And I Know

And I Know

Romans 8:28 (NKJV) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Do you know? Are you sure? How sure? Certain? Full of confidence? And we know… What do we really know about God and His Plan for us? We have been given His Spirit and Truth to build foundational knowledge for our faith. Faith when sown in our life becomes blessed assurance and confident hope that carries through the ups and downs of life into eternal glory. It all sounds good. Maybe even causes a moment of elation, but then life happens. How can God be good when bad things still happen? How can He be for us when it seems the whole world is against us? Who is this God we serve and what are His True Intentions for us?

And we know…

True confidence in God’s Plan and Purpose for our life will produce a sound relationship built on trust, dependence and reliance. How do I build a relationship with someone who I cannot see, feel or touch? How will I know when I find Him? I have been seeking the Lord for many years now. Truly, diligently and intentionally digging deeper and deeper in His Word while wandering farther out into the depths following His Voice to find more faith. I have failed more times than I can count. I have fallen short of His Glorious Standard time and time again. I want to live His Word, do His Works (the greater ones that He promised) and I want to hear the Lord say, “Well done!” My flesh fights me every step of the way and my pride refuses to be crucified. It just won’t die. The thing that keeps me close and constantly engaged is the desire to know… and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God.

To be confident in God’s Love, Grace and Goodness will always give way to trust. We must try the Lord. Test the boundlessness of His Word and deepest fathoms of His Grace. To seek Him while He can be found not giving up until the Kingdom is found. He must be our treasure. One highly sought after and daily pursued. The Lord told the woman at the well a day was coming when true worshippers would do so in “Spirit and in Truth.” Friends, today is that day or at least it should be.

Romans 8:29-30 (NKJV) For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

God is not surprised by our mistakes. He is not taken back by our blatant disregard. The Lord is well aware of human tendency to rebel and seek its own way. He understands being taken for granted. For whom He foreknew…God knew you before you were anybody at all. He thought about you before you were created and thoughtfully carried out His Creation of you. He molded and shaped you with purpose and a plan to carry it out. He gave you a measure of faith and put eternity in our heart as a primary desire. God, the Father, did not stop at creating you. To only sit back and see how things turned out, but continually pursues you each day. The ones who He predestined…He called. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and decide to make Him our Lord, every barrier between us and the Father is dissolved and immediately melts away. Any perceived hindrance is on our part. Those who He predestined, conformed to Christ, who He is constantly calling to because in the Lord’s Eyes you are justified. His Perception of those who are His People is just as if you never sinned. Those who can somehow find a way to wrap their head around this valuable truth and allow His Spirit to lead you to the everlasting promises paving here to forever will live in His Presence in His Glory.

To know Romans 8:29-30 helps us better understand the verses ahead calling us “more than conquerors” all the way to the perception that nothing can ever separate us from God’s Amazing Love again. If it could, it would render the sacrifice of Jesus and power of His Grace as useless which is simply not the case at all…God’s Love for us is unchangeable. Nothing can stop it from coming after us and completely consuming us. It is our own willful refusal or ignorant dismissal of His Love, Mercy, Grace and Power that keep us from His Promises.

Psalm 61:1-4 (NKJV) Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. 

The more I know Jesus the less I seem to know at all. His Ways are higher than mine as are His Thoughts. Therefore, I must trust Him when I walk by faith and not by sight. To believe that His Truth sets me free should produce a desire to know what the Word of God says about me. To know Jesus – I must know the Word who He is wrapped in flesh. To understand Him at all requires an intimate and ongoing relationship with His Spirit. I cannot live a separated or differentiated life but totally surrender my body, mind, will and emotions to spiritual development.

On those days when my trials weigh me down, trouble overwhelms me, or the bad report gets the best of me, I come back to Romans 8:28. And I know… the knowing is not found in that moment of tribulation but it is the foundation that keeps us from falling or being buried. Faith in the Word must have some substance. It sandbags my heart keeping it firmly established in God’s Word while I wait for my life to line up with His Plan. Is your heart overwhelmed today? Are you thinking I can’t handle one more thing? Are you weary in well doing? Let the Lord lead you to the Rock that is higher. Access the Presence of God that is a strong tower and shelter for those who seek refuge. God has a plan. All the pieces are falling into place. Everything had to fall apart to become the Glorious New Thing that He promised. It is not your job to do it but simply endure the process. In due time, His Time – it will all come together according to His Plan for our good and His Glory.

Isaiah 55:8-11 (NKJV) “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

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Not Impressed

Not Impressed

Colossians 3:24-25 (NLT)

Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.

 

What if I told you that you cannot impress God? What would you think? Would you wonder what the point of life is if we cannot sway the heart of God? Well, it has taken me quite some time to figure this nugget of truth out and I am still unraveling this mystery of God’s Unconditional Love. We are not too far gone. It has nothing to do with us really. God loves us. He loves us so completely that there is no room for more. He loves us without any ulterior motive or condition which completely stupefies the human race. Too many times we put limitations on our relationships with unrealistic expectations yet fail to put those same expectations in the One who can fulfill them all.

I am a parent to five children. Three of them are full grown adults. They still need their parents. Our roles in their lives have changed more to friends and occasional mentors but nevertheless they are still our children. Of the three that have left the nest, they are each radically different in so many ways. Our oldest lives in Texas. He has always been the wandering free spirit looking for the next adventure with a deep desire to save the world. He is probably the hardest on himself. He sets the bar high in his life and rarely seeks assistance from us now that he is grown. I believe to his own detriment sometimes. He wants to impress us. He wants us to be proud of him. We are. Yet, he will not accept that until he is happy with his accomplishments too. Our second son is very different. He is his own person and quite unique. He has been through more in his short life than most people endure in a lifetime. Most would be forever changed by such a life or death experience but not him. He just rolls along. Stays in tough. But is not dependent and overall content with his life despite the hard times that he has endured. Then there is our daughter who is married and moved 21 hours from home. She is in constant contact with her dad and I. Not a day goes by that there is not a text, phone call or social media message from her. We are still very involved in her life too but in a different capacity. They are all my children. We love them equally. What they do in life or don’t do is not what defines them. We love them simply because they belong to us. They can try to impress us but we will never love one more than another. The connection is in the relationship.

God does not have favorites. It is not because He is trying to maintain a diplomatic role in our life but simply because He loves us with a father’s love. He doesn’t love one of his children more than another just some have a closer relationship with Him.

Luke 15:31-32 (NLT)

“His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

 

The parable of the lost son illustrates the dynamics of relationship. The son who was thought to be dead was celebrated on his return. He had lost everything and was a broken mess but the father loved him and was overjoyed that he had returned. The older son who remained home working the family business and being the “good” child could not understand why they would throw a party for him. Yet, this is what we must come to understand in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ to tap in to the inheritance and blessing reserved just for us. It belongs just to us. My brother and sister in the Lord do not have access to MY blessing. It is my inheritance. God is not impressed by what I do or do not do. He wants me. Just me. Nothing else. I can do nothing outside of faith that pleases God. Nothing. It doesn’t matter how diligent I am in living right or sharing the Good News with the world. There is a reason why the greatest of these is love. To discover the depths of God’s Love for us changes us forever releasing every expectation about this life we ever had to accept the unfailing love that Jesus provides.

I love my children because they are my children. No matter what they do, where they go, who they marry – I will always love them and they cannot sway that love. Imagine how complete God’s Love for us is considering our devotion to our own kids. We are sinful and imperfect people which is why it is so difficult to accept such perfect love.

Luke 10:38-42 (NLT)
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Obviously, Jesus was not the natural father of Mary and Martha. But for illustration purposes, the same idea fits. Jesus came to visit the family of Lazarus. Martha was scurrying around working hard to entertain their guest but Mary just wanted to sit in His Presence hanging on His Every Word. She was working on their relationship. Jesus points out to Martha what is most important. Now think about it. This was a prominent Jewish family who more than likely had servants in their home. Martha could have easily chosen to do what Mary was doing but she wanted to impress the Lord. Jesus set the record straight. “There is one thing worth being concerned about…” We should spend the majority of our time finding ways to know our Father, our Savior and His Spirit more rather than feeble attempts to impress Him. He cannot be impressed. It is just not possible.

Romans 8:29-30 (NLT)
For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn
among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

 

God chose us. He gave us. He is with us. Everything is past tense. It is all preordained in our life. Whether we choose to love the Lord or leave Him behind it does not change what God has set aside as our inheritance. We cannot impress God because our names are already inscribed on the palms of His Hands. (Isaiah 49:16) We are His Children. Jesus died on the Cross to restore that father/son or father/daughter relationship in our life. No matter what we do or do not do does not change His Love for us. (Romans 8:38-39) Read it. It says so in black and white. God is not a man. He does not lie or change His Mind. He decided to love us. He decided to bless us and nothing we do or do not do can change that. It is based solely and completely on His Great Love for us His Children. It was not an afterthought but fully intentional decision that God made before we were even born into this world. (Ephesians 1:10-11) It doesn’t matter what you do, where you go, or how far you fall. His Love is with us every single step of the way. Go ahead and try to impress Him if you want knowing that the blessing you receive was yours all along.

 

I Peter 1:18-21 (NLT)

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake. Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.

 

There is nothing that I will ever be able to do to repay the price paid for my life by Jesus Christ. It cost every drop of His Precious Sinless Innocent Blood. I do not have that to give. I cannot impress God because His Love for me is solid and complete. God does not love me emotionally but unconditionally without exception. At all times, He loves me. In every situation, He is for me and on my side. He loves me. The only way that I can ever experience more of God’s Love is simply move closer and pay attention to what He is doing in my life knowing that there is nothing of value to Him except my faith. He wants me to be confident in His Love. He is a true father in every sense of the word. We may go through seasons of separation as we try to find our way through life but He is always, always waiting for our return. Don’t try to impress the Lord today but simply press in. That’s what He has been waiting on all along!

I John 4:18-19 (NLT)

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.