Family

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. [Ephesians 3]

Me:
Good afternoon Father!

ABBA:

Good afternoon Jon!

Me:

When I first read through this, I wondered about the existence of families in heaven and how it is that a family on earth derives its name from You. Then I realized this is not about some mystical connection, but about Your having created us. We would not even exist except for you! Plus, You designed our genetic make-up and our ability to procreate so that generation by generation one is derived from the parent’s stock, giving each his unique traits and giving genealogists mysteries to solve as to how our families are most recently connected. Sometimes we get used to calling You Father in a matter-of-fact way and lose sight of the fact that You are in Truth the ultimate Father of all.

ABBA:

Loosing sight of this fact is one thing that allows the enemy to nurture the lies that engender “we and they” divisions. The separations that have ensued are mere family estrangements; strongholds that have gained footing upon having forgotten who I Am. This alienation has been has been metastasizing (Exodus 20:5) since Adam pointed to Eve, calling her “the woman whom You gave to be with me” and shirking his own blame (Genesis 3:12) as though he could make his choice to disobey My fault. He was mouthing the opinions first born in the heart of Lucifer, giving place to lies about My motivations that completely missed the fact that I gave Adam perfect access life in Me. This was Life, which by My very nature withheld no good thing. It wasn’t long before this corruption passed down to Cain and erupted in anger toward his brother Able.

Me:

This makes me think of my own brother, who has fairly recently tried to cast me in a verbal spew as the son on our stepmother (whom he hates) while intimating he himself was the son of our natural mother and therefore right to despise me. This is kind of odd, given that we were both grown when dad remarried.

ABBA:

“Verbal spew” about the heritage of another does not originate from a good place. In fact, it is just another facet of the confusion that proceeds from a lack of understanding that I Am the Father of all. Dehumanization is a term that refers to the mental gyrations one goes through to rationalize carrying out the hatred of Satan against others who, in the absence of such machinations, would otherwise be recognized to be just like oneself. This process requires (willful) ignorance of the fact that I Am the Father of all (Ephesians 4:6). Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy. The authority he has to do these things is exactly the authority that he is able to trick My children into giving him. They are easily deceived because they do not know My Word.

 

Matthew 5:3 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

Have you wondered at the fact that I send the rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous? None can persist except I provide their needs. If I provided for only those who love Me, the ones who do not would quickly recognize they had no choice. I cause the sun to rise on the evil and the good that those who choose Me may do so of their own volition. They therefore love me freely. I desire it no other way. I love, whether My love is reciprocated or not. I Am love. Love is My nature. This is your calling, for You are made in My image, as are all My children. Even the ones who do not choose to act like it.

Me:

Thank You Father! I love You!

ABBA:

You are welcome! I love you!

Prayer-Refiner’s Fire

Me:
Good morning Father!

ABBA:
Good morning Jon!

Me:

Father, in Ephesians 6, verse 18, it says this: “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,”. What would You tell me further about this?

ABBA:

There is the possibility of doing anything either in the Spirit, or in the flesh. Do everything in the Spirit, especially prayer, which is of particular importance.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20 and again, The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless.” 21 So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas [or yourself] or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, 23 and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.

I Am telling you, this is why it is of prime importance that you pray; “all things belong to you” means you have authority over all things – and therefore responsibility. This responsibility is the charge of a steward, for all comes from My hand. This means that you are representing My authority and not that which is within your flesh. The authority of the flesh was given away in Eden. The authority of the Spirit was given under a new covenant at the cross to any who will be bound to it. I Am Spirit. It is not possible to discharge your stewardship in the flesh, as all things done in the flesh will prove to be wood, hay and stubble. Only things done in the Spirit will prove to be gold, silver, or precious stones.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10

Things done in the flesh, even for the wisest and strongest, are therefore useless. They will not pass the test. The things done in the Spirit will only be further clarified as the Refiner’s fire purges all vestiges of corruption.

Me:
Thank You Father! I ask You to help me learn how to carry out my charge in the Spirit at all times. Let me remember to allow the Spirit to have complete sway by faith. I am grateful also, for the myriad ways that You have given for us to sense whether Your Holy Spirit is the Power operating in our hearts at any moment or whether we have given place to the corruption of our rational minds. I am grateful that You are transforming my mind and have given Your Truth and your many great promises with which to occupy it, even in the sense of an armed force occupying territory in war. Thank You that You are Jehovah Nissi, God our Banner, God our Victory! I love You!

ABBA:

You are welcome! I Am indeed transforming You by the power of the Spirit and of My Word. No Word which I have spoken returns to me unfulfilled. Instead it accomplishes that which I send it to do. Therefore you can absolutely count on My promises and in My restoring all your mind and all your heart and all your strength to the purposes and to the joy and to the fulfillment of their original and perfect purposes. I love you!

Rest and Responsibility

Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Me:
Good morning Father!

ABBA:
Good morning Jon!

Me:
This is not the first time lately You have instructed me to rest in You.

ABBA:
I know that it is difficult for you. I made you with a high sense of responsibility. What I need you to see is that the most responsible thing for you to do is to recognize that it is My doing that makes all the difference.

Me:
How do I properly put that sense of responsibility that You put in my makeup to work in a way that it fulfills its proper function and does not just end up producing stress?

ABBA:
One thing to recognize is that the enemy knows you. He may not truly understand My purposes, but he knows how to pull your strings, so to speak.

Me:
I want to learn how to be all that You intend me to be and also how not to give him any latitude for manipulation. What You intend for good should never be subverted for bad! Not even to produce stress in myself.

ABBA:
You have heard the secret to the martial art of Judo is to use the momentum of an opponent against him. In the spiritual realm, think of striving as momentum and resting in Me as a perfect counter to the very principle that gives the enemy the ability to use your own energy against you. True achievements are enabled in My power. The voice of the enemy will encourage you to glory in successes as though they were your own; ever striving for the next one. I remind you of Paul’s words of admonishment to the Corinthians: … so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other. For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? [1 Corinthians 4:6-7]

Me:
Are You telling me that my sense of responsibility is a gift that I have received?

ABBA:
A gift, and also one aspect of being made in My image (though every one is unique). Like every spiritual thing bestowed upon My children, it is a power for good when exercised in Me and powerfully destructive when operating apart from Me. This is the nature of power. Moment by moment, breath by breath, the heart focuses on things above or on things below. This is so because I have determined that you shall determine your way, whether you will walk with Me or not. I know you have heard the quote attributed to Francois-Marie Arouet (Voltaire), “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Me:
Yes, I have heard it. I have heard that he was disturbed by the abuse of power and privilege while the poor and downtrodden suffered.

ABBA:
He was exactly right about the linkage between power and responsibility. The power which I bestow can only be properly exercised in Me. It is the responsibility of the bearer of the gift to present it for My purposes, else it will putrefy under the direction of self-interest and produce only rottenness.

Me:
Voltaire had pretty mixed opinions about things of faith.

ABBA:
Do not all men? He saw the misuse of power in the church as well as in the government. Still, his reasoning was not without its flaws. This is the nature of reason.

Me:
I suppose we do. I want to know You in all Your ways and learn to miss-step less often.

ABBA:
Then keep looking to Me, as I Am the One to guide you. I have given Jesus as Example and the Holy Spirit as Enabler.

Me:
I am grateful for Your guiding hand in my life. I would obviously not have any hope of enjoying all that You have promised except You teach me to walk in the Truth. I love You!

ABBA:
You are welcome to all the guidance you will accept. I love you!

Grace Until…

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? [Micah 6:8]
 
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. [Romans 12:2]
 
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him [Hebrews 11:6]
 
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. [Mark 10:18]
 
Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. [Matt 5:48]
 
Me: 
Good morning Father!
 
ABBA:
Good morning Jon!
 
Me: 
One could get the impression that You want us to seek to walk with You, having faith that You can change us into what You want us to be.
 
ABBA:
Imagine that…  Have you considered how Jesus’ words about no one but God being good squares with these other verses telling you not only to be good, but to be perfect?
 
Me: 
I believe Jesus was trying to convince us that we are incapable of being good enough on our own to live up to the standard required to have a rewarding relationship with Holy God.  I have often wondered, though, about Jesus question “Why do you call Me good?”, since He is good.
 
ABBA:
The answer to “why” is because He is God and I Am good.  The one he was questioning did not get that, either.  
 
Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy and that is what you are.  [1 Corinthians 3:16-17]  This is the secret to the paradox in these verses we are considering together.  Having accepted Jesus and received the Spirit, you can say with Paul:
 
But if while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor.  For through the Law I died to the Law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. [Galatians 2: 17-21]
 
So then, you have grace to walk with Me while you are submitting your life to the transforming power of the Truth.  You still have the choice today: be transformed by the renewing of your mind, or destroy the temple of God with the things of the world. If you did not have this choice, would I have given you so many helps to aid you on your way?
 
Me: 
Thank You Father, for patiently explaining the scriptures and for sharing Your heart to save us.  Thank You for the grace to walk in Christ that all is not lost at any misstep!  I love You!
 
ABBA:
You are welcome!  I love You!  I have gone to great lengths to show you that I Am your loving Father.

Soulful Starry Nights

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.  Psalm 139:13-14

Me:
Good morning Father!

ABBA:
Good morning Jon!

Me:
Somewhere, in each of our hearts, we marvel at our own existence; we wonder that we exist. René Descartes famous philosopher’s line, “I think, therefore I am” strikes at the fundamental fact that we have no real understanding of Your bringing us into being, except by faith in Your limitless ability and in Your boundless creativity.  As hard as it is to grasp the expanse of all Your thoughts – not Your thoughts themselves, but the glimmer that we get of the magnitude of creation and the interconnected nature of it all – it is even harder to imagine how some can come to the conclusion that every interdependent particle in the unknowable universal expanse developed by some chance.  A thermally induced wiggle here, a random interaction there … and somehow … eventually … life … sentience … complete with musing philosophers, no less.  Like David, my soul knows well that You are our Maker.  I am grateful that I don’t have to have faith in an endless stream of random occurrences!

ABBA:
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search out a matter. (Proverbs 25:2) If one ignores what I have revealed, such as My hand in creation, the likelihood of arriving at the truth by the assumptions of man is also infinitesimally small.

Me:
Last night, we watched the Day of Discovery production  Man of Science, Servant of God, George Washington Carver. It was inspirational to learn how he looked to You and allowed no obstacle to stop him, though there were many possible impediments.

ABBA:
George believed. And he loved.  A heart that is full of thoughts of Me and of things above has little time for lack or fear.  I created man to serve a purpose greater than himself.

You remember laying out in the yard with your dad at night as a young boy, looking up at the heavens, how it came into your mind that it was impossible to actually come to grips with infinity.  You would envision an imaginary box around everything and then wonder, “What is outside the box?”

Me:
I don’t have many clear memories from my childhood, Father, but I clearly remember that.

The stars in the high desert of eastern New Mexico are breathtaking on a moonless night.  The Milky Way looks, well, milky.  To know that the luminous backdrop to uncountable stars is from more uncountable stars even further away, is fascinating and wonderful, even to a young boy.  Even more amazing is the scripture that tells me that You not only created those suns but know them all by name ( Isaiah 40:26).

ABBA:
On those starry nights I was calling to you through what I have made and telling you that I Am.

Me:
I believe that I somehow felt that at the time.  I am grateful for the witness of Your works!

ABBA:
George was also able to hear as I called to him in the woods of his boyhood home.  I prepared his heart and I prepared your heart.  When you heard the good news about Jesus, you were able to accept the truth of it.  So it was with him.  I have and I Am preparing the hearts of many.  All who are open to the Truth will welcome Me and know that If I Am for you, none can successfully stand against you (Romans 8:31).

Me:
Father, I thank You for Your generosity in giving me life and that it is full to overflowing since You are in it.  I thank You that Jesus made it possible for me to be reconciled to You though His offering Himself as a sacrifice to cover my sin that I might be able to commune with You as my Father and not shrink back in fear that Your holy fire would consume me.  I thank You that the Holy Spirit has come to  fill and to guide me into all the Truth.  I thank You for Your patience and for Your plan, and for the chance to discover it.  I love You!

ABBA:
You are welcome!  I love You!

Through Job

Me:
Good morning Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit:
Good morning Jon!

Me:
We read in the Bible Gateway “Verse of the Day” from Job 19:25 “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.”  Some say that Job may be the oldest book in the Bible, that it is marvelous poetically and contains rich words and forms not found anywhere else in scripture.  And, at least Copley in his
Gatherings in Beulah posits that Job may have lived before Abraham. Yet, here You were making known to Job the day of salvation!

Holy Spirit:
The need for a Savior is known to Us.  Was known to Us, from your temporal perspective. Even at the end of time, your need for your Savior will persist.  Even as at the last He will take His stand on the earth, you will be standing in Him, for His redemption, with its focus at the cross on your behalf, sends its power both backward and forward in all eternity such that no one is beyond the reach of the efficacy of the sufferings of the Christ and Jesus’ love makes salvation available to everyone who chooses to seek refuge in Him while he may.

Me:
How can one offer adequate thanks, or all the praise that is due God in light of so great a gift?  Help me to live in such a way as to cast no shadow obscuring the brilliance of what has been presented freely.  Let my short-sighted behaviors be reined in and let my choices be guided and empowered by You!  I love you!  Thank You for seeing to it that we have such a mighty witness to this salvation by God’s word and by Your witness, even within us!  I love! You

Holy Spirit:
You are welcome!  I love You!