“I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things” (John 8:28). When Christ ministered on earth, he enjoyed full access to the Father. He said, “I can do nothing on my own. I do only what the Father tells me and shows me” (also see John 5:19, 30). Moreover, Jesus didn’t have to slip away to prayer to obtain the Father’s mind. Of course, he prayed often and intensely, but that was about fellowship with the Father.
It was a different matter in his everyday activities, whether he was teaching, healing or casting out demons. Jesus knew at all times that he was in the Father, and the Father was in him. He didn’t have to “go up” to the Father to know what to do. The Father was already dwelling in him, making himself known. And Jesus always heard a word behind him, saying, “This is the way … here is what to do.”
Today, we’ve been given the very same degree of access to the Father that Christ had. You may be thinking, “Wait a minute, that’s mind-boggling. I have the same access to the Father that Jesus, the Creator and Lord of the universe, did?”
Make no mistake: like Jesus, we’re to pray often and fervently. We’re to be seekers of God, waiting on the Lord. But in our daily walk — our comings and goings, our relationships, our family life, our ministry — we don’t have to slip away to beseech God for a word of strength or direction. We have his very own Spirit living in us. And the Holy Spirit reveals to us the mind and will of the Father. His voice is always behind us, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”
The truth about our union with Christ was a hidden mystery to the church until Paul came on the scene. The Holy Spirit used Paul to open this mystery, which is, Christ in you, the hope of glory (see Colossians 1:27).
Beloved, this is not a complicated issue. Simply ask yourself if you have received Jesus not just as your Savior, but as the enthroned Lord in heaven. And have you accepted that the enthroned Lord lives in you? We have been given heaven here in our souls. Our Savior Jesus Christ came to give us much more than redemption. He came so that we might have fullness of life every day.
The book of Revelation gives us powerful images of angels worshiping in God’s presence. They cover their faces as they fall before him crying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8). These powerful beings clear the stage in heaven for the One who is high, lifted up, and rightly exalted as the name above all names.
This portrayal of worship reveals that God’s presence is meant to bring light to our eyes. It shows us the difference between the wheat and the chaff in our lives. That’s why God’s Word is called a refiner’s fire: it purifies (see Malachi 3:2). It is also called a sword, an instrument that pierces and cuts (see Hebrews 4:12). These tools are used to separate things, dividing the pure from the impure.
By definition, these aren’t pleasant things; in fact, they’re uncomfortable and we naturally resist them. We cry out for comfort and pleasure in our life, our job, our pursuits, our home. As the Bible states, our hearts are inclined to cry, “Speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions” (Isaiah 30:10). And the material world is always waiting to meet our desires.
The Bible warns about the danger of seeking only messages that comfort instead of those that challenge. The Israelites loved being able to tolerate their idols and not give them up. And the consequence? They lost their discernment.
God’s first commandment is, “You will have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). The word “before” in this verse actually means “in my presence.” God is saying, “Don’t bring any gods into my presence — your idols of pleasure, your ambition, your human abilities. I won’t abide any of it.” God is telling us to clear the stage in order that Christ may be central once more.
Too many are being drawn away from true worship by a spirit that isn’t God’s. The focus has slowly and subtly shifted from Christ and his cross to things of flesh: “I lift my hands; I sing your praises; I glorify your name.” Be sure that when you worship God, you actually glorify and exalt the name of Jesus. “Holy, holy, holy, Lord — Surely you are in this place.”
Leaving God out of your decision making is dangerous and leads to difficulties that could have been avoided. In the Old Testament, we see Joshua making a decision that led to Israel being at war with enemies they would not have had to face had Joshua been more prudent.
“The men of Israel looked them over, accepted the evidence, but they did not ask God about it” (see Joshua 9:14). They did not seek the Lord’s counsel! Joshua was considered one of the greatest Jewish generals who ever lived in the history of Israel — a good man who made a huge error in judgment. There was not a blotch on his record except this one instance. Joshua chapter 9 tells the story and chapter 10 tells the miracle. It's a fascinating story — the people of Gibeon posing as hungry, weary travelers and lying about who they were and what they wanted. Joshua entered into covenant with them and within a few verses we find their battles became Joshua’s because of that ill-advised covenant.
In the midst of the battle, Joshua cried out to God for a miracle and the Lord intervened in a dramatic way — he made the sun stand still! “And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel” (Joshua 10:14).
In Proverbs, God invites us many times to ask his counsel before making decisions. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). “Pay attention to my wisdom; lend your ear to my understanding, that you may preserve discretion’” (Proverbs 5:1-2).
Prayerless decisions will add battles that could have been avoided. There is huge danger when you leave God out of your decision-making and decide to go on your own.
Three things to do when you have to make a decision:
Start with prayer
Go to the Word
Consult with wise people in your life
Whether it is making a difficult decision or dealing with the consequences of a bad decision, the God who is big enough to make the sun stand still thousands of years ago is still working all things together for good for those who love him. Trust in his love and wisdom in your life today.
After pastoring an inner-city congregation in Detroit for thirty years, Pastor Tim served at Brooklyn Tabernacle in NYC for five years and pastored in Lafayette, Louisiana, for five years. He became Senior Pastor of Times Square Church in May of 2020.
“Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14:19-20). We are now living in “that day” Jesus speaks of; in short, we are to understand our heavenly position in Christ. Of course, most of us know our position in him — that we are seated with him in heavenly places — but only as a theological fact. We know it as an experience.
What is meant by “our position in Christ”? Very simply, position is where one is placed, where one is. God has placed us where we are, which is in Christ. In turn, Christ is in the Father, seated at his right hand. Therefore, if we’re in Christ, then we are actually seated with Jesus in the throne room, where he is. That means we’re sitting in the presence of the Almighty.
This is what Paul refers to when he says we are made to “sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). This isn’t something you can attain, it’s what God says of you. If you’re in Christ, then in the Father’s eyes you’re seated near him, at his right hand.
The moment you place your trust in Jesus, you’re taken into Christ by faith. God acknowledges you in his Son and seats you with him in the heavenlies. This isn’t merely some theological point but a truth, a factual position. Of course, being “in Christ” doesn’t mean you leave this earth. You can’t manufacture some emotion or feeling that takes you up into a literal heaven. No, heaven has come down to you. Christ the Son and God the Father came into your heart and made their abode there: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23).
Yes, Jesus is in paradise, and his Spirit moves over all the earth. But the Lord himself abides in you and me specifically. He has made us his temple on the earth, his dwelling place, which means we have unimpeded access to the heavenly Father. “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father” (Ephesians 2:18). “We have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him” (3:12).
Your heavenly Father rejoices over you, so leave your worldly pursuits behind and take your position in Christ today!
At times, you may find yourself asking, “Why am I so discouraged? Why do I have all these fears?” You must know that is always a Holy Spirit issue. Isaiah says that the Holy Spirit portions out peace and there can be no peace without righteousness. “The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places” (Isaiah 32:17-18).
When the Holy Spirit is poured out, peace is the result. And if that effect isn’t present — if there is still turmoil — then we must take a look into our own hearts. Scripture tells us the Holy Spirit is given only to those who ask in faith. Do you live, walk and move in the Spirit? It doesn’t matter how successful your life appears; your supply of the Spirit always has to be renewed. Paul speaks of his own “supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” and asks the Philippians for “your prayer” (Philippians 1:19).
Praise God for all the men and women of God who have not lost the Spirit and are aflame with the Holy Spirit. Isaiah gives us this good news: “Thus says the Lord who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you: ‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant; and you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on our descendants, and My blessing on your offspring’” (Isaiah 44:2-3).
Jude assures us, “Beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 17-21).
Pray this prayer today: “Holy Spirit, stir my soul! Draw me to the secret closet of prayer with you. Discipline me to wait on you, to cry out, to not give up until you fill me to the full. Supply me with your quiet rest and assurance that you will see me through whatever comes.”