Posts Tagged intertwined

FOOL!!

Psalm 14: 1

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

I remember the first time I heard this verse. It was back in the 80’s and Kenneth Hagin was preaching. Some man said to Hagin that there was no such thing as God. Hagin said something like that he was glad to meet him because he saw him in the Bible. Then Hagin quoted him this verse. I wonder how the guy reacted.

It’s true though and if you believe the Bible is true then you will appreciate that to refuse to acknowledge the existence of God is foolishness. At the time I heard Hagin tell that story I thought it was funny. I still do. There is, however, a great deal of tragedy in those few words. It is a tragedy greater than anything Shakespeare could have ever imagined; the death of a human soul.

I find it remarkable that anyone can, in honesty, can say there is no God. The evidence of God’s hand is everywhere. How can one even see a forest and deny the existence of God? The bigger question I have, though, is what meaning does this verse hold for us? It is simply an evangelical verse, or does it speak into our lives?

I think this verse can speak to us too! Does God exist in your job or business? What role does He play in your family? Does He exist in your day to day life? Is He there when you are taking out the trash or cooking dinner? You see, I think the answer to the question is that we are fools to the degree we do not invite God into every aspect of our lives. I know it is a challenge. It is something I am still learning to do. This is not about recrimination but rather growth. As we grow in our intertwining experience with God, we become less and less foolish. There is absolutely nothing, nothing, that you do in your life that is not fertile ground for time with your Father and God. He would love to be so intricately involved in the affairs of your life that you would miss even a moment of His absence. This is a thing to which we can aspire. It is the hallmark of David’s relationship with God.

So, today, when you go to the grocery store, stop and pump gas, when you fix dinner and wash the clothes, but especially when you tuck your children into bed, leave some room for Dad. Take Him with you. You are going to find that the more you do this, the more joyful your life will be. And we all want you happy! Be blessed!

Arise

John 11: 44

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

This puts me in remembrance of the Israelites in captivity in Egypt. God repeatedly said to Pharaoh, “Let My people go!” Jesus came to earth proclaiming liberty to the captives and freedom to prisoners. We saw that Galatians 5: 1 reads, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free.” Most people who read this daily devotional are blessed to live in countries where they enjoy political and social freedom. The troubling truth, though, is that far too many of us are weighted down with grave clothes and are not living the life of freedom mentally, emotionally or spiritually that Jesus’ victory provides us.

The greater part of us are well acquainted with spiritual death. We were lost, just floundering our way through life when Jesus reached out and brought us into fellowship with him. That fellowship gave us new life, a redeemed life. It is a miracle and a daily joy but sometimes we forget how it felt to be dead. Do you remember what it was like before you had hope? Do you remember the daily frustrations and continuous trials?

Life in Jesus offers hope, but it also yields freedom. The more intertwined our lives become with his, the more free we live. It is amazing, truly. I have been a Christian as long as I can remember. Though, I can’t remember a time when Jesus wasn’t precious to me I have found a different way of living, a different flavor to my Christianity if you will. We have an ability to life our lives with and through him. Recall the words of Paul, “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,” (Galatians 2: 20). Beyond mere Christianity is life in Christ and that is our real objective. It is living with him and for him in every moment of our existence. The concept is so far beyond what I originally learned that I still find it a mind stretching experience. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that if she would drink of the water he offers, she would never thirst again yet how many of us are spiritually parched. There is life and freedom in Christ. Those are not mere words. That kind of truth, however, only comes through laying down our own lives. How does one do that?

Here is my advice. Seek God with all your heart and might. Our Christian walk is often characterized by phases of growth often resulting in a different relationship with the Trinity. I began one of those deeper walks thirteen years ago which completely transformed my life. It began, though, with seeking him. Through that my life and his life have become one amalgamated existence. There no longer is any me without him. And, truthfully, I have become part of him too. This intertwining has changed every aspect of my life: my health, nutrition, relationships, patience, level of spiritual revelation, peace, even every day tasks are easier and I am more successful in the things I do because he is in the midst of them. He really is in everything, even your breath and this shakes the grave clothes from your body so that the life you live is one of vitality, joy, peace and, when we are doing it right, even ease. He gives us the grace to live above our ability, wisdom or knowledge. He gives us a lighter step and clearer eyes.

Shake the grave clothes from your frame. Arise and live. There is fullness of life in Christ Jesus and I honestly want every drop of it in you. My desire is that you live in overflowing abundance of his grace and goodness. Let my people go! Be free! Enjoy a life intertwined with Jesus.

In Me, In You

John 17: 22 – 23

The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.

There are so many pieces in this segment of Jesus’ prayer. He was preparing to go to the cross, his mission coming to an end. I am immediately struck that he said to God that the glory God gave to him, he has given to us. Did you ever consider that? If we have been given the glory of God, how does it show? How do we even perceive it for ourselves?

Jesus went on to say that the purpose was for us to become one – one with him and the Father and one with each other. It can be difficult for us to intellectually embrace what it means to be one with the Father and Jesus. Ivey Ministries slogan is, “Intertwined with Jesus,” but can we truly be intertwined with him while we live on earth? If we cannot, then what did Jesus mean in this passage? The end game for this is that the world will see that God loves us even as He loves Jesus and that He sent Jesus. So, this intertwining really is essential because it is through our life in and with Jesus that the world gets to see him.

Life integrated with him is not the same as us acting like him. That is a good start but Jesus is talking about something much more intimate. He means a shared life. Have you ever been so close to someone that your lives express elements of the other? Was it hard, sometimes, to see where your life ended and theirs began? Although we need healthy boundaries in our relationships, there are also those relationships which grow so close that they are intertwined. Jesus is offering that and more. Our lives can be hidden in him and he can live in us and give expression to our lives from within. Imagine for a moment, walking along holding someone’s hand. Do your hands swing a bit? Who causes that motion? Is it you, the other person or perhaps the union of the two of you? Jesus’ joining his life with ours is something like that only much more profound. He doesn’t take over and move our hands and feet against our will or even of his own will. He also isn’t stagnate like a lead weight we carry around in our hands. His life with us is an intertwining, like your fingers interlaced with his so that who you are and who he is evidences as an even greater self. The joining of his spirit and yours doesn’t take away who you are it just joins two beautiful items together like putting a diamond in a beautiful gold setting. Together the two are even more lovely to behold and more functional.

Now, how do we get there? How do we experience this integrated life with Jesus? That is the key question and we will look at that more closely tomorrow.

Anti-aging Pill

Isaiah 40: 31

Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint.

I have written to you before about the most literal sense of this verse but allow me to remind you and then we are going to see the application of it. At its most basic level this verse invites us to become intertwined with God. There are many synonyms I like for this: interwoven, intermeshed and integrated to name just a few. Isaiah communicates to us that if our lives, even our very existence, is intertwined with the life of God, then our strength will be renewed. We will soar on the wind with wings like eagles. We will run and not become weary. Enmeshed in God means we can walk without fainting. It all sounds great but is there any real world, applicable truth in it? Absolutely.

I am living in God’s grace and I bless His Holy name that this verse is true. Your body responds to God’s word. Your spirit yearns for interconnectedness with our God. And if you want the fountain of youth, I honestly believe you are going to find it between Genesis One and Revelation twenty-two. The more we connect with the trinity, the more we are interwoven with “the life.” That life within us is giving life to our mortal bodies (Romans 8: 11). It’s true!

As I said to a friend of mine one time, “Jesus looks good on you.” I honestly believe that who he is in you affects the way you look and the way your body performs. He is the life so when he makes his abode in you, then good things happen. I remember Gloria Copeland and Billye Brim talking about their skin and appearance and they agreed that the life in you helps keep you looking younger.

Okay, so here is the caveat. This isn’t your garden variety, cultural Christianity where we say the sinner’s prayer and then wait for the trumpet blast. This is interwoven life. The life of God intermeshed with all that you are. Remember the Word of the Day titled Lord of the Lunge? It is that idea, applied. Everything we do, say and think we integrate with and involve our Lord. He becomes the very present “now” in our lives. When you wake up with Him, and talk with Him, and go to bed with Him, He can’t help it, He brings more life giving momentum to your world. Honestly, some people even have a hard time dying because they are so filled up with life. That life oils your joints and produces lanolin for your skin. Maybe you will turn gray more slowly or not at all.

It’s great to have good genes. It is even better when you have a revelation of being DNA coupled with the Holy One. Let Jesus run around in your DNA chain. Then let’s talk about our genetic history and make-up. You are genetically tied to the life giving force of your heavenly Father so let’s get excited about this. Get on those eagle wings and soar. Run hard and fast. Live strong. Breathe in the life of the blessed with every breath. Let Jesus truly live his life in you but not only in your spirit. Give him your body. This really isn’t a radical idea. In fact, it isn’t even a new idea. The apostle Paul beat me to it by, oh, a couple of thousand years when he wrote, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship (Romans 12: 1). Get a revelation on this now. Be like John so full of God that the enemy can’t kill you.

You can still be young and beautiful in your eighties, nineties or beyond when you know the secret of the anti-aging pill. Take this verse daily for skin care and for strength in your body. Get yourself all tangled up in Christ and enjoy this great life!

Inextricably Intertwined

John 15: 5

I am the vine, you are the branches.

In yesterday’s Word of the Day I used the words interwoven and intertwined. I want to share with you, today, the basis for those words and why they are relevant to any discussion of Christians and Christian life.

Jesus describes us as branches of himself. That is a really powerful statement if you think about it. In fact, I think you could hang out in John 15 for quite a while gleaning the depth of meaning in it. Today’s verse is also part of the inspiration for the logo for Ivey Ministries. Being a Christian means being a part of Jesus and he being an integral part of you. I imagine an Ivy vine twining itself around a tree. Have you ever attempted to pull the Ivy from the tree? I am sure you found that the Ivy had intertwined itself with the tree. It is not readily removed from the tree. I like to see how the Ivy interlaces itself among the branches of the tree, its leaves comingling with the leaves of the tree. Inevitably the tree and the Ivy become so intertwined that it is hard to tell one from the other. The longer the Ivy abides with the tree, the harder it becomes to extricate it from the tree. There is another verse which eludes to this type of interconnectedness with the Lord. It is Isaiah 40: 31. It is the verse which is on the home page of the Ivey Ministries website. The God’s Word translation reads this way, “The strength of those who wait with hope in the Lord will be renewed.” I like that translation. Another says, “Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength” (Christian Standard Bible). The NIV says that the strength of the Lord is for those who “hope” in the Lord. The reason you see all these variations in the verse is because the word and the idea contained herein is complex and rich in meaning. At its base, one of the keywords in the definition is “intertwined.” This is at the heart of our ministry. I would, therefore, communicate Isaiah 40: 31 this way, “Those who are intertwined with the Lord will renew their strength.”

I would like to help you become so integrated, so intertwined with the Lord that it is difficult to discern where one of you begins and the other ends. In fact, the amalgamation of you and Jesus can be so complete that there is no end to either of you but rather where one of you exists, there, also is the other. Everywhere you go, there is Jesus. Every word you say, Jesus speaks. Wouldn’t that be great? Every thought he has, you hear. Every desire of your heart or his, is shared completely between you. His life and light flow through your veins and strengthens every cell of your body and illuminates your mind. You will understand the deep things of God and see beyond the constraints of humanity. There is an entire universe for you and Jesus to share and explore together with no bonds to restrain you. When you hear me talking about intertwining, this is what I am thinking of. This is the vision and the goal.

Choices

John 14: 30

I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do.

Who killed Jesus? Some people say the Jews, other argue the Romans while the best answer may be you and me. However, the right answer is no one. Jesus gave up his spirit. He gave his life on the cross. The Jews tried many times to take him but he would disappear and they were never able to lay their hands on him. Jesus tells us in this verse that because he loves the Father and because the Father commanded him, he, Jesus chose the cross. He gave up his life out of his love for the Father, his devotion to God’s commands, but also so that all the world would see and know this love which changes the world. He sowed his life into this world so that all would see and would have the means to turn to God and be saved. What a choice.

I want you to see one other thing in today’s verse. Jesus was clear on his position with the Father. He also knew, without any doubt, that Yahweh is the benevolent Father. Jesus’ belief in the Father’s love and in His power never faltered. However, he was also cognizant of another authority, the ruler of the world. He was talking about Satan and though Satan had legal authority Jesus says, plainly, “he has nothing in Me.” You’ve got to love that.

This goes along well with yesterday’s Word of the Day. We get to choose whose back yard we play in. Jesus knew Satan had nothing in him because all the days of his life he served his father and his father alone. Jesus had to deal with hardships, he battled temptation but he knew that, although Satan had authority, position and even some power, he could not exercise any of it over Jesus because Jesus was founded in God. Yahweh was (and is) Jesus’ fortress. He is Jesus’ strength and the authority that Jesus has in the Father trumps anything Satan ever threw at Jesus. Sure, Jesus had to fight temptation. He resisted to the point of sweating blood but his Father empowered him for just such a stand of faith. Jesus exercised his partnership with the Father and he was always victorious. And, that is another way we know that Jesus gave his life rather than anyone taking it from him. No one could take his life because he was in the Father and the Father in him and they are an unbeatable pair.

Now the story gets even better. We have the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. If we work with them and connect with their life within us, we can have the same power partnership that saw Jesus through the toughest of times. Really, we have an even more powerful union because we have Jesus in addition to the Father. All of the power of the trinity resides within us right now. There is nothing we need that we do not already have. The trick is for us to learn to work with the Trinity the way Jesus did with the Father.

Are you rejoicing yet? The power of the Father, the glory of the Son and the creative energy of the Spirit are intertwined with your spirit right now. I want you to practice feeling your spirit. You know how to check your body. You know how to check your emotions. We need to be experts at connecting with our spirits. What is going on in your gut right now, non-biologically? What sensation is right behind your belly button? Do you feel peace, anxiety, rushed? When you have that sense of inner calm, how does that feel? Can you sense your spirit? Get accustomed to checking your spirit routinely and then branch out into the interwoven presence of the Holy Trinity within you. This is your power source. This is the boardroom of the partnership. You will feel the Lord within you and you will hear his voice. The more you hear his voice within you, the easier it will be to navigate all of life’s adventures.

New Covenant

Hebrews 8: 10

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

First things first, recognize that because of Jesus, you are now the house of Israel, so God is talking about you. There are many other passages, in both the Old and the New Testament, which speak to this new contract. In fact, one can see God’s plan unfold through the whole Bible. I could easily spend an entire week on just this aspect of God’s master plan but I will restrain myself. Just know that He has been putting the pieces in place for thousands of years.

The key here, as I see it, is that God is moving into our hearts. We are stepping into a relationship with God. I really like how this same thought is articulated in the book of Revelations, “Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children (Revelation 21: 7). God’s plan from the beginning and now was to raise a family. It ultimate goal is to have us in intimate, close relationship with Him. In the Old Testament, God was with the Israelites. He led them through the desert in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. He had an improvement plan on the drawing board though. In Joel 2: 28 He said, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all of you!” This was the foretelling of the New Covenant and the new way people would walk with God. No more is God in the cloud. With this pouring out, He has come to live in us. “Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3: 16).

God’s word is alive in us. He has come to earth and made a home in our hearts and spirits. No longer do we need to look outward to clouds or to an ark to behold our God. God has come to make His abode with us. We are the new Ark of the Covenant. Jesus has made all of this possible and we should seek God in our hearts and get to know Him as an intimate. He is our God and we are His people but as He has said, we are His children. The New Covenant is the indwelling presence of Almighty God and the intertwining of His spirit and yours. Get wrapped up in Him today.

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