“Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.” – Luke 6:12-16
From those who were with Him, He then appointed, or , the twelve that He later called apostles.
Each day our journey is basically being called closer, listening, being a part of the conversation, being impacted and then being sent out and doing with what we’ve been given and we have seen. When we get too far away from the Lord, and we don’t have anything left to carry, we have to keep coming back. Coming, coming, coming.
And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all. Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets. – Luke 6:17-23
Let’s be honest. This not a blessing. This is not the blessing that I am praying for every morning. This is not my mindset. I’m not made to receive that kind of struggle. I’m always trying to get out of poverty. I am always trying to get out of being persecuted or reviled.
Then He goes on and says:
“But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets. Luke 6:24-26
Every one of us are being schooled in what Jesus introduces here. There is indeed a kingdom that we are being schooled in. We are becoming like the Master – the King through our association.
Part of our renewal is:
1. Seeing things to do, but then discovering that we can’t.
2. Then coming back to Him
3. This is where He begins to transform us in fashions and ways we never could have done, nor allowed in the beginning.
“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. Luke 6:27-32
The word for “thank” or “credit” (which is repeated several times) is the same word for grace. It is in these postures or responses or choices that grace is communicated to us. It is what we are going to find through our abiding in Jesus. He places us in these positions. As we walk them out, we find that it is only possible by grace. As the grace comes, it becomes even more so because His grace is sufficient.
And there is this whole company on the earth learning to say, “father, I can only be here by Your grace. I will stay here only by Your grace. By Your grace, You will raise up a standard; and You will give me the place of habitation in the midst of my weakness.
Credit + Thankfulness = Grace
And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:33-36
In 1995, and then several years after, I had the Peter experience, where I perceived these truths. I perceived the genius of God, the wisdom of God, the strategy of heaven. I perceived, “You are the Christ,” and what the Christ was and is. I perceived it. It was not flesh and blood. It was perceived. In my perception, I responded, with all of my heart to enter fully into this. I perceived that in effect, heaven was going to baptize, place those of us on the planet in places of awfulness, so that He could release His awesomeness through us. I saw the wisdom and was totally naïve and totally ignorant… and totally resourced self. I was given encouragement because I crashed. I set myself to
be and do what I could never be and do. Only in the last couple of weeks did the Lord begin to revisit the strategy of Himself. I had to have a really hard talk with Him. I told Him, “This is ridiculous. Totally ridiculous. Nobody can do this. I know how long I can sustain being good to those who hate me. I have watched where my love quota ends to those who are my enemies. You can’t ask this of people. It’s who You are.”
In the length of time, I have come to realize that everything that is in the bible is who He is. It never was who I am to be. It is who He is. When I am with Him, I then start to be like Him. But, I am never able to sustain who He is by just making the right choice, the right willful decisions and practices.
I am undone because I know what it means.
—If we are going to increase in a community of love, this means that we will probably have to have more enemies.
—If we are going to grow in the substance of blessing, then this means we will probably have more cursing.
—If we are going to increase our prayer for humanity, we are going to become more aware of abuse and spitefulness.
—If we are going to do good, it’s going to come in the vacuum of hate.
It will demand us to retract some of our prayers,some of our opinions, and some of our actions. It will have to put us in the “sheep for the slaughter” brigade. None of us are brave enough to hold our place.
Peter was a brave man. He didn’t mind getting in a fight. Peter was the one who pulled the knife out (when Jesus was being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane). At this time, he was thoroughly planning to liberate his Savior. He took the sword and cut the ear off. He wasn’t trying to get an ear; he was trying to get his head. The man leaned and got his ear cut off. It stopped when Jesus said, “What are you doing? Put your sword down. Should I not yet submit to this? Don’t you think I can call legions of angels at any moment? My Father? This is why I have come and if it doesn’t happen then scriptures aren’t fulfilled.” At Jesus’ statement, the disciples disband. They had no grid. “I can’t follow You there.”
The Lord reminded me that Peter was making a confession, a declaration that he fully meant.
Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.” Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.” him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward”. Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times. Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me John 13:36 – John 14:2
He was saying, “I am going to go and prepare a place for you that where I am, then you’ll be with Me, then you can follow Me. Then you can complete these assignments.”
Only Jesus can rebuke us and love us at the same time. Only He can call each of us into our imminent failure and say, “Don’t let it bother you.” That’s our Savior!
In our scripture, Peter saw but he couldn’t achieve. He could not be or do. Even though he tried. But, the harder he tried, the worst he did. He was the most humiliated of all the apostles because by the end of the evening, he had reclaimed his profanity language to disown his association with Jesus, in the presence of a servant girl. He had been taken down to nothing. It was that moment, in Luke’s gospel, that Jesus looked at Peter. Peter looked and saw Jesus, then remembered the words Jesus had said. At this point, he went out and wept bitterly.
This Peter who had made the most intended, “I will do this,” is like me. So much of my life is like Peter’s. I wish that I was like Paul but I am like Peter. This is because I see, I perceive and then I project. I leap like I’m going to get on the other side of the Grand Canyon and not miss the valley.
What is going on in Luke 6 is absolutely genius.
—To love your enemies.
—To do good to those who hate you.
—To bless those who curse you.
—Pray for those who spitefully use you.
—To him who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other.
Because it is: Doing unto them what you want them to do to you. It is God’s strategy. It is the way He is going to reverse the curse. He is going to invade the world. It is genius.
So, I’m saying, “Okay, I’m going to do this.” And at first you can do it. At first you have the impetus, through the revelation and the experience, that God was in the place. Whenever God comes to impart the seed, He impacts you in a deep way, and it lasts for a while.
Cammy and I have said, “How could we be so stupid with some of our places of decisions?” I said, “You can’t reverse a pregnancy.” Once you are pregnant, you are just going to go through the journey.
Once the seed of God enters into us, we really aren’t in control of the way it is going to unfold before us. It will just unfold.
We might think that we should be able to control it better and manage it better. But we can’t. Because it is out of our hands. It is faith. Faith that has been received. It is seed that was planted.
For me, I started up with all kinds of wonderful things. We did this in 2007, we pulled all of our staff and leaders together. I asked forgiveness of anything I had ever done because I wanted to live in this spirit of forgiveness and blessing. I also wanted to ask everyone to forgive me so that we all could bless each other. I thought we were just going to come into a whole new song of unity.
Don’t ever do that! Don’t do it with your family. In the sense of a general statement, all you do is open the door for people to say, “Yeah, wait a minute.” Most of us are living in a focused point in life. So we are not aware of what is going wrong until someone gives us permission to say, “Yeah, that really is wrong. You know, by the way, I think you really did do a lot of rotten things. If you are saying this, it’s probably because you’ve done something worse than what you’re saying.” It just opened a can of worms of displacement.
I tried to bless everyone. I’d get pastor friends of mine and say, “Let’s bless all of those who are in opposition against us. Let’s bless the witches. They curse us; let’s bless them.” It was just naïve. Naïve, naïve, naïve. Trying to do
good. I thought that if I blessed, the curse would be undone and I would start being blessed. I thought that if I did good; by doing good, those who were hating would start doing good to me. I thought that if I loved my enemies,
soon they would quit being my enemies and would be my friends.
We did elaborate steps of really beautiful things. We joined our city and came and said, that we wanted to gather all the churches and work a whole day for free on any project that they don’t have time or manpower or money for. We brought thousands of people together to bless the city. We did a lot of glorious, incredible things. All of it had been received. But it was not sustainable from within.
This is what I’ve learned: to love our enemies, then we are going to become very aware of enemies. And if we are to do good to those who hate us, then we need people to hate us. Do you understand? We can’t do good without someone hating us. If we just do good to those who do good back to us. We are just like the rest of the world. There is nothing of Jesus in that. Everyone will do good to somebody to have somebody do good back to them. We can even lend money to someone, if we can get back that money. We don’t mind that. But He says, “No. Give anything to anybody that asks. Let them have it. And when they take it from you, don’t ask for it back.” Pray for those who spitefully use you. It means pray for those who abuse us. It’s absolute insanity. It cannot work on a natural plane. I’ve proven it. I just can’t do the bible. I admit. I can’t do the bible. But I really tried this. I prayed to the Lord, that
we needed help. I told Him that my enemies were getting more. And love was getting less. The hate was increasing and the good was going away. All that cursing was getting so loud and I couldn’t even think anymore. I thought I was losing my place and I found that I couldn’t sustain myself. I was being swallowed up. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to do it. I’m losing my place.”
Like Peter, we just lose our place. After we lose our place, we fall into a disconnect. You disengage. Grief; sorrow. “Where were You, God? Why did You let this happen?”
What was Peter doing that night? He was mad at himself. He was disappointed in himself. Later, he tried to sort out what all that meant and it wasn’t until Jesus said, “I have the perfect remedy for you, for the future. Just love everybody by feeding My sheep and My lambs. When you get old, you won’t have to make the decisions. Somebody else will do it for you and you’ll be led into glorifying Me by losing control.”
I am sure that Peter thought, “What? How does that help?”
When we go to London and Sussex and we take a trip over to Norwich, there is a church that is famous by Julian of Norwich. She was an anchoress. She held a place, a little room next to the altar. She would live there and would receive visitors to pray for and counsel them. But she never left that place. That was her rule. Years back, she had an encounter through a near-death experience. She was very ill and had “showings”, which is what they called visions back then.
In her encounters with God, Jesus and His love especially, she wrote these down. It became known as Divine Love. It was written in the 1500’s. It can be found in print anywhere. It was an astounding journaling of who this Jesus was.
I was re-reading some of her writings and she talks about this idea which is pretty much what Jesus is advocating. Simply, It is that prayer is really easy when it comes to praying for people. You bring them into the presence of God, and you ask God to do exactly what you’re asking Him to do for you. Which is a really profound thought….that we don’t have category prayers.
Now, let’s just think about that. There’s two things I’ve learned. One I’ve learned to love really well, with strong boundaries. I’ have learned to pray for my abusers without resubmitting myself into immediate abuse. But neither do I then wish for their demise. It is the Spirit of God that transforms us from a victim to a liberator. It isn’t through seeing your enemies put under your feet, as much as it is being liberated from under their feet. This is because God is into saving people.
The world has gotten worst in twenty years. I have gotten worst in twenty years. When the Lord began to visit me with this, I acted on it. We stepped into true application and sincerity (the whole body did). Then we were overrun by all that was unleashed. This is because there is a whole lot of evil in the world. There is a whole lot of hurt and wounds. We started moving in that direction. It is like intercessors trying to step into a breach. At first they feel the unction of heaven, but later they can become overwhelmed by where they are standing.
One of the things I was re-reading, was that we can become swallowed up in the sorrow. The Lord began talking to me about these verses, and I argued with Him, saying, “Lord, no.” I’m really saying, “No. You can’t ask people to do this. I’ve watched too many friends. They get destroyed trying to do what You said.” Because nobody carries the capacity to carry it to the other side to victory. There is more hate than we can be good toward. And there’s more
evil than we can love toward. There is more abuse than we can pray for…and we just run out. We are just slaughtered. But it is truth. It is You.”
The thing that happened over these last four years, since my calling up and learning to live from heaven and not from the earth, was that I now know that this was never my responsibility. It was just going to be who I would become as a son of God by association, by fellowship, by union, by abiding— By becoming one with Him.
So, I am doing this now, like I did with the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit to me was my condemnation list. Love, joy, peace. Well, I can do those. As long as I love myself, that counts. Long-Suffering, that’s a little bit difficult —and kindness. So, it got down to the end, self-control and I thought that I was a failure. Have you ever met a self-controlled person, that is trying to be? They are miserable to be around. Being anal, is on the top
of the list. I’ve been there, myself. I know what it feels like. I know how to do it. It doesn’t bring life because again, it is the fruit of the Spirit, not the work of the flesh.
So we choose the fruit list, and we ‘work’ it. We, of course, get the flesh results. We get witchcraft, seditions and all of that because that is all it can produce.
I started praying, “Lord, this is You. This is You. You’re love. You’re joy. You’re peace. You’re longsuffering. You’re kindness. You’re gentleness. You’re faithfulness. You’re goodness.” And the more I ascribe to Him the fruit of the Spirit, the more I felt the fruit of the Spirit, somehow trickling down. Falling on me and flowing in me. The longer I’m in His presence the more I am enjoying and eating and becoming that fruit. Same thing with love.
I’ve been doing this with 1Corinthians. This was a little more of a stretch; not because it is a more demanding chapter (1Corinthians 13). But it challenged my thinking. Love suffers long and is kind. Okay. We can all accept that.God is love, right? “I want to worship You God. You’re love. Let’s describe who You are. You suffer long and You’re kind. I praise You for extending Your Spirit over time for people in order that they all might be saved. You are willing to suffer situations that could be corrected but You would rather not correct, so that they can have more time for repentance.
You endure hardship. You’re kind. You get involved in people’s lives. Love does not envy. Love does not parade itself. Is not puffed up. I never thought about that.You don’t envy? I doubt You would. You have everything You
need. You are not looking down at any of us, and saying, ‘I really like those shoes. Would you give Me your shoes? In fact, I can’t go on without those shoes. My life isn’t fulfilled.’”
No! God is complete! It feels funny to say, “God, I want to praise You because You don’t envy. Although, it was actually a pretty interesting experience because I started saying, “Well, if You don’t envy, what are You? You’re complete. And if You don’t parade Yourself…” We have to coax Him to come around. He’s quiet, He’s gentle. I began to discover who He was. The more I began to discover who He was, the more I began to understand love. Because He is love. And He’s not puffed up because He’s absolutely confident. He’s complete. He’s quiet. He’s confident. He is gracious. He’s not seeking His own. He is gentle. He is humble. I began to understand, in every day worship, just ascribing to Him something that before I could never understand. And, “Wow. Not only are You this, but I’m starting to feel some of this by association. I’m starting to understand. This is what we have been saying.
How many have somebody in our lives that we are suffering with? And how many have an area in our life where we are having to show kindness? Alright, we are in love. That’s love. Not affection or brotherly kindness – we love that stuff. But real love, raw love. That’s what God is every single day. He takes a big breath of Holy Spirit and extends Himself one more day. He doesn’t retract the sun. He doesn’t only give it to the good people. He doesn’t keep the
rain only on the righteous.
Here is how I’m going to pray for us. “Father, You love Your enemies.” God our Father loves His enemies. Our Father, Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit, in every way, seeks to do good to those who hate Him. He blesses all who are cursing Him. And He is praying for all who are spitefully using Him. He yields Himself to be struck, again and again. And He gives to those who take from Him or demand He gives more. And those who ask, He gives. To those who take, He never requires it back. He does for us, what He wants us to do for Him. He acts this way toward humanity. Now the thought of that is revolutionary.
I’m not going out to do this. I’m going to begin to open up the channel of my life, to let God be that because God only can be that kind of God.
I know how to pray for ISIS….that they would see and receive the love and kindness of Jesus Christ. I thank God for military might, and people making right decisions, but I’m not called to that. I’m called as a disciple of Jesus to cry out.
“Lord God, open the eyes of every single person in that group to see and perceive and understand. Be kind to them in the midst of their evil. Reveal Yourself so Your goodness, Your kindness, Your mercy can grant repentance.”
The church in Romans 1, tells us that as soon as we retract goodness, kindness and longsuffering from the first response, that we go into judgment, critical thinking and draw ourselves out from the realm of grace and into the realm of judgment. Everything we pray against toward our enemy, comes back to us. Everything we want to happen to the people we hate is coming to us. It cannot be undone. It is a law set in motion from the foundation of the world that what we sow we shall reap.
Therefore, when Jesus said, “Okay, here it is. To live in the realm of the grace that I’m bringing to the planet, you’re going to live in a different response to everything through Me and by Me. My grace will enable you there. However you want others to treat you, treat them that way.
But what I didn’t know was that it was not going to come right away. It might not ever come to me. I will end up more abused, more taken advantage of, more set apart. This is because people don’t respond immediately to that kind of kindness.
Furthermore, it is control, if it is kindness to make you nice. It’s control. In fact, He said, “If you lend to anybody to get it back you’re just like everybody else – it’s a transaction. But if you lend and don’t hope for anything in return….don’t hope for anything. If you do good, don’t hope for anything. That sucks! Who wants to do that? “Lord, God, I’m getting up today and I’m hoping for more opportunity to give away and hope for nothing in return…” This is a revolutionary thought. This is Jesus on the planet. This is Jesus introducing His disciples to the movement of Himself and the kingdom on the earth. This is radical! But it is impossible. You cannot do this. Do not try to do this. Don’t even think about asking God, “Please can I have an opportunity to love one of my enemies.” Don’t even ask Him. You have no idea how many people hate you. Seriously.
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive and ye shall be forgiven.
Sunday, March 15, 2015, 9am: Marilyn Noorda will share, “For I Know Whom I have Believed”. The God of all Grace has called us to Eternal Glory in Christ. He is here to confirm, strengthen, and settle (support us). His Power lasts forever and ever.
Sunday, 10:20am: Join us for the Nations Prayer – Now is the time of sitting with Christ in His victory, praying for His nations, in His will. Join us and let your prayers be heard.
Sunday, 11am: I will be sharing, “Peter’s Discover – His Grace to Inherit Blessing”. Peter found the very place where grace grew, miracles manifested, and glory increased. Come see for yourself His discovery.