Tag Archives: john

Above All We Are Called to Love God

“We must agree with God’s definition of success. Many agree with lies about what success is and thus, feel like a failure and live aimlessly. They focus mostly on externals (what they do and possess) instead of internals (who they are to be in their hearts)… Jesus corrected those who put their ministry before loving God.”
(Mike Bickle, The Song of Songs)

Revelation 2:3-5 says,
you have…labored for My name’s sake…Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”

The first and greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Christ took the agony of death on the cross in order that we could have relationship with God. In John 17:3, Jesus prays: “…this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

It is only out of that overflow of being filled with Christ’s love, truth and character that we can truly minister to and serve others. If we don’t have intimacy with God and get filled to the fullness with Him, we end up serving and laboring out of our own strength and emptiness, which is of no value to ourselves or anyone else. If it isn’t of God–sowing to the Spirit of God instead of the flesh–lasting results won’t be reaped.

God’s love and truth are of the truest value, and we need to spend time in a growing, intimate relationship with Him in order to be able to give of the love and truth He pours into us.

Continual time in God’s presence grows us in knowing Him and His character, and as a result, we become more like Christ, reflecting His love and living out His ways in our every day lives. As we shine more and more with the glory of God, others’ lives too will be changed as they are drawn near to God! Let it be, Lord!

No Longer Master

“And it shall be, in that day,” Says the LORD,
“That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’
And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’
For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals,
And they shall be remembered by their name no more.”

(Hosea 2:16-17)

In these verses God says He will no longer be Master but Husband, and that He “will take from her mouth the names of the Baals.” In other words, He will do away with false religion and rituals that don’t flow out of an intimate relationship with God.

This brought to my mind that:

Master = religion, legalism; serving God out of obligation
Husband = relationship, intimacy; serving God because of love for Him

The Lord is our Husband, not our Master. We are His friends and His delight, not His slaves. We serve God out of love for Him, not because we have to. We’re called to be voluntary lovers of the God who saved us through the blood of His Son Jesus. We seek to serve Him not out of duty or to do “religious things,” but out of love for Him whose love for us is immeasurable and undeserved.

“You are My friends if you do what I command you. “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
(John 15:14-15)

Prayer: Lord, let all religion, legalism and traditions not done out of love for You be gone from our hearts and lives. Help us to serve You and Your people out of love for You, not obligation. Bring us into deeper relationship with You–an intimate friendship growing in pure and humble love for You. Give us divine revelation of Your love for us, and help us to love You and others with the love of You have for us. In the name of Jesus who gave His life for us. Amen!

I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the LORD.

(Hosea 2:19-20)

God’s Rest in the Here and Now

The other day I asked God for an acronym for “rest” (that is, trust and rest in Him), and this is what I felt He spoke to me:

REST = Reserve Established by the Spirit of Truth

I shared this with a friend, and he shared with me an acronym using the word “busy” – which actually describes the counterfeit of true rest in God:

BUSY = Being Under Satan’s Yoke

If we are resting in God, we’ll have a reserve of energy in every way at all times! His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, will do just as Jesus said – Guide us into all truth and reveals to us the things and words of God (John 16:13), comfort us, counsel us, help us. He will point our eyes to Christ in all things (John 15:26).

God fills every part of us with His Spirit: “they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4)– our “souls” mean “our minds, will and emotions,” every part of us as well as the Spirit of God living inside of us! He will remind us of who we are as believers–children of the Living God saved by grace. He will teach us continually about who God is and who we are in Christ!

We’ve no reason to worry, fret, doubt or have any concern! God carries all our burdens if we let Him and renew our minds with His truth. He–the Uncreated One who created all things–holds everything together, and takes care of it all! Let us have holy UNconcern! (I heard this at a conference this weekend.)

Some other “R-words” come to mind as well:

  • Righteousness
  • Rest/Restoration
  • Reliance (dependence on God)
  • Rooted (in Christ)
  • Right Response (because rest and trust in God are just that!)
  • Reality (of living in complete trust with God)
  • Renewal/Renewed, Refreshing/Refreshed, Revival/Revived
  • Relaxed (we can be because God has everything under control!)
  • Redemption/Redeemed
  • River (as in “Rivers of Living Water”) – John 7:38

“He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.”
(John 7:38 Amplified)

“[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, by having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints…”
(Ephesians 1:17-18 Amplified)

Can you think of any more “R-words” or related things to add to what has already been shared? Feel free to respond!

Powerful Prayer

I was reading a post on the International House of Prayer (IHOPKC) site today, titled Praying the Word for Others, and one of the comments cited this passage:

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that IF WE ASK ANYTHING ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, HE HEARS US. And we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
(1 John 5:14-15)

Most have read this passage many times, but the depth of all that John is expressing here penetrated my heart much more deeply this time.

  • If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

Even if you don’t feel close to God today. Even if you missed your quiet time today or all week… if you pray according to His will, He will hear you (and as I’ll reiterate below, He will answer you!)

  • whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Not only does He hear us as we pray according to His will, He answers! It seems overly simple, but when we think about this as we pray for the salvation of family members, for revival, or for growth in our relationship with Him, if it’s His will, we can expect His answers!

  • we know that He hears us…we know that we have the petitions we have asked of Him.

We know. We know. Sensing assurance through this repetition? And previously: this is the confidence that we have in Him. It is the confidence. We know we have it. It’s a done deal.

  • this is the confidence that we have in Him

Now that gives me greater hope and trust in my Saviour. Expectation for answers to prayer. Trust for salvation of souls. Hope for breakthroughs, restoration, and revival. Confidence that He hears our prayers as we ask according to His will, knowing that He isn’t just going to answer them, He is answering them!

“Our prayer becomes effectual, POWERFUL, fervent, DIRECT and humble when we present ourselves and others before the Throne Of Grace; when we pray according to His desires, rather than our own.”
(Comment from Praying the Word for Others post)