(Shared with permission from sister in Christ – Grace)
Jesus said, “WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?” It’s the same question for the Father. Who do we say that HE IS? Not just with our HEAD and MOUTH (“the right answer”), but who do we say, in WHAT WE ACTUALLY BELIEVE (because HOW WE LIVE OUR LIFE is actually answering the question of WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT THE FATHER). It’s THE MOST important question we can ask ourselves, and from the beginning there’s been an ASSAULT against THE IMAGE OF THE FATHER. The serpent came to Eve and immediately started CALLING INTO QUESTION the CHARACTER of the FATHER, “Did God REALLY say?” Immediately he started CALLING GOD A LIAR and PLANTING SEEDS OF DOUBT in Eve’s mind, that maybe the Father WASN’T SO GOOD, and that he was WITHHOLDING SOMETHING FROM THEM. From that day, there has been an assault against the image of the Father FOR ALL OF US. Much of this has come through our relationships with authority figures in our lives, especially our fathers or our mothers. We absorb a message of WHO THE FATHER IS through these relationships.
This is why when Jesus came onto the scene, one of His primary purposes, besides going to the cross, was to REVEAL THE FATHER, and to RESTORE US TO THE FATHER, because the image of the Father had been so CORRUPTED that the Jewish people had actually LOST SIGHT of WHO HE EVEN WAS, and they DIDN’T RECOGNIZE THE MESSIAH when He showed up. Jesus even said, “If you’ve seen ME, you’ve seen THE FATHER.”
The enemy doesn’t want us to talk about the Father. He doesn’t want our image of the Father to be CORRECTED, because he’s getting a lot of mileage out of the breakdown. BUT GOD….
“I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
The Father is PRESENT and He wants to be KNOWN for who He really TRULY IS. He KNOWS every one of us, and He KNOWS the breakdown that’s taken place. He wants to HEAL and RESTORE. His desire is for every one of us to be WALKING IN INTIMACY WITH HIM, just like He walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden in the cool of the day. We’ve all had stuff IN THE WAY that He wants to GET OUT OF THE WAY. HOLY SPIRIT, help us. Thank You JESUS for REVEALING THE FATHER TO US. Thank You FATHER that You NEVER CHANGE. From the Garden until now You have NEVER CHANGED.
John 17:3 states, “For THIS is ETERNAL LIFE, that they may KNOW YOU, the ONLY TRUE GOD, and JESUS CHRIST whom YOU have sent.” This is the GOAL of the GOSPEL – that WE would KNOW HIM. Why? This would explain WHY there has been such an ASSAULT against OUR IMAGE of the FATHER GOD. The problem has NEVER been with the FATHER. The problem has been with the fact that we have ALL gotten LENSES that we’ve been wearing, and we got those lenses, first of all through SIN, because sin by itself IMMEDIATELY CREATES A DISCONNECTION. From the Garden, when man sinned, what happened? They were DISCONNECTED from the FATHER, and that RECEPTIVENESS they had prior to sin, which allowed them to EXPERIENCE CONNECTION and RELATIONSHIP with the Father was DESTROYED. So, when we sin in our own life, that SAME BREAK happens – that SAME DISCONNECTION, and in that VOID, in that DISCONNECTION, the enemy comes, and SEEKS TO BE THE NARRATOR OF OUR STORY. He wants to try to TELL US WHO THE FATHER IS.
Have you noticed in our day, there’s a fight over WHO gets to tell the story. WHO’S going to tell the narrative? And now, there’s this CANCEL culture, and things BEING TAKEN OFF the internet and off YouTube so you can’t find ANYTHING EXCEPT WHAT THEY WANT US TO KNOW – what THEY SAY narrative is. The enemy has been trying to HIJACK THE NARATIVE from the very beginning, and it’s time to GET IT BACK, because the FATHER has ALWAYS BEEN TELLING THE TRUE STORY.
The second thing, for those of you who have already gotten BORN AGAIN, who are IN CHRIST, the issue of SIN has been taken care of, BUT the OTHER LENS that’s a little more CHALLENGING to deal with is the lens that we got from our natural dad, who picked up a lens from his dad, who picked up a lens from his dad, and so on. Sometimes the lens we pick up is that a FATHER is DISCONNECTED and SILENT. Sometimes it’s that a FATHER is CRITICAL and DEMANDING. Whatever the lens is, whether we realize it or not, affects us EVERY DAY OF OUR LIFE before we deal with it. We end up VIEWING OURSELVES THROUGH THESE LENSES even regarding HOW GOD THE FATHER SEES US, and coming to the conclusion that WE ARE A DISAPPOINTMENT TO HIM, that WE ARE NOT A DELIGHT TO HIM, that HE HAS NO INTEREST IN US, that WE CAN NEVER MEASURE UP, and that THERE MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH US. If our earthly dad DID NOT INITIATE TOWARDS US, we can also absorb the belief that if we are to have relationship with him, IT’S ALL UP TO US – that WE have to INITIATE CONSTANTLY, and IF WE DON’T, THEN THERE WOULD BE NOTHING COMING BACK. This dynamic with our dad BECOMES A FILTER OVER THE FACE OF GOD, so that even as we WANT HIM and WANT TO KNOW HIM, BREAKDOWN keeps happening. This FILTER tells us that IF I’M NOT HEARING GOD SPEAK, then IT’S BECAUSE I’VE DONE SOMETHING WRONG, or BECAUSE HE’S DISAPPOINTED WITH ME. This can cause much WILDERNESS WANDERING through the years. Sometimes, in moments when we EXPERIENCE GOD in worship, etc… we EXPERIENCE HIS PRESENCE and REMEMBER WE ARE LOVED, but in the mundane things of everyday life we QUICKLY LOSE THAT, because EMOTIONS DON’T LAST and we CAN’T GO BY EMOTIONS….. Even reading the Word of God, there are LENSES and FILTERS we’ve picked up which taint our understanding of that too.
BUT GOD wants to TRULY FATHER US. He continuously seeks to DRAW US TO HIMSELF. Sometimes it takes us a long time for us to recognize this. The ones who are HIS tend to RUN AFTER HIM desperately UNTIL THEY FIND HIM. He tells us that if we SEEK HIM WITH OUR WHOLE HEART, we WILL FIND HIM. When we finally COME TO THE END OF OURSELVES and just SURRENDER with NO SOLUTION OF OUR OWN, He RESPONDS. If we ASK HIM to REVEAL HIMSELF (who He REALLY IS) to us HE WILL, and He will begin to REVEAL OUR LENSES, and start SETTING US FREE from ALL THE FALSE THINGS we’ve been BELIEVING.
We all tend to want the high MOUNTAINTOPS, but the WILDERNESS is where God GETS STUFF DONE. It’s often at LOW points where BREAKTHROUGH happens in our relationship with Him. Be encouraged. If things feel wilderness-like, then KNOW that the wilderness is BY DESIGN because God is wanting to SET YOU FREE. It doesn’t happen on the mountaintop. It happens IN THE VALLEY. Whatever is coming up in your life in the wilderness, it’s on PURPOSE. God is trying to EXPOSE, in the FIRE of the wilderness, that you’ve got some STUFF that’s IN THE WAY with you in relationship to Him (not HIM in relationship to YOU). God only has ONE type of relationship He’s interested in, and that’s an INTIMATE relationship. If you’re new to Christ, or even if you’ve been walking with Him for twenty years and have not yet been PERFECTED IN LOVE, you might have some STUFF that God is wanting to BRING UP and SET YOU FREE from!
Being faced with the WORD OF GOD presents us with the question, “Which WORD are you going to BELIEVE? What’s the TRUTH?” Jesus said, “Father, sanctify them (set them apart) IN YOUR TRUTH. YOUR WORD IS TRUTH.” This takes RAW, COLD-BLOODED FAITH. Culturally, FAITH has become something only IN YOUR MIND and IN YOUR EMOTIONS. We’re taught that if we FEEL AFRAID then we’re NOT IN FAITH, and that if we FEEL UNSURE and are HAVING DOUBTS, then we’re NOT IN FAITH. BUT the Hebrew understanding of FAITH is “A MEANS TO ACT WITH FIRMNESS.” It’s ACTUALLY an ACTION word, and it is rooted in OUR WILL. We’ve been SET FREE to make RAW, COLD-BLOODED decisions based on WHAT THE WORD OF GOD SAYS. This is extremely LIBERATING!
Without understanding this, life can be a roller-coaster for many years, ALWAYS LOOKING AT SELF, perpetually asking, “DO I HAVE ENOUGH FAITH for this situation?” and ALWAYS COMING UP EMPTY because WE DON’T HAVE IT! So it is an incredible GIFT FROM GOD when we REALIZE that FAITH is IN OUR WILL, and that WE GET TO DECIDE, based on WHAT GOD HAS SAID, because HE HAS NOT EVER CHANGED! He HASN’T CHANGE for YOU, or for ME, or for ANYBODY ELSE! This isn’t based on culture or anything else. It’s not based on YOUR PERFORMANCE or LACK OF PERFORMANCE. This DOES NOT CHANGE. This is just WHO HE IS!
When we realize this and DECIDE to BELIEVE the WORD OF GOD, then the WORD becomes OUR ANCHOR, OUR FOCUS, and OUR ROCK – NO MATTER WHAT! And if GOD’S WORD contradicts something, like a THOUGHT or a CIRCUMSTANCE, then we get to CHOOSE WHAT GOD SAYS over what ANYTHING ELSE SAYS or what ANYTHING ELSE LOOKS LIKE or FEELS LIKE! We get to CHOOSE this – EVERY – SINGLE – TIME! This FEELS counterintuitive when we’re in the struggle, because when God is EXPOSING the LENSES and LONG-HELD BELIEF SYSTEMS, what we have long-believed FEELS so true, in contrast to God’s Word FEELING cold and sterile in comparison…. BUT (we DON’T GO BY FEELINGS, and) Isaiah 40 says, “The grass withers and the flower fades, but THE WORD OF GOD STANDS FOREVER!” It is ETERNAL! It is SPIRIT and LIFE!
If we’ve struggled with FEAR of BEING CRITICIZED and JUDGED by God, and FEAR of BEING MISUNDERSTOOD and JUDGED by people, causing us to RUN and ESCAPE INTERNALLY, then the LORD brings us to a place of just LETTING GO. We TURN AND FACE GOD and say, “Ok, YOU be my JUDGE. I want YOU to be my JUDGE. I don’t want to keep running anymore. If You have something to say, please just say it.” And He says, “I LOVE YOU. I JUDGE YOU… LOVED… BY ME.” He ANSWERS that NEED IN OUR HEART and SETS US FREE from that FALSE LENS of BEING UNLOVED. And then He REFRAMES and REDEFINES the SILENCE. When through that LYING LENS we’ve felt like He’s given us the “silent treatment,” He COMFORTS us and says, “I just want to BE WITH YOU. There’s no pressure on ME to say anything, or on YOU to say anything. Can we JUST BE TOGETHER?” He addresses the DISCONNECTION LENS and says, “I’m ONE SPIRIT with you. You’ve been RAISED TO LIFE and are ONE SPIRIT WITH ME. You CAN’T disconnect from ME, and I CAN’T disconnect from you. You don’t even LIVE except by MY CONNECTION WITH YOU.” And in our desperate seeking of Him, we can RELAX in these TRUTHS OF HIS WORD. He says, “You love ME because I FIRST LOVED YOU.” This DEMOLISHES the LENS OF HAVING TO INITIATE AND STRIVE AFTER HIM with FEAR of Him NOT RESPONDING TO US. “You’re ONLY, EVER, RESPONDING to ME, because I LOVED YOU FIRST and CAME AFTER YOU.”
So WHO is the FATHER? John 4:16 tells us, “GOD IS LOVE.” I Corinthians 13 says, “Love is PATIENT, KIND, GENTLE, etc….” We’ve always heard this Scripture preached TO US, in the way that WE’RE supposed to be patient, kind, etc… but what we’re ACTUALLY being told in this passage is WHO GOD IS! This is who HE IS! HE’S patient! HE’S kind! HE doesn’t take into account the wrongs suffered! HE’S not touchy and getting offended! And He’s telling us this because IF WE DON’T KNOW GOD as LOVE, and as PATIENT AND KIND, what do we think is going to come out of US? The character of Christ is NOT something that we PERFORM. It’s WHO HE IS, and it’s what comes out of US when we GET OUT OF THE WAY.
Galatians 5:22 lists the FRUIT of the SPIRIT – LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL. Again, THIS is WHO GOD IS. We should see the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT as the BOUNDS within which EVERYTHING in our RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD takes place. Our relationship with Him is ALL WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT. HE will ONLY, EVER BE LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, and SELF-CONTROL to those who are HIS. It’s WHO HE IS. Inside this PROTECTIVE fence-line of truth SURROUNDING US, where we UNDERSTAND this about OUR FATHER, is a wonderfully SAFE, JOYFUL and PEACEFUL place to be!
People have an idea of an Old Testament “God of ANGER,” but again, this religious spirit has TWISTED the amazing story of THE LOYAL LOVE OF THE FATHER. God’s CHARACTER through the WHOLE OLD TESTAMENT is “HESED = LOYAL LOVE, GENEROSITY, ENDURING COMMITMENT, AN ACT OF PROMISE-KEEPING LOYALTY THAT IS MOTIVATED BY DEEP PERSONAL CARE.” A good example of this, is Ruth’s LOYAL LOVE to her widowed mother-in-law Naomi, who HAS NOTHING TO GIVE HER. Ruth PROMISES TO STAY BY NAOMI’S SIDE and TAKE CARE OF HER. As other people watch Ruth KEEP THIS PROMISE OVER TIME, they call it an ACT OF HESED. Notice that Ruth’s HESED is NOT CONDITIONAL, based on Naomi’s WORTH. Rather, it’s AN EXPRESSION of Ruth’s CHARACTER. She just IS a GENEROUS and LOVING person who KEEPS HER WORD. THAT’s HESED!
The ONE who shows the MOST ENDURING HESED in the Bible is GOD. For example, in spite of the fact that Jacob was a treacherous liar, God CHOOSES HIM and repeats the PROMISE HE MADE to Jacob’s grandfather Abraham, that he would have a huge family and that THROUGH THEM God would RESTORE HIS BLESSINGS to the nations. Twenty years later when Jacob realizes how undeserving he is, he says to God, “I’m not worthy of all the HESED You’ve shown me,” and he’s right. But GOD’S HESED was NEVER ABOUT Jacob’s WORTH in the first place. It’s a DISPLAY OF GOD’S GENEROUS LOYALTY TO HIS PROMISE. God’s HESED continues to the Israelites when they’re enslaved in Egypt. “God REMEMBERED HIS PROMISE to Abraham and Jacob,” and He DEFEATS EGYPT and RAISES UP MOSES to LIBERATE THE PEOPLE and LEAD THEM TO THE PROMISED LAND. This is called an ACT OF HESED. It was about GOD KEEPING HIS WORD. Along the way, the people rebel and Moses asks God to forgive them, “BECAUSE OF YOUR GREAT HESED,” not because the people deserve it, but because it’s CONSISTENT WITH GOD’S OWN CHARACTER. God agrees, and recommits Himself to a people who don’t want to be committed to Him. In the Bible, God is LOYAL and LOVING for NO OTHER REASON than because it’s JUST WHO GOD IS. Of course He wants His people to RESPOND WITH HESED in return, but even when they don’t, GOD’S HESED REMAINS.
The prophet Hosea compares Israel’s HESED to a morning mist, that’s “here one moment and gone the next,” but GOD’S HESED is ENDURING. Psalm 136 opens by saying, “Give thanks to the LORD for He is GOOD (and then 26 times repeats) HIS HESED ENDURES FOREVER!” So after centuries of Isreal betraying their commitment to God, and after humanity’s long history of violence and death, GOD STILL KEPT HIS PROMISE in a dramatic and drastic way by becoming human and binding Himself to us in the person of JESUS. The people who followed Jesus of Nazareth said that IN HIM, they encountered the GOD OF ISRAEL who is full of LOYAL LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS. JESUS is the ultimate LOYAL and LOVING One, and in His life, death and resurrection, God opened up a new future for us, and for all of Creation. God did this because it’s just WHO GOD IS – GENEROUS, LOVING AND ETERNALLY LOYAL TO HIS PROMISES. When we experience the PURITY and POWER of GOD’S LOYAL LOVE through JESUS, it COMPELS US to reimagine WHY and HOW we can SHOW HESED BACK TO GOD and TO THE PEOPLE AROUND US. THIS is what it means to say that God is OVERFLOWING WITH LOYAL LOVE.
God is also SLOW TO ANGER, and His anger is a RESPONSE to human evil, and it’s based on a deeper trait, HIS COMPASSION and HIS LOYAL LOVE. God is not content to let people sit in their own SELF-DESTRUCTION. In the Bible, God is ON A MISSION TO RESCUE. This is why Jesus said He was going to Jerusalem to DIE, as a demonstration of GOD’S LOVE for His ENEMIES. He would STAND IN THE PLACE of His people who were choosing self-destruction, and TAKE THE CONSEQUENCES of their decisions on HIMSELF. In Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we see God’s ANGER AT EVIL and His LOVE FOR PEOPLE working together to provide FORGIVENESS and LIFE for a humanity lost in self-ruin. God’s anger in the Bible is really important, but it’s NOT the end of the story. When God is angry and brings justice, it’s because He’s GOOD, and He’s EXTREMELY PATIENT, working out His plan to RESTORE PEOPLE TO HIS LOVE.
We’ve been GIVEN PERMISSION to PUT A BOUNDARY around our THINKING and our VISION and to ONLY ALLOW the REALITY that GOD IS – PATIENT, KIND, GENTLE, LOVING, SLOW TO ANGER – and we DON’T RECEIVE ANYTHING ELSE. When ANYTHING comes and contradicts the REALITY that THIS is WHO HE IS, we DON’T RECEIVE IT. It’s NOT FROM GOD. We can DECIDE with RAW, COLD-BLOODED FAITH that, “NO! NO MORE! I’m NOT DOING THAT anymore! That’s NOT who HE IS!”
And THIS is our journey. John 4:16 says, “We have KNOWN and BELIEVED the LOVE that GOD HAS FOR US.” THIS is our PRIMARY OCCUPATION – to “KNOW” (in both Hebrew and Greek “AN INTIMATE KNOWING”). So we get to COMMIT OURSELVES and MAKE IT OUR OCCUPATION to KNOW INTIMATELY AND BELIEVE THE LOVE THAT GOD HAS FOR US. John 4:19 says, “We love God BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.” Romans 12:2 tells us to, “Be TRANSFORMED by the RENEWING OF OUR MIND.” We don’t usually hear this taught, but it’s one of the MOST IMPORTANT THINGS FOR US TO DO, because “AS A MAN THINKS, so he IS.” So we MAKE IT A PRIORITY in our lives to ACTUALLY ADDRESS the things that come up in our mind, the LENSES, the FILTERS, the EMOTIONS, the things which cause BREAKDOWN. We don’t IGNORE them, or RUN FROM them, or TRY TO ESCAPE from them, but we TURN TO FACE THE FATHER BECAUSE HE WANTS TO SET US FREE. We don’t run FROM HIM. We run TO HIM!
In brain science studies, our thoughts look like trees. Like the two trees in the Garden, there are two kinds of trees we can have in our brain. The healthy tree (thought) looks one way, and the unhealthy tree (thought) looks another way. We’ve actually been EQUIPPED BY GOD with the ABILITY to CHANGE OUR OWN MIND by the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Jeremiah 1:10 is the call to Jeremiah as a prophet. In the Old Covenant, the prophet was the representation of God – THE WORD OF GOD to the people. And the call to Jeremiah was, “To ROOT OUT, PULL DOWN, DESTROY, THROW DOWN, BUILD and PLANT.” THIS is what THE WORD OF GOD does! It ROODS OUT, PULLS DOWN, DESTROYS and THROWS DOWN THE BAD STUFF – those ugly trees that are SABOTAGING OUR LIFE IN GOD and our BEING ABLE TO LIVE IN INTIMACY WITH HIM and TO KNOW HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE ADN JOY! 2 Corinthians 10:4 tells us that, “the WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE are NOT CARNAL, but MIGHTY IN GOD TO THE PULLING DOWN OF STRONGHOLDS.” There’s that same language – it’s the DECONSTRUCTION part of the journey.
Then, it’s time to BUILD AND PLANT! Hebrews 4 is the “REST” chapter. We are CALLED INTO REST! “There remains therefore a REST for the PEOPLE OF GOD. For he who HAS ENTERED HIS REST has himself also CEASED FROM HIS WORKS as GOD did from HIS. Therefore let us BE DILIGENT to ENTER THAT REST, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.” The children of Israel they’re referencing back in the Old Covenant REFUSED TO BELIEVE. Our REST is WHEN WE BELIEVE GOD – WHEN WE TRUST GOD. And right on the heels of that, it says, “For the Word of God is LIVING and POWERFUL and SHARPER THAN ANY TWO-EDGED SWORD, PIERCING even to the DIVISION of SOUL and SPIRIT, and of JOINTS and MARROW, and is a DISCERNER of the THOUGHTS and INTENTS OF THE HEART.” It’s THE WORD that DOES THE WORK. WE don’t do it. The WORD DOES IT. We PUT THE WORD IN OUR MOUTH and we USE IT and we SPEAK IT! The Word says that our TONGUE is like a RUDDER and it’s STEERING our life. You wonder, “WHY is my life going in this direction? WHY am I not able to bridge the gap of Who God says He is, or whatever this disconnect and breakdown is?” But according to the WORD OF GOD, you can KNOW that there’s something going on here, and it’s manifesting in how you THINK and SPEAK and STEERING your life.
Let’s get a vision and start to IDENTIFY and DIAGNOSE the problem, “WHY am I disconnected and experiencing breakdown in these things? WHY am I not able to engage with God the way I want to? WHY do I keep finding myself going around in circles?” It’s because you’ve GOT A LENS and GOD IS TRYING TO SHOW IT TO YOU because HE WANTS TO SET YOU FREE – because THAT’S WHO HE IS. He is THE SAVIOR who DELIVERS. When we get born again, we’ve just gotten in the door. We’re in the house of God, but there’s A LOT that comes on the other side of living in this house, and knowing who He is. So, BE WILLING to SEE and FACE your WRONG BELIEFS ABOUT GOD, and TO REPENT. One of the most important things we can learn in this journey, is TO TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. RECOGNIZE “I’ve got a lens, and the problem is NOT with the Father.”
This can be HARD, especially if we’ve got stuff where we feel we’ve been victimized in our life, and when we have hard things where people have sinned against us and we feel like, “What? ME take responsibility? Look what THEY did!” But even from the Garden, THIS is what happened, and THIS is why they had to LEAVE THE GARDEN. Adam and Eve just WOULDN’T take personal responsibility. They wanted to BLAME somebody ELSE. God can’t do anything with BLAME. As long as you need somebody else to be different for you to be ok, you’ll NEVER be FREE. We can ONLY control OURSELVES, and God has given us a WILL and POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT to MAKE NEW CHOICES. We stand before God alone, and in this place with Him alone, HE CAN TRULY HEAL US AND SET US FREE!
So, REALLY FACE GOD, and REALLY RECKON WITH the WORD OF GOD and MAKE A DECISION that you ARE GOING TO BELIEVE WHAT IT SAYS, AGAINST even your SELF – AGAINST how you FEEL and AGAINST how you THINK, and it will SET YOU FREE! It REALLY WILL! When the Holy Spirit is bringing stuff up and we’re starting to recognize our lenses, there can be a lot of pain that comes up with it. Just BE HONEST with God. He ALREADY KNOWS! Some of our most powerful encounters with God can come from times when we are brutally honest with Him. If you have stuff WITH HIM from wrong viewpoints, TELL HIM. There can times when we feel really ABANDONED, when we pray about things and feel LIKE HE ISN’T THER or NEVER TALKS TO US, times when we don’t know what He’s saying and we don’t know what to do, and we feel like we’re just ON OUR OWN in this. This is the DISCONNECT and BREAKDOWN from FALSE LENSES. In life, WE GET what we ACTUALLY BELIEVE, not what we SAY WE BELIEVE. We can sit there and say, “Oh yea, I believe in Jesus, and I believe He’s good,” but if we have a program running in the background that says, “God’s not good and I can’t trust Him. He hurts me,” then THAT is what’s ACTUALLY going to manifest in our life. The message from a false lens can actually be, “God I hate You. I don’t want to hate You, but I hate You. You don’t help me. You never help me. I feel so abandoned.” And His response to you, even in that valley, is that “there’s NO shadow He won’t light up, NO mountain He won’t climb up coming after you. There’s NO wall He won’t kick down, and NO lie He won’t tear down coming after you.” HE comes after YOU. He KNOWS that’s in there, and HE brings it up in all it’s ugliness and HE gives you a chance to REPENT and LET IT GO, and BE FREED FROM IT!
GO THERE WITH GOD! The Holy Spirit is there to SHOW YOU that program that’s running in the background. FACE THE FATHER, front and center! “GOD, I’M HERE! I want to DEAL WITH and GET RID OF THE LENSES! I want to KNOW YOU as you REALLY, REALLY ARE!” It says in Daniel that “those who KNOW their God will STAND STRONG and DO EXPLOITS!” THIS is the WAY! THIS is WHERE WE KNOW GOD! It’s not always pretty. Getting to know anyone intimately can be messy, but IF you STAY IN IT, and you’re COMMITTED TO LOSING YOUR LIFE IN ORDER TO FIND IT and you EMBRACE THE CROSS, it just gets BETTER!
FATHER, we are EXCITED that we get to have such EXPECTATION of YOUR GOODNESS! We get to EXPECT You to BE AMAZING, to BE LOVING, to BE GENTLE, to BE KIND! You’ve been trying so desperately to get through all of our BLOCKAGES, all of our LENSES, all of our BREAKDOWNS, just to HELP US!
“DON’T YOU SEE HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU? DON’T YOU SEE HOW PRECIOUS YOU ARE TO ME? I’M TRYING TO GET THROUGH, AND I’M JUST RUNNING INTO SLUDGE….”
LORD, WE WANT TO MAKE YOUR HEART GLAD AS WELL AS OUR OWN – TO GET THIS SLUDGE OUT OF THE WAY SO THERE CAN JUST BE A FREE FLOW, A RIVER OF YOUR LOVE, FROM YOU TO US, AND US TO YOU, AND FROM YOU THROUGH US TO OTHER PEOPLE, WHERE WE’RE JUST SWIMMING IN THIS HESED, THIS PERFECT LOVE THAT CASTS OUT ALL FEAR. THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED TO COVER THE EARTH FROM THE VER BEGINNING AT CREATION. WE THANK YOU THAT YOU ARE HERE TO SET US FREE. SHINE YOUR LIGHT. SHINE YOUR HOLY SPIRIT AS OUR COUNSELOR. COME AND COUNSEL US!
“We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that THE ALL-SURPASSING POWER IS FROM GOD, and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4)
We don’t chase people or ministries. We chase after GOD. GOD wants to move IN AND FOR HIS PEOPLE in a UNIQUE and PERSONAL way, and minister to EACH ONE where YOU are, with what YOU need, especially AS IT RELATES TO THE FATHER. The ministry of JESUS was to RECONCILE US BACK TO THE FATHER. This is the LIFE of the DISCIPLE. We’re CONSTANTLY going DEEPER and DEEPER with OUR FATHER. HE wants to encounter YOU in a PRECIOUS and PERSONAL way.
RUN TO HIM WITH EVERYTHING IN YOU! HE PROMISES TO MEET YOU THERE!!