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

Saturday, May 12, 2018

To Know

Eph. 3.19  To Know ... to be Filled...

"To know" ... the words echo within - like the rumble of the non-stop thunder that sounds across the pampas when the rain comes.

Paul's prayer finds an echo within and becomes my prayer.
It is somehow beyond my capacity to comprehend and yet it makes itself known. 
"To know .... to know .... to know" - resounding on and on, beyond the mind's understanding - and yet so clear.
It is  the cry of a process in the depths.
It is a cry seeking with insistance to find revelation to the spirit - the realm where it is really needed.

We humans are inclined to condition our lives in such a way that all knowledge must come through the mind.
Our mind becomes the gatekeeper of our souls, and things greater than the mind can comprehend are lost to us.
The Spirit of God is held back by our clay-shuttered doors, and we are left to wither.

Let us leave behind our petty concepts and seek to know in our spirits, in the depths where Life dwells.

"To be Filled" with that which is not of man but fresh from the hand of God.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Not perish

Remembering today the hymn written over 100 years ago by William Cushing, when the order of society was starting to fall apart before the explosion of the first world war.

"Under His wings I am safely abiding,
Tho' the night deepens and tempests are wild ..."

And Jn 3.16, "shall not perish."

What a perishing world we live in.
The hopes of yesterday perish with advancing time,
yet the things we have trusted God for never perish.

Eternity is as broad as it is long, and that which is of God only increases.
He leads us from faith to faith, from victory to victory, from glory to glory.

"Though the night deepens" His rest increases within.
Things fall apart in the world of men and yet as they do He is unchangeable.

His faithfulness is eternal and our lives are, in the deepest recesses, untouchable.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

To See ... To Hear ...Introduction to Leonard Ravenhill book

Today we live in a time when we know everything and yet know nothing. 
It is a time when we have all the answers but nothing works.
It is a time when we need to find God afresh.

Somehow it was brought to my attention words which I had written a decade ago as an introduction to the Spanish translation of my father's book, Why Revival Tarries.
I quote them again here.

Have  things changed for the better now in the intervening years?


Beyond the visible lies the invisible.
Beyond the known extends the unknown.
Beyond the path trodden stretches the unexplored.
Beyond all the emptiness of the enemy lies the substance of God.
There are those in our midst who have seen, known and walked where others have not, and we do well to pay them heed.

My father's life stretched across the twentieth century, from seven years after its commencement until six years before its end.
At the time of his birth the kingdoms and empires of Europe existed as they had for generations.
Communist dominion and the World Wars were as yet unknown, and as his life unfolded he saw all these things come to birth and later die.
The world wars and the efforts of mankind to forge an enduring peace and a world of democracy ran their weary course, and failed before he reached his final rest.

He saw perhaps the beginning of the end - not the dawning of a new day but the falling of the night that precedes the dawn.
He saw the birth of a time without answers; a time when the old systems ceased to function and the new was yet unborn - a time of chaos, without form and empty.

He saw this kaleidoscope of change, and forcing his spiritual vision, his eyes were open to see the forces which operated around him.
Participating in a measure with He who sees the end from the beginning he was quickened to see the emptiness and fruitlessness of human schemes and projects, before they had ever reached their end.

This was the vision which made him what he was.
There could be no hesitation, no turning.
As I have said before, his religion was of the heart, the realm where the Spirit quickens life.
Other sources could not satisfy and produced within him a pain, a contempt and a weariness.
For him only the heart was important, and the only source that could minister to the heart of man was the Spirit of God; everything else was at enmity.
All the limits that reason, society or human weakness could present, were to be attacked without mercy.

He was fully alert to the world of mankind, the world of man's government and man's ambition, and yet he was awake also to the world of God and things unchangeable and eternal.

The vision of a man is born in a place apart.
John the Baptist from outside Jerusalem, from the desert, proclaimed his message to those steeped in their tradition. 
So in a way, the author of these pages spoke, from outside the comfort of the church's activities and its programs, with a message from a different place.

That which is seen by revelation is difficult to transmit to others.
Physical vision comes through the eyes and is interpreted by the mind.
A seeing person can invite another to look, but he can never transmit to a blind person what he has seen.
So in the realm of the spirit, beyond the mind and beyond emotions, that which is of the heart demands vision in the hearer if it is to be perceived.
Somewhere along the way there must be a quickening of the spirit.

There are things which are spiritually discerned or not discerned at all.
Throughout the years my father ministered in many churches, denominations, Christian organizations and to a multitude of individuals.
Many only perceived the external shell of his message, and yet left convinced that they had heard, and knew what Leonard Ravenhill's vision was.

So many times the message was lost to the hearers.
Perhaps it was because they never really wanted to know, and they were of those who hear the words without taking action.
Perhaps they were of those whose knowledge comes from the teachings of men; who were never quickened to see the things of God's kingdom.

The flame which converts the pool of gasoline into an uncontainable flame is useless when applied to water.
We need to draw near to any message from God leaving our own ideas behind. We need to draw near to any messenger sent from God, with a desire to stand where he has stood and to see what he has seen.

Only in this way can the message be transmitted to us and become life within us.

Let us pray with the psalmist, "Open Thou mine eyes that I may behold."