I was listening this morning the the Sunday service (April 16, 2018) from Bethel Church in Redding. There was a quote from Bill Johnson that sparked my thinking. Below are some scriptures that and thoughts I came to.
“The level of presence and breakthrough that we enjoy in life is directly to connected to what we have become. What would free God to release greater blessing to us? That is the question.”
In pressing forward and reaching my goal, the emphasis isn’t to be on how bad I am and all that I fail in, so that it leaves me frustrated and feeling guilty and inadequate for all I am not doing. This is far from a healthy basis to life from.
The emphasis should be on the joy set before me, all that I can be and do in life, the excitement of living in the fullness of the life my wonderful Father and Creator made me for. It is based on how far I want to go with the Lord and what I am willing to do to get there.
There is so much set apart for each of us, but not all reach the highest and best. Is this bad? No, I don’t think so. I think free will is very important. We can go as far as we want and God still loves us and delights in us. He will live with us and bless us as much as He can wherever we live from. We can choose to be a normal household item and still be pleasing to the Lord.
The pressure for excellence and perfectionism can be a huge burden and hindrance. This has tripped me up more than most things.
Though I greatly desire the best that God has for me, the freedom to make choices and walk in continual fellowship is my highest goal. My life has been tormented with perfectionism and performance issues. Freedom to be me is key to my victory and true fruitfulness.
God has left is up to me how far I want to go in life.
2 Timothy 2:20-21 – But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also [utensils] of wood and earthenware, and some for honorable and noble [use] and some for menial and ignoble [use]. So whoever cleanses himself will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work.
(PassionNTPsa) – In a palace you find many kinds of containers and tableware for many different uses. Some are beautifully inlaid with gold or silver, but some are made of wood or earthenware; some of them are used for banquets and special occasions, and some for everyday use. But you, Timothy, must not see your life and ministry this way. Your life and ministry must not be disgraced, for you are to be a pure container of Christ and dedicated to the honorable purposes of your Master, prepared for every good work that he gives you to do.
(Phillips NT) – God’s solid foundation still stands, however, with this double inscription: the Lord knows those who belong to him, and let every true Christian have no dealing with evil. In any big household there are naturally not only gold and silver vessels but wooden and earthenware ones as well. Some are used for the highest purposes and some for the lowest. If a man keeps himself clean from the contaminations of evil he will be a vessel used for honorable purposes, clean and serviceable for the use of the master of the household, all ready, in fact, for any good purpose.
(MSG) – In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
(PassionNTPsa) – We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it!
(NJB) – We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus for the good works which God has already designated to make up our way of life.
God has created me as a work of art. There are things I was made to do. There are good works which God has already designated to make up my way of life. How do I find them? The ways and sources are hard-wired inside of me. I can find what I am made to do in finding who I am.
How far can I go in His will? It depends on how much of my life is yielded and controlled by Him, how much I am not conformed to this world and how transformed my life is and how much my mind is renewed to His ways. This determines whether I live in His good, acceptable or perfect will for my life.
Romans 12:1-2 – I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
(PassionNTPsa) – Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.
What is my response to His marvelous mercies? Surrender.
Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.
(WuestNT) – I therefore beg of you, please, brethren, through the instrumentality of the aforementioned mercies of God, by a once-for-all presentation to place your bodies at the disposal of God, a sacrifice, a living one, a holy one, well-pleasing, your rational, sacred service, And stop assuming an outward expression that does not come from within you and is not representative of what you are in your inner being but is patterned after this age; but change your outward expression to one that comes from within and is representative of your inner being, by the renewing of your mind, resulting in your putting to the test what is the will of God, the good and well-pleasing and complete will, and having found that it meets specifications, place your approval upon it.
(Phillips NT) – With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God re-mold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.
This reminds me of something I preached a number of years ago, a sermon called “Many are Called but Few are Chosen.” I just posted my notes from that as well.