God's View of Your Past (2)

  • Continuing on with part 2, let's start with Ephesians 3:14-21 in the NLT.

    14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,

    Did you notice that Paul says the same thing in verse 1? “When I think of all this”. In the NAS it reads “For this reason I”. So in verse 1, I asked myself what Paul meant when He said “When I think of all this”. Well, I went back to Chapter 2 to find out. In a nutshell he’s thinking about the truth that we have been made alive with Christ, that we are one with Christ and we have His peace, and that we are citizens and heirs of the household of God.

    Just study that chapter 2 and see if you don’t say “When I think of all this” or “For this reason I…” Now do the same for Chapter 3 verses 1-13 to find out why Paul said it again – “When I think of all this”. Powerful!! The love of God is a Nuclear spiritual reality.

    15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.

    There it is again. It’s Him, His glorious unlimited resources that empower us with strength “through the Spirit”. Not through the church building. Not through programs. Not through works or performance. Not through obedience to all the man-made rules and regulations, but “through the Spirit”.

    17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.

    When will Christ make His home in our hearts? As we trust Him. Then we will have the revelation of His great love for us, regardless of anything in our past, and it’s that love that keeps us strong. Said another way. There is no way you will be able to be a strong believer in Christ without God’s great love that is revealed “as you trust in Him”. Are you getting this??

    18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.

    This is awesome. It says MAY YOU HAVE. Have what? THE POWER. To do what? Understand God’s immeasurable LOVE for us.

    19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

    So after saying in verse 18 we may have the power to understand, Paul says here in verse 19 – Since God’s great love is too great to understand fully, it will take experience for this revelation to be effective. So MAY YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE.

    For those who have been to our past teachings on grace in person, or even those who have been faithful to study these teachings on this website, this should sound familiar. We have stated time and again that it is impossible to fully understand something that you have not experienced. So we have to give up our right to understand sometimes.

    After each of our teaching sessions we would close with the prayer that declared the following. “We wrap faith around every deeper truth that has been revealed in this study, until a deeper revelation of these truths becomes manifest, which will lead to an experience that brings understanding.”

    I always use this example. Neither I nor any other man on this earth will ever be able to fully understand what it is like to give birth to a child. However, every woman who has ever given birth to a child fully understands what that is like. Why? Because she has had the experience.

    So Paul is saying in verse 18, may you have the power to understand God’s great love for you, as all of His people should, but absent that, I’m praying and declaring you’ll experience the great love of God. That’ll do it. That’ll bring understanding to you.

    Just study those two verses and you’ll go nuts with joy and freedom. God is so loving that He gives us the power to understand that love, but realizes how frail we are, so He brings experiences about His love to us so we can then understand. Experiencing something will default into understanding. Wow. What a loving Father we truly have.

    20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

    Who’s doing the work? He is. Where? In us. To what degree? Above and beyond our wildest imaginations.

    21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

    What does all this say about God? It says He doesn’t see anything wrong with you. He sees what’s missing from your experience of Him. He so wants you to experience Him so you can more fully understand how much He loves you and longs to have relationship with you.

    He’s not worried about sitting down and talking to you when your drunk, high, frustrated, angry, deceived, desperate, or delusional. He is not worried about your poor behavior. He’s not working on your behavior, He’s working on your identity.

    Without fail when you make these kind of deeper truth revelatory comments, you’ll have the ya but ministry show up. “Ya but, how do we know how God feels about us if we don’t live up to his standards? ARE YOU BRAIN DEAD. HAVEN’T YOU BEEN LISTENING?

    We don’t get His love by living up to His or others standards. We find His love in the broken places of our lives. We let Him love us there. It’s called relationship.

    But how can that be? Don’t we have to walk away from sin? Walking toward Him is walking away from sin. See, we get it backwards. Quit focusing on the negative. Start to live and declare the truth or positive.

    What do you mean? Well look at this. I’m sick….by his stripes. I’m broke….my God shall supply….He’s Jehovah Jireh. I’m lonely….I will never leave or forsake you. I’m a friend that sticks closer than a brother. I’m trying to be good….casting all your care upon him…Are you getting it?

    As you grow in loving Him, you’ll find yourself increasingly free from sin and despair. For most people learning to live that way is difficult because it’s completely different from anything they’ve been taught.

    Remember what God said to me as I was reducing to words His revelation to me about this teaching? Here it is again. He said “the yoke I desire people to put on is my grace and love, but it is difficult or heavy for them. That’s because they have not gotten past trying to carry their load all by themselves. They have not moved into the receiving stage”.

    As we learn to live with Him and discover the great love that God has for us, we will get to cooperate with what He is doing.

    Let me end this teaching by repeating these two powerful declarations from one of my “Grace Mentors”, Malcolm Smith.

    “God’s love for us is so great and so vast and without condition that it appears scandalous to those who are religious and works/performance oriented”.

    “God who is love refuses to be God without us. He is the one that must come where we are. He is unalterably, unconditionally unendingly for you”. Grace and Peace.