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Monday, January 18, 2021

THE BEGINNINGS OF THE STORM ... AND REACHING THE SHORE


We are surrounded by so many voices,
    everybody seems to be voicing their opinion.
        and yet there is so little substance.
How we need a true view of our present state.

On the other end of everything written are the readers.
    Everything we read, hear and experience is interpreted instantly,
        in the light of our feelings, culture, experience and education
            - the biases of our lives.
It takes a conscious effort to rid ourselves of these things,
    and to see with fresh eyes and a free spirit what lies before us.
        It takes a conscious effort to free ourselves from the world of our existence,
            to shut out the voices around us
                and hear the voice of God fresh from heaven.

Let us go to the book of Acts, chapter 27
    Here is the story of Paul,
        and here is  the world,
            and here the rapidly unfolding record of our day.
                It is a journey to destruction.
                   
The central and sublime moment of the record
    is when Paul declares,
        "I believe God."

What must it have been to be there that day in that ship,
    helpless in the grip of the winds,
        the darkness of days without sun or moon,
            the throwing overboard of everything superfluous.

Overboard also was hope,
    "all hope...was taken.away."
Forget the destination - they had no hope for life.
    THE SHIP WAS HEADED FOR DESTRUCTION.

At that moment,
    greater than the ship,
        greater than the darkness,
            greater than the storm,
God spoke to Paul - and Paul spoke to the travelers.

There may have been other ships, other travelers, caught up in the storm,
    but the word was to those who traveled with Paul,
        to those who were able to hear the Word of the Lord.

Four times the bible states,
    "To day if ye will hear His voice." (Ps. 95.7, Heb. 3.7, 3.15, 4.7)
If there is one thing needed in our day, and in our midst,
    it is to hear the true voice of God,
        utterly beyond, infinitely beyond, all other voices that we have ever known.
       
"The Lord ALONE shall be exalted in that day" declares Isaiah (2.11, 2.17)
in a preface to the following 64 amazing chapters.

Today our civilization wallows midst the waves, headed for destruction.
    But God abides and controls all.
When man's pride and glory is abased "God alone" will speak and bring His own to a safe place.

Whatever revival we envision will be in the context of a judgement
    which will leave us naked of the Babel towers of sufficiency and pride which we have built.
    
                When "God alone" is exalted He will be known as He is.
                and the tempest and destruction will be our portion no more.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

That which Endures

 


"Thou art God."


With these words the disciples commenced their prayer in Acts 4.
This was their affirmation when the authorities of Israel rose up against the gospel message,
    and began to persecute the new born church.
All the disciples prayer was built upon this fact,
    until at the end of their prayer "the place was shaken." (Acts 4.31)

It is a declaration of faith.
...It is a rejection of the authority of the earthly.
    - which has rejected the authority of the heavenly.
 It is a declaration of that which is Unshakeable.

Now, while we are living in broken nations in a broken world,
    is time to have something to hold onto when the visible is no more to be counted on.

                   Life is not defined by that which is of earth.
                   Life is about the triumph of the Unseen.
 

Friday, December 18, 2020

The KIngdom

 
"Thy Kingdom come."

It is a Displacing of the Earthly with the Heavenly.
    "It is a coming "out of" and a coming "into."

It is a looking at everything with the eyes of the spirit alone.
    It is a freedom from earth's fetters,
        from man's mental programming and society's norms.

It is the life of the eagle in the pathless realms of open, unbounded space.

    It is to "go up to the mountain of the Lord." (Is. 2.3)
        It is to view all things from the top of that mountain.
            
            It is to find Freedom - to be "Free Indeed."

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Another World

 There is a World of God -
     and a World of Mankind.

In between stands:
    The Distance
        The Separation:
            Irreconcilable
                Unbridgeable,
                    Unalterable.

How much man can confuse the things he sees,
    experiences, and perceives,
        with the Reality of the Kingdom
            which man's abilities can never approach.
And we add to that the fact that we,
    "like sheep have gone astray ... turned every one to his own way."
    
There is a Hurt in the separation between God's Life
    and man's comprehension of that Life.
    
Even in the best of cases - as Job says,
    "how little a portion is heard of Him." (Job 26.14)
Those who have heard "a little portion" feel that hurt,
    and a stirring of pain in the depths within
        as their eyes are open to see what IS and what COULD BE.
        
        We start to have a picture of the world around us,
            and to see that without God
                all is twisted and destroyed without hope of remedy.

And through it all there comes a call,
a desire to know God as He is.
    God asks nothing else of us.
        There is nothing else necessary.
        
To be with God is to leave the world behind,
    to soar above all that pollutes and destroys.
It is to know the meaning of Freedom from the Fear which walks the world of men.

It is Freedom to Live and move in a sphere "beyond" -
    beyond the restrictions of man's society, and all man's dreams.
    
We tend to see ourselves as unaffected by the world around.
But as an old spiritual declared "It's me Oh Lord."
    and it is me who needs day by day the Presence of God
        to deliver from the power of the darkness which works throughout this world.
            and to make me truly live.
            
                      Jer 33:3 says:
                      "Call unto me, and I will answer thee,
                           and shew thee great and mighty things,
                               which thou knowest not."

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Finding

Busy days...just a couple of thoughts to share:

Repentance...takes me beyond the reach of sin,
    and brings me before God.


Maybe there at last, I see.
    Maybe there at last, I am humbled.

Maybe in the place of my emptiness
 I find that God is the Answer to all my need.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Two

In the story of the Prodigal there are two sons,
    different and yet alike in that neither saw the real picture.
The prodigal saw himself as entitled to share his father's wealth,
    and yet did not know what wealth he was leaving behind.
The elder brother caused no problems,
    but was unaware of his true riches.

The Prodigal took the riches and lost the home.
    The elder brother had the home and couldn't see the riches.

Suffering and loss taught the prodigal what was important.
    Embitterment and inner conflict brought the other son to his moment of revelation.
 
"Thou art ever with me" (Lk. 15.)

They were the words of the father to his older son.
    Have I heard those words?
        Have I seen this truth?
            Does this sustain the whole of life, my every day?

What a world is there - all is included.
    There is the father,
        the love, the care, the riches.

This is the broad place of Job 36.11 "where there is no straitness.".
    It is a sphere beyond time and space - it fills eternity.
It is the place of the psalmist,
    "all Thy  waves and Thy billows are gone over me." (Ps. 42.7)

Maybe we need to take the time,
    and break up the phrase, and look at it word by word:
"Thou...art ever...with Me"
Maybe we need to capitalize it:
    THOU...ART EVER...WITH ME.
        Can we hear it?
        Can we know it?
        God is infinite and the giving of God has no end.

William Booth wrote a hymn:
    "Oh, boundless salvation,
    deep ocean of love."
This is our dwelling place -infinite measures,
which will overwhelm for all eternity.

        "All Thy waves...and Thy billows...are gone over me."
            ...roll on mighty ocean.



Sunday, November 8, 2020

The Gold

 


"How is the gold become dim." (Lam. 4.1)
It sounds within me today, not as a statement but as a question..."what happened?"

Our world today is worse than yesterday.

All around the world what we thought we had firmly built crumbles before our eyes. 

When the pilgrim settlers arrived in North America they were seeking "freedom."
    Freedom to them meant unimpeded possibility to worship and obey God -
        even if,
in the lapse of the first winter, it were paid for in the deaths of forty five of one hundred and two settlers who stepped on their land of promise.
           
Those who inhabit the same land almost four hundred years later
    give centrality to the word Freedom,
        but the meaning has changed.
Freedom now means an unimpeded road to the fulfillment of all my desires.

This is true throughout the world.
    The sense of there being One who demands obedience has been replaced
        with the notion that all things exist only for my satisfaction.
We seem to be repeating the history of Eden, when Adam chose freedom from obedience to God
    and sought for his own independent realm of determination.
        But God is the Creator of all things, there can be no freedom outside of Him.
        We are free only with the freedom God bestows.

The unfettered thrust for personal freedom finally finds itself
    confronted with men whose government promises Everything.
But this all-inclusive promise trails behind it Total Control,
    and so ultimately, paradoxically, in seeking freedom all freedom is lost.
Instead of freedom to obey God
    we have the inescapable obligation to obey man's strictures.

Can we as sons of God lift our eyes beyond all that surrounds us?
    Can we shut out the earthly voices?
When the verse  says, "Let God be true and every man a liar,"
(Rom. 3.4)
    can we rid ourselves of every other source of knowledge,
        and look to Him alone for our enlightenment?

Now, now, now is the time:
    to lift our eyes from earthly things to Heavenly things,
        to change the world of earthly existence for a spiritual realm,
            to walk in the Light of Life.

            What a world opens when we leave our love of earthly existence
                and see with clearer vision The World of God.