Curbing fear

Numbers 14:9: Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.”

man-338999_640In the focus verse the children of Israel were told not to allow fear to draw them from the will of God (Numbers 14). Similarly, Paul told Timothy that he should not yield to the spirit of fear but love, power and sound mind (2Timothy 1:6-7). Rebellion is nothing more than a rejection of the will of God. And for the will of God to be done we need to embrace what will kill fear, which Paul outlined for Timothy.

Love, power and sound mind have to do with affinity with God, who cannot fear.

Love

With love for God we face fear and do not back down. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were pressured to bow down to the image set up by great king Nebuchadnezzar on the pain of death, by being thrown into a fiery furnace, but they stared down the king and glorified God (Daniel 3).

Their devotion to (love for) God was stronger than their fear of displeasing man, or their fear of losing their life (Matthew 10:28).

Jesus said that if anyone wants to follow him, he must deny himself carry his cross and follow him (Luke 9:23). Loving God means being willing to follow him and therefore not being careful or fearful about what can happen to you, in the course of it.

Jesus asked Peter: do you love me more than these (John 21:17)? He was saying: beyond all, you should love God and that will make all the difference. If your attraction to God is stronger than anything that wants to distract you, then you are alright. We are to love the Lord our God with all our mind, heart and strength (Mark 12:30), we would not energy left to be afraid.

Love, the bible says, casts out fear (1John 4:18). It has the capacity to dissolve fear. If you are filled with love, you cannot be filled with fear at the same time. There is no fear in love. With love we can walk with God who is love, and his manifestation in our lives causes the powers of the enemy to be trampled upon (Luke 10:19).

When the Love of God is firmly rooted in our hearts, we are firmly focused on his words and not would refuse to be distracted by what enemies have to say, how they look or their reputation for causing harm.

The love of God was firmly rooted in David’s heart and he could not fear Goliath (1Samuel 17).

Love and fear is about focus. If I focus on God then I express love for him, I allow him, his words to control me, to define my life, to shape me, how think, how I see things, how I relate with others, how I perceive different situations. Fear comes by focusing on the devil, focusing on the wrong things.

Loving God colours our perception and helps us to make the right decision. In the Garden of Eden, before the deception of the devil took root in the hearts of Adam and Eve, the love of God was the defining influence of their activities.

When they viewed God from the lens of love they saw him accurately. But the devil gave Eve another lens, which was the lens of fear, suspicion (Genesis 3), and doubt.

Love believes all things from God (1Corinthians 13). Faith works through love (Galatian 5:6) and without faith it is not possible to walk with God, but fear comes with his cousin doubt. Love believes the word of God which says we can trample underfoot all the powers of the enemy.

“God is not trying to kill us, he wants to empower us,” love says. If the children of Israel could see that God loves them and was committed to giving them the Promised Land no matter what, they will not allow the fear of the giants in the land miss out on the best of God.

Assured of the love of God, we are assured of his backing, and that means we will not fear. God said: fear not I am with you (I love you), be not dismayed I am your God (Isaiah 41:10).

Power

Power is the awareness of inherent ability. Jesus the captain of our army did not send us to the battle front without proper equipment. We are not victims in the battle of life. We are called to be strong in the Lord and the power of his might (Ephesians 6:10), to share the very power, the very strength of the Lord himself (2Timothy 2:1).

Jesus said he has given us power to trample upon snakes and scorpions. That is not our power (which is limited), it is his power (unlimited), in which we are supposed to be strong in. Remember, all powers is now invested in Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20).

Therefore, we need to live with a strong identification with him. That is a quick way to bury fear in our lives. When we see ourselves not alone, not empty but full of God, seated in the heavenly palace in God in Christ Jesus, we will live confidently (Ephesians 2:6).

And when we use the name of Jesus which is the name above other names, there is a release of the resurrection power to create the reality that the user of the name wants realised (Philippians 2:5-11). We should know what we have in supernatural power.

Sound mind

This has to do with what you know. We would not fear sin when we know that in Christ we have died to sin and resurrected in him to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:1-4).

James wrote that we should take in the engrafted word which is able to save our souls. When the word enters into us, it brings light (Psalm 119:130). We should not live as people who are blind, who are ignorant. Paul said that in understanding we should be men (1Corinthians 14:20). When you see through the deceptive tactics of the enemy you will not fear him (2Corinthians 2:11).

David stood before Goliath betraying no fear whatsoever. He had full awareness in his mind of the presence of God with him to cause him to have victory in defence of his name.

When you know what your rights are in Christ you live confidently.

Sound mind also involves getting the divine information about the situation, seeing the end from the beginning, just like God does, so that you do not make short term decision, which leads to long-term pain. It makes all the difference, what you know.

Sound mind comes when we focus on what God says about us, our situation and occupy ourselves with it, meditate on it day and night, and not what the devil has to say. If he says we are victorious then that should be what we fixate on, ruminate on, mentally and spiritually engage with, because what we fixate on controls our life.

Movement

Numbers 10:13: They set out for the first time at the command of the LORD by Moses.

abstract-140231_640For forty years the children of Israel made a journey through the wilderness. Our life too is a journey. From the time of birth to the time of death we are on journey. And even death is the beginning of another journey- a journey into more and more of God.

Our journey in heaven is determined by our journey on earth. We are told there will be rewards in heaven. There are crowns to be got, there are mansions to live in (John 14:1-3). The reward was so important to Paul that he said he will watch his life so that after he had laboured intensely on this earth, he would not be a cast away, losing his reward (1Corinthians 9:27). The reward was so important he wrote to the Corinthian church that workers need to be careful how they build because fire will test their work of what sort it is (1Corinthians 3:11-17). Wood-like work will disappear, as if non-existent, and therefore unrewarded.

Ezra

Ezra made a precarious journey (Ezra 8:21-32). He was with some people as he conveyed precious vessels to the temple in Jerusalem, from the land of captivity. He prayed and fasted for a safe journey.

Life being a journey also has dangers. The devil wants to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He is the god of this world (2Corinthians 4:4) (we are passing through his territory), and we wrestle against his cohorts, principalities and powers and the spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:10-12).

However we are called to cast our care on the Lord knowing that he cares for us. We are not alone in the journey of life. Ezra by calling for a time of prayer and fasting committed the journey into the hand of God, he cast his care to God. We are told that we should not lean on our own understanding, but acknowledge God in all our ways (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Joseph

Joseph made an unwilling journey into slavery in Egypt. It was a strange place but later he discovered that he was there on God’s reconnaissance mission to spy out the land for the rest of his family to come later, for a firm foundation of a nation (Genesis 37).

His brothers who sold him to slavery thought they were doing evil to him, they wanted to silence him. His brother did not even sell him directly to Egypt, he was resold by the original buyers to an Egyptian. It was as if he was a victim of circumstance, but God was working everything in alignment with his own plans.

He though he was going to the pit, but when all is said and done, he ended up in the palace. While he started off as a victim, he ended up a victor.

The journey started with Joseph screaming his voice hoax (Genesis 42:21) begging his brothers not to harm him, it ended with his brothers apologising to him.

He later told them that not only had did he make a sad physical journey from their family home several years before, he had also made the mental/emotional journey from that point.

He was not stuck in the past. He forgave his brothers for the harm. So a journey is not just physical, it can also be spiritual or emotional. We need to be healed of past memories, it is not healthy to continually fixate on a painful words spoken in the past. The bible says: do not pay attention to everything you hear, lest you hear your servant cursing you (Ecclesiastes 7:21).

We need to allow God to give us his own perspective of the situation, to impress on us that all things truly work together for us who love him (Romans 8:28). That was the conclusion that Joseph came to, saying to his brothers what you meant for evil, God was all along arranging it for good.

Jacob

Jacob made three major journeys in his life, running away from something he was afraid of. The first time he ran away from Esau his brother. He also he ran away from Laban his uncle, thirdly he ran away from famine that was ravaging the earth at that time towards Egypt, where there was much.

His journeys were all part of his formation into a formidable nation. In the three movements God showed himself to him to assure him of his presence. It is not enough to move, but we need to answer the question: is God with me on this journey?

Moses told God: if you will not go with us lead us not from where we are (Exodus 33:15)? When David moved in battle he wants to be sure not just that his men carried the right weapons or were arrayed in the right formation but also of the blessing of God on it.

Paul

He was a man in constant journey. He did not stop until the whole of the known world was swamp with the message of the gospel. He was a man on a mission, set on fire from the presence of God. He said: I do not count my life to be dear to me so that I may finish my course (Acts 20:24). He was a man acutely aware of his life mission. He had the gospel to the gentiles committed to him and he did all he could to fulfil his mission. He was vigorous in defending the truth even when he had to confront older disciples of Jesus (Galatians 2:11-15).

Paul asked for prayer that he be delivered from wicked and unreasonable man (2Thessalonians 3:1-2). He told some other people that he fought with beasts in Ephesus (1Corinthians 15:32).

Paul made a precarious journey from Jerusalem to Rome. It was full of twists and turns but it was all about moving in the direction of fulfilling his ministry at a higher level. It was about getting to Rome to be a witness of Jesus there. He moved in the direction of fulfilling the will of God.

The voice

Numbers 7:89:  And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him.

dog-264718_640Isaiah wrote that we would hear a word behind us saying this is the way walk in it (Isaiah 30:21). As Christians, Getting direction from God is what we should push for. We are not supposed to practice trial and error, but rather walk in the light of the word of God.

David prayed: for your name sake lead me and guide me (Psalm 31:3). Being guided by God is about moving in the direction that glorifies him. The bible says that no one can say Jesus is Lord expect by the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 12:3). The primary concern of the Holy Spirit, is to affirm the lordship of Jesus on our life. That is the direction he moves us. He cannot move us away from the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

There is a way for you to achieve the best of God for you. You are not sent to this world to be a wanderer. You are to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit.

An example is Paul. He wanted to move into certain places, but the Holy Spirit restrained him (Acts 16:1-10). It is therefore not about what interests you, even in the general direction of the will of God. You need the specific direction in his mind per time.

Remember that what Paul wanted to do in those places he was restrained from going to was to preach the gospel. So it is not just about doing the right thing as you see it, it is about doing the God thing, the right as God dictates it.

Zeal is good, but zeal is not enough (Romans 10:2). We need knowledge of the will of God. That is what we are called to constantly renew our minds with the right information so that we can always line up with the will of God (Romans 12:1-2). Paul prayed that the church in Colossi, will be filled with the spirit of wisdom and understanding so as to please God in all things (Colossians 1:9-10).

Paul said that he went up Jerusalem to meet those who were apostles before him by revelation (Galatians 2:2). He did not just go because it was a good idea, not because it was popular or he was seeking relevance. He went because he was guided. Many times he referred to himself as a bondservant of Jesus, i.e. somebody pulled in a direction, tow any other option but to move.

As such he does not do things expect by divine direction. He prayed for the spirit of wisdom and understanding to manifest in the church (Ephesians 1:17).

David moved in the direction God pointed to with great results. But there was a time he decided to conduct a census of the nation, without moving with God as he should. He got himself and the nation in trouble (1Chronicles 21:1-15).

Some other time be slept with another man’s wife, probably because he was bored. The bible recorded that he rose up from the bed in the middle of the day, while other kings were on the war front to commit that adultery. He lost sight of his commitment to God, to following his direction, and he was severely punished for it. At the end of it, he prayed in repentance: take not your Holy Spirit from me (Psalm 51:11).

But there is the wrong voice. We are told to test all spirits because not all spirits come from God (1John 4:1-2). The devil himself is a spirit. This is because he was an angel (Ezekiel 28:13-17) before he fell into rebellion, and the bible says angels are spirits (Hebrews 1:7). And Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light (2Corinthians 11:14). Jesus warned that we should not just believe anyone who calls himself a prophet, but rather we should look at the fruit in their life (Matthew 7:15-23). It is not just about how they sound but what they sound. And what they sound must be x-rayed with the scriptures. Isaiah wrote: to the law and to the testimony, if they do not speak according to this law, there is no light in them (Isaiah 8:20). Light makes all the difference. If the voice does not increase light, it is not of God.

The bible says that the law of the lord is perfect enlightening (putting light into) the eyes (Psalm 19:7-8). When the eyes are infused with the light of God then making the right decision is possible, because we see correctly. The light empowers you to take the right steps, and make consistent progress.

You also have a voice, that is impart you should make on the earth. There is a uniqueness that you bring to the table as a member of the body of Christ. You are not to be a copycat, but an original, a creator. The power of your “voice,” is experienced by people around when they are ready to receive you, ready to experience the power of your impact.

Jesus had the ability to heal the people from their infirmity, but he met a brick wall of unbelief when the people in his home town refused to recognise that he has something special to offer them (Mark 6:1-6).

They rejected his voice, the voice of a healer and he could not manifest as such to them. The bible says that if we receive a prophet in the name of a prophet we will receive a prophet’s reward (Matthew 10:41).

A widow in Zeraphath in the Old Testament recognised Elijah as a prophet and because of that, rather than starving to death, she and her son, enjoyed supernatural supply for many days (1Kings 17:9-24).

Elijah gave her a difficult task to fulfil, it was to make a meal for him out of what she and her son were planning to eat and then wait for death to come. Elijah told her that if she give him a small meal first they will have abundance. She had a choice, either to receive Elijah as a prophet, who brings the word of the supernatural God to her, or to reject him.

There is the voice of the Holy Spirit, which we should learn to recognise. We should not confuse it with the voice of the flesh which manifests in lusts of the flesh, pride of life and lust of the eyes (1John 2:15-17). The Holy Spirit communicates the will of God.

God’s direction

Numbers 3:48: and give the money to Aaron and his sons as the redemption price for those who are over.”

man-489744_640The whole of the bible is a book of direction. The first specific direction God gave man about his life concerned what to eat (Genesis 2-3). God is still concerned about getting you fed, and still leads us to find pasture, being a good shepherd (Psalm 23).

God told Adam that he has been given all trees in the garden for food, except the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There you have “what to do” and “what not to do” as being the two components of God’s direction.

The temptation of the devil is targeted at getting us to do what God does not want us to do. It is not tempting if there is no element of breaking the word of God in it.

If we are preoccupied with the word of God, doing it, we would not give way to the temptation of the devil in our lives.

When we stand for truth, we at the same time reject lies. When we stand for what is right we reject what is wrong, when we stand in the light, we cannot be touched by darkness (Ephesians 5:8, 1Thessalonians 5:4-9). If we walk in the Spirit, there will be no room for the works of the flesh in our lives (Galatians 5:16). When we express passion for and commitment to Jesus, submitting to his lordship, we at the same time reject the rule of the devil.

There is no understanding of God beyond his word, and the ultimate expression of it is Jesus who is God the word. He said that he is the way, truth and life (John 14:6).

Way

This is about the practical word. The kind of guidance that has to do with living our life, relationships, developmental process, increasing in height, eating food.

It is Jesus as the way that makes it possible. He is the light that lightens everyman coming to the world (John 1:1-5), that means if as a man you are sensible/intelligible, it if because of Jesus, he gives the building block for your personality.

The fact that you are a person and not a rock or an animal is because of Jesus, he is the source of your self-consciousness and identity as a human being. He is the reason you can reason, even if like Stephen Hawking you say there is no God.

The fact that you can sit down in class and learn is because of Jesus. He gives the capacity to live in whatever level of existence that is. Know that everything was made by him and for him. In him we move live and have our being.

But beyond basic, he is the wisdom of God accessible only to the believers. Wisdom is knowing what to do to get the right result. And we can access the wisdom of God in Christ, is not the wisdom of this world, derived from the knowledge of good and evil, but from the knowledge of God.

The wisdom of God, is foolishness to man. But the bible says that the foolishness of God is wiser than men (1Corinthians 1:24). The church is the place where the wisdom/the way of God is taught, and the nations will come flowing into it (Isaiah 2:1-3).

Truth

There are three dimensions of truth. There is the truth about God, the truth about yourself and the truth about your environment.  The fall of man resulted from the falsification of these three dimensions of truth (Genesis 3).

The devil attacked the truth about God. He said that God was not truthful, that he does not want the best for Adam and Eve, and that he is hiding things from them because he is insecure.

The devil falsely presented himself as having their best interest at heart. So Eve did not know the truth about her environment especially as it relates to the serpent who was talking to her.

She did not know the truth about herself, because the devil confused her saying that she can have what God is not giving her. But the bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from God, from the father of lights, in whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning.

To follow God’s direction we need to come into the truth about ourselves, about God and about our environment, about the people around us, and the situation in which we find ourselves.

John the Baptist was asked by the emissaries of the Pharisees: what do you say about yourself, and he was able to say I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord (John 1:19-24). He did not confused himself with the Messiah, even though people thought he was.

Because he knew who he was, he was able to live accurately and fully in the will of God for him, because who you are is the basis of what you do. And God’s direction will not move you away from the truth of who God is or who you are in him, and would reflect an accurate understanding of your environment.

Life

Jesus is life and he gives meaning to it. God’s direction will always elevate Jesus. There is no life without him. He said that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus has come so that we may have abundant life (John 10:10). God’s direction is towards more and more life, towards victory, overcoming (2Corinthians 2:14, John 4:4, 5:4). He comes with his help to lead us away from death.

In the prayer that Jesus taught, he said we should pray: lead us not into temptation deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:9-13).

We receive from what Jesus is full of- grace, which he makes abundantly available for us (John 1:14-17). Of his fullness we have received grace for grace. We are given different levels of grace (divine ability) for our different levels of assignment. Paul said: I am what I am by the grace of God (1Corinthians 15:10). The grace of God empowers us for all the best in God and all the best of God, it empowers us to be above only and not beneath.

Change comes when we embrace the life of God. But that life comes with sacrifice. God leads us in the direction of making more sacrifice for his kingdom (Luke 14:26-33). He led Jesus to make the sacrifice on the cross and the result was his coming alive from the grave, as a life-giving spirit (1Corinthians 15:45). By losing his life he became one who can give life (John 12:23-27).

 

 

 

Iconic Moses

Exodus 19:9: And the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.” When Moses told the words of the people to the LORD,

The circumstance of his birth were dire (Exodus 1-3). Pharaoh had orderedmoses-145721_640 the killing of all new born males in Israel. He escaped by the miracle of God and grew up in the palace of the arch enemy of Israel at that time.

He did no grow up with a slave mentality, so he was different. He must have believed that there was something special about him, that he was somehow meant to deliver Israel (Acts 7:20-40). And when he was forty years, he felt a nudge to do something about it, and he killed an Egyptian while he was at it.

He had to run away because of that, becoming a persona non grata in Egypt, somewhere he had known all his life to start all over again.

He began his wilderness experience to taste something of the difficulty that the children of Israel went through, having been cocooned from such by his privileged up-bringing.

He started on a bed of roses and landed on a bed of thorns, and the difficulty he went through worked humility, meekness in him, so much so that when God wanted to send him back to Egypt to deliver the children of Israel what he had always thought was his call, he felt unqualified. He stopped holding such high opinion about himself and was usable in God’s hands because of that.

But there was a king in Israel who started out meek and ended up proud, full of himself- Saul. And a similar thing happened with Moses.

Moses was the deliverer, the prophet, he was more than a prophet because God said that he speaks with him face to face (Numbers 12:1-8). However, he started thinking too much of himself and at a point he allowed the children of Israel to get under his skin and he disobeyed God.

God told him to speak to the rock to get water for the children of Israel but he struck the rock. And that cost him the Promised Land.  The disobedience of Saul cost him the throne. Therefore it does not matter how iconic you think you are, how special, you will undo yourself if you do not humble yourself. With pride you dig your own pit. Jesus said that he that would be great will have to be the servant of all. Greatness in the kingdom of God is about being the greatest servant.

In the New Testament, the people said that Moses fed their fathers with bread in the wilderness. Jesus also identified a seat in Israel called the seat of Moses.

That was how God strongly identified himself with Moses, so much so that even though he struck the rock instead of speaking to it, God caused the rock to bring out water anyway, even though he punished Moses.

Moses did not follow through with the commandment of God and he was not allowed to go to the Promised Land, what he lived his life for. He did not fulfil his purpose because he treated lightly the word of God.

Moses loomed large in both the old and the New Testament. He laid the foundation of the nation of Israel. While Jacob was the father of the nation naturally, in a spiritual sense, Moses was. The theological and social-civic foundation for the nation was laid through him. He was God’s project manager (agent) to turning the people of Israel from a ragtag group of slaves to a formidable nation, taking territory.

He was the “mediator” of the old covenant (Galatians 3:19). God put his awe on him, and through the amazing words he gave and how they came to pass, there will be no doubt about the height of authority invested in him.

God testified about him that he was faithful in all his house (Hebrews 3:5-6). Moses wrote the first five books of the bible. How did he know what happened at creation? That can only be by revelation. The books are not mere documents, but divine oracles. How did he know that the earth was without form and void before he was even born? He saw beyond the veil of time.

When proving the authenticity of the ministry of Jesus, the Peter said that Jesus was the one Moses spoke about when he said that God will send a prophet like him who must be listened to or else the people will perish (Acts 3:72). And the bible says, if we do not believe in Jesus we are condemned already (John 3:16-18).

Jesus is greater than Moses as the creator is greater than the created, as a Son over his own house, while Moses was a servant. He was a type of Christ. He led the people from the house of bondage to the Promised Land just as Jesus leads us from the hold of Satan to heaven (Colossians 1:13).

While they ate the manna from heaven in the wilderness and still died (John 6:31-58), Jesus said that he is the bread of heaven that people will eat and not die.

Just as Moses came to Israel with signs and wonders, Jesus also came with that.  Just as Moses was helped in his assignment by Aaron his brother, Jesus was aided by his cousin John, who was his forerunner.

Around the birth of Moses, there was an order by Pharaoh to kill all the male new-borns, to arrest the population growth of Israel, because he was afraid they will grow so big and would no longer be content to be subservient.

Similarly, around the time Jesus was born, King Herod commanded the killing of those who were two years and younger in Bethlehem of Judea (Matthew 2:1-18) where Jesus was prophesised to be born a messiah. He saw Jesus as a risk to his throne, and he did all he could to destroy that threat. But just as God preserved Moses spiritually, Jesus was also preserved, with an angel coming informing his father of the risk to the child and he took him from harm’s way (Matthew 2:13).

Revealing God

Leviticus 18:2: “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the LORD your God.

window-226901_640Our life is to be a revelation of who God is. As we shine as light we manifest who he is, and fulfil the plan of God for us.

When God made man it was to be a showcase of himself on the earth. God was coded in the genetic DNA of man (male and female) made as the image of God (Genesis 2-3).

If you wanted to imagine God, man should be it. He was specifically made in the image of God, and no other creation was like that. The angels were made with special powers, the plant and animal were made with certain finesse and beauty and agility, but man was made in the image of God. He was a physical revelation of an invisible God.

However, the first Adam fell to the wrong influence of the devil. So there was a need for another Adam (1Corinthians 15:45). And there comes Jesus. And in the making of the two Adams there are similarities.

The first Adam’s body was formed from the dust of the floor, and Jesus’ body form was derived from the ovum of Mary, representative of the earth, since Mary was made from the dust.

Adam had the breath of God come into his nostrils and he became a living soul, marking the beginning of his earthly existence.

What about Jesus?

Mary was told by angel Gabriel that the Spirit of the Lord will come upon her and that will lead to the conception of Jesus, the Son of the Highest, in her womb (Luke 1:27-39). Note that the first Adam was also called the son of God.

Gabriel explained the process of the formation of Jesus similar to the way Adam was formed. The breath of God the Holy Spirit will come upon the dust formed ovum of Eve, and there will manifest a unique human being who is divine.

He will walk the earth manifesting as God, because he was God from eternity past only manifested in time. John said: we beheld his glory as the glory of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth. Adam was also similarly filled, since he was filled with the breath of God, which is the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is also called the spirit of truth and the spirit of grace.

But regardless of that both the first and the second Adams were given similar opportunity to choose to obey God or not. They were made perfect, but they were given opportunity to be corrupted or not.

While sticking with the will of God for the first Adam has no foreseeable negative consequence before he fell into sin, for Jesus, choosing the will of God in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-8) or the garden of gethsemane has immediate negative consequence (Matthew 26:36-46).

Jesus was tempted by the devil to turn stone to bread, and not doing so means that he was going to remain hungry at least a few moment more having been fasting for forty days, eating nothing.

In the Garden of gethsemane, yielding go the will of God to go to the cross was going to cause him pain. He would lose his life, suffer disconnection from the father as the lamb bearing the sin of the world. For pulling through in obedience to the father, while the first Adam failed is the reason Jesus qualified to be called the faithful and true.

To reveal God you need to deny yourself, just as Jesus denied himself.

You cannot reveal God until you are submitted to him just as Jesus did.

His first act of submission was when he was baptised in water by John.  Here was the creator allowing himself to go into the water, allowing himself to be impacted by the ministry of John.

In that act Jesus associated with sinful humanity, and begun the journey to the cross as the ultimate Passover Lamb.  Remember that in the Old Testament the Passover lamb was kept for four days before it is sacrificed after it has been picked out (Exodus 12:2-11).

So from the day John the Baptist laid his hands on Jesus, he was picked out as the Lamb of God, identified as such: the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29-33). From the day John the Baptist laid hands on Jesus to the day he hung on the cross was about four years, matching the experience of the Passover lamb in the Old Testament, day for year.

And now as Spirit Jesus is revealing God in us by his presence there. Paul was emphatic when he said if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ he is none of his (Romans 8:9).

So you are on earth to reveal God, to be light in the world (Matthew 5:14), to manifest the knowledge of God wherever you go (2Corinthians 2:2-14). Paul said we have this treasure in earthen vessels so that the excellence of the power will not be of us, but of God, as we reveal him (2Corinthians 4:7). We are manifestly declared as the epistles of Christ, bold written not by the ink but by the Spirit of God (2Corinthians 3:3).

The Holy Spirit is important in the life Christians to facilitate our revealing God. The experience of receiving the Holy Spirit starts the journey of being conduits of the power and presence of God, of being his vessels.

But to receive we have to be opened, while unbelief is like a cover on us. Paul reminded the Galatia church that they received the Holy Spirit by the hearing of faith and not the work of the law (Galatians 3:5). Faith means we are opened to the reality of heaven. It is in the posture of faith that we receive the Holy Spirit and it is through steps of faith that we manifest the spiritual gifts have received from the father.

Paul told us that we should use our gift in proportion to our faith (Romans 12:1-8), in whatever capacity of gift we have.

The use of the gifts is in the context of being part of the body of Christ, who called himself the temple of God. So to the limit that we are in union with God, we express him. We express his wisdom, his power because the plan is that through the church there will be the manifestation of the manifold wisdom of God to principality and power in the heavenly places (Ephesians 3:20).

Spiritual washing

Leviticus 16:24: And he shall bathe his body in water in a holy place and put on his garments and come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people and make atonement for himself and for the people.

washing-404481_640The bible says that we need to be washed by the washing of water with the word (Ephesians 5:22-33). So when you hear the word of God, it is not just an audio-visual experience you are going through you are also involved in a spiritual washing experience.

Before his death, Jesus (the word [John 1:1-5]) stripped and took towel bent down to wash the feet of his disciples. He said if Peter did not allow him to wash his feet will not have part of him. It means if there is any area that we need to submit to Jesus, to the word, it is to experiencing his cleansing work in our life, cleaning us from sin (John 13:1-10).

The bible says that the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. The cleaning work of Jesus is to present to himself a glorious church. So while corruption will be increasing in the world, the glory of God will manifest in the church.

One thing Jesus does for us is to help us purity our motive. By pouring the Holy Spirit in our heart, he poured out the love of God there and that should be our driving motivation (Romans 5:5).

In the great epistle on love, John the apostle makes a case for us not to love the world not the things in the world (1John 2:15-17), so that we can have the love of the father in us. That should be our driving force.

Paul said that we should be motivated by the same thing that motivated Jesus. Jesus was motivated by the love of the father (Philippians 2:5-11).

Jesus told his disciples about his driving force, saying the son of man is not come to be served but to serve and give his life for many. His driving force was love (Matthew 20:28).

A general of the Syrian army Naaman had a problem of leprosy (2Kings 5:1-16). There was no natural remedy for him because if there were he was rich and powerful enough to get it. For solution an Israelite slave girl he had with him said he should go to Elisha a prophet in Israel. Elisha told him to go and wash in river Jordan, to be cleansed from his leprosy.

His expressed disdain at that suggestion. He presumed he could get clean on his own terms, and was expecting a show from the prophet to show how important he was as a client. He needed help but was still bound by his status, from receiving it.

Because the method was not what he was used to, he got angry. He needed help but still wanted to have his prestige recognised. He was prevailed upon by his servant to submit himself to the washing in Jordan. The result was more than he could ever imagine. His skin was restored to that of a baby.

This was similar to the ministry of John the Baptist as he called people out to be baptised in the same river Jordan in the time of Jesus, confessing their sin and receiving cleansing from it. The bible later recorded that the Pharisees rejected the will of God for them, not submitting to the baptism of John.

We cannot wash ourselves, and make ourselves clean, we need help. Just as Naaman we need help. We need to go in the direction of the word, to be cleansed from the unrighteousness, to have our minds cleansed from wrong thoughts, and our lives from wrong deeds. That is why David prayed: let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you oh God (Psalm 19:14).

When the words are cleaned up and the thoughts are cleaned up, then the man is cleaned up. A man may wear the best suit, be clean shaven, wear clean cloths, live in the best place in town but he could be as dirty in his thoughts and his practices, as any dog, in bondage to all manner of satanic habits.

Jesus said that people do not want to come to the light because then their evil works will be exposed (John 3:19-21). We should children of light not doing or condoning the works of darkness but rather exposing them, not doing carrying out shameful acts.

Paul said that for freedom Christ has set us free, but he warned that we should make that an excuse to be once again entangled in bondage (Galatians 5:1).

In the book of Hebrews we read that we should lay aside every weight and the sin that easily besets us, to run a race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1-5).

People want to run the race of life without experiencing cleansing from sin. They want to pursue objectives, leaving the primary objective of living free from sin, and when they make a little progress, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, strike the legs of the people and they fall. They do not know that if the heart is not right, the journey is risky.

Paul said I do not want to have preached to others to be a cast away, so I put my body under (1Corinthians 9:27). He recommended that we yield the members of our bodies to God, as instruments or righteousness (Romans 6).

He told Timothy: “flee youthful lusts (1Timothy 2:22), do not share in any man’s sin (1Timothy 5:22). A vessel unto honour purges itself (2Timothy 2:19-22).”

There is a no Christianity without a radical view of sin as something that we should separate from us being what Jesus came to save us from (Matthew 1:21). We are freed from sin by Jesus, and we cannot continue again in bondage to the same thing (Romans 6:1-5). If the chains are broken, we should not walk again into the prison of it.

On a daily basis we can receive the grace to walk with God (Hebrews 4:16) in his peace, joy, because the kingdom of God is righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:16). The kingdom is lived setting our eyes on the things of heaven and not on things on the earth. As we walk with God, move in his power, we are cleansed from powerlessness, and spiritual impotence, to carry the power of God to our generation.