“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our Life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in Glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4)
Beloved friends, I have something that I believe is of the utmost importance for us in these Last Days. I’m addressing this specifically to those of us who have been called by the Lord to serve as His Last Days Warrior Disciples. They, just like Stephen in Acts 7, will be called upon to follow their risen Lord into the Arena of Testimony and give the ‘ultimate testimony’ on behalf of the one to whom they owe everything. Their inexpressible love, gratitude and devotion to their beloved Lord will impel them to proclaim Him regardless of what it may cost them.
So what we’ll consider now will spell the difference between what Scripture calls ‘the obedience of faith’ as opposed to the rebellion, disobedience and idolatry that dishonor God, which will not pass the scrutiny of His Final Judgment. If I’m correct, then the stakes involved in what we’re about to consider will be staggering in terms of their eternal significance and importance.
I ask you to notice that the text quoted above, includes two different and mutually exclusive perspectives or points of view. Each one of the Last Days disciples will, whether they like it or not, be faced with making gut-wrenching choices between these two possible choices.
Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
If we continue to obsess over, and cling to, and indulge our original earthly and very natural identity and perspective, we’ll remain blind and deaf to the enormous amount of supernatural activity that is going on in our Father’s spiritual dimension. That dimension is within our regenerated spirits and it is at work all around each one of us, and in our corporate midst. And so the Lord is cautioning us to remain focused on and attuned to His Holy Spirit. The Spirit is given to us to open our spiritual eyes and ears so we can be privy to and included in what the Heavenly Hosts are here to do to assist in the fulfillment of God’s Plan for His Creation.
We dare not remain entangled in our fallen Sin-corrupted soulish horizontal viewpoints that we inherited at conception. That comes from our human DNA and our prior earthly conditioning tends to limit us to that dismal level of operation. But that’s the perspective that is common to people who still belong to this fallen demon-possessed world! They still do not yet know or fear or obey God and His Living and written Word. And that is where every one of us begins.
But God commands us all to repent of that. Instead, He urges us to embrace and develop and abide in the new, totally vertical viewpoint and perspective that Almighty God has equipped us to abide in and operate from. We can do that even though we must still abide physically in this temporal earthly dimension of space and time. And He makes it very clear which of those two perspectives, mindsets and value systems He requires disciples to embrace and embody. So we are commanded to repent of our original, earthly, self-centered perspectives and mindsets, and make a total exodus, from the horizontal viewpoint, to the vertical way of seeing, thinking, acting, reacting and interacting:
“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
“For My (Heavenly) thoughts are not your (earthbound) thoughts, nor are your (earthbound) ways My (Heavenly) ways,” declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My Word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:6-11)
So the Lord is warning us that there’s an infinite gap in quality, accuracy and understanding between the way He sees things and how His mind and will work, as opposed to the way we naturally operate, with the very limited, Sin-corrupted faculties of our souls and bodies. So notice what is implied in what He’s telling us: He’s saying that if we insist on trusting in our own soulish understanding and views and opinions and feelings, we will be choosing to ignore what He reveals to us in and through His Living and written Word. And in that case, we will be dead wrong, totally off-base and in opposition to what Almighty God is seeing, thinking and doing!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:5-8)
The problem presented by these facts, places disciples squarely in the ‘Valley of Decision.’ God’s revelation forces us to have to choose between what is natural, automatic and instinctive to us, or what we can only know by taking God’s Word for it… by undergoing training and discipline and tremendous repetition and practice in mastering the art of living by the obedience that comes from being equipped to operate in supernatural faith. And even though it seems utterly strange, impossible and outlandish to go against what we see with our own eyes, hear with our ears, and, instead, rely solely on what we know God has revealed, commanded and promised through His Living and written Word, this is exactly what He requires! We must be weaned of the innate habit of trying to figure everything out solely by the use our natural ‘common sense.’ Instead of that, we must allow the Holy Spirit to teach and train us in the fine art of choosing to believe, obey and follow God’s Living and written Word.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26.)
So we must repent of trusting in ourselves, our natural faculties, and the pop culture of this world. We must forsake those things to such a degree that we actually die to following our own observations and gut feelings and knee-jerk reactions. Only then can we begin to act and live from that totally supernatural, faith-based disciple way that trusting in and relying upon and following God’s Word. This is what will be required of us from now on!
“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in Heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in Heaven.
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it!” (Matthew 10:32-39 Emphasis added.)
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:1-3 Emphasis added.)
Implied in these Biblical commands to walk through this life according to this unique vertical Heavenly perspective is the requirement we will all have to take into account if we’re truly going to learn to live by faith in God’s Word – rather than according to what common sense, public opinion, our personal hunches, conclusions, opinions and feelings may be screaming at us to adopt and follow. We must die to allowing such things to lead us around by the nose. And we must learn to live only to God… by dying to our original radically independent Self-life… and living only by FOLLOWING our Master, God’s Living Word, by the Love Power of the Holy Spirit. And God’s written Word will ensure that our direction remains sure and safe, because what we are hearing in our spirits from our indwelling Messiah will always be kept in perfect alignment with what had been written in the Scriptures.
“Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast; these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip came and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” (John 12:20-26 Emphasis added.)
So dear ones, consider the texts quoted above to be serving as a Biblically-based underpinning for what we discuss in this article. The quoted texts require us to become vertical in the way we identify ourselves and in the way we view everything and think, imagine, choose, act, react and interact in this fallen world. The Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to abide and interact with our risen Lord. And while He continues to wait for the moment when His Father sends Him back to Earth, and makes His enemies a ‘footstool for His feet’ (Psalms 2 & 110), we are commissioned to abide with Him and wait with Him for when that moment arrives. Then He will return to Earth and our Heavenly Father will reveal His risen Son in all of His Eternal Splendor and Glory. And we too will be revealed with Him… as His disciples and members of His Royal Priesthood… and we will be bathed in His Glory and Eternal Triumph!
So can you see how wonderfully our Father has already elevated us to the highest Heavenly status imaginable? Can you see the awesome Eternal Inheritance with which He has endowed His beloved regenerated sons? He has spiritually equipped and commissioned us to follow and embody our indwelling Master, on His terms. And it is our task to allow our Messiah to fulfill within us, everything that is revealed, commanded and promised in His written Word! So now it’s up to us to accept and own and allow ourselves to be enfolded within that incredible eternal status and inheritance as our everlasting Reality!
Now it’s time for us to learn how to view everything from that Eternal, Everlasting Throne Room of God, perspective! So… are we truly in the process of learning to disengage from and rise above all the turmoil and frustration and endless striving of this demon-possessed time and space dimension? Are we becoming proficient in abiding in the Perfect Rest and Fullness and Consummated Completeness that God enjoys? Father is ready to share all of that with you right now… through the obedience of your faith! Are we accepting and owning the Fullness of all that He has bestowed upon us? Do we think, act and react as if we’re already there… seated with our Master, at our Heavenly Father’s right hand?
“Thus the heavens and the earth were COMPLETED, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” (Genesis 2:1-3 Emphasis added.)
“Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “IT IS FINISHED!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” (John 19:30)
“For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from ALL His works”; and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.”
“Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts!” (Hebrews 4:2-7 Emphasis added.)
Please pay attention to the parts of these revelation texts that are highlighted for emphasis. God is showing us His Eternal Perspective, because He requires us to share that viewpoint with Him! We are to repent of our fallen, earthly, humanistic, self-centered perspectives… and the assumptions that God is far away from us, somewhere in outer space and much too distant to make any difference in our lives. God’s Perfect Works of Creation and Redemption are already finished and complete and All-Sufficient for us all! And we are already one with God. And that means that HE HAS ALREADY COVERED EVERYTHING WE WILL EVER NEED to fulfill the identities, purposes, and destinies He reserved for us in His Eternal Plan for the full Restoration of His Sin-damaged Creation!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
“In Him (in His Eternal Creative Living Word) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His Glory.” (Ephesians 1:3-12. Amplification and emphasis added.)
So here is what we already know:
- God has already supplied and paid for everything we’ll ever need in this time and space dimension.
- Moreover, God’s Living Word made flesh has already done everything needed to cleanse, restore, redeem, forgive and make us one with Almighty God.
- In addition to that, He has already exposed, confounded, stripped, defeated and destroyed all the works of the Serpent and his powers of Darkness.
And so, as far as God’s revelation is concerned, we’re ‘good to go’ into combat with the powers of Darkness! We’re fully protected, fully armed, loaded and equipped, and we’re surrounded and covered and backed by the Blood Covenant Love, Loyalty and Faithfulness of Almighty God and all of His Heavenly Hosts!
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” (Ephesians 4:7-8)
“… Having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.” (Colossians 2:14-15)
And so, dear ones… now when we enter the battlefields to face, resist and overcome the powers of Darkness, we can have the absolute and certain knowledge that thanks to the Infinite Perfection of our Commander, the Messiah-King of Israel and Lord of all Creation, that war has already been won and secured. The head of the Serpent has already been crushed. All of the works of the powers of Darkness have been nullified and cancelled out.
And all that the enemy has to throw against us are lies, deceptions, delusions and holographic illusions that have no substance whatever to back them up. They have nothing that is real or authoritative. In short, they haven’t got any chance whatsoever of stopping or deflecting the inevitable Advance and Total Takeover of our risen Lord and Master. They can only gain access to, and severely afflict the gullible, ignorant humans that disregard the Word of God and stray from God’s Path to try to make their own way. Those are the people the enemy is able to deceive, manipulate and drag with them to destruction.
“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’
“Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, they will ponder over you, saying, ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who did not allow his prisoners to go home?’
“All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb. But you have been cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch, clothed with the slain who are pierced with a sword, who go down to the stones of the pit like a trampled corpse.” (Isaiah 14:12-19)
God is God, and He is Everything to all of us. His Living Word has Absolute Authority over every speck of Creation, and He reigns Supreme over everything, including the Serpent and his minions. In fact, every enemy of God has been crushed to powder and reduced to nothingness. It is because He is so Great, Majestic and overwhelmingly Powerful, that everything else pales before Him into insignificance. And that is why we need not fear anything or anyone that has been created by Him. Nor do we need to give any heed to anything that God’s enemies try to say or do to deter or discourage or frighten us through the humans they manage to deceive and captivate and manipulate for their purposes.
“In God, whose Word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?” (Psalm 56:4-5)
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:1-5)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
“In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:1-5 Emphasis added.)
Beloved friends… even though we in ourselves are imperfect and Sin-flawed, nevertheless we are highly regarded by our God. He looks upon us with great affection and compassion. He values each one of us exceedingly because He designed and created each one to live as His beloved Covenant child and to enjoy the status of being a living temple of His Presence! This is our true human identity and destiny! The eternal spiritual DNA He intends to put into us is what we still lack before He sends His Word and Spirit to seek us out and draw us back to Himself. So the Truth is this: Even while we’re still His hardened enemies, God loves and desires to make Himself known to us. And if we allow Him to get close enough so that He can pierce, penetrate and impregnate us with His Reality and Truth and Eternal Life by speaking His Living Word into us… His Word and Spirit will cleanse, purify and redeem us completely; and He will enable us to become as one with Him for all of eternity.
So I urge you not to allow your heart to remain hardened, cold and distant from your Heavenly Father. Run into His arms, even as He seeks after you! Allow Him to enfold you and make Himself known to you. Let Him speak His Word and breathe His Spirit into the depths of your being, so that He can transform you into His image and likeness and bestow upon you the privileges of sonship, and full rights to His Name and membership in His Personal Household, with full rights to a complete share in His incomprehensible Inheritance!
If you allow the Living God to fill you with the Perfect Presence of His Living Word and Holy Spirit, He will cause you to become as one with Him in the Eternal Covenant and the everlasting Bond it will create between you. And then… you will know God… and you will be known by Him… in the most intimate and personal manner possible.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains,
The world, and those who dwell in it.
For He has founded it upon the seas
And established it upon the rivers.
Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face—even Jacob. Selah.” (Psalm 24:1-6)
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father— from Him every family in Heaven and on Earth receives its name. I pray that from His glorious riches He would grant you to be strengthened in your inner being with Power through His Ruach, so that Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to grasp with all the kedoshim what is the width and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Messiah which surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled up with all the fullness of God!”(Ephesians 3:14-19. Emphasis added.)
“Thus says the Lord,
“Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord.
“But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My Word!” (Isaiah 66:1-2 Emphasis added.)