Thoughts from the Grapevine, Entry 1

{Prayer is a two-way conversation. It is not a religious act, but us acting in our nature as the Trinity’s offspring to make agreement with God. Conversation is how anything gets done in a family, or in this case, a familial kingdom.}

 

The Stomp…breaking it down…

God is relational to the core. “God is love” (1 John 4:16). Father, Son, Holy Spirit. It is true to say that God is three in one. Jesus made much reference to the other two members of the Trinity, and quoted this verse: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Mark 12:29-30, Deuteronomy 6:4). It is also clear from Jesus’ descriptions that God’s essence is three *as* one. When God does things, an agreement has been made.

The Trinity made an agreement to have children, human beings. “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…’ ” (Genesis 1:26-27). But the first man and woman allowed an interloper, the father of lies, to lead their hearts away from their true Father. They made an agreement with a perverting spirit rather than the Originator. Our world became subject to the influence of the interloper, who distorted humanity’s character so deeply that we could hardly be recognized as God’s offspring.

But Jesus came to restore us into pure offspring of God. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). To become a child again (and your heart will become free in the joy of a child), you start with the simple agreement that God loves you unconditionally and has shown it by sending Christ to die for you (Romans 5:6-11). Christ’s suffering renders you free from your past, your sin, your mistakes, your shame, and even the sin of others, the things they attempt to hold over you, the things they label you, and their shallow assessments of you (2 Corinthians 5:14-17, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 3:13, Galatians 6:14). And in raising Christ back to life, the Father has made brand-newness of life, true child-likeness, available to you. You become a child again, this time in His kingdom. Children have a special place here. Child-likeness is His heartbeat.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”       —Matthew 18:1-5

 

LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger…
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet…

LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

—Psalm 8

Jesus is clear that in following Him we are sons and daughters, therefore heirs to His kingdom and partakers in its administration. We are invited into the decision-making process of the Trinity. There is ample evidence of this in the Scriptures. I provided a few examples in the links below (*), but the entire Bible is a book of examples of God opening up dialogue with His children.

In John 14, Jesus describes the relational creativity of the Trinity, and how that is extended to us when we follow and obey Him…so much so that Christ says we can ask for anything in His name and He will do it.

Hence the conversation that is prayer. It is not a religious act, but us acting in our nature as the Trinity’s offspring to make agreement with God. Conversation is how anything gets done in a family, or in this case, a familial kingdom. The Bible bids us to give God all kinds of requests, and all of our cares and concerns (Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:6-7). Jesus said, “Pray like this. ‘Our FATHER, Your kingdom come, Your will be done’ ” (Matthew 6:9-13). His kingdom is a product of family getting together and deciding things. It is the product of relationship, not mumbo jumbo. “When you pray, do not say the same thing over and over again making long prayers like the people who do not know God. They think they are heard because their prayers are long” (Matthew 6:7).

I tell all of you with certainty, whatever you prohibit on earth will have been prohibited in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will have been permitted in heaven. Furthermore, I tell all of you with certainty that if two of you agree on earth about anything you request, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven, because where two or three have come together in my name, I am there among them.       —Matthew 18:18-20

When two agree on anything they ask for… If Christ lives in us, it is our nature to do this.

 

(*) Genesis 18, Exodus 33:11-17, Judges 6, John 2:1-12

Romans 8:5-9Ephesians 2:1-10Romans 8:14-17Ephesians 3:12-19, John 1:1-5Genesis 3Acts 17:29-31John 1:9-14John 3:1-21Mark 10:13-16Matthew 18:10Luke 15:11-32Matthew 16:19

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