Liberty, & the Pursuit of His Will- by Dr. Julius Sims, Ed.D., Sr. Pastor
There are emerging synthetic religious systems, functioning within corporate settings that are contending to reshape the image and essence of God; along with ascribing an "unscrupulous portrait" regarding God's church. What is the latest philosophical dogma that is striving to provide a new belief system for the biblically uninformed, or the disgruntled church member, or those seeking a spiritual encounter, or the wandering backslider? Whose life do we love the most: Christ's or mine? Is my freedom/liberty more important than God's plan for me? Whose will am I pursuing to do, The Lord's or mine? With a heart of concern, starting debates among us is not my intent. However, it is my attempt to encourage inner discussions with our own hearts as we rightly view the reflections from God's Truth. As we all can attest, muddled truth hinders the kind of living that glorifies God. Thank God for the real truth-bearers within the Lord's Body.
There remains a desperate and deep call from God's Word for His people to "see" with the eye of the Spirit, to "hear" the voice from the inner-man, and "become" like Christ in our world. This Kingdom call is more urgent now than the many decades that have passed. God desires us to be defined in Christ (i.e., having essential qualities of unconditional love and Christ's nature) and prepared for His use, rather than undefined (i.e., not having limits, spiritual convictions, or essence of godliness) and left to ourselves.
The historical archives of the church's spiritual progression have included the passionate documentations and spiritual insights of many prominent church fathers, the holy saints, and icons of the missionary fields, and the spiritualities of the early Christian martyrs and desert saints. The faint echoes from the voices of their messages and the legacy of their lives are reminiscent to one of the major themes found in the New Testament: "repent!" (i.e., have a drastic spiritual change of mind). Presently, with regard to this abstract depiction of ungodliness displayed in today's society, along with its carnal-minded adornment of humanistic pleasures and racial friction, Paul's spiritual assessment written in Ephesians chapter 2 is not strange to us:
Ephesians 2:2, 3 (MSG) "You let the world, which doesn't know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It's a wonder God didn't lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us." As one seating in the audience with my fellow redeemed, I can easily perceive God as a loving bounty hunter. His Spirit has a warrant to bring souls to the place of repentance, because of Jesus' work of redemption. There are some powerful objectives featured within many of the articles presented in the Bloodline network Newsletter. Such objectives include, but not limited to, encouraging the Body of Christ, bringing to our forefront the rationale of God's intent for His people, exposing truths from the written Word, operating in Kingdom thinking, and providing insights about God's church in the earth. What God's redeemed people have in common is the spiritually encoded DNA of Christ. Christ has come to bring us His life, define our liberty in Him, & encourage our pursuit to capture The Lord's will.
Life (i.e., the human expression, maturation, and distinguishing features of one's existence during the time allotted by God) is what we should appreciate and recognize as sacred (Gen. 2:7). Liberty (i.e., human will, freedom to choose) is one's divine authorization to express choice (Gen. 2:16, 17; Jos. 24:25). Pursuit (i.e., the hunt, search, quest to attain or secure) implies one's journey through on-going sacrifices in an attempt to reach measures of satisfaction from the object of one's affection. The Lord's Will (i.e., the object of our pursuit) is the weightier matter that determines our course in life.
The divine enablement for one to "spiritually" see can have a huge bearing in regards to one's meaning of life, defining one's liberty, and what will become one's object of pursuit. Kingdom living while serving the King of kings requires seeing things from a spiritual perspective. Dear Lord, help to see!
John 3:3 (KJV) "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
How we determine our lives becoming spiritually committed to the Redeemer, will influence the liberties will hold and those we will discard for His sake. It is the Lord's desire to win my will over to His will. For an undertaking of this magnitude, God has provided His Word with the intent of capturing my love. God pursues us for intimacy sake. So often, our decision making power (i.e., our will) is related the things or thing we love the most. Therefore, after "seeing", we are encouraged to enter into the spiritual things of the Kingdom. Our self developed and self-protected liberties nestled within our hearts must yield to the will of God.
The application of the cross of Christ is for our soul, so that the essence of selflessness can slowly emerge. Dear Lord, guide us as we enter!
John 3:5 (KJV) "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
In his book Dr. Eugene Peterson states, "So often, real praying does not get us what we want, but want God wants" ("Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity). Dear Lord, help us to understand what you want from us and what we should pursue from You!
Dr. Julius Sims (Ed.D.) serves as senior pastor of the Word of Life Christian Church, located in north St. Louis city, for over 23 years. His wife Cathy serves in set ministry and the ministry of dance. They are a ministry son of Dr. Mark Hanby. We are thankful to serve and be associated with Dr. Hanby's ministry called The Father's Heart.