“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)
God has called us into the more excellent way, it’s actually the Highway in Isaiah 35, the Highway of Holiness, or the road that is the higher elevated way.
Scripture References: 1 John 4, Romans 8
What I am about to explain to you is what I am continuing to experience and discover that is beyond our imagination. If I were to simply tell you these things, you would have a hard time believing that it would be possible—it’s scandalous.
When Jesus attempted to explain Himself, the religious leaders of that time, called him a blasphemer. This was because it was beyond the ability of their natural mind, or religious mind, to believe what God had prepared for and made available to them. And yet it is set in motion and it’s not stopping.
You and I are into an experience of love that we have never yet touched. The church has not known of it for hundreds of years. They have known it in moments of revival, but it’s now coming into maturity.
I heard the Lord say, “Resurrection is love fulfilled.”
Let the love of God quiet you before you share the love of God. “Father in heaven, I thank you for the delight of Your heart and what You have accomplished for us and what You are doing in us. Thank You for what’s coming forward in the days ahead of us. Above everything, I thank You for Jesus. Without the Lord Jesus, none of this could ever be and everything that is, is in Him. We magnify Your name, Jesus and we Glorify You. We open our hearts towards you and we desire in every way that You would be manifest, preeminent, and the first of everything. We turn our affections, our attention, our worries, our opinions, our attitudes away from everything and turn them only to You. We are like small little children. We are grown people who have learned that there is only one Messiah, only one King, only one Savior, only one answer.
Come to the Alpha and Omega, the First Born from the dead, the Beginning and the End, Almighty God, Who is, Who was, Who is to come, Who holds the keys to Hades and Death. The One Who became sin for us, Who knew no sin that we might become the righteousness of God. The One Who was delivered up because of our transgressions and was raised because of our justification.
Jesus we worship You. We worship You, Jesus. We worship You for what You have accomplished. We magnify You for what You have done. We turn our affection, our heart, towards You, We seek You and we pursue You. Open our eyes to see You today and hear You today and respond to You today. Heal us today Lord God and we bless you for this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 1 John 4: 12-15
Here is a daily practice for us: Say,
“Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus You are the Son of God. You are the Son of God—Abide in me.”
Do this all the time. As we do it in the morning, and reaffirm, reposition, re-receive, it will grow bigger and bigger in us.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:16-19
So you are in a place of hope and expansiveness of the love of God and the fullness of it. You might think, “Well how do I know I am there?” The answer is: There will be no fear.
Another way to say this is: “Where am I afraid? Wherever I am afraid, love is not yet perfected inside of me.” We are hungry for love because we are fearful little children. We want to know this kind of love that just translates into quiet, peaceful, rest, assurance, and embrace.
The A, B, C’s of love.
A= Affection (This is what love means in Greek)
When God says that He loves us, He has towards us. He has good will, benevolence, and kindness towards us. And He is cherishing, and warm towards us. He is brooding over us like a hen over eggs. It’s just an embrace—and that’s love. This love is to be experienced in every part of our being, in our spirit, soul, body, mind, will, emotions—in our day, our dilemmas, our past, present, and future. It is to swallow us up, so that the fullness of God will be revealed.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8: 12-18
Let me help us all get comfortable with the word “suffering”. Some of us might have bad religious experiences with that. We may think we can’t have any suffering, or all my life is supposed to be suffering. Neither of them is true. Suffering (literally in the Greek) means “Something undergone or something you went through. It can create hardship.”
If we suffer with Him, it means that we join with Him in the midst of it. Some of your suffering will be because you joined your suffering with Him, and for His sake you undergo something.
Yet some things we are processing, and we are learning to bring Him into that place, so that we can journey with Him. The good news is that when the processes of those things expire, there is a glory that is revealed, it’s a maturity.
In the Greek you have a “teknon” which is a born-again baby of heir-ship. But to be a joint-heir, you have to go through a growing up—a maturing. Which is where we get “wehos” in the Greek. This means, “Son of full age”.
In the days of the Romans, at this time, when you were adopted, you were not adopting babies. You adopted adults. This is why the title of “Adopted Son”, was not something that was only reserved for those that might not have been naturally born into your family. But joined, even those who were naturally born into their family, into their joint heir-ship.
Coming into this maturity is where we are all going. This maturity is what we are all going to, in the fullness of LOVE. There is so much that is riding on our maturity!
19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the (Wehos- the mature) sons of God. Romans 8: 19
All of creation is groaning. We may hear the ground groan and the winds sigh, as the earth is saying, “I know that I have my redemption tied into your redemption. And when you become fulfilled and revealed, then I will be released.”
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Romans 8: 20-22
Groaning, travail, creation, you and God—there is pressure right now from Heaven for the sons of God to rise. There is movement of the flood of God. It’s the water going to break forth. There is something that is surging.
23 Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. Romans 8: 23
Aren’t we glad there is more coming then what we are enjoying? There is more than what we have experienced. There is more of Jesus than what we have tasted. Oh God, if this is all there is, we are the most pitiful people on the planet. And that is what the Apostle Paul is saying here.
24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. 26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us[a] with groaning which cannot be uttered. Romans 8: 24-26
So here we see that in our adoption/son-ship/joining to Jesus, there is coming a maturity. In the coming of this maturity, there is hardships, pain, and afflictions.
At the end of the redemption, there comes creation into its liberty. Creation is groaning as it is pressing through. We’re groaning as its pressing through…Holy Spirit is groaning and it’s pressing through! And yet, within the groaning, there is an eager expectance, a hope, anticipation…Something is coming!
Holy Spirit comes along with His groaning because He knows more than the rest of us where we are going. He knows where we are going. Aren’t you glad it’s not up to us to get to Heaven? Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8: 27
This is where it all begins to have significance. We must step inside of love and into that experience.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8: 28
All things. Everything that has ever happened to you (good, bad, indifferent), work towards the good of God. As we yield to the love of God that He gives us we can return to Him and we can yield to the purpose of God. This is what God set forth for, before we had a cognitive awareness, before the foundation of the earth, we were set forth. Everyone on this earth has been set forth for the intended purpose of God.
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8: 29
He knew the boundaries in advance and the limitations ahead of us. We might wish we would have been born a different person, place, or at a different time.” No, we were put on this planet on purpose. There is no accidental birth. There is no unplanned pregnancies in Heaven. We might think, “Well, my parents sure didn’t plan me.” It doesn’t matter, God did. God did! He is in front of everything.
We are jointly fitted together into Jesus who is the first born from the dead. The “Jesus” that we are now being conformed to is not the “Jesus” that we met on the shores of Galilee. When we met Jesus on the shores of Galilee, when we walk through the gospels we meet Him as the only begotten Son of God, full of grace and truth.
When you meet Him post resurrection, ascension, He is now the First Born among many brethren. He is the Second Adam that we now behold. The life giving Spirit, (1 Corinthians 15). It is a dynamic of conformity we are headed to that is a transfiguration. It’s what we saw in Matthew 17, on the mount of transfiguration. It’s what John beheld in Revelations 1, when he saw the glorified Christ, this is where we are being conformed into His image and it’s glorious.
30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Romans 8: 30
We are called and awakening to the voice of God. Jesus said, “Come follow me.” Those He called, He also justified. All of humanity was justified at that moment. All that is lacking for anyone on the planet today is to hear the voice of God calling them. That’s why anyone, at any time can still get saved, and still yield, and start the journey. . . . . . Every single one! And it’s going to happen! Jesus is going to start showing up again—the Glorified Christ. He is going to save people that you don’t think should get saved. The Glorified Christ, the completion, it’s all been done. It’s now, just the discovering of it.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Romans 8: 31-33
Literally! If God is over us, who can be under us? He is available and helpful. Imagine whatever is plaguing our mind and disqualifying us from our future—we feel it whether it is an emotion or an accusation—that charge against us… GOD JUSTIFIES US!
34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Romans 8: 34
Condemning is where you force payment. . . . . The verdict has been decided. Now I want you to pay. You have been found guilty. Now I want you to go to prison. I want you to pay for this thing. Who is going to make us pay for what we’ve done wrong? It is Christ who died for us. He paid for us. Do you get it? He paid for us! Furthermore, He is risen and He is seated at the right hand of the Father. He is making intercession. The ministry of Jesus today is the ministry of intercession. This simply means He has collected Himself before God in the sum total of who we were called to be. He is holding that place of who we are to be, until we become it. And He will not stop—and He will not fail! If we disengage and we go into our squirrely time it doesn’t change the plan of Heaven. And it doesn’t interrupt the purposes of God that were set in motion before the foundation of the world. We were known, we were predestined, we were called, we were justified, we were glorified. This is the sovereign majesty of God that is breaking forth in Christ, in us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8: 35
Separation: To have place or a room between us. We are in the love of God. When a thought comes, tribulation comes, persecution comes, and emotions come. Persecution means to be perused after and chased out of our place. Famine means that the river dries up and we have no place. Nakedness means we are nude and we have no covering. Peril is danger. Sword is warfare. The next thing you know, we are separated from the love of God. There is a big gapping space between us and that experience of love. And here He is saying, “Who shall separate you from the love of God?”
If this is pursuing separation, then all of this should tell me that the most important battle over my soul and my life is the love of God. And if I fall out of the conscience enjoyment, yieldedness, surrender, experiencing the love of God, then some separation is occurring and Satan says, “Woo-hoo!
When there is no love, we will go back into religion, back into rules, a servant mindset, back into fear and captivity. We can rule from there, because there is a breached relationship.”
But the love of God cannot be separated even with pressure, distress, being pursued and persecuted, dried up and experiencing a famine, nakedness, imperil, danger or warfare.
36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8: 36-37
Understand this, the warfare against us, in all our circumstances, is to separate us from the love of God. As we journey with Jesus for His sake, we will often find yourselves being handed over to death.
Read 2 Corinthians 4
The problem simply is this:
We are walking with Jesus and say, “Jesus, I want to save a lot of people.”
And He says, “I want you to save a lot of people.”
You say, “Will you help me?”
Jesus: “Yes. I will help you, you bet I will.”
You say, “I am so grateful that you saved me. I just want to spend the rest of my life helping other people find you. Will you?”
You say, “Cool! Ok, let’s go. I am going to get my bible and my life together and get all my stuff in order and just shine for You, Jesus. I will look so good everyone will want to get saved.”
But we find it is so hard to live that way, and people will get offended at us. Our whole mindset is: look good, work hard, and make people want to get saved.
Finally, we collapse, crash, burn and fall under the distress. Finally, we are betrayed. You get our first ministry assignment and we are betrayed. The second ministry assignment, we are ignored. The following ministry assignment, we get harassed and vexed. And we begin saying, “God, I want to save someone.”
Jesus says, “Hang on, you will. Just hang on.”
You say, “Come on! I don’t want to work for You anymore. You are no fun. You are just mean. You see everyone else getting promoted and I am getting demoted.”
Jesus says, “Trust me! Keep giving your life to Me.”
You say, “What do they want? Nobody is going to want You, if they see me like this.”
Jesus says, “I know, but they will want Me, once they see you as you are about to be.”
The only reason we are handed over to death is because 2 Corinthians 4, says, “So that the life of God may be manifest in you and your mortal flesh.” And the whole idea of this external pressure point is so that the internal truth, vision, and Christ-likeness can break forth into the world. No longer do we judge how we are doing by how it looks. And no longer do we worry about where we are with God by how it looks in this life. We are just finding that there is love that you cannot separate us from, even if we go through pressure, distress, nakedness, peril, or sword. This love is inseparable, this love is still here. Everybody else may leave us, but God’s love doesn’t leave us. God’s love will never leave us.
We are more than a conqueror, not because we are avoiding these problems but because we are living in un-separated love, in the midst of them.
So we may be walking through a horrific season in life and pressures that we have never been through. We may be walking in a narrow place, and yet this love is keeping us up and causing buoyancy and that is attractive to the world. The one difference between the world and us is that they can be honest about how awful their life is. We can’t because we are under this religious iron dome of dumbness. Somehow if you really love God, your life is perfect, your marriage is wonderful, your children rise up and call you blessed, your money is abounding, your bank accounts are growing and your debt is not to be seen.
Except, God saved people, not angels and we make mistakes. People have free will and we do stuff and we have to learn to do stuff because we can’t love unless we have the freedom to be loved. We can’t love this God if you don’t have the experience, to first, not love Him.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8: 38-39
I don’t read the bible anymore as a theology book, or a doctrinal book. I live it, I step inside of it and I experience it and everything is so real. I don’t look at the bible as a book of what I need to do or says. I look at the bible as a book of what I am going to become. I am only going to become what I am meant to become when I meet Jesus. Every time I experience Jesus, I become what I see.