We live lives that are overwhelming us by screaming for attention. We all have to do so much – Work, partners, children, friends, family, social activities, finances, acceptance, success – We each have these internal personal struggles in growth, acceptance, self-worth, self-acceptance, self-forgiveness, self-realization – all competing for our time, attention, money, dedication and commitment. O and God must be in there somewhere – Right?

The answer to the question is Yes! If you never see it in your life the hot sun is shining down on the Sahara desert today. It does not need you, you don’t have to approve, it simply is there – without you. In exactly the same way God is everywhere. He does not need you, or your approval. When you show up to share God’s word – people don’t discover God through your words – they recognize Him in their lives, and they see that He has been present all along, even though they did not know it.

We live by God’s grace – every second on every day – breath by breath – heartbeat by heartbeat. We struggle through this life to learn, experience, grow and hopefully share. We are plagued by questions, shifting awareness and awakening to new realities as we traverse the route that makes up our lives. We hear things, see things, interpret things that form us, guide our decisions and have consequences. But God remains… PATIENT

Psalm 103:14 (AMP) For He knows our [mortal] frame; He remembers that we are [merely] dust.

God was there before the formation of everything, and He will be there after our sun has gone to supernova, our humanity has been spent, our species have gone extinct, and yet in all of this:

Matthew 10:29-31 (AMP) Are not two little sparrows sold for a copper coin? And yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered [for the Father is sovereign and has complete knowledge]. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

In a previous post (No Longer Slaves – I’m a child of God) I discussed that we are immensely important to God. He chose us, designed and built us, planned the course of our lives, and is and has and will live it with us as we make the decisions that affect its content. We may not see it, but if you look back, you can recognize His hand (and sometimes a smile of a tear) in your life.

I sometimes get frustrated that I take so long to learn certain things, to recognize something from a new perspective, to understand something deeper or better than before. I currently accept these gifts with a mixture of joy and sorrow. I realize that something has always existed, and it is only now that I have grown enough, attained enough exposure that would allow me to “see” something in a different light.

Luke 4:16-21 (AMP) So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me (the Messiah), Because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent Me to announce release (pardon, forgiveness) to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed (downtrodden, bruised, crushed by tragedy), to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the favor of God abound greatly].” Then He rolled up the scroll [having stopped in the middle of the verse], gave it back to the attendant and sat down [to teach]; and the eyes of all those in the synagogue were [attentively] fixed on Him. He began speaking to them: “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing and in your presence.”

It is with this understanding that I recently heard the passage above for the first time (with new ears, eyes, and attitude). [This is one of the most important segments in our Bible – It is Jesus’ mission statement, the declaration of why He is here, what he needs to do, and outlines how He intends doing it.]

When we see the poor, we think immediately of those that have insufficient financial means, captives as those incarcerated due to some legal action, blind as those without the use of their eyes, and understand the oppressed to be those suffering injustice.

If we assume that being a child of God has a goal of getting us to follow Jesus, emulate His example, adopt His attitude and view life through His perspective then – we are poor in understanding (still growing), we are captives of our own limited views, blind to what God’s full reality is, and oppressed by our World-focused belief system.

We may be saved, but unless we understand…

1 Corinthians 1:30 (AMP) But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God [revealing His plan of salvation], and righteousness [making us acceptable to God], and sanctification [making us holy and setting us apart for God], and redemption [providing our ransom from the penalty for sin],

We need to move… grow, evolve, change, experience, push forward, we should experience this life as a learning experience. I have been fortunate in that God establishes and reveals Himself to me every time I become self-reliant (feeling self-sufficient) by reminding me that:

John 6:35-36 (AMP) Jesus replied to them, “I am the Bread of Life. The one who comes to Me will never be hungry, and the one who believes in Me [as Savior] will never be thirsty [for that one will be sustained spiritually]. But as I told you, you have seen Me and still you do not believe.

Learning to be reliant on God (just like Jesus) is a significant step and requirement in our endeavor to emulate our redeemer (sanctification).

John 5:30 (AMP) “I can do nothing on my own initiative or authority. Just as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just (fair, righteous, unbiased), because I do not seek My own will, but only the will of Him who sent Me.

Why do we want to become more Christ-like?

Romans 8:29 (AMP) For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers.

So what does the process of becoming more Christ-like entail?

Romans 12:1-2 (AMP) Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

Behaving like Jesus as a conscious decision, acting on the knowledge that you have and striving to grow more not just in your understanding of how God wants you to act, but actively learning and demonstrating that behavior.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (AMP) And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.

Allowing the Spirit of God to work in us, through us, with us, and to be constantly vigilant and accessible, fully seeking His glory in all. This indwelling of the Spirit gives us access to the mighty power of God, which raised Jesus from the dead, and is only limited by our own lack of faith. As we progress in our journey, trusting God and His Spirit more, we will encounter transformation unattainable by human effort.

Romans 8:28 (AMP) And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

In a previous post (Why do we need to struggle?) we see that suffering is an essential component of our human learning experience, and proof of this exists of this not only within Christianity.

Mahatma Gandhi (October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was Hindu, and through personal suffering and that of his people, he attained Christ-Like features within his persona. Nelson Mandela (July 1918 – December 2013) exemplified a number of Christ-like features after he experienced immense personal suffering and even though he was brought up in a Christian environment never committed to the Christian faith.

Mark 8:31 (AMP) And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must [of necessity] suffer many things and be rejected [as the Messiah] by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and must be put to death, and after three days rise [from death to life].

We tend to forget that Jesus suffered immensely as well. Not just physically, but spiritually, through incredible temptation and all other human conditions. The only difference in this regard is that Jesus was fully actualized and operating from within the God perception even before He suffered.

God has a purpose for you and your life on this planet – If you can find it, and share it, you will experience all of the rich promises God has made, for this life and the next.

Nothing can possibly exceed the feeling of fulfilling your full potential, your destiny.

May the richness of God fill you in this coming week.

Originally posted on - https://discoveringgod491609808.wordpress.com/2018/10/21/is-it-real-even...

Author's Bio: 

Anton van den Berg is a normal person. I have no specialized theological training but I have led a life of hard and tough lessons. Like silver, I had to be taken to the furnace to get rid of a lot of impurities. In that process, I have learned to let certain things go, and to attach to other values. These posts represent some of the pivotal growth-moments in that journey. I hope that it would assist you on your journey in some way. May God Almighty, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit be with you.