Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Love Key, The Secret to Purpose - David Mitts

Note: Prior to today's teaching was a powerful word asking the question - "Is there integrity in YOUR being? " - Listen here to see what your heart has to say about it

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him [12] because He first loved us. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can [13] he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. (1Jn 4:7-21)
There is no word more misused than the word love.  This is because love is the key that unlocks God’s plan for our lives! Love is the source of the plan, the power for the plan and the outcome of the plan.  You could say that there is no purpose in life beyond love.
When they came to test Yeshua as Messiah, they asked Him, what was the greatest or most important commandment of God.
Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving [58] that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is the first commandment of all?" Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' [59] This is the first commandment. [60] And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' [61] There is no other commandment greater than these." So the scribe said to Him, "Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, [62] and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." But after that no one dared question Him. (Mar 12:28-34).
Love is the primary instruction because it is the master key to unlocking our destiny.  The reference to being greater than sacrifices is to say that love is the key to not needing sacrifices.  Yeshua is Himself Love and receiving Him translated us from the kingdom of darkness with its attendant sin and the need for sacrifice to repent from our actions and deeds while still remaining a sinner at heart into the Kingdom of Light and Love where our nature has been born again into a love centered child of God. He has become both our one-time eternal sacrifice and the gateway into Love.
The writer of the book named “Hebrews” writes about this comparison of the annual animal sacrifice centered atonement at Yom Kippur and the eternal one time atonement of Yeshua. The whole book is powerful but I am going to just grab a few verses to illustrate: Turn to Chapter 10:
For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. (Heb 10:1-4)
The Torah was given as a means to deal with the sin nature on a temporary basis to demonstrate both God’s love and man’s inability to both receive love and to love in return.  God’s instructions are pure love.  It has always been Abba’s intent to instruct His children in the ways that work.   But because our heart is conditioned by sin, it is impossible to keep Torah in any meaningful way.  Thus the reality of an atonement becomes essential.  Why, death and blood?  Because death is a boundary.  The Torah is boundaries and death is a boundary.  It is a hard and fast line in every life.  The wages or the outcome of sin is death.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 6:23)
This is like a job.  We work a job and generate wages.  Our wages are a debt incurred by the employer.  This is how they are treated until paid.  Once paid they become an expense of doing business.  Sin creates a debt.  A debt for who?  Well to answer that think about who you working for with your life?  Another way of saying that, is whose employee are you?  Well you are the employee of who pays you for your work.  When your work is generating sin, then you are working for the “sin” employer.  Who is that? Who pays with death? Hebrews 2:14-18:
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. (Heb 2:14-18)
As we do things in life through a fear of death focus, we accrue sin credits.  These are only redeemable at the bank of death.  There is no life in death.  That means that there is no such thing as good works.  In our sentimentality, we want to think that all that counts is doing the right things, or if you will obeying Torah.  But all that does is accrue more death credits.  This is why even Israel who was chosen of God and given the Torah required a Day of Atonement.  The Day of Atonement was the expense where they took an animal, which was the results of their works lifestyle, with the conditional blessing of God as His love gift to them and killed it to cancel out the death debt that Satan accrued through their sin which would have resulted as sickness, poverty and devastation.  The death of the animal became a temporary debt transfer, like a new credit card.  BUT it didn’t have the power to cancel the debt, only transfer it through death to the animal.
It took Yeshua who became sin, to end sin once and for all. He became the payment that not only satisfied the debt we incurred but because He became sin, ended the system of works in our life.  Back to Hebrews 10:10.
By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Heb 10:10)
There is no more obedience-sacrifice system, what we calls “works”.  Now we are in a new realm with a new set of performance objectives.  We are not performing to be accepted but performing as the accepted.  Our basis for actions moves from fear of negative outcomes and the desire for positive outcomes to a life based on living in love.This is called the life of trust or faith rooted in love. Continue at Heb 10:22-24:
let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, (Heb 10:22-24).
Love becomes the ground on which we stand, the beloved of the Lord, fully restored to place of intimacy and trust.  In this place we can manifest our destiny. What is our destiny? Well it begins with being healthy and prosperous.
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3Jn 1:2)
You see most of us jump to the outcomes, health and prosperity including soul prosperity.  These are the correct outcomes but we often gloss over the first word, “beloved”.  In Greek, “agapetos”.  Those who carry the agape.  This word is only used for those in covenant or in union with God.  These are the love children, the bride the beloved.  You see in this place the world is made right again.  As the beloved your destiny is health and prosperity. Next time we will go deeper into how this works.
BUT for today, I want to activate the word “beloved”.  Close you eyes and invite Him to show you who you are as the beloved.  What is your special name?  Let that saturate your being!!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Transformed Identity - David Mitts

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Co 5:17)
The new creation reality is the most powerful truth of the Gospel.  Everything we are is based on our grasping that reality.  For most of us our struggles come from how well we walk in the reality of our new identity in Messiah.

Listen to "Transformed Identity"
Let’s use a parable or story to illustrate the point.  Let’s say a man has 2 sons.  One of them always does what is right.  The other never does what is right.  He constantly walks to a different drummer than the will of the father.
The father goes on a day trip and gives each son a set of tasks.  The first son completes his tasks as always.  The second son not only doesn’t do his tasks but ends up breaking a priceless vase that is the father’s most treasure possession.
When the father returns, he sees that the first son has done what was asked, perfectly as was his nature.  When the father looks at the second son, he not only sees the unfinished tasks but also the damaged priceless vase.  He is quite angry and decides he will severely punish the second son.
The first son, says to the father, “no father, I will take his punishment”.  Not only will I take his punishment but I want you to bless him with all that you would have blessed me with.
This is a picture of the salvation that Yeshua purchased for us with His blood.  He took our transgression penalty.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. (Isa 53:5)
If that were all Yeshua did, though it wouldn’t be enough.  He didn’t just take the punishment for our sin. NO! He became our sin.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2Co 5:21)
In the above example, He not only took the penalty for the sin of the other brother, He became the other brother.  He became sin!  He exchanged His identity for the identity of sin!
The “sin-laden” brother then became the righteous one.  This is who we are in our salvation.  We are made righteous.  This means that our inner nature has been transformed by the cross.  
Now does this mean that we do not sin anymore?  No, it doesn’t!  It just means that we are NOT a sinner in our nature.  Yeshua became the sinner.  He became sin and exchanged His divine nature of being the righteous one for our sin-nature.
Now, our nature has gone from being a slave to being a true son!  Slaves serve out of bondage.  They yearn for freedom but their slavery keeps them in bondage to the slave-master.  Slaves perform because of fear of being punished.  This is what is called “works-based” righteousness.  The basic problem is that a slave can never be free.  He can only become a good slave.  This is what religion delivers, a scale of behaviors that detail what a “good slave” will do to avoid punishment, knowing all alone that the slave is a son who was never designed to be a slave.  Therefore, sons behaving as slaves never really succeed at it.
I realized this about myself.  God has removed the joy from self-directed accomplishments for me.  He has called me to live by the Spirit and whenever I try to do something in the flesh, or through works based righteousness, the death in it is magnified to me.  I don’t just feel that something is off, rather I feel dead in it.  All the joy is gone, even if I somehow through my sheer effort of slave-will get something to happen.  I feel the death on the inside of me through the lack of true joy or peace.  And worse if I do happen somehow through my determination to win accomplish something and then put God’s name on it, I lose a more precious commodity, my faith, my trust in Him. I have a form of godliness but no real power that would have been mine through faith.
There is an interesting verse that grabbed my attention a while back.  Turn with me to James 4:1
What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel.
This is a description of the war within us to try to achieve with our will and determination.  It produces striving in us and around us.  We become defensive and protective of our efforts. Most of our outer quarrels begin with inner quarrels and conflicts inside of us.  Have you ever been in argument and known you should have apologized or yielded but you decided to press the point and cause pain?  I have. Too many times.  Afterwards in a calmer moment you wonder, I wonder, “why did I do that?”.  That is an inner quarrel that became manifested as strife.  I believe all strife, wars, conflicts exist because the soul of man is in conflict.  I believe this is the core of our sin nature.  We NOT only are separated from God by sin but also from one another and WITHIN ourselves.
James tells us the source is a war of pleasures rooted in lust.  We crave success.  We crave to be deemed worthy.  We crave a life of significance, which is a good thing but where we look for significance, the opinions of others who are also craving it is a trap.  Instead, we need to look to Yeshua, who is both the author and completer of our faith. Let’s continue in James 4
You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"?
He, God, jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us!  Jealousy is an interesting emotional state.  I am only jealous about what I have made myself vulnerable over.  Once I have trusted and given myself, then my vulnerability makes me protective over that which I am invested in.  Now, I don’t pretend to fully comprehend God’s jealousy.   BUT I know that throughout the Bible, He shares openly the hurt He experiences when His people reject His goodness for other gods.  In this context James is talking about what he calls, “the world” as another god.
He also pinpoints the “asking” process.  You have not because you ask not or you ask God for something but you don’t receive. I don’t receive because I ask with wrong motive, to spend on my own pleasures.  These pleasures are the source of the conflicts, the quarrels. These are the motives of trying to secure my identity through my self-willed accomplishments and then attach God’s name to them.  I use circumstantial reality to either give credit to God or to blame the devil.
What do I mean by that?  If something turns out how I want it to, I say God did it.  If it turns out some other way, then I call it an attack of the devil.  I view my life through quarrels because I am trying to get what I want to feel important.  Then to add insult to injury, I call all this spiritual warfare.
BUT God, is desiring a more excellent way for us.  He is jealous for that way.  It is the way He sent His Son to die for and raised Him from the dead for.  It is the Way of the Spirit. Let’s continue in James 4:
But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (Jas 4:1-8)
You see the key here is the greater grace.  James doesn’t deny the reality of the devil, but He gives us the reason for his presence in our lives, pride.  Pride causes us to strive.  You could say, pride and striving are the same.  The only possible method of pride is striving.  This is why the answer given here is to submit to God.
The word translated “submit” here, literally means to put oneself under the order and alignment of another.  It is a military term that means to honor the chain of command.  Another word might be to obey.  But the idea isn’t just to do what God’s Word has said but also to have a living authoritative relationship with Him.  He is constantly speaking and we have the possibility of living in that flow of life.
The word for “resist” with respect to the devil, means to stand against.  This is also positional.  It is a covenant concept.  When I align myself with God and His voice I automatically stand against the devil.  I listen the Voice of my God and the strangers voice I will not follow and as a result the devil flees.  Why does the devil flee? Because the Word of God has already defeated him and his whisperings and lies. The devil lives in mortal; danger of the truth!
Now we can do things with pure hands as we draw near to God, or I like the picture of inclining our ears to Him.  The word for drawing near is the picture of an embrace, a hug or a squeeze.  It is the picture of an open heart embracing the love of that heart. This yielding of our being to Him opens up the new creation reality of His plan and purpose for our lives.
In this place our hearts become purified.  A new liberty comes into our being. 2Cor 3:17-18:
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2Co 3:17-18)
The veil is the flesh, the way of self will. When we willingly remove the veil, we become transparent to Him and to others. We live at risk. The risk of not hearing and the risk of surrender. This is the place of intimacy. Heb 10:19-20.
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, (Heb 10:19-20)
Yeshua became sin, He became the veil, He became our self-will, He became our pride, so we could become righteous.  This opens our eyes to see with fresh sight.  Our face, our representation to the world of our character becomes transparent to Him and He in us becomes transparent to others.  When people see us, they see Him in us!
Now, we can ask with Holy purpose, His purpose in a communion of heart.  Our hearts, the place of our thoughts become purified and we begin to see the manifestations of God in our lives.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Mat 5:8)
It is when we yield our heart to His voice that we see Him in all that we do and a flow of pure life becomes our reality!
Activation:
Let’s tune to spontaneity of His voice in us. Let’s begin by quieting ourselves and surrendering to Him.  Picture a place where you can meet with Him, maybe a nature scene or the ocean, or a quiet place in your house.  Invite Him into the picture and repent for listening to the voice of self-will.  Recommit to trust Him and His plan for you. See yourself aligning with Him as Lord.  As Him for your next instruction, what would you desire of me Lord. You can trust Him.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Healing Our Inner Child - David Mitts

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. (1Co 13:11)

There is something so precious about the birth of a child.  We see in the child, the miracle of life, the newness of potential and the joys of caring for such a tender and vulnerable expression of God’s creation of man. Each child is a new creation, unique and special.  The DNA of the mother’s family combines in a once in lifetime creation with the DNA of the father’s family and a unique expression of the Father’s love is brought forth into this world.

Listen to "Healing Our Inner Child"

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! (Psa 139:13-17)

Not only is the child unique, he or she is create as an expression of the thoughts of God.  God’s thoughts are not like human thoughts. God’s thoughts form into God’s Word.  His Word is not just the written Word of God, our Bible, but also is the basis for the organization of all reality which reaches the zenith of its glory through the creation of each individual.  Turn with me to Isaiah 55, verses 6-12.


Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isa 55:6-12)

Rain and snow are essential to the life of all living things. There is nothing more devastating than a drought.  All life withers and dies without the heavenly supply of water.  In the metaphor God parallels snow and rain to His Words which are His thoughts expressed. His Word expressed as His thoughts about our lives expresses itself as rain and snow does.  He waters us with His Word which is His thoughts expressed.  When we realize that He has already planned our days, then we realize that by His Word, His expressed thoughts we are watered towards our destiny!  If we cut off the source of His Word, we operate in unbelief then we are like the withered plants of the earth, dying and unfruitful.  Thus, He is both the author and finisher, or perfecter of our faith.

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:2)

Not only does He author, write the plan but He also perfects it in a dynamic living way.  Since we are free moral agents in the purpose of our lives, God allows us to be prodigals, to not listen and to suffer drought conditions.  BUT because He is loving and merciful, He stands with arms open wide always for us to return to Him and reestablish the rain and snow of His thoughts and His Word spoken to us giving us wisdom and guidance and power to fulfill the call of God in our lives.

So, now I want to turn to the intention of today’s message of empowerment, healing our inner child.  I know that sounds kind of flaky and touchy feely but it still is a truth.  The Apostle Paul tells us of the childish thinking that has to be put off to put on the thinking of God that will water our destiny.

In childhood, we are sensitive and very vulnerable.  We get traumatized easily and make ungodly, meaning trauma centered conclusions and decisions about life.  These serve as what the Bible calls strongholds and reasonings that are in a defensive war with the destiny that God has for us.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete. (2Co 10:3-6)

While the Apostle Paul uses a military analogy for the intensity of the fight, the actual process is very gentle.  God’s agent of change is His Voice.  His Voice is not violent but gentle and intimate.  He earns our trust by His gentleness not His power.  He could bring us into submission through force but instead He woos us and romances us through love.

He stands at door or our heart and like a gentleman, knocks.
'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. (Rev 3:20)

God’s corrections and instructions are over a candlelit table of the most delicious fare.  He isn’t calling us out and humiliating us in front of people. Instead it is intimacy and trust that is the foundation for His healing of our wounded inner child.

There is no rush with God.  He knows that there is a built in drought that will call us back for the life giving rain.  He always woos but never pushes.  This is hard for us to grasp in our time based urgent lifestyle.  We fear death and aging, He is eternal and fills us with the life of eternity, the abundant life. 

In a moment of time, He can and does redeem years of wasted efforts on our part. What an awesome and might God we serve!

Activation: Let’s press in for one child-like thought that we need to allow Him to replace with an adult thought.  This is called putting off and putting on.
But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. (Eph 4:20-24)

What old self thought does God want to replace? Let’s ask Him.

OK. Now what new self thought does He want to replace it with?
This week like a garment let’s each day see the new thought in our minds and hearts.

You think: It's what I do that counts
He Says: It's what I say that counts

Trust my word = my thoughts