Why Did God Want A Family?

Please follow the link below to read my contribution to 3rdrace.org for the ongoing  series on God’s Eternal Purpose.  For the month of February, we are focusing on God’s Family.

 Excerpt from

Why Did God Want A Family

I have never had children of my own. It’s not because I haven’t wanted to, the timing was just never quite right. AT times I have really wanted to start a family. As I was preparing to write this post and contemplated the question of why God wanted a family, I asked myself ‘why did I want a family?’

Read on.

 

 

 

What Is God’s House Like?

nature-1984314_1280For the month of January, the awesome dudes on 3rdrace.org blogged about ‘God’s House’.  It was part of a series they’re doing pertaining to God’s Eternal Purpose – (God having an ultimate intention, desire and passion for obtaining a house and a family for the Father, a bride and a body for the Son and a temple for the Holy Spirit). For the month of February they are focussing on God’s desire for a ‘Family’ as the next part in this series and I will be contributing to that. I thoroughly recommend visiting their site to read the current posts.

As most of you would know by following my blog, Derek and I have just relocated to Perth. We arrived five weeks ago and are soooo blessed to be staying with a wonderful brother and sister who have welcomed us (and our dog Rocky) with open arms. We are truly so thankful to these guys. 🙂

Reading through 3rd race’s posts on God wanting a house and with us being in this situation of not having our own house just yet, has really opened my eyes to why having a house of His own is so important to God. So I’d like to share my thoughts.

Derek and I are looking for a rental but God doesn’t want a rental. He doesn’t want a Guest House or a B&B. He wants His own house. He doesn’t want your house or my house. As nice as it is when we cry out “You are welcome here today Lord”, He doesn’t want anyone else’s house where He can be a welcome guest. He wants His own house.

Why do you and I like to have our own house? Well, it’s where we dwell, right? We want a permanent place to dwell where we can rest, be comfortable, relaxed and feel completely free to be ourselves – hence the expression to ‘feel at home’ means all these things.  It’s in our nature to desire a home because it is in God’s nature – it is part of us having been made in His image.

In our own home we furnish it with things we like and furniture that we find comfortable and that works well for our needs. We set up the house to reflect our needs and pleasures. If you’re a handyman you probably like a shed where you can keep all your tools and have a great work bench to make things. If you’re a cook, you’ll probably want a kitchen that functions well for a lot of cooking and you’ll have appliances there that suit your needs. If you’re like us and you love to watch movies, you’ll probably want a comfy couch and a big screen tele so you can get the best cinematic experience you can. And on it goes.

So what about God’s house? Initially I was going to say that I don’t know Him well enough to know how He’d want to furnish His house, other than to say that I know He’d want it to be a place where He can rest, be comfortable, relaxed and completely free to be Himself. However, I think I actually do know how He’d want to furnish His house….(in fact, how He already is furnishing it).

Just take a look at these scriptures;

O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells. (Psalm 26:8)

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23).

So the Word became human and made his home among us...(John 1:4)

We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this Temple made with human hands, and in three days I will build another, made without human hands.’ (Mark 14:58)

If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:17)

As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5)

Your testimonies are very sure: holiness becomes your house, O LORD, for ever. (Psalm 93:5)

In my Father’s house there are many rooms…I go to prepare a place for you…(John 14:2)

Even those I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples (Isaiah 56:7)

“It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.'” (Matthew 21:13)

Reflecting carefully on these scriptures, I would describe God’s house like this;

God’s house is a spiritual house, not yet complete. It is being built together of living stones and not built by human hands but by the Spirit of God. It is an Owner/Builder one-off project. It’s foundations is Christ. It’s cornerstone is Christ. It’s capstone is Christ. It has many rooms in it. The Father and the Son both dwell there in love. Therefore its rooms are filled with  love and the presence of God permeates the walls, floors and ceilings with a heavenly fragrance. The Word of God lives there amongst the living stones. Its walls are decorated with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control – it is altogether beautiful.  Instead of a television, the light of God’s glory fills every room. It is a house that is set apart from all others because it is filled with God’s holiness – there is not another like it and never will be. Every piece of décor is a one-off original, and by design, a ‘Divine’ label.  It is a sacred place that is constantly filled to the rooftop with prayer and spiritual sacrifices where its living stones minister to God as priests day in and day out. It has an altar in the centre of it where the living stones practise the one-another’s of the New Testament (love one another, be kind to one another, carry one another’s burdens, lay down your life for one another, submit to one another in love and so on) reflecting God’s nature. It is a place that pleases God. He really, really likes it. He is completely ‘at home’ there and sees Himself reflected in every aspect of it. It is built and decorated to His own unique taste. It is filled with joy! And it has a huge ‘Welcome’ mat at its front door welcoming all people. 🙂

God’s house completely reflects and embodies His Son’s life.

The thing is, we ARE the living house of God – because His Son lives in us. The Father and the Son have made their home in us and so we ARE being built together* as a spiritual house for God, a place where Jesus Christ can lay His head, be comfortable and express Himself and His Father, freely.

Jesus said;

For whenever two or three of you are gathered together* in My name there I am in the midst.(Matthew 18:20).

As I meditated on this thought, I saw in my mind’s eye a picture of Jesus walking around amongst the two or three that are gathered. I realised that when we are gathered in His name, it is then that Jesus gets to experience being ‘at home’. In that brief picture it was as if the heavenly living reality of God’s house that exists now through the church reflecting Christ’s nature, was made visible and I could see that Jesus is ‘at home’ in that environment. When we meet in His name, there He is! He’s walking about in His own home because He is able to move around and express Himself in each one of us as He wants to – relaxed, comfortable, full of joy and at rest.

Does this change your perspective on the way you have always seen the house of God?

Oh Lord, build Your house, transform us, build us together as Your living stones, that You may dwell richly among us and be ‘at home’, for Your sake.

Amen.

*Note: According to scripture Christ does not appear in the midst of one singular separated member of His body but when two (more than one) or three are gathered together in His nameAccording to scripture one single separated member does not suffice as a spiritual house – we are a spiritual house being built together.

How Far Did Jesus Go?

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In the 1980’s a band known as The Proclaimers had a hit called 500 Miles. They sang “Well I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more, just to be a man who’d walked a thousand miles to fall down at your door…da da da…” It was a type of love song telling of a man’s devotion to a woman.

Well, Derek and I just drove 5003 k’s to get to our current destination in Perth, WA (Western Australia) and set up camp amongst the body of saints here. We’ve come a long way to be with this part of the Lord’s Bride, that’s for sure. But how far did Jesus go for His Bride (you and me)? 500 miles? 5000 k’s? What about ‘into time’ and into ‘another realm’? Now that’s a love song of devotion to a woman that’s worth ‘proclaiming’!

Thinking back to the band called The Proclaimers, like anyone who’s fallen in love with Jesus Christ and His gospel, Derek and I want to be proclaimers of another kind. We want to proclaim this glorious Lord to His church and to those who do not know Him. That’s why I write this blog as I am learning Christ more. That’s why we have come to Perth, to learn Christ more. How little I have known Him and how much there is of Him to explore – so much that it will take all of eternity!

Driving across Australia we realised the vastness of the land in which we live. At one point across the Nullarbor (land of no trees) there is a stretch of about 146.6 kilometres of dead straight road with nothing either side as far as the eye can see. It is flat, flat, flat. For us, this entire journey has been a reflection of the vastness of Christ Himself. We see Christ as our Land, our True Land, our Promised land, our Canaan Land and of course this is exactly who He is for all who will take up their cross and follow Him. img_1625

The land here has often looked very barren, dry and sparse. There’s a water shortage across much of the land. There were many wild goats in the early parts of the outback in NSW and we came across one standing by a water tank just waiting for some human to come along and run the tap for a drink. Derek was able to do this and the little guy got a good drink before heading back into the bush. It was a great picture of desperation for drink.img_1642

But we have learned to drink from Him, the Well of Living Water, and never thirst again. Our spiritual trek across Australia has made drawing from Him as our Well an even greater reality in ways that I hope to share with you.

There’s so much to write about on this blog concerning even just the last few weeks leading up to and during our travels across, of how the Lord has miraculously and effortlessly made the way for us to arrive here. I am looking forward to meditating on these things and sharing them with you very soon because there’s always so much of the Lord to be proclaimed.

However,  for now this is just a little note to touch base from our new dwelling here in Perth and proclaim the Lord’s greatness by reminding you of His love and devotion to you, members of His most favoured and beautiful woman – His betrothed and glorious Bride, the Church.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone…(Hebrews 2:9)

He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.(Eph 5:27)

Christ Our All

carWell folks, it’s been a few weeks since I posted a blog. That’s because Derek and I have been packing, packing, selling, cleaning, moving out, moving my mother, visiting family, and more packing! We have moved out of our rental house, we’ve moved mum to my sister’s place into a new little portable granny flat which she is renting, and Derek and I have been sleeping at my sister’s place for a week, with Rocky the shitzu of-course!

Tomorrow we head off in our white chariot (1996 Toyota Corolla) loaded to the hilt with all our earthly possessions, to drive across the country to our destination of Perth, Western Australia where we intend to live until the Lord would say otherwise. We will be staying with beautiful friends until we both find work and can afford our own rental. For those of you that don’t know Australia very well, it’s about 5,000 kilometres or just over 3,000 miles I think.

Derek and I are making this move in response to the Lord’s call on our lives to be part of the body of believers over in Perth at this time in our walk with Him, so we can learn Christ more amongst the body there. As we have set our eyes upon His Kingdom first, He has truly taken care of everything else for us. I have so much to share about the Lord’s faithfulness to us both over these past couple of months. He has undertaken in miraculous ways – so mightily – I would definitely not do Him justice to rush it all into this post -not even in one post. So I intend to write again once we are settled interstate. I am really looking forward to sharing with you all, the Lord’s goodness to us and our family.

Until then, hope you all had a Merry Christmas and wishing you all a safe and purposeful 2017 in the purpose of God. May we all learn Him more, know Him more richly, and the power of His resurrection life.

Signing off from New South Wales Australia……. 🙂

 

How Can We Know The Power of Christ’s Resurrection Life?

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That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death…(Philippians 3:10)

What a beautiful and rich desire Paul had and what a powerful indicator this verse is, of where our lives as believers ought to be headed.

There’s two aspects of this verse that I would like to write about and I’ll do it as a two- part series.  Firstly, ‘The Power of His Resurrection’ and secondly, ‘The Fellowship of His Suffering’.

The Power of His Resurrection

More and more in reality and experience, not just in theory and head-knowledge, I am seeing that this Christ we love and serve, truly is a risen Christ. I’ll say it again…He’s a risen Christ! That’s everything! That means, He died and He rose from the dead. (How can we even comprehend such an event unless the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to this reality?! It is too mighty for us).

Incredibly though, there is something even greater about Christ than this. His being risen from the dead is one thing. An astounding thing. An incompressible thing unless the Spirit enables us to believe. But we have read accounts throughout scripture and even in modern day times, where people have been raised from the dead. So we accept that God can and does raise people from the dead, to His own glory. However, even those who have been raised from the dead, whether in scripture times or present times, still eventually die. But not so with Christ!

Christ is beyond risen, He is living right now and forevermore!

I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. (Revelation 1:18).

Jesus said to Martha;

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;(John 11:25)

So there is much more than the miracle of people being raised from the dead on the earth only to one day again die and await the final resurrection with all God’s children.  There is much more to Christ having been raised from the dead. Christ remains and lives forever as a resurrected one, as no other before or after Him (until all who belong to Him are resurrected in that final day). There is now, in Him, a resurrection life to live by, for all who are in Christ, right now!

But what did Paul mean when he said he wanted to know the power of His resurrection life? How can we know this power?

I suppose the obvious answer is the precursor to this phrase in what Paul said in Philippians 3:18 and that is to ‘know Him’, to ‘know Christ’. It seems that to truly ‘know’ Christ enables us to know the power of His resurrection life. To know this power of Christ’s resurrection life, is to know and partake of all the abundance of Christ which through His death and resurrection has been made available to us right here and now. But without knowing Him, how can we partake?

Christ’s resurrection life is a type of life. It’s a quality and type of life that is not of this world. It is a life that has overcome death. It is a life by His Spirit. It is not just ‘a’ life, it is HIS life. It is in fact, Christ Himself! Paul, like us, wanted to know the ‘power’ of Christ’s resurrection life. That means that His resurrection life is one of power, doesn’t it?

Do you feel like a Christian who lives with power? What power are we talking about, then? We’re not talking about power to live out our own will, lives, passions, desires, wants. We’re not talking about a power to serve ourselves. No, we’re talking about Christ’s life! We’re talking about the power to live out HIS life here on earth! It’s His Life, by His power.

So how do we do this? How do we partake and appropriate His resurrection life in all its power that has been made available to us?

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us
in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

As fellow-blogger Cheryl McGrath (Bread for the Bride) so beautifully describes, this ‘heavenly realm’ mentioned here in Ephesians 1 is not a physical locality, but a realm in which we as believers now live, in Christ. We are not waiting to die and go to heaven to then have every spiritual blessing! We have every spiritual blessing in Christ and Christ is now! He is the Living One, and we are in Him.

Milt Rodriguez (The Rebuilders) once described this partaking of Christ’s resurrection life as like taking food from a fridge. When we need something to eat or drink, we who live in first world countries, go to our fridge and open the door and take from the shelf. We don’t look at the fridge and wish and hope and pray that the food that is inside the fridge will suddenly become ours. We open the fridge door and we reach in our hand and we ‘take’ what is available.

This is like Jesus. Christ’s resurrection life is readily available to us. And just like opening the fridge door and taking what is there for ourselves, we, by faith, take what is already available to us in Christ. This is called partaking of His life and this is called appropriating what we know to be true. 

It is an act of faith to live by HIS resurrection life.

How does this play out practically, you might ask? Well, I’d like to share an experience I had recently that has really encouraged me in this practise of appropriating (putting action to) my faith in this way.

I’m not a person who loves confrontation, in fact I tend to shy away from it unless I feel very passionate about the situation and then I’m bold to go right in, though often with shaking hands and quivering voice. I recognise however, that over the years, I have mostly confronted situations…people really…out of my own strength. I’ve done it out of my own set of values or preferences or sense of right and wrong. I know when I’ve acted on my own volition, or out of my own soul-life and not led by the Spirit of Christ within me, because I’m left with guilt or pride, no peace and generally the situation has only worsened.

Recently, I was presented with a situation where one very dear to me was being verbally attacked by another. Both are Christians. And the one who is very dear to me, well, I’ve witnessed her life and I believe I know her heart as well as anyone could know another’s heart. Things had been pretty dreadful between both parties for a long time but on this latest attack I felt something rise up within me, to speak up and defend her. I had the peace of God to do so and even after the event, that peace remained.

The party who was verbally attacking of-course responded to me and I felt somewhat attacked but it didn’t matter. Now, normally, this sort of thing would leave me feeling sick with anxiety and upset. As I was being tempted to focus my thoughts on the dialogue that had gone on between us, and being tempted into imagination and thinking the worst, I remembered the fridge.

I turned to the Lord and held out my arms as a display of embracing all that He is, all that is His abundant supply available to me right now. I declared that in faith, I take Your calmness Lord, I take Your patience, I take Your peace and Your ability to let it go into Your hands. In and of myself, I cannot let it go so I take Your capacity to let it go.

Miracle of miracles. I let go.

Miracle of miracles. I am sitting in the peace that surpasses all understanding, spoken of in Philippians 4:6-8 which reads;

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.…

I appropriated by faith what I know to be true and I partook of Christ’s resurrection life, and it has become power to me. I didn’t do it. I couldn’t do it. I know what I can do and at the best, I can self analyse and apply some positive self-talk and pray. No, Christ’s resurrection life overcame the temptation to indulge in fear, anxiety, upset, judgement and sin. The angst and upset of the situation lost it’s power like a bucket with holes in it drains of water. 

I believe this has been a lesson 101 for me, in learning to know the power of Christ’s resurrection life. This resurrection life of Christ is the power to live by His life. Can I encourage you to turn to the Lord and take for yourself, all that He is for you in every situation, by faith. Draw from His life. This is power for us to live by His life in every situation because He is the Living One. He was dead but now He is alive and lives for ever and ever.

 

 

The Basics of Life

This is such a Life-rich account of what it is to know Jesus Christ in the fellowship of His people who are captivated by Him. And despite all our differences amongst the full body of Christ, I am utterly convinced that this is the true deepest desire in every one of us. I pray you are blessed, encouraged and built up as you read this post from a dear brother Tobie, on a weekend shared with other saints in the Free State of South Africa. .

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screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-3-50-04-pmRevien and I have just returned from an unforgettable weekend spent on a Free State game farm with a group of over 30 believers.

There were no special speakers.

There was no set program or agenda.

There were no presentations, projectors or video clips.

The were no musical instruments, except for a guitar.

I knew almost everyone in the group, and so I was aware of some imposing academic qualifications and remarkable professional accomplishments. I also knew how incredibly gifted and skilled some of these people were. And I knew that quite a few were involved in areas of selfless, sacrificial service that would qualify them to be sainted by the Pope.

But hardly anyone else knew, none of it mattered and nothing was ever mentioned. We were mere brothers and sisters, and what we had in common far outshone everything else we had done in our lives, both good…

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What I Didn’t Know About Body-Life

Over at 3rdrace.org the theme for this month is ‘Body-Life 101’.  Please check it out for my post there today called “What I Didn’t Know About Body-Life”.

What I Didn’t Know About Body-Life

Why Did Jesus Die At Age 33?

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This is a question I’ve pondered many times in my life.  As I’m getting to know the Lord, I’m coming to understand that there is a reason behind every aspect of Him even if I don’t know what it is yet.  Every part of Jesus’ life on earth and every part of everything that God does, points us back to Himself in some way.  So ever so briefly this morning, I pondered again, why did Jesus die at age 33?

So first up, I’m going to talk a bit about maths. Now I’m not a mathematician ok? Definitely not! In fact, in high school I scored 23% for maths in my HSC! Epic fail! But I do know the basics thank goodness. Like 1 +1 =2 and that the complete whole = 100%. I’m also aware that numbers are significant in God’s economy as we find in scripture that they are not randomly chosen.  

For example, we see the correlation between the 40 days of rain in Noah’s ark and the 40 years in the wilderness for the Israelites and the 40 days in the desert for the temptation of Jesus (who didn’t give in by the way 🙂 ). And of-course there are too many other examples for this post and that’s not my point anyway. The thing is that numbers are used throughout scripture with significant meaning far beyond my learning .

God has created in mathematical equations, one universal measure or language for understanding,  for every tribe, language and tongue throughout all generations. In other words, in Japan the whole still equals 100% as it does in a little known tribe in the Amazon.  In Roman times 1 + 1 still equalled 2.  For brainiac scientists studying the blackhole theory of space, they draw on the same mathematical science used by Albert Einstein and that the ancient Egyptians used for building their pyramids. Maths is maths. Mathematics is universal and never, ever, ever changes – in fact, it cannot change. It is a ‘law’ of physics just like gravity.

Don’t you think that’s fascinating? With all the nations and languages and differences of culture we all have this one universal measure that we can all communicate in that never changes? Mathematics supercedes any differences or hierarchy of intelligence. 

In other words, mathematics exists for me even though I’m not aware of it or can grasp it, in the exact same way it exists for Stephen Hawking, though he is able to grasp it so much more.  Heck, even if there were aliens, mathematics would still be the same for them! If they had 1 + 1 spaceships, that means they would still have 2 spaceships! It’s just the same, no matter who or where we are.

This to me, is a shadow and type of how despite, age, era in history, race, language, nation or level of intelligence, God has given all of humanity in all of creation, the very same exact capacity of knowing God through Jesus Christ. 

Now, hold on to your hat or your seat folks, because this is blowing me away right off my keyboard as I write! It’s like ‘mathematics’ is a shadow and type of Jesus Christ Himself! Jesus is our universal language  – whether we comprehend that fact yet or not – He IS! Just as everything is held together in a mathematical equation, the scripture tells us that all things are held together in Christ! Woah!!!

He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

So, if you’re back on your seat, I’ve got to come back to my original thought.  If numbers are so significant to God and are never randomly used in scripture, and if we see that mathematics is the universal measure that is in fact a shadow and type that points us to Christ as being our universal connection, language, explanation and equation throughout all of human history and existence – (take a breath) what’s the significance in Jesus dying at age 33?

Think about it – its an odd number. So, 100% equals the whole, right? So we can say that the mathematical equation of 100% equalling the whole is representative of the Godhead, right? God being three -in-one – the whole. The fullness of the Godhead.  Okay, stay with me…..so there’s three members of the Godhead right? So 100% divided by three equals….33.3% recurring……!The eternal number of 33.3!  Each member of the Godhead is eternal! Without end!

Jesus dying at age 33 is representative of the eternal nature of God. Wow……

And I love that the 100 percent divided by the three isn’t just 33 as the age that Jesus died in His earthly body, but that it is thirty three POINT three recurring. So we see that always there are three! There are three digits even in the third of the whole.  And whilst Jesus died at age 33, He rose on the third day! – that’s like the ‘point’ three recurring – resurrection life that is eternal! 

Maybe all of the above is something you already knew but this just came to me this morning and I needed to capture it as soon as possible.  It is simply amazing to me, one who is naturally appalling at mathematics, that God’s Eternal Nature is revealed in mathematics in such simple terms as the 33.3% to display Himself, the three eternal recurring members of the Godhead, and that Jesus dying at age 33 speaks of God’s Eternal Nature and Oneness with Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Just quickly before I go, I messaged this insight to the saints here this morning through my phone, and one of the sisters responded with “It’s the recurring theme! He is the Gift that keeps on giving! New every morning, always fresh!”.

Amen!

 

 

 

Bread and Wine: A New Ebook

Hi all – this is a message right on target with my heart and as Fresh Living Water for those seeking to draw from God’s well of Living Water – His Son Jesus Christ. The free ebook recommendation of Bread & Wine is the means by which to draw from that well.

I pray that all those who are weary, tired, thirsting and hungering for more of Christ, to know Him more in the freedom that He came to bring, will read this and embrace the free Food and Drink of Christ.

Jesus says in the book of John that He Himself, as God’s Son, is Real food and Real drink. He told the Samaritan woman at the well that anyone who drinks of His Living Water would never thirst again. ……

The Blog of Milt Rodriguez

Bread and wine

Eating and Drinking Christ

This, unfortunately, is a very strange sounding phrase for most Christians today.

The reason for this is that the idea of knowing and consuming a Christ who lives deep inside of you (in your spirit) is not something we normally hear much about.

After watching a few hours of Christian television recently (which I hardly ever do!) I have concluded that most teaching comes under the category of “Christian Living”; in other words – how to live the Christian life.  We are told that it’s very important to live the Christian life now that you are one.  But the problem is that most bible teachers tell you that the “Christian Life” is something you do by: reading the bible, praying, going to church, paying your tithes, witnessing, doing some kind of christian work (usually by volunteering at the church), and so on.  This…

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What’s Inside That Sticky Situation?

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This morning I was watching an Australian Minor bird on our back porch.  There is a pergola out back where I sit in the mornings, and he often flutters about jumping from rafter to rafter under its roof. He is always alone and he is very intriguing to observe. While the magpies mooch around on the grass looking for a meal amongst the grass and dirt, this little fella is up in the rafters looking for a meal, only he seems to go for the insects that are caught in the spider webs under the roof.

When I first started watching him I thought how on earth does he do that? How does he get his beak inside all the web and not get stuck? There are so many trees around here and that means many, many spider webs. And the roof of the pergola is a pitched roof, you know, a triangle shape. So in order to get right up to where the spiders have tucked away their meals by way of beetles, moths and other insects, he actually has to flutter in mid-air sometimes. Other times he’s getting in tight corners from rafters and getting his bright yellow beak right in the corners to extract the insects from all the sticky web.

I watched him today as he snatched a live insect from inside one of the webs. I marvelled at how clever and quick he was to do that. Then I saw him do a very clever thing. He landed on a rafter and proceeded to wipe his yellow beak across one side of the rafter, and then the other side. He did this over and over, like a chef sharpening his knife on a strap. Of-course this little guy wasn’t sharpening his beak, he was cleaning it from the web.

As I watched this, I asked “Lord, what can I see of You in this?” And the thought gradually came to me about the ‘treasures found inside of sticky situations’. Wow. How cool is that?

This little feathered friend isn’t afraid of sticky situations. He actually embraces them! He instinctively knows that within those very sticky situations are something of great worth. And he’s prepared to go in there, boots and all, and alone if he has to, to take that treasure that is on offer. But he has to go through a fair bit of yucky stuff to get it. He’s not afraid or put off by the obstacles or the threat of getting his yellow beak glued shut! He goes in, grabs the meal and proceeds to wipe his beak clear of the sticky web. Done and dusted!

So, are we like this? Do we see a hidden treasure inside a sticky situation? Do we recognise that inside some of the difficulties (if not all of them) that we face, there is something of great value to be had ? It might be a lesson learned, a blessing, a reward greater than we could have imagined, something the Lord really wants for us. And if we do recognise the opportunity inside that sticky situation do we go in boots and all, with full confidence and faith to get it or do we stand back and avoid it because of the risks?

Prior to this little guys’ visit this morning, I was meditating on Proverbs 3:5-6 which reads;

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.

I can see what the Lord was saying to me in the correlation between the minor bird and the scripture.  If I lean on my own understanding, I’ll avoid the sticky situation. But if I acknowledge Him in ALL my ways, He will make my path straight. He’ll cause my life to succeed according to His plan and purpose in my life and to His glory. I will find great joy and pleasure inside the situation. But I am to trust in Him with ALL my heart. I’m to face the sticky situations and trust that He’s got my back. I’m to ignore my own wisdom, which is no wisdom at all, and trust fully in Him. And as a result, I will find great reward in knowing Him more.

I also see this as a lesson in relation to the call of God to all His people. Paul was faithful to the heavenly vision God gave Him when Jesus revealed Himself to him on the road to Damascus and revealed His oneness with His body, the church.

“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord? Saul asked. “(I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting”… Acts 9:4-5.

When Paul met Jesus after He had ascended to the Father, Paul was blinded and forever changed. He never looked back. He went through many a sticky situation being faithful to the vision He’d been given. And we are all called to be the same, to have that one-eyed devotion to the Lord’s purpose. The Lord is our true food and is worth going in and after, regardless of the obstacles and difficulties that we might have to endure in order to be faithful to Him and His purpose.

I was never very fussed on Australian Minor birds before. They’re noisy and they dominate the bird life at times, and they’re not particularly attractive in my opinion. I suppose they’re more like me than I imagined. I’m quite fond of them after this encounter this morning. 🙂

Lord, teach us Your ways that we might walk with You and know You more. Give us courage to trust You when we face a sticky situation, to believe Your promises to us that You will make our paths straight if we acknowledge You in all our ways and trust in You with all our heart.