Suffer in the Flesh.
Jesus suffered in the flesh. Not sinful flesh but just human flesh. He faced things which as a human being, he would find hard. That is where we suffer too. There are things we find hard just because we are limited and wired a certain way for this earth.
This means for all sons who would learn obedience, that there are many choices we need to make every day to obey God rather than ourselves; to please the Father rather than please ourselves. My flesh would like to give someone a piece of my mind but I can chose to be quiet. My flesh would like to sleep in for another hour but I chose not to. My flesh would like to keep the $500 I found on the foot path, but you chose not to. Watch a TV program about strippers but you choose to too. I’d like to work on my message but I also know my wife wants to go for a walk. For married men life is simple. Just live to please God and then please your wife.
Friend, Esau gave up his inheritance to follow the flesh. He traded it in for a mess of pottage, and we too, cannot follow the flesh without putting our birthright at risk.
The Promised Land looked awesome as it stretched out before them. It was very productive and easy to see why other nations wanted to live there. But Israel listened to the unbelief of the ten spies and failed to go in.
One of the great lessons of Old Testament is that unbelief and fear will keep us from the Promised Land. All the people of Israel were accepted by God as His people because of the atoning blood of the Passover lamb but sadly not all were approved. Remember it says in Corinthians that God was not pleased with many of them. This means the whole nation except Joshua and Caleb.
Acceptance in Christ is not the same as approval. Every believer is accepted in the beloved. We have acceptance in Christ but it is not the same as approval. In adoption the father says “this is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,” Approval is public. Every son ready to be approved and adopted will have learned obedience. So Jesus learned obedience before he was publicly adopted by the father. He was born the son of God but he had to grow up to be strong in spirit and become a mature son by his obedience! Obedience is something that every son learns.
Friend, let’s non fail to enter in. Let’s obey and not listen to any who are talking or living fear or unbelief.
Robert Kyosaki, the man who wrote Rich dad Poor dad, told a story of a wealthy man who said he would not give an inheritance to his children until his children had gone out and with their own money, made a small fortune. He knew that if the child didn’t learn how to manage his own small amount of money, it would be unsafe for the father to give them a large inheritance. Every father enjoys seeing their children grow up and is waiting for them to mature so he is able to truly share life together and ultimately his inheritance with them.
God is not about to give his inheritance to babies but mature sons, and the different Greek words for children and sons in the New Testament illustrates the growth of sons.
First there is Paidion, which means a baby; then Nepios, a young child; Teknon, a young person and finally Huis, a mature son ready to be adopted. 1Jn 3:1
In the Roman culture a son was adopted when they were grown up and mature. Jesus grew through all these stages, and when he was fully mature and ready to share the responsibilities and authority of the Father, he was publically adopted at his baptism and ready to begin his ministry.
Friend, God has an inheritance for you. The more you mature, the more you become ready for more of your inheritance.
Our Heavenly Father is a good Dad. He has plans for us. When I was born my Dad loved me, but like all Dads, he was thinking beyond just loving, beholding and doting. He was thinking training! Make the boy into something, forge some character into him. Fathers think about working together in the future. To ensure that, Dad then just modeled the life he wanted me to live. I became like him in many ways. A farmer thinks a son will take over the farm, or at least grow up to work in the family business.
Jesus was aware fully of this expectation upon him. He said, “My Father is working and I am working too. He didn’t just dip His feet in the Sea of Galilee saying “Gee I’m loved”. No He said “I do only those things that please the Father, and when he approached the cross He was looking forward to the future, when He would be given his inheritance. Psa 2: 7-8
As his sons and daughters, we too are loved by Father, but His plan doesn’t stop there. We are his sons and daughters for a reason. He wants us to share in Christ’s inheritance with Him. Ephesians declares that in the ages to come He plans to show His great kindness toward us. We can only imagine what that might mean. But it sounds great to me.
What we do already know, is that God plans some awesome things for us not in eternity but here on the earth; to bring us into life in all its fullness.
Friend, God has a great inheritance for you; greater that anything your earthy father could wish of give to you. Reach out for it!
Hearing from God can be a challenge but one story in the bible can help us.
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. They did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid. Then a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” Mark 9.7
When Peter saw Jesus in glory he said in effect “Let’s build a place where you can stay, so I’ll know where to find you next time.” Fathers response was to speak from the cloud “This is my Son hear him.” Father was saying you have to set your heart to seek and listen to Him; there is not going to be a pattern to follow; it will be different each time. God’s voice may be a spontaneous flow of thoughts from the Spirit. Jn7.37. For Jesus said “The water I give will be a fountain of water springing up to eternal life” Other times we might ask Him questions about how He feels about us, and listen for His voice from within our spirits or a word that speaks to us from the bible.
This works a little like prayer ministry. we all have lies we believe that affect the way we see God, life and ourselves. As we look to see if Jesus is saying something to us or showing something to us and when they do see or hear His voice, the change in our mind and life is many times quite profound. What God thinks of us, breaks the lies of the devil. We can have our own counselling session just with God our Father. We can write down what we feel He’s saying and finally ensure it lines up with the Word of God, and the counsel of others.
Friend, begin a fresh to spend time with our Father, and it will take time. Look for God to show His heart to us and to change our hearts. As we hear Him, it will change the way we see God and see ourselves.
If we are like most people, we have images in our mind of our Dads, and based upon those images and thoughts about our natural father we approach our heavenly Father. Likewise we have images of Jesus in our hearts from reading the bible and based upon those images we come to Him in confidence. Of course sometimes that image can be distorted, so what is Jesus really like?
Jesus is full of Grace and Truth meaning we should see the Lord Jesus as a friend. See Him smiling at you; that is what grace and mercy looks like. If a child of yours came to you in need of mercy, maybe they were in pain, you would meet them with a smile and tenderness and do what you could to help.
In seeing our Father or Jesus, meeting us with a smile and tenderness, we can come to the throne of grace to find mercy.
Regardless of how He appears in our mind, His physical form is irrelevant.
As we spend time with Him, we can ask and wait for Him to lead us to a story in the gospels Where we can behold him full of grace and truth. Look forHim there. Sometimes I just choose a place in the gospels and I look for him there. Maybe sitting on the well, maybe by the lake, maybe sitting in the temple, but I’m just waiting and looking and when it comes, I let the scene come alive. The Spirit may cause the story and Jesus to take on a life of its own.
Once I was seeing him by the lake. He hugged me, smiled at me, waved to me and once He took me by the hand and led me forward, while walking backward, He was really excited about where He was leading me.
Some days I don’t see or hear anything straight away but I’ve learned that He speaks in so many differing ways. So it is a mystery each day; there is nothing predictable, when it comes down own to trying to follow Him.
Friend, Jesus wants to meet with us; the Spirit wants to reveal Jesus to us as we seek Him. Follow any impression that comes to you; they may be very light; just to a fleeting image or thought. Follow it whether a verse or a picture. Begin a romance of seeking and pursuing.
One day while I was in prayer, I saw a picture of the Lord sitting on the well. When I got closer to it, I noticed it was dry, filled with rubble and rubbish. That was not part of the familiar picture so when I asked Him I felt He said “The only time people throw rubbish into a well is when it’s empty. When they come to a well expecting to find water and find that it never delivered, what it promised. No one rubbishes the church when it full of Living Water. People don’t come to find rules they don’t turn up hoping to get ten things to do before God will meet them; they come to find life giving, pure rivers of love, flowing into their heart.
Every local church is a well of living water, where any sinner or Samaritan can come in their shame and rejection and meet the Lord. He sits enthroned on the well. The well was the throne of grace, were she came find mercy and help in her time of need. We are to be a place where they can come thirsty and go away satisfied by Living Water.
Friend, all over the world I hear the sound of the wells filling up. Are you ready for thirsty visitors?
The farmer had sowed his seed and as the wheat sprung up, tares sprung too up; just when he was expecting a good harvest. It seems sometimes, that in the midst of the best of life, we deal with the worst of life. (Matthew 13) Because of the kingdom principle of sowing and reaping, we know there are some things we can cause to happen by sowing. We know when people are blessed often it is because they have sowed. It also means that people can’t get what others have got and till they have done what the others did. We know that to change what we are reaping in life we only have to change what we are sowing.
However sometimes it seems that whenever a person is on the brink of fruitfulness and productiveness the enemy will sow tares in their field and life circumstances. Maybe you can see them in your field today? If you know it was not from your sowing, it is probably the work of the enemy. No one receives a harvest without some conflict.
Friend, you may be on the brink of a great harvest, so if there are some tares appearing, keep declaring Gods power and purpose in your problem and when the time is right, God will deal with the tares and even if it seems that He leaves it there till “harvest time” He will give you grace that will be more than sufficient.