Rabbi Schneider - Do Problems Make Us Stronger?
What is a mystery? A mystery is something that has been previously concealed. But by the Spirit of God, that which has been concealed and secret becomes revealed. Today we're gonna be begin by focusing on the mystery, beloved ones, of receiving; because breakthrough begins with the capacity and the ability to receive. I'm gonna build now foundation upon foundation to impart to you by the grace of God the anointing of Jesus for breakthrough in your life. I speak an anointing of breakthrough over you individually, to break into the next dimension of eternal life, to the next dimension of the spirit, to the next dimension of revelation. But this all begins with the capacity and the art of receiving.
When I say an art, the reason I say art is because, beloved ones, knowing how to receiving from God, it has to do with sensing where the spirit is. And this takes a real sensitivity. That's why I'm calling it an art. Receiving in some sense is an art because we have to be able to sense the Holy Spirit in order to receive from the Holy Spirit. In other words, people that are not sensitive to the things of God, people that are not sensitive to the Spirit of God miss a lot in being able to receive and partake of the Spirit of God. But let's just take a step back for a second from all that and let's just begin to even go more foundational and get more practical into this element of simply knowing that it all begins with receiving. Do you know the Bible says to as many as received him, speaking of Jesus, to as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become the children of God. It begins with receiving. I just feel it in my spirit, for a second, beloved ones, to take a break and pray.
Father God, we worship you right now. We love you, Jesus. We need you, Jesus. We ask for a break or anointing on our lives; Jesus, that you would strengthen us by your Spirit with the same power and the same might, King Jesus, that caused you to rise from the dead, that we might rise, Jesus, in the anointing and break everything off our lives that's hindering us from the freedom and the fullness we have in you through the Holy Spirit, through the Ruach HaKodesh we say in Hebrew, which means the Holy Spirit.
Ruach is Spirit in Hebrew; Ruach, notice the ach, the out sound, Ruach HaKodesh, meaning holy, the Holy Spirit. You see, Jesus told us in the Gospel of John, chapter 6, beginning in verse number 58, that unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we have no life in our self. Now when I say that, unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood we have no life in our self, I know that for some of you that sounds really, almost like kind of turn off language, eat someone's flesh and drink someone's blood. In the natural it sounds something that repels us. And that's how the original audience felt when Jesus first said it. In fact, the Jewish people were commanded in the Torah never to drink blood. And here comes God clothed in the flesh saying to them, unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in yourself. Of course, many of these first Jewish hearers didn't realize it was God in the flesh saying it. They just said this is Jesus whose father and mother we know.
How is he now saying that he came down from heaven and we have to eat his flesh and drink his blood? But beloved one, if you think about this with me for a second, when Jesus was saying unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in yourself, if you think about this it really shows us that the most elementary principle of being able to walk with God, to walk in his power, to get a breakthrough, it all begins, listen now, with receiving. Let's read the Scripture together just to put it all in context. I'm going to the Gospel of John, and I'm gonna begin there in chapter 6, verse 51. Hear the Word of God. I'm reading now from the New American Standard version.
Jesus said, I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh. Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, How can this man give us His flesh to eat? So Jesus said to them, Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; speaking of the manna that the children of Israel ate in the wilderness. He who eats this bread will live forever.
And so once again as we stop and consider this verse, what we learn and understand is it all begins, getting now, with receiving from Jesus. We're talking, beloved ones, about the kingdom mystery of receiving. And when we receive Jesus into our life, it's not just the fact that we're receiving him one time as our Savior, but in order to live in fullness and in vitality, we have to live in a constant mindset daily of dependency upon him, of daily, beloved ones, eating his flesh and drinking his blood, of daily partaking in him through the Spirit. Of course when Jesus said unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in yourself, he wasn't speaking, beloved, of something that we do physically. We can't physically eat Jesus's flesh and drink my blood. Of course, in the communion service in the Lord's Supper, we have the matzah, which, you know, is his body as flesh. And we have the wine or the juice which stands for his blood.
And this is an act of fulfilling the Gospel of John, chapter 6, in the, in the section of Scripture we're examining, that we're eating his flesh and we're drinking his blood. But we do it, beloved, not literally, but this is a spiritual mystery that Jesus is teaching us; that we need to live in constant dependency on him, constant looking to him, constant taking from him if we're gonna ever enter into the power that we need to truly break in and break through for the victorious, joy-filled life that Jesus has purchased for us by his blood. It all begins with receiving. In the Book of 2 Corinthians, chapter 1, Paul elaborates on this mystery as he describes his own life experience. Paul says this, he says, I have you know, brethren, that I am burdened excessively, he said, beyond strength so that I despair, Paul said, even of life itself. Paul was actually saying that my life is so difficult right now, it's so hard, I have so many things that I'm struggling with, Paul said, this, listen, he said, that I despair even of life.
What does that mean? It means like oh, I'm dreading waking up tomorrow morning and having to face the day. That's what Paul was saying. I despair, he said, even of life. It's so hard, he said. It's hard that I wish I wasn't even here. Paul said this though. He said, but this happens to me, Paul follows this up by saying, but this happens to me, get it now, church, that I would learn to trust in God that raises the dead. Now I want you to think about this with me. What Paul was actually teaching here was God had brought such hardship into his life. He brought problems into Paul's life, get it now, that Paul could not solve with his own initiative or his own resources. The problems that Paul was facing were of such magnitude that no one could help him. And this is exactly what God wanted to do. God wanted to break Paul down so that Paul's only hope was to look to God that raises the dead. This is exactly what he said. Why? Because this is how we receive and this is how we get strong.
You see, Paul said he would rather boast in his weakness than in his flesh, because, Paul said, when I'm weak I'm strong. And so the secret of entering into the kingdom is becoming totally dependent in God, and this only happens when we recognize our own weakness and our need for dependency. This is why the first Beatitude that Jesus taught in the Book of Matthew, chapter 5, in the Sermon on the Mount is this. Jesus said, get this now, the first Beatitude. What does beatitude mean? It means blessed are you. You're gonna be happy in God if this application is in your life. This is the first Beatitude that Jesus said. Blessed are you, or happy are you, if you're, listen now, poor in spirit. Jesus said, blessed are the poor in spirit for they shall inherit the kingdom of God. This is a mystery. It's a mystery. Why? Because in the natural world, in the secular world, who wants to be poor? I mean, you think about poor, no one really wants to be in agreement with being poor.
But Jesus was using that word, beloved, in a sense that can only be understood through revelation. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. This is more than a statement that should be put on some type of Christian greeting card to somebody. This is real. The first foundation to walk in fullness, beloved, is what I'm calling the mystery of knowing how to be dependent on God. And in that dependency, to be a partaker of him and to receive from him 'cause this is where it all begins. Jesus said, unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in yourself. What this means is this, to the degree that you and I are relying on our own natural talents, to the degree that you and I are relying on our own strength, to the degree that you and I are relying on systems, and habits, and institutions, and other people, religious institutions included; to the degree that we're relying on these things rather than Jesus in true dependency from the heart on the Spirit of God, to the degree that we're relying on other things, to that degree we're also, beloved, not gonna be walking in fullness and power.
It all begins with eating Jesus's flesh, drinking his blood. It begins with being a receiver. It begins by being hungry for him. Blessed are those that hunger and thirst. I want you to understand with me, beloved ones, if you are pursuing God and you're serious about God, if there's a big yes in your heart to God, if you have said in your heart God, all I want is you. I'll give up anything for you. I want you to know, God is gonna bring you through difficult times because he's gonna want to do in your life what he did in Paul's life. He broke down Paul's life so that Paul would become totally dependent on him so that he could be strong in the Spirit. Paul said this. He said, I die daily, Paul said, that the resurrection of Jesus, the power of God, might be manifest in me and through me daily. And one of the ways God assisted Paul in this dying process was by having Paul face things in life that Paul could not get through or get over on his own. And in that place of facing challenges that were bigger than he was, Paul was forced to turn to God. He was forced then to be on his knees receiving from God. And in that place of weakness on his knees to receive from God because he knew only God could get him through and over, in that place he was made strong in the Lord.
So I want you to hear me. The Scripture says this: through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. The Scripture says, know this beloved ones, that when you're tested, when your faith is tested, this is God's will. It's his way of perfecting you. And so I want to encourage you to be ready, beloved one, to go through challenges and turn the challenges by the grace of God into divine opportunities. Paul got to the place in his life that he loved going through challenges because he said, when I'm weak, he said, I'm strong. In other words, when I'm facing challenges in life that cause me to become so dependent in God, he said, this is when I see God's biggest impartation coming into my life. Let me tell you one of my favorite passages of Scripture in the Bible. It has to do with Mary and Martha. Many of us know the story. Jesus went over to Mary and Martha's home for dinner.
I mean, can you imagine having Jesus come to your home for dinner? And, and Martha was feeling so, you know, burdened by having to serve him. I shouldn't say having to serve him. She wanted to serve him but she felt such weight of, you know, taking care of the Master. She was running all around the house, getting all the meal ready, getting things prepared, you know, scurrying about the home, so focused on getting the meal ready. But, but Mary was just sitting in awe at his feet. And eventually as Martha was scurrying all about getting the meal ready, she became frustrated with Mary that wasn't helping her. And she said, she said, you know, this isn't right that, that Mary's not helping. And Jesus said to Martha, he said, Martha, Martha, you're concerned with so many things right now, but Mary has chosen the most important thing and it will never be taken away from her. What was Mary doing that Jesus said, get it now church, was the most important thing? What was she doing, beloved one?
She was sitting simply at Jesus's feet receiving. And Jesus said it was the most important thing. You see, what happens sometimes I've found is that people come to the Lord. They get, they get saved. They, they hear the Gospel. They hear that Jesus loves them. They hear that Jesus is knocking at the door of their hearts and he wants to come in. And they invite Jesus in, and they're passionate now about growing in grace. But what happens is they get confused because the first message that they heard that brought them into salvation was a call to receive. As many as received him, to them he gave the right to become the sons of God; that Jesus was knocking at the door of their heart.
And maybe I'm speaking to you right now. And we opened up and let him in. We received him into our life. But often times what happens after this initial experience is Christians can begin to start going down a wrong track. They begin now, listen now, to pursue Jesus by their works. And they confuse walking with Jesus with their good works. Good works are an overflow, get this now, of receiving him. But what often happens is people begin their walk with God in the right way by receiving him. They receive Jesus into their heart but they don't understand that the way to continue to grow in grace is to continue to receive from him each and every day. It begins with being on our knees in terms of the posture that we have in our heart, in dependency, calling out to him every day as we get up, depending on him every day, looking to him for fresh life every day, looking to him for empowerment every day, looking to him for direction every day.
And we continue on relying on him, believing him for wisdom, believing him to be our righteousness, believing for the empowerment that comes only through him. But instead what happens, rather than Christians sometimes connect, staying connected to the vine, what happens, beloved ones, is that Christians go immediately from receiving him, they go then immediately to trying to, to run ahead of him doing good works. And they become, you know, they become Johnny Appleseed good works doers and they leave almost receiving from Jesus in the background. In other words, what started out in the spirit, what started out as an act of receiving, they, they leave that path and they begin instead to try to, you know, go do this good deed, go do that good deed. They're all good deeds, and they're important.
You know, go, go I don't want to name things 'cause people might misunderstand what I'm saying. But, but they become focused on doing good works rather than staying focused where it all began and where it has to continue and remain. And that is, beloved one, in the posture of staying connected to the vine, abiding in the vine, looking to Jesus to be our life source, and going deeper and deeper in our dependency so that we actually come to the place in life by the grace of God.
We pray, that Father, we will recognize in every breath we take is a gift of your grace, that Father God, we are sustained by your power and your glory, that we're protected only by you, that we are absolutely dependent on you because you could take away, Abba, our life, just like this.
And what God wants to do, beloved, is, listen to me, he wants to help you and I become better receivers. He wants to help you and I, beloved ones, become better receivers. He wants us to become more dependent. He wants us to look to him as our source. He wants us to draw from him in a fuller and fuller way. This is a secret, beloved, of the kingdom of God, abiding in the vine, staying connected, waking up in the morning thanking God even as we're waking up, saying to Lord "Father God, thank you for life today". We want to be, beloved one, we want to be like Moses that said, Lord, unless your presence goes with me, I will not go. We want to come to the place in life, beloved one, where we're fearful of actually journeying out into the day without looking to God for covering first.
You see, Jesus wants us to abide in the vine. And if we don't, what's gonna happen, he's gonna discipline us for our own good. We're gonna end up falling on our face in life and being hurt because Father, Daddy, Abba, is gonna have to teach us how to be dependent on him. And sometimes if we're not doing it by the volition of our own will, then what Daddy has to do is he has to discipline us to teach us to be dependent on him, to keep us from running ahead of him. So I want to encourage you today, let your life, let your morning, let this position of your heart be first of all an attitude of receiving, of dependency, of recognizing without God's grace in our life, beloved, we'd be snuffed out just like this.
Father, we love you today. King Jesus, we recognize today that we owe it all to you. We bow our knee to you today, Jesus. And we thank you that you are our life. Your Word says he that hath the Son hath the life.