Categories
GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 23 Reflecting upon GOD

I’m exploring Genesis to learn GOD’s point of view. I’m reflecting upon Him.

GOD’s Story

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to those who read it.

Reflecting upon Him

I received the lovely benefit of personal prayer on Sunday morning at church and as the pastor prayed, and while receiving the blessing of prayer, the LORD said to me, “Just tell My story”…. So, I’m reflecting upon Him.

Just write about His story — what does that mean?

First and foremost, this whole stream called GOD’S STORY is His story — not ours.

“In the beginning GOD…” 

Before I continue to Day 6: the creation of living, breathing, animate life, I’m returning to, pausing at, reflecting upon GOD and His Story.

Glory. Majesty. Thanksgiving. Peace….

These are some words which help define GOD, our Father in Heaven:

“Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name…”

He’s holy, good, benevolent, perfect, powerful, loving.

But He’s also a jealous GOD, “for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14). This is, I believe, because He knows if we don’t focus upon Him we run at our peril…. not because He will strike us down because He’s mean, but because the enemy is out to capture us to destroy us, and running on our own we are so vulnerable to this enemy of GOD.

But GOD

So, as we remain focused upon Him, we know this GOD of ours who is perfect, benevolent and good leads us, desires relationship with us. And we who want to be benevolent and good need Him to accomplish this in us. GOD knows this. So even in His jealousy, it is for our benefit and not because He is nasty that He is jealous for us.

GOD is so good. He is so good, beyond our comprehension or imagination. 

Summary

So today and every day is about Him: God. Yaweh. Yehovah. Elohim. His majesty, His glory, His goodness, His righteousness, His fatherhood: of all things created: man, beast, flora, fauna, air, fire, water, earth, sea, sky, heaven, sun, moon, stars — He is everything.

This piece — this steam called GOD’S STORY is about Him: His peace, His creation, His identity. “I AM that I AM.”


Let us meditate on this, with Him near. Let Him wrap us in His presence. Let Him teach us more and more about Him. Let us enjoy Him, for no reason other than to enjoy Him. And let us dwell, abide with Him.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

Larus Press

Larus Press with the blog stream Preparing the Bride is all about enabling us to be ready for Jesus’ return, preparing also for all He has in store for us in the meantime.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. In this case, He began to create life in its various formats: Plant life, then animal, and finally human — GOD breathed with His Spirit like no other life form preceding.

Categories
GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY Pt 6 Who is Holy Spirit

“And those members of the body which we think to be less honourable, on these we bestow greater honour; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty”

While this is what Paul writes to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 12:23) in reference to the church as analogous to a human body, so I would ask you to look at this as analogous to the persons of the Godhead: namely, Father Son and Holy Spirit.

So Who is Holy Spirit?

We give GOD All the Glory! But who is GOD: Yehovah, Elohim if not inclusive of all three? Who is Holy Spirit and how does He fit with the others?

The Holy Spirit is to GOD as our most unpresentable parts are to our humanity: vital, for discretion, to be revered.

Part of GOD’s Story then is that Holy Spirit has been given less honour, less respect, less opportunity in our lives as a body of Christ = the church, than the other persons of GOD and I believe this needs to be addressed. Here is my opportunity to share GOD’s Story of Holy Spirit.

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. 

So, here we go…. GOD’S STORY Part 6 Who is Holy Spirit

GOD is Spirit. Surely that is first and foremost. He is timeless, omnipotent, omniscient, and perhaps most important for us to understand in order to understand Holy Spirit, is to remember that Our Father: Yehovah GOD, Elohim is omnipresent

From His hovering over the earth in Genesis 1:2 to Jesus leaving the earth so that He could send His Spirit (John 14:25-26)…. I think it’s fair to say WE STILL DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND THE HOLY SPIRIT, not that well at any rate.

United with the Holy Spirit, there is nothing our LORD cannot do, nothing we cannot do when we abide in Him.

In John 15 Jesus says,

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.”

Several times Jesus says “abide in me… and bear fruit”. What is this fruit that he is talking about? He is talking about character and the fruit that counts is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which Paul lists in Galatians 5:22-23 namely, love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience, faith and self control. These are markers of character, godly character, Christ-like character, fruit which flows from the Holy Spirit.

And so in order to abide with Jesus and in Jesus, in order to grow in His character, we need the Holy Spirit. It is through Holy Spirit that we abide and through Holy Spirit that the our character bears fruit. That Spirit which is GOD, dwelling in us, transforming us as we allow, that Spirit which is united with us: GOD in us.

Yes, all humanity can choose love and can choose decency by its will. But only through Holy Spirit can we succeed in bearing the character of Christlike love and character. 

How we grow in Christ

Man wrestles with himself and with GOD. Remember Jacob wrestling for his blessing (Genesis 32:24-29)? Jacob did not get all his answers but he did get the blessing of a new name: Israel. And it is his descendants who would become the nation of Israel. 

We all are like two year olds are we not? Like children who want both to please Mum and Dad and yet also to have their own way, do we not struggle against our love for GOD and our own way?

Holy Spirit teaches us and comforts us — leading us to follow and convicting us when we don’t, touching our hearts to draw near and not to punish ourselves for our short-comings but rather to learn from our mistakes. This is the personal touch of Holy Spirit. He is no less a person with whom we are encouraged to relate than the Father or Jesus. And yet, He is the least known, the least acknowledged of the three persons of GOD. 

As the Father is the powerhouse of GOD — the one in whom we ‘fear’; as Jesus is the lamb of GOD, who models for us our humanity as GOD intends; so the Holy Spirit is deeply personal; He encourages us to persevere. In our humanity we will to do life on its own terms. We wrestle against GOD’s will; we doubt Jesus; we resist the Holy Spirit.

“Come unto me all who labour and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest…” These are Jesus’ spoken words in Matthew 11 but it is through a surrender to Holy Spirit that we can yield, be still, come unto, abide and find our rest.

GOD says, “Come”, “Be still”, ‘Love Me and love others” but we get distracted and diverted as our own will says, ‘Come, do it this way, now!’

All of life is a journey

GOD has offered us a journey of a lifetime when we surrender to Him. Holy Spirit enables that walk in that surrender. Only to the degree that we walk His way, in love, above the clouds of turmoil and strife, full of His grace, truth, love, peace do we live the best life. 

This part of GOD’s Story is simply to say, GOD offers, GOD encourages, GOD asks us to align with, yield to, enjoy, and surrender to Him, and it is through Holy Spirit that we are able to do this.

GOD in our own strength

We are not meant — but often do— live a soul-ish spirituality. We love GOD yes, but we still follow our own will to Him. Instead we must surrender our will. We must surrender to the Spirit of GOD, walking daily in His will and way, if we are metaphorically, to ride on the clouds: Surrendering our body to our soul, soul to our spirit, our spirit to Holy Spirit of GOD will lead us into a spirit-filled walk that is as walking on water and as beyond the earthly condition. We can live as GOD lives, without time, without conditions, without limitations, if we simply trust and obey, surrender and receive.

GOD’s Power and Presence within us

Holy Spirit is the power and presence of GOD. When we abide in the LORD and allow ourselves to live completely surrendered, then we will rise above the temporal, beyond the clouds of emotion and circumstance, into a freedom and grace that is unknown to the earthly person.

What is the Holy Spirit? Who is the Holy Spirit?

He is that part of GOD that enables us to be truly intimate. We know the Father from above. We know Jesus from His earthly walk. We know Holy Spirit because He lives within us. 

THE LORD GOD is seeking to draw us closer to Him. How closely will you allow Him to draw you? Will you yield all to Him? In His Story, He is asking you. He is asking us all.

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) This is not only a call from Jesus to us. This call is from GOD to us. This call is Holy Spirit’s offering to us. 

Will we trust and accept the calling to be fully surrendered to the Creator of the universe?

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Receiving from GOD: Are we like the Hebrew slaves?

Receiving from GOD: Are we like the Hebrew slaves?

Why the Hebrews didn’t trust the power of GOD

A question I’ve often asked myself is ‘Why did the Hebrews not have more faith? Why did they moan instead of trust GOD?’

They moaned when their backs were against the sea and the Egyptian chariots were closing in. Sure, it’d be scary. But already they’d received the gold from the Egyptians before they departed as promised to them from GOD through Moses. And they were wandering in the desert but never lost, following a supernatural cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. And yet, when they came to the Red Sea they despaired.

So why did they doubt GOD would protect them against the Egyptians?

Before the Red Sea is parted, Moses promises them, “Stand still and see the salvation of the LORD” (Exodus 14:13) and GOD delivers!

A look into Exodus 12-14 reveals how GOD provides for them time and again. They praise GOD after they escape from the Egyptians, passing through the Red Sea while walking on dry ground. And yet their fear returns as soon as they are thirsty….

Even after all the evidence of GOD’s provision through the supernatural, as soon as the Hebrews got thirsty, they lost faith again and complained… to Moses.

The root problem: the Hebrews’ lack of relationship

Notice first, that the people didn’t talk to GOD but to Moses. They didn’t relate to their heavenly father, the Creator but to the appointed human leader. They looked to their provision to come from Moses, rather than seeking GOD for themselves. They must have feared the all-powerful GOD, whereas the human leader was the one to whom they could make their pleas and demands.

Perhaps this is how they received their subsistence from the Egyptians; food came from the designated leaders or guards, not from Pharaoh himself. They had no relationship with Pharaoh and so, they had no expectation to relate to GOD Himself.

They didn’t know HOW to be free

The Hebrews had been slaves for generations. What they did, what they ate, had been determined by the sovereign will of the Pharaoh; and what they received depended upon the distribution by the guards. They had no expression of free will.

They only knew how to follow commands.

Slaves do not have freedom. Consider the slaves in the American South at the time of the American Civil War (1861-1865). For decades, slaves had received from their masters their food, lodging, clothing; sometimes even their mates were selected for them. They were seldom taught to think but only to take what was given to them. Perhaps some had the gumption to complain, but they knew they might get whipped for it, or worse.  Some had kind owners, some had evil owners; therefore, some lived in peaceful surroundings, but many lived in total fear…. 

Plantations were somewhat smaller than the universe though.

As for the Hebrews, whilst they too knew how to follow, they did not know whom they were following…. And so they didn’t receive. 

Lack of Faith

They refused to trust GOD to go into and capture the Promised Land, so their generation never got to see it. When all but Caleb and Joshua refused to take the land, GOD said,

“… because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it.” (Numbers 13:22-23) 

How about us? Will we see our Promised Land?

Our personal concept of GOD

Are we like the Hebrews, fearful of GOD, avoiding personal contact? Even unbelievers have a concept of an all-powerful GOD, though they lack the awareness that He could be full of grace and love — if He exists at all.

As born again believers, are we aware of who GOD is, or are we as still slaves in our perception of GOD? Do we know Him as our provider, full of goodness and truth?

Moses asked GOD, ‘Who shall I say has sent me?’ In Exodus 3:14 GOD’s reply was to say, “I AM WHO I AM”

There are many names of GOD which evoke an image or identity of Himself. Here are some below:

El Shaddai = all sufficient one

Adonai = over all

Yahweh or Yehovah Rohi = shepherd

Rapha = one who heals

Jireh = one who provides

Shalom = one who is our peace

Do we recognise our image of GOD in this list of names? Or have we developed a false sense of GOD’s identity? 

(There are so many more names which identify GOD. Check out the internet for a more comprehensive list.) 

Our perception of GOD

Jesus called GOD his father many times. So he is Our Father also. But have we inadvertently overlaid that image as Our Father with that of our own imperfect earthly father, or teachers, parents, or church leaders?

Moses acted as GOD’s spokesperson, in part because the Hebrews did not communicate with GOD directly. Do we put someone between ourselves and GOD?

Do we trust, knowing he “gives good gifts to children”? 

The Father loves us, does not condemn us

Are we receiving everything as He intends for us?

Now “there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1) So I am not seeking to condemn anyone, or to suggest anyone is walking in an “unfit” manner. But rather, I am urging all of us to ensure our image of GOD is as accurate as our knowledge of Him will allow, and that we walk freely — in love and in the Spirit — so that we can receive all He has for us, both now and eternally.

In Yeshua/Jesus I pray, Amen.