God’s Heart: Creation

God’s Heart: Creation

 

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I feel like the church tends to look at creation, including people, starting with the fall.

They tend to think, creation was good, but after the fall, all the goodness is gone. 

I believe the heart of God is evident, when we start where God starts… 

With His personal creation of what is good. All creation exists by His breath and His will, and we are all made to reflect Him in some way. 

I feel like it is giving glory to us or the devil by saying that our sin has changed more than it has. Don’t get me wrong, it’s changed a lot! 

What it has done mainly, is separated us from our Maker. Which is, naturally, death. Spiritual and physical and eternal death. A curse upon us and the world.

But is easy for us, in trying to be humble and focus on how much we need God, to focus too much, and give too much power to ourselves in our fallen state. 

Fallen as we are, it has not made us a creation of anyone else. David sings that he is knit together in his mother’s womb by God. He marvels at the innumerable thought God has for Him, and that God would even have thoughts for man at all.

The entire Bible, the entire history of creation, is glorifying the works of God, despite us and for us. 

Even the fall has not daunted Him nor does it keep us from our maker, thanks to our Maker. 

Personally, I think it is wrong to consider sin to be the only thing that should humble us before God. Consider Job, the most righteous man, who God rebuked. Elijah, who was caught up to God in a flaming chariot, lamented that he was a man of unclean lips. 

It is really our essence, our entire being, which passes away at a glimpse, at a voice, which cannot comprehend who God is. 

We are the creation. Our only worth is what He gives and is not in us alone. We were always hopeless without God, because He is our essence. And now, He is not only our essence, He is also our Savior. 

Our worth is shown by our creator. He is still creating us. He has died for us.

It’s humbling to even say these things. 

That God would die for us. 

But His love has been poured out on us from creation. Simply because we are the work of His hands. 

No matter how corrupt we are, we still glorify God in one way or another, just by existing. 

Isaiah 6:3 says,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.” 

There is still goodness in Creation. For that matter, there is still innocence and morality.

But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Luke 18:16-17

Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.
Romans 2:14-15

we, as God’s creation, have His image and his Law in us. Our own morality cannot save us, but it does bring glory to God. Creation itself is still beautiful and life giving. It still glorifies God in its endless intricacy, beauty, and power.  It is still an enjoyment. 

Sin has corrupted creation, but neither sin nor the Devil can make us anything but God’s creation. 

It is the intimacy with God that was lost at the fall. I do not believe Adam and Eve were perfect then either, but simply innocent. Then, when they ate the fruit, innocence was lost and they knew evil. 

Jesus is the only perfect One. Born innocent, learning obedience, and living every day in perfection for the creation He loves. 

The heart of God for His creation has never been to abandon it, but to restore it and to make it even greater. 

I think it helps me most to remember that creation is ultimately a gift from a perfect Father to His perfect Son. One that the Father and the Son have both created together, putting Their own beauty and life and Spirit into it. 

God is intimate with His creation. He takes us from innocent children in the garden, who walk and talk with Him, to sharing His own Spirit, walking with Him, not in flesh, but in essence. In oneness. He gave His Son to be one of His creation.

He has bound us all together, creation and mankind, so that we may all be made new in His Son.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
Romans 8:18-21 

But this is not something we have to wait for, except in body. From Enoch, who walked with God and then was taken to heaven, to the entire New Testament of believers, we see that this newness and intimacy in the Spirit is something we can live in and overcome in.

The intimacy with God is how He begins to mold and teach us. He is the one who makes us new, just as He is the one who made us live. 

God’s heart for His creation is that it work as intended and bring Him glory. That His beauty and love be in everything. This is why He has always held love above all else. 

The One who is Love has created everything, and put His love into everything He made. Selfless love is the way of our Creator and He selflessly loves His creation. 

He is slow to anger, and has given everything so we may be restored to Him.

We are a good creation, shown to be weak in itself, made perfect in its Creator. A perfect reward for the Son He loves. 

Kara J ❤️

Photo by Matthew Smith on Unsplash

Perfect Father and Perfect Son

 

Perfect Father and Perfect Son

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Fathers have we all

Though some refuse to earn their title

And some abuse the privilege

And some do all they can

And find themselves only men

 

But one Father have we all

Perfect in love

Father to rebellious children

And Father to a perfect Son

And yet He gives all to all

and all to One

 

Father of the perfect Son

For all eternity they are one

With Him and through Him

And for Him have all things come.

And the earth is the Father’s gift to His Son

 

The Father proclaims His perfect Son

With every letter of History He honors Him

The One born perfect as Adam,

The One who will defeat the serpent

the One promised to Abraham

The One to bless every nation

 

The One like Isaac, sacrificed

And received again from the dead

His only Son, whom He loves.

 

The One faithful as Moses

in all God’s house.

The One who will be

forever a holy priest

His own blood being

the only needed sacrifice.

 

The One who will rule

on the throne of David

for all eternity

The one who will build the Lord’s temple

That will last eternally

 

The One to bring peace to all nations

The One to bring peace to all creation

 

Of His Son He tirelessly shouts

He joyously shouts

He shouts with all His zeal

My Son Cometh!

My only Son

Whom I love

 

What has the Father done for His Son?

He proclaims Him since the dawn of time

He makes Him the answer to every need

 

Does he coddle Him?

Tell Him that He should never feel pain?

No

For to His Son is the greatest glory

And so, to His Son, He gives the greatest pain

And so, to the cursed earth, He sends Him

To become a curse

And to the sinful people He gives Him

To become sin for them

 

And in every moment the Father leads Him

For all eternity they are One

But now humanity is in the Son

Now He is tempted as everyone

Now he is mortal

But the Father is ever with Him

Ever leads Him

And the Son learns obedience

Perfectly He follows

Obedient till death

Even death on a cross

 

And there the Father leaves Him

And there the wrath of God is drunk

to the dregs by His perfect Son

And there all humanity is judged and found guilty

And there God proclaims the worth 

He has given the imperfect children.

And there the Perfect Son is punished for all

 

And the earth shook and the sun went dark

for what light dares to shine when it’s maker dies?

And then death began to realize…

 

All its power had gone out

for with the Son all sin died

And death had no hold

And the Son came to life

 

And now death desperately clings

to each one in his care

for it is only time

that keeps them there

 

For when He returns

the grave will give up everything

And when He has judged the earth

even death will be found guilty

 

At the right hand of the Father

sits the Son

Above every power

of earth and heaven

 

And now, not only they are one.

For the Father has given to the Son

an inheritance of souls

And no one can snatch them

out of the Father’s hand

For they are His gift to His Son

 

And from the pain that He endured

All glory has been given

All authority has been given

For He was made perfect

by His suffering

 

And here is the inheritance that

The Father gives his perfect Son

An eternal throne

An eternal kingdom

All glory and honor and power

 

The Father has made Him

the hope of the nations

And He has given Him

authority to judge and rule them all

 

And so the Father has made the Son

the only salvation

To be one with those He has saved

That they may be with Him in His death

and live in Him in His resurrection

 

The Son is Salvation in Himself

And in His life we live

And forever more will the Son

delight in His brothers and sister

And they will delight in Him

And the Father

will delight in His children

To them forever He rejoices

you are mine, whom I love

 

Kara J ❤️

Photo by Sabine Ojeil on Unsplash

Family and Ministry Part 3

Family and Ministry Part 3

 

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Now, I am still waiting for the promises of God for revival and more official seeming ministry.

I have a husband and a darling toddler. I have been tempted to say that I have passed by the time in my life where I was free to go anywhere and do anything for God, but I just need to be faithful to what I have.

What most of us have, is a family. And who said that family is not a great promise? 

There are people who, like Abraham, only want to be able to have a child or even find a Godly spouse. These are also things that we can wait on God for and wait in faith and contentment in the Savior. 

But when it comes to having a family and feeling like “ministry” has passed me by or is out of reach… 

Well, I am so excited to explore what God can do in the most intimate relationships I have. God’s glory is in us. He is the promise. So why can the family not be a glorious ministry of its own, that is focussed on a specific few?  

Family is the backbone of the world He created and the symbol He uses for explaining Himself. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Family is extremely important to God.

The fact that God sent His Son, that fact is the foundation of all salvation. The unity of the Father and the Son is the unity that God brings us into as His children. And that is now our identity: God’s children.

It is not surprising to me that He uses having a family to cultivate those He is preparing to use. 


Of course, we can always be jealous of those called before they even knew what hit them and were whisked away into a great ministry.

Jeremiah for example. Samuel, for another. 

But God is patient with us in bringing us up in Christ. And we must be patient to wait in Him and trust his timing. Or really, not worry about the future at all. Be in the present with the Father and the Son, our bridegroom. 

No “call” is worth more than simply being in relationship with the One who calls. It is knowing God that has worth, and what He gives worth to, has worth.

And He gives such worth to family.

It is not what I do that will help or save me or anyone else. If He has purposed my life this way, then this is the only life of worth for me. And as long as I am knowing God more,

what does it matter if He works now or later in some national way? 

Perhaps there should not be such a glorification of a “call” or “promise” and such little glory associated with the family life. Perhaps we should see family as a holy and worthy call.

It is such a blessing to be able to learn from the patriarchs and to fully be thankful for this time in my life.

To fully embrace it and seek God in it.

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I thank you God for Your wisdom and for the opportunity to learn patience and to not only believe what You say but to keep on believing and to keep pressing into knowing You and knowing Your heart.

Thank You for blessing me with a loving husband and a little boy.

Thank You for this time of seeking You for You, so that when the other promises come, it will still be about seeking You for You.

It will not be my distraction. It will just be You working through a vessel that has been shaped for years in a fire of everyday life.

It is an adventure to walk with You, my Father, and to learn what You say love is and to learn Your voice.

Amen.

KaraJ ❤

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash
Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

Family and Ministry part 2

Family and Ministry part 2

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There is another beautiful lesson from the patriarchs. – I need not worry if I messed it up.

I’m sure Moses was worried when he had to flee from Egypt, even though he thought he was called to rescue the Jews from there. 

He killed a man and ran, and I’m sure he wondered if he had messed it up. 

In fact I don’t think he wondered. I think he was sure. He raised a family elsewhere and all of his own ability and even desire had left by the time he was called by God. He was old and not able to physically or verbally free anyone. He actually straight up refused to go when God called him. And even that did not stop God’s will for him.

Hear this. Your failed attempts to bring about what God has said He will do, will not stop God.
And your failed desire to even hope for the things God said He will do, will not stop God.

He created you. He created you for Himself. He will fully make Himself known to you and He will fulfill all He has promised. 

The same was true for Abraham. He had a slave woman’s child and focussed on his family for twelve years till God came again to say he would have a promised son. Abraham, like Moses, also wished that God would just honor the life he then had.
He asked God to bless the son he had and not bother with the promised son any more.

 It is interesting that both men of promise spent most of their lives having families before the promise came and it came when they could not do what was promised in their own strength at all.

 But I do not have to follow in the mistakes of their stories. I can learn from them. I do not have to despair and say, I’m the reason it hasn’t happened yet, or I messed up too bad and missed it, or it’s been too long and there’s no way I can do it. The waiting period can be done in faith.

You can keep pursuing God in faith that He will do everything He has said, and it will be His strength and His time.

Deep down, we don’t want it any other way. We want God to be glorified. But we don’t realize that our attempts at doing things for His glory are what get in the way of what He is doing. Because we are attempting. We are striving. We are doing works we hope glorify Him. But what we forget is that it is God’s works that speak for themselves. It is our surrender that glorifies His works. 

Surrender usually comes from a long road of learning. There seems to be a family phase for some, or a desert phase for others. A time of growing through trial and through relationships and through everyday life.

KaraJ ❤ 

Photo by Sabine van Straaten on Unsplash

Family and Ministry Part 1

Family and Ministry Part 1

 

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After I got married I began to go through the Bible studying what it says about family.

When I got to Abraham I realized a similarity between him and Moses and the lives they led.  

Abraham was a simple man who wanted the basics in life. All he asked for, all his life, was a child. Then God came to him and told him, What you desire most I will give you…and then some!

Abraham just wanted a son. God gave him the promise of a son and descendants as numerous as the stars and eventually the One Son who would be the blessing to all the world. Naturally, Abraham was overwhelmed and all about it…till it didn’t come right away.

The burden actually fell harder on Sarah, it seems, and she felt she was the reason he was not getting his blessing. So they tried to make God’s promise happen with Sarah’s servant girl. That mistake brought about a generation that is still enemies with the promised son’s generation to this day.

This was not too unlike Moses, who wanted to deliver his people from bondage and even left his princely position to do so. But he also felt like he needed to bring it about himself and the consequence was his own people thinking he would murder them and him having to flee the place.

 I love that the promises God gave them were desires they already had in their hearts.

I have had many desires. Mostly to be involved in spreading revival in America and even more than that, to walk in the power of the Spirit so that it is His power that moves people and nothing I say. 

These have been things I have wanted and yet wondered if they were not for me. Like the two disciples who asked to be seated on Jesus’ right and left in His kingdom. They did not know what they asked and it had not been meant for them.

 But later God confirmed each desire at different times through His Spirit and through different people. And like with Abraham and Moses, He confirmed to me greater things than I had asked for.

 It has been a few years and the promises have not seemed to happen. But it is evident through the lives of Abraham and Moses that what God promises, God will do, and anything we do to make it happen faster will simply cause trouble.

Nevertheless, it is so easy to feel like Sarah and try to figure out what is wrong. But there is nothing wrong. God is, Himself, our promise. Contentment with this is so important. And contentment is an insultary word. He is a better promise than anything I can accomplish in my life. He is the eternal reward. Knowing Him is the only point and the whole point! His glory is the only glory that is.

 What I am saying is this: I need to grow in intimacy with Him so that when the fruit is made in me, it does not distract from the One who made it. It is so easy and natural to get caught up in what we do for God, when it is oneness that He wants. 

We must not be the prodigal son who uses things for himself but we must also not be the other son who thought his works were all his father wanted. 

There is only one Son, in whom we all live, and His works are perfect and His work is finished.
Praise God! Faith and rest in this, is our righteousness. And this is the way Christ bears fruit in his branches. 

Part 2 next week ^_^
Grace and peace,

KaraJ ❤ 
Photo by Kyle Ellefson on Unsplash

Poem of Identity

Poem of Identity 

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I need no longer hold to my pride
For there is nothing left to defend or hide.
Every evil, every failure mine
Is a memory of a different life

I need never be offended
By the hate that’s shown
for a life that’s ended

And the truth will be proven
by the fruit of a new heart given

Love those that hate
For it’s only my pride
that can be offended

And offence only comes
When I am fighting
to justify myself

But that self does not need
to be justified.
It has already died

I am a new man
The old has gone.
The righteousness of God has come
And it is by faith from first to last

Faith that the old has gone
And the new has come

KaraJ <Photo by Matthew Fassnacht on Unsplash

In The Hands of God

In The Hands of God

Who is the God who

has taken away my work?

Who are You who

has told me not to move?

What will I do and

how will I stay sane

If I cannot slave away?

 

What shall I control

and of what can I worry?

What will I think about

If my life is no longer my worry?

And my goodness is no longer my glory?

 

May Your glory be awesome!

For I have been stripped of all else to look upon.

May You be amazing!

For I have nothing else to know.

May You fill well!

For I have heard a powerful, strange song

that has left me all empty.

 

What is this gospel that has taken away the might of my arm?

Who is this God who has stripped me of my planning?

What shall I do with this mind and this time?

You stand alone, all my other options you have consumed

and cast aside.

 

Lord I have heard of You

Now, I must see that you’re amazing!

For you have left nothing else for me.

You are a sufficient additive.

Show me what kind of a sum.

 

A terrifying gospel

That leaves me powerless in Your hands.

with nothing to do

but to rest in you.

 

When You said to Israel,

“I will make you new

And this will all be

Despite what you do”

I said amen, with tears in my eyes.

But now I’m in dread

of the God who has said

it is finished.

 

Oh may You be mine

And may You be gentle.

For I have nothing left.

But I dread the God who consumes.

 

I have known You as Love.

I know you as conqueror.

Sing soft to me.

For I have lost myself

And I know not what to do in You.

What knowledge could prepare me?

 

Rejoice rejoice! Your light has risen upon you!

But here as Your clay, I pray you are safe.

 

HIM:

What you fear

is your peace at last.

Worry not for the future

Pay no penance for the past.

Dwell here as you are

In the form you are molded so far.

And be in my hands

and know who I am.

 

What shall I control

and of what can I worry?

What will I think about

If my life is no longer my worry?

And my goodness is no longer my glory?

 

May Your glory be awesome!

For I have been stripped of all else to look upon.

May You be amazing!

For I have nothing else to know.

May You fill well!

For I have heard a powerful, strange song that has left me all empty.

 

What is this gospel that has taken away the might of my arm?

Who is this God who has stripped me of my planning?

What shall I do with this mind and this time?

You stand alone, all my other options you have consumed

and cast aside.

 

Lord You better be amazing!

For you have left nothing else for me.

You are a sufficient additive. Show me what kind of a sum.

A terrifying gospel

That leaves me powerless in Your hands.

I got up to throw away a crumb and You had spring cleaned the kitchen! 

 

When You said to Israel,

“I will make you new

And this will all be

Despite what you do”

I said amen, with tears in my eyes.

But now I’m in dread

of the God who has said

it is finished.

 

Oh may You be mine

And may You be gentle.

For I have nothing left.

But I dread the God who consumes.

 

I have known You as lover

I know you as conqueror.

Sing soft to me

For I have lost myself

And I know not what to do in You.

What knowledge could prepare me?

 

Rejoice rejoice! Your light has risen upon you!

But here as Your clay I pray you are safe.

 

HIM:

What you fear

is your peace at last.

Worry not for the future

Pay no penance for the past.

Dwell here as you are

In the form you are molded so far.

And be in my hands

and know who I am.

Free Part 2

Free Part 2

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Psalms 73:3

“For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills.”

-Freedom from worry that the wealthy have vs. freedom that the Godly have from wealth and worry-

What person doesn’t have some sort of worry or burden concerning bills or debt, especially when a large family is involved? 

What person doesn’t want, what seems to be, some overall luck in life?

So much of the Old Testament talks about the provisions and blessings given to the godly and righteous. But, in David’s eyes, this blessing seemed to be poured out on the wicked even more than the righteous.

Psalm 73:13-14

“Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.”

Not only were the wicked blessed, David felt cursed. 

Where was his justice? He was innocent and righteous but didn’t feel blessed. But those who were wicked, and cursed God and mistreated others, they had all the wealth and fortune of the world.

He was lamenting the seeming ease of people who were both wealthy and wicked.

Our needs are always before us and our wants are endless. And there is always someone that has everything, it seems.

Even the rich are hardly content. 

And just as the poor are always with us, the rich are always with us as well, as they sport an ideal seeming life.

But David had the mind of a man and not of God, in this issue. And then he came into God’s presence and realized the truth. 

Psalm 73:16-17,19-20

“When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny…How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.”

Never underestimate the importance of a season. For a season the wicked may flourish but soon they will not even be remembered. For a season you may feel downtrodden. But it will not last. 

John 8:31-32

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

As children of God, we do not need to focus on the problem. The need or desire that we have on earth is just that. An earthly problem. Freedom is not freedom from problems or needs in the sense that we never have them. Freedom is had in Christ in any situation, as David learned well. David relied solely on God’s teaching and the truth that was revealed set him free.

John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Anyone who pays attention to life on earth knows that we are not free from ever having troubles. But the Spirit of God that is in us, He is greater than the world, than our hearts and greater than any enemy. 

He is the satisfaction and the overflowing cup. His presence makes the earth appear as it really is. It is overflowing with the glory and beauty God. It is also always changing from season to season. The cares of this world are part of a past dead life. The Holy Spirit is our new life in Christ. Our victory and great joy. The Spirit of the Father and the Son that unites us to Both and reveals Them to us.

Like David, our freedom is found when we come into the presence of God and are reminded of Him and His truth. 

Jesus told his disciples, 

Luke 12:27-28

“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!”

And again, 

Matthew 6:31-33

“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

I know these are probably verses you have heard since childhood, but I hope you will read them with the faith of a child. They are as true as salvation. God is our good shepherd and He will always provide for and bless those who come to Him.

David did seek God and God’s kingdom first and David was never lacking what he needed. And, in time, David had the wealth of Israel at his disposal. 

And what of the wicked he envied?

God reminded him of the outcome of their life. Their riches and ease in life would not transfer to eternity. Their wickedness would be repaid in perfect justice. But David had, and has, God almighty, His presence and His provision. It is true freedom of mind and soul that gives peace whether in times of plenty or times of want. 

And what is our end?

True rewards await those united to the Son. Eternal friendship and unity with our Maker and our perfect Father. A place prepared for us in his home. 

1 John 3:2

“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.”

Do not forget the true treasures we have. Relationship with our Creator and our Savior. He has wealth, but He Himself is the treasure we are created for.

There is a very important lesson that is to be learned when it comes to freedom in finances. The lesson is not to have so much money that you never have to worry. Especially because those who have this can still lose it at any time. But we are to have faith so as to never worry. A perspective of one who is in the world but not of it. To build up our treasure where it cannot rot or be stolen. And that treasure is earned by relationship and fellowship with God. 

2 Kings 19:14

“Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord.”

Come to God and honestly lay out to Him what your troubles are, even if they are small, even if they are huge. Tell Him. 

God is the Father who loves to prove Himself faithful.

He will not, however, give you something to your detriment. Though sometimes, if you ask enough, He will give it and allow you to learn for yourself that it was not what you wanted.

The main thing is this: If you have a need, ask God. If you want something, ask. That doesn’t mean don’t work or don’t do what you can! It doesn’t mean be lazy. There’s plenty of proverbs about working hard and generally being wise with money.

But we are talking about worry and bondage. Do not let your needs weigh you down or worry you. 

You can pray for God to bless the work of your hands as well as to bless you in ways you cannot do anything about. 

Just do not come to God for only what He can give you. Again, He is your treasure. Come to o Him for Him, and trust Him to provide everything else. You can trust Him to be a providing Father. It is as simple as that. That is what most of the Psalms are about. They tell of David’s laments to God and always end with his praise for God’s goodness, glory, protection and provision.

God loves to prove Himself faithful. He is the faithful Father for us as He has always been for Israel and for any who believe. He will answer those who ask Him in faith. He loves His children. 

Just don’t expect it to always be your own timing. And don’t think that waiting means you weren’t heard. It is persistent faith that builds our integrity and strengthens our faith further. 

I want to stress one thing again. Yes, God knows your needs, but nothing will benefit you like taking a moment to actually say the words to God. Tell him your needs, your worries and even your wants. Spread them out before God like Hezekiah. Know that His love is yours and His attention is yours. He is, after all, inside of you, clothing you, and the rock that holds you steady. 

And He is the perfect Father. 

He frees us to be His children. To take His hand and be led through this life He has given us. Delight in Him and be free from worry about the present and the future. 

In His Son, you are free. 

KaraJ ❤ 

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

Free Part 1

Free

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Genesis 2:16

“And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden”

When I think of the commands of God, what comes to mind is usually the ten commandments He gave to Moses. But God’s first command to us was just one.

To be free. 

Not free from something, but free to do something. Free to eat of any tree. Essentially, free to enjoy. Free to choose. Free to partake of all the perfection God imagined for us. 

But also, free to choose something other than Him and His good gifts. To choose death instead of life. To choose to know what it was we were forbidden from, rather than be content and trust. Because the second part of this command is what we are familiar with…

“But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

We see not being able to do something or know something as restriction. But is the command not to do something that kills you really a restriction? With the fruit came everything that we are freed from through Christ. Guilt, condemnation, sin and death. It’s so easy to see freedom as the ability to do what we want. And we do have that. But having what we want is not really freedom. 

Proverbs 14:12 

“There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”

True freedom is found in the original command. Freedom to enjoy the gifts of life God has given. Freedom to enjoy His earth, His provision, His beauty…free to receive His free gifts. As much as we are fallen, the command of God has not changed. 

Deuteronomy 30:19

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants”

His gifts are still free. Life has always been a free gift, but now it is life eternal. Life in the Eternal Life, our Savior. Jesus has returned us to this first command. He has freed us to simply enjoy our God and be filled in Him and trust Him. To have our life in Him and be free from death.

As Christians, as people who have died with Christ and raised united with Him, we are restored to the simplicity of the garden. We have one command in Christ. Be free to live. Who the Son sets free is free indeed. Free to eat of the bread of life. To enjoy His provision and His beauty.

But how much more free we are, now that we are in the Son! We are not walking with God like Adam and Eve in the garden. We are united to Him. One, as He is one with His Son. United in His Son. Perfect in His Son.

We recently celebrated our Independence Day. We were free as a country. Free to worship as we chose. Free to live as we chose.

But the true bondage, the true death, of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil was spiritual and eternal. It was inward and complete. And freedom is freedom in Christ, in Spirit and in truth. It frees us from our entire self and from the world. We are in the world but not of it. 

“And it is for freedom that we have been set free.” Not for a new set of rules, so we can fit in at some church and appear better than whoever we see to be less good than us. Not for status or affirmation. Not to have a freedom that serves our ego or pride. Freedom from our pride, freedom from our need to prove ourselves as good or righteous. You will be free from the need to prove yourself to be a good person and Chrsitian.  

It is easy to say we are doing things for the sake of Christ’s reputation when it’s really our own. Christ’s reputation is in His own hands. And it is best served by our surrender and not by our works.

Our righteousness is filthy rags. And we are free from works. 

We have Christ’s works as our own. He will work through us when we are surrendered. It is only faith that takes it from a free gift to a living reality. 

True freedom cannot be faked. America could not have been formed if the freedom was not won in truth, with war and sacrifice. 

With death.

Our freedom was gained through Christ in His sacrifice and victory when He died and the grave could not hold Him. And in Him, His Spirit will take us through this death as well. But death in Christ is begun in Him and through Him

How does this look practically for us?

It is by faith. Trust that you are free. Believe what God says about you, despite what the serpent says or what your eyes tell you. Even the heart is deceitful above all things. But remind yourself of what God says and walk in it.

He is still calling our names, walking in the garden in the cool of the day, looking to walk and talk with us. 

People hear God in many ways, by praying and waiting, by reading the Bible, by writing down what you think God is saying. God answers in songs and messages and books and through people. 

But nothing can replace time spent alone with Him, waiting on Him.

Not only to hear Him, but just to be with Him and give Him your self. Tell Him how good and faithful and beautiful He is. Rejoice that He will make all things right and perfect. Rejoice in the glory of His Son.

 

We must be weak. Be humble. Rely on His work in us. 

Just come to Him and ask to know His love and for the strength to love. Come to Him daily and surrender. Pray for His strength and revelation of His love. You won’t do it perfectly. But it’s not about you.

It’s not the act of faithfully spending time with God that makes you holy. If you fail to do it, it does not negate what Christ says about you. That you are perfect in Him. Holy in Him.

What faithful time with God does do, is resets your mind and heart everyday to walk in the truth of God. Knowledge does not serve us day to day. What changes our lives one day, is just an empty sentiment in a month, if not sooner. We need to put Jesus on daily. To renew our minds daily. To remind ourselves who we are and what God says about us, every day!

The more it becomes about Him and His love, the more free you will be from yourself and from what others think about you. It is only a clearer view of Him that makes us like Him. And that view comes by faith and time in His presence. 

1 John 3:2 

“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”

Kara J ❤ 

 

Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

Jesus’ Baptism part 6

Jesus’ Baptism part 6

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As Jesus prays in John 17:24

Father, I want those you have given to me to be with me, to be where I am. I want them to see my glory, which you gave me because you loved me before the world was made.

I want to do a blog soon on the love of the Father for the Son. Because that is the love He has for us in His Son. That is what we are united to.

One with Him. This is what we are called to be. Do you think it is figurative? Technical? Far off?

He is inside you. He is in your soul. He is your identity. He is in your heart and He is your clothing, to be put on every day. He is also your foundation. Under us, in us and wrapped around us.

As David said,

“You hem me in behind and before,
   and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
   too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
   Where can I flee from your presence?”

-Psalm 139:5-7

Remind yourself of who your Lover is. Your Bridegroom, your Savior.

His baptism is the fulfillment of all righteousness because it is His righteousness and He is the new you.

You are baptized into Christ, into His death and resurrection by the Spirit of God.

Just as you are saved by faith, believing in His righteousness for you is all the work you must do. 

The water was a symbol, but the Spirit was, and is, the real thing. The true baptism. Receiving His baptism is receiving His authority and power. Not just power to use, but having Him as an authority over your life. This baptism fulfills all righteousness. The Spirit is the power by which Christ overcame and the Holy Spirit is the power by which we overcome.

And He overcomes us by love.

Again, the Spirit comes and makes known the love of our Father God.

It is out of God’s Fatherly love that all righteousness springs. This is because in this love is where we rest. It is where we humbly lay down our tools and our efforts to do righteous things and feel righteous feelings and become overcome by the One who is righteous.

Our job is, as it ever has been, to have faith in what He has done. To have faith in the Son in whom we are Sons of God.

Romans 5:5
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 8:1,2,4
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:16
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit

Our righteousness is in the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:12
“What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us”

 

Grace and peace be with you in the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Kara J ❤

 

Photo by Jordan Steranka on Unsplash