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Sunday, December 10, 2017

"Thy Kingdom come...Deliver us"

“Thy Kingdom come…..Deliver us”


I find myself coming back to this prayer again, and again, and again.


The first petition of the Lord’s prayer is for a new world, God’s Kingdom... and the last petition is the cry for us to enter that new world.


Ever since the Fall,
   ever since Sin entered the world,
        ever since Destruction and Despair were unleashed,
This has been the cry of the world, the universe.
This is the cry of the ages and the groaning of creation...."Deliver us."


Rom. 8.19 creation waits...waits for the Sons of God to come into their own.


We all need God’s deliverance and without it we cannot advance.
Without God we can neither understand the measure of what has been lost, nor the measure of that which awaits.
It is a spiritual process, and we are too much of this world - too much affected by its thinking...its attractions...its fears.
And true freedom is unknown among us.

When we get free from outward entanglements we too often find ourselves entangled on the inside -
   unable to free ourselves from the cares, worries and frustrations of        mankind…
       unable to free ourselves  from our self-centered awareness of all that life entails.
Deliverance is an entering into a new realm, a place where one ceases to be conscious of limits.


As we see the impossibilities of self-deliverance, may God give us also to see the way of escape…
from the destruction of sin...
of sickness...
of darkness...
and of oneself.


May we see this great all-involving cry “deliver us,” as the only pathway to finding the freedom...
Here is the length, breadth and height of the Kingdom of  God.

May we cry that cry, and reach for that transforming deliverance.

May we see the limits of imprisonment taken away, and the dawning of a new day where the horizons of the Kingdom stretch far and far away.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Kingdom Power



Similar to the first commandment, which includes in its essence all the other commandments, the phrase “Thy Kingdom come” encloses all the rest of the Lord’s  prayer.

Years ago a man in Africa, a man of brilliant mind and outstanding achievements,  was converted.
As he met the reality of God, he expressed that dawn of awareness in the words, ”So, there really is a Kingdom.”
The rest of his life was lived in that reality until he was martyred for his faith by Idi Amin.

We each live in a kingdom… a kingdom which surrounds us.
We live, and play out our lives, either surrounded by the Kingdom of God, or the kingdom which belongs to this world and the enemy.

Someone once wrote a book about Alaska titled “Coming into the Country.”
In his book the author sought to explain a different land, a different climate, and a different class of people who lived there.
We as Christians are called to come into a country, a land, a Kingdom different from all that exists in this world around us.

God’s Kingdom shines brighter against the backdrop of a world whose kingdom is degenerate and corrupted in all of its parts.
    This world’s kingdom is a place where right is called wrong, and wrong is  called right.
          It is a place where political correctness rules and does not permit us to form our own judgements, or follow our own consciences.

Our goal as Christians should be to live at all times in the Kingdom of God.
Our cry should be:    
Let not earth rule in my life
         Release me from earth’s bondage…
               Show me the dimensions of God’s Kingdom...
                      Let me find the place of freedom, of faith, of Life...
                           Let me live in God’s Kingdom...
                                 Deliver me from earth’s smallness, and show me the  “Land of far horizons” where the King is seen in His beauty.”


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving



Thanksgiving because…

“The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.” 2 Chron. 16.9

God looks on the heart…

If our hearts belong to Him...
our “lives” may be ...lacking, limited, and so consciously earthbound.
We may be well aware of the hurt of our limitations.
    There may yet be a fog of confusion in so many things.
        Yet, beyond our mortal frame... there is a New and Living Way, which the One Who sees the heart spreads at our feet.

If our hearts are in His keeping He will carry our lives until we mount up with wings.

Monday, November 13, 2017

What is Prayer?


Speaking of God, Job says, ¨Whom I shall see for myself.¨
He knows that there awaits for him a personal unveiling, a personal revelation.

Through the passing years...
through the joy and pain...
through the striving and seeking...
things gradually start to come into focus.
One begins to catch a glimpse for oneself of the essential nature of things.

It is not an academic understanding of what things mean, but rather a finding an understanding that “works” for oneself, in one’s own life.


So, with prayer.
The matter is infinite, and a full understanding must await another world than this, but God gives us to see enough to find our way.


Prayer is the Cry of the Earth to the God of the Heavens.
That is all it takes...and it takes all of that!


Prayer is a bringing of all my being to God, with all the intensity which I possess.
It is a bringing of everything positive and everything negative.


Prayer is a bringing of all my faith and all my doubts.
It is a bringing of all my strength and all my weakness.
It is a bringing of all my light and all my darkness - all I can see and all I can’t see.
It is a bringing of all my joy and all my sorrow.
It is a bringing of all my health and all my pain.
It is a bringing of all that I am and of all that I am not.


Prayer is a looking to heaven, because earth does not have the answers.
It is all I am, meeting all that He is.

Facing our need, as Israel, we can sing and cry, “Spring up, Oh well” (Num. 21:17)... until the waters flow... until our life is flooded... until the earthly meets the heavenly.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Difference

“What is the chaff to the wheat?” Jeremiah 23:28

We are again at a point in history where the chaff seems to have taken over the field.
The abundance of things in their outward appearance seems to have swallowed the true essence.
Wheat is unknown, or perhaps despised...too hard, too small, too unyielding.

When, in the church, callow young people with a certain capacity for music are given the task of leading people to the realms of the Spirit by means of musical extravaganza, is this not Chaff?

When pastors raise their voices to proclaim with the delirium of a dream, that God’s aim is to smother your life with wealth and unceasing happiness, is this not Chaff?

When the Spirit inspired message is replaced with a sterile interpretation of the scripture from men’s thoughts, is this not Chaff?

God says in Jeremiah (2:13) “They have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters.”  
What unutterable tragedy, to have left Life!

Would that our ears could hear God’s invitation, calling us to the fountain of living waters... that place where Life is given freely to all who come...where there springs up an endless renewal of Life eternal.

“Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev. 22.17

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Maybe it´s a Simple Thing


Maybe it´s a simple thing we have trouble with.


Israel in a desert place, and in a place of unbelief, asked
“Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?” Ps.78:19


This is the cry of all earth’s desert places.
This is the cry of all life’s desert places.


He could then... but can He now?
He could there... but can He here?


God would have us know that He is Always and Forever God!
Place and Time and Circumstance make no difference to Him.


It is a simple and yet a profound thing to bring all our needs to Him because He is God


His Love has no limit.
His power has no limit.

He sees, and has compassion.

"The desert shall rejoice...and blossom as the rose." Is. 35:1

Thursday, October 19, 2017

By a Prophet




Hosea 12:13 "By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved."



Here we have a glimpse of the power that worked in Israel's deliverance and guidance - a glimpse, not just of a moment in history but of the Principle of God's working throughout all history…


All else that Moses was - his education - his years of preparation in the wilderness - his strength of character - was laid aside and was subservient to this one thing... he was a PROPHET!


His Vision was the Source and the Sustenance of his life throughout the times of deliverance and the journeying of Israel.
His Vision brought the Birth and Flowering of God's purpose for a nation in his generation.
His Vision brought the dawning of the Light and Glory of a New Era.


Without a prophet it never would have happened.
Without a prophet the darkness would have continued unbroken over Egypt.
Without a prophet the years of slavery and tears would have advanced without interruption.


Perhaps never in the course of the last centuries has there been a greater need of a prophet than there is today.


I’m not talking about the variety of “prophets” who so confidently walk amongst us.
I’m not talking about the ones who seem to be self-appointed and self-anointed to their task.


I’m talking about those who, in the desert, have lost their sense of self importance.
These in their emptiness have seen the flame of a bush ignited by God.
These are the ones who have heard a voice, not of earth, calling them to a task which will demand their life’s blood.


Who among us today, knows what is going on in the 'Egypt' around us?
Who among us today discerns the time of God in the midst of our confusion?
Who sees the connection between spiritual and natural worlds?
Who, beyond the limits of time, sees the unfolding of the plan of God for the next generation?
Who has heard God answer as they have asked, "What of the children?" "What of the future?"
Where is our Solution?...What is our Salvation?


      Like Moses -We need... To see Him
                                  We need... To hear Him.
                                          We need... To obey Him.
To see Him and to hear Him...this is our need.


But what will it take to come to the place of Vision?
  For Moses it took a cutting off from the comforts of Egypt.
  For Moses it took a cutting off from the fellowship and activities of his  brethren.
  For Moses it took a desert, a loneliness, and a total simplification of all
  that his life had involved in times past.
When all was blasted away and Moses was brought to the barren, wind-swept, sun-scorched, horizons of emptiness - then God came with his REVELATION and then Moses became the PROPHET for his people.


Maybe our deserts will not be physical... or maybe they will be, to a measure that we can't even imagine today!
However it be, there will be many, many similarities between our lives and Moses' if God is going to show himself.


The Cost will certainly be the losing of all that appeals to, and sustains, the life of natural man.
But the Payment of God is a Revelation which carries within it the Seeds of Life for ourselves and our people.


My father used to say, "We don't have revival because we are content to live without it."
So too our revelation of God depends directly upon the measure of our desire - the finding is still to those who seek "with all your heart."


God would have us understand, in this critical hour in which we live, that life is not about techniques or methods - A BURNING DESIRE WILL LIGHT ITS OWN WAY TO GOD.
In reality as in the life of Moses, it is not so much us finding God as it is God revealing Himself to us - while we are seeking Him He reveals Himself.


How important is it to us?
  To lay all else aside and search for God alone?
  To search the scriptures and let them speak for themselves?
  To come with a heart which says only, 'I come to do thy will?'

If there is one word from God for us in this hour, I believe it is this, 'Now is the time to seek God.'

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Our Only Hope




There is an urgency  for us to find a fulness of God’s Reality in a world where everything is under attack.
We need, as the psalmist says, “to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
This is our only hope in the midst of all that surrounds us.


Paul said, “The life which I now live…”


So for each generation, for each individual,
     there is a life given,
           a life to be lived…
And for each one there is something which impulses that life…


Life stretches as a pathway before us, and we live in a time of difficulties.
Looking around the breadth of the world one sees that:
    Peace is taken from the earth.
         Every continent and every nation is affected.
              Civilization is Broken.
                   Man’s order of things has become lost.
                         The way of peace and progress has been abandoned, and                   
                          replaced on all levels with  reactions of emotion.
                               Dialog is forgotten, in homes and between nations.
                                     We are sinking.


The enemy must laugh as he sees us blown about by every theory untethered to reality, and by every impulse of our feelings.


The only path forward for the child of God in this time which is our lot to travel, is to find  a way in God Himself.
We must be able to say with the apostle, “the life which I Now live” I live by that impulse which is the gift of God.
Unless we find a way in God :
     we are at the mercy of all the evil winds which are wreaking havoc with the world around.
              We are, like Samson, without strength before the destroyer... and there can be no hope...our lives and our families unravel day by day, and lostness is our portion for today and tomorrow.


When I was a child growing up in the aftermath of the Second World War I used to hear the phrase,  “a lost world”
Many years have passed, but today instead of progress and a rebuilding of society, we are far more lost than we were then.


Time moves in tides and today the tide has left us with an angry society around, and a church which is weak because it has left the Center of its life.
Safety is not in a place, safety is in God; and we desperately need of God if we are to stand, and not be swept away by the tide.


God calls upon us to call upon Him -
It is a time to leave the trivial things which call us,
And to seek until we find beyond theory and study and tradition,
        and then to go in the strength of that encounter with the Living God,
             finding in Him our strength and sufficiency for the days that await us.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Reality



At the end of the Old Testament Malachi makes an amazing declaration,
(Mal. 4:2) "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall."
After the fall of man,
and all the suffering of Israel's generations,
          and all the sin,
              and despair,
                  and slavery,
                       there is a promise.


...God's last word is a promise of renewal - a renewing of the first chapter of Genesis...
A promise of Light
        A promise of Healing - (a Restoration of the Life destroyed.)
             A promise of Growth and Development.
After all the loss, the promise is Total Restoration through the Presence of God, and the Working of God in His people.


As time moves on we see an age of Opportunity Lost (to the Church and to the World).
Yet,even though all be desert around, God's word to us is that, in the measure of our fear in His presence, there is a promise, of...
  His Coming.
      His Healing
          His Working


There is a burning truth whose essence I feel incapable of transmitting.
It is this:


Among those of us who think ourselves enlightened,
there is a very vast majority which is like those who  gaze through a window and, standing outside, believe they are on the inside.

There are those who have heard the words, seen the anointing, felt an emotion and yet have never really experienced within themselves the life changing reality of being actually present before God.
These are left with a "form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof".
- a life of suppressed frustration and emptiness.


This is not something merely among those who sit in the congregation but something which seems to have overtaken the "leaders" of the church.
How few there are who minister from a place of Light and Life...the words about the Spirit have taken the place of the reality of the Spirit in ministry.


Yet the word is still true...if we seek with all our hearts we will find.
Let us rouse ourselves to press through the days and the nights until we find Him - and in Him find that Life which surpasses all our definitions, and springs in freshness throughout all our days.