• Arise, shine!

    For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.

  • The word of God is food for our spirit

    Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

  • The teaching of the Early Church

    The early church is the answer to the questions and the solution to the problems of the end time church.

We are called "to become into the likeness of His son", to be Christ-like
The Kingdom of God and the Challenges of the End Times
Knitting east and west
A call for reconciliation
The union between Christ and the Church, His Bride, is a great mystery

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  • The early church is the answer to the questions and the solution to the problems of the end time church.
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The Spiritual Life 3-3: the Correct Vision_the Son

The Correct Vision: Correct vision of God

III. The Person of the Son

Jesus, as one of the Persons of the Trinity, is both a mystery and a revelation.

He is the mystery of the Father[1]; He is in the bosom of the Father[2] and is united with Him.

Yet, the Son came out of this bosom to reveal to us the Father and help us understand who the Father is.

This mystery is eternally with the Father and has been revealed in the fullness of time[3] so that we may know who the Father is; He was incarnated and became our salvation and redemption. Therefore, He is the mystery who revealed the Father and who also revealed our salvation and redemption[4].

To talk about the Person of Christ, we need to go through the books of the Scripture, the word of God. As we know, Jesus is the Word of God, the “Logos”. Therefore, the Bible is Christ in the pages of the Scripture; and at the same times, these pages tell us about a mystery, the mystery of the incarnated Christ.

In other words, Jesus was revealed in the Bible; and the bible comprises lines and pages about an incarnated Person, Christ. Therefore, in order to speak about Christ, we need to go through the books of Scripture.

In the books of Moses, Christ is the word of God who completed the act of Creation[5]. God created the world through His word. He said: ‘Let there be…and there was’. Therefore, the word coming out of the mouth of the Father is the mystery of Christ, the Word. He is in the bosom of the Father and is united with Him, and when the Father speaks, every word that proceeds from His mouth is Life and power because these words are Christ Himself, going out to humanity and directed towards it.

Christ is a mystery and a revelation.

The first revelation is that He is the Word proceeding from the mouth of God creating the world. God created us through the hand of Christ; we are the work of Christ’s hand. God is the Creator and the Word is the act of creation by which we have been created.

In the book of Proverbs we read:

‘Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, Rejoicing in His inhabited world, and my delight was with the sons of men’ (Proverbs 8: 30, 31).

Here Christ is speaking in the incarnated form as the Wisdom (Wisdom Incarnate). So, Christ is the Wisdom[6]. There is no separation between the Word of God and the Wisdom of God because every time God speaks, Wisdom comes out of His mouth, filling the mind with amazement and power, and performing acts.  

Thus, Christ is the Word of God and He is also the Wisdom of God.

Christ is also the power of God[7] who performed all God’s will and plans. God’s plan on earth was made possible by the Second Person of the Trinity through His Redemptive work. He is the power of God who performed and completed God’s plan and will on earth.

Christ who is the Word, Wisdom and Power of God made Creation, made the plans for it, and came to save it.

If anyone wants to discover God’s plan for his life, the only key to enter into this will or plan is through Christ, the Word and Wisdom of God.

Christ has all the divine plans because He is the divine Wisdom and the divine Word. He is the One who made human beings and prepared for them their plans: ‘For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them’ (Ephesians 2: 10).

In the book of Psalms, we read about Christ the Saviour and Redeemer, even before this manifestation in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, we read about the Messiah, the Redeemer and Saviour. He was a Saviour not only of sins and spiritual weaknesses but He also saves and delivers from difficult circumstances, problems, and tribulations[8]. He is the One who delivers and releases us from all the evil plans of the devil. He redeems us by taking our condemned place and giving us His righteous place. He delivers us from any problems we face. This is how they viewed Him in the Old Testament.

He is the Messiah that all the generations awaited and to whom they sung their Psalms and praises. The first one who spoke about the Messiah was Hannah, Samuel’s mother, in her praise[9]. It is remarkable that in her praise Virgin Mary took parts of Hannah’s praise. Hannah was the first one to speak about the Messiah; then, Virgin Mary, the Mother of the Messiah took parts of Hannah’s praise and added them to her praise[10].

The Messiah they awaited and praised saves and delivers from all problems. In fact, the spiritual problems and sins result in the problems and difficult circumstances that we face in the world. The devil and our fallen nature are the reason behind both kinds of problems. Inasmuch as we receive from the work of redemption in our inner life, our outside circumstances get resolved –no matter how difficult our surrounding may be. A certain spiritual sphere or realm where there are angels and divine presence would surround us. Therefore, even if we face difficult circumstances, it will not be easy for them to invade us or enter in. Because of this, the people were able to see that the Messiah saves both from inside and from outside. He sets them both right as there is coloration between the two.

The prophets also spoke about Christ in various ways; each prophet saw Him in a way different from the other.

Zechariah saw Him in a very gentle and tender way as wine and grain: ‘Grain will make the young men thrive, and new wine the young women’ (Zechariah 9: 17).

There is a deep divine truth in these words. Adam was created to be the power of God that performs and carries out God’s plans on earth. Eve was created to be the delight of God on earth and absorb Adam’s hardships and renew his energy and power. Yet, when sin entered, Adam became a god who wants to dominate and Eve became a stumbling block on earth.

Therefore, Zechariah is here saying that the redeemer will restore creation to its first beauty and glory; He will offer Himself as grain that nourishes the new Adam, the inner redeemed man; and so this new Adam would eat Christ and nourish on Him because He is the grain that will make this new inner man grow and will strengthen him to be able to carry out God’s plan on earth. Christ is also the wine that Eve will drink and be filled with joy and delight and so would become the delight of earth, lifting up its hardships[11].

Micah saw Christ as the Ruler, whose goings forth are from of old:

‘But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting’ (Micah 5: 2).

He plans everything and has an economy for everything; no one is greater than Him. There is no wisdom above His wisdom; He has an economy for the life of each person which is like a tune, a symphony. As a result, man’s life becomes a symphony on earth.

Not only did Micah see Him as the Ruler, who has an economy and plan for a person’s life, but He is also the Ruler of the nations; He is the King of all the kings of the earth. Through Him, the rulers can receive wisdom to help them govern their nations.

Jacob saw Him as ‘Shiloh’ which means ‘the One who has all our matters in His hands’:

The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff between his feet, until Shiloh comes. And to him shall be the obedience of nations’ (Genesis 49: 10).

Our matters are in His hands not in the hands of those at work or our managers or superiors. Our matters are only in the hands of Jesus Christ who is our Head.

Haggai saw Him as ‘the Desire of All Nations’[12]. Any time He is mentioned, He is desired. The more we draw close to Him, we desire Him more and love Him more.

Solomon saw Him as the Bridegroom for whom the bride is being prepared.

Solomon described Him using the most wonderful descriptions saying:

 ‘My beloved is white and ruddy, Chief among ten thousand’ (Song of Solomon 5: 10).

‘While the king is at his table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance’ (Song of Solomon 1: 12).

He is the Bridegroom who pours out love to His bride (whether each individual or the Church), a love which is not of this world. It is a love that purifies the emotions from all fake love, granting the true love that satisfies.

He is the One who made us and so He knows that our emotions can only be filled and satisfied with love which is of a certain kind. He Himself is Love; He is the incarnated Love. He is the One who pours love in our hearts, a love that purifies us from the love of the world. It is a bridal love of a special kind that satisfies our emotions.

The Father offers us a special kind of fatherly love that satisfies our deep inner needs from birth, including the need to belong, be looked after and receive tenderness. Jesus offers bridal love that satisfies our emotions, feelings, and affections. These emotions need to be filled with love; otherwise, it will beg for love from various sources. The more she begs love, she gets hurt and exposed. The love of Jesus is bridal, rich and satisfying.

This brings us to the New Testament. First, we see how the four evangelists saw Christ. They saw Him in different ways. They saw Him as a lion, as an eagle, as a King, and as a man.

He was seen as a King with great reverence.

He was seen as the Lion who has all power and authority and so can conquer the devil. Though the devil ‘walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour’ (1Peter 5: 8), the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5: 5) has all the power and the authority to defeat the devil.

He was also seen as a man who is tender and full of sweetness and compassion, caring for all His creation. He cared for the children. He also cared for the women at a time when women were not respected or well treated (before the coming of Christ). When the gospels mention the miracles of Christ, we see that half of them were done for men and half were done for women. We see the same thing in the parables that Jesus mentioned where half of them included men and the other half included women. We often do not notice this, but this is important because Jesus meant to restore to women their dignity and honour and highlight that there is no difference between male and female in honour. Paul highlighted this later in his epistle where he wrote: ‘there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3: 28).

In Genesis 1: 27 we read: ‘So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them’. God has fatherhood and motherhood and so when He wanted to reflect Himself in human beings, He created the two forms: male and female; yet, both are equal and the same.

When Christ came to earth to show us who God is (for Christ is the image of God –as Paul wrote in Hebrews and Colossians), He showed us that God has created us in His image and that the man and the woman are both equal. Therefore, He performed miracles with men and women and with children both boys and girls. He healed the epileptic son (Matthew 17:14-18) and the daughter of the Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:16-28). In His parables, He spoke about men and woman. He likened the Kingdom of God to yeast that a woman took and hid in three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened (Luke 13: 21). He came to the whole of creation.

The evangelists saw Christ as the Priest who offers sacrifices. Apostle Paul also said that He is in the heavenly places interceding on our behalf and offering unseen sacrifices on our behalf (Hebrews 7:25; 8: 1 – 3).

Apostle John saw Him as the hovering eagle, the incarnated divinity[13]. He is very high in His divinity, and at the same time he is very close to man in His incarnation.

When we read the gospel of John, we clearly see the divinity of Christ, that He is God. At the same time, if we read any part of this gospel, we can put ourselves in the place of Christ and say the same words or pray the same prayers. For example, Jesus said: ‘For this reason I was born, and for this reason I have come into the world’ (John 18: 37). Any one of us can say this prayer after discovering his/her purpose in life. Jesus also said: ‘I have finished the work which You have given Me to do’ (John 17: 4). Each one of us should know the work which has been given to him/her and continue to do it until he completes it and enters into his rest.

We can say the same words that Jesus said and apply them to our lives because Apostle John presented Christ as the incarnated divinity and the Son who is sent forth at the same time. The Son made each one of us become a son of the heavenly Father; and that is why we can pray the same prayers of Christ and follow in His footsteps. Therefore, in the opening chapter of the gospel of John, we read: ‘But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God’ (John 1: 12).

Apostle John wanted to highlight that His gospel reveals that Christ is God; yet, He is the incarnated divinity, the God-Man. He is God, the Son, who came to show us how a son of God should live. He made each one of us a child of God; so, we can follow in His footsteps, pray His same prayers, and take our place in the heavenly Father like the Son.

The book of Acts speaks about the Church. At the beginning of this book we read: ‘for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4: 12).

When we come to the book of Acts, we suddenly realise that Christ has become a message which we proclaim and preach ‘Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus’ (Colossians 1: 28). In Romans 1: 5, Apostle Paul writes: ‘Through Him we have received grace and apostleship’.

Christ has become a message that should be proclaimed. He is a message of redemption, salvation, life, mercy, truth, and the way, for He is the way the truth and the life (John 14: 6). He is a message that we should be proud of.

The epistles speak about the Church. Reading the epistles, we start to understand what Moses had said about the tabernacle. The tabernacle is actually Christ in shadows and symbols. Jesus is the manna, the Ark of the Covenant, the table for the Showbread, the bronze altar with all the mysteries of His redemption, the gold altar of incense with all the mysteries of His prayers and intercessions. In the New Testament, after these shadows and symbols were revealed, Christ became the Head of the Church[14] and the constant food that nourishes the Church.

The epistles talk about the Church of Christ. He is her Head and the author and finisher of her faith (Hebrews 12: 2); He goes before the Church in her sojourning in the world until she completes her role and mission on earth. Then, when He comes again, He will be her proclaimed and revealed Bridegroom and she will be His glorified Bride. This will be the marriage supper of the Lamb[15].

Jesus will be the proclaimed King on earth and the full power of His redemption and glory will be revealed. He will present us to the Father as His bride who is united with Him, of His flesh and of His bones, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5: 27, 30); holy like Him because He is holy.

At this point, God becomes all in all and the story ends as it had started, exactly as God was revealed as all in all. His Trinity was revealed to us; His plans were revealed; but when the enemy interfered through the fall, Redemption was then manifested. God’s plans and purposes will be carried out and completed and the Kingdom of God will be proclaimed. In this Kingdom, the bride, who is united with the Bridegroom, is revealed and presented to the Father so that God may be all in all, as Apostle Paul explains in 1Corintians 15: 28 –Christ being united to His Church and presenting her to the Father is different from Christ being united to the Father because He is One with the Father and equal with Him in essence.

This was a brief overview about Christ in the books of the Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation.

When we understand Christ as such and seek Him, we will find Him. He will not be found if I am not ready to receive Him as the mystery of life. In Colossians 2: 2, we read that He is the mystery of the Father. He is the mystery of life that fills the heart and revives us. The whole life becomes His because He bought us with His blood. Life would become meaningful when we follow Him and enter into fellowship with Him. He is the Head and the author and finisher of our salvation.

The Person & the Work of Christ:

Finally, I want to highlight that in reading the New Testament, we need to pay attention to two things: the Person of Christ and the work of Christ.

The New Testament presents the Person and Character of Christ in various ways; so that we may follow in His footsteps, He becomes our example and the living image into which we should be transformed: ‘to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren’ (Romans 8: 29).

In the meantime, the New Testament tells us about His work, the work of His redemption because the more this work of redemption enters to our inner man, the more it enables us to be transformed into this image and to follow Him.

The gospels speak about the Person of Christ while the epistles talk about the work of Christ.

The gospels portray to us the Person, the Character of the Son, from various angles; so that, we may absorb this image inside us. He is the reason of our life and our redemption. We are a fallen humanity and our only hope is in Christ, the hope of Glory (Colossians 1: 27). Through him we know our heavenly Father and experience the company of the Holy Spirit. He is the beginning and the end: ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End’ (Revelation 1: 8).

Christ alone gives us life and makes us the children of God, our Father. He grants that the Holy Spirit would be our companion and Comforter who dwells in us.

Therefore, the four gospels present to us Christ from various angles, outline His footsteps and show us how He lived His days on earth. We should read this, meditate on it, absorb it, eat it and drink it, talk of it when we lie down and when we rise up (Deuteronomy 6: 7). Then, the Holy Spirit would gradually open our minds and understanding to the Person of Christ. The more the eyes of our minds are opened to His Person, the more we can be transformed and understand everything.

Jesus is the key and door to understanding the Father and enjoying His fellowship. Similarly, we can only enjoy the fellowship of the Holy Spirit through Christ who has redeemed us. The manifestation of the redemptive work of Christ in us allows the coming of the Holy Spirit to us and His dwelling in us. In the Old Testament, we see that the oil was poured after shedding the blood of the sacrifices. Therefore, after the Crucifixion and Christ saying ‘it is finished’, the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost. We can only have the right to the fellowship with the Holy Spirit through Christ and the work of His redemption. We can only have the right to the fellowship with the Father through Christ and the adoption granted to us by Him. Therefore, Christ is the door; He is the beginning and the end; He is all in all.

We need to read the gospels in a different way. We should not think of them as stories that we have read so many times and that we already know where there is nothing new, just miracles and parables. In fact they are not as such; they convey to us a living divine and human example who has entered into our fallen world to light it and to give life to the dead. In the gospels we see a divine incarnated Person walking in our world. He emptied Himself and took our human form; and so, we can look at Him and see how we can be when we are freed from the fall, knowing that He is the One who gives us this ability. We need to see how His day went, how any work He did looked like, and what His conduct was like. He is the Person whom we desire to gaze upon and meditate on as we read the chapters; and go on our knees asking Him to pour in our lives the mystery of His life so that we can live on earth in the same way He lived because we are children of God; Christ is the One who granted us this gift. We should do on earth as the Son did so that the Father may be pleased with us and so that we may proclaim His will that it would be on earth as it is in heaven. This is how we should read the four gospels.

Each time we read, we need to pray asking Him to help us see Him in order to walk as He walked[16] because we are called for this and He desires to grant us the ability. In Christ, we see how the complete humanity walks on earth fulfilling the will of the Father. We can then do the same. Our humanity will not be perfect like His, but, it will be redeemed through His redemption. We will then be able to do as He did, not out of our own ability as He did, but through the strengthening of His grace and the work of His Spirit in us.

The book of Acts tells us how the Church was established and how she lived, so that we can live in the same way. The Church was established in Act 2, then in the chapters that follow, we see how the Church moved, ministered, was persecuted, suffered, overcame Satan, and spread light and life on earth.

The epistles tell us about the work of Christ, His redemption.

The gospels reflect the life of Christ, His Person, and the epistles speak about His redemptive work.

In between them is the book of Acts which is about the Church that is established by the redemption. She then proclaims this redemption. The Church is responsible to tell people that they are not born to eat and drink but to do the will of God. The Church is Christ on earth. She is His body. She should do what He likes to do. The Church should tell the humanity which is living in darkness, sin and death: ‘arise, shine; there is life and light’. This is the message of the Church. She should carry out this message not by mottos nor by fighting; but by a holy life full of humility and ready to sacrifice to the point of death for the sake of others. ‘And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death’ (Revelation 12: 11).

If we desire that the mystery of Christ would reach the people, we have no other way apart from the way He walked; as He died, we should be ready to die. We can die through pain, love, humility, humbleness, and even blood shed if necessary. In this way, we would be the Church of Christ that can change the face of the earth.

In the epistles, we read about the work of redemption and how the Church can live as described above through the work of redemption. Redemption changes each person; and then brings these people together, unites them and makes them a true body united with the Head. This would be ‘a perfect man’ (Ephesians 4: 13). This perfect man can walk on earth as if he is Christ on earth.

Our problem is that we are a Church that is not united with our Head. We should be members who are united together in order to be a body because the body is what can be united with the Head. In order for us to be united members, each member should be experiencing the work of redemption. The Holy Spirit would then be able to connect these members together. The Holy Spirit connects the redeemed members, making them a body ready to be united with the Head. Life would then flow abundantly. ‘It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments’ (Psalm 133: 2). These garments extend to the world to proclaim to it the message of Christ.

Therefore, when we read the epistles we need to look for the work of Christ, the work of the Cross, the work of the blood of Jesus, the work of the resurrection of Christ, the work of the ascension of Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit that He poured in us, the work of redemption; and we need to see how to benefit from this great divine work.

We read the gospels focusing on the Person of Christ desiring to see Him. Similarly, when we read the epistles we focus on what He has done for us and how to benefit from it in order to be redeemed humans, redeemed members in the body that the Holy Spirit can unite together forming a living body that is connected to the Head.

This perfect man, the Church, would be Christ on earth fulfilling all what Christ desires; and exactly as He has done in the body of His flesh, He can do through us. He came to redeem us and His Church should be the One to proclaim this redemption so that redemption may be manifested in every person everywhere; so that, the earth would be a Kingdom and the King would come. This would be the Kingdom of God in our midst: ‘Your Kingdom come’ (Matthew 6: 10).

[1] Colossians 2:2

[2] John.1:18

[3] Romans 16:25, 26

[4] Ephesians 1:7

[5] Colossians 1:16

[6] 1Corinthians 1:30

[7] 1Corinthians 1:24

[8] Psalm 103:4

[9] 1Samuel 2:10

[10] Luke 1:46 – 55

[11] John 6:55 – 58

[12] Haggai 2:7

[13] John 1:1 – 5

[14] Colossians 2:19

[15] Revelation 19:7

[16] 1John 2:6

The Spiritual Life 3-2: the Correct Vision_Father

The Correct Vision: Correct Vision of God

II.The Father

We are continuing the series of the foundations of the spiritual life. These foundations are important for those who are called to ministry and have the desire to serve the Lord.

Ministry is the measure which reflects whether the spiritual life of the minister has been built and established on good and solid foundations or not.

When we minister to others, it becomes clear to everyone whether there are good foundations or not.  This will be clear and apparent to those ministered to, to our fellow ministers, to oneself, and to heaven –the angels who listen to us and serve us[1]. It is written that the angels desire to hear the mysteries of redemption, of love, and of the Kingdom. They desire to hear them from us. We were granted to proclaim these mysteries. This is written in Ephesians 3:10 and in 1Peter 1: 12: ‘things into which angels long to look’. Also Apostle Paul writes that: ‘we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men’ (1Corinthians 4: 9). Thus, every time a minister speaks, the angels, even the evil principalities, as well as the people listen and observe.

Those ministers who have good foundations will be bearers of life, carrying life to others. They will light the way and provide the landmarks and signs of the path. God desires us to show the people signposts and help them in the way. In Jeremiah, God says: ‘Set up signposts, make landmarks; set your heart toward the highway, the way in which you went. Turn back, O virgin of Israel’ (Jeremiah 31: 21). Here God was speaking to His people, His nation, telling them: ‘why are you stumbling in the path; are you not able to see the way or the signposts?’

A true minister whose spiritual life has been built on good and proper foundations becomes a landmark or a signpost on the road for those he ministers to.

In this series we are focusing on the foundations of the spiritual life because of their great importance.

To recapitulate, we have already spoken about two main foundations; namely, counting the cost and the direction of the heart. We highlighted that the heart should be an undivided heart and that we should determine the direction it desires to take. One of the negative things that we often do is that we leave our heart without a direction. When the heart is not taking a specific direction, it swings up and down, right and left; once in the world and another time in the church. Often, the heart has no direction at all; it is neither in nor out nor up nor down; it has no flavour. On the other hand, there are some people who have set their heart on the road and have been filled with holy zeal and insistence on following Christ, regardless of the cost –even if this means that they crucify themselves daily, deny themselves, bear their cross, and follow Christ[2].

The third important point in the foundations of the spiritual life is: the correct vision: a correct vision of God, of myself, and of my enemy.

Therefore, the three main pillars of the foundations are:

  1. Counting the Cost
  2. The heart being undivided and taking a specific direction, directed towards the Kingdom of God and following Christ
  3. The correct vision; this comprises:
  4. Correct vision of God (God is a Trinity; Having a correct vision of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit)
  5. Correct vision of oneself
  6. Correct vision of the enemy

Correct vision of God

It is important to have a clearer vision of God because this clear vision changes and transforms our life. This vision should not only be heard but it should be revealed to us more and more as we read the word of God and pray. Hearing about it and seeing it are the channels that the Holy Spirit uses to reveal this correct vision and understanding to our minds and allow it to be formed deep within us in a supernatural way. When I give my eyes and my ears to the Holy Spirit, through them, the Holy Spirit imprints in my heart and mind a correct image and vision. He forms it inside me; corrects the marred vision that I had before; and completes what has been missing in this image or vision of God. The result would be a correct image and vision of God that leads to genuine and true change and transformation. This leads me to gradually grow in the spirit towards correct image and a vision that has been drawn and formed in my mind by the work of the Holy Spirit. This will have been formed from what one has heard and seen. Apostle Paul repeated this phrase several time; In Philippians 4: 9, we read:  ‘What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things’. Learning and receiving result from the channels of hearing and seeing. This leads to a true formation of the correct image of God in our minds.

We have previously spoken about God as the Trinity. Today we will give some highlights about the Fatherhood of God. This will be followed by a talk about Jesus, the Son and then the Holy Spirit.

These topics can be presented at different levels. Our focus at this stage is on the basis and the preliminary level.

Correct vision of the Father

Who is God, the Father?

There is much to be said, but I just want to give some basic and simple highlights.

As we grow in the spiritual life, we will understand and realise how amazing and sweet it is to be in fellowship with God, the Father. He totally and fully satisfies the inner depth of man. He corrects many misconceptions that we have about Him.

We are often afraid of Him –though we do not dare to admit that. When He draws close to us with His sweet Fatherhood, He will say: ‘you are afraid of Me’. We will say: ‘no, no, Lord, we love You’. He will say: ‘But, I can see that deep within you are afraid of Me because you have learned and understood many confused things about Me’.

When a certain problem or crisis happens we often say: ‘Lord, why did You allow this?’ People would then tell us: ‘It is all for the good’. As a result, we start to form in our minds a conviction that God allows sudden crises and dangers to happen and we should accept them and say that He allowed it and it will work out for the good. Our minds became filled with the view that God is the One who causes the sudden and unpleasant things. Deep within us we say: ‘Lord, I love You and even if something bad happens to Me, I will say that surely You have allowed it for my own good.’ By doing so, we are making ourselves learn something which is not true.

If God the Father draws near us, He will tell us that He loves us unconditionally and that all what He has towards us is absolute goodness. Anything which is contrary to this is not from Him.

It is written that God is good and His mercy endures forever. It is also written that His will is good, acceptable and perfect (Romans 12: 2).

We need to learn to turn the divine biblical revelations about the Person of God into principles that we follow in life and change our thinking accordingly. We need to understand correctly and apply correctly.

Therefore, if the bible says that God is good and His will is good, then these should be the principles I follow and live by. If something adverse happens, I should not be confused and the first thing I should do is to proclaim that this is not from God because He is good and all His ways are upright, just, and righteous[3]. If there are circumstances which are mixed up and not upright, they are not from God because His ways are upright; He is good, and His ways grant deep satisfaction because they are acceptable and perfect.

If I know that the adverse thing that happened was not from God, the natural question that will come to my mind would be: from whom, then?

As we journey in this world, anything that comes in our path has one of two sources: either God or the devil. God is good; His ways are good; and His will is good. The devil, as stated in the bible, is a thief who comes to steal, to kill, and destroy (John 10: 10). It is also written that He was a murderer from the beginning and is a liar and the father of it (John 8: 44).

God is good; while, the enemy is evil. God’s ways are straight; while, the ways of the enemy are deceitful because he is a liar and the father of it. God gives life and fullness: ‘I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly’ (John 10: 10); while the enemy came to kill and to destroy.

These are the two sources that work in our life. The hand of God leads me in straight paths; fills my life with goodness day after the other; and allows me to delight in Him and be satisfied with all that He has for me as it is written: ‘You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing’ (Psalm 145: 16). It is also written: ‘I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness’ (Psalm 17: 15). Everything that comes from God is fullness and satisfaction.  It is written: ‘In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore’ (Psalm16:11). Fullness, goodness and blessings come out of God’s hands. His ways are upright.

If I find something happening in my life which is not upright and which involves destruction and deceit, this will be the typical way of the enemy.

The following inevitable question would be:

What makes the hand of the enemy come near me?

As one walks in the journey of life, he can sometimes slightly deviate from the straight path without noticing. This takes one out of the safe path. As long as I am in the safe path –the path of clinging to God and submitting to His will, the good Hand of God will be stretched over me; as we read in Nehemiah 2: 18: ‘I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me’. As long as the good hand is stretched over me, it will lead me in straight paths and fill me with righteousness, pleasure and blessings of God. This Good Hand which is stretched over me protects[4] me and gives me abundant life that flows in me.

However, if I am not watchful and vigilant on my prayers and hence lose connection with God, my feet may slip away from the safe path. The bible describes this path as the narrow path of following Christ. By failing to be vigilant and watchful, I may find myself outside the safe path without even noticing. Outside, there are other hands; the devil exploits all his principalities. Therefore, the hand of the devil and his principalities may surround me. As a result, I may face problems, find the doors closed, and everything may be confused and in a mess. This is not the Good Hand; it is the hand of the enemy.

This hand of the enemy does its evil work and it then manages to deceive us. The evil hand disappears and the evil mouth starts its work telling us: ‘wasn’t it a very weary day; where is your God?’ The person then starts to call upon God, but the mouth of the devil would say: ‘don’t try to pray; God has abandoned you; and in all cases, you are tired today; just sleep now and leave it for later’. The next day one wakes up in a worse state, having listened to this deceitful voice. One wakes up heavy with a lot of confusion in his head. The person starts to pray but finds himself so distracted and confused not even sure if this was proper prayer or not. In fact, true prayer means connecting with the source of life, making one come out of the presence of God filled with abundance of life, peace, and light. However, in this case, one would come out of prayer tense and confused with many thoughts jumbled in his head.

We need to learn to discern and have a correct vision of God and of the enemy.

God, the Father is full of goodness and has prepared all goodness for us. It is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him’ (1Corinthians 2: 9).

When my vision of God is corrected and my relationship with Him is corrected, I will have these expectations every day. Each day, I will be filled with positive and blessed expectations for what I am to encounter that day because it is a day on which the good hand of God is stretched. New things will come from this good hand to my new day. It is written: ‘Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness’ (Lamentations 3: 22, 23).

In reply to the question about why this evil hand reaches us and why God allows this and is silent, I again highlight that it is because God is righteous and has everything in order. If I am walking in His path, His hand will be stretched over me; but if I were to come out of this path, He will not go after me.

Why will God not go after me?

This is because He gives me free will. Out of my free will, I came out of the path; He does not control my will nor does He compel me; He gives me freedom to choose. If I am in His path, He embraces me, but if I go out of His path, He will still be close to me but he will not interfere in my free will or compel me to do something against my choice.

The other reason why God will not go after me is that the devil is the one who deceives me; and so, if God comes after me, the devil will tell God: ‘give me my chance; you are being unfair to me’. This is clearly mentioned in the book of Job[5] where the devil went to God telling Him that Job is righteous because You are blessing Him and You made a hedge around him; give me a chance to touch these things and You will see that he will blaspheme; he does not love You out of his free will; You are compelling him to do so. God’s reply would be that He does not compel anyone; He gives total freedom to each person; but He embraces those who choose Him. God told Satan: ‘do you want to know if Job loves Me out of his own will or not; well, touch him but only with the limitation I give you’. Satan touched Job, but finally Job was approved and God was approved and the devil was put to shame; and ‘the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning’ (Job 42: 12).

It is important to highlight here that there are instances where people commit sins, are negligent in their spiritual life, and they gradually deviate  from God’s path; but, when difficult circumstances happen, they complain to God saying: ‘why did you do this to us while we are walking with you and serving you?’ These people are unaware that they have been gradually deviating and not being vigilant.

However, there are other instances where we can go through suffering when we have not deviated from God’s path. God allows these sufferings, though He is not the One who brings evil.  He then turns these difficult situations for our good and benefit. This can be for our sanctification, purification, preparation for ministry, or reshaping us. This can also be a fellowship in His suffering[6] or even persecution and unfair accusations which commend us; they become a testimony to others of our love to Jesus and bring many to Christ –as was the case with the martyrs and many church fathers.

We need to know the Person of God, the Father and know His ways. In order to present Him to us in a personified way, the Church has placed the icon of the Father in the bosom of the Church, presenting Him as a Bosom[7]. In fact, when we learn the fellowship with the Father, we will experience it as a bosom full of love and life, embracing everyone who draws near this bosom. One would experience being embraced in abundance of life, love, warmth, and strength; one would experience heaven while still on earth. This is the divine bosom and embrace. He is a Father[8] and a Mother. He is the One who says: ‘On her sides shall you be carried, and be dandled on her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you’ (Isaiah 66: 12, 13).

 We often think that God only wants us to pray and worship Him, but He actually wants to pour out His love to us, carry us, and comfort us. We sometimes worship Him with the spirit of slavery, but He is a Father and we are His children not His slaves.

In any family, children would not say: ‘Good morning dad; good morning mum; any requests or orders today?’ We sometimes worship God in such manner! If this is not the norm nor is it suitable or acceptable with the human parents, how much more with our heavenly Father!

We then pray saying: ‘Thank You Lord because we are Your children[9]; You made us children not slaves’. Do we really live as His children? We often say certain words in prayer; yet, we do not apply them in practice, in our relationship with Him.

We live in spiritual poverty and scarcity because we live a life of slaves while it has never been God’s purpose to be a Master worshipped by slaves. He is the God of Life who shares this life with His children.

When we enter into this true level of fellowship with the Father, when we start to pray, we will feel that we want to enter into His bosom and receive the warmth and love. We then go out to offer it and radiate it to others; it will overflow from our whole being; it will shine in our words. By this, we become life-bearers.

This is but a glimpse about the Father. If we continue to talk about the Father, words will never end. But let me finally sum up in 5 main points based on the references we discussed earlier:

  • God, the Father always welcomes us as children in His family and His household.
  • He desires to wash us continually from our sins. He is not waiting for us to tell Him that we are good, wholesome, and perfect. He does not mind if we go to Him saying: ‘Father, I fell today and I am covered with mud’. He will say: ‘come, I will cleanse you and forgive your sins’[10].
  • He cares for and looks after our life. He is the Shepherd. It is His pleasure to give us good gifts every day. The bible clearly states: ‘If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him’ (Luke 11: 11 – 13).

Why do we sometimes expect God to give us a scorpion! He never gives scorpions. If we as humans do not do so, how do we accept the heavenly Father to do so! He only gives good gifts to His children.

We need to change our expectations based on what the bible tells us and what the Church teaches us by presenting the Father as the bosom so that anyone who lifts up his eyes in prayer would see His arms desiring to embrace him. When He embraces us, our sins dissolve and spontaneously fall off our shoulders because He forgives and forgets: ‘For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more’ (Jeremiah 31: 34).

  • He defends us against our enemies because He is a mighty God[11].
  • He prepares for us an eternal inheritance in heaven.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, the Source of love and comfort, You know that there are many suffering souls who have not yet known that You have richly prepared for them comfort in Your bosom.

Please, draw us near You.

O Source of Life, You know that death chases us everywhere in the midst of an evil world. Please draw us near You so that death may flee away and we dwell in Life.

O Source of riches, You know that we unknowingly go after poverty until we become surrounded by poverty and distress in every step. Please draw us near You so that poverty may flee away in Your presence and we may understand the words of the Scriptures that say:  ‘that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich’ (2Corinthians 8: 8).

Not only do we become rich, but also ‘making many rich’ (2Corinthians 6: 10).

You are our Father; even if we do not fully comprehend this.

Please reveal Yourself to us; drive our steps forward; correct our understanding; and watch over us.

Amen

[1] Hebrews 1:14

[2] Luke 9:23; Romans 8:36

[3] Exodus 32:4; Psalm.92:15; Ezekiel 18:25

[4] Psalm 91:11,12

[5] Job 1: 6 – 12

[6] Philippians 3: 10

[7] According to the Coptic tradition

[8] Isaiah 63:16

[9] John 1:12

[10] Psalm 51:7, 8

[11] Psalm 19:14: the word ‘Redeemer’ is repeated a lot throughout the whole bible; it refers to all needed protection.

The Spiritual Life 3-1: the Correct Vision_Trinity

The Correct Vision : Correct vision of God

I. God is a Trinity

This is another talk in the series of the foundations of the spiritual life and living in Christ.

The first foundation discussed was counting the cost. We highlighted that the spiritual path entails a cost. This cost is necessary to prepare ourselves, our inner vessel, to receive the divine gifts which come to us as grace upon grace. This grace becomes part of our inner spiritual building.

The second foundation discussed was the state of the heart. The heart can be divided; we need to pay attention to our heart and to have an undivided heart. We also need to learn to direct our heart to take a certain direction and to be inclined to do the will of God and be fixed on Christ. There are many references in the bible that indicate that the person is responsible to incline his heart and give it a direction. The heart may not have a specific direction and it is the person’s responsibility to learn to give his heart a specific direction, that is, to determine its direction.

The third foundation is having a correct vision of God, of oneself, and of the enemy (the devil).

The first point in this third foundation is the correct vision of God. 

Having a correct vision of God is a matter of great importance because we should be transformed into this image. If the image of God is distorted or limited in our minds, our transformation will also be limited and weak. But if we have a correct and rich image and vision of God, our transformation will be genuine and rich. This will lead to a rich and growing spiritual life, which is not limited or constricted and which does not come to a halt. Therefore, the main purpose of having a correct vision of God is to form a correct image of Him in our mind.

God revealed Himself as a Trinity. We first need to understand why God presented Himself as a Trinity; then we will explain further in separate talks about each Person of the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

God chose to reveal Himself as a Trinity because this is His truth. Such truth is of great importance and significance for man.

Why is this important to man?

Man is created in God’s image; therefore, man’s essential and deep needs are satisfied and filled only through the full discovery of God as a Trinity.

In other words, since we are created in God’s image, this means that He is the origin. If I am an image, I will not be able to fully discover myself nor find satisfaction of my needs until I fully discover God.

God’s attributes are so rich that they cannot be revealed as one facet; so, He chose 3 facets; One God in three Persons. Therefore, He chose to reveal himself as a Trinity. I need to discover these 3 Persons because this is the original image that I was created on. The more I discover these original Persons, the more I find true satisfaction and fulfilment of my needs; otherwise, there will always be something groaning and unfulfilled in my personality.

The character of God is the original while my character is the image of it. This original Person of God has 3 revelations and I am the image of all this. Therefore, each of these Persons fulfils a certain need that I have. The more I comprehend these matters and receive satisfaction of my needs, the more my character or personality is corrected and becomes wholesome, restored and finds fulfilment of all its needs.

How can this be practically understood and applied?

God chose to reveal Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

[Illustration: This is like a pyramid or a triangle that has three facets. If I lift up my eyes to God, I can see one of the facets of the pyramid looking upon me; and this facet that is directed towards me is exactly my need at that specific time. At another time, I lift up my eyes to God to find a different facet waiting for me. This illustration is just to help in understanding –though it is not a fully proper or accurate illustration].

This means that sometimes God looks down upon me as the Father; at other times as the Son; and at times as the Holy Spirit. In other words, He desires to have fellowship with me through the Person of the Father; at other times, He gives me the opportunity to have fellowship with Him through the Person of the Son and at times through the Person of the Holy Spirit.

How can I discover this and how can it happen practically?

Each of these Persons fills and satisfies an essential human need.

Man has three essential needs. The science of Psychology elaborates and adds to these needs and subdivides them. This is fine; yet, we can actually sum up all the psychological needs of the human personality in three main areas or three main pillars:

  • The need to belong
  • The need to have deep peace between man and himself and between man and creation, both the rational and no-rational creation.
  • The need to be enabled, that is, to discover a certain role or message in life and be enabled to carry it out.

The absence of any of these elements is expressed and reflected in various ways in one’s life. For example, the absence of peace results in a guilty conscience which can in turn lead to having a sense of inferiority. This often leads the person to search for compensations for this psychological need. As a result, one can put on various images that are alien or foreign to his true self in order to compensate for what is missing or lacking. Because of this, one may act as though he has two different personalities or sometimes tries to impersonate other persons. When he is with people, he speaks and acts in a way that is not his true self; when he goes home, he realises that he was not himself; he was acting out a different personality alien to who he truly is. Yet, he feels unable to do otherwise because he does not want to reveal his true inner self. He may not even know why he is behaving as such. In fact, this is often the result of having a guilty conscience for a long time which has led to having a sense of inferiority in certain areas and a sense of superiority in other areas or even a sense of self-rejection. These things together form a fake personality which one presents before others. The true personality of this person remains hidden inside him because of his guilty conscience and the lack of a deep sense of peace.

The true and deep sense of peace comes only when one’s conscience experiences true forgiveness. Forgiveness is a deep human need because man is created to be righteous. Because we fail to live in righteousness, we live with a sense of guilt. As humans, we cannot bear this sense of guilt; and so we suffer from it. We experience the outcome of this guilt which is often expressed as a sense of inferiority, a sense of superiority, or a sense of self-rejection, forming an outer fake personality for oneself while the true personality which is suffering and groaning remains hidden inside.

The same applies to the absence of the sense of belongingness. This can happen if one grows up in a family where his parents and/or siblings are not able to make him feel that he belongs, that he is a person who is wanted, accepted and loved. Even when families try to offer this acceptance and love, this is often done in a way that does not always fill one’s deep and full need. This causes one to grow up suffering from a sense of rejection or a sense of being unwanted or unloved. This in turn results in various behaviours including anger, anxiety, stress and violence. Some may try to compensate for this missing need through the outer appearance including clothes, furniture, possessions, manner of speech and conduct. This happens because that person senses that he is lost, unwanted, of no value, and neglected. Consequently, this person may try to be violent by words or actions to prove and express his existence and draw the attention of others to him. He wants to say: ‘I am here; why is no one noticing me?’ He may wear very attractive or different clothes to draw other people’s attention. He may also attract the attention of others through his possessions by buying for example a very unique car that no one else has. By this, he is reacting to the negligence and lack of acceptance that he suffered from as a child. He tries to compensate for it when he grows up. This is of course an unhealthy behaviour that has its manifold results.

The third human basic need is to have a message and role in life and feel able to fulfil it.

Notice that each of these human needs is essentially based on and derived from God’s mind towards man:

  • God created man to belong to a family and be a member of a family.
  • God created man to live in righteousness and holiness, reflecting to others who God is because he is the image of God. God is righteous and holy; and so man should also be righteous: ‘Be holy, for I am holy’ (1Peter 1: 16).
  • God created man to have a specific mission on earth which he carries out for the purpose of extending and proclaiming the Kingdom of God.

These three elements became man’s deep need since he has been created to be a member of a family, to live in righteousness reflecting God’s image to others, and to have a message and a role and carry them out proclaiming the Kingdom of God.

If any of these needs is missing, one feels lost and as if unable to find himself. As a result, one tries to make compensations and this is even more painful and agonising because it makes one enter into vicious circles. This is the reason behind many psychological conflicts and abnormal behaviour. When escalated, they sometimes become mental health issues.

The ultimate solution is in God who revealed Himself as a Trinity who satisfies all the essential human needs:

  • The Person of the Father fills and satisfies man’s deep need to belong.
  • The Person of the Son fills man’s need for peace and forgiveness.
  • The Person of the Holy Spirit reveals to each one his/her mission and role in life and He enables us to carry out this role from one stage to the other, step by step.

Let us clarify each of these points from the practical point of view:

  • The Person of the Father fills and satisfies man’s deep need to belong.

God is an eternal essence; yet, He chose to describe Himself using words that we can understand so that we can perceive His Character.

The Person of the Father who is eternal truth chose for Himself the word ‘father’ because we all understand who a father is.

The father is the person who shelters me, protects me, looks after me, accepts me in my weakness, and rejoices in me. This is exactly what I need; something deep within me needs a person who can fulfil these needs. If these needs are satisfied, I will feel embraced and not lost.

In God the Father, I feel the divine arms embracing me, providing me shelter, cover, and a sense of belongingness and rejoicing in me. I feel loved, accepted, and wanted. I feel that I belong. I experience true warmth surrounding me, sheltering me, looking after me and after all my affairs.

The depth of man cries for the warmth that embraces and protects, that makes one feel loved, wanted, and accepted; and that makes him feel that he is a person not a thing. The deep agony within man is that he has lost the sense of being a person and feels as if he has become a thing. One wakes up in the morning having many responsibilities and things to do; yet, deep within he feels lost and in agony. However, if this need is filled and satisfied, one would wake up feeling that there is warmth surrounding him.  How great if one experiences this warmth in his house where there is sacrificial and giving fatherhood and motherhood which are a reflection of God’s Fatherhood and Motherhood! God is a Father and a Mother. When we grow up in a home where there is this giving fatherhood and motherhood, we wake up every morning sensing certain warmth which brings us deep comfort. Every day, he feels he is a person not a thing, who is loved and wanted, who belongs, who is protected, looked after, and all his steps are well planned.

This is in fact a reflection of God, the Father. God intended that each child would have a mother and a father who reflect to him the true Character and Person of God, the Father, because God is a Father and a Mother[1] at the same time. They are meant to offer this child these needs.

When this child grows up and starts to have spiritual insight, he would start to understand that his parents were the shadow or the small manifestation that reflects the Heavenly Father who has the true Fatherhood and Motherhood that offer true satisfaction, warmth, tenderness, and protection.

It is the divine hand that tells me every morning that I am wanted, accepted, deeply loved, belonging to the Trinity, and a member of the household of God.

When this person was a child, he needed to hear from his parents that he is a member in this family who is loved and wanted. He needed to be reassured that he is surrounded with love and protection and that all his matters are well looked after. When this child grows up, he realises that this is not sufficient because these needs are only a reflection of a much bigger need which is not earthly and limited but eternal.

From outside, one is a body, a tent that will be taken off; but, from inside, he is a spirit that is eternal. From outside, one needs to eat and drink love and tenderness; but from inside this need can only be filled by the eternal love and tenderness of God.

Psychologists maintain that at the age of 18 months a child starts to be aware of all the essential human needs. They also maintain that when a breast fed baby cries, he is not only crying for milk; his stomach needs the milk while his heart needs love; he is crying for milk together with the love and embrace of his mom’s arms around him.

Some studies have shown that babies who are not breast fed and who grow up in nurseries not in their parents’ arms have many problems. This is because when a baby cries, he is asking for milk to be given to him through a person who embraces him and is tender to him; this person should reflect the eternal truth of God who is a Father and a Mother.

Many of us grew up in families where parents did not understand their responsibilities in accordance to the true Christian mind. As a result, many of us have unsatisfied needs. Unless these needs are healed and dealt with, they will continue to cause an inner groaning that will reflect on our personalities, relationships and future –no matter how clever we are in trying to hide them or overcome them.

If we desire to live the fullness of what we have been created for and carry out our full role and responsibilities in accordance to the divine will, it is crucial that our inner hidden needs would be healed.

Even if we succeed in hiding and silencing them, this will not work because the inner agony and groaning cannot be silenced or supressed.

Therefore, if I desire to live my full humanity and carry out my full role, these inner distortions have to be restored. This is similar to a plastic container that has certain parts that has been squeezed in; and so its shape and size changed. As a result, this vessel or container cannot perform its function. Similarly, God will not show me my full role if my size and shape is changed. This is because my full role can only be carried out through the full size and shape of my vessel. Otherwise, God would be requesting me to do something that I am not capable of doing –since part of my vessel is squeezed or crushed! At the same time, the person would be in agony because deep within him, he has potentials that are not released since the area of these potentials is pressed in.

When one lives the fullness of his humanity, he experiences the fullness of peace and comfort; and he discovers his role and carries it out. This role should be like a symphony on earth.

The word ‘symphony’ is very important and relevant in this context. We are the image of the Trinity, created to be a praise or symphony. This is the mind of God reflected in His word. In Ephesians 2: 10, we read: ‘For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them’. According to the Greek origin, these words mean ‘we are created as a poem or praise’. In the Old Testament, we read that God often told His people that He wants them to be a song or praise on earth[2]. Any song or praise consists of two components: words and a tune. God created each one of us as a poem. This poem needs a tune to give it its beauty.

Who composes the tune?

The Holy Spirit is the eternal tune; He composes a specific tune for every poem. He knows the tune of each one of us. Therefore, our fellowship with the Holy Spirit is very important. He in the One who shows me what’s inside me; He shows me that there is a symphony printed on my spirit, that I am eternal not earthly; I am not mere flesh, but I have a symphony written on my heart. He also tells me that this symphony is not only words but words that have a tune. He asks me to give Him a chance to make it a song and praise on earth.

When the Holy Spirit draws near and takes the lead in our lives, the tune starts to play and it becomes a symphony that pleases God’s heart and also pleases the person’s heart.

People around me will also hear the symphony[3], the sung poem. It will be a light on earth and eternal comfort that shines from each one of us. Each one of us is a symphony which is different from the other; there is no end to these symphonies.

We will remain an unsung poem and a symphony that is not played until we are corrected and restored from within and our deep inner needs are healed through the Holy Trinity. The poem will then be discovered and the tune will be given and our life will become a sung poem, a true symphony sung and played for the glory of God and for the visitation of the world around us.

  • The Person of the Son fills man’s need for peace and forgiveness.

The Son granted us this peace and forgiveness through His redemption[4].

The work of redemption of the Son on the Cross is transferred to me through the Holy Spirit, purifying my conscience, washing away my guilt, and healing my hidden sins. These were sins at some point, but they are no more mere sins but rather pits inside me that are full of puss and form pockets of guilt.

This reflects on the outside in the form of conflicts, sense of inferiority, attempts to compensate, and various other kinds of psychological struggles and conflicts. Guilt is the reason behind all these conflicts.

One wants to live in righteousness because something deep within him urges him to do so. Yet, he often fails and is unable to. He often feels that he is full of mistakes and sins. This makes him frustrated and causes him to be filled with pockets of guilt and despair. This reflects in his relationships with others. It also causes him to suffer self-rejection because he feels that he is bad, defeated, and unable to be victorious.

The forgiveness of Jesus, His love and His redemption heal the guilt and transform the weakness and despair into strength and hope: ‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind’ (2Timothy 1: 7).

  • The Person of the Holy Spirit helps us and enables us in all the above matters

He is all powerful. He is tender. He is the eternal tune.

He is the living and purifying waters.

He is the Lord, the Giver of Life.

He is the companion who comforts us and walks with us in our sojourning on earth.

He is the “Paraclete” who defends us before our enemy, the accuser.

Through Him, we have fellowship with the Father and the Son.

He transfers to me the Fatherhood and Motherhood of God the Father; and hence, my needs are healed. He transfers to me the warmth of the Father and surrounds me with it.

The Holy Spirit transfers to me the divine plan, my role that the Father has for me. The Son reconciled me to the Father allowing this role to be granted to me and it became possible for me to discover it. The Holy Spirit opens my eyes to see this role and message. After I see my role, the Holy Spirit enables me to carry it out. He is my strength. He walks with me and fulfils this message through me. He accompanies me every day.

The Holy Spirit is the Person of the Trinity who shows me my role and who accomplishes it in me and through me.

He dwells in me and walks with me, granting me His sweet comforting companionship.

He enables me and grants me strength.

He is the Divine energy, ‘dynamos’, as the book of Acts describes Him.

He generates energy when I feel cold and frustrated.

He is the Generator of love when I feel unable to love others.

He is the Generator of Life when the death that is deep within me manifests and imposes itself on me.

He is the Generator of ability when I feel unable, crippled, and that things are beyond my ability and I cannot deal with them.

He is the continuous Generator of all that I need from the well of redemption that has already granted me these things and the Holy Spirit transfers them to me.

This is God the Trinity whom we often fail to understand and do not wish to talk about; He is the final and ultimate deep answer for the broken and destroyed humanity. This is what we should proclaim and be proud of before all the earth because wherever man is and whatever he believes, his inner depth will continue to need and call upon God the Trinity.

The ultimate restoration, satisfaction, and correction of the human soul are through the Trinity who should be our bosting and proclamation to a world that has rejected the Trinity or stumbled in the Trinity; and hence, became lost and destroyed.

To sum up, we highlighted the importance of having a correct vision of God, of oneself and of our enemy. I need to have a correct vision of God so that I may be transformed to His image. Inasmuch as my vision of God is correct, my transformation will be correct. Inasmuch as this vision is complete and rich, my transformation will be rich. If this vision is small, limited or constricted, my spiritual growth and understanding will be hindered and constricted.

The correct vision of God includes understanding that God is a Trinity. God reveals Himself to me in various ways depending on my need in order to satisfy and fill all my deep needs.

He fills my need to belong, my need for fatherhood and motherhood, for warmth and embrace, for love and being a person not an object, a person who is loved and wanted.

God also fills my need for forgiveness. I have been created to live in righteousness. He fills my need for forgiveness, purification, and righteousness; the work of redemption washes me, cleanses me and enables me to walk in righteousness.

I should also have a role and a message. The Holy Spirit reveals to me this great and eternal message and role. He makes it become a true symphony that has words and a tune; it fills me with joy; it makes me become a song and praise on earth; and it heals the wounds and the groaning of the people around me because we are called for this. This is the work of the Holy Spirit who has chosen to be our companion in our sojourning until the very end of our life.

Finally, I want to conclude with the passage in Ephesians 1: 3 – 14. Apostle Paul looks at the divine icon where sometimes he sees the Father, at other times, he sees the Son, and at times he sees the Holy Spirit:

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,  just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,  having predestined us to adoption as sons [the reference here is about the Father] by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,  to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved [the Beloved is Jesus; since we are in Jesus, the Father looks upon us as beloved and as His children. When I receive this, it heals me and works wonders in me]. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, [the reference here is to the Son who grants forgiveness of sins] according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,  having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,  that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance [the reference here is about the Holy Spirit when He works in me making me taste eternal life] until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.’

  • Verse 6: ‘to the praise of the glory of His grace’ (the reference is to the Father).
  • Verse 12: ‘to the praise of His glory’ (the reference is to the Son)
  • Verse 14: ‘to the praise of His glory’ (the reference is to the Holy Spirit)

This is the Trinity and His revelation in this passage.


[1] Isaiah 63:16; 66:13

[2] Zephaniah 3:19, 20

[3] They will hear it in spirit

[4] Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 1:20

The Spiritual Life 2-2: the Heart

The Heart : The work of the Holy Spirit

‘I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes forever, to the very end’ (Psalm 119: 112).

‘Hear, my son, and be wise; and guide your heart in the way’ (Proverbs 23: 19).

The heart is a central part in man’s life. It is the spirit of the person, the inner and deep direction of man: ‘the inward thought and the heart of man are deep’ (Psalm 64: 6).

The heart is the most important part of man because God’s eyes look at man’s heart[1] searching its direction and inclinations.

If one is not paying attention to his heart, he can be praying, worshipping and ministering and then all of a sudden he finds that he is estranged from God. This is because earlier on this person’s heart was taking a wrong direction and inclination whilst he was not aware or paying attention; and then all of a sudden one realises that he is in this wrong road or direction. This is similar to someone driving a car and then took a wrong turn. As a result, he finds himself in a different road or direction.

Therefore it is important to pay attention to the movement of the heart and its different reactions in different situations. It is important to watch over the heart in general and make sure that it is undivided and that one has ‘a loyal heart and with a willing mind, as we have read earlier in 1Chronicals 28: 9 when David was passing on his experience to his Son Solomon at the end of his life. This is the first point about the heart which we discussed earlier.

Today, I want to focus on the verses we read at the opening of our talk which are two examples of numerous verses in the book of Psalms and Proverbs where we read the phrase: ‘incline your heart’. Inclining my heart means giving it a direction.

One is responsible to realise and discern the direction of his heart; and then determine which direction his heart should take. In other words, one needs first to know where his heart is and which direction it is taking. When one discerns the direction of his heart, he then needs to deal with his heart and specify for it the direction it should take. For example, I would tell my heart: ‘How long will you falter between two opinions? (1Kings 18: 21) O, my heart, you cannot be heading in different directions; take one direction; choose the direction you will take’.

If we fail to do so now with our hearts, two or three years later we will find ourselves estranged from God. We would then wonder why we became lukewarm all of sudden. In fact, it was not all of a sudden; early on, the heart made a slight deviation and had a different inclination, but we did not pay attention to it.

In our relationship with God, we need to learn to observe our heart and incline it and direct it in the way of God’s commandments.

This can be done by praying and asking God’s help to reveal and expose our heart and correct it, as the Psalmist prayed saying:  ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting’ (Psalm 139: 23, 24).

It is the person’s responsibility to come before the Lord in prayer saying: ‘Lord, it is written about You that You search the hearts (Jeremiah 17: 10); please, help me to see my heart and what You find in it.’

This is similar to a test that is done in a laboratory; God also tests the heart.

In Deuteronomy 8, we read that God tested the heart of the people, the children of Israel, to let them know that they have wrong inclinations and wrong directions in their hearts. This wrong direction made the people die in the wilderness and not enter the Land of promise. In1Corinthians 10: 5, it is written about them: ‘but God was not pleased with the majority of them’.

We need to get to know the Person of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. He is the Person of the Trinity who comes to us to dwell in us and become our companion, the Paraclete, who walks side to side by us.

The more we pay attention to Him, the more He reveals Himself to us in a deeper way. After that, it will not matter where we are; whether we are together in a retreat or a spiritual day or in any other place; the place is not what makes the difference; the place does not make the day good or the spirit fervent; what makes a difference is the Spirit, the Comforter. When He draws near us, He makes a great difference in the atmosphere; His presence amongst us stirs our hearts.

Therefore, exactly as I was saying that it is important to pay attention to our hearts and incline it in the right direction, we also need to be careful not to quench or grieve the Holy Spirit.

We have all experienced that at times we can be fervent in the spirit and then we do something or say something and then find that we are quenched.

We should not grieve the Holy Spirit in each one of us and also in our midst. We are a family of ministers; we have been together for a while and have served the Lord together. When the Holy Spirit sees a group of people like this, He desires to make them a spiritual family, one household, one net.

Therefore, we need to be aware that the Person of the Holy Spirit is in our midst; and so we need to be watchful, avoiding the things that grieve Him and doing the things that please Him.  For example, it is important to love one another, be sensitive to one another and be gentle with one another; and be watchful in our relationship with one another[2]. It is also important to submit to one another in the fear of God (Ephesians 5: 21); respect the older and love the younger.

If the Holy Spirit is grieved in our midst, we are the losers. He is the One who blesses our ministry. He is the One who draws near us and works in us and through us. If we grieve Him, we will sense that something is lost and is missing. We will continue to pray and worship; but something will be missing because He was grieved.

Therefore, it is important to pay attention not to grieve the Spirit, but learn to watch our heart in our relationship with God and our relationship with one another.


[1] 1 Samuel 16:7

[2] Colossians 3:12 – 15 

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