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    Leaving The 99 To Go After The One

    Leaving The 99 To Go After The One

    This has been the very picture of Jesus since He made His appearance. I am sorry to say that this has not been the case in the church, at least for as long as I have been saved.

    My first experience with this was at a small house church in Houston, Texas in 1976. A homeless couple that hadn't taken a bath in about a month and the woman dressed in a makeshift dress made from a truck inner tube, walked into this house church. Everyone moved away from them immediately because of their smell. I was a brand new follower of Christ and His love for them overpowered any odor and appearance. I was the only one to go up and embrace them and welcome them.

    I was new but none of the others were. Within a few months, I began to see a consistent pattern in this small congregation. They said one thing but did another. Yes, I saw their hypocrisy. I was not judging them but greatly confused and disappointed. I was given a dream from God to show me His perspective. This changed my own view of them all. Instead of revulsion I was filled with compassion and understanding.

    I have seen this kind of hypocrisy throughout the church everywhere I went. In one church, I led a home group of people that were the outcasts of all the other groups. These were people with problems that others either did not take the time to resolve or didn't care enough to love them through those problems.

    The difference I see in the church with those who are walking hypocritically is a lack of the love of God in their own lives. In my first year as a believer, I was given numerous visions with one of them revealing the heart of God for His children. He said, "My people do not know Me." They were focused on their own pursuits and had no time to spend with their Savior.

    This vision bore out over time. It still does. The church has allowed the love of their own lives and their love for the world to choke out the love of God in their lives. Jesus said that if you love your life by trying to save it, you shall lose it but if you give up your life, you shall find it. Simple words. Simple concept but rarely followed.

    As long as we continue to eat from that tree of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil and make our own determinations without consulting the Spirit of God in all things, then the devil will continue to lead us down a path away from the love of God and we all just continue to be hypocrites.

    How can we tell if we've fallen down this wrong path? Here is how....a situation arises where you need to make a decision to act. You base your decision upon previous experiences or your own assessment of the situation and you do not seek the guidance from the One sent to us to provide that guidance but act independently.

    Most never consider turning to the Holy Spirit as most do not believe they NEED to. What they don't understand is that truth God says in His word that it is not IN MAN TO DIRECT HIS OWN WAY. Some actually believe that God is "too busy" to be involved in what they believe to be trivial matters. Yet the scriptures also say that God knows the number of hairs on our heads. This is a trivial matter but reveals just how interested God is in every detail of our lives. No detail is too small, too trivial but yet we ascribe to God our own attitudes and attributes. We actually bring God down to our own level and expect Him to see things and act as we do and forget that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours.

    Unless we see that our ways are not His ways and unless our ways are rejected by us, even our own thoughts, we will continue to walk in them. If we hold to ANYTHING from our lives, that thing we hold onto will become our master and we will not seek guidance from the Spirit. Our wisdom brought us to nothing and falls far short of the glory of God. We need a wisdom that is beyond our own. God sees the end from the beginning. Do you have that ability, to see all of your own life, every detail, every future event and how you will respond to those events? Of course not, yet we walk as if we do and cast aside that incredible resource God is providing for us.

    Jesus told His disciples that He had many more things to say to them but they were not yet able to "bear them". Jesus knew they lacked something critical but intended to give to them a resource as great as He was to them. He said He would not leave you "comfortless" but will send you another "comforter". This "comforter" was not going to live "outside" of them as Jesus did but live "within" them. For this "comforter" would provide for them something God had intended from the beginning, a living presence of God Himself inside the heart of man. This "Spirit of Truth" would never speak of Himself but give them all that which Jesus gave and everything that Jesus had, He received from His Father. Jesus was saying that He was giving to them a "direct link" to the same Father that guided His own life.

    Consider this, Jesus was born of God's own seed. He literally was God in human flesh and yet, He chose to EMPTY Himself of all that glory to become just as weak as you and I are, humans with everything that entails; subject to temptation just as we are, subject to fear and hunger just as we are. He told His disciples about this "secret" of how He lived His life. Jesus said that He DID NOTHING except what He "saw" His Father doing. Every act that Jesus did, every word that came from His mouth came from what Jesus "saw and heard" according to the Spirit. If Jesus needed to do this, how is it that we do not believe we need to?

    Satan has sold us all a monumental lie and the truth of this can be found all the way back to the temptation of Eve in the garden. Satan's purpose was to separate us from our dependency upon God and go it alone without the "need" for God. He told Eve that she could be just like God. In this, he was clearly telling her that she "did not need God" but could live WITHOUT HIM. Brethren, Satan is still at large and telling us this selfsame lie as he told Eve in that garden. Every time we take action WITHOUT consulting with the Spirit of God, we show we put more trust in our own ability to make decisions INDEPENDENT of God's guidance. Unless we see that our own ways are not pleasing to God, we will continue to walk in them and trust ourselves above God. We say we love God and trust Him but the actions we take in our lives and the decisions we make without His guidance betray that confession.

    This cycle of self destruction can only be broken by turning from our ways, all of them, and putting our complete trust in the Lord for all things in our lives. God wants to speak to us and He never stops speaking to us. Most do not hear Him and have been convinced they cannot. This too is a lie from the enemy. Everyone born into the kingdom of God through the new birth have this ability to hear the Spirit of God. God does not produce children with defects. In this world, children are born with physical defects but this is not the case in the kingdom of God. God is perfect and when we are born again, we are born with His attributes, all of them. We then, like little children, need to grow up into Him.

    Paul the Apostle was a very learned man by the standards of men, yet, after his conversion experience, he spent at least 3 years RE-LEARNING according to the Spirit of God. All of Paul's perspectives were from man's view but God wanted him to learn all those truths again but from GOD'S PERSPECTIVE. We simply cannot assume we know these truths because we read of them or listened to men who teach them. God's perspective CAN ONLY BE RECEIVED FROM GOD. There is NO OTHER WAY to have His perspective. Jesus told His disciples that the Spirit of Truth will LEAD them and GUIDE them into ALL TRUTH. Those who have walked with the Holy Spirit and been taught by Him receive the truth from a perspective higher than their own. This is why Paul stated in Romans 8 that those who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God. For only the Spirit of God can give us God's own perspective and through this, allow us to grow up into Him and be His true sons.

    Simply going to church does not produce sons and daughters of God. Simply reading the bible does not make us sons and daughters. Doing good works does not make us a son or daughter of God. ONLY those who are BEING LED by the Spirit of God can enter into sonship. We are born again of the Spirit of God and only our Heavenly Father can nurture us and teach us and prepare us to walk in a way that has always been higher and greater than us.

    We read in His word that nothing is impossible for those who believe in Christ because He strengthens us. Salvation is impossible for man to attain in his own strength, no matter how astute they may be and how knowledgeable they may become. Knowledge outside of that which is given by the Holy Spirit, only puffs men up and they become vain and proud. But the knowledge received by the Holy Spirit builds us up and strengthens us to do all those things He requires of us. God is NOT a general in a battlefield who dictates to us to win the war and leaves us alone to muddle through the battle any way we can on our own. He will be with us through every step, not just in theory but actuality. Every turn, every action, every word is directed by Him IF we turn to Him for that guidance. Unless you have done this, this truth cannot be known or experienced by you. Only by doing can you truly see and understand.

    Just because we are born again of the Spirit of God does not mean we are instantaneously transformed into mature Christians. Maturity requires growth which requires time. We cannot become mature or wise because we will it so. Our journey started with the new birth but we carry with us many of those things that influenced our lives before our conversion experience. A great picture of this can be found in the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead. That which killed Lazarus, the result of sin, has been removed but when Lazarus came out of that tomb, he was still bound by his grave clothes and Jesus commanded them to remove those grave clothes. The grave clothes represent those things that bound him while in death and continue to bind him while alive. These grave clothes represent strongholds in our lives based upon unforgiveness, judgments, oaths or vows we've made to ourselves. During the course of events in our lives, we've adopted certain attitudes and mindsets that need to be recognized and removed. If they are not removed, then they will severely restrict our ability to walk according to our new life.

    Another example of this process can be found in the Old Testament as the children of Israel were about to enter into their promised land. There were nations greater and mightier than they but God promised to go before them and fight for them. He also told them that they were NOT going to take this promised land in a year but little by little they will take the land until they have grown and increased. It is a growing process that will allow them to take the land God had promised to them. As great as their numbers were, they were still too few in number to adequately take and occupy this new land. This would be a process of many years and God knew all this before He ever set them free from their captivity in Egypt.

    This is the same for us with the promise of life with Him in paradise and the direction of the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples. We pray for heaven to come down to earth. This starts with us, individually and to get there, we need to forgive as we are forgiven; pray for and seek what we need ONLY on a daily basis. Each day in the wilderness, the children of Israel foraged for manna for that day's need. If they gathered more than they needed for that day, the manna became corrupted and no longer good to eat. God was very specific. Take only what you need for today and on the day before the Sabbath, take two days worth. This is a picture and type of our need to seek God daily for what He will give to us to live by. Not for tomorrow or the future but for what we need today only. He will always give us His light for the path He has chosen for us to walk in but only for our next step. He promises a future that we can count on but never shows what that future will encounter. Sufficient is the evil we face today than what lies ahead. Once we've learned to walk in this way, day by day, or even moment by moment, and have learned the faithfulness of God and His attention to every detail, then the future no longer presents itself as something to be fearful of.

    We come to both know and accept that statement of His that God knows His plans for us and is actively working to fulfill that which He has promised. So we can walk without that fear that drives every human being that has ever lived before us and lives today. For all our lives before Christ, fear was that element that was the driving force in our lives. Everything in our lives was motived through fear. We loved others according to our own terms because we feared being rejected or betrayed. We look only for those who do not present a perceptible tendency towards rejection of us or would betray our trust. We consider this "normal". In God's kingdom, this is considered "abnormal". God's love is a perfect love and the only way we can learn this is not through a one time encounter only but a continual encounter, everyday. God wishes to walk with us daily as He did with Adam before the fall.

    It is this daily communion with Him that we learn more and more of who God is and the depth of His love for us. He desires to talk with us, carry on conversations and not a one-way communication where we pray, say amen and walk away without ever hearing what He has to say to us. Early in my walk with Him in '76, long before cell phones and bluetooth technology, I could be seen walking down the street involved in an active conversation with the Holy Spirit. This was not just something I did internally but literally spoke out-loud to Him with His response coming back instantaneously in my spirit-man. During the course of those formative years, He taught me how to differentiate between His voice, my voice and the voice of the evil one. This became very real to me and throughout my adult life as a believer since then, I have never had to wait for His reply to my questions but He would answer me immediately.

    I considered this a "normal" thing until one day, while in a home group years later, the group made their request to God in prayer and instantly, I heard His response. I was just about to open my mouth to tell them what I heard when the Spirit told me to stop and wait until He released me to give them His answer because they did not believe that God answered immediately. This shocked me but I obeyed Him and after some moments had passed, the Spirit released me and I told them what I had heard. Why did His children not believe that God answered immediately? I have found that the answer lies in how they received their training. Since they were not being taught of the Holy Spirit but from man, it is this ignorance of man and his traditions that has placed limits upon the Holy One.

    Our traditions, those mindsets and mental strongholds we've developed while in the world, that continue to severely limit our understanding of the glories of the Lord, have essentially brought God down to our own level. We, for the most part, are still walking in this world with our grave clothes still on. These still maintain the smell of death and severely restrict us from walking in the freedom that comes through Christ. Unless these grave clothes are removed, we wash ourselves in the water of His Word and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, our heavenly garments, we will not be able to hear His voice and walk in complete obedience.

    Paul teaches us that there is only one way we can put to death the deeds of the flesh and that way is to walk according to the Spirit. This means that we no longer put any trust in our own determination or our own wisdom or experiences but cast this off and seek the wisdom which comes from above. Every choice, every decision needs to be brought before God through the Holy Spirit which He sent to lead us and guide us into all truth. Only by doing this can the deeds of the flesh be put to death. We do not put them to death. When we refuse to be guided by our own will but yield our will to the Spirit of the Lord, we are, in effect, STARVING our flesh to death. THIS is how the deeds of the flesh are defeated. We no longer provide it sustenance by depending on it. We choose to not trust ourselves at all and put all of our trust in the guidance of the Spirit of Truth.

    Doing this teaches us more and more about the Father. Jesus told the people they can find REST in Him by learning of Him and then describes for them who He is. He is LOWLY AND MEEK of heart. Jesus is saying that He puts no trust in His own will but commits His life to His Father's direction and discretion. This is what we must do to inherit eternal life. For if we love our lives, we shall lose it but if we hate our lives, we shall find it. Once we start walking in this manner, every day, from moment to moment in complete dependence upon God's own Spirit, being nurtured, taught, trained and corrected by Him, then we will be able to understand HOW to do as Jesus did, leaving the 99 and going after the one.
    "Exceptional leaders leave the popular group to find the social outcast." Coach Val

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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