Monday, January 30, 2006
And I will make you ‘eye witnesses’ of Me.
"Behold, the days are coming," declares the Lord GOD, "when I will send a famine on the land--not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east;they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD, but they shall not find it. "In that day the lovely virgins and the young men shall faint for thirst.
He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). To him who overcomes (conquers), I will give to eat of the manna that is hidden.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
The Beatitudes: Matthew 5:1-12, Luke 6:20-38
Are the Beatitudes just religious platitudes to which we give mere lip service?
In light of the nasty world in which we live, and considering those still controlled by the evil one, what do we see? Do we see anything other than our own hopelessness, shame, guilt? Do we then try to drum up something – anything - kind or loving towards those who sin against us, rub us the wrong way, piss us off, etc?
Maybe the Holy Spirit is the Divine Optician performing the eye exam we desperately need - meaning, it is his ability that opens the eyes of our heart to see. See what? See whom?
Like an x-ray, we slowly begin to see that all we’re looking and longing for is found in Christ Jesus, and that He is in us, joined to us. We are one in Him.
Is it possible that His life in us is the only life available to us? And maybe it has nothing to do with our trying to be ‘Christ-like!’ As he was in the world, so are we. Maybe we have a secret identity, so secret that most Christians have NO idea who they are! I mean, come on! Being called a ‘saint’: isn’t that all about some righteous Catholic who lived ages ago?
I wonder why we struggle so much over the plain and simple language used in the bible, for example: “great is the mystery of godliness”, “It is no longer I that lives, but Christ, nevertheless I do live, but I live by the faith of the Son of God”, “Christ in you the hope of glory”.
Is Jesus Christ still external to us or is He our very life? To paraphrase the words of an old hymn: “Reach out and touch the Lord as he passes by…Hopefully you won’t find Him too busy to hear your heart’s cry….”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. When? When we die and go to be with Jesus?
Revelation 3:“17 Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
If we’re not seeing Him, no wonder we try so hard to cover up our blindness, wretchedness, misery and nakedness!“
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full into His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace”.
Thank you Father that you have hidden this from the ‘wise guys’ and revealed it unto the children!
Monday, January 09, 2006
A brief excerpt from a letter written to my son.
Once upon a time, there was a young man who was as lost as lost could be. His name was Richard. He honestly believed he had nothing going for him in his life whatsoever. A funny thing happened to this lost young man on his way to hell – he ended up meeting the Lord. Using the term ‘born again’ had more significance to me than just the religious connotation. The impact of it upon my heart, for the very first time, meant that I had a purpose, a reason for being alive unlike ever before. And it was this purpose that I craved passionately to comprehend.
You have to understand that not ever believing I was good for anything or anybody, just like dust blowing in the wind, that this encounter meant to me far more than just being a ‘go to church’ attendee. Almost from the get-go, it was my erroneous perception that this experience of running into God was somehow spelled out that I was to be in the ministry. And like King Arthur and his search for the Holy Grail – wanting to be in the ministry was the fuel that fired me up to look for that.
What I thought originally was a good thing literally stole the affections of my heart. I allowed it to steal my heart in very practical ways, much like a drug addict or alcoholic who hurt the people that are closest to them – the ones they should have been most concerned about – except in my case, this drug was religion.
At the time, even though I was a Christian, the deception of being called into the ministry wouldn’t have appealed to me whatsoever - if in fact I knew my worth, value and significance just in being a child of God, my Father’s son. But looking back, I clearly see how incredibly easy it is to be self-deceived. And it’s extremely painful now in seeing the pain that I caused people – your mom, your sister and particularly you. Again, not trying to excuse myself, I naively, innocently, unknowingly, whatever – became deeply deceived. Nonetheless, through this deception, innocent people such as you became victims of much hurt and pain.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Oh God, the need for the eyes of our heart to be opened on a daily basis to the reality of His, the Father’s heart for us! Without the growing awareness of this truth, we will constantly lose heart and choose to capitulate. Also, we need to begin to see with ever greater clarity the reality of having Satan within our flesh. It’s imperative that Christians realize that he resides there, NOT in our spirit. The flesh is the beachhead from which Satan launches his attacks on us.
We have grown up believing that our thoughts were just that, our thoughts! But what if an enemy, lying low, disguised and camouflaged within our flesh is the one directing the thinking? He injects his poison into our souls causing us to think, “What a scum bucket I am!” (note: I do not blame everything on the devil. We do have a choice in the matter.)
The image of Christ we now bear in our spirit is trying to redefine us within our soul. This redefinition will be contested by the enemy step by step. Though perfect, we are being perfected.
I love this section of a quote by Oswald Chambers:
”No matter what changes God has wrought in you, never rely upon them. Build upon a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit He gives.”
We take a quick detour into insanity when we choose the path of least resistance, i.e. tips, techniques or principles to apply to live by, rather than seeking after Jesus who intends to take the seeker for the ride of his life straight into the unknown! So much undiscovered territory lies hidden to us regarding the Father’s heart and His intentions for us. This territory will never be discovered by becoming ‘civilized, or domesticated’. Religion, no matter what its flavour or colour, will do its hellish best to castrate us as we settle for a form of godliness while lacking any real power. Power? I’m not talking about speaking in tongues or any of the attributes Christians may find empowering, nor am I referring to power in the context of right or wrong denominational status. What I AM talking about is the grace, the power to give up the right to our lives for His sake. As it is written:
“Greater is he that rules his own spirit than him that captures an entire city.”
There are so many situations or circumstances that have shaped us into people we were never meant to be, riddled with fears, insecurities, etc. This is the stuff our Father is addressing within our soul: “For this purpose was the Son of God manifested in the flesh that He might destroy the works of the devil”.
The Truth (Christ) is bringing us full circle to examine the truth vs. the lies we have and continue to believe. And the Truth shining into our souls can seem quite hellish as it reveals to us what has shaped our personality - things that have nothing to do with who we now are in Him. I feel that much of the building up the Father does, comes on the heels of His tearing down - tearing down the edifices constructed in our souls that depict anything but truth.
In the movie “Hook”, I love the part where the grown-up Peter is taken back to Never- Never Land and the children study his face. One little boy in particular manipulates Peter’s unfamiliar adult face in his hands, stretching it this way and that, only to come to this conclusion: “Oh, there you are, Peter!” In the same way, Christ is resident in our spirits. We bear His image, but it has to become real, or be made known to us.