I John 1:1-3 (NKJV)
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
This is my manifesto. I desire Christ to be manifested in my life. I know what I have heard. I believe what I have read. With that in mind, I declare that I have faith. To truly have authentic faith and real confident hope has made a complete change in my life, passion and pursuits. We pursue that which is desired. When I met my husband, I was immediately intrigued. A few days later, I desired his presence so I invited him to join in on an outing with some friends. On that very first outing, not really knowing him yet liking what I had already seen, I told a friend that I was going to marry this man. An observation made without any real knowledge of who he was, or what he desired in life, I declared my intentions on the spot. Those intentions sparked a longing to spend more time with him and get to know him better. A relationship was born from my strong motivation to be in his presence and know him more. Today, we have been married more than a decade going on two. God has been good to us and applied grace to our love and life in ample portions that our relationship has grown into a seal over our heart.
Oh to desire Christ as we do other people, to commit our actions to arrive in His Presence, to develop a mindset not satisfied outside the Light of His Love. Do you desire a relationship with Jesus Christ? Do you long for intimacy that leads to knowing Him more? Jesus longs to manifest His Presence in our life. He literally died to do so. He boldly marched through hell and snatched the keys to death and the grave from the hand of the enemy and thrust them into our hands. We control our destiny again. It is by choice we choose to live in the Presence of God or hidden in darkness forever. From the beginning, God desired a relationship with us. His Presence was with mankind in the Garden. People chose something else. Jesus Christ has restored a right and peaceful partnership between His Father and us. The Holy Spirit lives in us so that we may once again live in His Presence. What is our desire? What is our longing? What is our manifesto?
John 14:20-21 (NKJV)
At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Moses had the burning bush. Jacob saw the ladder coming down from Heaven. Elijah heard the still, small voice on the mountain. Abraham experienced the manifest Presence of God on the mountain moments before he plunged a knife through the heart of his promise. We all have moments in life when God speaks directly to us. For those who call out to Him, the Lord will answer. I have called to the Lord when I was walking with Him and even far away. He has answered me audibly in both situations. God is ready to speak to His People. The Lord is totally capable of making His Presence manifested in their life in a humanly comprehensible way. Are we listening? Are we watching? Are we waiting for the Lord?
Is today the day that you (and I) will experience a manifestation of Jesus in our life? We should be able to experience the Lord’s Presence and Promises in each day of our life as He moves us from glory to glory and victory to victory. There are no off days in Jesus. There are no less than perfect moments committed to Christ. He works all things together for those who love Him and live according to His Purpose. Do you want to hear His Voice? I find that in those moments when I hear the Lord clearly, audibly with absolute certainty, He usually only requires one thing of me. Faith. It usually culminates in trust. Very seldom does the Lord require me to do anything more than to believe what He says. The Holy Spirit teaches, leads, guides, convicts and nudges us in obedience and holiness in this life, but when the Lord speaks to me it is always to trust Him more.
John 15:3-4 (NKJV)
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.
How strange? I do not remember ever reading the phrase, “You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you.” Jesus is the Word of God wrapped in flesh and manifested to the world. His Mission was to restore peace with God among His People so we could prosper in His Presence and in His Love again. The Word of God is clear that the deciding factor is solely based on whether or not we abide in Jesus. Abide means remain, continue, stay, dwell or reside. Not to be offensive or in any way condescending, but why do we expect the Presence of God to be manifested in our life when we do not live in Jesus Christ? I live with my family. Most nights, I come home from work and prepare dinner. We have made it a point to sit down at the table, eat and fellowship without cellphones or television in order to communicate together. This is a relationship builder. Not long after dinner, the kids head off to do homework. The husband off to do some chores or catch up on news while I clean up the kitchen. If we do not make it a point to come together, share our life, and maintain our relationships, our family will disconnect and become dysfunctional. It always allows our family to survive testing together. The bond formed by abiding grows into roots that keep us grounded in faith, hope and love through the toughest life storms. Apart from Jesus or outside of His Presence, we are helpless. It is in His Love that we have all power and authority in life.
Ephesians 5:8-13 (NKJV)
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.
Salvation exposes us to God’s Love by His Grace. It is in our commitment to Jesus Christ that a relationship is born allowing us to experience the intimacy of His Presence and His Presence in our life. To manifest means to be evident, visible, clearly revealed, palpable, plainly apprehensible, or proved by direct evidence. The Presence of God cannot change to accommodate our life choices and possible sin attached. We limit our interaction with the Lord as He can only come as close as we allow. If we want God’s Presence to be manifested in every area of our life, every area of our life must be covered in His Blood and maintained by His Grace or as He moves in – we will see those parts of our life fall apart because His Goodness and Perfect will not allow it in His Proximity. Grace never makes sin okay. Our weakness makes way for His Strength. We are empowered when we submit these areas to the Lord for His Careful Reconstruction. The purpose of our life is not to make this life better but to be fully prepared to cross from death to life taking as many with us as possible on our way.
2 Corinthians 4:1-2 (NKJV)
Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
I Corinthians 12:6-12 (NKJV)
And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
I am the Body of Christ. It is comprised of every soul who accepts God’s Gift of Grace and commits their life to the production of faith and confident hope in His Love day by day. My first commitment is of myself. I must take my whole life and place it in the Light of His Love. I believe that this commitment is made through radical obedience to God’s Word, Will and Way. It is a complete surrender of my mind, will and emotions to the Lord in exchange for His Thoughts and Desires concerning me. This is the easy part.
We are the Body of Christ. Perhaps the manifestation of God’s Presence in our midst would be just a little bit easier if other people were not involved. I could do it alone. Well, you can’t. Any body part in and of itself is useless, it is its connection and usefulness to the entire body that defines its necessity. To abide in Christ and live in His Presence requires unity among people. Lord, help us all. Unity is tough with so many personalities, ideas, opinions and selfishness…yes, I said selfishness. Self-seeking ways are hidden in good hearted believers…it is a daily crucifixion of our flesh and complete surrender to Jesus that allows us to love others and be united with them as Christ instructed. It is a requirement to live in the Presence of God and experience manifestations, signs, wonders and miracles in our midst. “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.” (I Timothy 3:16) I will never experience the fullness of God’s Presence and completion in Christ until my manifesto in life is more of Jesus less of me. I must dissolve my life into the Person of Jesus Christ.
Colossians 4:2-6 (NKJV)
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Have you ever walked into a room to get something or do something and upon arrival completely forgotten what it was you were after? Yeah, me too. Or have you been talking about something and lost your train of thought becoming derailed in your communication completing forgetting the point? Yeah, me too. We all get distracted. Even with the best intentions, we sometimes find ourselves in a surprising place wondering how in the world I ended up here. On days like this before allowing bitterness, anger, malice, sin, or discord to take root in our life, we must review the manifesto of our life once again. I want Jesus – all of Him so He can take residence in my life. I want His Presence. My desire is to be so full of Jesus that I do not need to say a word or do a thing and His Presence saves, heals, delivers and fulfills the hearts, minds, bodies and lives around me. I want the Light of His Love to be a beacon to the lost, suffering and dying souls that fill this world. It is up to me if I will live such a life.
Today – what is your declaration over your life? It is your to-do list. Have you deemed this day success if you cross everything off of it? Is there strife among you and family, friends, co-workers or anyone? Will it become a barrier or will you build a bridge and get over it? What we say and what we do must agree. I have been promised the Presence of God. I can choose to live in Him or apart from Him but I cannot reside in both places successfully. I will be lacking just as if I left my right arm at home every day taking only the left. We are a part of something so much greater than ourselves and more powerful than anything that the world has to offer. Too many times we allow insignificant details and wandering sojourns to detour us. Today my manifesto is simple. I will do what the Lord requires of me – “He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) If I can accomplish this one thing, everything else will fall in just the right place.
I Timothy 6:12-16 (NKJV)
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.
The Book of Timothy compares this life I live to that of a good soldier. One who is committed to the mission and will die for the cause, yet there are days that I compromise and will not even risk being inconvenienced for it. I must fight the good fight of faith. I must daily revisit the mandate and my personal manifesto for life to remind my heart, mind and soul that we are on a mission that cannot be forgotten or delayed. To experience the fullness, power, and completion offered to us in a relationship with Jesus Christ requires a commitment to His Word, Will and Way. To step out of all darkness, even the hidden shadows of compromise and substitution, to bask in His Glorious Light. We were made for more, but we must want more out of life than what this world has to offer with a level of commitment that we will sacrifice everything even unto death for our cause. His Name is Jesus – He is my manifesto.
2 Timothy 2:1-4 (NKJV)
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.