Spiritual Preparedness

Cinnabar Park Wyoming sunset August 2019

If you or someone you know well and personally is being drawn away from a church-focused life; if you or someone you know well and personally is filled with trepidation over the matter; if your heart is aching for Christ in a manner in which you cannot describe with words, but the hunger is deep and the dissatisfaction is almost tangible; if you have been walking the wilderness alone and discouraged, fear not and read further.

Heavenly Father, We rejoice and glory in You, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have concealed these things from the wise and the understanding and revealed them to babes –  the childish and unskilled and untaught. Yes, Father, for this was Your gracious will and choice and good pleasure! May this be brought home to us in a living way which will result in deeper resurrection union with You in Christ Jesus. Amen.

For every term that religion has hijacked and used for its own gain, the Spirit must renew again for us. To hear the words that Jesus speaks to us by way of His indwelling Spirit, we must allow the blinders to fall off, and be willing to adjust to that which He speaks that is Spirit and Life. For every Scripture that religion has hijacked and used for its own purpose, we seek to know what the Spirit of Truth is telling us. It most certainly isn’t comfortable to have righteously stirred up what we once believed was settled. But we cannot learn, we cannot grow spiritually, without the Spirit bringing us beyond the borders of our comfort zone. He is faithful and He is true! He is our Hope, and is a sure and steadfast anchor of our soul which cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it; He is our Hope that reaches farther and enters into the very certainty of the Presence within the veil. Beloved, if you are being drawn, rest assured on Christ alone!

The following Scriptures will shine a light on what has been misunderstood, misrepresented and misconstrued. When Christ is drawing us away from that which we built our life’s foundation upon, it is imperative to know the truth which cannot be shaken. I pray the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation – of insight into mysteries and secrets – in the deep and intimate knowledge of Christ, by having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints – the set-apart ones. Amen.

Hebrews 10:20-26 By this fresh (new) and living way which He initiated and dedicated and opened for us through the separating curtain (veil of the Holy of Holies), that is, through His flesh,

And since we have [such] a great and wonderful and noble Priest [Who rules] over the house of God,

Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith (by that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty (evil) conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water.

So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word.

And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities,

Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.

For if we go on deliberately and willingly sinning after once acquiring the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice left to atone for [our] sins [no further offering to which to look forward].

Colossians 1:20-23 And God purposed that through (by the service, the intervention of) Him [the Son] all things should be completely reconciled back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him, [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His cross.

And although you at one time were estranged and alienated from Him and were of hostile attitude of mind in your wicked activities,

Yet now has [Christ, the Messiah] reconciled [you to God] in the body of His flesh through death, in order to present you holy and faultless and irreproachable in His [the Father’s] presence.

[And this He will do] provided that you continue to stay with and in the faith [in Christ], well-grounded and settled and steadfast, not shifting or moving away from the hope [which rests on and is inspired by] the glad tidings (the Gospel), which you heard and which has been preached [as being designed for and offered without restrictions] to every person under heaven,…

Psalm 27: 1-5 The Lord is my Light and my Salvation—whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, [even then] in this will I be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and[insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.

For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock.

Lord willing this will all lead into a post on God’s Fatherhood in the coming weeks. 

And, now, a timely word from Chip Brogden, as spoken approximately ten years (2009) ago in a message on Ephesians 3 (LINK). Chip speaks well what the Spirit has laid on many hearts.

I believe that fellowship is a byproduct, a fruit, a result of people who have been made one in the (Holy) Spirit; who have one goal, one focus, one passion, one love, and they all come together and then that’s a fellowship. And if you’ve got that you don’t have to gather together physically. Yes, I know, there’s all kinds of benefits to a physical gathering but, listen, I’ve been to all kinds of physical gathering’s and they really weren’t focused on Christ, they weren’t focused on their first love, there wasn’t a bond in the (Holy) Spirit: that we’re all in this together and we are all joined together because of Christ and because of Who He is, and we all have insight into this wonderful mystery and we see it as a stewardship and we want to share it with one another and with the world. You can get people together and that doesn’t mean that they are in fellowship – let’s get real! On the other hand, we could be joined together and be one in the (Holy) Spirit and have that spiritual fellowship even if we’re not in the same physical presence of one another. I think God is trying to prepare us for something, and I think we need to be prepared for a time when physical fellowship with other Christians may not be possible. Regardless of what you think about church, regardless of what you think about gathering together, you need to have your spiritual affairs and your spiritual foundation in place so that your spiritual life doesn’t depend upon the physical gathering together of other people, because one day that may not be available to us. For many of you it’s not available now, it’s just not something that the (Holy) Spirit has ordained for you.

The physical gathering together has not been available to me, not because there are not brick and mortar church buildings available, some within walking distance, and not because some haven’t beaten me silly but, and it has taken a long and arduous road to come to see and accept this, the Spirit, in fact, has not ordained that gathering for me. And in its place, oh, in its place, He has made and is making Himself known. Hallelujah!

Beloved, there will be difficulty, there are challenges and it all comes at a high cost to our flesh. But we do not become discouraged – well, we do, let’s face it, we really do! But the Scriptures, when Spirit-revealed are Life to our weary bones. Christ’s call is, Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Now, this suffering we are experiencing, this slight distress of the passing hour, is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory – beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease! SINCE we consider and look NOT to the things that are seen BUT to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal, but the things that are invisible are everlasting. Hallelujah and amen!


Meditations in the Word: True Knowledge

Harriman Lake black and white May 2019

For a nobody who came from nowhere with nothing human to boast in, and only by the grace and mercy of the Lord, I have found Life by way of the Scriptures.  That this was a possibility, never occurred to me before. A once-upon-a-time-rebel with a severe disdain for God and for the bible, this fact continues to both shock and sustain me. I am often left with the inability to write; all the pretty words and fancy descriptions are lost, yet I long to offer that which has been opened up to me for others who are seeking and hungry in this spiritual wasteland. I pray this reaches the heart of someone in need today.

The verses below are taken from the Amplified Classic, which is more wordy than other translations, but gives more breadth and depth to what is being said. Of course a person should read the translation most suited to their own reading style, so use the following as a guide to your own reading and seeking and studying. We are living in a time in the world where there is a smorgasboard of options available to us in the Christian world. Who are we listening to? Who are we reading? Of Whom are they speaking and to Whom are they pointing us? Are our opinions being validated? Or are we being challenged to go deeper in resurrection union with the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you feel alone and isolated, with no fellowship? Beloved, this is the prime time for the Lord to draw us closer and reveal Himself to us.

Father, that we would strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12: 1-2).

Where You so rich in Your mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and    wonderful and intense love with which You loved us, even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, You made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [You gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which You quickened Him, for] it is by grace (Your favor and mercy which we did not deserve) that we are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation). And You raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-6).

That You would allow these pixels on this screen to be filled with Your Life and Your Light to the edifying and building up of the weak and the weary. Amen.

The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life. John 6:63b

But about going further [than the words given by one Shepherd], my son, be warned. Of making many books there is no end [so do not believe everything you read], and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Ecclesiastes 12:12 

But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption [providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin]. 1 Corinthians 1:30

For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ (the Messiah). 2 Corinthians 4:6

May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter 1:2 

[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, by having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones), Ephesians 1:17, 18

This revelation of Christ, this seeing by the Spirit into a depth of Jesus I had not ever seen before, that signaled the beginning of the end of my career as a preacher for organized religion…Jesus ruined my life because He revealed something of Who He is to me, and it change and it shattered all of my preconceived ideas. And as I like to say, revelation is not to substantiate your illusions about God but to eliminate them and replace them with truth. The deeper I got into this walk with Jesus, the more repulsive I became to that system of religion that I had labored in and worked in for so long, and eventually that system spouted me out. So this is serious business, this is serious stuff. It is not to be taken lightly, it is not to be dabbled with. It will change your life, this revelation, this seeing of Christ…the more stubborn you are, the more deep you are in religion, the more radically God has to do things to get your attention, which is why Paul had to be blinded for 3 days…for God to strip all that off of us, the baggage we carry from religion, and for us to pay the cost…there is a price to be paid. Thank God this seeing is by grace, we couldn’t receive it any other way, but that doesn’t mean that it’s cheap, it doesn’t mean it’s free, and it doesn’t mean its free as in it doesn’t cost you anything. Oh, yes it does! It costs you everything. It cost me everything. Are you willing to pay the price? That’s what it comes down to. Chip Brogden

For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith. Who is it that is victorious over [that conquers] the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on that fact]? 1 John 5:4-5

Discipline & Glory

Red Feather Lakes 4wheel trail view July 2019

A Deceitful Heart Above All Else

By human nature we all view ourselves through rose-colored glasses. The old creation, which is riddled with death and deception, with pride and shame, cannot see the forest for the trees. Without the Holy Spirit we are unable, not only to see ourselves as we truly are, but God as He truly has revealed Himself in Christ. The bill-of-goods we have been sold, the false truths we believe about ourselves, have us seeking relief and salvation from the myriad of menu items the world offers, none of which are Christ-centered. Our old nature is infamous for pointing out the splinter in another’s eye while being blind to the log in our own. It is through God by way of the Holy Spirit searching our mind and trying our hearts (Jeremiah 17:9-10) that we have any hope in coming to see ourselves as we actually are. For the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks upon the outer appearance, but the Lord sees the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Those of us who have found our lives in Christ, who have found Christ to be our life, He is, by way of the Holy Spirit, our indwelling Living Word and Hebrews 4:12 puts it beautifully: He is alive and full of power and sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow [that is, of the deepest parts of our nature] exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

This may be a point of deep sighing if you have experienced this. Yes, we are shocked silly to find out about ourselves through the many ways God deals with us. But this is not unto condemnation, for it is written that in Christ there is no more condemnation (Romans 8:1). We must ask the Lord to reveal to our hearts our true and eternal and once-for-all position in Him, in order to receive His handling’s with surrender and acceptance. Otherwise we stay paralyzed under the weight of guilt and of shame and of rebellion, of which the blood of Christ offers full freedom from. There was a time I did not know this, friends. I have prayed for more of God’s love to be revealed to my heart so that I may accept what He has for me without fear, rather than still rebelling under the enemy’s deception that God is angry and disappointed and far away.  Stepping into Hebrews again, chapter 12, we see that, the Lord corrects and disciplines every one whom He loves, and every son (child) whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.  We must allow the Spirit’s illumination of the Scriptures and, as that takes place, we are able to find release from all that religion and the world, in all its blindness, has informed us of, which served only to keep us in the yokes of bondage.

Christ In Us Unto Our Conformity to the Image of God’s Son

I came across an article of T. Austin-Sparks recently that was so incredibly helpful, and as usual, the Holy Spirit used it to interpret my present struggle, it left me stunned. Here is an excerpt:

“Christ in you” is unto our being “conformed to the image of his (God’s) Son” (Romans 8:29). It is to work in us that which has been perfected by Him. It is the whole realm of our being made Christ-like; having all the faculties and features of Christ, which are resident in the new life received at new birth, brought to maturity. Every spiritual and Christly virtue has to be brought to full growth; love, meekness, goodness, gentleness, intelligence, etc.; so that we are not just theoretical and doctrinaire Christians, but real ones, spiritually responsible and accountable, with the root of the matter within. This, however, necessitates much discipline; what is called ‘chastening’. This discipline, which employs many forms of adversity and trial, has the effect of bringing to light what we really are in ourselves, and it is an ugly picture. Our own features do not improve as we go on. We know ever more what poor, wretched, and deplorable men we are, and – but for the grace of God – hopeless. But something is being done deep down which will show itself in due time to the glory of God.

A tall drink of water for a parched soul in this spiritual desert we are living in. This does not make the discipline, the adversity, the trials, any easier to face, in and of itself. So often things are just words on a page and we are, each and every one of us, searching for something of Life in them. And this was like that for me; speaking right into the days of discipline, where my mind is being searched and my heart is being tried; right into the days of adversity and perplexity and isolation. My spirit soared in praise to the One Who is behind all of it, every last detail.

“Something is done deep down which will show itself in due time to the glory of God.” 

2 Corinthians 4:17, then, is like a lamp unto our feet. For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!],

And Hebrews 6:18-19, to those who have fled to Him for refuge, that we might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us. This hope is a sure and steadfast anchor for our soul, it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it; this hope reaches farther and enters into the very certainty of the Presence within the veil.

One final excerpt from Sparks from the same article, which you can find by clicking here:

Let no child of God whose heart is toward the Lord, who has not deliberately and wilfully and knowingly resisted the Holy Ghost, ever for a single moment confuse ‘chastening’ and its accompaniments of self-discovery with judgment. You do this at the peril of the joy of your salvation. If a child of God who loves the Lord and wants nothing more than to be well-pleasing unto Him should think that he is under the judgment and condemnation of God because he is finding out how evil his own heart is, that thought carries with it the suggestion that Christ did not die for our sins; that the wrath of God was not exhausted on Him and by Him when He was made sin for us. It goes back behind a completed work and Christ’s sitting at God’s right hand, and contradicts and denies the very bed-rock of our salvation – justification by faith. […] If you come upon fresh realizations of your own worthlessness, say, Yes, that belongs to the realm of God’s work in me, and He will deal with that, but it makes no difference whatever to my acceptance in the Beloved so long as I do not condone my wrong, excuse it, and accept it. Remember, dear friend, that God demands the first ground, the ground of our settled faith in the finished and perfected work of Christ, in order to make any beginning inside of us. It would be fatal for Him to touch the inside had He not got that objective faith.

A deceived heart revealed unto Life. A discipline unto an everlasting weight of glory. Trials and adversity unto the conformity of the image of His Son. It is well with our souls, beloved. Our hope is sure, unbreakable. Thank You, Father!


Meditations in the Word: Life & Light



Stormy skies3 July 8 2019

“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says the Lord, “I will put My law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. And each man will no longer teach his neighbor and his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me [through personal experience], from the least of them to the greatest,” says the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness, and I will no longer remember their sin.” Jeremiah 31:33-34

My people are destroyed because they don’t know me, and it is all your fault, you priests, for you yourselves refuse to know me; therefore, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Hosea 4:6

Chandalier Barn Apr 19

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

For the time is coming when they will no longer listen and respond to the healing words of truth because they will become selfish and proud. They will seek out teachers with soothing words that line up with their desires, saying just what they want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3

Beloved, we must have a real honest interaction with the Lord. We must seek to have our very own hearts cleansed from all that is not of or from Him. We must allow Him to have His way in us. This will be costly, indeed. But His Body is perishing from the lack of their personal knowledge of Him. By in large we are a people who have one foot in the old covenant and one in the new. We believe that we can only know Him by way of the preachers and the teachers. But what are they preaching? And what are they teaching? The well-known, the well-accepted and the highly educated. What are these “guides” guiding us to?  Are they politically influential? Are they followed by millions on social media? If they have a special building are they packed to the brim each weekend? Who has the focus of our heart? Who is influencing us? What do we think the “issue” is presently? Abortion? Gay marriage? Gun laws? Mental health? Are we taking the moral high ground, using the Scripture as our foundation? Do not misunderstand. This is not for or against any one thing in particular. What do our conversations involve? Whether they be on social media, over the fence with our neighbor, or privately within the walls of our own homes? Are we proudly displaying our disgust with what we are disgusted with? Are we dragging those we hate through the mud and taking Jesus along with us? Or are we setting forth the wonderful deeds and displaying the virtues and perfections of Him Who called us out of the darkness and into His marvelous light?

The issue is timeless. The issue is that there is nothing new under the sun, we just place different labels on it. The issue is hard hearts of unbelief and rebellion towards our Father in heaven, whether we are professing Christians or not.

The answer is timeless. The answer is that there is nothing new under the sun, for in the beginning He was, and all things were made and came into existence through Him. The answer is found in surrender to Jesus Christ, the One in Whom Life is found and that Life is the Light of all mankind; this Lifelight shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it]. the answer is in counting as a combined loss all the former things we may have counted as gains unto ourselves (this is usually a plethora of self-righteous pride in believing that we ourselves are or what we believe makes us something better than the next person. Forgive me for being so frank). The answer is counting them as a loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord, and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly].

Beloved, we are not to be conformed to this world, but we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds afresh, not with our opinions and traditions of men, but with Christ Jesus.

Beloved, we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Our enemy is not those who change abortion laws, perform abortions or even receive them; our enemy is not our gay child or sibling or neighbor; our enemy is not the one with the gun or the many guns. But if today that is the only way you are able to view it, remember Jesus’s words that we are to love our enemy. This is only possible when we choose that it is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me. Our flesh is incapable of expressing God’s love, we have plenty of evidence to that fact in our own lives.

Remember, it is Christ in Whom the Life is found and this Life is the Light of all mankind. This Lifelight shines on in the darknesshow does it shine on in the darkness? Beloved it shines on in the born-from-above-one’s, the crucified-one’s representing Him, not religion or human wisdom, but representing God in Christfor the darknessno matter how dark or evil it may appear to our human eyes or our human fearHAS NEVER OVERPOWERED IT!

Father, to the fearful, reveal Your perfecting love; to the weak, reveal Your strength; to the sinner, reveal Your grace; to the proud, reveal Your humbling hand; to the blind, reveal Your seeing eyes; to the deaf, reveal Your hearing ears; to the dying, reveal Your resurrection Life. We thank You, amen.

“I do not ask that you take them out of the world,
but that you keep them from the evil one.”
John 17:15 ESV

This prayer of Jesus is answered when we embrace the Cross. The Cross renders us dead to the world so that we can bring Life to others who are in the world and not worry that we may become contaminated or polluted by the things we encounter. Jesus was not afraid of being around sinners. He affected them for good, and they were powerless to affect Him for evil. This same Jesus lives within us, and He is greater than anything we may encounter in the world.

So if we are to follow His example then we must be as dead to the things of the world as He was. How is this accomplished? God’s solution is for us to embrace the Cross so that we can be truly “dead” to the world’s temptations and “alive” to Him. God desires a crucified people who can represent Him in the earth and be faithful to Him even in the midst of a dark, rebellious world.

Source: “Embrace the Cross” by Chip Brogden

{References: Philippians 3:8; John 1:1-5; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 6:12; Matthew 5:44}

Sacrificial Love

Daniels park June 2019


God of grace and holiness
Heaven’s mighty King
Yet You choose to be enthroned
On praises that we bring
You gave Your son of righteousness
No spot or blemish he
Yet bruised and scarred and wounded were
The hands that lifted me

Hallelujah our God saves
Hallelujah our God saves

Father to the fatherless
Refuge for the lost
Saviour of this guilty world
By sacrificial love
The name above all other names
The only Prince of peace
God of grace and holiness
Be enthroned in me.

(Robin Mark, God of Grace and Holiness. Link to the YouTube video HERE <—)

Over the last couple of months I have listened to this song on repeat many, many times. Indeed it was by sacrificial love that He is Father to the fatherless, refuge for the lost and, last but not least, Saviour of this guilty world. To merely sing the words is one thing. To be moved by them is another. Yet to pray the prayer for this Prince of peace, this God of grace and holiness, to be enthroned in us is something else altogether still. For that is just another way of praying, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. This enthronement in us is His having reign in our hearts and lives. So it would follow that His same sacrificial love will be made true to and in and through us to the world around us.

Oh, beloved, this is not perfect and it is messy, to be sure. These words are not written without my own journey being lived on the battle field, this warrior’s shield battered by the war. The perplexity and pressure’s close in so fiercely that it often leads me to a sense of despair and tears. The rejoicing is not always with a smile of joy on our faces, but a resolve in our spirit where He lives, victorious and moving us along.

This sacrificial love is in complete contrast to the rest of the world, even Christendom at large. It is costly! To our lives, our pride, our desires, our opinions and even our strongly held beliefs. There is much available out there, that goes without saying. Everyone has an opinion on what is needed for the atrocities of any kind to end. But Christ manifested through His Church, His Body, will bring more than any legislation or policy or parade could ever bring.

The battle has left me with very little time to come up with any pretty words. Something is being so wrought in me that at times it feels like labor, in a spiritual sense. I know I am not alone, but this goes on behind the scenes even to those closest to me. So I will leave some words by a brother who has done much in ministering Christ to me in this season of my life.

We often sing: “Jesus, my Shepherd, Husband, Friend”, and that is the nature of our union with Him. That is really what it means to be a Christian. May our Christianity be redeemed from anything less than that!

But when the relationship has been established in His Blood, then its purpose begins. We are His for His Pleasure and not our own. He has made us for His pleasure: “Working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight” (Hebrews 13:21) … “To the end that we should be unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:12) … “that ye may shew forth the excellencies of him” (I Peter 2:9).

This compasses the Christian life. This is why He has drawn us with the bands of love and the reason for our union with Christ: that we should be unto His pleasure, that He may take pleasure in us. The time is coming when He will look at His bride and then He will say ‘She is a glorious bride’. He has brought us to Himself for that very purpose: to reveal Himself by means of us.

Perhaps our heads and our hearts are going down now. What a poor revelation we are of our Lord! We are making a terrible mess of this business of revealing Christ, but He is taking great pains with us. Truly it is not easy, and He does not make it so. It seems that so often He puts us into difficult positions in order that we may show forth His glory.

Paul was given “a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me” (II Corinthians 12:7). Do you know what it is to have a thorn in the flesh and a messenger of Satan always buffeting you? Paul says that he went to the Lord three times about this. I do not know whether he meant literally three times, but I think he meant: ‘I went to the Lord again, and again, and again! I asked the Lord to remove this thorn and to destroy this messenger of Satan, but He said unto me: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness” (II Corinthians 12:9).

That is strange sovereignty and providence of God! It seems that He sometimes puts difficulties into our lives, and makes it hard for us, and then, in the grace that He shows, we magnify Him. […] Yes, for the self-revelation of the Lord the Church is a suffering Church. This wife of the Lord is a suffering wife, but the revelation of His grace is a wonderful thing. T. Austin-Sparks, The On-High Calling, Link HERE

Christ revealing Himself in us, through our difficulties and thorns; messengers of Satan, that His sufficient grace in our utter weakness may magnify Him. This is what we need for our personal deliverance,’ this is what the Church needs for her deliverance, this, too, is what the world needs for its deliverance.

Come, through me, Lord. Come, through Your Church, Lord Jesus. We accept that You are the Light and the Life; the Way and the Truth. You are Faithful and You are True. We acknowledge our weakness and accept your sufficient grace, so that You may love sacrificially through us. We love you. Thank You for Your sacrificial love! Amen.

The Living Word

Jackson Hole spurs

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing  and  sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Beloved, He sets before us life and death, and then in His ever-loving kindness, He encourages us to choose life. There is no life in our flesh, or as the Scripture puts it: in us, in our flesh, there dwells no good thing (Romans 7:18). We don’t believe it until He shows us, and that revelation comes in the midst of our trials and difficulties. Prior to them we are naturally inclined to think ourselves better than we are. In Hebrews 4:12, quoted above, the Word that God speaks is Christ (Hebrews 1:2). It is Christ Who is alive and full of power, and when we are in union with Him, the risen and living Christ, the manner in which the Amplified Classic translates it becomes the norm, as He ever-increasingly touches to the quick of our old nature which stands at the ready to live once again.  The life that God has set before us and encourages us to choose is not in ourselves, in our flesh; it is not in the Bible apart from the indwelling Spirit bringing Christ to the forefront of every page and story of old. Outside of Christ is every manner of death. Inside of Christ, where we are living today when we choose it by faith, is life and life in the power of an endless life.

Our flesh, the old Adamic nature, is condemned wholly and thoroughly through the death of Christ on the Cross. And though we know there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8), it is in that very union in Christ Jesus where we reckon our flesh having been crucified with Him, so we are dead to sin and alive to God. Hallelujah! However, those words on the page, even though we may rejoice in reading them, can only be made real in us through a daily recognition and cooperation with the reality of Hebrews 4:12.

Last week I happened upon a YouTube video of a man explaining the spurs he wears on his cowboy boots. This gentleman’s spurs were the same as those in the lower left-hand corner of the photo above. He explained how though they may appear to be more dangerous than others with less points, but they are the more gentle of all spurs because of the area of pressure they allow; there is not just one point pressing in on the horse, there are many. For observation he brought a friend on camera and started jabbing his calf with the spurs. The friend mentioned that, yes, he could feel it, “the pressure is enough for me to look for an answer.”

Is that not the human condition? Are we not all, in one way or another, simply looking for an answer to alleviate the pressure of life and of sin, though one may not call it sin?

A cowboy, or any person who rides a horse, knows that the spurs are a tool to control the horse, to guide it in the way that they would have the horse go. In our rebellion we prefer to be a wild horse, choosing our own way. This was once my proudest banner to wave. I was a non-conformist and no one could make me do anything. But the Lord in His mercy and grace found me, and He has saved me. This saving continues on the daily, as He takes the once proud non-conformist and uses the spurs of life’s circumstances and the relationships around me to cause this pressure so that I will look for an answer. Our only answer is to be conformed to the image of the Son, to be made in the likeness of Him Who made us. This is where the narrow road becomes difficult, and many go back. I, like many who have gone before, and those who are scattered around the world today, have found life in no other thing but Christ, so there is nowhere else to go back to. “Come to Me, choose life”, He whispers in our weary and worn hearts.

When the double-edged sword penetrates us to the dividing of soul and spirit; when the very thoughts and purposes of our heart are exposed and analyzed in the Light, it is with shock and awe that we acknowledge what He is saying, showing, revealing, is true. Yes, Lord. I am that way. You are right in showing me. Now may that point in which you have said and shown and revealed be dead and may it no longer be I who lives, but You Who lives in (and through) me. That the world around me would no longer see the manifestation of my self, but would see You, even if they are not able to recognize it, even if this will mean loneliness and misunderstanding. Lord, the world needs You! We do not need more preaching against this, that, or the other; we do not need more policy; we do not need more sermons, we need You in Whom this Life is, and in Whom is the Light of this world.

Beloved, it is here where we begin to catch a glimpse of the depth of how altogether different He is from ourselves; how true it is that His ways and His thoughts are not our own. Our human judgement and opinions; our likes and dislikes; our impatience and ugly tones and argumentativeness, is not only not Christ, it does not and cannot manifest Christ. We may manifest a religious appearance, but that is not Christ either. The only way to manifest Christ is to die to ourselves, and the only way to die to ourselves is to be in agreement with and cooperation with the Living Word, Christ Himself.

Thank You, Father, for Your Living Word that is alive and full of power. Though we walk through the difficult seasons in our lives in often a weariness felt in our bones that are but dust, You are ever present with us, in us and before us. We love You.

“How To Become Spiritual Worshippers”

Wyoming chapel

The woman said to Him, Sir, I see and understand that You are a prophet. Our forefathers worshiped on this mountain, but you [Jews] say that Jerusalem is the place where it is necessary and proper to worship. Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither [merely] in this mountain nor [merely] in Jerusalem. You [Samaritans] do not know what you are worshiping [you worship what you do not comprehend]. We do know what we are worshiping [we worship what we have knowledge of and understand], for [after all] salvation comes from [among] the Jews. A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers. God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality). John 4:19-24

The following was written by William Law in the late 1700’s in an original publishing titled, “The Power of the Spirit: Selections from the Writings of William Law.” You can find the revised edition in pdf form by clicking here.

How are we to become and continue worshippers of the Father in spirit and truth? It is answered: All consists in turning inwards, in attention to that, which is daily and hourly stirring, living, and working in our hearts.

Now though the Scripture nowhere gives this direction in these very words, yet, since it is said in Scripture, that God dwelleth not in temples made with hands, but in the temple of our hearts (Acts 7:48; Acts 17:24), since the kingdom of God is said to be within us, and not to come with outward observation (Luke 17:21), but to be in us, as a secret, living seed of the incorruptible word; since our hearts is our whole life (Proverbs 4:23), and we are said to live, and move, and have our being in God (Acts 17:28), it is directly telling us that we are to turn inwards, if we would turn to, and find God.

Let’s stop there for a moment to clarify. William Law is not suggesting we become naval-gazers, turning inwards on our pitiful selves or some divine power a human may believe they have in and of themselves. No! We will see more as we go on, but he most definitely is suggesting that we, as born-from-above one’s, are to turn inward to the Living God, Emmanuel – God (living) with us! Oh! It’s not just a nice story owned by December! It is a daily reality! Thank You, Father!

It is directly telling us, that in what manner we are within, as the worship is done there, so is God in such manner within us; and that He is no otherwise our God, our life, our rest and happiness, than so far as the working of our hearts, is a willing and choosing, a hungering and thirsting to find, feel and enjoy the life-giving power of His holy presence in our souls.

To be inwardly therefore attentive to God, showing the good and the evil, distinguishing the light from the darkness in our own souls; to listen to the voice of His ever-speaking word, and to watch the movings of his ever-sanctifying Spirit within us (Hebrews 4:12), waiting and longing in the spirit of prayer, of faith and hope, of love and resignation, to be inwardly quickened and revived in the image, and according to the likeness of that Son, in whom He is well pleased, is the worshipping of God with our whole heart and soul, in spirit and in truth.

It is living to God, in and through the power of Christ, as He lived; it is praying with Him, and by His Spirit, that continual prayer which He always had, whether speaking to the multitude, or healing their diseases, or alone by Himself in the stillness of nights, and loneliness of mountains. For this inward prayer, in which the whole heart, and soul, and spirit, loves, worships, and applies to God, not absent or distant, but to a trinity of goodness and mercy, of light and love, of glory and majesty, dwelling, and working within us, willing and desiring to do all that in the temple of our hearts, which is done and always doing in His own temple in heaven, is a prayer that only needs outward words for the sake of others; and of which it may be said, as Christ said: ‘Father, I knew that Thou always hearest Me, but because of the people, which stand by, I said it.’

[…] I have gone through all that I have said, only to show, that church unity or communion is not a matter that depends on any particular society, or outward thing, but is complete, or defective, in such degree, as we live in unity with, or contrariety to the inward Spirit and outward example of Christ. For no union signifies anything to us, or our salvation, but union with God, through Christ, and nothing unites us to Christ, or makes us to be His, but His Holy Spirit dwelling, and working inwardly and outwardly in us, as it did in Him.

This is the only church unity, that concerns the conscience, and when we are in this unity, we are in union with Christ, and with everyone who is united to Him, however distant, or separated from us, by human inclosures.

Father, thank You for giving those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness, the spirit of wisdom and of revelation, that we may know You and the life-giving power of Your holy presence within us. As we receive light and truth from you, all the darkness and deception, which has enslaved us all too long, loses its grip. We thank You for your deliverance, though it be through trial, suffering and discipline. We trust Your hand and love unto Life and life more abundantly lived with and in You, Father. Amen