Monthly Archives: May 2014
“Desires are more important than needs: God reaches our hearts by satisfying them.” My pastor
I thought about this today and decided that it is worth sharing.
God created desires as part of His reflection in us; yet it seems that a great deal of religious teaching has worked to shut down anything that even looks like one. This is perhaps a more deadly deception. How many times have you heard faithful Christians say something like, “Oh, I only need a little bit: A roof over my head…” It actually expresses lack of trust in God. Then, when we want to ask for things that matter to us, like healing, financial provision or blessing, we are afraid, ashamed or unsure.
Here are some Bible verses to show the importance of desires to God:
Delight yourself in the LORD ; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Ps 37:4
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:5
You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing. ps 145:16
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
What does God say? I believe He wants us to tell Him what we would like (desire) so that He can give it to us, thereby building relationships.
There is a thing that has intrigued me for years: In a number of Gospel accounts, when Jesus heals, He asks, “What do you want?”
The ten lepers said they wanted to be cleansed; Bartimaeus said he wanted to see…
So, what do you want god to give you or do for you?
completeness, soundness, welfare, peace completeness (in number)
safety, soundness (in body)
welfare, health, prosperity
peace, quiet, tranquillity, contentment
peace, friendship of human relationships
with God especially in covenant relationship
Here’s a wonderful thought:
When Jesus told His disciples He leaves His peace with them (by extension, with us) in John 14, this is the word He uses.
When Paul says not to worry, but to bring everything to God in prayer with thanksgiving, and God’s peace will rule our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:6-7,) this is the word he uses.
Gods’ peace is not about lack of noise; it is about relationship and wholeness in Him.
This peace is the way of His Kingdom; we are citizens and ambassadors, bringing His peace to the world around us.
When we are born again, our old nature and the ways of the kingdom of this world die. To quote Bill Johnson, senior leader of Bethel, “Your old nature died of supernatural causes.”
Part of our work as new creations and members of God’s household is to change the world by carrying His presence wherever we go, giving all that He pours into us away. As we do this, He fills us more…with shalowm
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
How powerful is love?
It surpasses knowledge
It is greater than everything
In Heaven and on Earth;
How powerful is love?
It is our crown of life;
Encouraging and consoling;
Present in and through us.
How powerful is love?
Our clothing and breastplate,
We cannot be separated
Wherever we might be.
How powerful is love?
It casts out all our fear;
The perfect bond of unity,
We live as one in Him.
How powerful is love?
From sin and death it saved;
It makes us to be God’s children;
We live forevermore.
This song by Burlap to Cashmere was released in July 2011.
To me, it is artistic and beautiful.
I especially like the lines,
“And today we’ll crucify the fear
As love reclaims the atmosphere”
There is great truth to this: As we walk in God’s presence and declare His Kingdom here on Earth, the atmosphere changes.
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 you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith !” 6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea ‘; and it would obey you. 7 “Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’? 8 “But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink ; and afterward you may eat and drink ‘? 9 “He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? 10 “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves ; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’ ”
I recently heard a teaching based on this passage that asked the question, “How do we increase faith?”
The answer was that we give to God; then we eat and drink His goodness, which builds our faith.
What can we give to God?
Glory, praise, thanksgiving, adoration, worship.
As we thank God for His goodness and for the things He has done or given us, our faith increases.
I like this: It is not up to me to work up faith; it is a gift. I am so grateful for that.
I also find it interesting that the apostles asked for an increase in faith in order to carry out Jesus’ instructions not to cause little ones to stumble and to forgive. We are utterly dependent on God, even to obey His commandments. We need faith: That wonderful gift!
Drink deep; live in Him.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
(1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV
I have often heard people say that love is blind.
God sees us very clearly: frailty, flaws, strengths, talents, gifts and all.
He knows us fully and loves us completely.
I find great comfort in this. For one thing, there is nothing to hide; for another, He is not caught off guard by things that are complete surprises to me.
He knows what I need before I even ask; He knows what brings out the best in me.
He knows the parts of me that I have not yet discovered, and He knows when to reveal them.
Perhaps the greatest blessing of all is, He has all of this knowledge about me AND He loves me!
In 1540 Luther’s great friend and assistant, Friedrich Myconius, became sick and was expected to die within a short time. On his bed he wrote a loving farewell note to Luther with a trembling hand. Luther received the letter and sent back a reply: “I command thee in the name of God to live because I still have need of thee in the work of reforming the church…. The Lord will never let me hear that thou art dead, but will permit thee to survive me. For this I am praying, this is my will, and may my will be done, because I seek only to glorify the name of God.”
Although Myconius had already lost the ability to speak when Luther’s letter came, he recovered completely and lived six more years to survive Luther himself by two months.
(MacArthur New Testament Commentary, The – MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Colossians and Philemon.)
I really like this story: It is full of faith, hope an boldness.
There once was a day,
A place and a time
When I walked in the ways of man.
With no understanding,
Nor reason nor rhyme,
Till my life in Jesus began.
Oh, Jesus my Lord,
In His wonderful love,
Saved me and cleansed me within.
Now healed and redeemed,
Alive and restored;
I live a life hidden in Him.
In His precious love
And His mighty grace
Through faith in Him have I been saved.
Not by my own works,
That I could ever boast,
But His triumph over the grave.
Created in Christ,
His workmanship am I,
To do the works He has prepared.
I once was far off,
But now have been brought
To His home to live with Him there.
Lord Jesus Himself
Is the Chief Cornerstone
Of the building of which I am part
One holy temple
Built with living stones;
The dwelling of God in our heart.
Now unto the One
Who is able to do
More than we ask or imagine;
To Him be all glory
In all generations,
Both now and forever! Amen.
“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…” (Ephesians 2:10
The word for “workmanship: is “poema.”
Each of us is a poem, written by God, adding lines and stanzas as we live out our days.
some phrases are joyful; others are sad.
Some are funny, bringing smiles and laughter;
Other lines are tragic and sorrowful.
Many parts of our poems seem mundane; yet without them, there would be no depth or substance.
Each poem tells of God somehow:
His love, strength, creativity or great sense of humor.
Line after line details His goodness and unfathomable wisdom
Pictures made from being and doing show His glory.
His deep compassion, hope, joy and overwhelming greatness are reflected in us.
Each poem is a unique work of art
That demonstrates aspects of God as no other can.
His paradoxes are spoken in all languages;
Shades of color and light shape His reality.
And it is only when all creation is put together that we even come close to expressing Him.
In his book, “Care of Mind, Care of Spirit,” Morton Kelsey wrote that our image of God is important because we are created in His likeness.
That leads me to a question:
What is your image of God?
Is He kind and loving?
Is He gentle?
Is He gracious and merciful?
Is He strict?
Is He grumpy and angry?
Does He like to give us things we want?
Does He give sparingly, only addressing needs?
Is He personally involved in our lives or is He sitting back, waiting to judge us someday?
is it true that “God helps those who help themselves,” or is it that we are utterly dependent on Him?
Does He heal today?
Does He protect or leave us to fend for ourselves?
Is He a generous provider?
One thing I have been learning is that my knowledge of God directly affects my experience of Him and myself. As I come to receive His absolute and complete love of me, I am less afraid and driven to work for His approval.
That God’s love is foundational to His and our relationships is so important, it is no surprise that we have been deceived into believing distortions and outright lies.
Another statement from Fr Kelsey’s book is,
“We are loved by, important to and created in the image of God.”
Do you believe that?
I have read a number of books that call us to learn about God’s profound love. Some that I have really enjoyed are:
“A Glimpse Into a Love Beyond Words,” by Danny Randall
“Experienceing the Father’s Embrace,” by jack Frost
“The Supernatural Ways of Royalty,” by Bill Johnson and Chris Vallatton
If you doubt God’s love at all, seriously explore this matter. Ask Him to demonstrate His love for you and reveal Himself through Scripture, Holy Spirit and other people.
Enjoy the journey.