Yeshua is the conversation of God, what we call the “Word” made flesh. A conversation is about both speaking and listening. The challenge with living in the theological construct of the “logos” is that it is an entity equivalent with creation and what undergirds it.
While this is certainly true and scripturally sound thinking it tends to lose the intimate life of the conversation of God.The Big picture tells us that everything was made by God speaking. Hebrews 11:3:
By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. (Heb 11:3)
This is a power verse. We see the impact of the conversation, the speaking of God, which brings the visible from the invisible. This is the macro view, the Big Picture! God speaks and things manifest! Praise God for that.
What can get lost in that perspective is the micro view, His speaking and our listening in our heart.We can become focused on what God can do instead of also learning who God actually is.
Today I want to talk about repentance, metanoia. Metanoia at its heart is a change of heart to come into agreement with what God is speaking to our heart.
One Gospel story that helps make this distinction and brings us to metanoia, the foundation of faith is the account of the prodigal son.
Let’s look at this together:
And He said, "A man had two sons. "The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.' So he divided his wealth between them. "And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.
This is a picture of any child of God. We all have inheritance, gifts, and talents which reflect the image and character of God in a unique way.Loose living represents the life in the world.This is a life lived to the tune of a different drummer.The gifts and calling of God, His true destiny for us, become squandered when we seek to do things on our own apart from God. This agenda dates back to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil which speaks to us to become like God, in charge and knowing our own good and evil.
What I want to draw our attention to is the inner conversation of the heart, which says that I need to find my own way.It isn’t that the Father doesn’t want us to become our own person. No! It is that He alone knows what is good and can lead us to develop what is righteous and true in our selves. It is important to realize that the gifts and callings don’t require this to function. They are just squandered in the process.
"Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. "So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. "And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. "But when he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 'I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men."' "So he got up and came to his father.
This is a picture of true metanoia, repentance.Metanoia means literally a new way of thinking or a change of heart. When the son “comes to his senses”, he awakens to a different reality, the reality of sonship. This transformation of thinking shifts everything in his world.He has an awakening to who he is, a transformation of perspective which is restorative in nature and true repentance, metanoia.
The transformation, the metanoia begins with a qualitative shift of kingdoms. In the Father’s kingdom even hired men are prosperous compared to the kingdom of the world. The son awakens to the goodness of his father’s kingdom and his inner conversation shifts.Yeshua calls the awakening a coming to your senses. The worldly conversation is an intoxicating illusion.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. "And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' "But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'
In the Father’s heart, all there are, are His kids who have lost their way.Their thinking is confused and they are lost because of it.When each of us awakens to whose we are and the goodness of that relationship, we awaken to clear thinking in our heart.The celebration then can truly begin, not just because of the outward act of coming home, but because of the inner realization that our true identity and destiny are to be found in our father’s house.
And they began to celebrate. "Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. "And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. "And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.' "But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. "But he answered and said to his father, 'Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.' "And he said to him, 'Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 'But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live and was lost and has been found.'" (Luk 15:11-32)
The older brother represents those in the kingdom who have forgotten that it all is about the change of heart.You see faith isn’t really about obedience. Faith is really about love.Love keeps no record of wrongs. The Father doesn’t really care about our wrong thinking. He only cares about the thinking that reflects His nature and that is love.
Metanoia is a change of heart of the inner conversation of the heart that reveals the true voice of the Father in our heart. This is the key to true abundance and true provision. There is no lack in the Father’s house. Even the servants eat well. How much better for the children of God!
Through intimacy, destiny is produced. This is described in the Book of James. Turn there with me. 1James.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (Jas 1:2-4)
How do we enter into joy when there is a trial? When we are criticized how do we get into joy? When we feel unfairly treated, how do we get into joy.When what we have hoped for doesn’t seem to be happening, how do we get into joy?
The answer is in the testing or proving of our faith. A proof is a manifestation or a demonstration of a reality. Our faith is the inner conversation of our heart. The trial or struggle reveals that we need to find the strength to endure the situation. Where do we find that endurance? In a conversation with the Voice.
Trials unsettle us. In contemporary lingo, they trigger us. We tend to get defensive when criticized. We get hurt when misjudged. We lose our peace. At that moment we are ripe for the voice of chaos. We can easily ruin our relationships with a cutting comment or by shutting down emotionally. We can give others the message that they don’t matter as we avoid the pain of our mistakes.
Into this tumult, the voice of truth stands ready to tell a different story. It is the testimony of a conversation sourced in love.There is no more powerful time to hear the voice of God then when we are in crisis.The storms are raging, chaos is over the deep things of our heart, and he speaks light and order. He reveals to us who He is and who we are to Him. In that place of truth, joy can spring into our heart.
This is the power of hope that comes into our trial knowing that he will never leave us nor forsake us. This hope, the confident expectation that all is well, produces in us an endurance.We can endure in joy when we know that He has it all in hand. In this place, He becomes all that we need to complete the trial successfully to be whole and abundant in Him!
Let’s continue in James:
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (Jas 1:5-12)
Can you hear the conversation? Wisdom is the conversation! It is the divine strategy of God, tailor-made for our unique trials.He is generous in His wisdom and He speaks to us without reproach. Reproach is the voice of performance-based wisdom.Reproach says, prove yourself and I’ll help you. But our loving Father says, I’ll help you and then you’ll be able to prove yourself.He loves us before we obey Him and trusts that His love will draw us to want to learn from Him how to live a life that works.
James warns us about doubt. What is doubt? What does it mean to be double-minded? It means to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.Doubt is rooted in self-judgment.Because we rely on ourselves to know right and wrong, we become easily swayed by arguments and reasonings.This is the condition of our times. The Word of God, His intimate conversation recedes into the background and is replaced by the agreed upon opinions of man. This is true doublemindedness. And because our life reflects our inner conversation, we have exalted our own reasonings above the knowledge of Christ. Christ being the conversation in our heart.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Col 2:8)
When we stay rooted in Christ, in the conversation, in the unction to function, we come into the place of authority, true Godly authority. This is the authority that flows from the Tree of Life, which James calls the crown of life.
In this place, our heart has truly repented, experienced metanoia.The change of heart changes the outcomes in our lives and we walk truly as His sons and daughters.
Activation: Experiencing a change of heart. This week journal in your quiet time with God and ask Him, where do you need a change of heart? A metanoia. Repentance is not about feeling bad but about adjusting our thoughts and deeds to the goodness of God.
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God Day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (Rev 12:10-11 NKJV) To listen to the audio-only version click below Last chapter, we began to look at how to overcome evil in these days. This verse tells us of 3 main strategies that believers use to overcome the accuser of the brethren. Accusation is the main method of the enemy. When you accuse someone of something you bring the voice of your experience to someone in authority in this case the authority is God Himself. As we mentioned a couple of chapters back, the throne of God today is in the heart of believers. "Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My F
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NASB) To listen to the audio-only version click below Last session we began speaking about the testimony of the Spirit. We compared the impact of trying to solve the issues of our conscience from self-efforts, what the scriptures calls dead works to living the overcoming life by the Spirit. “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14) What drives dead works? Our conscience. Our conscience is defined as that part of ourselves that determines the rightness or wrongness of something. How do we do that? What informs our conscience? I think our conscience, at its root is informed by our need to find out what is good and evil in our lives and then to choose what to do or say. In this sense, our conscience is activated by the tree of the knowledge of good an