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REDIGGING THE WELLS OF REVIVAL


Copyright © 2017 Clarence Dalrymple



Author: Clarence Dalrymple

Publisher: Smashwords, Inc.


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the author.


Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture references are from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible.


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Table of Contents

Dedication

Forward

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Chapter 1: The Heritage

Chapter 2: Living as a Son

Chapter 3: Redigging the Wells

Chapter 4: Brass for Gold

Chapter 5: Rekindling and Sustaining Revival Fire

Chapter 6: Seeking God

Chapter 7: Humility the Key to Revival

Chapter 8: Obedience: The Key to Breakthrough

Chapter 9: Seeking the Supernatural Move of God

Chapter 10: Going Back to Beth-El

Conclusion

Other books by Clarence Dalrymple

About the Author

Dedication

First and foremost, I dedicate this book to the Lord and Savior of my life, Jesus Christ. Your faithfulness has been so great and constant in my life. You have guided each step of my life. You have upheld me and kept me through all my years of serving you. Forever Yours!

I dedicate this book to my wife Pat who is my partner in life and the ministry God entrusted to us. Pat is my inspiration to stretch my faith and is daily encourages me to fulfill the assignment that God has given to us. She walks the "walk of faith" with me and encourages me to fulfill the dream of writing books.

Acknowledgements

Nothing in life is ever successful without the blended effort of many people who are willing to submit their talent, experience, and passion for a common goal. This book is the product of several individuals whose thoughts, ideas, and perspectives have given me the exposure to the knowledge I have placed in this book.

I wish to thank my wife Pat for her loving encouragement for me to write this book. She is a woman of faith and great wisdom and is an example to all to move forward and accomplish the dream that God has placed in their hearts.

I also want to express my gratitude to Pat for her work of excellence in editing this book, and also thank her for designing the cover.

My thanks goes to my good friend, Rev. Leroy Surface for taking the time to read the transcript to this book and editing and imparting his words of wisdom. I also want to thank him for writing the forward to this book. Thank you for your input into my life through these many years. You are a great friend and mentor to me.

Forward

The theme of this book is found in its title, “Redigging the Wells of Revival.” This is not a message about “digging,” but “redigging.” As I read this book, this question came to my mind: “Why should we dig our wells where those who have gone before us have dug their wells?” The answer is simple: “That’s where the water is.” Sometimes people rejoice and get very excited while digging a “dry hole.” After a short time, the excitement dies off, and the people wander off to another location to begin “digging again,” most often another “dry hole.” Those who have seen the “flowing wells” of the past are best suited to know “where the water is” if we will “dig-again” the wells of revival.

I met Clarence Dalrymple in 1970, shortly after he became an associate minister with John Osteen at the age of twenty three. Young Clarence received his first touch of the Holy Spirit at about age five. At age twelve, He received the baptism with the Holy Ghost, and preached his first sermon at age fifteen. His father had been a pastor/evangelist during the formative years of Clarence’s life, and he grew up in a move of the Spirit of God. With John Osteen, he learned many great and practical truths of ministry and experienced firsthand the “bringing in” of “flowing wells,” and probably the disappointment of a few “dry holes.” Who better to write this book, and who better to heed in the things he writes, not out of theory, but out of firsthand knowledge and experience of the things he writes.

In chapter three of this book, Brother Dalrymple writes, “Each generation must re-dig the old wells.” This is so true, because true Christianity has always been only one generation away from extinction. It is not only for ourselves, but for our children and for our children’s children that we must “dig deep” until the wells of revival are flowing once again.


Leroy Surface

Calvary Outreach Ministries, Porter, Texas

Introduction

There are some individuals who think they are worthy to receive the great wealth their father has accrued during his lifetime of hard work without having to be measured against higher standards of life.

There are also many great men in history who have started in life empty handed. They had no education, or support from anyone. They worked hard. They even stumbled and had setbacks from their misjudgments. But they rose up in their spirit and learned from their mistakes and succeeded in life.

I recall a family that accumulated great wealth through their tenacity in life. It did not happen overnight, but only after much diligence on the father’s part. One day, unexpectedly, the man and his wife were killed in a small plane crash. In an instant their lives were snuffed out. Everything they owned and the wealth they had accrued was given to their two children. The son and daughter did not have any experience in the business world. In less than a year all their money was gone and the company went into bankruptcy. Success is an individual responsibility. Just because the father was intelligent and responsible does not mean the children will automatically follow suit.

The message in this book will reveal the devout heart and personal relationship Abraham developed with God. It shows Abraham’s flaws and imperfections in life. It reveals how he came into a covenant relationship with his heavenly Father, and inherited the title, “The Father of Faith.”

Abraham, in his relationship with God, developed the traits and characteristics of a godly man. It was because of his integrity and great faith in Jehovah God that he earned the title of “the father of faith.” It was also the reason God said of Abraham, “…I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham. that which he hath spoken of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:19)

As you follow the story you will see what was required of Abraham’s heir, Isaac. It relates the keys Isaac had to use in order to activate the blessings Abraham had received. God is no respecter of persons, but does indeed respect the relationship and integrity of men and women who take up the baton of leadership.

There are no shortcuts to obtaining the blessings of God.

There is a road map that will direct your every step. The true definition of who you are will be revealed to your spirit, while the true identity of who you are will be revealed to the whole world. You will discover that God has designed a plan especially for you.

A new discovery of God’s perfect will for you will be manifested. You will discover God’s plan is for His power to be shown in order to unveil His glory to the inhabitants of this earth. It will not be for your personal ego, but to be a part of the “Bigger Plan” allowing God’s presence to be revealed and manifested.

Revival comes when people seek God with all their heart and are obedient to the will of God. There is a sacrifice that is needed on our part with our relationship with God. We all have to lay aside everything that opposes God and desire the very thing which most pleases Him. God desires our whole heart and complete consecration to Him.

There have been many spiritual renewals and fresh outpourings of the Spirit that have literally changed generations of the past. They are still challenging and touching the hearts of those who seriously seek God.

It was never God’s intent for man to lose fellowship with Him. But I thank the Lord that He will finish what He started with the early church of the Book of Acts. God is no respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of faith and integrity.

This is a message speaking to those who have cast away their spiritual heritage and are working on restoring what has been lost. It speaks of how to move forward after setbacks and disappointments and how to maintain a right heart and attitude.

I pray that as you read this book you will allow the Holy Spirit to nudge you and cause a renewed desire to experience a freshness of the Holy Spirit. There is more than what you have experienced in your past. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob wants to be your God. He wants to be your heavenly Father. He wants you to experience the joy of your own personal relationship with Him.

The psalmist David was a man who experienced great loneliness. He knew only a personal knowledge of God would keep him through his life. He wrote these words in one of his psalms:

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Psalms 42:1-2

The master key that unlocks the door of God’s mercy and love is the inward desire to know Him and allow His power to be displayed in all you do. Nothing will ever take the place of seeking God with all your heart.

The desire of a believer cannot be to be “a comfort-seeking, entertainment-addicted, security-craving, approval-desiring Christian.” It must be one who crucifies the fleshly desires and lives a life full of the Holy Spirit that displays the nature of God and His love.

You may be the only book many people will see and read about God. It is my desire that what is portrayed in your life will create a desire in others to seek God and experience their own Beth-el where God reveals Himself with all His power and glory.

Chapter 1: The Heritage

And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac. Genesis 25:5

Heritage is often used to discuss a cultural aspect or tradition. It can be described as something which is handed down from the past just as our national heritage of honor and pride has been passed down through generations. For example, one might speak of an individual’s “rich musical heritage.” Heritage can also refer to a person’s ethnic or cultural background. In a legal sense, heritage is property which you inherit, like the silver teapot your Great Aunt Sally left to you.

Most people describe heritage as something that comes or belongs to them by reason of birth--an inherited lot or portion. Some believe that a birthright, a heritage of affluence and social position is automatically their lot in life.

Ever since God created man, He has desired relationship with him. Adam and Eve had the unique privilege of knowing God personally and fellow-shipping with Him in the cool of the evening. It was an intimate relationship. Even their children had the same opportunity as their parents to know God. There is no certain time line that can be established from their creation until their fellowship with God was broken.

But God, being the loving creator and Father, unveiled a plan of restoration for His creation. It was a plan to bring not only restoration, but also fellowship that would bring the hearts of mankind back to God.

It is obvious that Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve, were involved in worshiping God. It was during their time of worship that Cain decided to worship his way rather than the way desired by God. God was displeased with him and had rejected his sacrifice. He had accepted Abel’s sacrifice, and Cain was hurt. He allowed anger to overtake him and he murdered his brother Abel. It was Cain’s nature that had been infected due to his disobedience. After that, he left home never to return.

And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. Genesis 4:16

God could not allow the nature of Cain’s heart to be part of the holy lineage that would eventually reveal the Savior and redeemer to the world. Cain never regained his place of honor which he forfeited the day rebellion was revealed in his heart.

God will not allow anything to compromise His desire. If anyone fails the mission assigned for them, God will raise up another who will submit and yield themselves totally to please God.

Adam and Eve produced another son and named him Seth. Eve proclaimed, “God has given me another child in place of Abel (the Godly son), since Cain killed him.” Genesis 4:25

It was after Seth began to have children that people began to call on the name of the Lord. Seth’s descendants are called the “royal” line because they believed God and followed Him. Through them God’s promise of the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, would be accomplished. It was through the lineage of Seth that Christ would come to the earth.

God honors a person who pursues righteousness and holiness. But even righteous men had rebellious sons that followed after the pagan gods. Because of their rebellion, they were cut off from the blessings and heritage of the saints. It didn’t matter who their father was--if they rebelled, God did not regard them.

Righteousness is still a priority with God. He demands righteousness. He requires obedience and faith to accomplish the plan He has designed.

God has always found a man who would listen to His heart and obey Him. One such man was Noah from the lineage of Seth. Because of his obedience to God, Noah found a place in the chronicles of those who walked in faith. Noah was a preacher of righteousness for many years.

Noah was a righteous man who found favor in the sight of the Lord when the entire earth was corrupt and filled with wickedness. Because of the wickedness in the hearts of men, God decided to destroy all the inhabitants, including the animals and fish. Only Noah and his family escaped the great flood by obedience to God in building the ark that protected them through the storm. Noah and his sons began to replenish the earth when the floodwaters subsided. (Genesis 6).

Ultimately, the hearts of Noah’s children were not changed. Their evil hearts caused rebellion in the earth again. Nimrod, the grandson of Ham, was a man with an anti-God spirit. He ruled and reigned with tyranny. Cush, the son of Ham, begat Nimrod. We begin to see the souls of the righteous being vexed by evil shortly after the floodwaters receded. But God has always had a man who would hear His voice and obey. Abraham was that man.

According to Jewish history, Noah was 892 years old and Shem, the godly son of Noah, was 390 years old when Abram was born. Abram was 58 years old when Noah died. It was during these years that Abram spent a lot of time with Noah and Shem before he died. Abram was taught that God was Jehovah and that He had a redemptive plan for mankind.

It was through the mentoring of Noah and Shem that Abram developed a relationship with God. Through the godly influence of these men, Abram began to recognize the voice of God.

God spoke to him and told him to take his family and follow him. There was a land that God would give to him and his descendants. On the road of Abram’s exodus God unfolded His divine plan and purpose.

Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3

Lot, the nephew of Abram, followed his uncle on the journey out of Ur, the land which belonged to the Chaldeans, to the land God was giving to Abram. For some reason Lot became restless and could not continue in peace. It was evident to Abram that he must separate himself from Lot. He allowed Lot to choose the direction he wanted to take. Lot looked toward the well-watered plains of Jordan and chose Sodom as the place to settle his family. Sodom’s perverse reputation was well known to all, including Abram and Lot. Lot chose to take his family to settle in a wicked place because Sodom looked prosperous. However, the outward appearance of prosperity was the eventual ruin of Lot and his family.

The Lord had mercy on Lot because of Abram, so when he planned to eradicate Sodom and Gomorrah, (Genesis 19) He sent angels to warn Lot and his family to leave the city before it was destroyed. They left the city with instructions not to look back. Lot’s wife disregarded the command. She looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt.

Lot and his two daughters took refuge in a cave. After some time, Lot fathered a child with each one of his daughters. Due to his disloyalty to Abram and rebellion against God, Lot was eliminated from the plan of the Holy line for the Messiah to be born.

Abraham is called “the father of the faithful.” He was called “the friend of God (the highest honor a Hebrew could have bestowed upon him.) Abraham was called to be the head of a new race.

This race was to be God’s peculiar people. They were elected to be the chief instruments in God’s program of revealing Himself to mankind. Abraham had an intimate relationship with God. He did not just live for Him, he lived with Him.

God’s purpose was to reveal Himself through the Hebrews: to be known as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Because of Abraham’s faithfulness and obedience God created a covenant relationship with him that has become every believer’s privilege to participate in.

The key factor in Abraham’s relationship with God was that he believed God. Now it was evident that Abraham was a man of faith from the beginning of his journey with God.

God had given a promise to Abram after he and those that followed him made the exit out of the land of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan. The promise was spoken by God, “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that shall curse you; and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12)

Abram began to get restless in his spirit because it seemed to him that the fulfillment of the promise was not happening soon enough. This attitude of restlessness is revealed when God came to him in a vision and said, “Fear not, Abram; I am your shield and your exceeding great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)

Abram began to immediately give his complaint to God. He asked God, “Lord God, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of this house is Eliezer of Damascus. And Abram said, “Behold to me you have given no seed, and lo, one born in my house is my heir.” (Genesis 15:1-3)

God is faithful. He reassured Abram that it would be just as He spoke. God said Eliezer would not be the heir. He re-emphasized that the heir would come forth from his own bowels and that son would be the heir.

It was at this turning point in Abram’s life that God cut covenant with Abram. After Abram obeyed and did what God requested, the new relationship between God and Abram began. The Bible says, “Abram believed in the Lord and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)

Impatience became Abram’s downfall, as it is with many people today. Because the promised child didn’t immediately appear, Sarai devised a plan that she believed would insure Abram his heir.

Sarai was childless and well past child bearing age. So she reasoned that a child by her handmaid Hagar could become Abram’s heir. Because she couldn’t see a natural way for her to have a baby, she told Abram to take Hagar, her maid, and allow her to conceive. Abram, who had also grown impatient, went along with her plan and Ishmael was born. But he was not the promised heir.

Due to their impatience they now had the responsibility of nurturing Ishmael. The focus they should have had on God’s plan was used taking care of Ishmael. Ishmael and his descendants became a thorn in the side of Abram and his seed.

How often has the impatience of waiting on the promise of God hindered the perfect plan of God to be fulfilled? How many Ishmaels have been produced? How many years have been wasted because of impatience and disobedience?

Fleshly revivals that imitate God and His power have been birthed by many that have allowed the flesh to dominate the atmosphere. Relevancy has taken the place of the pure move of the Holy Spirit. The world has become so church-like and the church has become so much like the world, often there is no way to distinguish between the two.

Something happened in Abram’s spirit when the Angel of the Lord visited him when he was 99 years old. God reiterated the promises that He had given to Abram fourteen years earlier. A year later, God visited Abraham’s camp again.

God promised him something impossible. God promised Abraham that he and Sarah were going to have a son born to them. Sarah was 90 years old at this time. His heart changed that day.

It was here that God cut covenant with Abram. An everlasting covenant was established. God changed the names of Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah. The letter “H” represented God Himself. God becoming part of their name was very significant in the covenant ritual. This is the same as our modern wedding ceremonies when the woman changes her last name to her husband’s name. Abraham and Sarah were now in covenant with Jehovah God. Abram, the Prince of God became “The father of many nations.” Sarai, the Princess of God was now called Sarah which means “Princess of God.” Sarah would be the mother of many nations.

This became part of Paul the Apostle’s gospel. He spoke of this event in the Book of Romans, saying, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.” Romans 4:3

The Hebrew meaning for “Believed God” means to give yourself wholly up and become part of God’s divine plan. Abraham’s legacy was one of walking with God and being totally obedient to the will of God.

Isaac, the promised son to Abraham, now had to walk by faith in his relationship with God. He became the heir of everything Abraham possessed. He inherited the wealth and riches. But there was one thing that could not be inherited--Abraham’s personal relationship with God.

Abraham taught Isaac the way to God and to know God intimately. Isaac had been taught God’s faithfulness from childhood to adulthood. He was a participant in the greatest of all challenges to Abraham’s faith when God required Abraham to take Isaac, the son of promise, and offer him to God. I’m sure many thoughts of doubt were present as they climbed the mountain together. Isaac even asked his dad “where is the sacrifice?” They were carrying all the wood for the altar but had no animal for the sacrifice. Abraham told him with confidence, “God will provide Himself a Lamb.” That answer satisfied Isaac. As the scriptures declare, he did not resist being tied to the altar. He was an eye witness of God’s faithfulness and supernatural provision.

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. Deuteronomy 18:19

Godly character is not something that can be inherited, but it is developed in a person’s heart as they obey God step by step.

Isaac received all of Abraham’s wealth. He became heir to everything that belonged to his father Abraham.

And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. Genesis 25:5

Wealth and inheritance came free to Isaac. But relationship and his personal walk with God was his decision and responsibility.

Isaac had to develop his personal relationship and faith in God. He had been taught by Abraham that Jehovah God was holy and was a covenant keeper. Remember, Isaac accompanied his father Abraham to the mountain where they were to worship God and offer a sacrifice. This custom had been instituted by God Himself. Isaac was well taught in the ordinances and the importance of worship. Isaac witnessed the supernatural power of Jehovah God and divine provision on the mountain top.

When the scripture states that Abraham gave all he had to Isaac, it was not just material wealth. Abraham diligently instructed Isaac in the knowledge and requirements of a strong relationship with God the creator. That’s why God said of Abraham: For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him…” Genesis 18:19

These are the tools every earthly father should place into the hands of his children. Life is more than material wealth and treasures. It is an enriching relationship with our heavenly Father that will guarantee we will spend eternity with Him.

After Abraham died, Isaac had to redig the wells his father Abraham had dug. In the Far East digging wells on unoccupied land gave title of the land to the one digging the wells. Isaac owned by inheritance the land in the vicinity of which those wells had been dug by his father.

After the death of Abraham, the Philistines stopped up the wells. This was a declaration of war. It was considered a hostile act toward the ones who rightfully owned the land. Isaac knew that the wells and the land were his by inheritance. He also had to determine to defend his property and not to be bullied by the enemy into relinquishing possession of his land. So he instructed his men to dig the wells again.

The promises of God are eternal and everlasting. Isaac had to exercise his legal right and pursue what rightfully belonged to him as the heir. Water again began to bubble up out of the ground. Water always symbolizes life. Isaac called them by the same names Abraham had given to them.

Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For Yah, The Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation. Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:2-4

The church, the body of Christ, was instituted on the Day of Pentecost. For over two thousand years God has never changed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. There have been many attempts to change the Gospel to fit man’s standards, but it will never work like God’s plan. There have been many names put on each move, but each one is all about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and savior of this world.

The scriptures show us that God’s people go through periods of spiritual renewal and spiritual decline. We might think of these times like waves and troughs, or like mountains and valleys. During a renewal or awakening there will be not only a great reviving of Christians, but also a large impact on society. The period of God’s blessing may last for many years, or it can be brief.

When the winds of a renewal have passed, the Church may enter a period of lethargy, possibly for many years. Such cycles have already been repeated many times during the years of Church history. It is not that the Spirit of God cannot sustain the higher life for Christians. But people fall away from the truth of the Word of God. Times of decline come. It’s during those dry times that people to come back to the roots of Christianity and pray for growth and power.

If the church or you as an individual want what the patriarchs experienced, then we all have to come to a personal relationship as they did, and do the things they did to see the results of God’s power.

Allow the revelation of your heritage to come alive in your spirit today. As believers and children of God we have all the rights of inheritance as members of the Royal Family. According to the scriptures we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Romans 8:16-17

Chapter 2: Living As A Son

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Romans 8:16-17

It is an established fact that the church, the believers in Jesus Christ the Son of God, have an inheritance which is immeasurable. Just as Isaac was born as the promised son to Abraham and was the recipient of everything Abraham had accrued, you and I have the privilege of being a partaker in all that Jesus Christ has made available to us.

God our Father desires that we come to the higher understanding of who we are through Jesus Christ. There is a higher plateau to which God wants to elevate you for your fulfillment and joy. Some people never experience the abundance of grace and blessings which are attached to the relationship of grace. Until the revelation of “who you are” can come alive in your spirit, you will remain at the lowest level. God has the best for you if you can “see” what He has prepared for you.

Paul the Apostle had great insight into the treasures of God. Before his name was changed to Paul, he was called Saul of Tarsus. He had a high ranking position with the Sanhedrin court. During that time of history the Jews and their leaders had fallen into deception. They were very religious without a personal experience with God. They also began to work with the Roman government who oppressed those that opposed their harsh rule. It was during this era that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was revealed as the Son of God--the Messiah who came to redeem God’s people. For three and one half years Jesus traveled throughout the region preaching and teaching that the Kingdom of God had come. Multitudes of miracles and healings were performed by Jesus. One writer stated there was not enough paper to print all the miracles He had performed.

And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. John 21:25

The Jewish religious leaders and the Roman government were getting nervous. The popularity of Jesus was growing and getting out of hand. False charges were made against Him in a mock trial that found Him guilty of treason. He was beaten beyond the point of recognition and crucified on the cross, a punishment that was meant for hardened criminals.

Those who administered the verdict and punishment did not realize they helped to fulfill the prophecies concerning the Messiah who came to deliver the world. Death came to the mangled body of Jesus and He was placed in a borrowed tomb. On the third day the prophetic words He had told His disciples came to pass. Christ arose, triumphant over death and the grave. He fulfilled redemption and went to sit on the right hand of God the Father.

It was before His ascension to Heaven that Jesus instructed the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait in the Upper Room where the Lord’s Supper had been instituted. They were to wait until the Holy Spirit came and filled all of them.

They waited and prayed for ten days. Then a rushing mighty wind blew into the room and tongues of fire lit upon each of the 120 followers and they all spoke with other tongues. They could not contain themselves and began to go into the streets speaking in different languages. People from nations with different languages heard the gospel preached to them in their own language.

Peter, one of the favored disciples, preached the first sermon that day and 3,000 people were added to the church. A second sermon was preached a short time later and 5,000 people were added to the church. A phenomenal thing was happening. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ was growing at a pace every pastor today would love to see.

This immediate growth of the church caused the Roman government to classify Christians as fanatics and a threat to their society. With the Sanhedrin court and religious leaders already in alliance against this fast growing movement of Christianity, these new believers came under severe persecution.

Saul of Tarsus was summoned to come and squelch this movement. Saul was greatly feared because of the ruthless tactics he used to enforce the laws against believers. Stephen, the first deacon of the early church, was stoned to death for his bold stand in his faith. Saul held the coats of the men who threw the stones that killed Stephen. Saul observed this act in the name of religion.

Saul, like every unbelieving Jew, was longing to see the coming of the Messiah. He was misguided in his zeal to persecute those he thought were apostates. But God’s love was revealed through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ--the person who Saul hated. However because of God’s love even Saul of Tarsus qualified for this transformation of his life.

Jesus appeared to him on the Road to Damascus, manifested as a great light which caused Saul to fall off his horse. The Lord said to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:1-6). At that encounter Saul had to make a quality decision to accept the fact of the love of Jesus Christ and humble himself and allow the transformation to come to his evil heart. Yes, God chose Saul, but Saul had to choose Christ. In that moment Saul knew that Jesus, whom he formerly hated, was the Christ whom he now loved, hence the instantaneous transformation.

After his conversion God led him to the Arabian Desert for three and a half years. It was there Saul received the revelation of Jesus Christ. It was in the desert he learned the reality of the redemption of mankind and learned the significance of the blood of Jesus Christ and the power of His blood. He also understood the covenant relationship that had been established for all men who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. This revelation became known as the Gospel According to Paul. Paul’s Epistles have become the study of the church through the years. His revelation of redemption has made many free to enjoy their relationship as a child of God.

Paul wrote that believers have been both blessed and accepted by the Father as His heirs.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:6

God wants every believer to see themselves in the position He has created for them.

In my years of ministry I have observed believers as they have struggled to find their identification in Christ. It takes years for some to find the revelation of who they are and what Christ provided for them through His death, burial, and resurrection. There are three levels of relationship I have seen demonstrated.

The first relationship many believers see themselves in is as Orphans.

Those with the orphan mentality wander through life, not realizing their true position in the Kingdom of God.

Orphans find it hard to commit to marriages, relationships, church, or any authority. Because of abandonment fears, they may suffer from a sense of unworthiness.

Because they lacked encouragement when they attempted anything, they can be people who quit easily. They may even have a difficult time completing a project or to have longevity in anything they do in life.

Those who have an orphan mentality cannot seem to find where they belong. These people have not had the loving relationship of a father and have had to survive on their own. Consequently when they hear about God being a loving father, they cannot relate. They see God as a distant figure because of their own experience with a father.

Orphans that have been adopted by loving families, or those who have mentors that model healthy interpersonal relationships, have a better opportunity to succeed. They are encouraged by their new relationships, and they can excel in life.

Many believers today who have the “orphan” mentality have not connected to their heavenly Father and are not enjoying the relationship as a son or daughter of God. This is why Paul proclaimed the truth, “We have been accepted in the beloved.” Ephesians 1:6

The second level of relationship demonstrated by many believers is seeing themselves as Slaves.

A slave mentality is devastating to believers. What they do seems to be more important to them than who they are, or Who they belong to. Slaves believe their place in the family of God is based on achievement. To a slave, their identity is wrapped up in their performance. They feel that if they want God’s attention and love, they have to do more. They also feel that when something goes wrong in their life, it is because they didn’t do enough to please God.

This does not mean that you quit doing things for God. But it means that your works should not be motivated by fear of disappointing God or by losing His love. Your works should be motivated by love for God. Love that desires to please God. Love that wants to help someone in desperate need.

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:14-17

The third level of relationship is that of Sons and Daughters.

Those who have the revelation of their identity in Christ walk with boldness and confidence in God as their Father. Fear is not dominant in their life because they know God is present with them.

All the riches of heaven are at their access, because they understand that they have a Father who wants them to enjoy being His child. They recognize and obey their Father’s voice.

Their relationship is a healthy relationship. They have been shown clear boundaries for their behavior and if they choose to step past those boundaries, they are disciplined but not punished. They can always come home.

They understand what an Heir is. They lack nothing. They can boldly proclaim “I am co-heir with Jesus Christ.” Romans 8:16

The revelation of who we are in Christ is the essence of our relationship with God.

IN CHRIST:


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