8/31/2019 RESETTING OUR LIVES
For the past month (August) our church has been discussing “Life reset”.
When I was in the Southern Baptist church as a youth, once a year, a preacher would come and hold a three to four day ‘revival’ meeting. These were intended to be ‘spiritual shots’ in the arm to get that spiritual blood flowing again or anew. If you will, a reset or a restart for the church. Often, these would be young men fresh out of bible school getting their feet wet for preaching sermons, but at times, they would bring in a seasoned vet. Being an evangelical church, these revivals were heavier doses of “you gotta get saved”! Now, I understand, we were supposed to bring ‘unsaved’ friends to those revivals but Father has shown me that we can share how to walk closer with the Lord and the Holy Spirit can still work in the hearts of those who don’t know the Lord. Yet, for the Christian, were supposed to already know Jesus (hopefully), so instead of ‘getting to know Him’, we need to get to know Him ‘better’.
During this month, Father has brought four good studies, about resetting our lives, through three different people.
In the first presentation, Father showed us that there are five major restarts in life. God tells Jeremiah that He knew him before he was conceived and sanctified him before he was born (Jer. 1:5). We can translate this to every human that ever existed or exists – God knows us before we are conceived and has set a task for us before we are born. After all, God knows the beginning and the end (Isa. 46:9-10). Ergo, our first reset in life is coming from however God knows us into and through our natural birth; our second reset is our spiritual rebirth, our salvation experience, transitioning from living in this natural world to living for Jesus in this world; our third reset is recognizing our calling Father has placed upon our lives – He ordained Jeremiah to be a prophet (for what has He ordained us?); Our fourth reset is the toughest and busiest reset of all – learning to keep Jesus in our hearts – confessing and repenting any sin in our life and continuing to press forward (an ongoing process as long as we are in this world); our last reset is our departure from this world – our natural death – the beginning of our transition into eternity.
Our next presenter brought us to an understanding of what ‘reset’ means and the need to get our souls back into proper alignment with Father. She used examples as to how important it is, that once we mess up, the need to get ‘our’ spirit realigned with Father. That is confessing and repenting (turning away) from whatever sin we had committed.
Our next presenter used Job, King David, King Solomon and the Apostle Paul to contrast the benefits of a life reset after sin and a life not reset after sin – the blessings or the consequences.
Our last presenter brought the following:
Several years ago, Father used one verse to draw my attention to Job’s problem. Job said I heard about you from others but now my eye has seen you for myself (Job 42:5). Job came to know God for himself – a personal relationship.
Let’s go just a little deeper for our fourth presentation. Our relationship with God.
11 A certain man had two sons
12 The younger said to the father “give me my portion of goods that will be mine.” And the man divided what he had.
13 Not many days later, the son took all that he had and traveled to a far country and wasted all that he had on riotous living.
It is important to know God’s will and here, the younger son seems to know God’s will. I mean, he lived with his father from infancy. But now he was grown so he decided that he was his ‘own man’. He was an adult. He could make his own decisions. So he did contrary to what he knew his father would approve. Yet his father let him go.
Our parents should be helping us to learn how to deal with life the best we can and hopefully, when we are ‘of age’ we’ve learned enough to survive. Likewise God gives us direction (if we listen) but then lets us make our own choices. When we think about it, our natural life parallels or reflects our spiritual relationship with Father (the Family of God?).
14 And when he had spent all that he had, a mighty famine arose in that land and he began to be in need.
15 He hired himself out to a citizen of that country who sent him into the fields to feed the pigs.
16 He would have fain (desired, lusted, been in need) had he not eaten the husks which the pigs didn’t eat for no man helped him.
How often does the grass look greener on the other side of the fence? How many of us want the ‘good life’ which we feel we can’t enjoy at home? Once out there, he discovered that his friends were his friends as long as he entertained them. Yet, once all his money was gone – so were all his ‘friends’. The depth of his plight is reflected in that he had to eat what the pigs wouldn’t! Is that desperation?
17 When he came to his senses he said “How many of my father’s hired servants have enough bread to share and here I am dying of hunger?
18 I will get up and go to my father and say to him ‘I have sinned against heaven and before you
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son so make me as one of your hired servants’”
Fortunately (by the grace of God) the son came to his senses realizing that even his father’s servants had it way better than the situation in which found himself.
Once we realize that we have erred from our Father’s will, we need to do what the son did – repent and humbly go back to Father, willing to accept any status less than that what we had before. Think about it, that’s humble. A prince to a pauper.
20 And he arose and came to his father. Yet, while he was a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion and ran out and fell on his neck and kissed him.
His father didn’t chastise him as to how stupid he had been. He was so glad to see his son, he ran out, kissed and hugged him. (forgiveness without even being asked for - yet).
21 and the son said to him “I have sinned against heaven and in your sight and am no longer worthy to be called your son”
The son had already asked forgiveness (in his heart) when he decided to go back to his father, yet he (the son) still needed to go before his father and ‘say it’. So it is with us when we sin, if no one else, we sin against and/or before God. We seek forgiveness from our heart, but we still need to speak it out before our heavenly Father. Where other people are involved, we need to do the same and ask their forgiveness (James 5:16, 1 John 2:1).
22 But the father said to his servants “Bring the best robe and put it on him and a ring for his finger and shoes for his feet.
The father had restored his son to full sonship. Remember that there is joy before the angels in heaven over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:10).
This passage does not ‘say’ whether the son was saved or unsaved, but this parable does imply a relationship prior to his falling away. Father and son? Consider, through Adam and Eve, mankind knew God from the beginning. God knows us from before conception (Jer. 1:5). He knows us when we give our lives to Christ and when we stray. The parable as repentance stands for both ‘unsaved’ and ‘saved’. Getting on track and getting back on track. Father knows our hearts. He knows if we are sincere or not (Matt. 15:7-9).
23 Bring the fatted calf and kill it and let us eat and be merry
24 For this my son was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found. And they began to be merry.
There’s joy again. Whether someone comes to know Jesus for the first time or if we ‘mess up’, then repent and get back into proper alignment with Father’s will. There is joy in heaven!
Remember, the bible is not written to sinners. The Old Testament was written to the Jews to help them to discover God for themselves and then keep them on track (through obedience) so they can help others to enter into the kingdom of God. they were supposed to be God’s witnesses to the world.
The New Testament is written to the Christian church so we can get to understand ?God’s love in terms we can understand. So we can know God for ourselves and then (through our obedience) the Holy Spirit can keep us on track so we can help others enter into the kingdom of God. Today, we (Christians) are God’s witnesses to the world.
Just as Job knew about God, his thinking changed with his personal encounter with God. When he came to know God – personally. Paul knew about God. After all he was a Pharisee (Phil. 3:4-5). Then he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. That’s when he came to know God personally. We go to church and do things in service and learn about God, but until we start really communicating with Him, we really don’t know Him. When we talk with God from our heart, then we really come to know God personally. Of course, we have to understand something about the bible in order to know to whom we are talking.
The calling, Father has given all Christians, is to draw us into a closer relationship with Jesus and live in His love so we can reach out and help others find that relationship for themselves (Matt. 28:18-20). The biggest reset we can do, other than giving our lives to God through Jesus, is seeking our deepest, personal relationship with Him so we can help others discover a solid relationship with our heavenly Father, as well.
As with Job, our greatest restart or reset in life is getting to know God personally. Anyone can read a book and know about God. Our Father wants a relationship with us. He wants to commune with us, walk with us, talk with us. Father doesn’t just want children, He wants a friend. Abraham believed God and was called the friend of God (James 2:23). Moses spoke with God face to face (Exod. 33:11). If that’s not friendship, what is? When we are obedient to the will of God, Jesus calls us friends (John 15:15-17). Knowing God on a personal level IS our greatest reset. Walking with our Lord is our greatest benefit.
May the love of Jesus Christ fill our hearts.