Fear for Glory

“Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.”
(Romans 12:2)

It always seems easier to avoid difficult situations, at least initially. One of the most powerful truths God has taught my heart through the years, is that dealing with conflict head on is the quickest way to get through it. Many of us, in our human nature, would prefer to avoid conflict at all costs but this is not the way of the Kingdom. Running and hiding from the consequences of sin will only lead to more sin. Ask Adam, David, Jacob or Judas Iscariot. Ask me. 

The Lord Jesus set His crown aside and headed resolutely into the greatest fight of all time. The fight for our Freedom. He both began and ended His journey to Golgotha on His hands and knees; first as a baby learning to crawl, eventually as a grown man buckling under the weight of that terrible cross. Always, He was fixed on one goal and whether He was toddling along, cooing through a toothless grin, strolling casually across a rough sea or staggering in agony up a barren hill…He did not waver. The only Perfect One, Who knew no sin, offered Himself to be ridiculed, beaten and murdered…for me. He was falsely accused. Falsely arrested. Unjustly tortured and executed.

Jesus did not fight to preserve Himself, although He was the ONLY ONE in all of creation that had the right to do so without sin. He entrusted Himself to the perfect justice and love of His Father, knowing the result of His obedience would be death…followed by resurrection life. He knew His obedience would restore the Life, Hope, Freedom, Peace and Joy that were lost in Eden. More importantly, He knew His obedience would restore to you and I the ability to enjoy intimacy with the Father. By One Man’s obedience, all was restored. 

By one man’s disobedience, all was lost. I see that fear was present in it’s first earthly manifestation, on that fateful day of satan’s offer to Adam and Eve. The liar suggested that they were missing out on what rightfully belonged to them. FEAR. Of experiencing less than what they SHOULD be experiencing. FEAR. Of knowing less than what they COULD know. The liar was effective in convincing them that God could not, after all, be trusted. Do we trust God to be perfectly just, perfectly good and work all things together for our good? Is God greater than any man? Is God greater than any flawed political system or judicial system? What about a troubled marriage? His arm is long to save and He holds the heart of every ruler in His hands, the same way you and I cup water from a back country spring on a hot summer day. God himself appoints every earthly authority. 

At the root of every bondage, oppression and rebellion is at least one lie. Not just any lie, either, but a lie about God. Lies about His Character, His Will, His Justice, His Holiness, His Goodness, His Mercy, His Grace, His Power, His Love. Lies are the fuel that feed the ice cold flames of fear. Lots of “f” in that sentence! Here’s another one…FAITHFUL. God is faithful to complete that which He has begun in us. He calls us into the realm of impossibility which is actually just the “normal” Christian life. Kingdom Life. The only way to please God is to be faithful. Faith doesn’t even begin to be expressed until we engage the challenge set before us; to advance the Kingdom reality of total and absolute victory over every manifestation of evil! A basic starting point of exercising faith is the avoidance of even the appearance of evil.

Perfect love casts out fear, so we can be confident that we are not walking in the love of God if we live from a place of fear. Fear of what might happen. Fear of loss. Fear of failure. Fear of change. Fear of being taken advantage of. Fear of being hurt. Fear of death. The tricky thing about identifying fear is that it morphs constantly and camouflages itself expertly against the backdrop of our daily lives. Thank God for the Light of His Living Word that exposes every twisted maneuver of this cunning chameleon. See, the opposite of fear is faith! And the greatest enemy of faith is that which has the “form of godliness but denies the power thereof”. Why is this the greatest enemy of faith? Because it inoculates the heart against the Kingdom reality of TRANSFORMATION. A deadly mix of biblical principles PLUS human reasoning has been injected into the Bride of Christ.

The patterns of this fallen world are mere smoke and mirrors! Smoke and mirrors with a bite, at times…but a passing bite, a temporary suffering that is not worthy to be compared with the weight of eternal glory promised to us. I’ve seen how easy it is to resign oneself to the rulership and dominance of this quickly fading world. The constant pressure to CONFORM to dead ways and dying things is utterly exhausting. Our great privilege, however, is to enter in to His rest. “Come to me all you who are heavy laden. I will give you rest for your soul. My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” During times of great deception in my own personal life, I was convinced that the Abiding Presence of His Glory could only become a reality upon exiting this body. As I said, I was deceived. All provision has been made to enter into the Presence of His Glory…right now. This very instant. Sickness, fear, doubt, unbelief, every bondage, every oppression and confusion instantly evaporates in the presence of His Glory. As if that wasn’t more than enough to blow our minds for eternity, get this:

We are to carry His Glory…EVERYWHERE WE GO:)

When we are exposed to the Glory of the Living Word, our minds are renewed according to the wisdom of God and the patterns of the Kingdom of Heaven. We will live, speak and think from whatever reality our hearts are anchored in…if we hold on to our rights here in this fallen world, we willingly submit to the rules and principles of this world. If we strive to create our own rules for this world and redefine the laws of right and wrong to fit our own plans and desires, we not only make ourselves subject to the rule and reign of this world, we also invite the continued judgment of a Holy God. By contrast, if we willingly lay down our lives in this darkened world, we may joyfully take up the resurrected life of Jesus, along with every privilege and right given only to those whose citizenship is first in Heaven. Unparalleled freedom, uncontainable joy, overflowing life and Perfect Love are just a few of the stunning privileges enjoyed by those being continually transformed in the presence of His Glory.

We are given a gift of inestimable value when our eyes are opened to see as He sees. Once the human heart has gazed upon His beauty, it is ruined forever to anything less. The God of Creation longs to replace our earthbound sight with the lens of His Glory! Man is created to dwell in the presence of the Glory. Seeing the world and everyone in it, from Heaven’s perspective, causes us to radically change our whole approach to life! The Lord Jesus longs to touch our eyes that we might see what He sees. The only requirement to seeing God is that we be pure in heart. And here is where the liar enters once again. From the very beginning, the devil was jealous of the rule and reign of the King. It was the image of God that he despised and still does. We are made in the image of God. The enemy has put much effort into tricking humanity into the worship of false IMAGES of God. The wisdom of this fallen world is sensual and demonic; founded in human senses and given utterance by demonic influence. Our plans, timing, resources and understanding must always be willingly subjected to the fire of His Word. 

Whatever is of faith will withstand the scrutiny of God’s divinely appointed Kingdom authority. Whatever is not of faith is sin.

Idolatry is the worship of anything or anyone besides God. We worship something or someone when we give them preeminence over God. Anything we are comforted by, made to feel secure by or give our attention to more than God…is an idol and must either be removed from our lives or restored to its proper place of value. Any aspect of our lives that causes us to disobey His Word in favor of convenience and comfort or because of confusion and uncertainty, must be repented of immediately. 

It is not possible to gaze upon the beauty of God in the Presence of His Glory while we yet have other gods in our hearts. So many are disillusioned in their faith because they no longer have those encounters with His Glory. These folks disobeyed Him many years ago and have since forgotten the original direction from God. In this hour, God is blowing the dust off those long forgotten instructions and bringing them to mind once again. The choice is still today, as it was then…ours. Repent and be restored to the light and life found only in intimacy with God or continue in rebellion and wander in confusion and darkness still longer.

The cost of obedience seems high when viewed from an earthbound perspective. For this reason, we must get God’s vision and gain Heaven’s perspective. Only then, can we correctly count the cost.

“But the path of the uncompromisingly just and righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines more and more, brighter and clearer until it reaches its full strength and glory in the perfect day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh. Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”
(Proverbs 4:18-23)

Be Blessed!