Thursday, September 13, 2018

God's Desire

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

  (Romans 12:2) 

Most of us, at least at some point in our life, believed that the desire was ours to be in service of the Kingdom of God or even to become a child of God. We did not realize that Kingdom desire comes from God and is directed toward us. To better understand this, reading the account of Nehemiah shows how God put the desire in Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon. (Nehemiah 2:12)

It is God’s will or desire that we serve Him according to His good, perfect and acceptable will. Jeremiah is another one that God ministered His will upon. In this case, Jeremiah was not jumping for joy at the instructions of God. He told Jeremiah:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11)

It is God’s will that that counts; not ours:

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)

This is God’s desire for mankind.  However, it makes me think of God’s desire as He ministered to Jeremiah:

The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting  love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.  (Jeremiah 31:3)

It is God’s desire that we inherit the kingdom of God out of His love for us.  It is not His will that any of us should perish.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  (John 3:16)

When we know God’s desire, we should then make it our desire.  God tells us in His word that His thoughts are not our thoughts nor our ways His ways.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8)

This would make one wonder until you realized that His thoughts are recorded in His word and so you didn’t start off knowing His thoughts and most definitely your ways were not His, but through seeking Him in His word, praying, fasting and meditating, you come to know His thoughts and learn to make your ways as His ways. 

There is an account in Ezekiel where God discusses the error of His children’s ways.  He gives Ezekiel instruction on how to bring them back into right standing with God.

Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.  And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.  (Ezekiel 43:10-11)

Jesus is the pattern that we are to follow now for kingdom living!  We are to mirror Jesus ways and we accomplish this through His Holy Spirit residing within us.

The good news of the Kingdom is that God made it possible through the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for us to inherit the kingdom; to be partakers in the Kingdom.

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:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  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.  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;  (Colossians 1-16-19)

As a child of God, we are now joint heirs with Jesus who was given Jesus to us as the perfect example of what it means to live in and by the principles of the Kingdom of God. 

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.  Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.  (Galatians 4:6-7)

To grow and mature in God, we must follow example, guidance and instructions given by our example, Jesus:

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.  (John 13:15)

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  (John 10:9)

It is Jesus who laid the foundation and it is upon Him that we must build.  When Jesus set down on the mount and began to teach the disciples the way of God, he started with what it takes to reside in the kingdom of God:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  (Matthew 5:3)

We cannot come to God, offer our services to Him without first acknowledging that we are bereft without Him.  When we look at the account of Zerubbabel, who had men under His command but was hindering in the re-building at Jerusalem, God sent Zachariah to him to let him know that it would not be by Zerubbabel’s strength or might, but by the spirit of God that His will would be accomplished.  There is no other way that we can enter in, reside in or service in the Kingdom of God but through Jesus Christ and the power of His Holy Spirit residing within us.  We need to come to that understanding and not balk against it in order to be at peace with God and in His kingdom.  There is absolutely nothing worse than having to be brought down or brought to the end of ourselves before we can recognize the sovereignty of God.    This is poor in spirit and has nothing to do with our financial state. 

If we follow our example and the instruction of our example, another element necessary for kingdom living is love.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.   And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.  (Matthew 22:37-40)

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.   By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.  (John 13:34-35)

Our love is not only for God but is also to be extended to our fellowman.  As Jesus asked the question, how can you  say you love God whom you can’t see and not love your fellow man? 

Love is the very nature of God.  It is because of His love that He is longsuffering toward us, that He does not cut us off in the midst of our sins.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  (2 Peter 3:9)

God is full of grace, mercy and forgiveness and because He is, so should we be also.
Peter tells us that when we follow Christ, we should understand that because Jesus suffered, so shall we.

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;  (1 Peter 4:1)

So then, we know that we must have perseverance.  We must change our mindset to endure suffering and setbacks for the name of Jesus; just as Jesus and the leaders of the early church did for the prize of the high calling.  At all times, we must remember that it is not about us, but about the glory of God being manifest in our lives.  That is how God uses us in His kingdom.  When we stand on the principals and statutes of God despite our circumstances, despite what we are going through and when we are consistent in our behavior towards God and man we become what God has called us to be – a shining light in a world darkened by the ravages of Satan. 

We are kingdom dwellers ready to be used by God.

(Biblical Studies)

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