11/30/16 Weighty Business
“Are you willing to carry the weight of the needs of others? Do you really care about your friends to the point that you are willing to do without so that they might prosper? What about those who offend or actually hate you? Will you pour out your life in some way that they might spend time with Me for eternity? Jesus did!”
Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
8) “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
9) “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Matthew 11:12 KJV
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
Matthew 16:22-23 NIV
22) Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23) Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
Matthew 16:24-25 AMP
24) Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].
25) For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting].
The above verses seem to be unlikely candidates to use when talking about blessing someone. They are, however, very appropriate when you consider where our real battles lie. In the spiritual realm, the most violent spiritual actions take place in the dark kingdoms whenever someone lives out the character of Jesus.
Jesus destroyed the death grip of selfishness, independence, and the rebellion against God’s ways by giving up everything He owned, even His own life. The Christ-like character traits of obedience, servanthood, selflessness, submission, and a love for others greater than a love for ourselves are in opposition to the rebellious nature that separated us from God in the Garden of Eden. Abiding in Christ means walking with the same heart motives He has. As you walk in His kind of love, you are violently and aggressively opposing the dark realms of the spirit and continually advancing the work of the cross through the power of Jesus.
Your ways are extraordinary, Lord,