JESUS is our FORERUNNER Who has gone in before us, Who established ahead of time an UNSHAKEABLE and UNBREAKABLE HOPE, that IN HIM we may experience PERFECT PEACE in the midst of every storm that comes our way.
“He was chosen BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” (1 Peter 1:20 NIV)
Jesus will never call us to a place where He hasn’t been. He promised to go before us, make the crooked places straight; break in pieces the gates of bronze, and cut the bars of iron before us (Isaiah 45:2). He promised to make a way where there seems to be no way, make roads in the wilderness and streams in the desert (Isaiah 43:19). This truly gives us a picture of how Good our Shepherd is. He is always leading us to new places, new levels, new paths, new heights, new ways, new thoughts, new revelations and new encounters divine encounters. He said, “SEE, I am doing a NEW thing!
Most of us can relate to conquering new heights where we haven’t been. The fear of the unknown always rocks us. But be encouraged, be undaunted, be confident, be of good cheer, for Jesus, our Good Shepherd has already gone and paved the way for us. This doesn’t mean that our journey in life will be perfect without bumps and holes, NO! On the contrary, there will always be resistance along the way, but He promised that He already conquered each one of them for us.
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [PERFECT] PEACE and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] (John 16:33)
I believe one of the greatest resistances and hindrances to explore and experience His promises that are YES and AMEN, promises that are already DONE DEALS because Jesus, Who is the Word, has already gone before us, is our own way of thinking. Oh how it imprisons ourselves within the limitations of own thoughts. No wonder His word commands us to RENEW our thinking for apart from it, to soar like eagles in FREEDOM is an impossibility. I love how Bill Johnson says it, “Closed heavens are between our ears!” The Kingdom of God is within you and within me, but it takes renewal of our minds to be able to tap into His thoughts and ways that are higher than ours that causes us to suffocate the enemy’s strategic plans and ways that is trying to pull us to where he is, cursed and forever commanded to crawl in his belly (Genesis 3:14).
SONSHIP – Jesus, the God of PEACE, has gone before us so we can become children of God, when He bruised and crushed Satan under His feet by the power of the suffering, death and resurrection. SALVATION was sealed. The veil was supernaturally torn from top to bottom so that our separation from our Father has been forever dealt with. In Christ we become sons and daughters of the Most High God, not by our own works but because of His finished work.
“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.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ …” (Romans 8:15-17)
SEED – Jesus, the Seed, has gone before us. He is the FIRST SEED given by God, the perfect demonstration of His great love for us that when we partake of Him, we, too, will become seeds of love scattered into the world that people may taste and see how GOOD HE IS.
“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.” (John 12:24 AMPC)
As we feed on His faithfulness, eating from the Tree of Life and drinking from the Fountain of Living water, we become oaks of righteousness that will bear fruit as we build and grow our intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. Being consistently and constantly connected to Him allows us to bear fruit of His love that those around us will partake, experience, and perceive His goodness. Once they taste and see that the Lord is good, they will never be the same again. A life transformed becomes a seed to the world until the whole earth is filled with His glory as the water covers the sea.
FRIEND – Jesus is the first FRIEND Who sticks closer than a brother. He died and conquered death for you and me to open us this one-of-a-kind relationship founded on His love that even death was of no threat to Him. Seeing you and I reconciled and embraced by our Daddy God was His JOY that was set before Him that we may, too, will experience what it means to talk and walk as friends of God as Moses did. Moses had this kind of conversation with God that needed no interpretation. As God instructed him, it was plain, direct and crystal clear instructions that brought him no confusion.
“The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” (Exodus 33:11)
When we come to experientially be a friend of God in the most real way, it would enable us to be A FRIEND to those around us in greater capacity. The Holy Spirit in us empowers us to live life carrying the life of Christ in and through us, diffusers of His love, grace, mercy and truth.
OBEDIENCE – Jesus will not woo us into a place of radical abandonment, fully yielding and trusting our Father without Him being fully obedient Himself up to death that we may have LIFE, ENJOY IT to the full, till it overflows. It is His love for the Father that made Him fully obey. Him without questions. When the love of God is fully received in our hearts, the same way as Jesus did, will enable us to obey. His leading is always for our own benefit. He leads us to the path of righteousness so He can take us to that place where only and surely mercy and goodness shall hunt us down all the days of our lives.
“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8)
“Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” John 14:23)
SERVICE – “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) Jesus demonstrated what it means to serve without having any other interior motive but for the benefit of the ones He served. His ONENESS with the Father, His identity with the Father superceded what He did that even to wash His disciples feet wasn’t a bother to Him. He served first and He called us to do the same.
“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (John 13:14-17)
To serve coming from an established identity, sealed as sons and daughters of the Most High God, graces us to do the same. When we are filled with our Daddy God’s approval, perfectly loved, entirely accepted and awesomely celebrated, we become fearless and unstoppable in serving. Our weapon to serve is LOVE. Our service rendered to God isn’t just when we volunteer or called to be in church, although there are those who are assigned to it. Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, DO EVERYTHING IN LOVE. (1 Corinthians 16:14) . “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Jesus indeed has gone before us, demonstrated and fulfilled Himself the very things that He has called us to do. There are way too many to mention. We are to be imitators of God by the way Jesus did as His exact representation. The Holy Spirit surely will guide us into all truth on the way we should go.
“Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]. And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus Whom You sent because of Your great love for us that we may come to know Who You are in a deeper way and walk a life that You have ordained us to walk, just as Jesus walked on earth. Thank You for sending us Your Spirit, abiding in us forever, that we may live our lives forever connected to You allowing Your life to be lived in and through us, carrying Your presence and touching other people’s lives by the power of Your love. Amen!
Photo Credit: Jana Therese Paz