Sunday, November 28, 2010

Realizing who God is prt 4

In Realizing who God is, we realize who we are apart from Him. How small and insignificant we really are. We often think that we are creators in our own right, designers of our own destinies. We see ourselves as being in control of our lives and we live for our pleasure. But when we magnify God, we realize that we are not higher than God. We are created beings. He is not. He is a Holy Being, and we, when we live independently of Him, are not. Had He been any less than purely good, He would destroy us without mercy.

God sees you. He knows all about you. He knew the days of your life before one ever came to be. He knows what you are made of and He loves you. He knows that you are but dust. So fragile. So small. With one breath of His mouth, He could wipe you from existence; He is that great.

But He is infinitely good and loving. He loves you. He is mindful of you. Psalms 103 tells us that He does not treat you as your sins deserve. What kind of God is He that He would show us such mercy?

Let’s be honest for a moment. Have you ever prayed to God, telling Him what you want Him to do or how you want Him to do it? I have.  Have you been mad at God when He didn’t do what you asked? I have. Have you been disappointed and frustrated with God because of the circumstances in your life that you thought God would fix if He truly loved you?

God Knows You

Read Psalms 139:1-18 slowly.

 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me,"
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvellous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skilfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

 According this Psalm, what does God know about you? Where can you hide from God?  Where can you go where God is not? What impact does this knowledge have on your life right now?

Knowing God

We realize we were created to know and enjoy God,

as He has revealed Himself in the Bible, and to live for His glory.

He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice,

A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and Upright is He.

Deuteronomy. 32:4

"And this is eternal life, that they may know You,

the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

John 17:3

“Whether you eat or drink, of whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31

As we begin to comprehend Who God is, we realize that everything does not revolve around us. We are God’s workmanship, created beings, made in His image. Our sole purpose is to bring honour and glory to His name. He is the one Being who has the right to do whatever He wants with us. He is the Master and Ruler of our lives. He is King and we are His subjects. But He is a righteous and good King, a Holy and Almighty King. He knows what is best for us – all the time.

It’s our responsibility to learn about Him and know Him. He is willing to reveal Himself to us as we stop trying to run our own lives and surrender to Him. As we surrender our hearts to Him, through faith in Jesus Christ, we enter into an intimate, connected relationship with God. In this, we come to know Him, and He pours His love in and through us by His Spirit.

Psalms 139 is one Psalms of many that reveals the heart of God to us. God penned this Psalm through David, the shepherd boy who became King. David was said to be a man after God’s own heart. He knew God and, more importantly, God knew Him.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Realizing Who God Is prt 3

God is absolutely powerful. What, to us, might seem impossible is not impossible for God. Nothing is too hard for Him. He transforms, frees and heals every person who comes to Him in faith. He raises the dead, gives the blind sight and He sets captives free. He binds up those who have been broken and hurt. Through His Word, God appeals to us: “Let Me tell you of the abundant life I have for you. I work all things together for your good. I am gracious and loving in all I do.”

God is the one Being who is fully trustworthy. He is Truth and all that is true and right originates from within Him. God never acts outside of His character. He is who He is and all He does, thinks and says reflects who He is all the time. He never lies. He always speaks what is true, so we know that His Word is always trustworthy. God’s words and actions flow from His inherent goodness and love. He works all things together for the good of those who love Him. As we turn to Him in complete trust, believing His Word, He reveals Himself to us, and sets us free to truly live in the Celebrating Life.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Realizing who God is prt 2

God knows everything. He needs no new information. God has no need of counsellors or advisors. He is absolutely wise and knowing. He knows and works together what is right all the time. He doesn’t need to discuss His decisions with us. He will tell us if we need to know and to bring us into friendship with Himself . He doesn’t want us to debate with Him. He desires that we know who we are in our relationship with Him and that we obey Him in perfect trust, in perfect faith. As a good parent expects a small child to obey because the parent knows what is best, God expects obedience as He directs us according to His perfect will. He expects us to obey Him because He knows best all the time and His character is completely good. He always works from Love. He works all things, whether seemingly good or bad, together for our good, all the time. Even when we don’t understand His decisions, He is right.

There is nothing we can give to God, yet He chooses to experience life with us, as we learn and experience life with Him. We do not add quality to His life because He is fully complete in Himself. Yet, amazingly, His love wants to express itself in relationship to us.

God is always present. He exists. He just is. And we exist in Him. He always was and always will be. He has no beginning and no end. He is not created. He is the Creator of all things. All things were made by Him and for Him. There is no escape from Him. There is nowhere we can hide from Him. Everywhere we go, God is there. Whatever we believe about God does not change the reality of His existence. He exists. If we don’t believe in Him, our belief does not somehow annihilate God. He just is and what we think about Him doesn’t change the True Reality of God. God is the only Being who says if other gods exist or not. He says there are no other Gods. Humans attempt to create a god outside of the One True God but this is called a man made religion and is hopeless to save.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Realizing Who God Is

Key 1 Realize: We realize we were created to know and enjoy God, as He has revealed Himself in the Bible, and to live for His glory.

In REALIZE, we learn about God, and, more importantly, we come to know Him as God. We realize that He is the Creator and Ruler over everything. We also realize who we are in relation to Him. God reveals Himself to us through His Word. The Bible is inspired by God, literally, breathed out by Him, and describes the very nature and passion of God. God tells us, in His Word, that if we seek Him with our whole heart, He will be found by us. God will reveal Himself to us, if we seek Him with all we are. God also reveals Himself through the things He has made, from the vast galaxies to the smallest atom.

The dictionary defines Realize as: to know and understand something; or to be or become aware of something. So when we REALIZE, in this Key, we are coming to know and understand who God really is. He is not a God of our understanding. He is God and He gives us understanding to begin to comprehend Who He really is. If He did not reveal Himself, we would not be able to know Him.

When we begin to look at the character of God, we realize that God is unchanging. He always stays the same. His truth. His Life. His character. His ways. His purposes. He does not change. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Unlike mankind who changes his mind, God never changes His sovereign mind. His word stands and will be fulfilled. What He speaks comes into existence.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The incredible journey

Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations."
Then said I: "Ah, Lord GOD!
Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth."
But the LORD said to me: "Do not say, 'I am a youth,'
For you shall go to all to whom I send you,
And whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of their faces,
For I am with you to deliver you," says the LORD.

I am just amazed by God's words to the prophet Jeremiah.  God ordained Jeremiah before he was formed.  God set him apart for a specific role in history, a role where he would receive no glory and there would be no positive response.  Yet, in this role, Jeremiah brought glory to God because he spoke the words God told him to say.   God would not take any excuses from Jeremiah.  He said, "You sahll go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak."  What was Jeremiah's assurance in this task?  That God will be with him to deliver him.

Jesus said in the great commission, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, and teaching them all He commands, and He will be with us even to the end of the age.  God does not leave us alone.  He will never leave us or forsake us. 

I'm amazed by the reality that even before we were born, all the days of our lives were written in God's book, before one of them even came to be.  God knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and give us a future and a hope. In another passage, God reveals we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared in advance that we should walk in them. 

Before we came to be, God knew us.  He walked us through life on this planet, through pain, through bad decisions, through good times, and He orchestrated the events to lead us to Himself.  He called us out of darkness. Intersected our world with His Son and set us free.  But it does not stop there.  We are free.  But we are free to be slaves to His righteous will, as He works in us to will and to do for His good pleasure.

God working all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. With God on our side, how can we fail?  With Him working in us, working out His righteousness through us, what can stop us?  Death cannot stop us.  Calamity cannot stop us.  Mistakes cannot stop us, because He is working all things together.  All things.  Nothing can stop us from loving God and living for His glory. 

We are already pleasing to God through the finished work on the cross.  We are clean. We are holy. We are dearly loved.  Now God is comforming us to the image of His Son who walked on the planet in perfect submission to His will, in perfect faith.  So God calls us to believe Him. To walk by faith and not by sight.  To reign with Him as He takes over the planet with His love and glory. Do not be afraid, He told Jeremiah, I will be with you to deliver you.

What an incredible journey we are on with our God. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's Faith. Just Faith.

'You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you." 2 Chronicles 20:17

We walk by faith alone.  For years, I read books that told me to bind this and that, to fight against the dark forces, to pray certain ways for victory.  For years I tried those various ways.  And what the Lord has brought me back to is just one thing:  Faith.

To just believe Him and what He has done in Christ.

We have overcome the evil one. Nothing can hurt us.  No one can touch us without God's permission.  We exist in Him and He is in us.  The scripture says tha the fulness of God is in Christ and Christ is in us and we are in Christ.  We are engulfed in God. Inside and out.  We have been sealed you by the Holy Spirit of promise and nothing can touch us.  Nothing can separate us from the Love of God, for God is love.  We are connected into and exist in God.

For years, I struggled to understand this and for years I struggled because of it.  I tried to help people be free from addictions, free from anger, free from so many things.  And I finally grew tired.  The Lord said, you cannot set people free.  I, He said, set people free.  I bind up the broken hearted. I proclaim liberty to the captive.  I heal and restore and transform human beings.

God is the who is our refuge and our strength. He is our strong tower.  He is the Rock on which we stand. It's Him. Not a method. Not a philosophy. Not more religious activity. Just Him.  What He accomplished in Christ is finished.  It's complete.  It's completely fulfilled in us.  There is nothing we could do to attain this gift.  Nothing we need to do to make ourselve more than we already are in Christ.

We are complete.  We are holy. We are without blame.  We exist in God and He is in us. He is empowering us to live godly lives. He is filling us with Himself through His Spirit all the time.  He is giving us wisdom. He is giving life to our mortal bodies. He is sustaining us, holding us together, giving us life everlasting right now.  We exist in everlasting life now. This life is Him.  He is eternal life.  It's just Him.

What freedom and joy we experience when we just believe that what God said He would do in Christ, He has done.  It's finished.  So we enjoy Him and rest in Him, in the sabbath rest of God.  We cease from our work.  We cease striving and know that He is God.  The work is His now, and He is always working. He never sleeps, never slumber.  He  never leaves us. He is connected to us and with us all the time. 

Our work is to believe in the One whom God has has sent.  Just Believe. It's just faith.