Wash, Wash, Wash Away

It’s a very rainy day here today. I am enjoying the house we are living in because there’s no leaks when it rains. Also, inside the house there are no spiders, spider webs, no cockroaches, no bugs, no ants or creepy crawlies. So this tells me the house is tight and secure. With some large glass windows in our sitting area, it is a joy to see the rain outside pounding against the glass, to see the wind blowing in the trees and yet to remain completely dry and cosy as though inside the house were a bright sunny day. This reminded me today of what it is like to be in Christ.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I step out in faith and speak something that I feel is led by the Spirit I end up being pretty bombarded for a good few days with accusations from the enemy. Stuff like “you’re a trouble maker”, “you think too highly of yourself”, “you should be quiet” and so on. Subsequently it can be a challenge to stand in the face of these things. However, when these things occur, how good it is to be reminded by a brother or sister in the Lord, of our position in Christ.

For instance, sitting inside the house this morning while the darts of rain smashed against the glass windows, my darling husband reminded me. “This is where you are. You’re inside. You’re safe. You’re in Him”.

How good and pleasant it is when we wash one another’s feet – i.e. speak the Lord’s life to one another, washing away the muck of the spirit of this world. And how grand it is to be inside of Christ – safe, warm, comfortable, protected, at peace and rest, like a bright sunny day every day.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7)

 

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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)

When Jesus Speaks Through Little Children

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Today I was sitting in a waiting room and out from the doctor’s surgery came a young dad and his little girl who must have only been about 3 years old. She was wearing fairy wings. She looked very similar to the little girl in this picture from Pixabay so I was thrilled when I found this photo to compliment this post. Just look into those eyes!

Being a girl myself, though much older than 3,  I could relate to how special she would have been feeling as she walked around this mundane machine of human society, full of serious, busy and pan-faced adults, adorned with her beautiful fairy wings.

It seemed to me that in her little mind, she was a fairy and she was ever so attuned to her ‘specialness’ as she walked about unashamedly displaying her wings. There was no arrogance or pride about her having wings but rather an air of simplicity, grace and beauty, with a quiet confidence in who she really was, unperturbed, untouched or drawn into the earthly world of human adults she walked among. She knew that she was in this beige and grey world but that she did not belong to it. She carried her tiny self as though she knew that she was a different life-form to the rest of us.

As she walked past, she locked eyes with me and gave me the most beautiful smile. Her big deep beautiful brown eyes were very much like those of the little girl in this photo. Suddenly, it was as though she and I were the only two in the room, as though time stood still for a moment as we gazed into each other’s soul and ‘saw’ each other.

Capturing the quiet childlike confidence that she held in her ‘true identity’ as a fairy, set off a little spark of fire-works in my heart. It was as though in that moment as our eyes locked, she was reminding me that I too, was in this world but not part of it. I don’t belong here either. Of-course it was the Spirit of God whispering to me and then I became attuned to my ‘specialness’. No, I’m not a fairy, I don’t have wings, but I can soar as high as the eagles, in Christ as I am already seated in heavenly places.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, …(Ephesians 2:6).

 

 

 

Lessons From The Wilderness Part Five: The Revelation Of The Son

Cheryl from Bread for the Bride has written this series on the Wilderness, and she writes in the language that is only in my heart but I am unable to express. I do hope you are encouraged toward our glorious Christ through His testimony in Cheryl’s writing, as I am. Thank you Cheryl for being an available vessel crying out in the ‘wilderness’, helping to point the way to the Well of Jesus Christ that never runs dry. Christ alone is King.

Bread for the Bride

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The Spirit that guides, counsels, comforts and shows us things to come is a Spirit of revelation (Jn. 16:13). He is a revealer. And that which He reveals is Christ. It is always the purpose and ministry of this holy, revealer Spirit who is the very living breath of God, to reveal Christ.

There is nothing that gives God more pleasure than the revealing of the Son. Try it some time. Tell God the Father, sincerely, how beautiful His Son is and then soak in the unmitigated joy that floods you. The natural created world around us, and the heavens, are all a revelation of Christ the Son. Everything to which God has ever set His mind centers on the revelation of the Son. And among all the ways that God has found to reveal the Son, none give Him more pleasure than to reveal Him within human…

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Help! I can’t seem to unload my burdens!

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I don’t mean to carry burdens. Sometimes I don’t even see them coming and its not until weeks later I realise I’ve been labouring under them. Burdens are cares, right? They’re worries, anxieties, concerns. They are matters that weigh heavy upon our minds and hearts.

But Jesus said to cast ALL our cares upon Him for He cares for us. He said to come unto Him all who are weary and heavy laden, to learn from Him, that He would give us rest because HIS yoke is easy and HIS burden is light.

Obviously, the Lord knows we have burdens, He knows we carry them. But He has a burden of His own that He wants us to carry which is the matter of His own heart and His own mind. (I’ll post about this another time). His burden and my burdens are very, very different. In fact, they are literally ‘worlds’ apart. His burden is of His Father’s heart and the Kingdom of God whereas my burdens are of my flesh/soul and this earthly kingdom. My burdens are loaded with care, concern, anxiety, worry, fear but His burden is light!  So clearly, there’s an exchange of burdens that’s meant to take place.

Now I’m not talking about having problems. We all have problems. Problems are a part of life and very often they are the very means by which the Lord changes us. What I’m talking about here, is the ‘burden’ and the ‘carrying’ of that heaviness that weighs us down to the point of despair.

In the same way that I am called to exchange my burden for His and therefore clearly can’t carry both His burden and my own at the same time, I am reminded that I can’t live in His Kingdom while I’m living in the cares and burdens of the kingdom of this world. How can I live in the Kingdom of God, in which I belong, while I’m carrying cares and anxieties that belong to the world? That’s right, they belong to the world, which means they do not belong to me for I am a citizen of another Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven. If I’m carrying burdens of this world, it’s a good sign of my attachment to the place, of my being bound to it in some way, and there’s something wrong with that picture. Sounds like I’ve been hoodwinked!

This introduces the word ‘yoke’ that Jesus talked about. What is a yoke? It is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plough or cart that they are to pull”. We see this referenced in 2 Corinthians 6:14, where the Lord tells us to not being unequally yoked. So if I’m all loaded up with burdens and cares of this world, I am clearly yoked to this world, I am fastened to it and it’s ways, its cares, its burdens and I’m going to end up walking around in circles or standing still. But I don’t want to be like this and neither does the Lord want me to be.

So here’s the thing. How can I cast my cares upon the Lord? How do I unburden myself and take on His burden instead? I’ve come to the conclusion after years of practice, that I can’t. Oh yes, I’ve even wrangled and wrestled many weeks at a time with this overwhelming reality that I cannot unburden myself no matter how much I want to. It seems at times that no matter how much praying, resting, escaping, I cannot unburden myself. Yes, even my prayers are filled with anxiety and doubt and I feel I am wasting my time because I can’t stop myself. So what is the answer?

In Christ! I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! What incredible news! What is impossible for man, is possible with God, through Christ! He has taken all my cares and burdens and placed them on Himself and took them to the cross! If only I could see this as the truth! But that would require faith!

So in faith, in living by the Kingdom of God of which I am a part, I can turn to the Lord Jesus who lives in me, and ask Him to hand my burdens over to the Father for me. In my flesh I can do nothing but in Christ, I can do all that He asks of me. He asks me to come unto Him, learn from Him, find rest in Him. He asks me to cast my cares upon Him. I can do this only in Him!

Now Christ is in me and He is in you believer! So you and I both, can turn to Him who lives and dwells in us and ask that in Him, we would hand over our burdens to the Father, the God of all comfort, the Father of compassion, to the One who cares for us.

Remember, we cannot but He can. Flesh cannot deal with the things of the spirit, only spirit can deal with spirit. Anxieties, worries, concerns, fears, doubts and burdens are matters of the spirit of this world, not the spirit of the Kingdom of God. We who are led by the Spirit are unequally yoked if we are being burdened by the things of this world. So it is by the Spirit of God, that we are called to live by faith. It is by faith we turn to our Lord and say “I cannot but You can”. “I cannot hand over these burdens but Christ in me can”!

No matter what burdens you are carrying in your heart and mind today dear brother or sister, I encourage you by faith, to turn to the Lord Jesus and ask Him to enable you by His life which indwells you, to hand them over to God. He is willing, He is able and He is waiting.  I can guarantee, as is my testimony, that the word of the Lord is true and that you will find rest for your soul.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28 -30, NIV).

In Christ! Again, I say, in Christ!

 

 

 

 

Are You Wearing Yourself Out For Nothing?

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Man, Fairy Wrens are so cute. They are so tiny and with skinny little legs. They flitter here and there, close to the ground, very fast and have a rather loud vibrant whistle.

It’s springtime here in Australia and here on the East Coast, the fairy wrens are out to play. There’s just one problem. For some strange reason, one of them is trying to get inside the house!

Tap, tap, tap all day long. Tap, tap, tap and then a frenzied flutter up the outside of the window from the ground, with little stick-feet frantically and desperately scratching at the glass as she goes up and down, up and down, up and down, accompanied by a determined and frustrated rather up-tempo whistle. Then tap, tap, tap.

What on earth is she doing? Is she looking at her reflection? Does she think she sees another bird and feels she has to show her, who’s boss? She’s the funniest thing. Those little legs and feet go ten to the dozen and she never gets anywhere. She is relentless. I feel dreadfully sorry for her. I wish she could understand that there’s no other bird on the other side, that she’s really wasting all her energy and frustrations. She’s never going to achieve what she’s trying to achieve.

She’s looking at me now as I write. She’s hopping from the outside table, to the barbecue, to the outdoor chair, back down onto the sill and back at it again, all the while staring into the glass like some obsessed maniac. Poor love. What a waste of effort.

She reminds me of us, the church. How we have for so long, and still so many of us, frantically tried and tried for year after year, to enter into to a certain place, believing with all our might that that’s where we needed to be. Oh, the prayers! Lord, please, please, please (stick-feet scratching) let me into Your presence! Let me into your throne room, I want to be in there Lord, please, please, please let me in! I’ll do ministry, I’ll pray every day for 3 hours like Daniel, I pray the ‘Jabez Prayer’ (?), I’ll pray The Lord’s Prayer 10 times a day, I’ll give more than my tithes, I’ll attend every church service, I’ll go down the front to every alter call, I’ll join the greeting team, I’ll be nice and friendly to everybody, then surely you’ll let me in there!

Hmmmm. This little fairy wren just doesn’t get it. She’s already in the greatest place of all. She’s in her natural habitat! She’s in the wide open free space, where she can mingle with other fairy wrens. Where her food is free, her natural instincts can thrive and bear fruit in her little adorable life. She’s completely free and safe and no-one can catch her and lock her up into a little cage.

It’s the same for us. We’re already in! We’re already in the presence of the Almighty every day because we’re in Christ! As our dear brother Watchman Nee says in The Normal Christian Life – we are praying and praying to get into a room we are already in. It’s as silly, as absurd and as sad as that little fairy wren.

The church needs a revelation of just what almighty and outstanding work God has done for us, through  and in Christ Jesus. If there’s any prayer worth praying 10 times a day for 3 hours at a time, it’s for a revelation of Christ and all that He is.  Then we’ll see what already is and unlike this dear little worn out fairy wren, we’ll find rest.

(Oh, and maybe say a prayer for the fairy wren!)

 

8 Ways We Can See The Lord In Menopause

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Male members of the species do not be alarmed at this post! Even men can appreciate the ways in which we can see the Lord through this strange and peculiar phenomenon that occurs in a female’s body when she’s….well …getting tired.

Following along the theme of my last post 9 Ways Every Pizza Eating Believer Can See Christ, I want to share with you just how even in the experience of menopause, we can see the Lord. (I don’t have to mention that shadows and types are limited do I?)

Again, I was inspired by that wonderful sister in our group, whose name is Jena, who after I mentioned some issues I was having physiologically, asked me if I could see the Lord in it?

Great question! I got to thinking….

Hormones. Arggh. They’re annoying coming in and annoying going out. And on both accounts, the balance is out.

1. Menopause can speak to us about Christ as our balance. One of the most successful treatments in menopause is Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT. This involves replacing the hormones that are lacking in order to bring about the right balance. That means playing with two hormones, oestrogen and progesterone.

So it is with the Lord. We constantly need to be re-balanced and He is our balance. Just like looking through a telescope at the stars we have to keep readjusting our view. If we are too attached to this earth, this planet, we lose sight of the heavenly realities that are ours. So this requires a constant renewal of the mind which only God can do for us, through Christ. So in some ways, Christ is our hormone replacement if you like because He keeps us balanced. It’s no longer us who live but it’s Christ living in us. As a result of us living by His life, we are kept in right relationship with God the Father.

2. Menopause can speak to us of the ascendency of the spirit. Oestrogen is apparently meant to just do its thing and progesterone is meant to control the oestrogen so it doesn’t go berserk. So if there’s too much of one and not enough of the other, the balance is out. This reminded me of the soul and the spirit. Let’s say the oestrogen represents the soul and the progesterone represents the spirit. In Christ, we are no longer dominated by the soul, but by the spirit. When the soul is left to its own devices, it causes havoc so the spirit keeps the soul in check.

3. Menopause can show us the dangers of imbalance. Now, if there’s too much oestrogen going on, a woman can become physically bloated, retain fluid, get headaches, suffer insomnia, experience hot flushes (or flashes if you’re American), crave sugar and sweet things, have an increased appetite, gain weight, and suffer mood swings and anxiety. (Brothers, this may explain a few things :-)). If there’s too much soul going on, a believer can become spiritually puffed up, self-righteous and all that. A believer can retain too much of the wrong stuff, let’s call it religion. A believer can lose peace and rest, becoming anxious. A believer can get fat on self, become self-centred instead of Christ-centred. A believer can crave things that are harmful, turning to the world and old habits for comfort. A believer can become a bit prickly and not a very nice person to be around.

4. Menopause can speak to us about identity. Oestrogen is more the female side of things, right? So during menopause a woman is in some ways losing her ‘female’ stuff. You know, stops being able to procreate etc. Now some ladies can get a bit thingy about this, feeling that they’re perhaps losing their feminine identity in a way. However, this reminded me that in Christ, there is no longer male and female, but all are equal. And we have a new identity in Christ. We are a new creation, the things of the old man, of Adam, of the flesh, have gone and we are created anew in Christ.

5. Menopause can speak to us about the authentic Christian life. Now HRT can be biologically identical or synthetic. There has been concern over the years that the synthetic HRT has been linked to breast cancer. Some say this view is founded on research and others say there is no definitive conclusion. Fortunately, the treatment I am on is called ‘bio-identicals’ which means it is extracted from plants and is as biologically close to natural human hormones as possible.

This speaks to me of the fake (synthetic) and the ‘almost genuine’ (bio-identical) versus the authentic. We know that Satan is all about counterfeit. He sets things up to look like Christ but it’s not Christ. And we know that along with his counterfeit comes pain, confusion, and suffering. He even tries to do a ‘fake’ work in us, convincing us that we have what it takes, that we are all sufficient in and of ourselves and we become a synthetic Christian – self-made, plastic and infectious, all the while appearing godly.

Many of us have experienced the ‘almost genuine’ type of Christianity and church life. It looks like Christ, sounds like Him, kind of feels like Him but it’s not really all Him. Sure, there’ve been aspects of Him but that’s all. This traditional institutional way of living as a Christian within the confines of hierarchy, individualism, religious practises and programs just isn’t the same as the authentic, original, organic expression of Christ.

6. Menopause is a type of death. It is the wrapping up of a type of biological life that will live no more. For some women, its symptoms never end (eek!) So it is that when we are saved we leave behind the old life and enter into a life that is in many ways full of death. We are called to take up our cross daily. We are called to join with Christ in the fellowship of His sufferings. We are promised suffering, trials and tribulation. But all of this is leading us to a final place of glory – being resurrected not only in spirit but in body too. Now, though we still are alive in the body, we are dead to sin but alive to God.

7. Menopause is a sign of the end being near. The immaturity and concerns of youth are over and older age is here. It means change. It means that we are not called to stay the same. Just as we experienced hormonal changes in our early teens, we now experience hormonal changes as we come to the latter years of our life (men experience hormonal changes too!) It speaks of a cycle, above and beyond all the other cycles. It is the bigger scheme of things. It is finishing what has been started. It is about completion.

God’s story starts in Genesis 1 & 2 with God freely inhabiting the garden with mankind, with a bride for the first Adam. God’s story closes in Revelations 21 & 22 with God freely inhabiting the city with mankind and the Bride for the Second Adam (Christ).  There are many minor shadows and types of God’s eternal purpose throughout scripture and throughout our every-day lives but these are all summed up in His one grand completing act which we read about in the Book of Revelation.

I sent my draft of this post to that sister in our group, Jena, since she was the one who inspired me to write it. And I was rapt that she contributed some additional insights the Lord gave her and so I would like to share those also. By Jena seeing something more and contributing to this post, we see a shadow/type of how no one person has the full revelation of Christ, but when we share Him together we get to see something more and different of Him through one another.

8. From Jena: “They say that a woman’s life is made up of three cycles…the maiden, mother and wise woman. This could reflect our journey with Christ…first we give our lives to Him: we are born the baby Christian, the maiden, the young bride. The next season is when we have cycles; blood is spilled and every month it seems a frustration, an anger, or an issue emerges that we have the chance to take to the cross – to honour the blood that Jesus spilled, which is reflected in our bodies.  After many years of that monthly journey, we become a wise woman! This phase is perhaps reflected in us becoming truly one with Christ”.

What more you can see?

 

 

 

How to Love Others Perfectly

I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” Psalm 16:2

 

Dear Reader

I am happy to say, that I cannot love you.

Please hear me out. I have finally come to realise that I cannot love anybody as they deserve to be loved, not anyone. I’ve finally come to truly see the FACT that nothing good dwells in my flesh (Romans 7:18).

In my ‘self’ – I am so full of flesh and the capacities of the flesh which are profoundly faulty and lacking, no matter how hard I try, what counselling training and courses I do, studies, reading, the company I keep, no matter how much I pray and read the bible. My flesh will always be just that, flesh.

For so long I have bought the lie from that tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that if I did all these things above, coupled with being raised by a loving Christian family, that I automatically have the capacity to love. It is definitely living from the wrong tree.

When I’ve been confronted by your quirks and perks, the things about you that rub me up the wrong way, I’ve only just tried to love you more. But this has failed and turned into frustration and offense, offending you and me being offended.  In my efforts to resolve this I’ve turned to my own resources to do the right thing. I’ve stayed in touch, I’ve continued to pray for you, I’ve kept up ‘godly’ behaviour of “do unto others” in your company, at times silently confessing my un-forgiveness and then my forgiveness. All the while I have thought this was good. I have thought this was loving you, how I should.

Sure, I could laugh and smile with you, genuinely enjoy your company, listen to your stories, enquire of your wellbeing and make small talk, perhaps even pray with you or engage on a deeper level of communication with you. Still, judgement, criticism, self-righteousness, pride, prejudices, stubbornness and offense have remained in my heart to varying degrees and at different times. I have to admit this if I’m to be brutally honest.

I started off saying that I was happy to say that I cannot love you. Well, you see at one time, all of this would have been confessed to my utter shame. However, in recent times, I’ve learned to turn to the Lord and ask Him to love through me because I was beginning to see I wasn’t able to love well. My true belief was that I just wasn’t all that good at it, not that I actually couldn’t! Therein, lay the problem and in the answer to this problem, lies my happiness.

You see, I thought having to turn to the Lord for Him to love through me and instead of me, was to my shame. I thought it was an admission of weakness, slackness and defeat. I believed that by doing this, I was admitting that I wasn’t a good enough Christian, all of which I now see is completely and ironically, liberatingly true.

On one hand such an admission seemed to me that I was buying into Satan, the Accuser of the Brethren’s, lies. To believe I wasn’t a good enough Christian and couldn’t love people properly seemed a dreadful accusation. I saw it as condemnation from the enemy for the purpose of keeping me naval gazing into my own failure and sin. So I consciously rejected the thoroughness of this admission.

However, I instinctively knew (and they say that one’s spirit is the place of intuition) there was some truth in this but at that point any truth was to my shame. For me to feel shame over this, indicated I wasn’t yet convinced of my total inability. There remained still some self-belief that I was able to love but that I was not living up to my abilities, hence the shame. That is, until today.

When I prayed today and asked the Lord to help me to see others through His eyes, I discerned this sense of admission of weakness rise in me from deep within and I didn’t like it. Then I didn’t like the ‘not liking’ it. So the Lord was beginning to show me that I still held some portion of belief in my self to be able to love. Yet my experience was telling me the opposite. My experience was that I nursed judgements, criticisms, anxiety and offense. However, my core belief was that I should and could overcome these negatives but my experience proved that I could not.

I cannot. I can’t.

These are not popular phrases in the pop culture environment of many believers today. Yet they are words that are completely theologically and biblically sound and are in fact the words spoken by this Jesus of ours, Himself. The very One who was showing me my incapacity and revealing to me the subtleties of the enemy’s lies, this very One, this same Jesus, said those same words about Himself! How can this be?

Jesus said “By myself I can do nothing” – John 5:30

And Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does”. – John 5:19

To us, Jesus said “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” –  John 15:5

Paul said “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” –  Romans 7:18

But then Paul also said “ I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” –  Philippians 4:13

T. Austin Sparks writes;

In the case of the Lord Jesus there was all the time an underworking to get Him to adopt the contrary course, to act without inquiry of His Father, without direct leading from His Father; to act in His individual capacity as though He were His own Master, as though He had not to make appeal elsewhere. (By T. Austin-Sparks from: Excerpt from The Risen Lord and the Things Which Cannot Be Shaken – Chapter 3).

I see this same underworking in my life, to try and convince me that I don’t need to make appeal elsewhere. Yet, Jesus Himself had to make appeal elsewhere, to His Father. What a fool to believe otherwise of myself. It seems pretty clear and to be said on the highest authority that exists, that outside of Christ, I cannot love.

So why does this make me happy? Do I offend you by this? Perhaps, if we only know one another according to the flesh and not in accordance with the Spirit, this will indeed offend you. Perhaps also, it is because of only knowing you according to the flesh that I have tried to keep my lack hidden from you and to keep up appearances in what I now recognise as something utterly impossible.

But does all this mean that I do not love you? Of course not! I simply can’t! I don’t have the capacity. My love fails. But, I want to… I want to love you and this is why I’m so happy. You see now, I can love you perfectly! – that is, through the One who IS Perfect Love. It’s no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me (Galatians 2:20). 

You see, I no longer have to strive in my incapacities and weakness or my anxieties over my failing efforts and works. I can now simply abide in Him who IS Love and therefore He gets the room and the expression in my life to love you perfectly, as you deserve, with His love which does not fail.

For His love is…

patient, His love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. His love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

See, I can’t love you like that, but Christ in me can. Christ in me, Christ in you, Christ in us, we in Christ. In Christ. Christ is the key.

That makes me happy.

Psalm 116

Sun Shining over Earth and Moon by Kevin Gill

Sun Shining over Earth and Moon by Kevin Gill

Psalm 116

I love the Lord for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

Imagine far above the heavens, above the universe…the fullness – God- dwelling and pulsating with Spirit life in Jesus Christ.

Imagine Him – God. The Community of the Godhead, Spirit, – communing and dwelling together inside of Christ, as one being – the Almighty Ancient of Days, the Lord God Almighty.

In the holy darkness of His sanctuary, which is as light to Him, He reigns above all dominions, powers and authorities.

He hears the voice of a child. Turning His ear, He looks inside Himself, into Christ.

Everything falls into silence, a silence that is louder than anyone could imagine – a silence so deep that in all of God’s rule and over all of heaven and earth, the voice of this little 6 year old girl, is all that is heard.

As the Almighty God turns His ear, He hears the little voice say “Dear Lord Jesus, I ask You to be Lord of my life, to forgive me all my sins, thank you for dying for me. Please be my king forever. I love you Jesus, I give my life to you today”.

Inside the Spirit of God, inside of Jesus Christ, this little girl comes forth into the illuminating light that is Jesus Himself. She has stepped into Life, as one who has always been there. In fact she was. She was hidden in Christ since before creation.

Ten thousand times ten thousand angels burst into rejoicing at her spirit birth into the Kingdom of Heaven and she is given her place, seated with Christ Himself. She joins the multitudes that have been born before her.

Forever, she will call on Him and her voice will be heard by God as she, having been chosen in Christ since before creation, has now come into His Kingdom of glorious Light. She has been born again.

Ephesians 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,…

 

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 )