In Gods Vibes MatterCo-laboring with God, author Juliana Page creates a context where followers of Christ can partner with God to regularly collaborate on the most important areas of their lives.
The race we are running is one full of supernatural possibilities to live in Gods wonderful newness of life through embracing the spiritual disciplines that bring freedom in every area of our lives. This kind of running is done by fixing our hearts on Christ, our one true source of strength, and it is through this anchoring that we will be inspired to dream and live beyond what weve planned.
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Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
— Psalm 51:12 (NIV)
Have you ever wondered what God requires of you? It seems like a silly question, but it's one worth digging into especially if we are instructed to "love the Lord your God will all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27 NIV). This weighty verse covers so many of the others. Imagine if we could get this one rooted in us. We can't love God well if we don't know him or what he requires. If we could focus on what God requires, we'd see what his love looks like and be equipped to share it.
"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" (Mic. 6:8 NIV). Let's break down the Lord's requirements.
The power and authority Christ gives us is never for evil but for good. As ambassadors for Christ, we are to treat people fairly and focus on what will build one another up, not taking advantage of the weak, not forgetting or overlooking people who helped us, not betraying friends, not controlling or using others for personal gain, and not destroying people through slander.
We are to do our best to model compassion to ourselves and others by being forgiving and kind, helping the oppressed, and blessing those who curse us. We can decide not to live in critical, self-righteous, or condemning attitudes and behaviors.
It takes genuine humility to have faith. We can't readily depend on God if we're vain, proud, rude, selfish, or arrogant. Humility means not looking down on others and not engaging in self-promotion. Humility is a willingness to always be teachable, being willing to receive correction, and not thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought. The humble are quick to admit it and apologize when they're wrong.
We don't have space in our souls and we haven't been given the responsibility to judge ourselves or others. We are designed to be just, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God because that brings us freedom and allows our witness to glorify God.
We've also been given an antidote cocktail of power, love, and self-discipline to live above fear: "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline" (2 Tim. 1:7 NIV). It takes knowing what God requires of us and his Holy Spirit to obey him.
David in the Psalms truly had a heart after God. Numerous times, David cried out to the Lord, "Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation, and make me willing to obey you" (Ps. 51:12 GNT). "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Ps. 139:23–24 NIV).
The heart question asks, is my life pointing others to God? If God were to take a tuning fork and ring it against my soul, would our rhythms match? If Christlikeness is our effect as ambassadors, I believe we are being called to divine encounters. We can meet with God, hear his voice, delight in his Word, and grow in revelatory knowledge of him in these encounters. We can learn the unforced rhythms of grace through divine encounters. Matthew says it like this.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly. (Matt. 11:28–30 MSG)
Divine encounters allow God to rightly divide and tune us, and we get holy, most excellent faith so we can stir up our call. Divine encounters matter immensely because consecrating ourselves in a world that is frustrated, in an identity crisis, and scattered by insecurities demands that we be serious about living with power, love, and self-control. Our consecration is an inner security the enemy will do everything he can to prevent us from having.
Have you ever had the gnawing feeling that you weren't getting everything you were supposed to get out of life? A feeling that life was full of possibilities but somehow you could never figure out how to tap into them?
Frustration comes from living a life apart from God — a life in which he is not consistently present in our thoughts and words. God wired our thoughts and words to have power so we'd be equipped to overcome every obstacle. Without consistent exposure to the ultimate power source — our light source — our hearts are not hooked up to the provision they need.
Our relationship with God determines who we become in our spirits, so we need to get serious about this "presence" business if we want to experience the joy of our deliverance and have daily sustenance. The Word of God has the power to realign anything that is misaligned especially faulty mind-sets, beliefs, ideologies, traditions, and doctrines that lie and exalt themselves above the will of God for your life.
Life doesn't have to be a frustrating mystery.
The mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord's people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:26–27 NIV)
Christ in us is the hope of glory. God designed us to be hope carriers if we choose. We can learn to take our nourishment from God, get our supply from him, and feed on his Word. If we continually go back to the foundation of our affections and recollect where the source of power is, we may find we rely on God's presence as much as we rely on oxygen. Realizing where our help really comes from makes us stronger.
Christ in us brings hope of all great things to come. He helps us remain poised for the future. If we're willing to be restored and go through the process, we can co-labor with God to restore the years that seemed wasted and redeem the time. Our part is consecrating; his is sanctifying. The problem is that they key to receiving all this is a relationship with God, and the enemy does not want us to know the power and authority we have in Christ.
Faith and fear are opposites, but they are similar in two ways: they are both about the future and they both begin in the mind. This means that if the enemy can seduce us into hardening our hearts, he can keep God from being the ruling authority in our minds and shift the course of our future. God is relational and wants to communicate his desires, plans, and purposes to us. The question is whether we will commit to taking time to grow in this relationship, for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture and the flock under his care. But we must hear him when he says, "Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness" (Ps. 95:7–8 NIV).
In our narcissistic, self-consumed society, many have moved away from the global plan of God for humanity. We tend to focus on what's in it for us. It's not that we haven't been warned, "A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart" (Prov. 21:2 NIV); rather, we've grown comfortable with mixing fear and faith and drifting from God's presence.
Sometimes, God will provoke us to inspire us to turn our hearts back to him. We see this in Romans, where the Lord provoked Israel with the Gentiles.
Just as it is written, "God gave them a spirit of stupor, Eyes to see not and ears to hear not, Down to this very day." And David says, "Let their table become a snare and a trap, And a stumbling block and a retribution to them. Let their eyes be darkened to see not, And bend their backs forever." I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be. (Rom. 11:8–12)
The apostle Paul grappled with helping us understand that God had a plan for a people who for the most part had rejected him. The Gentiles were limited in their experience of God through Jesus, so the church moving into a state of grace or being given the space to enter something happened to provoke Israel.
God sometimes provokes us to move into something that we would otherwise not have moved into. Many of us are where we are today because God used something or someone to provoke us. There is another way we can live life, and there is always a choice. God often uses things to disrupt our lives and provoke us to hunger. This provocation comes through exposure — if you know better, you do better. The exposure to better is to provoke us to change because change never comes easy.
Not everybody is provoked by better. There is also an option to become envious; instead of being provoked to discover their greatness, some become envious. We see this as the case with Hannah and Peninnah in Samuel. God allowed Hannah to see someone who had what she'd desperately wanted to provoke her to wonder, If God did it for another woman, could he still do it for me? God wanted Hannah to be provoked because she was barren and she'd decided having a child was not to be for her. She started to believe it was impossible because that was easier than believing for something that didn't seem to be happening, and she didn't want to get her hopes up.
Our carnal nature will make a deal to keep us from being provoked to stretch into the next dimension; it will talk us out of the discomfort of believing God. But God didn't want Hannah to settle into her unbelief: "Because the LORD had closed Hannah's womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her" (1 Sam. 1:6 NIV). God wanted Hannah stirred up and hungry for more. What happened when Hannah was stirred up?
In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, "Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head" (1 Sam. 1:10–11 NIV)
She relentlessly poured out her soul to the Lord. And the Lord remembered her. So, in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the Lord for him." (1 Sam. 6:20 NLT)
When Hannah was provoked, she decided to repent and turn from all the anger and bitterness she'd stirred up against her rival, Peninnah, and she gave birth in a divine setup. Like Hannah, God will provoke us to want more, to want to be better, to be a more excellent servants, witnesses, and persons. He wants us to know we can be like Hannah. We can trade in our old, worn-out lives for new ones. We can decide to let the better part of us come forth.
But if it were that easy, we'd all be doing it. The truth is, we believe only what we're willing to act on. Look around the world; it seems there are more hearts caught up in unbelief than desiring to hear God's secrets. It's unfortunate because God created us to not know what shame feels like; it renders so many ineffective, and the enemy will always try to shame us in the areas God wants to use us. Where guilt says, "I did something wrong," shame says, "Something's wrong with me." Too often, we see people unaware of or forgetting that God has never disqualified us. If we confess our sins, he will cleanse us of all our unrighteousness. Somewhere, we got stuck and stopped flourishing and thriving in our relationship with Christ.
Fortunately, the truth will set us free, and we can abide in it. When the devil wanted to bring down humanity, he used words, so we see an assault on the Word of God. Too many are having conversations with the enemy rather than speaking and doing what God says and walking in the fullness of his promises. A downhill spiral begins when the enemy's voice is elevated above God's. Live your own way, get your identity from yourself rather than your Creator, amass what you want, and you'll be doing the antithesis of what God wants and living for the devil.
We can live from what we know and stop acting like we came from nothing. Obedience to God helps us flourish in life — it's freedom, not legalism. God knows how we work best. He gave us the keys to abundant living in his Word, but we have to obey it.
So often, we run from God instead of to him, but he always sees us as worthy. The enemy wants to keep us from his presence. Will you decide to get out of hiding? In Genesis, Adam was fearful, ashamed, and hiding from God. "But the LORD God called to the man, 'Where are you?' He answered, 'I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid'" (Gen. 3:9–10 NIV).
That is where we fell. We started believing lies that stopped us from being propelled toward God and our God-given purpose. We forgot that we were his, that we had everything we needed in him, and that we had no need to minimize the potential we carried. We need a generation of people who come out of hiding, control their environment, and fight what they hear with revelation. We can make what God says bigger than anything else, but we must be hungry for it and committed to fighting the constant lies of the enemy by asking, Did God really say it? Do we know who we are in Christ? Where are you? Where is the you God created? Who told you?
If you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind goes when it wanders. You may not like what you find there. You underestimate how hungry your soul is for real food. You mindlessly feed your mind and therefore your soul so much junk day in and day out. And then when you turn to the good stuff, the God stuff, and turn off the noise, you find yourself at home full, happy, and peaceful again. You have to fight to protect your soul, but that won't be easy.
It's time to divorce what you want so God can give you what he wants for your life. If you decide to follow Jesus, you'll never be the same. Maybe you know about God but don't know God. Maybe you need Jesus. Maybe you realize you can't do whatever you need to do and need God to do it. Maybe you realize that you can't be good enough on your own, that you need the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. Do you need help breaking some agreements by activating new ones?
Place your faith in what Christ did on the cross. Maybe you were tempted, you went through a trial, and for whatever reason you turned your back on God but you want to come back home as the Prodigal Son wanted. If the Holy Spirit is knocking on your heart's door, will you give him a shot? Do you need him? Do you want to know that heaven's your home, that Jesus is your Lord, that your sin has been forgiven, that your past has been wiped away, and that you can become a new creation? Something happens when you move.
If you want to become a new creation, pray this prayer. "Jesus, forgive me. I turn away from my old life, and I turn to you. Make me new; change me from the inside out. I believe Jesus Christ died on a cross, was buried, and rose from the dead. Save me now. I declare Jesus is the Lord of my life. In Jesus's name, amen."
The fire of God's liberty is real. It isn't like the freedom the world speaks of. Adoption is the heart of who God is. Being adopted myself, my heart is comforted knowing God's heart about adoption and that
when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because we are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So, you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Gal. 4:4–6 ESV)
We never have to live as if we were unwanted orphans. God's heart is for us to be found in him. Being adopted into God's family means that Christ is now in us. With Christ in us, we can live in assurance that we can say no to sin and yes to righteous living and that we'll bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit, who is fully God and who has chosen to make his home in our hearts.
Ponder the magnitude of these words: the Holy Spirit lives in us. We can get comfortable abiding in a new dwelling and find encouragement in a new reality that heaven's deposit inside us will always be greater than hell's obstruction in front of us. "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4 KJV).
Sometimes, we choose wrong because we simply don't fully understand our options in the situation and we just want to decide. When faced with a tough choice, we can go to Christ to seek wisdom to make sound choices. There is no design flaw when we walk in the Spirit of God. We can stop letting people put limitations and labels on us. We are who God says we are, and we can do what he says we can do. We can grow, become established, and advance his kingdom on earth for his glory.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "God's Vibes Matter"
Copyright © 2018 Juliana Page.
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Heart Check, 1,
Chapter 2 The Call, 30,
Chapter 3 The Fight, 56,
Chapter 4 Divine Assignments, 82,
Chapter 5 Divine Work, 94,
Chapter 6 Divine Finances, 104,
Chapter 7 Divine Family, 112,
Chapter 8 Divine Relationships, 121,
Chapter 9 Divine Health, 139,
Chapter 10 Divine Growth, 147,
Chapter 11 Divine Elevation, 159,