The receivers are the reigners
A while back I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about seeking more of God and cultivating a hunger in our personal lives and the culture of our churches for “the more”. Both of us had encountered a stream of thought that taught against seeking more, going after more, or being hungry for God. The logic is that in Christ we already have all things, so why hunger for and go after more of God when we already have all things in Christ. My friend told me what his response was to a group of people that came to him with this logic, he said to them, “If we have everything, where is it?”
That question is something that I’ve spent many hours thinking about over the last many years. The picture I’ve used to illustrate my perspective is of a sailboat in perfect sailing conditions without its sail up. The seas are calm, the wind is the perfect strength and is blowing in the absolute ideal direction to get the boat to its destination. The crew is sitting on the deck scratching their heads wondering why they are not moving forward when the conditions are so perfect. They finally twig to the fact that they’ve forgotten to hoist the sail, they do so, and off they go at a great rate of knots reaching their desired destination soon after.
The truth is that the sailing conditions are perfect, we really do have everything we could ever need or want at hand. Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians, "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" (Ephesians 1:3 NASB). In other words God has given to us every spiritual "good thing" in Heaven. In my understanding of Heaven there is nothing that is "not good" or "not a blessing" there. Therefore we have been blessed with everything there, all of Heaven is accessible to us!
As well as having access to all of Heaven God lives on the inside of us! Paul writes, "For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him" (Colossians 1:19 NASB). "The fullness" referring to God's fullness and "Him" refers to Jesus Christ. In light of the truth that Paul lays out, John says the following.
As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. (John 17:18-21 NASB)
Astounding! The fullness of God, Father, Son, and Spirit, dwelt in Jesus Christ and Christ dwells in us as well as us in Him! We have been sent by God the same way that Jesus was sent... Filled with God! On top of being given access to everything in Heaven and being filled with all of the fullness of God Jesus said the following...
Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. (Luke 10:19 NASB). So not only is all of Heaven at our finger tips and God so close that He's completely one with us but we have 100% all authority over the enemy and all of his antics! Wow!
The problem is not on the givers end but on the end of the receiver, the giver has given all, our responsibility is to learn how to receive and walk in all that has been given. The issue is not in the strength of the wind but the position and posture of the sail. Our hunger and desire for "the more" will be satisfied when we learn how to position our hearts and lives to receive and align with the amazing inheritance we have in Christ.
In John chapter 3, John the Baptist says something fascinating. In response to his disciples who’d become jealous of the favour that Jesus had. He said, “A man can receive nothing unless it’s been given from Heaven”. It is possible to be given something but to have not yet received it. Paul broaches the subject of receiving again in Romans 5:17, “those that receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ”. In a boiled down, simplified state you could conclude that the receivers are the reginers. The truth is that being given something and receiving the thing that has been given are two different things, just because we’ve been given it does not mean we’ve taken the time to receive it.
It is not those that have been given everything they need that reign in life and live free and victorious in everything they do. Rather, it is those that receive and steward what has been given.
The problem is not with the sailing conditions, it’s with the position of the sail. Those that take the time to learn how to position the sails of their hearts to receive all that’s been given to them are the ones that when asked the question, “Where is it all?”, will be able to say with, not only words but powerful demonstrations of the Kingdom, “Right here!” They are the ones that will usher in the greatest awakening the planet has ever experienced! My burning, passionate prayer is, “God teach us to receive, show us how to hoist the sail and how to adjust it where necessary”.