I am writing today to encourage all of us, especially those who lead, to rise to the challenge of being sons and daughters of God in the midst of the challenges of the world of men. People in the world live world live with an administration of knowledge, but sons and daughters of God embrace a justice system of love fueled by an intimate connection with God in Christ. The administration of our lives is one of grace. God’s grace causes our hearts and minds to become increasingly like God in His character, nature, way, power, and authority. By this we will be known as the people of God and as the people of God we will be light and life to the world of men.
Isaiah 32:1 Behold, a king will reign righteously and princes will rule justly.2 Each will be like a refuge from the wind and a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry country, like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land. (NAS)
Princes and princesses in God’s kingdom are like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land. In Biblical terminology, the shade of hug rock speaks of the desires of our hearts and where we find the desires of His heart towards us and within us. Jesus is the Rock of Love that we embrace and He is the one who keeps us by His love and protects us day and night.
Psalms 121:5-7 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
The strength of God’s protection in our lives is found in the desire of His heart. His desire is a love for us and that love is the most powerful protection in heaven and earth.
Song of Solomon 2:2-3 Like a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down in his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
Because God’s desire is towards us we can find great hope when His desires become the desires of our own hearts. It is God in His love for us that provides a shade from the heat of the day when we tabernacle with Him in the power of His love (Isa. 4:6). When the fire of His desire burns within us, there is no heat of day that can weary us or drain us of our passion for life that can only be known by the power of His love.
We must not be like the people of the world. We must be a testimony of those who are loved by God and who demonstrate that same love as a covering to the world as God’s love empowers us to cover a multitude of sins for the sake of loving them. People in the world seek personal pleasure and personal identity. They are not shy in their willingness to practice harlotry with whatever overs a measure of satisfaction to their personal agendas of self-love.
Hosea 4:11-13 “Harlotry, wine, and new wine enslave the heart. My people ask counsel from their wooden idols, and their staff informs them. For the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray, and they have played the harlot against their God. They offer sacrifices on the mountaintops, and burn incense on the hills, under oaks, poplars, and terebinths, because their shade is good. Therefore your daughters commit harlotry, and your brides commit adultery.
People in the world seek personal pleasure, personal preference, personal identity and they are left in their own misery, the bondages of their own iniquities. They seek to justify their iniquities as being the source of their true desires. They don’t understand that God can change the desires of their hearts to be like Him in all things. They don’t live to please God, because they don’t understand that the flaws of the human heart are not a mark of condemnation before God. They are merely a place of opportunity for the power of God’s love to be shown.
People of God seek to please God because they know how pleased He is with them. They seek to be children of God and live under His authority. They embrace the changes that come from His covering in their lives. They don’t hold on to the iniquities of their hearts, but allow the shade of His presence to transform their hearts and minds to be like Him from within. As leaders in the body of Christ we must be examples of those who live to please God, because we know how pleased He is with us. We must seek to allow His desires to become the desires of our own hearts. When His desires become our desires, we can handle the heat of any day. The motive of our hearts and the focus of our eyes will be His love in all things. We must lead the community of God in the same!
Psalms 37:3-4 Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson