The Son sees the Father face to face

And the Father who sent me has testified about me himself. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face’ John 5:3 (NLT)

In this passage Jesus is talking about His relationship with the Father. Jesus talks about how the Father shows the Son everything He is doing, gives His Son authority to judge and the Father will show His Son how to do greater works than heal a man. He speaks about the testimony of the Father’s approval that goes with Jesus – His word and His miracles. Then at the culmination of the passage about intimacy with His Father Jesus speaks about hearing His Father’s voice and seeing Him face to face.

I was touched by this passage as I heard Jesus talking about His dad. He is trying to express intimate and private things to a group who do have no trust in Him. The height of His relationship and the thing so special to the Son was hearing His Father’s voice and seeing His face.

We have been adopted into God’s family. We have the privilege of being called His sons and heirs. We are to be shown our Father’s business, we are called to judge and do mightier miracles than heal a man. Yet in all this revelation, authority and power the thing that should grab our heart is not the wisdom, miracles and manifestations. The thing we can

Mother and Child watching each other

Mother and Child watching each other (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

hold most dear above all else is the fact that we can hear our Father’s voice and see Him face to face. This is the most wonderful thing of all.

You don’t belong here

Sandwich for Tea Time

Sandwich for Tea Time (Photo credit: Johnragai)

There are so many beautiful and encouraging names Moses could have picked for his first child. I know he perhaps didn’t have an A-Z of children’s names, but I am sure he could have found something a little more positive. In Ex 18:3 we find that Moses named his child Gershon which meant ” a foreigner there” .  I don’t if his mother called him in for tea loudly – but I wonder if it got some funny looks.

“Come in for tea son – You don’t belong here!”

It is strange being a foreigner in a land. You feel different, you look different, you sound different  – I probably smell different.

Moses knew he didn’t fit into the land of Egypt. He knew that wasn’t his home land and he looked forward to a homeland where he felt he belonged. He was an alien, a foreigner in a land whose culture felt strange to him – although he had lived there all his life.

I look at our society and find that as people we do all we can to fit in. Perhaps I watch TV, read magazines, discuss the right topics, wear the right clothes and do all I can to fit in and not feel different. Perhaps I am wondering if I measure up to the standards in this land – to look great, be famous. big car, nice house, successful kids. I do know that there are days where I am jealous of those who have bigger houses or seem more successful in life. All of us are so immersed in the Western society that we have allowed it to seep into us. Being away in a poorer culture has only shown to me how much we have taken into our lives but do not notice. I am to be different: I don’t belong here – I am not to use the measurements that this land uses for success. These are not my standards of being who I am meant to be. This is not who I am. I don’t belong here.

If we look at Psalm 73 we find David is having the same issues. How come those who do not care, and are selfish seem to get the big houses and the good jobs. He says his feet nearly slip off his journey until he looks into heaven and sees God. Then he knows that

“you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.”

God is walking with us. He is holding our hand. He is taking us somewhere glorious. We do not belong here.

Today: Fix your eyes on your home – the kingdom of heaven. Spend some time asking the Spirit how has the consumer society affected your heart?

The Father’s Passion

I have been touched recently by the story of the Israelites’ exodus as written in Psalms 78.

Fathers Love

Fathers Love (Photo credit: lachicaphoto)

The story is written in a poetic form and quite different from the account in the book of Exodus.

As I read this chapter I heard in this retelling of the story the heart cry of a Father for his children. What a tragic story.:a Father who takes his kids for some time out. He wants to share his story with them, connect with them and love them – but instead they constantly bicker and blame him for everything.  You can see through the verses the way the Father cares, provides and nurtures his children. His desire was that they would trust Him. He didn’t want lip service (verse 36) He wanted a heart connection with them.

Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland. Psalm 78:40 (NLT)

This verse is so full of grief as a result of their rejection of Him that I could feel his tears falling. Their rebellion, indifference and lack of trust saddened his heart. He desired a heart change but “again and again” they test their patience.

  • They did not remember his goodness :42 & 43 

Do we remember and count all the good things he does?

  •  They rebelled :40

Are our hearts soft and responsive? -not cynical or angry.

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  • They turned their backs V9

Do we refuse to accept all that God is trying to teach us?

  • They fled on the day of battle v9

Do we back down out of doing the things we are called to out of fear and self preservation?

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  • They did not keep covenant  v10

Do we obey him and take seriously the fact that he is Lord/boss in our life?

  •  They tested him with demands v18

Do we place blame on God when things don’t go well and expect Him to cause everything to turn out right?

  •  They spoke against God 19&20

Do we criticize the way God is moving, changing things or the way he chooses to use different people?

Today: Read the list slowly of ways the Israelites tested God’s patience and ask yourself is there any changes you need to make. This isn’t to make God love you – he couldn’t love you any more than he does already – it is so that you can learn to stay responsive to the Father’s heart.

Learn more about how much the Father loves you

Try reading this book – Daddy, you Love Me: Living in the Approval of your Heavenly Father   Brent Lokker

Daddy Loves You

Daddy Loves You (Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik)

I realise that for some of you this title will put you off. It seems a little gushy for you. I felt a little like this and find the book perhaps over the top. What I love about it is that it completely challenges the way I think and feel about my Father God. I am letting it wash over me until one day I understand it  and believe it fully.

In the family of God the children grow up

Paint_by_ChibitFrom the beginning of time we find a God who gives his children freedom.

Without free will we cannot make our own choices, learn from our mistakes and grow up. It has always been the heart of our Father that we mature; that we learn, love and reach our full potential in Him. This is when we are like the crocus as we open our petals and bloom into something beautiful.

Our family history

These people are our ancestors. Each person represents the journey of a family of peoples.

  •  Adam – created a grown man ready to reproduce, sin broke his connection with his Father. Mankind regressed had to be birthed again.
  • Noah/child – the ark is a picture of baby in bulrushes covered in tar. A family hidden and saved from destruction and evil just like baby Moses. He was birthed into the cleansed earth through gushing waters
  • Abraham/toddler – wide eyed and fresh he is shown the stars and sands of God’s world. He starts to understand there is a God and builds a relationship with him
  • Isaac/child – learning how family and relationships work
  • Jacob/ young teen – tussling and wrestling with ideas, finding his feet, seeking independence alongside relationship, finding own thoughts, his own heart
  • Joseph /older teen – finding true identity among those that think differently (Egyptians), leaning to take responsibility, make good choices, understanding family forgiveness and reconciliation
  • Moses and the children of Israel/transitioning into adulthood – experiencing the process of leaving home, finding their own ground/freedom, initiation of baptism through the red sea

The phrase “Children of Israel” is used 335 times in the Pentateuch (first 5 books of the bible). This shows how God was  training them and teaching them as his own children.

The Wilderness

Moses and the Israelites now reach the cusp of adulthood/maturity. It is time for them to leave their childish ways behind them and live as supernatural adults (1 Corinthians 13:10-12). It is time for them to leave the house of Egypt and their identity of slaves behind. They set out on a journey to find who they really are. Egypt was never their home and slavery was never to be their identity – God wanted to show them who he had made them to be.

Having left Egypt they are about to enter God’s college – his boot camp. This is commonly known as the wilderness. It is here that God’s children were to start their valuable training. They would start to learn about  their ancestors, who is this God they worship and where do they belong.

Reflecting on our own family walk as the people of God we stand in a place of transition. There is before us our own land (literally) to take, our own promises to bring into fulfillment and our own Jericho to overcome. In order to prepare us for this before us for the next few months is an expanse of training. This time may look like a place of drifting and lack but actually it is a vital stage of maturation that will us enable us to steward heaven coming to earth in revival, miracles and wonders.

Today: Think about how we, as the people of God, are walking in a new place of freedom and open space.  As we enter  God’s special college for maturity count yourself into the boot camp. What do you hope to learn during this time?