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17. Abundance of Peace

Faith is the expectation of a return. God always expects a return. God never ever gives without thought of reward. God always sees the end of all things; He sees His purpose; He sees the goal He seeks. Jesus gave His life FOR the joy set before Him - you and me. He wanted us; we are His prize. God desires a body, that's why He gives Himself to us - that He might win us for Himself.


    

17. Abundance of Peace

© Daniel Yordy - 2012
 

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10

 

. . .  to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us . . . Ephesians 3:19-20

I went looking for a phrase on the Internet that is commonly said. I found exactly what I was after. Here are the exact words. "We know that the Bible says, 'Give with no thought of reward.'"

This is one of my favorite 'broken-record' repeats (with purpose). We know that the Bible says. But that's just it, how do we know what the Bible says unless we look?

"Give with no thought of reward" sounds really godly and Biblical. There is a bit of a problem though - I can't find it. Now, maybe you know exactly where the verse is, and I will have to confess my mistake. But this is what I have so often found: when people say, "The Bible says," and you actually look. You find that, not only does the Bible not say that, but God says the very opposite. So if someone shows me where God says something that means this: "Give with no thought of reward," I will have to accept it as one of those hard-to-figure-out contradictions that are so frequent with God.

Because God most emphatically says the opposite.

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you. Luke 6:38

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

Faith is the expectation of a return. God always expects a return. God never ever gives without thought of reward. God always sees the end of all things; He sees His purpose; He sees the goal He seeks. Jesus gave His life FOR the joy set before Him - you and me. He wanted us; we are His prize. God desires a body, that's why He gives Himself to us - that He might win us for Himself.

Think of that passage of redemption from Gethsemane to the resurrection. What carried Jesus through all of it? Did He do it with "no thought of reward," just because "God told Him to"? Absolutely not. When Jesus prayed the prayer of John 17, He took you and me into Himself. He saw us, not only in the future but inside Himself. He took every single step with His heart filled to overflowing with the joy of His reward set before Him and within Him - you and me, His glory forever.

Never, never, does God give without thought of reward; it is not His nature.

But it is true that God thinks of reward in quite a different way than the selfishness of separated man. To God all giving is for the purpose of increase, for God is increase. Isaiah said "The increase of His kingdom is without end." When God gives, others enjoy the increase, but it always comes back to God. A clear example is the boy with the lunch of bread and fish. Jesus took one little boy's lunch, blessed it, and gave it away. 5000 people ate their fill and 12 baskets were picked up - plenty to feed the disciples for the next few days. It is certainly possible that Jesus Himself ate some of that increase the following morning.

This is the nature of God.

This nature of God, showing Himself personally through us, is the nature of His kingdom.

Giving is the nature of God's existence. God gives. Love is inward; it is the source. Giving is outward; it is the supply. In fact, giving is supply. God sustains Himself by giving; He gives in order to receive.

Jesus said, "It is better to give than to receive." That's the same as the eastern saying: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for his life." In other words, Jesus meant that receiving is a one-time occurrence, but giving creates a continual source of supply.

Solomon said: "Cast your bread upon the water and it shall return to you."

Isaiah said: "Just as the water coming down from heaven waters the ground to replenish the life growing there before it returns back to heaven so is the word God speaks." In other words, God speaks His word into the earth and then waits, expecting that the Word will accomplish all His purposes before it returns to Him.

God always expects the return.

In fact, if God did not expect a return, then the gift would fail and life would cease.

Look at Luke 6:38 quoted above. Jesus spent one syllable on "Give." Then He spent 30 syllables on the incredible abundance of the return. Yet by "underplaying" the word, "Give," Jesus made it infinite and absolute. To limit "Give" to a tithe of one's monetary income has no relationship with the New Covenant.

Give is God; return is the expectation of God.

Why then, do we humans seem to grasp at and hold onto our time, our labor, and our possessions so fiercely?

I feel the last while that God has turned me right side up and everything looks different - the opposite in many ways from what it seemed before. A friend put a quote from my last letter on Facebook, concerning the resurrection of the body, and someone, whether a brother or not I cannot tell, came along throwing, "Flesh, flesh - evil - God is "spirit" only (my paraphrase). He kept repeating "That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (One of the most misunderstood Scriptures in "deeper truth" circles.)

I puzzled over the brother for a bit until it dawned on me that in his desperate attempt to promote "spirit," he was seeing entirely "by the flesh." And I, in declaring the victory of God in my flesh, see it entirely by the Spirit.

The mind of the flesh sees only flesh and thus is afraid of God. The mind of the Spirit sees God only even, and especially, IN the flesh. Thus the resurrection of the physical body IS the necessary outcome of the SPIRITUAL mind.

The Spiritual mind requires God in the flesh. The mind of the flesh requires a God far away from our present reality. The mind of the flesh sees flesh; the mind of the Spirit sees God in His holy temple.

Here is the difference for me.

God.

God is always coming up from beneath of me, embracing into Himself ALL that is me, and carrying ME inside Himself, stumbling and falling with me along my way, He arises into life and ascends on high, and I in Him.

There are two things I know about God. 1. I know Him, and 2. He is Peace. Thus I have added "Peace to my title: "Abundance and Peace."

Peace is inward; Abundance is outward.

Peace is; Abundance gives and receives. Both are God - this One I know.

You see, I knew before the peace "of God." But that was something intermittent, something that came and went according to how far away or how "close" I felt God to be.

Now I wake up in the middle of the night feeling awful (but much less awful than in the past). I look inside and God is. I do not have to tell myself that He is; I just know it now. After five years of telling myself, over and over, I have finally convinced myself that God is true - and He is in me.

The "coming up from beneath me" IS so very important because I know that every moment the eternal now of God is catching me up in Himself. God does not catch me up "into" Himself. No. It is Himself coming up from beneath me that catches me up every moment.

God is peace; Peace is God. Out of that peace, I know now that by giving, all things come back to me.

The grace that is to come has begun. It begins with this knowing of God Himself.

I am part of a discussion on Facebook that has made me feel connected in a way I haven't felt for some time. There are some who chat all the time - I contribute only now and then. But that is the community of Christ. I love community when all are gathered together in the same heart and the same Spirit. I just wish it were gathered together for real - yet that will come.

Anyway, the discussion the last while has included a knowing of both abundance and peace in the same way that I am sharing here. I am adding nothing new, just putting it into my own words.

This is the nature of God and He is coming up from beneath us swallowing us up in Himself, new every moment.

The problem with giving and receiving as it has been taught in Christian circles - indeed, the problem with all things taught in Christian circles: word of faith, the cross, overcoming, evangelism, salvation - all of it - has not been what was taught, per se, but rather separation.

God was always left out in the cold - high up there somewhere, but certainly not one of us.

God, in all of His infinite power is so one of us that He is us. God is meek and lowly of heart. He always comes up from beneath of us, catching us into Himself, always now, always alive, always, every moment, always heart to heart with us.

I can say this and write it over and over. These words express the most beautiful reality in the universe, things angels desire to look upon, but have never seen or known. As I say them again, the words change slightly and new avenues of the God who is always springing up within us and who is always flowing out from us open to us. We behold vistas never seen nor considered before by the heart of man.

Most of our brethren, however, are locked in the cold, harsh world of separation. It is a prison. It is a place of starvation and fear. They are all terrified of "the flesh." You know, the thing God created through which to reveal His glory!

Peace on the inside - the continual knowledge of union with a God who always places Himself as the lowest of the low. Are you at the bottom? That is a certain impossibility. No matter how far down one might be, God is lower still.

There is Peace.

But God never stays at the bottom; every moment, He arises into newness of life and ascends on high and we in Him. Yet every moment, there He is, always beneath us, always heart-to-heart, always treating us with the highest regard and the deepest respect as if we are His equal.

And the God who is always arising into life is also Abundance. Everywhere He goes in us and as us and through us, He gives. And in every iota of giving, God always expects a return. The expectation of God.

God always expects Himself, in us and as us and through us. That is faith. God always receives what He expects; God always comes back to God.

This is the dynamism of life God created us to contain and to reveal.

You see, this was always the nature of God - it's just that no part of creation could see it for real, not before now.

God formed us to be just like Himself so that He could expect Himself through us and thus the wondrous goodness of God could be seen and touched and handled by all creation, by everything created in the heavens and by everything created on all the planets for all ages to come.

The increase of His Kingdom shall never end.

There are so many verses and stories all through the Bible that speak of the abundance and provision of God. You know them all; you believe and receive them all.

My goal as I write is to ground you and me into the Source. We always "knew" as an idea that God was the source. The problem has always been separation.

For five years I have written about our union with Christ in order to convince myself it is true - because I made the final personal decision that what God says is true. But in the last few months I know this One who is my Friend, my Companion, my Life. And in Him who is Peace, every outward thing He says finds its fulfillment in fullness.

Yet at the same time, I see such a huge gulf growing wide between myself and our brethren.

Separation is hell; it is torment. And the effects of separation on the thinking of our brethren is hellish. We know that they are carried by the same God who carries us - but they do not know.

Here's one statement: "Jesus had to die to appease the wrath of God against us."

I can't tell you how those words grate against me when I hear them or anything like them.

"Jesus 'had to' die." NO - NO - NO!!!

"God wants you to give back to Him 10% of your money so that He is free to bless you." NO - NO - NO!!!

The problem is not just the ideas themselves; the problem is whence they come. They come out of separation and they cannot speak of this One who always carries us.

Yet when I say that God reveals Himself in my flesh, I pollute everything that is "sacred and holy" in their separated minds.

It is the separated mind that is hostile to God, that cannot know Him.

And separation is an imagination, not a condition. Our brethren have the mind of Christ, all they need do is stop thinking separation. They do not have to "get rid of" anything. Yet they believe with full religious fervency that to stop thinking separation is "blasphemy" and "anti-Christ."

This is our burden, our task. These precious ones are our Eve. They belong to Jesus; how do we win them for Him?

The bride of Christ, this precious woman who fills the Passion of the One who fills us full, she is polluted and stained in her own mind. Yet she belongs to Jesus.

She is our joy, our prize, our return. She is the crown we are given to win.

And so we give as God Himself giving through us. We give our time, our teaching, our encouragement, our labor, our lives, and even our money. We give, expecting absolutely a return - a glorious Bride without spot or wrinkle, ready for the hand of our Friend. She is our crown of rejoicing and our joy, this one who is yet caught in the agony, the terror of separation in her own mind.

The sons of God are the mightiest evangelists of history - it is the church we seek to win for Him. We know that all who belong to Him will come to Him; nothing else is possible. But God does all that He is through those who make Him visible.

And if we choose to believe it, that's us.

A Bible study on all the things God says about abundance and increase is a worthy study, one that you could easily do yourself, writing down every New Testament verse which contains any of the several Greek words translated abundance or abound or increase.

I search, rather, for the core of the thing and its purpose. The core of all things is God in us. The purpose of all things is many sons just like Jesus and through them a Bride without spot or wrinkle made ready for her Beloved.

God gives, always expecting a return. The expectation of God always comes back to Him, carrying with it a mighty increase, many sons just like Jesus.

"God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask - or even imagine."

Here is what I find. Paul loved to use all the words meaning abound and increase. Whenever he spoke of the grace and goodness of God towards us, he used superlatives - "exceedingly abundantly above" being his most excessive. But besides the grace of God abounding to us or the riches of His glory, the heart of God for us comes through the abounding of love one for the other.

If we speak of material things, the best verse is 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

The abundance of God in outward material things is simply that we have all that is needed to do the good things before us to do. This is the expectation of God. Although God takes us through difficult things - and Paul said that he abounds in joy through the suffering God sends his way, yet we never think curse or lack or loss. On the contrary, regardless of whatever difficulties beset our way, we think abundance and provision always abounding for all that we have need of.

But here is one of several times Paul speaks of abounding in love: 1 Thess. 3:12

And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all.

Notice the difference between increase and abound in love - to one another. Then, in addition, to all.

Not one time did any of the Apostles who wrote letters to the churches, Paul, John, Peter, James, or the writer of Hebrews, ever say to their readers to "get out and 'save' the lost." When Paul did speak of evangelism, he worded it always out of the thinking that this is a gift or ministry given to some members of the body. However, when you look at the commands of the Apostles to the churches through the epistles, you are faced with the overwhelming concern they had for the relationships of love between the members of the body of Christ.

All the apostles - and Jesus as well - expected that the increase in "numbers" would come as those on the outside looking in saw how much these Christians love one another. They simply expected that love to turn the world upside down as it flowed among the brethren and by its very abundance, splash out upon all who happened to be passing by. And so it did.

Outward "evangelism" can never ever replace the love abounding among the brethren as the fulfillment of Jesus' command to make disciples of all nations. Certainly, some members of the body have received such a gift from God, and it is a precious gift, to lead lost people into the loving embrace of Jesus. But that gift is never given to be turned into a whip to beat God's people who may not have that gift from God.

Are all apostles? No. Do all speak in tongues? It is certainly not a "requirement" for all the fullness of God. Are all evangelists? No.

Must we love one another within this precious bond called the church? Absolutely, and with all abundance.

Finally, I would like to look at something Jesus said that I never understood before, not really. (Matthew 13:12, and elsewhere.)

For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.

I never understood this statement of Jesus until right now. And I understand it now because of the thoughts going through my mind concerning what I see as the final letter of this series: "Filled with All the Fullness of God."

There is a specific progression of life into life. We enter into all the fullness of life no other way.

First, God speaks a word, Christ, issuing forth from His mouth. That word passes through the heart and mind of His servant who writes it onto paper. (Jesus never wrote anything.) The piece of paper with the words upon it comes into our hand. At first it's just words, but then the Holy Spirit comes upon us and the words leap off the page. They become life and joy to us. By an immediate miracle of the Holy Spirit we believe that those words are true and personal in us, thus they become, in us Christ.

Believing always comes first, though faith must be specific to the word God speaks. To "believe" something other than what God speaks is just being stupid. Then, seeing always comes out of believing. We see only what we believe. If we believe that our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, then we will always be discovering deceit and wickedness in our hearts. If we believe that Christ lives in our hearts, filling them with His glory, then we will always be discovering Christ abounding in our hearts.

But seeing is only one-half of two. The other side of seeing is speaking. We see, we speak; we speak, we see. We see what we speak and we speak what we see. Seeing and speaking is our work (Christ as us) in the obedience of faith. As we practice this exercise of faith, we start thinking that maybe, just maybe, what God said is actually true.

Then the day comes, most precious of days, when we pass from believing that what God said is true to knowing, not that "it" is true, but God, personal and real, filling us full all through who and what we are.

There comes a moment in our experience when, for the first time, we know God. And in knowing God we know goodness and that goodness is utter Peace and out of that goodness flows all Abundance.

Because of my condition - high performing autism - I have never and could never say outwardly, "Brother, I love you." Or "Sister, I love you." Anymore than "look someone in the eye." To say such a thing is flippant, cheap, fake, inconceivable. Now, please don't tell me that "God will help me." Your words would be meaningless; in the past, they would have been only cruel. Yet those who also bear my condition, Asperger's, know exactly what I mean. (I can and do say, "I love you," at least once in awhile, to my wife, and now and then, even to my children. But in my mind, as I think, that is right and real.)

Now, whether when I awake in the night, feeling only a little bit awful, now, or anytime during the day, my thoughts turn inward and I see the person of God the Father filling me full. I see Him; I know Him. He is personal and real and good. And I find myself saying, so easily and naturally, "I love You."

I say this first because for me to be able to say to another person, and to God at that, not looking "up," but seeing Him, personal and real, all through me, for me to be able to say, easily and naturally, over and over, "I love You," is more than a grace, it is more than a miracle, it is more than a wonder, it is exceedingly abundantly above all I could ask or think: it is resurrection.

But more than that, I say these things because KNOWING GOD comes from following a path. Knowing God NEVER EVER comes by waiting for a rapture.

And I can say with all the abundance of my heart that I want you to follow me/ walk beside me/ go before me/ whatever, into all the fullness of God.

For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.

There is no rapture. There is never a "rapture." Never, never, never will God ever do anything "to" us. God will only ever reveal Himself in us, through us, and always and only - with us.

So many, many Christians in every walk and belief system sit in the thinking that if God wants to do something in their lives that they read about in the Bible, then it is up to Him to do it in His good time.

He never will. He can't. If He did it would be sin to Him and He would cease being God. God does not know sin, and He cannot do what is sinful. God cannot know or do anything to anyone except in full respect and regard WITH their person.

Notice that all the big things God says in the New Covenant are prefaced with some form of "gate" or "barrier." "That you might be" filled with all the fullness of God. You are partakers of Christ, "IF." "He that believes on me," out of his belly will flow rivers. They "overcame" the accuser.

And the largest of all "In that day" you shall know that I am in the Father and you are in me and I in you.

God always gives every Christian the opportunity to think, "Surely not me, surely now here, surely not now."

Why?

Because faith is the only thing that pleases God.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

Because of a gift sent me by a dear and precious sister, I was able to purchase the right microphone and sound editing software so that I can record clear and smooth audio readings of my articles. What I obtained is just perfect and I am so excited. I am working my way through "Home As It Really Is," with my new setup and will have it all uploaded, hopefully within a week or two. The audio recordings on my dyordy site have proven to be quite popular.

The software program came as a free download - at first. You get to try it all out before you buy. Of course, you are offered a great discount on the price if you buy it within a short period of time - you'll have to pay a bit more if you wait the full thirty days of the trial period.

Most good Internet companies offer this kind of free trial of their products. It is a powerful and successful means of selling. Some such "free" software will stop working at all after thirty days. Others allow you to use it perpetually, but you can never print anything out unless you purchase the program. Some will also sell two or three levels of the software, regular and professional. The interesting thing is that the entire top-level product comes in on the free download, only you never know the professional things are there unless you purchase the right "key" that unlocks it.

God is the Master Salesman. The gospel is the best sales program in the universe. When we ask Jesus into our heart the whole thing comes into us - everything that is salvation and life and God Himself.

We just have no idea that any of it is there, not much more than an initial joy, a baby's happiness and gratitude for sins washed clean away.

Jesus gave us the key that unlocks everything that is God that did come into us in that original package.

So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:22-24

Most Christians imagine that they will know the things God says in the New Covenant after some "rapturous" event - or after they die and "go to heaven." No, sadly, they never will know all that is in them now "after" they "go to heaven."

Ask, first, to know all the fullness of anything God says anywhere in the New Covenant. Then speak it with your voice and BELIEVE (see) that you have already received it - and it is ALL yours, forever and with all overwhelming abundance. Ask, speak, believe you have received it already in all fullness and then "see" it inside of you.

I promise you the day will come and soon when you will see it for real and you will know that God is in you, personally, real, and good, forever and without limitation of any kind.

For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.

I just don't buy into the idea that everything is going to work out just great for all Christians even if they don't walk the path home. Yes, in the end of all things, all arrive home, all creation returns back to the Father.

But I am convinced of this. There will be many multitudes of Christians who never know the intimacy of close union with the central things of God's heart because they refused to believe here and now that God Himself belonged to them in all fullness.

And so now, when I hear fellow believers say, "Well, I just don't think that we're quite there yet; I don't think we have that yet," I can only weep. And that way of thinking permeates most "Christian" thinking. Be perfect just as God is perfect? No, not right now. Filled with all the fullness of God? Well, I don't really see that. You in me and I in you? I don't think we're in what Jesus really meant, not yet.

Never dying? Everyone has to die.

For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance.

I cannot finish anything on a negative point. We must end IN abundance. We have it all inside of us. If we read some extraordinary thing in the New Covenant that we're not sure about - just ask. We can ask God for anything that He says. Then, having asked, we have every right in God to believe that we have already received it - no - more than right, we are commanded to believe that we have already received it.

But that's not the end. For having believed, as Peter says, "whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith - the salvation of your souls."

We see what we believe and we speak what we see and in the end - we see it for real.

We see God Himself IN our flesh, personal and real, in all goodness and overflowing from us in all abundance, right here upon this earth.

The Bible calls it - resurrection!!