The season of transitioning our home from McKinney out to Farmersville has proven to be a very interesting and trying time which has required endurance and patience. As usual, what has transpired in the natural mimicks the spiritual. During this entire process, Father has dealt with me, touching things in me, adjusting things in me and searching out places in me to discover if I would willingly yield to Him or resist.
I have resigned myself to the conclusion that, along this journey, such processes will NEVER stop. The only constant is change, migration and transition. Father is well pleased to continually engineer a transformation from how we exist according to the flesh in order to conform us to the image of the Son. He is always compelling us to move forward, go to the next level or do deeper; depending on what term you like to use!
Father’s intention has always been to “bring many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10) and, quite frankly, I understand that “existing in the state which God intended” (glory) is not where I, or His People, currently exist. Therefore, change is required………..in me.
As is always the case, Father will not force His Children to embrace the uncertainty of change. He simply offers His Grace to empower those who will yield and trust Him in what is, essentially for them, a death process. It must be remembered that sons trust Father in all things………..even in resurrection from the dead. Life in the Spirit after death to the flesh is a key principle in Father’s business being transacted in individuals. corporate expressions and in the world. Perhaps, that is why we experience so little of it.
In this latest season, I have come to the realization that the more I think I know about God, Church and Kingdom, the less I really do know. And, when Father asks me to release such things, which He has apparently been teaching me over the last 15-20 years, I am usually reluctanct to surrender concepts, ideas, phrases and terms of speech, ways of doing things and other stuff. After all, those things are currently what represent God to me. It’s the framework in which I am interacting with Him, feel comfortable in doing so and have been propagating amongst people who care to listen.
Three critical issues always pop up when I ultimately become aware and clearly understand Father’s significant dealings with me.
First, my concept of WHO HE IS! Am I ready to accept Him for who He truly is and how He would like to further reveal Himself to me or would I rather hold on to the GOD I have in my head and have become accustomed? He is more than I know and/or have experienced, therefore, I must go beyond the image I have created and carefully watch Him as He shows Himself. He’s never contradictory or inconsistent with what He has revealed about Himself previously. But, He is the Great Iconoclast and He blows my mind!
I know that’s not a fancy way to say it but it’s accurate. As I surrender the knowledge I have of Him, He purifies it from inaccuracies from wrong teachings, experiences and deductive reasoning and brings in a higher revelation of the quality of His Person. As is the always the case, such revealing is Spiritual in Nature and always bolsters, refreshes and builds up my spirit man. As strongholds and dark places in my mind come to light in who He is, they are shattered and my mind becomes renewed accordingly. Conduct and behavior are then challenged and changed as the Spirit leads me to govern the flesh. For me, this is how transformation occurs.
Secondly, my identity is always challenged in transformative seasons. The “who am I?” and “what am I here to do?” questions arise in times such as these. Now, the fact that the “being” question comes before the “doing” question is a sizeable, significant result after years of transition. There was a time, not so long ago, that the “doing” question came first in order for me to answer the “being” question. I am thankful that Father has worked amazingly over the past few years to address that issue and put it in proper order.
Yet, the more I go through such seasons, the further I am regressing from the “doing” question at all and pressing more into the “being” side. Not that the “doing” has decreased. No. It hasn’t subsided. It has, however, become more precise. I think that He is ultimately leading to what Jesus said while on this planet and functioned in the Spirit of Sonship, “I don’t do/say anything unless I’ve seen/heard My Father do/say it.”
Yes, I know that’s a tall order but it is what Father is after, not only in me but in all those “many sons He is bringing to glory”. The fact that we religiously fight and resist such a notion is precisely why we must go through seasons of transition and renovate Who HE IS and our identity in Him.
Also, under the “identity” section, the “I always do the things that please My Father” statement by Jesus can also be quite perplexing. However, in context, if we recognize that the “being” in Him is where He first finds His pleasure in us, we will not yield to the temptation to perform in order to gain His acceptance. It was that way for Jesus.
When Jesus first comes to John to be baptized and “begin his ministry”, Father’s words audibly uttered from heaven through the parted clouds and attended by the Spirit in the form of a dove depict Father’s order of His Pleasure being accomplished.
“This is My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.” Jesus hadn’t opened a blind eye. Hadn’t walked on water. Hadn’t done a teaching or anything else we would like to DO in ministry in order to BRING GLORY TO GOD! No! Father was FIRST pleased IN HIS SON and the fact that HIS SON WAS IN HIM as displayed by the symbol of baptism. Father is pleased IN HIS SONS before He is ever pleased by what they do.
Sons understanding and resting in Identity before performing activity is Father’s order. Understanding this keeps us from entering into our own work and offering Father the works of our own hands in order to be accepted and pleasing to Him. It is the Spirit of Sonship that we have received in the context of the New Covenant which empowers us to do those things that please Father. Only sons who are secure in their identity in Him can truly, effectively transact Father’s business in the earth.
The third issue that accompanies the first two is relating to people. There hasn’t been a season of major transition that has occured in my life that it hasn’t deeply impacted my realtionships; both with brothers/sisters and those in the world.
First, allow me to say that the more I think I know about “Church”, the more I realize how little I truly do know. This one statement that Father gave me years ago remains to be true.
There isn’t an entity currently in earth that exists how Father desires His Church to exist!
If anyone, and I do mean anyone, purports to have “it” figured out and puts forth a certain paradigm, chances are they are mistaken. Jesus said, “I will build MY Church (of me)” and the further I move along the more I realize He really meant that statement. It is purely through the GRACE of Christ, with NO FLESHLY PERSUASION, that truly builds His Church, His People, His Nation. Any organization of men is not to be confused with God’s organism.
So, as I have begun to adjust and release my own preferences and embrace Father’s heart, I realize it boils down to relationships and how you treat people. Both brothers and non-believers alike.
The one consistent variable that I have experienced in all forms/structures that have been billed as “it”, this is what God is doing, has been relationships with people. Mega-churches, denominational churches, network churches, house churches, organic churches, missionary orgs, etc……………. Eventually the thing always supersedes the people and becomes the thing! God’s growth and purposes cannot and will not be realized through man’s ways of doing things. The sooner we get past the titles and the worldly governmental orders the better off we will be as we seek His Kingdom.
This past week, Father brought a brother to us from across the country whom we were acquainted with but did not really know. As we spent a couple of days together just getting to know one another, I realized he had been sent to us to refresh us, confirm what Father was speaking to us during this season and encourage us. As he left us after our time together, he said we did the same for him. We had some of the most deep and meaningful “church” that I’ve had in quite a while and a signficant Kingdom relationship with a brother had been established. It was pure, uncontrived and, most importantly, according to Father’s plan.
So, the further on I go down this road, the more I am stripped of stuff and things, whether mental, material or spirtual, that are not of Christ. Each time He propositions me to come further, Father patiently awaits to see my response and acts towards me accordingly. I am so grateful for His patience and His loving-kindness afforded me in all ways but especially through His People.
With the close of this year, I believe, comes the close of this particular season of transition and opens up a new chapter of advancement and adventurous pursuit of His Kingdom. He knows the thoughts He has for me, thoughts for good and not evil. Plans to bring me into my future and hope.
Blessings on your holiday season!
Keep your peace!