Lord I praise you because you are worthy of more praise than I can possibly realize. There is no way for me to know all the ways that you have acted on my behalf and loved me. For this reason, I bow my knee before you Father God, as everyone in heaven and on earth get their name from you, their truest identity.
In my time with the Lord this morning, He sent me to Nehemiah 3. Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall of the city that was destroyed by the Babylonian invasion. Along with rebuilding the wall he rebuilt the gates of the wall. Holy Spirit told me that there was a spiritual meaning to the wall and all the gates. The wall represents the wellbeing of our spiritual lives. This is what He showed me about gates that are found in that chapter.
I believe that God wants to build victory right on top of your greatest defeat. He wants to take the material used to build a stronghold in your soul and burn it as the sacrifice that brings forgiveness and healing and strength in Him.
Our spiritual lives can be compared to sailboats and in our journey with Jesus we will encounter concepts that seem like contradictions until we learn to navigate through them. They include the understanding of the roll of grace and the roll of works, being free from the law yet being obedient to God, being intentionally active in pursuing the Holy Spirit while remaining surrendered to Him.
Just like a computer has operating software that allows it to function and carry out specific tasks, we have spiritual operating software that God has given us the challenge to write. Our mind, emotions, and will are constantly being told how to function based on what we believe to be true. Our beliefs become our operating software that controls our lives. Our mind, will and emotions will operate as if whatever we believe is true, even if it is a lie.
When we were living in the darkness of satan’s kingdom we had no eternal purpose and no hope. The light of the gospel now illuminates our life and purpose in God’s kingdom. There has been a transfer of residence. Not just when we die but even while we live here on foreign soil.
It’s a question my wife asks me sometimes when I am in her physical presence but I am somewhere else in my spirit. I believe God asked a similar question to Adam and Eve after they sinned in the Garden of Eden.
Throughout our spiritual journeys there are times when we just get stuck. We get trapped in our circumstances and mind and no matter what we try, we can’t get things to change. It can become almost unbearable and sometimes it goes on for extended periods of time. It could be that God is dealing with an area of our flesh or sin nature that we have been unable or unwilling to deal with and it is holding us back.
We are all familiar with the amazing transformation that happens in the life of a butterfly as it goes through the different phases of its life. The greatest part of the journey is when a caterpillar goes into the cocoon and emerges a butterfly. As we go through our stages of spiritual growth, we are always in danger of becoming stuck at different points if we refuse to endure the pain necessary to complete any part of our spiritual journey.
A life of obedience is to legitimately follow Jesus in order to fulfill the purpose that He designed us for on this earth. Legalism means that we can follow a set of rules to control God’s favor toward us. It means our behavior makes God obligated to save and bless us. God exposes this legalistic concept as ludicrous in the book of Job.
What if God knows us on such a level that it is incomprehensible? What if He hand crafts each of our DNA that makes us unique among everyone who will ever be born? What if this is an external symbol of an inward reality in that we are as unique spiritually as we are physically?
Our lives are like intricate jigsaw puzzles that create a masterwork when we are completely put together. When we are whole and complete, each one of us is a unique portrait of Jesus. The style of each portrait is as unique as we are as individuals. The goal of our lives is to become complete in Christ. This results in our soul being satisfied in Jesus no matter what comes our way.
Joshua was only one of two people who entered the promise land from the first generation of Jews who left Egypt in the Exodus. The rest died in the wilderness because of their hardened hearts. I believe the reason is because Joshua relentlessly stayed in the presence of God.
We know from scripture that we are a work of art that God is crafting into something uniquely His. He allows the world to view the Artist at work as He shapes, molds and sculpts us right before their eyes. This is amazingly stated in how the New Living Translation translates the following verse.
In our world today, identity theft is epidemic. There are those who take your good name in order to steal what is yours. At the same time they are taking what is rightfully yours, they are destroying your name, reputation and trust that you have built over time.
Becoming spiritually farsighted is the vision correction that Jesus offers all of His followers. There are no bifocals with Him. When we learn to see all the way to heaven inside the throne room to where Jesus is seated, our nearsighted vision of this world becomes out of focus and we start to see Jesus clearly as the only source of our faith.
Jesus was a carpenter, let Him build your house. 2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ..
This world is under the illusion of control. It is like the world is living inside of a master magician’s show. The reason it seems this way, to those awakened by the Spirit of God, is because it is true.
1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
I paraphrased the first three chapters of Ephesians and made them personal as to what we have and are in Christ. This is only three chapters. Imagine if we did this to all of Paul’s writings. I think it would change our identity if we meditated on who God says we are in Him.
We celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus our savior as we quote passage about Christ bringing peace on earth. And rightly we should because it is the most amazing event in the history of man up to that point. But I can’t celebrate Christmas without anticipating Easter. The reason we can celebrate and announce peace on earth and sing joy to the world is not just because of the birth of Jesus. I propose it is because Jesus came to wage war.
How many times have you thought, “Life isn’t fair”? You don’t have to look very far to find injustice in this world. Because life isn’t fair, we have a hard time believing that there could be a good God reigning over His creation.