If you are in search of a deeper intimate relationship with our Creator, let me submit to you three disciplines that will enhance your spirituality in a real and meaningful way. If practiced on a daily manner as you integrate them into your “faith-walk,” you will develop more of the identity of Christ as you and I continue to learn to trust and to follow His example.
As disciples of The Messiah, we are called to seek after and stay in the 1. Presence of God as a form of intimacy and communion with The Father. Next, we are invited to offering ourselves as a sacrifice in service in The Kingdom, I call this willful act a 2. Peace-offering for we are no longer enemies of God we are His children. Equally as important, when The Master ask a believer to follow Him, in reality, a believer is making a vow to be commissioned as His disciple! Last, in living out our faithfulness before this present evil age, we personally and publicly manifest spiritual fruits, i.e., 3. Joyousness, as we prove that God is very real in every aspect of our existence.
Presence of God
Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is a fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
If you feel that God is far away right now, and many people go through this, know that God says “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5). The author of the Book of Hebrews knew the Jewish followers of The Messiah would be familiar with those words because the psalmist so frequently wrote about the faithfulness of God and His being present with the humble and meek.
This reality carries the same eternal promises in our present time of need and helps today. The most reassuring thing in this verse is that God will “make known to each faithful follower, the path of life” and that speaks of eternal life, no doubt because if you’re going to be enjoying God’s presence in eternity, this means these pleasures will be “forevermore” or for all time, past, present, and future!
One may ask, Brother Alonzo, just how do I begin to learn how to seek the presence of God! One of the best if not basis example that I most recently discovered is this link, I hope that you find it helpful:
A peace offering in the Old Testament Law is described in Leviticus 7:11–21. It was a voluntary sacrifice given to God in three specific instances. First, a peace offering could be given as a freewill offering, meaning that the worshiper was giving the peace offering as a way to say thank you for God’s unsought generosity. It was basically just a way to praise God for His goodness.
The second way a peace offering could be given was alongside a fulfilled vow. A good example of this was when Hannah fulfilled her vow to God by bringing Samuel to the temple; on that occasion she also brought a peace offering to express the peace in her heart toward God concerning her sacrifice—it was a way to say, “I have no resentment; I am holding nothing back in the payment of my vow.”
The third purpose of a peace offering was to give thanksgiving for God’s deliverance in an hour of dire need. None of these three reasons to sacrifice had anything to do with propitiation, with appeasing God, or with pacifying Him. But only Christ’s sacrifice creates favor with God and covers wrongdoing, and the Old Testament sacrifices were a picture of that future provision.
As followers of The Messiah in a humanistic and secular culture that we live in America, we must always maintain a willful disposition of praise to the Father via the goodness that we are benefactors of, due to all the benefits of Christ’s acts on the Cross, His Death, and His Resurrection. The regenerative life-giving aspects of The Holy Spirit and the Gospel Message require more than just believing, it requires a committed life of fellowship in the deepest level in order for us to have victory in this fallen world system. No greater example of our response to The Master’s call to discipleship than:
Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice–alive, holy, and pleasing to God–which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1
“What does it mean to be a living sacrifice?”
This link reveals the very basic yet life-long calling of any disciple who wishes to pleasing and serving the Lord with all of one’s heart, mind, soul, and strength: https://www.gotquestions.org/living-sacrifice.html
It is expected as a disciple of The Master, that in following His example, we too will have to endure hardships, suffering, trials, and temptations. By God’s grace and mercy, we too will give thanksgiving for delivering us in the time of difficulty. Perhaps our greatest need of deliverance from God will be the deliverance from ourselves!
Of these three disciplines, Joyousness amiss suffering is the most challenging for me over the years, yet I am slowly submitting to the hidden blessedness that is associated with Joy in the life of a disciple of The Messiah.
Joy isn’t like happiness which is based upon happenings or whether things are going well or not. No, joy remains even amidst the suffering. Joy is not happiness. Joy is an emotion that’s acquired by the anticipation, acquisition or even the expectation of something great or wonderful.
It could be described as exhilaration, delight, sheer gladness, and can result from a great success or a very beautiful or wonderful experience like a wedding or graduation but the definition of joy that the world holds is not nearly as amazing as biblical joy but joy is also a gift.
Heavenly Father, We are forever thankful for all of Your eternal promises, provisions, and covenants that You willfully made available for Your people. We who are alive now, seek after Your face, desiring to be in Your presence while we follow in the footsteps of Your Son Jesus, The Messiah, Lord, and Savior of the created souls of humanity. Continue to protect us from the evil in this world; please also, protect us from ourselves!
For those who are called out of the darkness and into The Light, we humbly request additional grace and mercy from You while we faithfully submit willingly our entire lives to You as “living sacrifices” in service as disciples of The Messiah.
Thank you for commissioning us as ambassadors of spreading the Gospel Message of the Kingdom of God amidst this godless culture that we share with those have not yet been enlightened to the wonders of Your presence, Your goodness, and Your spiritual life-giving gifts that empowers us now who are faithful, and forevermore!
Grace and Peace