Revelation and the Renewed Mind

Discovering that the Earth is Round Changes Everything

 

Jesus said, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." While Jesus died and resurrected that we might live in truth, so many of us still battle the comforts of an imprisoned mindset. We have a deluded reality where we think we're free, but we're actually imprisoned by perspectives and realities that are not characterized by truth. 

Base scripture: 
John 8:31-36 (NKJV)  -- “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

Every time we introduce Jesus into our life, we are introducing truth; truth is designed to liberate us from whatever defines our current reality.

  • Knowing that truth will set us free suggests that it is possible to live our lives off a reality that is not based in truth. Jesus said that He was the way, the truth and the life.

  • Living life from the perspective of truth establishes us in a reality that will influence our disposition, attitudes, actions and words. Every word that the Holy Spirit invests in us carries with it the power to liberate us and establish us in the benefits of freedom.

Many Christians don't recognize that they are prisoners.

  • “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone” – Many Christians live from their knowledge of the Word and not a revelation of the Word. The result is that they look, sound and often act spiritual; however, the Word has never redefined their reality so that it is born out of truth.

  • The prisons that we get locked in are perspectives and realities that are not characterized by truth.

  • People get locked in spiritual prisons. Spiritual realities that are defined by ideas or previous encounters that have established formulas and limited expectations of how God operates. This is a prison that prevents us from embracing new moves of God because they don’t conform to our limited perspectives.

  • People are locked in relational prisons where they are so dependent on their partner that they are prepared to compromise their values to hold onto abusive and dysfunctional attachments.

  • There are prisons created when we value the opinions of others more than we value our individuality. Because of this we don’t express an opinion or take risks in life because we are so aware of what others may think or say.

  • People are stuck in the prison of social views on retirement. When we retire, we buy into the notion that the productive portion of my life is over, so we never try new things, innovate, live in the expectation of expansion or contribution – we’ve bought into the prison of society’s definition of old age.

Any time that we refuse to embrace truth and walk out of the prison that we are locked in, we think our problems are outside of us; we don’t recognize that the real problem is the distorted reality within us.

  • People locked in a spiritual prison think that their problem is the contemporary praise and worship. Or teaching that isn’t insightful. Or ministry that isn’t the way we used to do it, so it’s not right. They don’t realize that the real problem is that they are stuck in a prison of what God was doing yesterday.

  • People blame their spouse for not being attentive, affirming, emotionally engaging; the real issue is that they are stuck in a reality of dependence on their spouse. It prevents them from seeing reality with clarity, so they participate in co-dependent behavior. Ultimately, they become victims of a controlling relationship.

  • Any time we live life from our prison cell, we have bought into a limited reality that will leave us with a compromised existence. These are people who “perish for a lack of knowledge.” Jesus said, "If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” A revelation of truth will set you free from your prison; it will liberate you from your limited reality.

Don't get stuck in a "flat earth reality."

  • Around the 6th century BC, most people believed that the earth was flat; the world was portrayed as a flat disk floating in the ocean with a hemispherical sky-dome above. It was into this reality that Pythagoras proposed the outrageous hypothesis that the world was spherical. People mocked and laughed at him because it was so self-evident that the world was in fact flat: see the horizon – the end of the earth was visible; didn’t you hear stories of people who sailed too close to the edge and fell off? Or perhaps you would like to try it for yourself and row out to the edge and see if, in fact, the theory is correct? – a suggestion most never took up because of fear that they may be wrong, get too close to the edge and never be seen or heard from again. People lived in a reality that made sense, that society endorsed, and science supported. Unfortunately, the reality that they were living was not real at all! It took another 300 years before Aristotle provided empirical evidence that supported the idea of a round earth. It is like many people today: our reality makes sense to us; the problem is it just isn’t real!

  • In Matthew 9 Jesus goes to the home of the synagogue leader where he tells the mourners that the little girl is sleeping, not dead. They laughed at him. It was self-evident that the girl was dead. Everyone could see that the girl was dead. It made sense; it just wasn’t true. Jesus was living from a "round earth reality" whereas everyone else was stuck in a "flat earth reality."

  • People let the education system, teachers, students and test experiences define their intellectual reality, and so run the risk of living from a reality that they are not as smart as others. It makes sense; it just isn’t real.

  • People get trapped in small town living: because they live there, they think that is all there is to life. They make plans and imagine what the potential of their lives will be like, all the time being influenced by a limited point of reference. It’s a reality that makes sense, it just isn’t real.

Until we are intentional about allowing the Holy Spirit to introduce us to a new reality, we will remain trapped in the prison of a limited reality.

  • If we are conforming to our flat earth reality, truth will be foolishness to us.

  • 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “...the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

  • God’s reality is designed to introduce us to round-earth living. We were designed for expansion, and God's truth is intended to define what this expansion will look like.

Unless we are prepared to let go of our limited reality and step into a perspective built on truth, every seed that God tries to plant in our lives will never find the soil that it needs to take root, mature and bear fruit.

  • There is not accommodation for God’s seed that “above all things He wishes for us to prosper and be in health” when we are living from a reality that I will never succeed. When my reality is that I'm a victim of circumstance, I can’t hold onto the promise that I am more than an overcomer, victorious, a conqueror.

  • A mind that refuses to change prevents us from stepping into what God wants to do in our lives; it precludes us from realizing the blessed future that God has designed for us.

True freedom only comes from revelation. In this new year, make a point to be intentionally open to the Holy Spirit to show you areas where you've been imprisoned to particular mindsets and perspectives. Revelation, God's revealed truth, is the only path to legitimate freedom.

A Reality Called Faith

 

Because there are many opinions, thoughts and ideas about faith, it is important that our understanding of this subject be based on God’s Word. When we base our concept of faith on religious doctrines or manmade theologies that are devoid of truth, we make the Word of God, and ultimately our faith, of no effect. 

The importance of faith in our lives requires that we have an insightful and accurate definition of it. What exactly is faith? How do we get it and is it possible to increase it? 

Base scripture: 
John 8:31 (NKJV)  -- “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

John 8:31, in a broad way, begins to illuminate the process or mechanics of faith.

  • Jesus says: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples." Essentially, He is saying that the Word produces disciples. The word "disciple" is a precursor to the current term "Christian." It is defined as one who is a student or learner, one who disciplines himself in the teachings and practices of another. A disciple is a person who commits his life to expressing, or looking like, his teacher. A paraphrased version of what Jesus is saying is: "If you abide in My Word, you will being to look, speak and act like Me."

  • Disciples “know the truth.” People who look and act like Jesus are established in the Word. The Word is truth, and just as truth is established in us through revelation, so is faith (Romans 10:17). Therefore, this phrase can just as accurately be translated: “Disciples who know the truth are those who are established in faith.”

  • It goes on to say that living from the truth that we know, or this faith that is established in us, sets us free. This turns many people’s concept of faith on its head. For too long, people have thought that faith was something that I generated in and of myself to access the promises of God. However, what this verse tells us is that faith is not us doing something to receive from God; faith is God accomplishing something in us through His Word. This accomplishment called faith inside of us is the gateway to walking into freedom.

  • Essentially, faith is God’s investment in us because He knows that when we live from this place, it is going to pay dividends in the form of glory. When we live from what He has built into us, we get to introduce something that is of Him into our world, our situations and our life – and that something reveals a part of who He is to the world. Anytime we reveal a part of His nature, we reveal His glory.

Our perceptions are not necessarily truthful; however, our perceptions are more important than truth because we live and build our realities from perceptions.

  • People used to live a flat earth existence. The education system taught them that the world was flat; looking at the horizon certainly gave the impression that it was flat. Plus, they heard stories about the flat earth. People lived a reality constructed from their perceptions. It was a reality that made sense to them; one that they were comfortable and confident in. Unfortunately, it was a reality that wasn’t built on truth.

  • Most people today still live a reality that is constructed from their perceptions. They go through life as disciples of perception; students or learners whose lives express and look like the teachings and practices of all that they have perceived. Our perceptions are not necessarily truthful; however, our perceptions are more important than truth because we live and build our realities from perceptions.

  • The reason that our realities are powerful is because they define the universe called our existence. The boundary of this universe determines the limits of what we believe. Unfortunately, when our beliefs are informed by perceptions, all too often our boundaries are limited in scope and, as a result, are an incumbrance to us realizing the full potential of God’s design for our lives.

  • The universe called our reality is also peppered with things called unbelief. There are toxic untruths that prevent us from walking in unity and relationship with God. These are beliefs that are not birthed from truth and as such prevent us from walking in God’s design for us. EG: If we believe that healing has passed away, we will never encounter the blessing of wholeness and divine health.

  • As people, we create our realities through perception; God, on the other hand, creates reality through words. When God created the natural reality, He spoke it into existence. He said, “Let there be light,” and it was. “Let there be birds of the air and fish in the sea,” and it was. “Let there be sea and dry land,” and it was. God is always “speaking those things that be not, as though they were.” When God speaks, things happen. Therefore, when God speaks into our lives, He uses His words to create our internal. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Faith, our inner reality, is created when we hear God’s Word. Everything begins when God speaks.

  • God is not going to introduce us to His design for our lives off the limited and toxic-peppered reality that we have created through our perceptions. This is why He implores us not to “conform to this reality” but to “be made new” by adopting His reality of truth. When truth is revealed to us through His words, it births a new realty within called faith – a springboard to freedom, blessing, the miraculous and the supernatural.

  • The Bible is based on a system of living words. God speaks living words to us, and we receive them, resulting in a new reality called faith. Isaiah 55:11 says, “So shall my words be that go forth from my mouth; they shall not return to me void, but shall accomplish what I please and shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” God transfers His reality to us through His words. Faith comes to the heart the moment a promise comes alive in us; the moment it becomes ‘real’ to us.

Legacy is more than what we leave to our children; it’s what we put into our children.

  • Every parent intends on making deposits into their children's young lives that will define their reality, liberate their future and set them up to become a living legacy.

  • John 16:13 (NKJ) says, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” The Holy Spirit is here to take God’s words, reveal them to us and get them established in our lives. He does this because He is in the process of making living legacies of us; children of God who don’t live from what God gives us, but who thrive on what God has deposited into us.

Faith is vital to the Christian walk because it is the tool through which we bring the things God has provided for us from the spiritual realm into the physical realm. Our faith is the victory that enables us to overcome the world; and it is though our faith that we access everything the Lord does for us.

Faith is the Victory

 

Jesus establishes a principle that conveys across all aspects of our relationship with Him: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” He wants us to maintain a distinction between flesh and spirit; knowing that to access the things of the kingdom, we must make a transition from the natural to the spiritual. The process of uprooting our existence from the natural and getting grounded in His spirit is called being Born Again. Unless we engage in life from the spirit, we will never see nor participate in kingdom living.

Base scripture: 
John 3:1-7 (NASV)  -- “Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again."

The new birth is not a reformation of the old nature but a creative act of the Holy Spirit.

  • God is not into house flipping; He only does new builds. Too often we think we can remodel our old dilapidated homes, but God is only interested in us moving out of the neighborhood and into a new home that He has constructed.

  • The reason that the new birth is necessary is that the natural man is incapable of "seeing" or "entering into" the kingdom of God. The natural man is blind to spiritual truth and impotent to enter the kingdom because he doesn’t understand it.

  • The new birth is not a reformation of the old nature but a creative act of the Holy Spirit. The same is true of our soul: our reality is not reformed but made new by the Word of God.

The principle of the new birth should extend to our souls by the renewing of our minds.

  • Our first encounter with this truth is when our spirits are made new through salvation; “all things pass away and are made new” – 2 Corinthians 5:17. When we are born again spiritually, the life of God comes in and replaces our old nature, introducing us to His nature of life.

  • But the principle should extend beyond our spirit to our soulish realm where Romans 12:2 encourages us to “be made new by the renewing of our minds.” Essentially, God intends for us to live from a new reality that is spiritual in nature. The way that this reality is going to be created is through the Word of God.

  • Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. God is going to use the power of His Word to create a new spiritual reality in us, and this new reality is going to be faith. This is why faith is not something that is created by us, it is not of the flesh; but it is something of God, something spiritual that He creates in us through His words.

The source of our reality is important because it defines potential.

  • If our reality is defined by flesh, we are limited to natural potential. However, when God is the source of our reality, “all things are possible to them who believes." It influences how we are to approach our future.

  • Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that will he also reap. For he who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the spirit will of the spirit reap everlasting life.”

  • God encourages us to be people who recognize the difference between flesh and spirit and to actively involve ourselves in sowing to the spirit. We sow to the spirit when we place ourselves in the presence of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to reveal the Word to us; then we allow Him who began the good work in us the opportunity to complete it. The Holy Spirit is the General Contractor, and He is responsible for using the Word to build the things of God on the inside of us.

God has to establish something of Himself in us because it is only that which is born of Him that overcomes.

  • 1 John 5:4 -- “For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.”

  • What’s important to note from this verse is that it’s “whatsoever that is born of God that overcomes the world." It underscores the potential of the spiritual. God has to establish something of Himself in us because it is only that which is born of Him that overcomes.

  • Our faith is designed to overcome; our faith is that which is born of Him and established in us through the Word.

  • Romans 1:17 says, “...the just shall live by faith.” In other words, the just shall experience life of a superior nature when they live from that which is born of Him. Understanding this helps us recognizes why faith has everything to do with God and has nothing to do with what I can muster up out of the flesh.

  • Example:  People struggle with feelings of guilt, shame and inferiority. They try to address these by doing good things, acting right, giving of their time and money. Essentially, they are trying to attain their righteousness through the flesh. Until we recognize the need to be born again and gain our righteousness through the spirit, we will never be successful. Phil 3:9 says that “righteousness is not of ourselves, but received through faith – righteousness is only received through that which is born of God.

We must make a decision to step beyond the natural and into the spirit if we want to live a life that “overcomes the world.”

  • Zechariah 4:6 says, “Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit, says the Lord.”

  • Ability and influence are of the flesh and are not empowered to overcome; it is only what is born of the Spirit that overcomes. We must make a decision to step beyond the natural and into the spirit if we want to live a life that “overcomes the world.”

Faith is the victory because it is something born of God.

  • 1 John 5:4 doesn’t say if we have enough faith, we will press through to the victory; faith doesn’t carry us into any victory. Faith is the victory, because it is something born of God, and “whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world."

  • Everything else comes about because of this. Faith is not the victory but is the result of its presence. When we live from this victory, we are victorious.

Living victoriously doesn't mean that we won't have battles to overcome in life; we will. But it's the establishment of that which is spiritual in our lives (faith) that enables us to walk through and overcome.

A Liberating Reality

 

"The just shall live by faith." This is a proclamation of the quality of life we should expect as Believers (life of a superior nature) as well as a declaration that we are to engage life from a new reality called faith. As natural people, we lived from a reality that was defined by our understanding; however, since we are born again, all things have become new, including our reality and our expectations of the future.

Base scriptures: 
Romans 1:17 (NKJV) -- “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV) -- “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

We have a responsibility to hunger after God's reality and to put ourselves in a place where we hear the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

  • God has assumed responsibility for constructing our new reality, and He is going to use His Word to accomplish this. We use words to communicate ideas and concepts; but God’s words are laced with power which makes them a creative force.

  • When God speaks into our lives, He is speaking a new inner reality into existence. We have a responsibility to hunger after this reality and to put ourselves in a place where we hear the revelation of the Holy Spirit, because “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

  • The reason that this new reality must be constructed by the Word is found in 1 John 5:4 which tells us, “Whatsoever is of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” It is only that which is of God that overcomes. This is why our contributions at developing faith are impotent and ineffectual; they are not of Him.

  • The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God as a container to convey the substance of Christ’s victory, nature, will, and truth to us as construction material for this new reality. This is what makes our new faith reality the victory; and when we live from this place we are victorious. This is God’s design for becoming partakers of His divine nature. It is a springboard to launch us into life of a superior nature.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1)

  •  Heb 11:1 doesn’t read: "Faith merely believes in what is hoped for, and the evidence of what is not seen." Faith itself is the substance of what is hoped for. Faith is born of God through the Word; it doesn’t merely believe in that which is of God; faith is that which is of God.

  • When we look at the word "substance" in the original Hebrew, we discover that it is the basis of something; a substructure, something we would call a foundation. Faith is a reality that supports the apparent.

  • Example: To be an accomplished sportsman requires strength, fitness, agility and speed. As I develop these attributes, I build a substructure called my athleticism. An established athleticism is the reality that supports my ability to be a great sportsman.

  • Unfortunately, there are some who hope to be great sportspeople, but they have never invested in their athletic foundation. They are compromised because when a demand is placed on the reality that should support their sporting aspirations, it is found to be lacking or absent.

  • It’s the same with many Christians. We have learned the promises of God and understand His nature; unfortunately, we have never invested in a foundation that is built of these spiritual materials. The result is that when challenges come, we start claiming the promises but there is no foundation to support our hope. It’s like the man who built his house on the sand. "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” - Romans 7:26-27.

The reality which supported the things that Jesus did and said came from the very substance of God.

  • Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Christ, the Anointed One, was “the very image” of God’s “substance.” The verse speaks of the Divine Essence of God that existed in and was expressed through His Son. Jesus was the visible expression of God’s substance. In John 5:19, Jesus said, “I only do the things I see the Father do.” He was saying that the reality which supported the things that He did and said came from the very substance of God.

  • This changes our focus as we navigate the challenges of life. Most people try to tackle them in their own understanding, relying on their ability, knowledge and skill. However, God calls us to live from a new reality called faith. It challenges us to invest internally in this new reality before tackling anything outside of us.

  • In Matthew 16, Jesus says that it was His Father in heaven who revealed to Peter that He was the Christ, and upon that "rock" He would build His church. Jesus says that the revelation of Christ is the rock on which He was going to build His Church. The Holy Spirit uses the Word to reveal aspects of Jesus’ nature, victory, truth and will to us. Each of these is an investment used to construct our new reality in us. The process of revelation is designed to get Christ established in us. It is Christ in us that overcomes the world.

  • In Colossians 1:27, Paul says that Christ in you is the hope of glory. Glory is when the invisible qualities of God are made visible for people to see and understand. It is when we make our faith, the foundation of our lives, visible. To glorify God means to reveal Him. When we live from Christ in us, we make the substance of our lives visible for the world to see; we live in the reality of glorifying Him.

  • The things that we hope for are not random personal desires but are expressions of God’s will and nature. What we hope for is produced from the word that God has built into us through revelation. Our hopes are the goals and aspirations of our faith. When I build an aspect of my new reality on the truth that by the stripes of Jesus I am healed, it creates a hope of health.


It’s not possible to have faith for anything but God’s will because faith comes by hearing the Word – God’s will, truth and victory. Faith can only be for what birthed it, the Word of God, and, therefore, it’s impossible to have faith for any hope that is error, my will, or for anything that originates from me. When we understand this, we stop trying to get God to do what we wish He would do. He will only do His will. It is impossible for us to have faith for anything else. If we want faith for a specific area of our lives, we need to seek out the will of God; otherwise, we are wasting our time.

 

Victory Will Cost You Your Crown

 

Much of the time, the Church speaks of Jesus in only one context: Savior. It's true, He is definitely our Savior; but the Word also calls Him our Lord and Christ. What's the difference between each of these, and why is it important to understand them? 

Base scripture: 
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV) -- “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ.

In Acts 2:36 (NKJV), Peter proclaimed that God made Jesus two different things: “…God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ.”

To confess Jesus as Christ is to state that we believe He is who He claimed to be, the Savior, the Son of God, the Messiah. We need to do this to be Born Again spiritually.

To confess Jesus as Lord is a recognition of His Lordship in my life and is a declaration that we are willing to submit to His rule and reign in each area of our lives.

‘Jesus as Savior’ affects only the spiritual aspects of our life; however, ‘Jesus as Lord’ affects all of life - it is holistic and all-encompassing. It gets the rest of us lined up and transformed into the image of Christ. To only confess Jesus as Savior doesn’t bring freedom or new life.

Savior describes the work He’s done for us; Lord declares the position He holds in our lives.

We only get to partake of the benefit of His work when we come under His Lordship. It is Jesus as Lord that lets us know Him personally. This is how we walk with God; it is where the intimacy of relationship is encountered. In this place of relationship is where He and I interact and each of the thoughts, beliefs and emotions of my life are invited into newness.

John 5:4 says, "Whatsoever is of God overcomes that World; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith." Faith is the victory because it is evidence that God’s Word, something of Him, has preeminence in my life. Truth has been revealed, and I have embraced it; now I believe and rest in Christ. Faith doesn’t merely believe something is true; it is the evidence or presence of this truth. It is Christ having His home in me.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NKJV) says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

Our victory does not begin out there in the circumstances of life; it begins within, between God and me. God wants to address those beliefs, thoughts, dispositions and emotions that live within us but which come against His truth.

Example: An anorexic person believes that they are overweight, no matter how thin and slight they may be. They are never going to conquer the challenge by what they see in the mirror; victory is going to come when they overcome the arguments, thoughts, and knowledge that comes against truth.

The same principle holds true for our life in Him; it is only when we “pull down strongholds, cast down the arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” that we are introduced to victory. The finished victory of Jesus must take preeminence over everything that would come between God and me. When that victory is realized, it manifests as the evidence and substance of Christ in me. As long as I want to wear the crown of lordship in my life, and I hold onto those things that separate me from God, they will prevent me from walking into victory. It is only when I am prepared to relinquish the crown on lordship to Jesus’ rule and reign that I can walk into victory in my life.

We must be bold enough to dialogue with God about our internal struggles and His intention for our life.

In Exodus 3 and 4, Moses met God and entered into dialogue with Him. In that space, Moses’ internal struggles that resisted the move and intentions of God for his life were revealed. Like us today, these are areas that, if not brought into truth, will separate us from God, relationship with Him, and His design for our lives:

  • “Who am I that I should go?” says I’m not good enough. It exposes his self-concept and sense of value. All too often how we think and feel about ourselves is at odds with God’s evaluation of us. He wants to introduce us to the truth that we are fearfully and wonderfully made and to get us grounded in a state of relationship that is free from guilt, inferiority and sin. It’s called righteousness.

  • “When they ask who you are, what should I say?”, says I don’t have all the answers. It is an issue of identity; we don’t know who we are as a new creation. Walking into this reality is both revealing and liberating.

  • “People won’t believe me” speaks to a lack of evidence. When Christ gets victory over those beliefs that hinder relationship and intimacy with Him, and we get established in and live from His victory in us; Christ Himself is the evidence of this new reality called faith.

  • “I’m terrible at public speaking” reveals that he doesn’t believe that he has the ability necessary to step into God’s invitation. Those thoughts that limit our potential need to be overcome by the truth that greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.

  • “I’m not qualified” speaks of a lack of substance; not being grounded on a solid foundation or in a reality of truth that supports the things that we hope for.

The risk is to deny those parts of us that are in opposition to God. If we do this, we are in danger of becoming double-minded.

God doesn’t say that we should ignore our fears; He says we should overcome them with truth: “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

In 1 John 5:9-12 (NIV), the words "witness," "record," or "testimony" mean "evidence" in the original Greek. Making the substitution, the verse would read as follows:

“We accept human evidence, but God's evidence is greater because it is the evidence of God, which He has given about His Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this evidence. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the evidence God has given about His Son. And this is the evidence: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life."

This verse says that the evidence of God is not something created by the Believer, but by Christ. The evidence of God is Christ who lives within believers. Apparently, Christ in us is supposed to be that real that His influence is evidenced in my life and in my world. Christ in us, the hope of glory, is the evidence of God. The evidence of Christianity is not some theology or doctrine; it is not coercion or debate, but Christ Himself. Not Christ off in heaven, nor the historic Christ, but the living Christ. It’s about a relationship and a reality; Christianity is Christ in us.

Faith is an inner habitation of His victory. It is living from a reality created from His victory; a victorious reality that supports our hopes.

Our faith does not win any victory. Rather, our faith is His victory; faith is what God establishes in us. God’s victory over us establishes His victory in us. When Jesus Christ gets full victory over us and reigns and rules in our lives, the result is a reality called faith established in us.

It’s not possible to live by faith to any degree unless Jesus is our Lord. We cannot trust Christ as Lord while being our own lord at the same time. I must come to the place where I surrender the crown of lordship to Jesus. The victory of Jesus Christ is not going to do us much good until we submit to His Lordship. When Jesus gains victory over us, it will set us free from all that hinders us in the purposes of God. He wants to win the victory over us so that we might be set free to experience Him.

Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV) says, "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

This is not a verse on salvation; it a verse about His Lordship in our lives. The principle is that when we bring those arguments, thoughts and knowledge that raise themselves up against the knowledge of Christ, under His rule and reign, it introduces us to righteousness. This is how our heart is practically introduced to righteousness; to the victory of Christ over us. The result is that He can engraft His victory into us. This is the place that we live from, and when declare it into our world, “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

Jesus Christ completed a full victory. He left nothing unfinished. He defeated every enemy, including the last enemy: death. He destroyed all the works of the Devil. What this means is that we are not appointed to win any victories. There are none left to win. Rather, we are called to stand in and live from His victory. This is not accomplished by us somehow mustering up the faith to obtain His victory. Rather, it is by surrendering to His victory; allowing Him to be Lord over each aspect of our life. It is through the Holy Spirit building truth in us, that His victory is established in us. The result is an evidence and substance of Christ Himself in us; a new reality defined by Jesus Christ.

What all of this means is quite simple: When God has full victory over us, and His victory is established in us, we are introduced to a reality that defines our life called "faith" - and this faith is His victory. This is where we understand Galatians 2:20, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that victory in Christ is a thing God hands to us; rather, it is a relationship with God. Victory is not a thing; it is a person, Jesus Christ. When He has full victory over us as Lord, then we can live in, and move in, His victory over all else.

The Power of Second Nature

 

Actions that are "second nature" to us are very powerful. They're powerful because it means the action is inside us as part of who we are. We don't have to stop and contemplate or consider that action; it's innate in us. That's how Kingdom life should be to us - second nature. 

Base scripture: 
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV) -- “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

1 Corinthians 2:4 -- “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”

Mark 11:23-24 -- “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

Our Reality Introduces Us to Second Nature Living and Defined Expectations

We use our senses to interpret the world around us. The feedback that we receive becomes the input or the building blocks of our natural reality. These inputs are processed internally, and the understanding gained is responsible for the construction of this reality. Through this reality, we build the skill sets that allow us to type, tie our shoelaces, eat with a knife and fork, or drive an automobile. These are not skills that we are born with; they are gained through awareness, development, determination, and practice. The point is that the more skilled we become at these activities, the more they become second nature to us. After driving a car for some time, it becomes instinctive. When we are well-grounded in driving or typing, we act out of this ability unconsciously, almost automatically. Our responses are without thought; they are truly second nature.

Living from our second nature introduces us to expectations. When I sit in the driver’s seat and put the key in the ignition, I expect the car to start. I don’t have to conjure up the confidence and trust that the car will start, I operate from an expectation that has been birthed in me, and I expect the engine to turn over. The same is true of our faith reality. When Jesus’ victory is established in us, we are to live from this place intentionally until it becomes second nature to us. At this point, expectations will be birthed within us that anticipate a Kingdom outcome because we live from His victory in us.

A New Reality

We need to have a well-developed natural reality to function effectively in the world; however, since this reality is defined by our senses, it is incapable of believing in the unseen. Our natural reality is composed of the inputs from our five senses. We can’t believe in the unseen when living from our natural reality because there are no touch points for our senses to gain understanding. This puts us at a distinct disadvantage because, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” This is why God tells us that “we are in the world, but not of the world.” He underscores the fact that our sense reality is unable to grasp, understand, or live from the things that are of Him – the spiritual. 1 Corinthians 2:4 says, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” God works from the inside out; not from our external, sense reality inwards. Therefore, our senses have no points of contact with spiritual things until they are manifest; spiritual things are unseen, foreign, and foolish.

Knowing this, God intends for us to live from a new reality. A reality that is spiritual in nature; a reality called faith – faith is the substance, the foundation, the reality that supports the apparent. This is why the “Just shall live by faith”; it is only when we live from this new reality that we are capable of accessing, understanding and living from the things of Him and the Kingdom; it is the only mechanism for bringing heaven to earth. To live the life that God has called us to, we need a new reality - a spiritual reality; and God has assumed responsibility for the construction of this. The material that He is going to use in the construction is His Word. The reason for this is twofold: His Word is truth defined, not truth interpreted as is the case with our senses. Secondly, since the Word is of Him, it empowers us to overcome, because “whatsoever is of God overcomes the world.” (1 John 5:4)

Romans 4:17 says, “…God calls those things that be not as though they were." God is a creative being; He calls into existence from “things that are not seen.” In the same way, we are to live from a reality called faith and to call into existence those things from the substance and evidence of this unseen realm. The way we do this is outlined in Mark 11:23-24: “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

One of the most important insights is that faith is based on the principle of believing in the heart and confessing with the mouth. When we have an appreciation for the words that we use, we understand that words are not primarily for communication, but for the release of power. Our words take Jesus’ victory that is established in our hearts and release them in the expectation of transformation. Insight into this reality will change how we deal with situations, as well as what we expect when dialoguing with God.

But it is not only about our words, it is also very much about what we believe. What is standing between me and the victory of Jesus is my unbelief. Just as faith is the victory, so unbelief is the defeat. God’s desire is that I believe and rest in Christ. It is not merely a matter of believing in Jesus’ victory, but living in and from it. When Jesus is victorious over the unbelief in my life, it creates a relationship of agreement that invites Him to build His victory inside of me.

Faith & Unbelief

This only makes sense if we have a deeper understanding of the meanings of both faith and unbelief. We often think of faith and unbelief in relation to believing facts or giving assent to certain precepts. But they are more. Faith and unbelief are relationship words; they speak of our relatedness to God. When we have faith, it is evidence of our agreement or fellowship with God on a matter. This is where “not my will, but thine be done," becomes real. If I have faith, I am in harmony with God. We are in unity and my inner world, or reality, is in agreement with Him. Faith is the outcome of submitting to Jesus’ Lordship in my life. We cannot trust the Father if we refuse to submit to Him. Faith doesn’t just believe God’s will; faith is God’s will – it is a matter of our reality becoming an expression of God’s will. When I have faith, I am swallowed up in Christ, and I am one with Him and His will. This is the place where I encounter the reality that “it is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me."

It’s about creating a new inner reality that ultimately affects our outward circumstances. God wants us to know Christ; to be dependent upon Him, and for Him to be our life. He wants us to operate in the faith of Jesus Christ. We live from and act on faith because this is our new reality which becomes second nature to us. Faith should become a way of life, something instinctive, well-grounded, and natural. Things that He deposits in my heart are now defined by my lifestyle. They are automatic, second nature to us, and we engage them with unconscious ability or thought.

A Kingdom Reality

In Matthew 6, Jesus prayed, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” These words speak of God’s intention as well as His design. His intention is that things on earth flow from that which is modeled in heaven; His design for accomplishing this is through His Kingdom. The Kingdom is within us, and Christ wants us to take those parts of us that are outside of the Kingdom and introduce them to truth.

Mark 1:15 says, “… the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel," or the Good News. Repenting is turning around from where we are going and deciding to live from a new reality; believing is how we get that new reality established in us. As revelation of the Word illuminates parts of us that are not in agreement with His will, so the invitation is extended to submit this area to His Lordship. As we do so, we submit to His rule and reign, bringing that area of our lives under His Lordship. Anything that falls under His Lordship becomes an expression of righteousness. Romans 14:17 says that the kingdom is “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

If we want to live from the Kingdom, we must move into the Kingdom. If we want to have the victory, be overcomers, and live with authority, we must live from the Kingdom. The Kingdom is that place which is given definition by the King – Christ. It's the place where I am immersed in Him; where “it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me."
 

 

 

 

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