Dwell

I have an amazingly gorgeous pantry.  I love it, I can go in there and look at all that the Lord has provided, with awe and wonder.  I have a sense of accomplishment when I see all the beautiful jars of delicious home canned and dried food.  If feel confident that I can make meals for friends and family in a matter of minutes.  I am prepared for any crisis or emergency.  I don’t compare it to anyone else’s pantry, it’s mine, it’s the way I need it to be.   I don’t hang out in the pantry; I store things in it that I have made with love.  It’s just a room in my house, not a place in which I dwell.

How different it is with my spirit.  I need desperately to abide in Jesus, to dwell in His presence, and to be found in Him.  I have learned that I can’t compare myself to another because God works in us individually, as we allow.  We go from glory to glory.  The rapidity of the process depends on our own willingness to pursue Him.  We can, however, encourage one another and learn from one another.

Somewhere along the line I stopped going from mountaintop to dry valley experiences.  As I cried out for more, for wisdom and understanding; and as I spent time seeking His eyes and studying His Word, the road to righteousness leveled out.  Not that we are not righteous, just that we travel a road through life that reveals more and more as we go.  I began to notice that although life brought times of sorrow and times of joy, I was always in Him.  I noticed I was dwelling in the secret place of the most high.   As I sought more, I snuggled in deeper.  Instead of ups and downs, the path was straight.  The things of life didn’t affect me as much as they once did because I viewed them from my seat in the heavenly places.  (Ephesians 2)   I had a changed vantage point.  Things that once were confusing or saddening, were understood as just another piece of the grand plan God has for my life.  I can see heavenly purpose in almost every situation, and even when I don’t clearly see it, I know by faith that it’s there.  This emboldens me, it gives me confidence to continue counting every life event as all joy.

I can say, okay Lord, what is your purpose here, how will You use this thing for Your glory?  Is this warfare against the enemy?  Is it warfare against my flesh?  Am I reaping something I’ve sown?  Reveal what I need to seek forgiveness for and show me what I can take from this and use to glorify You.

To abide in Jesus is to ever be surprised by His love and protection versus being caught off guard by life’s challenges.  To abide is to dwell in His presence, to be in Him at all times as life unfolds.   He is not distant and He doesn’t require a special procedure.  He waits for me!  He wants me to just come to Him.  I know I can find rest in times of pain, I can rejoice in times of abrasion, and I can find reasons to praise at all times.  The closer I get to God, the further I get from my flesh and from bad decisions that lead to sin.   Seek first the kingdom of God and the rest truly is added to you.  I have learned that it’s up to me, I need to study the Word, ask for clarification and wisdom, and spend time praying.  The investment of my time has reaped a hundred-fold return in His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Every time I look into the perfect word of God, I see something deeper; a new revelation.  There’s always another layer, something new to discover and tightly grasp.  This is why I need to continually study the Word.  It is nourishment to the spirit, food for the soul.  It is exhilarating and prophetic and encouraging.  Sometimes I find myself forgetting to breathe simply because of the spine-tingling wonder in those words.  I live and move and breathe and have my being in Him.  I am always aware of His presence.  I am never alone.  Jesus reveals truth to me through His Word, how to live, how to love and how to know His voice.

Romans 8:1  taught me this:  We are free from indwelling sin because we walk according to the Spirit, not the flesh.  Verse 5 teaches, “for those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”  You will set your mind on what the Spirit desires, what the Spirit communicates to your spirit.  It doesn’t happen instantly, it’s a lifelong process of seeking, learning, resting and renewing the mind.  “To be spiritually minded is life and peace”.  Of course it is!  The more spiritually minded we are, the less our flesh affects us.  Little irritations bother us less and less.  Our mind is on the Spirit so the things of the world lose significance.  Therefore, we are free from the laws of sin and death.  We are freed up to love unconditionally and live eternally now!  That’s more good news!

So today I urge you to seek God right from where you are.  Seek His Word, seek His opinion and seek His glory.  Pray, learn scripture and talk to your friend Jesus continually because He is right there beside you.  Sing a song of worship to Him and thank Him for His lovingkindness.  Abide in Him.  Make the effort to put your focus on Him in everything you do and He will lift you up.  You will never be the same!     Blessings friends.

 

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Seated in Heavenly Places

I have been fascinated with the book of Ephesians for the last several weeks, and particularly, Ephesians 2. The Amplified version of verses 4-6 say this:
4 But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, 5 Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved ([a]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) 6 And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us [b] joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

As I meditated and prayed for full understanding of this scripture, a picture appeared. I saw a huge indoor stadium. The rows of cushy red leather seats went up and up, farther than the eye could see. The seats were joined together to form rows, and the rows were bolted to the cement foundation of the building. Each seat was bolted to each other, immovable and permanent. I saw myself sitting in my designated seat, right next to Jesus. From that seat, I could see the earth, I could project Jesus’ love and feel His love for His people. And what amazed me was that each of us was seated next to Jesus, we all had His ear and His touch.

I noticed that not all of the Body of Christ were present in the seats. In fact, a large portion of the stadium is empty because the people don’t know they may take their seats. Each seat is numbered, designated and reserved. Many many of the seats are empty. How can that be? How has the enemy fooled us into thinking we were grounded on the earth alone?
We must spread the Word. We must shout the good news that we have been given the authority to take our seats! Come up! Come up! We must shout louder; we must get through the cacophony of noise that bombards the Body in an attempt to distract us from truth. People, there is more for you, there is reserved seating! Come and sit where Jesus reserved your seat. He bought your seat, He paid with His own blood. You don’t need a ticket, just come up! The seat is so comfortable that you can stay in it for hours on end; days and months and years! Your body can function on earth, but your spirit can thrive in its seat. Let’s pray Eph. 1:17-18 over our friends and family now!
I went back to Ephesians 1:20-21 that says:
19 And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, 20 Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places], 21 Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come. 22 And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church], 23 Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself].
Ok wow, Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father. He sits far above all principalities and powers and might and dominion. AND, we sit next to HIM in that same heavenly place! Did you get that? You are seated far above the enemy and his nasty legions. You can see his plans, spy on his camp and take him down! We all know that Ephesians 6 explains that we are not wresting against people, but the enemy, his influences on people and his evil plans. So why are we whining? We are seated in the most powerful place in the universe. Our weapons are mighty for the pulling down of strongholds. We wield weapons of mass destruction to the enemy and we can use them from the ultimate vantage point!
So let’s let our minds be renewed in the Word of God. Read it, study it, find out just how amazing you are in Jesus! I don’t know about you, but I’m jumping for joy right now! I have taken a stand, I have taken my seat in the heavenly places and from there I will stand in the evil day! Woo hoo! Rejoice in the Lord! Victory is assured!