The Spirit of the Lord is seeking out people to connect them to Jesus. The connection that He is making with people is not based in selfish purposes on His part nor is it a struggle for followers or superiority. This connection is a product of love. It is made available because of desire. God has a desire to make Himself known and to show love. This desire is best discovered by a creation that mirrors Himself – one with the capacity to reason, choose, create, and relate spiritually. We are the result of the desire of God.
The connection God creates with us is peaceful but far from casual. In other words, the byproduct of the love He gives is peace and security, while the relationship though stable in its commitment is forceful in its creative power.
God relates to us not from the framework of our failures and weaknesses but through the framework of His purpose for us. He does not decide what He will do for us based upon our failures but based upon His plan and purpose for us which was established long before we were born. Every step of our lives, both good and bad work toward that purpose. God never deviates from the goal He has for us. As long as our hearts say, “Amen” or “So be it” to the promise of God we cannot be derailed from God’s desire for us.
God’s connection to us is one in which we are commanded to “boldly” enter. We have an invitation to fellowship in the place called the “Holiest of all”. Because of God’s love for us and the Holiness of His nature, we are changed by our connection to Him – defects exposed and changed, motivations cleansed, guilt erased, wounds healed, our destination in life radically altered. Instead of holiness causing fear of judgment, we are benefited by its presence in our lives. The “boldness” with which we enter is freedom of speech; freedom of communication in which we know the Truth (Who is the truth?) and the acceptance of the Truth sets us free!
The Bible commands us to draw near to God with a true heart. Almost all of what we derive from our connection to the Lord is His doing and not ours. He provides the way – He provides the love – He provides the Spirit – He provides the power – He changes us and our circumstances. But, there is one important thing that is our responsibility:
The submission of our heart!
We are not responsible for cleansing our hearts but we are responsible to agree with God! Agreement with the Truth creates within us a throne upon which Truth reigns in us. This is the definition of a true heart.
Remember how we first said that God doesn’t work in our lives according to our sins and weaknesses but according to His purpose?
Well, a problem exists for us that must be handled for us to grow in God. When we first approach God, we have what is called an “evil conscience”. That basically means that we come to Him full of guilt and self-pity over our failures, full of self-hatred and self-loathing because of our weaknesses, and full of pride or low expectations because of our perception.
Yes, we are not doing the work, God is, but we will not receive it if we don’t allow His love and holiness to change our perception of self and base our perception of self in agreement with His word and purpose!
If guilt over our failures is not taken away, we will make decisions based upon the feelings of and belief in our guilt. If self-pity is not taken away, we will consider ourselves victims instead of victors in Christ! Victims cannot be whole because the ability to make changes and healthy decisions for their lives lies beyond their control. God doesn’t hate us or loath us, He loves us! If self-hatred and self-loathing are not taken away, we will keep every promise of God at arm’s length because of our unworthiness. If our perception of self is not changed to agree with God, we will never believe or act at the level His Spirit leads.
Scripture says that, when we are connected to God, the blood of Jesus cleanses our evil conscience. Instead of relating to God through our failures and sins, we relate as His beloved child – an heir of His and a joint-heir with Jesus! The firstborn in Israel received a double portion of the inheritance from the father. Jesus is the firstborn. If we are joint-heirs, our inheritance is a double portion! Sons receive inheritances – if you relate to God through a view of your evilness, you will never receive it!
The priests of Israel would wash themselves whenever they entered the Temple or tent of meeting. As believers in Jesus, we have been baptized into His death and raised in His life! This baptism has made us forever clean in His sight. Our bodies represent our lives here on earth. Our lives, although still housed in a tent of flesh are washed with purity before Him!
1 Peter 3:18: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us (connect us) to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is eight souls, were saved through water. This is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and power having been made subject to Him”.
What does a good conscience answer toward God?
When He says, “This is yours!”, a good conscience says, “Yes”!