The Fruit of Pursuit Part 3

I am sure most of us are familiar with the oft quoted Romans 8:28, but we tend to focus on the ‘all things working together for good’ part. We believe this is a blessing externally poured out upon us and we seldom consider that there is a pursuit inherent in the verse.

28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

28  We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. Romans 8:28 (AMP)

Over 20 years ago, I preached a sermon on Romans 8:28 and talked about how radically different our lives and communities would be if we actually embraced and lived out this verse. Think about it. We would exude peace because we would actually be living out of faith that He is shepherding our lives for our ultimate good, and more importantly, the furtherance of His kingdom. The two qualifiers are loving Him and pursuing His call upon our lives. If we lived this way we would not worry about anything because our hearts would be at rest in His presence and purpose.

Given the importance of our trusting in Him and manifesting His peace as a result, I want to look at an OT counterpart and then more of Paul’s writing. Paul was a theological expert in the OT thus the OT conception of peace would have influenced Paul’s thinking and writing on the subject.

Let’s compare two translations of the same scripture.

3  You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

3  You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. Isaiah 26:3 (AMP)

While the Amplified expands our understanding, what neither translation brings out is that the words ‘perfect’ and ‘peace’ are both the Hebrew word shalom. Isaiah 26:3 literally says, “You will keep him in shalom, shalom….” This transliteration of ‘perfect shalom’ is accurate. It carries the idea of a fullness of shalom, peace. Importantly, shalom is not the absence of conflict, it is His presence active upon our lives. After all, Isaiah said the Messiah would be the Prince of Peace and that is who Jesus is.

In Numbers Moses told the Israelite’s how Yahweh would rest upon their lives.

22  And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 23  “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: 24  “The LORD bless you and keep you; 25  The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26  The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’ 27  “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27 (NKJV)

The result of what Moses described was peace, shalom. This concept carries forward into the NT because when we submit to Jesus we take His name upon us. Thus, when we receive Jesus the peace inherent in His name rests upon us. This is a theme in Paul’s writing. As an Israelite, even if Paul wrote in common Greek to accommodate his audience, when he used the word for peace, based on his Hebraic training and thinking he would be reflecting on shalom as he wrote.

19  Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Romans 14:19 (NKJV).

6  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

In essence, whether or not we believe it, we have His peace because the Prince of Peace is within us. If we want to experience this peace, as the Amplified notes, let us incline our hearts and minds to trusting in Yahweh’s plan and purpose so His peace may rest upon our lives, no matter our circumstances.



The Fruit of Pursuit Part 2

I believe He calls all of us to pursue His heart. I also believe that a key to this is recognizing that engaging with His presence is the doorway to intimacy, not the outcome. On the surface that may not make a lot of sense but I will explain.

I wrote about this last year (Intimacy Opportunities Part 1 ). In that post I talked about how the Angel going before the Israelites into the Promised Land (Ex. 33) could be translated as the Angel of His face or the Angel of His presence. The key point was that Moses, in spite of all the time he had spent in Yahweh’s presence, didn’t really know Him and prayed for a revelation of His glory (Ex. 34), which he received. This is what resulted in Moses’ understanding of Yahweh’s character and his face glowing with Yahweh’s glory.

There is another aspect I saw recently. We partake of communion on a regular basis in most churches. I don’t know how many of us think about the fact that it is a small part of the Passover meal, a time of fellowship, intimacy and celebration of deliverance. In addition to Passover/Communion, there is another aspect of eating with Him. Jesus issued the invitation below to believers because in addition to being in us He wanted to deepen intimacy and share His heart with us. Consider Jesus invitation.

20  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)

To help us respond to Jesus invitation, a call to spend time with Him and get to know Him in a deeper way, I have included a long excerpt from a Hebrew dictionary about pānîm the Hebrew word used in Exodus 33, and many other places, which refers to Yahweh’s face or presence.

The noun pānîm, “face,” “countenance,” is derived from the verbal root pānāh (HED #6680), “to turn toward,” and is found in the OT only in its plural form. The noun is well attested throughout the Semitic languages. When combined with le (HED #3937), the term may also function as a preposition, literally meaning “facing,” and often translated “before” or “in front of.”

Pānîm frequently refers to the literal face or head of a living creature. It can denote the face of an animal (Gen. 30:40; Job 41:10; Ezek. 1:10; 41:19), a heavenly being (Exo. 25:20; Isa. 6:2; Ezek. 1:8, 11) or a human being (Gen. 9:23; 43:31; 2 Sam. 19:4; 1 Ki. 19:13; Dan. 8:18; 10:9, 15).

The face of a person provides a window into his or her emotions and inner feelings. For example, Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude, or literally, “the face of Laban,” had changed toward him (Gen. 31:2), and Cain’s face became downcast because God rejected his offering (4:5). Further, a face may become flushed with terror (Isa. 13:8), turn deathly pale due to intense fear (29:22; Jer. 30:6), display tears of sorrow (Job 16:16; Isa. 25:8), show sadness (Gen. 40:7; Neh. 2:2f) or happiness (Prov. 15:13). A fallen face indicates anger or sadness, while the opposite, the raising or lifting of the face, shows joy or happiness.

To “fall upon one’s face” displayed reverence and submission (1 Sam. 5:4). God’s lifting or turning his face upon someone was a sign of blessing and favor (Num. 6:25f). But the withdrawal of such favor was expressed by the Lord’s hiding his face (Deut. 31:17) and turning his face away (Ezek. 7:22).

Pānîm also can depict more than just a face—more broadly, the “presence” of a king or God. “To see the face of a king” meant having an audience in his direct presence, but not seeing his face meant the absence of such a privilege. Seeing the “face of God” had similar connotations of entering his direct presence. To actually see God “face to face” and live (Exo. 33:20) was rare (Gen. 32:30; Deut. 34:10; Judg. 6:22). God told Moses that his “face,” or his “presence” (Exo. 33:14, NIV), would go with him, meaning that God himself would be with Moses and Israel (cf. Deut. 4:37; Isa. 63:9; Lam. 4:16). The face of God is also associated with his power as the instrument by which He did his awesome deeds.

During the wilderness wanderings, the presence of God was made specific through Israelite worship with the “bread of presence [pānîm].” A loaf of bread was always to be left upon the table of the Presence symbolizing the Lord’s continual presence within the community (Num. 4:7).

The Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary

A key thing mentioned in this long explanation of the meaning of the word ‘presence’ is that the showbread from the tabernacle or temple, is literally the ‘bread of presence.’ The bread was made fresh daily. If we tie this back to Jesus invitation in Revelation 3:20 we see that Jesus is calling us to partake of His face/presence every day. While the phrase ‘give us this day our daily bread’ (Matt. 6:11) is primarily focused on material provision, what happens if we also see it at a deeper level as an invitation to daily partake of knowing Jesus? What if we sit with Him, encounter His presence, and then invite Him to share what is on His heart? Do you think we will be changed?

The Fruit of Pursuit Part 1

In this series I am beginning with what I shared in closing my last post then I am going to comment on what happened as I did what I said I would do.

NOTE: On a personal note, I am taking a short hiatus from my posts, likely 2-3 weeks. I have received many words in recent years about the need to slow down/rest, which I did not heed. With my recent retirement (which I think of as a transition more into Kingdom work) I recently received four independent prophetic words about being in a season of preparation and the Lord calling me to a deeper place of rest and intimacy with Him as the key to that process. In fact when I looked back at my prayer notes I realized these prophetic words were a clear answer to a prayer I prayed and recorded on May 18. The prayer came out of an encounter with the Father that morning. So, while I trust I won’t be gone long, I currently need to be obedient (finally) and focus on going deeper in my relationship with my heavenly Father or miss what He has prepared for me to walk in. 10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

As I write this I am physically worn out from jet lag yet I am very conscious of refreshing and life in my spirit. My trip to Scotland and Paris was not physically restful but it was deeply spiritually refreshing. My awake time was primarily walking, biking, walking, did I mention walking – we did a lot of that! There was also time standing in lines and time on trains and there and back quite a bit of time on planes. My point being that I wasn’t locked away somewhere deep in prayer. What happened spiritually came from a shift in focus. I will explain.

The spiritual refreshing came mainly in Scotland. Part of that was praying much of the time throughout the day as we toured historic sites. My friend Evelyn stepped from time into eternity just over 18 months ago. In her almost 91 years on earth she had learned to spend much of her time there and brought much back. Though she is no longer here the Holy Spirit is still reminding me of things she shared and applying some of them was key to the spiritual refreshing I experienced.

Evelyn had spoken to me more than once of the importance of breathing His thoughts across the land. As we walked and toured I sought to connect to His heart and come into agreement for His purposes for the land and people. Another key factor in experiencing refreshing was reading some prophetic books on deeper encounters with Jesus and in prayer, sometimes gently, sometimes vigorously, asking Him to draw me into His heart and purpose. Doing this wasn’t about seeking to ‘minister.’ In fact a primary decision in not doing my blog in recent weeks, or other ministry, was to ‘not’ do something and replace it with the pursuit of Him. My focus was seeking to commune with my Father and agree with His heart.

Part of the refreshing was my Father revealing things to me in the night seasons and inviting me into intercession in these times. It left me physically tired but spiritually strengthened. In future posts I will share more about this pursuit and fruit and will talk about a 25 year season I believe is now drawing to a close as transition takes place in my life. My goal and hope in sharing this is that it will point us to Jesus. Hence my attention to the importance of my shift in focus and using my own experience as an example.

Lastly, I do not see and encounter things as some do who have sweeping visions, ecstatic encounters or similar visitations. However, I have committed myself to dig into His word, connect to my spirit, and gaze upon Jesus. This leads to regular times of gentle encounter and at times a sense of being overwhelmed by His presence on and within me. Over the years I have simply done what I believe all of us as Christians are called to do.

Who are You? Part 3

Have you ever decided to diet, exercise, or both to ‘get in shape?’ A great many of us have done this. Generally our resolutions don’t really bear fruit until we shift from hope, or longing, to a committed practice. Once we transitioned to practice we develop a growing ability to help others through the same process. So let’s explore the same concept in relation to getting in shape, spiritually, so that we can disciple others.

To apply getting in spiritual shape let’s examine this familiar passage written by Paul.

 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV) 

Do we generally notice that implicit in this passage is the idea that conformity is not an option? The option is only in relation to what we are being conformed to. The warning is to not be conformed to the world, because Paul recognized that our calling is to be conformed to Jesus. We are always being shaped by something. Our culture sends us messages all the time, messages about what to believe, how to act, or who to listen to and in the age of social media can be particularly cruel.

The way to “not be conformed to this world” is to train our hearts and minds to filter these many cultural messages through the truth of scripture. This is the how: it requires knowing the key principles and concepts in His word so that we choose truth and reject lies (think of the belt of truth girding our walk as seen in Ephesians 6). Examples in our culture abound. Some big ones are the sanctity of life and marriage between a man and a woman. Scripture is clear on both.

Simpler examples of using the belt of truth are honesty and integrity. I remember from many years ago working with a lady who let everyone know she was a Christian but had no qualms about lying to get what she wanted. They were mainly very public ‘white lies.’ Our colleagues all knew we were both Christians so I felt I needed to address this with her given her poor public witness. When I did she simply accused me of being a legalist. For her scripture was an option to apply when convenient, not a standard. For believers being conformed to the image of Jesus it is the standard. This is who we are.

When we train our minds and hearts to habitually embrace the truth of scripture and filter cultural messages through truth we move into a position to help others do the same thing because we can pass on both what we know and what we are becoming. Our experience establishes a solid foundation to stand on (think of the shoes of the gospel of peace in Ephesians 6) so we can be victorious and help others how to be the same.

So, are you in shape and being conformed to His image?

NOTE: On a personal note, I am taking a short hiatus from my posts, likely 2-3 weeks. I have received many words in recent years about the need to slow down/rest, which I did not heed. With my recent retirement (which I think of as a transition more into Kingdom work) I recently received four independent prophetic words about being in a season of preparation and the Lord calling me to a deeper place of rest and intimacy with Him as the key to that process. In fact when I looked back at my prayer notes I realized these prophetic words were a clear answer to a prayer I prayed and recorded on May 18. The prayer came out of an encounter with the Father that morning. So, while I trust I won’t be gone long, I currently need to be obedient (finally) and focus on going deeper in my relationship with my heavenly Father or miss what He has prepared for me to walk in. 10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

Who are You? Part 2

In my last post I introduced the idea of a spiritual GPS (God’s Positioning System). I think there are some two key functions of this GPS: one function about identity, the other about location.

What about identity? Who are we? We need to know from His word that we are His children by virtue of receiving Jesus in the new birth.

12  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: John 1:12 (NKJV)

In our language rife, with cultural baggage, we tend to say we ‘accepted’ Christ. In reality He accepted us and enacted our salvation when we submitted to His Lordship. At the moment of our conversion we became a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) and were moved from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.

12  giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13  He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14  in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:12-14 (NKJV)

However, most of us still struggle with identity after conversion. Our battle is in our mind and heart. When we use God’s Positioning System we can embrace and believe the reality of what happened, no matter how we feel, and declare this truth to ourselves – ‘I am a new creation. I have been bought with a price and live in Jesus kingdom under His love.’ When this declaration moves from our minds to our hearts it becomes reality in our lives. If/when this reality begins to fade in our lives we simply return to declaring this truth to ourselves.

Speaking God’s truth into our lives is well established in scripture. Moses commanded the children of Israel to do it, Yahweh commanded Joshua to do it, David practiced it and Paul called us to practice it (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16).

What about location? Where has He placed us? Just like identity, we use His word to locate ourselves in Him. Look at the words of Paul and his desire to ‘be found in Him.’

9  and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; Philippians 3:9 (NKJV)

We need to be found in Jesus (for example there are many ‘in Him’ references in Ephesians). Where we are physically is far less significant than Who we are in spiritually! While physical location and many other things are important we are called to discern these areas of our lives from the place of being in Jesus. When we get Identity and Location right we have a solid foundation for the rest of our walk. How is your GPS working?

Who are You? Part 1

Recently I was in the locker room at the fitness centre and another patron was getting help from a staff member to open his locker. He commented that he always used the same locker so he would know where he was. Some interesting phraseology. However, it started me thinking. We have a lot of GPS (Global Positioning System) devices that tell us where we are and that help us to locate things or locate ourselves in relation to other things. I wondered about a scriptural GPS, God’s Positioning System, a system that would help us locate who we are!

I think there are a couple of factors at play in the area of identity. Someone once said, “Both the Lord and Satan are asking you the same question. Who do you think you are?” I think that is a crucial question. I think there is another aspect as well. If we know the truth do we believe it?

As I was thinking about writing this some lines from an old Paul Simon song came back to me, “When I was a little boy, and the Devil would call my name. I’d say, ‘Now who do, who do you think you’re fooling?’” The song is “Loves me like a Rock” from the early 1970’s. In the song Paul’s stability was found in his mother’s love for him. While that is admirable we have something much greater as an anchor. Yet I ask again, do we believe it?

Here is some basic scriptural truth.

13  He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, Colossians 1:13 (NKJV)

27  To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27 (NKJV)

6  As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7  rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7 (NKJV)

So, if we are discouraged, downcast, or wondering about our meaning and purpose how do we use these verses? I suggest turning them into prayers of thankfulness and speaking the truth of them out loud to ourselves. When we do the power in His word is activated in our lives. Practically I could take the first verse and say as a declaration in the spirit realm, “I have been delivered from the power of darkness and placed in His kingdom under His love!” As a prayer I could say, “Father, thank You that You have delivered me from the power of darkness and placed me in Your kingdom under Jesus love!” In fact, to change how we ‘feel’ we only need to apply this first verse of the three. As we exercise the faith to declare it the grace inherent in His word empowers our lives and brings the needed change in our disposition. If we are not in this condition we can apply this truth to our lives so we do not end up in this condition. There is life in His word!

If I have sounded repetitive here it is only because I deliberately am. So, the question to each of our hearts, “Who do you think you are?”

Hidden Things Part 3

Over 25 years ago I read something by A. W. Tozer that has stuck with me. He said, “Religious externals may have meaning for a God inhabited soul, but to all others they are a snare and a trap.” What was he talking about? Our tendency to value various practices over the reality of His presence. We need His presence and purpose. I started this series on Hidden Things with this verse.

2  It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2 (NKJV)

Do we understand the concealment inherent in this verse? How do we search it out? A principle Jesus laid out on the way to Gethsemane was the need to understand Him in us and us in Him.

20  At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. John 14:20 (NKJV)

In reading this verse it seems important to understand the ‘day’ Jesus was referencing. For this group of apostles that day was the day of Pentecost that we read about in Acts 2. We can get caught up in the vision of tongues of fire, prophetic expression and eternal manifestations. Yet they were stirred by something greater. John 14:20 came alive in them! Think about this, on the ‘day’ we were born again the Creator of the universe infused His life and nature into our spirit. He made a Holy of Holies inside of us and took up residence.

So, if we want to search something out why not search out this hidden thing. Christ in us the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). We can gaze into the spirit realm and by faith look upon the Father seated upon His eternal throne (which I practice and advocate), yet do we understand Him in us? How many of us realize this reality drove the early apostles, it drove Paul, as it has driven many down through the last 2,000 years of church history. Why not let it drive us? Why not seek out how to look deep within to encounter the King of glory?

We can develop a sensitivity to His presence within us. Many years ago I wrote a song and one of the lines was, “I’m moved by Your moving within.” We can seek and find the reality of Jesus by His Spirit moving within and upon us. Isn’t this a worthy discovery?

Hidden Things Part 2

Where is the place of hidden things? Has Jesus hidden them in plain sight? Have you ever considered that Matthew 6:1-18 is a passage about the secret place? In fact Jesus references it very specifically.

4  that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. Matthew 6:4 (NKJV)

6  But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Matthew 6:6 (NKJV)

The idea Jesus is expressing here is that if we have a consistent hidden inner life the fruit will be evident in the rest of our life. Finding hidden things begins, in of all places, worship.

9  In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Matthew 6:9 (NKJV)

 Jesus instructed us to begin our prayer time with worship. With his gift for words Francis Frangipane has expressed this very well, “before we even lift our voice in prayer, He instructs us to bow our hearts in worship.” If we want to understand hidden things and know the counsel of His heart we must first learn to be worshippers.

If we want a meaningful outer life we must first develop a powerful inner life. Practically, a way to begin is to get alone with the Father somewhere and begin to give expression to our thoughts about Him. For example, Father, I thank You for your gift of salvation. I thank You that You have imparted to me Jesus righteousness. Jesus, You are the great and glorious one, the author and finisher of our faith. We can also lift our hearts and voices in song.

Another way to begin a prayer time in worship is to simply sit in silence before Him. He knows our hearts and values us just sitting with them open before Him. This as well is an act of worship. If we want to know His heart we need to regularly surrender our heart. Jeremiah asked a very important question.

18  For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD, And has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it? Jeremiah 23:18 (NKJV)

This whole chapter is worth reading. The context is false prophets speaking in Yahweh’s name and Jeremiah rebuking them as false. They were prophesying peace while Jeremiah, hearing from Yahweh, was prophesying calamity and judgement that could only be changed by repentance.

Weighing prophetic words is another message. Yet the principle behind Jeremiah 23 is that these false prophets were seeking Yahweh but unwilling to lay down their own agendas first so they prophesied their hearts instead of His. So, as Francis has said, let us come and bow our hearts in worship then lift our voices in intercession speaking out of surrendered time with our Father.

Below is a prophetic song from scripture that is based on a submitted heart, Mary’s. The Magnificat from Luke 1.

Hidden Things Part 1

An expression that has become fairly well known in some church circles is, “He hides things for us, not from us.” It is spoken with some variations but the concept is the same. The source is in Proverbs.

2  It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2 (NKJV)

Why would Yahweh hide things from us? Is not salvation a free gift? Yes it is. Yet there is also the truth, ‘Age is inevitable, maturity is optional.’ While we will inevitably grow chronologically in our time as a believer, spiritual growth is optional. The Holy Spirit will arrange opportunity after opportunity for our growth but will not force maturity upon us. I think He does it because He is wise! In the same way He knows that many things of value that are connected to our maturity need to be sought. He are some things we are called to in the realm of seeking.

9  “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. 1 Chronicles 28:9 (NKJV)

13  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV)

6  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6 (NKJV)

33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)

So we know we are called to seek, yet Proverbs 25:2 would seem to be reserved for kings, those who carry authority and leadership. Yet who are you? What do the scriptures say? Do you carry authority and leadership? Apparently all believers do.

6  and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:6 (NKJV)

10  And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth. Revelation 5:10 (NKJV)

If we think this is a calling or designation available only to a special few, look at what Yahweh has always desired for His people.

5  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6  And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” Exodus 19:5-6 (NKJV)

9  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)

His plan has always been that His people would be a set apart people who know the secrets of His heart. So, let us spend time in His presence seeking to find the things He has hidden for us.

Seeing You in the Sanctuary Part 5

When we sit and gaze upon Him we are looking for and to something. Which is a good thing. However, what is He looking for in us?

1  Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? 2  For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” Says the LORD. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.” Isaiah 66:1-2 (NKJV)

49  ‘Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me? says the LORD, Or what is the place of My rest?’ Acts 7:49 (NKJV)

15  For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15 (NKJV)

Although Yahweh needs nothing, do we ever think that He desires something from us? He doesn’t just want us to learn to rest in Him, He wants our hearts to be at place where He can rest in us! Sitting with and before Him is a synergistic transformative process that affects our spirit, soul and body. He wants us to know the reality of what Jesus spoke about.

20  At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. John 14:20 (NKJV)

Meditate on this. Jesus is in the Father and we are called to be found in Jesus and at the same time Jesus is in us! There is a dynamic eternal interchange happening as the Father gazes on the Son and the Spirit, the Son on the Spirit and the Father, and the Spirit on the Father and Son. We are invited to enter in and partake and be part of this divine exchange. Us resting in Jesus and as our heart is changed by resting in Him Jesus is then able to rest in us.

I think Brain Doerksen captured this well in song.

Resting Place by Brian Doerkson