THE HEART BEAT OF GOD
Psalm 68:18 “You went to the highest place. You took prisoners captive. You received gifts from people, even from rebellious people, so that the Lord God may live there.” GW
Ephesians 4:7-13 GW 7 God’s favor has been given to each of us. It was measured out to us by Christ who gave it. 8 That’s why the Scriptures say:
“When he went to the highest place,
he took captive those who had captured us
and gave gifts to people.”
9 Now what does it mean that he went up except that he also had gone down to the lowest parts of the earth? 10 The one who had gone down also went up above all the heavens so that he fills everything.
11 He also gave apostles, prophets, missionaries, as well as pastors and teachers as gifts to his church. 12 Their purpose is to prepare God’s people to serve and to build up the body of Christ. 13 This is to continue until all of us are united in our faith and our knowledge of God’s Son, until we become mature, until we measure up to Christ, who is the standard.
Judges 5:12 Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam. Many of the people were led captive by the enemy. Sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, fathers, and mothers were captives of Jabin King of Canaan. Deborah and Barak were to lead the captives out of captivity.
Your heart is a muscle about the size of your fist. There are a plethora of muscles throughout your body that are in your arms, in your legs, in your back, even in your behind. The heart muscle is unique because of what it does. The heart sends blood around your body. The blood provides your body with the oxygen and nutrients it needs. It also carries away waste.
When we speak of God as it relates to the various levels of relationships we may have with him (Creator, Father, Friend, Savior, and Deliverer), we can only relate to human understanding and terms. God is a Spirit (John 4:24), and those that worship him must worship him in spirit. We can only understand that component and dimension after we have experienced a born again encounter (John 3:1-21). We maintain our relationship with God by prayer, meditation, and adherence to his Holy Scriptures called the Holy Bible. Because God is a spirit, but Jesus became the Word made flesh we have a prime example of how we should live on earth. We often use metaphors to express a principles or truth. The heart is used as a metaphor of love. As a young woman, I would hear my leaders pray that we would turn our ear toward the heartbeat of God. That came to mean to me, closeness to the father and activity as the pulsing beat would resound representing the movement of life.
Ephesian 4:11 speaks of gifts that were left to the body of Christ that would enable us to stay In-tune with the pulsing heartbeat of God. The wonderful thing about these gifts is that Jesus distributed them that we might profit from their essence. Each gift has the value that cannot be compared or attributed to monetary value. These gifts are not negotiable neither can they be given to the highest bid. Each gift has its set of skills, character traits, demonstrations of divine expression and spiritual tools to operate effectively.
To better understand our text in Ephesians 4 we turn to the scripture Apostle Paul gives reference to in Psalm 68:18. When the ark had reached the top of Sion and was deposited in the place assigned to it, the singers joined in the following chorus. This seems to be an allusion to a military triumph. The Conqueror was placed on a very elevated chariot. Leading captivity captive alludes to the practice that conquered kings and generals were usually tied behind the chariot of the conqueror – bound to it, bound together, and walked after it, to grace the triumph of the victor. We also learn from Judges 5:2 that those that have been captured by the enemy are now released and led with the victor to safety. For the dwelling of Jah, God.” The idea is that he had achieved such a triumph; he had so brought the rebellious under subjection to himself, that he could take up his abode with them, or dwell with them as his people. His rule could be extended to them, and they would acknowledge him as their sovereign.
Apostle Paul, a Jew and knowledgeable of the Torah and customs of the Jewish people who was a scholar of his generation. He eloquently explains the completed atoning work of Jesus’ descending to Hades to take the keys of death and hell, release those saints who had trusted in his coming and awaited his coming to be release from paradise (made captivity captive). Just as in ancient times, the spoils go to the victor. And gave gifts unto men;” Ephesians 4:8. At such times the conqueror threw money among the crowd. Thou hast received gifts among men, באדם baadam, In Man, in human nature; and God manifest in the flesh dwells among mortals! Thanks are to God for his unspeakable Gift! By establishing his abode among the rebellious, the prophet may refer to the conquest of the land of Canaan, and the country beyond Jordan.
Colossians 2:15 “Having despoiled the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” ASV As Christ ascended to heaven he gave gifts unto men. These gifts are his heartbeat. They pump blood to the body of Christ and maintain its healthiness. He gave some apostle, some prophets, some pastors, and some teachers. The Apostle’s skill is to scout, organize and govern for acuity. The Prophet is skilled in guided the body of Christ in prophetic accuracy. The Evangelist is anointed to gather. The Pastor is to guard the sheepfold. The Teacher grounds the body in the word of God. The heartbeat of God was purposed 1)to equip his people for works of service, 2) to build up the body of Christ 3) until we all reach unity in the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God and 4) become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
King David gives us a clear understanding of these gifts and how they are regarded in relationship to our Lord and us. Psalm 68:18 in the King James Version states that “God may dwell among us.” The gifts are attributes of God so that he can dwell among us. It is imperative that we know what gifts are, adhere to sound doctrine, submit to leadership that makes us accountable to their proper operation and maintain the character of Christ as not to misrepresent his personage. Christ in us the hope of Glory expressing the heart of God in the earth.