Listening….

Here is the next tip for freevolutionary life! To navigate this journey we need to establish connection with our Leader, Jesus. He knows the way when we don’t and He has everything we need to get a victory in every circumstance we encounter.

I hope these tips are helping you. If you have questions, feel free to post them in the comment section.

#2

Start a conversation. Actually, the conversation is already started because He called you. What’s Jesus saying? Remember from #1 that He is good and stay focused on HIS voice so you don’t get confused. None of us get it all right, but just getting started is a major victory! Ask Him a question…. not the “Why did You…” or “Why didn’t You…” questions right now because your emotions will get in the way of your ability to hear. “What are You thinking about?” is always a good starting point. Then listen. He has lots of ways of communicating with us, so pay attention to things around you and listen with your heart. Consider it an adventure instead of a test.

How to be a Freevolutionary

Wondering what “Freevolutionary” means? It is to be part of a company of people who are working to turn the world upside-down so the planet looks more like Heaven than like earth! That means goodness is normal, peace is a reality, and fear is non-existent!

Interested? Then come on a journey with us and see for yourself!

Each day I’m going to post a tip to help you get started. I would love it if you posted to tell me what happens! The following is the first tip. If you are interested in pursuing this more there is a link to the right for the book, The Big Picture.

Happy adventuring!

Carol

#1

Everything starts with Jesus. If you’ve not connected yet, then listen to the voice in your head that encouraged you to read this. He doesn’t sound like all those voices that make you feel insignificant and ashamed! He sounds like hope, and pretty much always feels too good to be true, like maybe you’re not really allowed to listen to a voice that wonderful! That’s Him!

 

 

The Gift of Repentance

Recently I’ve been bowled over by a fresh understanding of the magnitude and simplicity of our freedom in Christ! The more I see of God’s ways the more I fall in love with His goodness!

When I was growing up repentance was a scary word that meant I was one misstep away from hellfire and could only reenter God’s good graces by crawling to Him on my hands and knees.  God was scary and very possibly mean.  Certainly He was holy, but “holy” to me only emphasized how impossible the separation between us had become, and how unworthy I was to ever stand in His presence.

But in the intervening years I’ve come to understand repentance as one of the greatest gifts given to humankind!  If we go back to our basic premise that God entrusted humanity with responsibility for this planet, and that this planet knows evil only because the evil imprisoned here escaped and now manages us, then we begin to understand that the terror we may have experienced with God was because it wasn’t actually God at all, but in inferior imitation with the agenda of keeping us ignorant of our true identity so they could maintain control.

God, in fact, adores us!!!

Our enemy is the beings we might also call “the fallen ones” because they are the ones who fell – or more accurately were cast out of heaven with a heavenly escort that brought them here to planet earth as their place of exile.  They hate us!  Because they have no legal jurisdiction here, they have to rely on OUR authority to get anything done – including keeping us from banding together in an uprising that puts them back where they belong! The gang leader’s name is “satan,” which means “the accuser.”  He gets us to agree with his accusations which he then manipulates us for his own purposes.

We don’t understand what’s happening – we just think we are mad at the person in front of us, or we’ve been stupid about something and are getting exactly what we deserve, or that what is happening is so wrong and must be stopped! Like the cartoon pictures of the demon on the shoulder whispering in a person’s ears, we miss the important fact that we are being told what to think and believe!  When that thinking and believing means we draw a battle line between us and another person, believing them to be our enemy, then we are fraternizing with the enemy!  We agree with what he says instead of what God says!

This is where repentance and forgiveness come into play.  As soon as we recognize that we are facing a person across the battle line, then we know we are in the wrong and can change our mind!  That’s what it really means to repent – to change our mind, turn around, and go the other way!  In this battle scenario repentance means redrawing the line so the enemy stirring us both up is on the other side of the line and we face off against him in a united front!

But what if we still have animosity towards the person with whom we stand?  After all, we’ve likely been offended and offense carries emotional baggage that can be hard to get rid of!  That’s why we have forgiveness.  It’s not an emotion, but a choice to drop all charges and behave as though the offense did not occur.  Even when it is necessary to set boundaries to protect us from physical harm, we separate the human that we love from the oppressor that we hate and realize it is not the person we need protection from, but the oppressor, i.e. the fallen ones who are pressing them.

But the most important battle line we want to eliminate is the one between us and Papa!  When we’ve done wrong our worldly inclination is to hide from Him or to do some kind of lowly penance so He knows that we know how pitiful we are. That sounds holy until we see the model Jesus set out for us in the story of The Prodigal Son.  When this son has agreed with the fallen ones to the point that he now sits feeding pigs, having lost everything and now starving to death, he decides to crawl back in that pitiful state and ask his father to let him be a servant.  But when he comes back he never even gets a chance to voice his plan for servanthood, for his father immediately restores him to the honored position as his son!

It’s shocking that we cannot sin ourselves out of sonship! The only thing that can keep us from Father is if we agree with the enemy that we cannot come to Him! Repentance is always only one step away!  Imagine!  Father loves us so much that He’s not waiting for us to grovel, but to turn!  Humbling ourselves is not doing penance, but acknowledging that we were wrong and the horror of having sided with the ones who hate Father!  He does not beat us when we return, as we expect, but lavishes us with His love and favor!

And that is the good God that I am in love with! When we are at our worst He goes down on one knee, arms stretched wide and whispers, “Turn!  Turn!  You can do it!  I’m right here!  Run!!!!”

Sorting out the heavens…

What God calls “the ordinances of the heavens,” (Job 38:33) or the first, second and third heavens, is a concept present on nearly every page of scripture, just under the surface.  Like the disciples, we always wish God were “speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech,” (John 16:29)  but that’s not how He works.  He is speaking into a hostile environment, much like an agent speaking to people working undercover in a hostile country.  If He spoke plainly then the plans would be subverted and come to naught.  To get deeper truth to us He packs it in a form that creates offense or appears to point in another direction so it can slip by enemy defenses – the border guards – so it reaches us intact.  We have to know God’s character and be friends with Holy Spirit to know how to unpack it.  Proverbs says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” (Proverbs 25:2)  God hides it at one end, we as His agents unpack it at the other end.

So what information about the heavens do we have?  Paul said, “I know a man in Christ who… was caught up to the third heaven.” (2 Corinthians 12:2). He visited a place of unspeakable glory, where God dwells.  “Third” means there are at least two more heavens.  We know that nothing is higher than God, for He tells Job, “Who then is able to stand against Me? Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine.” Solomon said, “And the temple which I build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods. But who is able to build Him a temple, since heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him?

Two heavens are mentioned here, both of which cannot contain God.  One of those implies beings the world calls, “gods” for they have power and can do things we can’t.  If it’s the only “higher power” we know we might be duped into believing they are gods.  But if they are superior beings only because they are fallen angels, then we begin to better understand that realm.  God explains where they came from and some of their limitations in Revelation 12:7-9, “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”  They are banned from heaven, they are cast into the earth, and they are the ones who deceive the whole world.

So where are they if they are cast into the earth?  God leaves another clue in Isaiah 25:7, “And He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations,” and in Ephesians 2:2, “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”  Something evil is trying to separate us from God.  The covering mentioned in Isaiah 25:7 is actually a death shroud. What if all that is referring to the second heaven, the place where the enemy operates?

What if, then, there are three realms of increasing levels of substance and power, realms we might refer to as “heavens”?  What if we inhabit the lowest level, as mortal beings easily subdued, crushed, and killed?  What if the enemy inhabits the second level – albeit illegally – still retaining a measure of their heavenly power and substance but devoid of all life and goodness, trying to keep us separated from Papa God?  And what if the highest level, the greatest of all is our beloved God, dwelling there with His faithful angels?

At first appearances it would seem we are up against impossible odds, for how are we to survive an oppressor who is more powerful than us and entertains himself with our torment?  The shocking fact is that we have been positioned to win!  That second heaven is illegal for it is supposed to be under our feet, and if it were gone then there would be no separation between earth and heaven, thus realizing Jesus’ prayer, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!”  God is utterly for us and is continually thinking up new ways for us to torment the enemy with goodness!  Part of our comeuppance is that we get to have fun doing it – for the enemy’s plan is to create so much pressure that nothing is fun anymore.  We have great joy as we work, and we create an atmosphere in which everyone else gets to experience joy as well!  This is so great!

This model can be used to understand virtually every story, proverb and parable in scripture, or even any story, history, or situation in the world!  Let’s try it out on Psalm 1:

“Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

The man, in his natural state, dwells in the first heaven, subject to all the oppression and heartless toying with that characterizes our low position.  The Lord is in third heaven, giving out the clues for how to live above enemy schemes by sending them through the border guards in the unattractive form called, “laws.”  The enemy sits in-between in the second heaven, trying to subvert the man by creating an atmosphere of ungodliness (living separated from God), of sin (agreement with enemy ways) and scorn.  But this man is not fooled.  He is blessed (kissed by heaven) because he fixes his eyes above the enemy and the pressured circumstances, focusing on God alone.  In spiritual terms we call that “abiding.”  He delights in unpacking the secret, overcoming messages hidden in the law, and with that information is able to draw his nourishment from a greater reality than his oppressor, thus living a life of prosperity and fruitfulness.

Meanwhile, the lot of the failed enemy is to dry up and blow away.  His accusations, when presented to the King are cast aside as worthless – not submissible evidence.  The enemy perishes, the man assisted by God flourishes.

Part of the reason this is such a helpful tool for unpacking God’s secret messages is that the enemy loves to pervert truth – twist what is good just enough that it becomes a lie and keeps us subdued – living an inferior existence under the enemy’s thumb.  To do so he paints shadows into the picture, then blames them on God or on man.  When we focus on our perception that God is unfair or man is irreparably wicked, we fail to notice the enemy has bound us up and is robbing us blind!

But if you just read this post, then you know!  You can extricate garbage planted in your circumstances and discover God’s secret messages to you that will take you up and over every tactic of darkness!  Be empowered to do so and have fun doing it!!!!! Our God is for us and He submits to no one!

Transformed in the Mirror

Walking with God is such an out-of-the-box experience that it is hard to define because every time we do it changes.  The basics remain the same – we have access to Him through Jesus because Jesus paid for all the debts against us to be cancelled and as we walk in agreement with Him the enemy can no longer bind us permanently to sin behaviors.  But the way that plays out on a day-to-day basis changes all the time.  As the pace of the world around us accelerates, so does our rate of change in relationship with God.

2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us that we are being changed from one degree of glory to another as we look into a mirror and see God’s glory.  James 1 says that looking into that mirror is like looking into the perfect law of liberty, or freedom.  Putting these two ideas together means the glory of God, rather than bringing the condemnation we so often associate with it, brings absolute freedom that transforms us into new people!  That’s something I can get really excited
about!

In the James passage the image in the mirror first appears dark, or obscure.  As we grow in obedience and intimacy, eyes fixed on Jesus, that image clears and we ourselves are cleared to more accurately reflect that image.  That’s our journey – not the striving to be good, but striving to enter the rest of God where we gaze on Him and the fruit of who He is manifests itself in us, maturing into fruit that is purer and more accurately reflects heaven as we grow in maturity.

The challenge is to look into that mirror and see ourselves as Jesus sees us – sinless, pure, innocent, beautiful!  Of course, we can’t see ourselves that way and see everyone else through natural, critical eyes!  What a distortion THAT brings!  I wonder whether we can look into that mirror and see others next to us?  That would mean we see them as wonderful as God sees them, full of glory!  When we see them next to us like that, we ALL get to be glorious!  We can speak to that which we see and love them into their next transition as they do the same for us.

As a former image consultant, I’m all too familiar with the condemning image that appears in the mirror for most people.  Standing in front of a mirror in a fitting room is one of the most vulnerable places we can find ourselves. All our weaknesses and insecurities rise up to mock us, bringing the shame that caused Adam and Eve to cover themselves.

It’s so easy to see people’s weaknesses, observing and treating them as though they were the person in the fitting room mirror.  But looking into the perfect mirror of God’s glory gives all of us a safe cocoon in which to be transformed.  Layer by layer the old falls away and the freshly glorious individual emerges, manifesting Jesus on earth as He is known in heaven.

2 Corinthians 3:18, James 1:23-25, 1 John 4:17, 1 Peter 4:8

Subdue the Fire Declarations

A few days ago, when the enemy came against Colorado with fire, I posted the following declarations.  I have modified them a bit, especially to include the addition of rain.  Also, I listed scripture references that may be helpful for those of you who would like to research this way of thinking and praying.  Remember, because Jesus lives in us, we are free to pray with Him instead of towards Him.  Just as Jesus spoke directly to the elements and to situations, so do we, for we are in fact giving His voice opportunity to speak into the world through us.  While the fight against the fires has turned the corner and they are dying, let’s stay with this fight until they are obliterated and rain restores the water levels to perfect balance!

Thank you!!!!

 

Subdue the Fire Declarations
6-13-2013
edited 6-15-2013

By the authority we have in Jesus, we partner with Him to calm the winds and subdue the forces that stir them up (Matthew 28:18, Matthew 8:26):

We speak gently to the wind, “Be at peace! Our command preempts the ones that torment you.” (Mark 4:39-41, 1 John 4:4, Romans 8:19-21)

We speak firmly to the devourer in the fire, “Enough! You are finished. We bind you with your own condemnations and cast you into the sea, sealed there with the blood of Jesus all around.”
(Proverbs 30:16, Matthew 18:6&18, Mark 11:23, John 16:11)

We speak to the grasses, trees and plants, “Do not burn. Partner with us to stop the flames.”
(Luke 17:6, John 14:12, Romans 8:28)

We speak to the clouds, “Bring rain to this parched land, and satisfy its thirst.”
(1 Kings 17:1, Job 38:25-27, Psalm 145:16, James 5:16, 1 John 4:17)

We speak comfort to the region, “Do not be afraid. All that has been stolen will be restored to you. Be at peace.” (Proverbs 6:31, Isaiah 51:3, John 14:27)

We face down the panic that intends to overwhelm us and refuse to be afraid, rejoicing in God and the good He will bring as a result of this attack.
(Romans 8:28, 1 John 4:18, Philippians 4:4-9)

Father, You are a good God, and as Your ambassadors we stand in this space and invite God’s glory into the earth! Comfort those who mourn, restore their joy, and provide for all their needs.
Amen! (Exodus 34:6, Isaiah 61:2, Habakuk 2:14, Matthew 6:10, 2 Corinthians 5:20, Ephesians 6:13, Philippians 4:19)

Rise up like an Eagle – King’s Speech

As promised, today we will “translate” the passage we have been studying, Isaiah 40:28-31, into King’s Speech. It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and it is the glory of kings to discover it. In other words, we will restate the intent of each phrase that we have gleaned from studying it in the light of other scriptures and in light of what God is revealing to us about how to overcome and bring the governance of heaven into the earth.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard?… “

Something new is being revealed to us, something beyond normal comprehension, which we will need new senses to perceive. It’s as if the town cryer, the messenger, is bringing a new word to the village, and that word is good news that hints of victory!

“The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary…”

This message comes from God Himself, the One who is above everything, who lives in the superior third heaven, and who is King of kings and Lord of lords. He has intimate knowledge of the secrets of creation – one of them being the prison He fashioned for evil in the sea. This kind, powerful One is not affected by evil’s pressure – He never gets depressed, weary, overwhelmed, or discouraged, but instead lives with boundless energy, good humor, enthusiasm, and optimism about us!

“His understanding is unsearchable…”

The way that God thinks and understands things comes from a framework far outside of our closed scientific system of natural laws. He thinks from heaven, which has no limits, where nothing is impossible. Not only that, but it is so mysterious that no one can bring clarity to it except the Holy Spirit. Because evil does not have access to Him, they are handicapped by their inferior perception of circumstances.

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength…”

One characteristic of God’s impossible way of thinking, is that He has incredible compassion for humankind who has been victimized and overrun by evil. He is on our side, and He is extremely generous, so He takes from His store of power and glory and makes it available to us so we can overcome. He sent Jesus to break the death sentence set against us for fraternizing with the enemy, and He sends His Holy Spirit to train us and make us powerful to carry our our mission here of subduing the earth.

“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall…”

Youths and young men represent our best earthly shot at overcoming. They are not enough. Our most powerful, most brilliant representatives, even taken collectively in a massive army, are not enough, nor of the right fabric to overcome evil. They suffer from the pressure just like everyone else, falling under the schemes and sorrows.

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…”

Our hope lies in God’s superior strength and substance, which will press the ENEMY down instead of them sitting on us! We access that strength in a magnificent partnership of love and friendship where God lives in us and we live in Him. We are bound together as one, twisted together into an unbreakable cord that holds under all the pressure the enemy can exert against us. We are new creations in Christ, a generous hybrid of God and man that is a beautiful thing to behold!

“They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Made free because Jesus took upon Himself the condemnation the enemy intended for us, we have access to the wonders of the third heaven because that is where God lives. We are not consigned to wrestling with the enemy in the second heaven, on his terms, but instead fly freely in permissions we have barely begun to explore! In the process of transformation we may find the enemy still affects us on occasion, but even then we do not get weary or depressed, and we never give up! Our inheritance is to win, and God is fully committed to training us up as sons and daughters that look and act just like Him and defeat evil just like He does.
So take these permissions, these promises, beloved, and let Holy Spirit be your Divine Coach who loves you, is loads of fun, and loves to provoke the bully of an enemy that tried to defeat you. He will help you stomp on it, but far more exciting, He will take you on adventures and to places you never dreamed you could go, bringing God’s glorious rule everywhere!

Rise up like an Eagle 4

For several days we have been mining Isaiah 40:28-31 to get the full benefit of all God would say to us in these words. Our understanding has increased, we have witnessed the structures of the first, second and third heavens, and we have twisted together with God in the process of waiting that makes divine partnership possible. Today we will look at flying, running and walking in the context of living as third heaven beings in partnership with God in the earth.

But first, let’s review the verses again:
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

In this state of abiding in God, we are no longer subject to the pressures the enemy exerts on the earth. That doesn’t mean we never experience bad things, it means we are neither discouraged nor defeated by them. Imagine walking on the moon, where there is no atmosphere to press you to the moon’s surface, so simple steps become huge, bounding leaps! That’s a bit like what’s happening in this passage. Living beyond the press of evil means we escape it’s confines – and that’s where flying comes in. We have access in the spirit realm to all kinds of activities that are not humanly possible in our natural state.

This is not New Age stuff. It may be End Age stuff, for Joel tells us, and Peter quotes it again in Acts 2, that the Holy Spirit will be poured out on ALL flesh (twisted together, becoming one with us). That will cause us to see things we could not see before – visions and dreams – and talk about things of heaven that we did not understand before – prophesy. John describes it in John 3:8 that we will come and go like the wind that can’t be seen itself, but can be witnessed by its affect. These are all spirit-realm activities we get to be part of because we are twisted together with God. Isaiah spoke of these days, but they were not made accessible to us until Jesus broke sin’s power to keep us earthbound.

Hence flying. While it sounds mysterious, it’s really not all that strange. You have probably all done some version of it at one time or another. The old hymn, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” That’s flying. That’s looking into the spirit realm, not through some “third eye” that only sees into the lying second heaven, but through the Holy (pure, no evil, utterly good) Spirit who guides us in the unseen through the eyes of heaven.

But flying is more than just seeing. It is partnering with God in that realm to carry out His will, to rule the earth and take dominion over evil with His goodness. It means we grow up from the two-year-old who insists his parents tie his shoes, into the fully mature sons and daughters who are well-schooled in Father’s ways and trusted to carry them out just like He would if He were here… which He is, because remember this presupposes that we are already twisted together with Him in the waiting process.

But what of running and walking? If this were progressive – learning to walk, then run, then fly – it would be listed in the reverse order from this passage. Here, we fly FIRST! There are likely many ways to look at this, but here is what I see. We are in process. While our intent is always to fly as high as possible, oblivious to the pressures of this world, sometimes we get taken down and find that we must default to running instead. But we don’t run as mere humans, we run with supernatural peace and stamina that keep us from getting discouraged even when it doesn’t look like we are winning. And sometimes when we are running we get stalled further and find we must walk. But the strength we have in God means that even at this slow pace we do not get weary or despair, and we never, ever give up! It says, in effect, that we cannot be stopped, even when we are slowed in our process.

Jesus said, “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36) There are lots of adventures out there waiting for you, my friend! You are not earthbound, you are heaven bound! As you abide in Jesus, looking full in His beautiful face, ask Him where He wants to take you!

Tomorrow I will try to recap this passage by putting it into King’s speech form. I would love to hear from you what you are experiencing and what doors might be opening up for you in this journey!

Rise up like an Eagle 3

In my last blog, I spoke of the three heavens – our frailty as earthly creatures in the first heaven, the enemy who oppresses the earth from the second heaven, and the glorious substance of God in the third heaven that trumps all others. I mentioned that God helps us, but I didn’t explain how.

I love Jesus’ words to His disciples on this subject, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation (pressure); but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) He is explaining that we, as part of this temporal world, are subject to the pressure of the enemy, but that He is over them and invites us into the peace and joy of His world that is unaffected by the weariness and fatigue caused by their pressure.

But how? Let’s look at our Isaiah passage again:
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

The key is found in the words, “but those who wait on the Lord…” Something happens when we wait on God. Many have interpreted this to mean that we sit back in a state of static passivity, challenging God to fly in and rescue us. It is noteworthy that God gives US the wings to fly – He does not fly and leave us to do nothing. Remember that He is not parenting perennial toddlers that never progress into maturity, but royal sons and daughters who govern the earth on their Father’s behalf!

So waiting is not passive, but active. It is the anticipation and expectancy of a hunter lying in wait for his prey – every sense and muscle at the ready for the moment when he is to spring into action. We are waiting for the signal from our King to take action, to move forward. And as we act with this economy of effort and motion we have great endurance. But there is much more.

The word that unlocks this whole passage is the original Hebrew word for wait, “qavah,” which means to be bound together, or twisted together like a cord. It brings to mind the proverb, “Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12) Here, it is not us bound to another person that saves us, but us being bound, or twisted together with God that makes us powerful

When we see that God’s reality overcomes every other reality, and that He wants to be bound together with us so we can overcome, too, suddenly the source of our strength and the reason Jesus emphasizes the need for abiding becomes clear. Salvation is not just “inviting Jesus into your heart.” While that is important, being twisted together with God is the mysterious reality of Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit inhabiting our mortal bodies, while at the same time we are “in” them. In some way, we are occupying the same space. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:6 that we are seated with Christ in heavenly places. That’s not a future reality, it’s meant to be for now. It’s meant so we can live above the pressure of the enemy that causes all negative circumstances. We are not subject to his emotions, nor his reality, because we are part of a superior reality that is on earth as it is in heaven.

Abiding, or being twisted together with God, means that we are becoming like Him. We fix our eyes on Him because we become what we behold. We lose ourselves in worship, where heaven’s reality becomes more real than this earth. We listen to and dialogue with God so His heart and ways become our heart and ways. We practice obeying His voice until every action is instinctively synced with heaven. We reach out to experience His love because being bound with someone, like marriage, is an act of love. We love Him because He loved us first and we cannot resist Him!

Tomorrow we will look at the result of this incredible partnership – the ability to fly, to run, and to walk, all with a lightness of heart that is free indeed!

Rise up as an Eagle 2

The government of God, or the “ordinances of the heavens,” as God refers to it in Job 38:33, is a hierarchal system of greater and lesser realities. It is what we often refer to as the first, second and third heavens. All of scripture uses this system, using different words to describe them. For instance, a few verses earlier in our Isaiah passage, Isaiah 40:6-8, when it speaks of mankind as similar to the grass of the field that is gone when the wind blows over it, it is referring to the temporal or insubstantial condition of this world as compared to the other heavens.

The easiest way to see it is that all things measurable by scientific means or tangible to our five senses are part of the first heaven. All the work of the devil is in the second heaven, which makes it superior to our natural beings so we are vulnerable to their attacks. The third heaven is an even greater reality, and is the kingdom of God. All things are subject, or vulnerable, to God and His kingdom, and the enemy can no longer access third heaven because he was removed from it (Rev. 12:7-9). Understanding the simplicity of this hierarchy unravels much of the complexity and intimidation of the unseen realms.

The passage I introduced yesterday, Isaiah 40:28-31, is giving us information about how to navigate these three heavens and how to overcome the enemy in their midst. Let’s look at it again:

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

“Everlasting God” provides the clues that God exists outside of time and space. He has neither beginning nor end and is not subject to the laws of time that govern our first heaven. He is Lord – Master of everything and able to force submission if He chose to do so. Nothing is superior to Him, so nothing can press Him down – which is what causes weariness. As we read of Him hope rises within us when we remember this great, wonderful, third-heaven Being loves us with stubborn passion! All this power is FOR us! He is on our side!

The second heaven beings are mysteriously hidden in this passage, as they often are in scripture. They are ugly to look at and sickening to watch, so it is best to focus on them as little as possible. We are aware of their presence in this passage because of their effect on us – they cause even our very best and strongest, our youths and young men, to faint and grow weary. These words go beyond simple exhaustion caused by physical exertion to include the emotional fatigue and depression that push us into despair.

The lowly first heaven is represented by mankind at their most vulnerable. We are the weak, the ones who have no might, the youths and young men whose strength is no match for the press against them. If this were the end of the story, it would leave us in the sorry state of vulnerability to everything the enemy throws at us – weariness, disease, poverty, addiction, abuse, and bondage of all sorts.

But here is where the real message of this passages becomes clear! We can see that each heaven is progressively more substantial, more real, more weighty – therefore it subdues or presses down the ones below it. We are pressed down by second heaven, but second heaven is pressed down by third heaven – by kingdom. Here our wonderful, loving God steps into our predicament as He so loves to do, and gives us the advantage. He “gives power,” He “increases strength,” He “renews their strength.”

That’s for US! That’s for you and I in the very circumstances we find ourselves! Do you see it, beloved? He has made a way for you to be empowered, to rise up, to fly!

The words “tribulation” and “trouble” in the Hebrew language of the Old Testament literally mean, “pressure.” The “Great Tribulation” Christians are terrified of facing is really the “Great Pressure,” and God has made provision for us so we can be strong in the midst of any pressure. Eagles in the natural have the ability to take the fury of a storm and use it to rise high above the turbulence into the sunshine and peace of high altitudes. That’s what God is giving us. The greater the opposition, the higher we fly!

Tomorrow we will discover the key to accessing this wonderful provision!

 

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