Category Archives: The Open Door of Delight

A Crimson Thread – The Open Door of Delight – #4–  Flourish with Delight

Key Scripture –Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

Key Thought  – “Jesus’ delight in us is now our delight in him. “

In recognising what God has done for us we must accept that other people are more likely to pursue God out of a sense of approval rather than a delight in him. Therefore, the great challenge is help people discover the infinite desire of God’s love and live from the heart of delight God has birthed in us. David, famously declared this in Psalms: –

“Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

God designed and created you for beauty. He redeemed you for beauty.  You were the delight of his heart, the raging fire of his desire and the eternal joy that ravished his plans. He designed the universe for your benefit, so you could marvel at his vastness, desire his goodness, be captivated by his kindness and bask in his beauty.

Jesus Christ was the glory of God revealed to mankind. He was the delight of God’s desire. Everything that was in God was found in Christ and Christ is the first born of every believer. We have been united into the fullness of Christ; his life is now the life that is alive in our veins.

And just as Jesus was the delight of God, we are now the delight of the Father. You now are covered in beauty eternal, cemented in love, clothed in the glory of God, intertwined with him in union down in the innermost depths of your heart; you exist in love, for love has made its kingdom in your heart.

For the servant came to free us from the lies of the enemy that enslaved, confused and trapped mankind. The lies that took away our value, degraded our beauty and trapped us into a prison of shame. He came to demonstrate the goodness of God, to act in the mercy of God and to touch us with the compassion of God.

The promise of God’s delight is the overflowing grace of God demonstrated to us, that while we were lost he entered our world and revealed the love of God to us in Jesus.

I am going to revisit the story in the Bible of Jesus visiting the home of a man he had raised from the dead and spend a few moments viewing it from a different perspective.

Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honour. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.”  Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” – John 12:1-8 (NLT)

Here Mary in an act of selflessness took her most treasured and expensive perfume and poured it over the feet of Jesus.  And then with her hair wiped his feet clean.  The aroma of the perfume filled the house with a fragrance of gratitude and love.

One of the men in the room immediately objected to this extravagant display and speaking his mind he forcefully let everyone know of his displeasure with the act.  But knowing the motives of his heart, Jesus instructed that the infinite worth of love is far more precious that the measurable value of earthly possessions.

For God is boundless in his love to us.  Mary although she probably did not know it, demonstrated in this selfless act the true heart of God. A God that stoops down and loves his creation. An act of unlimited wealth as she poured out her most treasured possession. An act of self-sacrifice that transcended logic, convention, dignity and worldly values.

For God desires us to break free of the patterns of the world and embrace his abundant life.

This simple act of devotion had eternal consequences for bound in the broken alabaster flask was the sweet aroma of heaven and in the same way Noah offered up his sacrifice of thanking for his deliverance from the ark, Jesus offered himself up at the cross to be our pleasing sacrifice to God.

Paul captured the essence of this life of thanksgiving when he wrote to the Ephesians :-

“Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” – Ephesians 5:2

Jesus was the fragrance offered to God, the sweet perfume of heaven, the infinite delight of God’s heart. His sacrifice was the final sacrifice, with his one act at the cross all sacrifices were wrapped up in his death. His offering was the perfect fragrance that satisfied and pleased for all time the desire of the Father.

And with the Father’s satisfaction comes the Father’s delight. Because God is satisfied with Christ, He is delighted with his finished work and we are now united in Christ in the delight of the father. God is eternally pleased with us because he is eternally pleased with Christ. The overflow of our heart is the delight God has in his son.

When God looks at Christ he sees him as perfect, holy, righteous, glorious, magnificent, conquering, and victorious, and that is exactly how God views you in Christ.

The fragrance of your heart is the presence of Christ and his delight in you is the aroma that captivates your soul.  It is the delight of God that embraces our senses and enraptures the father with our lives; –

“Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.  This fragrance is perceived by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.” – 2 Corinthians 2:15

For Jesus’ delight in us is now our delight in him.

The more we dive in to the delight of God we realise our delight in loving him. For the essence of our relationship with God is a heart of delight in his goodness and grace. To live each moment with a heart bursting with love and a tangible affection that is satisfied with his love. The sacrifice of Christ is the satisfaction of our hearts, it accomplished all the purposes of the Father, it fulfilled all God’s plans and it restored our hearts into the intimacy that we had always wanted.

Delighting in God is the root that reaches into the desire of God and draws from the streams of God’s righteousness. Our heart’s hunger to experience the intimate love of our Father. We long to be connected into an oasis of righteousness.

And what does this hunger and thirst for righteousness look like? It means a vibrant, unhindered, perfect fellowship and union with God. A heart that is no longer guilty, condemned, feeling shameful or tormented with doubt, but is secure in God’s love, is peaceful and is in harmony with the presence of God.

For when delight fills our hearts we realise our perfect union with him and God’s presence seeps through our emotions

 

Advertisements

The Open Door of Delight – #3–  The Magnitude of God’s Goodness

Key Scripture – “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—  to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3 : 17-19)


Key Thought  – it is one thing to hear a promise but it is another thing completely transforming when we experience the promise.”

 

The magnitude of God’s goodness is something that God desperately tried to make his children understand.  His interaction with us was always to demonstrate to us the importance of connecting with him in body, soul and spirit.  This is evident in dramatic intervention in the life of Abraham.  In Genesis God had promised Abraham the land of Canaan for his home. Abraham gave Lot his nephew a choice of this land and Lot chose the best land, or more precisely, the land that was more pleasing to his eyes.  Abraham was left with remainder of the land and God then told Abraham to do something quite extraordinary: —

“And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward;  for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered.  Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.” – Genesis 3:14 – 17 (NKJV)

At first it is easy to over look over the importance of these verses, but within this passage is one of the keys to understanding Abraham’s confidence in God’s word to him.  For God knew that if Abraham experienced the promise it would fully persuade his mind and his heart that he would keep his word.

The advice to “Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width” is unlocking the door of faith into a heart centred trust in all God has promised. Because it is one thing to hear a promise but it is another thing completely transforming when we experience the promise.

Abraham needed to cement the promise of God into his heart and so with every step he took little by little the promise became reality. He was able to feel the soil beneath his feet, he could smell the sweet aroma of the flowers, touch the rich grass, run each grain of sand through his fingers. He could pick, eat and taste the ripe fruit hanging from the trees; he could see the rich abundance of the land and look from mountain tops and marvel at God’s goodness.  With each step his soul would have been captivated and assured that God was faithful and completely trustworthy.

To put it this way, the experience was so powerful to Abraham that when he shut his eyes he could recall and picture the wonder and beauty of the Promised Land. How did he know the fruit of the land was good? Is it because he was told it? Partly, but it was because he ate it, he could close his eyes and imagine its sweet taste.

In real life it is important to mix our response to God’s promises with the realisation in our lives of all he has given us.  Paul in his letter to the church at Ephesus understood this, and his prayer was a heartfelt conviction that every believer need to know and experience the love of God.

“that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—  to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3  : 17-19)

In these remarkable lines, we hear the desire of God; we start to understand the purpose of creation, that we would be able to comprehend the width, length, depth and height of the love of God. That our experience of the love of God would mirror Abraham’s experience of the Promised Land and that we like him would know in our hearts the cosmic transforming love of the father.

The realisation of God’s love is the acknowledgement in our hearts of God’s commitment to us and our loving response to his embrace.

The Open Door of Delight – #2–  The Health of Our Heart.

Key Scripture“Guard your heart, for out of it comes the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Key Thought  – “in the heart of New Creation life we have been given the life of Christ.”

Your heart is a land of your core belief system and from it comes all the issues of life.

Some people find this hard to believe, they focus on their thoughts, feelings and emotions and only believe something when they experience it.  In this case, they are living from their soul, which is the realm of their thinking and feelings.  The truth is that their thoughts and emotions have been made new, but they contain all the thinking and knowledge of the past.  It is here in the realm of our soul that we need to renew our thinking to come in line with our new creation spirit.

To put it this way, God created us with a soul, our mind, emotions and feelings and he desires that we prosper in complete health in our lives by experiencing the resurrection power of Christ in every area of our life, which is already thriving in our spirit.

The Apostle John draws our attention to the importance of releasing our souls from all condemnation. For life has a subtle trick that plays on our minds and before we are often aware of it little negative thoughts become weeds of fear, anxiety, forgiveness, bitterness, lust, greed and pride that crowds out the resurrection power of Christ alive in us. He puts it this way: –

“And by this we know that we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.  – (1 John 3: 19-22 NKJV).

John describes the experience of the soul as either condemnation or confidence. It is a condition of a soul of being in health or feeling unwell and a soul which can be made whole by knowing and living in the truth.

In everyday life the combined effect of many small thoughts that seem ordinary ultimately affect the health of our heart, from the moment we get up in the morning until we go to bed at night, the things we think, the things we feel , the things we dwell on, alter our perception of the truth. What captivates our mind, what gets our attention is what cultivates our heart.

But that is not the whole story, because in the heart of New Creation life we have been given the life of Christ.  It is the promise of Jesus Christ who understood the reality of living in a world of influence and  He promised to everyone who would listen the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling in the life of anyone who wanted it,

“ On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” – John 7 : 37- 38.

This amazing, almost too good to be true promise, assures us that the power of the Holy Spirit alive inside us is a torrent of life giving power that overflows with divine delight.  He places us into all the goodness of God, so that our daily lives become an experience of the glory and goodness of God.

We were created to see, feel, touch, taste, and listen to the world that we live in. After all we are born human beings, with a body, senses, needs and desires.  And these desires were created for us to feel and delight in the extravagant love of God, to be captivated by the beauty and glory of a loving Father.

The Open Door of Delight – #1–  Aligning to Divine Delight.

Key Scripture “ Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden?  Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis” – Matthew 11:28

Key Thought  – “By awakening our hearts to his presence we rest in our spiritual reality. “

Deep within every human being there is a hidden Kingdom, a realm of abundant treasure, a garden of enriched, fertile soil. Where life can be generated, seeds can be cultivated, saplings can be nourished, and beauty can be nurtured.

This hidden garden is called the heart. It is a place of mystery where hope is formed, seeds grow and mature and beliefs take hold and flourish. It is a garden birthed to feed you, to build you up and establish your body, soul and spirit into an overflowing expression of creation.

It is a unique place it cannot be defined with the mind for it goes beyond the intellect and logical thought. It is a garden of intimate desire, passionate longing and endless delight able to connect the physical with the spiritual.

In bringing the full depth of the spiritual reality into our innermost being we experience the intimacy that our longing has been craving. And it is here in our innermost being – the core centre of our belief – where emotions and mind converge,  that we choose to either open up and receive the fullness and flow of the Spirit or close down to allow only a let a trickle of his power reach us.

In opening up to the deepest knowing of the moment we allow our thoughts and inner restlessness to be stilled and our thirst and hunger begins to be satisfied. Soaking ourselves means we can begin to free ourselves from addictions, bad habits, guilt from the past and condemnation.  God’s desire is for us to be immersed in his love. For his unconditional love to be the source of our affection.  Contrary to everything that the daily life may tell us no measure of religious discipline can make up for the fire of a passionate delight in Christ.  That God so desires in us.

I am totally and utterly convinced that the delight that sets God heart alight is our desire to encounter the supernatural presence of his love. We can have a much of God as we desire. He has come close to us and we are encouraged to come close to him.

Jesus made this crystal clear, his life was a living offering of his invitation to come. Time and time again he urged us to come. :-

Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden?  Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that l’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear. ” – Matthew 11:28-30.

He is our oasis.  He is our refreshment and rest. He is the intoxication of our heart, the banquet of grace that our heart desires.  It is here in the place of closeness when we begin to listen to his whisper that we are restored.

By awakening our hearts to his presence we rest in our spiritual reality.  It is here that the fire of heaven is kindled inside us and we align ourselves to experience our Father’s delight in us. It is in this moment of desire that our heart is transformed from a garden of separation to a garden of pleasure. Just as Eden was a perfect place where God’s desire was transformed into his delight. In the same way,  our hearts awakened to the fire of heaven offers no resistance to the intoxication of value and acceptance that creates wholeness in our soul.  We have all grown into an earthly reality that tells us that we are separated and unloved and we constantly feel the struggle to know who we are and why we exist.  But it is in the spiritual reality we are nourished by the embrace of the father and the Kiss of our lover.

His kiss opens the door of delight. But his kiss confirms to us that our lover is not predictable. That he waits for the chance for us to step into our awareness.  He entices us to believe his love and respond to his desire. He is calls us into an effortless union where are body, soul and spirit are lost in the poetry of creation. For the good soil of our heart is the open page of heaven’s book. His desire is for every part of us to be in harmony with him.

The recognition of delight as an open door into the unconditional love of God means we let his desire be planted and rooted in our heart. When we believe that God’s desire is made complete in his delight in mankind we come in to harmonious alignment with the spiritual reality.  It is here that we are filled with his love and experience his commitment to us. In expanding our perspective to include the desire of God we move from being aware of our separation onto a place where peace, joy and fulfilment captivate our hearts.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit alive inside, we are now filled with the fullness of Christ living in us.