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..