Today I am writing from Castlegar, BC, Canada. I just finished a great weekend with my friend Henry Schmidt and some hungry children of God in the Kootenays. God is transforming us to become people of love, because God is the power of love in our lives.
God doesn’t need anything from anyone. He is not like the gods of the world that must take something from humanity in order to be something to humanity. God doesn’t take anything from us to be who He is. He gives to us life, breath, and all things because of who He is. He is the author, the giver, and the sustainer of life.
If we are children of God we want to grow up become like Him in our character, nature, way, power, and authority. Fathers and mothers in the family of God live to give life, breath, and all things to others. We don’t seek to be equal with God, we simply want to act like Him. We want to take on His characteristics. We don’t seek to be competitive with Him or to be God. We live to be something of His likeness and image. We seek the upward call to have His character, His nature and way, and to walk in His life-giving power and authority. That is a father. John says that fathers have known Him who is from the beginning. What causes us to become fathers? It is a revelation of who God is. It is a revelation of how faithful He is, how life-giving He is, how able He is to give us the expressions of our way. Fathers have a revelation of how able God is to give us all things. We should look to see who are those among us who are fathers who give us that example and then we should aspire to become fathers too. We should seek to become someone that others can look at and know that we have known Him who is from the beginning.
A father is also someone who maintains the expectant attitude of a little child. He knows his sins are forgiven and he has a Father who loves him. In between is the testimony where grace works. To be a little child we need mercy. That gets us out of the old kingdom. Mercy! Our sins are forgiven! Mercy! Wow, God loves me! That is the entrance to grace. A father knows God’s mercy, but they have also discovered God’s grace. A father can be merciful and gracious because a father has known God’s mercy and discovered His grace.
The place of finding grace is in the journey in between being children and fathers. It is the place of overcoming. This is the testimony of young men and young women. Young men have overcome the wicked one. They are strong in God and strong in His word to overcome the wicked one. The idea is to overcome the wicked one. The process is one of becoming strong in God’s word and strong in Him. God’s grace makes us strong in God and strong in His Word. It is something that God does in us because of what He did for us. Mercy is the result of something God did for us, but grace is the testimony of what God can do in us. God’s mercy gives us the right to overcome the wicked one, but God’s grace gives us the power to overcome the wicked one. The wicked one is not trying to destroy us. It looks like that and it feels like that at times. It even has that experience when we don’t understand what is really going on. The truth is that God sees us as the antidote to every wicked one. We are the light of the world. The wicked one would be darkness, but God declares we are light. He declares we are the salt of the world. Salt is covenant life. Salt preserves. It draws the flavor out of food. In the world, there is decay and death, but we are the salt that preserves. We are the life force sent to death. We are the healing balm sent to the disease. The wicked one is the disease, but we are the healing grace. Disease is not trying to destroy us, we have been mandated to destroy the disease. We are like trees whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. We are like trees with fruit that feeds the hungry. It is not a war between the enemy trying to destroy us and us trying to protect ourselves. The real issue is; do we know who we are and are we seeking to live as who we are? Mercy allows us to hear, we have a Father and our sins are forgiven. Grace empowers us to know we are sons of God and greater is He who is in us that He who is in the world. We are sons of God and we can overcome all wickedness because the overcoming One is in us. Grace empowers us to know Christ in us is the hope of glory. Christ in each of us is the hope of the full story. Grace empowers us to discover that we have a treasure inside of this earthen vessel and the excellence of the power is not of ourselves, but it is of Christ. Light is shining out of darkness!
We have this treasure inside of us and at the moment of our brokenness the light of glory shines through. It is not about us and the devil. It is about each one of us and our Father. It is about us and our brothers and our sisters. It is about us bringing life to this world. If the enemy wants to try to get in our way, we are light to darkness. We are life to death, because the One who is Light and Life is in us. We must grow up in Christ. We must discover who we are. Grace is the power of God in us.
Ted J. Hanson