Archive for July, 2011

Listen v4.45 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
The Practice of Inner Peace What is here urged are internal practices and habits of the mind. What is here urged are secret habits of unceasing orientation of the deeps of our being about the Inward Light, ways of conducting our inward life so that we are perpetually bowed in worship while we are also very busy in the world of daily affairs. What is here urged are inward practices of the mind at deepest levels, letting it swing like the needle, to the polestar of the soul. Thomas Kelly – Becoming a Holy Sanctuary of Adoration, circa 1930; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
But Only One Thing Is Needed … When the mind becomes acquainted with God and the sensibility is rightly developed toward Him, as it always must be before it can be at rest, and all the desires center in God, He comes to be the supreme end of the soul in such a sense. Now take anything away that you will, and leave his God, and you cannot affect his happiness; this one desire so swallows up all the rest. Charles G. Finney – Power, Passion and Prayer, circa 1860, copyright 2004 Bridge-Logos Publishers
Be not Hearers Only and So Deceive Yourself If you find that the teachings of Jesus are hard to understand and difficult to follow it is because they do not apply to you. The teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, specifically the Beatitudes, were written to Jesus’ disciples, hearers and doers of his word not hearers only. A disciple is one who denies himself, takes up his cross daily and follows. Tom Van Hoogen
Divine Denizen of the Deep There is a reason many Christians remain ignorant of the presence of the Holy Spirit who lives within: He dwells so deep. The Holy Spirit dwells below the life of the body, which is as the curtain of a tent. He dwells below thought and feeling, judgment and imagination, in the deepest reaches of the soul.

It is comparatively seldom that we go into the farthest reaches of our being. We are content to live the superficial life. We prefer to skim along the surface. We eat, drink and sleep. We fulfill the desires of the flesh and of the mind. We make short incursions into the realm of morals, the sense of right and wrong that is part of the makeup of men. But we have too slight an acquaintance with the deeper and more mysterious chamber of the spirit. Now this is why the majority of believers are so unaware of the divine and wonderful resident dwelling within. Let us all look deep into our hearts and souls to see who has come to live there.

F. B. Meyer – The Best of F. B. Meyer, circa 1910, © 2006 Cook Communications Ministries
To Thine Own Self Be True How can a person love another person who does not love himself, since he ought to order the love he has for his neighbor from a likeness of the love by which he is dear to himself? But someone who demands from himself or requests for himself something shameful and dishonorable does not love himself. The first thing therefore is that each person chastise himself, not allowing himself anything that is indecent, and not taking away from himself anything useful. Loving himself in this way, let him also love his neighbor according to the same rule. 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.
Love Dwells Below Surface Acts and Words Strive to be resigned in all things with silence, and in so doing, without saying that you love him, you will attain to the most perfect, quiet, effectual, and true love. St. Peter most affectionately told the Lord that for his sake he was ready and willing to lay down his life, but at the word of a young woman he denied him and there was no end to his zeal (Matthew 27:69-72). Mary Magdalene said not a word, and yet the Lord himself, taken with her perfect love, became her panegyrist, saying that she had loved much (Luke 7:47). It is internally then, with dumb silence, that the most perfect virtues of faith, hope, and charity are practiced, without any necessity of telling God that you love him, hope and believe in him, because the Lord knows better than you do what the internal motions of your heart are. Miguel De Molinos – The Spiritual Guide, 1675 – excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Curse in Reverse God did not create Adam holy, He created him innocent, without self-consciousness (as we understand the word) before God; the one thing Adam was conscious of was God and only of himself in relation to the Being Whose commands he was to fulfill; the main trend of his spirit was towards God. Adam was intended by God to take part in his own development by a series of moral choices whereby he would transform innocence into holiness. Adam failed to do this, Jesus Christ came on the same platform as Adam and did not fail. Supposing Adam had transformed the natural life into the spiritual by obedience, what would have happened? Transfiguration; he would have spiritualised the natural life and made it all that God wanted it to be. The natural life is neither good nor bad, moral nor immoral; it is the principle within that makes it good or bad, moral or immoral. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Unexpressed Intentions Some of us know what it is to love, and we know that could we only have our way, our beloved ones would be overwhelmed with blessings. All that is good and sweet and lovely and life would be poured out upon them from our lavish hands, had we but the power to carry out our will for them. And if this is the way of love with us, how much more must it be so with our God, who is love itself! Hannah Whitall Smith – The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, 1875 © 1998 Barbour Publishing, Inc.

The Student Has Become the Teacher

“Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Gal. 4:1-5.

Every son of God is placed under stewardship to be raised by the faithful and capable hands of the the law. It, the law of God written in the Book and on our consciences, is our “tutors and governors” until we graduate. The law stands over us with its guardian-like limits and restrictions, often seeming unconcerned and less than compassionate to our difficulties in making or keeping him satisfied. This law also stands ever before us and watches over us as a great and unforgiving disciplinarian. And in our minds eye we see his weighty watchful eyes and feel his heavy correcting hand. We think he a cosmic kill-joy to ruin our party.

Yet the law is good, very good. It is meant to accomplish many things. It is first and foremost to teach us that what we do actually matters. We learn all too soon that doing good (i.e. keeping the law) has its natural rewards, while doing bad (i.e. breaking or resisting the law) has its respective natural negative consequences. We desperately need to want to do good and the law is there to teach us that doing good has natural rewards, while not doing good has its pains.

Now all that is fine and good but that does not hold a candle to the real calling and purpose of the Law. Its real purpose is to lead us to Christ. “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Gal. 3:23-26.

This is where things get tricky and the slope gets slippery. We must not run from the law but embrace it, the very heavy-handed thing that seems to want to ruin our party every time we plan one, is the very thing we must learn to love and respect. We must not only learn to love the Word that teaches us and guides us, not only must we learn to listen to our conscience and obey it, we must also learn that every lawgiver and form of discipline is there to help us, not ruin our party. These schoolmasters include those persons in our lives that are watching over our souls: teachers, law enforcement and especially our parents. This is why the law says, “Children obey your parents that it may go well with you. This is the first commandment given with promise.”

All the slipperiness is the battle of wills going on in the mind, at the point of knowing the law and bringing ourselves into submission to it. We naturally resist limits due to our fallen nature. We want to discount, dismiss, deny and even destroy the law. We hate doing what we don’t want to do almost as much as we hate not doing what we want to do. Paul has immortalized this classic and common struggle in Romans 7. There is an immense inner struggle between will’s. There is my will and there is God’s will couched in the counsel of our schoolmasters. The battle rages right there.

To up the ante toward the side of evil, your enemy has been living in your head, telling you that everything you want is good and righteous and that everything that would take that away is your enemy and seeks to harm you. You want what you want and will try many things, even unrighteous, murderous and devilish things to get it. This is where we come to the meaning of the title of this message.

As we have been growing up under tutors and governors, schoolmasters but most commonly parents, teachers and the civil laws, we have learned to trust them, to a degree. We still don’t like not doing, having, getting what we want, when we want it, how we want it. Yet as we continue to gain understanding and knowledge we begin to think that we have the right to decide for ourselves. We begin to draw farther and father away from our guides, looking less and less to them and more and more to our Self for guidance. This is normal, natural and necessary. You are moving away from your innocence of not knowing while at the same time you are moving toward accountability, knowing good from evil. When you make these moves you have to answer for your Self.

The responsibility for those who watch over you and thus their protection and provision extend only as far as you are under them, receiving and responding positively. If you remove yourself from them then you are choosing to be accountable for yourself. You become a law to yourself – a self government. This is where the student has become the teacher. You have rights and authority but you also have tremendous responsibilities and are yourself under the final authority of God Himself.

You say to your Self. I will do this and I will do that. Nobody can tell me what to do. I have Independence from authority. I am the law. I decide for my Self. When actually you are only listening to the spirit of rebellion, pride and the very one that wants to claim your soul for eternity. You have become the teacher, the law, but as such you must answer to the Teacher, the Law Himself. He does not lower the boom immediately, but make no mistake you are living under judgment and skating on thin ice. Your life is held in the balance by grace extended. This grace is extended because it is God’s will that none should perish. You are living on borrowed time that God has given by His grace. He does not owe this to you and may take it back at any time.

Now comes the balancing act of the soul. The soul is situated halfway between the earth and heaven, halfway between the body with its lusts and the Spirit in which there is no sin. The soul sits in the intersection. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Gen. 2:7.

The body is attached to the soul and wants to bring it into submission of its bodily lusts which stem from seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting. It wants to serve Self. The Spirit also is attached to the soul and wants to bring it into submission to the will of God, to bring righteousness, peace and joy to your earth (i.e. your Self). It wants to establish the Kingdom of God within you.

The body entices you toward self-pleasure and the mind of the soul apart from Christ is wanting to serve it. It suppresses the law of God and brings you to act against Him. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” Prov. 14:1. The Spirit wants to lead you to God. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Prov. 1:7

So you begin working in your mind through the ever-churning thoughts of how to have what you want and to satisfy God’s law at the same time. You work diligently through the vehicles of justification, rationalization, denial and blame in a complex psychology that lets you break laws and feel good about yourself at the same time. You find good works to prop up your goodness and acceptability when confronted with conviction of the conscience and the Holy Spirit. You work and work and work to ease your conscience and push back the Holy Spirit because your pride will not allow you accept that you are deserving of death and separation from God, being independent, a law unto yourSelf. These works cannot save you.

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Gal. 2:16.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Gal. 2:21.

“Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” Gal. 3:21.

You have only one good option. Repent and be saved. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. Believe me, you don’t want to be a fool, a law to yourself. Be teachable. Submission is the key to alignment. Alignment is the key to authority. Authority is the key to power. Power is the key to the overcoming, abundant, victorious life that was bought for you.

Well, Well, Well… Now That’s A Deep Subject

In case you haven’t noticed, God often speaks to me through the writings of others. I see their words and then I see God’s Word. I hear their words, then I hear God’s Word. Of course, only after bypassing the eyes, ears and my mind, rushing the message of the Messenger (the Apostle or Sent One) straight to the Mind of Christ. God is such a chatterbox at times, if we will give Him an ear to hear, eyes to see and a heart to understand. It is hard to imagine life without Him walking and talking with me. In fact, there is no Life without Him. I pray for those who have not yet found Him and do not yet know Him in this Way.

First I will present a longer passage and then expound on what I see and hear (as best as words can relay the Word). It speaks volumes to me. I give testimony to what I have seen and heard. Blessed are the eyes that see and the ears that hear these things. The italicized body of text is from my reading of Oswald Chambers this morning:

The Tender Grace – Genesis 26:13-25

The only right a Christian has is the right to give up his rights. This is the tender grace which is usually looked upon as an exhibition of lack of gumption. The embarrassing thing about Christian graces is that immediately you imitate them they become nauseating, because conscious imitation implies an affected preference for certain qualities, and we produce frauds by a spurious piety. All the qualities of a godly life are characteristic of the life of God; you cannot imitate the life of God unless you have it, then the imitation is not conscious, but the unconscious manifestation of the real thing. “Pi” people try to produce the life of God by sheer imitation; they pretend to be sweet when really they are bitter. The life of God has no pretence, and when His life is in you, you do not pretend to feel sweet, you are sweet.

This passage sets up the classic Protagonist/Antagonist plot in which we, the sons of God, live in the present Time. The perpetual good vs. evil that pervades the relationships of men. For nature accepts her place and waiteth patiently for the manifestaion of sons. In the meantime, Good vs. Evil on the earth in the hearts of men. Isaac is the protagonist, the main character and advocate of the Cause of God while herdsman of Gerar (those who sojourn with no place to stay) are the antagonists, those who oppose as an adversary the man of God.

1. The External Greatness of Isaac
And the man waxed great, and grew more and more until he became very great. (Genesis 26:13 rv)
Isaac never became great in the way that Abraham did, his greatness is of a different order…

2. The Extraordinary Gentleness of Isaac (Genesis 26:14-26)
And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing [“living,” mg] water. And the herdsmen of Gerar strove with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek [“Contention,” mg]; because they contended with him. (vv. 19-20 rv)
The strife arose around a well of living water, and Isaac let them have it, that is, he refused to drink of the water of “Contention.” Whenever a doctrinal well becomes “Esek,” give it up; your life with God is more precious than proving you are right doctrinally. It is at the peril of your communion with God that you contend about a doctrine.

And so the man of God was labeled as an offense after bringing (through gentleness and meekness) living water to those who did not have a place in God. In my own life I have left those who I once shared place with in the traditional church because there was contention. They would neither see nor hear nor understand. Instead they claimed right to ownership over that place that they did not own, nor had they digged. When someone will not see nor hear nor understand move on.

“And they digged another well, and they strove for that also” (rv): and Isaac surrendered it, calling it Sitnah, that is, “Enmity” (rv mg). It is a great sign of grace not to break your heart because you cannot drink of the water of “Enmity.”

Once again, in another place, where kinsmen dwelt who did not have a place to call Home, those sojourners of Gerar, challenged Isaac over the living waters that he brought forth to that place. This other group went beyond contention to exhibit enmity, even hostility toward the man of God. It would have been heart-breaking except for the grace of having a place in Him. There are always more places to dig and bring wells, even places without contention and enmity.

I too have been here. This speaks to me through the experience of those whom you love and will not receive you nor the grace you bring to them. Jesus knows, he too has been tempted in this same way.

“And he removed from thence, and digged another well, and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth [that is, ‘Broad places,’ or ‘Room,’ rv mg]; and he said, For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”

You must keep moving on in the face of contention and enmity. Those who are offended would murder if they were not restrained by the law. They will even invoke an unrighteous judge as they did when they crucified our Lord. It is a hellish battle-zone to remain too long.

Fortunately God always provides a way of escape for those who stand for Him and having done all stand. He opens a new and living way and leads you there beside still waters in the open places where you may finally enjoy green pastures. He brings you to peace and rest in Himself and you can abide there in the shadow of the Almighty.

“And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for My servant Abraham’s sake.”

Not only do you enjoy peace and rest when you seek Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit (a.k.a. His Kingdom), but all these things (blessings) are added unto you as well by Him who is faithful and does not sleep but has His eye on you all the while. He is a Good Shepherd!

Isaac has come to a broad place and God appears to him, and for the first time the grand phrase, “I am the God of Abraham” appears. “And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord.”
When you stand up for another who has been grossly wronged and your stand to be of any avail must have the co-operation of the wronged one, there is nothing more maddening than to find that he is without any resentment. That must have been the heart-breaking embarrassment to the disciples over our Lord; they had built up their own ideas as to how He was going to bring in His Kingdom and they were prepared to fight for Him, then they saw Jesus meekly give Himself up to the power of the world, He did nothing whatever to assert His rights. In the Christian life the problem arises not from the world, which says you are a fool, but from your friends who are prepared to stand up for you.

Inoffensiveness, which is one of the chief characteristics of Isaac, usually means to our natural minds a quality unsuited to a strong personality. We have to bear in mind that the life of our Lord portrayed just this characteristic of inoffensiveness: “As a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before her shearers is dumb; yea, He opened not His mouth” (rv). “He was crucified through weakness,” and, “we also are weak in Him.” Anything to do with meekness and submissiveness is antagonistic to robust human nature. Our impatience gets beyond its limit because of the characteristics Jesus Christ insists upon: “Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart. . . .” The natural heart builds on adventure, recklessness, independence, impulse; the characteristics God prizes are produced only in the son of sacrifice.

Natural inoffensiveness may be the weakness of constitutional timidity; supernatural inoffensiveness is almighty strength scorning to use the weapons of the flesh. Inoffensiveness is self-control indwelt by the Holy Ghost, “the fruit of the Spirit is . . . self-control [moffatt].”†

3. The Eternal and the Haphazard (Genesis 26:28-33)
Let there now be an oath . . . betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee. . . . And he made them a feast and they did eat and drink. And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another. . . . And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac’s servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water. And he called it Shibah: therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba [Well of the Oath, or well of Promise] unto this day. (rv)

All the transactions entered into by both Abraham and Isaac, no matter how temporary or casual, were based on their relationship to God, that is, they used their wits in their worship of Him. This recognition of God began to be lost during Jacob’s life, and the children of Israel went on ignoring it until they came to establish all their transactions on their own wits… A saint can be ridiculed because he sees haphazard happenings in the light of the eternal—“The Lord guided me here, and there.” The fact that a man who is a fraud says the same thing as a saint is proof that he is counterfeiting something which is real. No actual fact has its right name unless you can worship God in it. Remember, whatever happens, God is there. It is easy to fix your mind on God in a lecture, but a different matter to fix your mind on Him when there is a war on.* You never get at God by blinking facts, but only by naming Him in the facts; whether they are devilish or not, say, “Lord, I thank Thee that Thou art here.”1

1Chambers, O. (1958; 2002). Our Portrait in Genesis. Marshall Morgan and Scott.

Quote Title Quotation Source
Everything Points to Him We rest not on the atonement, but on Him who made it; not on the death, but on Him who died; not on the resurrection, but on Him who rose from the dead; not in statements about him but in Him of whom they are made. All faith that turns toward Jesus is the right faith. F. B. Meyer – The Best of F. B. Meyer, circa 1910, © 2006 Cook Communications Ministries
We Need to Enlarge our Understanding of Pride God alters our estimates, and we shall find that God gives us a deeper horror of carnality than ever we had of immorality; a deeper horror of the pride which lives clean amongst men but lifts itself against God, than of any other thing. Pride is the central citadel of independence of God. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
The Father is What Pours Out of Him Because we easily imagine ourselves in need, we imagine that God is ready to forsake us. The miracles of Jesus were the ordinary works of His Father, wrought small and swift that we might take them in. The lesson of them was that help is always within God’s reach when His children want it. The mission undertaken by the Son was not to show Himself as having all powers in heaven and earth, but to reveal His Father, that men may know Him, and knowing, trust Him. George MacDonald – The Best of George MacDonald © 2006 Cook Communications Ministries.
He s Watching our Back For what sort of creatures should we be if we had no divine Teacher always at hand to show us our faults and awaken in us a desire to get rid of them? If I am walking along the street with a very disfiguring hole in the back of my dress, of which I am in ignorance, it is certainly a very great comfort to me to have a kind friend who will tell me of it. And similarly it is indeed a comfort to know that there is always abiding with me a divine, all-seeing Comforter, who will reprove me for all my faults, and will not let me go on in a fatal unconsciousness of them. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
The Comings and Goings of the Soul Therefore, in the first degree God enters into the intellectual soul and the intellectual soul comes back into herself. In the second degree she ascends above herself and is lifted up to God. In the third degree, lifted up to God, the soul passes into him. In the fourth degree the soul goes forth on God’s behalf and ascends below herself. In the first degree the intellectual soul enters into herself; in the second she passes beyond herself. In the first she proceeds into herself; and the third she proceeds into her God. In the first she enters for her own sake; in the fourth she goes out for her neighbors take. In the first she enters by meditation; in the second she ascends by contemplation; and the third she is brought in by jubilation; in the fourth she goes forth from compassion. Richard of St. Victor – The Four Degrees of Violent Charity; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Diet for Recovery In all but few exceptions, the local church has outgrown its robe of righteousness, purity and holiness, being filled with a self-love and self-righteousness that puff it up. The white robe that is prepared for it is a one-size-fits-all — extra small. The only frame that is small enough to fit it is the trim Body of Christ. 1 ounce of Pharisaical fat and it all unravels at the seams. If the local church would fit the robe of holiness she must enter into a rigorous regimen beginning with daily treatments of strong doses of repentance and sustained through large doses of humility with prayer and fasting of religious activity. However there is all you want to eat of the Bread of Life and the Water that washes you clean — the Word. Tom Van Hoogen
Getting Closer and Closer A friend of Horace Bushnell was present when that man of God prayed. There came over him a wonderful sense of God’s nearness. He says: “When Horace Bushnell buried his face in his hands and prayed, I was afraid to stretch out my hand in the darkness, lest I should touch God.” Unknown Christian – The Kneeling Christian, circa 1890, © 2007 Bidge-Logos.
The Book of books is Foremost Reading “I fell into the snare into which so many young believers fall, the reading of religious books as preferred to the Scriptures. Now the scriptural way of reasoning would have been: God Himself has condescended to become an author, and I am ignorant of that precious Book which His Holy Spirit has caused to be written; therefore I ought to read again this Book of books most earnestly, most prayerfully, and with much meditation. Instead of acting thus, and being led by my ignorance of the Word to study it more, my difficulty of understanding it made me careless of reading it, and then, like many believers, I practically preferred for the first four years of my Christian life, the works of uninspired men to the oracles of the Living God. The consequence was that I remained a babe, both in knowledge and grace. In knowledge, I say, for all true knowledge must be derived by the Spirit from the Word. This lack of knowledge most sadly kept me back from walking steadily in the ways of God. Andrew Murray – The Two Convenants, 1898, copyright 2005
Filling the Joy-Vacuum Again, spiritual joy often abounds when all other sources of joy are dried up. By this, I do not mean that joy in God precludes all enjoyment of the world and its pleasures; for this is very far from being true. My meaning is that when worldly sources of pleasure are cut off from us or are dried up, then God comes in to fill the void with richer spiritual joys. Charles G. Finney – Power, Passion and Prayer, circa 1860, copyright 2004 Bridge-Logos Publishers

v347 Greedy For God

Greedy for God

Ask virtually anyone if they could do with some more money and they will respond with a resounding, “Yes, of course, who couldn’t.” Now ask the same people if they could do with more God and you will find they are quite content with their portion. Why is it that we are greedy for money but not God?

We were definitely meant be greedy for something (or some One I should say). There is always this longing, this aching, this pining for something or some One who is missing. What is it that my soul longs for and desires to have? You see greed, for things and personal pleasure, is the place that sin is born when we are directed to hunger and thirst for unrighteous things. It stems from the desire and will to serve and worship ourSelf. Sin is that independent spirit that wants to do it “all by myself” for my Self, without dependence or submission to God, without regard for His will. Greed of these things is the essence of sin.

James put it this way, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:13-15.

“Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away…” Drawn away by what? The greed to fill the longing in your heart with your own agenda and effort apart from God. When you try to satisfy it with anything or anyone other that God Himself you sin. And you see where that leads don’t you?

So rather than trying to fill that empty place with any and everything other than God why not fill it with the peg that fits? Your enemy knows if he can get you to seek after other things then he can tempt you to sin and refortify your separation from God. The fear is that you will not get what you want. The answer is faith. God has promised you what you need when you seek Him first.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matt. 6:33. This what you were meant to be greedy for — God Himself. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matt. 5:6

Be greedy for God.

v4.43 For No Other Cause

For No Other Cause

Adultery is not always that visible, outward, sexual act. No, it is much more subtle than that. It is a matter of the heart. Adultery as defined in the Thesaurus has many shadings of meaning: infidelity, unfaithfulness, falseness, disloyalty, cuckoldry, extramarital sex. Gods Word speaks on the subject repeatedly as the nation of Israel consistently were unfaithful to Him who was faithful to them.

The adulteries of Israel were many and varied. At the core they involve not loving God whole-heartedly, but instead turning from Him toward others and things that competed with their affections. This adultery was blatantly seen in their continually turning towards other gods that were no gods at all. They were easily deceived to follow their own heart toward those things that would promise them wealth, health, power, prestige, protection, provision and so many other heart-desires.

How many times does God call Israel an adulterous nation? Fifty, one hundred, two hundred? Were they having sex with their other lovers? Not likely; they were giving their hearts to them, not necessarily their bodies. Here are some verses to think about:

Exodus 20:1-5: And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God…

Exodus 20:14: Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Jeremiah 3:8: And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce;

Jeremiah 5:7: How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.

Ezekiel 16:32: But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!

Proverbs 30:20: Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.

Matthew 16:4: A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

Mark 8:38: Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

So we see then that adultery is much more than an outward, visible act. It is always a matter of the heart. In rare cases, one may be caught in the act. But God does not look on the outside, He looks upon the heart. Thank God that when one is caught in the act and made to face judgment God extends mercy and grace by way of repentance. You see, when someone is adulterous it is not a statement on their spouse’s failure but their own wayward heart. Was God unfaithful or Israel? God is always faithful, He never leaves or forsakes, His spouse does.

God had given me this message early this week. Little did I know that He would finish it for me in one of my readings. This is from Johan Tauler, a German theologian from the 1300’s who had a profound impact on many including: John Bunyan, John Wesley, Martin Luther and Jeane Guyon, Fenelon, St. John of the Cross and more.

We touched on the words which our Lord spoke by the Prophet: “You have played the wanton and have followed a stranger as your lover; you have despised Me and gone after a stranger’s love; but now come back toMe and I will give you true repentance and pour into you living waters; if only you will return to Me with all your heart.” Jer. 3.

Observe the inconceivable and unspeakable mercy and goodness of God. How gladly He would talk to us as friend to friend if we would only go to Him. Our Lord has also said that if we fail to come back to Him, “I will contend with you in judgment.” A sorry warfare that will be for us, to contend with Him; for He will surely get the upper hand.

Children, take care, lest when that time comes, He will say that you are no sheep of His. For His sheep have heard His voice and have not followed a stranger, as He Himself said. Now what is this adultery which our Lord said you had committed so abominably? According to the spiritual sense, and not interpreting it more materially, it is, to say the least, that you have delayed in the world of images. And the stranger who you have followed, this lover of yours, is the host of alien images and notions through which you should have passed to Him. With such things your unfaithful hearts have dallied. But now come to Him and He will give you welcome and will pour living waters into you.

In the New Testament, our Lord mentions this water on two occasions in the Gospel. “If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He that believes in Me, … out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water, and they shall flow into everlasting life.” John 7:37-38. He spoke of this same water to the woman at the well: “Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again; but he that shall drink of the water that I will give him shall not thirst for ever.” John 4:13. “If you had asked it of Me,” He says, “I would have given it to you.” “Sir,” said the woman, “give me this water that I may not thirst nor come hither to draw.” Then our Lord said, “First go and call your husband (which is self-knowledge), and confess to Me from the depths of your soul that you have been no better than a cistern for all the long time that you have neglected to drink of the living water: and then they may be given to you. Also, you have had five husbands that is to say, the five senses). Alas! you have lived with them, used them for your pleasure, and made yourself unworthy of the living fountain by this inordinate insistence upon exterior and sensible [e.g. sensual] practices. But now abandon them and turn to Me, and I will give you welcome.”

You will find our Lord complaining of you again in the second chapter of Jeremias; “I planted you a chosen vineyard,” and I expected that you would have produced for me the best wine of Cyprus, wine of Engaddi. He spoke of the great labor He had spent upon His vineyard: “I have dug it over, made a hedge round about it, and dug in it a press, and gathered out the stones.” Though He said this to His chosen people, God meant it for all men, from that time until the end of the world. “And you have become bitter to Me, you have yielded sour wine, bitter and acid. Instead of the finest wine and grapes, you have given Me wild grapes and wretched verjuice—and for this I must contend with you in judgment. Yet only come back to Me, and I will pour into you living waters and true love.” (paraphrasing Isa. 5:1-4).


For no other cause.

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