God did not create a planet of robots. He created the earth filled with His beloveds where relationship is the ultimate key to living a victorious life. He desires not just mere relationship but He refuses to have a relationship with us without an ever-binding covenant. The term “covenant” is of Latin origin (con venire), meaning a coming together. It presupposes two or more parties who come together to make a contract, agreeing on promises, stipulations, privileges, and responsibilities. It refers to two or more parties bound together. It means a lifelong friendship agreement; or it can refer to a marriage.
When we are in covenant, our life is no longer our own. We live for the one we are in covenant with. Usually the greater party gives off of himself to give to the lesser one. Jesus died that you and I may live. He took upon Himself what we deserve that we can have what He deserves. That’s covenant. He took our filthy rags and gave us His robe of righteousness. That’s covenant. He gave us His Name, His Blood, His Word, His authority and most of all His very own Spirit to abide in us forever daily loading us with benefits of being called His own. That’s covenant. His love, mercy and grace made this possible and our role is to receive through faith what has been given.
If the covenant of marriage is so sacred in the eyes of our Heavenly Father, how much more His covenant that He cut with us? Marriage is for life and is only made void by death of a partner but our intimate relationship with Him has been made possible by His death and resurrection and it is for eternity. Oh how He longs to live and move and have His very being in our midst as we delight ourselves in Him. He put in us dreams, visions and desires that are invitations for Him to come and show Himself strong and powerful in our lives.
I believe that His greatness, supremacy, authority and dominion include and are influenced by our desires. His word says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the DESIRE IS FULFILLED, it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12 AMPC) Sometimes when we wait upon Him to move on our behalf, we don’t see anything happening. Could it be that He, too, is waiting for us to make our requests be made known to Him? He summons us to ask, seek and knock. That means He is also giving us the liberty to tap into our godly desires that when they are realized, our joy may be full.
“Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:24)
Moreover, God is glorified when our desires are realized. “And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13 NIV) Indeed our Father takes pleasure in the prosperity (a life where every need and desire are met) of His beloveds.
Our earthly fathers don’t just dictate what they want for us. More often than not, when they think we are old enough to know what we want, they ask us. That’s relationship. How much more our Heavenly Father Who loves us without limit? It is His utmost delight to issue us an invitation to explore and experience Who He is by the desires that we have. He listens. He sees. He answers. He moves. He loves to see His children enjoy life. In truth, that’s what Jesus came for. “I came that they may HAVE and ENJOY life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). (John 10:10 Amp)
As I was meditating on this, I thought of the disciples. I keep wondering the lives that they lived when they walked with Jesus. What kind of relationship they had with Him that made James and John confidently asked Jesus, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” when Jesus wasn’t welcomed into the Samaritan village (Luke 9:53-54). When there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves, but Jesus was asleep. Jesus demonstrated what it means to carry heaven’s atmosphere of PEACE in Him that the waves and the sea didn’t even bother Him. He is the Prince of Peace. The reality of His kingdom isn’t determined by the dictates of outward circumstances. Instead, His kingdom reigns and rules from the inside out. His kingdom isn’t that of this world, just as you and I were told, “we are in this world but not of it.” In response, He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. The disciples witnessed and marvelled, saying, “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!” (Matthew 8:24-27 KJV)
The lives of the disciples were completely changed and rearranged when they got exposed to experience walking with Jesus, seeing signs and wonders as His norm and listening to all that He taught them. They saw Him as a Man filled with the Holy Spirit without measure and demonstrated what it means to be the Beloved Son of God Who is most pleasing to the Father. How about us? The precious Blood of the Lamb of God washed us clean, made us holy to be temples of the Holy Spirit. Know that when the Holy Spirit fills and floods us, He disqualifies us to be mere, mundane, ordinary people. Instead He qualifies us to subdue the earth and enables us to walk the impossible, not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of God.
You are I are given this invitation today. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to abide in us forever who knows all things, who searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. He is the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. Knowing is not just mere knowledge. Knowing is practically through personal experience Who Jesus is, His love, His grace, His mercy, His wisdom and what His finished work has accomplished and qualified us to walk, inviting us to explore what has been made available for us to partake in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. It is a kind of life that no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor mind can conceive what He has prepared for us. And the best part of it is that it is He Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that is at in us and that exceeding greatness of power is the Holy Spirit within us.
I can’t help but think of Peter when they were on the boat that was in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. In the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea and when the disciples saw Him, they were troubled and afraid. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27) I believe when we go through rough challenges, in the midst of confusion where our vision is affected, the Lord immediately speaks into our hearts NOT TO BE AFRAID. And when we hear Him speak, light pierces in and our vision of Him, of Who He is, of how great and might He is, becomes clear.
When Jesus spoke not to be afraid, there was only one who responded. “And Peter ANSWERED Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” (Matthew 14:28). Could it be that the very moment we recognize and see Jesus in the midst of our storm, it boosts our confidence to do what only He can do in our lives? When we see Him, He summons us to do what He is doing. Just as He only does what He sees His Father doing, He’s teaching us to do the same. So Jesus said, “Come”, and Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. (v.29)
What would you and I do when we have a godly desire in our hearts that is impossible for us to accomplish and we see Jesus in our midst and hear Him say, “DO IT!”? Would we choose to get out of the boat? Or stay dry inside the boat and be safe? Even if Peter began to sink when he shifted his focus from looking unto Jesus and into boisterous winds, he is the only one UNTIL TODAY who can safely say … “la la la la la … I walked on water.” Truly, what manner of man Jesus is, that when we obey what He tells us to do, just like Peter, at Jesus’ ONE WORD, COME!, SURELY you are I will experience His glory and power!
Jesus’ one word “COME” mattered! But one thing that equally mattered as well was when Peter dared Jesus, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” (Matthew 14:28). Could it be that Peter slowly but surely had a revelation that if Jesus can do it, he can also do it IN HIS PRESENCE? Would this qualify him to be an imitator of Christ? After all, we are created according to His image and likeness, therefore, WE CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS US.” (Philippians 4:13)
The dreams, visions and desires that God put in our hearts I believe are there to woo us to discover further and further what manner of a Father He is, what He can do when we fully trust in His goodness, in His great love, in His full commitment to our good. He is a good, good Father Who gives us the desires of our hearts as we continually delight ourselves in Him. And His desire is for us to be fully persuaded of what manner of a Father He is that He calls us His beloveds, well pleasing before His eyes, embraced and accepted us to be His own in spite of our imperfections in which He is not at all intimidated. Instead, it is He Who will perfect that which concerns us and one of His ways is to let us discover the seed of greatness that He has deposited in us and walk in it.
Prayer: Father, thank You for stretching our hearts to believe that our desires have an impact and influence to Your greatness and sovereignty. That is it You Who invites and woos us to ask, seek, knock and be in awe of what we receive when we ask, find when we seek, and witness how You open doors for us to encounter You. Thank You, Jesus, for powerfully demonstrating what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit without measure that when we give room for the Holy Spirit to move, freedom is inevitable. Thank You, Lord, for depositing into our hearts godly desires that are aligned to Yours. Truly, we become like Who we worship from faith to faith, from glory to glory, in Jesus’ Name. Amen!
Photo Credit: Florence Hiromura