This I Believe

Do we? Do we believe?

Do we believe the Father? Can we declare these words with faith burning in our hearts and cry from our hearts that we believe? Do we know Him…His character and His intentions toward us? Do we know He is good, faithful, holy…that His ways are higher than our ways…all the time, each and every moment of each and every day. Do we believe His plans are for our good…for our benefit…for our transformation? If we believe that God is creator, defender, deliverer, should it not change us? Calling on the name of Jesus should change us.

In His love for us…this limitless, unchangeable love for us, He invites us to see the world differently. His call is for the body of Christ to explore His fullness and from this secure place, walk in our identity as His sons and daughters. The Father’s nature towards us is to be known by us?

I want to know Christ- yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead (Phillipians 3:10)

In the Name of Jesus…we believe. He is our judge and our defender…He showed us suffering and we partner in His suffering to know Him more…being acquainted with suffering is to know the power of the cross. He rose from the cross…He suffered but the power in surrendering to the cross comes with the resurrection. That He rose…in victory over death, disease, betrayal…all the nastiness in the world, for those broken relationships, the grief, and the suffering. He took on this pain, this sin and died…for all of this, He died. And He died, that we might live. Hope comes with the resurrection. Jesus didn’t stay dead.

Thank you, Jesus for surrendering to your Father’s will. Our God defends, contends, and defeats the enemy yesterday, today and forever. Our circumstances may paint a picture of lack, of need, of despair in some areas, but our circumstances don’t change the truth of who God is and who He will remain. Our circumstances change…our emotions change…our God does not.

When our beliefs about the Father are distorted and we are walking in unbelief about His goodness, His grace, His incomparable great mercy for us who believe, we are missing the truth about the Father’s heart and the authority He gives to His sons and daughters. Surrender to His goodness, trust His faithfulness, be filled with His compassion and receive His love.

Then go out…and walk in it pouring the overflow of goodness, love, faithfulness and compassion into the community.

Mining for Truth…and destroying old mindsets

I have learned that revelation of truth takes perseverance. It takes planning and intentionality, setting aside time to be in His presence. For years, I felt a tension between going to church, and doing “churchy” things and yet, feeling quite far away from the love of God. I grew weary of seeing a great divide between the public “church” life and the private heart life of knowing the Father. I was stuck in raw disappointment for a long time seeing passive pursuits of God’s heart all around me. I knew there had to be more about faith in Jesus…this “personal” relationship believers talk about than just being saved. Saved, yes, but thinking, believing, acting and pursuing nothing different from anyone else who didn’t “come to Jesus.” There is no power in Bible knowledge without a daily, living experience with Jesus.

There is tension, right here, in this moment with that last phrase because I know that the Father’s heart is for me to love those in my life whether they passionately pursue an intimate relationship with Him or not. When I get into this judgemental mindset, I am partnering with the enemy in criticism of a “child” He loves. I am resisting acting in love and in danger of sprouting bitter roots.

Just keeping it real, here, because in these moments, I have to battle this religious spirit that wants to get into my head. This is when I get into a quiet place and ask the Holy Spirit? “What is going on here and how can I be a part of your plan in this situation?” Usually, His answer: “Don’t hold back..declare My love” or “Don’t be provoked, do you trust what I am creating?” And right there is the gentle conviction, when I don’t trust what the Father is doing, I am walking in unbelief. I don’t want to go there…. This is when I know I need to take my eyes of my circumstances and raise them up to Him and kingdom possibilities. The fire of God always falls on a sacrifice, so when I give up my rights or thoughts on the matter, any deception coming from the enemy to breed disappointment or bitterness loses its power over me. And “BAM,” I am in a different mindset. But it takes intention, time and hiding in His presence to get there. I have found no easier route to getting free.

I know I am not there…being able to love like that. I battle this every day…some days with great victory, other days, in defeat. Thankfully, the Father’s love is without the same conditions…and with Him, every day is a new day. I really have learned to embrace the newness of every morning…a fresh start to allow Him to be strong in my weaknesses. I am learning how to see possibility and not disability…calling out words of life.

I can remember the month that the Father began to do a new thing as the beginning of the new life in Christ, I had been searching for. This journey has been a battle…of my mind, will and emotions. Old mindsets don’t crumble easily. (I still have to die daily to my flesh that wants to complain about the lack of progress). The Holy Spirit first needed to show me the Father’s love for me because without knowing I was loved, I would be unable to submit to receive new thoughts about Him and those He has put in my life to love. Even though the road has been rocky, I would never change the fire lit inside me to pursue more…to go to deeper places of connection with the Father and mine for hidden life-changing treasure. I know how to wait on the Lord in different ways, how to listen for His voice and receive comfort and encouragement from the Holy Spirit.

I have learned that some treasure is deeply imbedded…the Father desires to make his ways known, but knowing the Father’s heart comes through relationship as much as revelation. Not all moments of revelation come as “aha” moments…some need to be sought out, discovered…flushed out. I often don’t  stumble upon a new truth…I dig it up! Sometimes the process is painful as the Holy Spirit touches an area of my heart that has grown hard towards His truth, but I know His love for me is great. I trust Him to remove those branches that are not bearing fruit because His desires for me are always for my good.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3: 5,6

My understanding is limited by my human experience, but spiritual understanding is a higher, deeper revelation. Revelation like that comes through relationship with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in Acts that we would receive power through the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 says: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Proverbs 3: 5-6 is one of these verses, often quoted, and I have wrestled with it because of the words: “in all your ways submit to him.” It clearly does not say, “in some of your ways,” or “in the ways that come naturally or easy.” It says in “all” your ways. To keep on a straight path, it is important to know how to submit to the Father.

I am grateful for my family in the body of Christ who have spoken words of encouragement and correction into my life. I have taken these thoughts into prayer and meditation and found layers of revelation in the Word of God that penetrated deep into my heart. The process of mining for revelation has brought healing to my bones and restored joy to my soul (Proverbs 3: 7,8).

This is the gold in some of my treasure hunts:

♦ Don’t think you don’t need correction, deception is subtle

♦ God never changes, but our revelation of him does

♦ When we are subject to the Father’s mission, we can give and receive love

♦ The human response to pain is anger

♦ When I shut my ears because I am hurt, or stop loving when I don’t get my own way, I am walking in rebellion

♦ I can endure suffering

♦ Self-hatred is pride…pride is sin.

♦ Through Jesus, we can access the Father

♦ Read scripture with the Holy Spirit…asking him to show you the Father

♦ My reference point is what He said, not my experience

♦ Don’t let what I don’t understand distract me from what I know

♦ In the beginning God’s heart was for our best

♦ Unbelief always leads to disobedience

♦ Change your mind, not your circumstances

♦ Every strength not under the Lordship of Jesus can become a liability

♦ His love for us never changes, but our revelation of Him does

♦ We cannot separate God’s goodness from His Holiness…Jesus is coming for a pure bride

♦ Rebellion is choosing to negotiate…the key for break thru is being able to receive correction

♦ Humility is not relying on your own power or influence