Saturday, January 28, 2012

Daily Devotional January 28 - Nine stages of spiritual growth - stage 9 (anointed) - Hebrews 4:9-10

"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. (Now get this down in your spirit.) For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His." Hebrews 4:9-10

While you are reading this, make sure you let go of everything that is distracting you. Get comfortable and hold on. Don't rush the reading of this message. Allow it to deposit in your spirit.
 The nine stages of spiritual growth are: Called - Washed - Strengthened - Prepared - Filled - Empowered - Inspired - Authorized and Anointed.

God thinking proposes that you do what God says and rest in the results. But when you are unsure of what God says you wrestle with the results. And the reason is: Only those who do the will of God, by allowing God to work in them, by them and through them, can rest from their own works. Your belief, if embraced by God, brings you to a place of rest, where unbelief brings you to a place of unrest. Your belief brings you to a resting place and your unbelief brings us to a restless place. Further, your belief brings you to a place of resting within and your unbelief brings you to a place of unrest without. Unbelief is the greatest sin of all.

The anointing is available, but it is only found in God's rest.

The true power of God is found in knowing and practicing God's ways. The idea of universal power that is equally available to any and all recipients, despite what they believe or how they operate in their belief, is not scriptural. There is a spiritual power apart from God and that power and that realm is owned and operated by satan. Don't be fooled by the "all paths lead to God" proponents. They make claims that cannot be supported by scripture, nor by the indwelling Holy Spirit - False claims are made to elevate self and God is sickened when the beauty of His ways is compared to the reckless behavior of the disobedient.

We are a generation, not too sure about God's ways, because religions/denominations have been doing our Bible study for us. The call to personal revelation by regular reading of the scripture and time alone with God to commune with Him, has been exchanged for a quick fix and a short sermonette.

The preaching of a holy and sovereign God that has already layed out the framework for your life by principles for living, found in the scriptures, and daily guidance by the indwelling Holy Spirit, has been exchanged for private interpretation of God's will that better suits a comfortable and far less challenging way of life.

God is holy and will not tolerate our consistent and frequent ignorance of His ways.

How long will God have to wait for you and I to take God as serious as we take ourselves? How long until we seek to apprehend His pleasure as much as we do our own?

Just how much unbelief does it take to spoil belief?

To enter into this rest - this place where even God entered into - this place where we rest from our works is also the place called rest. Let us labor to enter into that rest, just as God labored six days and then entered into His rest.

When we have labored to enter in - when we are prepared - when we have matured into the fullness of who we are in Christ - we enter into the rest of God, where we cease from our own works and the Spirit of God works in us, by us, and through us, as we rest from our own labors, but it is not that we cease from work or cease from labor - we cease from our own work and our own labor.

Again I ask, just how much unbelief does it take to spoil belief?

• How much doubt does it take to keep us from believing God this morning that God will take us out of debt?
• How much doubt does it take to keep us from believing for good health?
• How much doubt does it take to keep us from believing for healing in our body?
• How much doubt does it take to keep us from believing for our dream to come true?

God is calling us to a place of no doubt.

 No doubt about so and so coming to the Lord. We will rest in our belief and God will work His will through us to do what we could not do.
• No resistance to God.
• No doubt holding us hostage anymore.

The anointing requires that you cease from your works and rest in God.
There were many that God showed Himself to.
There were many that knew the scriptures from back to front.
There were many that claimed to be of the seed of Abraham.
But they were not all anointed.

They were not anointed, because they did not believe what God said about Himself.

They did not enter into the rest of God, nor could they because to enter into the rest of God, requires that they rest from their own works, and they would not.

They did not enter into God's rest even though they knew the right words to say, because the right words are not enough to enter into the rest of God.

They did not enter into God's rest because of their birthright. God made it clear that Abraham and His seed are heirs by faith, not by blood.

No one come to God by default - only by belief that what God says about Himself and His Son is true.

To be anointed God must have all of you, not only is there no resistance, but there is a genuine, inner compunction to serve God, despite any and every circumstance. But many cannot come in to this place of rest, because of unbelief and doubt, consent to unnecessary, unhealthy and sometimes ungodly sentiments for this worlds system. Those sentiments don't start out as a path away from God. Most, harmful relationships with illegal drugs, prescription drugs, gambling, smoking, or people don't start out with the same level of detriment as they end up with.

Most harmful relationships grow from casual acquaintance to full blown affairs over time. Over time, worldly sentiments produce fruits of their own:
Territory is lost to the enemy.
Your body is damaged.
Your liver is damaged.
Your heart is damaged.
Your mind is corrupted.
Your reputation is tarnished.
You make light of the price God paid for your salvation.
Your emotions are demoralized.
Your motives become skewed.
Your faith becomes religious.
Your witness becomes void of efficacy.
You start to rely on everything but God to get you through.
You become an expert at rationalizing.

Worldly sentiments interfere when you hear the Word of God, you are not convicted in your heart to make a change, the conviction is turned into vindictive behavior, and you fight back, sometimes even at the ones you love the most. Again, no one starts out with the intentions of messing up their life. Little by little indiscretions turn into inclinations and inclinations turn into ungodly behaviors and ungodly behaviors turn into sins.

But just the same as the way you go astray - you can come back. But different than straying away where you are fighting against the leading of the Holy Spirit and you have to forge ahead fighting God, operating in your own power, when you are coming back you are in agreement with the Holy Spirit, God is pushing you forward and supporting you along the way and you are no longer operating under your own power. Whatever satan has taken from you, whatever territory has been given up, God has an ample supply to replenish your life. Whatever ground was lost in the battle can be and must be taken back. God is on your side and if you are willing to turn it over to Him and believe God, you will enter into His rest.

Unbelief is what holds you back and unbelief is what keeps you from the anointing.

To question God is not a sin
To ask God why things have to be
To search to find the answers, the truth
God sets a man and woman free

We are free to knock and seek and find
To dig real deep with open mind
To ever press for truths that bind
God will not hinder such a find

It’s not the rebel that can’t be changed
Or the one who made mistakes
It’s not the sinner that will be blamed
Not even the one who drove the stakes

For our sins can be forgiven by the price Christ paid for them
Our rebellion can be changed to serving God from within
Our mistakes can be forgotten because salvation is sure
But for the sin of unbelief - there is no cure

When we all stand before our God
What sin we’ve done will not be named
For our transgressions all are covered
And all in Jesus’s name

For God so loved the world
That He gave His only begotten Son
That whosoever believes in Him
Will never come undone

God did not leave faith to chance
He sent His only Son
To make sure that not even sin
Could keep a man from entering in

But to the unbelieving world
Whose blinded eyes could never see
For those who found another way
Other than the rugged tree

Those who stand in unbelief
After all that God has done
The best of speeches will not avail
If they deny God’s Son

• Unbelief is why Cain slew Able.
• Unbelief is why only eight were spared in the great flood.
• Unbelief is why the nation of Israel did not recognize the Messiah.
• Unbelief is why the nation of Israel does not recognize the Messiah today.
• Unbelief is why the Muslims and Hindus cannot find rest.
• Unbelief is the nagging nemesis of this millennium too.
• Unbelief is what keeps the seeker from finding the truth when it is right in front of them.
• And unbelief is what keeps you from uniting with God in will and purpose.

Why so much discussion on unbelief when we are discussing being anointed by God? Because it is unbelief that keeps you from finding the rest of God and it is in this rest that you are anointed. The anointed are committed. And the committed are anointed.

I want you to get a real feel for what committed is. Committed - is that point in time when you move forward with such agreement and/or momentum, that you cannot turn back - you cannot turn back without, at least a serious degrading or perilous outcome.

Ex: You are a batter and the pitch comes to you. You are committed to the swing when the swing goes across the plate - even if you balk, at the point where you went over the plate, you will be charged with a strike. That is committed.

Ex: You are an airline pilot and everyone has boarded the plane. All checks have been processed and everything is O.K. You taxi down the runway and you receive the word that you are a go for takeoff. You accelerate to flight speed. You reach that point when you cannot turn back and if you do, the plane will run off the runway and there will be damage or fatalities. That point is committed.

Ex: You are playing golf and you set the ball on the tee. You position your feet and take a practice swing or two. You rear back and swing. There is a point in time when you have committed to that swing.

And yet, in our experience with the ways that God has set before us - when we think of committed, we think more in terms of trying something out than we do emptying ourselves into it. One of the reasons that we don’t experience more of God’s fulfilled promises in our life, is because in what we believe we have not committed ourselves to it, yet. We are still trying it out. Can you see how the whole concept of commitment has been watered down in our society?

There’s no way you can receive anything spiritual from God if what you call commitment doesn’t meet biblical criteria, i. e.:
No more turning back.
No stopping in the middle of
No conditions after the fact
No trying out God’s promises and provisions to see if God meets your expectations.
No more leaving a job half done.

Why, today if someone gets a little discouraged, they bail.
If someone gets offended, they quit.
If their needs aren’t getting met, they walk.
If you aren’t bending over backwards to make them comfortable, they complain and eventually leave.

What about the call?
What about the commitment to God in spite of the circumstances or difficulties?
What about conforming to God’s call instead of trying to conform God’s call to meet your own personal agenda?
What about serving for decades?

The Church is full of people today that won’t get involved if they have to commit more than a few weeks or a few months.

Here’s the final analysis:
You have been conditioned, to operate in, and be satisfied with, less than a biblical understanding of God’s call to your commitment to the things of God.  And for this reason, there is great lack in the body of Christ today.  God is not conditioned to accept whatever offering we bring to Him. No, I’m not talking about money, but it could be money too. I’m talking about how we bring to God what part of our self that we don’t mind giving up. But unconditional surrender....

Over time, and due to our lack of commitment to placing and keeping God in the center of our life, there has been a falling away from sound doctrine. We have the uncommitted teaching the uncommitted how to be committed. The results are two-fold:

1 God is grieved, because the kind of commitment that God demands of His people is not what has been preached, taught, nurtured and believed in the Church in our generation.

2 The Church is living with less than what is available, because the blessings and provisions of God are accessed by commitment and delivered in God’s rest.

It is this place of God’s rest where the anointing is imparted and there is no rest where there is no commitment. Why are we so satisfied with less than what is available?

Are you willing to ask God to take you deeper than ever before? Are you willing to find God’s rest? Are you willing to be in the center of God’s will even at the expense of............. everything? There is nothing worth not trading in for the anointing.

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