HELP MELISSA GET TO AFRICA
guess what starts tomorrow?! Pemba Harvest School! Tori and I felt God’s call to go months ago and here we are starting a new season in our lives! Tori is arriving today in Mozambique. I, however, am still here in the US waiting on God. I still do not have a plane ticket and I don’t always…
This is my newest flick, entitled “Momma, I can make a smoothie.” #proud (at the Shire. )
I’m making a new blog.
I guess I’ve followed too many people on here (although I love each and every one of you), and instead of a massive unfollowing or something like that I just decided to remake… I’m not deleting this one so yeah.
Let’s see where this goes.
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.
Heaven invades as intimacy grows.
One of my favorite prayers this past year has become “let Heaven come,” and I don’t foresee that changing any time soon. I mean, it’s an abbreviated form of what Jesus prayed: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 5:10). However, the Lord is showing me a lot about intimacy—stuff I’ve heard and understood before, but the revelation is becoming personal. And He’s shown me that this summer is going to be a time of huge increase of intimacy with the Father. Me and Nolan had a really good conversation about this the other night, actually. And Alyn Jones from Grace Center had a really good message last night about the secret place. You should watch it here.
But the Lord’s showing me a pattern or an order that we get to live our lives in. Basically, it’s the following, and Romans 8 really follows the same order.
- Jesus, by the finished work of the cross, removes (not just forgives) our sin. (Romans 7:25-8:11)
- We’re granted intimacy with the Father through the Spirit of sonship. (Romans 8:12-17)
- We do the same (and even “greater”) works that Jesus did. (Romans 8:18-25)
I’ve learned that (1) leads to (2) and that (3) is simply a product of (2). We mustn’t let our mind process like it so often does and think that (1) only happened so that (3) may. Jesus didn’t just die so that we could do Christian things or just so that we could merely do Christian work. Is it His desire that His Kingdom increases through us? Yep. Is that all He wants? Nope. John 3:16 has become known as Jesus’ mission statement, and rightly so; here it shows that He came out of the Father’s love to give eternal life to those that believe in Him. And what is eternal life? Knowing the Father, according to John 17:3). The main effect of the Kingdom is not just more power or more saved souls, it’s people who grow in an intimate knowledge with God the Father.
Works (3) do not precede intimacy (2). Stated another way, we do not do more works (3) so that we may have more intimacy (2). By the finished work of the cross, we no longer claim that way of doing things. God does not come near to us once we impress Him, He sees us through the lens of the cross and comes near, allowing us to delve deep into intimacy. From that place, we become more like Him and start to do the things that He does.
We see this pattern in Jesus’ own life. Jesus didn’t do things to impress God and then look to Him. It was early in the morning before the day began that Jesus withdrew to be with the Father, because He knew He was a son. In these times of intimacy, Jesus saw the Father and later did whatever the Father was doing (John 5:19-20). And because of the cross, we get to lived the same way.
Romans 8 talks about creation longing for the revealing of the sons of God, not for the revealing of servants or soldiers. Heaven only invades earth as God’s people grow in intimacy with Him as children, not as they try to do more for the Kingdom. So what does that leave for us to do? We get to stop trying to do and simply let the Father show us what it is like to be a son, like Jesus. As we shift our minds to this perspective, heaven will not be able to contain itself inside of us. An a word of wisdom: pursue intimacy for intimacy. If we pursue intimacy just for works, we’re no longer pursuing intimacy. So pray for a change of desire if that’s what’s needed! If you’re lacking a love affair with the Father, simply sit and receive the love He already has for you; we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
So yeah, heaven invades as intimacy grows. Let’s get closer to our Dad; He loves us dearly.
Anonymous asked: How does setting your mind on the finished work of Christ and your identity in Christ cause you to live for Him?
"When you’re free to be a child, you’re not afraid to fail." - Heidi Baker
As Holy Spirit renews our mind and reveals to us our identity in Christ, our identity as the King’s kid, that the finished work of the Christ tore away all that kept us from full fellowship with the Father, we’re put in a place where every situation in our life is viewed from the perspective of who we are as seated in Heavenly places and having the Father on our side.
So this “causes us to live for Him” not in a way that we do things or we just act to impress Him, but we just know that God is already impressed with us because of what Jesus did, and we so overflow with the joy of God’s grace and freedom and (most of all) love, that as we just live our lives become a fragrance pleasing unto the senses of the Lord.
This identity takes us from a place where we try to do things and puts us in a place of rest and joy and we just live and watch things happen for the Kingdom.
The teaching of the New Testament is that God is Spirit, and as such, He is known by revelation (spiritual insight) to one’s human spirit. Reason and intellect can cause us to know about God. And they help us to communicate what we know. But they fall short in giving us spiritual revelation. The intellect is not the gateway for knowing the Lord deeply. Neither are the emotions. In the words of A.W. Tozer: “Divine truth is of the nature of spirit and for that reason can be received only by spiritual revelation… God’s thoughts belong to the world of spirit, man’s to the world of intellect, and while spirit can embrace intellect, the human intellect can never comprehend spirit… Man by reason cannot know God; he can only know about God… Man’s reason is a fine instrument and useful within its field. It was not given as an organ by which to know God.”
And so I have come to understand that strength, inner strength, comes from receiving love as much as it comes from giving it. I think apart from the idea that I am a sinner and God forgives me, this is the greatest lesson I have ever learned. When you get it, it changes you. My friend Julie from Seattle told me that the main prayer she prays for her husband is that he will be able to receive love. And this is the prayer I pray for all my friends because it is the key to happiness. God’s love will never change us if we don’t accept it.
As you might have noticed, I’m reading Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna, which basically takes a look at a lot of the practices & activities of modern Christendom and analyzes the roots, showing that we do a lot of things that are not biblical but pagan in history. The authors are huge advocates of family-style house church (which is honestly my favorite setting of fellowship). So much of this book hits home, especially this chapter on Christian education. And I’m reading it as a PDF on my Kindle app on my iPad, so I can’t highlight, so I have this urge to post every other paragraph as a quote here on tumblr so forgive me.
I just remembered how Hannah, the favorite blessed sister of mine, and Evvy, a friend from Nashville, felt God say that He’s going to give me a camera to replace my Canon Rebel that was stolen in March. I know it’s just a camera, and it’s not the most important thing by any means, but y’all should pray into that. God loves us and is a Dad who loves to spoil His kids. I’m just excited to see Him reveal Himself in this situation. And I really miss my camera. <3