The Victorious Life!


Take a lesson from dandelions; they do what they can do;

To help them grow they spread their seed, and grow as tall as they will need,

In the grass or near the trees they grow and grow.

 --

Take a lesson from dandelions, that God has made them strong;

To weather rain and wind and snow, grow short and tall, yes they just know;

What to do to help them live and grow and grow and grow.

dandelions on the meadow © Maria Brzostowska #616050.

The First Dandelion

Simple and fresh and fair from winter's close emerging,
As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics, had ever been,
Forth from its sunny nook of shelter'd grass--innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,
The spring's first dandelion shows its trustful face.
"Leaves of Grass," by Walt Whitman

 

Our Culture & Our Character

A series of ten sermons that will speak your soul by Pastor Norberto Restrepo sr. Translated from Spanish to bless English readers.

7. Independence or Dependence?

"Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength" Psalm 8:2. The strength is in the mouth of babes; and then it explains of the sucklings.

It is very interesting to notice what Paul teaches about how God’s knowledge is. Paul spoke from a Greek background because he was educated by the Greeks. Notice this very clear expression that we find in Romans 1:20. "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead;"

The invisible qualities of God become ours, according to Paul, not by the concepts; not by ideas; not by theology; but by the things that He made—by His works, by His acts. That is how He reveals Himself. And Paul was the one who said this.

Which is the most tangible act of God for us as human beings? Which is God’s most tangible work for us human beings? A Child; an infant. We see how he is born; we see how he is formed; and is the power ours? It is in us, but it is not ours. It is He; and He has given it to us and it’s a reality—it’s an act.

With the birth of a child; with the growth of a child, we should perceive Who is the invisible One. But we have lost that. And the Lord says that the strength, the power is in the child, as a child is born in faith, and we destroy faith, and the wickedness of the parents upon the children is to destroy their faith.

How does a child do to trust in us? And notice how he is born; how is a child fed before he is born? Who feeds him? The mother; and mothers until not so long ago, they did not know hardly anything about how a child was born or how he was fed in their womb. But now we know some of that.

What did Mary know about life while the child was forming within the womb? What did they know? Not even the word for ‘brain’ appears in the Old Testament; because all what has to do with the brain and mind, Old Testament scriptures just place it in the word, ‘heart’.

But a child is born, and he develops in total dependence; complete dependence. Nothing is of the child, nothing pertains to the fetus. It comes to be his, but it is not really his, it’s of the mother. He is formed in the mother, and the mother is formed with him, and the two of them are one.

The principle of unity; how difficult it is for us to understand unity! How difficult it is for us to be one. The easiest thing for us is to break apart. The easiest thing for us is to tear apart; but God created us in unity. And the mother is one with her child. Physiologically speaking, that is a fact. And even though they did not understand and they did not have concepts about that, they lived the experience; they lived the act, because it is the act of God.

Paul says that the invisible One—the power of the invisible One; the greatness of the invisible, the knowledge of the invisible One, become ours through His works—His created works.

Here we have one of His created works—a child. A child not only is a child, he is a son, and we have even lost that reality. A child is a son—he needs to depend. He needs to be educated in faith. He needs to be formed in faith. But in order for a child to be formed in faith, Mom and Dad need to be in faith!

A mother and father who are not in faith, in what are we then? We are in our self! We are not in Him—we are in our self. And we believe in our self not in Him. So we make them independent unconsciously, and the more we teach them concepts and I as a mother am more in my self instead of in Him—thus I destroy the child’s faith.

The child is born and we cut the umbilical cord, but he is yet not independent. He is not independent—because in the works of creation God has put faith in children. And He has put in their lips—in their lips—all a complete nervous process. More than a hundred years ago we didn’t understand any of that. During about six thousand years we hardly understood anything about that. But the psalmist says ‘the strength is in the sucklings’.

Therein lies the power, because the lips—that beautiful phenomenon of the lips—what do the lips of the baby do? What do the lips of the baby seek for? What do the lips of the baby desire? Milk; and he doesn’t know that it is milk. He doesn’t know that his mother is a mammal. He doesn’t know that the mother is the mother. He doesn’t have concepts of a mother. He doesn’t have ideas of a mother, much less, ideas of a father. But it is implicit—the dependence and the faith. And the child comes near and he looks for the breast and he depends from his mother.

But we, instead of giving him the breast and cultivating it—we invented the bottle. And we give him another milk and something different. But because the child depends, because the child believes, even though he doesn’t know what that means, and he is going to take a long time to be able to conceptualize that, because children are sons of acts and of realities, not of abstractions.

So the child receives the bottle and if it is water—he receives water; if it is cow milk—he receives cow milk; if it is soy—he receives soy. He receives it. He doesn’t reject it. He has faith. He is born in faith. He is born dependant.

The umbilical cord—God has extended it. Physiologically and psychologically God has extended it in a marvelous way. And Paul with a Greek mind, Paul with a Greek education, Paul in a Greek culture, he says that the knowledge of the invisible God is clearly seen and becomes ours by the works and acts of God.

Our Lord Jesus said the same, and how did He express it? We find it in John 14:10. And we have lost that knowledge. "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works."

In the western mind, with our western theologians, here they would have put faith—but the Lord put works; and then He explains it in the next verse: "Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me:" Believe me! Trust! And what is the evidence? "or else believe me for the very works' sake."

Here in a child, we have the work. God’s work—a child—just born. He is born in faith. And the wickedness of the parents is to not bring him up in faith—we bring him up in his self, and we do not develop him in faith.

And in this culture, the first thing it has done—is to deny the breast to the child; deny breastfeeding to the child. And today—pediatricians—they are saying that the best milk is maternal milk. Do we need to learn that? It’s implicit! It was made like that! But we don’t believe that that is the best way. We believe in the other milk. And we don’t believe in the implicit work of God’s creation.

Oh, if we would analyze it from a biochemical point of view—what marvelous things are there, speaking from a biochemical point of view. But we have to analyze it and consider it from the point of view of faith, because that is even more beautiful.

And the scriptures say that a child is a son, and that every child should be a son or a daughter. Are we children of God? Are we children of God? Are we His children? Do we understand why we have to become again as children?

I have seen children whose parents deny them breastfeeding, and instead of that, they give them beer. I have seen it! What a crime! But the child who is born in faith—he receives it. He believes. He doesn’t know what believing is; he doesn’t know what faith is; he is far from discerning the concept of faith—but he receives it. He accepts it—because not knowing who is father, as a concept; without knowing who is mother, as a concept; without having the values of father or mother, he has faith! And whatever mom or dad gives him, he accepts it, and he receives it.

Oh, my beloved brethren, if we were children of faith, depending on our God like that! We would receive everything that is His, and we would deny everything that is of ourselves. We would reject everything that is ours and all what is independent of Him in us and we would only receive what is His—implicitly, because that is how God reveals Himself—from faith and unto faith.

But we have lost that knowledge—we are adults. We believe in our selves. We trust in our selves. And we believe in our self, and we trust in our pride. We have confidence in our self-sufficiency. We are children of independence—and independents are lost from God.

What is necessary in order to be a child? For us—two things—but for God it is only one thing—because in Him, nothing is divided. When He conceives life, He gives biological life, but in biological life, His life is present. His character; His being; what He is. But for us, those are two different things. But for God, it is just one thing.

Zacharias and Elisabeth were able to achieve that very same thing, and that’s why John the Baptist was born in the Spirit of God. Because the two of them were offering one to another; Zacharias’ will was the gift—was she—for Elizabeth; and the will, or the self of Elizabeth was the ‘you’ for Zacharias, just as it is in God. He is not self—He is ours. And that’s why He is love; and that’s why He is a gift; and that’s why He is grace; and He has wanted, because He made us in His image, that we might have that very same type of relationship.

Oh, brethren, in the marriage relationship, Zacharias and Elisabeth were able to restore that by faith. Elisabeth was an offering, was a servant—a servant of Zacharias. And Zacharias was a servant—an offering—a gift—a helpmeet, completely for Elisabeth. And both of them were righteous. Zacharias did not live for himself. Elisabeth did not live for herself. One was the counterpart of the other—the image of God. And when they breathed, what did they breathe upon those cells? What did they breathe within that ovary? What was breathed in that male cell? The Image of God!

And when that is not breathed—then what is breathed? Our selfishness—selfishness! And brethren, when you breathe selfishness upon a child; when you breathe your pride upon a child; that is the wickedness of parents that is visited upon their children.

And Holy Scriptures say—what is contained within the breath? For us, in our breath, the only thing that we find is carbon-dioxide; oxygen; hydrogen; gasses—chemistry, and we call that chemistry, inorganic chemistry. But in God, respiration is not only chemistry; respiration has a spiritual element. Follow what He says in Acts chapter 9:1, "And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter. . ."

What did Saul breathe? Only hydrogen? Only oxygen? Only carbon-dioxide? He breathed what he was—hatred; selfishness; violence; death; it is within our breath! It is in our spirit. And beloved—our character transpires; our character—smells; and children, while you are asleep, they receive that; they absorb it. All character is of a transcendent nature.

What did our Lord breathe out when He formed man? His being; what He was; He breathed it in. What do we breathe upon the fetus? And once he is born—what do we breathe—in order for us to form him by the grace of God, in His image and likeness.

"I visit the iniquities of the parents upon the children."

But we read so many books on psychology, and the more we read about psychology, and the more we study pediatrics, and the more we study on education, to us, it happens like in medicine—the more we study medicine and the more labs we have—the only thing we have more, is more diseases! We invent drugs and different types of technological apparatus just for business. We do not understand that health is simply harmony with the Word and Will of God!

And we do the same thing with these children—we study psychology; we study pediatrics; and we study all the sciences—and the more we study concepts and ideas—our children are even more destroyed.

But in God’s word is the revelation of how to educate a child in faith. Ellen White says that the most important thing of a child, and the most important thing in an adult, and through concepts we know what it is—but by works we are totally unable to do it. A child is a son or daughter—when he gives his will. If we do not give our will—then we are orphans. We are not children.

And Ellen White teaches that in higher education that should be performed in the first years of life, what we need to educate, what we need to win, is their will. And all of us have failed in that! Humanity continues failing there. Satan’s plan, he knows that what he has to win in us—is our will.

Satan has counterfeited God’s divine plan. He knows he has to win our will. That’s why we read yesterday that the child Jesus—was always a child—Mary taught Jesus to surrender His will and by faith we should also learn that. John 5:19. "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do:"

And then listen to what He says: "for what things soever He doeth,"

Not whatever He thinks. Not all what He feels. It’s not referring to His concepts, because in God, concepts do not exist. There are not ideas separated, because concepts and ideas are Plato’s ideas—Aristotle; but in God it is what He is! And what He is—is what He is! And that’s why Jesus said: "I AM". "I AM"!

What are we? What are we? We are not what we think. What we think many times is beautiful. And that is why Jesus said, "Do as they say—but not as they do!" They had the correct concept, but their works were evil. Correct ideas—and evil works.

How is that possible? Does it also happen in us? Correct ideas—but selfish works? A selfish spirit? Selfish motivations? But with right concepts and good ideas?

And my brethren; these children perceive—they breathe—the nature of the works, and they do not handle concepts. A child is not born handling concepts; a child is born perceiving works, and what he sees—is what he does. Jesus said it here:

"For what things soever He (the Father) doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." Whom did the child behold? His Father. And what the Father did—he would do it also. And He said, "It is not me—it is He in me." And that’s how we should educate these children. We don’t need books for that—just the Holy Scriptures; the Holy Scriptures.

That was all that Mary needed. And in Mary’s time, I don’t know if Mary had a scroll, because back then, mostly only the Sanhedrin had those scrolls of the law; only the scribes had them.

In the middle ages, where was the Bible? In [some of] the monasteries. The common people did not have access to them; but today we are blest, we have the Holy Scriptures.

Brethren; what Mary had was simply the oral word, but it had become part of her—it was her works—the Word of God. The Word of God was in her and if the Word of the Father is in me, where is my self? Where is my self?

If His Word is really in me—Beloved—the sovereignty of God’s Word is what should posses us. And Mary had that experience. The Father in Him and she was in the Father. That’s a mystery; the mystery of faith and the mystery of the redemptive experience.

John 14:11; "Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me:" and if we cannot receive that; if we cannot understand that—then, "believe me for the very works' sake."

"What I do!" Because the invisible One—the knowledge of the invisible One is not of a sensorial nature, it’s through faith. And the evidence of faith are heavens and earth and this—a child,—is the crown of His creation, a human being, the image of God. He needs to develop in faith, but in order for him to grow in faith, Mom and Dad should be in faith.

And the first thing that affects faith is the will. That is why we are children—because we surrender our will. We surrender our will. Ellen White says in ‘Child Guidance’, pg. 178 in Spanish, The mother should be the mind, the appetite, the desire, of the child up to three years of age.

The strength is in the babes. Oh, how many years it took me to start understanding these things, because they taught me that strength and power was in the adults; especially if we had a PhD. But God says that the strength and power is in these children, because they can be taught in faith. They can surrender their will in faith and they can learn to obey instantaneously, before three years of age.

The key for obtaining that is that I, as a father, should be the mind; should be the will; should be the criteria; should be the desire; of the child. Because, when the child is born, he doesn’t know anything, he doesn’t have anything, he can’t do anything. In him there is nothing. He has been created; he has been formed to depend.

When do we make our children independent? When do parents retire from their children in this culture? The Eternal Father has not retired himself from us. Not even though we are enemies of Him. He has not retired. He remains. He continues being a Father, even though we have gone away from Him.

In this culture, when do parents retire from their parental duty?

"Be yourself!" "Be yourself!"

But as parents, we say, "This is not my business—this is your business."

The business of God—is you! And He is an ‘I’ only for you; He is not an ‘I’ for Himself. He is an ‘I’ for you. You are His ‘I’. And we have lost that trust. That’s why we handle concepts; but our will is our self. And in that way—how can we educate children? How can we show them the path of redemption?

Ellen White teaches, that when I am the will of the child; and I am the appetite of the child; and I am the mind of the child; up to his third year of age, in the fourth year, that child is sealed in what you are; if you were really a parent; if you were really a mother according to God’s order.

Experience it! Try it out! Don’t see it as a concept—experiment it. Hannah was able to achieve this. Hannah achieved it. Mary was able to achieve this. Zacharias and Elisabeth achieved it. But we do all what is contrary to that.

Do you know how we educate? We have it here in Proverbs. Listen, how we educate. Proverbs 29:15; "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."

Today in the Satanic education, you have to leave the child do what he wants. That’s what Lucifer did in heaven; he did what he wanted to do. The child, until his third year of age, according to the knowledge that comes through revelation—through revealed knowledge—cannot do what he wants to do. And that is our assignment. That is the foundation of higher education.

And Mom and Dad; if we have learned to submit to God’s divine will, and in the right spirit, then God will teach us how to be the mind; how to be the will; how to be the desire; how to be the appetite; of these children unto their third year of life. Because, their strength and the power of them, is, that they know nothing. They don’t understand; they don’t know anything. They don’t posses anything.

And the father should give him the taste; the desire; the values; of truth and what it is—in the first three years. And that implies a communion; an intimacy; a close relationship of father and son. The umbilical cord still continues there, through the will, in the knowledge, and in the desire and appetite; in the mind. And what is in the lips in suctioning from his mother’s breast, continues through the umbilical cord of the will and the desire. In such a way that the child’s taste, and the child’s pleasure, becomes my pleasure; and my pleasure, and my joy, and my taste, is God’s. That’s how we were created. That’s why we were created, and that’s how we are redeemed, and that’s how we are educated.

But we have accepted Lucifer’s plan. What do we do? We please the desire of the child independently. We satisfy his desire. But he doesn’t know how to desire. He doesn’t know how to desire. He doesn’t know what is good for him to eat. He doesn’t know anything. And there is the strength—that since he doesn’t know, then we teach him. But we have to teach him—not concepts—reality! Acts! What God has revealed.

If that is in you, if you are that, if you remain in the word—then the child by faith will also remain in the word, because the child trusts in us.

Could it be more simple Brethren? More simple? It can’t be. And Ellen White adds; "Don’t give anything to your child when he asks for it crying." It says what—God always tells us what.

Oh, when the child asks crying—we run to please him. And we destroy his will. What do we make him into? A little monster in selfishness. And he learns very early to be pleased—to be pampered. And he learns early in life to be the center. But for the child, the center should be the father; the center should be the mother. The center should not be another image. But very soon we make that his center be the television; his own desires; his pleasure; the movie; any other thing except God—because, the most certain thing is that our center as parents—is our own self, and not God.

Do we understand? Why Jesus said, why Jesus told me, "If you do not become as a child, and become a child, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven".

Emptied of myself; denying myself; in order to receive Him by faith. And my will surrendered—surrendered only to the Lord. "Give me, Oh son, your heart!" That is God’s supplication. "Give me your heart."

God cannot step upon our will; He cannot. If you destroy the will, then you destroy God’s image; the little we still have of God’s image is destroyed.

Ellen White says that in the first three years of life, is when you can conquer the will of the child. And you know what she says, when the human will, unites with God’s will, these children can become omnipotent. Every child; Nicodemus; Peter; Saul; when they surrendered their will, and they surrendered fully to God and God’s will was in them in their sphere.

Daniel was omnipotent and he went down to the lion’s den, omnipotent. His will was in God’s will. His nature was submitted. He became lord of the lions. He became lord of the beasts. And the same Nebuchadnezzar, and the same Belshazzar, trembled before the experience of Daniel, because his will was in God’s will. He was a child; he was a son, because he did not do his own will, only the will of the Father. Oh, my beloved brethren, that’s the experience that you and I have been called to.

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, Your works, oh Lord, Your works speak to us, but Lord, we are so blind, that we think that Your works are our works and we believe that the way we have conceived—that is ours. But Lord, teach us to see Your works, and through Your works Oh, Lord, give us the faith of Jesus. We need the faith of Jesus. We need the faith of Jesus so that we will not trust in ourselves, so that we won’t trust in what we know; so that we won’t trust in what we have; but we will only trust in what You are.

And just as these children, they take hold of the breast, they assume the breast, they depend on the breast. Oh, Lord, teach us to depend on you in the same way, that we might depend on Your Word; that we might depend on Your Revelation, and Your counsel, that our feelings might disappear and only You may be sovereign in us.

Thank You Lord, for Your Word. May we live in Thee, because You have wanted to live in us. We pray in the Name of Jesus:

Amen.

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