stepcounter

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Spiritual Discernment


The  greatest Loss in this world is the loss of Sight.

The enemy has taken away from mankind   
     the ability to see beyond the surface of things,   
          and to discern the underlying reality.

The world around thrusts things upon us, 
     and demands we take them at their face value.

It demands too that we accept without question our society's scale of values, 
     and that we repeat again what we have been taught to see.


Seeing only the obvious brings a loss of the greater essence of things.
We see without Seeing,
     the illusion never lifts,
          and the Truth is never made bare.

What do we look for as believers?
     What will satisfy the heart?

Do we ever sense something beyond the visible - 
     something which our minds cannot explain?

The true essence of things never lies on the surface - 
     and under the superficial lies the true dimension of life.

If we approach the Word of God, and the things of God, through the medium of our minds we will never approach true spiritual understanding.
This is the reason why so much of what we hear spoken from the pulpit never satisfies the heart.
"The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God … they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2,14)

In all our living in this fallen world,
may our hearts quicken the truth to us, 
and may our seeking lead us to places in God where the mind can never enter.
"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord." (Hos. 6.3)






Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Rushing...

"As of a Rushing mighty wind" (Acts 2.2)

"Rushing" - it is a word connected with God's working in the Old Testament and in the New, from the whirlwind which Ezekiel saw, to the descent of the Spirit at Pentecost.

The word speaks of an Urgency of Accomplishment,
of a Prevailing and Overwhelming of obstacles.
of an Establishment of God's purpose beyond earth's frustrations.

When the time comes, when the conditions are ready, delay is never in the plans of God.
Jesus taught His disciples to pray "Thy kingdom come" as God's supreme objective. 
To this end all creation moves, and to this end is all the working of God in the earth, and in the lives of men.

Delay is a master tactic of the enemy.
He seeks, 
     to dampen our faith,
          to discourage our hearts,
               to confuse our thinking,
                    to blind our eyes to the promises of God.

Today is the day of salvation … it is every day. 
Jesus said "My father worketh." (Jn. 5.17)
There is no room for hesitation or delay in the plans of God, and no cessation of His work.

May the Lord give speed to our hearts as we reach out, beyond all that would hold us in our world, to His world and to  Himself.

Monday, November 19, 2018

What is Meant to Be.



There is a verse in 1 Peter 1:12 which is echoing in my mind...
Peter speaks of the gospel preached "with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven."

This is the way it was meant to be.
Here is a truth for all believers, at all times, and in all places.

In sunshine and in rain, 
      in strength and in weariness,
               in joys and in sorrows,
                    in all life's deserts,
                         in all of life's battles,
                              in every step of our earthly pilgrimage, 

our privilege and our responsibility is to live in the dimension of "the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven."

Perhaps this day in our journey we stand unaware, at the border of the promised land.
Perhaps today is the day we can cease from desert wanderings.
Perhaps today we can leave the emptiness behind, and cross over into the land of sufficiency.

We can't do it alone.
We can't do it in our own strength.
Only God's Presence, only God's Spirit, can carry us and give us the Light and the Strength we need to overcome.

There is a land of promise for each one,
     a place where God gives His fulness in place of human emptiness,
          where God gives His Light in place of earth's darkness,
               and strength in place of  all our weakness.

The Son of God came as the Dayspring to unveil a New Day: 
     the beginning of a New Creation.
          
                       May we enter into its Glory... "with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven."





Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Unseen Foundation


All that is seen depends upon the unseen.
Everything visible is built on an unperceived foundation.

John among the gospel writers, and Ezekiel among the prophets, stand apart.
While other writers speak of workings, invitations and warnings, they look upon the eternal foundation on which all else is built.

John starts his gospel account with a focus not on Jesus birth, nor even his genealogy, but with the words, "In the beginning."
Ezekiel as he begins to write, states, "I saw visions of God."

Both visions are overwhelming.
     Ezekiel is smitten with amazement at the awesome earth-transcending  splendor of the approaching cloud of fire and glory.
          John sees back before time and the existence of all created things, to the  Eternal alone filling all.

I remember my father speaking repeatedly of the need to be "Eternity conscious."
How much more imperative is the need today, as we stand in the flowing stream of time and see the building blocks of our civilization carried away with the waters.
We find ourselves in a world where chaos prevails, and destruction has taken the place of building.

Today only God, and that which is God-engendered, will endure.

Whatever the passing years may bring to our lives, 
may we find on our lips the prayer, 
"Lord, open my eyes to see the Eternal."



Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A Surety for Life


Near the end of the book of Revelation (Rev. 19.11) John is granted a revelation of God's being.

It is a  threefold revelation in three names of God.
     It is a complete revelation of three aspects of God.

The first revelation seen by John was of God as Faithful and True.
In the midst of the turmoil of John's surroundings,
in the midst of his time as a prisoner on Patmos,
in the midst of the enemy's working,
in the midst of Rome's dominion,
John is given this transcendental revelation.

Beyond
the Shaking,
beyond the Destruction of Foundations,
God asserts Himself; God shows Himself.

John sees that beyond it all, there is a God Who never ceases to be as He has always been: Faithful and True.

"Truth" is a statement of Unchangeableness.
     Beyond the ravages of time, and the machinations of man, 
          stands One Who is Eternal,
              stands One Whose commitment to His own is unalterable.

Today, in the midst of Decay and Disillusionment, God stands.

There is a Stability which man has always sought, down through succeeding generations, and across the frontiers of nations, only to see his hopes Collapse in Chaos.
This Stability which man has sought in vain is to be found in God.
     The enemy tears down, in all places and on all levels, 
          but God still builds His church, 
               God still cares for His own with everlasting mercy.

When our faith meets God's faithfulness the gates of hell cannot prevail against us. 

Amy Carmichael said many years ago, "God trusts us to trust Him."
Let our Faith hold fast to His Faithfulness in the midst of all that surrounds us, as our lives move forward to our heavenly goal.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Vital Difference


My father used to tell that in a time during his ministry as a pastor, one of the saints in the prayer meetings used to pray time after time:
     "Lord, teach us what is flesh and what is Spirit."
This must have been over seventy years ago but how much greater is our need to be taught this separation today.

We see all man's systems crumbling and society blanked with confusion and finding no answers.

The hopelessness is compounded by a refusal to hear correction
As a whole we have become like a child I once knew who gave an immediate answer to her aunt trying to help her: "Don't teach me!"

Years ago a word from a pastor to a young person seemed to bring everything to a stop until it was understood and acted upon.
Now the inspired word seems to be taken and placed together with other words, past sermons, past readings and experiences and be left on a shelf.
The Light is mixed with darkness, the warmth is mixed with coldness, and lukewarmness continues to reign over all.

In the spiritual world there are no degrees of importance - everything is either yes or no.
Everything either pertains to the Kingdom of God and has value,
and is worth everything, 
or it is not of the Kingdom and is worth absolutely nothing.

When Adam sinned what he lost was not just a paradise,
not just his innocence -
he lost his living contact with the world of the Spirit
and was left with a fallen world, and the empty resources of his earthbound humanity.

This is the world that the prophets escaped as their eyes were opened to see the realm of God beyond the earthly.
This, above all  else, was what set Moses, Elijah, and all the prophets apart from the world which surrounded them.

Jesus expresses it clearly and compactly, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. (Jn. 3.6)

We have heard people comparing ministries, and stating that one minister would be more able to reach intellectuals because he is intellectual, or another more able to reach kids on drugs because he had been on drugs.
What these people failed to see is that it is the Spirit of God who draws and convicts and brings faith -
human capabilities are useless,
the only identification which matters is the preacher's identification with heaven,
and the only Light able to illuminate the soul is the heavenly.

Our prayers, our endeavors, have no effect unless they are filled with the Spirit of God.   
This is the aim, and the way to arrive to the goal is the way of intensity.
Spurgeon responding to the text which led him to salvation ("look unto Me..." Is. 45.22) expressed, "I looked until I could have almost looked my eyes away." 
and continued  "There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun."

So for us; the intensity of our looking will be matched by the light of our vision of God.



Thursday, October 4, 2018

Living in God's Kingdom on Earth


God's Kingdom on earth - a foretaste of the heavenly kingdom. 

Things combine against us, to cause us to forget that when we come to Him we come to a place beyond the reach of earth's Darkness and all of Earth's clouds.

Beyond all earthly kingdoms it is God's Kingdom that is as the "morning, cloudless, clear" (2Sam 23.4)



Our battle is against the shadows caused by earthly clouds,
     against the shadows of earthly Fears and Doubts,
          against the shadows of Apathy and Conformity,
               against the shadows of earthly Comforts and Ambitions.

Again, the cloudlessness of heaven is reflected in the Kingdom of God on earth.
The rest of heaven is there also,
and the certainties of heaven are all about us.

Somedays we will have to summon every bit of our strength, and extend every atom of our determination, to free ourselves from earthly influences.
But we must do it if we are not to lose our contact with 
     God's reality, 
          God's Life, 
               God's purpose.
Without God's working in and through our lives we are condemned to an existence bound forever to the painful limitations of earth.

Let us arise to seek and find day by day, 
     time after time - through all our times on earth, 
the Cloudlessness of God..