Series: Other speakers
Sunday 13th November 2011 – Daniel van Eeden and others
Phil. 1:5; Rom. 8:28-32, 35-39 (Msg); Gen. 2:19; Eph. 3:20; Phil. 4:4-7; John 12:25; Heb. 12:2;
The word “participation” means to take part, to be involved, to engage, to perform, to join, to enter into, to have a hand in, and to get in on the act. Getting in on the act stimulates something. Participation implies partnership (Phil. 1:5).
Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name (Gen. 2:19). God’s intention with man was spelled out in this passage. Man was not a mindless robot pre-programmed to react in certain ways. The word “formed” means “squeezed into shape”. The “calling” means to “give identity”. Whatever man called a living creature that was its name and character. So man was involved, as it were, in creating the DNA or character of creation. Adam participated in God’s creation. He was part of God’s creation and it never stopped. We are no longer naming animals but we have a role in unlocking one another. I cannot participate in God’s creation unless I have a revelation of Rom. 8:28. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. It does not say, “to those who love themselves.”
That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good… (Rom. 8:28-32 Msg). God will take whatever situation is confronting us and turn it into something good, for His sake. This can be the most liberating truth that we have heard in our whole life. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us (Eph. 3:20). God sees the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning. He does not look at your situation the way you look at it.
Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? …I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us (Rom. 8:35-39 – Msg). He will make a way in the wilderness – that means there will be a wilderness. Your attitude while you’re in it makes the difference. The storm under the wings of the eagle lifts it up above, over the storm, with a different perspective. The eagle soars with the up draughts of trouble. We create our own hell by excluding God from our problems and not trusting him.
Rejoice in the Lord always; (not rejoice in the Lord when things are going fine) again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:4-7). For you to receive that peace you have to give up your right to understand why the situation is where it is and trust God, trust in His sovereign nature, trust that He is in control and will work it all out for good.
It is wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. What is my frame of reference? Where do I draw my reaction and my life from? Is it from the knowledge of Rom. 8:28 or Phil. 4:4-7 which we have just read, or is it from myself? When something goes wrong in my life, where do I go to? What’s my first reaction? Jesus must be my frame of reference. The place of peace that surpasses all understanding should be the place I draw my reaction from. What a witness it will be if we can walk as peace in the world out there. You will be able to say, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”
We have to focus and become who we really are. God had a plan for us before the foundation of the earth (Eph. 2:10).
Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over (John 12:24). How many times does God give us the opportunity to be buried? There needs to be a burial, a denying of self, a setting aside of your own will and plans, so you can die and bring forth life. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal (vs. 25). Have this attitude in Christ, “Not my will but Thine be done.” He who hates his life will lose it (John 12:25).
Jesus, although He was a son, learned obedience through the things He suffered (Heb. 5:8). For the joy set before Him He endured (Heb. 12:2). If we see the original shape of our lives in Him, do you think we can go without the suffering and the learning?
A B Martins: We have to allow the water of the Word to wash us. In whatever our situation or pain we are going through allow the Word to wash us. There is a practical side to participation, and being there to participate with my whole being.
Riaan: We can hear God inviting men to participate. Whenever God did a miracle, from the Old Testament into the New, He always asked men to be part of it. See the example of Moses putting the staff on the water, and the example of filling of the jugs for the changing of water into wine. He always invited participation. We call them miracles, but what He is asking of us is to act out of our nature. We have been created in the image of God. When God looks down at men, He sees Himself. He says, “This is my image. Participate by seeing Me in each other.”
Clive: God is at work and so are we. To participate means to go into partnership with God. We all run to win the prize. The prize is an incorruptible crown, not one day but now, because we participate. If we do not participate, we cannot expect to win the prize. This race is not a hundred meter race, it’s a marathon. There may be potholes but run with one purpose, to receive the prize. We are not just participating with God in our own lives, but with God in the lives of others. (Example of Lazarus). There was a faith participation prior to the miracle; they had to roll the stone away. There was also a faith participation after the miracle, they had to unwrap him.
Philippa: We noticed a change in July after God said to me to “Stop looking at me as your cosmic butler that I’m ever going to do anything for you again. I need you to just love me for me, because I’m me. Give up the idea that I am ever going to grow another tree, heal another person or provide food for you. I need you to love me just because I’m God not because of anything else in the world.”
We had come from a place of hurt and our circumstances were less than comfortable. Even though I was overwhelmed and questioning whether God had forgotten me, all I wanted was to be in the will of God. I wanted to be in His heart. This meant that more of me had to be cut away. The process is sore, but an excitement came. I felt like a pregnant woman waiting to deliver. At this stage the body is so sore and uncomfortable and all you want is to hold your baby. We can see the light. Our circumstances have not changed, they’re not supposed to, what has changed is the way my heart beats in them.