233. Wider, Deeper, Longer, Higher

Mike Parsons
and Jeremy Westcott

Face to face

From the beginning we were created to have an intimate relationship with God. Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37-38 to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind” and in John 14:6 that the only way we can come to the Father is through Him. Face to face engagement reveals the reality of who God truly is – Love – and exposes the untruths we may have assimilated over the years. Jesus is the ultimate expression of that Love, so if it doesn’t look like Jesus then it probably isn’t Love.

God wants us to know the truth of who He is and who we are as His children. It is the tactic of the accuser to get us to think wrongly about God and about ourselves. As long as we see God as having a dark side, we will never trust him completely. There will always be a slight fear that contradicts love.

Quantum physics 1.01

For example, somehow we have come to believe that God cannot look upon sin, and that He has to turn His face away. If it were true that He could not look upon sin, we would not be here! Quantum physics 1.01 tells us that if He were to stop observing us, we would cease to exist.

On the cross, when Jesus quoted the opening words of Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He was drawing people’s attention to the content of the whole psalm and its relevance to the events playing out before them. But He had previously told his disciples:

“Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me” (John 16:32).

We can clearly see that the hour He was referring to was His crucifixion. According to Jesus, the Father never turned His face away from Him. He was right there with Him.

God’s justice

How could we have got this wrong? The answer is, because we have got something even more fundamental wrong too. We think that on the cross Jesus was taking our punishment for us, suffering the wrath of a vengeful God in judgment that should have fallen upon us. We are used to our human justice system which requires retributive justice – payback – but the truth is that God’s justice is always restorative. We will look at this whole subject of the atonement in detail in another post, but for now let’s consider what the cross was about, if not punishment.

The sin

The original Greek word for ‘sin’ used most often in the New Testament is ‘hamartia’. It is a noun (the sin) not a verb (to sin). ‘The sin’ is the sin of Adam, choosing to follow the DIY pathway of the tree of knowledge of good and evil rather than the pathway of the tree of life. From Adam we all inherited spiritual death (which is a lost relationship with God and lost personal identity), so like Adam we are living in something less than God’s original blueprint or design for us, not recognising our true identity as a person made in His image.

So the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23 NASB), but God has a solution ready: for as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22). ‘The sin’ did not need to be punished, as religion would have us believe, but forgiven, corrected, dealt with and removed. We cannot earn God’s forgiveness by doing ‘good’ things (that is the DIY tree again): forgiveness is God’s gift to each of us in Christ.

The word of reconciliation

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:19).

The Greek word for ‘the world’ in that verse is ‘cosmos’: it certainly includes the whole planet, and much more besides. Jesus came to reconcile and restore absolutely everything and everyone in the whole of creation back into relationship with God. That is exactly what He accomplished through his death and resurrection, and now we all share in the victory of the cross and resurrection life. In relationship with God we all have a restored identity, knowing we are accepted, forgiven, blessed, and made righteous.

Since we now have the same ministry of reconciliation that Jesus had, we choose to show love and mercy to others just as He has shown love and mercy to us. What is more, the more we engage with the real God, the wider, deeper, longer and higher we perceive that love and mercy to be.

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232. The Greatest Scandal of the Age

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

New things

“Behold, the former things have come to pass,
Now I declare new things;
Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”
(Isa 42:9)

Think of everything in your life that has already come to pass… and now God is saying ‘I declare new things’. Everything that is old has gone, everything that may have brought feelings of unworthiness, guilt and shame, and it has all gone because of the power of the cross.

The old things can no longer be of any use to us, if in fact they ever were. God has already decreed and declared for us a new place of relationship. We need to be aware that the old things have gone, so that we can accept the new things that the power of Jesus’ resurrection has opened up for us.

As those who are called to rule and reign as sons of God, we need to know God as our Father, otherwise we will operate as if we were orphans, as if we did not have a relationship with Him. What is more, we are made in God’s image, but if the image we have of Him is distorted then we will act in a distorted way. So if our view of God has Him as angry and vengeful, that is exactly how we will be as sons – and if you look at the world, it is an angry, vengeful place. Much of that has come from the way religion has presented Him: even though people may not ‘believe in God’, that is still the image they have of the God they don’t believe in. So God wants to reveal Himself to us, and to the world, in a completely different way.

Scandal

God spoke to me towards the end of 2016 and said,

“Son, the greatest scandal of the age is about to be exposed. Many will not believe it but the truth of who I am (and therefore who you are as My sons) will be revealed. The lies of religion will be exposed to the pure light of truth. The great I am is about to reveal Himself as the lover of your souls in what will amount to a whole new reality”.

So everything that we have believed about God and the version of reality that religion has presented to the church and the world, God is about to expose as a complete lie. And when it is exposed we will be able to see the truth of who God is and who we are.

The sin

We can engage God face to face, because it was never Him who hid from us, only the other way round. When Adam and Eve fell, and God came to find them in the Garden, He did not say ‘What have you done?’ He said, ‘Where are you?’ They were hiding because they were focussed on what they had done, but He was still looking for relationship. The enemy will always try to keep us focussed on what we have done, but God never is.

Sin is not really about behaviour, it is not about what we have done wrong. The most common word for ‘sin’, used 174 times in the New Testament, is ‘hamartia’. It is a noun, not a verb, ‘the sin’ rather than ‘to sin’, and it is not about our ‘doings’ at all. Religion is mostly concerned with ‘doings’: as if all these bad things we have done mean that God does not really like us, and does not want a relationship with us. But whatever we may have done does not affect how God sees us or how much He loves us. We just think it does.

The DIY tree

Sin brings its own consequences. Young’s literal translation of Romans 6:23 says,

For the wages of the sin [is] death, and the gift of God [is] life age-during in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The sin did not need to be punished but forgiven, corrected, dealt with and removed. This is what Jesus accomplished by his death and resurrection. He did not come to deal with our individual actions, as much as He came to deal with sin as a power, something that was at the very root of our situation. It was the sin of Adam in following the DIY path of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, trying to become like God by his own do-it-yourself efforts. That is what Jesus came to deal with; everything else is just a consequence of that.

Although the serpent said “If you eat of this tree you will become like God”, the truth was that Adam was already created in the likeness and image of God. Adam failed to grasp and hold onto his true identity and likeness from God’s perspective. So whilst God has never changed how He sees us, Adam suddenly saw himself as less than he was. In this spiritual blindness about himself and about God, he lost sight of the fact that he shared and participated in God’s own image and likeness.

That blindness has affected everyone ever since. We try to hide and cover up our nakedness with fig leaves because we have believed a lie about how God sees us. We do not see ourselves the way God really sees us or the way He created us to be. The spiritual death we have inherited is fundamentally a loss of relationship with God and a loss of personal identity.

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive (1 Cor 15:22).

Just as we all inherited that spiritual death and blindness from Adam; just as we all shared in the spiritual-soul-death that it created, so we all share in the victory of the cross and Jesus’ resurrection life.

Love

When we do engage God face to face, we will see what He is really like. God is love. Everything He does is love. Think of that, then compare how religion has depicted Him! Often those non-believers I mentioned earlier seem to be fine with Jesus but they are not so sure about ‘God’. Jesus came to share the truth of who He was and who His Father was. In reality, He is not some sort of schizophrenic, He does not have a split personality. Father, Son and Spirit are in complete unity, and if you have seen Jesus you have seen the Father.

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227. Lost Destiny Restored

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Purpose

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

We can only love God because He first loved us. The Father sent Jesus because He loves us. All He is looking for is for us to respond to that love and come into a relationship with Him. Then we will begin to know that we have been called according to His purpose.

Do we know what that purpose is? Are we seeking for it? Are we just aimlessly wandering around hoping it will materialise for us? Or are we self-absorbed, living only for the present, wrapped up in trivial self-gratification, in material possessions, position or power?

Perhaps it is buried deep within our hearts, beneath layers of disappointment, frustration and regret built up over the years over generations. God wants us to discover it again. He desires us to know the thoughts He has about us (Psalm 139:17 NLT) thoughts of love, acceptance, affirmation, encouragement and blessing. Accomplishing God’s purpose for us brings fulfilment; achieving any other purpose we may substitute for it brings only emptiness.

When we come into this world our spirit is disconnected from God; our spirit is disconnected from our soul; our spirit is disconnected from heaven. We start out as slaves to sin, feeling rejected and disconnected from the sonship God designed us to enjoy.

Legacy

Destiny should lead to legacy, something left behind to bless the next generation. Not many have a Christian heritage – if you do, it is something to cherish and be thankful for. But every person who ever lived had a destiny, a purpose for their lives which God intended them to fulfil. We may feel like we have missed out on ours but God is able to restore everything stolen from us, including not only our own destiny but also that of our generational line.

Each individual’s destiny is a vital part of the overall plan and purpose of God. His plan has not changed since He called Adam and Eve to bring heaven to earth, to manifest the rule of God in this realm and populate the earth with people who would live in relationship with Him. God’s intention has always been to bring blessing to every family that would ever live.

Despite Adam’s fall, that destiny was passed on from Adam down through the generations to Noah, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to Joseph; to Moses, Joshua, Gideon, David and Solomon; to Jesus, to the apostles, to the church (ekklesia), that is, to us. But so many have missed out along the way.

We saw last time that a whole string of Bible characters failed to enter fully into their destiny. Every instance of that is a result of some kind of sin, rebellion or iniquity, either in the individuals concerned or in their generations. Your spirit can recognise a generational root: if you feel stirred by any of the examples we look at, and you do not recognise it in your own life, ask God to reveal to you if there is anything in your generational line that is holding back your destiny from you. There is a place you can go to get destinies restored that have been lost to past generations.

Adam and Eve, Esau

Adam and Eve lost their destiny by eating from the wrong tree and hiding from God. Skipping forward several generations, Esau despised his birthright (Gen 25:27-34), despised the spiritual dimension of his life. He was a ‘macho man’, over-impressed with his own soul, power and ability. That attitude cost him.

Jacob

Scripture often speaks of ‘Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’, and Jacob is a really sad case. If you can get three generations to fulfil the purpose of God it establishes something significant, so the enemy’s attack on that third generation is all the more intense. Jacob missed out on God’s best for his life, and spoilt what God had planned for his future generations.

Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and live there…” (Gen 35:1). At Bethel, Jacob had met God in a dream and seen angels ascending and descending. He himself called it ‘the house of God, the gateway of heaven’ (Gen 28:17). Who wouldn’t want to live somewhere like that? But it was not a suitable place for Jacob’s livestock, so he moved on.

Then they journeyed from Bethel; and when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and she suffered severe labour… So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem)… Then Israel journeyed on… It came about while Israel was dwelling in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine, and Israel heard of it (Gen 35:16, 19, 21, 22).

Would Rachel have died at Bethel? Would Reuben have got involved with Bilhah? Reading on, Jacob suffered continual family issues he would not have faced had he stayed where God told him to. These included the rape of his daughter, Dinah, and culminated in his eventual migration to Egypt, where his family went into slavery for generations. That is not the kind of legacy you want to leave.

Jacob teaches us that our destiny can be linked to a specific location: we can lose our destiny by moving away from where God tells us to stay, or by staying somewhere (perhaps through misplaced loyalty to people, organisations or churches) when God has told us to leave. Let’s be sure we are where God wants us to be. He told Abraham to go, and told Jacob to stay.

Moses

Moses’ destiny was to free Israel from Egypt, but he tried to do it his own way. He killed an Egyptian and hid in the desert for forty years. God called him back to his destiny, but he still failed to complete it. Moses was angry at the persistent devaluing of his office and authority by a people with a spirit and mentality of slavery. Although he had the blessing and favour of God, and moved in God’s power and authority, he still wanted the favour of the people. So he struck the rock, disobeyed God, and forfeited his right to enter the Promised Land.

This is a dangerous temptation: to use the anointing to do the work of the kingdom, but to do so in order to legitimise ourselves or our ministry, to seek the favour of men. Moses lost his destiny because of his insecurity: Jesus faced the same temptation but refused to use God’s power to legitimise himself in the eyes of men.

Judah

The nation of Judah lost the Promised Land by abusing it, by not giving it its sabbath rest every seven years. They failed to trust in God’s provision, and went into exile in Babylon as a result. If we do not take proper care of our destiny, we can lose it. The condition of our spirit, soul and body is important: sleeping, eating, resting; getting the times and seasons in sync. If we don’t care for ourselves, it is a form of abuse and can cost us our destiny.

Jewish nation

The religious leaders of Jesus’ time rejected their king and forfeited their destiny. They generated enormous income through corruption, and saw that His talk of a house of prayer for the nations and the coming of the kingdom was a threat to both their religious money-making scams and their position of authority with the people. If we make decisions based on financial security or protecting our position rather than on faith in God, we risk being drawn away from our destiny.

Joshua

Don’t trade your destiny away. If we don’t fulfil our destiny, God can pass it on to someone else. Where Moses stepped down, Joshua stepped up. God is raising up a Joshua generation so He can release lost destinies, mantles and legacies upon them.

Restoring lost destiny

What happens to lost destinies?

One Sunday morning, during the worship, I had a vision in heaven. I was engulfed in flames for about twenty minutes. In that place I was given a large staff with a golden headpiece. Now, if I don’t know what something is for, I know where to go:

Does not wisdom call…?
On top of the heights beside the way,
Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
Beside the gates, at the opening to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out
(Prov 8:1-3).

This is a real place in the heavenly realms we can all go to engage with Wisdom. That is where I went that Sunday. I was taken to a room with four doors: the second one opened and I walked into a place of flames, just as I had experienced earlier. I saw a huge door guarded by a balrog-like creature, and I just knew what the staff I had been given was for: I slammed it into the ground, the door opened and I went into Satan’s trophy room.

This is such a sad place! Lost destinies, anointings and mantles are displayed as trophies there, like a hunter might display on his wall the heads of animals he has killed. Family inheritances, the legacies that belong to you, they are trophies there. I began to get really indignant, and something in my spirit started to stir me to say ‘I want these back!’

And I knew this was why God had given me that staff. He had given me a mandate to recover and restore those family destinies and legacies. You see, my father passed nothing spiritual onto me, and yet his great-grandfather was a great man of God. That is the enemy’s desire, to rob us of what we should have had.

How we can get back things that were lost generations ago? They are stored up there, and God wants to release them and restore them to us. The very memory of our family inheritance may have been lost or stolen but it is still stored and recorded. The iniquity of the fathers may be visited on the children to the third and fourth generation, but we can remove all the enemy’s legal rights and recover our family’s destinies and legacies. We can stop the cycle of robbery, and get back what has been taken from us, so that we can pass on a legacy to the next generation.

Are we willing to do what it takes for that to happen? Let’s make a start today.

Removing Satan’s legal rights

By faith, we are going to step into the Court of Accusation in heaven, and if God shows you something while we do this, then you can deal with it in your own spirit.

Father I thank you that you love me
And that your kingdom is based on righteousness and justice.
By faith I step into the heavenly court of accusation.
I stand on my own behalf and on behalf of my generational line.
I face my accusers and I accept and agree that I and my ancestors
Have wrongly traded away my destiny Inheritance.

I accept that I and they
Have followed the pathway of the knowledge of good and evil.
I accept that I and they
Have been influenced and motivated
By earthly, natural and demonic wisdom.

I stand here representing myself and my forefathers, identifying with them.
I repent of and renounce all false trading for myself and my forefathers
I receive the judgment of God and His declaration
That I am justified and made righteous through my advocate, Jesus.

I release the judgment of God against my adversaries and accusers.
I receive a mandate to have my destiny and legacy restored.
I receive the authority to access Satan’s trophy room
And take back what has been robbed from me.

I step back into this realm with the authority to fulfil my destiny.
I choose to be identified as your son
with the capacity for the fullness of my legacy to be restored to me.

Related resources from Freedom ARC

Mike revisits the place of fire in this this Supernatural Mentoring video, and takes back something of even more value than lost destinies…

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223. Frequencies of Heaven – Redemptive Gifts (7)

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

Each of the redemptive gifts resonates with a colour and has a particular affinity with one of the seven spirits of God. He is opening up the realms of heaven for us to engage with those seven spirits who are there to tutor us and train us into sonship. [Please click the image to view it as a full-size PDF.]

Prophet – Red – Spirit of the Lord
Servant – Orange – Spirit of Wisdom
Teacher – Yellow – Spirit of Understanding
Exhorter – Green – Spirit of Counsel
Giver – Blue – Spirit of Might
Ruler – Indigo – Spirit of Knowledge
Mercy – Violet – Spirit of the Fear of the Lord

Harmony of the senses

The colours, frequencies and fragrances of heaven can be picked up by our spirits, and affect things here on earth. There is an amazing harmony of all the senses in heaven that brings everything together into a oneness, enabling our whole being to engage with the realm of heaven as we begin to resonate with it. The song of our human DNA can be transformed so that it comes into agreement with the song of God’s original purpose for us, our spiritual identity. In the very essence of our being there is something battling for us to come into our eternal alignment with who we are as spiritual beings of light, as sons of God on the earth.

The revelation is being released to the body of Christ today that colour, sound and fragrance are related and that certain frequencies can bring healing, that essential oils can bring healing. The New Age has hijacked this revelation, using sound and light and frequency with the wrong heart motive and in the power of the soul, so that it leaves a tainted stain on the soul of those who get involved in such things. However, when God uses those same means to touch us, it brings righteousness, justice, holiness, peace and joy into our lives, because it is bringing us back into alignment with who we really are. We need to embrace this, not reject it just because a particular group of people are misusing it.

Frequencies

Quantum physics 1.01: we would not exist unless something observed us (and there are various suggestions about who does the observing, but I think we can agree Who that is). This earthly realm is connected to the spiritual realm and the sound of God’s voice which brought it all into being is still vibrating throughout the whole of creation.

Our eyes and ears can only recognise a very tiny portion of the frequencies that exist all around us, but we know from experience that frequencies outside that range can affect us. If you are exposed to ultra-violet light, you will get sunburn. If you were exposed to gamma radiation, you might not exactly go green and turn into the Incredible Hulk, but it could change you at a genetic level. That is absolute scientific fact. What about all the other frequencies which will also affect us, change us and transform us if we are exposed to them? Our spirits can respond to frequencies that our physical eyes and ears cannot: we call it the voice of God.

When our musicians start playing, they are not just making sound. There is a connection with light and frequency and fragrance that God wants us to experience and come into. Our musicians here at Freedom have retuned to A=432Hz (elsewhere others have chosen A=444Hz) and the difference from the standard tuning of A=440Hz, though unnoticeable to the natural ear for most of us, can be picked up in our spirit. We immediately saw a whole shift in our level of spiritual engagement, in fact the band noticed the difference even on the first practice night with the new tuning.

We need to resonate with God. When He comes and starts to manifest His presence, we are supposed to come into agreement with Him. The Bible calls it unity, the power of agreement. We come together with Him, and it goes deeper than just the mind or the emotions, it goes right down to a genetic level, so that we are conformed to the image of Jesus.

Heavenly places

This may frazzle our natural understanding, but it all begins to make sense when we realise that God wants to reveal Himself to us, and that He wants our spirit to engage with Him spirit to spirit. In fact He is releasing revelation to enable us to engage with Him in every way, spirit, soul and body, so that we can be transformed and come into agreement with our destiny, with our true identity, with who He created us to be.

As we begin to do so, we will find we can be seated in the heavenly places, not just in theory but in reality. We can go to the heavenly courts and see righteousness and justice administered on earth as it is in heaven. It was always God’s intention that we would have access, in our spirit, to the realms of heaven, and manifest heaven on the earth. Those manifestations can come in various ways: justice bringing a change to circumstances, healing, deliverance, wholeness. There are sounds and frequencies that can bring healing and deliverance, setting people free from the bondages that hold them captive, and bringing them back into alignment with God’s purpose for their lives.

The brain

Arthur Burk, whose work on redemptive gifts has informed much of this series, has found that the 7 redemptive gifts relate to 7 particular areas of the brain:

The colours on this image do NOT correspond to the colours associated with the redemptive gifts.

Prophet: Frontal Lobe
Servant: Parietal Lobe
Teacher: Temporal Lobe
Exhorter: Occipital Lobe
Giver: Cerebellum
Ruler: Brain Stem
Mercy: Basal Ganglia

He also carried out scientific studies using EEG and EAV machines on how the brain responds when spiritual events occur, including angelic and demonic activity. He literally watched (and recorded) as spiritual healing took place. He says:

“Try this experiment. Have someone call each portion of your spirit to the front and ask that portion if it is willing to go to the area of the brain that matches its design.

Ask it to visit both the right and the left hemisphere if that is appropriate (the first five areas)…

In the work we have done in the lab, we can identify with electronic equipment where there is an unclean presence in the brain (demon, AHS or stronghold) and the human spirit confirms the presence of defilement by being unwilling to go there” (Arthur Burk).

There is much more information about this in his Brain Renewal Blog.

More sevens

There are more relationships of sevens to the redemptive gifts, including warfare strategies (insight, platform, planning, initiating, mobilizing, completing, fulfilment), and basic instincts (contemplative, kingdom, student, experiential, aesthetic, activist, relational). You can pursue this whole topic on Arthur Burk’s YouTube channel and on his Sapphire Leadership Group website.

Jesus demonstrated all the gifts

All the redemptive gifts were present in Jesus’ life and ministry.

He showed us the heart of the prophet, He did not mince His words. He was the servant who washed His disciples’ feet. He was the one who taught from His life and unpacked His teachings with His disciples. He was the one who gave words of encouragement… “I will send a comforter in My place”. He showed us the greatest act of giving in laying down His life. He led by His example. He had mercy to heal the sick and deliver captives.

And we are being conformed to His image, transformed by the renewing of our minds. As we allow Him to change us, as maturity in the faith comes, we become conversant with all the redemptive gifts and appreciative of the way different people express them, because that is how Jesus was. Diversity is essential in the body of Christ, and particularly so now that we are beginning to glimpse the relational, organic nature of what church (ekklesia) is intended to be.

Conclusion

So let’s identify, honour, value and appreciate our own primary and secondary gifts. We can use the surveys (understanding that they are indicators, with flaws and limitations). We can look at the lists of characteristics and see which best describe us (and ask those who know us well what they see in us, too). We can look at what motivates our heart, what gifting matches our natural tendencies, and what the enemy has sought to deny us. Where do we come alive? Conversely (as an indication of what our gift is not), what kinds of things leave us feeling drained? Most important, what does our heavenly Father have to say about us? We can ask Him!

And equally, let’s identify, honour, value and appreciate the gifting of others so that we can operate together more effectively as God intends:

He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love (Eph 4:16 NLT).

Related resources from Freedom ARC
The 3 different Redemptive Gifts Surveys
Recommended resources from Arthur Burk

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217. Redemptive Gifts (1)

Mike Parsons

 

Creation

In this series on ‘destiny’ we have looked at ‘who I am’, and it is time now to move on to our redemptive gifts or ‘how I am made’. After that we will go on to ‘what I am made for’.

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

If we want things to work together for good (and not just our own good but for the good of everything and everybody), then we really need to know that we are called and that we have a purpose.

Do you know His purpose for your life?

Have you accepted His call?

His purpose and His call will work together to enable us to see our lives outworked for the glory of God and bring transformation to this earthly realm. If we know His purpose for our lives and know what He has called us to, both in this realm and in heaven, that will enable us to be a gateway of heaven on earth.

Transformed or conformed?

‘A redemptive gift is the grace of God woven into who we are; that when we are made right with God we become able to honour Him with how He has made us to be’.

Sadly there may have been other threads ‘woven into us’ which have affected us negatively.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is… (Rom 12:2).

God’s will is for an open heaven over us, for us to engage with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in intimacy, and for that we need to be transformed (not conformed). The world wants to conform us to a particular pattern and rob us of what God intends us to have and experience.

The world may have masked, damaged or perverted our identity, our gift and our destiny, because of our own experience and that of our generations. If we don’t know who we really are we will forever be asking ‘where do I fit?’ and ‘where do I belong?’

God desires to transform us to outwork who we really are, in His service. In that way we will be able to fulfil our part in restoring the whole of creation.

Redemptive gifts

Redemptive gifts are different from the spiritual gifts of 1 Corinthians 12 (healing, words of knowledge, wisdom, distinguishing of spirits, tongues etc.), and from the offices appointed for the church in 1 Corinthians 14 (apostle, prophet, teacher, miracle worker etc.), and from the ministry gifts of Ephesians 4 (apostle, prophet, teacher, evangelist, shepherd).

Redemptive gifts are found in Romans 12.

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy , according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who rules,  with diligence; he who shows mercy , with cheerfulness (Rom 12:6-8).

There are seven different gifts, and these are given to ‘each of us’, which leaves nobody out. We are to line up with what God has given, rather than what the world has attempted to impose on us. Each of us is to exercise the gift(s) He has given us; and as we do we are to be that gift to the rest of the body.

The seven gifts are: prophet, servant, teacher, exhorter, giver, ruler and mercy.

Paul writes that faith is intrinsic to being a prophet and that a servant will actually serve (you cannot be a servant in theory). The same with teacher and exhorter – it is only in teaching or exhorting that they express themselves. The next three are interesting. ‘With liberality’ describes how a giver gives. ‘With diligence’ describes how a ruler rules. Finally, mercy operates ‘with cheerfulness’, indicating that the mercy gift may perhaps struggle to be cheerful. We will look at each gift in more detail in coming posts.

Why ‘redemptive’ gifts?

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be redeemed from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Rom 8:19-21).

Everything God created in the spiritual realm and in the physical realm is waiting for God’s sons to be revealed, and to bring back to creation what is missing. And so ‘creation itself will also be redeemed’, and we are called to be part of God’s plan to do that. That plan includes the gifts God has given us, and when we discover who we are then we can discover how we fit in to God’s overall purpose. The way we are wired and designed enables each of us to fulfil our destiny and engage in the process of restoring creation.

Redemptive gifts are dealt to each person in differing measures of faith.
God gives people as the different gifts.
God gives these gifts as necessary to fulfil his redemptive will on earth.
Each of us is a gift, differing according to the grace given to us by God.

Each person is and has a primary gift, but will have others as well, and the mix and degree of the various gifts in each of us is a unique combination.

Received at conception

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

Redemptive gifts are received at conception, rather than salvation. We are born with them and they will influence the course of our lives, regardless of whether we become Christians or not (though they will be more effectively expressed if we do). Psychologists term these differences in people ‘basic temperaments’ or ‘personality types’.

We are designed on (and with) purpose.

Redemptive gifts tend to shape our personality. They also affect the way in which we may receive or express one or more of the spiritual gifts, offices or ministries.

So my redemptive gift is how I am intrinsically made to function, ideally with spirit and soul in harmony. But because of separation from God, my soul or heart personality traits developed independently of my spirit. I need to discover the gift, then purify and refine the heart to define and polish it, so that it begins to shine.

There are some common behavioural characteristics which can help us identify our redemptive gifts (primary and secondary). Compassion, for example, may come more easily to servants and mercies than prophets and rulers. However, we must not use our gift as an excuse for not growing in love! We are all called to walk out the fruit of the Spirit, whether it comes naturally or not.

Arthur Burk has done a great deal of research into redemptive gifts. Here are some of the characteristics he has identified and how he correlates them with other sevens in the Bible (click here or on either image to view or download them both in one PDF file):

slide-1-hd
slide-2-hdGod is your Father and designer, and He desires to call forth your identity as His child. He desires to reveal your redemptive identity. He wants you to know who you are and how you are designed. You are called to be a world-changer.

As you exercise your own gifting you are free of the need to compare yourself (favourably or unfavourably) with anyone else. You can be comfortable in your own skin, not having to try to be like other people.

You are you.

You are unique;
Everyone else is also unique.

You are messed up in some way;
Everyone is messed up in some way.

You are a mixture;
Everyone is a mixture.

Every one of us is in a process of being refined, purified and transformed so that we can be ‘us’ as designed by God.

We must learn to respect and honour the differences and uniqueness in each other. As members of the body we will not all see things the same way, but when we put it all together we (as a body) will see things as Jesus does.

Next time we will begin to look at each of the gifts in more detail.

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209. The Right to Become Children of God

Royal Coat of Arms of the United KingdomMike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

God the Father sent Jesus to ‘redeem those who were in bondage to sin’, to buy us back from slavery. He set us free, but it does not stop there – we are then adopted into His royal family, and become His heirs. In that family relationship we find acceptance, affection, affirmation, approval – and unlimited access to our Father, to Jesus, and to the Holy Spirit.

The right to become children of God

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12)

Everyone reading this has the right to become a child of God if they believe and accept Jesus. That is astonishing! Everything we have done in our past can be overcome because of Jesus’ death on the cross.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God (1 John 3:1)

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1 John 4:16).

That word ‘know’ means ‘experience’. If God is love, and God is in us, then love is in us, and we can experience it for ourselves. In fact we can live in it, every moment of every day.

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children (Rom 8:14).

Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God (Gal 4:7).

An inheritance for you

You have become a son of a Father who has an inheritance for you. Not only that, but He has released that inheritance to you so that you can experience the fullness of that relationship. That relationship of intimacy in sonship is something He has always wanted and planned for each of us:

He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will (Eph 1:5).

Slaves and orphans struggle with the fear of trusting, and therefore live a life of independence. If we cannot trust anyone else, we will feel we are on their own. God does not want us to feel alone. If, because of that fear, we fail to fully grasp that we are sons, then there is no way we will act like sons either.

We may find it hard to trust because of past experience. We have all been hurt, all been damaged, all been let down by people. We may be afraid of being hurt, rejected, or disappointed.  We may suffer from fear of failure, or fear of losing control.

But losing control is the very thing we need to do. We need to surrender control to God, and trust Him to have our best interests at heart. We have to stop being independent, and learn to trust Him as our Father. When we do, we embrace everything He has for us, because he will cause our destiny to be outworked in our lives.

A loving, affectionate Father

You see, salvation does not make us slaves (servile followers of a tyrannical God). That is what religion presents, and it is the lie the devil uses to lead astray so many people who would otherwise escape his clutches and turn to God. No, this great salvation makes us sons (grateful children of a loving, affectionate Father). That is the difference between religion and relationship. Religion will always put us into bondage (the word ‘religion’ even comes from a Latin word meaning ‘bound up’), but relationship will bring us freedom.

To be liberated from slavery is wonderful. But then to be adopted as a son and made a co-heir of the Father’s entire estate is absolutely astounding! If we were to fully understand what it is to have access to the wealth of our Father (and I’m really not talking about money), it would totally transform our lives. Because of our adoption, the nature of our whole relationship with God has radically changed. We are set free from that religious perception of God as a hard taskmaster just looking for every opportunity to punish us, a God we have to somehow try to appease by doing our good works (only to find that nothing we can do is ever quite good enough).

There is no punishment in store for us as His children, just love and acceptance, forgiveness, grace and mercy.

Reserved in heaven for you

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).

I hope we all understand by now that ‘reserved in heaven for you’ does not mean that you have to wait until you die to go and enjoy it. Jesus has opened up heaven for us and we are seated there with Him: everything there is for us to discover, and we can walk in that inheritance as sons right now. And God is looking to reveal more and more of what it means to be saved, what it means to be part of His family, what it means to have a relationship with Him.

In the past I have ministered to people who had been adopted, and naturally they can struggle. In spite of much love from the adoptive parents, they can still have a sense of not belonging, of not fitting in (and especially if they come from a different country, race or colour). But when we are adopted by God it is like we have found our eternal home, as if we have come back to how things should always have been. Because that is the reality of it.

Steal and kill and destroy

But (and it is a big ‘but’)…

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy… (John 10:10a AMP).

The enemy, the father of lies, wants to remind us of our past and our history in order to rob us of our present and our future. He wants to rob us of our adoptive inheritance and destroy our relationship with God. Yet Jesus said,

I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) (John 10:10b AMP).

Who are we going to listen to? If we are smart, we will listen to Jesus and embrace the fullness of what the Father has destined and provided for us.

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205. The Song of Our Destiny

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

pablo (9)God is calling forth our spirit to maturity. He is calling forth each of us to our identity as sons. We have a destiny both now, in time, and in eternity. Our spiritual identity is eternal: it came from eternity, and it will go back to eternity. What we do here in the middle determines what our eternity will be like.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations (Jer 1:5).

God has always known us, and appointed each one of us to something in particular, to a destiny, to a purpose. He intends us to fulfil that calling.

How precious

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book (scroll) were all written the days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
(Psa 136:16-17)

This is what we call our ‘scroll of destiny’. God has a vast amount of good thoughts about us, and wants us to know what they are. He wants us to know how He designed us, how He sees us, what He made us to be like. That book of our life was given when we were in eternity with God, and we come into this life with that scroll. It is like a commission for our lives, and it is important for us to know what is on it. It contains both purpose and provision.

We can access that scroll in the heavens, and we can access it in our hearts.

Eternal record

You started out in this physical life as an overcomer: the result of the one out of 300 million sperm that won the race to fertilise the ovum. When your spirit burst into that fertilised egg, it carried with it God’s record of who you were to be. You carry 23+23 chromosomes of the record of your parents’ history, but you also carry the record of your eternal destiny.

As that first cell begins to multiply, every cell of your body contains that record. We need to be transformed so that we no longer manifest the record of our physical genealogy but the record of the eternal destiny God has for us.

For as he thinks within himself, so he is (Prov 23:7a).

We need to think according to our destiny, not our history.

Frequency

Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart” (Ps 40:7).

Again, this scripture confirms that we each have a scroll, a record of our eternal destiny. God’s intention for our life is written in our heart. Our destiny carries a frequency, a vibration, and each of us has a unique frequency which we vibrate at, our own song. It carries a colour and a fragrance; a formula with all we need to fulfil our destiny encoded within it.

There is a service available where you can get your DNA analysed and they will turn it into a song for you. Now the problem is, that DNA vibrates with the record of the chaos it was created in (sin and iniquity) whilst the scroll vibrates with the record of our eternal destiny. Are we going to listen to the genetic record of our past generations, or are we going to listen to the record of what God said and thought about us in eternity?

We get to choose which we resonate and come into harmony with, and that ultimately determines how we will live. When we start to listen and come into agreement with the heavenly eternal record, our lives begin to be transformed. After all, we were destined to be conformed to the image of Christ, and to be a joint heir with Him.

Proper alignment

…with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will (Eph 1:10-11).

God has designed something for the fullness of time that is going to include the summing up of all things in Christ. He knows all about us, and He has chosen us to be part of His plan for the whole of creation. He has destined us to be part of that administration to outwork heaven on earth, to reconcile heaven and earth by bringing earth into proper alignment with heaven again.

A place for us

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places… (Eph 1:18-20).

God wants us to use the eyes of our heart, our imagination, to grasp what he has called us to. Christ is already seated in the heavenly places, and He has made a place there for us. He is:

…far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Eph 1:21-23).

He has sent us to go in the authority that He has, in this age, both in heaven and on earth. Since Christ is the Head, and we are the body, whose feet are His feet? Ours. So He has given us the authority to bring everything back under His dominion and under our feet, and wants to fill us with the fullness of heaven, with the fullness of Himself, so that we can represent him on the earth.

…and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:6).

That is our destiny. That is where we came from; that is where we will be going back to. In the meantime we are seated there with Him, and that is the position God always intended us to operate from.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.  (Eph 2:10).

We can choose to walk our own way, or we can choose to walk God’s way. One way will lead to disaster, the other to blessing, to purpose, and to fulfilling our destiny.

Which way will we choose?

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Vision Destiny 2016

VisionDestiny2016 1k squareFree!

Seven messages by Mike Parsons delivered at Freedom Church in January and February 2016.
A review of 2015 and what to expect in 2016.

Digital download (mp3 and PDF) with links to streaming YouTube videos.

Click here to download – absolutely free!

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203. Manifesto of Love

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott – 

loveIt has always been God’s intention for this material universe to reflect His heavenly, spiritual, supernatural kingdom:

Pray, then, in this way… ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven’ (Matt 6: 9-10).

And we are citizens of that heavenly kingdom.

Exact representation

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb 1:3).

Jesus is the exact representation of God and we are ambassadors of Jesus, conformed to His image (see Rom 8:29).

  • He upholds by words of power
  • He sits on a of throne of authority
  • His identity is as a son
  • His throne has a sceptre of authority
  • He loves righteousness and hates lawlessness

Ambassadors have an honoured position, which carries responsibility. Jesus said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father”. Make no mistake, the world sees us as personal representatives of Jesus Christ in every situation. People will base their opinion of God on what they see in us.

Words and deeds

For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart (Matt. 12:34).

Our speech should mark us out as different. If we listen to what is coming out of our mouth, day by day, week by week, we will see what fills our heart. We want our hearts to be filled with God, with His word, His truth and His life, so that when we speak, we speak words of truth and life. By what we say, people should be able to realise that we are followers of Christ. Our words should come with authority and resonate with righteousness.

Words can be extremely powerful: God created (and sustains) the whole universe with words. But speaking the words of God is not enough: our deeds and our words much match up, demonstrating the kingdom as Jesus did.

For our [preaching of the] glad tidings (the Gospel) came to you not only in word, but also in [its own inherent] power and in the Holy Spirit and with great conviction and absolute certainty [on our part]. You know what kind of men we proved [ourselves] to be among you for your good (1 Thess 1:5 AMP).

This may involve more than just meeting people’s spiritual needs. Jesus healed the sick and fed the hungry, and He did so supernaturally. We need to learn to supernaturally meet people’s physical needs as well.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father (John 14:12).

Demonstrate love

As ambassadors, we are representatives of another culture, another way of life. We must function as servants or stewards, faithfully representing our country (heaven), practising hospitality, courtesy and graciousness.

We will demonstrate love to one another, because God is love.

Since Jesus, our Lord and Teacher, washed his disciples’ feet, we also ought to wash one another’s feet.

We will be devoted to one another in brotherly love; giving preference to one another in honour; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practising hospitality. We will bless those who persecute us; bless and not curse.

We will rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. We will be of the same mind toward one another; not haughty in mind, but associating with the lowly, and not wise in our own estimation. We will never pay back evil for evil to anyone, and will respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on us, we will be at peace with all men.

We will  pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one anotheraccepting one another just as Christ also accepted us, to the glory of Godso that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.

We will not judge one another any more, and will not put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.

We will put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one anotherbeing kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven uswith all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.

We will maintain the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose, doing nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regarding one another as more important than ourselvesWe will encourage one another and build up one anotherlive in peace with one another, and see that no one repays another with evil for evil, but that we always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.

And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as we see the day drawing near.

We will confess our sins to one another, and pray for one another so that we may be healed, because the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. As we walk in the Light, as God Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Above all, we will keep fervent in our love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins, being hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, we will employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

For we were called to freedom, and we will not turn our freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love we will serve one another, bearing one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfilling the law of Christ.

That is the manifesto of love right there. If we truly lived that way, the world could not help but take notice.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13: 34-35).

Let us be transformed from the inside out, and become faithful ambassadors of Christ, seeking to reconcile all men to God, embodying the message of Good News which we carry; bringing heaven to earth.

Note: If you hover over each phrase in the ‘manifesto’ above, you’ll see a link to the Bible reference for that statement.

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202. Answer Creation’s Call

Mike Parsons
and Jeremy Westcott

universe 2For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God… For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now (Rom 8:19, 22).

The whole universe is groaning, waiting and calling us forth as his children, every one of us, God’s sons of light. If you are a believer in Jesus, you are called to be a true son of the light, a fully matured son of God, in order to change and transform the whole universe in which we live. We are to bring everything back into the order God always intended from eternity past. That is how we are to answer creation’s call.

While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become sons of light (John 12:36).

You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night, nor of darkness (1Thess 5:5).

Then the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear (Matt 13:43).

God wants us to hear what He is saying. There is a sound coming from heaven in these days, which is calling forth the children of God to be revealed on earth. It is calling us to be like Jesus, to say the things that Jesus would say and to do the things that Jesus did.

So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe (Phil. 2:15).

God wants us to be shining like stars in the midst of all the darkness that there is in the world, so that we bring light and transform that darkness. The world is only dark because we are not bringing enough light. God wants to manifest His light through us. It is our destiny to restore light to the whole universe as revealed sons of God.

God wants to reveal us. He wants to show us off and to demonstrate who we are, because it will demonstrate who He is.

WWJD?

Everything Jesus did on the earth, He did as a man. He gave up His majesty and came to live among us. He was anointed by the power of the Holy Spirit to do everything that He did. Jesus did not do it as God. So we have no excuse.

If He had done it as God, we could legitimately say, ‘we cannot do that, because we are not God’. He did it as a man to show us what is possible for sons of God, operating in the power and authority of God’s kingdom. We are joint heirs with Christ. He conferred on us all the authority and power He had, and sent us out with it into the world. When we look and see what Jesus did, it should be our goal and our aim to do the same things (and greater).

What would Jesus do? It has become a catch phrase, but it is a good question. We can ask ourselves that question in our life, in our situation, in our workplace and in our home. But we do not have to stop at just reading about what Jesus did two thousand years ago and trying to work out what to do for ourselves:

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something he sees the Father doing, for whatever the Father does, these things the Son does in like manner” (John 5:19).

Eyes on the Father

Jesus had his eyes on the Father. He lived in the realms of heaven and earth at the same time, all the time. He could see something happening on the earth, look into heaven and see what the Father was doing in that situation, and cooperate with it. That ability came out of the level of intimacy of relationship He had with His Father. The Father was in Him and He was in the Father. He lived that way as a man, and so can we; some of us are just beginning to grasp the reality of these things. But it will take a thorough reordering of our priorities, plenty of practice in developing our spiritual senses, and a radical transformation in us.

We are supposed to rule over and change some of the things we see happening. We are not to be under the circumstances but over them, because we come with a higher level of authority. We are called to bring heaven to earth, in us, through us and around us.

The gift of righteousness

…those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ (Rom 5:7b).

We must realise we have been made righteous. We receive righteousness, right standing before God, not because of what we have done, how good we are, how smart we are or any of those things. It is a gift, and because of that gift we can reign in life.

To reign is to have authority over and to rule. It is to administer the existing laws and to enact new ones where they are needed. But to handle that kind of power and authority we will need to be wholly submitted to God and know that He has made us righteous.

For I say to you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:20).

That is a challenging statement and much misunderstood. On the surface the scribes and Pharisees looked really good. They tried to keep the external provisions of the law, but in reality God was not interested in what they looked like on the outside, but rather what was going on inside them and motivating their hearts. Were they doing the will of God or were they doing things for their own selfish gain and purposes?

Intimacy

Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles. Then I will declare to them, I never knew you, depart from me, you who practice lawlessness (Matt. 7:21-22).

If He did not know them, that means they were not intimate with Him. That is how they came to be doing things for their own motives, which is what ‘lawlessness’ means. We can do good things for our own motives and completely miss out on God’s best for us. Jesus had no agenda of His own, but only did the Father’s will.

God is not fooled. He is always looking on the inside rather than the outside. He knows our hearts. He knows what is motivating us and why we do what we do. We can fool each other by behaving in a particular way so that we fit in and are accepted. If we are trying to hide from God what is going on inside us, it will hinder us from being intimate with Him. He knows who we are and what we are. He knows who He created us to be. He knows all the work that still needs to be done to make us like Jesus.  Knowing all these things, He loves us anyway.

We do not need to try to pretend or hide. If we are open, honest and vulnerable with God, He is not going to punish us. But because He loves us too much to allow us to stay where we are, He will transform us. We need to own and acknowledge where we are so that He can take us to where He wants us to be. Let us be real with God. Let us be intimate with Him and not hide from Him any longer through fear.

The whole world is looking at us, ambassadors of heaven, and seeing if we produce good fruit. Good fruit comes from the motivation of our spirit, not our soul. Where is our motive rooted, in our spirit or our soul? When we are living in intimacy with Him, when we are joined to the Lord and one spirit with Him (see 1 Cor 6:7), then we can bring heaven to earth as we reign in life.

And be revealed as the sons the whole creation is longing for.

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