A Picture of What a Believer Should Be
Roy Blizzard III @ 2014
Text: Deuteronomy 33:24-25
24 And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil. 25 Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.
I never get tired of looking at God’s picture book that we call the Bible. Just as we instruct children by means of pictures, so God instructs us in the Bible by stories that paint pictures for us to enable us to better understand our role in our world. In this Old Testament chapter, rarely read by most congregations, god has placed a rather good sized photograph of what a normal believer should be. It is a picture of what God expects his representatives and children to be on this earth. Let me place this picture before us and then we can measure or lives as believers in Jesus’ Kingdom in light of this picture.
- I) A true believer is Fruitful. “…Let Asher be blessed with children”. Jesus said to us in John 15:16, “You all have not chosen Me (yet), but I have surely chosen you all and have appointed you all to go forth and make fruit and your fruit will be established (confirmed) and it will exist all that you ask from My Father in My name (authority), He will give to you all.” The Gospel of John, An Actual Translation, © 2012
This kind of fruit bearing is dependent upon abiding in Jesus and Jesus put it this way in John 15:4-5, “Take a stand in Me (exist in me) and I in you because the fruiting twig of the vine cannot make fruit from its own (power) except it stands firm (exists) in the grape vine, so then also you unless you stand firm in Me.” (exist in My power and authority)
5) “I am surely He, the grape vine, and you all are the fruiting twigs. The one standing firm (existing in My authority) and I in him, he will make a lot of fruit, because without Me you all are not able to do even a tiny thing.” The Gospel of John, An Actual Translation, © 2012
This world we live in is only interested in Results! It has a right to ask, “What can believing in Jesus do for me?” The world is not interested in a powerless Gospel. Supernatural results depend upon supernatural power and supernatural associations, but in considering this I ask you to always remember that it is not our working for Jesus, but His working through us that produces Fruit.
This takes something organic and born of personal experience. This is way more than simple head knowledge or head religion. There are many people out there learning about Jesus, just as they would learn about Shakespeare or Marx or Buddha. They can cite you facts of Jesus’ birth, much of His ethics, and even facts surrounding His death. They could advance from plateau to plateau if the category were simply Biblical Knowledge. This would be splendid if Jesus were dead, deceased, toes up, or sleeping with the fishes as so many names among many before in history, but he is not. My Jesus Lives!
Hebrews 7:24-26, “ But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26) For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
The difference between other names in history and the name of Jesus is found in this phrase… “seeing he ever liveth”. Thus the question is, How well do you know Him? Have you ever come in contact with Him? Without that organic contact I am still as lost son of Adam. As a Believer, Jesus must live within us and our lives must be transformed and motivated by his presence.
Mountain climbers can tell you that they are able to tell their altitude by the type of vegetation that surrounds them. There is one kind at the base of the mountain and higher up there is a different type and higher up still yet another. In the same way, the fruit we bear will reveal our proximity to Jesus. No one will have to guess about the real believer as his or her life will demonstrate it. No one should even need to ask whether or not you are a believer, your life of service to Jesus should show it.
A believer, through the imparting of divine nature through the new birth, bears Fruit for Jesus. Remember, one can only bear Fruit if a person is unified into the vine.
A true believer bears good testimony. “…let him be acceptable to his brethren…” It is a great thing to have a clear, ringing, testimony for Jesus. “…and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15. God intends that we testify to His saving and satisfying power, before men because that is the outward flow of Jesus that is dwelling within us and this testifies to the living power of a living Jesus.
What do others think about your profession of faith? Lip service is not enough. There must be life testimony as well. Do non-believers say about you, “Well I don’t understand what he believes, but I’ll say this about him, he lives it!” Matthew 25:40-41 says, “ And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41) Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” The world has every right to test our profession of faith in order to see if it is in truth genuine. You and I have every right to earn the right to be heard. Matthew 5:16, “ Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Every action should bear the stamp of approval from Jesus.
- II) A Normal Believer is one who is led by the Holy Spirit. “and let him dip his foot in olive oil…” In Jewish life olive oil had a special significance, because it was used to light the sacred Menorah, the light to the world, and also to anoint the King and the High Priest or Kohen-Godol. The apostle Paul puts it plainly in Romans 8:14&16, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 16) The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” I love this phrase in Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Is that the kind of life you are living? Do you seek divine guidance for what you do or say? Ephesians 5:18 warns us to, “ be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” This is descriptive of the life in the Spirit verses the life in the flesh. There is within this phrase a sense of continuation, a sense of ongoing unification as the Spirit fills. It is absolutely necessary for our spiritual well-being that we exercise our faithfulness that will bring us to Jesus with a yielded attitude of mind and heart so that Jesus may continually go on filling us with Himself, growing into adulthood if you will.
III) Special blessings will be provided in the life of a Normal Believer. “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Two characteristics are mentioned here, durability and beauty. The combination of figures strikingly expresses the invincibility of one whose strength is in his God. God doesn’t promise that we will always have smooth roads to travel. The Bible actually tells us that in this world we shall have tribulation, but God gives us the kind of footwear we need for such work. He gives us shoes that endure if are prepared to wear them.
Ephesians 6:15 says, “And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace.” Here we have a terrible misunderstanding. The word translated Peace is the Hebrew word Shalom. Sure it means peace, but it means much more than that. Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, and harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. In short what we have here in Ephesians is a descriptive picture showing how we must prepare our feet to go forward with Jesus in His Kingdom by learning how to be complete within Him, whole within Him, healthy within Him, peaceful in spirit within Him, safe within Him, sound of mind and spirit within Him, tranquil within Him, prosperous unified within Him, perfected within Him, full of power within Him, able to rest in our spirit within Him, harmonious in desire with Him, able to sow peace within the spirits of men through Jesus.
True Shalom is only found within the living Word of God, made flesh that dwells within man. The search for fulfillment with material things do nothing to fill that part of man that was meant to be filled with the Spiritual nature of Jesus and the Shalom He brings. The material things only serve to distract and prevent us from finding true spiritual peace, the shalom that can only come from Him who created and put all things into its proper place. If that Shalom is within us then we will have the ability to take all that the world can dish out and still shine forth the glory of God in all that we do and say.
Look at Paul and Silas. They had shoes like these. In Philippi, they had many stripes laid upon them and were cast into prison and bound in stocks. Most of us would be crushed, but not them, they had shoes of Iron and Bronze. Shoes prepared by living within the Gospel of Peace. Acts16:25, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” What a testimony! Others heard them giving God praises in their darkest hour.
God will sustain us in our life as believers in Jesus’ Kingdom, but His purpose for us is to be a means of encouragement and strength to others. God wants our lives to be walking advertisements of His power to carry us through. Stephen wore these shoes also and walked into history praising God. Acts 7:56, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”
Do you think your religiosity, or doubt filled life could take a beating like these men and enable you to still come out smiling and praising God? God provided the ultimate shoes for us to wear in this life, shoes filled with strength and invincibility!
- IV) A true believer has a reason behind our way of life. “… and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” The real reason we believers live lives of Fruitfulness, of good testimony, of Holy Spirit directed works and service; the reason our walk may be victorious and attractive is because our strength is actually a person! Over and over the Bible tells us that “The Lord is my strength.” And the fact is that our God is always the same and we can’t find righteousness within ourselves. This is brought out in Isaiah 40:30&31, “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31) But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
We can’t make it ourselves. We run out of gas at the first bump in the road. Our testimony without the power of God is the Joy of doubters and infidels and is definitely not good news. But the fact is that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us because He has created the shoes we believers are to run our races in and His shoes never fail as He told us, “and Lo I am with you always.” Matthew 28:20
Jesus is all we need if we allow ourselves to become prepared within Jesus and His Spirit. His presence and preparations keeps the believer going and allows us to become what we should be in His Kingdom. He provides all the assurance to the believer that there is indeed a crown of righteousness laid up in store for us, all of us who love His appearing. II Timothy 4:8by