Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What Is Your Part To Be Transformed?

(Living “A” Life Versus “THE” Life – Part 5)

     Even though God is the cause and effect of transformation in your life, you have a vital part to play in order for Him to live His life in you. Let’s look at John 15:5 to give you a better idea of what that part is:
I AM the VINE, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit…”  John 15:5a

     Jesus is saying that as the physical branch is designed to be totally dependent upon the physical vine for life, you, as a spiritual branch, are designed to live totally dependent upon God, the spiritual Vine, for life. The word “abide” is another word for dependence.  It is important to understand at this point a very key truth:


God created man to be DEPENDENT upon Him.
His DESIGN from the beginning was for YOU to depend upon Him.

     The key word is “design.” God’s design from the beginning was for Adam and Eve to live totally dependent on Him to meet their every need. God’s design has not changed. You, too, are designed to live totally dependent on God. Doesn’t it stand to reason that if God is our Source that our part is to depend on Him to be our Source? That is why Jesus uses the perfect example of the branch being totally dependent on the Vine for life. Therefore, God’s design for you in Christ living His life in you is:

Living with an ATTITUDE of TOTAL DEPENDENCE upon God as your Source.

Side note: The word “bears” in John 15:5 does not mean “produce.” The word “bears” means “to carry.” The key point is that the branch does not produce the fruit. The vine is the source for producing the fruit while the branch is the agent through which the fruit is produced.


 As you walk with an ATTITUDE of DEPENDENCE upon God, He, as your Source, PRODUCES in you His promises of freedom, victory,  healing, and
fulfilling your SPIRITUAL destiny of being transformed into Christ-likeness.

To Further Understand Dependence, Look At How Jesus Lived On This Earth

     You may be wondering at this point what dependence looks like. To gain a fuller understanding of dependence, let’s look at how Jesus lived His life on earth. We need to first understand that Jesus as the “God-man” laid aside His privileges of deity. We see this in Philippians 2:6, 7:

“He (Jesus) had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of Himself that He had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, He set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave and became human!” NLT (Parenthesis mine)

     It doesn’t mean that at any time while Jesus was on this earth that He was not fully deity. What it means specifically is that Jesus laid aside His right to be co-equal with the Father in order to live as a man. How then did Jesus live in regard to His relationship with the Father?

Let’s look at three scriptures that describe Jesus’s relationship to His Father:

“Jesus therefore answered and was saying to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.’”   John 5:19 

I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”   John 5:30

“Jesus therefore said, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.’” John 8:28

      The common theme in each of these verses is that Jesus said that He could do nothing apart from the Father. In other words, Jesus lived in moment by moment dependence upon the Father as His Source while He was living on earth. What does it mean that Jesus was living from the Father as His Source?

 This means that Jesus was not functioning out of His OWN
 life and power but out of the life and power of His FATHER.

     Could this mean that the Father, not Jesus, was the Source for all that Jesus accomplished while He was on earth? We see the answer in John 14:10 when Jesus says:

“Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I say are not my own, but my Father who lives in Me does His work through Me.”

     What this verse is telling us is that it was the Father’s life and power through Jesus healing the lame, giving sight to the blind, and raising Lazarus from the dead. In other words, Jesus lived dependently on the Father, with the result  that the Father produced the miracles through Christ. Jesus’s life in relationship to His Father was a perfect example of the branch-Vine relationship.
    If through Jesus’s dependence the Father’s life and power flowed through Him to perform miracles, what could that same life and power do in you if you walk dependently upon God? This leads us to the following question:

If Jesus, as a man, lived in total DEPENDENCE upon His Father as the Source with the result that the FATHER lived His life in and through Jesus, then


     I trust the answer to this question is obvious. You see Jesus did not only come to die but He came to show us how to live: moment by moment dependence. In the next part, we will look at some of the reasons why we struggle with dependence.

Monday, October 14, 2013

What God's Part Is As Your Source

(Living “A” Life Versus “THE” Life – Part 4)

    I hope that your want is to experience the victory, freedom, healing of woundedness, and transformation into Christ-likeness that we talked about in the previous blog. I don’t think there is one of us who does not want to experience these promises and the many other promises that God has for us. Therefore, I think it is important to understand what God’s is in order to experience these promises.

GOD’S PART - God Is the INITIATOR and the CAUSE and EFFECT of making His promises an experiential reality in your life.

God as the INITIATOR

   Look at the first part of Philippians 1:6 to understand how God is the initiator.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you…”                         Philippians 1:6a

    What is Paul telling you in the first part of this verse? He is saying that God began the work that He wants to accomplish in you. He began or initiated this work in you at salvation. The Father accomplished this work by sending Jesus to die on the cross to save mankind from their sins. However, God promises to do much more than just save you.

God as the CAUSE and EFFECT

     Look at the second part of Philippians 1:6 to see the truth that God is the cause and effect of bringing us to the place where we will experience His promises.

“…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6b

     We see in the second part of Philippians 1:6 that God not only began the work but that He also WILL complete the work that He began in you at salvation. This verse reveals to us that:

God Is the INITIATOR and the CAUSE and EFFECT to make His promises an experiential reality in your life.

    The false belief is that we are to be the initiator and the cause and effect of transformation in our lives. In other words if any change is to occur, it is up to YOU to transform yourself (with God’s help). It is because of this false belief that so many believers have either given up or else keep trying harder to live the Christian life. The truth is that only God can be the cause and effect of change when it comes to fulfilling His promises. Another way of saying it is that God will be the producer of what He promises for you.

What are some of the things that God will produce in you? He will:

  • FREE you from the sin strongholds that you can’t overcome. – Galatians 5:1
  • HEAL you of your past and present woundedness. – Psalm 147:3
  • SUPPLY your needs. – Philippians 4:19
  • Be your VICTORY over sin, the world, the flesh, and Satan. – 1 Corinthians 15:57
  • TRANSFORM your life for you to experience Christ-likeness.  – 2 Corinthians 3:18
  • Draw you into an INTIMATE relationship with Himself. – Ephesians 1:5

     I want to leave you with this final thought. The word “will” in this verse means that God is “determined” to make these promises an experiential reality in your life. Think about this for a moment. The determined God of the universe lives within you and wants you, eternally more than you want for yourself, to experience His freedom, victory, healing of woundedness and transformation.

In the next lesson, we will look at what your part is in living from God as your Source.