Are You Really Vulnerable? 

second-1131275_1280

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)

Advertisements

What is the Meaning of Life?

stock-photo-meaning-word-under-a-magnifying-glass-to-illustrate-looking-for-searching-and-finding-a-definition-314971883

Are you looking for meaning in your life? Are you wanting to know why you exist? Are you desperate for understanding in making decisions and what direction to take in your life?

Well, before reading on, if you’ve never heard or read about this vital truth, which is knowing What is the Eternal Purpose of God, please read through the New Testament books of Colossians (focuses on Christ) and Ephesians (focuses on the church).  These books have been greatly overlooked but hold the answers to eternity past before creation and to eternity future. If you don’t have a bible you’ll find them linked on the two names of the books and to continue reading the chapters just click on the tab in the bottom right corner that will have the next chapter number.

Might I suggest praying before you do so, even if you’ve never prayed before, and ask the Holy Spirit to bring alive the scriptures to your heart, giving you insight and understanding into the knowledge of Christ through what you are about to read there. I pray that the Lord will grant you and me, and all of us, a massive revelation into the knowledge of Jesus Christ in whom we find all meaning.

Now – to the blog post………

Today I simply just want to proclaim Christ to you.

When the Lord was pleased to reveal His Son in me, I was done. Done like a dinner. Done like Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus – fell off my horse so to speak, and was never the same.  When He gave me just the tiniest glimpse into the fact that He has only ONE purpose, only ONE will, only ONE object of His whole heart, ONE purpose and intention behind all of creation including my puny little life and that this ONE everything for God is the exaltation and increase of His Son Jesus Christ ….. He answered everything for me.

Recently Derek and I listened to a message by Frank Viola on the Eternal Purpose of God, and in it he gave a little illustration but one that for me, captured God’s ONE purpose beautifully.  Imagine for a moment, a mum of toddlers. You may be one, so this will be easy for you. This is the general gist of what Frank said – You mums know that with your child, you are inseparable. You cannot separate yourself from your child, your child is completely part of you and who you are. 

I’ve never had my own children but I have the privilege of witnessing a shadow/type of this obsession that God has with His Son, through the lives of some mums I share life with.  Just this week, I told a friend that I would be at a certain place baby sitting for another friend and invited her to come over for a cuppa.  Her immediate response was that her son would love to play with the kids I would be baby sitting!  My friend’s first thought, her complete desire and heart was for her son.  She was looking at the invitation in light of her son’s pleasures, needs and fulfillment and to see these met in him would give her the greatest joy.  And so it is with God.

Let’s think about that for a moment.

God looks at everything through the lense of His Son. Everything we do here is to be for His Son, but led by Him, born out from Him, done in Him, for Him, to Him and by Him. It is to be Christ’s life through us. His Son Jesus is the object of God’s ONE will, desire and purpose and the increase of His Son is established through the church!

How brilliantly freeing it is to know that God doesn’t have multiple wills, desires and purposes! In the old days I remember pining for knowledge into what God’s will was for my life – as though every individual that ever existed had an individual specific will set for their lives by God and had to search it out with a fine tooth comb as though it were some mystery hidden from them.

There’s millions of books in Christian book shops tackling the subject of how to know God’s will for your life on this basis. You might have even read some of them. But to know God only has ONE will for my life, your life and the life of every person who ever did and ever will live, is something so profoundly simple and liberating for the believer that changes our lives forever and takes my breath away.

With Christ as our compass, our Bethlehem star, our True North, our whole life is given absolute direction and clarity of will in every single circumstance from the seemingly insignificant decisions to the seemingly most paramount ones.  In all things, we only need ask ourselves and ask of our brethren, will Christ be exalted and magnified through this or through that?

Imagine for a minute, the sport of orienteering. Orienteering is a sport centered around the skill of navigation using a map and a compass.Imagine yourself with your compass and map in hand, making every move in accordance with a deference to True North and finding your way to the treasures.  Well Christ is the treasure and that True North! He’s the way there and He’s the destination.

When it is given to us  to see that Christ and Christ increased through us IS the Eternal Purpose of God, (and it is given, it is not something we can see by our own spiritual or intellectual capacities, lest we boast, and I certainly do not profess to have full revelation because Christ is way too big) we realise that we can align our every move in life to the will of God. Again, is Christ being exalted and magnified through this or through that?

Every choice, decision, move is to be made with the understanding that the essential goal and purpose is to see Christ made manifest, increased and expressed as He desires. And this often requires denying our own soulish preferences, giving up or bearing the cross.  In fact, it pretty much mostly requires this. Our lives become completely given over to Him and His needs, His desires, His wants, His intentions, His heart. Even our fellowship with other believers stops being about meeting our wants and needs and becomes simply about meeting His needs! (go figure).  Beautiful stuff.

Knowing that Christ is GOD’s everything, just like the example of my friend with her son (not that her son is her everything, but you get the example) answers all my inquiries in life.  All my questions and problems of where I live, how I live, what I wear, how I carry myself, where I go, where I don’t go, what I do, how I speak, where I work, how I work, if I work, career aspirations, what I study, how I fellowship, what I sing, how I sing, how I manage my finances, how I pray, how I handle a faith crisis, how I read the scriptures, what I permit in my life as entertainment, how I eat, facing depression, anxiety, fears, incompetence, weaknesses, failures, what are my goals, ambitions, dreams and desires….EVERYTHING is answered in Him.

In fact, personal goals, ambitions, dreams, desires, career aspirations, study aspirations, interests etc, have pretty much gone out the window, except for Him! Some folk would find me incredibly boring I’m sure! Like I said, I’m done. He did me in. He did me in at Calvary, and this came alive to me when He was pleased to reveal His Son in me in 2010 even though I entered His kingdom in 1973 (see Psalm 116). He did it. He has done all of it. I can’t even explain how He’s done it. I didn’t even do anything to warrant what He’s done. It’s all Him.

If I look back over my life, I can see how God’s ONE desire, purpose and will for me has always been wrapped up in His Son.  God’s ONE Eternal Purpose is in His Son and has determined who I married, when I married, where we’ve lived, our career paths, our interests, who we do life with and how we live on a daily basis.

If you look back over your life to this point as an observor, can you see the same thing?  Even if you feel you’ve failed in areas, like I definitely have, can you see that even those decisions seeming to be failures  are still caught in the net of the greatest fisherman that ever lived, that Fisher of men? (Luke 5:1-11)

Since time began people have asked the question “What is the meaning of life?” If you knew that answer, what impact would it have on you?

What if you were to answer that question with Christ? Can you see the impact on one’s life when the good Lord reveals Christ as the all consuming passion of God’s heart? How all encompassing is this Christ, how all consuming, how unfathomable, giant and vast, how deep and wide and eternal is He? How amazing it is that everything is summed up in this Christ? That this Christ is the ONE desire, passion and intent of the Father for all time past, present and future? And….that we are in Him??!! Whoa!!! No wonder God loves us so much, we’re in His Son!!

Seriously, we have to ask ourselves, what other purpose could God possibly have outside of His own Son?

Could we say that God’s eternal purpose is to love? But He gave us Christ who IS the complete object of His love!

After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased. (Matthew 3:16-17)

… Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen (Luke 9:34-36).

Could we say that God’s eternal purpose is to see that the gospel is preached? But Christ IS the gospel!

God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you (Romans 1:9).

…to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God,… I have fully preached the gospel of Christ (Romans 15:16-19).

Could we say that God’s eternal purpose is to reveal His glory? But Christ IS the glory of God!

… “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was (John 17:4-5).

Or could we say that God’s eternal purpose is that we would know Him? CHRIST is the way we know God. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life! No-one comes to the Father except through CHRIST!

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves (John 14:5-11).

And how profoundly and extravagantly loving and gracious is our God, to invite us INTO this Christ, His only begotten Son, and to make the way for Him to live and dwell inside of us?  So now we are included in this heavenly, glorious relationship of love between the Father and His Son.

“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

“O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:20-26)

And now because of Christ and who He is and what He has done, the church is the display of the manifold wisdom of God to the powers and principalities of the air. This is our purpose people, this is why we exist.  We exist to increase this Christ. Christ is to be given the room to express Himself fully, to be displayed to the heavens and to the shame of the opposing powers of the air, for Christ alone is to be exalted.  And how will He be exalted if we do not exalt Him? How can He be increased if we do not decrease in our own self-life.

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord (Ephesians 3:10).

The increase and exaltation of Christ answers every desire and need in humanity. It directs our every path and at every cross road. It is our True North. It is the glory and delight of God. It is our very purpose.

Christ is the reason we live, breath, walk, talk, move, sing. We sing of Christ, of who He is. We declare and proclaim this Christ in our words, songs and deeds.

One day ALL things will be summed up IN CHRIST. Doesn’t that say it all?

 

 

Are You Wearing Yourself Out For Nothing?

wren-420715_1920

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

flower-428368_1920

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?

 

 

 

Is God Preparing You To Move On?

snail-189917_1280

Hi folks.

This morning as I was doing my usual thing of sitting outside in the sun to spend some quiet time, I was feeling considerably harassed by the fact that only metres from me, was our landlord and his son. They were right there at the wire fence, yet again, measuring out and hammering posts into the ground. They have been doing this with great diligence on a daily basis now, in preparation for developing the large acreage.  There’s little white sticks with bright pink ribbons on them, all over the land. Alas, we have finally been given notice and have to be out in 8 weeks time.IMG_1524

Over the past couple of weeks, their presence has been really felt by my mother and me, as we are home all day most days. Also, the dogs are constantly on guard and rearing to go, yap yap yap, all day long. Since the landlords don’t actually come on to the block where our house is, they’re not required to give us any notice so they come and go right at the fences on all sides, any time of the day.

However, on the occasions when they do need to come onto our block, they generally just grab my attention over the fence or yell out at the front door “Anyone there?” and subsequently say something like “We’ve just gotta put some posts in, that alright? We won’t be long”.

Sigh.

So I sat there this morning with dogs barking at them right at the fence and caught my temptation to grumble and complain….again. I decided instead, to do something other than get cranky and asked the Lord to show me Himself in this situation.

Instantly, the beautiful Holy Spirit reminded me of what the Lord had shown me concerning the landlord and his son, some months back. (See my previous post The Land Where I Live) .

Working all round the four boundaries of where I live, I can observe them daily. It’s almost like they are here to provide a daily reminder that God the Father and His Son are relentlessly labouring together in their eternal purpose and it is their one obsession. It reminds me that God has a purpose and He has graciously and lovingly permitted me to see it.

While the old man stands still holding the roll of string the young man takes the string, and walks some metres, measuring it out as he goes, much like the use of a plumbline. Then he hammers the post into the ground. The two of them are together all the time, for they are a team.

This is like our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ working together on the one purpose. Together they labour in the intention of their heart. And if I remain in Him and look through God’s eyes, I can observe their beautiful relationship. It actually comforts me as I write this, to see it this way. Only the Holy Spirit can do that.

The fact that they don’t always give me notice of their arrival or it’s a last minute thing, can really urk me if I let it. I could go on about the rights I have as a tenant, but then that’s law isn’t it? I could quote the law to them in some kind of misguided perspective that I can hold onto this place which isn’t even mine to hold onto. So I’m reminded, that as a Christian I don’t have any rights to hold onto. I don’t belong to myself, I belong to God. And when God says “I’m here”, well, He’s just here. He doesn’t have to give me notice.

Nevertheless, the mere presence of the landlords around the place makes me feel a little ‘pushed’. I don’t feel very comfortable living here anymore. In fact, with this ‘gentle’ push I am more inclined than ever to get out of here. There’s a greater sense of urgency in me to move, whilst at the same time a sense of rest in the fact that I still have plenty of time up my sleeve. Funny how God can cause an agreement in our hearts with His movements.

Yup, I’m being prepared. He’s getting me ready. I’m getting uncomfortable. I can feel His movements, He’s here on the doorstep telling me it’s time and not to delay in getting ready. Yet He’s gentle, merciful and full of grace and patience. He’s doing it just right. It’s His land. His house. My life is His life to do with as He pleases and I know I can trust Him. He’s God the Father and God the Son, He’s the true Landlord. He’s the one that moves me on. He’s the one that prepares the way. And He’ll be the one to provide the next place.

A few months back God had clearly said to me “Take this land for all its worth before I move you on” (see The Land Where I Live). So I guess this is the ‘moving on’ bit. I’ll look forward to sharing with you what He teaches me through this season of change and where He takes us to from here. Instead of feeling a bit put-out, now I feel excited.

Thanks Lord for reminding me of Your ways, Your words and Your purpose. There you are every day right in front of me, never relenting from securing your purpose is being fulfilled. And as a result, I am at peace.

 

How the Lord Gave Me A New Take On Past Sin

Sometimes Jesus turns up in the most amazing ways and places. This morning I was trying desperately to have some time beholding the Lord in quietness. With 3 little dogs vying for attention and racing around incessantly for me to take them for a walk, it was near impossible. I started off sitting in the sun outside, that was no good. So I went into my office and that wasn’t much better. Finally I had to lock them out which only led to them barking in frustration. Argghhh. But I persisted as much as I could… I really should get up earlier.

Anyway I sat down to start my reading of Proverbs and in only the first 3 chapters I received a number of new insights from the Lord. Most amazingly though, I was reminded of past sin.

However, I saw it in the light of the Lord’s saving grace and mercy.  As a result I was filled with gratitude, humility and wonder. I had never experienced such a thing and pondered this for a time until I couldn’t stand the dogs barking any longer and finally took them for a walk.

On my walk, I found I was hurrying because I wanted to get back to spending time with God. The poor dogs, they were wanting to stop and sniff every blade of grass along the way and I started yelling ‘come on! hurry up!’.  Paw things 🙂 When I realised what I was doing I decided to slow down, stand still and wait for them.

As I stood and waited I started to relax and a song began to rise in my heart. It was the chorus from the song Edelweiss from The Sound of Music but with different words put together by some other believers. They had changed the words of the chorus as follows and this is what I found myself singing;

Over and over I’ll spread the news

There’s no greater story

Once You came, bearing shame

Soon You’ll come in Your glory

I then began speaking with the Lord about what I’d ‘seen’ in Proverbs concerning my past sin.

“Lord, I know Your word says that You remember our sins no more, so I don’t really know what’s going on here right now but I feel as though it is You that is reminding me of my past sin. All I feel is joy and gratitude for seeing who I am without You so that I can now see what it is to be ‘in Christ’! You’ve shown me with new eyes, the joy of my salvation that comes from You. If it was the Devil reminding me of past sin wouldn’t I feel condemnation?  I feel nothing but joy and I don’t feel any shame at all……because You put it on Your son“.

…Once You came, bearing shame…

Right then at that moment I looked up and realised I was standing in front of a power pole that has become an almost sacred spot for me on my walks. You see, all the other power poles are in a T-shape but this one bears the shape of a cross. Many times I have stood at the foot of this cross and imagined being physically present at the crucifixion of my Lord and wept. Amazingly, so that this pole can service two directions from the ‘cross-roads’ where it stands, additional beams bear the shape of a second horizontal cross on top. I had become oblivious to where I was standing until that moment that I was reflecting on Christ bearing my shame on the cross. I could hardly believe it, but then it seemed typical of my Lord to lead me this way.Cross Pole

As I have done many times before, I stood at the foot of that pole/cross and as I looked up I imagined Jesus there. I thought to myself Here I am today, standing at the foot of the cross in complete righteousness and cleanliness because Jesus was on the cross bearing my shame. There He was, my perfect atonement. He took my shame and now He is my glory and the lifter of my head.

The same is true of you my friend. The Lord Jesus has already borne your shame. If you are in Christ, you needn’t look back on past sin with any burden because Christ has made you shameless and blameless.  Let any reflection on your wayward past only bring you joy and praise to the Lord to see what it is He has saved you from, to see who you are now in Christ, to see the value of what He has done.

21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because ofg your evil behavior. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven… (Colossians 1:21-13)

Treasuring Him Together – a brother’s blog site

Hello saints! Holy and righteous ones!!!!

Well, I am all a ga-ga about you right now, about this beautiful bride of our Lord Jesus! (of which I am part!)

Well, I have the honour of doing life with a dear brother whose name is Ben Halliday.  Ben has a blog site called ‘Treasuring him together’.  He has just posted his first ‘video’ post on the bride of Christ, although has been blogging for a good few months now. (If I could re-blog his post here I would!)

I’ve had the pleasure of walking with this brother for approximately 2 and a half years in organic church life and have had the honour of seeing the Lord’s life explode in him, as he continues to abide in Him and trust Him in all things.

After just watching his video post on the bride of Christ, I feel compelled to encourage y’all to check it out. It’s only short so I hope you have the time to check it out – just click on this link to go right there.

http://www.treasuringhimtogether.com/seeing-the-bride-for-the-first-time/

Matrimonial Love in The Vine

Matrimonial Love in The Vine

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Pray for the Lost to be Saved – its not scriptural! (part 2: Jesus)

This blog post may be very confronting and challenging to the mainstream ways of the mainstream church but I believe wholeheartedly in it’s truth. Thankyou to this brother, Thomas, for your courage and devotion to God’s eternal purpose – Christ expressed freely through His body, the church!

The Blog of Milt Rodriguez

This is the second in a two part series. If you haven’t read the first half, please do so now.

There are two spiritual truths that are the foundation of why there is little emphasis in the New Testament on praying for the lost to be saved.

Jesus didn’t pray that people would respond because he knew that people were desperate for Him even if they didn’t realize it. In Matthew 9: 37-38, Jesus commanded his disciples to pray for not for salvation for the lost, but rather for more workers in the fields: “the fields are white, pray that The Lord would send more workers into the fields.”

Lets consider Jesus’s “evangelistic mission” when he sent out the 72 in Luke 10 and the 12 disciples in Matt 10. When he instructed the 72 and the 12, did he give them extremely specific instructions? Yes. Did those instructions…

View original post 1,052 more words

We’re Still Eagles

 

Today I saw a wedge-tailed eagle flying not far from where I live. I see them often around these parts.

As is common, this eagle was being pestered by two smaller birds. I’m not sure what type of bird they were – perhaps a magpie and crow as captured here in this photo on flickr –  but it seems these pestering birds so often go hand-in-hand with eagles flying around here. It’s very rare for me to spot a flying eagle without it being pecked at and harassed by smaller birds.

However, I do love it when the eagle catches the thermals and begins to rise up higher and then so high, that the little pesty birds can’t get to him or her anymore. Gradually, the harassing smaller birds lose the battle.

Today it really reminded me of us as believers into Christ.  When I saw the eagle today, I was driving home, and had been praying for someone very dear to me who is going through a really tough time.  This person is a sister in Christ, and has really endured some emotional upheaval lately, only to now be faced with it all over again. I had been asking the Lord to teach me how to pray for her.

When I saw this eagle, it was such a picture of our lives as genuine surrendered believers. It was such a picture of this precious sister of mine.  It was as though the Lord was saying loud and clear – “Look at that eagle. See how he is tormented. But also see how he is not swayed or perturbed. See how he is so much more beautiful, strong, courageous and nothing is distracting him from his path as an eagle. Those little birds that are pecking at him, cannot compete. Look at his confidence. He is so sure of who he is. As long as you’re alive, you will always be harassed, pestered and pecked at but you will always be the eagles”.

So I pray for my sister in Christ, that she will see herself as an eagle. Strong, courageous, majestic, beautiful and confident in who she is in Christ and that in spite of the pests that peck at her, she will continue to soar with You Jesus – as with the wings of an eagle.

But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

 

 

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!