Thursday, November 21, 2019

“He’s got the whole wide world in His hands”

Text Size

 

Your Kingdom come, Psalm 139
Sermon by Duurt Sikkens


This morning I want us to think about Psalm 139 verses 3 to18.
But let’s read Proverbs 8verse 22 and 30 first.
The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His work. Before His works of old. Then I was the craftsman at his side, I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence.
The Lord calls His child a ‘craftsman’, even an ‘artist’. Just imagine how God looks at that child. Isn’t that wonderful? I think this is a wonderful description of a person who creates and restores.
But now, let us go to Psalm 139. I have been thinking about it for the last couple of months.
I really love this Psalm. It is essential that we occupy ourselves with the unseen world. According to Ephesians 2 verse 6, we have been given a place in the heavenly realms in Christ, the Beloved. These heavenly places are all around you. They are your working area, where you can be spiritually active. If you do this then you connect with God’s thoughts. That’s tremendous!
Jesus says in Luke 10:24:
“For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

So you can see that having a place in the heavenly realms is very precious. And yet you see that many Christians are drawn back to the earth, back to worldly worries, and all the things that keep them busy. But the great mystery of life is that you keep yourself busy with the things of your Father in heaven, just as Jesus did when he was in the Temple as a twelve-year old boy. So watch out for earthly Christianity and for prayers that only ask for the fulfilment of earthly wishes. Remember that the Father has given you a place in Christ and has blessed you with all the necessary spiritual blessings.

Well, we have received the Spirit of God and there is no greater blessing than this. To me that is wonderful. You know, there are many Christians who are always busy with themselves or with other people. But try to be busy with the things of the Father. You will then discover that your view of yourself and your view of the Father will change completely.
I think the basic thought to all this is found in Psalm 139 and whenever I read the beginning of this Psalm, I always reach this one conclusion: You are close to the Father’s heart, like a beloved child. Your very first beginning is with Him, is in Him. It is so intimate, so real, so safe and secure.
Psalm 139:13. “You created my inmost being”. My inmost being. That means: all that I am, my conscience, my heart, my mind. In Revelation 2:23 God says: “Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches the hearts and minds”.  God knows and examines our minds. But His aim is not to try and find UNrighteousness. On the contrary, He is always looking for righteousness. He is searching for it. So the question is: How is your heart, how is your mind, your inmost being, your conscience? I have noticed in my life that people who are honest, Christians who are honest, are always able to make a go of it in life, because there is nothing as wonderful and important as a clear conscience. In 1 Peter 3:21 Peter calls baptism ‘the pledge of a good conscience toward God‘.

Was I glad when I received a clear conscience!! My conscience had become right again. And you have to keep it that way! Keep on cleansing it. Things that are not right have to be removed. The word conscience literally means: ‘Knowing together’. You are testing your thoughts against the conscience of God’s Spirit. Then, together, you know for sure whether they are right! I think that’s wonderful. In Psalm 139: 13 it says: “You knit ME together in my mother’s womb”. Who is this person, this ‘me’?
The picture of how a child has been formed in the womb is a picture of the very first spiritual development of the man of God, Gods people, the ‘re-birth’ of a new mankind of whom Jesus is the head, while those who belong to Him are the body. That is the great mystery of God. Jesus, as head, and his church as the body, form the Christ. The husband, God, and his wife, the Christ. We are in Him and He is in us. It is a deep mystery.

The Hebrew word for womb means ‘tender love’. It also means ‘mercy’. And who is your mother? Your mother is the person who is very near you, who loves you, who is merciful to you. The womb is the illustration used to depict people, my brothers and sisters, those who do the will of God. That is the church. It can be one person or a group of people. In Psalm 110 (verse 3) David talks about the ‘womb of the dawn’. Just imagine. Where did you come from? From whom were you born? Well, before a child is born, it has to be conceived, and if the dawn is your mother, then that must refer to the very first day of creation, the first creative act of God.
In Genesis 2verse 4 we read about the first day of creation, it says: “This is the account of the heavens and the earth.” The Hebrew word that is used for ‘account’ can also mean ‘conception’ or ‘birth’. That makes it more alive instead of just a dry piece of history. All that has been born from God has come to life. It is the birth of heaven and earth. Didn’t it all come from the one who is Alive?!!
Your mother, that means all the believers who love you, they are your neighbours. God lives in them and that makes them a mother, a dwelling place, a city in the spirit (Gal. 4:26). Jesus says: “If you want to grow, you must love one another. Love one another, just as I have loved you.” If you do this, you will be amazed at what is going to come about.

“Come forth, appear!” This expression, used in Isaiah 49 verse 9, is a wonderful expression.
It refers to your new nature, the new person you are in Christ. If only you can call this new person, this new nature, to come forth, so that a child of God will appear. That is God’s desire. If you can give such love to one another, you will see things start to happen. A child surrounded with so much love!! So I ask myself the question: “Am I a good mother? Am I a good womb?” The church is your mother, and you are being moulded. The fruit of that womb is certainly blessed. The conception was voluntary, the woman wanted it: “Let it be to me according to your word.”

Jesus would have said: Accept this word. That is the conception. Accept it. For the word is the seed of God. The seed of God also contains all the attributes and characteristics of God. So, in the beginning there was the seed, the word, and the seed was with God and the seed was God. Yes, that is correct. That makes it all very clear. The moment I accept that, conception is taking place.
Let me put it a different way: God’s gene and the human gene together create a new person. The new man. No longer from the earth, but from heaven, a unique person. That really is Genesis. That really is a new creation. That really is some birth!  The word is searching to connect with something in the human spirit. The seed is looking for an egg. Do you know what this egg is? You can find this in Ecclesiastes 3:11. “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.” The egg is the desire for eternity, which lives in each person. A desire for eternity. Not just eternity, otherwise the gospel would not find a response, but a desire for eternity. I do not know any gospel that is so wonderful: God who is seeking to connect with His own creation, the people He made Himself. Nothing is more beautiful. Those two become one: the seed and the egg.

The rebirth starts in the spirit with the word “light”, because light is life, is love. When there is a prophecy concerning light, it is about US. Jesus says the same: “YOU are the light of the world.”: that first light from Genesis 1:3. We are with Him and in Him. In James 1:17 there is a wonderful expression. James calls God ‘the Father of the heavenly lights’. All these lights are here. YOU are the ‘first fruits’. In the Greek original, the word ‘aparche’ is used (in verse 18), which actually means “from the beginning, the origin.” So we are from the beginning, from the very first beginning. Now isn’t that something! Time doesn’t matter anymore. You are eternal. Jesus was the first one and we are from that first one, from the beginning, also a first fruit. Jesus was the very first beginning, the first one, the only one, the first light. We are the stalk, and an ear coming from that very first grain. And after a while there will be grains in the ear, just like the very first one. These are the children of God. You owe your life to that very first one. Jesus says: “In this my father is glorified, if you bear much fruit.” This also refers to Himself.
And let me ask you: “What makes the stalk so strong?” What do you think? The roots. And what are they rooted in so firmly? In the love of God. Jesus was rooted in the love of God. When there is a storm raging inside you, you seem so vulnerable, but when I see what the stalk can endure, it is incredible. It moves and bends, but it remains standing.
What keeps YOU standing when things become difficult? It is your roots, it is because Gods says: “I know you. When you go through a difficult time, I know better than to go blaming you for it! It is not your fault that you have problems. You are blown about in the wind, but you didn’t ask for this to happen.” His love will keep you from falling or breaking, and that is the power of God.

This is also the power of a good marriage, or the power of friendship. Yes. So we are descendants of that first grain and what comes forth from that is the harvest. Do you know the expression used in Revelation 22:12: “My reward is with me”?
Many Christians seem to think like this: “I am going to receive a bonus, because of my good behaviour. I have worked so hard for the Lord.” But that is not what it says. His reward is with Him, that what He received, what He has harvested. And that is US.  So when He appears, we will appear with Him. His reward is with Him. We are His harvest. Mary was a woman to whom God could entrust His most precious mystery, Life, His seed. And just as this was at work in Mary, in the same way it is at work in you. Together, as the body of Christ, you are the mother, and this seed, this new life grows in the womb. A child of the light.
After God said: ‘light’, what did He see? He saw that is was good. In the Hebrew you read that He ‘found’ that it was good. So you can see what you are creating. The light is good. So does that mean that we don’t have to try to do our best anymore? 
God says that it is good the way you are. So in secret, in the hidden place of the womb, the Christ is being formed. So when you pray: “Your Kingdom come”, what are you actually asking? Is it that something may come over mankind from outside, with the sound of trumpets? No. Actually you are asking God if that what he has made to grow in you, may come out. This is the moving mystery of God. That is ‘Parousia’, appearing. It is coming, it is already there being formed and has to come out, like a new born baby.

Looking at a small group of His followers, Jesus said: “It has pleased the Father to give you the Kingdom.” And if it is in you, then it will be growing. And one day, it will come out. It will appear despite all opposition, because these setbacks and problems are the labour pains and you have to go through all this before the child can be born, and the new life can appear. Let me ask you: “Have you got faith that it is growing in you?” God has faith in it! He has faith in His own deepest desire for children who look like Him, so that He will appear, will be seen in the children of the light.

Do you know what happiness is? Happiness is longing for what you have. Oh, I thought that is was longing for what you don’t have. No, that doesn’t make you happy. Do you know people like that? People who are always longing for the things they don’t have. They are thoroughly miserable. You should long for what you have, just like a pregnant woman. She has life inside her. New life is growing inside her and she is longing to see it! She is longing for what she has growing inside her to appear. What does God have? Children. Does He long to see them? Of course God and his wife, do they long for one another? They are longing for what they have to be manifested. I tell you, that is what makes you really happy. You have that happiness. Jesus calls that being blessed, but it means that you are intensely happy. If only you knew what is in His heart when He sees you! That goes very deep.

So by the impregnation with the word, I become a new creature, a new person. And I grow in the womb. Do you want to know how that works? Do you know the saying: “You need to learn to listen to your body?” Well, the body is sitting here in this room. I am listening to that body. One person says this, the other that, you hear people in conversation, and you hear things in the worship time. And I realised that as we grow and develop we hear an awful lot! Some people are only longing for a sermon. They are not ‘in’ the word. When you don’t believe that the word brings out the most beautiful things in a person, you are only pretending to be a church. We need to listen to the body. It says in Revelation: “Listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.” Because what the spirit says to the churches is meant for their benefit, to teach them about what is happening in the womb. That is why we strive to develop the spiritual gifts. If you listen properly, you hear a lot! Jesus even says: “It will come to pass that whoever receives you and whoever receives your word, receives Me, and he who receives Me, receives My Father also.” And so the light is passed on. The light is ‘shining’. You are praying for the development of Christ in all of us. And in doing this you are able to understand the mysteries.  If you are not able to look after the things you have now, or be a good steward of your money, how will God be able to entrust you with HIS treasures?

The purpose of speaking in tongues is that you speak in the Spirit with God about mysteries. (1 Corinthians 14:2). Your secrets, because sometimes you have secrets, you can only share with your most intimate friends. But you want to share them with God as well and then you can tell them to Him in that language, because earthly languages fail you and you keep repeating yourself.  And God shares His mysteries with you too.

About ten years ago I prayed: “Father will you please make a spiritual scan of my life? Will you give me a thorough check-up? Will you search my innermost being?” And He asked me: “My son, are you willing to review everything you have believed so far?” I replied: “I am, because there are some things I don’t understand.”  He showed me that many things that I believed were OK, nothing wrong with them. But there were also things that had put me on the wrong track. God asked: “Are you willing to review them?” I said: “Yes, please!” And you know what the result was?  My wife and I started to come under a lot of pressure, we even feared for our lives. Spiritually the pressure was hardly bearable. It had to do with the things we have been thinking about here today. Opposition, so that God would NOT be revealed, not come into the open. God must not show his lovely face. I really was under heavy spiritual pressure, so much so that it was easy to judge and even condemn me. But, thanks to the body of the mother, this embryo, this young new life, was not aborted. Mercy was more abundant and stronger than judgment. And that makes you feel really safe. It’s a wonderful feeling, when there are people around you who are merciful. If they hadn’t been, in my case it would almost certainly have resulted in a miscarriage or abortion, MY abortion. Children like that cannot survive. It is incredible how much we have received from God in the past few years. How much He has revealed to His children.

Let us return to Psalm 139:13: “You knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
Last night I read a South African translation and there it says: “You have knit us together.”

I thought: “That’s lovely, this together.” This applies not only to the brethren, but also to God’s identity and yours. Egg and seed together. Beautiful. Verse 14 says: “I know that full well.” This means, I am really aware of this. I feel it deep down in my heart. You have been knit together with the principle of the eternal life of God, the only origin, the Fountain of Life. You swallow one sip, and it becomes a fountain in you. You do not need to “draw water with joy at the wells of salvation”, as it says in Isaiah 12: 3, because you yourself have become a well of salvation. And others can draw water from your well with joy. My Father, He is the original well. You are a well when water flows from it. From Jesus, words of eternal life were flowing. That water comes from God Himself. He is the original source, and this has become part of you. You can also talk about a source of light. Remember what Martha, the sister of Lazarus said to Jesus: “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” And after she made this wonderful confession, Jesus replies: “I am the resurrection. It is me who is the resurrection.” He could also have said: ” He who believes in me has life, will live!”

We are children of the resurrection, children of that light. And even if your earthly tent dies, you remain a child of the day, born from the womb of the dawn. That is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are formed in the daylight.

You pray “Thy Kingdom come.” Jesus did that too, and the Kingdom did come, in Him. And now, at long last, I am beginning to realize that this Kingdom of God develops within us. Do you believe this? So when Jesus discovered that many were not listening to Him very well, he drew a sad conclusion and said: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets.” They were saying wonderful things to the church.  And he continues: “I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers his chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” Jesus tried in so many ways. Then He concludes: “You will not see me again until you say: ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” And  when He says ‘he’ does not refer to Himself. So, He says, if you ever want to see Me again, you have to receive those who come to you in My name. Until then you will never see Me again. This is a prophecy about you! What a wonderful gospel we have! A precious mystery right inside you. And when you look at one another, you discover how much you start to love one another. You realize: “My life, my spiritual development, depends on all of us.” Isn’t that beautiful? When we listen to one another properly, we are being shaped and formed. And slowly God’s dream is becoming a reality in the lives of ordinary people. His image and His likeness are being developed in us. That will be His day!  Amen.

PRAYER.

Father, we pray that Your Kingdom may come. We didn’t know how near it was. It is coming into being within us. All those things will be developing. I pray that we may believe what You believe. That it may truly happen that You knit us together with so much tenderness, in the spirit, that we become the sort of people that you had envisaged before the creation of the world. That we may be as beloved children, playing before You, and that you may make craftsmen of these children, people who have the ability to bring about restoration and new life. Thank You for this wonderful, living gospel, that makes us into people who are like You, because You have joined yourself to us through Your son Jesus, Your living Word.  

Amen.