Category Archives: fear

God’s Not Dead 2 Movie Warns of Scary Judgment by God But What Is God’s Judgment Really?

 

One of the noted lines in the movie God’s Not Dead 2 is,

“I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world, than stand with the world and be judged by God.”

 

Stand With God Not Be Judged movieGrace Wesley, the main character, was not going to be afraid to say the name Jesus and concluded her stand with Jesus meant she would avoid God’s judgment, but the world would get what’s coming to them.

Gee whiz, the implications of this quote are an offense to all that Jesus did for the world –in His incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension! Yet, most religious Christians would say a hearty ‘Amen!’ to Grace’s seemingly brave conclusion.

World, Please Forgive

No wonder the world is offended by and critical of religious Christianity. No wonder there was vitriol portrayed by unbelievers in this movie. I am sorry World for how we have presented God. Please forgive us, we are perpetuating lies about God to you, and even ourselves.

Comeback

Now some believers will get up in arms. They will vociferously declare, “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.” (Rom 14:10)

Great! I love this verse, for it speaks of intimacy and of complete revelation of our true identity, actually of all men’s true identity.

Say what?!

Context for the Judgment Seat

To grasp the fullness of this beautiful welcoming “judgment seat”, let’s consider the context –  Romans chapter 9-15, dealing with judging others.

Paul is challenging the Jews with their uppity self-righteousness, their exclusivity, and being offended that God would include Gentiles. Paul blasted away with Isaiah’s bold words – “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made visible and was comprehended by those who did not ask for Me.” (Rom 10:20) Yikes, that shoots a hole in the traditional sinner’s prayer!

“Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand for God is able to make him stand.” (Rom 14:4)

“So why do you judge your brother, why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.” (Rom 14:10)

The Judgment Seat via Greek

Here’s the skinny on Rom 14:10-12 through Greek meanings. It’s wondrous!

…We will all stand close beside the elevated place, the throne of God. For the Lord says, “As I live, every knee shall bow to Me and every tongue shall confess – i.e. consent fully, give thanks, praise, fully agree and acknowledge that agreement openly and without reservation, to God.” Therefore, each of us with full comprehension of himself, shall give ‘logos’ (a word, divine utterance, ‘logos’ is used preeminently of  incarnate Christ Jesus to express the thoughts of the Father) to God. Therefore, let’s not judge one another anymore.

Please note:

  • the same Greek word for stand is used in Lk 2:22 when Jesus was ‘presented’ to the Lord – i.e. stand, ready to present, to bring near into fellowship and intimacy. There is no standing and trembling in either of these passages. Hmmm.
  • most translations use the word ‘account’ – give an account to God. Sounds scary! But the Greek word is ‘logos’!

In summary – while being close to Him, everyone will bow and give thanks to Him, as they fully see their true identity in Christ Jesus and totally agree with God’s logic.

Amazing!

Dig In

  • Judgment of all sin took place at the Cross. His death brought the end of sin. There is no more judgment for sin. (Heb 9:26, 10:10,12 2Cor 5:21  Jn 1:29) Why do we still fear that and proclaim it?
  • Jesus does not judge according to the flesh. Paul finally got that by revelation. (Jn 8:15 2Cor 5:13-16)
  • Judgment is scary to many Christians. Our legalistic, works-driven, guilt-induced, fear-filled mind set cannot comprehend that God has always been for us, desires us, enjoys us. In our religious stupor we simply cannot grasp that God truly reconciled the world to Himself. May revelation undo you, so you can stand with God in agreement about His wondrous judgment of innocence and reconciliation for all. (Eph 1:4,5 3:19  2Tim 1:9  1Jn 4:17 2Cor 5:19 Col 1:22) It is part of growing in fullness. It will change your perspective!

Joy Came To Earth – Religion and The World Did Not Know And Still Don’t

Consider – before the Incarnation, God had not spoken to man (through the prophets) for over four hundred years! Selah

When God finally had something to say it centered on joy and a Person!

Even though this joy was for the whole wide world, joy happened in a small and ‘hidden’ way, consequently religion and the world didn’t know it and still don’t!

‘Hidden’ Joy

God’s way – small, hidden, humble.Mary Greets Elizabeth

Look at these small ‘hidden’ joy-filled encounters involving the Incarnation story. Note Greek meaning elaborations included.

  • Elizabeth shouted with clamorous screaming that was extremely boisterous with great emotion as she explained, upon hearing the sound of Mary’s voice, how her baby John in utero – leaped skipped, bounded with exuberant, wild, ecstatic, delightful joy! (Lk 1:39-45)
  • Mary, while pregnant with Jesus, extolled that her spirit was experiencing a gladness that was jumping in celebration! (Lk 1:47)
  • The angel, standing before the shepherds, reassuringly and excitedly declared – Don’t be afraid, I bring good news of great and large joy! It is a joy because of grace recognized. And this joyful news is for ALL the people!” (Lk 2:9,10)
  • Then suddenly the sky filled with a multitude of heavenly host, who brought the message to conclusion – “peace to the earth and goodwill, happiness, favor, and delight in men”. (Lk 2:13,14)Heavenly Host Declaring Peace and Goodwill Towards All
  • The Shepherds urgently went searching for the babe. Can you imagine their wide-eyed excitement and anticipatory joy at what they would find? Afterwards encountering, they spread abroad this joyful good news. Those who heard marveled and were astonished. Perhaps because it came from shepherds! (Lk 2:16-18)
  • The Wise Men, after their arduous long-seeking journey, when they saw the star standing still to indicate where Jesus was, rejoiced with excessive, violent, extreme, great, loud, even fierce joy and delight. (Mt 2:9-10)
  • The earth was given a declaration of peace – i.e. a sense of welfare, to tie together into a whole, God’s gift of wholeness. Imagine the joy with that kind of ‘togetherness’! (Lk 2:14)

Joy Is The Focus Not Sin

When Jesus became flesh it was a happy, exuberant celebration. Joy for the world was the Godhead’s focus in coming to earth. Sadly, sin is religion’s focus for His coming.Oh The Joy!

Please realize Jesus did not have to come, He wanted to come to restore truth. Jesus came to show us who the Father really is and who we really are. (Jn 14:9 2Tim 1:9)

God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but that the world be saved, preserved, rescued on account of His Son. (Jn 3:17)

God’s joy over us propelled Him to come and remove the emptiness of sin that was keeping us from real relationship with Him.

Sin literally means ‘without form, having no substance’. Truly when we sin there is no fullness in it. It leaves us formless and empty in the long run.

God hates that emptiness. He originally made us to enjoy His fullness. Jesus came to restore that fullness. That is why God was so happy when, after 400 years, the fullness of time had come to reveal His eternal joy over us and restore access to the fullness.

Dig In

  • At times it can seem God is nowhere to be found, all is silent, life seems hopeless. But joy is coming. He might surprise you in a humble hidden way. Be open to believe (be persuaded) and receive, just like Mary. (Lk 1:38)
  • If you live in fear and guilt in your relationship with God, then know that is a religious relationship. Repent = change your religious mindset! Joy is a huge part of  God’s kind of relationship. Ask for the real deal. He longs for you to have it.
  • The Incarnation is huge – it means God enjoys our human ‘be-ing’. And God is not partial in His enjoyment. Consider – He made known to illiterate poor shepherds (the lowliest of people in that culture and time) something profound. In the darkness and quiet of the night He let them encounter  the supernatural and hear heaven-resounding news that affected the whole wide world. The shepherds didn’t grasp it all. But, they were one little hidden way He expressed His value of all mankind.

Joy to the world the Lord has come!

Oh the Fullness in hidden smallness!

What Do Good Friday And Communion And Death Have In Common

After my previous post on how good is Good Friday, I began to ponder Communion.

So bear with me – one more break from my series on grace.

Have you ever thought about the similarities in religious Christianity’s observance of Good Friday and Communion?

Here are some similarities:

  • Focus on death
  • Focus on sin
  • Somber
  • Serious
  • Introspective – sin searching
  • Guilt and fear inducing

Serious Communion

Because Communion is so serious (to the religious mindset), it is also restrictive.

In some denominations you cannot partake of the bread and wine/juice unless you are a ‘member’.

In most denominations you dare not partake if you have unconfessed sin in your life. Bad things could happen to you. Gulp.

Is that what Jesus intended and desired when He said – “Do this in remembrance of Me.”?

Does God Enjoy Our Communion

My previous posts posed the question – does God enjoy our religious Good Fridays? Nope.

Knowing that God really is one very happy God, I wonder if He enjoys our somber and restrictive partaking of Jesus’ body and blood?

I wonder if the Holy Spirit can’t wait for those times of Communion so He can convict the socks off of us and uncover the littlest of sin? After all, don’t we tend to think God wants us squeaky clean?

Sure seems like Christianity’s ritualistic Communion (AKA The Lords’ Supper) continually crucifies Jesus all over again with its emphasis on sin. Does God like that?

The Focus on Death

Jesus died on Good Friday.

You proclaim the Lord’s death as you eat the bread and drink the cup. (1 Cor 11:26)

Obviously Good Friday and Communion have a death theme going on. But have we misunderstood what that death really means?

The Real Meaning of Death

Death from our perspective is grievous, difficult, confusing, final, and in some cases is wrong.

Death from God’s perspective is something altogether good and beneficial.

Remembrances of Good Death_GrowingInFullness.com
Death to God means:

  • total forgiveness
  • reconciliation
  • sanctification
  • joy
  • life
  • perfection

These things are true whether you ask for them or not, whether you believe them or not, whether you receive them or deny them. Holy smoke! Let’s embrace His good death!

Proof of God’s good death:

  • you, once were alienated (estranged) and enemies in your minds…yet He has reconciled you in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, blameless, above reproach (Col 1:21,22)
  • when we were enemies of God, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son (Rom 5:10)
  • on the cross – God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their iniquities against them (2Cor 5:19)
  • the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses your conscience from dead works (Heb 9:14)
  • through Jesus’ will to do God’s will (i.e. save the world Jn 3:17), we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all. (Heb 10:9,10)
  • by one offering (through death) He has perfected forever, those who are sanctified (Heb 10:14)
  • sins are no longer remembered because there is remission (Greek complete forgiveness) of these – thus there is no longer an offering for sin (Heb 10:18) Yee gads! Do you get that!?
  • One died for all, therefore all died (2Cor 5:14)
  • knowing this that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin be done away with…for he who died has been freed from sin (Rom 5:6)
  • we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead, so we also walk in newness of life (Rom 8:4)
  • for the joy set before Him, Jesus endured (under the load) the cross and despised the shame that sin brings (Heb 12:2)

God’s death is something to shout about!

God is not into somber, serious, sin searching, death-focused Good Fridays or Communion services.

 To proclaim His death, to do it in remembrance of what He did, is to remember you are totally reconciled, restored, sanctified, forgiven, perfected.

Hey, it is also a time to realize you are joyously celebrated by Him! That’s why He did that death for you – to restore you to His eternal delight over you and enable you to enjoy it too!

What beauty, wonder, and joy is to fill our Good Fridays and Communions – all because of DEATH!

Dig In

  • When Good Friday or Communion rolls around – get out your dancing shoes and get ready to rejoice!
  • Repent (i.e. change your mind) of your misconception of death. Death is nothin’ but good when you get right down to the truth of it.
  • Religion, sadly, feeds off of sin. It just cannot grasp that Jesus’ finished work through death dealt a complete and final end to sin and complete restoration to God. Come into revelation of the fullness of His death. It’s all about the reconciled perfection of who you really are.

What Did Jesus Mean Go and Sin No More?

Jesus’ last words to the woman caught in adultery were, “Go and sin no more.”

What in the world did He mean?

Before we get to that let’s review a few key points of Jesus’ actions from the post/video “Huge Meanings Why Jesus Stooped Wrote On The Ground and Raised Up Jn 8:2-11

Jesus Stoops for the Woman Caught in Adultery

Jesus stooped down – Jn 8:6,8

  • ‘stooped’ – Greek bend, bow the head
  • He put Himself in a weak position
  • Jesus became vulnerable
  • made Himself lower than the woman caught in adultery, thereby making her above Him (remember He came to lift us up to our original exalted position in Him – Eph ??? 2:4-6
  • He was identifying with the woman who was being shamed, put down, and accused
  • by bowing His head in essence He was cowering, like one would do if fearful and ready to be harmed. He was identifying with this woman.
  • He even put Himself lower than the accusers and essentially implying stone Me! I will take the blows for all your accusations towards her.

Jesus wrote on the ground  – Jn 8:6,8

  • Greek ‘on’ – properly, into – literally ‘motion into which implying penetration’, union, to a particular purpose or result
  • by writing in the dirt He was prophetically showing His oneness with humanity. The Creator of mankind became flesh and penetrated the dirt from whence we came. A prophetic union had taken place!
  • Getting His hand ‘dirty’ showed He had no aversion to mankind.
  • Greek for ‘ground’ means earth, soil, land, inhabitants of a region. It is also the same word used to describe Adam/mankind, i.e. “of the earth” (1Cor 15:47)

Jesus raised Himself up – Jn 8:7,10

  • ‘raised’ – Greek raised Myself, look up, am elated
  • a picture of His resurrection after He had stooped to identify with mankind
  • in raising Himself up Jesus got face to face, eye to eye – not only with the accusers the first time, but then with the woman caught in adultery. In those connections He was demonstrating to them their worth, their true identity, and the relational essence of their being with God.
  • a picture of the Godhead’s elation over the restoration and reconciliation that They knew was coming. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross. (Heb 12:2)

Note: when Jesus called her ‘Woman’, He was using a word that also means wife or my lady.  He was referring to her with respect. There is even an implication of the Bride of Christ with this word.

 Religion’sGo and sin no more’ meaning

  • Sober up.
  • Don’t you dare blow it again.
  • I have high expectations of you, in fact I demand perfection.
  • You need to try harder.
  • Don’t disappoint Me.
  • For all I’ve done for you, now you owe Me.
  • I don’t condemn you this time, but if there is a next time don’t expect such leniency.
  • It’s moral behavior I want, so be good.

Remember – Jesus prefaced “Go and sin no more” with “Neither do I condemn you.”

 Neither in the Greek is a big word. It means – neither indeed, not even, moreover not. It introduces a statement whose negation totally invalidates and rules out the statement that precedes it.

In other words, Jesus is saying ‘no condemnation allowed from anyone’ – even though the law says there should be condemning consequences, even death!

Jesus’ ‘Go and sin no more’ meaning

Therefore My lady –

go (Greek – move from one destination to another, depart from here and reach a particular destination)

and (indeed, even, moreover, also)

from (away from)

now (just at hand, immediately, now in light of what has gone before)

no more (no longer)

sin (without a part, a share; properly having no share in, without substance or form)

My loose translation based on insight into the Greek words:

‘My lady, your destination is not to be stoned, you have a better destination. Go away from what is at hand. Go away from what just transpired with all its accusations and legal requirements. You have a particular destination to reach so move to it. Leave the past behind. No longer be without your part and share of what I have for you. Stop believing lies about yourself. Repent, change your way of thinking. No longer stoop to a lesser identity. I did not make you to be formless but to have substance – to have significance, value, respect. Be who you really are! You belong and we are one! I rose up to show you how elated I am over you. So go your way, free to be all I made you to be. I made you for fullness of being – being My fullness in your own unique way!’

Can you just imagine the transformation that happened to that woman? She encountered the God of the universe, the God whose name the religious people would not even pronounce, the God who looked just like her – looking her in the face, eyes to eyes – saying in essence I love you, I value you, never will I condemn you, go and be who you really are.

Hmm, did she walk away with her head held high, a smile on her face, a skip in her step, and her eyes bright with who she really was? I’m thinkin’ so. She just faced truth and heard truth that set her free – free indeed! Gosh, imagine what all those accusers and onlookers thought of that?!

 Dig In

  • No matter what wrongs you do or mistakes you make, God will never ever condemn you. He specifically came to show you how valuable you are to Him, that you have always been precious, and never deserving of condemnation and judgment.  By the way – sin was judged, not mankind. (Jn 3:17  Jer 31:3  Heb 9:26  Heb 10:10)
  • You are never stuck in sin. Begin to realize He lifted you out of that formless place. Go and grow in revelation of the beauty of your being that began before time began – and BE IT! (1Tim 1:9,10)
  • Jesus ‘stooped’ below us in order to ‘raise’ us up to His level. Oh the glory of His inheritance in us! (Rom 4:25  Eph 2:6  Eph 1:18)

God Is Watching You and You Must Give Account! But Religion Mistranslates Hebrews 4:13!

Do you know that God is watching you? Does that scare you?

Hebrews 4:13 would suggest we need to be a little scared, after all He is watching and we have to give an account.

“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him, to whom we must give account.” (Heb 4:13 NKJV)

Make you a little nervous? Years ago, it did me.

You just might be surprised at what Hebrews 4:13 is really saying!

Click on the video  and/or open the PDF below to get the real truth!

Free PDF download – God Is Watching You And You Must Give Account! But Religion Mistranslates Hebrew 4 13!

Dig In

  • Perfect love casts out fear. (1Jn 4:18) Yet, we can still read some scriptures with a sense of fear of what God will do to us. Remember, fear involves punishment. If you think you might be punished by God then you still need a clearer revelation of His love! If you think He needs to punish certain people then you do not understand pure love. God is not about punishing, He is about love and caring for His children,  which is actually ALL mankind!
  • If you see italicized words in a scripture verse that means those are added words. They are not part of the original Greek. Might be a heads up to check out the real meaning of that verse. Bible Hub is one online resource to do just that.
  • To grasp – God can’t take His eyes off you because you are such  a delight to Him – is understanding more of your true identity. As you truly grasp His delight in you, in turn, you will delight in others. Oh, relish the certainty and fullness in knowing He is always ‘watching’ you – His ‘logos’, His expression of a beautiful thought!

“Heaven Is For Real!” Movie – The Case for Nearness and The Supernatural

Heaven is for real! You bet it is!

The movie, “Heaven Is For Real!”, is heartwarming and stirring. It stirs one about the substance of faith, shallow beliefs, confusion about who God really is, and confirmation of that other truer ‘Reality’.

Just remembered my other confirmation! I forgot to mention on the video about my grandmother, at age 91, dying at the nursing home while eating her lunch in the cafeteria. She was by herself at the time. When the nurse noticed her slumped head, she went to check on her and felt no pulse. They quickly wheeled Grandma to her room. The nurse began to check her heart and vitals to confirm she was dead.

All of a sudden Grandma swung her arm and knocked the stethoscope from the nurse. Scared the living daylights out of the nurse! Grandma’s first words were, “I saw Ernest! I saw heaven! It was beautiful!” Here is my grandma, suffering from dementia, but she was clear as a bell about what she saw. She saw her deceased husband who had died about 16 years earlier, and she saw incredible beauty. You can’t tell me heaven is not for real! By the way my grandparents had been married for over 60 years. Cool, huh?

Now why would God do that with my grandma, and to realize she wouldn’t die for another five years? I don’t know.  But it sure blessed my dad some forty plus years ago. In fact Dad can still get choked up telling that story. Hey, by the way my dad is 92! Another cool.

God has so much for us here and now, and in the future. He doesn’t want us living in doubt, unbelief, anger, resentment, confusion, or fear.

Speaking of fear, little Colton said, “There is nothing to be afraid of.” One of his big take aways from his encounter with Jesus and Heaven. Big truth in that statement.

Check out the video for my thoughts and confirmations that this true story- based movie declares.


Dig In

  • God really cares and God is really involved in our lives. His involvement is part of our fullness.
  • Let the children come to Me, for such is the kingdom of heaven. Don’t be afraid to be a child (again).  Mt 19:14
  • Receive His perfect love, you will experience freedom from fear and freedom to love freely! 1Jn 4:18,19

 

What Does It Mean God Prunes Us?

The previous post addressed the first half of John 15:2 to show that Jesus DOES NOT cut off those who abide in Him if they don’t bear fruit. He actually lifts them up!

Now to the second half of verse two –

“…and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” (NKJV)

Check out the Greek to better understand –

and – ‘kaí’ – also, moreover, even, indeed

everyone  – pás – each, every, each part(s) of a totality (note: ‘branch’ is not specifically listed in the Greek translation)

fruit‘karpos’ –  fruit, result, gain

bearing – phérō – properly, to bear, carry (bring) along, especially temporarily or to a definite prescribed conclusion

he prunes‘kathairó’ – I cleanse, purify, prune; make clean by purging (removing undesirable elements)

that hína’for the purpose that (in order that), looking to the aim (intended result)

more ‘pleión’ – greater, more, of higher value

fruit (‘karpos’)

it bear (‘pheró’)

A paraphrase in light of the Greek   –

…moreover for those in Him bearing fruit He will cleanse or purge of any undesirable elements so they can bear even more fruit of higher value.

Okay, looks like the Vinedresser, Father God, has to do occasional cleansing in order to get more fruit from us. How do you think He prunes, Does the Vinedresser Pruneif this is indeed what He does? Some might say:

  • expose more sin in our lives
  • get us to repent more of our sins
  • feel more sorry (grieve more) for our sins
  • make a deeper commitment to obey Him
  • follow His commandments better
  • wants us to do more things to try and abide

BUT

What do we do with Jesus’ next statement?!

“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” (Jn 15:3)

Yikes! Did Jesus just contradict Himself?!

First He told us the Father prunes (cleanses) every branch that bears fruit, but then He tells us you are already cleansed! Does this mean He does not really prune us since we are already clean?

How can the disciples be already clean? For goodness sake, Jesus hasn’t even gone to the cross yet! In fact they have not even asked Him to be their Lord and Savior!

Here’s something to note:

  • prune (verse 2) is ‘kathairó’, which comes from katharos.
  • katharos is the word for clean (verse 3)!  Selah

Back to verse three – let’s elaborate a little more on the Greek words –

alreadyḗdē (a temporal adverb) – already now, referring to what is not yet strictly present but already impacts the present

you

are – eimi – I am, exist

cleankatharos – clean, pure, unstained, either literally or ceremonially or spiritually; guiltless, innocent, upright. what is separated (purged), hence “clean” (pure) because unmixed (without undesirable elements); (figuratively) spiritually clean because purged (purified by God), i.e. free from the contaminating (soiling) influences of sin.

because of diá (a preposition) – on account of, by reason of, for the sake of

the

word –  lógos (from 3004 /légō, “speaking to a conclusion”) – word, speech, divine utterance, being the expression of a thought; lógos (“word”) is preeminently used of Christ (Jn 1:1), expressing the thoughts of the Father through the Spirit, God’s logic.

that hos – who, which, what, that

I have spoken  – laleó – I speak, say

to you

To very loosely paraphrase Jesus:

Already now – even though it has not happened in the strictest sense, but what will happen has already impacted the present (because it actually happened before the foundation of the world –i.e. the lamb was slain) – you are clean. Let me help you understand this ‘already now’ a little more – Disciples, it is like when I said to the woman at the well – “an hour is coming and now is”. Okay back to already – already you are like Me – ‘I am’, you exist as I am  – in other words you are a reflection of Me, you are a reflection of My image. Thus I say you are already clean. And this is true because of the word (which is actually Me, the final word) that declares you are clean, innocent, guiltless, and without mixture.

Now some of you might get bent out of shape with my loosely paraphrased verse 3 because of the implications. That being, some might consider it heretical because it sounds like you don’t have to ask Jesus to cleanse you, get forgiven, be “born again”, get saved, etc.

Perhaps it is good to let this simmer (please don’t let it boil over) ;-), before we find out (in the next post) –

what was the word that Jesus had spoken to them – that already made them clean?

Dig In

  • What do you think it means to be pruned by God? Do you see it as hurting? Does it make you a little afraid of God, if that is what you think He does? Please know, He never ever wants to hurt us or make us afraid of Him.
  • Have you ever thought that Jesus would contradict Himself? If you did, have you ever considered how often we just might misunderstand what He is really saying because our religious filters contort who He really is?
  • Have you ever thought your understanding of His unconditional love and the cross might be too small? Have you ever considered that traditional western Christianity is what makes Him so small?! So to even consider that we might already be clean is just too far out there.

If God Is Mean and Demanding Then Why Is He So Joyful? Part 2 Parrots or Fireworks?

Have you been ever been programmed? Hey, isn’t that something cults do? Are Christians programmed? I say we are, more than we realize.

Personal experience example:

  • Pastor says, “God is good.”
  • Congregational rote response, “All the time God is good.”
  • In some churches there will even be applause after these statements. Like a ‘yay God’ additional rote response.

Now these are true statements, and there can be sincerity in the interaction. However, there is a problem.

How many of those in their programmed response really believe those words?

If the majority of Christians could be honest, they would hesitatingly and fearfully share their belief that, God is NOT so good all the time. In fact, they would say, He can be mean, demanding, and even heartless.

The result of such scary honesty – guilt and condemnation. God doesn’t bring this on. Religion does. Programmed religion does.

Can “God is good” become trite? You bet. Rote has a way of making things lack luster, even annoying. It’s kind of like “Polly wants a cracker. Polly wants a cracker. Polly wants a cracker.”  Polly was programmed. We would do well to pause and consider where else in our Christianity have we been programmed.Don't be a parrot Christian!

God does not want parrots, He wants reflections.
The Lord is not programmed in His responses toward us – they are fresh, genuine, and new every morning. How do we reflect that?

First, get free from ‘programmed’ Christianity and churchianity! ‘Stop going through the motions, stop following the crowd. “Programmed’ sucks the joy right of you. Opt for fresh and new every day in your relationship with Him.

Startled by fireworks

In the spirit, I was startled to see fireworks. They were “wow!” visions from the Lord. Now I am fully grasping what He was showing me, after several years. The one true God is like fireworks going off all the time!His joy is like fireworks!

Those fireworks are all about us!
He lights up every time He thinks about
each one of us
.

Remember, David said His thoughts towards us are more numerous than the sand.(Ps 139:17-18) Now that is a lot of thoughts and that means a lot of fireworks!

Fireworks are fun and celebratory. I’ve seen them bring bright-eyed joy and smiles to my grandchildren.  Shoot, I’ve even seen that happen with adults. Fireworks are hugely spontaneous because when they are lit we don’t know exactly when they are going off. Also, fireworks can be used to make a big statement about something.

God has a big statement to make about us – fun, spontaneous, and celebratory! There is absolutely no dull rote stuff going on with Him in how He feels about us. With absolute confidence I can declare – God’s fireworks over us explode with joy!

Fireworks Scripture

“The Lord your God is in your midst, The Mighty One , will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephania 3:17)

Okay, I know, there is no reference to fireworks in Zephania. Go figure, they didn’t have them back then.

But let’s check out a few Hebrew meanings in this passage to see if there are any hints of symbolic fireworks.

First, where is this happening?

  • …in your midst (Heb. qereb – inward part, in the middle)

Secondly, what is God doing in you?

  • The Mighty One, will save (Heb. ‘yasha’ – deliver, endow, gain the victory, help, preserve, keep safe)
  •  He will rejoice over you (Heb. ‘sus’ – delight, delighted, exult, glad, rejoice greatly)
  • with gladness (Heb. ‘simchah’ -delight, exceeding joy, festival, gladness, happiness, joy, mirth, pleasure, rejoicing)
  • He will quiet you with His love (Heb. charash – silent, speechless, rest, engrave)
  • He will rejoice over you (Heb. gil – cry, exult, glad, rejoices, joy)
  • with singing – (Heb. rinnah – cry, joy, joyful shouting, joyful singing, shouts of joy, shrieks of joy)

Here is my elaborated translation of Zeph 3:17 –

The Mighty Warrior, God, inside you, is exulting and rejoicing greatly with delight, gladness, mirth, pleasure, and happiness. He is speechless with love for you, and has engraved His love in you. He exults, rejoices, cries out with joyful singing, joyful shouting, and shrieks of joy in and over you!

 Sure looks like something spontaneous, sparkly, vivid, expressive, celebratory, and colorful. Seriously fun fireworks of joy over you!

By the way, would any mighty warrior look so foolish or even have such effusive joy? Who is this God?!

Please notice these key things about His joy over you:

  • no time limits to it
  • no preconditions to be met
  • no maintenance required on your part
  • no restrictions on His quantity or quality
  • no special location needed

May He grace us with the revelation of His joy over us. Then we can really start indulging in His joy. He sure wants us to do that. He wants us free of the lies and misunderstanding where we think He is mean, demanding, or heartless.

Get it! His joy is contagious!

Dig Deep

  • Ask God to deprogram you from all the rote stuff in religion. He doesn’t program anyone. He wants us being His little spontaneous fireworks of joy. My, what a display of fullness!
  • You will know when your “God is good” statement is no longer trite or rote. Those words will burst forth with inner and outer expressions of wondrous joy and delight.
  • Can you imagine, when we get this revelation of His joy over ALL mankind – a big facet of the true Gospel – how we would each shriek out with joy,
    God is joyful! All the time God is joyful!