19 November 2004

hot diggidy dog

parts from the divine partnership
by mike bickle

"There is a divine partnership in beholding and becoming men and women after God's heart. God has a role and we have a role. God will not do our part for us. We can't do God's part for Him. Our responsibility is to fill our minds with the truth of God's personality - to gaze upon Him as David did. God's promise in return is to supernaturally change our emotions. This is the Kingdom of God's division of labor. We change our minds and God changes our hearts (meaning our emotions)...
You may have discovered in this life that you don't have the power to change your emotions directly. You can't say, "Joy!" and elicit joy from your soul. You can't demand, "Gladness, rise up within me now!" It'll never happen. You might get a jolt of adrenaline, but long-lasting emotions are not awakened by determination. That's God's part of the division of labor, and it's a supernatural work of the Spirit in us. But here's the good news: all our emotions are linked to thoughts or ideas. Correct thoughts about God bring wonderful emotions. This is why the truth sets us free (Jn. 8:32). You can indirectly change your emotions by flooding your thoughts with the truth about God...
But there is much more to this principle than clamping down on ourselves and staying away from bad things. Your mind is not renewed primarily by staying away from bad things, but by filling your mind with the truth about God. You don't need better sin-avoidance techniques but a new vision of what God's heart looks like. Flowing from that vision will be a new vision of what you look like to God. When I fill my mind with what God's emotions look like, I experience new dimensions of grace to stay away from the 'bad things.'...
you can't become until you behold. Becoming is good, but God's sequence says we must behold the reality within His heart. Then He does His part and awakens joy and peace and all the rest within us.
If you want passion or love for God then fill your time and your mind with the revelation of God's passion and love for you. It is uncomplicated, but few people actually live out this revelation.
Our view of God's emotions changes everything within our own emotions. Gazing upon God's soul gives us spiritual information, not neutral information. It's powerful, full of life-changing energy. When that information hits a sincere spirit like yours or mine, a slow-motion explosion occurs inside us. It's orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. It doesn't happen in one day but incrementally. We may take three steps forward and two steps back in the process of being renewed, yet over time, our emotions are transformed and our heart is awakened.
Declare war on any area of compromise in your life. You may stumble in that area, but if you are sincerely warring against it, you will still gain ground.
After all, the flowing heart is what empowers us to get free from besetting sin. God doesn't require that we be free from all struggle before He releases His power in our hearts. Just the opposite; the power of God helps us get free. I am not suggesting that we are free to disobey God until our emotions change. It is the wisdom of God and the will of God that we obey Him when we don't feel like it. I believe in obedience when I don't feel like obeying. When I'm depressed and feeling horrible, I still need to obey God.
We must cultivate confidence in God's affection towards us even when we stumble. If we lack this confidence then we close our spirit toward Jesus. We cultivate condemnation and self-accusation, and that makes it impossible to grow.
The revelation that God enjoys you in your weakness transforms you. In my experience, this is the hardest revelation for people to enter into and the place on the spiritual journey where most people stall and stop. The reason? We will never enjoy God more than our revelation of God enjoying us in our weakness.
Then another miraculous thing happens: we begin to enjoy ourselves. You begin to like you. You prefer to be yourself over any other person on Earth. This is a revolutionary change for most people. A woman prayed earnestly, "Lord I want to love my neighbor like I love myself." The Lord surprised her with His answer: "That's the problem - you do. You despise yourself; therefore, you despise your neighbor."

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