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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

There is an Above and Beyond


The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. (Gen.49.26)

It is a wonderful thing to go beyond what has been given to us by others.
It is a wonderful thing to find new possessions in the spiritual realm.

Jacob had fought and connived for the blessings inherited from Abraham and Isaac, but in the end he had found a place in God which was uniquely his own.
When Jacob came before Pharaoh, unlike Abraham, he was unafraid.
He did not have to dissimulate but was able, in total dominion, to extend a blessing to Pharaoh.
     He went beyond - he "prevailed above."

How amazing that God could take this twisted deceiver and transform him unto a "Prince with God." (Gen.. 32.28)
How amazing that this man, who was willing and able to deceive,
could be brought to a place where God could speak through him,
where God could use him as He willed.
     
     The years of his pilgrimage, the journeyings, trials and sorrows, had brought him to a place: 
     where he could readily allow God to choose the way for him to tread,
          where he could stand before the king of Egypt unafraid
               knowing that God in Whose Presence he dwelt was the only Omnipotent One.

Having learnt of God he could see the nations as dust, 
     and their rulers as insignificant in their power.

Having learnt of God Jacob was more than conqueror.

                          If we learn, so will we be also.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Finding a World



"The hearing ear ... the Lord hath made." (Prov. 20.12)

A baby, as it grows, develops its innate capacities -
eyesight, tact, and motor skills grow in proficiency.
But there is one area impossible to attain on one's own - the area of speech,
and the ability to hear and understand.

In order to attain this understanding there must always be another involved.
It is usually the mother who serves as a bridge 
between the lack of knowledge in the child, 
and the capacity of speech which names and interprets the world around.

Those born deaf, who have never met a teacher,
           live in a world, to us incomprehensible, and impenetrable.
               A world of utter, forever uninterrupted, silence.
                    A world where the meaning of things is lost.
A world filled with a consciousness of "lostness" in every minute of every day.
     
     When a person finds words the world is not only observed, 
          but it is "possessed."
 As the ear is able to interpret sound, understanding is made plain,
               and one finds one's own self in the process.
                    The world "belongs" to the ones who "hear."
                       
As in the natural world so also in the spiritual world.     
     "The hearing ear" speaks of an ear which perceives,
           an ear which interprets the significance of what it hears.

We cannot find that world on our own.
Unless we are near enough to hear God speaking to us we will be forever ignorant of the spiritual world.

     Without the living Word,
          Without the Spirit quickened Word,
               there is no life for the Christian.
We may be "saved" and yet "lost" to the significance of salvation.

If we have received but tiny doses of truth at scattered times 
     we are like those who cannot hear - 
          prisoners deprived of our birthright.
  
The child must be with the mother in order to learn her language,
and the child of God must be with God in order to hear, understand and know Him.
          The road to spiritual perception has never changed,
          and all through the Bible God invites us to "Come."

"Come unto me ... and I will give" (Mt. 11.28) is a never failing promise.











Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Light that Shineth ...


How can one explain what light is?
How can we avoid the scientific terminology and yet understand?

And how can we analyze what spiritual light is?

I don't know!

It seems that we are asking the wrong question ...
     What is needed is not an explanation of light, 
          but an experience of light -
               only this will quiet the seeking of the mind.

The only way to know spiritual light is to experience it.
    And to really understand we must see it - 
          only this will satisfy the seeking of the heart.
             This Light has meaning only when we find it present in our lives.

God is the Source of Light and it is to Him we must look.
     Light is, because God is. 
          If we want to be illuminated in our understanding we need only to look to Him.

One thing is certain in the Word of God:
     Light and the darkness don't mix.
From whence then comes this madness of pushing the limits of what is acceptable in the Christian faith?
What is this insane rushing to go to the absolute limit of the "permissible" in the pew and in the pulpit, in order to facilitate our own plans and purposes?
     The Light of God flees from all such things.

If we look at a source of light, all else is dark and shadowy.

If we embrace the way the earthly realm operates does it not say to us that we have never really seen the Light "as it is in Christ Jesus."
     To enter into such derangement is to enter realms of obscurity ...
          and the simple and glorious gospel becomes lost in darkness.

Can we cut ourselves free from the things which bind mankind - 
     the fear of man, the greed of ambition, and all other self interest?
          Can we turn to the Light to behold "with open face," 
               until the brightness of His person illuminates all within,
                    and the darkness is no more?

Paul saw the Light and  said, "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:  (Phil. 3.8)
     There was no limit,
          no compromise,
               no half-way commitment.
There was only a walking in that Light which "shineth more and more unto the perfect day." (Pr. 4.18)
     - a walking step by step, without rest or stopping places.

          This is the same pathway God sets before us ..."let us run."





   



Monday, November 25, 2019

I'm Weary

Bear with me today ...
We speak of heaven and of earth,
of things Eternal, and of things of man's dwelling place.

As I look heavenward, the surpassing Beauty and Wonder of The Holy One 
and His realm overwhelms me.
But as I look at earth, I see God's Name being dragged through the dust, 
both in the world and also in the church.

I am weary of the same old errors being perpetrated upon the children of God.

Weary of the "teachers" who have never known the realm of the Spirit of God
dogmatically laying down their interpretations of things they know nothing about.
Weary of them telling what is, and what is not, in realms they have never experienced.

Weary of "prophetic" ministries holding conferences to gull the gullible with generic "words" - 
     words of an imminent tsunami of blessing which at the point of release.
Weary of those who come with a "radical" message which is just radical enough to produce a knee-jerk reaction - such as a doctor produces by a tiny tap on the nerve.
Weary of those words which are not strong enough to produce any lasting difference in the lives of those who hear.

Weary of those who profess to have been given a ministry to the church, 
and then charge for access to their meetings, selling their CDs, and flash drives,
selling "partnerships" in their ministries.
Weary of the shameless promotions which seem copies of the hucksters who sell their wares on TV and the internet. 
Weary of all that smells so much like a money grabbing scheme. 

Weary of "worship leaders" who can work the crowd but have no idea of what it is to minister in the Spirit ...
     who have never found the way to God in music,
          and can therefore never transmit it.

"The zeal of Thine house hath eaten me up" (Ps. 69.9 and Jn. 2.17)
     These ministers seem to be the eaters rather than the eaten.
          These are the ones who eat the people of God for their own benefit.

 It is an awful thing that the people be deceived and used.
      It is an awful thing when the people "love to have it so." (Jer. 5:31) 

I am weary of the band playing on while the Titanic which is our civilization settles beneath the waves.
A wise observer told me years ago, "a nation is sunk when it believes its own propaganda,"
- how much more true is this when speaking of a church.
   
We are all responsible for our own spiritual lives.
After speaking of prophesying Paul says,
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thess. 5.21)

If we would but look, the Spirit of God would quicken us
     to know the difference between the precious and the vile, 
          His Word alone would become our necessary food, 
               and we would not be deceived with facile words and empty phrases.

We would seek, and we would find the God on Whom we can deposit all our weaknesses and all our needs.

           As we depend on God we will be "taught of God," 
                and not be led astray 
                     but find fullness of Life in Him.


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Relentless Passion


There have been lives whose singleness of purpose,
     whose intensity of relentless passion, 
          can be summed up in a single phrase.

The life of Elijah can be summed up in two words: "he prayed." (Jas. 5.17)

Of Abraham, we need say no more than "he looked for a city." (Heb. 11.10)

When Abraham heard a Voice calling him he left his city,
     a city which had been by far the most populous in the world,
          a place which invented wheeled vehicles, 
               writing, irrigation, the potter's wheel.
A civilization with houses built to confront the intense heat,
     homes with indoor bathrooms.
People who, unlike others, had a wealthy middle class.
We could perhaps call it the the New York City of its day.

Around the time of the fall of this, the world's first great civilization,
    God called, ... and Abraham left,

There have been about twenty such self sufficient,
     and self assured, civilizations which have fallen since Abraham's time.
And today our world heads down the same road

     of man's inability to find the order lost in Eden.
          Again we step off the cliff, 
               and collapse into Chaos.

Abraham left all the order and prosperity of the city to live in a tent -
     not because he loved austerity, 
          but because he sought Another City.
He sought not the people and things which characterized the earthly cities,
     but the abundance of a city made by God.
He sought a place whose reason of being was not to advance the human,
     but a city whose existence was to show the One Who dwelt there -
          The God of Order, Purpose and Fulfillment.

Abraham is among those heroes of Hebrews chapter eleven,
     who could have returned to that which was known and established -
          but didn't.

The passion of the Call,
     and the passion of his seeking,
          knew no relenting.

Abraham was the father of those who believe.
     All God's children must leave the earthly when they catch a Heavenly Vision.
          All God's children are Abraham.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Last and First


In Luke 24 we have: 
     the last incident of Jesus earthly ministry,
          the last meeting of human need -
 A man who typified all mankind's response to God -
     a thief!
Here is a man fastened to a cross,
     next to another thief, and next to the Savior,
          a man whose freedom is at an end,
               whose days are at an end.

Here is a man awaiting the falling of the final curtain on his life.
     His only possession now is a cross,
          his only tomorrow is the time it takes for life to abandon his body.

The here and now was all he possessed,
and yet, somehow in the midst of his anguish,
he caught a Glimpse of a dimension he had never known.

His eyes were opened, 
     and he saw himself.
          He saw his Lord,
               and he saw a Kingdom.

Somehow this condemned man, rejected by society for his sin,
     and disqualified from a place among the living,
            Saw ...

He saw what the studiously religious Jews around the cross could not see,
     He saw what the disciples who had traveled with Jesus for three years could not see.
          What he saw at that moment,
          not another single person on earth could see.

He alone on that day saw with open eyes a Realm beyond the Visible.
     He alone Understood.

He comes with the simplest of words -
     a confession and a recognition, "Lord."
Other lords had exercised dominion over his life but now he sees only one Lord.
     and to this Lord he surrenders what is left to him - his own free will.
He sees the Lord of a Kingdom,
and he turns from the earthly to that Kingdom.
There is a recognition, and there is a faith.
He no longer seeks anything on earth below;
nothing except that wondrous Kingdom which somehow is made real to him.

The fig tree failed to recognize Jesus - and died.
This man recognized Him and entered into Life beyond all the power of death.

This man was the forerunner of all through the ages have said ... 
                     
                           "Lord ..... remember me."
    

 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Knowing ... Certainty


"That I may know," said the apostle. (Phil. 3.10)

What an infinite world is in these words.
True knowledge is always absolute.
     In as far as we know,
          in as far as we have seen,
                we are beyond the realm of doubt.
"That which we have seen," declares John. (1Jn. 1.7)

Like a man exploring a new continent -
     there may be much territory unseen, unexplored, and unknown,
          but as far as that which has been seen, there can be no doubt.

Paul says also, "we know in part." (1Cor. 13.9)
Paul knew absolutely what he knew,
and yet he also knew that there was much more to be known 
in the realm of God.

The Unknown in God is forever calling
     for us to know,
          for us to experience.
The call of God is to the Infinite,
"To comprehend ... the breadth, and length, and depth, and height." (Eph. 3.18)

The call of God is to the world of the Spirit,
           and only God is seen.

We leave behind the good and the bad of our own lives,
and exchange it all for a total dependency on God.

How much has been said about the safety/covering of the church
as if this were a mechanical thing.
How many have looked to the covering of the church for safety,
     and for the formation of their children -
          only to find out, too late, 
               that the safety of the child of God cannot be in any place outside of God Himself.
If the Everlasting Arms are not what carry us nothing else will avail.

Again: the call is to know ...
     to know the God Who is the Fountain and the Fullness of all.

"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD." says Hosea (6.3)