Tag Archive: spiritual

v4.13 Not My Will, But Thine

Not My Will, But Thine

Jesus wants you to walk with Him and learn of Him. He always prepositions this offer with “If”, if you will. What is your desire? Do you want to do My will or not? Jesus wants you to be His disciple. Do you want what He wants or do you want what you want? This simple test speaks volumes about your heart toward Him.

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23.

If. If what? If any man will, if any man has a heart to do My will. If any man is seeking relationship with Me and to please Me. Then I will show him things with eyes that see, then I will speak things to ears that hear, then I will give him understanding and knowledge and wisdom, then will you enter into abundant Life. Then you will enter into Peace and My Rest. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matt. 11:29.

Rest. We can’t even conceive of the bliss of being delivered from our Self. Self rages and wars and lusts to have, to hoard, to covet, to take, to consume on itSelf. Self knows nor cares about no one else. He or she is true to his name. Self has one ambition, to exalt, to feed, to worship Self and exact the same from every one else. You must see this and stop defending him. As long as you have Self pity you are his slave.

The Lord beckons you, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself.” Do you not see that the first order on the agenda of being a disciple, one who follows after to learn and become like his Master, is bringing to nothing this Self. Judas did not deny himself. Judas stands as the foremost example of the tragedy of a man who would not follow Jesus. Are you a disciple or a Judas? Any man or woman who will not deny themselves may easily become a Judas for the right price.

You see that any Self ambition can be placed in the balance against your relationship with Jesus. And if you have not learned and practiced and solicited God’s help with this self denying business then Self ambition will weigh heavier than your allegiance to Jesus Christ. What is the price of your allegiance? What weighs heavily in the balance against Christ and sells Him out time and time again?

Money is often the root cause. It is the root of all evil. For the soul that is lost and separated from their heavenly Father, protection and provision are the foremost concerns. A clear indicator that you have not denied yourself is that you are always fearful about the future. This is the perpetual message being piped out by the Prince of the Air. “God can’t help you. You have to watch out for your Self. You can’t trust Him. If you don’t take matters into your own hands, then you won’t get what you (e.g. Self) want.”

If you have learned to trust Him, learned to deny your Self then you can say with confidence and by faith, “I know my heavenly Father loves me and has complete power and resources to provide for me and protect me. If it appears that I lack something or will not have enough I am being deceived. I have faith in my Father. I trust him to protect and provide for me. If I do not have it, it is because He knows that it is best for me.” Is this not what Jesus told Satan when tempted in the wilderness? “Bread is not my only food, but My Father, He is Life to Me. He will never leave Me nor forsake Me.”

So the money in the balance (i.e. currency) comes in many forms. Most often it comes in the form of what I have to do to get what I (Self) want. And we listen and obey Self all day in this regard (yet not all of us, not you right? ;). We see what Self says we want and need, we listen to Self’s plan for getting it and set out like a slave to do his will. Self assures us of our right to be happy. It is our right to be happy isn’t it? Not even remotely. “Thy will, not mine.” If you are a child of God you have no rights. If you are a child of God you have a lot of duty — love one another, keep the commandments, be ye therefore holy, come ye out from among them, do not love the world, etc.

All those rights you give yourSelf are lies and very marketable deceptions of the enemy, like the ones sold in the Garden. Are you buying all this stuff?

Listen to what Oswald Chambers says:

“It is not the bad things that are the stumbling-block to becoming a disciple, anyone will give up sin and wrong if he knows how to, but will I give up the “rightest” thing I have got, viz., my right to myself? will I crown Jesus as Lord? Whenever Our Lord talks about discipleship that is what He bases it on, the giving up of my right to myself—“ . . . let him deny himself.” Many are called, but few prove the choice ones, that is, few of us take up the cross and follow Jesus, the reason being not that we are irreligious and bad, but we don’t prefer that Jesus should be Lord.

We like to hear about deliverance from hell and forgiveness of sins, but this comes a bit too close, this demands too much, and we back out. “Upon this many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him” (rv), they went back from following Jesus and never became actual disciples. If I do become a disciple my career may have to be ruined, am I prepared for it? is He worth it? “IF any man would come after Me . . .” “If” means, “You don’t need to unless you like, but you won’t be of any account to Me in this life unless you do.” Wherever Christian experience is proving unsatisfactory it is because the Holy Spirit is still battling around this one point, my right to myself, and until that is deliberately given over by me to Jesus Christ I will never have the relationship to Him He asks for.”

So God places Jesus Christ in the balance against any and everything in this world system. (And there are a lot of things in this world system: money, fame, health, power, material things, even your affection for your family, anything and everything that Satan can use to further his purpose), Now they are not all there at once, but essentially they are. You must not love the world. God will systematically ask you to give up these things, He will place them opposite your relationship to Jesus Christ.

Self will join hands with the ruler of this world system and assure you that you have rights to these things that the world offers. After all, “everyone is doing it, having it, enjoying it”. Not everyone. Those who are following Christ have denied themselves, taken up their cross and are following Him.

Its a tough sell. And only those who want to do God’s will choose this life. Those who want to follow Self and his will deny Christ. They want to exercise their own Self assigned “rights”. I can’t say for sure where this places them in eternity. I just know that I want to please God and do His will. I am not interested in my will.

Not my will, but Thine be done.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

We all like to get where we are going. I’ve noticed that I always like to entertain the idea that I should take the scenic route to work and enjoy the views along the way, but I rarely do. I like to get where I am going.

In travel, especially that travel marked by spiritual landmarks, the goal is to get to the destination, where God wants you to be. Although you may or may not enjoy the journey, and some of the sights can be less than pretty, you do want and need to get where you’re going. The Israelites present the classic example of going places but never arriving. Their Wilderness experience is a lesson in the costliness of lostliness. Lets just say they had some things they had to work out before they could enter in.

God has places we need to go, places we need to enter into too. He has marked out paths for each one to travel to get to the destination of His purposes. Which are, namely, to know Him and the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus, to become complete and mature, fully functional and spiritually operating sons of God. Then, when once we are become the sons of God, He desires that we be set forth in the Kingdom to accomplish His will on the earth, as His delegated authorities.

We have a long way to go by those standards. Many are having trouble finding the pathway much less getting on it and making good progress and good use of time. But lets, for argument sake, assume you are already on the path, following God the Light. That He is able to lead you in His paths of righteousness. How will you try to get there?

Some common modes of transportation we are familiar with are planes, trains and automobiles. Think of each of these descriptions in a spiritual mindset. Look for the parallels of the concepts to the spiritual progress and hindrances they each present.

Of these, trains are the least popular method. Trains have inherent limitations. The time you would save by rolling on continually is lost by the time it takes to start and stop at each loading station. It seems like there is more starting and stopping than forward motion. They also have a very limited number of places they can take you. They can be noisy and a difficult place to find rest. They can however, get you where you are going, but the ride is often bumpy and slow going. Trains are like your emotions.

Automobiles have their own set of pros and cons. An automobile has great agility to change direction and course quickly. It can start and stop very quickly too. You get to decide where you are going and which way you prefer to get there. The more frequently you have gone to a destination the easier and quicker it is to get there the next time. Sometimes you can just put your car on autopilot and it seems to know the way.

On the downside, travel by auto has a more complicated set of rules than the train or the plane. There are frequent lights and stop signs, guard rails and ditches and medians that keep you on a prescribed path. There are police that may pull you over and become costly, both financially and in time spent. Autos require a lot of maintenance and attention too, you continue to pay for them the more you use them. It seems like they are always needing repairs and new parts.

Then, of course, there are all those other pesky drivers that can cut you off, that run contrary to the direction want to go. If you are not careful you may be headed for a collision with others. And don’t forget about the traffic problems and breakdowns along the road. Cars are high maintenance. Automobiles are like our mind.

Plane travel is superior in many ways. I would never dream of trying to fly a plane myself though. I know I need a pilot. Planes get you where you are going quickly and cover lots of distance in short order. They are not subject to traffic jams, and your typical ground rules. They are navigated and attended by a seasoned pilot who has done this many times before. They provide the best comfort and rest as compared to the other modes mentioned. Planes are also the safest and most dependable mode of travel.

Planes have amazing views, taking you above all that is on the earth. They give you greater perspectives of the things below. And your view of the horizon is only limited by the height at which you are traveling. The higher you fly the farther you see.

Planes operate by the laws of aerodynamics that give them the ability to overcome the laws of gravity — the pull of the earth. And with the laws of thrust and air lift you are able to rise above and soar to incredible heights. The things that make planes work is beyond me. I don’t have to understand how they work, just trust them and have faith in their ability to take me where I need to go.

Your emotions will never get you where God wants you to go. Your mind will never get you there either, although you will see a lot, your perspective will always be horizontal. No, if you want to get to where God wants you to go, if you want to see the way God sees, you will have to go there by plane. You will have to leave this earth for a while, get a different perspective and then come back. Planes are like spiritual travel as compared to trains and automobiles. The price to fly spiritually is submitting your will to the pilot’s. You have to trust Him and rely on Him alone to get you where you are going. Just sit back, rest and enjoy the view.

“…they shall mount up with wings as eagles…” Isa. 40:31.

v296 Holey, Wholly, Holy

Holey, Wholly, Holy

Each of us is born naturally, not of the spirit but of the flesh, by human effort and work. We are born in Adam. As such we live unto ourselves and die by ourselves. We know this instinctively and by experience. We soon learn how we have to perform and do things so that others applaud to get the things that we need. We do and do and do it seems, but we just cannot get enough to make us secure. Even the most wealthy men in the world go to sleep wrestling with fears of loss and insecurity (why do you think they worked so hard to get money in the first place?).

We are each born with a huge hole in us — we are holey. We spend our years trying to fill our holes with things that we think can remove the gnawing pangs of an empty soul. We live in fear and unrest, lacking peace and joy.

Then by God’s will and design He makes Himself known to us. We hear Him (with spiritual ears) by the Word of His testimony and we respond to know more of Him and then one day we see Him (with spiritual eyes) as He reveals the Light and Truth and Love — Himself to us. Some quickly take inventory of their worldly stance and goods and weigh that they will not pay all that for Him and go away having seen but not believed unto salvation.

Others see Him and begin to gaze upon the beauty of His holiness and realize that He is the One who fills the hole. They take possession of Him by faith and begin to live in Him. Yet the transaction is only partly complete. We want Him to fill our hole but we have gathered so many things that are dear to us.

We are not willing to depart with our worldly riches. God cannot fill the hole till you empty it. He is the perfect fit yet he cannot occupy His place fully till you remove the worldly things you have gathered to yourself. He wants to live in you wholly.

Years and years go by. You have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. You wonder why you too cannot have this holiness that He promises. Then slowly, thing by thing God begins to show you that you do not need them, that you need Him. One by one, often painfully and grudgingly we hand over the remnants of an old dead person’s treasure. We make more and more room for Him.

When once He is wholly yours you become like Him — Holy.

Holey, Wholly, Holy.

Listen v4.10 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
My Job Discription My one work is to obey God. Andrew Murray – The Two Convenants, 1898, copyright 2005 CLC Ministries International
Send the Light, O Lord, Send the Light Not understood. We move along asunder;
Our paths grow wider as the seasons creep
Along in years; we marvel and we wonder
Why life is life, and then we fall asleep —
Not understood. 

Not understood. How many breasts are aching
For lack of sympathy. Ah, day by day,
How many cheerless, lonely hearts are breaking,
How many noble spirits pass away —
Not understood.

O God! That men would see a little clearer,
Or judge less harshly when they cannot see!
O God! That men would draw a little nearer
To one another! — they’d be nearer Thee,
And understood.

F. W. Boreham – The Luggage of Life, 1912, published by Kregel Publications
Not Knowing You Know Not It is possible to grow up in the church learn the catechism and have everything done to us that they do to us, within reason. But after we have done all that, we may not know God at all, because God isn’t known by those external things. We are blind and we can’t see, because the things of God no man knows but by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit said through the apostle Paul, “even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (1Corinthians 2:11). God knows Himself, and the Holy Spirit knows God because the Holy Spirit is God, and no man can know except by the Holy Spirit. For any man to disregard this truth is to entirely shut out spiritual things from his understanding. A. W. Tozer – The Counselor, circa 1955, copyright 1993 by Christian Publications
All Exits and Detours are Blocked I see that every natural means of help is shut off. God intends to accomplish His work in you by cutting off every human resource. He is a jealous God. He wants you to see that what He is going to do within you can only be done by Himself alone. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
What Have You to Lose? Tell me, what possible risk do you take in depending solely upon God? What risk do you run by abandoning yourself completely to Him? The Lord will not deceive you (that is, unless it is to bestow on you more abundance than you ever imagined).
However, those who expect all of these things from the Lord by self-effort will hear the Lord s rebuke: You have wearied yourselves in the multiplicity of your ways, and have not said, Let us rest in peace. (Isa. 57:10).
Jeanne Guyon – Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ, circa 1680
The Right Righteousness The church is founded on, and consists in, this doctrine alone. So if we want to teach and lead other people, we need to pay careful attention to these matters and to note well this distinction between the righteousness of the law and the righteousness of Christ… So I warn you, especially those of you who will become teachers and guides of consciences, to exercise yourselves continually by study, reading, meditation on the Word, and prayer, so that in time of temptation you may be able to instruct and strengthen both your own conscience and that of other people, and to bring them from the law to grace, from active and working righteousness to passive and received righteousness, from Moses to Christ. Martin Luther – Commentary on Galatians – circa 1520; Crossway Publishing © 1998 by Watermark
Given a New Name! At last he burst out as he had done earlier, crying, Oh wretched man that I am! What shall I do to be saved? And, as before, so now again, there was no reply. I saw also that he cast hungry eyes this way to the left, and that way to the right, seeking some place to flee for his escape. Yet he continued to stand, trembling, out in the midst of the field, because, as I perceived, he could not tell which way to go. Then, from the right, I saw a man named Evangelist approaching, who addressed him thus, Good day, Christian. Good day, moaned the man woefully. But, pray tell, sir. Why did you address me as Christian? Because if you continue to read from that little book in your hand, a Christian is what you must surely become, said Evangelist with joyful assurance. Hmm. Even though my name is now Graceless ? asked the man doubtfully. Aye, said Evangelist earnestly. Though your name should be called death itself, yet would the reading of that Word give you life! John Bunyan – The New Amplified Pilgrims Progress, circa 1660; Adapted by Jim Pappas, Jr. © 1999 Orion s Gate
The Pride of Unteachableness That is the danger of putting theology first; it leads a man to tell a lie in order to be consistent with his point of view. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Receptivity and Productivity This passage gives the double-sidedness of conversion. As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith (Col. 2:6-7, rsv). Note, received receptivity; so live activity. It appears again, rooted receptivity; built up in him activity. The rooted means we take from God as the roots take from the soil; the
built up means we build up as one builds a house, a character and life by disciplined effort.
E. Stanley Jones – The Habit of Reading the Bible Daily – circa 1930; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
The Trap of Reason Never succumb to the reasonability of common sense — for God’s wisdom is always uncommon and unreasonable, it requires faith in what is not seen. God’s ways are higher than our ways. Tom Van Hoogen
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