Saturday, January 26, 2013

Abide In Me....

Abide in Me
Abide in Me today, this Sabbath Day, and all days
Let My Peace reign in all things for which you pray
I will not leave you or let you fall
I Am your strength your All in All
© Piper 2013

Don’t let the worries of the world choke the Word I have spoken into the wells of your spirit
I have planted that dream down in the depths of your heart and I will bring it to fruition. I have planted, you must water it with the Word, prayer and praying My promises, and I will cause the growth, and I will cause you to bear the fruit. 
Do not look here or there; there is no need for you to search any further; I am He that created you and formed you. While you were inside your mother’s womb, I knit you together; I formed a path for you to follow. I have set your feet upon The Rock. When trouble comes I AM your Rock of Escape.

Life is hard. Carrying the dreams that God gave you comes with trials; it comes with a price. It is worth the sacrifice. God will churn up the soil in your heart to pull the weeds that keep you from growing⸺you know the distractions that choke the Word.

So Moses told the people of Israel what the LORD had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery {Exodus 6:9 NLT}.

When we are in a trial it can feel as though we are in slavery, stuck in our mud pit. We cry out to God for deliverance, yet when He answers, the cruelty of our circumstances drowns out His voice. It is vital to our spiritual walk and life for us to abide in Jesus; to hide in the shelter of His wings.

He will cover you with His feathers; you will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield {Psalm 91:4 HCSB}.

Abide in Christ today,

Friday, January 18, 2013

Encounter With The Spectacular

Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar.  He brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side.  When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins {Ezekiel 47:1-4 NASB}.
This was an incredible vision and encounter for Ezekiel; God touched him in a spectacular way; He pierced the veil and saw God's glory revealed. Ezekiel had a vision of holy waters, their rise, depth, and the healing virtue they contained.

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water {Jn. 7:38}.

This is a prophecy of Living Waters; John the Revelator saw the same Living Waters in a vision in Revelation 22. I long for God to touch me in a spectacular way. I know, I am supposed to be deep and humble and tell you how thankful I am to see God in the mundane; that I don’t need a spectacular experience to believe in God or trust His faithfulness. I don’t need one to believe in Him, I do desire to know Him more. I am grateful for the mundane, while anticipating the spectacular. If I don’t encounter Him in this way, I still believe in Him and know Him to be faithful and trustworthy. Forever.

The spectacular does not mean that I will necessarily experience God’s power like Ezekiel, and I don’t just desire to witness a display of His power for a sign or for the sake of having an experience. I want to know Him deeper and more intimately than I ever have. I follow in the footprints of women and men of God who sought the same; Moses witnessed God’s power, provision, and miracles in the wilderness, yet, He still prayed for God to show him His glory. He wanted to know God on a deeper level; not only the provision of His hand, but in the intimacy of His face. He was called a friend of God.

You are my friends if you do what I command you {Jn. 15:14}.

Elijah, while hiding in a cave in fear of his life, had just witnessed God’s power on Mt. Carmel, but he came to know God in a deeper way in the cave. He saw the earthquake, fire, whirlwind, yet heard God in the still small voice. In studying the original Hebrew in 1 Kings 19:11-14, some scholars suggest that Elijah did not only hear God’s voice, but actually heard God’s thoughts. A spectacular experience indeed. In case you don’t believe that is possible let’s read:

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.  But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.  For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ {1 Cor. 2:14-16 NASB emphasis mine}.

God continues to reveal Himself to those who seek Him. We can know the thoughts of Christ through His Holy Spirit and the Word. The Word is a record of His thoughts. A word of caution—if your experience or encounter with God does not line up with His Word, you did not have an encounter with the Creator of the universe; lean into Him like you never have before. His Word trumps any experience or encounter we may have.
 Not all of us will encounter God in the spectacular way that Ezekiel did, however, He does want to reveal Himself to us deeper as we grow in Him. He revealed Himself to Moses at different times in deeper ways during each step of his journey to the promise land. 

We need to discipline ourselves to recognize God in the mundane, but He does not expect us to stay in the mundane, mediocrity of life. If He did, He would not have established the Holy Place, or the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle; He would have built the outer and inner courts only. The deeper you journey into the Tabernacle, the deeper you experience the life, work, and ministry of Jesus and there you commune with Him (read about the Tabernacle here)If God did not want us to experience the spectacular, Peter and John would not have witnessed Christ’s transfiguration. He desires for us to see His glory.

He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power {Heb. 1:3 NASB}.

God brought Ezekiel through the waters at different levels; first his ankles, then the knees, and then up to his loins. Continue into the next verses and the water exceeds his head. God wants to take us deeper and deeper in Him; not so that we can have just some mystical experience, but that we can experience Him. He wants to know us face to face just as He did Moses.  These men that experienced God in the spectacular, did not merely have an experience, they had an encounter. My spirit cries out for an encounter. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Witnessing the Divine

Witnessing the Divine is to witness the goodness of God in life. God is moving on our behalf even when we can't see. God's hand is glorious; when His workings manifest, it is stunning. Life changing.

God revealed Himself to Moses in a burning bush; Elijah, a still small voice; Job a whirlwind. He revealed Himself at Christ's baptism, a voice endorsing His Son; the apostles by tongues of fire; John the Revelator, a loud voice. God reveals Himself in the mundane and the spectacular.

Regardless how He chooses to reveal Himself, you can be certain of this; His promises are yes and amen...

For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. 2 Corinthians 1:20 NASB

He promises to abide with us forever—a yes promise. Many distractions are fired our way, deep from inside the enemy's camp, purposed to cause us to take our eyes off Christ, and like Peter, in the thrust of the storm, we sink. He is faithful to reach forth His hand to save us when we cry out to Him to save us. That is His promise.

Witnessing God moving in my life, that is my hope for this journal in the vastness of cyberspace. So many voices writing, speaking, singing. I pray we all write, speak, and sing for the glory of God. My sincere prayer is that as I see God revealed in my life, the mundane and the spectacular, you see Him revealed in your life as well. A Hebrew blessing I speak often, reminds me;

Blessed are you, Breath of Life, who makes every human throat a shofar for the breathing of Your Truth.

I pray my throat, my voice, be used for His glory.