Are You Really Vulnerable? 

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Have you ever seen a movie where a submarine is submersed in the ocean and the enemy above is dropping depth chargers? I saw this in a movie the other week and Derek explained to me how the depth chargers worked and what they were intended to do. Basically, the closer they explode to the sub the more damage they will do. But it’s all about creating pressure. When the charger explodes it creates incredible pressure on the sub so that eventually there’s enough pressure that it starts to split, generally starting in its centre which is the prime place for damage.

Sound familiar?

Well over the last ten days or more I’ve had various things happening and changes occurring in my life – death of a friend, substantial financial adjustments and emotional issues – things that have been impacting my internal world. You might say my ‘centre’ has seemed somewhat vulnerable?

 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26)

I had a picture of those depth charges come to mind yesterday and subsequently I realised there is some enemy activity trying to sink me with building pressure. Have you ever felt all that pressure pressing so hard against you that your head actually physically hurts? Looking at the submarine picture again, it’s like a tin can being gradually crushed. Have you felt like that? child-1439468_1280

So something else I realised about this kind of enemy activity of creating and building pressure in order to break us, is that it is all external. That’s right, it’s all outside of us. It’s not us, and its definitely not from within.  It doesn’t mean the situations and circumstances aren’t real and valid, but there’s a pressure that is so strong and powerful, and not of this world. It ‘feels’ and ‘appears’ to be beyond our capacity to cope with. That’s something else folks. That’s external.

But you know what? Christ isn’t vulnerable. Christ doesn’t succumb to pressure. He’s completely solid and secure. He’s not in any danger of any pressure or of drowning or of any type of enemy activity. Christ is the overcomer!

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

That world that Jesus is talking about there, is the spirit of this world.

And guess what else? I’m in Christ! And you’re in Christ, if you are a follower of Him.

For in him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28)

That means we are inside of Him and so if Christ is not vulnerable (and He’s not!), then neither are we!

Abide in me, and I will abide in you…” (John 15:4)

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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.  

The Prophetic Gifts of the Magi – Part 2

For Part 1 of this post on the gift of GOLD, look under Shadows & Types of Christ and His Church on the Menu Bar.

We have already read how the gift of gold brought to Jesus in the manager by the Magi revealed Jesus as King and divine, and how it revealed the existence of the Bride of Christ (us!).  Let’s take a look at the gift of Frankincense.

Frankincense was a very valuable and key ingredient used in incense. Incense was used by the priests in the temple as they prayed on behalf of the nation of Israel. It speaks of the sacrificial prayers of the saints and the burning of frankincense in the tabernacle which was to continue day and night, never ceasing. So here we see the eternal sacrifice of Jesus as our High Priest in the order of Melchizedek, on behalf of all mankind. We see the sacrifice of Jesus as the pleasing aroma unto God, the “once and for all” eternal, sacrifice.

Keeping the word ‘sacrifice’ in mind, it is amazing to know that the means by which Frankincense was obtained is an astounding announcement of the Lord Jesus’ death. “Frankincense is a white resin or gum. It is obtained from a tree by making incisions in the bark and allowing the gum to flow out…” (http://www.gotquestions.org/gold-frankincense-myrrh.html).

Here we see Jesus (the Tree of Life) on a tree, the cross, being pierced for our transgressions. His hands, feet and his side being pierced until water and blood flowed from His side. Wow. The Tree of Life being pierced, incisions into His body on the cross, allowing this sacrificial, sweet smelling fragrance of His life, to flow out.

And what was born out of His side at this time? What came from Adam’s side? A wife! The Bride! The church! We are a sweet smelling aroma unto God! The birth of the church, was announced at Jesus’ birth by the wise men in the gift of frankincense!


 

The Prophetic Gifts of the Magi – Part 1

I’ve been working on this post since December!

We all know when Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem, that the wise men from the East, the Magi, brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  But do we realise that these gifts were prophetic in nature? The gifts actually heralded three amazing things  –  1. Who Jesus is 2. The death of Jesus on the cross 3. The body of Christ as the church.

 

Gold was a highly valued material given to royalty. So here we see Jesus being declared as a royal King. The Magi were looking for the one whom they had been told was the King of the Jews and they appropriately brought him gold, just as King David and King Solomon were brought gifts of gold.

Gold also represented divinity as is seen in the building of the Ark of the Covenant and the tabernacle. When King Solomon built the temple as a dwelling place for God he used an even greater amount of gold than Moses. So here we see Jesus in the manger, being declared by the Magi as both King and Divine.

There is a heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, spoken of in the Book of Revelation. It is called the Bride – which is the Bride of Christ, the body of believers unto Christ. We know that every King has a Kingdom and we are the Kingdom of Christ. This glorious gold city is where God will once again dwell with man as He originally intended. It is made entirely of gold.

So the gold spoke not only of the man Jesus as King of the Jews but also of His eternal Kingdom which is the church, His body – us! 

Isn’t that incredible? We as believers unto Christ, were represented in the gold that the wise men presented to Jesus at His birth. Talk about already having been chosen in Him before creation!


 

 

Living in the Spirit

A brother recently sent me a text quoting Peter in 2 Peter 1:4 which reads;

“…seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. ”

Our discussion was concerning there being no depression, anxiety or fear in divine nature! What a wonderful encouragement of truth that is for us human-types who are in Christ!

I don’t know about you (though i think you’re not much different to me), but I have noticed more obviously recently, that from the second I am consciously awake in the morning, even with eyes still closed, my mind gets going. First thing that comes in is condemnation, guilt, accusation in the form of thoughts such as “you should get up and pray….you should have gotten up earlier to spend time in prayer…you should have prayed with your husband…you should have been kinder yesterday to that person…you should have…you should…you didn’t…you’ve disappointed God…” and so on it goes.

Subsequently, following closely behind come the feelings of guilt, shame, confusion. And finally, coming in third but not by any means the least, comes the naval gazing, the focus on me – my hopelessness, my slackness, my pathetic-ness, my failings…me, me, me. Then feelings of sadness, depression, heaviness, defeat.

Generally, this all goes on for as long as I let it and the pattern repeats on any subject at all that is thrust into my mind. So I end up feeling as though I weigh an extra 10 kilos before even getting the doona off!

The cycle continues until I force myself to deny my obsession with the storm that is now gaining momentum in my mind and take action to speak the name “Jesus”.  –  Jesus   –   Jesus    –   Jesus. Even in my mind, this name begins to lift my head metaphorically speaking. My unseen gaze slowly turns away from the debris of the internal tornado and onto Christ.

And so the war has begun….the day has begun…the spirit waging war against the flesh and the flesh waging war against the spirit.

But that name! Oh, what a name! It carries with it that divine life that our brother and the apostle Peter spoke of – that divine nature that is now mine of which I partake freely!

This morning, washing up at the sink, being reminded that it is divine nature that is now given to me, I find faith enter my heart and the raging winds begin to die down and I have a much clearer view. I see again, that in reality, I am in the eye of the storm and the storm cannot touch me.

I realise once again that I am not of this world. I am a citizen of another kingdom. I have been crucified to this world and it has been crucified to me. The enemy backs off…he’s been reminded of his powerlessness on this sacred ground of who I am in Christ.

Thank You Jesus. What a name! You are Divine Life! You are my life!

The Script Writer – The Unsung Hero

My sister is a writer – a beautiful screenwriter – a story teller. We were talking of how nice it was to see credits on a new Aussie movie for “Written by….” which doesn’t often occur. In this conversation she told me there’s a saying in the film industry that goes like this:

The director gets the money, the actor gets the fame and the writer gets the blame.

She spoke of the writer for films as being the unsung hero and when I heard this it reminded me of God – the greatest story teller of all and the one most often blamed if things don’t come across as we like it on the big screen of one’s life – and in our first world culture, especially if it doesn’t bring in the dollars!.

God is the greatest script writer and Jesus is the Word of God. Everything that has been created, has been created through, by, for, and in Christ. God’s story is magnificent. It’s the story of love, the greatest love story that ever was and it continues this minute and for all eternity. Frank Viola’s book From Eternity to Here gives a beautiful insight into this love story of Jesus Christ and His beloved bride.

Of-course God’s story is the overarching story of all our stories, since He is our creator of all that has been created. We are each characters with our own story within the bigger script, a little like in a Woody Allen movie. We are the actors, per say.

And don’t some of us just love the fame and glory? Some of us get the glory whether we want it or not but mostly we are all disillusioned into believing that we are the most important part of the picture. We can’t help ourselves. It’s our human nature. Me, myself and I. You, yourself and you!

When things are going as we hoped or expected they would, we are so happy and grateful. When things happen that we can’t understand and find difficult to accept what do we do? “God? Why didn’t you do this, why did you do that? I don’t understand You!’ and then our faith wavers. We simply don’t like the script.

Did we expect the story to be predictable? Have we been too focussed on the actors and not the overall story? Didn’t we see the twist coming?

Apparently, a well written script for film, sees the chief characters go through change. Apparently, they start the story with a certain outlook or perspective and through the twists, tragedies, let-downs, all the highs and lows written into the script, they wind up at the end having changed their outlook and perspective….they themselves, are in fact changed. Sound familiar?

When I reflect on my life, its ups and downs, the unforseen circumstances, the tragedies, losses and twists that turned me on my feet, the emotion, the drama, the rom/com, the horror and suspense – I see God is a very good writer. I think He is especially excellent because He has already told the audience how our story will end while yet at the same time, keeps us all in suspense so that we are never really knowing what will happen next.

Now, that’s great writing.

 

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Into The Storm

http://www.driverlayer.com - taken from google images

http://www.driverlayer.com – taken from google images

A few months back, a movie came out in the cinemas called ‘Into The Storm’, written by John Swetnam, and starring Richard Armitage.  I couldn’t wait to see it on the big screen rather than on the television set at home. I didn’t expect it to be a Hollywood Blockbuster but I was really hoping the special effects would blow me away (no pun intended folks!).  And I wasn’t disappointed!! For me, it was on par with ‘Twister’ that came out in the 90’s starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton.  In fact it was the film ‘Twister’ that got me all gaga about storms, great howling winds and rolling thunderous skies.

Wikepedia on Google Images

Wikepedia on Google Images

These two movies have delivered such hope and comfort to me – of-course it is the spiritual reality that Jesus is in the eye of the storm, that I’m talking about.  Yes, all the sayings about being in the eye of the storm might now have become a clichè but to use another one, clichè’s become clichè’s because they’re true!

Have you taken a look on youtube at someone flying a plane into the eye of a storm? (Click on the link at the end of this post to watch one). I’ve only ever imagined how it would sound and look but to watch some clips gives a little glimpse into the awe of the quietness that is in there.

Since seeing “Into the Storm” I have experienced a growing sense of comfort that Jesus as the Prince of Peace is in the eye of the storm and because we are in Christ, we are in His peace in the eye of the storm.  It’s kind of like being asleep in the bottom of the boat when all the storms are raging and waves are crashing all over the deck and all the other passengers are fearing for their lives (Matthew 8:24)  –  there was our Jesus……asleep. His peace, confidence and calm speaks volumes to me and makes Him even more of a hero in my eyes.

What I’ve come to see is that so much of what I, the world and the devil, try to turn my attention to, is actually simply the debris of the tornado. Thoughts, feelings, anxieties, pestering issues and earthly matters, cares and woes – these are all just debris! But I’m in the eye of the storm! Because I’m in Christ! And He is The Prince of Peace! He is ALWAYS in the eye of the storm. He is unperturbed and so I can be unperturbed too.

So now when things are spinning around in my head (the battleground), sooner or later I am coming to discern that these things are simply the debris. If I see myself as on the outside of the hurricane wall I might feel overwhelmed but I am on the other side of the wall.  I don’t need to give these things my attention because I’m safe and sound in the quiet, serene and cosy eye of the storm, in my Jesus. And if you are a brother or sister in Christ, that’s where you are too!

Isn’t this gospel, this incredible Christ, just crazy awesome?! 🙂

Click on the link and enjoy being in the eye of the storm!

( http://youtu.be/a-SnxC-BkPo )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt..

I just love it when the Lord shows me Himself or something of Himself in movies.  My husband and I enjoy this experience alot. Many saints I know (I call fellow-believers saints because that’s what they are, that’s what I am! By the grace of God) enjoy this too.  There’s sooooo many movies out there that give us a real picture of the Lord and His Bride and His Eternal Purpose (* a post for another time).

Anyhoo, in The Edge of Tomorrow, here’s just a few things that stood out to me that related to the individual believer in the body of Christ.  If you see more in the film than what I’ve written here, please feel free to ad it in a comment so we can all see more of Christ!

So here goes…………..

1. Tom Cruise when he realises the REAL enemy he is facing, asks “How do we overcome this evil?” “Die” says Emily Blunt’s character. “Die daily!”. So are we called to die daily, take up our cross daily and follow Christ, laying down our lives for one another, no longer us who live but Christ who lives in us, having been crucified with Christ.

2. The more practised at this ‘dying daily’ that Tom Cruise became, the more his discernment grew in knowing where the enemy was, and how to fight the enemy.  – The same applies to us, in that the more practised we are at dying daily, dying to self and bearing the cross, the closer we will walk with the Lord and therefore grow in discernment, more able to discern between what is soul, flesh, the world, and what is Spirit!

3. Tom Cruise’s character had a hidden life that no-one else of the world knew about, although there was something about him that they believed in.  The only others who shared this hidden life with him, were those who also lived a hidden life, as those who had received true revelation.  So it is with us, we who have been given the revelation of Jesus Christ, are hidden in Him, (“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God -Colossians 3:3).

4. We may start off alone in our christian walk, as Tom Cruise did, being a bit of a lone ranger at times but ultimately the Lord will lead us to function as part of a body – as Tom Cruise had to call on the help of the whole team to finally defeat the enemy, so we are part of an army, part of a body, part of One New Man, corporate!

I may ad more to this in the future, please feel free to ad any more in ‘comments’. 🙂