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Thursday, February 14, 2019

"Revelation"


Above all other needs, our need is for a vision of God.

Without a revelation, a quickening within, we wander in darkness 
     - in spite of all our going to church, 
          and all our so-called knowledge.

What is our mind, or our imagination, to find and to express Him?
     What are our words?
          What are our thoughts?

As Blake said, we "believe a lie" because we "see with, not through the eye."
The heart goes far beyond the mind.
Feelings go far beyond expression.

The horizons which exist in God are barely perceived here on earth.
We live too much in this world, and are too little aware of God's world.

Is it not an insufferable pride to think that the Infinite God can be understood within the limits of man's finite mind,
and that mere words can transmit true knowledge of Him?

Job, in his search for God declares, 
"Lo, these are parts [outskirts, fringes, edges] of His ways." (Job 26.14)
As Job, we need a revelation of the Infinite because the little realities of earth pile up until they become like mighty mountains.

A Vision of God is beyond all price.
     He is the One whose years have no end, 
          whose power has no end,
               whose love has no end.

God promised to show Jeremiah "great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." (Jer 33.3)
Beyond human knowledge are the "great," and the "mighty" things, 
and they extend infinite - and eternal.

In this world of mortality, we come to the end of our resources and hope dies. 
     We need desperately another Light 
          - the unveiling of another world;
               a world of Light and Faith. 

Oh, that we might, each of us, find in the depths of our being a cry, 
"Lord, open mine eyes to see You - Present and Infinite, in the Here and Now."


Monday, February 11, 2019

Faith ... Prayer ... Substance


"Thy Kingdom come." (Mt 6.10)

What does the phrase mean here?

Can a Supplication become a Proclamation? 
Can a Prayer become a Prophesy? 

Why did Israel have to march around Jericho for seven days?
     Why did they surround the city seven times the last day of march?
          Was it because God is capricious?
              Or was it a process of finding an ever-increasing faith -
                   a Journey to a Fulfillment?

Why did some of the men God used in revival have to pray for years until one day, in one instant, everything changed?

Years ago in the north of Argentina the power of God descended while the scripture was being read, and throughout the gathered congregation there was a generalized cry as God met and answered people's needs?

Who could explain the amazement, the overwhelming of the senses when in a moment all of life was changed? 
What did the preacher feel as he saw his prayers answered?
What did the people feel when one reality was submerged beneath a Greater Reality?

Somehow in the midst of the process of prayer there is sometimes a quickening and the asking is changed to a declaring.

     Spiritual eyes are opened, faith takes hold, and nothing is impossible.

Friday, February 8, 2019

To Pray



Years ago I used to travel to an area in the north of Argentina,
an area covered with dry forest - scrub trees, thorn trees, and giant cactus.

The whole district was known by a simple, descriptive title, "The Impenetrable,"
and if one left the beaten paths, progress was made by threading one's way among the untamed scrub.

Many times our pathway of prayer, our pathway to God, seems so similar to finding a path through the forest,
     nothing is clear.
          nothing is simple.
               obstacles abound,
                    hurt is plentiful, 
                         and no horizon is to be seen.

The obstacles of the forest could not  alter the fact that there was a destination awaiting at the end of the path.
Neither can the battles within and without change the fact that God awaits us at the end of our seeking Him.

The mind, and even the emotions, are merely points along the way, 
the journey is of the spirit, deep within. 
"I was in the Spirit" says John. (Rev 1.10)
All outside the Spirit is (like the law) a mere teacher, or "way-pointer" to help us to our goal.

Jesus word stands forever, "Seek and ye shall find." (Mt 7.7)
     Prayer, sometimes is about keeping on and on
          through countless obstacles, until we find.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Truth


Truth in the inward parts." (Ps.51.6)

Eyes that cannot see, are the rule of our world, not the exception.
Truth dwells in a deep place,
     - it is of the heart,
          perceived by the spirit,
               and God wills to bring us there.

To see without seeing seems to be the state of all mankind - not exception but rather the norm.
And to see is a gift of God which is rarely embraced.

How can one show that something which cannot be put in words?
It is impossible - but perhaps words can point the way toward that reality.

Sometimes reading the Bible, 
one is overwhelmed by the certainty of the message.

Sometimes in reading a book about God's working, 
one gets a glimpse of the essence,
a glimpse of the reality of the working.
It does not happen with every book - even with "good" ones,
but sometimes, the Spirit-quickened writer takes us to a place where we see for ourselves what he is pointing to.

The words did not cause us to experience the situation, 
but they were able to bring us to a contact with Truth.
     Something deeper than the mind was quickened,
          and something more important that the understanding was awakened. 

The truth God wants reveal to us is more profound than "understanding."
     It is the sudden opening of the eyes of the soul.
          It is what happens when the fog of earth is taken away,
               and one sees beyond all that surrounds,
                    and all that has to do with the appearance of things.

Truth is when Eternity melts the things of time, as the heat melts the ice,
- and deep, everlasting things are made bare.

Truth is in the inward parts -  Truth is the moment when Eternity stamps itself over all that is not eternal.
                   And Life is quickened beyond all earthly measure.

A River Uncrossable



The years pass, and life like the sand in the hour-glass, passes.
This is why I try to pass on some of what I dimly glimpse, and can insufficiently express, of the immeasurable realm of God and His eternity.

Today:
"A river that I could not pass over."
"Waters to swim in."   (Ezek 47.5)

This is our God!
This is His river!

We have looked at the figure of the swimmer, but let us see the waters ... 
     here are Waters beyond waters. 
          Let us stand and wonder ...

Our swimming cannot exhaust the possibilities of the river.
Ezekiel says that he could not pass the river,
and further says , "A river that could not be passed over." (Ezek 47.5)
Now everyone is included - that is to say that no one could pass the limitless waters.

Words fail before the Infinite, the Measureless.
The limits of the flowing river of God's Life can never, ever be reached.

Sometimes from a height we can look all the way to the horizon, but always there is another panorama beyond ... and beyond.

      So it is when God illuminates the Word He has spoken.
 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

When I Awake


"I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness." (Ps 17.15) 

We have been presented with a false picture of life,
     a picture tinted with Triumphalism,
          and facile achievement, 
               and a type of "jingoism" of invincibility. 

Maybe it is a type of "Christian Socialism" where all is easy, and all ends well.

It is a dream from which the Christian must awake ...
There is a different and more real picture.

Let me refer to an old poem written about the poet Cowper to try to illustrate.
Cowper was an English poet of the eighteenth century -
a friend of John Newton -  
whose whole life was a battle,
whose faith found only moments of a beautiful clarity.

It was he who wrote, among other hymns, "There is a fountain filled with blood."

Cowper battled throughout his life with madness.
The clouds of this affliction swept over his days.
And he felt at times deserted of God -
"Discord on the music fell," says the poem
"and darkness on the glory."

Through it all God watched and worked -
and "suffered ... the madness-cloud to His own love to blind him,
but gently led the blind along..."

The poem draws to an end with the picture of a child who in fever does not feel the presence of his mother, but then awakes to see her eyes, her face bending over him.
And the poet then expresses the insufficiency of the picture to describe Cowper's awaking in heaven.

"Thus? Oh, not thus! No type on earth could image that awaking,"
     it was an experience where he scarcely heard the angels, 
           or felt his new immortal body,
               "but felt Those Eyes alone, and knew, 'My Saviour! not deserted!'"

The child of God is forever deserted, as far as this world's ability to satisfy, 
and there is a lot of Cowper in all of us ...
not the madness perhaps, 
but the intrusion of earth's shadows and the darkness of earth's valleys.

There are places where light is not to be seen, 
     and illumination is the gift of God to the soul;
          places where the soul ceases to seek earthly panacea to cure,
               and finds an infinite realm in its Creator.

There is  "a light which baffles mortal sight." 
And it all leads to God's "vast world above." 

In that world there will be no shadows, only limitless eternal Light and Life.
We will awake there, but we can awake here to that same triumphant Light, in which is no darkness.
This is God's gift to us.




Sunday, January 27, 2019

Fulness ... Waters to Swim In


I want to stay with our theme of these days.
The call to Fullness is the incessant call of the Spirit of God to His own.
This is the destination where we meet with Him.

The process is always the same:
We Seek and God Reveals.

"This is Life eternal, that they might know Thee." (Jn 17.3)
"Eternal" - that dimension of God which is as broad, and as deep as it is long - infinite in all its dimensions ...

"Waters to swim in" says Ezekiel (47.5)
Maybe as we look at the old writers speaking of their "experiences" we somehow limit the revelation - they seem to write of milestones on their spiritual journey, and yet, somehow, it is greater than this.

It is a coming into new life beyond the measure of yesterday's dreams.
It is a quickening  like that of the caterpillar being transformed into a butterfly.
It is something beyond my power to describe. 

It is the end of a journey of seeking.
It is the fulfillment of a spiritual instinct that drives us to the unknown, 
as the instinct of the bird which leaves its nest to fly through time and space to another place, another land.

The nature of the seeking is not important, but the intensity is.
     It may be with words or without words, but it will certainly be with tears.
         It will lead through impenetrable shades of darkness.
              It will be a climb that takes the outpouring of our strength.
                   It will be a battle, blow by blow, and day by day.

Time after time I remember Job, 
the man who plumbed all the depths.

In the midst of his struggle Job looked at God's power displayed and said, "Lo, these are parts of His ways; but how little a portion is heard of Him?" (26.1)

But at the end of it all he came to the place where he could say, 
"Now mine eye seeth Thee." (Job 42.5)

Keep on seeking, child of God - He who planted the longing in your soul will be faithful to lead through all that surrounds, through all that impedes, and will surely complete the work He has begun.

Job again, believing in his troubles, 
"He performeth the thing that is appointed for me." (23.14)
Or David, "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me." (Ps 138.8) 

God did it for Job, 
     and he did it for David.
                                He will do it for us.