What about the inheritance God has in His people? Most Christians realize that we have an inheritance in Him, but many do not seem to know that He is looking for an inheritance in us. In Ephesians 1:18, Paul said, “I pray that the eyes of your heart be enlightened that you may know the hope of His calling and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” Especially in this day, we need a revelation of His calling upon the church. We need the eyes of our hearts enlightened so that we may know the plan and purpose God has for us. Do you have a revelation of God’s purpose for your local church? What about His plan for your life? What is His destiny for you? It’s important to know. Many Christians are living their lives without an awareness of God’s plan for them. It is amazing how many feel that Jesus’ death on the cross was solely for the purpose of forgiveness of sins and going to heaven. That is a self-centered concept of salvation. God saves us because He has a purpose for our lives. He wants to work through His saints to restore all that was lost in Adam’s fall, and to establish everything the prophets have spoken (Acts 3:19-21). The manifestation of His Kingdom will take place through a people who believe that God wants to use them to accomplish His will.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
This is one of the more familiar scriptures of the Bible. Even so, it is usually watered down to something less than what Paul is teaching. It is commonly presented as “all things work together for good to them that love God.” And, of course, every Christian puts himself in the category of “those who love God.” However, that is not exactly what it says. What it does say is “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” The last phrase, “to them who are the called according to His purpose,” narrows it down quite a bit. All Christians love God, but all Christians do not love Him to the extent that they have a revelation of being “the called according to His purpose.”
What is God’s purpose for us? What is His plan for the Church? Ephesians 1:4 says that we were “chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.” And verse 5 says that we have been predestined to sonship “according to the good pleasure of His will.” Then in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” So God does have a purpose for us. There are works He wants to accomplish through His saints. We have a job to do! His purpose for our lives has to be a revelation to our hearts. Otherwise, it won’t have much meaning.
When we first realize that God has a will for us, we endeavor to make the right decisions and do the right things; we want to do His will. When we come into a little more maturity, though, we realize the perfect will of God is not just making the right choices and doing the right acts. Ultimately, the will of God is a state of heart. Doing the will of God is good, but becoming His will is far better. The state of the heart in our relationship with Him is the determining factor. When we reach that place, then God can lead us and accomplish His will through us. That’s His purpose! He wants a people whose hearts beat in step with His heart, think the way He thinks, and feel about a thing the way He feels about it. He wants a people He can use, and a people that can use Him. Now, how do we get to the place where we become His will? How do we obtain the state of heart that is the perfect will of God?
John 4:23-24 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true
worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth: for the Father
seeks such to worship Him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
The apostle John is talking about true worshipers, which tells us there are also false worshipers of God. The difference is that the true worshipers worship is Spirit and in Truth. Evidently there are so few true worshipers that the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
Besides the fact that God is more than worthy of our worship, and that worship is our primary function, it is also the means (along with the work of the cross, which we will discuss later) by which God creates us into what He wants us to be. It is impossible to do or become the will of God without becoming a worshiper. One who learns to worship God in Spirit and in Truth becomes flexible enough to be molded into anything He desires. Worship creates channels for God to accomplish His will in the earth.
For most Christians, worship consists of going to church and routinely singing two or three hymns and listening to the choir sing before the pastor preaches. That is not worship. Worship is a state of heart. It is a way of life. God is seeking true worshipers who worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
If I were to give you some keys I felt would be important for your life in God, they would be two, and they would go hand-in-hand. One is to be a worshiper of the Lord, to learn to love Him with all of your heart. The other would be to develop a hunger for Him. I don’t know of anything more important than really hungering after the Lord and worshiping Him. Loving the Lord does not come automatically. It is learned at extreme cost.
Little children love those who do for them and give them what they want. In other words, they love those who make them the center of attention. It is that way with many Christians, too. Their love for the Lord is a response to what God has done for them. He forgave them of their sins and He blesses them; so in turn they love Him. However, that is not the kind of love that God really wants.
When a parent sacrifices his or her own life so the child can have the best possible, the child loves them. But whose love is greater – the child’s or the parents? Who knows the other best? The child knows his parent, but the parent has a greater knowledge of the child, for the parent is aware of the child’s needs when the child usually doesn’t.
If we are going to please the Lord and become His will in the earth, we will have to go beyond the child stage of love. Real love for the Lord and knowledge of His will only comes through the sacrificing of self. In a sense, the parent-child role must be reversed. We must learn to be aware of the Lord’s needs, to know what He wants, and then sacrifice our selfish desires to minister unto Him. In that sense, we become His parents, or His mother. Jesus said, Who is My mother? And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold My mother and My brethren! For whosoever shall do (or become) the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother. Matthew 12:48-50. The disciples were learning to love the Lord. They had left all to be with Him. They were sacrificing their lives to minister unto Him. It will cost something to learn how to hunger after the Lord and to worship Him, but it is the only way to be come what He wants you to be. We were called for a purpose, but that purpose is not found on the child-realm.
Human nature is basically selfish and self-centered. That remains true regardless of the chronological age. Adults just seem to cover it up and hide it better than children do – not much, but a little better. Actually, adults become more deceptive; they learn to conceal their ulterior motives. How do we overcome this basic characteristic of human nature? People will go to all lengths to fulfill their own selfish desires, but they have their limits when it comes to pleasing someone else, and particularly when it comes to pleasing God. They will deceive themselves into thinking what they like or want is what God likes or wants. How do we reverse this so we are more interested in what He wants than in what our flesh nature wants?
What will create a worshiper? What will create the hunger we must have for the Lord? We can’t just say, “Well, I’m determined to be a worshiper. I’m going to hunger after the Lord.” There are no magic words. We can’t just snap our fingers, and zap! It happens. It doesn’t work that way. Hebrews chapter twelve tells us that after Esau sold his birthright and became aware of what he had done, he then realized how much he wanted the blessing. He was sorry for what he had done, but he could not find a place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears (Hebrews 12:16-17). Jesus said that there would be those who would seek to enter the strait gate, but would not be able (Luke 13:24). It is possible to know that you need to be a worshiper, and that you need to hunger after the Lord, and seek for it with tears and not be able to reach it. That would be a terrible feeling! The Scriptures give us a key to becoming a worshiper and hungering after the Lord. The question is, are we willing to pay the price?
Isaiah 2:1-2a The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning
Judah and Jerusalem.
2a And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains…
Mountains are symbolic of kingdoms in the Scriptures. The mountain of the Lord speaks of the Kingdom of the Lord. God’s Kingdom will be established above every other kingdom.
Isaiah 2:2b-3 …and shall be exalted above the hills; and all
nations shall flow unto it.
3 And many people shall go and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
In the last days the Church will come into maturity and will be established, so to speak, in the top of the mountains. Out of the House of the Lord will come forth the Word of God to all the earth. It will be that which expresses His will, and people from various backgrounds, tongues, and nations, will say, “Let us go up to the House of the Lord, and we will learn of His ways.”
Of course you realize we are not talking about a single church or even a denomination, but the Body of Christ which is spread over the whole earth. The many-membered Body of Christ will be a prophetic voice speaking the Word of the Lord and bringing deliverance to peoples and nations.
Notice what is said in the last portion of verse two, “All nations shall flow unto it.” Now we know that nothing flows uphill. Have you ever seen a stream flow uphill? I’ve never seen anything flow upward without an external force acting on it. There’s a law of gravity at work, and everything flows downward.
Since the day we became Christians, we have been aware of two natures warring within us: the flesh nature and the nature of Christ that the Holy Spirit is endeavoring to work in us. So there is always the downward pull of the old nature. Every one who has ever set their hearts to walk with God has had to struggle with the gravitational pull of their old nature.
There are a number of scriptures in the Bible that give us the promise of a day of reversals. Jesus talked about it when He said that the first shall be last and the last first (Matthew 19:30). Isaiah prophesied it when he said, “All nations shall flow unto the House of the Lord which is established in the top of the mountains.” Something is going to happen that will break the downward pull of the old nature.
Can we be conquerors of the flesh? Yes, we can! In Him we can be more than conquerors (Romans 8:37), for the Lord has given us this promise, that in the last days people will flow upward to the House of the Lord. The downward pull of the flesh is going to be broken. What we must do now is find out how to make that prophecy work for us. Some Christians are content to take a promise like that and put it in the future. I don't feel that way at all. I believe that the Word of the Lord, like Jesus, is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). It is eternal! It is living! That means it is available now. So why not approach the Lord, and say, “Lord, that’s a great prophecy! It’s a tremendous promise! Now, how does it work? Don’t just tell me about it; let’s get this thing working.” After all, what good is a promise if you can’t walk in it?
II Kings 6:1-2 And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha,
Behold now, the place where we dwell with you is too strait for us.
2 Let us go, we pray, unto Jordan, and take there every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go.
The schools of the prophets began in the eleventh century B.C. under the leadership of Samuel. These schools were located in different places such as Bethel, Gilgal, Mizpah, and Ramah. Samuel would make a circuit, spending time at each location ministering to them and teaching them the ways of the Lord. Elijah and Elisha carried on this practice of the prophetic schools. The sons of the prophets mentioned in verse one is the school of prophets in Jericho near the Jordan River.
II Kings 6:3-6 And one said, Be content, I pray,
and go with your servants. And he answered, I will go.
4 So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood.
5 But as one was felling a beam, the ax head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! For it was borrowed.
6 And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he showed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.
Here we find the reversal again. As one of the prophets was cutting down a tree, his axe head fell into the water. Being iron it immediately sank to the bottom. The man of God cuts a stick, throws it into the water, and the axe head rises from the bottom of the Jordan and floats on the water. What reversed the gravitational pull? What is the key to overcoming the downward pull of the flesh nature? Elisha had the answer.
Sir Isaac Newton, regarded as one of the greatest scientists who ever lived, is accredited with the discovery and formulation of the law of gravitation. He made his discovery in about 1665-67 and his work was published in 1687. However, about 2,560 years earlier (893 B.C.), a man of God named Elisha not only knew the principle of gravitation, but he also knew how to reverse it!
The Old Testament Scriptures, which are too often only regarded as a history of Israel, are filled with principles on how to walk with God. Few men have tapped in to them, but they are there if you are willing to pay the price to find them. The Kingdom of God is like a treasure hidden in a field, and many Christians never see the treasure – much less are willing to sell all they have to buy the field (Matthew 13:44).
He made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel. Psalm 103:7. Israel saw the acts of God, but Moses knew how to do them. He was willing to pay the price. I don’t know how you feel about it, but I don’t want to just see the Lord do things. I want to know how He does it. I want Him to do it through me.
The iron axe head fell in the river and the prophet Elisha cut a stick, threw it in the water, and the axe head rose to the top and floated. Obviously, the stick represented the cross – not just the cross that Jesus hung on, but the cross upon which our flesh nature must die. If any man will come after Me, let Him deny Himself, and take up His cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. Matthew 16:24-25. If you want to walk with God, the cross is the only way. There must be the work of the cross in our lives. The downward pull of the flesh nature is broken only by crucifixion. It must die.
The work of the cross is not something that just happens automatically. It has to be appropriated. We must choose to lay our lives down just as Jesus did. If you approach the cross reluctantly, it won’t work. Satan tried to kill Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane to keep Him from going to the cross (Luke 22:44). In the same manner, there must be a readiness in our hearts to fight our way on to the cross. It won’t happen without that intensity. The Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12.
Romans 8:28-30 And we know that all things work together for good to
them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
29 For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.
It doesn’t take much insight to realize that Paul is not talking about all Christians, but only those few who come into sonship. Look at the last part of verse 29: that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. This is what God has in mind. He wants a many-membered Body of Christ, a “son company.” He wants Jesus to be the firstborn among many brethren. The next few verses tell us how to get there.
Romans 8:31-37 What shall we say then to these things? If God be for
us, who can be against us?
32 He that spares not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies.
34 Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
If you want to live, you must first die. That is God’s method, and Jesus is our pattern. He shows how the reversal works. He goes down into death that He might rise to the right hand of God (verse 34). It is the same with us. If we want to live in God, if we want the gravitational pull broken, then our flesh nature must die. The attitude of our hearts must be “for Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter” (verse 36). We endure the cross, despising the shame, for the joy that is set before us (Hebrews 12:2). If we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him: if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him. II Timothy 11:12. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18. This is the key to everything in God. It is the key to becoming a worshiper; it is the key to hungering after God; it is the key to God’s purpose for us.
Copyright © 1994 by Henry DuBose