by Pastor Roy Esposito
John 3:3 – Jesus told Nicodemus, “…unless one is BORN AGAIN, he will not see the Kingdom of God.” (TPT) – “Before a person can PERCEIVE God’s kingdom realm, they must first experience a REBIRTH.”
Before a person can experience a rebirth, they must desire it and be willing to follow the Spirit’s leading.
John 3:5 – “…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”
John 16:13-15 (TPT)
- He unveils the reality of every perception within us and enables us to see the Truth clearly beyond the cloak of our fallen nature.
- He speaks prophetically of the things that are to come.
- He glorifies Jesus and reveals a brand new potential for our lives.
Needless to say, the Holy Spirit plays a huge part in our transcendence.
Wade Taylor – When one is BORN of the Spirit – they can be BORNE (Carried) by the Spirit into a higher realm.
Wade’s teachings focused on what he called “Becoming the Habitation of God” or the “Incarnation” (God in Flesh) – the Church carrying the Presence of God on the earth.
This requires being present to ourselves – right here, right now. (To “be where your feet are.”) – BECAUSE you can’t carry HIS PRESENCE without being present yourself.
Being Present speaks of being able to receive and give – right now – with nothing to understand or think about – to just DO IT.
This doesn’t take place in the mind but within the innermost parts of our being – Spirit to Spirit
The only part our minds play is positioning ourselves to receive guidance from the Spirit.
Positioning – “Doing the inner work.”
- “Who am I?
- “What have I been focused on that brought me to where I am now? (How I think and my perception of the reality I live and operate in.)
Philosopher Rene Descartes – “I think, therefore I am.”
Proverbs 23:7 – Scripture seems to say something similar, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
Descartes – “Because I can think, therefore I exist.”
Bible – “What I’m thinking about has influence and even forms what and who I am – and how I exist.”
Proverbs 16:3 speaks of how to be BORNE by the Spirit:
“Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.”
TPT – “Before you do anything, put your trust totally in God and not in yourself. Then every plan you make will succeed.”
PR translation – Commit your HEART to the Lord; put your attention on HIM and trust Him. Then He will guide the thoughts that are forming who you are.”
I believe what we give our attention to will direct and form our reality.
We are instructed to “Set our minds on things above and not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:2
Now here’s the problem we all face as we try to follow through on this:
We possess two separate natures; Animal and Spiritual (Old/New Man)
Because this is so, our ability to keep our attention on God gets untracked by the distractions and distortions of our animal nature.
I call this a “Distraction of Attention” – a type of spiritual ADHD.
Even the most spiritual person among us suffers from its effects.
Every time our attention shifts to our natural desires, our attention on God takes a blow.
With it, our ability to live in the grace and benefits of God’s love takes a hit also.
This is because Attention and Love are intimately related.
In church, we speak a lot about Love. 1 John 4:8: “God Is Love.”
But, if love is to be transformed from mere Conceptualization to Actualization, our attention must be focused on it – free from the effects of distractions, distortions, and conditions generated by our animal nature.
In Truth – Our lives are full of distractions that cause love not to be actualized.
However, we were created with a deep need for God, who is Love.
Because of the distractions and distortions of our lower nature, though, when a circumstance arises where God’s love is needed, we don’t perceive His Presence – He seems absent and unable or unwilling to help us.
When the “love void” goes unfilled, our tendency is to grab onto something else to satisfy the need.
We have an unfulfilled desire for God but end up with a substitution instead.
Let’s call whatever this substitution is an “attachment.”
It usurps God’s love and receives our attention – ultimately becoming more important than God to us at that moment.
It’s easy to recognize the obvious attachments: EX – A “Fix” for an addict
But how about something less obvious?
How about when you are standing in line at the store, and there’s an older person in front of you fumbling with their change – or a mom with some unruly kids making a racket –and all you want to do is get home?
Then you become so impatient that getting through the line quickly becomes the most important thing to you – so much so that it usurps any thought of compassion or love you might otherwise have had.
You’ve ATTACHED primary importance to getting past the object of annoyance so that you’ve become what’s in your heart at that moment — an impatient, annoyed, and uncaring person.
If we take an honest look at things, we’d have to concede that most of the pain in the world is not caused by the devil or is sent by God to test us but from – What we say and do to each other!
Scenes like this happen so often that we begin to see them as NORMAL and accept them as part of life. But they are truly not benign.
Paul Tillich – “Whatever we are ultimately concerned with IS GOD for us.”
This can include anything and everything that takes our attention off God, even things that may be considered GOOD.
It’s not the things in themselves but the importance we give to them that matters.
Anything that replaces God as the focus of our heart can become a “distortion of attention” or, in religious terminology – “IDOLATRY.”
You may be thinking, “Pastor Roy is being overly dramatic – even harsh – sure, I get distracted now and again – everybody does, but I love God and live my life for Him.”
This is where honesty comes into play – because this is a lie we tell ourselves – just look objectively at your actions.
How many of our actions are really purely motivated?
We claim to love God, but, in truth, we are living our distractions.
Don’t get mad. This is a universal problem of our old nature.
We are mostly more concerned with our attachments than we are with love.
Paul recognized this tendency in himself –
Romans 7:18-20 (TPT) “For I know that nothing good lives within the flesh of my fallen humanity. The longings to do what is right are within me, but willpower is not enough to accomplish it.
“My lofty desire to do what is good is dashed when I do the things I want to avoid.
So, if my behavior contradicts my desire to do good, I must conclude that it’s not my true identity doing it, but the unwelcome intruder of sin hindering me from being who I truly am.”
I’m not pointing this out with the hammer of guilt. It does no good to feel guilty.
If anything, guilt makes us more preoccupied with ourselves.
Romans 8:1 – “There is, therefore, no condemnation to those who are in Christ who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
Even though all I said today is true, we are not condemned by it because we are IN CHRIST and covered by His sacrificial death and resurrection.
When we realize that we need God and ask to become Born Again, we are freed from the destiny and the consequences of our fallen
We are carried (BORNE) through the regeneration process by the “Life-giving Spirit” of God.
God does call us to do our best – to be excellent in how we live – and to embrace the struggle in faith, staying focused on Him.
Ultimately, we must accept the reality of our incompleteness:
Another way of saying this is having HUMILITY.
Until you embrace humility, your natural mind and nature will sit as a god in the temple of your thought life, keeping you a slave to its unending demands and insufficiencies.
To be Borne by the Spirit will require taking a hard look at the condition of our Honesty and Humility – and asking for the Spirit’s help!
A prophetic action: Go to the mirror and emphatically say, “Get over yourself!” Then proceed with your day guided by The Spirit of God.