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.

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..

Friday, September 28, 2018

Belief which Creates

Thy lovingkindness is better than life. (Ps. 63.3)

Sometimes the simplest things are the most important, 
     and sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to grasp.

In life where troubles multiply and swarm around us like a cloud of flies, it is no small thing to take and to Affirm the Reality of a verse like this one, until one sees the Manifestation of that Reality.

Somehow in the Affirmation it is as though God invites us to repeat within   ourselves His own Creative Process.
God declared once and the worlds came into being.

The Reality which existed in His thought BECAME through His spoken word - 
and He allows, invites, and challenges us, to declare in His Presence our belief until we see it come to pass in Reality.

We may have to repeat the declaration again and again, until our faith rises above all obstacles and we Believe to see it come to pass.

(It is not a "formula for obtaining."
It is a truth which applies to things which have been quickened to us, things whose reality we have "seen" in the spiritual realm.)

The Lovingkindness is"!
     Greater than all our circumstances,
          Greater than all our feelings,
               Greater than all our needs,
                    Greater than all our understanding,
                         Greater than all we have been taught.
                              Greater than all our days,
                                   Greater than Life itself.

It is in an everlasting certainty ...                           
a Reality which extends into the fullness of God's Eternity...
One which finds a home in that Realm which swallows up all our measures, as motes lost in the immensity of Infinity.

God's Lovingkindness is Better than All, and Greater than all, an Unending Fullness.
May we Believe, and Declare it, until we see it come to pass ... in our lives.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Freedom or Security

Freedom opens horizons ...
Security closes doors ...

Years pass and changes come ...
     invade, and then totally change
           the way things are seen,
                 the way things are believed,
                      the way life is lived.

Our "freedoms" cease to be generated by our own decisions, 
and are replaced by an imposed imperative of "security" chosen for us by the society of the world which surrounds us.

The problem is that man is never able to provide absolute security, and 
     the search for security only leads to more uncertainty, 
          and ultimately to insecurity..

We, as Christians, are not of this world, and our life is from above.
Our freedom is to follow God, unfettered and undictated to.

An old hymn by Tersteegan expresses it best when he says,
   "My freedom is Thy grand control."

The psalmist says, "This is my rest forever; here will I dwell." (Ps 132.14)
     May we find that sure place of abode.
          His freedom is our security.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

To Live while we Live

Jesus promises Life abundant.
    David testifies of a “large place”(2Sam. 22.21)
         The book of Job declares a “broad place”(Job 36.16)

Our generation speaks of “quality of life” to distinguish between a life of sufficiency and a life of mere existence.
Quality of life diminishes when
      we have less health,
          or material provision,
               or security.

The spiritual realm is much more important than the natural realm and yet
   it is easy to ignore the quality of this life.
         It is easy to settle in a “small place.”

Maybe it is clearer in the book of Job … “a strait place” - a place of limitations where the horizons of life are obscured and the purposes of life are thwarted.

God is infinite, and God calls us to a place which He has prepared for us to live in,
just as surely as he prepared a garden for Adam.

It is a place where all expands, starting with the basic functions - our spiritual Seeing, Hearing and Feeling.
It is a place where from a heart “strangely warmed” Life springs forth and conquers.

Israel dug for themselves broken cisterns which could hold no water, and left the living waters of the Fountain. (Jer. 2.13)
It is so easy to do.

But it is easy also to come to the fountain and drink of its  all-sufficient abundance.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Eternity ... A Realm Beyond

The only thing that matters in this moment as I write, as you read, 
is that we are surrounded by Eternity.

We are surrounded by God's Reality.

We are surrounded by horizons which will never know a limit.

Spiritual things are spiritually discerned, 
     and the mind not only fails to see,
          but works to keep us from them,
               and spiritual vision seems to be the thing most lacking.

Amy Carmichael in one of her books spoke of the passing of one of the Indian believers who had come to the end of her journey.
And thinking of this one's entrance into the eternal realm, she asked what it must be like for one such as she to step through the portal and catch her first glimpse of heaven.

What a shock for one whose life on earth was a path of suffering, and whose ways were always cruelly limited, 
     to enter into a realm without limits,
          infinite and glorious, 
               beyond all her experience or anything she could imagine.

What must it be for such a one?
And what must it be for anyone of us to catch a glimpse ... 

What if today we could see the dimension of God around us
What must it be to see, even while dwelling on earth, a glimpse of the dimensions of Eternity?

A King ... and a Kingdom ... and time without end.

How much vision would God give to us now if we would look to Him for it?
     Beyond all that we can ask or even think ... things that God has            prepared ... ours ... to receive ... a kingdom set before us!
     Beyond ...  and beyond all our beyonds!

Things come and go,
     the things of time wax and wane.

          That which is of God endures.

Open my eyes,
     to the Immensity of  the Eternity around me, 
          to the God Who gives without measure ... 
               to the One Who would say to us, "All things are yours."