Is God Sometimes Silent? Part 2

 

(Click here for Part 1 Is God Sometimes Invisible? if you missed it)

For many months I had experienced a real sense of the Lord’s life in and around me.  It seemed He was definitely active in teaching me things, showing me more of Himself, speaking to me through others, through creation or things I read. My times of communion with Him had been rich and fruitful. Even through trials and challenges I sensed His life and purpose in it all. It seemed like it had become a new way of living and it felt solid and dependable.

But in this particular season He was all but gone. Or so it seemed.

I continued my walk through the park to sit down on the park bench. The bench was facing a large pond with a fountain in its centre.  The water was reaching high into the air, gushing and flowing as it had been every day that I’d been there to walk Rocky.

As I sat there still ruminating on how the Lord had just spoken to me of His hiddenness in the picture of the camouflage tree (see Part 1)  I was startled by the abrupt silence of the fountain stopping its flow. Suddenly everything was deathly quiet and I realised that I hadn’t even noticed how loud it had been until it stopped.

It came quickly to me in that moment that I had been pining for the noisy and active flow of the Lord’s life that I had known in recent months and that now, as with this fountain in front of me, it seemed all flow had ceased and all had gone quiet, if not silent.

Just as quickly, I sensed the Lord speak this into my spirit;

I am in the noisy flow of life and I am in the silence also. The noise and the silence are both aspects of Me. Don’t wish any part of Me away. 

I was astonished.

Lord, cause me to accept Your apparent silences and to not lose heart or faith that even that is part of who You are. You are in all things. You have so many expressions of who You are that even eternity cannot contain them. Help me to hear You and recognise You in the silence, that I might know You more. You will never be put in a box Lord. You are always far beyond how we have known You in the past, even the recent past. You are enormous and Oh! how You want us to know You in all of Your expressions. 

 

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Is God Sometimes Invisible? Part 1

During the first couple of weeks living in a new state, no home of our own, new folk, new places, new streets, (i.e. nothing familiar), I admit I felt a little lost at times.

Not only was I in a very unfamiliar place but it also seemed like God had all but removed Himself from the experience. And God was the very reason for our move!

One day when I took Rocky for a walk I really poured my heart out to God. “Help me to find you in this place Lord” I cried with tears. “But if I’m to be here and still not see you, give me Your faith to go on regardless”.

As I walked around the side of a pond I came to three trees. I instinctively felt the Lord was drawing my attention to the trees ( He hadn’t really left :-)).

As I walked up to one of the trees which at the time was heavy with luscious life, I stroked the trunk. I noticed it’s bark was coming off in little square-like patches, yet each piece that was lifting wasn’t loose. If I had pulled at a lifting piece I may have torn at the tree itself so I just studied it and ran my hand over it.

It had patches of different stages of the peeling bark so it was rather multicoloured- a patch of light green new tree trunk here, a patch of old darker brown bark there, a patch of pale grey bark in other places and patches of cream in yet other places.

“What is it You’re showing me Lord?” I asked through gentle tears and a downcast soul.

So I stood back a few paces from the tree and observed at a slight distance what I had just been examining up close.

The tree looked like the Australian Military camouflage uniform. In fact it was almost identical! One could be forgiven for believing the design for the uniform was actually fashioned from this type of tree. It’s camouflage pattern and colouring was perfect.

Then it came. ” I am alive and well in this place but I am hidden. It will take a trained eye to see Me”.

Sigh.  “Train my eyes Lord”.

13You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, (Jeremiah 29:13-14)

God brought Derek and I to this new place to learn Christ more in the body of believers here. We had known Christ a certain way before, yes in many different ways. However, we sensed that God wanted us to learn Christ afresh and in a way we never had before. This was calling for a ‘trained eye’ (of-course Christ is our Teacher) and a desperate heart to seek after Him where we are.

And so we have ’embarked’ on a new subject in this school of Christ, which is knowing Christ in His Body.

Stay tuned for Part 2…..

Are You Tired of Searching And Striving?

mountains-1284691_1920“…but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)

I’m very conscious that many Christians are weary and tired. Many are in fact exhausted. I mean this in a spiritual sense, hence the need for a place to sit down and draw fresh water to revive a weary soul. And many who don’t know Christ at all are equally spiritually exhausted in their search for truth and life, amidst a myriad of voices and choices, all of which have failed to deliver.

So here is a prayer poem for every one of you precious folk;

Today though you are tired

And your soul is heavy

whilst your burdens are many

and confusion reigns

may you be led to the trickling

of the streams that are running

flowing from the rivers

from the mountain’s terrains

As you sit by the streams

may you breathe in the air

that is fresh and sweet

to sweep away your cares

May you swish your feet

in the cool water flow

and be washed from the world

and it’s heavy, muddy blow

May your heart be quickened

to follow the streams

to search with tranquillity

the source of their beams

as the sunlight splashes

and shows you the way

may you not strive but rather

delay

the cares of the world

and it’s push and its shove

the lies of self-effort

to live by your own love

May you find yourself walking

ever so calmly

toward the river

in an atomosphere balmy

with a spring in your step

and a song in your heart

find yourself walking

in Someone else’s love

May you feel His hand

resting light on your shoulder

May you sense His warmth

permeate you and smoulder

the shame of your past

and the fears of your future

in the light of Him

in His perfect character.

May you find yourself lifted

your shoulders lightened

your legs at rest

and no longer frightened

May you know that within

you are being beckoned

Beckoned and called by

the One who has reckoned

Who’s reckoned all things

in His blood that has done it

That’s settled the matter

though you’ve not even earned it

Drink from that stream,

bathe in that river

Let your head fall back

and be carried hither

by the Arms of His Love

in the River of Life

May you come to know Him

As His Bride, His wife.

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Let the one who hears say, “Come!” And let the one who is thirsty come, and the one who desires the water of life drink freely. (Revelation 22:17)

Look, I am coming soon! (Rev 22:7)

Who Is The Temple Of The Lord?

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…One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple…(Ps 27:4)

…Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22).

Thank You Lord for this temple of Yours. That we as a gathering of Your saints, Your holy ones, have become this temple that You are building with Your living stones. In this temple we get to gaze upon Your beauty in one another and as You move about among us. We seek You in this glorious temple that You are building not with human hands but with Your Spirit. We, like Your servant David, desire to seek You and find You in this temple of living stones. Here we come to gather in Your Name and find You there, to be most breathtakingly beautiful.

 

When You’ve Got Nothing To Say, It’s OK

person-598312_1280Lord, I would love to have something of Your life to share today. I realise there is no life in anything that would come simply from me. My own wisdom is as no wisdom at all. My own thoughts are fleeting. My own creativity cannot compare with that of others to bring about a greater picture of what my heart would want to convey. But Lord, Your life is amazing. You have a way by which You communicate from and through heavenly realms. You speak in ways we as human beings cannot speak. You speak by Your Son, through Your Holy Spirit. You express Yourself through the expression of Your Son. Yet You, in Your infinite wisdom, have given us Your Son and Your Spirit, and so by and through Him, He can speak and reveal Himself and Your mysteries through us and to us. Yet, today, as at other times, I feel I cannot speak Your Life, neither by speaking nor through written words, though I would dearly desire to do so. At times Lord, You keep me quiet. At times You are doing something so deep inside of me, that although I am overwhelmed with an awareness of Your working in me, though without understanding of its completeness, I simply cannot speak it. I used to think of these times as lack. I used to interpret them as failing. But Lord, You are showing us something deeper of You in these times. Each one of us, You take through times of silence when it is us that You silence, not You. It goes against my nature to be silent. It goes against my personality to not fill in the silences. But I am beyond myself at present, and You have put me there, and I can say or write  nothing that would fill in the silences anyway. It is as though You have tied my tongue. I rejoice in this Lord. For I know it is You. It is You who leads and guides me. Your rod as well as Your staff, are the great comforts of my soul. You display wisdom in all that You do. And Your Great Shepherding heart is evident in the silencing. I thank You Lord for Your wisdom. Jesus, You are Wisdom. I thank You, for You are always working and You will open my mouth when You and only You have wrought something in me that will have become me and I will then speak only out of Your life, if I should speak at all.  This is Your way Father. And You do this through the Life of Your Son who indwells me. This is Your way with all of Your children. You are Good.  

Why does God want to be worshipped?

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Is God a man, that He is so self-absorbed that He demands to be worshipped just as the likes of Nero, portrayed in the old movies, demanding the adoration and worship from the people?

Does God seek flattery to puff Himself up with His own sense of self importance?

No, God wants to be worshipped not for flattery but because He desires to be known.

We worship God because we know Him. When we worship God with proclamations and declarations as in songs, psalms and scripture, we are stating who He is. When we cry out “All praise belongs to You God” it is because we see who He is and that in actual fact, all praise really does belong to Him! When we sing “How great Thou art” its because we have seen that He is so great! This is why true worship must be in  Spirit and in Truth.

He is not looking for people who can sing. He’s not looking for people who can write worship ‘songs’. He is looking for a people who know Him! This is the place that real worship songs are written from. And this is why we are told in Romans 12:1 that our TRUE act of worship is to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice – that is to give up our lives so that He lives through us instead, since we see that He is so beautiful and glorious. If we worship in Spirit and in Truth it is because we are responding to what we see and know of our Lord.

So next time you think about worship, the next time you join in with the saints in singing to and about our God, the next time you cry out proclamations of praise to God, the next time you tell Him how beautiful He is in your intimate time with Him, remember you speak these words from your heart to your God because you have seen that what you are speaking of Him is true.

God wants us to know Him. We worship Him because we know Him.

What is God’s Standard?

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After reading through the Old Testament from beginning to end, I was amazed at this God who cannot help but to love. He is love. Yet, it is because He is love, He has a standard which He cannot compromise and that standard is Himself. We see throughout the books of the Old Testament and especially the prophets, that God could not tolerate His people with whom He was in a marriage covenant, (the true marriage by which all others are only a shadow) turning to idolatry, the worship of false gods (infidelity). This was the one thing He could not tolerate and was the constant theme of the Israelite’s disobedience and God’s despair and anger towards them. Since God was His own standard by which He could love, it was only Himself that could satisfy Himself on our behalf.

As was the purpose of the law, we see by it our incapacity to keep it and that therefore we could not be reconciled to Him unless He covered us with Himself. Anything other than Himself will not do.  No blood sacrifice of bulls or rams and the like, no keeping of rules and traditions, no works and good intentions will do. So He sent Himself in His Son, since they are One, to atone for our sins. Christ therefore, was the PERFECT sacrifice and atonement. Christ was God’s standard and Christ the Lion of Judah has now become ours.

The Voice

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Hi brothers and sisters,

There’s so much attention and media time given these days to singing and the worship and elevation of those who sing. Our televisions are filled with shows like American/Australian Idol, Australia/Brittain’s Got Talent and The Voice. I must admit, I’m pretty sick of it. But there is a different kind of singing that thrills me and it clearly delights the Lord’s heart immensely.

I’ve just been reflecting on some words some saints put to the old familiar tune of “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” and I see something beautiful of the Lord’s oneness with His church, His bride, come through in the words. Sometimes it helps us to capture the Spirit in the words of a song if we actually remove the tune so if you’re not familiar with the tune thats ok!

The words are addressed to a corporate gathering of saints and go like this…..

 

Holy ones (that’s us),  do you hear when we’re singing it’s the voice of the Lord we are bringing?

He gave us His life that we might be His wife

And as she is singing she hears His reply…..

“Oh what a beautiful woman”! 

 

Read it a couple more times.

What I saw in these words is the oneness of the Bride with her Bridegroom. That as she (corporate expression of His life) sings His praises, it is His life that indwells her and sings through her! The Lord is actually glorifying Himself through the praises of His people! Wow! And to the shame of the powers and authorities in heavenly realms.

As if thats not enough to meditate on for weeks! But what really caught the attention of my spirit in these words is that as we, the corporate body and bride of Christ, sing His praises together something wonderful happens. With our spiritual sense of hearing, that is in our spirit, we hear the Lord loving and adoring His bride! We hear Him singing “Oh! What a beautiful woman!”

Now isn’t that just the most wonderful and the closest relationship anyone could ever imagine?

“…He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17.

Oh! What a wonderful Lord!! He’s The Voice! He’s Eternity’s Idol!

 

 

God Is Love

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What can you see in this tree?

What you see, is it Me?

Do you see I am more than one,

I am three?

Do you see in the centre

what there resides?

Do you see it is a sacrifice?

A trunk burned by lightening

from heavens I made

to ensure that our love

in this tree is displayed.

Our giving over

again and again

the Father to the Spirit

and back again

The Father to the Son

and the Son to the Father

The Spirit to the Son

flowing one to the other.

This is our dance

seen here in this tree,

our dance of love

flowing and free.

This is Love

a picture of Me

I must have an object

to give to you see.

I cannot exist

as one individual

I must pour out my life

this tree is a visual.

Look with intent

and see who I am

that I would give My life

to you –  man.

You Can Find Rest Even When It Seems Impossible

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;

my hope comes from him.

Truly he is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God ;

he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, you people;

pour out your hearts to him,

for God is our refuge.

(Psalm 62:5-8)

Sometimes my soul is very noisy. It is sometimes easily rattled. I can always tell because I get this gnawing feeling that something has disturbed my inner peace and there’s no obvious reason for it. At that time I have to stop what I’m doing and turn my spiritual eyes to the Lord Jesus and behold Him in my spirit as gazing into a mirror.

I don’t want to be easily rattled, I want to remain in the ascendency of the spirit with my soul submitted to the Spirit of God at all times, don’t you? It’s so much better there.

I thank You Lord that at any moment of any day or night, I can turn inward to You, seek Your face and there find rest and quietness for my soul.

You are ever available to me. You have made Yourself truly as a spring of living water that bubbles up inside of me. You speak from within, Your word rises within me and washes over me, refreshing and cleansing.

Your Word is life to me, for Jesus, You are the Word and You are the Life. Your life never ends in me, it begets life again and again. Your stream is endless and has no limit to its depths. It truly is as a fountain.

You are deeper than the oceans and higher than the highest of heights above heights. O Lord, one glance toward You and I am returned to rest.

Exalting the Lord is a powerful thing. When we exalt Him by proclaiming out loud who He is to all the powers of the air, that Spring of Living Water comes bursting forth.

One thing that always encourages my heart toward the Lord and enables me to exalt Him, is to hear it through others. This happened for me recently. I was reading through some comments made on another believer’s blog and the reader went from commenting on the content to exalting the Lord! Oh how my spirit was lifted and my gaze turned toward Christ! And right there I was washed in His spring and my soul was rested.

I pray that your spirit is lifted today friend and that your soul finds rest in Him alone 🙂

Come, glorify the Lord with me, let us exalt His name together (Ps 34:3)