There are some striking similarities between what God has designed into the nature of materials and substances that we are using in daily life and the ways that we are in the kingdom of God. One of these is magnet making. To make a magnet, the iron particles in the rod that we wish to turn into a magnet need to be polarised in the same magnetic direction. As we make this polarisation take place, our magnet gets stronger and stronger. This happens because the little crystals of iron turn around until they line up with all their north poles pointing in the same direction.
We are made up of parts of personality, and lots of responses from emotion and training. Just as with the magnet being made, all of these parts of us need to be polarised in line with Jesus' Life and character. More of Jesus’ Life and character in us brings more peace, more of God’s love, and more of His joy flowing through us.
The magnet cannot polarise itself. It needs a stronger magnet to work with it to influence all of those crystals of iron to turn around. We cannot polarise ourselves, we can discipline a certain amount of repressive control over our lives, but we cannot truly turn all these areas around without God’s help and His ongoing work in us.
The best magnetic material is soft iron. Soft iron shatters if it is struck, and its nature changes if it is heated too much. The polarising magnet is stroked gently but firmly alongside the one being made. Hitting them together does not give the desired effect without damage being done. Our Father does not damage us either; we do quite enough of that all by ourselves! He is gentle and firm with us, not brutal. His rod and His staff are to comfort, not to hurt - Psalm 23 . Each time we spend actively in His “presence” (or connected to the “new creature”/spirit within us) polarises us more, like the stroke of the magnet. This process in us is found in daily Quiet times and daily repentance.
A Psalm of David. The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
As each part of our soul, mind and strength is aligned with Jesus’ Life, we become more and more a force for our Father God, and a better expression of His Kingdom flows out of our life.
John 15:5 I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
We hear Him more clearly and our quiet times become more meaningful. We know and feel His Life flowing through us and see much more of an effect also on those around us.
John 15:8 In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you shall be My disciples. Of course we are becoming more dangerous to Satan and he will try to resist our efforts to submit to God’s loving influence. But GOOD NEWS, resist the devil and he will flee from you!
Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
1Peter 5:9 Be sensible and vigilant, because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour; whom firmly resist in the faith.
Our great friend Holy Spirit, however, is at work in us and shows us in each situation how to deal with the wiles of the devil. He gives us the spiritual answers we need for these spiritual problems, often by reminding us of Jesus' words and teaching. John 14:26
But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.
We need to be free to be able to encourage and nurture each other without being biased by religious self. Then we can hear God clearly and perceive His purposes clearly in order to teach, counsel and lead each other into a full and strong one to one relationship with our Father. John 12:49 For I have not spoken of Myself, but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say (in conversation), and what I should speak (preach/teach). This happens through the release and working out of Jesus' Life and character (or nature) in each of us. The list given in Matthew 5 , called by some 'the beatitudes', is a list of the nature and character of Jesus Himself, and what He desires to flow naturally more and more in each of His children. The work He is doing is to change us permanently on the inside from increase to increase.
. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit! For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn! For they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek! For they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness! For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful! For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart! For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers! For they shall be called the sons of God.
10 Blessed are they who have been persecuted for righteousness sake! For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
11 Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for My sake.
12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for your reward in Heaven is great. For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its savour, with what shall it be salted? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and to be trodden underfoot by men.
As we invite Him into more and more areas, He captures them, calling us to surrender to Him afresh on a key point for each one (sometimes painfully). Then He turns that area around and makes it a friend to us instead of something working at cross purposes in our lives. As He does, we are able to stand more on our own feet and walk with Him. We need to be ever stronger in our walk with Him because there are times in all of our lives, and in our daily walk even, when we find that we can identify with our brothers and sisters in John 16:32 Behold, the hour comes, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each man to his own things, and you will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
At times they were scattered and lonely for fellowship, but they were not alone due to their open connections with Father God. John 15:7,8
If you continue in Me, and My Words continue in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you. In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit (from your asking), so you shall be My disciples. We must learn to walk in His heart and voice.
The results of religious self in action can often be seen in “sanctified” versions of Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. We must learn to recognise these in ourselves and turn away to Jesus' full lordship however uncomfortable that may be. The antidotes are found in Mat 5:23 to Mat 7:26 , part of what is called 'the sermon on the mount'.
The way to walk is to maintain openness to our Lord Jesus. He has told us to expect the Holy Spirit to lead us, guide us and remind us of Jesus' words and commands -
John 14:17,18,26 John 16:7-15.
The problem here is that self gets in the way with lots of selfish desires or "I wants", so we need to ask the question “is Jesus truly the Lord of my life”? If we are honest, we will admit “not always” because of proud self, religious self, manipulative self and territorial self.
The first forward step that Father God asks of us is honesty. In John 21:15-17 Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me with the (agape) love of God more than these (fish)?” Peter is honest and replies that Jesus knows that he is (phileo) fond of Jesus. The second time Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me with the (agape) love of God?” Peter answers again with honesty that Jesus knows that he is (phileo) fond of Jesus. Jesus asks him a third time, this time, “Simon son of Jonas, are you (phileo) fond of Me?”, and Peter is humbled and feeling grief but maintains honesty. He does not try to run away from the truth or put a wall up. From a hurting, humbled, honest heart Peter says, “Lord you know all things, you know that I am (phileo) fond of you”.
Peter knew that God sees the true state of our hearts. The questioning by Jesus had produced Honesty and Face to Face with God acknowledgement to that part of God’s sovereignty, along with grief and mourning in Peter. The results of honesty were to be given further work to do in God’s Kingdom. Peter did not try to justify himself and we must learn not to try to hide any area from Jesus' Lordship also. We must not do what Adam and Eve tried to do - hide from God’s fellowship out of a sense of guilt - Gen 3:8 .
King David did some awful things and was even a man of blood and murder, but he was always straight with God, and he always learned from his mistakes and did not repeat them. David did not argue or try to justify himself but repented (turned to Him in surrender and honesty), accepting blame and consequences. God loved him for that, and our Father encourages us to be open with Him. That means letting down all our barriers toward Him.
We must have these barriers or boundaries toward the world, and even to other Christians, but not in our relationship with Him. Do not show your pearls to those who are not ready for them. They will trample them - Matt 7:6 . Use parables as Jesus did and be wise as serpents and harmless as doves - Matt 10:16 . Enjoy our Father’s gracious friendship. He will show you privately many things if He knows that you will not just blurt out everything He reveals to you. He will sometimes even show us people’s hearts and thoughts if we will be silent and only speak what He shows us to. John 12:49 .
Whatever He shows us is often for one purpose - to encourage and build up.