Tag Archive | Heavenly Father

Fear God or Fear man?

We are taught in the Bible that Fearing God is a good thing.  We cannot fear God and fear man at the same time.   Psalm 118:6 says the Lord is with me, I will not fear, what can man do to me?

Have you ever felt intimidated by someone?  It may be someone in a position of authority.  It may be your parents.  It may be your boss.  It may be spiritual elders.  Whenever you are around them, you just get so scared that , “what if I do something wrong, or say something wrong, will they get mad at me?”  If you haven’t been that person, then maybe you’re the person who is causing people to be afraid of you by your domineering and controlling nature.

1 Timothy 1:17 says that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.  But sadly in this world we are confronted with people who we think are giants.  If they are not giants, they may be part of our family or our spiritual family.  There are a lot of Eliab’s and Goliath’s in our lives these days.

28 Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger burned against David and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle.” 29 But David said, “What have I done now? Was it not just a [n]question?” 30 Then he turned [o]away from him to another and said the same thing; and the people answered the same thing as [p]before.

Have you ever been around some people you around that when you are around them, you try to be honest with them, but after they use their intimidation and control over you and they may become like a bully to you.  You may feel like you cannot stand up to them or you cannot even talk to them because they are so much in control and domineering.  You avoid talking to them because they make you feel really small and insignificant.

David knew who he was and more importantly he knew who God was.  He knew that God would fight his battle for him.  He knew that God had given him strength.  David was rejected by people all the time because he was always praying for deliverance from personal enemies.  Some people are just like the Goliath’s and the Eliab’s and that’s part of their personality.  It’s called a choleric personality because they are very directive and strong.

But the Bible says we wage war not against the flesh and blood, but principalities and rulers in high places, and we must must must know who God is and I mean who He really is and what His nature is like if we are ever to be able to have victory in our lives.

We must know that God is a God of power and there is nothing that man can do to you if God is on your side.  We must put the proper perspective about respecting authority and being controlled by fear and intimidation because fear and intimidation is not from God.  There are times when people will be strict with you, but there are times that you must be able to stand up for yourself and give a logical answer for what you believe and if they still don’t understand then you leave it up to God for them to understand.  You let God have control and let Him take over because there is no use in worrying about what people do to you.  People are only human and if you fear people more than God then you are making an idol out of them.  You have to think about what dominates your thoughts most of the time.  Is it Jesus or is it this one person that has just been treating you or other people the wrong way.

Let me take some time to tell you about Jesus – He is loving –

He loves you so much He gave His life for both you and me.

He is joyful – He rejoices at every soul that comes to Him even the lost.

He is patient – He is patient to see everyone come to him.

He is kind – He speaks tenderly and kindly with speech seasoned with salt and grace that supplies every need.

He is peaceful – His yoke is easy and His burden is light, and He wants you to have nothing but peace in your life, but it is not as the world gives.

He is good – His goodness is shown throughout the Gospels because of His nature, He was always good to people.

He is gentle- He is the perfect gentleman and especially through the Holy Spirit which He provides.

He is meek, so humble to even wash the disciples feet

He is faithful – The Bible says He is faithful even when we are faithless

He is self-controlled – meaning that He disciplines Himself in all that He does.

The same thing can be said of the Father,

The Father is loving, It is through His love that we received salvation

The Father is patient – He also does not want to see a single soul lost

The Father is kind – The Father is kind to His children, which is shown through the parable of the Prodigal Son

The Father is joyful – He is joyful at what your heart thinks of His goodness

The Father is peaceful – He is Jehovah Shalom the Prince of Peace

The Father is good – I want to stop here and take some closer look at the Father’s goodness –

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.- Psalm 27:13 – unless we see the Father as good then we will be despaired.  This has been lost on people.  They think that the Heavenly Father is mad at them or is angry with them.  That is not His intention.  He doesn’t want you to think that He is angry with you.  He loves you.  He sent His Son to die for you.  He is angry with the world for their sins, and He hates sin, but He doesn’t hate the person.  He is a God of justice, if you have been doing the right things in life then He is not mad at you.   Even if you do sin, if you honestly repent (turn around) from that sin after you’ve accepted Jesus then He’ll accept you with open arms.

Have you ever been around people, and they would tell you “don’t touch me, you’re disgusting?”  The Untouchables in India are treated as third world people and as disgusting because they are of a lower class of people.  With God there is no lower class of people.  When God got angry in the Old Testament, He got angry at the injustices in the Old Testament, and even today if you treat people unjustly then God gets angry and He gets offended and He his wrath go out on people who do severe injustices to man kind for those who are not under the Blood.

People have been lost on how tremendously good God is and how great He is.  How He cares for us intricately and intimately and deeply and with great knowledge of us and great compassion for us.  It is in this sense we have to magnify God.  We have to magnify His goodness in our lives.

The Father’s gentleness is shown through His spirit which is so gentle kindling our hearts with a quiet and calm affection and tender lovingness which He so bestows upon us.

The Father and Jesus are one, everything that is in Jesus is also in the Father and everything in the Father is also in Jesus and in that we have the Holy Spirit who kindles our heart with affection and love so that we may experience the fullness of our being.  There is only one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, and it is not God.  God came that you may have life and more abundantly.

After we have first realized all these things about God, then we can realize how Holy He is.  He is so Holy that if you’ve ever been near the sun, then you know it will just burn you alive, but that’s why through His Word and by His Spirit we have been shown the characteristics of God.

13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

I want to get to 1 Corinthians 13 before I get to something else:

Love is patient-   Are we patient with people sinning against us?  Are we patient with infirmities?  Are we patient with waiting for God (this is a process and doesn’t happen overnight), love is kind (Are we kind to people, even when they are wrong?  Or they may be wallowing in self-pity or going off the wrong track, will we still restore them kindly?  Do we provoke fear of us or do we provoke fear of God in the person.  And is not jealous – are we jealous of where someone has gotten with God.  We should not be jealous, because that means we don’t love our selves and take for granted our blessings.

Love does not brag and is not arrogant- Do we keep telling people of our accomplisments over and over and over again or do we just say, it was God and not me, does not act unbecomingly- do we act with good manners, and I’m not talking about using the right fork at the dinner table.  It does not seek its own- do we expect things from people for ourselves?

Is not provoked- Do we get angry at all the little things and don’t take into consideration God’s goodness?,

Does not take into account a wrong suffered,- This may be the hardest thing and a very difficult thing and it may be a struggle for very very very many people especially believers who should no better but often we find ourselves caught in the traps of bitterness because of something someone has said to us and the way they have treated us over and over again.  Forgiveness is what we are commanded to do but when all we see is our hurt and our pain and all we have to hold on to then it becomes difficult to let go and then once we have let go it may be a long time afterwards to deal with the side effects of unforgiveness on our bodies.    Does not rejoice in unrighteousness- Here’s a key – if you know you’re doing something wrong but you don’t enjoy doing it then that means that there is still something of value in you, but if you rejoice when you know you are doing something wrong (and I’m not talking about eating that chocolate cake) then that means you’ve grown.  But rejoices with the truth- The Truth makes you free.  We must be careful not to get so spiritual that we are not able to meet the needs of the people around us.  We need to wear spiritual bifocals.  One side to see man’s weaknesss and the other side to see God’s perspective because if you don’t then you are in danger of being self-righteous and having pride set in.  Bears all things, believes all things or believes the best of every person, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of [c] prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I [d]became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror [e]dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the [f]greatest of these is love.

God’s holiness is like the sun, you get near it you can get burned, it is the totality of his being.  His power is greater than that of electricity.   God has not given us a spirit of fear – that means to fear man, but of power to overcome, of love which is the most painful thing in this life, and a sound mind, which comes when you have the assurance that God will not let you go or forsake you or leave you alone.  That God is with us all the time and all the time He is good.

We must not let this intimidating spirit operate in our lives, and we must restore God’s good name and His goodness back to His believers.

 

Father’s love gets you through the dangerous times

In one of my previous posts called No more Rules and Regulations I talked about the movie of the Sound of Music, and I want to write about it again.  For background info you can read the post called No more Rules and Regulations.  In that movie, Captain Von Trapp was the strict former Navy Officer who was the father of seven children who lost their mother.  So Maria, who was a Nun, who hadn’t learned, to be obedient, went to “grow up” and to “fulfill her calling and purpose” and to “find out who she really was”.  The father Captain Von Trapp who treated his children like military subjects was very strict with them causing them to rebel even more.  We can see this example in the Bible in the Old Testament, when the LORD tried to get Israel to obey Him, and they were always struggling, and they longed as Job said, “for a Mediator” to bridge the gap between the wrath of the LORD God, and himself.  But in the movie once, Maria came in and brought singing in the house, and reignited the love relationship to the children, then the Captain became softer toward the children and started treating them like his children, but the Captain still didn’t lose his identity, he just changed his affection towards the children.  So because of this affection towards the children and because when they received abundant love from him whereas before when they were so afraid of him doing something wrong that they wouldn’t have a relationship with him and just didn’t seem to have that closeness and just fear and everything else was based on fear that he would punish them so he couldn’t properly guide them in making wise decisions.   This is a type and shadow of the way the Father is in heaven, and how even during the dark and dangerous times He will help those whom he loves because of His nature.  The Captian in the movie is a type and shadow of the Heavenly Father in the sense that He is the same Father who With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;
But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,”
Says the Lord, your Redeemer.

So in the story the Captain helps them escape from the enemies during the Holocaust time because he had established their relationship with them, and now they were able to obey because of the unity of love, but when they thought he didn’t love them, they acted rebelliously and defiantly.  So it was needful for Maria to come in and show the example of love in their life because without her they didn’t seem to have any, and without that they couldn’t get through the difficult times.  So through the dangerous times in the last days, yes we know the times we are living in, and we know there is sin in the world, and the world is getting more wicked as the days come, but when you bring love into the picture, which is the greater Law, it changes the heart of the people so that they can sing, and there is nothing wrong with preaching about love and only love because that is what the Kingdom of God is about.  It is about faith, hope, and love and the greatest of these is love.

Because the Father loves you so much, He sent His son to die so that you might not die and have eternal life, but if you don’t accept that love and just view Him as someone who put you in a bad situation then the time that you are going through is going to be much harder.

Remember Brigitta – she was about 10-12 I don’t remember, but she was at that defiant age, and she was punished with a spanking and a chastening, but the true test came when they were in the prison when the enemy was coming for them and they had to go into hiding, and when they went into hiding and they had to depend on their father to tell them what to do.  This would not have happened if they had not developed the relationship of love with Maria.  Now Maria at the time was conflicted with the Baronness, and she had to struggle to at one point and lose her identity as a Nun, and have to face the fact of sinning against the ordinance, but the Reverend Mother realized that it was needful for Maria to go and do what her heart desires she said, “I want to love him, but I don’t want to love him” or something to that effect.  So then she had to take on the new role as a mother, and giving her a whole new set of responsiblities and finally bringing her into her calling.  Imagine if while the family were in hiding, that they were still afraid of their father, yes they would obey Him, but their fear would make the situations worse to the point where they would panic.  God is not like that He wants you to come to Him with love and not out of fear.  With love you gain respect and reverence, but not with fear.  You still have to treat him with dignity when He has his “uniform of the Captain or LORD of hosts on”, but you still know in your heart that He is your loving Father and that He loves you unconditionally.  Captain Von Trapp hated disobedience, and had been through many governesses, just like the Heavenly Father had many prophets to teach Israelites how to obey, but none of them lasted.  The disobedient children because they were not reminded of the love of the father always rebelled against the governesses, in the same way the disobedient Israelites came because they were not reminded of the love of the Father, so Jesus had to come and put Himself on the Cross for us so that we might have relationship with Him, and also to the Father, and for that His redeeming power is so great.  Love is what keeps the Holy Spirit alive in our hearts, and without the love of the Holy Spirit, then times will become very difficult.  We should rest in peace knowing that our Heavenly Father loves us no matter what is going on, even if we are in hiding.  When we hide, we hide in His presence and not away from Him.  We don’t turn away from Him.  We use the love that was sown in our hearts to make the best out of a bad situation.

At the end of the movie the Reverend Mother quoted Psalm 121-

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

The word keeper and preserver here means to protect, and can also have an implication to seal as we are sealed with the promise of His Holy Spirit, which  will never leave us or forsake us no matter how many times we fall and disobey. But we must be careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit by not realizing how much the Father really loves us and how deep the Father really loves and in that we find our protection and our healing. The Holy Spirit is gentle, and He will not force you into anything, but God loves you so much that He is doing things for your protection even if you may not see it at times.  We must remember that perfect love casts out fear.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the grace, mercy, and love that you so generously showered over us for Your Word does say that Your stedfast love endures forever.  We repent for not following after Your Spirit at times and at times when we have not recognized the love that You have given us and we repent for not pursuing a relationship with you and growing in intimacy with you.  Thank You for helping us get through difficult time and Thank You for more and more revelations of You.  You are Jehovah Rapha and Jehovah Shammar and Jehovah Shavout, and You promised that Your stedfast love is forever as it says in Psalm 136 and Your Word does not lie, so then we accept Your love and walk this day in covenant with You so that we may see more of Your grace, mercy, and love, so then even when we are disobedient, that Your grace may abound more.  We accept this gift of grace and choose not to take in vain with licentious living but to live with a pure heart whose only desire is to have that wise Agape love that seeks out Your Kingdom Promises.  Thank You Lord,

IN JESUS MIGHTY NAME I PRAY,

Amen.

 

 

Perfect Love Casts out Fear

I need this message more than anyone I know.

Heavenly Father,

I pray that I am anointed to preach this WORD without fear, guilt, shame, or inferiority.  I pray for revelation and insight that will transform hearts and purify them as well letting them be able to receive the Truth of God’s Word.  I seal this post with the Blood of Jesus and let only what is suiting to Your purposes be fulfilled in me writing this post.  Give divine revelation and inspiration from the Holy Spirit.  Help me Holy Spirit not only to preach this WORD, but to see a transformation of my own life in this area.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

4 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the worldThey are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Verse 4 only applies to those people who have the Holy Spirit, which comes through accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Verse 6 points affirms the reading of the New Testament and validation of it.  The whole counsel of the Word of God is inspired by the Holy Spirit.  The He that is in you, is the Holy Spirit, and the he who is in the world is the devil.  We are coming into times when some people are going to start to be trampled on by what they believe and what we have believed before and thought was true and the very foundation that we were built on will be shaken.  So when you build your foundation on the rock, then you have solid footing and are able to face any circumstance that comes your way, but if your foundation gets tares along with the wheat, then only God can weed them out.

What is the foundation for the Christian faith?  Faith in Jesus.  This Faith is based on love.  Jesus said, “Be therefore perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”  Some people are bombarded with that statement.  How can I be made perfect?  How can I be like the Heavenly Father, who is so perfect and holy and people cannot stand to be in His Presence.  He is very holy, and how can we stand to be in His Presence?  Well the word there ‘perfect’ is from the word ‘teleios’ which is present tense. There is also the word ‘perfected’ which in the past tense is ‘perfected’.  For the sake of clarification  I’m going to bring out the verses backward.

1 John 4:20-21

Obedience by Faith

20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

It says here, brother, which means brother or sister in Christ.  I honestly believe that if you truly love God and possess the Holy Spirit you cannot hate your brother, or else you’ll end up feeling really bad.  You may not like what they do at all.  You may not understand why they do what they do.  You may see all the little things that they do, but you wouldn’t want to see harm in them.  You may want to set boundaries and space yourself away from them, but if they are in Christ and you are in Christ, you should make every effort to treat them the right way as to not dig yourself in to a bigger ditch and find yourself where it is even harder for you to be in that place with God.   This is how to put faith into action, and this is what is meant by James, ‘faith without works’ is dead.

1 John 4:17-20

The Consummation of Love

17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.

Take a close look at vs. 17 where it says because as He is- that means as the Father as, so are we in this world.  When we go to God we should not be afraid, because when we are afraid then we are tormented.  The way that our love has been made perfect is that we may have boldness in the day of judgment.   If you love your father and you know you have done something wrong you should be able to come to him and tell him I’m sorry for what I did, and not be afraid that he is going to hit you because of it.  There is no fear in love because fear involves torment.  So what about Philippians 2:12 ‘work out your salvation with fear and trembling”?  When cross-referenced with 2 Corinthians 7:15, which says “15 And his affections are greater for you as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him” a good Bible interpreter asks, “How can someone be afraid and trembling and receive them?”  So that means that it implies “excitement and respect”.  When you go to meet with God, there is a boldness knowing that you don’t have to be afraid.  In fact in this world if you’re a Christian there’s nothing to be afraid of, but we of course have fears and sometimes they are there for our protection, but according to these verses, you don’t have to be afraid of God’s judgment because that kind of fear brings torment, and not closeness with God.

Seeing God Through Love

12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

So now that we know that we can enter in boldly to Throne of Grace, without fear of judgment, and if we with our hearts love our brothers and sisters in Christ, and also showing love for the lost, then His love has been perfected in us.  So then we can abide in God and God can abide in us.  The enemy will try everything from negative thoughts, to toxic emotions, dead and dry seasons, condemnation and guilt or anything at all to take us away from realizing that God loves us as verse 19 says.

Knowing God Through Love

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to bethe propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

I’m going to express here again that this love is Agape, and it is the unconditional, self-sacrificing love which you can only get through Jesus Christ as it says in vs. 9.  It is not the kind of love between a boyfriend and girlfriend. Loving one another is the hardest thing to do.  Sometimes it flows so naturally out of us, and the other times it is so difficult. Forgiveness is the key to love.  Keeping this in the foremost of our heart that we need to love another and forgive them is essential.  You may not like what the person does, but don’t hate the person, or want to get back at the person.  Even if they are so wrong, the best thing you can do is pray for them.  Try to see the good in the person.  Try to see the best thing about the person you can find.

I want to say something to preachers, pastors, leaders, and teachers – You reap what you sow.  If you sow good seed, you’ll reap a good harvest, but if you sow bad seed, even the harvest that you have will dwindle away.  Bring words that build life and edify and build up the people.  Of course there are those that are called to rebuke, but there is a serious warning mentioned by Jesus:

LUKE 17:
Causing Others to Lose Faith—Matthew 18:6–10; Mark 9:42–50

1Jesus told his disciples, “Situations or (offense) that cause people to lose their faith are certain to arise. But how horrible it will be for the person who causes someone to lose his faith! 2It would be best for that person to be thrown into the sea with a large stone hung around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to lose his faith. 3So watch yourselves!

“If a believer sins, correct him. If he changes the way he thinks and acts, forgive him. 4Even if he wrongs you seven times in one day and comes back to you seven times and says that he is sorry, forgive him.”

In NASB it says:

1 He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against youseven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

If I have caused anyone to stumble in their faith, or been a stumbling block to anyone’s walk of faith, it was never my intention and I sincerely apologize.  I’m trying to still weed out the Truth from Lies and in my zeal for spreading the Gospel, I may abuse my position in order to get my insights out.  If I have brought guilt or condemnation to a new believer in Christ, then I sincerely apologize.  I myself am experiencing growing pains, getting out of the early years of a believer to going into the next stage, where everything shakes….but we need to hold on to the promises of God and for that we need to know what God says.

Please forgive me Matt Redman for posting your song lyrics here, but I am constantly reminded of this song at times when I think about Perfect Love Casts Out Fear –

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

(Chorus:)
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Christian lyrics – YOU NEVER LET GO LYRICS – MATT REDMAN 

http://www.christian-lyrics.net/matt-redman/you-never-let-go-lyrics.html#axzz1rV4uyvMr

Those that know their God

This video examines the differences between knowing God, and knowing of God.  It’s a really anointed message and worth every Christian to look at it.  It’s spoken with ease and simplicity and it gives hope to those that earnestly seeking the Truth about our Lord Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Father, the LORD God, and the God Almighty.

 

An Advocate with the Father and Jesus our friend

This week a comforting thought came to me about the nature of Jesus, and the prospect of the Holy Spirit.  We know that God is righteous and holy and He cannot tolerate sin, but through His mercy He sent Jesus to die for us so that we can come near Him.  I’ve also been meditating on the relationship we have with Jesus.  I have heard that there is going to be a judgment for believers where everyone is going to be judged according to their works.   Now believers I suppose would not be sent into hell because the requirement for salvation is believing in Jesus and accepting Him into your life, but you have to endure to the end to be saved that means that you cannot give up and stop believing in Him, in which case you might lose your salvation, but since I am not to clear on what is the correct doctrine on that one I won’t go too much into that.

I had been fearing the judgment for believers for a while, but some Scriptures keep coming back to me and one of them really spoke to me.  Romans 8:15 – “15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” This one of the Scriptures I looked at, but the next one Jesus started to show me something to my heart when remembering this Scripture.  1 John 2:1 – “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

In Revelation it talks about the books that will be pulled out, and there will come a time when you are alone with God and you will have to give an account of what you did. 1 John 2:1 really put into perspective.  I pictured Jesus and me sitting a room with a television screen [I am guessing that there is greater technology in heaven, but it is the only one I could relate with] looking back at my life, and having a discussion, a very honest discussion where I let Him know what was on my heart and based on my relationship what I had learned from the experience.  I know that this conversation was not for His benefit, but for my benefit so that I could be sure in my heart that He would plead the case with the Father.  Now I know in some cases that word, “Advocate”, means that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for us at the present moment, but when I catch up with the way that eternity that is in motion, then I will have peace in my heart to know that Jesus is pleading my case.

The word Advocate here is also used as Comforter in other verses to refer to the Holy Spirit.  What a blessing we have right now to have this privilege right now to get to that place where we can sit and honestly talk to God about what’s going on.  It is a blessing to have that privilege to have fellowship with Him now before we get to Heaven.  The problem is that because this is not always tangible, we have difficulty figuring out how exactly to do it and how exactly to have this kind of relationship with God-  to “be still and know”.  We have difficulty forming that kind of relationship where we are drawn to Him and we can actually hear His still small voice, beating within the depths of our hearts. There’s no written formula or “magic” formula that can take you there after all He created you and He knows how your going to react to the situation.  There’s no point in putting a square peg into a round hole so God’s got that square hole just for you, or maybe you’re the round peg trying to fit into the square hole, He’ll put that round hole just for you.  The beautiful thing about Jesus once He comes to  live inside your heart is that you can talk to Him.  You can put your trust in Him and rely on Him to get you through everything.

 

Song of Solomon says frequently, “do not awaken love until it pleases”.  I believe here they are taking about not trying to force this love but let it come naturally.  Love with God should not be a struggle, when you’re trying to get out of a cage that you’re in, but keep bumping into walls.  But it is like a stream that flows to feed the plants and all the plants have to do is to receive it.  The plants don’t have any control on when the river is coming and when it is going to feed them, but they just wait patiently for the river to feed them and then the flowers grow and the trees produce fruit.

Getting back to my point, it’s good to know that we can communicate honestly with Jesus after all He does know our hearts.  He is the only one that we can convey our sins to and He is faithful to hear.  We don’t have to be afraid of judgment, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t listen to when God tells us not to do something.  We shouldn’t start being rebellious toward God, but God knows that we all have weak areas and that God uses the weak things to confound the wise.  Also there is something I want to point out, we all have different levels of maturity in Christ and different areas that we are mature in.  Some people through life experiences have learned how to develop this kind of relationship with God to where it comes naturally, and some people are just learning and beginning to grow, but God works with us all.  He understands us and He knows us.  He knows our very weaknesses and our faults.  He is there when we need us and for us to have peace in our hearts all we have to know is that He loves us and that His grace has redeemed us.  So if you’re trying to get closer in your walk with God and to develop the Fruit of the Spirit, realize that it takes time.  God cultivates this fruit in us through the Holy Spirit, but learning to relax and just lean on God and depend on Him.  I bet Jesus is in Heaven thinking, “Take a Chill Pill!!”, when it comes to all the stuff we worry about.  He was always telling the disciples not to fear and He preached about not worrying or fretting about anything.  Relaxation and faith go hand in hand.  The more you have faith in Jesus the more you are able to relax.  The more you relax the more you can allow the love of God to operate in you.  The more you allow love to operate in you, the more you can be a blessing to others.  The more you are a blessing to others, the better your conversation with Jesus is going to be in heaven.  Instead of saying “I never knew you”, He will be saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

 

No more rules and regulations

In my walk with God I have been trying to have a balanced perspective and the whole picture.  I don’t want to be on the extreme of either side, but yet show a characteristic of radical life changing walk with Christ in my life.  While I was praying last night, God showed me something in the form of an illustration, taken from real life, and it actually comes in the form of a movie.  That movie is “The Sound of Music”.  The movie is about a woman named Maria who is a nun and she is not fitting in with all the other nuns and just hasn’t learned to be obedient.  Well the Mother of the Abbey (the place where the nuns live together), tells her after praying about it, that it is the will of God for her to leave them and to live in a house and raise seven children for Captain Von Trapp, a man who used to work for the navy.  He had several what you call “governesses” that tried to raise the children, and all of them had run away from the children.  His wife had died several years earlier.

So Maria went on this adventure trying to face whatever was to come to her, but she didn’t know what to expect.  When she got there she met the Captain, he had these whistles, and he did not call his children by name, but by whistle sound, and they were very scared of their father.  At one point Brigitta, one of the girls who I believe if I remember correctly was a pre-teen or an early teenager, was reading a book, and the father took the book and spanked her with it.

They spent some time in the movie showing how strict the father was, but whenever the father wasn’t looking they were rebellious to the governess, Maria, and liked to play tricks on her, to “test” her.  When the father was gone she built up a relationship with the kids, and she had a confrontation with the Captain, and said to him, “they just want to be loved, love them all” about the children.  She also brought music into the home.  In those days music was a lot more pure than it is these days, but point being she restored an actual relationship with the father, instead of all these rules and regulations they were following, but only when the father was around, but they were still pretty rebellious to the governess.   She knew the best way to win them over was with love.  She ended up marrying the Captain and being the kids’ mother.

There are something that I want to point out from this illustration.  Maria used love to repair the relationship of the father with the children where Jesus used love to repair the relationship of God’s people, Jews and Gentiles, to their Father.  Before that He was called LORD, or YHWH, and in some cases even ADONAI, which means Master.  But Jesus wanted to reveal Him as “Abba, Father” or Daddy.  That’s the same thing kids in the movie wanted.  They really wanted to be loved by their father, and they didn’t want to be called by a whistle.  They wanted him to call them by name.  They didn’t want this strict, harsh, stern, authority figure.  They wanted a father who would love them.  Jesus came to restore the Jews relationship, and also bring a new relationship for the Gentiles to the Father, or Daddy who is their God.  He wanted to bring that closeness, and intimacy, that a father has with a child.  I posted in a previous blog entry about “Girls and their fathers” about how the father loves to give good gifts to his children.

There is even a prophetic and an angle of spiritual warfare that can be seen from this illustration.   According to this movie there was the Naval forces of the Third Reich, under Nazi Germany under this time, and they were after Captain Von Trapp.  But fortunately at this point, he was married to Maria and had a love relationship with his children, so they were all able to work as a team because the enemy did come and try to destroy their family.  What ended up is that they were able to escape into the hills after a clever escape plan.  But because the love relationship was restored, they were a lot more effective in escaping the enemy.

So that made me think about, if our walk is rooted and grounded in love for God, neighbors, and ourselves, instead of all these rules and regulations that don’t bring us closer to God, but pull us away from God, won’t that be so much more effective spiritual warriors, and be able to walk with wisdom in the last days?  Someone once said that the Bible is progressive, and that you learn more and more about God through revelation as you go from Old Testament, to New Testament.  We have to change our mindset about God, and even the Heavenly Father.  He is not a cold, distant, stern, authority figure who is waiting and just waiting to judge the people and make them pay for everything they have done (at least for believers).  He is a loving, merciful, gracious, Abba, Father and loving Daddy that wants you to love Him.  Even in the Old Testament it talks about how God wants the people to turn from their wicked ways and just turn to Him.  He just wants them to love Him.

I am going to clarify again the word, “love”, in case you missed it last time.  There are four types of love in the Greek:  Agape, Eros, Phileo, and Storge.  Agape, is the unconditional love that God has for us through Christ, someone put it best – “Agape is the love of an object/person despite the condition of the object of the affection”.  EROS, is the romantic kind of love between the husband and a wife.  Phileo is the love between the brothers and sisters of the church, and the type of love that Jesus said we are to have for our neighbors.  Storge is the love we have for our family members.

After Jesus had resurrected and He had come to meet Peter by the sea, He asked him, to redeem Peter for denying Him, “Do you love/Agape Me?”  Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”  Peter said, “Lord, you know I love/Phileo You.”    Then He asked again, “Do you love/Agape Me?”  Peter said yet again, “Lord, you know I love/Phileo You.” Jesus said “Shepherd, (tend) my sheep.”  Then Jesus came down to his level and said, “Do you love/Phileo Me?”  This time Peter was sad, and then Peter said, “You know I do love/Phileo you.”  Then Jesus said “Feed my sheep.”

I think Amplified plays out this passage very well in John 21 –

15When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these [others do–with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion, as one loves the Father]? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You [that I have deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend]. He said to him, Feed My lambs.

    16Again He said to him the second time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion, as one loves the Father]? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You [that I have a deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend]. He said to him, Shepherd (tend) My sheep.

    17He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with a deep, instinctive, personal affection for Me, as for a close friend]? Peter was grieved (was saddened and hurt) that He should ask him the third time, Do you love Me? And he said to Him, Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You [that I have a deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend]. Jesus said to him, Feed My sheep.

Jesus was trying to get this Agape, love, a love that is a choice, with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion out of Peter, and I think He is trying to get that out of all of us.  For us to look at the Heavenly Father, who we can talk to as a Daddy.  There is a seeking in this type of relationship.  It is an act of devotion.  It is going after God till you find Him.  It is to yearn and hunt after God.  It is to pour all you have on finding this loving Father in your life.  In the same way that Maria restored the relationship that Captain Von Trapp had with his children.  The same way Jesus was and is trying to change our view and relationship of the Heavenly Father.  Sometimes as Christians we take the Heavenly Father for granted, or because so many of us have an orphaned spirit, we don’t know how to have a relationship with God as our Father.  We thank the Holy Spirit for giving us insight into who the Father is and to Jesus for revealing to us who He is, and lovingly we call him Abba, or Daddy.

If you want to know the descendents of the Von Trapp children are still alive.  They sang beautifully on a television interview I watched.  I didn’t want to disgrace that family name and in putting this posting up I hope it brings honour to the family and to God.