Adjusting Perspective

“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, …But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches in His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 2:1, 4-7 NASB

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
Colossians 3:1-2 NASB

The perspective of our thoughts and prayers will determine what we “see.” If we are looking from this earth’s perspective up then they will be earth-bound in nature and have much frustration in what we see as answered or not.

If, however, they are prayers and thoughts from the perspective of being seated in Him on the Throne, then they will have heaven’s perspective and are fruit bearing thoughts and words of life. I am struck in my heart with this truth. Oh, our Father is so gracious that He always hears us and always moves with us, but to finally “see” that my perspective makes a huge difference in how I approach my day-to-day thinking, prayers and activities is a burst of hope and power.

We must begin. We must begin to switch our point of view and open to heaven’s input. Otherwise, we are just repeating the obvious. At this point in my life, time is precious and I do not want to just be repeating what I have heard nor do I want only the thoughts of other people in my head. I want the life-giving breath of heaven’s view nurturing my soul.

Scripture is very important here. His own words are always honored and always engender and build faith in the unseen. We begin to “see” in our spirits and our minds the ways of heaven delivered in life through the pages of His book. This is a new world and one where I know little. So as we place ourselves where we have been told by Scripture itself to place ourselves – in Christ seated on the eternal Throne of Glory – thinking His thoughts and “seeing” His world – let us think and pray in ways that release all He is in our world.

This takes some time to adjust to in our minds, thoughts, and prayers. (It is in the category of “taking our thought’s captive.”) But begin with me and let’s watch our hearts rise in expectation as we talk with Him (I think that is what we mean by prayer anyway) about what He sees and knows. What a joy to relax in His love and acceptance here – above it all. It is not a matter of “work,” but a matter of focus and intent. Let’s believe the Word and put it into life as we love Him.

The Mystery

“Even the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints; to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory;” Colossians 1:26-27 KJV(ER)

I am constantly amazed and delighted with this passage of Scripture. The word “mystery” is simply a secret that has been hidden, but now is made available to all who call on the name of Jesus. This passage is endless in discovery as we read the Word. Almost every time I study it, read it, or just look at it, I begin to understand things I have not known previously. As the understanding grows, so does my excitement. As those who dwell in His heart as He dwells in ours so much becomes available to us in this new way of living. It is excitement over and over again in my spirit and in my heart.

This mystery of “Christ in you” is more than a statement, much more. It is the key to understanding everything in the New Creation Covenant (2 Corinthians 5:17). This Lord of ours has chosen to reside inside of each of us through the Holy Spirit. We have been made a son or daughter of our Father and have been created completely new from the inside out. The opportunities and consequences of that fact are eternal. Now everything is changed – my breath is His, His mind is mine, my heart is His, His heart is mine. Together we live and move and have our being.

We have known all along that we were not alone. But for years, many of us have worshipped a God outside of ourselves, not really related to us, and our requirement was to obey. I did not know the reality and the fullness of the fact that when He came inside, then the fulfilled law in Him was also in me as well as the motivation and the strength to be obedient. Beyond that, now the knowledge and strength to do the works of Christ Himself is in this body we call home.

The fulfilled law – that is what happened through Jesus’ life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension to the Throne of Glory. He fulfilled it and He became it. When He came inside of us at our invitation, then that fulfilled law came as well. So as one of my college teachers said, “The Law did not change, but our position to it did change.” Now we do not try to “keep” it, because it is already kept for us and in us. However, we do confirm or establish it. Romans 3:31 “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.” Our lives in grace and love confirm that God was right all along and the law is established as truth in and through us.

Trying to “keep” what is already kept, will lead us into legalism that can never be successful in our walk. We always fail that way. Some even refuse to understand their freedom and disregard the New Creation Covenant because of their stanch legal understanding of trying to keep what is already done. This mystery of Jesus inside us is the revealer of such false doctrine.

Holiness is not attained, it is a gift of grace through the presence of Jesus Christ. I think that understanding will find its way into another post shortly.

Thank you for reading and be very blessed in Him!

Glories Await our Minds and Hearts

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As I read my Bible portion for the day, I was caught by what the Greek OT (LXX) translates Psalm 51:6,

“For behold you love truth; the concealed things and the private things of your wisdom you manifested to me.”

That is a bit different from our English Bibles, and a bit different from my available Hebrew text. Yet the difference is in the call of the translators. I really like the fact that the concealed things and the private things of the LORD’s wisdom He shows to us.

We have other supporting passages, so my search took to me to Psalm 25:10 which has long been a favorite of mine.

In the NASB it reads,

“All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.”

The LXX renders it,

“All the ways of the LORD are mercy and truth to the ones seeking his covenant and his testimonies.”

Then the Hebrew,

“All the paths of the LORD are covenant loyalty to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.”

I love the Hebrew text here mainly because in it we get a sense of Him responding in like-kind when we respond in like-kind. In other words, the Biblical understanding of “covenant” is revealed as a sovereign action by our LORD to establish relationship based on grace. “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Genesis 6:8. Noah was selected because of His heart. It became then a mutual bonding in covenant loyalty. This is often overlooked.

Yes, I am letting you in on some of my study methods. I do have several outstanding language texts and am very blessed with the internet and all its very available resources in the languages — which I would like to know much better. However, my heart just warmed in the translation of the understanding of His covenant loyalty to me as I respond the same way to Him.

When we begin to receive the truth of the New Creation Covenant in Christ and receive the facts of the word, then we began to open to the impossible. There really needs to be a re-directing of our thought patterns in our relationship/fellowship in Him. The impossible just became possible and as we open to this truth our minds are re-directed to inclusion and not separation. He has included us in everything. He has shared with us in everything.

His aim is not that He would become our highest priority, but rather than we would enter into the “oneness” He has provided and then there will be no question about priority because we will be sharing everything. (This is a true understanding of Biblical fellowship in Him.) He wants us to sit with Him on His Throne (which is the same as the Throne in our hearts) and see what He sees — and that is beyond any understanding of goodness we can think or imagine. We struggle to discover language that adequate tells of His placement within us. He has fused Himself with us and now every thought and every action include both of us. This depth of sharing is uncomfortable at first, then when we realize it has actually become the answer we have been waiting for all along. Our love center is suddenly complete and we are empowered beyond anything we have dreamed to simply “be” in Him.

1 Corinthians 6:17 reads,

“But the one who joins himself to the LORD is one spirit with Him.”

The inclusion is total. No more do we relate to Him as if we are some stranger or in need of something. He has provided everything in this depth of fellowship and now enjoys the fullness of what He has purchased — our hearts. Then He begins to share with us the concealed things and the private things of His wisdom. Oh Beloved Ones, it is much better than we have ever, ever thought!

Someone will wonder, “But what about sin?” In this place of sweet fellowship, sin does not raise its name. Hebrews 10:1-2,

“For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?”

In other words, the sacrifice of the LORD worked.

10:14 “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days says the LORD: I will put My Laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them,’ He then says, ‘and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.”

I recommend the reading of the entire passage, especially 10:1-25.

I have only said what this passage says. So let’s take the confidence and live within Him. This calls for true Biblical repentance – a change of mind. That is what the word used in the Greek for “repentance” means.

What absolute glories of His heart await our curious minds and hearts. Let’s allow these truths to be the re-direction of our thoughts and lives. Let the Son rise within our beings!

Progressiver Revelation

This phrase, progressive revelation, bothers everyone who does not understand what it means. Of course, I am talking about the Word. The Word of God. The Bible. It progressively reveals Jesus, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. Most folk will agree with that statement.

However, when we are talking about “progressive revelation” within any passage of scripture, then the misunderstanding begins.

Our God is a multi-dimensional God. He is limitless and endless. This is true in reference to the depth of the understanding of His Word as well. I have been teaching Colossians in our Friday Fellowships during the past few weeks. I spent 2 weeks on Colossians 1 and feel like I barely touched the surface in those two teaching times (app. 45-55 minutes each). Then came Colossians 2 and I have spent two separate Friday meetings on that as well. Yet, there is so much more.

Once we get through doing, what seems to us as an in-depth study of the passage, just about the time we think we have it, you know that Eureka moment, we discover that we have only brushed its surface and there is so much more there. My quandary as a teacher is, do I go on or do I re-visit and discover what is there waiting for us.

It is easy to say re-visit, but that must be weighed in prayer with Him. I never know who is coming to each meeting (with a few staff exceptions), so only He knows what I need to do. It would seem logical to just plan out our times and map our the scriptures I plan to cover, but that does not work for these sessions very well, if I am to hear the Lord and then respond to what He unveils in my study.

I move away from using the word “depth” and prefer instead to use “dimensions,” for the simple reason that it is a combination of the two, but when only looked at with “depth” eyes, we miss a key way to “see” and therefore miss dimension. Also, folk have a tendency to shy from depth, settling instead for a beginners understanding of what the Word says. Oh the depths of the riches of Christ Jesus, revealed in and through His Spirit as we allow Him to open the gates of heaven while we read, study and meditate on what He has written for us.

May we not be fearful of the phrase “progressive revelation” at all, when it is being used of the action of the Holy spirit throughout the Scriptures.