Living in the Spirit

A brother recently sent me a text quoting Peter in 2 Peter 1:4 which reads;

“…seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. ”

Our discussion was concerning there being no depression, anxiety or fear in divine nature! What a wonderful encouragement of truth that is for us human-types who are in Christ!

I don’t know about you (though i think you’re not much different to me), but I have noticed more obviously recently, that from the second I am consciously awake in the morning, even with eyes still closed, my mind gets going. First thing that comes in is condemnation, guilt, accusation in the form of thoughts such as “you should get up and pray….you should have gotten up earlier to spend time in prayer…you should have prayed with your husband…you should have been kinder yesterday to that person…you should have…you should…you didn’t…you’ve disappointed God…” and so on it goes.

Subsequently, following closely behind come the feelings of guilt, shame, confusion. And finally, coming in third but not by any means the least, comes the naval gazing, the focus on me – my hopelessness, my slackness, my pathetic-ness, my failings…me, me, me. Then feelings of sadness, depression, heaviness, defeat.

Generally, this all goes on for as long as I let it and the pattern repeats on any subject at all that is thrust into my mind. So I end up feeling as though I weigh an extra 10 kilos before even getting the doona off!

The cycle continues until I force myself to deny my obsession with the storm that is now gaining momentum in my mind and take action to speak the name “Jesus”.  –  Jesus   –   Jesus    –   Jesus. Even in my mind, this name begins to lift my head metaphorically speaking. My unseen gaze slowly turns away from the debris of the internal tornado and onto Christ.

And so the war has begun….the day has begun…the spirit waging war against the flesh and the flesh waging war against the spirit.

But that name! Oh, what a name! It carries with it that divine life that our brother and the apostle Peter spoke of – that divine nature that is now mine of which I partake freely!

This morning, washing up at the sink, being reminded that it is divine nature that is now given to me, I find faith enter my heart and the raging winds begin to die down and I have a much clearer view. I see again, that in reality, I am in the eye of the storm and the storm cannot touch me.

I realise once again that I am not of this world. I am a citizen of another kingdom. I have been crucified to this world and it has been crucified to me. The enemy backs off…he’s been reminded of his powerlessness on this sacred ground of who I am in Christ.

Thank You Jesus. What a name! You are Divine Life! You are my life!

Jesus – The One Who Wills and The One Who Does

Just yesterday the Lord showed me one of the most important stages in my Christian growth that I’ve not understood until now, through Andrew Murray’s book “Absolute Surrender”.  I have understood the point we as believers get to, when we share with Paul’s cry “oh wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24).

I thought even getting to this point was a spiritual leap of significance. What I didn’t understand is that we can so easily stay at this point and that is not the place of victory. The Lord showed me the importance of growth beyond that step, and moving through the journey with Paul and joining with him when beyond that point he says “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25) and “…through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death!” (Romans 8:1). Hallelujah!

This is the most significant step – to move beyond realising my inability to live this Christian life to then see through the Lord’s eyes, that He truly is the one who actually does it.  The words that God “works to will and to do in me” now mean something more.  He is the one who wills it in me and this I have come to experience and understand. But more than that, He is the one to ‘do’ it in me. I cannot do the doing no matter how willing I have become. My willingness does not enable me to ‘do’. Jesus is the one who wills and the one who does the doing. “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27) – even changing our hearts – the hardest thing of all in my estimation!

Today I have seen this revelation lived out before me through a loved one, as the Lord led my prayers where I could not pray. In realising I could not even pray I was able to call upon Him to do all the ‘doing’ and He led my prayer into a place I couldn’t see on my own. And only half an hour after, I received a call from my loved one who had received breakthrough into the very understanding and sight that the Lord had brought into my prayers. God is so willing and God is so able to do.

I am forever indebted to You my Jesus. My Lord. My Sovereign King. You are the one who wills and does. And I will love You forever, through Your love.

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!…through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death!” (Romans 7:25-8:1).

The Spiritual Condition That God Blesses

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.…” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

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I am witnessing somebody walking a deeper walk in Jesus than this person has ever before. I am seeing that it is leading this precious saint to some very unfamiliar and disconcerting experiences. You, yourself, may be walking in those places at this present time, or relate to it completely. If so, I am so glad for you. You are blessed indeed!

This morning I felt the Lord lead me to read what we call “The Beatitudes” (Matthew 5:3-10) and I saw these words of Jesus’ in a whole new light, as never before.  I saw Jesus, having all knowledge of what His disciples (that includes you and me) are called to, speaking to them on the mountain (significant in itself) as ones already abandoned to Christ.

Jesus speaks to His disciples then, and today, of a spiritual condition ………..

That dear soul who is abandoned to Christ is BLESSED because he becomes;

One who is poor in spirit – emptied in his own spirit, empty of all else but a longing for a deeper knowing of Christ, even a sense of dryness as the Lord appears to hide Himself for the sake of being sought after earnestly.  Such a one finds himself empty except for what the Lord Himself brings forth into and from his spirit. To this one, the kingdom of heaven belongs – they walk in the reality of their ‘now’ place, seated in Christ, in heavenly places, being in Christ from eternity past to eternity future.  How truly blessed is this one.

One who mourns – mourns and laments for the abandonment of the entire church to God through His glorious Son alone, for the reigning and ruling of Jesus Christ to be made manifest in the lives of others, for the life of Christ the person to be the primary obsession of God’s people.  Such a one finds the comfort of God, He walks with this one and encourages him in his mourning, keeping His faith strong, assuring and comforting Him to believe against all belief that this is the will of God and is fulfilled through the prayers of such a one who bears this burden of the Lord. He is blessed to know the Lord’s heart and know Him so intimately.

One who is meek – holds no sense of self-importance or ambition, has given up on self, no longer defends self, has been subdued and quietened by the Holy Spirit in his life, seeing himself as ‘nothing’ but Christ as ‘everything’. This one inherits the earth, the Lord directs his path and provides him with greater responsibility in this life, to him is given the authority of the name of Jesus to subdue the earth under him. He is truly blessed to walk in such reverence of the Lord and for him, He will experience the new earth spoken about in the book of Revelation.

One who hungers and thirsts after righteousness – strives yet rests in the grace of God, to offer his life as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to the Lord, as is pleasing to God.  To such a one, transformation comes and his heart is satisfied with the righteousness of the Lord. He is blessed indeed and knows it to be true!

One who is merciful – is willing to bear the cross with others, is prepared to lay down his own soul-life, preferences, for the sake of another from a heart of compassion and grace, seeing them through the eyes of the Lord, even if such another is unkind and undeserving of such grace.  To this one, the Lord is also merciful, full of compassion and slow to anger, sustaining him in His grace, mercy and love, even when undeserved. This one counts himself blessed to share in the character of Christ.

One who is pure in heart – seeks first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, is single-eyed in the purpose of God being fulfilled, sold out to the purpose of God, forsaking all other distractions. To this one, God reveals Himself in the here and now, He makes Himself known to this child, and it is His great delight to do so. This one will see the Lord’s eternal purpose and be given revelation into the heart of God. He is blessed abundantly by the life of God in him and he seeks no other.

One who is a peacemaker – does all within his capacity to live at peace with others, has the courage to be vulnerable in order to bring peace where there is no peace, knows the Prince of Peace and allows the Lord’s peace to rule in his heart, imparting peace to the lives of others by the Holy Spirit. He has walked through trials in his life that have forged the peace of God into his character. This one is called the son of God, as he is a joint-heir with Jesus, who is the Prince of Peace. This one has become like his Father and The Son.

One who is persecuted because of righteousness – righteousness is not popular in the world of Satan, and the one who seeks after it is promised a cost indeed. He will suffer rejection, loss of all kinds and persecution even from fellow believers and those closest to him. But to this one, the kingdom of heaven belongs, because he will see it and live in it, he is blinded by its glory, in the here-and-now, in the spirit, in-time and out-of time, and eternity to come.  How blessed he is to be counted among those who have suffered for the sake of righteousness, he joins the many who have gone before him, a great cloud of witnesses.  

If this is where you are, dear brother or sister, know that you are most blessed.