As I sit here in the quiet I have so many thoughts running through my head: thoughts from the truth that was spoken this past Thursday by Brad Cooper, thoughts about what the Lord is doing in my life currently, and overwhelming thoughts on how the Lord just used the message Brad delivered to greatly align with what He has been teaching me lately. And the cool thing is, that’s no coincidence that is just the work of one good, good Father. So, as I sit here trying to collect all my wandering thoughts, I am praying for this blog and I am praying for you! Thanks for being here and reflecting on God’s sweet truth with me. We are in this one together!
Truthfully, I think what has just hit me really hard lately as I slowly go through God’s sweet truth in Hosea is the qualities of a true FATHER our Lord possesses. It’s mind-blowing if you really let it sink in. In the book of Hosea, Israel is a corrupted nation; they are numb to the Lord’s mercies and pursuit; they rely on their knowledge of Him but not their relationship with Him; and they cling too tightly to the captivating things of this world rather than finding freedom in their Father. The Lord could easily destroy them, become aggravated with their ignorance, and He could so simply just walk away from them. Israel deserved this; we deserve this. YET… get this, THE LORD PATIENTLY WAITS FOR HIS CHILDREN AND HE ALWAYS TAKES US BACK IN.
Why? Because He loves us with an indescribable love, He wants us to live in freedom, we are the desires of His heart, and as Brad Cooper shared on Thursday, He desires for our lives to be transformed by Him through a RELATIONSHIP with Him because the price has already been paid by Him.
Hosea 4:7 “All of them are hot as an oven; they devour their rulers. All their kings fall, and none of them calls on me.” There was no way that Israel could be hot like an oven after other idols and also call upon the Lord. Their sacrifices were empty, their knowledge of the Lord was meaningless, and their genuine relationship with the Father was nonexistent. The Lord loves us so deeply with such passion and it is His true heart’s desires that we return all of our devotion to Him. He is worthy of it all. Sometimes, I believe that we as Christians cling way too tightly to the things of this world, even the good things and blessings like our friends, our family, or the relationships that we believe are constant in this world, yet we fail to rely on our Father and give our life to Him. Our Father is the One who gave us these sweet blessings in the first place and let me tell you, He is CONSTANT and His love and mercy is unchanging. You give your life to Him and cling to Him and He will allow for you to experience a love like no other, He will care for you like a true Father, He will continue to bless you, and He will lead you into a transformative life.
As Brad shared this past week, if you choose to follow Him and build that relationship with the sweetest of Fathers, He’s going to transform your life and here’s how:
- You will believe in His promises
First, if you follow Him and release your grip on the things of this world, the Lord is going to allow for you to genuinely begin believing in His promises. The Bible is not just a book of rules, it is a book of promises and they are FOR US. You’re going to fully believe that you serve a Father who is going to work all things together for your good (Romans 8:28), you will gain a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7), and you will truly rest assured that your Father will never leave or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
The promise of God is that He will save you. He will pursue you. He will not give up on you. He will continue to work on you and HE WILL FREE YOU. For where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.
God hasn’t just saved us FROM some things, our Father has saved us FOR something.
You have a purpose, an incredible redemptive plan that the Lord wants you to know and trust. He wants us to lean into Him and the promises that He holds for us.
- Living in Uncommon Unity
Jesus calls us into an uncommon unity. His followers were people from all different walks of life. In fact, Jesus’ own lineage contained people whom the Jews would never imagine being related to the Holy One.
Why? (Also sidenote, Jesus constantly has me asking “Why?”/ We are so undeserving!)
Because Our Jesus is for everyone. He is for the sinners, the saints, the prostitutes, the Jews, the non-Jews, outcasts, etc. He is a constant Father for all. We are called to live in this same uncommon unity for the glory of our Father.
- Making Bold Moves
We are called to live in uncommon unity, but we aren’t called to live in uniformity. We are called to step out in boldness. God gives us the Holy Spirit as our helper and that’s Him stirring inside of you to step out in bold faith for the Lord and for His children. Remember the Lord is a constant Father, and wherever He leads you, He will go with you and will continue to be the same Father there as He was for you before. Let your fear be overcome by your faith and don’t cling to the things of this world. The Lord is a merciful Father and He has blessings that He desires to pour into your life if you simply trust Him and follow where He leads you with bold faith. When we truly follow Him we will start going places nobody has been before and doing things nobody has ever done before because we serve a God who did that for us.
- Having a Kingdom Mentality
In addition, when we follow the Lord and allow for Him to transform our lives, our agenda begins to be replaced by the Kingdom’s agenda. We have got to decrease in order that He may increase. Sometimes, we as Christians use Jesus Christ to make much of who we are. Yet, it is our job to take our name and push all the attention to Jesus. It’s not about us. We have to magnify the name of the Lord, and when we do this we simply make more room in our hearts and in this world for God and the problems of this world and in the hearts of our brothers and sisters will decrease. This world needs a Savior not another self-proclaimed sinner. We have a huge sovereign God who calls us to have a Kingdom mentality so that His will may be done.
Not my will but yours be done, Father.
- He invites us into showing visible love
This is everything that Jesus did on planet Earth. No other God can or would ever JOIN US IN OUR HUMANITY. He humbled Himself and became flesh so that we could see how much He loved us and His entire life was all about loving us. If Christ lives in you, then are you showing His visible love?
There’s just something so great about the Father that we have and the freedom He calls us into. Just as He was with the whole nation of Israel; He is also patient, forgiving, and yearning for our hearts too. All we have to do is loosen our grip on the things of this world and stand with open arms in front of ever gracious Father. He is ready to take us in, transform our lives, and walk with us forever. How sweet it would be to truly live a transformative life all for the glory of our sweet, sweet Lord…
Love you guys! Praying for each of you this week. I hope to see you all at 9:19 this coming Thursday!