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The Spirit of Adoption by John Paul Jackson

THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION

Written by John Paul Jackson
The Spirit of Adoption

In 1988, my wife and I adopted a child right out of the hospital. I remember walking up to the nurses’ station to sign the adoption papers, and I wondered, Will I be able to love this child as much as I love my natural son? My mind said, “Yes,” while my heart said, “I don’t know . . .” I was uncertain.

But then something happened. I was standing there at the nurses’ station, the adoption papers before me. It seemed like there were 50 different things I needed to sign. But as I picked up the pen, something came over me. The best way I can describe it is that a blanket dropped on me. I felt the weight of it, and right there in front of the nurses and administrative team, I just began to weep. I loved this little baby I was taking into my household. I loved him as much as I loved my firstborn son.

I don’t know how to convey what happens with the Spirit of Adoption. Those of you who are foster parents or have adopted children know exactly what I am talking about. The Spirit of Adoption is real. It is not a “make-believe” feeling. It is not something that says, “Well, you start to feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and that’s how you know.” No, it is a fierce attitude of heart that declares, “I would give my life for this child. I will do everything in my power to protect this child.” It is so much more than a feeling. It is the understanding that your life is not as important as the life of your child.

THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE

While He walked the earth, Jesus just oozed the Spirit of Adoption. Essentially, He declared to the world, “I love you more than I love My own life. I am here to give My life for you and keep you from death.”

The Holy Spirit is known as the Spirit of Adoption. He is also known as the Spirit of Life, which is a similar concept. Romans 8:2 says that “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

The lesser law, the law of sin and death, existed until Jesus died and rose again. When He took the keys of death, hell and the grave, the law of sin and death was abolished — but all of us know what that law feels like. We know what it feels like to be alone, to be children without parents. We are familiar with the shame and weight of sin. When God signs our adoption papers and makes us His own, something happens in the spiritual realm, and our adoption is literally fulfilled. It isn’t just pleasant words but something that actually happens. We are no longer alone. We become flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone (Ephesians 5:30) — we become His natural-born children.

THE STRENGTH OF THE ADOPTION SPIRIT

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
~ Romans 8:15 (NASB)

God is your Father. You have been reconceived in Him, and because He is your Father, He will not give you a stone when you ask for bread (Luke 11:11–13). He will father you. He will be there for you. He will hold you up. He will comfort you.

Many of us live in fear, not understanding the relentless strength of this Spirit of Adoption. We think we could somehow discourage His love. But that is not true. He has picked up the pen and signed the papers with His blood. The deed is done. The Spirit of Adoption has come upon us, and it is an intense love.

On a personal note, my younger son recently returned home for a short visit. A soldier in the Army, he spent the last year in Korea, and today he left for Fort Bliss. My wife and I were given a son to raise, and the Lord is taking him where He wants him to go. Though he is now as strong as an ox and almost as big, I wept as I hugged him and saw him off. I suppose the Spirit of Adoption never leaves the heart of a father.

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The Presence-Driven Life by John Paul Jackson

The Presence-Driven Life by John Paul Jackson
By John Paul Jackson

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When we are filled with God’s presence, people who don’t know Him go out of their way to find out what is different about us. They see hope for change in us, and they want to know how this is possible and how it works. “What is this that you have, and can I have it, too?”

The presence of God is a huge attractant. People are not attracted to us because of who we are; their responses are not necessarily based on the good decisions we have made or the great men and women of God who have taught us. They simply pick up on God’s presence within us.

Radiating His Light

God’s presence is like a magnet. My greatest joy doesn’t come when I stand behind a pulpit and speak at a church or conference. My greatest joy comes when I walk through a busy mall or airport, and someone who does not know me comes up to me and says, “Would you pray for me?” Or, “Can I talk to you about something? I know I need to talk to you.” That tells me God is with me to an extent that people who do not know Him can recognize Him in me.

I ask the Lord to help me radiate His light so that people will see His light in me and His presence in me will attract them to Him. In everything I do and say, I try to propel people into a place where the world sees them and experiences this sense of, There is something about this person that I need. Those seekers then discover that they are seeing God manifested in His family.

The Visibility of God

We serve an unlimited God, an infinite God, which means that no matter where we are in this journey with Him, there is so much more of Him left to discover. His greatness knows no boundary.

If our coming to God included nothing beyond the salvation of our souls, that would be enough. Salvation is wonderful, and nothing beats everlasting life! However, much more exists in God than what the Church as a whole is walking in right now.

In Romans 5:10, Paul writes:  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

In essence, Paul is saying, “With the presence of God in you, you can live a life that is so much greater than the life you are currently living.”

Salvation is radical in and of itself, but it is just the beginning of the Christian life. As we pick up the cross and follow Him, seek after His righteousness and experience the various principles of Jesus’ life, our own lives become so much better – and God becomes more and more visible within us.

If we think that salvation is “it,” we still get to Heaven, but the impact and quality of our lives on earth are so different than what they could have been. We are called to be salt and light on this earth – to be recognizably different. People should be able to look at us and see the signature of God written across our foreheads.

Seek His Righteousness

How can we begin to access God’s light the way Moses accessed His light (Exodus 34:29)? It takes seeking His righteousness – not just His Kingdom (His power) but His righteousness as well (Matthew 6:33). It is not flippant Christianity; it is purposeful, presence-driven Christianity. It is His life in us changing us to such a degree that we emanate who He is because He holds every cell in our bodies together. He is the glue.

As we seek His righteousness, we learn how to respond to people. We learn how to walk in authority and power. We learn when to say things and when not to say things. We learn when to encourage. We learn when God is rescuing someone and when God is not rescuing someone because He is trying to get that person’s attention. We learn the difference between God creating a crisis and man creating a crisis. We learn all those things and many more; they are called the ways of God.

There is so much more to this Christian life than what we currently experience – so much more. That will always be the case. So I urge you to seek more of the Lord’s presence. Let His righteousness define you and seep into your bones. He wants to do something on this earth, and you are one of the people He has chosen for the task. As He fills you more and more, you can expect the unbelievers around you to recognize His presence within you and say, “This is what I have been searching for.”

John Paul Jackson

www.streamsministries.com


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You Are Wanted by John Paul Jackson

You Are Wanted by John Paul Jackson
 

A few years ago, I dreamed that my father offered to give me a ride to my car. My car was only a block away, and I could have easily walked there. But after some lighthearted insistence on his part, I finally agreed to let him take me.

Instead of going the most direct route, he ended up taking me all over the area: down one-way streets, through parks and office communities. Forty-five minutes later, we were back to being within one block of my car. Frustrated, I asked my father to stop so I could just walk.

As I got out of the car, my father remorsefully said, “I just wanted to spend some time with you.”

It was then I heard a voice from Heaven say to me, “This is how you treat Me.”

“No,” I quickly retorted, “I’m not like that at all! I make time to talk with You.”

But His response left me aghast: “Yes, you are ready to talk with Me when you want, but you are not available to talk anytime I want. You are more interested in reaching your goals than spending time with Me.”

Needless to say, that dream was a wakeup call for me. It helped me better comprehend the heart and thought processes of my Father God.

You are Wanted

Genuine relationship with God is a marriage of two hearts, and like any marriage, it needs time and focus in order to grow. It also requires both people actually understanding where the other is coming from. Let me explain what I mean by that.

God’s love for you is extravagant. His love for you is greater than anything that has ever been seen before. His love for you is more than you could imagine. It is more than you could ever expect, even on your best day. And this God who loves you more than you could ever hope for wants you to be an active participant in His life.

This is not an invitation to feel condemned. Don’t think, I never spend time with God. He must be disappointed in me. Or, I know He wants me to spend more time with Him, but I just can’t right now. Don’t read this article and allow your soul to become troubled. Instead, realize how much you are wanted.

How Should you Respond?

If this is a difficult subject for you to grasp, purposefully set out to change your mind about it. For the next month, try to wake up in the morning with this thought: Today, God desires me.

As our weeks and months go by and we struggle through our valleys and trials, it can be so easy to forget our passion; the understanding of His heart for us can slip through our fingers. Then, when His invitation comes, we often respond in fear: I’m not doing enough! He’s probably upset with me! How could He ever want me? I’m not one of the faithful ones. If I come to Him now, it’s probably going to be at a great personal cost!

But again, the invitation is not meant to make you feel condemned for your actions or thought processes (Romans 8:1). It has been issued solely because He wants you. And the result of spending time with God is that you become God focused. Your life changes. Your mind, your will and your emotions become aligned with His. Your hope flourishes. You discover real, genuine, true life; you discover the real you in the middle of His affections.

When you wait on Him, He speaks. When you spend time with Him, you discover that He has been wanting to speak. He has been waiting for you to wait, so He can talk, so He can move, so He can inform, so He can touch, so He can hold, so He can caress, so He can embrace you.

Let today be your day. Go find yourself in God’s affections. Spend time with Him and discover His heart for you. And remember that you are wanted so fully and completely that when you begin to understand His desire for you, the path will straighten out beneath your feet; your questions will be answered, and you will discover a peace that passes all comprehension.

John Paul Jackson


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The Heart of Kingdom Authority by John Paul Jackson

THE HEART OF KINGDOM AUTHORITY

Written by John Paul Jackson | Posted on Fri, Jun 24, 2011
The Heart of Kingdom Authority

Jesus Christ came to Earth fully human, fully man, to redeem humanity and reveal something that most of us don’t notice right away: He revealed the authority we are capable of walking in. Basically, His life says to us, “Watch what I do, because everything I do, you can do. I get everything from the Father, and you can do everything I do if you have the relationship with Him that I have. And by the way, I have come to ensure that such a relationship with Him is possible for you.”

I have been a Christian for about 55 years, and as many of you have probably experienced, day-in, day-out Christian life can feel somewhat stagnant — unless we have something to make it interesting. If you are bored in your Christian walk, something is missing!

Perhaps it is the understanding that it takes more than power to make a Christian life reallyinteresting. It also takes authority.

WHY AUTHORITY?

The major difference between power and authority is that anybody can have power — it is a gift, but authority comes only from intimate, abiding relationship with God and that takes effort. Authority is bestowed upon us through relationship, and therefore it is only as deep as that relationship.

Because it is rooted and wrapped in God’s presence, authority is greater than power. That is why Jesus gave the disciples authority over all the power of the enemy. Power does not necessitate relationship because it is an irrevocable gift. It can be residual or momentary; we may exercise it often, or it could happen only once in our lives. The devil clearly has power and uses it for his own purposes. He does not, however, have authority. He lost that when he fell from Heaven, which is why the disciples said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

Power is recognized once it happens, but authority is recognized before it happens. The demons recognized that Jesus had authority before He ever did anything. In other words, they knew Him by His relationship with God, and therein lies the secret. We can have a power encounter and never change, but transformation comes with authority, because it involves time spent in the presence and heartbeat of our Father.

RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

Relationship is the heart of Kingdom authority. The Bible says to seek first the Kingdom and God’s righteousness, and everything else will be added to us. If we want to walk in spiritual authority, we need to put relationship with our Father first. We need to take on the nature of Christ by spending time with Him: time in His Word, time in prayer, time relating to Him. Then through time and experience with Him, we adopt a heart of obedience, which is the heart of a servant, and we adopt a heart of submission, which is the heart of a friend.

The Kingdom of God is based on authority. It conquers through power, but it rules through authority.

HUNGER FOR GOD

Many people question why much of the Western Church is powerless. I would say we’re more “authority-less” than powerless. Generally speaking, the Church has forgotten about being transformed into His likeness. Five or 10 years after a revival, we sit back and wonder why we’re not different. Some of us aren’t even as close to God as we were before the revival, let alone after the revival. Again, power doesn’t change us. But authority always will because it involves God’s heart.

In the coming months, I think the Church as a whole is going to be reintroduced to the Father, and a hunger for authority is going to ensue. With that hunger for authority, we will see more spiritual encounters than we have in 20 or 30 years. Signs and wonders occur in the place where God’s power and hunger for authority combine.

If we want to have the kind of authority that disrupts the enemy, we have to have deep relationship with our Father. That relationship is the key to everything. It is the answer to this question of authority and power, and it is the answer to what many Christians fear: an inconsequential, mundane existence.

As we seek Him and His righteousness, we will naturally begin to exercise more of His Kingdom, and we will find what has been missing in our lives. We will find more of His heart.


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God’s Persistence Makes Us Perfect by John Paul Jackson

God’s Persistence Makes Us Perfect by John Paul Jackson
By John Paul Jackson

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Someone recently asked me if God “passes over” those who have made mistakes in the area of destiny. Have they blown it forever, or will He keep unfolding their callings until they are ready for them?

My heart is moved whenever I hear someone ask a question like that.  The short answer is that the gifts and callings of God are “without repentance” (Romans 11:29), which means that He won’t take them back. This refusal to remove them is not based on how we perform with our gifts and callings; it is based on what He has chosen to do.

Philippians 1:6 tells us that He will be faithful to perfect that which He began in us. In other words, He will take us from imperfection to perfection. Messing up is an imperfection, but it does not deter His process. If we call on Him, He will get us onto the road of His purposes.

Whatever Is True

On this road to destiny, the highest mountain you will have to conquer is found in your own mind. That is why the Bible tells us to think about things that are pure, true, noble, just – good things (Philippians 4:8). As we do that, our minds will be filled with Kingdom issues. We will have Kingdom thoughts and will take Kingdom actions.

As our Kingdom thoughts become deeply embedded in our spirits, we will begin to form Kingdom habits: automatic reactions that are godly and righteous. For example, we know we are loved, and we don’t have to sit there and wonder if, this time, we have messed up beyond repair. We know we are loved now, and we will be loved tomorrow as well.

Extraordinary leaders in the Kingdom have extraordinary determination to focus on God – they choose to focus on Him no matter what their hearts say, no matter what guilt and fear say. With destiny and every other issue in life, we let His thoughts and His opinions of us become our thoughts and our opinions of ourselves. The more we do this, the easier it becomes to do it naturally.

How Should You Move Forward?

If you are struggling with worry and fear concerning your destiny, here is what I recommend. First and foremost, let God decide how and when He is going to make your destiny happen. Leave it in His hands.

Next, value your personal relationship with God above the destiny you have been called to. Value your relationship with Him more than your desire for success or public ministry.

Then anytime you are tempted to think, God will never use me again, go to Scripture and try to find an example of that. I don’t think you’ll be able to find one. God is an incredible God of second chances. Take a look at David, Jonah, Peter, Jacob and Paul. These men were far from perfect, yet God used them to change the world. He persisted with them, despite their shortcomings and even their out-and-out failures. Meditate on what God did for them because He is going to do the same thing for you.

God wants us to come to Him and rest. His yoke is “easy” and His burden is “light” (Matthew 11:30). Whenever we begin to feel weighed down by guilt or shame, we need to turn our eyes away from our shortcomings and focus on our Father instead.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4

 

John Paul Jackson

www.streamsministries.com