Sitting is a position of rest, where you put your entire weight on what you’re sitting on or in… in this case. We are being told here to put our full weight in the glory. When you sit on a plane, lifting your feet doesn’t lighten the load, you’re still putting your full weight on the plane….
Ephesians 2:6 “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in heavenly realms (of glory) in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages He might display the surpassing riches of His grace, which He demonstrates by His kindness (chréstos… patient goodness, excellence, uprightness of character) unto us in Christ Jesus”. I read that in the Azusa Street Revival, the glory would come in like a cloud and the children would play hide and seek in the cloud of His glory.
(that’s how prevalent it was) In the glory there is a demonstration of the fullness of all God has provided. His fullness is in the glory, and just as there is no sickness, poverty, defeat and failure in heaven, where His glory fills everything… so it is that when He invites us to sit in heavenly places, He is inviting us into a fullness of health, financial provision, living with excellence, and success that cannot be experienced outside of His glory!
The secular does not supersede the sacred. It’s not a choice, either or… Israel’s daily experience involved the glory of God as part of their 24/7…in the wilderness… One did not exclude the other….but their secular life was lived out in the abiding glory of God….
Three guys decided to splurge and rent a master suite on the 75thfloor of a skyscraper, what a view of the entire area. They went sight seeing and got back to the skyscraper, only to find that the elevator was out. Bill said, let’s break the monotony by doing something to take our minds off of the climb. I’ll tell jokes for the first 25 floors, Jim, you lead us in singing, the next 25 floors, and Bob, you’re good at stories for the next 25… So they get to the 51stfloor and Bob says I’m going to start out with a real sad story…. We left the door key in the car….. Many have missed the glory,and continue to struggle, because they have been using the stairs when they could have been taking the spiritual elevator of His glory into all that God has available….
I pray that no one will live their entire life without sitting down and resting in the glory…..
Think of it, fullness of peace, confidence, assurance, and all we have need of, in the glory of His presence….free from worry in a world that has gone insane… free from the pressure cooker while we’re in the world but not of the world. It’s the kind of living which makes a crucial discovery, found in Isaiah 6:1 “I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is full of his glory.”
We see what we are looking for! Which is why last week, my message was “Watch for the Glory”….
God is inviting us into a place near Him, that overwhelms any and every thing that is outside and apart from Him. God told Jeremiah in chapter 39:13 “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart”. That’s a promise! Jesus came from the realms of glory and became a man outside of the glory, so that we might enter the glory which He has entered into in our behalf, to make it possible for us to have access to all the supernatural realm which He now dwells in.
Ephesians 4:10 "He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. 12 to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ”.
This is not something you struggle and wrestle your way into. You see some folks in a tremendous struggle as they wrestle and fight to get past their habits, their patterns, and their addictions, to get into the glory… But this is something that is about letting go, yielding, and falling into it. It is at the end of ourselves that we let go and fall into the fullness of Himself.
I must come to the place that I surrender, that I let go, and I just free fall into Him.
I fall out of my anger, resentment, and unforgiveness, and I fall into His mercy, grace, kindness and mercy. I let go of my pride, my self-reliance, my own self-centered ways, and I fall into His embrace, His acceptance, eternal plan and destiny. I let go of my hurt, my brokenness, my failures and flaws, and fall into His completeness, His Agape love, and the place He has already gone before and prepared for me….
The demoniac of Gadara encountered the Lord’s glory and fell out of the Devil’s grip, and into the peace of God that passes understanding, and scripture tells us He came into his right mind…. Before, he was naked, tormented, and only dead people could stand him (he lived in the cemetery) but once he was touched by the glory, he was dressed up, thinking right, and restored to his family and friends. God’s glory invades the battleground of the mind and will…..to set up kingdom thinking!
Ephesians 1:17 Paul prayed an interesting prayer v17 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in your knowledge of Him. v18 I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, and the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints” We are heirs of the glory…it’s our preordained inheritance in Christ….
Our Father God, is the Father of Glory, and He is unlimited, past finding out, He has no beginning and He has no end, He is timeless, and measureless. There is no place where His glory is not present….. His glory is being demonstrated right where you are no matter where you are. You simply need to fall into it, surrender, and yield yourself to it….
To be seated in heavenly places, means that we, who are in Christ,do not belong to the world system, but we are now part of another dimension, where God rules, and we are not only His children by new birth but all that is part of us, is now under the influence of His glory. You could say that in Christ, your life is now GLORIOUS! A glorious life is not a perfect life it’s a real life wrapped in the goodness of God. God is good all the time!! You have been given an invitation, by the father of glory, to live in the glory! I might go so far as to say, it is your mandate, your imperative, if you are to live the full life which He has provided….
Colossians 1:13 “For He has delivered us from the power of darkness, and HAS TRANSLATED US INTO THE KINGDOM OF HIS DEAR SON". (The kingdom of His glory) This is very important, if you are to live a life of victory that God intends for you. It’s about your Perspective. This means, for the believer who receives it, that we are not Praying from the Ground up/ or the earth up into the heavens, or up somewhere, where God is….Up is now down!!!! We are Praying FROM HEAVENLY PLACES in Christ JESUS, far above the Prince of the Power of the Air… The eagle and the hawk, don’t attack their prey from below, they get up on high (thousands of feet) and come down at tremendous speed, and they never know what hit them. When you take your place in the heights, above Satan’s principalities and powers… He doesn’t know what hit him!!! He’s not prepared for that, because He thinks He’s over the earth, but God is telling us that He has given us a place above Satan’s kingdom….
Revelation 1:6 “And He has made (established and empowered) us as kings and priests unto God and His Father. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen”. We operate out of His glory and His dominion… This is His authority, rulership, and power over all…. Every knee must bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the rightful ruler…. It’s your time to be seated….
In Philippians 3:20, Paul even says that "OUR CONVERSATION IS IN HEAVEN." (Our language is the word of God) We speak revelation, wisdom from above, we receive the mind of Christ, whereby, we are given insight, understanding and knowledge the world doesn’t have access to. That is where believers are to live….
1 John 5:4-5 "WHATSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMESTHE WORLD: AND THIS IS THE VICTORY THAT OVERCOMES THE WORLD, EVEN OUR FAITH. WHO IS HETHAT OVERCOMES THE WORLD, BUT HE THAT BELIEVETH THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD?"
John is saying, stop struggling to get there, and surrender to it, fall into it, yield to it, because that’s where God birthed you into!!!
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William, didn’t have to earn their positions in the English royalty…. They were born into it! That’s how kingdoms work. We are birthed into God’s kingdom. You don’t have to work for it, you are seated there, as a birthright from God Himself! So He tells you… “Be seated in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus”….
(Have everyone, stand, now, when I say, “Be seated”…. I want everyone to be seated) Now was that so hard? You simply surrendered, yielded, and let yourself fall into your seat! A great and remarkable change will come into our lives as we sit down in heavenly places. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you have full access to God’s love, power, peace, hope, and provision. You’re seated at the table, and instead of fighting to be special, you yield to it, and it is glorious!!!
That’s what God is telling us about the glory realms of the Kingdom…. Colossians 3:1-2 "If you are now risen with Christ, then seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. SET YOUR AFFECTION ON THINGS ABOVE, NOT ON THINGS ON THE EARTH."
A guy went to his minister and told him, he was depressed and all but giving up hope… His wife left him, took the kids, the house and the car. Emptied out the bank account, and his business had failed as well. The pastor said, “Get alone with God and open your bible, then put your finger on any place on the open page and do what it says”… Well he hadn’t seen the guy for 6 months and when he did, the man was happy, and looked great….Hethanked the minister for his advice and told him that it had changed his life and turned everything around… The minister couldn’t remember what he told him, so the man reminded him, and said when I opened my bible, I put my finger on chapter 11, now everything is great!!!! I don’t advocate chapter 11 except as a last recourse, but every believer has access to the power of redemption and forgiveness which puts you on the path to a brand new start!
Let me read the words of Heather Holman… She says… “I’ve spent all my life trying to be somebody special. Maybe one day, I thought, I’ll receive that exclusive invitation to sit with powerful, important, beautiful, wealthy, or high-achieving people. I fantasized about those exclusive tables and the day my new life would begin. This would be a famous and glamorous life, one where I was truly special. I exhausted myself and battled feelings of jealousy, loneliness, insecurity, depression, and anxiety. One hot July day as I sat outside reading my Bible, my invitation arrived. I was reading Ephesians 2:6—a verse I had read thousands of times before and could quote by heart. But this time, a single word changed my entire life. I read, “And [God] raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”.. I felt something I had never experienced before: I was already seated at the table I’d been longing for. The sense of belonging, security, and love overwhelmed me. I understood I could stop fighting for a seat—that I could stop waiting for my glamorous life to begin. It was already happening. Suddenly, it didn’t matter where I was or what I was doing. I could be cleaning toilets and also be seated with Jesus. I could be driving my old burgundy minivan in my ordinary neighborhood and feel content. I could hear news of others’ successes and rejoice with them because we were already together at a royal table. This meant I could stop striving and comparing my achievements to other people’s. God had specific instructions for me that didn’t look the same as my neighbors’. So I could finally take my eyes off myself—abandoning all the jealousy and comparison—and instead worship this amazing Savior who has provided a place for me”.
You see, the Father has told us to sit in heavenly places, the word sit, is “ye-chav” which actually means a dwelling place, or to take up residence in heavenly places. That heavenly places is where we now live!
(Everyone stand up once again, and when I say, “Be seated”…this time the word will be “Ye-chav” OK, everyone, “YE-CHAV”…(like clearing your throat) Which means “Take up residence in Heavenly places”!!!
What happened to Jesus, has happened to you! Ephesians 4:8 “When He ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave supernatural gifts unto men." The gift of faith is God faith…. The gift of knowledge is God knowledge…. The gift of wisdom is God wisdom… The gift of discernment is God insights….
Our new life history began when Jesus rose from the grave and ascended on high! Jesus rose and sat down, (Ye-chav) outside of time, outside of sickness, outside of death and the curse, and He has brought us with Him, to a place at the right hand of God the Father of Glory, the place of His favor!
Have a “Throne Room Attitude”… In the heavenly places, you have the favor of God….This is not something you can arrive at, it is who you already are in Christ! When you sit down, you are atrest in Christ, and God makes all your enemies your footstool.When you rest, the Holy Spirit’s promptings in your spirit will become clearer to you. Rest is not inactivity—it is Spirit-directed and spirit led activity. We are the temple or dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, and scripture calls us His temple. The Outer Court can be a busy place, with a lot of activity, while in the Holy of Holies, there can be perfect quietness, and peace. So, we can do all the things that our life demands of us, while within our spirit, spiritual activity is happening.
Elijah knew how to rest in the glory…. One time the bible says that while he was sleeping the army of the king surrounded his home and when the servant arose, he saw an army surrounding them, and ran to wake up Elijah. Elijah calmed the servant down by saying there are more with us than against us. Then he prayed that God would open the eyes of the servant, and when He did, he saw what Elijah was seeing, the army of the king who had come to capture him, was surrounded by an angel army which smote them, and the rest, Elijah marched back to the king as his captives… You can rest, in the glory, no matter how it looks!
Ephesians 6:18 “Pray (communicate) in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, that you may stay (spiritually) alert…. How important to have a “throne roomattitude”: To sit down and let God defeat your enemies. The battle is the Lord’s. He will make your enemies your footstool.
Jesus puts position before provision. Before Jesus miraculously multiplied the loaves and fishes, He told the multitudes to sit down and rest first. We need to actively sit down in the secret place of the Most High—David tells us that Our Good Shepherd tells us rest in green pastures, then notice what follows… He restores our soul, He leads in paths of righteousness or leads me to do the right thing…I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, with no fear, for He comforts me….He prepares a table in the presence of my enemies…. He anoints my head with oil… My cup is filled to overflow….Goodness and mercy take up residence with me… I am in his presence, His glory, His goodness, forever!!!
The prodigal son had everything that he could ever want, but he had not positioned himself to receive it. He went through a lot of unnecessary heart ache, lack and hardships. But when the prodigal came to himself, he ran and simply fell into the waiting arms of his father and was restored. Immediately, a royal robe was placed on him, a crown on his head, a signet ring or authority was put on his finger, and special shoes on his feet which everyone could see was about his new position…
I strongly feel Holy Spirit, calling us to sit down in our God given position, and receive the robe, the ring, and the shoes, that havebeen ours along. When we come into the right position, we will receive the provision available to us in His glory !!! It’s time to get dressed up, for some supernatural visitations in the Father’s house!
Lord God, put the shoes on our feet that we might walk in the glory, put the ring on our finger that we may rule and reign in the Father, put the robe on us that we may walk in your authority, and receive the glorious inheritance which belongs to all your children….God is moving us from the battlefield to the throne room… from the hand to hand fighting to the scepter of authority and rulership….
Scripture says we shall reign in life as kings and priests unto God….. Closing song….
Someone said, “It bothers me that with all the hacking going on, someone could steal my identity and use it to make thousands of dollars behind my back. But it mostly bothers me because I currently have this identity and I can't figure out how to do that...
It can be easy to look at the future with rose-colored glasses, after all, everything is better in the future. You have a deeper relationship with God in the future. You are a better spouse in the future. You’re a better parent in the future. And that can all be true and more! However, these things do not just happen. There are layers of decisions, delayed gratification, and necessary experiences, that undergird every effort which leads to success. A man went for a consultation to get the results of his wife's tests. The nurse on duty tells him: "I'm terribly sorry sir,but there was a bit of a problem with your wife’s test results. You see, your wife's tests were sent in along with another lady with the same last name, to the lab. The results came back, but they got mixed up, and we don't know which one is which. The results may either be 'bad' or they may be 'worse'!" "What *……do you mean?" asked the old man anxiously. "Well one woman has Alzheimer's and the other one has Covid! - we don't know who is who” "So what do I do now?" the worried manasks. "Well, your doctor recommends that your wife keep her mask on, then drop her off in the middle of town. If she finds her way home - you better not get anywhere near her!" (The vows did say “I take you for better or worse”)
So we must ask ourselves the question, “Are we making decisions that are pushing us towards what we want out of life, or are our choices pushing us away? It’s like the frogs that wereput in warm water which was then gradually turned up little by little in temperature until their goose was cooked…(you didn’t know frogs had a goose, did you?) If the frogs had known where they would end up, they would have jumped out quick and not tolerated it. Because it was not the path which would take them where they wanted to go… Speaking of gradually turning up the heat till your goose is cooked…..
The party in power is once again wanting to take gender titles out of our vernacular… No more men or women’s bathrooms…. Men that identify as women can now compete in women’s sports…. People are identifying as animals and even the animals are getting confused! God doesn’t care what is or is not on the bathroom door… He made women to be women and men to be men! Jesus cast dumb spirits out of people, and He would have his hands full today, because I’m seeing dumb spirits working everywhere!!!
But God has not changed His mind about what He has promised and He has made a covenant of restoration with His people in all the places we may have missed it, because He says what He means and He means what He says, and He will do it!
And the good news today is, God Is Still Saying “I Will Restore”
Deuteronomy 30:3 “God, your God, will restore everything you lost, He'll have compassion on you, He'll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where your inheritance was scattered. v4 No matter how far away you end up, God, your God, will get you out of there v5 and bring you back to your possession. It will be yours again. He will give you a good life and make you more numerous than before. v6 God, your God, will soften your heart and your children's hearts, freeing you to love God, your God, with your whole heart and soul and live, really live.
v7 God, your God, will set Himself against your enemies who hated you and were out to get you. v8 And you will make a new start, listening obediently to God, keeping all his word that He has given you. v9 God, your God, will outdo Himself in making things go well for you. You'll have babies, see increase in every area, and enjoy an all-around good life. Yes, God will take joy in you again, making things go well for you just as he enjoyed doing it for so many before you. v10 So, listen obediently to God, your God, and keep the principles and covenants written in His Book of wisdom. You must return to God, your God, totally, heart and soul, and mind, holding nothing back. v11 For, this word that I'm giving you today is not out of your reach”.
The book of Job tells us that “… the LORD restored Job’sfortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as before!” God gave Job a double portion of all he’d lost, restored his marriage and many of his relationships, gave him a new housefull of children and allowed him to live happily to a ripe old age.
But I want us to notice that it wasn’t until after Job lost everything but his nagging wife, that Chapter 42 takes place….
Job 1:21 Job says, “The LORD gave me what I had, and it is the LORD’S to take away. Praise the name of the LORD!” He totally believed God would cause him to become what he was always meant to be! Despite his suffering, he trusted God’s will for his life and continued to praise Him. As a result, not only did Job’s faith soar, but his life did as well. The reset button was pressed and Job began to make a come back! Job’s story is there to tell us that no matter how bad it looks, how far down a person has gone, How much they missed it, God will turn it around!
Winnie enjoys doing cross word puzzles, where they give you words and names or even phrases that are scrambled within the puzzle and you have to find them and identify them.
We used to do picture puzzles together, and put all the pieces together to match the picture on the box that it came in. I discovered that everyone has a different method…. Some folks start with the corners, others with the edges, and some pick out the horse, or house or a person and start there. But the real point is that when you buy the puzzle, you trust that the company that made it, has put in all the pieces that you need to do what they said you could do, in the box or in the book. So if we can trust a company to provide everything we need to finish the puzzle, once we begin, How much more can we trust God to provide all the pieces of this puzzle called life, that He has promised us…..And when we miss it or mess it up, He knows how it is supposed to all fit together!
When I start a picture puzzle, I am given a picture on the cover, of what the finished picture will look like. God has given us a picture in His word of what a life that is lived for Him, and puts Him first will look like. It is up to us to put those pieces in place and watch it happen!
It’s important that I believe what God has told me in His word, more than I believe everything around me in this natural world….
That’s what Paul was talking about when he said….
Philippians 3:13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, v14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
No matter how far off course and how far away from the picture God has given us, we have gotten ourselves to, we can get back on track, and back to His original intention for us. The prodigal was in the pig pen, Peter was cursing and denying Jesus by the enemy’s camp fire, all the disciples but one abandoned Jesus during His trial and crucifixion, Come on, we’ve all had places where we totally missed it, but… “It’s never too late to be what you were meant to be.”
When I was a kid, Charles Atlas was a big marketing deal for weight equipment. In the commercials, you would always see this skinny kid, that everyone was bullying and making fun of, come to the place that he had had enough. He would stand in front of the mirror, and shout out, “I’m not going to take it any more”! So he gets a weight set and starts eating right and shows up on the beach and finds the guys who were bullying and taunting him, and confronts them with his new hulked up, fabulous body. Charles Atlas was a real guy, and it was his real story! Everyone at some level, could relate to his experience!
When we get to the place that we can say, “I’m not going to take it any more”! We are willing to do all the things that we didn’t do before, to confront the devil, our inner circle, our own selves, and become the person we were always meant to be!
We must find a balance between our public and our private lifeif we are going to escape the horns of the bull. A few questions are in line here… Does a person's private life affect their public life? Of course it does. Can a person continually make poor decisions in private matters and be expected to make good ones in public matters? The chances are slim to none…. How do we live when no one is watching? What do we listen to? What are we watching? What are we looking at on the internet? How do we treat our family behind closed doors? Here’s a question for all of us. Would we live the way we’re living right now if we knew that all our family and friends could see it all?
Reputation and Character are two different things. Look at them as twins on a seesaw….Reputation is what other people think about us. Character is who we really are. In Luke 8:17 we read, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”
But the big question before us today is, “At the end of our life, will we be the person we were meant to be”?
Johnny Hamer played Danny Thomas’ son, Rusty, on “Make Room for Daddy” for 11 years. After the show ended, John was never able to transition into new roles in Hollywood. He became type cast and could never find other work as an actor, so, he became bitter about that the rest of his life. In 1990, feeling he had no options, he shot himself. When your identity is based on the wrong things, it can take you to a dead end street. Johnny got stuck in a place that was only meant to be temporary.
Scripture tells us that if we want to become the person we are meant to be – who God intended us to be, we must become likethe prototype which He gave us as our pattern, which is Jesus Christ. The more we spend time with Him, the more we become like Him…
One of my favorite descriptions of Christ is in Hebrews 1:9, He “loved righteousness and hated wickedness.” In His humanity He loved equity, fairness, justice, and upright dealings with others, and at the same time He hated wickedness.
Romans 8:29 “God has “predestined [His people] to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 "And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory”
The constant challenge is to look more like Him tomorrow, than you do right now today.
A big problem in our country, which has led us down the socialist path, is that we allow our leaders to separate theirprivate lives from their public lives. The poll numbers bear this out. Polls show that Americans believe as long as leaders aredoing a good job with the economy and continuing the social issues that they endorse politically, then half of the American people do not care what they do behind closed doors. "Give me mine, and you can go do whatever you want," is what they are saying. "You're an all right guy if you just scratch my backwhere it itches”. “I don't care what you do in your personal life,Just keep giving me what I want."(Gimme, Gimme, my name is Jimmy)
Scripture doesn’t agree with that….. The bible says that “a little yeast will leaven the whole loaf”. You can’t keep yeast from spreading through all the dough, it won’t stop until it spreads everywhere….it will show up in the whole loaf! In the same way, what is done in private will spread out into our public lives eventually…..
Numbers 32:23 puts it this way, “Be sure your sins will find you out”…
1 Corinthians 11:31 Now if we judge ourselves properly, we shall not come under judgment. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.…”
1 Timothy 4:8 Paul says we need to “train ourselves.” In the Greek the words “Train yourself” is (gymnazo). It’s where we get our English word gymnasium. The word literally meant, “to exercise naked,” which was the way ancient Greek male athletes usually did. In this passage the word is used spiritually, to make the point that Christians need to train themselves, fully exposed to the truth! Not covering anything up, or hiding anything. The other day someone was complaining that he was feeling more and more powerless every day. He had no sway with his wife. His daughter pretty much ignored anything he asked her to do. His job was not going all that well. And he was just feeling a little discouraged with life –and powerless.
Imagine what a group of Jewish fishermen living underoppressive Roman rule in 1st century Palestine felt like when it came to having power over their own lives. So, Jesus tells these guys who are living far below the people God meant for them to be, up on the side of a mountain. These are not remarkable guys –they are fishermen at the bottom rung of society, they have no political connections, No connections to the religious hierarchy. They’re everyday people just trying to make a living. Yet, Jesus blows their ever loving minds as He looks at them and tells them: You are the light of the world! Then He tells them they are the salt of the earth. Something folks can’t live without, Salt, and Light!
The purpose of light is to illuminate, to drive back the darkness, and to put the spotlight on things of value, things that are profitable, eternal, but mostly on Christ . Jesus was telling them not to hide who they were in Christ, but let it shine! The purpose of salt is to be tasted, to influence everything it is around, to prevent decay, to purify, and to keep the water from evaporating, in this case, the water of life and vitality for life.
Jesus was telling them what they were going to be, not what they had been, but what they could be….See, the real power of this narrative, is that Jesus was actually talking to every believer, regardless of their situation or who they saw themselves to be….He became the constant North Star in their identity….“Follow Me and I will make you”….
The Kendrick brothers released a film called “Overcomer”. It’s a story about a small-town, high school basketball coach who’s got an up and coming team. They are all looking forward to winning next year’s championship. But then the town’s biggest employer relocates and takes with it pretty much all of Coach Harrison’s team. He ends up coaching the school’s cross country team that has one member – and she’s an asthmatic girl being raised by her grandmother. He also gets a 10% pay cut. Coach Harrison is feeling pretty bummed out and powerless.The coach joins his pastor to make some hospital visits. At the hospital, he happens to engage with a patient and shares his frustration with life. The patient is also a Christian and challenges the coach with this question: “Who are you?” The coach replies, “I’m a basketball coach.” “But you’ve pretty much lost you team now,” says the patient. The coach answers, “Well, I’m a history teacher too.” “But you could lose your job, then who would you be?” “Well, I’m a husband and a father.” “Yes, but life is not always predictable and certain. And if it happened that you were to lose your wife and children, then what would you be?” The coach paused for a moment to consider his answer and then said, “Well, I’m a Christian.” The patient pointed out to him how far down the list he had placed his Christianity as part of his identity. It leaves us with the conclusion…”When you find your true identity, it will change your entire perspective….It’s a great movie and you all should see it. When the coach found his true identity, it affected everyone around him. That little conversation was the most powerful part of the movie script for me. Because it caused me to ask myself, “Who am I? Where do I find my identity?” If we look to other people, or our job, or some other factor for our identity, that will change as people come in and out of our lives, won’t it? It’s vitally important where we find our identity.
It all starts with MAKE A COMMITMENT…When you make a commitment, you build hope, and when you keep it, you build trust.
James 4:7, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” The process that takes place is Decide, Commit, Succeed. I put decide first, because if you commit to the wrong things, it is only an exercise in frustration….But with that in mind, Unless commitment is made, there are only promises, but there is no contract that binds you to success… without commitment we live in the transitional zone of indecision.... James1:6 For those that wavers (without commitment) are like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. v7 Let not that person think that they shall receive anything from the Lord. 8 For a double minded person is unstable in all their ways.
Each Day Have A Time Of Self-reflection…Daniel maintained his identity throughout his exile by going three times a day and bareing himself before the Lord in prayer. Don’t let things accumulate and get piled on top of one another…or you willprocrastinate and keep putting it off. Self reflection is a date you have with yourself. It is a getting to know you better time. Checking your status with God (is He first), are you being true to the truth (is truth being crowded out), it’s a time to check your character (are you being true to yourself and your goals), examine your relationships (are you considering the needs of others)… It’s a time to stop avoiding the actions you know you need to take.
Trust God That He Will Do What He Said…. Matthew 6:4…”Your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” He sees your sacrifice, your secret giving, the choice you made to take a different path, the times you gave up something, or you refused to compromise…. Not everything will happen quickly, it’s a process, and God is building line upon line and precept upon precept. The Father has placed the evidence and the substance of what you’re hoping for within you, and He’s using your faith, your commitment, and your obedience to bring it into the earth. Too many want God to do something to them, but God is wanting to do something through them…..
Do what is Right, not what is easy, no matter what everyone else is doing….What if Noah had only done what was easy, and what about Abraham, or Joseph, or Moses, or Jesus… Being righteous is about doing the right thing as He has revealed it to you in the moment you’re in, which has come through the training you have let Him bring you through. It’s just another word for obedience. Remember, no one else is going to stand before Him in your place, You will stand all by yourself. And on that day it will all be open, if we haven’t taken times of honest self-reflection, and began to establish the right priorities in your life.
1 Corinthians 3:10 “But let each one build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even as one who barely escaped through the flames”.
How much better to deal with it now, to make the right choices beginning now, than to wait till it’s too late to make a difference, too late to get it right… Amen!
We’re sharing communion together today, Jesus said that it was a time of commitment, a time of self-reflection, a time of trust in His finished work, and a time of doing the right thing, He said “do this in remembrance of Me”…..If something is out of order in your life, if your priorities are out of whack, if there is hidden sin, Jesus tells us as we come to communion, settle it between you and God before your receive the communion emblems, then go ahead and take them! We call and He answers!
We may just be jumping into the deep end of the pool today, so put your water wings on! Let me share some things the Holy Spirit was speaking to me as I was praying and preparing this message for today…. Eternity is not just a time frame, it is eternal in the sense that it is a measure of supernatural exceptionalism and Divine intention, not just a quantity of time…. The original Hebrew word for Eternity is `Olam’… which states that Eternity is a state of timelessness….so it’s not about time since time is done away with…. It is a state of being, that is timeless…. Eternal is another way of saying without limits.
We are not going to be eternal…. We are eternal beings, who have an eternal gift that transcends the corruption which is part of this dimension of time and space. We have been given an eternal language which is the word of God, we pray it, declare it and think it…. We have been given eternal faith, for as Paul said, “We live by the faith of the Son of God”….We have been given eternal fruit which is demonstrated by a new nature…. And We have received eternal gifts which operate by the Holy Spirit…. Think about this…. When Jesus showed himself to the disciples in His eternal resurrection body, He told them, “Handle me and see”…. He was giving them a mandate to handle eternal things. Jesus was and is the eternal word made flesh which we are called to handle on a daily basis. He was declaring that He was bringing that which was timeless and limitless, into the dimension of time….(Did I lose anyone)
He had put on flesh, but being eternal, corruption, was subject to Him. Therefore, the corruption of leprosy, blindness, deafness, epilepsy, even death, were subject to His eternal, timeless, limitless presence.
We are no longer just a physical body, but being eternal beings means that we through faith may transcend corruption,(are you with me) Paul says, “This corruption shall put on incorruption” …. That will happen in the event of death or the rapture, but in a very real way it has already happened….as we get the revelation of the eternal in the now!
Paul goes on to say, “We have passed from death unto life”…. When we understand that we are now eternal beings, we can understand how we can serve notice that corruption has lost its power over us, when we get this revelation.
In the Welsh revival of 1904, which touched the nations, a young man named Evan Roberts, had an experience with the Lord, that was so transformative that all who knew him, said he became a different person. where before he was so limited to his past, and all the things that convinced him he could never do much. But after his transformative epiphany, the limits were taken off of his belief system, and he could see all of Wales turning to Christ and the world beyond being shaken by the Holy Spirit! And oh, the wonderous work which the Holy Spirit did!
As we enter the realms of the eternal in God’s presence, He brings us to places where the veil between this dimension and the eternal, timeless, limitless one, is so thin, that all which is there begins to pour fourth into this dimension where the corruption of sin, sickness, and all the layers of depravity piled on one another have separated us from God’s eternal truth.
Everywhere Jesus went, the eternal state of His presence, overwhelmed the effects of man’s fallen condition as they opened to His eternal reality
Jesus said to us, “I have overcome the world, and you shall overcome also in my name.”
John 17:16 “Father, They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. v17 Sanctify them through Your truth: Your word is truth. v18 As You have sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. v19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. v20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for those also which shall believe on Me through their word;
v21 That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that You have sent Me. v22 And the glory which You gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are One: v23 I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them, as You have loved Me”.
The eternal part of you, which is who you really are, is greater than the corruption in the world. Again, scripture puts it this way…
1 John 4:4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
You are a new (eternal) creature in Christ, old things have passed away, behold all things are become new.
When a fugitive is running from the law, he may move to a different area, take a new identity, and even have plastic surgery, but what catches him is that there is always some baggage from the past, habits that he brings with him, that will always do him in!!!
In 1782, a monument was erected which was part of a sepulcher in a church graveyard, located in the city of Hanover England.The individual buried there put an arrogant inscription on the plaque. It said, “This sepulcher, was purchased with the specific condition that it shall not be permitted to be opened for all eternity.” Well God certainly has a sense of humor, because the seed of a Beech tree, fell at the edge of the grave, and grew into a huge tree, with the monument and open sepulcher lodged in it’s branches for all the world to see and to read!!
Mankind with all his pomp and power cannot stop or even resist that which is eternal!!! God says it, that establishes it, believe it or not!
How great it is that the word “Eternal” means forever new, free of corruption, free from the limitations of the past…. The actual work of grace that makes it possible, is a God thing. Lazarus didn’t need to have faith to come out of the grave, but the eternal clashed with corruption and the eternal won. The dead have no faith that they can operate in, but once he was brought to life, it was up to Lazarus, what he did with that life. The Apostle Paul wrote – “Therefore, be imitators (copy the behavior and actions)of God as dearly loved children.” ( Ephesians 5:1)
This goes far beyond an individual changing… it is far more than that, it is the great exchange. It is not just new and improved….You have received the capacity for something that never existed before in the earth. It is a change that comes forth from your new nature!
God took a picture of the new you, from the inside out, and He’s showing it to you through the inspired, God breathed word, which has transforming power. These days people are flooding the internet with selfies… but our selfies fall short of the true picture of us that God sees. I am showing you a picture your heavenly Father took of you today… You are a lot, lot, lot more than you see yourself to be. The eternal you, has been brought into miraculous existence, through a supernatural act of God. You didn’t just get a little body work and a paint job, you got a systemic make over. “Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new”….
Your eternal being has been created as a new life form, in the earth (scripture says you are a new creation)…. This new creation has come, to break the limits off, and launch you into a transformed mind, (let this mind be in you which was also in Christ).. a transformed message (He whom the Son sets free is free indeed) and a transformed mission (He overcame so I shall overcome also In His name)
Our lives here on earth, are a battle of the will. The nature we feed and strengthen constantly will win. And the winner determines to what extent, God is able to work through us to accomplish His plan and intentions in this brief span of time we are given to leave a Divine imprint and impact before we move on to our eternal reward.
This battle of the wills has already been won and we are joint heirs, which means that we now have access to the benefits and rewards. It is now up to us to simply receive what He has already provided and live it out and apply it in our daily choices and decisions.
An important theological term here, is imputation. It means that someone has made themselves responsible for my debt and that if I cannot pay my eternal indebtedness, sufficient funds will be taken from their spiritual account and transferred into mine. (SO WHY NOT TAKE IT ALL!)…TAKE, TAKE, TAKE IT ALL….. My spiritual debt is transferred into their account, and their spiritual assets are transferred into mine. God has cosigned for us, to guarantee that what I need to maintain my New creation status is made available to me from His account. When I can’t, He can. My limitations draw out from His eternal unlimitedness. My shortcomings and failings have access to His bountiful, endlesssupply.
How many are familiar with the “foot dipped in oil” prophecy which was spoken by Moses over one of the tribes of Israel? Deuteronomy 33:24 “And of Asher the Lord said, “Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil”.
Feet dipped in oil, is about receiving the promise and not only realizing it yourself and making an eternal influence at the present time in your circle of influence, but leaving an impact on future generations so that they might walk in it as well. Eternal things don’t end with you, they last well beyond yourself. They continue to leave an impact or imprint and have an influence long after you have left the scene. In other words you leave a footprint through the eternal covenant anointing which you choose to walk in…. Look at Colossians…. (it’s a little lengthy, but)
Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are eternal, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your affections and desires on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you have died (to these corruptible things), and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore put to death those corruptible things, which are of the earth: fornication, uncleanness, sinful passions, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 10 and put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created you, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. 12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the path to perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. All of that began with the words “Seek those things which are eternal”, which simply means, that which is like Christ, and imitates Christ, which comes into us by the workings of the Holy Spirit.
The word superlative or it’s derivative… SUPERNAL comes to my mind. It means coming forth from heaven, being of exceptional quality, having excellence, that which is supernatural….
I want to identify some Supernal and eternal qualities, which make it very apparent that a person has moved over into and is operating from the eternal state of New creation living….
So, How about joy…. You would think that a lemon sucking face, a down in the mouth, woe is me countenance, is one of the fruit of the spirit to a lot of Christians. Let’s leave the lemon sucking out of the fruit of the spirit, it doesn’t belong!!!
Any old sinner can be joyful when everything is coming up thornless roses, you just won the lottery, you just got a promotion, your horse just won the Preakness and paid 100 to one…. But eternal joy is not limited to those things are any of the superficial stimulus…. It comes from a higher place and it’simpact goes much deeper. That’s when you find out if your feet are dipped in eternal oil!
Joy is a key indicator that God’s Spirit is ruling and reigning in us. Peter calls Joy the companion of faith. Joy is a statement that you have decided to not be a victim and you have chosen to be an overcomer. Joy is not stolen from you, it is starved out, strangled and stagnated. Joy is like anything spiritual in our lives, the more we walk it out, the more it grows and becomes who we are, not just what we do. John 15:11 “I have spoken these things to you so that My (eternal) joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” The Greek word here means to fill to the individual capacity, or to cram full with joy…. If your joy is absent, it means that you’re not sure who you are in Christ. A lack of joy, is a lack of spiritual confidence and understanding. Luke 10:20 “Don’t rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written (eternally) in heaven.” That’s a constant and that is our confidence, and that is our greatest source of JOY!
The next quality which shows that we are walking in the eternal, new creation state of being, is peace! Eternal peace is knowing that our heavenly father is doing His best work in every area of our life, and that is something we will never be able to get our heads around! Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. v7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.
An older Jewish man was on the operating table, waiting to havesome very serious surgery. He had insisted that his son-in-law, who was a renown surgeon, perform the operation. As he was about to get the anesthesia he asked to speak to his son-in-law…The surgeon asked him what he wanted and he said “Don’t be nervous my boy, do your best and just remember, if it doesn’t go well, if something happens to me, your mother-in-law is going to live with you and your wife for the rest of her life.” (This guy had peace that his son-in-law was going to do his very best!)Well, he had temporary peace, but that wasn’t eternal peace!
Eternal peace thrives and reigns in the eye of the storm. It will be the Divine umpire and guardian of your heart and mind. It is not the absence of trouble, adversity, toxic people, or the storms of life, but it is the presence of our Lord that steadies us and establishes our eternal sense of well being.
Luke 2:14 The angels declared on the advent of Christ’s birth,“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
God is telling us that one of the evidences of His eternal peace is Good will towards all men… Isn’t it odd that the peacemaker who came from heaven to bring good tidings of great joy to all people, was constantly attacked, harassed and opposed. Peace makers have always had to endure this kind of behavior. But we must always see the evil one who is behind this, and not those who are His victims. Peace makers must learn the constant power of forgiveness. And it makes it much easier when you see those who oppose you as victims instead of villains!
The great peace maker Himself, hung on the cross, as He was battered and bruised and bleeding at the hands of the very onesHe came to bring good will to…. But listen to what He is saying…. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Forgiveness is the peacemaker’s most powerful tool. Peace makers can continue in their mission of “Good will toward men” As long as they don’t let themselves become the victims and they stay close to the one who purchased our eternal victory… and won for us “Peace that surpasses all understanding”….
I want to consider one more indicator that God’s eternal Spirit is ruling and reigning in us….
That is Compassion…. Matthew 9:36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and scatteredlike sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 14:14 When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.
Matthew 20:34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.
The verse in Colossians 3:15 which told us to let the peace of God rule in our hearts, also translates the word “peace” in the original Greek which it was spoken in, as “compassion”….
Just a word of caution here. Those with the ministry of compassion, need to be accountable to others, because they feel so deeply and they operate so intensely from the heart. Because of this, they can easily be used, taken advantage of, and played by the players. So they need someone with discernment and insight to protect them from the users and the takers and the insincere. This is a word to the wise….
Compassion is a powerful force, which threatens the enemy’s kingdom. It sees beyond what others see, and sees what is possible, what can be, for it sees what God sees is possible. It sees people who feel invisible, because of their fears, their insecurities, and lack of skills or abilities. It sees beyond the failure, and flaws. The mistakes and bad choices. And it releases the power of faith, hope and restorative love.
Hebrews 4:15 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin”.
We see in Jesus’ ministry that eternal compassion was released as a healing, restoring, transformative force. Physical and spiritual change came as bodies were freed of affliction, disease, and infirmity. And lives were changed as Satan was defeated and commanded to flee! You see, compassion, puts itself in another persons shoes, it puts itself in their place. It does not stand far off and judge the situation, but it comes close enough to actually feel what they might feel. Jesus touched the untouchable lepers, He got close to sinners, and He got angry at what made the sick unwell, unhealthy, limited and imprisoned!
Compassion can be a tool which God uses to release revival and transformation….When compassion is in the prayer room, count on it, heaven and earth are being shaken!
So guard your eternal joy, your eternal peace and eternal compassion…..We’ve looked at a few things, but there is so much more to the scriptural picture God is showing you of yourself. There’s a whole album of amazing things God has put together about your new creation life. After all, it is your picture He is showing you in His eternal word…. Ephesians 4:21 “When you heard about Christ and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 and be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new creation, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”. Prayer……Lord, I thank you for each new day, that you allow me to live. Days filled with fresh mercy, grace and power for every need I will ever experience. Thank you that I have been made a new creation and a joint heir with unlimited possibilities ahead in the future. Thank You for Your cleansing, purifying spirit that makes all things new and sets me free from the limitations of the past. Your truth has now become my new reality.
Lord, Fill me with Your joy, Your peace and Your compassion, so that I may impact my world for Your glory. Lord Jesus, I declare new beginnings in my home, my family, my life and circle of influence. Thank you for a new start, and a new path for my life. Help me to show others the picture you have of them, so they can become the new creation you have already made possible for them. Let my words and my actions help them and encourage them to believe and receive. Lord, I ask You for wisdom, discernment, and revelation as I move forward and come into closer relationship with You. Remind me that You are in control, not me. Let me be filled with praise and thanksgiving, as I walk in love, mercy and forgiveness. I praise You in the storms and I praise You in the joys, for I believe that all things will truly work together for good as I love you, and stay in Your word, and seek Your face. In Jesus’ name, amen!
So receive it, enter into it, release it, pass through the veil, the thin place, there is an unlimited supply of the eternal oil available, so that your feet may be dipped in oil that will leave an imprint on generations to come. Pass into the unlimited supply, the timeless dimension, that is available for you this moment…. In Jesus Nam