Blog In Audio:
We had a great week last week in hosting a World Race gathering at Alife. We had many young people present who are hungry for all that God desires to do in their lives. They are ready for the stirring of God’s vision and dream for their lives as the venture to see God’s presence, praise, and purpose revealed through their lives to their world. It is a journey of faith!
What parts of our lives have we believed to be in faith, only to find that in times of testing they prove to be false? We have all had things in our lives that we thought were important only to find that the loss of them revealed they weren’t as important as we thought they were. We have even held on to things that we thought were of God, but then they proved to be ideas of our own desires. God wants us to be dependent upon Him and no other thing, because only He can give us true life. God says that to be a true Jew is to be someone who has a circumcised heart. A circumcised heart is a heart that is dependent upon God’s Spirit in all things. A heart of flesh is dependent upon oneself, but a heart that is dependent upon God is a heart that puts no confidence in the flesh.
Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
Circumcision is a removal of flesh in connection to the procreative ability of our lives. It is a testimony to the source of our future and the inheritance of our future in the destiny of our path in life. When we are challenged to choose between the strength of self or the strength of God in our lives, the loss of our self-will makes room for the gain of God’s will in our lives. This is a key to discovering the source of brotherly love in our connections to one another as the community of God and as a testimony of being the people of God in this world. When we lose the love of ourselves we gain the love of God. Only the love of God in our lives can give us a love for ourselves that goes beyond the limited boundaries of a love of ourselves. It is God’s love in our lives that gives us the ability to persevere in all things and to overcome in every test of our lives. To be the people of God we must each discover who we truly are. Who we are is part of the community of Christ and who we are gives the life of God to others. This is not merely giving the life of ourselves to others, but the life of God through us to others. This is a season where God is empowering us by the grace of Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Knowing to give the life of God through us for the sake of the life of God for us all. This is the testimony of being the community of God.
I believe that the letter to the church of Philadelphia is a testament to the principles, patterns, and values found in this present grace. Another aspect of this letter is seen in the removal of false things, things that pretend to be something of God but prove to be false testimonies that bring false accusations towards the people of God. God wants to remove the false things in our lives by giving us the authentic true things of our lives that worship Him.
Revelation 3:8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
Perhaps there are things in each of us that need to be transformed to worship God. They may be things that pretend to be a part of us, but do not produce the testimony of God’s life. They are things that can build a city unto ourselves, but they cannot fulfill the true calling of our lives in Christ. They cannot build a temple or a city that is the habitation of God’s presence, praise, and purpose. Just as there were false Jews who opposed the building of the temple and the city in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, there are things in our hearts that prevent us from being the habitation of God. God wants us to be members of a community that is the habitation of God’s presence, praise, and purpose. When we embrace these things in our hearts we find an overcoming grace to live for a new vision of peace. A peace that only comes by increasingly becoming the people of God. It is a peace that comes when heaven progressively fills our lives together as the people of God. This is the place where we find true brotherly love. The strength is not found in the flesh. It is found through a circumcision of our hearts. A circumcised heart is dependent upon all that God is writing by His Spirit within each of us for the greater testimony of us all together for the glory of God.
Revelation 3:11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. 13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
Ted J. Hanson
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