My friends, we're already two weeks into 2015. Can you believe it? Our fasting and praying brought us into this new year (our year of freedom, remember?) in a powerful way, and I believe we will continue to see breakthroughs as we are being brought to new levels of faith and living in Christ even now.
Before Christmas I was feeling led to write a series on Romans 8, a very powerful chapter and one that the Holy Spirit brought me to over and over again in 2014 for understanding of what walking in the Spirit means. I'm still on this journey but want to share with you some of the things I've learned as key to empowered living in Christ Jesus.
But first, I want to start with a key verse in Proverbs. I came across this nugget in my Passion Translation of Proverbs as the Holy Spirit's answer in how I should pray for my "kids" (Rachel, my son-in-love Keith, Leslie and her awesome boyfriend, Brian) in 2015. I am praying for them all to be "lovers of God" who "chase after righteousness.”
Here are both the NIV and Passion translations:
Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor. — Proverbs 21:21 (NIV)
The lovers of God who chase after righteousness
Will find their dreams come true:
An abundant life drenched with favor,
And a fountain that overflows with satisfaction.
—Proverbs 21:21 Passion Translation
I really like how the Passion Translation brings more understanding to what the heart of dreams are about and what makes them truly satisfying. That colon indicates that clarification of the promise is coming. The NIV holds this promise as well. Those dreams are rooted in who we are in Christ as children of God who live the abundant life Jesus came to give us “drenched” in God’s favor and overflowing like a fountain with satisfaction.
Here is the mystery revealed: When we make Jesus the focus of our lives with a desire to know and love Him, our dreams wind up shifting and falling in line with God’s heart, purposes and plans for us—His desire to delight us with an abundant life full of God’s favor so that we are fulfilled and satisfied.
And here’s the mystery revealed for us, SUMites: In this place of fulfillment and satisfaction, which is centered in Jesus, the rest falls into place. We begin to see God work in our marriages and pre-believers to bring His will (which is always for our good) about. And He gives us strength and teaches us to rest in Him in that process.
Now that does not mean an easy life. Easy and comfortable is rarely fulfilling, my friends. Leave that misconception at the door along with the one I used to carry that as I got older, life would get easier. This is not a bad thing, it’s just how it is while we are on this earth. So, my philosophy has shifted from seeking an easier life to seeking God for a more fulfilling life. This is challenging but so worth it.
Why? Because we were never intended to be limited earthly beings. We are supernatural beings, seated in the heavenly realms with Jesus even as we walk this earth. To live in anything less than the supernatural presence and life of Jesus will never satisfy us.
Naturally (i.e. earthly or of the flesh) the enemy will try to convince us otherwise, try to distract us from this place of truth with the lures of earthly success and satisfaction until we are living more for this life now instead of our heavenly destiny to be like Christ. Which brings me back to Romans 8 and the astounding and empowering truths that lie in this one chapter of Romans. I’m only beginning to peel back the layers of this one chapter and my heart is to share with you these foundational truths that are building blocks to living an empowered life in Christ Jesus, fueled by the Holy Sprit and by the grace of Abba Father.
Want to go on this journey with me? Yes? AWESOME! Then start by studying Romans 8 in your favorite translation and also in one other translation (more if you’re motivated to do so). Push out of the box and stretch your mind. Ask the Holy Spirit for understanding and divine revelation. He loves requests like that about God’s Word! And write down what the Holy Spirit shows you. I hope you’ll share those revelations with us too (as is appropriate).
My friends, let’s dig into God’s Word as if digging for treasure (Psalm 119:162)!
Holy Spirit, reveal to us the treasures in God’s Word. I pray for every person reading this to know You better, for the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge to fill them so they may know Jesus better and better through the revelations in Your Word. Abba, thank You for Your promises revealed in Your Scriptures. In Jesus’ powerful and holy name, amen!