It's all about Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Jesus’

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.

Knowing Him

John 5:37-40
And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

jesus reading scripture


As believers we tend to approach God in two different ways, one being through the understanding of scripture and the other being through encounters with Him. Both are extremely important in our walk in Him, both, when used together, cause us to grow up into a greater understanding of who He is and through that an understanding of whom we are. However, when we rely on one over the other or even one and excluding the other, we tend to slowly drift into deception giving way to being influenced and our lives being molded by someone or something other than God.

When I first came to the lord it was through a supernatural encounter where I heard His audible voice calling me to follow Him. Before that my knowledge of God or even about Him was extremely limited. I did not know Him. After that initial encounter with God I was overwhelmed by a hunger to know God more. That one encounter initiated years of a steady stream of encounters with Him where He taught me who He was. We developed a close relationship and I knew who He was and what He was like. It’s no different than how a man who has been married to his wife for many years knows her. If someone told me that they saw my wife Kate yelling at someone and “telling them off” then I would know they were wrong. I know my wife, I know her personality and how she acts, I know that is not her. I have developed an understanding of who she is from the time we have spent together (almost 24/7) over our almost 23 years of marriage. In the same way as I got to know Kate, I got to know my Heavenly Father through the time we spent together; but initially I still didn’t know much about what scripture said about Him.

I know a man who when he received Jesus as savior started devouring scripture. He didn’t just memorize certain scriptures but entire sections of the Bible. It seemed as if he could quote more scriptures from memory than I had ever read. (Not really but it seemed like that at times) He could not only quote scripture but also expound on the meaning of the Greek and Hebrew words that they were translated from. This guy not only knew his scripture but he was constantly seeking more knowledge. He would learn this teaching and that teaching from one person then could explain and expound on those teachings almost as well as the ones he learned them from. He knew from scripture and other teachers just about as much as a person can learn about God, but He had never had a supernatural encounter with the person of God.

So why am I writing this? Because I see most Christians following one of these paths but not both and there is great danger in that. To only rely on experiences or encounters without basing them on scripture leads to being deceived. Not every supernatural encounter is God; Satan is spirit and can also cause spiritual encounters. Even if the encounter is from God, everything seen or heard must be interpreted. In other words, you may see correctly but have the wrong interpretation. Unless you have an understanding of what scripture says, you will not have any foundation on which to base your encounter and interpretation of that encounter on.

People who base their relationship with God solely on knowledge of scripture tend to be very harsh and argumentative. (Not saying they are all that way) They are continually seeking more knowledge because they think it is in that knowledge that they will know Christ. You can study scripture all day long but without that relationship with the person of the Holy Spirit there will be no life in those scriptures, just knowledge that leads to pride in what you know instead of who you know.

As believers we are to use both. Christianity is not a religion that is to be based on rules and procedures; it is a relationship. The purpose of Christianity is to have a real tangible relationship with God through Holy Spirit and then evaluate everything you hear, see, smell, and taste in that relationship through scripture.

It was during the first months of my relationship with Holy Spirit that I began to understand who God was, learning His ways and His nature; I got to know Him. Then as time went on He began to lead me to scripture, before that I only wanted to spend time in His presence; I didn’t want to read anything. I gained a hunger for scripture and began reading 4-5 hours a day, and it was in scripture that I saw the One who had captured my heart. He gave life to those scriptures and He would use them to guide me, verifying where I was right and correcting me where I was wrong. The scripture didn’t initiate anything in this relationship, Holy Spirit initiated everything and scripture was just a tool He used; a very important tool, but still just a tool. Scripture was there to confirm what He was teaching me or correct me where I was misunderstanding; it was there for me to confirm what I knew about Him, it was not Him. Scripture alone will not develop intimacy with Him, it only tells about Him. To know Him intimately you must experience Him for yourself.

Gradual deception of a religious spirit

Some time ago I was at a meeting with a young man. We were listening to a minister preach, expounding on one scripture after another, explaining to us the ways of God. After the meeting was over, this young man and myself got into the car and drove off to where we were staying for the night. As I drove we began discussing the sermon we had just heard, and half way into our discussion a revelation swept over me.Image

This young man was retelling parts of the sermon that impacted him and blessed him, saying how he had not heard anyone explain those scriptures that way before.  I, on the other hand, was wondering if we had heard the same sermon. I asked what he thought about what was said about this verse or that verse; each one contradicting what we believed to be the truth. His response was, “I don’t remember him saying that.” At that moment it was like someone hit me in the gut with a bowling ball. I knew we both had listened to the same sermon, it’s just that the young man chose to listen with the ears of love and received what Holy Spirit was desiring to say to him while I, on the other hand, chose to listen critically and allow myself to hear what a religious spirit had to say. Yes, I had gradually, over time, allowed a religious spirit to have access to my heart and my mind.

A religious spirit doesn’t only manifest itself through trying to obtain righteousness by self -effort (the law), it also manifests itself through judging others and being prideful in what we do and what we know.  A religious spirit will cause you to listen critically to find fault in what others say in order to expose that error, even if you only expose it to yourself, feeding pride.

I write this because I still check myself daily, especially when I listen to others preach, knowing if I’m not listening with God’s heart of love, I’ll miss out on what He has to say to me. If I choose to listen with the intent to judge, I’ll give access to Satan to control my mind and emotions, keeping me from becoming the son God has called me to be. I also write this because I see so many out there today who believe they have the truth and are quick to judge those they believe to be in error. I caution you to honestly examine your heart, see if there is any pride and accusation in there, and always listen with love.

Righteousness and the power of sin

When we say we know someone, what we are implying is that we not only know who they are but their mannerisms, their nature. We have gained an understanding of who we believe them to be based on time spent with them, listening to what they say and what they do. The vast majority of people in the world will form their opinions of who someone is and what they are like based on that person’s words and actions, and we, the Christians, unfortunately are no different. We do this even though we have been admonished not to form any opinion of a person based on their natural actions.

Righteousness

2Corinthians 5:15-17

15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

This is done mostly because we still believe that what we hear and what we see is reality, while relegating everything that pertains to what Jesus did on the cross to just some spiritual theology that has very little to do with our natural existence; just something we will receive the benefits of after we die. I’m not just talking about salvation as most would define salvation, but am talking about every aspect of your life. We cannot define ourselves or others based on natural actions. Let me explain it this way.

2 Corinthians 5:21 states:

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

According to the above scripture, as one who has accepted Jesus as savior and made Him lord of your life, you are now the righteousness of God. You have been given God’s righteousness, just as if you had never sinned. Now that is truth, that’s reality! But you may say, “but I keep messing up, I don’t really act very righteous.” Now that may be true but remember we don’t know ourselves after the flesh. You didn’t do anything to earn your righteousness and you can’t do anything to make yourself any less righteous! Your problem is that you don’t see yourself as the righteousness of God and so don’t act like the righteousness of God. There is a spiritual principle that says you will go in the direction you gaze. So, if you see yourself as an unrighteous person trying to obtain righteousness then you will constantly struggle with sin, constantly failing because you can never become righteous by your own actions. However, if you see yourself as the righteousness of God then your actions will begin to follow as you start receiving the reality of your righteousness by faith. That is why we are told to walk by faith and not by sight. (2Corinthians 5:7)

“So, if I’m already righteous no matter what I do, why do I need to change my behavior?” A question that I would hope nobody would ask, but unfortunately some have. First of all, once born again, your nature will be to desire to act and be like Jesus. Your desire will be to be here on this earth as He is! Grace was poured out to you, not so that you can be righteous and continue in your sins, but grace was poured out to set you free from sin, (Romans 8:2) and this must be walked out by faith. Jesus came to set you free from all bondage, and when you willingly sin you make yourself a slave to that sin. You willfully place yourself in bondage to that sin. You must see yourself beyond what it looks like in the natural and see the truth of who God has made you. It is in the revelation of who you really are that you find the power and grace to walk in the reality of who God has already created you to be. When you gain the revelation that sin has no power over you, then you are free!

Exerpt from my healing manual

It has been over two thousand years since Jesus commanded His followers to go and make disciples of all men. (Matthew 28:18-20) And two thousand years later instead of having completed our mission, we seem to be further away then when we started. Instead of gaining ground, we appear to be loosing ground with people walking away from Christianity at an alarming rate. Although many different reasons can be sited, I believe one of the greatest reasons is a lack of understanding of what Jesus did on the cross, paired with apathy and fear. We have allowed our experiences to define our beliefs instead of the Word of God, causing us to doubt God. By allowing our experiences to define our beliefs we form a wrong view of God’s nature and an incorrect understanding of scripture; both which will bring frustration, apathy, and fear. Apathy will keep you from seeking truth while fear will keep you from acting on any truth you may know. Eventually you have what Christianity has become today, a group of people that either don’t care to seek after the truth for themselves or if they do are too afraid to act on that truth. This has led Christianity to appear to be a religion of theory and beliefs but with very little practical life application.

I believe Paul learned this very early on in his ministry. Paul, like most religious leaders of that time, was very adept at debating his point concerning his beliefs; he continued this practice early on in his ministry. Acts 17:17 says that Paul reasoned in the synagogue and marketplace daily. He attempted by way of debate to convince both Jew and Gentile that Jesus was Lord. Then later on we read in 1 Corinthians:

 

1Corinthians 2:1-2

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

 

Paul had given up on trying to just debate people into the kingdom, instead relying on the power of the Holy Spirit. He gained the understanding that he could not rely on his understanding of scripture and his own knowledge alone, as great as that was, but needed to demonstrate the reality that Jesus was Lord. In Philippians he later stated that everything he had done and been in the past was garbage compared to knowing Jesus and having the reality of Jesus’ resurrected life manifested in his own life.

In the same way as Paul did at first, we have relied on our ability to effectively argue and articulate our beliefs, trusting in our own knowledge, all along neglecting the power that resided in us; the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead. We must get back to the place where we not only declare that Jesus is Lord, but also prove it. This is what Jesus meant when He commanded us to obey all that He commanded His followers to do. Not just tell them He died to save them, but to demonstrate it in a very real and personal way. Healing is the proof that Jesus forgave us of our sins.

 

1 Tim 2:2-4

 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

John 3:16-17

 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.(NIV)

 

As we clearly showed in the previous chapters that Jesus paid the price for all sin. Not just the sin of the believers or those that He know would make Him Lord of their lives, but the sins of the whole world. God left nobody out when Jesus died on the cross, it is His will that all would be saved. Answer these questions about salvation.

 

  1. What is God’s will for salvation?
  2. Does He want every person saved?
  3. Can a person be saved anytime anywhere?
  4. Does a person have to do anything to earn salvation?
  5. Can/Does God save people irrespective of the magnitude and type of sin they are in?
  6. What is the only requirement for salvation?

 

Next, try to answer the same questions again but instead replace “salvation” with “healing.”

 

  1. What is God’s will for healing?
  2. Does He want every person healed?
  3. Can a person be healed anytime anywhere?
  4. Does a person have to do anything to earn salvation?
  5. Can / Does God heal people irrespective of the magnitude and type of sin they are in?
  6. What is the only requirement for healing?

 

Where all your answers about salvation the same as it was for healing?  If not, you need to pay very close attention to the next section. If it can be proven to you from scripture that healing is provided in the atonement, then you can’t in good conscience differentiate between God’s will for salvation and God’s will for healing ever again.  They are the same, always and forever. 

 

 Isa 53:4-6

 4 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (NKJV)

 

  1. Griefs (kholee) = sickness (Deut 28:61, 1 Kings 17:17, 2 Kings 1:2, 2 Kings 8:8, and other places)
  2. Sorrows (Makob) = pains (Jeremiah 51:8, Job 33:19)
  3. Borne (Nasa) = To bear in the sense of suffering punishment for something. (Isa 53:12)
  4. Carried (Sabal) = To bear something as a penalty or chastisement. (Isa 53:11)

 

In Deuteronomy 7:15 we read where the Lord will take away from you all sickness (Kholee). In Job 33:19 we read where the word “Makob” is translated “pain”. So from these scriptures it is very evident that Isaiah 53:4 should read, “Surley He has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains.” In Leviticus 5:1 we read that if a soul sins then he shall bear (nasa) his iniquity.   In Isaiah 53:12 we read that Jesus was numbered with the transgressors and bare (nasa) the sins of many.  It is unquestionably clear that God is telling us that in the same way Jesus bore (nasa) the payment for our sins, He bore (nasa) our sickness and disease and took it away.

 The Holy Spirit also declares this to be true when He inspired Matthew to quote the passage in Isaiah 53 showing that He was talking about bodily sickness and disease.

 

Matt 8:16-17

 16 When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.”

 

Here we are told that Jesus cast out spirits and healed ALL who were sick, fulfilling the prophesy of Isaiah 53 and clearly indicating that Isaiah was talking about physical sickness and disease. Some may say, “you see, it says that Jesus fulfilled that prophesy through His ministry of healing and not through what He did on the cross. Doesn’t that mean healing and deliverance are not for today? That’s a legitimate question so let’s look into what it means when it says that it was fulfilled.

The word fulfilled is the word “plerothe” which is the aorist passive, subjunctive, 3rd person singular of the word “pleroo”. In normal language that means that it was an action that was completed once, and by that one time action the results continue forever. By the mouth of two or three witness every word is established, so let’s look at a few more verses.

 

 

Matthew 12:17-21

But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all. 16 Yet He warned them not to make Him known, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.3 A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth.4 He will not fail nor be discouraged,
Till He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”

 

The word for fulfilled used in Matthew 8:17 is the same word “plerothe” used in Matthew 12:17.  And just like the way Matthew 8 is quoting Isaiah 53, Matthew 12 is quoting Isaiah 42.

 

Isaiah 42:1-4

“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.3 A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth.4 He will not fail nor be discouraged,
Till He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”

 If you say that healing was fulfilled and not part of the atonement, then you have to say He is no longer bringing justice to the Gentiles. That is saying that the Gentiles cannot be saved. Obviously, Jesus is still preaching the gospel to the Gentiles through those who believe in Him and He is also still healing the sick through those that believe in Him!

   

 1 Peter 2:24

 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. (NIV)

 

Like Matthew, Peter is also quoting the passage in Isaiah 53. But unlike the prophet Isaiah, Peter stated it in past tense. “…By His wounds (stripes) you have been healed. Now Holy Spirit doesn’t make mistakes so why would he have Peter misquote the passage? It is because something very important happened between the two verses; Jesus paid the price! That’s right, in the same way Jesus has already forgiven you of all your sins, He has also already healed you of all your diseases, hurts, pains, and mental anguishes. And in the same way you receive His forgiveness of your sins, you receive His healing of your disease.

Help! I’m Not Being Equipped

Image

Recently I have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of people who seem to be dissatisfied with their walk with the Lord, and lately many have been coming to me stating their desire to be further equipped as a son of God. Many are frustrated, not feeling as if they are being properly equipped; feeling like they are losing ground and that time is running out. Now I understand the frustration, it can overtake us all if we are not careful, but let’s not allow frustration to cause us to focus our discontentment in the wrong direction or towards the wrong person. If we are not being properly equipped, where does the fault lie?

Ephesians 4 states that Jesus gave the five-fold ministry gifts (four fold if that makes you a little more comfortable) for the equipping of the saints. So it is clear that it is the responsibility of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, preacher, and teacher to each perform their roles in helping the individual come into the fullness of which he/she was created to be and the body as a whole come into the knowledge of the son of God and whole measure of the fullness of Christ. It is their job to equip you, but is it their responsibility to make sure you are equipped? Let me say it this way.

Disclaimer: I want to stop here and say the reason I’m writing this at 4a.m. is because I have struggled with not wanting to write about this knowing that many will make assumptions that I talking about their situation or their church, or even the church I attend. Let me say this IS NOT targeted at any one situation or place. I talk to people all around the world and this is a response to the general discontentment, not any specific case or place! Now back to the show.

The ones who have come to me as of late are frustrated with those who they view are responsible to ensure they are equipped. They feel they are not getting what they need. This frustration turns into accusations against the leadership they feel is responsible to equip them. I understand they are frustrated but is it their leaderships fault? We must understand that the 5-fold is there to help you as you seek to become all you were created to be. They are there to help you, but it is your responsibility to get equipped. They are not to force any doctrine or truth on you, you are to pull it out of them. They are there to help you and to encourage you, not to push you. You are to see Christ in them and then put a demand on that area you need developed in your life. It is the placing of a demand that opens you up to Holy Spirit using them to equip you and transform you. If they try to come to you and push a teaching on you, especially if your are not ready, it will generally be met with resistance and be no benefit. As someone who has been used to help equip people, I can tell you when the demand is put on me it is easy and what the individual needs just flows out. When however, the demand is not there it is taxing and you feel like you’re pushing against a brick wall. When I teach and people are there just because they are curious but there is no demand, they may gain head knowledge but that’s all it is. However, when there is a demand from individuals it’s like deep calling unto deep and lives are transformed.

Now, I know some of you are putting a demand on leadership and still aren’t seeing any equipping. Don’t lose hope, don’t get frustrated, and don’t start judging those you feel are falling short.  Take time and look around. Maybe God wants to use someone else for that particular aspect of your growth. 1 Corinthians 3 tells us that one plants and another waters but it is God who makes it grow. That doesn’t necessarily mean God is causing you to leave your fellowship, just that with this portion He will work through another individual. Look for Christ in others and then put that demand on Him, He will meet your need!

So there you have it. Take responsibility for your own growth. Allow Holy Spirit to use whoever He desires to help equip you. Allow Him to use you to help equip others!

Video

Heal the sick podcast – Glen interviewed by Millian Quinteros

Millian Quinteros interviews Glen Hartline about healing and how he got started praying for the sick.

This is AUDIO ONLY.

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