Thursday, April 12, 2012

Enter In As a Little Child

Just a few thoughts about what God has been teaching my heart as I have been praying, listening and reading. Perhaps we will pick up some of these threads in our next time together for
Thursday Night Live at Grace Minitries International
at our Marietta office:
April 26, 6:30-9:30. 

 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

The deepest desire of your new child like heart is and always will be to know God in a face to face relationship, and to see how He delights in you. That desire is fulfilled in Jesus.

For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Cor 4:6.

In knowing Him even as He fully knows you (1 Cor 13:12), you experience your true Identity fully revealed.

Jesus speaks these words into my heart as I look at my own children. Charles, your sons Leif and Owen look into your eyes to see how much you love them. Looking, they learn about themselves and who they are. In the same way you look into My eyes to learn who you are:


Mark 10:13-16

“People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.”

During one of the deepest moments I have had with Jesus in prayer,  He showed me myself as a little child during a traumatic time that I had experienced long ago. I was caught in the middle of a fight and I didn't know what to do. He pulled me away from a violent scene and took my face in his hands, holding my attention so that I had to look into His eyes. He looked into my eyes and told me clearly how much He loved me.

The baby eaglet understands what it is by watching the parent, they learn their identity, to hunt, to fly, to soar, by watching mom and dad.
See this article for another believer’s thoughts on imprinting and our faith journey.

The story of the ugly duckling has a deep truth embedded in it: we learn both our false identity and our false concept of God by watching the people around us and how they respond to us. The swan believes it is ugly because it is not like those around him, until he discovers who he truly is by looking into the mirror of the water, and being surrounded by those who reveal his true identity, his fellow swans.

If our parents could have demonstrated love to us as faithfully as they wanted to, we may have believed that we were lovable. If they unwittingly rejected us, even while trying their best to love, we receive another message about ourselves: that we are unlovable. The same holds true with our concept of God: we often see Him through the lens of our troubled and rejective experiences. The treatment we receive from our fellow human beings molds our concept of what God must be like. We believe that He is primarily an angry judge, because anger and judgment are often the primary modes of relating that we have experienced in our lives.  If other people mistreat or abuse us, then subconsciously or consciously we believe that God is an abuser, and perhaps that we are worthless and deserve the abuse. So we abuse ourselves and the people around us because the only worth we see in human beings is worthlessness.  If our parents spoil us in an effort to get us to love them, this manipulation causes us to see God through the lens of our own self-centeredness and entitlement. We become the privileged religious brats and God becomes our personal assistant and vending machine in the sky, another hopeless distortion that causes us to treat the people around us like dirt, or like things to be manipulated (through enabling their addictions) to get the love we need from them. We may mask these deeply held emotional beliefs with nice looking theology and people pleasing on the surface, but deep down there often lurks an ugly lie-twisted vision of God, ourselves and other people.

The Spirit of truth tears the mask off our false concepts of God and reveals Him to be the perfect loving Father. Like a man slicing through a seemingly endless jungle of overgrown weeds with a machete, the Spirit lovingly cuts through all our distortions and reveals the loving face of the Father who waits on high to show us compassion and mercy (Isaiah 30:18). Through Jesus, who is the perfect image of our Father, we see the eyes of love that mold us and transform us into understanding our new perfect and lovable identity.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:17.18.

In Jesus, gazing into His Face as we seek His Face, we are imprinted with the joy of our newfound perfection and for the first time ever we begin to see who He created us to be. Now because of His work, we see who we really are: Beloved Children, inheritors with Christ, partakers of the Divine Nature. Like little children, we look into His face asking the simple question, Daddy do you love me? Daddy who am I? Who do I belong to? And without needing to say a word because He is the Word, those eyes of perfectly intense love and compassion teach us that we are Beloved, delighted in forever. We are His cherished Children, dreamed up before time began for the purpose of being loved by Him.

Numbers 6:25
      The Lord bless you and keep you.
The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you
The Lord lift his countenance upon you (HE SMILES) and bring you peace.

Those eyes of love, radiating a smile of divine delight, transform us because they transform our perception of who we are, into the children we were meant to be, and cause us to feel the peace of resting in his presence, basking in His glory, sun bathing in His Love light, marinating in Grace.

What a far cry this is from the religious distortions we carried all our lives, and what a relief it is to lay down the heavy burden of that deception and finally accept ourselves as completely as He accepts us. What a sigh of relief. More, what a cry of exultation flies from our upturned faces as we see the love in His eyes towards us.

Where we had always feared to see a harsh rebuke, a word of destructive wrath, we find the ultimate self-giving sacrifice of love outpoured on the cross, and life renewed beyond hope in the resurrection, perfect communion realized in heavenly places as we are seated, where He is, in the bosom of the Father. How we worship in the light of the revelation of this amazing Person and our special place within His Love.

The fear of the Lord may be the beginning of Wisdom, but it is not the end or goal of wisdom. Knowing His Love is the fulfillment of all wisdom. 1 John 4:18. Perfect Love drives out all fear, because fear involves punishment, and we are so identified with Him in this world that He chose to demonstrate that He would sooner sacrifice Himself (on the cross) than ever let us experience the full consequence of our deception and disobedience.

How can we be afraid of a God so loving that He laid down His life so that He could have a perfect love relationship with us? The answer is simple, we believe a lie about God based on our experiences and what we have been taught by religion, instead of believing what He says about Himself though His Word in the depths of our hearts.

I invite you to celebrate with me the Love of God perfectly manifested in Jesus risen from the dead, displayed to free all of us from the power of sin and death, and bring us into the embrace of our Father. He is now our new Identity; in Him we see our true design unveiled, and our hearts rejoice because we know that we have been identified with Him. Every thing that is true of Him is now true of us. In Him we are all seated in Heavenly places, and that means that we get to enjoy the intimacy with Our Father that we were all designed for. Amazing Grace is a powerful Embrace. His Grace is the Power and Love of God manifested in our hearts so that we can know Him, Enjoy Him and delight in Him forever. His love has been poured out into our hearts through the spirit of His Son who lives in us and testifies with our spirits that we are His children (Rom 5:5;8:16). This Spirit pays close attention to our every thought, our every need, our every desire, and translates them all, beyond our understanding, into a deep and fulfilling communion with the Creator of the Universe.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 18:10 ESV)

Thank you so much for your faithful participation with me in revealing this message to everyone who needs to hear and enjoy the benefits of knowing Jesus intimately.

Yours In Christ,