Becoming a deliverer

soldier-390202_640Obadiah 1:21: The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion to judge the mountain of Esau, And the kingdom will be the Lord’s. (NASB)

The plan of God is that we should not be the one in need of deliverance but the one who are deliverers. Note the words of the focus verse: the deliverers shall be associated with mount Zion, which is symbolic for the church (Hebrews 12:22-24).

Jesus said deliverance is via knowing the truth, and the church is the bastion of truth. His words: you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32). He comes with the message of freedom, the message of deliverance.

He also says who the Son shall set free is free indeed (John 8:36). Jesus is the Son of God and has been commissioned by him to set us free. And the church is the body of Christ, the custodian of the freedom that Jesus brings. He said to his people: as the father sent me, I now send you (John 20:21).” Paul wrote of the need to be properly connected to the body of Christ to experience what flows from the head, and the head is Christ (Colossians 2:19).

God wants us to be deliverers, but how will you be effective as a deliverer if you are in bondage yourself. For example, If Jesus had any iota of sin in his vein, he will be disqualified to rescue us from our own sin. How can you show others light if you live in darkness?

Matthew said about Jesus that he is the great light that shines on those living in darkness (Matthew 4:16). Jesus was clearer about that saying: I am the light of the world (John 9:1-5).

He stands as the antithesis of everything that is wrong with fallen humanity. He is light while we were darkness, he is righteous (1John 2:1) while we were sinful, he brings joy (Luke 2:9-11) when we had the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:1-3), and he is from heaven (John 1:18, 3:12-13) while we are from the earth. He is limitless while we are limited. He is full of God being God (Hebrews 1:1-3) while we are emptied of divinity.

Peter said that through him we can be partakers of the divine nature having escaped (delivered from) the corruption that in the world through lust (2Peter 1:4).

He came to remove whatever limits us. He is able to lift us up, because he stands strong. When it comes to running our race, fulfilling our purpose on earth, Paul advised that we should look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). He frees us to be all we are meant to be in God.

John wrote that of his (Jesus) fullness we have received grace for every area that we need grace. He is full of what we lack, so we need him like nothing else. Jesus told a Samaritan woman: I will give you water that will so fill you up, satisfy your thirst, that you will need again (John 4:7-24).

He is full of glory while we are full of shame.  It was nothing short of full garb of shame that man wore when he was chased from the Garden of Eden. Here was a man who had everything going for him, but lost everything on the platter of Satan’s deceit, and got into bondage because of that.

He did not act as one who sees far ahead to the damning implication of eating the wrong fruit. But Jesus (the last Adam) was different. He recognised that the sacrifice he was called to make on the cross of Calvary was not because of himself. He had foresight. The book of Hebrews says that for the joy set before him he endured the cross despising the shame and is right now seated on the right hand of the father (Hebrews 12:1-5). He became deliverer, now called life-giving Spirit delivering us from death.

In the book of Isaiah we read that Jesus will see the result of the travail of his soul (the all-round pain he went through) and be satisfied (Isaiah 53).

In a parable of the lost sheep that he gave, the shepherd paid the sacrifices needed to rescue the sheep from his own errors. He went all the way to get it restored, back to the protection of the fold. He is a deliverer (Luke 15:1-7).

A deliverer is task oriented. It is all about being others-focused.

When the children of Israel started conquering the Land of Promise, certain of the twelve tribes already had lands given to them (about three tribes) before Jordan (because the land was good for their cattle and animals, which they had in abundance) but the rest needed to cross the river to begin conquering and occupying lands on the other side of the river (Numbers 32).

Moses, however, instructed that the fighting men among them must leave their wives and children and livestock behind and go with their brothers and help in their own conquest of their own land.

The point is: though they now have the place of rest, they were not supposed to be at rest until their brothers also entered into rest, settle in their own lands. That is the mindset of the deliverer. They are light-bearers helping others to dispel darkness.

Applying that to the work of the gospel, Paul said, “woe is me if I preach not the gospel” because he has taken on the garb of a deliverer (1Corinthians 9:16). He refused to be content that now that he has its “own land,” now that he is saved, he can rest, but he worked hard so that many people will be delivered from the kingdom of darkness and come to the kingdom of the son of God.

Jesus came as our deliverer, but after delivering us he sets us loose to deliver others, he lifts us up so that we can do the same to others. He said we should let our light shine, and that a city set on a hill cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14). That city is the church, the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22-24).

Noah was a deliverer in his time. When God was set to destroy the world that then was, the only people who responded, coming into the ark God made Noah prepare for preservation were his family members and through them the world was repopulated after the flood (Genesis 6-7).

God prepared a remnant. The others did not believe until it was too late, until the unthinkable, the unexpected happened, and a mighty flood descended on the earth leaving destruction and death in its wake.

Right now, there is another ark, and his name is Jesus. He has said we should come to him to be free, that we can learn from him to gain rest for our soul (Matthew 11:28-30). We have been told that there is no other way by which man can be saved except through Jesus (Acts 4:10-14).

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