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!

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!

Vestige of Idolatry

John 2:15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

Me:
Good afternoon Father!

ABBA: Good afternoon Jon!

Me:
Father, about this passage; nothing exists that was not created by You. How is it that we get in trouble loving what was created?

ABBA:
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” [Jesus, Matthew 10:37] The trouble is one of idolatry. What is an idol? It is an object of misplaced worship. An image of stone or wood overlaid with gold to which the deceived offer prayers or even make sacrifices is obviously an idol. Even if the object were intended to provide focus and somehow represent Me, it would be false by its limits. So is a family member who’s opinion carries more weight than what I Am saying, or even the earth I have made and which you obviously need can be an object of misplaced devotion.

Do not think that My jealousy for you is about Me. Only I know the end from the beginning [Isaiah 46:10, Revelation 21:6]. You were created to have fellowship with Me. I desire intimacy with you. In that closeness, you find fulfillment that no other can provide. Idolatry interferes with our communion because is diverts your focus. My creation is for you. It is intended to support you, to be enjoyed by you, to be managed and cared for by you [Genesis 1:28]. The wonders that I have made should properly bring you to appreciate My gift of them and your study of them should give you insight into the truth that your thoughts are not My thoughts, nor are your ways My ways. This knowledge ought to lead you straight to Me:

6 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
12 “For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 “Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up,
And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up,
And it will be a memorial to the Lord,
For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.” [Isaiah 55]

This is a Word of healing for you. What is the thorn bush but the bramble that has grown up in your life from seeds sown by the enemy. And what is the nettle but those irritating reminders that all in life is not as it should be. The perfecting work of My Word and the promise of joy and the everlasting fullness that I desire for you, this is what is missed when the idol is between Me and My people.

Me:
Am I guilty of idolatry? Is that why You point me to these verses?

ABBA:
Have you come to know Me fully, just as you are fully known? The growth in our relationship is “taking every thought captive”, leading you away from the false notion, the incomplete vision, and progressively into the Light of Truth that I Am. What I want you (and every one of My children) to consider is “What is first?” [Matthew 6:33]. Just as you cannot succeed in a project unless you focus on the details of the project, so you will not end up with a more thriving relationship with Me if our time together is an afterthought. But, if you come – more and more – to see me as I AM, as your all in all, then the “cypress” and the “myrtle” will indeed sprout and grow and become an everlasting memorial of our relationship.

Indeed, one aspect of the cypress and myrtle is that the ‘essential oils’ of these families of tree represent the fragrance of My Spirit at work in your life. He is a seal of My promise [2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13 & 4:30] and His presence in your life is essential to your transformation.

Me:
Father! Your revelations are marvelous! Help me leave behind my conceptions of You that fall short of the mark (as I suppose they must). Help me to see You more accurately! Help me to become more like You and see You more as You are. Help me to overcome the “need” to think I have arrived at a “correct understanding” and to be satisfied with the seeking and with the expansion of the vision that is possible today.

ABBA:
I Am working in your life to do these things. Today, I wanted you to recognize that your conception and perception of Me needs to keep pressing forward as I Am enabling you to grow in your relationship with Me and that anything short of that striving forward is a vestige of idolatry because yesterday’s understanding falls further from the mark than that which I have enabled in My relationship with you today.

Me:
I love You! Thank You for spending this time with me! And, thank you for Your patience!

ABBA:
I love you! You’re welcome!