Sunday, March 2, 2014

ARE YOU FRIEND OF GOD?

Who am I that you are mindful of me?
Who am I that you hear me when I call?
Who am I that the King would bleed and die for?
Who am I ...just who am I and...who do I think I am anyway?

One thing I know is the Biblically-based self-esteem is a lot different from that of the world.  Another thing I know, all those "Who am I...” phrases above would make some good Christian songs! The Holy Scriptures tell us that Abraham, the father of the Hebrews and Christianity - was a friend of God. (James 2:23 ...and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS," and he was called the friend of God.")

The great prophet Daniel was well thought of by the God of Heaven and Jesus Christ Who sent him as a messenger. He was just doing what he was called to when God sent an angel to tell the Prophet how important he was to the Kingdom of Heaven....we pick up the account here:

(Daniel10:10-12) Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said to me, "O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you." And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, "Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words..."

These two powerful men of God have similar traits - the Lord Himself thought the world of them...yet in different ways. We see above how much Daniel was respected in Heaven, even more so than Abraham, for God did not say those same things to anyone else in history! Daniel was a humble, lowly, sold out, committed servant of the Great God of Heaven.

Jesus did appear to Abraham right before He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and the Messiah said in Matthew 8:11 that ""I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven". The pre-Resurrection "heaven" or paradise was known as the "Bosom of Abraham".

So where do we, in the 21st century fall into, in these two categories? Well, there is absolutely no reason why we cannot have the traits of both these Bible heroes!

The Book of James tells us what being a friend of God IS NOT! James is the half-brother of the Lord Jesus and was the head of the Church in Jerusalem before the high priests murdered him. He said in James 4:1-4 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this that your passions are at war within you?  You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.  You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

So, you want to be a friend of God like Abraham? Well, Mary’s son (and the son of Joseph), James gave you the steps here in James 4:7-10Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you”.

Here are these same steps in bullet points:
1. Submit yourself to God. That is – surrender your entire life to Christ and His leading, through the Holy Ghost. Don’t follow any man, philosophy, thing or even yourself. But follow God.
2. Resist the devil. That is – turn against everything James said above in James 4:1-4…adultery, gossip, backstabbing, ungodly passions, longing for things that you can’t have, can’t afford.
When the devil tempts you to look at that bad stuff in movies or the internet, say NO.
When he tempts you to go out and get drunk with the boys and girls, say NO.
When he tempts you to date that married man or woman, say NO….say NO NO NO and tell him to get lost. Rebuke him and tell him to back to the hell he came from and is going permanently.
Then call on Jesus. The devil can’t stand any of this standing on the Rock of Christ!
3. Draw near to God. This is Daniel –like.  Abraham did what he was told…sometimes to a fault as we found out when he agreed to sleep with Hagar and gave us the current Middle East problem. Daniel prayed and prayed and prayed and obeyed. Among all the Bible heroes, in the face of persecution, Daniel is the humblest and most loved by people like us. So be like Daniel – and pray!
4. Do NOT be double-minded. You and I cannot indulge in watching things like the Satanic performances of Katy Perry or Beyonce at the 2014 Grammy awards and the abomination which took place during that program, give our affirmation to it by even viewing it and then switch back to a mind full of the Spirit of Christ.  This is double-mindedness. When this happens, immediately seek purification, cleansing and repent of that, while staying away from any future things like that. There are so many other worldly things we can be double-minded about, but if we follow the Word of God about the Seven Things He hates as well as ANYTHING which the Holy Spirit checks us on, we can avoid a whole lot of regret.

These are the four basic things to being a complete friend of God – like Abraham and having real significance in Life, like Daniel had.  There is absolutely no reason why you and I cannot be a friend of God and a person whom God favors. This is something which nothing and nobody in this corrupt world can take away from us. This defines both our humanity and our spiritual condition, because such a person walks with the Fragrance of Christ that few possess.

So, now…who am I that You – oh My God in Heaven, would even consider?
Answer – GRACE….GREAT GRACE!
Post a Comment