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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."








Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Finding our Place, Seeing our Time


Jesus said to those surrounding Him, "... the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation."

Somehow it seems that to each generation, and to each life, there is given 
     all of the opportunities and all of the requirements,
          all of the promises and all of the responsibilities, 
that man was ever presented with.

In a sense we are not only made new creatures, but we are also presented with our new world which we are to bring into subjection to the Creator.

It is so easy to lose that world.
It is easy for our minds to take us captive; to lead us to a world of our own imaginings and of our own hopes and fears.
It is easy to come to a place where the world around us prints upon us its values and strictures.

It is easy to find ourselves in a place where illusions reign over reality, and where these illusions condition our existence.

It is easy to allow the clutter of this world's cares and values to guide the paths of our living, and to weigh upon our spirits.

It is easy, like Lazarus, to come into a new life and carry with us the grave clothes of the old life.

How greatly God desires that we might be free, 
     that nothing within us, or around us, dictate our existence,
          but that we, unfettered, may follow Him in new paths
                where faith lifts our life to soar in total freedom.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Looking ...Seeing


"Looking unto Jesus."  (Heb. 12.2)

Why does the writer use the word "looking"?
Maybe it's because the looking is so different from learning with the mind.

The mind receives information and then there follows a process of classifying it -
How important?
How urgent?
How relevant?
How costly? 

All these appraisals are influenced by our own criteria, 
by the fruits of our thinking, of our living, 
by our fears, and our ambitions, 
by all our cares, and all our hopes.

Seeing is different.
Seeing bypasses our reasoning, and stamps itself directly upon us.
We know with certainty what we have seen.
We know the size, the shape, the color, the distance.
Seeing informs us in a way which skips over any interfering conditions.

How terrible when we proclaim that which we do not know.
Jesus said to the pharisees, "ye say, we see,"
followed by, "therefore your sin remaineth."
The sin, the darkness, the ignorance, the death remain until sight comes.

The Old Testament ends with the promise of the Sun arising
And Luke's gospel starts with the prophetic declaration that "the Dayspring from on high hath visited us."(Lk. 1.78)

Today there are so many transmitting the fruits of their own thinking,
but God seeks a people who will come to Him with the prayer of the heart, and then see with open eyes.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

In Spirit


"In Spirit"...(Jn.4.24)

What a phrase!

The Spirit of God brings us to worship. (Jn.4.24)
And the Spirit of God opens our eyes. (Rev. 1.10-12) 

"In Spirit" 
It speaks of another dimension - a dimension not of earth.
In the spiritual life the flesh profits nothing, the Spirit is everything.

Samson declared that if the Lord left him, he would "become weak, and be like any other man." (Ju.16.17)
God calls us to be different from men around- not in our own capacities but through the enduement of His Spirit upon us.

It is not easy to leave all behind...
     It is not easy to cease to be wrapped up in everything human.
          It is hard to see beyond ourselves and our human capabilities.

We limit our commitment to the restrictions of human reasoning.
     We limit our expectations to the same.
Our limits become the limits of all other earth-bound men, 
     and God is not present in our calculations.

It is not so much a leaving behind, 
as it is a reaching forth to another world, another Kingdom.

The end is not the emptying, the end is the filling.

How busy we get trying to put the future into the wineskins of the past!

But this realm of the Spirit is a place beyond all the human,
and beyond everything which springs from its own world of endeavours.

It is a  reaching out, a leaving behind, and a going beyond - 
     to the place where our only awareness is of God,
          a place where our inspiration is of God, 
               a place where our faith is God-given.

It is a place where the abilities of our lives are from God.

It is a coming into the Kingdom.





Thursday, August 9, 2018

How Would it be If?


Paul the apostle spent his life searching.

Unsatisfied in the world around him, he could always see more of the infinite world of God before him - realms to which he had not yet attained.

There is, within the limitless realm of God, that which calls us.
A time comes when the growing bird feels within itself the call to leave the nest where it was born, and the fields which it has known, and to stretch its wings in answer to a call within.
More imperative than its surroundings is the call to journey to another clime, another land, another life.
It leaves the land of its birth, where the leaves are falling and the days growing colder and shorter, and it reaches out to another land - a place of springtime and new life.
And so it is with us.

How would it be if we would end our prayers saying "as it is in heaven"?

Things in heaven are completed; the prayer is answered.
I think that here on earth we conform ourself with a praying which expects very little answer in the dimension of concrete reality.

A pastor I know went once to a hospital to pray for a person in a coma.
The nurse who was present gave her assent saying that it would be a nice thing to pray for the poor paciente.
She was not expecting any response from the comatose one so imagine her surprise when the sufferer sat up in bed.
An answer! - on earth  - as in heaven!

We hear people advocating a certain way of prayer: "pray the prayer of Jabez", or "pray the Lord's prayer."
It seems that these prayers are pathways which folk have found for their faith. But we make a mistake if we take them as a formula for all our praying and put our faith in the words and not in the Lord.

I think that what is important is not the exact wording of the prayer but the seeing God as the answer.
Let me say that again, It is in seeing God as the One Who will answer.

It is not so important how we knock on the door - the important thing is the intensity of the knocking!
The important thing is to persevere until the answer comes.
The important thing is the release of heaven's resources on earth's needs.

"In earth as it is in heaven."

Friday, August 3, 2018

He Causes


"Causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak." (S.o.S. 7.9)

It is speaking here of the bride, but how true of God's quickening in His own.

How deep is His drawing.
How great is His quickening.
How infinite is the realm to which He carries the soul.

The Spanish Bible translates it "the lips of the aged."  
From what I understand it is neither sleep, nor years, that is referred to; 
these are but figures speaking of the incapacity to respond - 
a failing mind in a fading life.

But He quickens from the fading ... When He quickens 
    the sleep of decay falls off like a mantle, 
        and the world is new.

Why would we ever be content to settle for earth's poor vision, for earth's limited horizons.
He causes the impossible to melt away.

When He comes all the earthly ceases, and gives way to the dimension of heaven.
    In Him all the incomplete is made comlete.
        He quickens that which time has robbed.
            He brings again that which is no more.

The spiritual has other laws than the natural world and there is a resurrection of that which was lost - in whatever dimension and to whatever extent.

To His own He extends His promise, and He extends His power.
Let us reach for it.

There is, for us also, the going forth in the power of an endless life - "more and more unto the perfect day." (Pr. 4.18)


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Nothing Can


Let God be God

Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it. (Ecc 3.14)

The Omnipotence of God works wherever, whenever ... and forever.
The Omnipotence of God, beyond our sight and our dreams, works His will.
Nothing can, or need be added, and nothing can take anything away.

Some day our last step will be taken and we will leave this world to be  immersed in Reality - an eternity as broad and as deep and high as it is long,  ...infinity - inmeasurable in every direction.

The question is: how much can we see of this dimension today. from the place where we are now?
How much are we able to possess of this dimension now? 

All God's purpose in our lives is that we might be aware,
and that we might grow in the knowledge of Him,
and that our lives might be enlarged and transformed by the power of His life within us.

He calls that we might possess the Life of eternity, beyond our human frailties
that we might know Him in His fulness.





Sunday, July 29, 2018

Waiting


This word is going around in my mind in these days..waiting.

"My soul Waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning." (Ps130.2)

It has to do with the intensity if our desire - 
a greater desire than they who wait for the coming of the daylight,
a desire greater than the longing for the scattering of the darkness.

It is an intensity born in a different place, fed with a different longing.
"Lord,  I'm waiting on Thee"

"With Him is plenteous redemption' (verse 7) 
This is the ground of our waiting.
In Him all needs are met.

What a place, to be actively...waiting, waiting, waiting for the answer God has prepared...

Not looking to anything else, for as the day unceasingly comes again with light so His promise is sure to all who believe.

"Behold I come."(Rev 22.12) 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Set Before


"I have set before you"... (Deut. 30.19)

It is still true, and it is still the way God deals with His own.
There is a path before us and there is a choice.
It is a choice between unchanging Light and ever increasing darkness.
It is a choice between measureless fulness and utter emptyness.
It opens the Way of Life, or the path to death.

Maybe, because of the multiplication of sources, there has never been a time when mankind has been bombarded with so much information.
And through this the individualism characteristic of those who lived in times past has been lost among the demands for conformity.

Rather than judge things in their own light, our generation looks around and lets its judgment be formed by the norms of a society which is enslaved to the latest fluctuations of what is acceptable and what is not.
We can no longer live in freedom but rather in the "safety" of a world which makes decisions  for us.
God's world is the opposite of this one.

God's world is a world where things are unchangeable, and absolute.

The woman at the well saw the Truth and came with a message to the town; "come see" (Jn.4)
Our minds can be persuaded to change in their opinions but that which has been seen cannot be unseen.
She saw and she knew, with a knowledge which was hers forever.

The choice between God's world and this world is stark: it is a choice between darkness and Light, between blind stumbling and seeing an unfailing LIGHT.

There is a turning away from, and there is a turning toward.

God allows us, in a way, repeat the work of creation and separate the light from the darkness.
The door is opened for us to be, in unchanging reality, the children of LIGHT. There is illumination for all our days, and all our ways, through the Light that ever increaseth, and never faileth.

"The Lord shall be thine everlasting Light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended." (Is.60.20)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Beyond the Flesh


"O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come." (Ps. 65.2)

Maybe it helps to read it backwards....All flesh shall come unto Thee, O Thou that hearest prayer.

It doesn't say "all spirits come", or "all hearts come"- It speaks of the flesh.
To me it speaks of our mortality, of our weakness.
It speaks of the flesh, weary and insensitive.
It speaks of our self-absorbed confusion, 
and it speaks of our headstrong blindness.

It speaks of the flesh which attempts so much and yet achieves so little.
It speaks of the flesh whose strength is never sufficient to carry us through.
In short, it speaks of the clay-fettered spirit of us all.

But the verse opens a door ... to this poor limited flesh it says "Come."
This weakest of flesh can look upon something beyond itself.

 In the immensity of God there is an acceptance, no part is excluded.
All the height and depth, and length and breadth of our limitations can be brought and left with the Creator.

There, where all human resources have come to an end, God awaits us. He "hears" says the verse, and calls us to reach forth to His mercy and His resources.
When He hears He acts, and we are not alone.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Come ... In Earth


"Come ... in Earth" (Lk. 11.2)

This seems to be the missing element in our praying and our living

We hear prayers , and perhaps pray prayers, in desperate situations, ending with the words "ïf it be Thy will." 
And those closing words are really nothing more than an excuse for our lack of faith, of knowledge, of will.
It is so easy to profess so much, and yet know so little
'We have not wrought wrought any deliverance in the earth." (Is 26.18) 

"Come" until we find ourselves out beyond the reach of all earthly kingdoms and all earthly conditions..
"Come" with all I am - and all I lack; with everything that I have and everything that I don't have.
Come with all, all, all that I am concious of.

On earth there are many things which are distant from where we live - a distant truth.
Suffering is a distant suffering ...another's suffering. 
Faith is a mental thing distant from reality.
Even the words we find written in the Bible ...distant ...separated from where we live our daily life, from our feelings, from our thoughts.
And life goes by day by day, a day at a time, a day at a time.

All things are distant until they become personal.
     When it becomes my pain, 
          when it becomes my revelation - only then is it real.
Then, then, we can pray and ask God to do in earth as in heaven.

Deep calleth unto deep ... how deep are the infinite depths of God?
God calls us to the depths of eternal things ...to respond to a Reality which this world knows nothing about.
To seek and to find the One Who "worketh all things." (Eph 1.11)

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Few



Searching for reality ... 
     for an all-sufficient reality ...
          a Life giving reality ...
               an earth shaking reality.

As in Mt. 7.14 "Few there be that find it,"  - a happy few.

Aren't these words still true; and perhaps never more true than in our day of multiplied distractions?
We speak of the increase in knowledge and in science, but we account little of the multiplied means of distraction in our connected world.
What a trap is there for the child of God.
How easily time, and with it life, is stolen from us by these things. 

The reality of God is neither visible, nor fully understandable to the mind alone.

God is the Only Reality... to be sought and found - the Invisible ruling over the  visible - far beyond our religious exercises, and our fickle, baseless dreams.
'We grovel amongst trifles, and our spirits fret and toss'
And we tend to pursue all the unnecessary things, and none of the essential.

What a blessing, when we lose the trivialities of life, and are led to the well which springs up unceasingly to life eternal.

What a blessing, when beyond the processes of the mind, we are changed from glory to glory.






Sunday, June 24, 2018

"There is a Place"



There are times when truth lies beyond what words are able to explain.
There are things which must be known not by the mind but by the heart.

"The things of the Spirit of God ... are spiritually discerned" says the apostle 
(1 Cor 2.14)
Words cannot explain - they can only point the way.

When Moses saw God's glory he stood in a "place" where God appointed.

It is a very hard and yet a very simple thing that God sets before us.

It is a Choice ... 
     simple because the decision is simple,
          and hard because the decision is costly.

We cannot possess two worlds, and if we are to see and possess the realm where God dwells, we must leave behind the values and accoutrements that this world finds dear.

Again, beyond the processes of thought we must come to a place  where we believe God and rest ourselves in Him - a place where He Himself gives meaning to life.
In that place all is quickened with Life because He quickens all.

Faith and understanding and Life will not have to be sought because they flow from Him as water flows from a  spring.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

How do we See?


Shall ye not know it? (Is. 43.19)

So many things God desires for us to know.
So many things are hid from earthly eyes.
So many things which can only be perceived and understood through spiritual vision.

It seems paradoxical but containing a large measure of truth, that the more we try to understand and interpret God through our minds, the farther we find ourselves from the truth as it is in Him.

We butt our heads against the wall of unknowing, and the less result we find the more we insist!

The old saying, "Let go and let God" is perhaps never more applicable than in our seeking of Him.
     He alone is the Light.
          He alone bestows sight.
Without Him frustration piles upon frustration,
and without Him despair piles upon despair.

"Pour out you heart before Him." (Ps. 62.8)

If we can only find this utter simplicity,
and forget all else,
we will soon find Him leading us, 
to those realms where the heart is satisfied.



Sunday, June 17, 2018

Reality or Fantasy?


That which is of God is Reality, and all else is Fantasy.


Looking back I am surprised at how little is taught in all our Christian
venues of the essential meeting with Reality.


We sing hymns and don’t see beyond the words set to music.
We go to classes and don’t hear an imperative voice directing us to our
true Destination.
We read magazines about outreaches, programs and words of
encouragement.


We study apologetics and theology and the “how to” of evangelistic
outreach and yet we are not shocked with the impartation of Life.
We talk about Life, we sing about Life, we testify about Life and yet...


Somehow in it all, with all our looking we fail to see, and with all our
hearing we never hear the one essential thing.
Like the people in Jeremiah (2.13) we have forsaken the Fountain and
dug cisterns which are broken.
What we have, and practice, has lost all semblance of that thing which
God intended.


Our churches and our lives were meant to pulse with the very life of God
and yet this has been changed to talking about Him, perhaps on a level,
as Tozer said, of explaining the obvious.


As a church worldwide it would seem that we declare as Lord Byron,
“My days are in the yellow leaf,
the flowers and fruits of love are gone,
The worm, the canker and the grief,
Are mine….”


Two sins says Jeremiah...a forsaking and a digging.
By how far a distance have we left…
And to what places of stupidity has our superficiality or the man centered  “gospel” of our man engendered “interpretations” led us.
Mega-churches with multi million dollar "entertainment centers"
“Christian” cruises complete with “Christian” entertainment.
Trips to the “Holy Land” - for what?
It won't do us any good unless we can see that He is crucified day by day in every habitation of man,
every street and every city in this vast world of ours.
"His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn, His cross is every tree."

In a poor and bleeding world, to what better use could our millions of
dollars have been put.


How many things to rise up in judgement against us!


Heaven weeps and God says,
“How many times would I have gathered you.”


There is yet, a Place where He meets His own,
a Place beyond time and circumstances,
a Place in the Spirit realm where all of earth is left behind -
a Place where it is just Himself and His own.
This is the Reality beyond all we see and know through earthly eyes.


“To day if ye will hear His voice” (Ps 95.7)- He calls us to know Him Who
is the Eternal Fountain of Life beyond measure.

And He promises us, “ye shall seek Me … and I will be found of you”
(Jer. 29.13,14)

Sunday, June 10, 2018

"There in Heaven"


Many years ago, at the end of a journey, I stood in a small room, in a small home, in a small town.
On a table lay a tiny coffin with the earthly remains of the baby daughter of the couple who lived in the house.

In the lamp-lit darkness, and the weeping rain, we sang - a little group of people and an accordion.
The song was known and simple, "There in Heaven will be no Sadness, nor Sorrow, nor more Pain."
In Spanish the first phrase was repeated three times, somewhat like the Hebrew repetitions in the Bible which enlarge the thought.

"There in heaven, there in heaven, there in heaven"...

The pathos of the moment lingers, and will linger while life lasts.

We think of heaven.
We think of all that awaits us there - and for sure this is heaven's greatest Reality.
But I think that perhaps here on earth we do well to spare a thought for all that will not be there.

We can look to a world without Sin ...
A world without Pain and the Wounds of Wrong ...
A world without Violence, Suffering and Death - death not just of the body but the death of Hopes, and Unfulfilled Dreams.

We can look to a world where the infinite Discord of our place of existence gives place to Endless  and Infinite Harmony.
We look to a place where the Bible phrase, "It came to pass" refers only to the Good and never to the Bad.

Jesus said, "I go" but the phrase did not end there, but continued ...

"I go to prepare a Place for You."   Blessed Assurance!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Problem We Face


"All things work together for good to them that love God" says Romans 8.28

All things work together ...

It is true in a negative sense also.
It is true in the world around us - things are not disconnected from each other.
The things we see around us are merely the symptoms of something deeper.
The world of which we are conscious is only part of a larger world.

Our problem today is not the perversion of society.
Our problem is not the collapse of things we thought unmovable.
Our problem is that these things are only the visible manifestations of something more profound.                   
These tragic things are but the components of a reordering of thought and action in the march of time.

Our problem is that we are come once again to a place where for all mankind the demand is for Absolute Conformity and Absolute Acceptance.

We face the absolute demands of newborn ideologies which teach that everything that man does is valid, that all perversions are legitimate and all the things that men may believe have equal value.

That which we experience in our lives is only a replay of the absolute demands of  Nebuchadnezzar, of Imperial Rome, of the Inquisition, of Nazi ism in Germany or  Communism in Russia and around the world.

Behind it all is the enemy who from the time of the Garden of Eden - seeks to supplant God as the one to whom we bow.

We need to separate that which is of God from that which is of the world.
We need to remember that man's ideologies never lead to freedom but always to bondage.

What confronts us in our day is no different than the confrontation of past days.
The evolution of our democracies is leading us now to the captivity of a total slavery.
Like the falling drops of water wearing away the stone, the constant repetition of these "values" through every medium of communication around the world brainwashes us, until we accept them without question as irrefutable truth.

We mock the gullibleness of past generations and yet we swallow the same lies and walk the same paths as they.

Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice ... and they follow Me." Jn. 10.27
If we hear and follow Him we will not be deceived by the voices of society around us.
We will not bow to voices which call us, nor abandon the path which God has opened for our feet.
He is Life and He is Truth - the only Absolute for time and for eternity.


Friday, May 25, 2018

What guides us?


"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Rom. 8.14

By how many things are men led?
From the churches to the streets, how many run after the mirages of false promises?

Our supreme need in a world of darkness, is to open our beings to the leading of God.
We need to follow not our minds, or emotions, or desires, but to give place and be sensitive to the Spirit of God which is within us.

He is the One Who will "guide you into all truth." Jn. 16.13

We live in a world where, throughout the nations, men are crying in the surrounding darkness,
a world where hell has enlarged her mouth. (Is. 5.4)
In a world where pain and suffering, hurt and anguish, multiply like a virus - we need God.

God hears the cry of  pain.
     God knows the depths of hurt.

So much knowledge is head knowledge, and so little is the illumination of the Spirit

It is for us to believe as never before, and for ourselves and our families and our world, to take fast hold of the promise ...

"And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart." Jer. 29.13




Saturday, May 19, 2018

Our Need


"Hast thou but one blessing?" Gen. 27.38

This was the cry of Esau to his father when he saw himself deprived of the blessing which was intended to have been his portion.

There was not the faintest shadow of a doubt about the importance of the blessing obtained.
There was not the slightest doubt about the importance of the blessing lost.

The theme runs all through the Bible starting with the creation of man.
What then is a blessing?
Blessing is when God draws near, and says that He will do in our lives.
Blessing is what takes us out of the sphere of the natural and into the larger realm of the spiritual.

Blessing lifts the life up to a New Level ...
up to new Resources ...
causes things to Come to Pass ...
opens a New Path ahead ...
and connects our lives to God.

More than a one time thing, blessing is an ongoing flow.

Blessing is our need, and without blessing our lives cannot rise above the limitations of earthly things.

This is what God would have us seek ... 
Let us, from the depths of our being, say with Jacob, "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." Gen 32.26