Christianity too often relates to the Lord two dimensionally. God is not a genie, and He is not Santa Claus. Our relationship with Him is not to be one of Him just delivering us from circumstances. Too often we never connect the dots that it may be God Himself who has allowed certain situations in our lives to exist because He wants to get down to the roots of what created them in the first place. True deliverance never occurs in us without there first being a nature change. When we are able see, and then acknowledge our needs to God, a heart-felt repentance occurs. A door of deliverance then opens for us. The repentance addresses the roots of Adam, crucifying them, and establishes God’s mindset in us, which is His nature. True deliverance does not come any other way. Neither does the establishment of His nature in us. His nature is always established by a direct encounter with the Lord. It does not come through claiming promises or quoting Scripture.
This encountering the Lord is akin to Joshua facing the man with the drawn sword before going in to take Jericho. When we do not see or acknowledge our own need, or understand that God is exposing it, we tie God’s hands in what He can be to us. When we persist in relating to a God apart from us who only exists to deliver us from adversity, we relate to a false revelation of the Lord. God never brings deliverance apart from Him first changing us. It is the inward work that leads to the outward deliverances we cry for.
False Christianity does not see the need for personal responsibility. Our own personal accountability before God is what gives the depth to an otherwise two dimensional experience with the Lord. If the Lord delivers us from all the situations we cry to Him about, and yet we do not go through a nature changing process, we will only find ourselves crying to Him again from similar circumstances. If we don’t change, then we will make the same mistakes again and again. God will always make a way for us when there does not seem a way. This will happen as we bare our hearts before Him and allow Him to touch the hidden recesses within us. These are the encounters of sonship. This is the true chastening that Heb. 12 speaks of.
It is too easy for the inflated religious soul life to make a martyr of itself. When God does not answer after Aladdin’s lamp has been rubbed, the religious soul life bemoans how it’s God’s will to suffer. This is not how God relates to His sons at all. It is always about accountability. He holds His sons accountable for what is in them, and when they cannot change or alter what they are, they cry to Him in repentance, and He imparts to them through His grace what is necessary. This is the practical fulfillment of the Beatitudes in our lives.
1 ¶ When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
2 He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
3 ¶ “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
It’s significant that the Beatitudes begin with verse one stating: “When Jesus saw the crowds He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.” The Beatitudes, and indeed, the entire Sermon on the Mount, was not spoken to the multitudes, but to His disciples. Verse two states He began to teach His disciples. It also is significant that it was “up on the mountain” that He sat down with them. Mountains are always indicative of the realm of spirit, not the religious soul realm. Every one of the Beatitudes is related to an inward work God does in us. None of these Beatitudes can have a fulfillment in us apart from a nature change. The nature change God creates in us is a practical one. It is contingent upon relating to the Lord, not as One who is a cure-all for our problems, but rather as the One who causes us to address our root needs. Relating to the Lord in this manner is far removed from Christianity. Christianity, with its two dimensional perception of the Lord, can never move into the nature of Christ. We must see Him first as our Judge, and then as our Redeemer. He sifts our hearts before the balm of His grace is applied. This is the essence of David’s cry in psalm 139.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
All of the goodness of the Lord is made available to His sons. It is made available in a practical way. Hos. 6 reveals to us God’s ways in the lives of His sons.
1 ¶ “Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
2 “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him.
3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.”