We are currently following a path in 2 Corinthians 4.
I believe that the things that the Lord is sharing with us will liberate us. If the bible could be our standard instead of America. The Spirit would be our measurement and not the material.
This is like this glorious dichotomy that God places a treasure within.
In reading 2 Corinthians 4, we must first go all the way to the beginning in chapter 1 to really appreciate chapter 4, which are courses of the meal. When we get to chapter 5, we realize and hope for this clothing of glory that is coming, the knowing one another by the Spirit and not by the flesh. This keeps going and growing. It is a book of books.
Moses is on the mountain and he sees the glory of God. Because he sees the glory of God, he is able to continue on his assignment that had been abruptly stopped through the unbelief and the fear of Israel. They had been a slave nation and now they found themselves sitting at the base of a mountain, that was burning with fire like a big monster volcano, for over 50 days and didn’t stop for anything.
Moses had been gone for almost 50 days. They began to become panicked and afraid, so they said, “We need something tangible, something we can touch, something we can see to lead us”. So they then made a golden calf.
Just at that time when Moses was being handed these wonderful tablets with the Ten Commandments cut out by God and written by His finger, there was a people surrendering to idolatry out of fear and stubbornness, with all the stuff they’re still carrying in their heart. God says to Moses at that moment, “Get down, these people have corrupted themselves. They built an image. He said, That’s it. Leave Me alone. I want to destroy them. We’ll start over with you, Moses”. Moses says, “You can’t do it because Your name is great”. God then relents because His name is great. Moses said, “You made covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the people have heard of what You did in Egypt. They will say that You brought them out of Egypt to kill them. This does not fit who You are”. And God said that Moses was right. And then He said to Moses, that He would send an angel because He
couldn’t trust that He might not destroy everybody. If they kept acting this way God couldn’t be with them. Even though, the whole forty days had been about how do you build a place for Me to be with you. And now He told Moses for him to go to the promise land. God would send an angel and would give him everything that He had promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but He would not go.
Moses, in a crisis, realized that if God was not going, neither would he go. But, he had to go because God told him that they had got to go. They couldn’t stop there.
But they couldn’t go back and they couldn’t go forward. They were really in a crisis. This was when Moses put his tent outside the camp and began to fellowship and commune with God like he always had.
He builds from the place of relationship that he had already established. He built from the knowledge God knew him in and the grace God had given him.
Moses then realized that he needed more of knowledge. He needed experience of God so he can know God’s way. This was so that he could find the new grace to move into the new day. And God said, Ok, I’ll go with you. Moses answered that it was good because if God wouldn’t, he wouldn’t either. They couldn’t because God was the distinguishing factor.
We do a lot of things when we worship together, but we do it all because of Him. When He begins to settle amongst us, people who don’t know our peculiarity. They become aware that there is something wonderful in the atmosphere. There is something touching. There is Somebody who has caught our life.
In any case, he says one more thing Father, show me Your glory. I need to see Your glory. I need to see more of You—to receive more of You—to do more for You. I need to see
more of You—to receive more of You—to do more for You.
This has really never changed. Whenever we are at a juncture of life –crisis is usually the door of opportunity, both in the Hebrew and the Greek. The imagery of opportunity is
also crisis because God looks at our crisis as opportunity to do something new.
So, Moses comes down and his face is shining. The people are afraid. He now has to commune with them, with a veil over his face.
In 2 Corinthians 3, the veil is taken away when we turn to Christ. When we behold His glory, we are transformed from glory to glory, by the Holy Spirit. It is forever the same.
It is about abiding, then letting God live through us from that abiding place, and bearing the fruit for Him.
2 Corinthians 4:6 is a really powerful statement:
6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
We know that Jesus is the express image of God. He was in the bosom of the Father. He said to Phillip, “If you’ve seen Me,” You’ve seen the Father.”
We have a wonderful advantage because Jesus now is accessible. He said of Himself, “I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me. Come to Me, come to Me.”
We know where we need to go when we need to find the new way, the new grace, the new joy, the new experience. We go to Jesus. We begin however we begin. But as we approach Him, there comes a place where we begin to really encounter Him.
We have made a decision to commune with God in this transitional time, from what Christ had accomplished from the foundation of the world, as well recorded in Romans 8:26 and on. We would allow Holy Spirit to help us in the groaning. We would acknowledge this juncture of time that everything is working together for good, because we are loved and called according to His purpose.
We would begin our prayer and say,
“Lord, You knew me before time began. You predestined me. You called out a destiny that I would be conformed to the image of Your Son, so that Your Son, Jesus might have many brothers. I declare this is true. You justified me in Your calling me. You beckoned me to come alive to what was already accomplished and then You justified me no matter where You found me – from whatever junkyard You collected me. You called me out and said, ‘This is My beautiful one.’ And not only did You justify me, You glorified me.
So, I have nothing to fear, because it is all finished; and it is done well. If You are for me, who can be against me? You who did not spare Your only begotten Son, but gave freely. Jesus, how much more will You freely give whatever we need right now?
Who will bring a charge against me? Because it is You who justified me, Father. Who is going to condemn me? Jesus, You already paid for my penalty so You can’t condemn me – double jeopardy – no more paying for what’s already been paid.
You are my intercessor now! And nothing can separate me from Your love!”
Then we have to read through it. This is from where we are taking off, today. This is from where we are supposed to begin prayer. This is because so many times, prayer turns into:
The next thing we know, we are:
- Condemning and
- We turn into an internal destruction mode.
We are like a dog chasing its tail, instead of gazing upon our glorious King. This is where prayer begins. So we made that choice. And I invite you to join us in practicing holding that place, and praying into the future, to behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus.
In 2 Corinthians 4:7, he says,
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
I can accept that, can’t you? The real treasure is God. It is not for me; it is from Him. But look at how Father chooses to show the treasure in the vessel, or how He chooses to let the vessel reflect the treasure.
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like special treatment for the vessel. I have looked this up many times. There are about 6 wonderful Greek words here that will give us a picture, because it is a contrasting.
It says, that we the vessel are hard pressed on every side yet not crushed. Literally, that would mean that we are crowded, afflicted, but we are not hemmed in so closely that we are completely cramped. We are definitely flying economy right now. We are aware that we are restricted—but we are not shut down. We are perplexed—but not in despair. Which is, to be the fact that we have no way out.
- Perplexed means – to have no way out, to be at a loss
- Despaired – (we are not in despair) because despair means: to be utterly at loss.
What advantage does Father have in allowing points of “I am at such a loss with what to do, but I’m not utterly at a loss”?
It goes on to say that we are persecuted but not forsaken.
- To be persecuted means – That we are to flee, or to be pursued,
- But forsaken means – We are left behind.
It goes on to say that we are cast down (or in this New King James it says we are struck down) but not destroyed.
- To be struck down means – To be thrown down.
- Destroyed is – To destroy fully.
So, if we allow that imagery to just rest over us, and take our current situation in life, we would probably find that it is pretty clear, and pretty similar.
- How many of us are perplexed in some setting of our life?
- How many feel the pressure of the persecution and feel struck down?
Yet, in the culture that we live in, it is said that the gospel we preach is seen in the life that we are currently enjoying—in the external and not the internal.
What we have to hold, at this critical time of change, is –
- We must keep our eyes on the treasure and not the vessel.
- We have to see the eternal and not the temporary.
This is difficult, because the basic practice of the kingdom, is not because of choice, but rather that the more we behold the glory, the more we will experience the test to take our eyes from the glory.
Unfortunately, we do not create a no-fly-zone. The green zone works about as good for us as it does in Iraq. We have to hold the place inside of God—and, God will hold us inside Himself. This is so that we begin to live from more…and more… and more.
Here, we understand that we are not being troubled because we are failing or making mistakes. But actually, the situations we call failings, mistakes and trouble, on the planet earth, God is calling them death so that life can be manifested.
If it would be known today, and I could herald it across to everyone…
I would say that the place we are
- most perplexed,
- most in despair,
- most struck down,
- most persecuted in
…is the place God is about to resurrect Christ through. This is the doorway He is going to access the earth through.
He goes on and says,
11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:11
These are not verses that I want in the bible, ok? Let’s just take them out. I mean, who wants this? It doesn’t help that the word delivered means betrayed. When Jesus was betrayed, is the same Greek word. Funny thing about that is if I could actually orchestrate my death that would be one thing. But I never get to orchestrate it. Someone else always kills me. We only know we are on a cross because we are in something we can’t get out of, and we didn’t get ourselves in. Yet, the devil will accuse us while we are on the cross, that it is all our fault because we made ourselves out to be like God and said you would be good, etc. It is so convoluted!
I am just standing in the middle of the storm of your life right now and want to say to you:
- Look up and see.
- Your Daddy loves you.
- He is vibrantly alive inside of you and He is about to allow your experience of the treasure of Himself in the circumstances that you are stuck in.
- You can start to live from the treasure and not the vessel.
- You can start to enjoy the unseen and not the seen.
- You can start to value the eternal and care less about the temporary that’s passing.
- There is this glorious, generous, embracing God, Who is saying, “Hey, I’ve got a purpose greater than the situation you are in.
- You can claim it all for Me and I will claim it all for Me and I will make redemption break into that room. I will find a way of expressing Myself in justification, glorification, into love.
- I will find a way in there but take your eyes off of the stuff.
- Turn your eyes from your situation, from yourself, from all who have done it to you and brought you there
- Just look at Me and let this LIFE now come.
You have to have a death backdrop for life to have value. You have to have darkness for God to have somewhere from where to call the light out. God doesn’t look for a light bulb to bring more light. He looks for some dark place. He commands light out of darkness. He commanded Christ to shine in our hearts.
Here is the trauma or the paradox:
- Hell is attacking you,
- harassing you,
- vexing you,
- accusing you,
- putting you in impossibilities
…because it wants you to disengage from your witness. …It wants you to say, “Where is God? Why did this happen? How did this happen to me? I can’t keep going. How can I trust a God that lets this happen?”
…And just shut us down.
God is looking at this and saying, “You know what? Watch…Watch the discovery that you come into in this situation. You will, one day, thank Me for the walk you walked through. You will wish that you had more junk to have given Me.” Seriously.
Let’s keep reading on, because it just keeps getting better (or worse), however you want to look at it.
12 So then death is working in us, but life in you. 2 Corinthians 4:12
Paul was an Apostle. Therefore, by his own volition, in Corinthians 1, was given as an example to the world and angels, in the worlds’ disrespect, disregard and persecution against him. He would be the scum of the earth in the world’s eyes. He is saying that all of this is for us to have life.
This is the heart of anyone who steps in by God’s choice (usually not your own) into an intercessory role of life, where we live through something, that we would never have chosen, but we must keep choosing Jesus. And, while we are living through something we would never have chosen we keep choosing Jesus. By choosing Jesus in something we have not chosen, we begin to experience a life of Jesus we could never have known. This is because this life is coming through the death place. But it is not just so we can go around to everybody and say, “You wait till you have to go through that. I can’t wait to see you snivel.” No! We are saying, “Wow, this is not only for me, but for everybody else.” This is because we realize there are multitudes of people caught in the valley of indecision that cannot perceive Jesus. There needs to be a hand that pulls them up and says, “You’re ok. Step up. Come alive. You’ll be fine.”
We can only have that voice of authority if we have discovered God to some degree in that same impossibility. Maybe not literally the exact same situation, but you know what it feels like to be forsaken. You know what it feels like to be a reproach.
Reproach is reproach no matter how it comes. Whether it comes through a divorce or bankruptcy, whether it comes through anything, it puts on you a cloak of despair, mockery and shame. Until you find the living God who comes into you and takes that thing off of you, and places upon you the wedding gown and righteousness. When He says, “Hey, I don’t think you’re that way.” And you say, “But look at what I did,” or “Look what they did,” or “Look what happened to me.” He say, “Who cares? Look what I did. Look what I did. Look what happened to Me!!!”
You can lift it off of other people in entirely different situations that brought it on. But it is still the same cloak of reproach. It is the same with sickness, or any of those things.
We find ourselves being delivered to death so that the life of Christ might be more manifest in our mortal flesh. And, even though it’s death for us, it is life for somebody else.
Get the resurrection and then give it away! Let’s wreck this world! Seriously, you’ve got to understand, we’re about to encounter God in such a dimension that we will rise to a freedom to go and die for a new thing. Papa is going to release thousands of people to go places where it is not allowed to go. They will be told by heaven, GO! And they will know it isn’t because everything is perfect and wonderful. They are just so full of Holy Spirit that they don’t really care how it turns out. That can be as scary as going across the street or across the sea. Or, it can be when you get a letter stating that you just inherited 10,000 acres – pristine, hillside country – on the northern border of Iraq and Turkey. The only condition is that you need to go, claim it, live there and stay there.
But like the pioneers of the West, we say, “Hey, if you can hold the land for so many years, it’s your land.” This is where we are, but we’ve got to let go of where we have been so we can go into where we are going. We have got to understand where we are going isn’t going to be where people applaud us and say, “Ladies and gentlemen, here come the apostles and prophets of Jesus. Please make room for them. Have we prepared the place just like you want it….all demons stop. No more demons. All people are going to now be given freedom of expression.” No, of course not! The giants are growling with intimidation. It is the activation of all of your bells and whistles. That’s why our souls have to die! Because our soul is going to mess us up every time we face what we are afraid of. It will make us act the way we acted before… until it doesn’t make us act that way.
So, when you’re going through hell at work, you say, “God is training me to go and minister to a larger situation that is more intimidating than this one!
My mind was thinking, “No, He’s getting all of this stuff out of the way and in proper order. Then I’m going to get that 10,000 acres on the beautiful coastline of .” But that land has all been taken. So the distress is crazy.
Let’s go on because it gets even better:
13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 2 Corinthians 4:13-14
If we don’t know what to do tomorrow, or from this word, just simply do this. We need to start saying, in the middle of our death:
- “The One who raised Jesus from the dead will raise me too.
- The One who raised Jesus from the dead will raise me too.
- I don’t know how I got here, I don’t know how I’ll get out of here – yes I do know how I’ll get out of here…the One who raised Jesus will raise me too!
- I don’t know the details, but I know the outcome!
- I am suffering, going under something so I can overcome something.
- This is going to turn out terrific!
Beloved, it is what Psychologists would call self-talk.
David would say,
- “Bless my soul!
- Don’t lose your focus!
- He’s got all of your benefits in His hand.
- Don’t lose one of them.
- Keep your eyes on the benefits.
- Don’t let the circumstances shut you down!”
It is a discipline, beloved. It is a discipline. If it was easy it would be like watching TV. It’s not easy. It is something we have to do with our own TV. I choose to see the unseen.
He goes on and he says,
15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 4:15
Not only are we going to experience the resurrection of Jesus where we are in the situation that we are in. But, in that resurrection there is going to be a release of grace that is going to spread to a bunch of people. The thing that is crowding us, shutting us down and making our lives absolutely beyond despair, we just start to say, “Jesus is going to resurrect me. You watch and see. Jesus is going to resurrect me. He, who raised Jesus from the dead, is going to raise me from the dead. My Father! My Father raised Jesus from the dead and He’s going to raise me from the dead.”
And, inside your little shriveled up raisin, you start growing up again and juice starts flowing and life starts flowing and hope starts flowing.
Oh beloved, it is real! It is real! This invisible God who activates the invisible me, the unseen me, and causes me to grow up! He forces all these limbs and mind-sets, that have shriveled, to begin to come alive again. And not only that. I begin to say, “I’m going to one day have a confession like Joseph, when I find my betrayer and they finally are really repentant, because I could kill them right now. But I say, “Why would you be afraid of me because it wasn’t you. It was God who did this to me. You meant harm, but God meant to save many more people.”
What a testimony we carry! That’s who we are now…in training….in experience. Hell is reinterpreting it telling us, “Look what happened to you. Look where God was. Where was God? You are old. You are tired. You are never going to have this work. It is never going to work.”
BUT…we are sitting there saying, “Shut up!” He says, “I don’t have to shut up as long as you live I’m going to talk.” So you start saying, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. I love Jesus. Praise Him, praise Him.”…and then a funny thing happens: The devil shuts up. This is because our brain can’t think when our mouth is talking. And if we start praising God, our brain starts praising.
When we are praising, we start seeing.
When we are seeing, we start feeling.
When we feel, we start experiencing.
We become built up, saying, “I praise You Lord. I will live and not die.
I will rise from this because my Father will raise me up.”
And the sound of the trumpet; the glory Jesus will be seen.
And liberation will hit the planet.
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. There is the treasure—in the vessel.
Wednesday, January 21, 2014, 7pm: I will continue bringing discovery to the Champions. Join us in discovering and becoming carriers of the manifold grace of God.
Sunday, January 25, 2014, 9am: Steve and Shirley Quon, who lead the Restoration Ministries, will share Encountering God, the Redeemer.
Sunday, 10:20am: Join us in Praying for the Nations. A time of declarations and petitions for the Kingdom of God being established in all Nations.
Sunday, 11am: I will be sharing from1 Corinthians 2 “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” Discovering what God has prepared for you, while letting go of the things that keep you from it.