What God Is Like: By Bill Johnson
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Two thousand years ago, one decree revealed God’s heart more clearly than ever before: “Peace and goodwill toward men!” That declaration redefined God’s intent for humanity, but after all these years, many of us have not shifted our thinking to be consistent with His announced plan—one of peace and goodwill. Without a shift in thinking, it will be all too easy to misrepresent this magnificent One by expecting and allowing things to take place on our watch that Jesus never would have allowed.
Our boldness to declare and demonstrate who He is in a given situation is seriously impaired if we’re not confident of what He is like. When the boldness that is normal within the one filled with the Spirit of God diminishes, it costs us dearly. It is often our boldness that draws Him into an impossible situation. When we know what He is like, we will be able to represent Jesus as the manifestation of God’s goodwill toward men.
Prayer: Father, I want to know what You are like so I can show people who You are. Teach my heart how to see You more clearly.
This devotional by Bill Johnson so challenged me this week I had to share it. The challenge was, have I shifted my thinking? Do I misrepresent the magnificent one by expecting or allowing things to take place in my life that Jesus would never have allowed? Unfortunately the answer is Yes!
The word allow means to give someone permission to do something. It is to permit or authorize power or grant someone the right to do something, to license or enable them to act.
How often, unwittingly, do I give permission to the enemy to come in and kill steal or destroy my faith by entertaining negativity and a lack of belief that God is for me?
The word expect
means to regard something as likely to happen, to anticipate, await, look for, watch for, look forward to, look ahead to, have in our prospects.
Expectation breathes hope and excitement into us by its very definition. If I am expecting my kids home, I get everything ready and my excitement grows as I wait for them to arrive. If I am expecting God to keep his promises to me my preparation and my heart should be exactly the same.
What am I expecting when I pray for healing, God’s promise of healing and health or a bad report? Am I allowing a spirit of fear to invade my heart and fill my mind with dreadful outcomes or an inevitable poor diagnosis? Am I forgetting all of His benefits?
Psalm 103:2-3 Amplified Bible (AMP)Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And do not forget any of His benefits;
Who forgives all your sins,
Who heals all your diseases;
These last few months Dave and I have been praying about moving and struggling with not “hearing God”. I confess that my reaction of late has been one of doubt and uncertainly leading to a bit of frustration and anxiety. I allowed that reaction rather than resting and waiting with expectation that we would hear, even if it is later than I might like. Declaring that we have not heard yet but are seeking and we know we will hear His direction properly represents God because He promises that His sheep hear his voice, period. That declaration also settles my heart and puts me into a place of confidence rather than one of uncertainty. To others it demonstrates my trust in a Good God and His promises.
My life and my words declare to a world around me who I believe God really is! My bold declaration settles my heart and is strong statement to those watching my life.
I am sure that like myself you do not want to give permission for things to take place on your watch that Jesus would never have allowed! In order to be consistent with the plan of God to demonstrate peace and His good will towards all of us our response must be one of expectation that all of His promises are Yes and Amen. We have to know Him, a good God, who lavishes His love upon the lives of men, believing that it will be so in our own lives. We must not give permission to the enemy to sow thoughts of doubt and despair into our minds and hearts. We must take those thoughts captive and then withhold bread and water!
I was so moved by Bill’s statement that it is often our boldness that draws God into an impossible situation. I have testimonies of this happening in my life when I boldly stood on the promises that God would provide for us financially and He did. I have seen it when I prayed for my son’s healing and he walked.. I have boldly proclaimed His promises so many times and seen Him drawn in to turn an impossible situation around. Yet I forget….I love the statement that I heard Bill make on a podcast recently, “the reason we need to hear the gospel every day is that we forget it every day!”
Perhaps the key is to continually remind ourselves and refresh our spirit man by recalling the very nature of God and His love for us.
Like many of you I have found tremendous inspiration from the Passion Bible. This week I found this passage and it seems the perfect way to end.
Psalm 36: 7-10
O God, how extravagant is your cherishing love!
All mankind can find a hiding place[b]
under the shadow of your wings.
8 All may drink of the anointing[c] from the abundance of your house.
All may drink their fill from the delightful springs of Eden.[d]
9 To know you is to experience a flowing fountain,
drinking in your life, springing up to satisfy.
In your light we receive the light of revelation.[e]
10 Lord, keep pouring out your unfailing love
on those who are near you.
Release more of your blessings to those who are loyal to you.
May your week be filled with expectation of His goodness towards you!