I was asked to speak this weekend at a Christian event in Elgin called Arise Scotland. I accepted of course, I’ll have any opportunity to preach thank you very much!
I thought about what “Arise Scotland” meant to me and I took it as a call to action. To me it was a call to rise up and see the power of God in this land. It spoke to me of signs and wonders; of the works of God flowing here in Scotland.
As I was meditating on this the Lord took me to Colossians 3 v 1 to 3
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Initially I thought well, what a lovely section of scripture. If you ever came to MGF and asked the fellowship what my favourite book of the bible is they would say Colossians. Colossians in my opinion has the best description of Jesus in the whole of scripture! However I did think what has this got to do with “Arise Scotland”. What has this got to do with myself and others rising up, moving out and seeing the works of God flowing in our land.
I know that these verses must be talking to believers as verse 1 says “if ye then be risen with Christ”. If you are a born again believer these verses are for you. The rest of the verses are pretty clear in telling us to look tot things above, to things of the Lord; these are not difficult verses to interpret.
Look at Christ sitting at the right hand of the father, do not look to things of the earth. Look to the spiritual and not the physical.
“Set your affections on things above” we are told. The Greek here means to exercise your mind or be mentally disposed to. That means to focus on and think about; concentrate on things of the Lord. I think this more specifically means to focus on and think on Jesus.
Focus on Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father. Focus on Jesus as your whole life is now in Him. Your life is all about Jesus. Your very existence is now in Jesus.
These are amazing pieces of scripture but are they a call to arise?
I was then led to read John 6 v 28 and 29
Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Taken in light of this statement from Jesus, Colossians 3 v 1 to 3 is a call to rise! We do the works of God by believing on Jesus. We believe on Him and Who He is; we believe on what He has done on the cross and through His resurrection.
Our whole life (and indeed our whole thought life) requires to be Christ centred and Christ focussed. We need to exercise our minds on Jesus. Our “job” is to solely focus on Jesus and on his work on the cross.
We must focus on what that means for us today; our forgiveness, our righteousness, that we are made new and reconciled to God.
We must focus on ALL the aspects of our salvation that He purchased for us on the cross; joy, peace, healing, wholeness and prosperity.
We must exercise our minds on Jesus and what he purchased for us through His blood.
If we do that we will naturally arise without effort, and the works of God will flow from us. Works will flow not from our own efforts but through a partnership with Him as we focus on Him and learn more about Him.
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord (2 Peter 1 v 2)
In the gospel of John Jesus tells us to believe on Him; that is the works of God. In Colossians we are told to exercise our minds on Jesus.
In the first verse of chapter 3 of Colossians we a retold Jesus is sitting down at the right hand of the Father. This is a picture of a great yet little known truth about Jesus; he is sitting as His work is finished. Jesus was on a mission from His Father (there are many references to this in John), so the work of God is finished also!
When Jesus died on the cross and rose again He provided all that we will ever need, in both physical and spiritual terms.
Ye are complete in Him (Colossians 2 v 10)
All we need in both physical and spiritual terms was made available to us through His finished work on the cross. Our salvation (SOZO) provides for so much more than is normally understood; so much more than our ticket into heaven! All we will ever need to arise and do the works of God was provided through the atonement. Our responsibility is to exercise our minds on Him and Hi s work and the rest will flow.
This is a real challenge; God has moved and does not require to move anymore, it is now down to us to move and arise! There is encouragement however in that He has provided all we need to do this.
As well as our salvation Jesus’ death and resurrection made something else available to us; the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit helps us to move in more power and do more mighty works for Him. In John 14 Jesus says that the Comforter will come when He goes and that this Comforter will abide with us forever.
In Acts we see the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost. The amazing truth is that He has never gone back. We do not need to ask for the Holy Spirit to come (this is an ungodly prayer!) as He has never left.
Also in Acts we see Jesus telling His disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit. This was because He had not come yet. As new covenant believers living under grace we do not need to wait anymore. Holy Spirit is here and if we do not already have Him we can have His baptism any time we like, just by asking.
There is no longer any need to wait for God.
There is no longer any need to ask and plead with God to move.
God has already moved all He has to; through Jesus and His finished work on the cross and through the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Now it is our turn to move; it is time for us to do our bit and arise.
No more excuses. No more waiting. No more asking God to move. No more waiting for a “move of God”.
Now is our time. Now is the time to arise.
We have the authority from Jesus and we have the power of the Holy Spirit. We have all we need.
Fix your eyes upon Jesus and exercise your mind in Him and His finished work. Out if this knowledge of Him and out of your partnership with the Holy Spirit will flow the works of God that our troubled country needs to see. Out of this will flow signs and wonders that will lead people to Jesus.
We will arise if we choose to!