It is said that there is a God-shaped hole in the heart of every person. God created us with desires and passions and that is what makes us like Him. Jesus has shown us the way for His experience to become our experience. If you do not already know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour you too can Encounter God. Heaven was opened1 on the day Jesus was baptised and it has never been shut, so we are living under an open Heaven. Therefore, we have access to all the resources of the Heavenly realm.
Our assignment then, is to bring Heaven to Earth. But we can only do that if we live as He calls us to live, knowing that: God is good; Nothing is impossible (with God); Everything was won at Calvary; Everyone is significant.
The Disciples' Prayer
In Matthew 6:9-10 we hear how Jesus encouraged His disciples, and indeed all of us to pray.
Our Father who is in Heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on Earth as it is in Heaven …
Our Father who is in Heaven,
Avinu she ba-Shamayim,
Holy is Your Name
Your Kingdom come,
Tavo malkhu tekha,
Your will be done,
On Earth as it is in Heaven ...
ba’ahretz ka’asher na’ahsah ba-Shamayim ...
בָּאָרֶץ כַּאֲשֶר נַעֲשָׂה בַשָמַיִם
We are to look to the promises of God, all the while focusing on Jesus and the Open Heaven over us, living intentionally in response to Father God. We have the unique privilege of carrying God's presence through the indwelling of His Spirit in order to bring about change. Power, healing, love, wisdom, righteousness etc. is who God is, not what He does!
Over the years I’ve met a number of Christians who want to be fed on the word or the meat of the word. By that, they mean they want Bible study that gives them information, that gives them greater knowledge.
In fact I have heard some folk say they will not even go to Life Group or attend a meeting if they feel it does not contain enough meat, or sufficient information to expand their thirst for more knowledge. Now as one who teaches, let me be quite clear that we do need ...
... to learn the truths of Scripture, and yes that will require a basic foundation of information. But let me be equally clear that information, or knowledge, or simply knowing facts, however insightful, is not being fed on the word.
1 Corinthians 8:1b-3 tells us that knowledge can puff people up — it is a loving relationship with God that is needed, not merely knowing ‘things’.
If you read John 4:34-35 the original language for the word translated here as food is meat. My point is, that the meat or food that nourishes Jesus is this — (see also John 6:38, John 17:4) to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.
Why did Jesus come?
Doing God’s will is more than simply ...
... eating the meat of the word — it is not solely listening to a Bible teacher, however great they may be. The only reason for listening is if you are going to respond and be transformed in some way. To actually do something that points to God, that gives glory to King Jesus, that ushers in His presence. For when He comes there is a release of freedom, power, healing, salvation etc.
Let's Do It!
James writes the following;
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves (James 1:22).
There can surely be only so much talk before someone jumps up and says; Hey! Let’s do it!. So whenever we meet for worship we need to be telling stories of how God has used us to heal the sick, drive out demons and prophecy to the lost — drawing out from the individuals we have met by Divine Appointment, the gold that’s within them and setting them free to live as God intended.
In short what we will have revealed to them, is what it is like to live in the Kingdom.
Now you may be reading this and be thinking I just can’t do that. Not me!
But let me assure you. You have been given the ability to succeed. Dare to speak it out loud I have the ability to succeed.
How God views You
I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fulness of God.
The word know, is probably better translated as experience.
Love cannot truly be head only — it has to be heart — it is our intimacy with Jesus that gives us all we need. We are filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19, ESV) how better to be equipped!
Ephesians 1:18: I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the Saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms.
How You view Yourself
Hopefully you understand how God sees you. But what you may need to address is how you describe yourself? This is vital. Proverbs 23:7 NKJV says For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. As we think, or what we believe about ourselves, will be the case. To keep saying I’m a failure will eventually become true — it is just the same as Job in the Old Covenant who lived in fear. He opened the way for the enemy to get in.
Let's Just Laugh at That! - Steve Backlund
The truth will set you free (John 8:32). Yet we cannot simply get rid of a lie, it must be replaced with truth. Faith comes from hearing (Romans 10:17). A good way to renew our minds is to declare the truth into our own hearing. Remember, Jesus did not think His way out of the wilderness. Rather, He spoke truth to counteract challenges concerning His identity and the nature of His Father (Matthew 4:1-11). Declarations will help us renew our mind.
Henry Ford is quoted as having said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't — you're right.” In other words if you think you cannot then you will not, and if you think you can then you will. It is not as simple as that, but you get my drift.
Moses sent spies to scout out the land of Canaan. When they returned and described what they saw, they said that the land was inhabited by Nephilim, towering giants. The spies implied that from the perspective of the giants, the Israelites seemed like mere grasshoppers with no chance of defeating them or conquering their land.
However, the truth is that the spies had no idea what the giants thought of them. The spies felt intimidated and saw themselves as grasshoppers in comparison to the giants. They assumed that the giants viewed them as insignificant insects as well, when in actuality the giants were terrified of the Israelites. They had heard about the Exodus from Egypt and the miracles that God had done on their behalf. If the Israelites had entered Canaan at that moment, the giants would have fled without a fight.
Tragically, because the spies didn’t believe in themselves or their ability to conquer Canaan with the help of God, they lost the opportunity to enter the Promised Land. It took another four decades, and an entirely new generation, to achieve that goal. If the spies lost the opportunity of a lifetime because of their own misconception of themselves, what opportunities might we be passing up in our lives? How we see ourselves will ultimately determine what we are capable of accomplishing.
Each one of us is created in the image of God. Do you know that you are capable of amazing things? Or are you stuck in the grasshopper mindset, thinking that you are small and inconsequential? It’s time we recognised that we are incredible and capable children of God.
It is only once we believe in our own greatness that we are able to achieve great things.
John, who had a special relationship with Jesus, records this in his first letter (1 John 4:17); as He is, so are we in this world. In other words just as Jesus is — the resurrected ascended glorified King, full of all power and authority — so we are to be in this world as His representatives or His ambassadors.