Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fixing our eyes on that which is unseen...

Hi Friends!

I am sorry that it has taken me so long to update again! Life here feels very full, as life on any missions base always seems to be!

After I finish this internship March 30th, I have 30 days to leave the country otherwise I get deported. We are two thirds of the way through with just 4 weeks to go!

Lately in pretty much all of our classes and also at church, all our teachers and Mike Bickle seem to be talking about the exact same things without even checking with each other. You know how that works when the Lord wants to highlight something? Yes. I even watched a video from Planetshakers church (back in Melbourne, Australia) and it just happened to be Ps Tim Hall speaking on Hebrews 11…

So what everyone is highlighting and what the Lord is really giving me personal revelation on lately is eternity. The importance of fixing our eyes on the coming Kingdom and eternity even when sharing our faith with others. Pointing towards eternity and the coming reign of our literal King Jesus is the only thing that truly gives hope and sets our priorities straight right now in this age.

In the time of the New Testament writings, the Roman ruler Caesar would be constantly overtaking new territory. When a new city or region was won, Caesar would send his “gospel messengers” out to all the people with the message that he has conquered the kingdom, and a new kingdom has come, but he and the Romans will let you live IF you will bow down and worship him. Therefore when Jesus came and started announcing his new kingdom, it stirred up the current rulers to anger as they saw it as a rebellion. The Kingdom we live for now has come, but it is yet to come. It has come in part and we see that through the body of believers in bringing an invasion of Heaven to Earth. Yet the fullness of it is yet to come when Jesus comes back and conquers the armies of the earth to establish His full reign…

Throughout all of the New Testament, and even the Old, we are consistently pointed towards Jesus and to the Kingdom to come.

“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God… All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” – Hebrews 11:8-10;13-16

The book of Hebrews was written to Jews who had accepted Jesus and were in danger of turning their back on Him to go back to their old faith. This was at a time when the Roman rulers were persecuting the Christians viciously yet Judaism was legal, therefore to be a Jew was easier and safer than proclaiming Jesus as Christ. How did the early Christians survive the persecution they had to go through? How do Christians in persecuted countries today continue to endure? How do lovers of Jesus in the west sincerely and radically follow Jesus without getting our hearts and spirits dulled by the “worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things” – making us distracted and unfruitful? (Mk 4:19). How do we even just get through what may seem to be the mundane-ness of life?

We fix our eyes on Jesus. We fix our eyes on the cross. We fix our eyes on the coming heavenly city. We fix our eyes on the Revelation of Jesus as given to John his disciple (see book of Revelation).

“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep for what he cannot lose” – Jim Elliot.

Any amount of time compared to eternity is zero. Therefore our whole 70 years (I like to say 120) really IS just a vapour, it is literally absolutely nothing compared to the life we will live in the heavenly city. Yet the life we live now determines what kind of life we will have for eternity.

Our hope (Titus 2:13; Heb 6:13-20) is the promise of Jesus’ return and the age to come – where there will be no pain, no sin, no tears, and not only ourselves but all creation will be restored to it’s former and intended glory. Fixing our eyes on Jesus and eternity will cause us to care more about the things of God. About His heart, about the lost, about His ways…  It will cause us to be more firm with ourselves in matters of honour, holiness, purity, and accountability as well as embolden those who are leaders to “encourage and rebuke with all authority” (2:15) without letting anyone despise them. It is what puts a holy fear and joy into our hearts to encourage each other daily and even more as we see the return of our King approaching.
From my journal:

“Why do you want to see Serena?” (that was God. I want Him to both give me 20/20 vision and also open my eyes to the spiritual realm more).

Because I was made that way. I am both natural and supernatural. I am in this natural world and my body is limited to it, but I am made SPIRITUAL and to experience the Spiritual realm too! And it helps me come alive. To realise the GLORY and MAJESTY of You… even just studying Ezekiel 1 and Revelation fills me with AWE of You… oh LIFE is made to be COLOURFUL!!... You are WORTHY!

I was like, oh, Christ, if you could just stay there and even just looking at You fills me with wonder (I was kinda pushing him away and scared of having Him near me… as He is so HOLY and OVERWHELMING). And I want to be filled with wonder. But no! I DO want you with me! I don’t get – it overwhelms me that you would love me and why you want me with You. But I want You! I DESIRE You! YHWH. I desire fellowship with the three. And the One. Yet the three… You are the only one I worship…

I hope some of this spoke to you.

Ezekiel 1 and Revelation 4 are both visions of the throne room. I encourage you to read them sentence by sentence and IMAGINE it!! Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what He is like!! All of Revelation is good and makes complete sense! (It was my favourite book as a child but then people told me it’s confusing so I stopped reading it). Use the eyes of your imagination to see and use the letters to the 7 churches to encourage you in your faith! He loves to reward us!

That is some of what the Lord has been and is doing in me during my time here. He is also doing a lot of healing in me and character building. Both ESSENTIAL for life as a go-where-you-take-me-laid-down lover!
Blessings and TONS of love to you!

I am praying for you.

Please pray for me that I will sleep easier, longer and deeper, and that my heart would be completely open for all He wants to do in me as well as what He wants to speak to me.

Love Serena J

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