desire

Longing For Him

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I have experienced enough of "life" in this fallen world to have grown quite weary of this fallen world. Come quickly Lord Jesus has become my mantra.

Last week though, Father spoke to my heart and said, "Son, you long for heaven, more than you long for Me!" OUCH! I apologized, for He was right.

By the way, I do not believe I am alone in that longing, let's all repent of that "faulty longing," for that is like a woman who longs to be married instead of longing for that special man to be married to. Just as it is not the institution of marriage that her heart really longs for but for that special guy, so it is with us, Heaven is not really what our hearts are longing for, it is Him.

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The WOW of Christ

As I get older, I am finding myself less and less interested in the new and novel. Rather, I'm finding myself increasingly focussed on what Paul referred to in Corinthians as... "the simplicity of Jesus"...

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Recovering God Wannabe

The desire to control is deeply rooted in the lie that each of us were birthed into: "we shall be as God".

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Words Matter

What we really want is “the Christ Life” which has been placed in us  fully  and  completely  to be released through us as we abide in Him by faith.

What we really want is “the Christ Life” which has been placed in us fully and completely to be released through us as we abide in Him by faith.

Words are so important because they communicate meaning. Because this is true we must take great care in the use of our words, so as not to communicate what we really don’t mean.

That is why Proverbs says, “The wise man ponders how to answer.”

This is especially true when we speak words about God because there is the ever-present danger that we will speak what is not really true, even though what we say may sound really good or may even be laced with enough truth that the subtle error we have just added is not easily recognized. 

Recently, I was speaking at a conference and I heard repeatedly the thought of our being “Christ-like.” I am going to be picky here, but it is out of necessity. Listen closely to the language that was being spoken. “I want to be more “Christ-like.” “I am becoming more “Christ-like.” I understand what they are trying to say, but stop for a minute and ponder those words. Do we really want to use such language? Think about it. Who is Christ? He is God, the Son. So when we say, “I want to be Christ-like” – we could be mistakenly communicating that we want to be “like God”… Have you heard those words before? Of course, you have, that is the language the enemy used to seduce Adam and Eve. It is the language of "The Fall.” “In the day that you eat, you will be like God! 

I don’t want to try to be like God and neither do you because all we can ever offer in such an attempt is a cheap and very poor imitation of God. What we really want is “the Christ Life” which has been placed in us fully and completely to be released through us as we abide in Him by faith. What we really want to say is that we are experiencing and expressing that Life, His Life, which has been placed into us in the glory of the New Covenant – as Colossians says, it is “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”

One more thought, there is a sense in which I do want to be “Christ-like” – but that is NOT in terms of trying to be like Him in behavior, but like Him in His method.

He lived a life of faith, a life of complete and utter dependence on His Father.

He said in John 5, “I can do nothing without My Father.” And that is exactly what He called us to as well. “He told us in John 15, “Without Me, you can do nothing.” In John 6:57 He declared, “I live ‘out of’ the Father, now you live ‘out of‘ Me.” 

DO NOT try to act like Christ, or seek to be “Christ-like” in your behavior. But do indeed be like Him in His method --- trusting Him to be all that He is to all that we need.

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We All Have Control Issues

God is all those things. He knows all things, He is everywhere, He is all things to people, He is strong, and HE IS IN CONTROL!

God is all those things. He knows all things, He is everywhere, He is all things to people, He is strong, and HE IS IN CONTROL!

I once had a "not so happy" woman come up to me and declare with no small amount of intensity, "Frank Friedmann! You are a controller!"

To which I replied, "Yes maam, but you know what the difference is between us? I am willing to admit it!"

We ALL struggle with control issues.

We want to control our circumstances, control our kids, control our spouse, control our congregation, and control the pastor. Control! Control! Control!... but dig deeper!

Why? Why do we want to control?

Because the desire (need) to control is deeply rooted in the lie that ALL of us were birthed into with the help of our brother Adam, that "we shall be as God". By the way, that is why we struggle with wanting to know it all, cannot admit that we do not know all, find it difficult to admit we are wrong, feel the need to be strong, and have this crazy thought that we are supposed to be the source of life for others.

God is all those things. He knows all things, He is everywhere,
He is all things to people, He is strong, and HE IS IN CONTROL!

We are not because we are not God.

Herein lies the glory... we were never designed to be strong, or have it all together, or know all things, or be in control.  We were created to be dependent on the One Who is all those things and offers to be all that He is to us in the moment of faith!

I do not believe there is a man alive who really comprehends how "BLITZED" we were by the lie of the garden and how it continues to effect all of us as we "labor to rest" in the finished work of Christ.

So, let's move further on in the journey and begin admitting the truth...
... that all of us are "recovering god's"
... that all of us struggle with control issues
... that all of us think we know more than we know
... that all of us find it hard to embrace and live in our weakness
... that ours is really a "vision problem"
... that we see ourselves as bigger than we really are
... that we see God as a lot smaller than He really is

Let's start running the church like an A.A. meeting!!!

"Hello, I am Frank and I am a recovering god wannabe"

And all the other "recovering god's" say: "Hello Frank"

AWESOME!!! Now we can take off the fig leaves, that were never designed for us in the first place, put on the righteousness of Christ, and start being who we really are... weak and frail people who have an opportunity to live FROM a REALLY BIG GOD WHO is crazy in love with them. WOW!!!

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Prayer's Posture...

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I was recently at an event for young people. An adult opened and closed with prayer. Each time he called the kids to "bow their heads and close their eyes." Hmmmm.....

Now, I understand the heart behind that. We are honoring the sovereign, almighty God of the universe with our posture. But, I function as a teacher, and I wonder what we are communicating to young people if that is our consistent approach to prayer. Are we saying inadvertently that we are "coming into His presence" at that moment?

That would be a mistake because WE LIVE IN HIS PRESENCE!

Or are we focusing on His mightiness and missing the relational aspect of what Christianity is supremely about?

I am a father, and when my kids talk to me, I do not want them bowing to me with their eyes closed. I want to see their eyes and look into their heart. Supremely, though, through my body language I want them to see my heart for them.

The almighty, sovereign God of the universe has come to man, as man, in the Person of Jesus. Just before He departed this earth, He told us in John 17 that He gave men, God's name. I believe that name is "FATHER", and He wants ABOVE ALL ELSE, a relationship with us. He did not secure us so that we would obey Him, serve Him, or worship Him, though all those things we do. He is NOT the supreme co-dependent of the universe. Please know, that He does not need us!

The supreme desire of His heart is for us to have a parent - child relationship with Him. With us learning of His love for us and responding in love to Him.

Perhaps our posture in prayer could exemplify that sometimes, maybe even right now.

Trusting Instead of Trying

Jesus longs for us to live the life of trusting instead of trying.

Jesus longs for us to live the life of trusting instead of trying.

In the church, the man who labors for God with the goal of being like God is highly valued! The work is great and the workers so few that the highly disciplined and sacrificial man or woman is in high demand. The church calls such a man or woman – “A man of God” or “a woman of God” but do you know what God calls such a one? He calls them a rebel! What? How can that be? Because that man or woman who is trying to be like God is living out of the wrong economy.

God established an economy whereby man would live FROM God by faith.

This is the economy man was intended to live in. It is the same economy that Jesus did live in. He said on numerous occasions that without His Father, He could do nothing. He said unequivocally that it was only as He heard, that He Himself spoke. He blatantly declared that the works that He did, were actually the works of the Father in Him and through Him. That’s right, Jesus walked on the water, but it was the Father walking on the water through Him. This is the economy that man was designed for and intended by God to live in. But in the garden man chose to not live out of this economy, instead he/she chose to live out of the economy of “being like God”. Man would function independent of God and do life His own way with his own resources.

Jesus longs for us to live the life of trusting instead of trying.

Jesus made it very clear in John 15, that just He could do nothing without the Father, so we can do nothing without Him. He is the Vine of true life and only when we branches connect to Him can He bear His vine life through us and produce fruit in us.

Man was never intended to be like God in the way he lived, he was intended to trust God to be God in and through Him by faith! That is why a man who tries to be like God, though he may look good and labor much, is actually a rebel in God’s eyes!

Simply Being Right Isn't God's Sole Intention For Us.

It seems to me that the church, as I have observed it, has made the issue of "Being Right" it's main agenda. Don't get me "wrong"... being "right" is very important. We better be "right" about Who God is and what He has done and longs to do in and through us as we trust Him by faith... I myself study Father's Word intently because I want what is right, I want the truth because I want the freedom that truth brings. But being right in and of itself was never the intended goal. That would be like getting a paycheck and never cashing it. By the way, I have especially seen this agenda among those who "claim" to know the grace of God, after all, we are "right...right?" But if we truly are "right" about the grace of God, then should we not be known by "LOVE"? Dare we say it, yes, by our love for the legalist and the religionist and even for those who disagree with our grace?

Father's Word does not say we will be known as His disciple if we have "right" doctrine... but rather that we will known as His disciples by our "love"... You see, LOVE is the evidence that we are right. Love is cashing and spending the check of being right... Love is the proof that we have come to know God and the He, the lover, lives in and through us by faith.