Mark had experienced a radical change since he knew Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Even though his life didn´t seem to be a total disaster, the truth is, that when you live a life independent and far from the Father and his kingdom, you accept an identity and formation that is not part of who you really are in Christ. Mark understood that and faithfully occupied himself to know his Father and learn everything about his government and kingdom. Mark grew in an accelerated way because he had an insatiable determination to live the life of significance that he had discovered in Christ.
His encounter with Jesus had cleansed him of the weights of sin and the separation that this had produced within him. He was no longer separated from hope, from the possibility of knowing his true identity and purpose in life, and most importantly, from living the presence of a God of love, his Father. The love of God that had been poured into his heart found fertile ground and Mark was faithful to cultivate it, sowing the truths of God in that ground that was impregnated with His love. A profound desire to serve God and be a useful person within his spiritual family was awakened within him. Mark couldn´t understand the complaints and murmuring of some of his brothers; brothers that “knew” more than he did and who had been in the family longer than him. “What happened to them?” he thought and although he did not want to disrespect them, it wasn´t hard to perceive the “bad vibes” that they left in his life when he shared with them so he decided to avoid spending time with them.
Even though Mark still had a lot to learn and discover, the purity of his heart allowed him to see the manifestation of God in many areas of his life. He was desirous to live the things that others had obtained so he observed with attention what they practiced, how they lived and the things they did. Mark came along side of people that appeared to be strong in God. But many times he became confused and even began to doubt the reality of many things in the kingdom. He listened to people that he admired, talk about how much they “knew God”, but their lives did not reflect the love of the Father that he had known. Their attitudes were critical and their advice was shaded with doubt and suspicion on others and on the commitment to serve in the vision. Little by little Mark began to subtly acquire some of those same suspicions, and mistrust began to grow in his heart. Even though he was still committed to wanting to advance in discovering his identity and purpose and enjoy the presence of God, something had happened within Mark. His desire to serve was measured by his own interests and the sensitivity that he once enjoyed in the presence of God now had the weight of a “duty” to be fulfilled.
One night discouraged and frustrated, Mark felt the weight of oppression upon him. But worse than that, was what was growing within him; thoughts that he wasn´t worth anything and that in all reality, maybe his life had never really changed after all. He felt disconnected with God and the church and he feared his commitment in the vision. As Mark was contemplating whether to continue following God or not, a soft voice spoke to him and said, “Mark, I am here. Where are you? I am in the same place as always, where have you gone? What is this that has entered into our home? Didn’t we used to enjoy ourselves together here? Who allowed these rivals in our home?” The moment that Mark heard those words, he couldn´t distinguish whether they were coming from within or without, but the one thing he was sure of was the unmistakable love and peace that this voice brought back to his life again. They were reflective questions seeking to correct something in Mark, but they were so full of light and power that they freed him from the oppression that he felt. “I did Lord, I let them in. Forgive me”, Mark said with a strong conviction and understanding of what had happened. The last few weeks and months passed before him like a movie; the conversations that he had listened to, and the ones that he had participated in, attitudes that had developed within him concerning certain people, situations and the church, the questionings that had risen up within him about his Pastors and his commitment of serving in the vision. In what seemed like an eternity but was no more than about 15 seconds, Mark cast out every enemy that was robbing him of the goodness of the Father that he had once enjoyed in a pure heart. He didn´t justify himself before God, neither did he blame others, not even those in leadership that should had been a better model. No, he was responsible. He was a son of God that knew and lived an internal wellbeing of the Father that he himself had cultivated. He also recognized that he had the necessary tools to have guarded his heart better. That night Mark returned to the love, the joy, the freedom and the peace that is enjoyed in the goodness of the Father and he learned a very important lesson that marked him for the rest of his life: Mark searched the Word of God for the values of what is important to Father God and allowed them to become a seal of fire within his heart. Even though Mark confronted many situations in his life, there was one thing he was sure of, never again did he want to find himself separated from the goodness of the Father. He knew that in the condition and position of His wellbeing, everything that he needed for a victorious life was found.
The goodness of the Father will always provoke good things in our lives. Not only in the wonderful things that we can live, but also in the good things that we can release on behalf of others. That goodness needs to be guarded within a pure heart and protected with all diligence and priority. In order to do that, we need to establish the Father´s values within our hearts and put his Word as the watchman over it.
I always say that there are two particular manifestations of a true encounter with God; the love that is shed abroad in our hearts that causes us to be loving toward people, willing to forgive and overlook an offense, accept and care well for people, and the profound desire to serve God. This desire to serve God comes from the same essence of His kingdom, which is honor. I desire to serve Him because I recognize the value of What He has done in my life and I understand that I was created to be a part of his eternal plan. These two redemptive works should be protected and cultivated if we are going to live the goodness of the Father. If we allow “enemies” to enter into our hearts, the flow of love and service will be blocked and these are two very fundamental things to be able continue to grow in experiencing the goodness of the Father. Outside of love you cannot experience His goodness and without the commitment of serving His interests and being committed to the vision, you cannot experience other elevated aspects of His goodness. You are a gifted child of God, capable of loving and serving. If you are faithful in guarding your heart in the purity that God delivered it to you at the moment of your new birth, you will live extraordinary things with Him. And if you commit to the vision of your spiritual family, you will discover dimensions of His goodness that only manifest when we serve His eternal purposes.
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”. Matthew 5:8
Luke 2:49; Juan 5:19-20,30; Romans 12:9-13