BE PERFECT

Greetings friends!

Let’s talk a bit about LOVING OUR ENEMIES.

In the video I promised I would take a run at the verse BE PERFECT, THEREFORE,  AS YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT, which is part of passage on loving our enemies. I believe my first impression on this came from Dr. Willard as he said Jesus knows we cannot be perfect this side of heaven so why would he command from the hill otherwise?

Dr. Willard believes that what Jesus is saying here is that  when you are living as citizens of the Kingdom {in the effective range of the Father’s will} you are as perfect as you can be on this side of heaven. So in other words Jesus is saying be in the fathers will and be as I. Perfection on earth is living in God’s will. I believe this is affirmed further by Pastor Bonhoeffer as he once told his seminarians that they were not to focus on being good or evil but  focus on being in God’s will.

So the good news, the REALLY GOOD NEWS is the Kingdom of God is near and we can live in it and when we do in those times we are PERFECT!

So why is this perfection passage tied in with “loving our enemies?”  Why did he not say it after ANGER or LUST or LYING? HE DID! This perfection passage is after a long discourse on outward behaviors that specifically effect our relationship with others and with the Trinity.

So let me restate the whole command with handles for us to grab onto.

Remember this is not a SUCK IT UP, JUST DO IT MINISTRY, we are a  HOW resource for the church!

SO…..

When we deal with our ANGER, LUST, LYING and ENEMIES in accordance with God’s will we are PERFECT in His eyes. We have the ability to know and live in God’s will through the HOW of the spiritual practices.-PERIOD!

If you do not engage in the practices to hear God tell me how you can obey Him and be in His will?

Recently I was on a full day silence, solitude, pray, study retreat. I was utilizing Luke14:26-33 for a Lectio Divina:

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?  For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you,  saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.  In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

During the process the Holy Spirit led me to the words estimate or count the cost. The Holy Spirit went on to reveal to me that I needed to be aware of counting the cost RELATIONALLY with my every thought, word and action as my mind and heart outsources them to my body, i.e. when I speak or act upon what is in my mind and heart. Then the Holy Spirit told me to be PERFECT in this regard, i.e. to act, think and do in accordance with God’s will I must allow Him to filter and take captive every thought, word, and deed before it is outsourced to the body. That would result in obedience to His will, which gives me an abundance in life and leads to the perfection  He demands. Now let me state again my perfection possibility lies only in this area as I am obedient in taking every thought, word and deed captive to His will before I act and speak. I would have been clueless, continued in disobedience if I had not slowed down and engaged the Trinity through the spiritual practices. If the only clue I had was another brother, pastor, teacher telling me George you need to not be so irritable in how you speak and act, so stop it, without the HOW I would still be lost and toxic in my relationships with those that I may have assaulted, etc. The MEANS (HOW) are everything in our transformative life. They are indispensable!

So the default line, the easy ending is just to tell you to BE PERFECT friend and sign off. What a disservice that would be to you as my brother and sister.

The ending that gives you the possibility of obedience and abundance is to exhort you to employ the MEANS Jesus has modeled throughout the Gospels- Steal away, be still, listen in the quiet, let the Scriptures speak to you, converse with the Trinity in regard to your GREAT need for HIS GREAT GRACE. I do not know the area where you long for PERFECTION but I do KNOW the MEANS, THE POWER and PRESENCE to attain it.

May you hunger to walk in the KINGDOM now through the PRESENCE AND POWER of the TRINITY!

Abide my friend,

georgea

 

 

 

 

One thought on “BE PERFECT

  • September 14, 2011 at 9:33 am
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    Way to go George. The HOW is everything. Here is a quote from Oswald Chambers that speaks clearly.

    “The tiniest thing we allow in our lives that is NOT under control of the Holy Spirit is quite sufficient to account for spiritual muddle, and all the thinking we like to spend on it will never make it clear. Spiritual muddle is only made plain by obedience. Immediately we obey, we discern. This is humiliating, because when we are muddled we know the reason is in THE TEMPER OF OUR MIND. When the natural power of vision is devoted to the Holy Spirit, it becomes the power of perceiving God’s will and the whole life is kept in simplicity.”

    You are right in the HOW. We get the power to perceive God’s will through Solitude, Silence, and listening.

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