You are invited to become the person God desires you to be. It is even greater than the person you want to be. His concept is perfect in every way; whereas, we are limited to what we know by experience on earth. He has an eternal perspective which means He knows the result before you begin your journey to being who you are meant to be.
That journey begins with belief. Obviously, you must believe that God is and is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (see Hebrews 11:6). More than that, you must begin with the foundation that He is good. If you fail to believe He is a good God, you will fail to have a good result. Psalms 139:14I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Your works; and that my soul knows right well. The reason that God's works are marvelous and good is He is marvelous and good. If you think differently, you will also believe His works are flawed because you see flaws in Him.
This is where the difficulty lies. If you do not believe God is good, neither will you believe that you are good. Without a good God, you cannot have a good creation, neither can He do a good work in you. That means you don't stand a chance at becoming the best you possible. Your belief system influences everything about you. Therefore, it pays to examine what you believe about God and how He sees you. This leads to another part of the invitation.
In order to become the new you, you must believe that you are incredibly loved by God. God is love and He is a loving Father, unlike any earthly father. Regardless of how good parents may be, there is not one who even comes close to being a distant contender of the ideal father He is. Likewise, the most abusive parent does not even remotely resemble our heavenly Father. When you believe He loves you and you receive His love, you will trust Him with everything.
Trust vacates doubt!
Trusting God also means the end of testing Him. Children test their parents in a variety of ways. Sometimes, they misbehave just to see if their dad or mom loves them unconditionally. There are believers who do that with the Father, unconsciously. They will cross some proverbial line just to see if that love is unconditional. When you trust Him, much of the self-sabotage goes away.
Another element of the invitation is humbling yourself enough to forgive yourself. As long as you hold onto your past failures, you will be chained to your history. You will not see the future at all, let alone see it properly, because your eyes are turned in the wrong direction. You are not your history. What you did is not who you are, even if it was just a minute ago. Look in the mirror and tell that person, while looking him or her in the eye, “You are who God says you are!” Conviction goes a long way in affirming what you believe, so say it with God-given, Scripture-proven authority.
Keep your eyes on the prize. Focus on His goodness, righteousness and holiness, and you will do what is good, righteous and holy. Walk in love, and hate will not be an option; neither, will envy or jealousy. Love yourself as God loves you, and self-loathing will flee. No, this is not self-help, hocus-pocus; this is godly meditation which yields godly results.
This invitation has perks if you receive it: love, joy, peace, hope, faith, clarity, wisdom, understanding and more. Most importantly, an intimate relationship with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In fact, intimacy with God validates the invitation. That validation eliminates rejection issues. When you know God loves you, you have an eternal love that embraces you, regardless of what our human counterparts do.
One last thought. If you do not believe what God says about you, you are lying to yourself and you are self-deceived. Think about it!
Have you ever wondered what happened to those who had what seemed to be a powerful ministry and then disappeared? You know, a flash in the pan. Here today, gone tomorrow. This is not talking about those whom the Lord moved in a new direction and as a result, you don't see them anymore. This is about those who crashed and burned.
In some instances, some who were anointed for a specific ministry tried to jump ahead of the appointed time for which it was specified.
It's not that they did not have anything to offer; it was they did not have a full offering to give.
Everyone has a destiny from God to fulfill. While He may do a quick work in people, there is still a process in place. You cannot expect to bypass that process and still be effective for His kingdom. You need to become the person God called you to be before you can fulfill your part of the plan. That is not discounting the growth people go through while they are fulfilling their calling; however, there is a place of maturity as a starting point. For example, if you have an orphan mentality, how do you expect to walk confidently by faith as a mature son or daughter of God? An orphan is fatherless, and one who has an orphan spirt (mindset, or mentality) is one who believes in his heart he is still fatherless, even though God is his Father. He does believe God is a Father, but has a hard time comprehending God is his Father. He is detached from Him and therefore, acts and begs like an orphan. In fact, this is one reason people try to jump ahead. They equate what they do with being who they are, therefore, they feel the need to hurry in order do those things they are called to do before their time. Until they realize their identity is found in Jesus Christ and they are children of God by adoption, they will not become who God called them to be. Identity matters!
Romans 8:14 – 17For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Does a king send a messenger without first giving him a message? Why then, would you try to deliver a message the King has not yet given you? A reason some find their messages have little effect is because they don't have one from God. It's their message; not His. Messages are birthed within and from them, teachings emerge at the appropriate time and place. Knowing a lot of Scripture does not mean you have the message. The Father does not allow for His children to be hypocrites. They cannot speak what they have not lived, or at a minimum will live. A hypocrite is an actor pretending to be who he or she is not. If you teach a principle of God that you have not lived yet, that teaching will carry you into process of fulfillment. Gods' Word does not return void and He does legitimize His children.
Does a good messenger deliver partial messages? No, but an unfaithful one will. It is important to be faithful to the King, and be faithful to His beck and call. If He has called you to stay put, then wait patiently as a faithful messenger. You are not being faithful if you leave early. How many faithful messengers do you know who leave while the message is still being dictated? Let Him grow your ministry within before you try to go out. Indeed, wait until you are sent out.
Finally, it is important to deliver what the Lord has given you to deliver. You cannot deliver someone else's message. He is very intentional in what He does, which means every message is specific to the messenger. If the ministry He gave you is important to Him, it should be important to you. Only orphans compare their ministries with others. Those who do, tend to be jealous and envious. When that happens, they become ineffective. Yes, they become the flash in the pan.
When there is a departure from the relationship with God, the effectiveness of prayer goes with it.
Some start out strong in their prayer life, even when they don't feel like they know what they're doing. The new found relationship with God fills their senses and fuels the desire to pray. It seems every prayer they pray gets answered almost as fast as they think to pray. Later, something happens to the relationship and the fervor for prayer dissipates. The confidence they once held that the Father listens to His well-loved child is gone. Prayer becomes an exercise or a last resort, but with limited returns.
Others never experienced the satisfaction of fervent prayer, much less effective prayer because they never entered into the relationship unreservedly. Oh, they might have dipped their toes in the water, but they never made the plunge into the deep. Religion best describes their relationship with God, which is no relationship at all. Their prayer life is nothing more than regurgitated religious jargon. Where is their heart?
Hosea 7:10-16 is a strong indictment against Israel and Ephraim (see below). There are some lessons to be learned here. Sometimes, as an act of kindness (yes, kindness), God will allow circumstances to invade people's lives in order to bring them back to Himself. It not only provides opportunity for repentance; it also provides for a relationship to be established or reestablished with God. Unfortunately, a number are more interested in deliverance from their problems than they are in changing the way they think which first led them to their circumstances. They do not consider the prospect of resting in the position of a well-loved child. The Lord does more for His people by working through the relationship than if He simply waved a magic wand to fix everything. Sadly, some prefer the wand over the relationship. In a crises, if we allow Him, Abba (Daddy) will take us by the hand and lead us through our struggle.
Ironically, if people took the time to really get to know God on a personal level, they would find deliverance comes much faster. Regardless of the length of the trial, His presence brings fullness of joy and peace. If they leaned on His understanding instead of their own, a lot of hardships would have been avoided. Does that mean there will never be trials if you walk with the Lord? Sorry, trials do come, but so does the victory.
So, why do you pray? Yes, we are told to pray, and prayer is indeed very good. However, shouldn't prayer be the result of the relationship?
Hosea 7:10 – 16And the pride of Israel testifies to his face: and they do not return to the Lord their God, nor seek Him for all this. 11. Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria. 12. When they shall go, I will spread My net on them; I will bring them down as the fowls of the heaven; I will chastise them, as their congregation has heard. 13. Woe to them! for they have fled from Me: destruction to them! because they have transgressed against Me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against Me. 14. And they have not cried to Me with their heart, when they howled on their beds: they assemble themselves for corn and wine, and they rebel against Me. 15. Though I have bound and strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against Me. 16. They return, but not to the most High: they are like a deceitful bow: their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue: this shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.
As already stated in part one, Jesus holds three clear positions found in the Bible: Son of man, Son of God and God the Son. This is not say these are the only positions He holds; nonetheless, here is a brief description of the three.
As the Son of man, Jesus identifies with mankind and represents humanity to God.
As the Son of God, He represents God to mankind.
As God the Son, He is the cause of creation and is equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit. Each position carries different roles and authority.
Part one addressed Son of man, so now lets address Son of God, God the Son and then tie all three positions together at the end.
Son of God
Romans 1:3-4Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
Here we see the transition from Son of man to the Son of God, even though Jesus maintains all three positions at one time.
It's from His position as the Son of God that Jesus gives us new life as sons and daughters of God.
John 5: 25 – 26Truly, truly, I say to you, He that hears My word, and believes on Him that sent Me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life. Truly, truly, I say to you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live (Read Jn. 5:21-28 for full context).
If you recall in John 3:3, Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Born again means to born from above or anew. Since we identified with Jesus through baptism, His death became our death. That means God counts our old nature as dead (see Romans 6:3-7). At the same time, His resurrection is our resurrection as well, which means we move from being sons and daughters of man to being sons and daughters of God in Christ Jesus (see Romans 6:4-11).
Romans 8: 16 – 17 For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Here's the tradeoff: as the Son of man, Jesus took on our sins; however, as the Son of God He imparts His righteousness to us (see 2Cointhians 5:21).
This goes back to Matthew 3:15 where Jesus said, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness,” when He was baptized of John (see “The Nature of Jesus [Part One]”).
Romans 8:29 calls Jesus the Firstborn among many brethren. That means Jesus is not only our Lord and Savior, He is our Brother. That means Jesus wants a relationship with you! It's not a dictatorship, even though He has every right to be a Dictator if He wanted to be. In the relationship, He does allow for choice and decisions on our part, and rewards us for our obedience. As the Son of God, Jesus is our High Priest (Hebrews 3:1-6) 1John. 3:8 tells us that as the Son of God, He came to destroy the works of the devil. 1John. 5:11-13 tells us that Jesus is our life, and those who have Jesus have life, which goes back to John 5:25-26.
Here's something to chew on: we are now sons and daughters of God and that means we too represent God to mankind. Hopefully, we represent Him well!
As the Son of God He is our Savior (see Acts 5:31; 1John 4:14-15). Philippians 3: 20 – 21 For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:21. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
This is where things get really interesting because the word Savior is also used in conjunction with God. Thus, also showing Him as God the Son, which we will now discuss.
God the Son
In relation to Savior, consider the following passages of Scripture:1 Timothy 4: 10For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, Who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe. Titus 2: 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ (see also 1Timothy 1:1; 2:3;Titus 1:3-4; 3:4,6 and 2Peter 1:11).
Going back to the beginning, we find that Jesus was there with the Father and Holy Spirit during the creation. Genesis 1:26And God said, Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. One of the keys to understanding the Bible is paying attention to the little words (of, in, by, etc.), as well as the singular and plural forms used in the verses. “Our” points to more than one person. God was not talking to Michael or Gabriel the Archangels. This was a conversation between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (see also Genesis 1:1-3). John 1:1-3In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. The same was in the beginning with God. 3. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made (see John 1:4-18).
Tying it all Together
One of the reasons that Jesus continues as the Son of man is that He continues to represent those who are yet to be born and born again. Because of His eternal nature, Jesus was able to bear the sin of all mankind; (past, present and future) while on the Cross. 1 Timothy 2:5-6For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6. Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 2 Timothy 1:8-10Be not you therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be you partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9. Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death, and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
Colossians 1:12-20 ties it together well: Giving thanks to the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13. Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14. In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins (Son of man): 15. Who is the image of the invisible God (God the Son), the firstborn of every creature (Son of God): 16. For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: 17. And he is before all things, and by Him all things consist (God the Son). 18. And He is the head of the body, the church: Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence (Son of God). 19. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell (God the Son [see also Colossians 2:9]); 20. And, having made peace through the Blood of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself (Son of man); by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Hebrews 13: 8Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.