Breaking The Escapist Mentality

BREAKING THE ESCAPIST MENTALITY

(EMBRACING GOD’S ULTIMATE INTENTION)

Series: Towards The Full Corporate Stature

Sun 16 August 2009 – Kobus Swart

Gen. 19:1-26; Jude 1:5; Ex. 5:1-3; 1 John 1:12-14; Gen. 4:26; Eph. 1:3-14; John 1:14 (Msg); John 17:13-21; Gal. 4:5-6; John 14:9; John 5:19; Col. 2:9

The redeemed community consists of those who have been saved. They have been born again or born from above. Paul describes this experience as follows: “… if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved…” (Rom 10:9). The vast majority of believers, however, have not yet fully embraced the purpose of their new status as a “saved” people. They are just happy in the knowledge that they have been saved from going to hell!

This boils down to an “escapist mentality”: “I am glad to  escape from hell and the devil and when I die I will go to heaven”. But, was that all that our heavenly Father had in mind? To be “saved from” is important, but saved unto what? God has a deeper purpose. Yes, you must be able to say, “my sins are forgiven” or even better to believe and confess that Father God in Jesus Christ dealt with the sin nature once for all; that Jesus is the once-for-all sacrifice; that He is now seated at the right hand of the Father, waiting for His enemies to be made a footstool under His feet. This partial vision must be dealt with. God sent His Son to pave the way for a victorious Church here on earth. The Kingdom of God is going to be set up here on earth. That’s why He taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done here on earth as it is done in heaven.”

A good example is Lot’s wife. She did escape Sodom and Gomorrah but something in her heart made her look back and she turned into a pillar of salt. This reminds us of the words of Jesus: “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” [Luke 9:62]. It is possible to be saved from destruction/bondage, and yet miss the full destiny of your deliverance. Lot’s wife represents this kind of mindset. There is more than just being saved.

We have to focus again on Father’s desire and original intention for human kind. It is not all about the urgency of crisis (driven by the negative). Rather recognize the urgency of opportunity (drawn by the positive). People want to go to heaven because they cannot stand it on the earth.

We must learn from Israel’s mistake! “Now I desire to remind you… that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe” (Jude 1:5). They missed the purpose of their salvation! In Exodus 5:1-3 we find the purpose specifically spelt out for their deliverance from Egypt. Moses and Aaron told Pharaoh that “GOD, the God of Israel, says, ‘Free my people so that they can hold a festival for me in the wilderness… The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness so we can worship our GOD …'” Yes, and then there was the Land of Promise beckoning them too! In the same way, there are countless born again Christians today, who are simply wandering in the wilderness, not connecting with their destiny in Father God!

While we enjoy singing about our deliverance, our worship must go deeper, where “I” and “me” disappear out of the picture and God fills the whole picture! This is Holy of Holies level of worship. In the outer court it is all about me, my problems, my sins, my sacrifices. In the inner court it is part me, part God. The Holy of Holies is all God. The altar of incense has moved right into the third court, the Holy of Holies. Let us migrate to that level of “all God” worship. We must awake to our divine destiny. Father is looking for intimate fellowship with the Son in the many sons (the Corporate Son)!

The first time Adam and Eve heard the voice of God from outside of them was after they fell into sin. Suddenly there was distance between man and God.  Before God had to call Adam and Eve, He was in them, He was a part of them and they were a part of Him. He created them in His image; there was such intimate fellowship. This is what God wants to restore. The voice of the Holy Spirit is not behind us anymore, it is inside the redeemed community. Learn to discern the voice of the Lord on the inside. After the Fall, men began to call on the name of the Lord (Gen 4:26). That intimate relationship was gone; religion was well under way!

Do you think that if Adam did not fall God would still have sent His Son?  Yes, in His fore knowledge, God knew that Adam would make that wrong choice that dragged all of humanity down with him. The Son was slain before the foundation of the earth (Rev. 13:8 KJV). I believe, however, that Father would have sent His Son even if Adam and Eve did not fall. When Adam and Eve fell, it only necessitated the theme of redemption. There was a deeper purpose in the Incarnation! The closest we can come to comprehend this for now is found in John 17:13-22. “… that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” This talks about a level of oneness, an interpenetration of God and man that has not been demonstrated on earth outside Jesus yet. In the incarnation this was made possible! In Jesus the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily. Here we hear something of the original desire of Father. It is so much more than the forgiveness of sin. That is why He is called the once for all sacrifice. Renew your mind, reckon the old man dead, give him no space, no recognition. God wants to see the fusion of the divine with the human.

We get a glimpse into God’s original intention in Eph.1: 3-14: “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.” Outside of that “in Him” you will not find fulfillment. God purposed for us to be adopted as sons in His Son. The fullness of times was ushered in by Christ 2000 years ago. Our future started in Him before the foundation of the world. We are busy catching up, walking out our unfolding future.

The Holy Spirit is our guarantee that the final payment is on its way, and we are going to accurately represent Him on earth. You and I should make room for the Holy Spirit to activate the prophetic in us to open up the ultimate purpose in God awaiting us.