A Summary of The Last 3 Weeks’ Keynote Message for Prayer, Reflection & Response.
Signpost: To SEND and SUPPORT the harvest workers
Theme: ‘Walking IN Victory Parts 1, 2, 3 (Learning Jesus’ Strategies & Actions Series)
Reference Scriptures – Philippians 3:1-16; Matthew 12; 1John 4; John 16
Speaker: Graeme Hush
Walking IN Victory! – Part 1 in the Learning Jesus’ Strategies & Actions Series
So … over the coming 2 years in our trek to the summit of an ‘unclimbed peak’ and back, we desire and will work to keep in place (integrity), a Christ-centred launch site or Base Camp which is supported by these THREE pillars.
Pillar # 1 = Seeking First God’s Purpose & Vision (Revelation) so that we have JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF RESTRAINT
(Prov. 29) “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.”
Context = Discipline, correction, aligning (fracture re-set) – Coordinates from Jesus so we don’t run ourselves ragged …Coordinates that we can step towards today & each day, that are aimed at the final destination. ‘Now the dwelling place of God is with people’ (Rev. 21:3)
Pillar # 2 = Embody Heaven as Christ did so we TOGETHER can ‘unwrap the gift’ for OTHERS (our primary reason) –
(John 1:14 and Colossians 2:9-10) Incarnation during disengagement
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.”
‘When heaven becomes tangible on earth – society will re-engage’ was a clear word given to me whilst on the New Year’s Day Prayer Walk
That’s my belief … and I think there is emerging evidence around us …
This pillar (like the other 2) needs to be anchored deep
Pillar # 3 Last week we glimpsed the 3rd pillar for our Launch Pad OR Base Camp –
‘Peace IS here – IN Christ we learn that we can be CONTENT beyond human understanding’
‘7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In Phil. 4 Paul gives the church guidance by the Holy Spirit as to how to correct the human condition i.e. to argue & disagree before anything else – Paul says; rejoice together IN Christ, allow the Spirit to bring the fruit of gentleness to the fore, & use the weapon/armoury of prayer to seek answers rather than relying on what we have & are – this is how THE PEACE is ushered in & how we will cultivate it
(It looks like Is.11:1-10) over the coming 2 years in our trek to the summit of an ‘unclimbed peak’ and back.
OK … during the 12 or so days of Christmas, one of the recurring themes for me in the aftermath of all we’ve been reflecting on this past few months comes from the promise decreed in Paul’s letter to the Philippians (which I’ve spent some focus time in recently)
Last week Ch. 4 BUT particularly Chapter 3 which rings (personally) true for my current walk with Jesus. (Read 3:1-16)
The guarantee of victory is IN the journey of developing intimacy with Jesus – there is NO guarantee outside of a relationship with Christ.
So, in thinking about how much MORE you and I (together) need to operate out of Christ’s victory and not react out of our struggle … I searched for Jesus’ strategy during His cross road season …
We all experience seasons of crisis … some amongst us are currently experiencing the sort of crisis or combination of events that can re-shape what’s to come ….
Matthew 12 describes a bunch of DECISIVE MOMENTS where Jesus’ actions have impact upon and even perhaps determine, OUR futures …
Let’s read about these first strategic steps in the battle that will end (in human terms) at the Cross.
We will see that there are the Scribes and the Pharisees, the representatives of orthodox religion and at least four shifts in their increasing attitude of hostility towards Jesus.
How did Jesus WALK IN VICTORY? As such, how can we? (Matt.12)
(1-8) In the story of how the disciples plucked the ears of corn on the Sabbath day, we see the first glimpse of a growing suspicion for someone (Jesus), who was prepared to allow his followers to disregard the smallest nuance of the Sabbath Law.
If you are trying to CONTROL people, this kind of subversion could not be allowed to spread unchecked.
(9-14) In the story of the healing of the man with the paralysed hand on the Sabbath day, the hostility shifts from suspicion & grumbling to investigation. It was not by chance that the Scribes and Pharisees were in the synagogue where Jesus was on that Sabbath.
Luke’s version says they were there to watch Jesus (6:7).
From that time on Jesus would be stalked by the religious private eyes as they sought to gather evidence, they could use to bring a charge against him.
(22-32) In the story of how the orthodox leaders charged Jesus with healing by the power of the devil, and of how he spoke to them of the sin which has no forgiveness, we see deliberate and prejudiced blindness. From THAT time on nothing Jesus could ever do would be right in their eyes. They had become so shut off from God that they were completely incapable of ever seeing His life transforming truth.
Their blindness had launched them on a path from which they were quite incapable of ever turning back.
(14) Back in verse 14, we see what happens next – evil intention. They were not now content to watch and criticize; they were preparing to act. They had gone into council to find a way to put an end to this disturbing blimp on their screen.
Human controlling behaviour often progresses this way… Suspicion=>investigation=>prejudicial blindness=>open RE-action.
In order to learn from Jesus we must calibrate our understanding by firstly acknowledging His position THEN His actions which are a direct flow from His position i.e. from heaven
These are NOT reactions (like us) but are a direct outcome of His position – a direct flow from heaven. So … the process of walking IN victory is
Greater intimacy with Jesus so our actions flow from that position before our human default of reaction takes us over
Firstly … Matthew’s summary of Jesus’ position (vs 15-21)
(vs15-17) Two things here about Jesus show the confidence He had in his position and His Father’s plan.
First, for the time being, he withdrew. (The wisdom in the withdrawal is in the removing of oneself to a place where there is no chance to react)
The TIME for the head-on clash had not yet come. He had work to do before the Cross. Second, his strength in His heavenly position rejected the publicity that accompanies human popularity & position. If the idea got around that someone with marvellous powers had emerged, then a political rebellion would naturally follow, and lives would have been needlessly lost.
He had to teach people that Messiahship does not mean crushing power but obedience driven sacrificial service, not a throne – a cross; and this before they could spread his story.
Then … Matthew’s summary of Jesus’ position (vs 18-21) … quotes Isaiah’s prophecy found in Ch. 42:1-4 …
Now I haven’t time at this juncture to unpack this but for now, like a lot of Isaiah’s prophecies, they referred to something visible in the present which the prophet recorded for a bigger statement in the future … Often referred to by scholars as ‘double reference’ prophecy, the one that Matthew quotes originally recognized the all-conquering Cyrus of Persia who the prophet saw (at the time) as ‘an instrument of God’ and as the language indicates … a (future) consistent ‘messianic’ purpose ….
So … in Matthew 12 this messianic prophetic purpose is (rightly) attributed to Jesus who’s position or shape from heaven, clearly characterizes ‘the servant of the Lord’ … (which we want to be)
In the Holy Spirit’s words through Matthew …. Jesus is the very definition of
- Justice (18,20) … now the Greeks defined justice as giving God and people (both) their due ‘rightfully’ … Jesus lives that … you and I walk in victory IF our actions are BORN in a right relationship with God AND people; as Jesus examples … (any wonder the summary of great commandment was a priority for Jesus to highlight)
- Contentment/Peace (19) … he will NOT cry out … defined as like ‘a barking dog’; ‘a drunken person’s outburst’; ‘a discontented audience’; Jesus represents heaven’s ‘unreactiveness’ … Like we learned last week, not a case of shouting each other down; Jesus represents a position which focuses on the game plan and doesn’t get distracted by the pitfalls and intentionally derailing intrusions – doesn’t need to … you and I walk in victory if our actions come from a deep contentment about who we are in Christ ….. PEACE is here!!
- Encouragement (20) … Jesus will not break the crushed reed or extinguish the smouldering wick. His presence, the embodiment of heaven, reignites the flicker of our struggling existence. He cannot treat the weak with contempt, but only with understanding; he will not choose to extinguish the weak flame, but to nurse it back to a clearer and a stronger light.
- Hope for ALL (20b-21) … Jesus’ position identifies justice (by definition) for ALL …. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, man nor woman …… ALL one IN Christ
So … the process of walking IN victory is
Greater intimacy with Jesus … we have briefly looked at how Jesus was shaped by His position in heaven
So our actions flow from that position before our human default of reaction takes us over
Now we study how Jesus acted so we can confirm the difference
(9-14) Jesus denies self and lifts others (incl. the scribes & pharisees) by suggesting that NO LAW or RITUAL which puts anything before doing good to ANY person is a law that can’t be challenged … if your action/response comes from valuing others first, then that’s how-to walk-in victory
(22-32) Jesus tells the truth (however costly) because his desire is to challenge ANYTHING that stops even his accusers of receiving all that heaven offers.
Jesus isn’t reacting to the attack, He is responding out of HOPE, out of love. That his accusers think they are ‘higher’ or ‘more valuable/important’ than others .. Well ….
IF YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE … you can humbly make claims that fortify the campaign –
And if they are checked they are hard to argue – so a person will only submit if their heart opens up e.g.
(6) greater than the temple (body) …later in the chapter
(41) greater than the best preaching for repentance (Jonah)
(42) greater than the epitome of wisdom (Solomon) …
Indeed greater than anything promoted by human reasoning or law to be great …
To walk in victory is to courageously point to Christ as ‘GREATER’ and show others by how we relate to Jesus that He is greater … OK … it’s a starting point …….
Walking IN victory is just not defined by our view but by Jesus’ action.
Walking IN Victory! – Part 2 in the Learning Jesus’ Strategies & Actions Series
How did Jesus WALK IN VICTORY? As such how can we? (1 Jn. 4)
Jesus walked IN Victory because He KNEW WHO HE WAS …
You and I CAN walk IN victory IF we know who we ARE (IN Christ)
Let’s just hang out in 1 John 4 til we get this … I’m going to pray that God will soften and open our hearts to RECEIVE … to let Jesus come in …
GOD IS LOVE!!!!
Is a huge claim – the greatest single statement about love in the New Testament
CONTEXT = ‘that we might live through His Son – Jesus’ … It explains everything …
Creation – God is 3 in 1 so He examples a Communion that is OTHERS focussed … not a lone ranger – if God is love there needs to be expression BEYOND SELF
Free-will (the ultimate act of self-limitation which he repeated IN Christ) – control is the anti-thesis of relationship
Providence – Care follows Creation. God doesn’t exist in and create communion to NOT have it and keep it
Redemption – if you create and care, you must find and bring back what is lost, find a remedy (once and for all) to the disease that causes separation
Eternal Life – if God IS love then FULL Life (zoi) starts NOW not at death … (cf. vs 9 ‘that we might live through Him; vs 17 ‘in this world we are like Jesus’)
It’s not about jumping through hoops – Jesus DID ENOUGH – ‘Love God and do what you like’ (Augustine-MLK) … FULL GOD LIFE is not something we can dot enough I’s or cross enough t’s to achieve – Unless Jesus BUILDS the house (His church) then we will not experience FULL GOD LIFE (His full life-force)
Love Comes from God AND Leads to God
God Demonstrates He doesn’t Pontificate – IN Christ we see the FULL demonstration or as Abe Lincoln said – ‘the full measure of devotion’
Humans IN Christ shift from literally being the Living Dead to a FULL God Life (Zoi = life lived through Jesus) NOW – without Jesus we just exist (Bios)
- The Bringer of FULL LIFE (Zoi = life as lived with Jesus IN Us)
- The Restorer of FULL Life
- The Rescuer that saves us for FULL LIFE
- The Son of God who demonstrates the FULL LIFE of heaven ON earth
- The Way we receive the FULL LIFE that the Holy Spirit sustains
Walk in this reality, this reality of FULL LIFE, and we walk in victory …
SOAK IN 1 John 4 THIS WEEK …. So much more to come!!
Walking IN Victory! – Part 3 in the Learning Jesus’ Strategies & Actions Series
As with our treatment of 1 John 4 last week, we started this week by slowly and deliberately reading and reflecting on John 16:1-33. Let me encourage you to do that again NOW!
Pheeeeeeewwww!!!! OK, let’s pick the practical stuff out of this for Walking IN Victory!
TWO WEAPONS THE ENEMY USES TO MANIPULATE (Verse 2)
(Side Note: One of the most important truths about Walking in Victory is that it is useful to reflect on the battle plan of the enemy BUT just as important to recognise that Satan is predictable AND defeated and as such these weapons SHOULD have No Teeth – Jesus gives us the HEADS UP in verses 1-2)
(Refer Romans 8)
- Exclusion from popular icons of culture & religion (synagogue)
- Isolation (even death) enforced by people who believe they are devoutly serving God
Note: I facetiously talked about my own brave posturing when I walk into a ‘football’ opposition’s territory donned with the colours and badging of my team without thought for how I will be responded to. I was simply starting a reflection on WHY we feel so acutely abused when we are excluded from the places we believe we have some sort of ‘right’ to be included in.
WHAT IS OUR MOTIVE (REALLY) AND HOW MUCH DOES SATAN PLAY ON THAT?
The Heart of the Matter (the reason Satan impacts upon us though defeated)
Our human DEFAULT position (where we are most comfortable for all the wrong reasons)
We revert to …
– Religion NOT Life IN Christ
– Form NOT Spirit
– Self NOT Other
– Institution OVER Relationship
TO WALK IN VICTORY IS TO START FROM OUR POSITION IN CHRIST (refer to Pt 1)
I then shared some examples of operating out of MY position IN Christ BUT I started with the Moravians as we had talked about their approach to ‘embodying Christ ON earth’ a few weeks back. Their whole lives including tasks LIKE Jesus so they didn’t just speak it
My testimonies were based on times in my life where I was quite happy to just DRIFT into the easy path of my defaults but for Kingdom reasons and by the CONVINCING of the Holy Spirit I challenged my defaults … small things each example BUT ALL about CHOOSING to be IN Christ and to represent, even demonstrate the Kingdom of Heaven On earth rather than not.
You see, I / We can talk unity til the cows come home – BUT there is still 32K Christian Denominations around the world.
The INTENTIONAL STEPS WE take to have VICTORY over the toothless weapons of the evil one might seem like a ‘Drop in the bucket’ BUT every election that has changed anything starts with ONE vote and is sometimes decided BY ONE VOTE –
EVERY MOUNTAIN CLIMB STARTS WITH ONE STEP & THEN ANOTHER – that, I can tell you, was the only way I got to the first ledge up the steep climb in the Mexican Sierra’s after ministering to and with the jungle villagers there. I was rewarded with a Mule ride for a section of the walk BUT as an asthmatic, facing a dirt wall at eye level as we made our way up the 6km climb, I simply had to choose whilst praying audibly to take ONE step and then the next.
You have heard the saying ‘GOD PLUS ‘ONE’ IS A MAJORITY’
Well, Jesus indicated it AND lived it and if we are leaning from His actions and strategies then we need to listen and act.
Remember: In that saying, ONE isn’t just me and God … it is a call to ONENESS, like that described in John 17 when the author talks about the relationship between God the Father and God the Son … God plus ONE in every definition of the word is a majority.
Thought: I’ve often wondered why we get that if we are a soldier on the physical battle field BUT we struggle to get it in the battle with the heavenly realms … another way we fall victim of the evil one’s deception
Victory is achieved by –
More people KNOWING Jesus and His Father (vs 3)
Trusting Jesus AND the warnings He proclaims (vs 4-7)
The Advocate, who IS the proof (heaven’s work continues BY the Holy Spirit vs7-15)
NOT the way of ease and comfort but the way of glory
(John 17:4 tells us how Jesus defines glory, not just an indiscriminate shininess BUT a deliberate obedience to DO ALL THAT GOD ASKED HIM/US TO DO)
Glory then has to do with doing ALL that Father God requires (of ME)
Enter the helper, the Holy Spirit … (Gk. Elencho pron. Eleng kho)
No one English word description is fully useful BUT this is the best & most summary
‘To acknowledge the force of some argument yet to be seen’ = to convince …
I have personally (I Graeme speak) never thought that ‘CONVICT’ was the best description of what Jesus was trying to teach us about the Holy Spirit.
For me, CONVINCE or ‘To reveal truth to’ Is the way of heaven ….
Revelation impacts / cuts deep to the heart
‘Convict’ alludes to punishment / ‘Convince’ leads to understanding
TO WALK IN VICTORY IS TO ENGAGE THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
I.E. COMPLETING HEAVEN’S WORK – let’s take a look
- (vs. 8-11) The Holy Spirit CONVINCES the world Sin is SIN and that without Jesus we are stuck on the Khumbu Ice Fall above the abyss with no guide (Acts 2:37 = people became convinced that the crucifixion was the greatest crime)
- The Holy Spirit CONVINCES the world of Jesus’ righteousness – Jesus did more than enough (Matt. 27:54 = Centurion) and Paul (Acts 9)
- The Holy Spirit CONVINCES the world that the love of God expressed through Jesus is the only alternative to judgement
- (vs 12-15) The Holy Spirit CONVINCES the world that God’s revelatory truth is never ending – God hasn’t been silent since post 100AD – but if the revelation doesn’t align with Jesus THEN … Not revelation
A SECRET TO WALKING IN VICTORY AS JESUS DID/DOES is to be confident that the Holy Spirit is the ‘Spirit of truth’ bringing God’s truth OR Revelation to us. This is what Jesus believed (Read 12-15)
Principles of Revelation from John 16
- Revelation is Progressive – it is a Process (vs 12-13) Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth WHEN your heart is ready to receive it. Walk In Victory = patience to wait for what’s promised – including understanding of tough scriptures AND acknowledging that Jesus isn’t just a figure in a book, He is alive and the Holy Spirit guides us into what needs to be revealed and when
- Revelation is of ALL truth – (vs 13) remember inspiration is Theo-pneustos OR God breathed (Holy Spirit is the breath of God so get CLOSER)
- Revelation NOT Our discovery but God’s GIFT. It is something waiting to be discovered at the right time
- Revelation is a continuing opening up of the meaning of Jesus
Revelation comes to us from a living person.
The nearer we are to Jesus, (dwell) the better we will know him.
The more we become like him, the more he will be able to reveal to us.
To enjoy His revelation we must accept his Lordship.
Yes -We believe Jesus is Lord BUT is Jesus MY Lord!!!
This IS Victory – more soon as we seek more HS leadership
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