knowledge

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Matthew 18:12-14

“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

God’s purpose was never to leave His children abandoned here on this earth to suffer until He finally calls them home. His purpose and His goal has always been to be in union with His children, to impart the fullness of His power and nature in them; allowing them to be partakers of His divine nature. To equip them not only to overcome any obstacle that may try to raise itself against them, but more importantly to impart in them the ability to intimately fellowship with Him. His desire is for his children to be like Him in every way, imitating our Father, and experiencing this union of Him with us, not sometime in the future or every now and again, but enjoying His presence, enjoying our unity with Him every second of every day.

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