2018 - Knowing God’s will easily
- Jared Neusch
“For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.” Rom 8:29
It’s at about this time of the year that people reflect upon the past and look towards the future; resolutions get made, prayers are prayed for direction. As you lift your life, your friend's and families lives toward God, I’d love to encourage you with a few important truths.
God looks at our hearts, not at the level of polish on the outside of our cup. The world deals in job titles, status and superficial accolade, God wants to form integrity, character, truth on the inside - to set us free. Who are you when no one is looking? God looks at "why" we are doing something, not "what" we are doing. The will of God for our lives is more embedded in our "becoming" than our career or doing. It doesn't mean that God doesn't have important assignments for us, or that our occupation or jobs aren't either instrumental or dear to GOD'S heart. But how are you "being"? How are you coping with process?
Walking like Jesus
Let's take a look at what the bible says about walking like Jesus. First and foremost, most importantly, are you loving God with everything in you? Are you learning to love yourself by letting God love you, so that you can love others? When our love for God is all consuming, everything else finds its rightful place. If we seek God and His righteousness first, we can trust that everything needed will follow. (Matt 6:33)
There is no sacred or secular divide in the kingdom of God. God is unimpressed by whether we're decked out in fine linen, a Savile row suit, bin liners or purple vestments. Truly there is no partiality with God. You can be an apostle or a waitress, a professor or a student, a CEO or unemployed and flow in the fullness of God's will for your life. But have you taken up your cross, dying daily to self and ego? Do you walk a slave to the fear of man, or embrace the wisdom of the fear of God? Are you "rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, giving thanks in all things (at least trying?), refusing to quench the spirit, nor shunning prophecy”? (1 Thes 5)
Are you a servant, are you childlike in your faith? Are you hot for Jesus or lukewarm, filled constantly with the Holy Spirit or stuffing your life with all the nonsense of the world? Do people get around you and get hungry for the things of God or hungry for the vanities of the world? Does your life glorify God or the flesh? In your “going”, are you preaching the gospel, laying hands on the sick, driving out demons, raising the dead? (Matt 10:7-8) Is the impossible becoming logical? Are you passionate to see hell plundered and heaven populated? Are you making disciples? Are you praying for leaders or cursing them, learning to give thanks for all people rather than criticize them? Are you remembering the poor, giving generously, losing your very life, so that you might find your true life?
Now, don't be overwhelmed! There is no condemnation for those hidden in Christ, those who walk by the Spirit. We are made perfect by faith, not the law. Born again believers are saints in the eyes of heaven before they have even got out of bed – “holy, blamemless and without reproach.” All of the above are God’s will for our abundant life, the likeness of Christ in the earth, fuelled by the gracious impulse of the Holy Spirit, not the exhaustion of religious striving. The secret to good fruit is in simply yielding, abiding, beholding, adoring Jesus. But God does need our agreement, God is very serious about our growth and He does convict us in order to call us higher. He's good like that! Our repentance, our renewed thinking and believing, is the gateway to inside out transformation. Steve Backlund said, “The renewal of the mind is intentionally thinking from God’s point of view.”
All of the above are biblical signs that Christ is gradually being formed in us, that our lives are well pleasing to God, that great reward is coming, irrespective of our circumstances, how successful we “feel”, or whether the world or church is noticing. It matters little if I am a Bishop or a banker, a Mother or a lawyer if I am not letting God form Christ in my heart motivations, in my believing, in the "how" of my life. There is much freedom receiving this freedom from the law, “outward circumcision” in all its guises. All that is needed is “faith (conviction) activated and energized and expressed and working through love.” (Gal 5:6)
Joining in with God, becoming love
As we hit 2018, let’s fall more in love with God, let's learn to embrace and enjoy the journey, lean into God’s process and His being through us, rather than the mirage of arrival – what some have called destination disease. Find out what God is doing and join in. Do great things not for God but with God, remembering the how, the why, the heart behind our actions. Be free in knowing that your circumstances don't define your righteousness. Process, whom we are becoming, is a big deal to God. Ask yourself the question, “Are you becoming (true) love?” We cannot enter into our personal destinies in God unless we allow ourselves to be changed into His likeness. GOD'S after our likeness, our very being, the light, the fragrance and the incense that the sacrificial offering of our lives is releasing wherever we tread. A miraculous new year and 2018 to you and yours.