That You Might Be Children of Your Father – Part 2

letthechildrencomejesusAnd [Jesus] said, “Verily I say unto you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3 KJ2000)

“I am sure nothing is going to be done unless we have a very large heart to look over and in and through and beyond, refusing to be held by the thing that is glaring at us, striking us and hurting us, and reaching through to that which is true in the heart” T. Austin-Sparks – “Abounding in Love”

As I read this I was reminded of how Jesus looked at all men. Even on the cross He looked beyond those men who were striking, hurting and mocking Him, praying, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” That is what HIS divine love does. God’s love looks into the hearts of every man, woman and child on earth to see what is behind their actions. But not only that, but to see what HE has foreordained that they should walk in IN His Son, Christ Jesus. From the foundation of the world He had a plan for each of us and we know that we all have spent most of our lives walking out a life that has fallen short of that. BUT He is not deterred. Paul wrote,

 

We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose, and he has always known who his chosen ones would be. He had decided to let them become like his own Son, so that his Son would be the first of many children. God then accepted the people he had already decided to choose, and he has shared his glory with them. What can we say about all this? If God is on our side, can anyone be against us? (Romans 8:28-31 CEV)

Do we always know who these chosen ones are? No. Even they often do not know they are His until He divinely starts working in them to reveal Himself. When those evil men took Stephen out to stone him to death because he dared to tell them the truth, there was one man who watched over the cloaks of the ones who murdered him, Saul of Tarsus, whom we now know as Paul. Paul was one of the Jew’s henchmen who also sought to kill the chosen ones of God and HE was even one of the chosen himself! But Jesus made a divine appointment with Paul on the Damascus Road and he was never the same. There is a saying that a dear friend of mine who is no longer with us had, “When a prostitute falls in love, she no longer has a job.” Paul fell in love with Jesus that day, the very One he had been persecuting in the name of the prostituted religion of the Jews (read Hosea). He would never go back to that twisted life again. Jesus did that day what no one in the church could do… He saved Paul and put a new heart in him Later he would write,

 

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. Instead, do what the Scriptures say: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you.” Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good. (Romans 12:17-21 NLT)

You seed, this is “reaching through to that which is true in the heart. To be about our Father’s work we must ignore “the thing that is glaring at us, striking us and hurting us” and follow Jesus’ heart and words,

 

You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust… Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

I am not sure what was done by the US government in its “war on terror” since 9-11 has been all that godly. What would have happened if we had fed them and gave them to drink instead of water-boarding them and conquered evil with good? Now all we have is an ever more vengeful enemy that is consuming the whole Arab world with its hate more and more. For each one of them we kill in the name of “homeland security” ten more vengeful relatives take his place.

Can you see that we who are carnal do the same thing on an individual level as well? How many of us have unresolved disputes with our neighbors and relatives because we would rather be “right’ than be God’s lovers in Christ? It should not be this way if we are truly IN Christ and are “children of our Father who is in heaven.”

Dear saints, pray for that “very large heart that can look over and in and through and beyond… reaching through to that which is true in the heart,” the heart of Jesus in you.

 

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another…” (1 John 3:22-23 KJ2000)

 

Part one by the same name can be read at https://awildernessvoice.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/that-you-might-be-children-of-your-father/

What Has Been Happening?

But who may endure the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appears? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
(Malachi 3:2-3 KJ2000)

We know that God has said that in the last days, He would be doing a deeper work in the hearts of His saints AND that He would use our fellow saints to work in and prepare us for the second coming of our Lord Jesus.

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure”– for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. (Revelation 19:6-8 RSVA- emphasis added)

Yes, WE as members of the Bride of Christ are what HE uses to make us ready for His coming. It seems that in the last month and a half He has gone after one issue after another that was still lurking deep in my heart, some of them lingering there even from my childhood. I have gone for years before this, without Him really touching any new issues in my heart. He seems to do these things in seasons and I have been in one of those painful, yet wonderful periods of my life.

God in His wisdom has used a wonderful sister in Christ to reach into my heart and bring to light a lot of places that my attitudes toward different classes of people had not been healed. It was about 24 years ago that a lady counselor told me she could go no further with me after about three sessions. Then she told me a curious thing… that when God got at the rest of what was holding me back He would use a woman, not a man as He had previously years earlier (in 1979)… Well, this has all come to pass as He used a very unsuspecting vessel over the internet to touch my heart. This dear sister slipped right in “under my radar” if you will and God started using her to do what no other person could do before.

Once the first area of darkness was brought to light, my hatred for pastors and disdain for ecclesiastical authority, then the others came tumbling down as well. And get this! She didn’t even know that God was using her this way. Jesus just showed up in her words! Yes, He still uses the weak things to confound the mighty and the foolish things to confound the wise. I don’t know how many more issues are going to show up, for at one point the Lord showed me my heart with the top removed and it looked like a cone-shaped coffee filter with grounds in the bottom. When I saw that, I gave Him full permission to empty me out once again.

As a precursor to all this He had me meditating on this passage (and I am still marveling over it in its simplicity)…

And we are writing this that our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
(1 John 1:4-7 RSVA)

Light! God’s pure light! This is the power that exposes darkness and makes it flee away. But it also heals that scar that is left behind when our darkness is banished. A study about light is a very interesting thing. Light not only illuminates, but it bleaches things out like a fuller’s soap (see Malachi 3:2) and it also kills bacteria and purifies.  But here we see John revealing to us that LIGHT is integral to REAL fellowship in the Spirit of God.  IF we are walking in the Light as HE is in the Light…. God is Light and in Him there is no darkness… true fellowship is found where hearts are open to HIM and to one another.

Later in John’s letter we read that God is Love as well. So, can we have real healing fellowship with one another without HIS healing Love there, too? I don’t think so. Love is what it takes for us to open up to His light… We love Him because HE first loved us… and His love in His saints is what holds us together and enables us to trust one another and to open up to one another so HIS Light can shine in!!! This is when the blood of Jesus does its cleansing work! It was being loved unconditionally by a bunch of hippie Jesus People in 1970 that got me to open my heart up to God and be healed from a spirit of hate that was left over from my part in the Vietnam War.

“We have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” You see it all fits together… I was having fellowship in openness with this sister and God came into it to open me up and heal me. Some of you might read this and think, “Poor sap! What is HIS problem? I got perfectly healed when Jesus came into my life!” Well, good for you! But with me the next verse in 1 John has great meaning as well… “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

So, dear saints let us boldly enter into His throne of grace and let His light do its work with one another… no more silly church games of parading around in our righteous robes like so many Pharisees of old! Let us open up our hearts to those whom God has given us in a special relationship (the spiritual ones we can trust [see Galatians 6:1]) and get REAL with one another…

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
(James 5:16 KJ2000)

Do you see the context of effectual and fervent prayer? It is for one another’s healing as members of Christ’s body. I hope we will all find that special person, as I have, who God uses to heal us and get to the bottom of our heart issues that hold us back.

“You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.”
(Proverbs 27:17 MSG)

God bless you all!

 

 

 

Constant Prayer

Road RashATV Wreck

From “Practising the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence…

“That he expected after the pleasant days GOD had given him, he should have his turn of pain and suffering; but that he was not uneasy about it, knowing very well, that as he could do nothing of himself, GOD would not fail to give him the strength to bear them.
That when an occasion of practising some virtue offered, he addressed himself to GOD, saying, ‘LORD, I cannot do this unless Thou enablest me;’ and that then he received strength more than sufficient.
That when he had failed in his duty, he only confessed his fault, saying to GOD, ‘I shall never do otherwise, if You leave me to myself; tis You must hinder my falling, and mend what is amiss.’ That after this, he gave himself no further uneasiness about it.
That we ought to act with GOD in the greatest simplicity, speaking to Him frankly and plainly, and imploring His assistance in our affairs, just as they happen. That GOD never failed to grant it, as he had often experienced.”

As I was flying through the air in that wreck I just had on an ATV machine two days ago, I prayed, “Jesus, I need your help in THIS one.” After looking at the wreck afterwards and where I landed thirty feet down the mountain side, I had to conclude the He had given His angels charge over me least I had dashed my face upon the stones. As it was I lit face first in a bed of pine needles and small sticks. I praise Him that the injuries were bad enough to teach me not to go riding when there was snow and slush on those mountain roads, yet minor enough to keep me from any real permanent harm.

The other thing that has occurred to me in all this was that I need His help, direction and LIFE in ALL the things I encounter each day, not just the ones in which I feel out of control. “For it is in HIM that we live and move and have our being.” The Lord is so good! (the picture of me above was taken right after I got home and I had not seen the humor in all of it as of yet 🙂

Love to you all,

Michael