Archive for October 9, 2010

Listen v4.9 Ladders, Not Bridges

Ladders, Not Bridges

Ladders and bridges are similar but different, and the difference is one worth noting. A bridge will get you from here to there and a ladder will take you from here to there too. Yet, the bridge is laid down horizontally. It will get you from one place on this plane to another place on this plane. From one earthly place to another earthly place. That is all well and good if you only want to be transported horizontally.

Ladders, on the other hand, are lifters. Their purpose is to take you from one plane to another. When used as designed they will get you from one plane to another higher or lower plane. That is a difference worth making mention of.

We are a horizontal people in general. We walk on a horizontal plane. We travel horizontally. We generally look and see horizontally, looking ahead and out horizontally mostly. We even tend to thinking horizontally, in a linear progression. Logic and reason are linear and we rely heavily on logic and reason to live and move and have our being.

Many have noted and observed the two axes of the cross, one horizontal and one vertical. The illustration is commonly given that men (the horizontal, temporal), intersect with God (the vertical and eternal) at the cross. Time as we know it (chronos), intersects with Eternity (kairos), at the cross. The physical meets with the metaphysical at the cross. And many more examples of earthly and heavenly intersections can be seen there. You may want to spend some time there and get a view of them for yourself.

Suffice to say that God is not bound in the plane or our perceived reality but supercedes, intercedes, occupies and transcends it in all ways at once. God is boundless is every dimension and certainly beyond our little horizontal plane. It would be like presuming all the music and sound of all Time could be represented in a single solitary note played once. Hardly.

But ladders. They can help us immensely. We all need a vehicle to get us to a different plane. Surely God is with us, here in Time, but He is so much bigger and better than what we can see in the limited plane of the horizontal. You are aware of the immeasurable immensity of the heavens aren’t you? Well, God holds the heavens in the palm of His hand (Job). There is so much more beyond the capacity of the Time and temporality, of earth and terrestrial things. They do not even measure as a microscopic vapor compared to the water of the ocean.

We definitely need a ladder. There is another view at every rung of the ladder, a higher plane. Christ is our Ladder. He is the vertical bridge between the earth and the heavenlies. When you become spiritual, when you enter into Him and live and move and have your being in Him, then you will wonder at how you thought you had seen it all before. When you are in Him, you too become a ladder, with your foot here, having dominion over the earth and at the same time, by the Mind of Christ, being seated in heavenly places with Him. You become a vehicle by which angels ascend and descend to minister in the earth.

Ladders, not bridges.

“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)” Eph. 4:7-10

“For in him we live, and move, and have our being.” Acts 17:28.

Quote Title Quotation Source
God s Prayer is Sometimes a Still, Small Voice By shutting out noisy acclamations and unspeakable unrest, he began to hear deep within himself a small voice that spoke with :an inexpressible tenderness, power and comfort. As I listened, it became to me the voice of prayer, and the voice of wisdom, and the voice of duty. I did not need to think so hard, or pray so hard, or trust so hard, but that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit in my heart was God s prayer in my secret soul, was God s answer to all my questions, was God s life and strength for soul and body, and became the substance of all knowledge, and all prayer, and all blessing; for it was the living God himself as my life and my all. A. B. Simpson – The Life of Prayer – circa 1890, © 2007 Bridge-Logos
Your God is a Jealous God If in the world you love one person more than the Lord, you are not able to be His disciple. To be a disciple of Christ you must love the Lord wholly. This is the condition for being His disciple. It is quite impossible for you to love the Lord and another person equally at the same time. Watchman Nee – The Salvation of the Soul, © 1978 Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.
The Shame of Christian Cowardice Oh, my Lord! When I think in how many ways Thou didst suffer, and in all of them undeservedly, I know not what to say for myself, or what I can have been thinking about when I desired not to suffer, or what I am doing when I make excuses for myself. Teresa of Avila – The Way Of Perfection, circa 1575
Getting Directly at the Root of the Problem I have no doubt that God treats you as one of His friends by giving you the cross. God s way accomplishes His purpose quicker than anything you could think of. God is able to seek out and destroy the roots of self-love. You, on your own, could never find those hidden roots. God can see the entire path of self-love within your heart. Let Him attack self-love at its strongest point. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
You Can t Lose This Bet True religion is betting one s life there is a God. Donald Hankey Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
You Must Agree With God Many say that they want to know God’s will but they do not — they deceive themselves. 

If you do not know God’s will it is because you do not love Him. You do not love Him because you do not know Him. You do not know Him because you do not seek Him. You do not seek Him because your heart is evil and He is Holy. Confess your sin that you may receive forgiveness by the blood and cleansing that you may enter His Presence where there is Love and Light. Therefore walk in the Light as He is in the Light.

Tom Van Hoogen
Peace With God Brings the Peace of God If the gospel of peace is our message, the peace of God should adorn our face with a holy calm, breathe through our lips like a benediction, and diffuse itself like the dew of the Lord over the places of human rivalry and hatred. Ours should be the blessedness of the peacemakers. Our tread should be only in the paths of peace, except when the trumpet of God clearly calls us to war against the sins and injustices. As the apostle Paul admonished, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). So then, let us follow after things that promote harmony and thus lead by example for all who desire peace. F. B. Meyer – The Best of F. B. Meyer, circa 1910, © 2006 Cook Communications Ministries
The Thrill of Living Victoriously Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. “He that will lose his life, the same shall save it,” is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers…. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it on the precipice. He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for a living with a strange carelessness about dying…. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
Anticipation and Lingering I will spread out my prayer like the victim on the altar, and I will look up and expect to receive the answer by fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice. Do we not miss very much of the sweetness and efficacy of prayer by a want of careful meditation before it and of hopeful expectation after it? Prayer without fervency is like hunting with a dead dog, and prayer without preparation is hawking with the blind falcon. Charles H. Spurgeon – The Treasury of David abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
Love From a Child s Viewpoint When I was just a boy at school and the charm of my companions was a great delight, amidst the habits and vices that usually threatened that age, I gave my whole mind to affection and vowed myself to love, so that nothing seemed more pleasant to me, more delightful, more useful, than to love and be loved. Alfred of Rievaulx, From Spiritual Friendship circa 1150; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
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