Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Which Jesus do you follow?

There are many who preach Jesus - like the Mormons and even some Christian cults .... who use the name of Jesus ... but there is only One REAL Jesus.

There are some who preach a "works" based Jesus (read Galatians) and some who preach of a "grace" filled Jesus (read the Gospels).  

The goal of the preaching ... is to move you to follow Him.

So, which Jesus do you follow?

Is it the One who is revealed to us in the Word of God? 

The picture above is from one of my all time favorite movies from the 1970's called, "Jesus of Nazareth".  

Whenever I need some spiritual focus - I pop this movie on in the background and let it permeate throughout our home.  It provides a good Biblical account of the life of Christ. 

The thing I LOVE about Jesus ... is the fact that He quite radical and He is never politically correct.

He turns the world upside down. He enrages religious leaders to the point they wanted to murder Him and His disciples.

Jesus was not out to please Caiaphas or even to befriend him ... he was too focused on doing the will of His Father in heaven. 

Preaching the good news, healing the sick, casting out demons, teaching the Word of God, and bringing people into relationship with Him.

Jesus lived to please His Father in heaven and to do His will. John 12:49-50. He didn't move in the fear of man or the fear of what people would think of Him. He truly wanted to live from no other place than to please His Dad in heaven. 

And as a result - He was the most secure man alive!

Why? Because He knew He was a Son!

Jesus over turned tables.

He called the Pharisees .... "white washed tombs"...
He called the disciples ..... "a perverse and unbelieving generation" ..... in order to shake the unbelief out of them.

..... and He boldly rebuked Peter and said ... "satan, get behind me - you are thinking with the mindset of man and not of God". 

Why? Because Jesus was stopping the voice of the enemy that was trying to prohibit the will of God from flowing in and through Jesus' life (through His death and resurrection). Satan was trying to stop the will of the Father.

The disciples ... in the book of Acts - carried this same sort of boldness ... to keep on going even though they were told never to preach the name of Jesus again or never to do ministry in His name. 

The religious leaders did not want those disciple's praying or ministering to others. Why?

No matter who tried to cast the disciple's aside - they stayed on task with the calling God had assigned to them.

Man can't call people to ministry - God does the calling! Man doesn't determine the gifts, the calling and the anointing - this is God's job.

God calls and God anoints. The call of God is irrevocable. It is our job - as God's church to see and to empower people so that the Kingdom of God can move forward in the earth and that team God can win.

"Everything is worthless, rubbish compared to the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." Phil 3:7-11. EVERYTHING. WORTHLESS. 

Compared to knowing Jesus intimately. We must be on a mission to know God above all else. To know Him intimately. To know His will and to do the will of our Father in heaven.

If we read the Gospels and deeply watch Jesus' interactions with the Pharisees and with hurting people (the demonized, the sick, the broken-hearted, etc..) - we will see more to Jesus' character and nature than just the loving shepherd or our eternal savior. 

If we read the book of Acts - we will come to know the most wonderful Holy Spirit. The most overlooked and forgotten part of the Trinity. 

The person of the Holy Spirit - not some power force to be gotten but One in whom - we should be intentional in developing a relationship with - someone worth knowing intimately! 

In our faith experience, we tend to stop in knowing Jesus only as savior or as shepherd. We fail to know Him as ruling King, or as the Lion of Judah, or as the Host who rules the heavenly armies.

We need to sit down - with our Bibles open and broaden our understanding of who God is - what God can do and who we are to Him. 

We need to know God as Father, as Son and as Holy Spirit.

So often in ministering to people, I have found people want a quick word of prophecy or a word of knowledge or to be delivered from an ailment that is bothering them. Which is fine - but there is a huge concern on my heart in regards to this.

In this place of wanting something "fast" from God - I see that people fail to hunger for God - to know Him and to yearn to know how to walk and talk with Him all the days of their life. 

Like those who avoid going to the gym to get physically healthy, people don't want to do the work to get spiritually healthy. And by work, I mean, cultivating a thriving relationship with God.

To me, this is the one BIG concern I see in the prophetic movement now a days - and I say this as one who developed and led a prophetic ministry school. 

Is the very fact that we are failing to raise up disciple's - people who know how to live with God and have a thriving relationship with Him for themselves. 

People want to run to others so they can hear God for them and they don't want to do the work that it takes to build an intimate relationship with God for themselves.

We are not building a strong foundation into the hearts of people. We are failing to ground people in the knowledge of God through the Word of God.

When we minister to people like this all the time (prophetic ministry, healing prayer, etc...)  without strong discipleship ministries - we fail people.   

We fail to give them the tools they need to know God - and to know the spiritual principles involved in spiritual bondage and spiritual freedom.  So, we can pray all we want - but without discipleship - we leave people powerless without spiritual understanding. 

We fail to disciple them in what it means to be a man or woman of faith and to know how to feed themselves off the Word of God.

We fail to teach them how to intimately know their God and for HIM to be their source of life and not some prophet, or minister of the Gospel. 

We need to be like Martin Luther and get the Word of God into the hands of the people and teach them how to cultivate a thriving relationship with God. There is a time when we have to help people move from immaturity to maturity and being able to feed themselves and hear God and be led by His Spirit. 

Those who spend the time getting to know God - not to get something from Him or to use Him like a vending machine .... but simply because they want Him alone and above all else - will find Him.

What part of God's nature is He revealing to you in this season? Father? Son? Holy Spirit? 

And within that - what aspect of His nature is He focusing on revealing to you?

Who does God want to be for you in this season that He could not be for you in any other season?

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