Archive for August, 2010

Preoccupied with His Coming

There are more and more signs of the Lord’s imminent return. He is coming. He is coming! One thing is for certain; His return is closer every day. One day the trump will sound, and as the song goes, God will say, “Son, go get my children”.

Another thing is for certain. There are many who are waiting till they see the signs of His coming in order to signal their need to change gears and get themselves ready for His entry. “But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.” Matt. 24:43.

You will not know the day. It will be just like every other day until He comes. But when He comes it will be a day unlike any other day. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matt. 24:36-39.

“The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of.” Matt. 24:50.

So why all the preoccupation? Does it really matter what day it will be? Will you change who you are when you see that the time is near? Do you think that a change in your recent outward actions will hide a inner heart that is not turned toward Him? Do you plan to act or do things differently because His coming is soon? What if you knew it was going to be next week? Do you think that racing around doing good and acting holy will change your character? It should not make any difference in the way you act and what you do if you knew it were going to be tomorrow or you knew it would be in two thousand more years. God is not mocked. And you would be mocking Him to think that you could hurry up and put on a good show because you knew He was coming.

God is not impressed with outward actions motivated by fear. He is looking at the heart to see if it is like His, motivated by love. Man looks on the outside, God looks on the heart. He is coming when you do not expect Him. The way to be ready is to love Him all day, every day, to be about your Father’s business all day, every day, to feed His sheep all day, every day. To be ready in season and out of season. Consider that every day you do this He has come. He has come in your life and in your heart to make Himself known through you.

At the Last Supper Jesus taught His disciples: “And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” 1 Cor. 11:24-26.

If you really want to preoccupy yourself with his coming then take, eat, take, drink. Have such intimate communion with Him that you take Him in and He becomes you and you become Him. That is what you should do till He come. Don’t watch the skies. Eat, drink and be married.

Quote Title Quotation Source
Be Careful What You Ask For Do you think you can ever possibly have to bear so much that you ought not have to bear anymore? How does right enter into the matter at all? I really do not know. Before we begin talking about not having our rights, let’s wait until we receive some honor or gratification, or are treated kindly, for it is certainly not right that we should have anything in this life like that. Teresa of Avila – The Way Of Perfection, circa 1575
The Dominion of Flesh Over the Soul After the fall, all which belongs to the soul comes under the control and bondage of that which belongs to the flesh. All psychological forces are thus governed by physiological forces. Satan’s objective is to liberate man’s soul power through the breakdown of the outer shell of his flesh so as to free his soul from its fleshly bonds, thereby manifesting his latent power. This is what Revelation 18:13 means by making merchandise of men’s souls. Indeed, man’s soul has become one of the many items of the enemy’s commodities. The enemy desires especially to have man’s psychological abilities as his merchandise. At the end of the age, particularly during the present moment, Satan’s intention is to carry through what he had at the beginning aimed at in the Garden of Eden. Although he initiated the work of controlling man’s soul in the garden, he had not fully succeeded. For after his fall, man’s whole being, including his soul power, came under the flesh. In other words, man’s psychological forces came under the dominion of his physiological forces. The enemy failed to make use of man’s soul power; accordingly his plan was foiled. Watchman Nee – The Latent Power of the Soul, circa 1939, coypright 1972 by Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.
3 Unions, 3 Persons, 1 Unity When the union is in the understanding alone, it is a union of pure intellect and is attributed to Jesus as a distinct person. When the union is in the memory, affected by an absorption of the soul into God and a profound forgetfulness of one’s self, it is attributed to the Father as a distinct person. And when it takes place in the will alone, by a loving joy, without sight or knowledge of anything else, it is a union of love and is attributed to the Holy Spirit as a distinct person. The latter is the most perfect of all, because it comes closer than any other to essential union and is generally the road by which the soul arrives at it. Jeanne Guyon – Song of the Bride, circa 1690, copyright 1997 by Whitaker House
Which Every Joint Supplieth Among the members of the body of Christ, there is a great diversity of gifts and operations. Some who are confined to their homes because of sickness or other duties may have more time for waiting on God. Others, who are overworked, find it very difficult to take time and be quiet before the Lord. These may mutually supply each other’s lack. Andrew Murray – God’s Plans for You, circa 1890, © 1983 by Whitaker House
The Umbra of Self-efforts In most cases, the modern church has departed from the Light of God and most often dwells in the shadows cast by Reality. The church busies its members with forms of religion rather than Fact. We have made prayer, worship, Bible study, ministry, evangelism and missions the outward signs of our beliefs. Why impress the world with shadows cast by the sun when they can see the Son shining directly on all things. “Ye shall be witnesses unto Me.” You can never see the sunny side of things, till by faith, you pass to the heavenward side. Tom Van Hoogen
Gazing On the Beauty of Perfection The “will” which is here signified, is that the light of heart, and that certain pleasure, in the law, which does not look at what the law promises, nor at what it threatens, but at this only: that “the law is holy, and just, and good.” Hence it is not only a love of the law, but that loving delight in the law which no prosperity, nor adversity, nor the world, nor the prince of it, can either take away or destroy; for it victoriously bursts its way through poverty, evil report, the cross, death, and Hell, and in the midst of adversities, shines the brightest. Quote by Martin Luther from The Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon, abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
You Just Have to See for Yourself Oh could I tell, ye sure would believe it!
Oh, could I say what I have seen!
How should I tell or how can ye receive it,
How, till He bringeth you where I have been?
Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Money, The Currency of Another Economy Some of us have looked into the face of our idols and found that one of them is money. Though we, along with millions of other churchgoers, are saying that Jesus saves, we ask ourselves if we are not in practice acting as though it were money that saves. We say that money gives power, money corrupts, money talks. Like the ancients with their molten calf we have endowed money with our own psychic energy, giving it arms and legs, and have told ourselves that it can work for us. More that this we enshrine it in a secret place, give it a heart and a mind and the power to grant us peace and mercy. Elizabeth O Connor – Dealing With Money; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
So Much to Learn, So Far to Go He knew her through and through, in all the intricate labyrinth of her lonely heart, better far than she knew herself. No one understood better than he, that growing into the likeness of a new name is a long process, but he did not say this. He looked with a certain tender pity and compassion at the glowing cheeks and shining eyes which had so suddenly transformed the appearance of plain little Much-Afraid. Hannah Hurnard – Hinds Feet on High Places, circa 1950, © American version 1975 by Tyndale House Publishers.

Listen v4.2 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
Tickling Itching Ears Submitting yourselves one to another (KJV) (not – to one another), out of reverence (fear) of God. The NIV has totally perverted the meaning of this verse. The NIV reads “submitting to one another” (e.g. mutual submission which would mean wives to husbands and husbands to wives; children to parents and parents to children; slaves to masters and masters to slaves — this is pure lunacy) the original reads in KJV “submitting one to another” (e.g. each one of you is to submit to another one out of reverence for God which would support – wives submit to your husbands; children obey (e.g. submit) your parents; slaves obey your masters). Now the authority and order of God may be witnessed by others as we submit to God’s authority in every matter.
This confusion, or shall I say perversion and corruption, has undermined God’s authority at all levels in every place for untold time. And we happen to like our version better, since it removes from us any obligation to submit to another.
Tom Van Hoogen
Soul Power All who are gratified by the world today shall lose the position of raining with Him in the future. Consequently, the salvation of the soul is quite different from what we commonly know as the salvation of the spirit ( which means having eternal life). Watchman Nee – The Salvation of the Soul, © 1978 Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.
The Rewards of Righteous Rule We call those Christian emperors happy who govern with Justice, who are not puffed up by the tongues of flatterers or the services of sycophants, but remember that they are men. We call them happy when they think of sovereignty as a ministry of God and use it for the spread of true religion; when they fear and love and worship God; when they are in love with the Kingdom in which they need fear no fellow sharers; when they are slow to punish, quick to forgive; when they punish, not out of private revenge, but only when forced by the order and security of the republic, and when they pardon, not to encourage impunity, but with the hope of reform; when they temper with mercy and generosity the inevitable harshness of their decrees. We call those happy who are all the more disciplined in their lusts just because they are freer to indulge them; who prefer to curb the waywardness of their own passions rather than to rule the peoples of the world, and to do this not out of vainglory but out of love for everlasting bliss; men, finally, who, for their sins, do not fail to offer to the true God the sacrifice of humility, repentance, and prayer. We say of such Christian emperors that they are, in this life, happy in their hope, but destined to be happy in reality when that day shall come for which we live in hope. St. Augustine – The City of God, circa 400, copyright 1950 by Fathers of the Church
Each Land Has its Own Laws What is true is that as there is a law in the natural world so there is a law in the spiritual world, i.e., a way of explaining things, but the law is not the same in both worlds. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
To Devote is to Give by Consecration Devotion signifies a life given, or devoted to God. He, therefore, is the devout man who lives no longer to his own will, or the way and spirit of the world, but to the sole will of God, who considers God in everything, who serves God in everything, who makes all the parts of his common life parts of piety, by doing everything in the Name of God and under such rules as are conformable to His glory. William Law – A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, circa 1728; Random House Inc. © 2002
Community Well If God fills your cup you must be willing to pass it around and let all others be refreshed from the same fountain. Show them where the fountain is, and how good its waters are. They do not know much about these things, and they need such hints as you can easily give them, if your own heart is full of that divine joy. Charles G. Finney – Power, Passion and Prayer, circa 1860, copyright 2004 Bridge-Logos Publishers
Milking Forbidden Never say anything, directly or indirectly, that will provoke praise or elicit compliments from others. Do not let your praise be the intended end of what you say. If it so happens that someone speaks well of you in the midst of a conversation, you are not to stop the conversation. Only remember this: do not let praise for yourself be the design of the conversation. Jeremy Taylor – The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living, circa 1650; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
The Way is Lined With Its Crosses In the other degrees of prayer there is more enjoyment, although those who are in the beginning, the middle, and the end all have their crosses, however different. Those who follow Christ, if they do not wish to be lost, must walk in the way he walked. Blessed labors that even here in life are so abundantly rewarded! Teresa of Avila – On the Four Stages of Prayer – circa 1560; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Eliminating the Competition Almost immediately after our blessed Lord had performed perhaps the most stupendous of His miracles, in raising Lazarus from the grave, after he had been dead four days, we are informed by the Evangelist that the chief priests and the Pharisees took counsel together to put him to death. What a humbling view does this circumstance give us of the depravity of human nature as exemplified in these men, who, while obliged to confess the fact of the miracles which Jesus wrought, not only refused to accept Him as the Messiah, but even conspired together to rid themselves of Him by condemning Him to death! Neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead. F. W. Krummacher – The Suffering Saviour, Meditations on the Last Days of Christ, Wipf and Stock Publishers


Reception, Recognition, Reliance

These three concepts encapsulate contiguous and concurrently compounding phases of experience and expression of God’s Abundant Quickening Life that is available to us in Christ’s Life through His (and our) substitutional death. They are both the acts and the states of Being that describe a maturation process from child to adolescent to a fully grown, complete and mature son of God. Ask God for wisdom now. He gives to all freely and liberally without finding fault. You have not because you ASK not. Ask, Seek, Knock (ASK). “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

By God’s wonderful and seemingly serendipitous circumstances (though absolutely God-orchestrated and God-ordained) you were brought to the knowledge of Truth—Him. Some have been brought here and thought about it too long, trying to figure out an angle. They saw and then went away sad, perhaps realizing (to some extent) the cost. I do not know what hope remains for them, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened… to renew them again unto repentance.” (Read 2 Tim. 4:10 and on). But that is not you right? Right? You have received Him. You have opened your heart by the instrument of Faith and invited the Skill and Knowledge of the Surgeon General to operate, receiving the saving Word, which is Life, a deposit of Him.

Well aren’t we special? And we are peculiar indeed! We are chosen not for our own merit or genius but by grace, His Grace. Now and sadly for decades, possibly centuries this is what they celebrate down at the church-houses. We are chosen, we are chosen! If you repeat that often enough you will begin to think it has something to do with you. That you were special and that is why you were chosen. God forbid!!! He is Special, and Wise and Sovereign. All the credit is His.

Yet in the stage of Reception many crystalize in the thought of their own specialness and chosen-ness. There comes this putrefying, festering self-contentment which stews into a morbid self-congratulation that when full blown yields the fruit of unrighteous self-regard, the same as can be more easily seen in others, particularly those dirty rotten Pharisees, — Religion. You were never bought and paid for so that you could enjoy you. He, the Christ of God bought you, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, UNTO the praise of HIS GLORY [emphasis added]. Eph. 1:13-14.

So you have enjoyed a Reception. Your Life in Christ was a Gift from God. Just as Lucifer was gifted and made to be the Head Honcho of the Heavenly Host and lost his perspective, do not clamor for and exalt yourSelf to a higher place. Do not think equality with God something to be grasped and say in your heart, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” For this is exactly the end product of a full-blown religion centered on our own worthiness. The church that first saw God as all-merciful, then all-wise eventually might include His choosing me as part of His wisdom. It wasn’t that you were special. He IS.

This Self-annihilating, self-depreciating thought is the first step toward Recognition. We do not yet know God as He is. We must seek Him daily and come near to His Presence. As we approach Him in sincerity of heart, in humility of mind, we are at once stricken with our own unworthiness. Only holiness may approach Holy. If you have feelings of Self-worth you are miles, perhaps galaxies away from God’s Presence. If you were ever to have a sense of your true worth it would not come from Self but the sense of Him who is worthy of all praise and honor and glory Who lives in you. It is not you who is worthy of praise. “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” Psalm 115:1.

Our Recognition is just this—that we see ourSelf correctly when we see Him correctly. Until this time you have placed many veils over who you are for you have not yet seen Him. You do not need physical eyes to see Him, you need spiritual eyes. These eyes are the spectacles that the Great Eye Physician, God’s Holy Spirit must fit you with. You see clearly when you seek and find the Light of Him Who is Truth and Reality. He is to be found most easily in His Word where you submit yourSelf to the Word and its mind-renewing and transforming abilities. Which by the Spirit is unto us Life and Peace. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Rom. 8:6.

We experience Recognition when our spiritual glasses clearly show us Him, God Incarnate. He is the exact, EXACT, representation of the Father. “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” Col. 1:15. When we look on Christ, “My Lord and my God.” we see Him Who is the inexpressible, expressed in earthly form. Not the shape of his body and the features of His face but the creating, healing, teaching, loving, helping, serving, encouraging, leading, protecting, providing, etc., etc. and all the Good Works of God manifested through Him.

Recognition comes also when we see Him in His creative works, in everything that He made and that is submitted to Him for His glory. He is All-in-All yet we have shrouded and obstructed our vision by seeking Self and not Him. Recognition—sonship—begins when we seek Him. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2.

In the adolescent phase of our Walk we are tempted to get a little cocky. We again congratulate ourSelf for our efforts — efforts to die, efforts to serve, efforts to know, efforts to change and become like Christ. In this too we have our mind focused on Self. We have again realized ourSelf and placed him in position so as to obstruct our perfect view of Him. Yet God in His wisdom and loving mercy and tender kindness will begin to allow trials and afflictions to come to those who are sincerely seeking Him, His Person. A persistent seeker will tactfully, strategically, gingerly be “handled” by His Spirit. There will be this continual tug-of-war. And to be sure it is a war. Self wants to gain back and keep hard fought and lost territory and the Spirit is seeking to establish His Kingdom on earth (your earth, in You) as it is in heaven.

God’s Kingdom is not established by might nor power. No. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD.” Zech. 4:6. So how is it established then without might and power? By yielding and depending and Reliance on Him. “For the kingdom of God is… righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Rom. 14:7. We do not fight the world, the flesh and the devil. We yield ourSelf to God. When you fight you engage the flesh and Self. A simple illustration should help. If someone were to try to push you, you would immediately become resistant to them, engaging your strength and effort, yourSelf. If on the other hand, you were to be pulled upon there would be little you could do to prevent them from pulling you their way. Yielding is trusting Him, not exercising Self effort. Self-protection, self-awareness, self-gratification, self-effort, and all other self-directed and self-generated activity is sin.

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.” Rom. 6:12-19.

It is during the heat of the battle that the crisis is greatest. What do you do when you are attacked, offended, taken advantage of? Do you strike back, dig in, resist? Of course you do. It is natural. What is not natural is letting go, yielding, depending and trusting upon God. Reliance only manifests itself in the battle for Self’s territory. Can you turn also the other cheek? Can you go the second mile? Can you love your enemy as yourself? No. Only God can. When you are poked, what is inside spills out. And be careful for those who are full of Self. It isn’t pretty. Only one who is “like God”, only a son of God spills love when poked. This, in the end, is the fruit of righteousness that God wants to show the world. That is why your loving Father allows all this.

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Heb. 12:11.

This Reliance upon God bears the fruit of righteousness that reveals that you are truly a son of God. That you are like your Father. “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3:18.

And these are the sons of God.

Reception, Recognition and Reliance.

Listen v4.1 How Long?

How Long?

When it comes to our spiritual blessing and inheritance it seems to be so long. We wait and wait and then we wait some more. It seems like eternity that we are waiting for God to do what only He can do, what He has promised to do. What on earth is He waiting for? Why doesn’t He do it?

Then He shows the flip side of the waiting game. How long O man, will I wait for you? He waits and waits and then waits some more. It seems like eternity that He is waiting for us to do what only we can do, what we promised to do. What on earth are we waiting for? Why don’t we do it?

If you feel any frustration at God because He is taking so long, look Who is waiting for who.

Exodus 16:28: And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?

Numbers 14:11 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?

Numbers 14:27: How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.

Joshua 18:3: And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?

I Kings 18:21: And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

Jeremiah 4:14: O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?

Jeremiah 31:22: How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.

Matthew 17:17: Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?

I Timothy 3:15: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

If we are waiting for God to change His plan and purpose we will lose this Mexican standoff. “For I am the LORD, I change not.” Malachi 3:6.

Your move.

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