The Practice of the Perception
(John 14:15) “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
The primary focus of this devotion is first to briefly re-examine what is presented in the previous devotions to serve as a platform for the believer to take the next step in Accepting the Sovereignty of God. The next step for the believer is to actually Perform the works of faith; to not be a hearer only; but to be a “doer” of the Word of God.
In the first devotion of this series, “The Introduction,” the definition was given of the word “Sovereign”; wherein the author submitted to the believer the Old Testament and the New Testament present God (Jehovah, Christ) in His Sovereignty as “Lord,” or the Absolute Supreme Ruler of His creation, because He is the Creator, Controller, and Consummator of all creation. As such, He has all authority and power over His creation to do as He has pleased because He is the Creator; and therefore all things are of Him, for Him, and through Him. It is not man’s will; but it is God’s will; God is the Cause and man is the effect. And until God gives the sinner regeneration, the sinner is dead in trespasses and sin, and is totally walking in his own lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and pride of life. However, when the sinner is regenerated by the Holy Spirit of God; he is granted experiential knowledge of his humanity, and of God’s Deity, and of God’s Rank of Priority because He is the Creator, Controller and Consummator over His creation.
The second devotion was titled, “Surrendering to the Sovereignty of God,” with the subtitle, “The Perception of the Position.” In regeneration by the Holy Spirit of God; the sinner is given experiential knowledge of his Position in Christ. The new convert (or believer) learns that being “in Christ,” he now knows that: (a) It was God that created him and gave him life and breath. (b) That Salvation is by grace and grace alone; this means that his reconciliation, redemption, sanctification, justification was all performed by Christ on the basis of the Eternal Covenant, established before the foundation of the world, and this covenant was ratified by Christ’s work on the Cross in the Atonement for his sin debt. (c) That he is a temple of God in his spirit. Therefore, God owns him in his body, soul, and spirit. In regeneration, the sinner is revealed that God lives in him; God is the Head of his life; God owns his body, soul, and spirit; and God has planned and purposed his life according to God’s Purpose. Therefore, the believer surrenders to (or gives up to, bows to, gives mental ascent to) the Absolute Control of God in his life.
The third devotion was titled, “Submitting to the Sovereign Will of God,” with the sub-title, “The Perception of the Practice.” The new convert comes to know the Will of God through the study of the Written Word of God being taught by God the Spirit, The Teacher. Through Christ as the believer’s Example, he comes to the knowledge that Christ walked in total submission to the Father’s will; that is, Christ had a specific Purpose to complete (and that was to do the work that the Father had given Christ to finish); and the Practice of Christ performing His purpose was in total submission to the Father. When the believer is taught by the Holy Spirit of his Purpose to be a Witness of the Grace of God to others; and when the believer is taught the how he is to be a witness for Christ – then comes either a mental rejection to this knowledge, or a mental submitting to God that this is truth. Before the believer can perform the Will of God; he must be taught the Will of God. Before the believer can obey the Will of God as to his Purpose and as to the manner or the practice; the believer must submit that this is truth. Therefore, the believer must submit to the perception of the God-ordered practice for His children to walk therein. When this perception, or knowledge, is mentally submitted to as truth; then the next step is “obedience” to the Word of God. The Purpose God has for the believer is to be a Witness. The Practice God has instructed the believer to do (or obey); is to obey His commandments in total submission.
This devotion is titled, “Obeying the Word of God”; and the sub-title is, “The Practice (or Performance) of the Perception.” This means that the believer must Perform what he knows to be Truth; or he is to live by Faith, or by Christ, Who is The Faith (Gal. 2:20); that is, he must not only be a hearer of God’s Word; but, he must a “doer” of the Word of God (Jas. 1:22). His faith must have “works” (Jas. 2:14-26); his feet must be “led” of the Spirit; he must “live” in the Spirit; and he must “walk” in the power of Christ (Gal. 5:16, 18, 26). The text (Jn. 14:15) reveals the secret; for “if you love Me, keep My commandments.”
The primary focus of this devotion is identifying: What are the Commandments of Christ that the believer is to keep; and Why the believer is to keep the Commandments of Christ; and How, or in what manner, the believer is to keep Christ’s Commandments.
A. The What: What are the Commandments of Christ?
- Love God supremely: (Mt. 22:37-38) “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God… (38) This is the first and great commandment.”
- Love thy neighbor: (Mt. 22:39-40)“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour …. (40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
- Be Holy: (1Pe 1:15-16) “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (16) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy”
- Be My Witness: (Mat 28:19-20) “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
B. The Why: Why keep the Commandments of Jesus Christ?
- Because Christ said to do so; (Jn. 14:15) “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” It is not “if” you want to; but, rather it is “since” you love Me (now that I have shed aboard My Love in your heart in regeneration, then) “keep My commandments.” (This is a command of Jesus Christ.) We are to guard the truth; live the truth; and preach the truth.
- His place of Witness; Since the Church is the Body of Christ, the Lamb’s wife, the dwelling place of God on earth, His temple on earth (1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 3:21); the Depository of Truth (1 Tim. 3:16) – from here the truth of God is set forth, followed, and sent out from the City that is set on a Hill. To be, and do this, the House of God must keep (or perform) the commandments of Christ as a Witness for His Name’s sake (Acts 1:8).
- (Eph. 2:10) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
- (Joh 15:16)“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain…”
C. The How: How, or in what manner, are we to keep His commandments?
- We are to love Him: (Mat 22:37) “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” This means that your first love is God in Attitude, Action and Attire; that is with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. Everything that you think, say, and do must be for the glory of God.
- We are to love our neighbor (the brethren): (Mat 22:39)“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” This means that everything we think, say, and do toward the brethren must be as if it were toward ourselves. We are to love the brethren: (Joh 13:34) “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” How did Christ love you? He gave His life for you (1 Jn. 3:11-24; 4:7-21). Christ’s love was total and complete.
- We are to walk in Holiness: (1Pe 1:15) “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;” That is, you are to be pure, upright, and righteousness in “all manner of conversation,” or all your behavior toward yourself and toward others.
- We are to be His Witnesses; In the Power of God: (Lk. 4:1, 14, 36; Mt. 28:18; Acts 10:38); (Acts 1:8) “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea the uttermost part of the earth.”
Now that you know the What; the Why; and the How – the next step is “to obey”; that is you must Perform; you must be a “doer” of the Word of God (Jas. 1:22). That is, you must;
- You must live by Faith (or by Christ, Who is Faith); (Rom. 1:17c; Gal. 2:20)
- You must “Receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your soul” (Jas. 1:21; 2Tim. 2:15); for therein you gain knowledge of Christ and His instructions.
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18); perform in the Spirit (Acts1:8); be led of the Spirit; live in the Spirit; and walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 18, 25) (Phil. 4:13); and then Bear Fruit of the Spirit of God: (Gal. 5:22-23)
- You must have the works of faith (Jas. 2:14-26)
- The motives and movements of all your thoughts, your words, and your deeds must be immersed in the Love of God. (Eph. 5:1; 1 Jn. 3:11-24; 4:7-21)
- You must be stedfast and immovable unto the end (1 Cor. 15:58)
God instructed Joshua, Moses’ successor, to instruct those who followed him to the River Jordan (in preparation to cross over the River Jordan into the Promised Land) that they had three days to prepare to cross over. (Read Josh. 1 – 3.) The crossing of the parted Jordan River (in those who crossed and went on dry ground) began the typology of the Spirit believer’s walk by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit, warring against the inhabitants of the land, and defeating them.
So it is now with so many believers of Jesus Christ; their three days of preparation to start walking by faith, implementing the truths that they have been taught. Yet three days, for many, have turned into months, and even years, promising God that they would soon began their walk of faith; depending completely upon the protection, provision, and power of God. They know a lot about God; they even know much about the Written Word of God – and yet they act as if they are as grasshoppers in the sight of the enemy; and are so weak, they have still not placed their feet in the River Jordan; and therefore have not seen the river part and shown to them and through them, the path of victory in the power of Christ and His promises.
Remember Reader, there is no “Rest” in Christ on the Wilderness side of the River Jordan. To experience success in this Christian journey; the believer must “walk by faith;” that is, to live in the power of the resurrected Christ; and that is, to have the freedom experienced by Surrendering to the Sovereignty of God; Submitting to the Will of God; and Obeying the Word of God. There will be no growth in the knowledge of Christ; there will be no fruit that remains; there will be no rest in Christ, and no taste of the sweetness of the Victory of Christ; unless the believer walks by faith.
Make no mistake, the cost is great to the flesh, when the believer Surrenders to the Sovereignty of God; Submits to the Will of God; and Obeys the Word of God. The reason the cost is so great to the flesh is because the flesh hates to be subjugated to an inferior position to the rule of the Spirit; the changes in the believer’s thoughts, words, and actions are so contrary to the ‘world’s philosophy’ that it sets the believer apart from the majority, and makes the believer so different, as the light is to darkness; it causes the believer to march to a different drummer, for the love of God, and to God, has replaced his loyalty to family, friends, fame and fortune and has made him a “disciple of Christ” even a slave of Righteousness.