When someone hears the message about intimacy with God, they go, “Oh, I love that! I love that! I love that!” And maybe you will say, “Well, what are you doing to experience it more?” “O, I just get more sweet worship tapes and just go, ooh, and I love it!”
I kind of like that answer. But, it is not a complete answer, but I like that. I like the feel of that. But, what you want to do is, if you want to grow in intimacy, feed your spirit very intentionally, very deliberately, very diligently, not a little here and there. But, deliberately, diligently, feed your spirit on the issue of God’s heart for you to cultivate confidence before God in the area of love. That He loves you and you love Him.
Feed your spirit on confidence and the net results is intimacy. The subject of intimacy by itself is not enough. Just to be, wowed by intimacy.
And it does not happen because we sing about it, talk about it, you know, buy books on it, even buy tapes on it, or talk about how important intimacy is. It really, really happens to the degree that we feed our spirit on the subject of God’s affections and God’s personality to create confidence in our spirit before God. That is how intimacy grows.
It is not just being a cheerleader for the subject of intimacy. It is an actual activity, a deliberate activity, to where we feed our spirit on the subject of God’s emotions, God’s affections, God’s passions. You can call it, God’s personality. The Biblical term is the knowledge of God.
The knowledge of God; You feed your spirit on that in order to produce confidence in your spirit. When confidence is produced in your spirit intimacy is the by-product.
Intimacy with God and confidence are two sides of one coin. A lot of people start with kind of like, liking the subject of intimacy but not knowing what to do about it, Except for, they like the subject.
Actually we have a lot around in our little swirl here that love intimacy. But they do not really know how to develop it. They do not know how to move into it. They do not know why it is hindered or how it is increased.
It is not mysterious. It is actually quite an easy principle. We deliberately fill our mind. What I mean by that is, feed our spirit. We fill our mind with the subject of the personality of God.
We fill our mind with it. But, not just in a distant academic way. We fill our mind with it with an, “I love You” in the atmosphere of our study. It is a devotional spirit while studying the Word of God.
It is studying it to turn it into, “O, Lord I love You, in that case! You know as we are researching it, it produces an, “I love You”. And we have a spirit of, “I love You” in our research.
That produces confidence. Confidence is what makes the experience of intimacy increase. And my point last week was, I used the book of Ephesians, how intimacy with God is one of the most affective dimensions of spiritual warfare described in the book of Ephesians.
Ephesians is the spiritual warfare epistle. There is a lot on spiritual warfare in the book of Ephesians. It is kind of the standard textbook, if you had to pick one. I guess that you would pick the book of Psalms as well.
But Ephesians, the theology of the book of Ephesians, and the three apostolic prayers in the book of Ephesians are dynamically related to the subject of spiritual warfare.
I am always wanting people, in their theology and their paradigm of spiritual warfare, always to root it and ground it in the doctrine of the book of Ephesians, particularly the three apostolic prayers, the three prayers of Paul the apostle in Ephesians, because, it was his prayers in the book of Ephesians that were the essence of his warfare.
I mean if you say, “Well, how did Paul do warfare?” Well look at the prayers in the warfare book. And those prayers are centered around the subject of intimacy and discovery of God’s emotions.
Sometimes when I share that point with people really, really committed to the subject of spiritual warfare, they find that surprising. And sometimes even alarming, because they have this dichotomy that warfare is that spirit of militancy, which is a good thing. It can be taken to negative extremes but there is a militant bold aggressive faith that is very, very important.
But they think that that means just human zeal or doing it loud or doing it harder by exerting their personality, or religious self determination, “We are just going to make it happen”.
They think that intimacy is kind of like the antefixes of that, you know the other extreme is intimacy. And in the Word of God, intimacy and warfare are one reality in God’s heart. And that is what the book of Ephesians is about. We spent a whole session on that. I do not want to go into that tonight. I want to go to some other points besides that.
Confidence; there are two dimensions of confidence. I say this almost every time or every other time. So those of you that are around a lot just forgive me for saying it again, yet a thousandth time. When I say, “Confidence in love” I mean, confidence, the assurance that God has love for you even in your weakness. That God has love for you even in your weakness.
Instead of the word, ‘God has love for you’, put the word, ‘God enjoys you, even in your weakness.’ I am talking now to sincere believers. I am talking to people who have a genuine, ‘yes’ in their spirit to be whole hearted followers of Jesus.
People, if that is a new idea, they find that sometimes perplexing. Sometimes disturbing, sometimes just, “Huh, I never thought about that.” They just never thought much about God enjoying them. And they go, “Huh, God enjoys us?”
Yes, even on the earth, even while you are growing. Not only after you have fully matured. He actually enjoys you in the process. That is a critical concept.
It is not just that a broken, weak, earthly father can enjoy his little two year old. God can actually enjoy His two year olds even better than that weak, broken, earthly father can.
We imagine that a weak, broken, earthly father can enjoy a two year old that is immature. But we cannot imagine that God has that capacity. We figure that we can do something in love that transcends God’s abilities.
When we talk about God having that ability it is like, “No way! No, come on! No.” God has a lot more ability to do it than that weak, broken, earthly father does a lot more. And that is a staggering idea.
So, confidence in love, we always start with the idea that God loves us. Or, I like the word, ‘God enjoys us even in our weakness.’ Again, I am talking about sincere believers. That is the qualifier. That is important.
But it is not only that. There is a second dimension of confidence in love. It is that your love is genuine and authentic even before it is fully mature. See, it is easy to believe that mature love is authentic. Nobody has a problem with that. Nobody believes that Paul the apostle, in mature love, was anything less than authentic in his love for God, when it was mature.
The trouble is in believing that love can be authentic and real before it is fully mature. Because the natural equation is that if it is immature, it is false. If it comes up short, then the lover must not really be a lover. The lover must be a hypocrite, because if they were genuine it would not come up short.
And so, we are really stuck, because we love God with reality. We stumble and fall. So, we are hypocrites until we can show up one day fully mature. And then, we are genuine. And everything between that and eighty years later, we are just in a mess.
The genuine love does not start off as mature love. It is genuine even when it is weak. Again, I am talking to sincere believers. When that confidence in our spirits, O, beloved, it does something absolutely invigorating, and outstanding. It is supernatural on the inside of us.
Now, it takes God to know God. What I mean by that, it is a phrase that we use a lot, “It takes God to love God. It takes God to know God” is the phrase that we say a lot around here.
What we mean by that is, it takes the activity of God. It takes the Holy Spirit for you to love God. It takes God to love God. It takes the activity of the Spirit for you to know God.
I want to say it a different way, it takes the activity of God; it takes God for you to have confidence in God. Meaning, it is not something that you just do one day. You just show up confident, because it is cool to be confident in God. No, it is given of God. It is given by His hand. It is the release of the activity of the Holy Spirit on the inside.
And of course, it is incremental. It grows in stages. And sometimes it is three steps forward, and two steps back. Sometimes the confidence that you had a season ago is hindered and it is weaker now. But then we grow beyond it in the next season.
It takes God to experience confidence before God. It takes the activity of God. But, when we feed our spirit, when we feed our spirit in this devotional attitude, as we research the subject of God’s emotions, we feed our spirit on this, God the Holy Spirit acts on the inside of us and confidence begins to grow like a garden. Confidence grows.
And when our spirit is confident, O beloved it is amazing what happens when our spirit is confident. We feel loved, and we feel like a lover. When you are loved and you are a lover and you feel that, it is powerful the way that your emotions are different. You look at literally everything different.
You view ministry different. You view risk taking. You view rejection by people differently. You view, everything, basically different when you feel like you are loved, enjoyed by God. And you feel like you are a genuine lover. If that is who you are and that is what you do, and a little bit of that emotion touches you on the inside your spirit is called mighty.
Here in Ephesians 3:16, you have might in your spirit. That is really the definition of might. You have might on the inside. And again, that might is measured, it is in proportions. It grows.
A little bit of that might, it is not just positive thinking, it is the Word of God with the Holy Spirit touching you. It creates might. In the place of the word might, it is really the idea of confidence in your spirit.
Because if confidence is understood right it is divine might. But it is not the product of just positive thinking. Yes, there is a human process. We do feed our mind with it. But we feed our mind with an attitude of devotion, trusting the Spirit to ignite it.
If we feed our mind without an attitude of devotion we are not doing our part. We have to do two parts. We feed our minds with these truths and we have to have an “I love you” in the process. A weak, “I love You”. But a real, “I love You.” It is a weak, “Yes” but it is genuine.
It is not as strong as it is going to be at the end of the day. It is not as strong as it is going to be in twenty-five years. It is immature love, but it is an, “I love You.”
We research with an, “I love You” in our spirit, and then the activity of the Spirit breaks in. And little by little He energizes us with confidence. And that is divine might. It really is.
When you break it down in terms of the human personality, the confident lover is a person that is experiencing activity of God in them. It is called might.
It is the opposite of feeling rejected when the guy looks at you and says, “You know what? I think that you are off of the wall. I think that your ministry is bad, nobody shows up, you sing off key, you do not look good, and your clothes are not coordinated right.
You go, “This place is so judgmental, and we just quit.” That is the opposite of might. Caving in when people around us say, “bahumbug”. We go, “Forget it then I do not even want to do it.” That is an incredible human reaction.
But it is the opposite of might. It is the opposite of might when the future is unknown and we are scared. All of the things that we dream of are not going to be there. And we are afraid of the future. It is extremely normal to be afraid of the future. But it is the opposite of divine might. We are just oppressed and depressed because demons are hammering us from every angle. There is spiritual warfare, it is flaming missiles, Ephesians 6.
And then when we get an oppressed spirit, we get the pain of rejection, we have the fear of tomorrow, the money will not be there, the ministry will not be there, the opportunity will not be there, the relationships will no be there, fear of tomorrow. And our ministries are not growing and exciting. We compare them to our idea and they come up short and we think, “Wow, we are just a failure.”
All of those are the normal human experiences of which divine might replaces them little by little. Again, it is not like you have divine might and then everything is gone. We grow in stages.
But we grow in this divine might, Ephesians 3:16, by the process that we looked at yesterday, verse 17 and 18, a deliberate, intentional, feeding of our spirit on the width and the length, the depth and the height of the affections of God’s heart.
Ok, verse 17, and 18. We feed our spirit on the width, length, depth, and height of the affections of God’s heart. O, the height of God’s heart, the height of it. Who can imagine the height of God’s heart? How high is God’s heart? How wide? How long? How deep and how high is the heart of the Godhead?
Paul says that it is incomprehensible. Meaning it is inexhaustible. You are never, ever going to have a capacity, even in the resurrection, you will never have a capacity, even in the super natural dimension in the resurrection, your human capacity will never, ever be larger than God’s capacity to possess this.
In other words, you are always going to be receiving more. He always has more than you have the ability to receive. Forever, billions of years from now when your spiritual capacity is so enlarged it will be significantly smaller than God’s resource in God’s heart.
And that is why we live fascinated forever. We begin in this age living fascinated, and then we live fascinated forever, and forever, and forever and forever. I go, “What a way to go! What a way to do it!” It is awesome being human. I mean, it really is. I mean there are some real, kind of, bummer seasons on this side. But the whole set up is awesome. It really is a totally awesome setup.
We have a human spirit, and the angels do not. We have access to God’s interior life, His heart. We are partners with Him. We get a little down loaded on this side, a little impartation on this side. But a little goes a long way.
And we get an incredible measure forever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever. And that is what the essence of being a redeemed human is. And it is really a good deal, even if the money is a little short and someone is mad at you today. It really is a great deal. It really is an awesome reality to live in.
And we loose that reality that, ninety, nine, point nine, nine, nine, nine, nine, nine, nine, nine, percent of your life is going to be living in that realm in fullness.
I try to stay locked into that. And there is always somebody, mad, glad, and sad, at all of the wrong cycles, at all of the wrong timing. It’s like, “O, here we go again.”
And the Lord says, “Yea, but remember, who you are and who you are feeding your spirit on. Me, the Godhead! You are feeding your heart off of my heart! The Father, Abba! And you are going to do this with Me forever!” I go, “O, yea, O yea, cool! Yea, that is what this thing is about. Right!” And, what a way to live.
So, Ephesians 3:18 is talking about this treasure, this inexhaustible treasure. Which, Ephesians 3:18 is the way into the might of verse 16. Might and strength are in verse 16. And the way that we feed our spirit on this four fold love of God, the affection of God, the passion and pleasure, of God’s heart.
Now think of this width, and length, and depth and height as a divine treasure. That God’s heart is a treasure, a storehouse, a treasure house, this infinite treasure that cannot be fully ever grasped, this endless inexhaustible treasure.
It is the interior life of the Godhead. Ok? It is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, the three persons dwelling in fellowship with one heart. I do not get any more complicated than that. I have a simple mind. And that is just as deep as I get on the Trinity, three persons, one God.
Here are the three persons of the Trinity, totally enjoying one another in love in measures of intensity that we cannot fathom, with one heart together. And that Godhead; I like to picture the Godhead’s heart, the interior life of the Godhead as this divine treasure. I like to picture this volcanic ocean.
Have you ever seen one of those videos, or documentaries on volcanoes? This powerful, moving, lava, this fiery reality. And I just say, ‘Lord, is it anything like that? Is that how it is?” And He goes, “It is way more intense than this. That is just a little picture.” “Ooh Man!”
And it is an ocean of this volcanic desire for one another. The Father for the Son, the Son for the Father, and then focused upon you and I. And God says, “Here is what I am going to do, not only does this volcanic, eternal divine reality of desire exist. We are going to open it up and beckon you to come on in and live in the fire, not harmed, live in the fire fully glorified in the grace of God.”
You touch it in this age. We call that intimacy, the fellowship of the burning heart. And so, we close our eyes, our bodies are tiered, our pocket books are not what they should be, our relationships are not what they should be, we want more favor, we want more honor, we want more energy, we want more time, we want more everything. List the top the things. We all want more of those ten things. And we all have less. Right? And in some seasons it is worse than in others.
So that is the pains that are hitting all of us, and the perplexities, and the turmoil. But, we lock in and we begin to see, O, my goodness, we have access to this interior life of this volcanic reality of divine desire, one for another, and beckoning us and just glorifying.
I mean this is what it says in the epistles of Paul, that God’s glory, He wants to glorify, He wants to exalt us into the reality of this life as the Bride of Christ. And just living in that and touching it even now. Not waiting until we die.
This is the vision for every believer in this age, if they want it. We need to have a vision to touch this reality in this age. Beloved, we need a deep vision that we are going to live with might on the inside. And when you touch it a little bit, might, your heart is made strong. Even a little bit. But a little bit goes a long way.
Look at Ephesians 3:12. O, those of you who have studied Ephesians 3, how do you jump in on one verse like this? I mean, it is worse than Ephesians 1, in terms of so much treasure and glory. How do you do Ephesians 3 and Ephesians 1?
You just jump right in there. Ok, verse 12, right in the middle of a treasure chest of God’s heart, “in whom we boldness and access with confidence, through faith in Him.”
And our emphasis on the front end is, “through faith in Him”. But beloved, let’s lay that down for a minute. That is really important, “through faith in Him.” But that is something that we have all established. We are into that, we buy into that.
Let’s look at, “we have boldness and access with confidence.” Access to what? Access to the interior life of the Godhead. Access, O Man! Access to verse 18, that is what you have access to as a human. Angels do not. Angels do not have access to this, we do through Christ Jesus.
I am sure that part of the deal that God the Father and God the Son insisted on; it is not like they bargained with each other, both of them insisted, which is what Ephesians 6 is all about, God insisted on it being this way.
The deal was if Jesus dies it would result in bold access to broken humans. The Father says, “I insist on it if You die!” And the Son says, “I insist on it if I die!” Before the plan was ever set into motion the end product was broken humans with full access, with boldness. That is where this thing began.
The Father says, “I will not have it any other way. I will not set the plan in motion.” And Jesus says, “Good, because I would not go on any other terms.” It has to result in access with boldness to the interior life of God.
Jesus says, “I want them to know Me!” When Jesus spoke of God He was talking about Himself. He goes, “I want them to have access to My feelings! I want them to feel what I feel! Think what I think! I want them to be so, touched in the grace of God that their human spirit is brought to it’s full potential in grace, where they feel what I feel and know what I feel! I insist on access to My feelings at the highest level.”
And the Father says, “I insist on access to My heart if You die.” And so they said, “Agreed, let’s go.” And Jesus went and died. And the result is that God established, as the book of Hebrews called it, a new and a living way. Hebrews 10:19. God the Father established boldness in the Holy Place in a new and a living way. Hebrews 10:19, access to His own heart.
We would have access to the interior life of the God head. We can think what they are thinking and feel what they are feeling, a little bit. But our spirit would be touched with this.
I tell you, when you think what God is thinking and feel what He is feeling, there is profound wisdom. And there is all kinds of mysteries and paradoxes and surprises. But I tell you, when you think and feel what God is thinking and feeling there is burning affection on every truth that God tells you that is related to wisdom. He has burning desire. It is about width, length, depth, and height, of burning affection.
It is where this thing is going. We are going to feed our spirit on this, bold access. But, here I am touching the word, ‘access’. Jesus said, “They have to have access to Me forever or I am not going.” God the Father said, “They have to have access to the fullness of My heart or I am not sending You!”
Access is awesome, but it is not enough. Access is not enough. Ephesians 1 makes all of the points. It has to be bold access. O, beloved! Bold was not enough. Paul said, “Bold and Confident.” Well that is the same thing. He put them both in one. He put a description on each side of the word access.
I can just see Paul writing, “In whom we have boldness and access.” The Holy Spirit says, “No, more, say it harder Paul. Say it bolder.” “Boldness and access with boldness.” There you go, “Boldness with access with boldness.” He goes, “I want you to say it twice.”
And you might be able to separate boldness and confidence one degree and compare it. You know, get some guy to chart it all out. But at the end of the day it is, “I know that You love Me. And I know I love You.” Bottom line, that is where it is at.
Beloved can you fathom the implications of a confident human spirit in the grace of God? It is staggering the implications of that reality. And it is from Genesis to Revelations, it is everywhere!
I talk to people sometimes and they are all kind of mystified. They go, “Where did you get that?” I go, “It’s Genesis, it’s even in Leviticus, all through the book of Psalms, even Ecclesiastes mentions it a time or two. It is everywhere. It is all over the epistles of Paul. You just have to have a paradigm for it. Look for it. It is just absolutely everywhere.”
The church is so accustomed to perusing God with diligence without confidence in their spirit. They are so used to it that they cannot imagine a world of perusing with diligence with confidence empowering them in each season of the journey.
Boldness and access with confidence. Well, that boldness and that confidence, when does it start? Well, obviously it just starts when you die. The Holy Spirit says, “No, it does not start when they die. It starts the day they are born again. That is the goal of it.”
Every attack of Satan has in that attack an inherit ant desire to undermine your confidence. The attack has other things, but at the end of the day, every attack no mater what it is, if it is to torment your body, or to torment your relationships, to torment anything, at the end of the day, Satan’s goal is to undermine confidence.
Revelation 12:10, he is called the accuser. He is the one that wants to undermine confidence in our access to God. Because if our confidence is weakened, undermined, than the might is our spirit is significantly reduced.
Because might and confidence, though they are two different ideas, they boil down to the same living reality. It really, really is, because I have thought this through. Not that I have the final word on it. But, I keep running in, because I pursue might, and I pursue confidence. And I go, “Hey! This is kind of like the same thing.”
The Lord maybe winks and says, “Hey you’re getting it little guy.” “I mean it is kind of like the same thing here with different words!” And the Lord might say, “Well, there are about twenty words all saying the same thing. You guys are just so easily distracted, I have to get you out. Every time you sneak out I put another road block to keep you from getting off of the path.” It is just all over, boldness with confidence.
Satan’s number one attack, the accuser of the brethren, Revelation 12:10, is he accuses to undermine confidence. He undermines confidence on the front end, “God does not really like you.”
Well, he tries with the, “God is not good.” That works for a season. And then we figure out that God is good, but we are disqualified. So, “He does not like me.” That is normally the way. Finally we break down and say, “Ok, He is good. We have to go there.” For the first season, “God is not good.” But we yield, and “God’s good, but I am disqualified.” So, “He is not good to me.”
Satan does not care where the line of connection breaks as long as it breaks. So “He is not good to me.” He comes, he attacks, and “God does not like you in your weakness. Your weakness disqualifies you. He does not enjoy you.” And we can live with that, because still, “God is good and I am such a creep, I deserve it.” And we get very, very works oriented in a very accidental way.
We are comfortable living with God being good and us being disqualified. That is a comfortable paradigm for most fervent believers. But that is not enough. The enemy wants more. If you actually believe that He likes you
when you are weak. That is a giant loss in the kingdom of darkness. I am talking to sincere believers now.
Then the other thing is to get you to believe that you are a hypocrite. “God likes You.” And the whole thing is, “God likes you but you are so false and God’s love is so great. In your falseness, He just overcomes your falseness. You are a hypocrite on every level. But His love is so great that it just works anyway.”
Again, the trap that we first start off with is, “God is not good.” The Devil says, “He is mean, He is not really paying attention.” We fight through that. “Ok, He is good and He is paying attention and He likes us.”
Warfare number two, “He likes us and He is good. But we are so weak, we are disqualified.” Ok, we got at the place where God actually likes weak people.
But then He says, “Ok, He likes you and you are weak. But just know this, you are a hopeless hypocrite. God just puts up with hypocrites. He likes hypocrites!” And we figure out, “Well, He loves us I guess, but I am so false.” And not having the reality of this witness, that you are authentic, actually crushes something on the inside of you.
We need to have confidence that even in our weakness there is something authentic that God looks at and says, “This is good in My sight.” Not just, “You are really rotten, but I am so good with rotten people, do not worry, you made it.”
No, “I am really good with rotten people so you are secure” is not the same thing as, “I really enjoy the weak.” And you know what? “My power is such that there is authenticity in you. You are real as a lover of God, even in your weakness.”
When those things all connect, I mean you go, “O, my Lord! This is the deal! This is really what life is about!” And the Devil losses significantly when humans tap into this reality. It is a significant loss in the kingdom of darkness.
He wants confidence. Look at verse 11, “according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Jesus, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence.”
The eternal purpose, the big picture, the eternal purpose is to have a people that have fiery confidence in their spirit. Bold love, this might working in the inside.
The enemy wants to attack it. That is the number one attack of the enemy. I believe that it is the number one goal of a preacher to awaken people to confidence in love on both levels in their genuineness.
I have said this for years. People say, “Well, if they get confident, they get careless.” And that is the argument of Romans 5:20, to Romans 6:1. Paul said, “Grace triumphs! Where sin abounds, grace abounds more.” And Paul says, “I guess you are going to charge me with saying, ‘well why not sin more?’ If I preach the grace so intensely Romans 5:20, it is going to create careless people.”
Not if they are genuinely born again. There is the seed of God, 1 John 3:9, when the seed is in us God the Spirit, the “Abba” cry is in us. That is the difference right there.
When the Abba cry, the Romans 8:16, is in your spirit, you cry, “Abba! Daddy! I am yours! I want you! You want Me! Abba!” There is an authentic cry in the born again experience.
Romans 8:16 calls it the cry, “Abba”, the cry for “Abba!” And the cry of “Abba!” is, “I need You love. And I want to love You!” It is not just, “I need Your love. I want to be a lover of You.” It is the, “Abba” cry. “I want to be fully Yours. You are Mine and I am yours.” It is that two way thing that I am talking about. Romans 8:16.
The, “Abba” cry of Romans 8:16, is the seed of 1 John 3:9. When John the apostle says, “The seed of God is in you. You cannot sin, if the seed of God is in you.” It does not mean that you will never, ever do anything wrong. It means, if you are genuine born again, you will never live a successful sinful life.
I mean, when you are genuinely born again, you just do that same, ole same ole, and there is something screaming on the inside of you. You’re going, “Man this is not working like it used to. You know like, “Boy it sure is fun to do all of this stuff,” and screaming all of the time. Your going, “What is the deal here? Would you be quiet? I am trying to do the same ole thing that I used to do!”
If you are genuinely born again, beloved, confidence makes the cry louder in you. It does not make you careless. Confidence makes the “Abba” cry louder, it does not diminish it. I assure you that this is the truth. Confidence makes you connect with the, “Abba” cry, and it makes you careful.
People think, “No, if they get confident, they will sin more.” I go, “No, the cry gets louder. The seed of God, the born again reality, the cry, “Abba” gets louder. They actually become more delighted in living in that realm, because it feels so right. They resonate on the inside with the cry.
They go, “This is what I was made for. I love to be loved, and I love loving. You know, loving is really fun. I love to be loved, it is totally a blast. And I love loving back! This is maybe what I was made for. I love to love and I love to be loved. Wow!”
When we get in touch with that, that is an invigorating internal reality. It is invigorating. When people get more confident, the voice, the cry, “Abba” gets louder, and they actually become more careful.
The religious mindset says, “If they get confident they become careless.” It is exactly the opposite. If they get confident, but they do not have internal intimacy and reality, they do get careless.
And maybe that is what they are thinking. They think, “Hey, if I got confident, I would get careless.” Because they do not have an internal reality that is growing in them. Outside of intimacy, of course I do not know how you get confident outside of intimacy in reality. It is just a false kind of façade confidence.
Beloved, when you are genuinely born again, something comes alive in you. You want more of the Word. I want more of the Word. I am not trying to think of ways where I can say, “Well Lord, I did enough of the Word thing today. Can I get off of the hook?”
I am trying to sneak around in corners to get more Word, you know. I am trying to figure out, “How can I dodge this, and duck out of that? I have to get more.” You hunger increases. And it becomes dominating. You do not have to clock in and make sure that you put your forty five minutes in. You are trying to steal time everywhere that you can. You’re spirit has incautious hunger.
It was Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones, a famous preacher in Britain for fifty years. And He died; I think in maybe 1982 at Westminster Chapel, the famous church there in London that some of you have undoubtedly heard of.
Anyway, is his Romans series he said this, he made this bold statement, because he was preaching on the Romans 5:20. It says, “Where sin abounds grace abounds all the more.”
In other words, where there is weakness, even when there is defilement, if there is a cry to God, the grace delivers you from the defilement. And it delivers you from the shame of it and the brokenness of it. The whole deal! He goes, “There is more power. There is more to answer to answer anything that you could come up with.”
And of course, then Paul the apostle in the next verse or two was charged, Romans 6:1, he says, “I bet you just think that I am saying, if you get more grace when you sin more, than why don’t you just sin more?” He goes, “Far be it from me.” He says, “May it never be! No! God forbid! That is not what I am saying!”
That is a religious mindset that would do the logic. That is a man or a woman that has not touched the internal reality. Nobody with the internal reality would ever dare think that is the logic of it. That to feel more pleasure in God’s love and confidence will make you want less of it to go sin more and have less pleasure.
When you feel the pleasure in God, it does not make you want to have less of it. It makes you want to have more of it. It is insatiable, it is addictive. When I feel God’s pleasure in me, and I feel that realm, I do not want to go watch things, do things, say things that quench me and grieve me so that I am disconnected to the pleasure. I want more pleasure. I am an addict. You are an addict. We call that, “Passion for Jesus”. We call that, “Lovesick worshipers”. It is very, very important.
Anyway, it was Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones that made the statement, I am sure that he was not the first to say it, but he popularized it around the western evangelical circles.
He said, “If you are not accused with the charge of preaching grace that will create carelessness in people,” He says, “You are not preaching grace right.” If it does not trouble the religious mindset, you have not gone to the extreme.
He goes, “If your proclamation of grace never causes the accusation, “Well, with that doctrine, they will sin more!” if it never produces that”. He goes, “you are not preaching the grace that Paul preached.”
Because, if you preach it like Paul preached it, it will always create an argument, “Well, man, people will sin more with that kind of understanding.”
I read it, I as a Dr. Marten Lloyd Jones, fanatic in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. And I remember when I read that, it blew my mind. I remember he has commentaries, this much on Romans. And I read all of them and underlined them, and then transcribed them, and then preached them, and the re- preached them, and then forget to quote him on them and thought that they were mine.
I preached them through and through for years, all through the late, ‘70s and early ‘80s. And that was one of my favorite things. And that began to intrigue me, because no one in that day ever accused me of preaching grace in a way that gave license to sin.
My grace preaching always had a really solid base of rules. Really, it had so many rules. I was never accused of making people careless with God. And I said, “Well, I am as good as Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones, I just do not have that one little accusation that Lloyd Jones had.” But anyway, let’s get off of that.
Paul is talking about verse 11 and 12, the eternal purpose in Christ Jesus produces access to the heart of God, the divine treasure. Can we fathom the verse 18 treasure, this volcanic reality of divine desire. I mean that is the treasure.
The treasure is not the city of gold and diamonds. I mean love that city. I love that city, and I want to live there. I mean, I am big about that city. That is not the ultimate treasure.
It is the being that that city exist for. That is the treasure. That is the treasure of treasures. Do you want me to tell you what the second great treasure in existence is? The first great treasure is the heart of the Godhead. I mean, nothing like it.
The second great treasure is your inner man, your interior life, the human spirit. The interior life of the people of God who said, “yes” that is the greatest treasure second only to God’s own life.
Beloved, in Proverbs 4:23, it says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the whole issues of life.” Beloved there is nothing worth more, the treasure of treasures, besides God Himself, is the interior life of you, of your interior life.
Beloved, this is a treasure. There is indescribable pleasures available to us when we connect with God at that level. It is the only way to go. Let’s go all of the way in this thing. Let’s have our spirit fiery and alive, because we understand the treasure it is to God.
You know, that is the only thing that Jesus would die for is the human spirit. You know, He did not die because He wanted to purge the old creation to make it new. I mean, He wants to do that.
He goes, “I am not going to die for that.” You know, “I’ll just speak and make another one. I am not going to die for that. I am not going to die for stars. I am not going to die for a beautiful creation. I am not going to die for fallen angels. I will die for the human spirit.”
In other words, in the language that I am using, “I will die because of the treasure of the interior life of the human heart. I want it, that I will go for.” God sees the value of your internal stirrings. Do you? That is an indescribable treasure that you possess.
And your internal stirrings and your internal design, verse 12, has access to the interior life of God. I mean, the way that you are designed has access to God Himself! Angels do not have access like that. We can think and feel a little bit of verse 18, of that width, and length, and depth, and height, of burning desire.
Well, I am going to end here where we ended last week, the same verse. Maybe the last two minutes. I was going to get going on this verse, but we are going to start next week on this verse. It is Ephesians 1.
The point of Ephesians 1 is this, the thing that I said earlier. It is this made up dialogue. I just made it up, where the Father says, “I am not going to do it unless it produces confidence.” And Jesus says. “I am not going to go unless it produces confidence.”
Ephesians 1, the message is, before the plan was ever put into motion God was determined it would create confidence between the human heart and His heart forever. He was determined that that would be the goal of it.
And He determined it before the foundation of the earth. And the reason that we care about this is because we feed our spirit on this, we begin to know who we are, what we do, and how we live.
Here it is, Ephesians 1:3. I am on my way to the end of verse 4, but you have to start in verse 3. You cannot just jump in anywhere. “Blessed be the God, the Father,” I am going to paraphrase. “Blessed be the Father of Jesus.” O, I love that phrase. “Blessed be the Father of Jesus.”
Why? Well, this Father of Jesus, He blessed us. He determined to give us everything in heavenly places. The Father of Jesus set the whole thing up where He gave us the whole store. The whole store is ours.
The Father of Jesus said, “Ok, Jesus, here is how it is. I am going to give them everything if You go, everything!” And Jesus says, “O, I love it! That’s what I wanted. I wanted them to have everything!”
He says, “I am going to give them every conceivable blessing that exist in every realm. They get the whole store. They get Oz, times a thousand. They get the whole deal, the whole deal.” The Father of Jesus insisted on it. They get the whole store.
And Jesus said, “I will go on those terms. I like this. I like it.” We are going to look a little at what this, “every spiritual blessing” is. But the point that I wanted you to get is that the Father of Jesus determined to set this plan into motion. He wanted to give everything and hold nothing back.
Sometimes, I will want to give something and someone around me will say, “No! Do not give that much!” I do not mean that I am always wanting to give too much. But sometimes I need to give more. But my point is, sometimes someone will rise up and say, “No, no do not give that!” And I go, “No, I want to”. And they go, “Well, you cannot do that. They do not do this, that, and the other.” I go, “I do not care, I want to give it anyway!”
I picture the angels going, “You’re going to give those little creatures that!” And the Father says, “The whole deal, or I am not sending Him.” And Jesus says, “The whole deal, or I am not going!” And the Holy Spirit says, “This is good, I like this! This is good, I will seal it!”
And the angels are going, “Well, what about us? What’s the deal? I mean, they are creepy little things down there. They worship demons. Why are You doing this for them?” “The whole deal.” Beloved, that is awesome.
Verse 4, “Blessed be the Father of Jesus who blessed us in the same way, or just as, He chose us,” Put the word, ‘desire’. “Just as He chose,” He wanted us. Before the world was ever created He wanted something. What did He want before the whole world was created?
He wanted us, “to be holy, and He wanted us,” here is the phrase that I am working on right here. He wanted us to be, “Without blame before Him in love.”
He says, “I am going to give you the whole store, I am going to give you everything. But there is something that I want when I give you everything. I want you to dwell without any blame, with no accusation in your spirit, from yourself, from another human, from an angel, from a demon, no accusation in the equation. I want you to deal without any blame, no accusation, no fault, nothing.”
You dwell before God, in love with nothing to stop it. It is confidence. Now, some translations put the, ‘in love’ with verse 5. I believe that the majority
BECOMING CONFIDENT IN LOVE BEFORE GOD PART 2 22 EPHESIANS 3
put the, ‘in love’ with verse 4 here. It is very, very important. If you put the, ‘in love’ with verse 5, it talks about God’s motive, that God is motivated by love. And that is true, but that is not the point here.
If you put the, “In love” with verse 4, like the New King James, and many translations; I think that it is the NIV that puts it the other way; if you put the, “In love” with verse 4, the focus of, “in love” is God’s motive. It is clear that God’s motive is love. But that is not the point that Paul is making. The point that Paul is making is that the love is the focus of what His word is supposed to produce, confident love in us.
Before the foundations of the earth God says, “Here is what I want. I am going to give you the whole store,” in verse 3. But not only that, “I have chosen, I am going to produce in your spirit and in your experience, without any blame you are going to stand with no blame before Me in love. You are going to have confident love, in this age and in the age to come.”
Beloved, this is what life is about. Amen? When this touches you, the cry, “Abba” gets louder. It does not get smaller. When that cry touches you, it resonates in your being, and you do not go, “Oh, oh, I want to go watch dirty movies. O, I want to get drunk and quench this. O, I want to live in hatred and bitterness and get rid of this.”
Beloved, it does not do that. It does the other thing. It makes you go, “O, I have to have more! I have to have more!” Amen, let’s stand
Abba, we love you. O, we love to love You. Is that true saints? We love to be loved and we love to love back. We love to be loved and we love to love back.
Abba, Abba, release Your heart to us Abba! Come Holy Spirit, touch us, and heal us. Spirit breathe and touch us! Here we are! Even now Lord, even tonight we ask. Here we are Abba! We are Your children, we love You Abba! Just as we are!
We must have more! Even now…tape ran out