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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Warfare


The apostle says, "the weapons of our warfare are ... mighty ... to the pulling down of strongholds." 2Cor. 4.10

Years ago a young man who had been heavily involved in the occult commented to my father that what the church knew as "spiritual warfare" was only warfare  on a superficial level.

There can be no major victories if we fight on a kindergarten level.

Pastor Blumhardt in 1840 prayed for two years until God came in deliverance and initiated a move of the spirit which brought people from all over Germany and other lands, even the Kaiser coming to see what was going on.

Pastor Long prayed for eight years around 1950, until there came a mighty move of God in the northern part of Argentina. 
This move was visited by a young David Wilkerson, and stirred him to believe for the moving of God in his own sphere of ministry.

     It is so easy to forget that beyond the seen lies the unseen, and the things we see are the fruits of that which is not seen. 
     It is so easy to forget that the battle is not to merely in order to cut off the visible tops of the weeds, but to do away with the unseen roots.

Paul saw, and battled against the unseen forces which produced the visible effects. For this reason he "turned the world upside down"  Acts. 17.6 
- not that he was turned upside down by the world around him! 

Any battle, any rebuking, any declaring, etc. which does not produce this kind of result is kindergarten activity.
True battle is to pray, and pray, and pray - until the spiritual strongholds are cast down and all things become new about our lives.

"Thy Kingdom Come!" Mt. 6.10

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Way to God


There is nothing that we can pass on to but that which we have glimpsed of Reality in our pilgrimage.
It seems to take far too long for the fog of this world to clear and for its noise to subside, but when a glimpse is given of Reality what a certainty is there; a foundation unshakable.

How hard it is to let go of what one thinks one knows. 
How easy it is to look for answers in the words of others who think they know.
What a loss, and what a poverty is theirs whose "fear toward me is taught by the precept of men." Is. 29.13
The enemy always tries to blind our hearts and minds to the certainties of God.

Two things come to mind as things in which the enemy has brought fear, confusion and defeat to churches and lives.

     The fear of Legalism: any word, any commandment, which is inflexible causes us terror.

     The fear of Mysticism: any inspiration of the Spirit of God which calls for us to surrender our control holds us fast in fear.

The traditional fundamentalist church fears the way of the Spirit.
And the charismatic church fears the absoluteness of God's law.
Fundamentalists cling to the way of the law alone. 
Charismatics seek only the "untethered" flow of the Spirit.

People are terrified to open themselves to more than they have been taught.

Sometimes we seem to be more occupied fighting certain aspects of God's truth than we are in fighting sin.
We either use the Law to fight the way of the  Spirit, or we look to the Spirit to annul the demands of the law.

For those who look to the Spirit free us from the law:
We must know that the laws and principles of God are eternally fixed -the Word will judge us and we cannot by any fancy "interpretation" change this. 

For those who look to the law to be the only guide to the spiritual life:
We must know that the Law without the Spirit is dead, and without the Spirit's constant quickening we are also dead. 

The bottom line is that the enemy succeeds in making us afraid to believe God...
     We are afraid that God's law will bind us and take away our liberty.
     We are afraid that the Spirit of God would carry us to an uncontrolled    extremism.

Let us embrace what some fear.
Let us hold fast the words God has spoken.
Let us open ourselves to the Spirit of God.
This is the Way ...

Let us rest in this: it is the law and the enduement of the Spirit of God that brings Life into focus, 
It is this which enables us to walk, to advance in that Life, and "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our...Lord and Savior." 2 Peter 3.18





Friday, April 13, 2018

Freedom


In Jeremiah 15.19 God speaks of a condition, "if thou take forth the precious from the vile."

Some things are so simple if we could only believe them ... "if" and again"if."

It is interesting to reflect on the fact that our modern world is run by computers which are themselves run by the simplest of mathematics;
an area of mathematics where there are only two alternatives: yes or no ... True or False, represented by the numbers 1 and 0.

In our world everything is relative, everything, and every opinion has some value.
Yet if we want the right answers, we have to leave behind that which is relative, and go back to the "yes" and "no" of Truth to find our solution.

So it is in the Kingdom of God ... 
     we cannot alter it , 
          nor "interpret" it to fit our wishes, 
               or call it "legalism" if it doesn't suite us.

The Word must judge all things, and not we judge the Word.
     "Yes is "Yes," and "No"is "No."
          There is no middle ground.
               There are no shades of gray.

The Way is still strait, and there is not enough room in this Way for earth's extravagances, man's conditioning, or man's pride.

In God's Kingdom everything is Absolute, and that which is not Precious is Vile,
     and everything which is not Life is Death.
          As someone said, "Only that which comes from heaven will return to heaven."

The separating of the precious from the vile is not a painful thing for the child of God - God is not taking anything from us except our chains.
It is the Joy of leaving weights and burdens which would sap our strength and bind our feet.
It is the Joy of Freedom, of increasing Light, and Strength.

It is Life abundant - unalloyed with portions of death!

It is the fullness of God's Presence.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Come Away...


Two little words, "Come Away," (S. o. S. 2.10) ... and a world of significance.

I feel a Call...

In our Day, in this little hour of our existence, what a weight is in these words.
     We live amidst the sordid mess of a world gone mad...
          and a church which so many times seems to follow along.

In the midst of it all there is a sweet yet powerful Voice which calls us away from all.
    Away from all the Earthly,
          Away from all the things which distract the mind.

There is a "here" of this world, and there is a "there" of the world of  God.

     There is an invitation to come to the One Who awaits,
             to come from the shadows to the Light.
                     to come to His Presence,
                             to come to His Surrounding Love.

To come away from all else, and let our spirits find the One who is the Anwer to all of life's needs.

"Come" just to be there with Him... 
     away from all that would destroy ... 
          away to be renewed and quickened with Life and Vision within ...  
               there, is "rest unto your souls". (Mt. 11.29)

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Coming


"Oh Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come." Ps 65.2

The verse says "all flesh"...
Think of "All Flesh" not just as "all mankind."
     Think of "all flesh" as in every bit of my being ... all that I am.

Include every single atom that comprises my being...
      Include every thought, 
          every action, 
               every fear, 
                    every hope
                         and every longing.

All that I am, with all my past and all my future, is invited.
All I bring He takes and I am made welcome.

It is not a case for our human striving but of recognising that our mind cannot take us to the realm of the Spirit.
It is a coming to God with an open heart that He may do for us what we could never do for ourselves.

May He find us bringing our all before Him in longing - that as His Spirit-born creatures we may find Completion in Him.




Saturday, March 31, 2018

Light?...Today?



Day and night, night and day ... so it is in nature, and so it has been with the history of man since the time of creation.

God blesses us with a time of Light and we turn again to darkness, and day is followed by night down through the ages.

The unravelling of the world 100 years ago in the First World War was only the ending of a decay. 
The old system had reached its end and had no answers for the world around.
There was no workable replacement.
In the preceding years over half a dozen national leaders had been murdered by anarchists ...the "activists" of their time...from President McKinley in USA to Tsar Alexander the Second of Russia.
Royalty, prime ministers and presidents, fell under the onslaught in different countries.

A century later our world is in the same place - a place where there are no answers.
Darkness has descended again, and around us chaos reigns ... and our leaders find no response, no solution, no way forward.
The music of an ordered world has given place to dissonance ... clashes of conflict, without the resolution of order.

Darkness blinds us in our searching, and we are unable to find our way out, or find reason.

Only in God is there Light and without Him all must ever fall apart.
In the darkness He finds His own, and His own can find Him awaiting.
Push on, Beloved, through the darkness...He is your Light.

He rose again to bring us "out of darkness into His marvellous Light" ( 1 Peter 2.9) 
This is our Journey and this is our goal.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

He Hears


O Thou that hearest prayer, to Thee shall all flesh come.  Ps. 65.2

He hears ... He hears ... He hears...

Say to your Soul, "Come ... come ... and come."

Come to the One Who Hears it all.
      Come to the One Who Understands it all.
            Come to the One Who Cares for it all.

Come, because in this world there is no Other.
      Come because in that coming you are Met.
            Come because in that coming you are Sure.

Come because before Him, and before His will, all things must bow.

Come because He Who was the Beginning, will also be the End.

Let the consciousness of this sink in and overwhelm you, and Worship Him for  Who He IS.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Moving On



Places carry with them an atmosphere; a level of expectation.

As church-goers go to their churches their expectations run along certain lines.
Every church is different and calls forth a different expectation.
The trouble is that our expectation automatically channels us in a certain direction.

We expect a certain type of meeting...certain music...certain message...a certain congregational response, and these things become ruts and bind us so that we never move beyond the atmosphere that surrounds us.

We are satisfied and we are stuck.
We cease to grow and we cease to advance...everything is predictable and everything is tasteless.
God calls us onward but the music of our own activities deafens us.

God is infinite and He calls us to Himself alone...to move beyond our atmosphere.
Like Moses we need to stand on the mountain and gaze upon the land which HE sets before us...a land of "far horizons,"a land where the "king in His beauty" is seen Is. 33.17

Earth and the heavens await a people who are free... a people who are able to walk in the freedom of limitless horizons...a people who in their walking will show forth the marvelous Light of a World where the God of freedom dwells.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

To Know


"If thou knewest"  (Jn. 4.10)... and then She Knew!

She was Blessed with a quickened recognition within ... and it was the difference between Life and Death.

Down through the years of Sin and fruitless Searching...
down through the years of Darkness, Destruction and the enemy's Mockery...
down through the years of Emptyness and Devastation...
through the years of Suffering without Hope...
and throughout all years of Darkness with never a glimmer of Light...
there was, within her, the power to recognise the Answer.

And when He, the Answer, came she KNEW.

In  an instant everything in her whole existence was changed.
Darkness and Destruction were gone forever, taking with them
the years of Pain, and endless Despair.

All things became New.

Without another word she turned and with her soul aflame, she fled back to the scene of her misguided years.
She returned to the place of her former despair and shame.
There in the place of her sorrows, from an overflowing heart, she spoke to the ones who had shared her shame and hopelessness.

"Come...see a Man."
She didn't try to explain or convince - she had Seen ... and she invited them to See.

It speaks to me, to us...

"If thou knewest"...

He, the Answer, would speak to us on so many levels.
He would have us to k
now on so many levels.
For us too He has "many things to say."(Jn. 8.26)

He speaks to find recognition within us...beyond the things that clutter our lives.
He would have us also to know the length and depth of His love and compassion...
He would that we also know a Recognition of His care and His healing within and without...
and a  seeing of His provision for all our Days and all our Ways. 

His Desire is to carry us as Israel, on eagle's wings to our life's Destination.

Friday, February 9, 2018

What is Real?

We all seem to have our own vision of God ... and Reality seems to be the scarcest thing in the universe!

Years ago Amy Carmichael wrote a list of things which are spiritually suspect.
I don't remember her list, but I am sure that we can all come up with a list of our own.

Suspect things are things which are too easy, 
Suspect are the things which offer instantaneous fail-safe solutions.

It is so tempting to become infatuated with "solutions" which make the Christian life easy.
We are tempted by things which promise to lift us out from the toilsome path through the desert, and set us down safe and sound on the far side of the sands.

How attractive it is to think of an experience which can instantly remove obstacles and land us in a place of spiritual enjoyment without alloy.

Perhaps four hundred years ago William Law affirmed that the greater price we pay for a spiritual truth the greater bargain we obtain.
Alas! we like to read it backward ... and today the less we pay, the better it suites us.

The Bible warns to lay hands suddenly on no man for ministry (1Tim 5.22)
and yet we do it all the time "because we can."
The "latest and greatest" holds an irresistible charm and the slow process of the husbandman who has "long patience" awaiting the fruit is forsaken.

Moses had his forty years in the desert, and Paul had his own experience in Arabia.
Job learnt his lesson in pain, and David cried in his bed.
Down through the history of church biography men have found God when all other sources have proved to be mere mirages without substance.

Saints, there is a realm in God far beyond our present thinking, a realm so vast that it reaches into the reality of eternity.
It is a realm where God Himself opens before us the wonders of the working of His love in the world in which we live.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

A Vision... of Brightness

There is a spiritual truth: we possess what our spirits see.

Jesus asked Peter "Whom say ye that I am?" 
And upon Peter's confession of the revelation within, Jesus said "I will give unto you the keys...whatsoever ye bind..loose...shall be bound...loosed".
Jesus is saying "What you see in Me I give to you."

Paul declares to the Thessalonians (2Thess 2:8) that the Lord will destroy the wicked one...by the Brightness of His coming.

It may have been Campbell Morgan who said, that before preaching on a passage he would read it fifty times seeking to understand.
I wonder if we could contemplate the word Brightness in the same way until it dawn within us as a revelation from heaven.

There is a transcendant reality in God which we must perceive if we are to live in the realm of His kingdom.

It is the Brightness of the True Light ... a brightness beyond all earthly light.
The Brightness of the One Who fills all eternity, far beyond all that pertains to this realm of shadows.
The enemy-destroying Light, which causes all to be subservient to itself. 

In our world we are surrounded by gloom and we need a vision of God's Brightness if we are to know Him.
Moses asked "show me Thy glory"... not just the works, the deliverances and the manna, but "show me Thyself."

We cannot live beyond our vision, and if we are satisfied with the things around us, we will never see beyond them, or live above them.

We live in a world wracked by the forces of spiritual warfare and it is time to lift our eyes above the shadows around us.
It is time to see the Ever-and-Ever Light of the One Who will bring all to its final destination...
It is time to walk, not in the light of earth but in the light of God's Brightness.
It is time to look with wide open eyes, quickened by the God-given vision, until  darkness is done away and we walk our earthly pathway in the light of His Brightness.

Friday, January 19, 2018

And...2018?




Where are we ... and where do we go?




We are here, whether we like it or not, in the year 2018.
Ahead of us stretches uncharted territory - some things we can control and some we cannot.

One thing is certain, the journey leads to a destination, and we will not be where we are today at the year's end.
Either our journey will have ended, or it will find us in a different place than today.

Another thing certain is that the issues before us are of far, far more weight than is to be seen on the surface of things... and how many does God find who are willing to seek beyond the surface?

The world around us is on a downward path.
Men have dared to tamper with the fundamentals.  
Our values have been changed,  the meaning of words has redefined and we have entered a wasteland of chaos...  and now we are finding that the harvest of our sowing is upon us.

Some of the saddest words in Scripture are found in Revelation 3.17
"thou sayest, I am rich...have need of nothing; and knowest not..."

In this New Year it is a time to forget the past and to reach out, and out, and out, until we come to a place of understanding and of transformation - a place where we find our unassailable spiritual possessions in the Kingdom of God....
unless Heaven invades earth Hell surely will.

When we reach our final Destination there will be Light without any mixture of darkness.
Life will not be mixed with suffering there, and  nothing will be broken there, and all that destroys will be done away.

Going forward let us cry for freedom from this earth's constraints...to find our portion "on earth as it is in Heaven."

                "Look not now on earth's horizons,
                 Cramped, polluted, never free,
                 Lift thine eyes from things surrounding,
                 Gaze upon Eternity."



Friday, January 12, 2018

Only One Thing


Our world has entered the year 2018.

It has also entered a sad darkness of unknown dimensions.

The darkness which hangs over our civilization is not the darkness of a cloud which will soon pass away...it is the ever deepening darkness of night... a time of increasing despair, and decreasing hope.

Was there ever an age so blind, so trivial as ours?
We fret about trifles, and feed on low-rate emotions.
Time escapes us and vanishes like a rain drop spattering on the pavement.
The world around us has exalted the things which are perverted and grotesque.
Cisterns have been dug and the fountain of living waters forsaken. Jer. 2.13

Almost five hundred years ago Francis Xavier wrote from the lands of the east that he wished to return to the place of his studies and go through the halls of learning crying like a madman ... crying against the waste of learning which was not yoked to the purposes of the kingdom of God.
What would he say today?
More to the point, what does God say today?

For the child of God at this time there is one supreme need, and nothing else...it is a time to plead for Life.
It is a time to seek with all our hearts that Life which alone has the power to quicken and to overcome.
We don't need another "prayer."
We need, as the Psalmist says, to 'pour out our hearts before Him' lest we lose that Life which God would give us.