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Our Church Identity - Part 4

posted Aug 9, 2012, 8:33 PM by Chris McRae   [ updated Nov 5, 2014, 5:16 PM ]

Part four - MBCC is a house of Heaven's ways

Having begun by encountering God’s presence (1-3), we receive by faith our new and glorious identity – who God says we are (3-5). In the light of God’s truth and assured of His mercy, we are empowered to change the way we think and act (repent), and live consistently with this new identity (6,7). Now God begins to teach us the ways of Heaven…..

Isa 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
Isa 55:9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isa 55:10,11 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

The ways of Heaven are higher than our ways. We can only come into them by the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Paul encourages the Roman believers… Rom 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. As we spend time with God we begin to think like He does, we begin to see through His eyes, we begin to understand His ways and walk in them with effectiveness to bring about His transforming purposes. God is inviting us to do life and our church community according to heaven’s ways….

We see through spiritual eyes (8,9). There is an earthly, natural way of thinking and acting and seeing. It relies on human wisdom, on getting what you deserve, on paying your way, on performing for love and approval. It sees and judges others by outward appearance and values others according to what benefit they give us. It is selfish, fearful, striving. God invites us to a higher place – to share his thoughts and ways, to see what can only be seen through spiritual eyes. Jesus insisted that without the rebirthing work of the Spirit, people would not even be able to see the things that belong to Heaven. (Jn 3:3-8)

We speak with prophetic authority (10,11) One of God’s ways is to speak things into being. When God wants to do something He only has to speak and it is done. Sometimes it is done immediately (Gen 1:3), other times it happens over time (Gen 15:5 – his promise of a son to Abraham took many years to be fulfilled). But God is so powerful, that his word cannot fail to accomplish everything it contains. Jesus spoke – and blind eyes were healed, demons evicted, and the dead raised - so great is his authority! As his disciples, we too have been given authority to speak to mountains and see them removed (Mt 21:21). As we seek to see and understand what God is doing, we declare it to be so on the earth, and watch the kingdoms of earth align themselves with the realm of heaven… Let your Kingdom come, let your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven….

We partner with Heaven’s principles (10) Seed is given to be sowed, and bread is for eating. We do not bury bread in the ground, or eat the seed that has been saved for the next planting. God is gracious and provides for both our daily needs (bread) and for ‘giving away’ to ensure next year’s abundance (seed). As we learn to discern what has been given for now, and what needs to be generously ‘sown’ into the next generation of believers and leaders, or to meet the needs of believers around the world, God can entrust us with an abundance of Heaven’s goodness and provision. As we learn to partner with the ways of Heaven we find ourselves in a place of rest – no longer striving to make things happen, but simply able to move with the unforced rhythms of grace. (Mt 11:29 MSG)

We rely on God’s word and His promises above our circumstances (11) Another of Heaven’s ways is the way of faith and perseverance. We choose to believe God’s word, His promises, and His prophets, even when our circumstances are discouraging, disappointing or confusing. We rely on the testimony of God’s faithfulness in Scripture, and from the saints, and we believe that in His way and in His time, God will not fail to keep His word to us. We persevere when others give up, and we find that we are those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Heb 6:12 Remind yourself of one of God’s promise to you today, and ask for God’s help to keep holding on to it.