One Step Closer
“Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone—and see—a new life has begun!”
2 Corinthians 5:17
Imagine hearing a knock on your door and you open it to hear a man tell you that you have been given an inheritance that exceeds your wildest dreams…beyond anything you could have ever imagined! In fact, he says you inherited it a long time ago but it took him a while to find you. You have been vastly wealthy for a long time but you just didn't know, so you couldn’t access it. Think about what you would do; your immediate plans, as well as your long-term goals. How would it change your life? Due to the resources you now control, you would walk out of your house with a completely new perception of who you are. Your sense of your identity would have changed in a moment. Now, consider the fact that the Bible says you have been given that inheritance – and more – through your faith in Jesus Christ. As God’s children, our inheritance is exactly that…far greater than anything we could ever ask or imagine. (Loosely paraphrased from a message by Bill Johnson, Bethel Church, Redding, California.)
I heard a message a few weeks ago in which Benny Hinn encouraged his listeners to consider two bottles of water: one represents your life; the other represents the Holy Spirit. Half of each bottle is poured into a third container and the contents of the two become inextricably mixed to form a new solution. You could not remove a portion of one from the other if you wanted to because they have become united. When you accept Jesus as your Savior and are baptized in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart, mind, body and soul; and your spirit becomes inextricably combined with the Holy Spirit to form a new person. Every atom of every cell in your body is permeated with the Holy Spirit. Your entire being is irrevocably changed. Your spirit becomes a being of God’s Light. Your hands and feet become the hands and feet of Jesus. He truly exists within your very being. That is why the disciples could lay hands on people and heal them…and we should be able to do that, too. Benny Hinn does it on a regular basis, and so do many others.
When I heard this message, I understood it but could not take it in. It became a Truth I could not fully integrate, but neither could I put it away because it resonated so deeply with my knowledge of God and the experiences He has given me. I have been wrestling with God and myself to own it and make it part of my being ever since. This is one of those times when I have literally prayed, “God, please help me get this!” I want this Truth to become part of me. I want to own it; to fully believe it and know it so completely that it becomes an integral part of my life and my identity…that place where something I just believe becomes something I know down deep in my soul, and have available in my spiritual tool-belt. It is a spiritual gift* that God has allowed to manifest in my life a few times, but not consistently...my fault, not His failing!
God is faithful. Just as He has shown me other Truths, I know He will reveal this to me, too, because I am praying in accordance with His will, and He always answers those prayers…sooner or later…when I’m ready to receive it. But He is a good Father and will not reveal anything to us before we are ready to receive it. For just like people whose lives are destroyed by winning the lottery, the weight of His glory would crush us if we tried to assume that mantle before we were fully prepared. That is why He patiently teaches us step-by-step so our preparation will be complete and we will be ready when the time comes. It is part of His plan for us…we only need to ask Him and be willing to allow His transformative work to begin within us.
Oh, if we could only see in the natural what exists in the spirit realm…it would take our breath away to see how close He is to us! We would not hesitate to follow Him wherever He takes us...even if it is only one step at a time.
Prayer: Father, as I begin this new year, help me to fully comprehend, receive and take ownership of Your Divine Truth that all the resources of Heaven are mine and are available for me to use in this world to honor, glorify and serve You. Help me gain a full awareness of the riches of Your glorious Kingdom, and open my eyes to see that they are fully available to me here and now in this world. Let this Truth so permeate my being and soak down so deep into my soul that it becomes part of who I am. Make me so aware of it that I become Your Truth. Empty me of me, and wear me like a glove that I might so embody Your Holy Spirit that I am transformed into Your image. As people see me, let them see You - Your Light; Your Truth - living in me and shining through me so much that they are drawn to You as a result of seeing You living through me. I lay my life on Your altar today...giving it all back to You, now and forever, asking that You live through me. This is my spiritual act of worship in gratitude and in exchange for the life that Jesus sacrificed for me on the Cross of Calvary. The life He gave, He now lives through me. As a result, I am free from the bondage of sin in this earth, and confident of my inheritance through Christ. Use me in accordance with Your Will and let Your purpose be fulfilled in and through my life today and forever more, for Your glory and Your honor, and always in your service, in Jesus' name, amen.
“Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.” Jeremiah 33:3
“Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory....” Romans 8:15-17
"Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.” Romans 8:18-19
“He replied, ‘You are permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables for everything I say to outsiders.’” Mark 4:11
“But if you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you may ask anything you want, and it will be granted!” John 15:7
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12
“And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.”
* To read more about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, see 1 Corinthians 12.