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)