Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Intimacy That Leads To Identity

This message was preached by Navaz D  at Word of Grace Church on Feb 9th 2020 . To listen to the audio please click here.to listen to the worship please click here.

Last week we heard a story about 2 sons and how they responded to the Father. I believe God is speaking to us about something deep and life-transforming. I wonder which son did we identify ourselves with or did we feel we belonged to neither?
The Lord has been drawing me back to a few passages of scripture again and again
. Amongst them are John 15, Ephesians 1 and Romans 8:14-17.

‘The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him, we cry, “Abba, Father.”’ (Rom 8:15)

Verse 9  “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love”  ( John 15:9-10)

Today I want to talk about Identity that comes from Intimacy with the Father.
Jesus came to give us life in all its abundance. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus came to reveal the Father and his main mission were to reunite us with Him.

Everything we have and enjoy comes from being in Christ. Jesus shares his inheritance with usWho gives us this inheritance? Naturally, does our father or your brother give it to you? Your Father. You may share your inheritance with your brothers/siblings.

In The Old Testament even though God talked about the nation of Israel as his children, the people did not really relate with God as Father However, when Jesus walked on the earth he only referred to God as His father. Only once did he refer to Father as God and that was on the cross.

Today we call to carry a father wound that was knowingly or unknowingly inflicted upon us by our earthly fathers. 

If he never affirmed you, you struggle with knowing who you are.
We have another player in this and his name is Lucifer.  Adam and Eve were deceived by the first orphan – Lucifer. Lucifer lived in God’s presence and was the chief worshipper. When he fell he lost his brilliance. His lights went out, literally and he was plunged into darkness. He was cast out of God’s presence, which was marked, by love and intimacy. He lost that forever.

The orphan spirit is independent, untrusting, and rebellious, un submitted and has fractured or broken relationships. That is the nature of Satan and that is what he makes us do as well. We can be Christians but still functioning like orphans.

The older son was also functioning from an orphan spirit. He seemed to be obedient, dutiful. But he had no intimacy with the father or else he would have known that everything the father has was his to enjoy.

 But we have often put the cart before the horse. Many have put the Great Commission before the Great commandment. When we know that we are loved and love God in return we are able to love our neighbor not just as ourselves but as Christ. When we love as Christ we will burn with passion for his Bride and for the lost.

Therefore, we need to learn to abide in Jesus. Remain in him. Develop an intimacy with the Father like Jesus did

Spend time with the Father. Let him talk to you and learn to listen. Replace the orphan thinking with truths about yourself and about the Father that is there in the bible. The truth will set you free. Intimacy with the Father will develop your identity. Identity helps you walk into your inheritance from which you can live an abundant life and make an impact.  Let us pray.

Jesus said his goal was to make the Father known to us. He could only do that by putting an end to the barrier of sin that separated us.

There has been a steady shift in our culture and even around the world in the past few decades. Never have we seen the issue of fatherlessness in our life experiences as we are seeing today.

Nobody has had perfect parents or fathers. Say I have not had perfect parents. Say I am not a perfect parent. Say I will never be a perfect parent. But we aim to become healthier ones. We have only good and perfect Father and that is Father God.

Several things could have happened to us during our growing up that could have tainted our view of the father.

If he was distant and uninvolved, you grew up learning to become independent and self-reliant and feel rejected and unloved.
If he was an angry man you learned to related with him in fear guilty and shame
If he was negligent in providing you grew up insecure and with a poverty mindset that there will never be enough and will there be enough for tomorrow
If he was cold and distant you grew up not knowing how to bond
If he was always critical, you grew up with a poor self-esteem and learned to defend and justify and cover up your mistakes
IF he was physically or sexually abusive, you grew up with fear, shame and a deep distrust for authority because the one that should have protected you, violated you.
If he showed approval, only when you did things right you grew up learning acceptance is based on performance and would work hard to please and earn his love.
I could go on with this list but you get what I am saying.

Any one of these or a combination of these sets off a whole pattern of thinking and behaviors that can start very early in life.

Today God want to heal that wounded heart and reveal his father heart to you – that is for you, that loves you with an everlasting love, that gives you more than you can ask or imagine, his love is unconditional

But when we come to Christ the cross restores a connection that was severed not because of what you did but what happened along time ago in the garden of  Eden.
There are two types of Christians - one where Christ is at the center and the other where self is still at the center of their lives because we cannot trust the good, good Father .
We all lives in both these categories to varying degrees. Our aim is to live in Circle 1 more and more.

The Bible tells us that when we are born again we become children of God. We are adopted into his family. the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to son ship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”’ (Rom 8:15)

We are no longer slaves to fear or to the torment of Satan. We are children of God.
It is the orphan spirit and you see this operating in every human beings life, in political systems, cultures, families, relationships etc.

Deep down they struggle to comprehend that God loves us. 
 Even as Christians we are born again when we move from one kingdom into another, we carry some of those ways into the new kingdom and those ways have to be replaced.

The orphan spirit is one of them. It is not cast out, it needs to be replaced. It gets replaced by truth, truth that transforms the way we think which affects how we behave. This is a lifelong process and an ongoing process.

To understand this we have to go back to the beginning in order to deal with the roots.
 God created Adam and Eve to have a perfect relationship with him of love trust and intimacy. However, for there to be true love and trust there needs to be choice. Therefore, there were these 2 trees.

When he saw that God made man in his own image and was enjoying the intimacy he once had he turned his hate and envy toward mankind and was on a mission to steal, kill and destroy man’s identity, intimacy and inheritance in God.

So his biggest battle is against you, a child of God. He knows that when sons of God realize and live in their identity the earth that is his dominion will be dispelled of darkness, as son and daughters of God shine as light and regain their lost glory because of the fall.  These son’s and daughters who know who and whose they are, will fill the earth with the knowledge of and the glory of the Lord.

So how does he go about trying to keep us from realizing our full potential?  He uses orphan thinking – the root of it is lack of trust. That is what he used with Adam and Eve. He made them believe that God was holding out on them and not giving them the best.
When Adam and Eve sinned it separated them from God. Fear and shame replaced love and intimacy.

Praise God for salvation. God is not ashamed to be called our God and Jesus is our brother (Heb2:11)

Through the cross we are reconciled to the Father. We have to choose to embrace son ship i.e what we have positionally we now need to walk out experientially.

Last week we looked at the story of the prodigal son – Do you know that both the sons operated out of an orphan spirit? The younger was overtly rebellious, independent and self-willed.

 Instead he chose to work amongst and live like a slave who did not have access to the Father’s wealth.

Inheritance comes from a place of intimacy and identity. When you are the legitimate child of the father, you are automatically come into the inheritance.
The older son tried to earn favour from duty. The religious spirit is like this. Jesus was making this point to the Pharisees but I think its true for us today too.

So all this has been bad news or a reality check.  What do we now? How can we replace the Spirit that besets all of us. What can we do to walk free and walk into our full identity as sons of God?

 Now we have to be careful of playing the blame game : I am like this because my father was like this. No. The cross broke the curses of previous generations. WE are new creations in Christ .

We are also now adults who make adult choices. WE can choose to walk away from that by replace negative thought patterns with ones that are based on the truth that God loves us and is for us completely to the very end of time.

When we have intimacy with the father, we get identity. From identity, we get our inheritance and with our inheritance, we make an impact on this planet.

 This year I believe marks a new watershed in your life. I am not calling it a season. Seasons are there for a time until the next one comes along. This is a watershed, a turning point that is going to alter your life forever if you want it. It is going to be life-transforming. You are going to activate that DNA that was put in you when you became a Christian.

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org. 

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