A Meaty Word
God does not change. His Word does not change. But God moves. Are we following?
In the desert 4000 years ago, God gave the Hebrews a sign to follow. Today, like the pillar of light at night, and the pillar of smoke by day, we need to follow God, undeterred by fear, distraction, assumption or the fulfilment of our worldly interests.
When Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, they told him to go to the mountain and talk to God. They didn’t want to speak to Him directly.
When Samuel was prophet to the Hebrews, they told him they wanted a King. They didn’t want to follow God’s priests and prophets, but wanted to be like other nations.
Just as the Hebrews needed fresh manna every day while they were in the desert, in order to survive, so we need fresh manna daily to survive spiritually. Are you receiving your manna every day, or are you living on the stale bread that was yesterday’s revelation?
We are a chosen priesthood. We are salt and light. But salt that has lost its savour is not good for anything.
This is not a message for Unbelievers, although anyone seeking to discover who the Creator is — whom we call our heavenly father — and how Jesus, His son, made intimacy with the Father possible and forgiveness attainable, is welcome to read and is invited to receive God’s Spirit through faith in Jesus. But this message primarily is for those of us who proclaim Jesus as Lord and Saviour. I’m asking: are you truly following him daily, surrendered to the Father’s will, allowing the Son to point to the Father and lead you in Truth, Rightness with God, and total surrender to His Spirit?
When Moses led the people to the Promised Land, they did not go in. For forty years they were held back because of lack of faith. I don’t want to be held back. I don’t want to miss God’s blessing because I think I know best what His Word means and what His ways are. I don’t want to assume my understanding of His Word, the Bible, is as infinite as is my God. I don’t want to be afraid of the New Wine Skin and stick to the old, safe understanding of my faith. What about you?
Throughout church history, when a Godly man made a discovery in the Word, he preached his new revelation and was lamb-basted for it. Once it was accepted as truly divine revelation, a denomination was formed. People clung onto the new leader and felt assured they had The Truth. But a new wall surrounded this new clan, who — like others before them — listened to their leader and allowed the leader to fellowship with God on their behalf. But God wants us each to fellowship with Him. It’s great and important to seek new revelation; it’s important to mentor and to be mentored by a spiritual head. But actually, any revelation of A Truth from the LORD comes to express one aspect or another that He wishes people to know at a given time. He does not reveal the whole truth. In fact, even Jesus did not know when his time would be to return. Even Jesus did not know all of the Father’s heart and will.
As it was with John Knox in Scotland, as it was with the Baptists late in the 1800’s, so it is even now amongst Evangelicals and Charismatics: God keeps revealing, keeps doing a new thing, but only a remnant follow. And the remnant are mistrusted by the rest. Each time God carries only a remnant into new understanding of the Truth and they battle against the reviling of the larger body of Believers. I pray no Believer will miss out on Jesus’ return, but am seriously concerned many will, because of this attitude that what is New is not to be trusted.
What an arrogant title I’ve chosen for this message. Who am I to question who is following Jesus? But this message is important to anyone who subscribes to the idea that, to be a Christian, we are to follow the Lord Jesus: follow his example, take his word seriously, and love the LORD our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and (then*) love our neighbour as ourself. (Matthew 22:37)
What I’m concerned about is that not only has humanity fallen down since the beginning of time, in its following of the Creator of the universe, but it is still falling down, taking for granted the cross, but most of us who are steadfastly walking are walking our own walk. Father God sent his son, a loving person of great wisdom and sacrifice, so that we could best see the Father through the eyes of the Son, and discover for ourselves who God is. Yet even those who are dedicated, committed, born again, fall. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) but what does that verse go on to say, “for those who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Is the Holy Spirit active in your life? He is totally accessible, completely available, and wholly dedicated to enabling you to live a life of surrender. Are you willing to live that life? He is refreshing and will quench your thirst for God. Are you thirsty for God? I am.
Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). And works is not only feeding the poor, preaching the gospel, taking care of prisoners. Works includes our walk with the Lord. We are called and committed followers.
We all fall. But when we fall are we repentant? The core of our faith is at stake as we consider this question. Do we take for granted our walk with God, our salvation, our place in His presence in Heaven? Or to we value Him and our relationship with Him above everything else? Do we walk a surrendered life or is our life, after our surrender, our own?
This is the question for today: Are we living a truly surrendered life?
As time is short, and I believe Jesus is returning very soon, I am urging every reader to:
- get into his Bible, use a search engine such s Bible Gateway to look up scriptures, find what the Word says about the Holy Spirit, and learn
- study under a pastoral leader by all means, but don’t take for granted his understanding of the Word, but dig into it yourself, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you into God’s truth for today
- pray for God’s divine revelation to come to you, and for His Holy Spirit to fill you
- ask for protection against false teaching, wrong understanding, and for discernment of Truth
- trust God hears and answers your prayers
We who have become born again have made a commitment to follow Jesus. He has made a way for us to draw close, through intimacy with the Holy Spirit who hovered over the earth at creation and is the power and presence of God who dwells within us now. He convicts us of Truth… and we need to be listening.
This word is a bit tougher than what I usually write. But the imperative is clear: we need to be surrendered, not taking for granted our relationship and salvation, but striving to draw closer to Father God every step of our way. Jesus points us in the right direction. Let’s continue to run our race to completion. Jesus is coming soon… we do not know the day or the hour… but like the virgins with their lamps, we need to have ours full of the oil of the Holy Spirit, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom who is Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)
In coming weeks, I’ll be downloading some revelation I’ve had over the last several months. I hope you’ll test it rather than dismiss it. I hope you’ll share your discoveries with others. I hope it will make you draw closer to God as He draws closer to you.
*brackets are my own for I have inserted “then” because I believe to love our neighbour first is not of the Lord, but is Humanism and human effort rather than an act of surrender to God.