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How Do We View Ourselves?

Recently, I received a review of my book, Defeat Fear Forever, that was a little shall we say, less than positive. One of the things the reviewer didn’t like was what he thought of as ‘elevation of humans’. He didn’t like the idea of us humans having what I call a horizontal (meaning eye-to-eye) relationship with God. He didn’t like me saying that Jesus was going to put those who overcome on His throne with Him (Revelation 3:21).

Now, let me be clear. We do not elevate ourselves. God, Himself, elevates us, through His own grace and mercy. He is God and we are not. However, He calls us His bride. By calling us His bride, He elevates us up to His level. He is still the king, yet we are welcome, in fact invited, to rule and reign with Him. We don’t and won’t have His power. He will always be God and we will always be His creation. Yet, He chose to love us. He chose to breathe into us His very breath of life. He chose to make us in His image. He chose to give us a choice as to whether or not to follow Him and His ways. He gave us the choice of good or evil. Then, even after our evil separated us from Him, He offered us a way back through the sacrifice of His very own life’s blood.

It is so easy for us Christians to think less of ourselves. We are sinners saved by grace. This is absolutely true. Yet, what about the ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’? That was John and that was how he refered to himself. Was one of Jesus’ very own disciples referring to himself wrongly? Do we believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God or not? If that is so, then we must accept the way John refered to himself, not as arrogance, but as a simple acknowledgement of fact. Why did Jesus love John so much? Because John loved Jesus so much. Because John went out of his way to sit next to Jesus, to be close to Jesus, to hang onto His every word, to just be near Him. 

The ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’ was the way John refered to himself. If we realize that this is not a bad thing, what do we do with that? How does this change us? John was no more beloved by Jesus than any of the other disciples. Yet, John understood something profound. John got it! John not only understood God’s love for him, he turned it around and understood God’s love for everyone around him. Then, because John loved Jesus so much and wanted to be like Him, he turned around and started loving the world the way God did.

Jesus says we are to abide in Him and He will abide in us (John 15:4). What does that mean? It’s not just something academic. It’s not a groveling, lower than dirt, situation either. Jesus invites us to abide in Him. He offers to fill us with His very own Spirit. He wants to abide in and with us!

We aren’t called to be just God’s children. We are also to be His bride. I don’t know about you, but in my marriage, we are equals. My husband doesn’t want to be treated like my daddy, he wants to be treated as my husband. He doesn’t need another child, he needs a partner.

Many of us Christians don’t walk in the authority we have been given as God’s children, much less as His bride. We live beneath our privileges. What queen in her right mind would choose to live in a cottage when she could live in a castle? What queen chooses to view herself as a penniless peasant when she is wealthy royalty? When we learn to walk in the authority we have been given, we will see the signs and wonders following us. We will have a boldness we have never known before. We will realize just how much we are loved and in turn learn to love others in a supernatural way. We will be a force for change in ourselves and in the lives of those around us.     

It is not wrong to view ourselves as ‘disciples whom Jesus loves’. In fact, that’s the right way to look at ourselves. It’s humbling to be so honored by the very King of kings. Yet, that is what Jesus wants for us. Take a look for yourselves in Scripture and start learning to look at yourself the way God views you, very loved and very precious–even ‘to die for’!

P.S. Just wanted to give a plug for Response To Grace Ministries. They offer terrific Bible studies and ‘Beloved Disciple’ is where I got a lot of ideas for this post.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in encouraging posts

 

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BookStore

Just made a few changes to my bookstore. Check it out!

BookStore.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Are We Walking in Authority?

I read recently in the book, Sure We Can!…have revival by T.W. Drost, that we as Christians sometimes don’t walk in the authority that we have been given. Instead of walking in victory, we walk in fear and defeat. This should NOT be so. We have been given so great a salvation, we should not walk in the fear of the past, the fear of sin and death, but in faith and truth, purpose and love. Our salvation was bought and paid for at a terrible price. Surely we should realize our value simply because of that!

The children of Israel walked in the wilderness for 40 years because they refused to let go of their past. It was only the faith of one man, Moses, that saved them over and over again. There had to be a letting go of their fears and the past–a death–in order for them to enter ito the promised land. Unfortunately, all of those over 20 (except Caleb and Joshua) refused and thus died physically still in the wilderness. This is a picture of what clinging to our old habits brings us to.

We Christians today can still be guilty of the same foolishness as those Israelites from long ago. We repent of our sins, experience baptism in Jesus’ name, and receive the beautiful Holy Spirit. It feels great for awhile, then, we start to get distracted. We start to slide into complacency, becoming luke-warm. This is a very slippery path that keeps us from God’s kingdom here on earth as well as in eternity.

Scripture says we are new creatures in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17). It is like the transformation from catterpillar to butterfly. They are two completely different creatures. They move differently, eat differently, see differently. The butterfly flies, while the catterpillar is only capable of walking. The butterfly eats the sweet nectar from flowers, while the catterpillar eats only leaves. The perspective (or what the butterfly sees) is completely different from the catterpillar. The butterfly soars in the sky, seeing the earth below, while the catterpillar crawls along on the earth, occasionally looking at the sky above. 

We as christians can be guilty of trying to go back to being catterpillars in a butterfly’s body. Imagine a butterfly trying to suck on leaves. Butterflies don’t even have teeth! They have only a strawlike tongue for sucking nectar from flowers. If we as christians attempt to get our nutrients from what the world has to offer, we will die, just as the foolish butterfly who tries to eat leaves.

As christians, we have authority over Satan and the world. We do not have to cower before either. Of course, we need to submit to authority, but that does not mean walking around subservient. We are not mice. We are men and women of almighty God! Jesus has given us authority over Satan and the world. We have only to speak in faith and we will see miracles happen before our eyes. Scripture clearly teaches signs and wonders follow them that believe (Mark 16:17-18). If signs and wonders aren’t following us, how can we claim to believe?

We have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7). If we are walking around in fear, we are guilty of following Satan, not Jesus. Jesus has given us power, love, and a new mind in Christ (I Corinthians 2:16). “The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits,” Daniel 11:32. I think it’s time for some exploits. Let’s see some miracles in the lives of the people around us. Let’s see some people feel truly loved and valued for the first time. Let’s see some souls saved, snatched from hell on earth and hell in eternity. Let us be renewed and feel real revival in our hearts and souls. Let’s walk in what we have been given, giving glory to Jesus.

In order to truly walk in the authority we have been given, we must be fully submitted, heart, soul, mind, and strength to Jesus. When we submit our wills to His will, we see miracles. We are given insight into things we could not have known. We become ‘peculiar’, yet people are drawn to us, because they feel His love in us. Let us walk in that. Let us live that and see those precious people that we love saved. Let there be revival in our hearts–today!

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2011 in encouraging posts

 

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