Friday, February 18, 2011

"I Only Do Those Things I see My Father Doing"

(Additional thoughts on purpose)

Many years ago, I was asked to speak at my church. 
Who was I that I would be chosen to speak for the Lord? I had never done something so bold as that. Yes, I had shared the Lord many times with many people, but to stand up in front of a congregation was something altogether different. I was intimidated.

I've never been a quitter, nor have I ever backed down from a challenge. I accepted and began to ask the Lord what He wanted me to say. Almost before the question had escaped my lips, I heard the Lord saying, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. To proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison doors to those that are bound.”

I guess I was overly sensitive about speaking on this portion of scripture. I thought it would be arrogant and presumptive. I was young in the Lord and still concerned about how others might perceive me.
I knew this was the first message Jesus had preached publicly. I knew He was pointing out the fulfillment of prophecy. These words were first spoken some 600 years earlier by the prophet Isaiah.
It was the prophetic announcement of the arrival and purpose of the Messiah!  I knew the story on a surface level only.  I didn't know how it applied to me personally.

In my young spiritual heart, I thought to preach that message would be like saying it was true of me. I didn't want anyone to think I was elevating myself to a position equal to that of the Lord. Heck, I was barely saved!
Long story short, I didn't preach it. I preached some lame message on being critical of others.
Needless to say it was a complete flop.

Fast Forward 30 years . . . February 18, 2011

I woke up this morning not quite on top of my game. You know how you can get some days; slightly depressed, aching in mind and body, and wondering if you should just run away from home.   (Don't tell me you never feel that way)
I was putting off reading my Bible and thinking, “what's the use, God's got better things to do than to speak to a grumpy old man. (Ever see that movie, “Grumpy Old Men” I could have starred in that movie).

As I was having my first cup of coffee, I began to think about a lady I knew who had just recently gone through surgery for a brain tumor. She had suffered partial facial paralysis as a result of the cancer.
I began to pray for her and I heard my self say, “beauty for ashes.” I turned in my Bible to Isaiah 61
to see the verse in context.

As I read, my eyes were opened.

The Holy Spirit had returned me to a time, long ago, when I was first asked to speak publicly. He brought me back to the message I had thought would be presumptuous, on my part, to preach.
He brought to my memory what Jesus had said,  Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19   In that moment I understood.  I'm a son of my Heavenly Father and I must also be about my Fathers work. I must, like Jesus, be doing those things my Father is doing!

Isaiah 61:1-3

1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

These are just some of the things Jesus said of Himself in the 61st chapter of Isaiah. He spoke in authority as THE Son of God. He was also telling us, that as sons and daughters of God, these are the things we should be doing. These are the things that validate our sonship and daughterhood!

Preaching good news to the poor
Aint gonna be po no mo !!  
God makes us rich in every way!  In gladness, joy, hope, peace, health, purpose, and yes even financially.  After all we are His children and he treats us just as any loving Father would.  Only He is the Creator of heaven and Earth and He owns it all!  All the silver and gold are His! So, if we being evil know how to give good gifts, how much more does our heavenly Father know how to give good things to those that ask Him!

Heal the brokenhearted
There are hurting people all around us. Find one and give them some hope
Share some good news from the source of life, God's word.  Give them a little "living water"

Proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison doors to those that are bound
Literally millions, maybe billions, of people in the world are held captive and are bound through lies that rob them of hope. Offer some hope!
Addictions, habits, poverty, sickness, racism, hatred, religion, self righteousness, and on and on. These things are the things that keep us in prison! It's not always the bars we may be locked up behind, it's the things that lock up our mind that keep us in a captive state.

Proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
God's not mad at you! Jesus took all of God's wrath toward man and bridged the gulf between you and Him! He's waiting for you to come home!

And the day of vengance of our God.
Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
God is tired of the oppression of the poor, the old, the lame, and the troubling of widows and children. Stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves
Comfort all who mourn. Give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that they might be called trees of righteousness. The planting of the lord, that He might be glorified!  We need to be meeting the needs of all the hurting people around us by whatever means we have by us.We need to see people as Gods Garden, His orchard. We need to feed and water those that are perishing.

When we can see this, and when we begin to do these things, then, we will truly be the children, the sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. We will be doing the things our Father is doing.
I offer this little story up in obedience to a call from the Lord that came to me 30 years ago. Amazing how long it can take to be healed of blindness isn't it?

Heavenly Father hallowed be your name, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven . . . .

1 comment:

  1. Bless you for sharing this. It is so encouraging to see what maturity looks like. I am hopeful if it looks like this. :-)