Nov 16 2018

You Are Worthy

I hear a lot of Christians say things like “I’m not worthy of God’s love,” “I’m not worthy of his sacrifice,” “I’m not worthy to be in his presence,” or other similar comments. I think that their thought process is probably from the perspective that because someone else paid the penalty for their sins they are pushing the envelope a little too far by asking for more. I can understand the desire to be humble but sometimes we take it too far. Sometimes we allow our religious ideas to overshadow our relationship with God. And that perspective tends to skew the reality of who we are. Jesus said in John 15 we are friends with him, not servants. Friends have the ability to ask for anything they need because of the that close relationship. Servants only get what they are given. Friends have access to everything.

This perspective also makes us think that we need to learn to live with what we have been given; whether that deals with poor health, a lack in finances, bad relationships, or any other negative thing we encounter on a daily basis. There’s this notion that our problems become our cross to bear. And it goes right back to feeling unworthy to ask for relief or help from the only one who can give it. John 3:16 say’s that God so loved the world. It doesn’t say he had mercy on the world, or that he had pity on us. It tells us that Jesus’ sacrifice was because of love. Jesus died for most of the human race before we were ever born. He wouldn’t have done that if we weren’t worth it. He wouldn’t have taken the step to free humanity if we were worthless. We can easily say that his blood made us worthy but it’s bigger than that because he decided we were worthy before he ever spilled a drop of blood. We were created in the image of God and given a unique opportunity to have a relationship with him that no other part of creation can have. Georgian Banov made a profound statement a few years ago. He said, “If you’re not free from sin until you die, then Jesus isn’t your Savior, death is!” I think we can modify that quote just a bit to say that if you aren’t worthy of everything Jesus paid for until you die, then Jesus isn’t your Savior, death is! Here’s the deal, Jesus’ death paid for more than our salvation. A free salvation is easily the largest benefit we can receive from that, but he also paid for healing, deliverance, freedom, and access to all that heaven has. He wouldn’t have done that if we weren’t worth it.

You are worthy.
You are worthy of his love, his grace, his mercy, his joy, his provision.
Stop saying you’re not worthy and start living from a new perspective.

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Nov 9 2018

Presence focused lifestyle

The presence of God is one of the most mysterious and attractive things to me. No human could possibly understand the depth of God, and yet he invites us into this incredible relationship where we get to pursue spending time in his presence, and in his presence, we are forever changed! We can’t pursue him too much, and most of the time, we don’t pursue him enough. But when we are intentional to just listen, we will hear him speak the most incredible things to us. There are so many mysteries that can be revealed when we sit in his presence. People used to flock to Jerusalem to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and he was just a man. People longed to hear Solomon share his advice on any subject, and even with all his wisdom, it was like a grain of sand compared to the wisdom of our King. He has the answer to every question, advice for every situation, and strategies for every problem. What would it look like to simply sit at the feet of Jesus for an entire day? No agenda, no requests, no distractions, just sitting at his feet, worshiping him, and listening to the words he speaks. What would it look like if we went to him for the solutions to our problems, and didn’t leave his presence until the solution was presented? Could the world be changed by radical believers who are determined to hear directly from the throne of God, and then take action on what they heard? I think so. I think the world could change very quickly, and that the kingdom of God could greatly expand in an accelerated fashion, if we only spent more time in his presence. Here’s a challenge for all of us to take on: double the amount of time you spend in his presence for the next few months and see what happens, what changes, and what moves out of the way.

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Nov 2 2018

Allergens

I was in a restaurant last night with some friends, and as the night went on, I began to notice an irritation in my right eye that felt a lot like an allergic reaction. It was red, it was puffy, and it was annoying. But it felt a lot better even just a few minutes after we left the restaurant. As I got home, and after I sneezed 7 or 8 times, I thought about how being in different environments can affect us, both physically and spiritually. I didn’t go into this restaurant with an expectation of encountering an allergen that would negatively affect me, so I wasn’t prepared for it when it happened. If I had been prepared with some allergy medication, I probably wouldn’t have had a negative reaction. The same is often true in the spiritual realm. There are a lot of negative forces (aka demonic spirits) in the world and, if we are not regularly spending time in the presence of God, we may find ourselves unprepared for situations where these forces are actively at work. Sometimes that looks like reacting to people or situations in a negative way, even though we know better. Sometimes it’s allowing our emotional or spiritual state to get stirred up and frustrated by what is happening around us. To quote the famous G.I. Joe, “being prepared is half the battle.” When we know what we may encounter, and we know the authority we carry in the spiritual realm, and we are consistently spending time in the presence of God, it is like allergy medication for the enemy’s tactics. It’s hard to be affected by spiritual shenanigans when you are firmly grounded in the truth of who you are. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us to be vigilant, because our enemy is certainly vigilant in trying to keep us off guard. Stay focused on Jesus, stay focused on loving people no matter what, and stay focused on the truth of who God says you are—this is the vigilance that will keep the tactics of the enemy from affecting you.

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