Tag Archive: fear


The Big Picture – Part 13

Servants, Disciples and Sons

The ultimate and final goal for every child of God is that we grow, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” Eph. 4:13-15.

God never planted a seed except that it might produce a good crop, enriching and nourishing the lives of others and then after growing going on to reproduce, multiplying itself to create many more like itself. Christ was the first fruit. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Rom. 8:29.

We are here because the seed of Adam has been faithful to produce a natural crop. Christ is here in God’s children because His seed, the Holy Spirit, in us has been faithful to produce a spiritual crop, being fruitful and multiplying.

Hows your crop? My wife enjoys the hobby of scrap booking. They have intense weekend encounters in which many scrappers get together and work hard at making progress in their books. The event is called Crop till you Drop. I think we Christians should crop till we drop too. Don’t you?

Go back and look at the progression for the journey that God has in mind for us. That we move from “children tossed to and fro”, to completion or full maturity “unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”. This doesn’t occur overnight. Think about our natural children. Do they go from a child to a fully mature adult without stages of progression? Neither do spiritual children.

Just as a natural son goes through many stages: newborn, infant, toddler, child, adolescent, teenager, youth, young man, man, adult, etc. and then eventually on to being a father himself, so goes the spiritual.

There are quite a few different Greek terms that we have interpreted as “son” in our Bibles, each with their own respective and unique meaning for that phase of the maturity process. I will not go into these although they make a fascinating study themselves. Instead I want to look at the manifestation, what we can see and experience of the maturity of the inner process going on.

There are many subtle nuances of degrees of manifestation besides these three but I want to focus on the hallmark divisions as the Bible has, namely — servants, disciples and sons. There are many references to the types of relationships we have with Christ in each of these roles.

I believe that each has to do with a maturing process in our own hearts. God is always our Father and his heart is always perfect toward us. It is our heart that is growing toward Him in Love and Truth. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” 2 Chron. 16:9.

Our heart is not automatically perfect toward
God although it could be at any time. We can even waver in indecision in our hearts which is the situation when they are not perfect toward Him. It is a matter of our willingness to die to ourself and live to Him. It depends upon our being living sacrifices. It is all bound up in the statement, “Not my will but Thine be done.”

Servants serve out of a sense of duty, because they believe they must. In their hearts there is a fear of punishment or loss. “If I don’t obey, I will have to suffer a consequence.” It is true that being disobedient carries a natural consequence but that is not the right reason to do God’s will.

A good way to explain the heart of a servant is: “I will do your will because I must.” This servant gives the right result with the wrong motive.

Disciples choose to do His will — and make no mistake, it is a choice of the will. They see that there is reward and benefit to doing God’s will. They take note and realize that the law is good and right. They follow Christ with a part of their heart, the part that is interested for what Self will gain. Remember that Judas is labeled a disciple. Remember also the rich young ruler. He kept the law, but when asked to make a personal sacrifice he went away sad. The heart is involved for sure, but why?

A good way to explain the heart of a disciple is: “I will do your will because I see that it will be good for me.”

Now each of the roles of servant and disciple are not wrong or bad they just are not best. They are not revealing the that heart that is well pleasing to God. That is the heart of a son. “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matt. 3:17. Remember God is looking for those whose hearts are perfect toward Him.

God uses even our wrong motives to move us along the path to sonship. We are moving from faith to faith one step at a time, precept upon precept. Servanthood and Discipleship are steps to becoming the sons of God.

Now the heart of a son of God is the heart of THE Son of God. God sent us Christ so we could know Him and so we could be like Him. The heart of a true son is grounded in love for the Father. It is not interested in it’s own will. It only seeks to please and do the Father’s will with no strings attached.

That is where God is bringing those who will follow and stay their course, trusting Him, depending on Him. He does not promise that every child of God will be a son of God. He gave the power, not the promise. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12.

He did not even promise that every child of God would be a disciple. Throughout it is a choice you must make. Here are some supporting verses:

Luke 14:26: If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:27: And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:33: So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

No all along it is a choice. It is a matter of your heart. Do you want to be a servant, a disciple or a son? There is a progression on the Way. Get on it and stay on it!

A son says, “Not my will, but Thine be done”. The motive is the love of the Father. We know Him because we have served Him and followed Him. “We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19.

Job reveals the heart of a son when he is tested. Remember the scene?

“Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.” Job 2:1.

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” Job 13:15.

That reveals a motive of love, not fear, not gain… a perfect heart — a son’s heart.

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v4.23 The Big Picture – Part 6

The Big Picture – Part 6

The Breakdown of the Family Unit

God is Spirit and God is Love. Simple math deduces that the Spirit (of God) is Love. When Adam chose to disobey God he made a moral choice affecting Love. You see, love is others oriented, it does not seek its own. Love looks for another in which to lavish and expend itself. The original sin was not just disobedience but Self-seeking (e.g. rebellion). Adam could no longer abide in God because he no longer acted in love. He became separated from God, the Spirit and Love.

To be one with Love one must be love. “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:4. When you are not loving (e.g. doing love) you are not one with Love (e.g. being Love). At once, upon his exit or Fall from Love, Adam “felt” things, fearful things. He felt ashamed. “I was afraid, because I was naked.” Gen. 3:10. He also “realized” things. “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.” Gen. 3:7.

Welcome to Self, one of your new best friends. It is a package deal. When you left the Love-place of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you entered the Fear-place of the Devil, Self and the World. Whereas you used to abide in the space between the Father and the Spirit as a son, you now live in fear between the Devil and the World as Self.

This was not a fun place to be but it is what Self chose. Self wanted to “be like God”. That was the appeal, the lure to get us and keep us from Love, from God. And we took the bait, hook-line-and-sinker as the saying goes. The irony is that we were free in Christ, free indeed. Yet, we wanted to exercise our will to have authority over ourSelf, to establish our independence of God and in the very act of striking out against our Father we ended up a captive to the worst enemy we could imagine.

So what is the first thing you do with new converts who have defected to your side? You begin immediately to indoctrinate them to your beliefs, to make them like you. To introduce them to your culture and way of thinking. Man is continually and incessantly bombarded with messages through the senses (the body) and to the mind and heart (the soul) in order to keep him in chains by his own will.

The messages are not so much anti-God (although that is the underlying objective of every message) as pro-Self. The messages are continually about You! Your favorite subject. They are about how you do not need Him, you can do it “all by mySelf”. They speak of your intrinsic value and worth (apart from Him), “I am a good person” — again to keep you from ever sensing and knowing your real need.

They have to do with self-esteem, self-assurance, self-worth, self-satisfaction, self-worth. Essentially everything that focuses your attention on your Self and keeps you from realizing your need of Him.

Then there is the training in methods of self-protection and self-provision. How do I get what I need (since I don’t want to go to Him)? The methods are endless but all have to do with strategies of self-effort, self-confidence, self-reliance, self-service, self-pleasure, self-gratification, self-indulgence, self-promotion. Any and all forms of self-centered activity.

The goal of the serpent was to get us separated from Him and to break our dependence on Him and to relocate our newfound independence in our dependence on him. We were told that we could be like Him, our heavenly Father, (which we already were) and instead we became like him, Satan, the Father of lies, the Self-appointed god, who said, “I will be like the most High God”. Pretty good twist, huh?

So now we are all born on the wrong side of the tracks as it were. We are immediately immersed in a culture that keeps us from trusting God and keeps us trusting Self being led by the father of lies. We learn very early to rely on our Self and to not trust others, especially our earthly father.

The intensity of the battle directed at the breakdown of the Father-son relationship is unimaginable. Most, if not all, the enemies efforts and strategies are directed at the destruction of the nuclear home and especially toward a fathers relationship with their children.

Here is the strategy: Get the child to distrust their father, through feelings and thoughts of rejection. Create a division in their relationship such that the child will always turn to self for its own provision and protection. Build up this me against them (especially my father) mentality so as to isolate the little lamb from their shepherd. Then its dinner time. He is always seeking whom he may devour.

So what does the child do to find love and acceptance in a world (perceived) without love? Build a bigger tower, establish kingdoms, wear righteous coverings and the like.

We will talk about these in the next message.


A Bird in the Hand is Worth… ?

“If you hold it too tightly you kill it, but if you hold it too loosely, you lose it.” – Tommy Lasorda, The Artful Dodger

We hold everything too tightly except Him. We must cling to Him and let go of everything else. Instead we cling to everything and anything else but God. We make our family, our job, our children, our money, our work, our happiness, our health, our pleasure, and anything but God our joy and desire.

There is nothing you need so desperately as to know Him personally. He knows that you hold all of these above Him and He looks at you with compassion. “How long My child, how long will you hold to that which can never save you, can never love you, can never satisfy you. Come to Me.”

What are you holding onto that is so important you cannot release it? What is the bird in your hand, the thing you have and will not let go in faith to trust your Heavenly Father? He knows you need these things, but He also knows that you need to trust Him more than that thing in your hand. Let it go.

Carefully careless. That is a phrase used often by Oswald Chambers. It is the essence of working out our salvation with fear and trembling. We must release everything in our hand and trust that if we need it He will restore it, even better and more when once we offer it to Him.

If you cannot take everything you possess and bring it before Him with open hand and offer it to Him as a reasonable sacrifice, even to your very life, then you are holding too tightly to that thing. It will be the thing that will keep you from relationship.

Do not deceive yourself and believe that you can have an intimate relationship with God when you place a greater value on the things you hold to. He is not mocked. He may not ask you to sell everything immediately, but if He sees your eye on the thing, He will ask for it. Let go of that bird in the hand, if it is from God it will come back.

Oswald says in his treatment of “Spiritual Disenchantment and Delight”:

“It is necessary to be detached from things and then come back to them in a right relationship. A sense of property is a hindrance to spiritual growth, that is why so many of us know nothing about communion with Jesus Christ.
When we are detached from things on the inside the fury of desire burns itself out. The attitude is not one born of external detachment, that is atheistic, Paul told Timothy to beware of those who teach abstinence from meats and marriage. The detachment is not to be that of an æsthete but that which springs from being in perfect communion with God. Our Lord’s external life was so social that the men of His day, who were externally detached, said of Him, “Behold, a gluttonous man, and a winebibber.”† They were detached externally, but not in spirit; Jesus Christ was detached in His disposition, but not externally. Those of us who are spiritual are hopelessly blind to God’s purpose; the Spirit of God is all the time trying to make us detached in mind in order to bring us into real communion with God. God is trying to educate us in inner martyrdom and we won’t have it, we get tired of being educated spiritually.”

In the end it is this willingness to let God have your life, your things and your desires that will tell on your heart, whether you love Him or not.

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” Luke 9:23-24.

Open your hands and let go that which you are holding that your Father may give you perfect gifts.

Here is a poem I have shared before but bears another telling:

Give it to God

Just as my child brings all his broken toys
with tears for me to mend,

I took all my broken dreams to God
because He was my friend.

But then instead of leaving Him in peace
to work alone,

I hung around and tried to help
with ways that were my own.

At last I snatched them back and cried,
“How could you be so slow?”

“What could I do my child,” He said,
“You never did let go.”


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