Walking with the Spirit Daily

Jesus showing the way

The words that I speak to you are Spirit, and they are Life. (John 6:63)

This Life is a very vast Life. It reaches into God’s great purpose, and we are a part of it; we are “the called according to His purpose.” We want to know the purpose; we want to know our place in the purpose; we want to know our faculties, our functions. How shall this be? Not by studying up what they are, but by being in Life. It may be very interesting to have a scientific knowledge of the workings of our human bodies, but it is not necessary in order to live. Live, and the thing happens. You never have to consider whether you will take your next breath, to sit down and make a mental problem of it. You do it, and everything else is bound up with it, and follows in proper order. Breathing properly has a great deal bound up with it. Well then, live and everything else will follow. That is only saying, in other words: move, have your life in the Holy Spirit, and all the plan and order of God will follow. You are bound to come into it, you cannot help yourself.

Thus the object is to get the Lord’s people to a place where they walk with the Lord, and are so open to Him that they are prepared for all that walking with Him means. Sometimes it will mean that they will have to leave a great deal that is of a secondary character; perhaps forsake many things, even religious things, the accepted things, to walk with the Lord. There may be a price attached to it; misunderstanding, and loneliness, and much besides; but if you are so open to the Lord that nothing else matters, and you mean to walk with God whatever the cost, (no matter what people say you ought to do as in their thought as they are a part of a great Christian order or religious machine), you will come into all God’s secret thought as naturally as a flower opens to the sun, and you will be making discoveries and finding that there is a vast realm of meaning and possibility and capacity and power that you never dreamed of. The Lord is not going to stretch it out before us, and show us it. We shall discover it as we walk in the Spirit.

T. Austin-Sparks “The Office and Work of the Holy Spirit”
http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/003083.html

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What Has Been Happening?

But who may endure the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appears? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
(Malachi 3:2-3 KJ2000)

We know that God has said that in the last days, He would be doing a deeper work in the hearts of His saints AND that He would use our fellow saints to work in and prepare us for the second coming of our Lord Jesus.

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure”– for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. (Revelation 19:6-8 RSVA- emphasis added)

Yes, WE as members of the Bride of Christ are what HE uses to make us ready for His coming. It seems that in the last month and a half He has gone after one issue after another that was still lurking deep in my heart, some of them lingering there even from my childhood. I have gone for years before this, without Him really touching any new issues in my heart. He seems to do these things in seasons and I have been in one of those painful, yet wonderful periods of my life.

God in His wisdom has used a wonderful sister in Christ to reach into my heart and bring to light a lot of places that my attitudes toward different classes of people had not been healed. It was about 24 years ago that a lady counselor told me she could go no further with me after about three sessions. Then she told me a curious thing… that when God got at the rest of what was holding me back He would use a woman, not a man as He had previously years earlier (in 1979)… Well, this has all come to pass as He used a very unsuspecting vessel over the internet to touch my heart. This dear sister slipped right in “under my radar” if you will and God started using her to do what no other person could do before.

Once the first area of darkness was brought to light, my hatred for pastors and disdain for ecclesiastical authority, then the others came tumbling down as well. And get this! She didn’t even know that God was using her this way. Jesus just showed up in her words! Yes, He still uses the weak things to confound the mighty and the foolish things to confound the wise. I don’t know how many more issues are going to show up, for at one point the Lord showed me my heart with the top removed and it looked like a cone-shaped coffee filter with grounds in the bottom. When I saw that, I gave Him full permission to empty me out once again.

As a precursor to all this He had me meditating on this passage (and I am still marveling over it in its simplicity)…

And we are writing this that our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
(1 John 1:4-7 RSVA)

Light! God’s pure light! This is the power that exposes darkness and makes it flee away. But it also heals that scar that is left behind when our darkness is banished. A study about light is a very interesting thing. Light not only illuminates, but it bleaches things out like a fuller’s soap (see Malachi 3:2) and it also kills bacteria and purifies.  But here we see John revealing to us that LIGHT is integral to REAL fellowship in the Spirit of God.  IF we are walking in the Light as HE is in the Light…. God is Light and in Him there is no darkness… true fellowship is found where hearts are open to HIM and to one another.

Later in John’s letter we read that God is Love as well. So, can we have real healing fellowship with one another without HIS healing Love there, too? I don’t think so. Love is what it takes for us to open up to His light… We love Him because HE first loved us… and His love in His saints is what holds us together and enables us to trust one another and to open up to one another so HIS Light can shine in!!! This is when the blood of Jesus does its cleansing work! It was being loved unconditionally by a bunch of hippie Jesus People in 1970 that got me to open my heart up to God and be healed from a spirit of hate that was left over from my part in the Vietnam War.

“We have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” You see it all fits together… I was having fellowship in openness with this sister and God came into it to open me up and heal me. Some of you might read this and think, “Poor sap! What is HIS problem? I got perfectly healed when Jesus came into my life!” Well, good for you! But with me the next verse in 1 John has great meaning as well… “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

So, dear saints let us boldly enter into His throne of grace and let His light do its work with one another… no more silly church games of parading around in our righteous robes like so many Pharisees of old! Let us open up our hearts to those whom God has given us in a special relationship (the spiritual ones we can trust [see Galatians 6:1]) and get REAL with one another…

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
(James 5:16 KJ2000)

Do you see the context of effectual and fervent prayer? It is for one another’s healing as members of Christ’s body. I hope we will all find that special person, as I have, who God uses to heal us and get to the bottom of our heart issues that hold us back.

“You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.”
(Proverbs 27:17 MSG)

God bless you all!

 

 

 

An Open Heaven vs. the Wilderness

Jesus in the wilderness

IN CHRIST AN OPEN HEAVEN FOR US

Well, all that is, I know, very simple, but we shall not do ourselves any harm by contemplating what He won for us in that wilderness, how great a thing it was that resulted from that cry. The answer given to that cry – “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” – is our supreme and all-inclusive blessing: it is that we may never know any more forsaking of God. Oh, put your feet down upon that. It is not as simple as it sounds. No more forsaking of God! Have you, a believer, a believer perhaps for many years, in full devotion to the Lord – have you never been tempted to believe that God had forsaken you, God had left you, had given you up, washed His hands of you, parted company with you, withdrawn? If you have never had that temptation, I am not going to say that you ought to, but I will say that I do not think you will get through your course in a really spiritual life without having it, and more than once. As in Adam’s case, so with every son of Adam and every child of God, with every member of this human race, the Devil’s greatest work is to get between us and God. Once he has done that, if he can establish himself there between us and God, it is an end of all things, it is hopeless. But in the case of a believer he cannot now do that in actuality. He can only do it in effect, by the attitude that a believer takes toward this great thing that happened on the Cross, by the answer that the believer will give in his or her own heart to Christ’s question, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” If you really will give the answer, ‘In order that I might never be forsaken’ – if you give that answer and stay there, you have entered into the value of what the Lord Jesus accomplished in destroying the works of the Devil, especially his supreme work of getting between you and God.

Calvary is always an open door, an open way, to God’s face. You know that it was ever by Jordan that the place of God’s face was reached – always by Jordan. Of the promised land the Lord said, “The eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year” (Deut. 11:12); His face would be toward it, and so it was described as the land of unspeakable blessing. Israel never arrived there except by the Jordan. When they came back from the captivity to the land again, where God’s face was, they had to go across the Jordan again or through the Jordan. When the Lord Jesus went to the Jordan, He passed that way in order to come to the place where the heavens were opened, where the face of God was seen; always by Jordan to the place of God’s face – in other words, always by the Cross. It is by the Cross that we come into the light of His countenance.

This excerpt is from :

The Significance of Christ
by T. Austin-Sparks

Chapter 1 – In Relation to the Race as it is

May we always seek His face and may the wilderness never get the last word on defining who God is in our lives! mdc

 

When One Member Suffers…

He aint heavyIt has been about three weeks since I last posted on this blog. The reason is that God has been doing a deep work in my heart and going after things that I had not given Him as of yet due to my own pain from things in my past. It has been a very intense time while Jesus ministered to me through a couple of precious saints who have suffered much in the last few years.

Paul wrote,

“For by one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit… That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” (1 Corinthians 12:13-27 KJ2000)

Have you ever thought about the depths of Paul’s love for Jesus when he wrote, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:10 KJ2000)? “The fellowship of HIS sufferings! What a curious thing  to say, Paul. Isn’t fellowship suppose to make us feel all warm and fuzzy?

Jesus made it clear that the goal of the Father is for us who are His to walk in this world just as He did, motivated by the love of the Father and being poured-out for those in need. And that means that we should not be indifferent to the pains of another if we are truly living IN Christ. We are in touch with their pain because HE is in touch with their pains and sufferings! We are to be their “Jesus with skin on,” and be His conduit of love and comfort in their time of need.

So, how often do we find this same sacrificial love of Christ among our fellow Christians when WE are the ones who are suffering? Sure, they will often offer “sound advice” when we are troubled and maybe even be given the name of  “a good counsellor,” but they either want to get  away from our pain or quickly put the “fix” on us to make themselves more comfortable. They don’t want us to rock their perfectly orchestrated worlds.

One time I was going through a hard time in my life when nothing seemed to be going right. I went to church one Sunday hoping to find comfort. A brother walked up, shook my hand and said, “How are you doing, brother? Good to see you!” As I started to share with him just how I was doing  and shared the first thing that had befell me, thinking he really cared, he said, “Well, that’s great, brother, see you next Sunday,” turned and walked away!

How often has someone like this or even a family member just sat there with us, held our hand as we poured-out our hearts, cried with us and really entered into OUR sufferings and pain? Yes, true love and fellowship with another member of Christ’s body sometimes requires that we suffer with the one who is hurting and just love them through it all without doing our best to put a “FIX” on them, until Christ heals them in HIS time. We live in such a shallow world when we look for REAL fellowship and enduring love and no one wants to be bothered. When we are suffering it can be a very lonely world, but Jesus leaves the 99 sheep, goes out, finds us, and personally loves and heals us.

Paul wrote, “Bear you one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 KJ2000). This requires getting down in the trenches with those who are burdened and helping them with their load. May we all search our hearts and ask the Lord to change us so that we walk as Christ does with all those He puts in our lives, for better or for worse, in their triumphs and their sufferings. As one pastor used to say, “This is a test! This life is ONLY a test.”