In His Image
Whom Do You Serve?
We need to come into the intimate presence of the one true God. A place of safety, a place in the Father's heart knowing that when we do it will produce peace which produces balanced chemicals in the body resulting in a healthy body. So what has this to do with the image of God? Everything. Because if your image of God is not a safe place, then you are serving the wrong God. Below lists two types, which one do you serve?
A father's presence is so critical to the environment of the home environment. I had been told that the woman is the one who holds the family together, but that isn't true. It's the man who sets the tone in the home. Because if a man loved the wife as Christ loved the church, the woman would be at peace, then the children would be at peace. We put too much on the mother, when it's the father's responsibility. You may even see that for yourself in your own family. A father that is demanding and unyielding is a father who breeds fear in the wife, which then passes on to the children. This is a woman who doesn't feel loved by her husband and will treat the children as she is being treated. It's the man's responsibility not the woman's to hold the family together. The anointing doesn't flow up, it flows down from the head, God, to Jesus, Jesus to the man, the man to the woman, etc..
As we look at the relationship we have had with our earthly father and mother, it will determine how much intimacy you will have, how much you can trust, how much you can believe and affects your image of God.
When we fail and know we deserve judgment are we fearful of God? If we are, then we'll treat others the way we believe God treats us when we fail. This too is incorrect.
God wants to inhabit us (abide in) and be comfortable with Him, be ourselves, feeling accepted, and full of peace. He doesn't want to be a visitor or a fare weather friend. He wants to move in to our home, which is our heart. When we entertain visitors we put on an "act" and we can't really be ourselves most of the time. God is not looking for a visitation, He's looking for habitation.
We need to believe God loves us the way we are, not the way we should be. And as taught in previous sessions, the Holy Spirit will lead, guide and direct you in all truth so that you can confess anything that is in you that is not of God, thereby, being purged and cleansed bringing you into more holiness.
God will not rest until we rest in Him. Isaiah 66:1 (Where is there a house I may rest?) He will not cease in His labors until he finds rest in you. He will never give up on you! And as long as we feel unworthy, stinky, we can't love ourselves, nor find rest in God, He will be there wooing us into His arms.
John 1:18 (Jesus proceeded from the bosom Father) John 8:14 (Jesus then went back to where he came) Verse 21: Disclose -I will make known to you by all your 5 senses; 25 - I will make a home in you.
We can't rest when we think we have to be perfect and do everything right. If our image of God is that we're loved when we do everything right, we will never be at peace.
When the world is pressing in on you, when you are made to feel shame, what do you begin to think? If it's anything other than: "The Father Loves me the way I am now, not what I should be" then you'll look for comfort in all the wrong places.
When you feel like you have let people down, fallen short in your Christian walk, what is your image of God? Do you feel ashamed and unworthy? Or will you go to God and find comfort from Him?
It all comes down to the image of God when we fall:
There are 2 reasons why we feel this way: 1) A misrepresentation of the earthly father, and we look at God through the lens of that relationship; 2) We develop a false image of God through false religion and fear. (Religion based on performance or fear is built on hidden lies that say we must perform to receive God's love, it plays on feelings and emotions.)
When we are busy "doing" we will get tired and not have enough to give to those who "need" it, which is our families.
Here is a personal account of what I'm talking about.
One night I was in the kitchen looking for something to eat. I wasn't hungry, I just "needed" something. I always attribute everything to food, shopping, or another type of enjoyment. But then after thinking about what I've been sharing, I decided to go to my husband. I asked him to hold me. And much to my surprise, the "need" for food had disappeared. What I "needed" was love, feeling safe, being touched and held in a comforting and caring way. I also know that not everyone has that, that is why it's so important to go to our Heavenly Father. Even though I'm married, there are times when my husband isn't available, especially if he's out of town. I have found myself lying in bed, feeling alone, and in "need." I then reach out to my Heavenly Father and say, "Lord wrap your arms around me and hold me, I need to feel your love." And that's exactly what happens. I fall asleep in His arms!
Now let's see what Jesus said about His Father: John 14: 1-3 (Matthew 20:18-19 - Jesus told his disciples he will be condemned and killed.) The disciples believed Jesus was going to be set on a throne in this world, but that's not what was going to happen. Total panic and anxiety hit them, and not only that He's going to leave them. They knew that when a leader was killed, the followers were killed as well, and they began thinking they were going to die too. This was not a happy moment. The disciples were in fear and disappointment.
Let you heart not be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me…. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 1:18 John 8:14 - From the bosom of father, back to bosom of father) Jesus went to prepare a place. And you know the way where I'm going? Thomas said, how do we get there? Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father BUT by me." Which is God's love - His bosom. This verse is all about intimacy and all about our relationship with Him.
The "way" has no meaning if it doesn't get you someplace. What is the final destination? The Father. We are not taking anything away from what Jesus did, His finished work on the cross gave us access to the Father.
John 14:7 - He who has known me, knows the Father.
John 14:8 - 10 "Jesus show us the Father and it will be enough. Then Jesus said, John, He that hath seen me has seen the Father also. The Father that dwells in me, He does the work." In other words, show me our Father in Heaven and I'll finally be content. We have had a relationship with Jesus, and not with God. We had an unhealthy fear of God. But Jesus died to bring us a deep loving relationship with the Father. Jesus was the man He was because of the Father He had. He wasn't the man He was because He was God, but because of His Father. Jesus gave to us what He himself got from His Father. (John 14:24).
John 8:28 - I do nothing but what I've seen my Father do, and speak only the things I've heard my Father do. (Before Jesus could do anything, Jesus copied the Father.)
What did Jesus do? (Remember, whatever Jesus did, He first saw His father do.)
Jesus was motivated by need - He sees the "need" that the people were hungry? Were there thieves, tax collectors, defiled, (gentiles) in that crowd? Yes, He met ALL needs. He came for the unrighteous, those that were needy, and He fed every one of them. Keeping in mind, He only did what He saw His Father do. When Jesus sees a need, He wants to fill it.
God's desire to bless us is not based on our behavior - but on our need. This helps us understand why others seem to be blessed who you "think" doesn't deserve it. It's because God sees their need.
We think that by giving, fasting, reading the word that we are earning God's approval. We need to understand that God lives to supply all our needs according to His riches in Glory.
Let's talk a look at Rebellion. Rebellion comes because of having laws without intimacy (love). When you see someone in rebellion, you'll see someone who is under some sort of law by a person they don't feel loved and accepted by. It could be a parent, a boss, etc., but always has something to do with relationship. If we do not have a loving relationship with someone and we ask them to do something, it will become hard pressing and seem like a law. But if we love the person we are wanting to do something, and they are feeling that love from you, that law is no longer hard and pressing, but a joy to do. It's the same with God. We will obey God and not fight Him when we truly have an intimate relationship with Him.
Intimacy with God and family all begins with your image of HIm. If you believe God has caused a lot of your problems such as gave you a disease, caused you to be where you are right now, you need a new image of God.
How can we believe God is the angry God, and Jesus is the loving God? But they are one in the same. If you believe that God is an angry God but Jesus is loving, then you have separated the two... they are ONE. We think that Jesus is protecting us from an angry God. You need a new image of God because remember, they are one!
Below is the nature that Jesus showed us that reflects the same nature of God. Jesus said, when you see me, you see the Father, I and my Father are one. (John 10:30)
Nature of God the Father; (Jesus showed us who the Father is)
Let's look at the Prodigal Son: In the Old Testament, It was a law that anyone who was unclean had to go through a ritualistic cleansing before they could enter into the house. But in this story, knowing that his son was unclean (living with pigs), he ran to the son, in his filth, and hugged him and loved him, covered him with a clean robe, put shoes on his feet (slaves don't wear shoes) and gave him a ring. He was welcomed into the home just as he was. Before he took a bath! God is running toward you to ready to restore you to his love even in your mess.
John 8: (Adulterous woman) Jesus took His time to respond - we need to stop and ask God how we are to respond to those who come at us? He said to her, woman where are thy accusers? "There are none" "Neither do I accuse you." (Before Jesus spoke these words, He heard his father say it) A loving father gives us what we need - regardless of our obedience.
John 5:22 - The Father judges no one!!!! We keep thinking God is judging us, that is not true. But He who the father loves he disciplines, but he doesn't judge. So as soon as we misrepresent the father's love to our family, What's the first thing we think? Blame or feeling of unworthy and we have a hard time going to God.
John 5:24 - He who hears my words, does not come into judgment.
John 3:17 - God (father) did not send the son into the world to judge the world, but to save them. Those who believe in Jesus is not judged or condemned, does not accuse.
John 12:47 - Jesus spoke - "if anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them - I will not even judge you, I didn't come to judge, but to save the world. He who rejects me, does not receive my sayings, and the words I spoke will judge him at the last day. And it says judging those who did not receive Jesus!!! Believers wont' be judged even at the last day.
Hebrews 9:27 - It is appointed for us once to die, and then the judgment. So why do we judge each other if God doesn't judge until the end?
80% of Christians thoughts are negative - Why? Because we are tied into accusatory, negative thoughts, judgmental negative thoughts because we have a wrong image of God. We need to know He constantly loves us and accepts us.
John 16: How many have never been hurt by another Christian? Have you wondered why many can be so cruel? How many people hurt us in church using the Word even - they think they are doing God service. They do these things because they don't know "The Father." If you don't have a good image of God, you don't' have a Good image of Jesus and visa versa.
V23 - 24 So in "that day" all about pain coming to our life …. What are we to do? Jesus said, go to the Father in my name. We are to go to the Father through Jesus! Jesus said "don't ask me but ask the Father". If we pray to Jesus, we stop short, because we need to pray to God.
Every ones need is to have a place in the Father's heart. If we stop at Jesus, we will miss out, and we will still be in need. Casting all our cares to God for He cares for us. The "Jesus Only" churches are really missing out! Yes, Jesus is God, but Jesus was very clear that we are to go to the Father not to Him.
Where do we want to run in crises? To the Father! When we know we are loved and accepted by God it doesn't matter what anyone says because what matters more is what God thinks of you than what others think of you.
Do we feel more like a servant trying to please a master, or are you feeling like a son or daughter in the father's love? That will determine the image of the Father you have.
Jesus' last two hours on this earth He spoke of His Father in Heaven. John 14-15-16 spoke of the Father 51 times saying we need to know our Heavenly Father. (John 3:16) - my Father Loves.
Remember, Jesus is humble and gentle in heart. There has to be a childlike innocence in the father. Jesus portrayed this childlike innocence.
Jesus cleaned and washed the disciples feet taking on the form of a servant and said, "I only do what I see my Father do. The greatest will be servant of all, the greatest will be as a little child. There is one greater than I."
Our Father is going to kneel at our feet at the gates of heaven, and He's going to wash me from all the filth of the world; pain, hurt, or whatever. He's going to remove all the filth that I had so I can enter into His house clean. He's going to wipe away every hurting tear. I do believe that I won't be singing and shouting, I will be in awe that day because of His love for me and finally understanding my Father's love.
We haven't expressed the fullness of love to others until we are willing to meet another's needs (serve) at our own expense. Foot washing is a spiritual express of our love and service to another. I want to wash my husband's feet to wipe away all the hurt I have caused him, I want do this as a service to him.
God is not the cop in the sky, He's a father who is ready to lay down his life and serve us. Who shall serve the wedding supper of the lamb? Not us, we are the bride… The greatest in heaven will be servant of all.
Do we feel like a slave? We haven't realized the love of the Father.
Love covers a multitude of sins. When God loves us, it covers all our sins. We can also do this with others. As we love others, and they love us, all our sins are forgotten.
What is your happy thought? That My Father Loves me like I am, not like I should be.
Peter Pan flew when he would think his happy thought. His happy thought was to be a daddy.
We are God's happy thoughts. I Corinthians 13:5 - love thinks no evil. He can't think negatively about you, He doesn't judge you, He's not ashamed of you… And when we believe we are His happy thought, we start living it, our childlikeness has been restored, and we are being restored in our heart so that all pain goes - now we can fly and rescue others.
God loves me the way I am, not the way I used to be.
Which God would you have honor and have respect for?
Angry God or a Compassionate God
Which one do you serve. Which one do you represent to others as a parent?
People are more important than a ministry. My husband, my family, and those in my church family are more important than running a ministry. But the truth is, we are all ministers to each other, and ministry is simply the office of love.
The Lord taught me something that I want to share here. It's how to know when we are truly believing God. There are times we trust Him and other times we don't. But we have to trust Him at all times. This will impact our image. The other thing we do is departmentalize God. We only allow Him in certain places of our lives. Both these principles will help you balance out your life to be sure God is in ALL your situation, choices, relationships and provisions.
If you want to develop a right image of God and receive from Him the truth of who He really is, then pray with me:
"Dear Heavenly Father, I recognize that I have had a poor image of who you are. I can say that I know you love me, but I have had a hard time believing it for myself and feeling it in my heart. I always thought that what I did caused you to bless me or not bless me, love me or not love me. I had an ungodly belief toward you, and I'm asking you to set me straight. As I see Jesus' life, He showed me who you are. Jesus isn't to run interference between us, He's to be the "way" to you. He represented you in His life, and I want that to be my image of you. You aren't an angry God ready to judge me and condemn me. You sent Jesus so He would cover all my sins, I'm not to pay for anything. You love me, always have and always will. Your blessings are ever before me. Help me to see you clearly Lord. I demand every lie to leave my mind and thoughts that are not right toward you Lord. Teach me who you are, help me to discover you the way you intend me to see you. Forgive me for fearing you in a wrong way, but let me come to you no matter what at all times without fear of rejection or retaliation, because that is not you. I cast out every evil thought that is not true about who you are. Help me to learn more of you by learning more of Jesus. I thank you for this truth. Help me to abide in you every single day, and find you as my "safe place", being covered and hidden under the shadow of your wings. I ask you to forgive me for blaming you for what not giving me what I think I needed to be okay. But you have been giving, I haven't been receiving. Help me to learn how to receive from you Father so that I have it to give away. Help me to be the Mother or Father you intended me to be from the foundation of the world. Help me to accept all your love for me, loving me just as I am, not as I should be, so that I can love my family the same. Heal my broken heart Lord, and heal all those around me whom I've hurt. Restore my heart and restore theirs as well. I thank you for your love toward me, and I receive it now, as it's all I need. In Jesus name, Amen."