Archive for February 26, 2011

v4.29 The Big Picture – Part 12

The Big Picture – Part 12

Fishers of Men

So, although we talk of belief in Him and talk about God and Christ and the Holy Spirit, we do not know Him. We do not come to Him that we may have Life. Instead, we turn to the religious idols (intangible beliefs, traditions and physical charms, including church buildings) men, and ourselves, have concocted and force Him to fit Him into our image.

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.” John 5:39-45.

Interesting He says that they (and by implication many of us) are trusting in Moses. These were contemporaries of Jesus that He was speaking to. What were they trusting Moses for? They were trusting in the keeping of the Law (which at this point had largely become the traditions of men) to save them. Please God, anything but trusting you. We can’t control that. We can control what we can do, so we can trust in our own ability and strength to be good enough, to do the “right things”. But to trust you requires faith and a sacrifice of my control, my will to You. Please, not that.

Yes that. There is really no other Way, except faith in His ability, His strength, His Love. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. We must rest our entire weight of hope on Him. We must learn to practice and sacrifice every minute of this life on the altar, a living sacrifice. Then and only then are we trusting Him. Then and only then do we have faith in God. Then do we truly believe.

Faith is exhibited in this letting go of our agenda, our will, our desires, our hopes, our fears, our very life for His, that He might live and move and have His Being in us, through our personalities. It is in this death that you live and do not die. You give up the sordid, wrecked life of Self and gain His Life in you. It is a substitutionary life. He gave His life for you. Won’t you give your life for His? He acted in faith, won’t you also trust the Father?

Unfortunately for most this is just too much to ask. They still want to ask the question: “What’s in it for me?” Well, I am glad you asked. Everything. Everything you always wanted, and fought and coveted and sought to gain in your flesh is gained — no, received — in the Spirit of Christ. You get Love.

That is the bait. God lures us with love. He knows that inside us is a deep longing for intimacy and love that goes unfulfilled. He also knows that nobody will experience true Love apart from Him. He created the Love hole in you so that only He can fill the space. Nothing, no nothing, nor no one, can ever come even close to filling that hole. You will attempt to put everything you think may work into that hole, but it cannot fill it.

It is this Love that beckons men to come and rest. Come to Me and receive rest for your weary soul. So this is the test of the heart. Do you Love Me or do you love Self more? Do you trust Me, or do you trust Self more? These types of questions and the answers you demonstrate to them every day all day make clear your own heart, your own desires and beliefs.

God came to earth on a fishing trip, to catch the hearts of men that would be attracted to the bait of His Love. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10. And He came to teach us to do the same.”And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matt. 4:19.

Many who have been caught by the Lure of Love have now become fishers of men like their Teacher and Master, yet sadly many others have never even been fishing. They just want to be caught, not taught.

Quote Title Quotation Source
The Blessedness of Beholding Him I have already said something of the general blessings of God, which, in the natural course of things, come to the good and the bad alike. However, beyond this bounty, He has reserved for the good a special sign of His great love. We can never sufficiently thank Him for the gifts of nature: that we exist in our lives, that we can enjoy the sight of earth and sky, that we have a reasoning mind by which we can seek Him who has made all these things. Yet, for the greater gifts of grace there are not hearts enough nor tongues enough in all the world even to try to thank Him. For, when we were burdened and broken by our sins, and our minds were turned from His light and blinded by the love of the darkness of iniquity, He did not leave us to ourselves, but sent to us His Word, who is His only Son, so that, by His birth and passion in the flesh He assumed for our salvation, we might learn how highly God esteemed our human nature, and that we might be cleansed from all our sins by His unique Sacrifice and, by His Spirit, have Love poured into our hearts, so that, with all our warring over, we might come to everlasting rest in the supreme blessedness of gazing on His face. St. Augustine – The City of God, circa 400, copyright 1950 by Fathers of the Church
Yours For the Taking This verse sums up what has been said before this is a cross!… The Lord has not said that he who does not take up his burden and follow after Him is not worthy of Him. No, He says that whoever does not take up his cross and follow after Him is not worthy of him. A burden is not a cross. Burden is something inescapable; the cross, however, is subject to personal choice and can therefore be avoided. What the first cross in history was, so the countless smaller crosses will be which shall follow afterwards; just as the original cross was chosen by the Lord, so the crosses for today must also be chosen by us…. All the crosses one takes up must be chosen by oneself…. We should take the cross, not make it. Watchman Nee – The Salvation of the Soul, © 1978 Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.
All Ye Who Will, Enter In When once you have defeated the enemies of God (i.e. sin, pride, self-isms) you will enter the land (operate in the Spirit) in open places (in Christ). Once you are in Christ all the worldly activities (e.g. eating meat) are unrestricted and unlimited. You may enjoy yourself in Christ. There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Take eat. Do not call unclean what God has cleaned. Tom Van Hoogen
The Precious Price of Progress The majority of us prefer to get up and ride rather than to get out and shove. It is only the people who get out and shove who really make things go. The men who are up against things just now and who are determined to get at Reality at all costs, and will not accept a thing on the religious line unless that line states Reality these are the men who are paying the price for the next generation. The reason we are here in the natural world is because our mothers struggled for our existence, and the more unhindered the birth pangs the stronger and healthier the child. A thing is worth just what it costs. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
God-Man, The Intersection of Extremes And now I began to find that this duplex passion was the Christian key to ethics everywhere. Everywhere the Creed made a moderation out of the still crash of two impetuous emotions. Take, for instance, the matter of modesty, of the balance between mere pride and mere prostration…. It separated the two ideas and then exaggerated them both. In one way Man was to be heartier than he had ever been before; in another way he was to be humbler than he had ever been before. In so far as I am Man I am the chief of creatures. In so far as I am a man I am the chief of sinners. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
No Spectators Allowed The law of the kingdom is this: every believer is to live wholly for God’s service and work. Andrew Murray – God’s Plans for You, circa 1890, © 1983 by Whitaker House
The Disallusionment of Knowing I remember, I remember,
the fir-trees dark and high;
I used to think of their slender tops
were close against the sky;
it was a childish ignorance,
but now tis little joy
to know I’m farther off from heaven
then when I was a boy.
F. W. Boreham – The Luggage of Life, 1912, published by Kregel Publications
Man s Capacity for Love vs Angel s Incapacity It is a mysterious thing, and one to which we scarcely dare allude, that there has arisen a Redeemer of fallen man, but not the fallen angels. We would build no theory on so awful and inscrutable a truth; but it is too much to say that the interference on the behalf of man and the non-interference on the behalf of angels, gives ground for the persuasion, that men occupy at least not a lower place than Angels in the love and the solicitude of their Maker? Charles H. Spurgeon – The Treasury of David abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
God, The Infinite Measure of Perfections Every attribute of God, every revelation of His character, every proof of His undying love, every declaration of His watchful care, every assertion of His purposes of tender mercy, every manifestation of His loving kindness all are the filling out of this unfinished “I am.” Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
A Promise with a Punch What God in His sovereignty may yet do on a world-scale I do not claim to know: but what He will do for the plain man or woman who seeks His face I believe I do know and can tell others. Let any man turn to God in earnest, let him begin to exercise himself unto godliness, let him seek to develop his powers of spiritual receptivity by trust and obedience and humility, and the results will exceed anything he may have hoped in his leaner and weaker days. A. W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God
%d bloggers like this: