The Lord is preparing us for breakthrough! He is speaking very clearly to us about our identity, purpose and goal (see last week's news)!
Yesterday the Lord showed us how our identity, purpose and goal are linked with the key to the Kingdom - AUTHORITY! This is what He revealed to us:
- God has revealed Himself as the triune God - 3 co-equal persons but 3 different roles!
- Within the Trinity is a distribution of roles and authority.
- Jesus is the Son of the Father (identity) and therefore under His authority. Matthew 3:17
- Jesus demonstrated His submission to the Father's authority by being completely obedient to Him in order to reveal the Father (purpose). Matthew 4:1-10; John 14:6-11
- Jesus could exercise authority over all the power of the devil (goal) because the Son lived under the Father's authority! Luke 4:14; John 14:11; 1 John 3:8; Acts 10:37,38
- The Church (God's children) has many co-equal members but many different roles. 1 Cor. 12:12
- Within the Church is a distribution of roles and authority. 1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 4:7,11
- We are sons and daughters of God (identity) and therefore under God's authority. Eph.1:22,23
- We are to live as sons and daughters of God in submission to His authority and to reveal Him (purpose). Eph.5:1,2,8
- We can only exercise authority if we live in submission to God's authority. James 4:7
The Lord then challenged us with the following:
- There is a difference between obedience and submission.
- Obedience is responding to a command.
- Submission is choosing to obey and "positioning oneself under."
- Children are to obey their parents because the immature are not yet able to make right choices. Eph. 6:1-4
- Adults are expected to submit to one another because the mature are able to make right choices. Eph. 5:21,22; 6:5
- God places authority in our lives for us to learn true submission (spiritual leaders, husbands, fathers, government leaders, police, masters, bosses etc).
- Our attitude toward earthly authority reveals our attitude toward heavenly authority!
- We deceive ourselves when we think we can submit to God and not submit to God-given authority!
- We can only serve one master (Matthew 6:24). Therefore one is either single-hearted or one has a divided heart.
- We are called to serve God whole-heartedly. Eph. 6.5-9
- True submission is choosing to obey God whole-heartedly. Eph. 6:5-9
The Lord then showed us what hypocrisy is..
- Hypocrisy is the veiling of a divided heart.
- A divided heart is able to obey (externally) but still not be submitted (internally).
- Hypocrisy manifests itself through:
- deception- convincing oneself that one has obeyed God when one hasn't (1 Sam.15:13)
- self-justification - justifying one's disobedience (1 Sam.15:20,21)
- blame - blaming others for one's disobedience (1 Sam. 15:24)
- sacrifice - trying to cover up disobedience with good works (1 Sam. 15:15)
The Lord has set His people apart (identity) to reveal Himself through them as they live their lives in wholehearted submission to Him (purpose) in order to penetrate the kingdom of darkness with God's authority and establish the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven (goal)!
This Sunday we will be having a Christmas celebration with the homeless and needy, sponsored by the NH hotel group. It will be a wonderful evening!
Quote of the week:
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Eph. 6:10-12