Focus    on Purpose
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
© Focus On Purpose July 2017 - 2018

Walk With God

“The friend in my adversity I shall always

cherish most. I can better trust those who

helped to relieve the gloom of my dark

hours than those who are so ready to enjoy

with me the sunshine of my prosperity.“

Ulysses S. Grant

The Walk of Intimacy

A couple of weeks ago we began looking at what it meant to "do well."  In Genesis 4:7 God told Cain that if he does well, his 'face will be lifted up'. In other words, he would have joy instead of being controlled by his anger. We saw that 'doing well' spoke of righteousness. Righteousness from God's perspective, is doing that which is absolutely and completely right. As this brings the impossible standard of perfection to mind, we explored the Biblical concept of perfection. We then saw that the Hebrew and Greek words for perfection, speak of being complete, whole, and mature. We also saw that this flowed from walking in relationship with God, bringing us into the completeness of who we were created to be.   At the beginning of my blogs, we saw that we were created in love, through love, and for the purpose of being representatives of God's love on earth. So, as we walk with God we become completed, whole, and mature in that love. In the process of becoming completed, whole, and mature in God’s love, His love will overflow from us to those around us and we will become all we were created to be. Last week we saw that God called Abram to 'walk before' Him. In the process of 'walking before' Him, God told Abram that he would become 'perfect', or complete. According to Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon and Brown-Driver- Briggs, to 'walk before God' means to walk in His Presence. Enoch and Noah were described as men who "walked with God". Would you not agree that to walk 'with' God, would also mean walking in His presence? When you walk with someone, you are by nature, walking in their presence, not so? So, we are told: Enoch walked with God. In Hebrews, we also see that he was also 'pleasing to God.' (Hebrews 11:5) Noah walked with God and we are told that Noah was righteous and perfect. (See Genesis 6:9) Abram believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6) . Shortly after that, God called him to 'walk before Him’ becoming perfect. (Genesis 17:1) Walking in God's presence speaks of walking in intimacy of relationship. As God calls Abram to walk before Him, He changes Abram's name by adding the Hebrew letter Hei. In the Hebrew language, the Hei represents the presence of God. God gives Abraham the sign of circumcision as a sign of separation from the rest of the world. His descendants were to be a people set apart for God, worshipping Him alone. They would be His people, and He would be their God, a God who fills the temple and lives among them. Paul tells us that in Jesus, and through baptism, we “have been circumcised with a circumcision made without hands (Colossians 2:11) , making it possible to put off the old man that walks in the way of our flesh, and put on the new man that is being renewed according to the image of Jesus (see Colossians 3) . Jesus gives us His Holy Spirit to permanently live within us, giving us His presence, and making us His temple (See 1 Corinthians 3:16) . In Jesus, we become a people set apart for God, who live our lives no longer for self- gratification, but to lovingly honour and obey Him. As we cooperate with Him, He transforms us so that we begin to mirror His character and become effective representatives of Him on earth.   As we walk in the intimacy of relationship to which He calls us, He will become the all-consuming affection of our hearts; not that we love others less, but we become so completely drenched with His love that it pervades every other relationship and every aspect of our lives, lifting them to completely different dimensions. In Isaiah 41:8, God refers to Abraham as His 'friend.' The Hebrew word used here is 'Ahav' which is the Hebrew word for love. The Hebrew script for Isaiah 41:8, speaks of Abraham being a lover of God - that's not just a casual acquaintance, but a close, meaningful, intimate, relationship. It was in this strong bond of loving relationship that Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son, Isaac, because he trusted God completely. This depth of trust can only take root in the rich, fertile soil of a deep, intimate, love relationship. Jesus said to His disciples that He no longer called them slaves, but He called them friends. God longs for the same depth of relationship with us, as He had with Abraham.  He removed the obstacles to such a relationship, proving the depth of His love for us, by giving us His Son Jesus to die for our sin. It is only in the intimacy of this relationship with God, that completion and righteousness can be found. It was for this purpose we were created - to live in an intimate relationship with our Creator, mirroring His love- saturated nature to His creatures on earth. So, what then, is Righteousness? We will look into this next week, but until then, take a look at your own walk with God. John tells us that perfect (complete and mature) love drives out fear. (1 John 4:18) Would you agree then, that your level of fear could be a good measure of your degree of intimacy with God? What is your fear level saying about your depth of intimacy? If you say you have no fear, but you know that you are not walking in deep intimacy with God, then check your levels of aggression. Aggression flows from fear. You see, trust flows from intimacy; it’s hard to really trust someone you do not know. The more intimately you know each other, the stronger the bond of trust can be. As finite human beings, we cannot completely control our environments and if we do not fully trust God, we will have fear, and anxiety, which is a form of fear. This fear and anxiety may cover itself with aggression. What are your common fears? Yes, some fears are especially designed for our protection, but those are in specific situations, and not that which brings and undercurrent in your life. o Write a list of your undercurrent fears - and also your rip- tide fears. o Think through each of these fears and write down what they say about your beliefs about God. Be honest here. This list is for your eyes only and the more transparent you are, the more you will benefit from this exercise. Ask Holy Spirit to examine your heart and show you the beliefs that underpin each fear. o Starting with the most common belief that seems to underpin multiple fears, and working through each fear, one by one, ask Holy Spirit to show you His truth, the truth that overcomes and destroys the lie about God, that you have written down. o The Holy Spirit shows you His truth, either by bringing Scripture to mind, or by your finding Scripture as you read through the Bible. As a truth is brought to your attention, draw a line through the lie you have recorded, and next to it, write the truth the Holy Spirit has shown you. o Now meditate on that truth, mulling it over, making it a frame though which you view God, as well as events in your life. Note how this truth seems to shine a new light on the events of your life. What do you now see or feel that you did not see or feel before? If you look into your future through the frame of this truth, how does it change the way your see or feel about your future? Meditate on this truth the Lord has shown you, until it begins to burn in your heart and  your fear seems to loosen it’s grip, even if just a little. o If the Lord brings people to mind during this time, people who were somehow involved in the forming of the lie, then you will need to forgive them. Though this may be hard, ask the Holy Spirit to help you, and remember that forgiveness does not remove the accountability of the other person before God. Forgiveness allows God to administer His anti- venom to your heart, so that you may be healed. o Don’t rush the meditation process. Take time each day, and stay with one truth until it becomes a not a memorized verse, but a heart belief which dissolves the heart lie that underpinned your fear. This is not just an exercise for this week, but it is the beginning of a new journey, a journey of experiencing God’s love, peace, and presence in greater and greater measure. Go at your pace, the more thorough, the deeper it goes.
Prev Next
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
© Focus On Purpose July 2017 - 2018  

Walk With God

“The friend in my adversity I shall

always cherish most. I can better trust

those who helped to relieve the

gloom of my dark hours than those

who are so ready to enjoy with me

the sunshine of my prosperity.“

Ulysses

S. Grant

The Walk of Intimacy

A couple of weeks ago we began looking at what it meant to "do well."  In Genesis 4:7 God told Cain that if he does well, his 'face will be lifted up'. In other words, he would have joy instead of being controlled by his anger. We saw that 'doing well' spoke of righteousness. Righteousness from God's perspective, is doing that which is absolutely and completely right. As this brings the impossible standard of perfection to mind, we explored the Biblical concept of perfection. We then saw that the Hebrew and Greek words for perfection, speak of being complete, whole, and mature. We also saw that this flowed from walking in relationship with God, bringing us into the completeness of who we were created to be.   At the beginning of my blogs, we saw that we were created in love, through love, and for the purpose of being representatives of God's love on earth. So, as we walk with God we become completed, whole, and mature in that love. In the process of becoming completed, whole, and mature in God’s love, His love will overflow from us to those around us and we will become all we were created to be. Last week we saw that God called Abram to 'walk before' Him. In the process of 'walking before' Him, God told Abram that he would become 'perfect', or complete. According to Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon and Brown-Driver-Briggs, to 'walk before God' means to walk in His Presence. Enoch and Noah were described as men who "walked with God". Would you not agree that to walk 'with' God, would also mean walking in His presence? When you walk with someone, you are by nature, walking in their presence, not so? So, we are told: Enoch walked with God. In Hebrews, we also see that he was also 'pleasing to God.' (Hebrews 11:5) Noah walked with God and we are told that Noah was righteous and perfect. (See Genesis 6:9) Abram believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6) . Shortly after that, God called him to 'walk before Him’ becoming perfect. (Genesis 17:1) Walking in God's presence speaks of walking in intimacy of relationship. As God calls Abram to walk before Him, He changes Abram's name by adding the Hebrew letter Hei. In the Hebrew language, the Hei represents the presence of God. God gives Abraham the sign of circumcision as a sign of separation from the rest of the world. His descendants were to be a people set apart for God, worshipping Him alone. They would be His people, and He would be their God, a God who fills the temple and lives among them. Paul tells us that in Jesus, and through baptism, we have been circumcised with a circumcision made without hands (Colossians 2:11) , making it possible to put off the old man that walks in the way of our flesh, and put on the new man that is being renewed according to the image of Jesus (see Colossians 3) . Jesus gives us His Holy Spirit to permanently live within us, giving us His presence, and making us His temple (See 1 Corinthians 3:16) . In Jesus, we become a people set apart for God, who live our lives no longer for self-gratification, but to lovingly honour and obey Him. As we cooperate with Him, He transforms us so that we begin to mirror His character and become effective representatives of Him on earth.   As we walk in the intimacy of relationship to which He calls us, He will become the all-consuming affection of our hearts; not that we love others less, but we become so completely drenched with His love that it pervades every other relationship and every aspect of our lives, lifting them to completely different dimensions. In Isaiah 41:8, God refers to Abraham as His 'friend.' The Hebrew word used here is 'Ahav' which is the Hebrew word for love. The Hebrew script for Isaiah 41:8, speaks of Abraham being a lover of God - that's not just a casual acquaintance, but a close, meaningful, intimate, relationship. It was in this strong bond of loving relationship that Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son, Isaac, because he trusted God completely. This depth of trust can only take root in the rich, fertile soil of a deep, intimate, love relationship. Jesus said to His disciples that He no longer called them slaves, but He called them friends. God longs for the same depth of relationship with us, as He had with Abraham.  He removed the obstacles to such a relationship, proving the depth of His love for us, by giving us His Son Jesus to die for our sin. It is only in the intimacy of this relationship with God, that completion and righteousness can be found. It was for this purpose we were created - to live in an intimate relationship with our Creator, mirroring His love-saturated nature to His creatures on earth. So, what then, is Righteousness? We will look into this next week, but until then, take a look at your own walk with God. John tells us that perfect (complete and mature) love drives out fear. (1 John 4:18) Would you agree then, that your level of fear could be a good measure of your degree of intimacy with God? What is your fear level saying about your depth of intimacy? If you say you have no fear, but you know that you are not walking in deep intimacy with God, then check your levels of aggression. Aggression flows from fear. You see, trust flows from intimacy; it’s hard to really trust someone you do not know. The more intimately you know each other, the stronger the bond of trust can be. As finite human beings, we cannot completely control our environments and if we do not fully trust God, we will have fear, and anxiety, which is a form of fear. This fear and anxiety may cover itself with aggression. What are your common fears? Yes, some fears are especially designed for our protection, but those are in specific situations, and not that which brings and undercurrent in your life. o Write a list of your undercurrent fears - and also your rip-tide fears. o Think through each of these fears and write down what they say about your beliefs about God. Be honest here. This list is for your eyes only and the more transparent you are, the more you will benefit from this exercise. Ask Holy Spirit to examine your heart and show you the beliefs that underpin each fear. o Starting with the most common belief that seems to underpin multiple fears, and working through each fear, one by one, ask Holy Spirit to show you His truth, the truth that overcomes and destroys the lie about God, that you have written down. o The Holy Spirit shows you His truth, either by bringing Scripture to mind, or by your finding Scripture as you read through the Bible. As a truth is brought to your attention, draw a line through the lie you have recorded, and next to it, write the truth the Holy Spirit has shown you. o Now meditate on that truth, mulling it over, making it a frame though which you view God, as well as events in your life. Note how this truth seems to shine a new light on the events of your life. What do you now see or feel that you did not see or feel before? If you look into your future through the frame of this truth, how does it change the way your see or feel about your future? Meditate on this truth the Lord has shown you, until it begins to burn in your heart and  your fear seems to loosen it’s grip, even if just a little. o If the Lord brings people to mind during this time, people who were somehow involved in the forming of the lie, then you will need to forgive them. Though this may be hard, ask the Holy Spirit to help you, and remember that forgiveness does not remove the accountability of the other person before God. Forgiveness allows God to administer His anti-venom to your heart, so that you may be healed. o Don’t rush the meditation process. Take time each day, and stay with one truth until it becomes a not a memorized verse, but a heart belief which dissolves the heart lie that underpinned your fear. This is not just an exercise for this week, but it is the beginning of a new journey, a journey of experiencing God’s love, peace, and presence in greater and greater measure. Go at your pace, the more thorough, the deeper it goes.
Focus    on Purpose
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
Prev Next