New Wine for New Wineskins August 2017

By , August 1, 2017 5:47 am

iBelieveLogoSilver01iBelieve (Part 6)

John 3: 16

6 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

The Message

16 This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. 17 God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.

Only believe.

Jesus did not come to accuse us of our sin but neither did he come to excuse us for our sin. He came to deliver us from our sin.

Jesus took away all of our excuses at the Cross, and though there may be many reasons for why we are the way we are and do things the way we do, we no longer have an excuse because he has made his amazing grace available to us in abundance, and that has made supernatural transformation possible.

I can’t is no longer an excuse because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and all things are possible to those who believe.

Only believe.

By grace we are saved through faith, through simply believing.  We are not saved by our own efforts, but by simply believing in the power of his grace.

Only believe.

It is important to understand the negative effects of allowing how we feel to impact upon what, or more importantly who, we believe. This is probably the single biggest cause of our not always walking in the fullness of all that has been provided for us and our failure to exercise the authority that has been given us over all the power of the enemy, and our slowness to say STOP to all of his attempts to hurt or harm us.

It is all really a matter of perspective.

Jesus said that we should pray, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your Name,Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven….

The fact that we have been raised up with Christ and are seated with him in the heavens means that we can have a heavenly perspective, so that when we pray for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven we know exactly what we are expecting.

In September 2016 I heard in my spirit that our prophetic declaration for 5777 / 2017 would be “The year when eagles soar.” The year of heavenly perspective.

Paul said that he had not been disobedient to the heavenly vision. There were times when you could have looked at Paul’s ministry and it wouldn’t have looked very successful if you didn’t have a heavenly perspective. And what about Noah? A 120 year preaching ministry and only eight people saved including himself. Unless you have a heavenly perspective of the whole human race being saved from these eight people it doesn’t look too good.

Only believe.

When we have a heavenly perspective we don’t ever have to be left scratching our heads wondering what God is up to. Recently, as I was reading through Matthew’s gospel account I noticed that he said several times “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet….” God doesn’t do anything without first of all sharing it with his prophets, and supplying them with a heavenly perspective.  Prophets are seers, they get to see from heaven’s perspective. God didn’t destroy the earth with a flood before he had shared his plans with Noah, and he didn’t judge Sodom and Gomorrah until he had informed Abraham of his intentions. God has given us a word to cover every aspect of our lives including every situation or circumstance we might encounter, and his word reveals his perspective which is always objective.

Isaiah 55: 11

11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

God’s word is always objective and provides us with heaven’s perspective. An objective perspective is one that is not influenced by emotions, opinions, or personal feelings. It is a perspective based in fact, in things quantifiable and measurable.

Only believe.

Jesus, in his encounter with the devil in the wilderness, countered the enemy’s strategy of trying to exploit how Jesus was feeling – hungry and weak – with the word of God saying, “It is written….”  Even when the devil tried to sucker punch Jesus by using the same words, “It is written….” and quoting from Psalm 91, Jesus refused the temptation to yield to the pride of life, the desire to impress, and stuck to his objective of only saying what he heard his Father saying and only doing what he saw his Father doing. In Philippians 2 it says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or a desire to impress others….” However, when we allow how we feel to impact on what we believe it can cause us to adopt a subjective perspective. A subjective perspective is one open to greater interpretation based on personal feeling, emotion, aesthetics, etc.

The blogosphere and all of the other social media platforms have opened up a whole new world of opportunity for those who want to broadcast their subjective perspectives.

It can be helpful to discern between objective and subjective reality. A popular thought experiment asks this hypothetical question:

If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound? The objective reality in this scenario is that the tree did fall in the forest and made a sound. The objective view is not dependent upon there being an observer for the event.

The reality is that if you are walking through a wooded area and you come across a fallen tree then you can be sure that when it fell it made a sound whether there was anyone there to hear it or not.

Only believe.

However, there is a school of thought in philosophy that believes that our perception of reality is governed by our senses, which are limited and flawed. Therefore, according to this philosophy, there is no objective reality that we can discern, and all reality is subjective. If you subscribe to this philosophy then reality is a social construct, and so a common denominator of the subjective experiences and perceptions of society forms our reality.

You may think that sounds crazy but that type of thinking can actually infiltrate the church and limit the life of faith we are designed and created to live.

Colossians 2: 8

8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

That is why in New Wine Church’s vision and mission statement, which I believe the Holy Spirit helped us to articulate, we say that we will never bring the word of God down to the level of our experience but we will believe for our experience to come up to the level of God’s word. I heard someone else say recently that they would not allow their theology of God to come down to the level of their pain.

God always reveals himself as I AM and not as I was or I will be. He always was I AM and he always will be I AM. And so when he makes the objective statement, “I AM the LORD who heals you,” I believe and receive my healing whether I feel healed or not. If I don’t feel healed and go with how I feel I will be inclined to make the subjective statement, “I don’t feel healed therefore I can’t be healed.” At that point I choose a faulty subjective reality based on my felt experience that falls short of the objective reality that I have been invited to enjoy as someone who is already healed and who has been given authority in Jesus’ name to resist every feeling or symptom of sickness. Obviously we are not denying the reality of sickness but we are choosing a higher reality that conforms to God’s declaration over us as our healer.

Romans 8 declares that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death, and so I am not denying the existence of sickness but I am denying sickness the right to exist in my body because I AM is the LORD who heals me and he has given me authority to say STOP to sickness.

The word of God declares that Jesus became sin with my sinfulness so that I could become righteous with his righteousness. That is the objective reality declared by the LORD himself who says, “I AM the LORD your Righteousness” whether I feel righteous or not. If I sin or mess up I am not going to revert to a subjective perspective of being a lousy no-good sinner wallowing in condemnation. Instead, I am going to refuse to allow sin to have dominion over me and I will use failure as a stepping stone out of the prison house of a subjective perspective and into the objective reality created by the word of God that declares me to be a saint in the household of faith with the authority in Jesus’ name to resist and overcome sin.

Abraham refused to be a slave to a subjective perspective that would have bound him to a subjective reality that fell short of God’s prophetic promise to him.

Romans 4: 16 – 22

16 So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.    17 That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing….God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did….18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” 19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb….not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb 20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.

Only believe.

Jesus never allowed how he was feeling to shift him from his objective as the walking, talking, living Word of God who came to die our death so that we could live his life. Even in the Garden of Gethsemane he rejected a subjective perspective when he prayed “…not my will but your will be done”  And again on the cross (just think for a moment how this felt for him) when he cried out, “My God, why have you forsaken me….” and then persevered and pushed on through to the cry of, “It is finished….”

A subjective perspective is always philosophic and never prophetic.

Many years ago as I was fellowshipping with the Lord and meditating on his word while driving my milk delivery pickup he told me to pull over and write something down. He said,  “My gift to the church is apostle not apologist, prophet not philosopher, evangelist not egotist, pastor not poser or impostor, and teacher not tickler….”

Prophet not philosopher. The prophet says what God says, bringing you heaven’s objective perspective, and invites you to believe and receive by exchanging your philosophical subjective perspective that is based on how you feel for an objective reality that is the result of taking God at his word, knowing that he is always faithful to fulfil what he has promised.

Only believe.

When the LORD says through the prophet Isaiah (chapter 55) that his thoughts and ways are higher than ours it is not a putdown, it is an invitation to come up higher and to conform our thoughts to his thoughts so that our ways will conform to his ways.

We should expect the LORD to confirm the kingdom message with kingdom miracles, and so we should choose an objective perspective and expect an objective reality that is the fulfilment of the prophetic promises of our heavenly Father.

We say, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Only believe.

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