Birth This Baby

Loving greetings from Engeltal!

Philip and I are delighted to announce the birth of our fourth grandchild, Gabrielle Marie Saller. She was born at 1:38 AM, Saturday, October 12, 2019. She weighed 7 pounds 4.1 ounces, and measured 18 inches long. Her siblings, Mia, almost eleven, Lucas, age nine, and Samuel, age three, and her mommy, Heather, and daddy, Timm are all taking great delight in her. Of course we are too! She’s a real sweetheart and very healthy and contented, praise God!

I believe that we are in a season of birthing. In a pregnancy, as time goes on, you have some sense of what’s going on in your belly while the baby is growing. Sometimes it’s painful when there’s kicking, stretching, and hiccups going on. And as the child gets bigger and bigger it becomes less and less comfortable. You wonder, when is the baby coming? You don’t know how much longer you can stand it. You have “Braxton-Hicks” contractions when your body is practicing and the muscles are getting strong for the birth. Sometimes those contractions might be strong enough and regular enough that you think you’re actually in labor. You race to the hospital thinking the birth could happen at any time, only to discover that it’s not true labor—yet!

Then the day finally arrives when you are actually in labor, but maybe the contractions slow down and you wonder if this is really the time after all. For some, the birth may come very quickly, and for others the labor process is long and drawn out. For some it’s very painful, but once the time actually comes, you can’t decide to quit! There’s no backing out now! You have to PUSH! Some have described that in the Spirit as, “Pray Until Something Happens”! You simply cannot quit! Perhaps that is why the baby is overdue—the church has stopped praying. How many churches have completely eliminated their weekly prayer meeting for lack of interest?

When the Apostle Paul learned that the Galatians had been deceived into believing that they had to keep the law for their salvation, he wrote to them: “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” (Galatians 4:19). He was getting down to the nitty-gritty of what the Christian life is all about: the formation of the Anointed One inside of us! It isn’t about keeping the law, it’s about developing Jesus’ character. When His character is fully formed in us, we will love the Lord our God with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds, with all our strength, and our neighbors as ourselves. And of course, that fulfills all of the law. When we were born again, it’s as though God stamped the blueprint of the character of Christ upon our souls. Our goal is to build according to the pattern — to line up with the diagram. His Word is filled with the keys to produce the fully matured Son of God in our lives. His Holy Spirit is continually breathing upon us the grace to line up with His Word.

The “baby” in the womb of our lives gradually matures. Paul is travailing until the birth comes. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, referring to Strong’s number 3445 (morpho-o) for the word “formed,” puts Galatians 4:19b this way, “literally, until a mind and life in complete harmony with the mind and life of Christ shall have been formed in you.”*

This expression, “until Christ be formed in you,” isn’t something that we can do ourselves. It’s “passive.” In other words, it’s not something that we can do by our own works, any more than a mother can form the baby in her womb. God makes that baby form by the pattern He selected from the DNA of the arents, and He does it according to His divine timing.

In the same way, Christ is formed in us by the Holy Spirit as we make choices to conform to His image. “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to [having the same form as] the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).

Choosing to spend time in His Presence, obeying the Holy Spirit, grafting the Word into our thinking, and learning to see things as He sees them, brings a change by the Holy Spirit—a formation of His Divine Nature in our character. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The words, “are changed” are from the Greek word, metamorphó-ō, (Strong’s number 3339) meaning “to transform (literally or figuratively, ‘metamorphose’):—change, transfigure, transform.” It’s the same word used of Jesus when he was “transfigured” and had a visit from Moses and Elijah on the mountain. Jesus’ form was completely changed from an earthly one to a heavenly one. The glory that He had laid aside to become a man came through from Heaven with His heavenly guests. Metamorphó-ō is the process a caterpillar undergoes in the cocoon when it becomes a butterfly. It’s no longer the same— it’s a completely different creature!

This is not the same word that is used in 2 Corinthians 11:14 that refers to “Satan himself” being “transformed into an angel of light.” That word is Strong’s number 3345, “metaschēmatízō, [pronounced] met-askh-ay-mat-id’-zo… to transfigure or disguise; figuratively, to apply (by accommodation):—transfer, transform (self).” It refers to the appearance of something being changed. The “Lexical Aids to the New Testament” in the Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible explains “The difference between metaschēmatízō and metamorphó-ō is best illustrated in this way. If one were to change a Dutch garden into an Italian one, this would be metaschēmatízō. But is one were to transform a garden into something wholly different, as into a ballfield, it is metamorphó-ō… It is possible for Satan to metaschēmatízō, transform himself into an angel of light (i.e. he can change his whole outward semblance), but to any such change it would be impossible to apply the word metamorphó-ō, for this would imply an internal change, a change, not of appearance but of essence, which lies beyond his power.” He will never actually be anything but a deceiver and forever loser.

But we are designed by God from before the beginning to be conformed to the image of His Son. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). One day we shall see Him in all of His glory like John did on the Isle of Patmos in Revelation 1:13-16 with His white hair, eyes like fire, feet like brass in a furnace (white hot!), His countenance like the sun, His voice like the sound of many waters, and a sharp, two-edged sword coming from His mouth.

The more we behold His glory in this life, the more we will bear His image in this life. The more we yield to Him and obey His instructions, the more glory He will demonstrate in us now. It is time to see Isaiah 60 come to pass. It starts with a command, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, 3 October 25, 2019 and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Isaiah 60:1-3).

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; nor it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). It’s time to travail again in birth for Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One, to be birthed in us and to intercede before our Father for the Outpouring of His Holy Spirit on all flesh, bringing conviction of sin, repentance, discipleship, and GLORY upon us, so that others will see and glorify our Father!

Prayer Request: Please be in prayer for the Tommy Schmidt family. His wife Mannah’s mother just passed away. Tommy is the son of Sister Gwen Shaw, our founder.

Please join us in prayer for the comfort of the Lord to minister to those who are mourning this loss. May they feel the comforting embrace of the Lord‘s everlasting arms supporting them in this time of transition. We are truly grateful to all of you who have been standing with us in prayer in this time of transition.

Thank you so much for your gifts as well.

We so appreciate you! Your handmaiden and servant, Sharon and Philip

PS  Romans 12 is a practical guide to what Paul commands in verse two: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Take time to study how the transformation can take place.

 P.S. The Harkonen’s

Timo and Laura are a missionary family. Laura, a former Missions Aviation Pilot and Timo, a teacher training pastors previously stationed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are parents of two adopted special needs children, now teens with severe learning disabilities (Janey and Richard) and have since had a baby, Lisakki.

Laura’s heart for missions began in our little Methodist church in Jasper where she was “bitten by the missions bug” and attended a Teen Missions summer program in Zimbabwe. At that time she determined to become a missionary pilot. They are now on extended furlough due to health issues, awaiting funds for their departure to Kenya in early January to an African Inland Mission so Laura can be with the children,

Timo to continue training pastors. The Harkonen’s will be spending part of December in our Glory House beside the Glory Tabernacle. Please pray for Timo and Laura to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit before they depart in January, fully equipping them for their journey.

Pray for Timo as he is traveling, to have good meetings and receptivity in the churches and for new support.

Pray for strength and extra energy for Laura as she cares for the kids, as Lisakki just learned to run. Pray for good health and protection for the whole family during this time.

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