Established & Grounded

Established and Grounded, Part 1

 

The Pantheon in Rome, built in 125 A.D., is one of the world's oldest standing buildings that still remains in regular use today. Each year, thousands of people visit and stand in awe of its beauty and historical significance. Sturdy foundations are essential for structures like The Pantheon to continue to stand throughout the centuries. Like this incredible structure, our foundations in God are key to a powerful life and a strong legacy. 

 

Base scripture: 
2 Peter 1:3-4 (The Passion)  -- “Everything we could ever need for life and complete devotion to God has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him who has called us by name and invited us to come to him through a glorious manifestation of his goodness. As a result of this, he has given you magnificent promises that are beyond all price, so that through the power of these tremendous promises you can experience partnership with the divine nature, by which you have escaped the corrupt desires that are of the world.”


Great legacies are built upon solid foundations.

  • Many people are impressed at the scale, beauty and detail that characterizes much of Europe’s old-world architecture, which has remained standing for centuries. Walking through structures that are thousands of years old gives one a feeling of participating in the legacy of civilizations that existed many generations back. Yet, it is because of the solid foundations these structures are built upon which has provided the stability necessary for them to stand the test of time. It's a testimony to the fact that great legacies are built on solid foundations.

  • Solid spiritual foundations prepare us to receive the blessings, gifts and promises that God wants to introduce into our lives, and to steward these effectively.

  • The reason that some people struggle to build a legacy that is lasting is because their foundations are not solid. The result is that much of what they put their hand to never gains traction or amounts to much.

 

God's design is that we bear fruit, but it takes strong roots to support fruit.

  • A Bradford Pear is a pretty, flowering tree. However, because it is fast-growing, it is not well-established, and, as a result, the limbs are vulnerable to breaking when storms come. A well-established root system would bring increased stability to the tree. In the same way, the root of our lives is designed to support the fruit of our lives, so it must be strong and well-developed.

  • John 15:5 (NKJV) -- “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

  • Abiding is the way in which we build our foundation. The original Greek for "abide" is to ‘continue to be present.' In other words, Jesus is saying that “if we continue to be present to Him, and His words are present to us, we will bear much fruit.”

  • When we are present to how we feel, what we think, other people’s opinions, and the reality of our challenges, we are not present to Him. Being present to Him is being consumed with the truth that constitutes His nature in us. God is calling us to discover truth in Him and to live from this truth when it is established in us.

 

We live in a society that is preoccupied with fruit but spends very little time getting grounded in their root. The result is that we want to inherit things that we are not equipped to steward.

  • Example: Having a baby. It may sound like an inviting prospect; however, it's going to require that we be established. Established on a solid financial foundation so that we can provide for the child; a solid domestic foundation so that we can provide a home for the child; a solid parental foundation so that we have the value necessary to raise up a child.

  • Example: At the age of 95, Pastor Gavin's grandmother started an exercise routine. Keeping her body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, fit and strong has given her increased energy and a renewed lease on life. If we don’t take care, often the physical challenges we face are self-inflicted. Healing is not going to help us because we don’t have the foundation on which to receive it. If healing was to come, it wouldn’t be very long before we were back in the same predicament.

 

God is looking for us to become people who are established; people of character. He desires us to be people whose essential qualities are grounded in kingdom truths – a foundation to our lives that is developed over time.

  • Character is made up of things called values -- our individual beliefs that motivate our actions and our attitudes. What we believe about ourselves, others, and life is very important because these beliefs form the building blocks of our character – our foundations.

  • It is only when we are grounded on foundations of truth that we are positioned to receive God’s blessings into our lives, stewarding them so that they flourish.

 

Character is not dependent on how we feel.

  • People spend a lot of time speaking about how they feel. When we direct our life by how we feel, it is a sign of not being mature. Character is not dependent on how we feel; we don’t do things because of how we feel, but because of character.

Being established on a solid foundation introduces stability into our lives.

  • It is when I am established in peace that it doesn’t matter what happens around about me; I have a security and confidence in Him that surpasses reality. People are looking for us to be stable because it stands as a testimony to Him. It is when we are unstable that people often cannot hear what we are saying because who we are is shouting so loudly. As a parent, I am so aware that what I say to my children must be an extension of who I am. If I say one thing – even if it is truth – and live another, they may hear what I say, but they will do what I model.

 

God's Word says He's given us everything that pertains to life and godliness. But it's only by knowing Him that His divine nature (His character) becomes established in us and equips us to steward all He has for us. Too often, we get so focused on searching out His blessings, promises, and gifts that we neglect seeking and developing His character in us. His nature and character is what will develop the foundational strength and stability of our lives and legacy.

 

Established and Grounded, Part 2:
"To Flourish is the Fruit of Purpose"
 

Strong foundations are important in life because they allow us to inherit and effectively manage opportunities. We spend years of our lives building our educational foundation, establishing a knowledge base which positions us to walk into a career. An employer will offer us opportunity when he is confident that we are sufficiently established to both value the opportunity and responsibly embrace its potential.  In the same way, God wants to take us places that we don’t always have the foundation to inherit. His intention is to set us up so that we are capable of walking into and stewarding the next chapter of our lives. All this rests upon building a strong spiritual foundation with Him. 

 

Base scripture: 
Psalm 1:1-3 (NKJV)  -- “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the
scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”


It is only when our lives are established on a solid foundation that we will flourish.

  • To flourish is to be in a vigorous state -- to thrive, be in one’s prime, to be successful and to prosper.

  • Jesus said that “all things are possible to him that believes." (Mark 9:23)  This is a powerful statement about the limitless potential of our possibilities; however, it is directly linked to what we believe. Another way of putting this is: what we believe is going to determine the potential of our lives. Beliefs are important because they open possibilities and release potential. Beliefs drive the attitudes and behaviors that characterize our lives. Beliefs are the building blocks of our foundation.

  • The idea that “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20) proposes that the foundation of my life, my beliefs, are no longer to be conformed to my history, thoughts, emotions, previous experiences or the ideas of others; they are to be made new so that they reflect the nature of Jesus. Our transformed beliefs introduce us to attitudes and behaviors that resemble Him. It’s when we change our beliefs that we shift our lives to a place where “the Word is working mightily in me." This is where our doctrine becomes practical, and we initiate the process of experiential Christianity.

 

The extent to which we transform our beliefs will determine the degree to which we walk into God’s design for our life. 

  • “I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul (foundation) prospers." (3 John 1:2) God is saying that His primary desire is for us to walk into the fullness of what He prepared for us: life of a superior nature. However, our ability to do so is dependent upon being grounded and established on a solid foundation. The extent to which we transform our beliefs will determine the degree to which we walk into God’s design for our life.

 

The purpose of the Word is not memorization but transformation.

  • Christians who don’t build the foundation of their lives end up frustrated. It’s a frustration bred from knowing but not experiencing; from being aware that God has more for them, but not knowing how to step into it. Many times this is because we don’t recognize that the purpose of the Word is not memorization but transformation.

  • Memorizing the Word is not inherently bad, but it isn’t going to change the beliefs of our life. We don’t change our beliefs by investing in charity, attending bible study, volunteering to usher or even memorizing the Word. These things may be good, and they have their place, but they are not a substitute for foundation building.

  • We construct our foundations by “...delighting in the word of the Lord and meditating on His word day and night..." (Ps 1:2). The Word is the material that transforms our beliefs; it’s what will take root in our hearts, germinate, and grow into new beliefs. It’s the process of hearing the Word andembracing it that bears much fruit.

  • Ex: David was different to Israel’s army of soldiers. They knew about God; but David had afoundation established in God. The army had a mental awareness of God and His abilities; David had a set of beliefs that were founded on God. Everyone wants to be a giant slayer but knowing about God doesn’t give us the confidence and conviction necessary to step into action – we need a foundation of Godly beliefs! David had convictions that transcended his reality; and his attitude and actions were expressions of faith – the fruit of beliefs that have been made new.

 

It's easy to become so focused on stepping into our purpose that we overlook the need to get established in destiny. 

  • Destiny has everything to do with our foundation; it's about being “conformed to the image of Jesus."

  • Destiny is God’s plan for our beliefs. As we discover new aspects to His nature, so we are invited to let go of old beliefs and get new Jesus-centered beliefs. Each time we take another step into destiny, it opens fresh vision to us. Every time we enlarge our destiny, so we identify new opportunities for stepping into purpose – an outward expression of what has taken place within me.

  • We don’t get God’s provision, victory, or the next chapter of our lives without enlarging destiny. I want to get my college paid; God wants me to see myself as prosperous. I am looking for ability; God wants me to get established in the truth that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I need confidence; God is looking for me to get grounded in how much He loves and values me. When I’m established in destiny, purpose will present itself.

 

Being established on a solid foundation introduces us to stewardship. Without a foundation I’ll take ownership of my life and assume responsibility for making it happen; stewardship keeps me established on a foundation of grace.

  • Stewardship will keep me stable in the knowledge that “...what He has promised, He is faithful and just to perform." (Rom 4:21)  When Moses saw an Israelite being mistreated, he recognized his purpose; however, since he wasn’t grounded in destiny, he took ownership of the situation and killed the Egyptian.

  • When we live from ownership and not stewardship, we take responsibility for making life happen and do things in our own strength. The result was that Moses spent many years in the desert until he ran into a burning bush that was not consumed. There he met destiny; God introduced Moses to who He was. He was getting Moses established on a foundation of transformed beliefs that were grounded in the Greater One and His ability. God presented to Moses the idea of stewardship, which would keep him established on a foundation of grace.

 

God's plan and destiny for each of us is powerful and is intended to bring His character, nature, and influence into our world. We must be rooted in Him to be able to steward and move into the places He's called us to.

 

Established and Grounded, Part 3:
"The Power of Influence"
 

Social media has revolutionized the way in which we are introduced to and build relationships. Connections with other people are no longer limited by proximity; we now have access to a global audience. It's commonplace for people to use platforms like Facebook to showcase their lives and get to know others in the same way. Reading what people do, their interests, hobbies, and family life lets us know about them, but it doesn’t mean that we know them. We only really get to know others when we connect with them and are affected by who they are; things like chemistry, intellectual stimulation, intrigue – we allow who the other person is to influence parts of who we are. An important concept that separates knowing about someone from actually knowing them is the power of influence. 

 

Base scripture: 
1 Peter 2:9 (Passion)  -- “But you are God’s chosen treasure—priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience his marvelous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world.”

The Power of Influence introduces us to ideas like trust.

  • The more I trust you, the more I am prepared to reveal parts of who I am to your influence. It opens the door to intimacy.

  • Intimate relationships are characterized by greater degrees of influence. The greater one’s influence in my life, the more I value you – there is a direct relationship between the degree to which I value you and how much I love you.

 

Knowing Jesus goes beyond the way He showcases Himself on His Facebook page (the Word). It’s not until we have an interaction with the Holy Spirit that we get to know Him.

  • People who hold places of intimacy and value in our lives are invariably those with high degrees of influence; people who we know well.

  • Paul said of Jesus that his desire was “to know Him and the power of His resurrection” (Philippians 3:10).

  • The Word of God reveals His desires and plans, what He is like, what He has created and how He works with man; it tells us about God. It’s not until we have an interaction with the Holy Spirit that we get to know Him. It’s in the interaction that the Holy Spirit is given access to our hearts, and we are exposed to His power of influence. It’s the power of His influence that changes us in ways that we are unable to do.

 

It is only through dependence on the Holy Spirit’s influence that the beliefs of our heart (the building blocks of our foundation) are established. 

  • Peter spent three years with Jesus. He saw Him perform miracles, he witnessed Him raise the dead, he heard Him teach, and even had Jesus speak directly into his life. Despite all of that, when Peter responded to Jesus and said that “He was the Christ, the son of the risen God,” Jesus said to him, ”Blessed are you, Peter, for flesh and blood hath not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18)

  • Essentially, Jesus told him that the belief established in his heart never came from what he saw, heard, or witnessed; it came from revelation – it was something produced from the power of the Holy Spirit’s influence on his heart. He goes on to say that “...upon this rock I will build my church." Jesus is going to build the foundation of our lives from revelation of Him.

  • It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit’s influence that the beliefs of our lives can be established. Any time we try to build our foundation, we step into works or religion – our expression of a spiritual truth, not His. It is only through dependence on the Holy Spirit’s influence that the beliefs of our heart, the building blocks of our foundation, are established.

 

It is only the influence of the Holy Spirit’s power that can accomplish this transformation; it is through “the power of His resurrection” that real change is realized.

  • We may be able to manage our behaviors and our attitudes, but we are not able to change them because they are the fruit of our beliefs – something we cannot change.

  • Looking at God’s Facebook page doesn’t change us. Memorizing Bible verses, intellectualizing theology, or exploring the nuances of doctrine isn’t going to change us. It may expand our understanding and make us heady, but it is not transformational.

  • We must connect with the Holy Spirit and rely on His power of influence to affect us. It is a supernatural encounter; a change that takes place because of the ‘super’ taking us beyond the limitations of the ‘natural.'

 

Exploring supernatural truths is going to require that we become spiritual people.

  • What makes us God’s treasure is that we have His nature and life invested in us; we are a spiritual nation. We are primarily composed of spirit, soul and body; however, this is not what makes us spiritual people.

  • A spiritual person is someone who has the foundation of their lives (their beliefs) built of spiritual material (His nature), not natural material (the influences of our reality). We become active participants of His nature when our beliefs are made new and reflect His image.

  • “All things are possible to him that believes” introduces us to the limitless potential of possibilities which are directly linked to what we believe. Beliefs are important because they open possibilities and release potential. They drive the attitudes and behaviors that characterize our lives; they are the building blocks of our foundation. “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” proposes that our beliefs are no longer to be conformed but are to be made new so that they reflect the nature of Jesus.

 

Becoming a spiritual person is an act of intentionality. It is only the power of His influence that reconstitutes me and redefines my future. 

  • The Word says to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds." This is our responsibility. Up until the point when His nature redefined me spiritually, other things defined my beliefs -- my exposure to the world, situations, other’s opinions and words, and my thoughts and emotions. It happened as a course of life; it was purely accidental. However, changing these beliefs so that they resemble His nature must be intentional.

  • I have to go beyond knowing about God and get established in “knowing Him,” which will introduce me to “the power of His resurrection." As long as the building blocks to my life are built from the remnants of my history, my future is going to look a lot like my past. It is only the power of His influence that reconstitutes me and redefines my future.

 

Life experiences are an exercise in discovery; we don’t always know who we are until something is demanded of us. The way we respond to situations and words that come out of our mouths, as a result, reveal what is established in our hearts. The Bible says that it is “from the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks." The fruit of our lives reveals the root of our lives. Each time we discover a part of our heart that is not characteristic of His nature, we have discovered a crack in our foundation. The opportunity presented to us is to take this discovery to the Father, repent for it, and invite Him to make us new through the power of His influence. We should spend as much time thinking about our foundation and the beliefs of our lives as we do dreaming about the course of our lives.

 

Established and Grounded, Part 4:
"The Power of the Invisible & Intangible"
 

Our lives are driven more by the intangible and invisible than any other force. Thoughts, emotions, personality, ideas, and decisions are all powerful influencers, yet none of them has tangible form. These forces may be invisible, but the power of their influence is indisputable. The principles and power of the Kingdom are also intangible and invisible; however, their influence cannot be debated. God’s nature, the fruit of the spirit, the gifts of the spirit, and the force of faith are all designed to bring about newness of life. 

Base scripture: 
Philippians 3:8-11 (NLT)  -- “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his
sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!”

God is looking for a people who can partner with Him in the intangible to transform the visible.

  • Our ability to accomplish, achieve, and be successful is a function of the intangible and the invisible. Example: Entrepreneurship drives commerce, yet it is invisible. Knowledge is the hotbed of ideas, but both knowledge and ideas are invisible. Our ability to succeed in relationships is a function of what scientists refer to as our EQ, our emotional intelligence. It introduces concepts like love, respect, honor, affirmation – all of which are invisible.

  • The things that most influence us as human beings are neither visible nor tangible, yet they are powerful. If we were to remove the influence of the invisible, we would be left with little more than the biological.

  • God exists in the invisible and the intangible. He is looking for a people who will live and move and have their being from this place. A people who can partner with Him in the intangible to transform the visible.

 

The way in which we get to know intangibles is through an encounter with them.

  • It is only when the invisible introduces us to an encounter that their nature is given expression.

  • Examples: We don’t know how smart we are until we take a test. We realize our creativity as it evidences itself through our cooking, or the outfit we put together, or the painting that is given expression on the canvas. We recognize our skills and talents through the instrument that we play, the song that we sing, or the sport that we play. We know our problem-solving ability by completing the crossword puzzle.

  • Belief is important, but belief is part of the invisible and intangible realm; the purpose of belief is to introduce us to an encounter. “All things are possible to those who believe” – the possibilities of our life are determined by what we believe; but those possibilities are only realized in an encounter.

  • Up until the point of an encounter, all I have is belief (my doctrine). It is in an encounter that what I believe is converted to what I know. It is only when we act on what we believe about Him that we get to know Him. We may believe that He can heal, but it is only when our bodies are impacted and made whole that we know Him as the healer.

  • Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good...” The proof of the pudding is in the eating; the invisible and intangible world of our beliefs is only known as it is given expression through an encounter.

 

The key driver of our life is our beliefs. They form the foundation and framework to our lives, and this influences all our other invisible drivers. 

  • Our beliefs give identity, substance and power. For example, if I believe that I am not as good as other people, it creates a foundation in my life that is built on a compromised sense of value and worth. All the invisible and intangible elements live from this framework. The result is that my thoughts are continually focused on how I do not stack up when compared to others; myemotions feed me with insecurity, doubt, and fear; and my decisions all too often remove me from opportunities for fear that I will be exposed as being substandard.

 

God knows the importance of our beliefs and created a sacred treasure chest to house our beliefs called our heart. 

  • Our heart is not that part of us that circulates our blood; it is the central part of our being. An equivalent would be when we refer to "the heart of a matter."

  • Matthew 12:34-35 says that ”…out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” The beliefs that are established in our heart are going to introduce us to encounters where the nature of these beliefs are going to be given expression.

  • Example: The problem with evolution is that it is incapable of identifying the source of life. This is not surprising since the very nature of God is life. The theory proposed goes something like this: a lifeless object, like a rock, existed before a seismic something happened (referred to as a ‘big bang’), and the result was that the nature of the rock was transformed from something that was inanimate into life. The evolutionist proposes possibilities that exclude God’s intervention; yet, without the contribution of His nature, there is no life. As born again believers, we cannot evolve our dead beliefs into what God intends for us; we must have Him change the nature of these beliefs.

  • Believers are made new; we don’t adapt. It is only by His power that the beliefs of our lives are transformed, and we are instructed to build our house on this nature. The fact that the foundation and framework to our lives is of Him is what enables us to withstand the storms of life.

  • Without changing the nature of our beliefs, we engage in evolution, and we try to adapt the dead nature of our beliefs into who He has called us to be. We embrace concepts like positive thinking, the power of the mind, and behavioral modification. It is as ineffective as trying to work our way into heaven. When we recognize beliefs that are not of Him, we are to repent; engage the Holy Spirit’s power of influence by allowing Him to speak a word into our situation; and get the revelation established in our heart through meditation. Then we must allow it time to germinate and cultivate its development until it bears fruit.

 

The reasons that we struggle to get our beliefs transformed into His nature is detailed in the parable of The Four Soils (Matthew 13).

  • Wayside Soil: Speaks of people who have very established beliefs that are in opposition to God’s nature – and they are unteachable, intransigent, dogmatic and defensive of them. These are people who have set ideas about who God is and who He isn’t; how He works and how He doesn’t. Because they believe that healing has passed away, they are not open to meeting Him as the healer. When the soil of our heart is hard, it is equivalent to throwing seed on a concrete slab; it is wasted.

  • Rocky Soil: These are social media Christians. They spend time looking at God's Facebook page and gain some understanding about who He is, but their interest never turns to commitment. They get excited but have no root in themselves. They like the ideas and the potential, but there is not the dedication necessary to get His truth built into their hearts.

  • Thorny Soil: These are believers who have not assumed the responsibility to guard their hearts. The result is that they open the most sacred part of their lives to seed from all influences. Because of this, they have mingled seed which results in mixed thoughts. It makes for a “double-minded man," and God says, “...let this man not think that he will get anything from God.” (James 1:6-8) This ultimately leaves us influenced by our reality not His nature.

 

Our beliefs are so important to walking supernaturally and fulfilling our purpose and destiny. We are constantly surrounded by influences, both positive and negative, in our society through the internet, social media, radio and television. Because of this, we stand a high risk of developing mingled seed or uprooting good seed that we've planted. We must be diligent to guard our hearts with the implanted truth of God's Word!

 

10266 Battleview Pkwy

Manassas VA 20109

Tel: 703-331-3820

Fax: 703-331-0914

administration@livingbyfaith.com

  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White YouTube Icon