In Him you also, when you heard the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee (down payment) of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory. ~Ephesians 1:13-14
Anything we encounter through the Holy Spirit is but a taste, a down payment, a fraction of the riches we'll receive when we are face to face with our full inheritance in Christ. What blessings and riches has the Holy Spirit poured out in your life? However beautiful and magnificent His work in your life may be, it is but a fraction of what is to come. What is the worth you would attribute to the inheritance God has coming for you?
Whatever that amount of worth is makes Ephesians 1:18 all the more sweet...what are YOU worth as the inheritance of Jesus??!
Holy Spirit, you can come deposit as big a down payment into my life as you can possibly make! I'll take it! And may my life be a reciprocator...one who gives all I have to be Your inheritance as well.
Monday, October 18, 2010
This morning I slept in past 11:00! Beautiful day off!
I woke up thinking about inheritance, so I decided to get my thoughts down before jumping out of bed to start my day. In Ephesians 1:11 Paul writes, "In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will." When I think about the truth that I have been given an inheritance in Jesus, my imaginative wheels start spinning wildly. What riches are included in this inheritance? What doesn't belong to Jesus, the King of kings? The Psalms declare that all of heaven and earth are His footstool. In Psalms 2:8, the nations are Jesus' possessions. The beauty of heaven, the glory of the throne, the angelic hosts, the weird creatures with the eyes...the list in endless! Paul even tries to give us a glimpse of what our inheritance in Christ looks like in earlier verses in Ephesians 1:
*every spiritual blessing in Christ
*we've been chosen to be holy and blameless
*He's in love with us
*glorious grace freely given
*redemption through His blood
*forgiveness of sins
*wisdom and understanding
*knowledge of His mysterious will
This is just a portion of our inheritance in Jesus. What glory and majesty will the Father give His sons and daughters? The concept is staggering and enough to keep me wondering all my days. But...this isn't where I'm to remain. This isn't the highest truth that God wants me to dwell upon. My relationship with Him doesn't end with what He can give me, although its fun to think about.
Paul goes on to write in Ephesians 1:18, "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints." Apparently, Jesus has an inheritance, too. What does a Father give a Son who has everything? What would make His heart excited to have and to hold throughout the ages? WE are His inheritance. Think about how grand our inheritance in Christ is...in comparison to the inheritance He will gain! What worth the Father and the Son ascribe to us faulty beings! YOU are the inheritance Jesus is waiting for...this is astounding!
I believe that my life as a follower/daughter/bride of Jesus is to move from focusing on Ephesians 1:11 to living Ephesians 1:18. It's wonderful to know what God will give me. It's so fun to wonder about. But, if I stay in that line of thinking too long, my relationship with Jesus will become self-focused. God can easily become my vending machine...gimme! Jesus wants me to move from a self-focused follower to a God-focused follower. I am the inheritance. What does that mean for my life? It means that I live to fulfill His desires. It means that I live to walk in voluntary obedience. It means that my heart wears a giant sandwich board that screams YES! to anything He asks. Jesus wants to conquer nations because the Father has promised the nations to be His possession and we, as princes and princesses in the Kingdom of God, are called to this high privilege and partnership to see this happen. I want Jesus, at the end of this age, to have His full inheritance...because I know assuredly that He will give me my full inheritance. He will not hold back. He will only continue to lavish His affections and resources upon me. I desire to be an equal marriage partner to Him. I want to live in such a way that my life lavishes my affections and resources upon Him. I want to walk around with the confidence that I, as His inheritance, am His trophy wife! It's a beautiful position to which we are all invited to fill.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Today I feel overwhelmed with thankfulness that I belong to God. I'm so thankful that I have been given knowledge of who He is...not the knowledge that puffs up, but the knowledge that renews my mind to live the way He lives. It's knowledge that renews my mind to think the way He thinks. What a gift! What kind of stinking evil would I be without His transforming kindness?
It makes me feel hungry to know more about Him. It makes me hungry to have more discernment. If His ways are higher than mine, than I desire to know His ways better than I know my own...to spend more time in His ways than in my ways. If His thoughts are truly higher than mine, I want to dwell on His thoughts more often than I dwell on mine. It seems that His ways and His thoughts are a higher reality than my simple, faulty ways and thinking. I want to live out of His reality. It's a high goal. 1 Corinthians 2:16 says, "For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct Him? But WE HAVE the mind of Christ." I have the mind of Christ! I can know the ways and thoughts of the Lord because I've been given the mind of Christ. Come renew my mind, Holy Spirit. Transform me to look like You, think like You, speak like You.
This sounds like Jesus. He said on earth He only spoke what He heard the Father say. He only did what He saw the Father do. He knew the thoughts of the Father. He knew the ways of the Father. He laid aside His deity when He came to this earth. He spoke these words as a human. As a human, Jesus KNEW the Father, which means to dwell in the higher reality of the Father's ways and thoughts is possible for me, too. HOW? I believe Jesus accomplished this, not by having super powers, but by laying His powers down. He fully yielded Himself to know the Father. He fully yielded His ways and His thoughts to abide in the ways and thoughts of His Father. Intimacy comes when we yield to the One we want to know. I think knowing the ways and thoughts of God must come at the expense of getting to exercise our own ways and thoughts. Jesus was tempted by satan to do things His own way and to not go to the cross. If He was tempted, it means He had to wrestle with laying down His own options before submitting to the way of the cross the Father had laid out for Him...if the King of kings had to wrestle to lay down His will, how much more do I need to make this a daily (if not moment to moment) discipline?
My hunger is growing and the road is getting more narrow. It's so narrow that there isn't even room enough to turn around and get out. I have no where to go but towards the more narrow. I'm hooked. I must know more of who He is. I must know how He thinks and how He operates. I must know, because in knowing, I will find the highest reality of how to live. I will find out who I am meant to be in light of who He is. I will know Him in yieldedness.