Trapeze Faith Part 3

Resurrection Platform

Teaching children about victory

The illustration of a trapeze performer leaping from one platform to the another is analogous to the way God develops our walk with Him.   In this article I have chosen the imagery of the platforms between which a trapeze artist leaps, viagra buy viagra because it helps me visualize how God works with me in both victory and defeat.   In the previous Trapeze Faith article, cialis usa Life on God’s Platform, we focused on a God-created crucifixion platform where God progressively puts to death our old sin nature, still existing in us, called the flesh  (Romans 7:18, 21, 25).   The flesh, which is still alive, will keep us sinning if we let it.

Upon salvation our sins were all forgiven and their penalty abolished, but the flesh remains (Psalm 32:5).  God did not do away with our flesh, but instead chose to execute it through a progressive process of crucifixion which demands our daily cooperation.   Only when we finally pass into His heavenly realm will we finally be free of the flesh.

Therefore, day-by-day, and deed-by-deed, God puts to death our fleshly desires. When we are on God’s crucifixion platform, here is what we should be doing in cooperation with His efforts to crucify our flesh.

  •  We should be recognizing and confessing our current sins before God because, as much as we hate it, our spiritual guard does falter from time to time and the flesh takes full opportunity to climb down off the cross and sin up a storm within us (Romans 7:5).
  • We should be growing in a habit of admitting our sins before others, so that they can pray for us and be wary themselves of the flesh in their own lives.  Hiding our sins from others is not only unwise, it is fleshly.  To remain incognito about our sins hurts everybody (James 5:16).
  • We should turn back the control of our lives to God, asking the Spirit to re-nail our flesh to the cross where it belongs and should remain until we join God in heaven.

When we are not on the crucifixion platform, our time should be lived on God’s resurrection platform.   We are on this platform each day that we walk according to His will, and let Him live His life through us (Romans 6:5).   The resurrection platform, where God purposed us to live all of our lives, is rightly named because it speaks of the place where incredible transformational miracles take place every day in our lives.  As great as Jesus’ own resurrection was, the transformation of our own hearts might even be greater than Jesus’ own bodily resurrection.   To move us from hating an enemy to loving and praying for him/her is really quite miraculous, but this is what happens when we live in accordance with God’s wishes on the resurrection platform (Matthew 5:43-44).  Here are seven great transformationalremembrances that help us all stay on God’s resurrection platform.

  1. Remember that when we received Christ we became new persons.   Even though the flesh followed us, it was put on the crucified platform not the resurrection platform. We are not holy revisions, remodels, or reconstructions. Our old selves are history, and we are brand new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  2. Remember and review the fruits of the Spirit and the crux of Agape Love.   The knowledge and steady application of the fruits and Agape Love help us follow God’s transformational plan while on His resurrection platform and keep us from falling off  (Galatians 5:22-23; I Corinthians 13:4-7).
  3. Remember that even though the flesh is still present in our lives, spiritual death will never reign over any of us like it once did.  Even when we fall prey to our flesh, God will repair us on the crucifixion platform and swing us back to His resurrected platform as soon as possible (Proverbs 24:16).
  4. Remember that we must always set our minds on things above.   The Bible is the best resource.  Reading and studying the Word is essential to filling our minds with God’s truth.  When it is filled with His truth there is no room for anything else.  There is not room for fleshly thoughts or worldly temptations because our spiritual bowl is full of His truth on the resurrection platform  (Philippians 4:8-9).
  5. Remember that our life on the resurrection platform is a walk, a steady pace and not a panic run (I Corinthians 7: 17).    If we find our lives too busy, then we need to reassess what we are doing.  God creates a life for us on His resurrection platform that can accomplish everything He intends for us to do.   This includes our work, time with the family, personal time, and ministry.   Jesus was never in a hurry with His disciples.   He walked a steady pace with them day after day.  In the end, the basic needs of the disciples were met and their resulting ministries changed an entire world.
  6. Remember that your walk with God on His resurrection platform requires a lot of letting.   We all need to let Him guide us, let His Word take root and let Him fill us with His Spirit.   We do this by becoming F.A.T. {Faithful, Available, and Teachable} (Colossians 3:16).
  7. Remember that after the letting takes place; we are now empowered to put on love.  Love is not just a feeling, but rather a commitment response to God to love Him and others no matter what.  Of course, this love commitment runs counter to our flesh more than anything else, but God is dedicated to helping us put on love. We just need to respond.

Teachable Moment

The following Teachable Moment is best used with a child in elementary school.  If you have older students have them read this and make up their own Teachable Moment.    If you think they have come up with a real winner, send it to me and I will pass it on to others.

Search for a location where your children can stand on two different raised platforms; perhaps a local park will provide such a setting, but if not, use your home’s front and back porches.

One porch stands for God’s crucifixion platform and the other His resurrection platform.   Explain the purpose of both platforms according to today’s lesson and what you have already learned from the Scripture over the years about walking in faith and repentance.   Start by placing your entire family on the resurrection porch.   This is the place where they are doing what God wants; they are growing in their love for Him and others, and are becoming more like Him everyday.   Take your family over to the crucifixion porch; this is where God forgives them of their sins, recovers their walk, and puts the rebellious flesh back on the cross where it continues toward death.   Create a game for your children where they can get the whole picture of the two porches by racing from one to the next.   The key to the game is recognizing which porch to run according to the Scriptures found in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7.

The Sermon on the Mount teaches a great deal of truth, but a constant theme Jesus presses home to His disciples is the transformation He sees in their lives, particularly as it relates to relationships with others.  This includes not only loved ones, but also neighbors, enemies, and opponents.    The love of others is possibly the greatest lesson learned on the resurrection platform, second only to love for God.   Pick verses in this Sermon that deal with loving relationships with others and their counterparts.   Then line up your children and tell them that the first one to the right platform gets a point.   When you are finished counting up everyone’s points, give everyone the same reward.   This is what Jesus would do; in fact, He told His disciples in the Parable of the Vineyard Owner in Matthew 20 that all would receive the same salvation reward no matter who came in first.

Here are a few examples

Matthew 5:7   “Blessed are the merciful…”   A race to the resurrection platform wins because God is transforming our hearts to be hearts of mercy on this platform.

Matthew 5:22    “Whoever is angry with his brother is liable to the court.”   A race to the crucifixion platform wins because this is where forgiveness is needed, and the old flesh which is often filled with anger toward others can be put on the cross.

Matthew  7:7  “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”   A race to the resurrection platform wins here because asking, seeking and knocking are all things God wants us to do in our prayers.

Matthew 6: 7   “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.” A race to the crucifixion platform wins here because repeated asking often leads to self-serving wants, rather than God-centered prayers.

Other

Othe Other possibilities in the Sermon on the Mount are:  Matthew 5: 21, 23,24, 25, 40. 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47; Matthew 6: 12, 14, 15, 33; Matthew 7:1-5, 7, 12,  24  (Resirrrection or crucifixion porch?)

God’s Word

Romans 7: 18, 21, 25   18- for I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 21- I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 25 -Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Psalm 32:5  I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Romans 7:5   For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. James 5: 16   Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Romans 6:5   For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection Matthew 5:43-44   43- “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  44- “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.  2 Corinthians 5: 17  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Galatians 5: 22-23   22-But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23-gentleness, self-control.  I Corinthians. 13:4-7  4-Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5-does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6-does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7-bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.Proverbs 24: 16   For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again. Philippians 4:8-9  8-Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9-The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you I Corinthians. 7: 17   Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches. Col 3: 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.Romans 3: 14   But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.