grace

  • Seeing The Invisible

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    George Warnock in his great book “The Feast of Tabernacles” describes believers in Jesus, members of the new creation, sons and daughters of the Kingdom of God as those who:

    “See the invisible, hear the inaudible, hold the intangible, declare the unspeakable, explore the unsearchable and do the impossible.”

    In Isaiah 35, starting at verse 8 the prophet writes:

    “And a highway shall be there and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.”

    The apostle Paul found himself in all sorts of perilous predicaments. He did not have a comfortable life in the natural. Yet, he counted it all joy. How could he do that? Because he saw the invisible. Paul realized that there was a deeper reality that transcended the physical realm. It’s not that the physical realm is not real, it’s just that the spiritual reality is “real-er!”

    How does that relate to you and me today? Jesus Christ didn’t die just to give His life for us, but to give His life to us! Those who have, by faith, received the life that Jesus gives us, live in two realities simultaneously. We live in the natural, physical world and relate to it by our senses- touch, taste, sight, sound and smell. We also live in the spiritual realm, the invisible and we relate to that realm by faith, prayer, worship, delighting in the God Who delights in us, imagination, hearing the voice of God, grounded in the written scripture, led by the Holy Spirit.

    “For all who are led by the Spirit are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)

    Even as kingdoms and nations and systems are being shaken we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. I want to have my eyes wide open- in the natural and the spiritual. Even in the midst of tough circumstances, we receive the peace that passes understanding, that transcends natural circumstances. There were troubles, conflicts, dangerous and horrific things happening in the days of the early church, yet people were filled with joy because God gave (and gives) grace to see the invisible. There is a God Who loves, full of truth and grace, Who reigns!

    Hebrews 12:28,29: “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”

     

     

     

     

     

  • Grace For Change
         Jesus calls us and graces us to walk in newness of life. We can’t fully express and appreciate His Life in us if we insist on operating from old mindsets. T.D. Jakes says: “Your experience may be a liability because you are used to God operating one way.” 
         God is the God of creativity, of wonder, of adventure, of mystery. One Who doesn’t always work the way we are used to because He knows how easy it is for us to trust in a method instead of Him! Don’t misunderstand, God is consistently good, He is not capricious or arbitrary, but His heart for us, His plan, is SO much grander than we can imagine.
         The good news?
         God gives us grace to change, to be conformed to His image as we behold Jesus Christ by faith. We have been given the mind of Christ, the Life of Christ and the grace to lean not to our own understanding, but acknowledging Him in all things, He will direct our paths. He even gives us the peace that transcends understanding, peace regardless of circumstances. We don’t have to stay locked in old mindsets, ways of reacting, imprisoned by the memories of the unjust treatment we may have received (or given) in the past. He makes all things new! By the way, I am speaking to myself today, if any of this applies to you, you are welcome to it too!
    Let’s receive again this Word:
    “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
    Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
    Ephesians 3: 14-20 ESV
  • Overcome

    When a lot of you read the title of this post, perhaps you thought of the word “overcome” as an exhortation to perform in such as a way as to achieve victory. Work harder, pray enough, trust more, etc. Well, that is the furthest from my mind as I write this. It wearies me to even think in those terms, though I was a prisoner of depending on my own efforts for many years and still fall into that trap if not reminded, yes even  overcome, by the gospel.

    My good friend Dudley Hall compares a legalistic emphasis on performance to what he calls the “do-to-be” tree.  If we will (do this) then God will…  When Adam and Eve sinned, into mankind entered the staggering weight of self-sufficiency. As another preacher friend, Adrian Varlack., puts it: “Before the fall, man had no self preservation instinct.” Indeed, because of the Presence of a loving Heavenly Father Who provided everything that man needed, self-sufficiency wasn’t even thought about. Thanks be to God for the beauty of the gospel! God in His love is the Initiator, and He even gives us the power to respond to Him and to the good news appropriately. Jesus has overcome and when I think about His love, His grace and power and acceptance revealed to me through the Cross, the resurrection and His sometimes tangible Presence in my life… I am overcome!

    Last week Rita and I were in Grand Rapids, MI, ministering and sharing songs and laughs with dear friends John and Donna Chisum. I had some time at the piano and was inspired, and overcome, by the Presence of the Lord as He gave me this song. It’s quickly become very dear to my heart and I hope it will encourage you in the Love of God as well. It’s called “Overcome.” (click the link for a youtube video of an unplugged version of the song.)

    Italy Beach Sunset

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    “OVERCOME”

    Gentle Jesus meek and mild
    Heaven’s Lion fierce and wild
    Watching for this wand’ring child
    To welcome me back home
    So strong and yet so tenderly
    You run again to rescue me
    When You reveal Your heart for me
    I am overcome

    Overwhelmed and overflowing
    Overcome by the knowing
    That God the Savior is my friend
    I am overcome

    When youth has long forsaken me
    I hope that those who look still see
    Your light within my eyes
    Where does this kind of love come from?
    I was an orphan now I’m a son
    When I remember all You’ve done
    I am overcome

    Overwhelmed and overflowing
    Overcome by the knowing
    That God the savior is my friend
    I am overcome

    “Overcome” Words and Music by David Baroni/2014  Kingdomsongs Inc./BMI/CCLI