3 things a believer has to be on
The ways of God
Psalm 103.7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel.
Ex. 33.12 Then Moses said to the LORD, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know whom You will send with me. Moreover, You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ 13“Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.” 14 And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. 16“For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” 17The LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.”
His ways reveal how He is – His preferences, His choices, His ideas, His feelings, His character: v13 IF I have found favor – show me your ways -> which will show me You -> so I have MORE favor -> so that (v16) I can have your Presence with us
Numbers 12 – The Murmuring of Miriam and Aaron:
v 6-8 He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream.
7“Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household;
8 With him I speak mouth to mouth, Even openly, and not in dark sayings, And he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant, against Moses?”
Moses was TIGHT with God, mouth to mouth – Face to Face – we are called to a face to face relationship with Him, anything less than that is wasting the Lord’s efforts and sacrifice for us:
Heb. 4.16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
The will of God
Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane
36Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”
39And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? 41“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.
Luke’s account mentions an angel’s help:
Lk. 22.39 And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. 40When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, 42saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 43 Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
The agony and pressure seem to pass… and Jesus seems to go back to his normal state, so much that Matthew mentions him saying when Peter cuts off an ear:
Mt. 26.52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. 53“Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54“How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”
Jhn 18.11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”
I personally believe that the phrase “remove this cup from me” or “let this cup pass from me” is not indicative of Jesus’ unwillingness to offer himself up for sacrifice – He vehemently rebukes Peter when he mentions such option – at some point the word says that to follow Him we must take up our cross and follow him – which leads me to believe he knew the kind of death He would endure. So I believe that possibly Jesus is asking for more time on Earth before his sacrifice has to happen. It is possible as well that the pressure was catching up to Him, making Him shaky on His own convictions about what He had received from the Word and He needed confirmation, yet in the face of doubt, He chose to remain in submission to His Father, and let – and I mean LET – the story move on, as He said:
Jhn. 10.11“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12“He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13“He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18“No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”
No one has taken (my life) away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. – So the Lord allows His own sacrifice.
Hebrews says about this:
Heb.5 7In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. 8Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation
The will of God is to be revealed as it was to Jesus. I believe there were two sources where Jesus found God’s will: the scriptures and the Spirit’s witness.
I believe the Scriptures give us a spectrum where to move, what to do, how to do it – a range of motion.
I believe we need to see ourselves in the Book. I believe that the Scriptures need to speak to us personally. We need to identify which verses are about us. We need to grab them, memorize them, engrave them in our hearts and defend them from all external influences that would cause us to abandon them, or stop believing them, or simply cause us to not pay attention to them. The Scriptures are to shape us, they are to give us identity and purpose.
They will lead us into an encounter with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit will bring those Scriptures in our hearts from our hearts out to our every day life. This is why the Lord had 30 years of preparation prior to His manifestation.
Once Holy Spirit descended on Him, His ministry began – not before. Jesus’ internal realty was made external through Holy Spirit. From that point on, Holy Spirit was able to echo what the Father’s will was for the Lord through the inner witness.
I believe one of Holy Spirit’s rol for the believer is to time. He both reveals God’s will and WHEN to execute it. I believe He takes Scripture and brings it to life. I believe Holy Spirit reminds us of certain Scriptures at a precise moment in our story so that we may react accordingly.
I believe God’s will is portrayed in broad strokes in many subjects through the Scriptures. I believe Holy Spirit is who is able to fill in the blanks within those broad strokes.
I believe that we are to allow Holy Spirit to highlight the Scriptures that will build our identity and purpose. I believe that once we allow His Scriptures to take root in our heart, and we are able to nurture them through the revelation of His character – the revelation of His ways – the revelation of Himself – we will develop the necessary favor to bare the fruit of His seed within us, which will in turn manifest in our own personal Pentecost – Holy Spirit exploding within us, making our internal reality manifest in the external.
Jhn. 6.37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 38“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39“This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
I believe the will of God is to make us “beholdable” – something that will only benefit the Kingdom if when people see us, they see the Lord.
Jhn.14.21“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” 22Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” 23Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.
And God, and Holy Spirit, and the Lord and the world are CRAVING for you to become “beholdable”:
Rom. 8.19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
The Word of God
Psalm 119.105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
There is simply no way be ON the Ways of God, nor to do the Will of God, without the Word of God.
Much about this was said in the prior point, but there is a faith process that is good to be highlighted:
Rom. 10.17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Hebrews 1 adds:
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son…
So following Jesus’ example – He read the Scriptures. He was able to interact with the Scriptures as we do now. It seems that He was able to identify which ones spoke of Him and which did not. For example, some Scriptures spoke about John the Baptist’s rol, and some about Him. It would have been awful for them to get those mixed up.
So the Lord took what was written, put it in His mind, into His soul, most likely His mouth – and began a faith process.
The faith process is allowing the Scripture to carve out who we really are – who God created us to be. The Scripture needs to penetrate deep within us, so we are able to discern which “part” of us is really us and which part is actually a lie we’ve come to believe as part of who we are.
He will speak to us and we will be confronted with the choice to either believe Him, or believe ourselves – to believe Him or believe our circumstances – to believe Him or believe our fellow man – to believe Him or believe our own senses – to believe Him or believe our own thoughts.
Once we chose to believe Him, we are confronted with the gestation part of the process – where time goes by and we have nothing to show for, where His Words become dull, or stagnant and we might be tempted to doubt if it was truly He who spoke.
Abraham, the one called “Father of Many Nations”, having no children, knew this process and he was able to model the process to us.
He knew God. He spoke with Him. He presented his issue to God. God responded with a promise. Abraham went through a faith process. Abraham did not quit. Abraham received his promise.
The Scriptures narrate it like this:
Rom. 4.16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17(as it is written, “A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. 18In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.” 19Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; 20yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. 22Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
So Abraham came to a point of being “fully assured that what God had promised, He was able to also perform”. The paragraph adds in verse 16: “it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace”.
I believe that Abraham came into this reality within himself. I believe that it is very possible that both Abraham and Sarah did not possess this “assurance” – and that hindered them from receiving what was spoken over them.
We see in Nazareth – Jesus’ ministry being hindered by unbelief. We see Hebrews 3 and 4 account that Israel was stopped from what was spoken because of their unbelief.
Worthy to be noted, crucial to the faith process we need to undertake, Hebrews 3.13 reveals that sin hardens the heart – which in turn causes unbelief.
So then Abraham grew into this assurance. I believe this is because Abraham became close with God. At some point Abraham was not a friend of God. At some point Abraham became a friend of God. So again we are able to go back into the importance of knowing His ways – that we may know Him – that we may find more favor – that we may have Him present – that we may dispel any doubt or unbelief that sin may have caused, that we might receive a believing heart.
In this walk with Him, we are able to show off to Him, by remembering His words and putting them into action. We are able as well to hold on through thick and thin to His word, to show Him our trust.
To the point of Romans 4.16 – it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace – there is also a process, where we must die.
I see a parallel with Abraham / Sarah and Israel. They both receive His Word, then nothing happens, years go by, and then His Word gets executed.
With Israel, we are able to know through Hebrews 3 and 4 that the generation of those who did not believe died in the wilderness. With Abraham and Sarah we are able to know that not only Sarah’s womb was unfruitful, but Abraham became so old that now he was also unable to be fruitful. In both instances, after this process of death, God came and turned things around.
The Lord says this about death:
Jhn.12.24 – Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.
This process I believe is what makes the process to be long. I believe that God is able and willing to fulfill His Word instantly. I believe that as long as there is unbelief in our hearts, we will be roaming around the wilderness, until we run out of time, or until we are able to enter into our promises. I believe Jesus went through this process, I believe Abraham did as well, I believe Israel did, I believe Paul did. I believe you and I must as well.
The delay is mostly on our end. I do believe as well that there is the factor of God’s timing. I believe most (if not all) of what we hear about “God’s timing” is actually unbelief. It is so much easier for one who does not want to go through the death process to say “it’s not God’s time” than to say “I don’t believe God” – the first allows us to appear pious before men, delay the death process and furthermore make us feel good about ourselves – not confronting the fact we have hardness in our hearts. Some have taken this vice into a doctrinal level – they deny certain truths in the Word – they don’t say they do – they just adapt the Word to accommodate their unbelief – which in turn allows them not to go though this death process – which becomes very appeasing to the soul – they get to both be in good terms with God and their conscience AND also keep their lives. This would be equivalent of Abraham birthing Ishmael.
I believe a lot of religion is birth this way. I believe a lot of doctrine is developed this way.
Jesus, again, is able to also speak to this issue:
Jhn. 5.39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.
Jhn 5 …come to Me so that you may have life
Jhn 12 …he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal
Jhn 3 …For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life…
…He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
The faith process then seems to corner us into being forced to give up our lives – so faith can manifest.
I believe this death involves one or more of these elements: self will, desires, ideas, goals, methods, material possessions – to name a few. In essence, whatever would make it appear as the promise being FROM us.
If we work for the promise to be ours, then it is owed to us. If we are able to craft it, then we own it. If we are able to use our abilities, aside from Him, and enter into our promised land, then we are our own liberator. This of course will not be allowed.
Rather, if we recognize humbly that any ability, skill, strength, opportunity, resource comes from Him, then we are able to take a step further into faith.
So then I believe the faith process is:
1 – He shows me favor – allowing me to hear/read and understand His Words
2 – I allow them to take place in my heart, mind, soul – which causes Him to favor me more
3 – Through that favor – I approach Him boldly as Hebrews instructs, allowing Him to nurture His own seed within me, allowing Him to dispel doubt in my heart, mind and soul, allowing me to build up assurance, as Abraham and Sarah did, of both His character and His power
4 – If I chose to go through the death process, His Word outlasts, outgrows or better yet, replaces the lies within my heart, mind, soul
5 – His Word grows within me, I now have the assurance as Abraham and Sarah did
6 – I do not waiver/abort the Word through unbelief
7 – I bear fruit / His promises manifest
Jhn. 15.8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
Whenever our hearts spring faith, His manifestation comes as stated in John 14.21 in the KJV and ASV:
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him.”
So, again and in conclusion – God, and Holy Spirit, and the Lord and the whole world are CRAVING for you to be one through whom He manifests:
Rom. 8.19 For all creation, gazing eagerly as if with outstretched neck, is waiting and longing to see the manifestation of the sons of God. (Weymouth New Testament)