Monday, May 23, 2011

May We Not Fall

I say to our heart, "Be careful! There is a real place of danger and a real risk of falling from God's kingdom if we abide in lawlessness. We will never have peace except as we remain at peace with Jesus. As it says in the Scriptures, "'They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.' Therefore I swore in my wrath, 'They shall not enter my rest (Ps. 95:10-11, ESV).'" What a heavy hand of grace and discipline You carry oh God, to corner us into the perfect inheritance which Jesus secured for His people in the cross, resurrection and ascension! Is it not so good of God to corner us so, in such a way that the choice is simple. Either we receive this grace to fully enter into His kingdom and all of its values, or we turn from it and go the way of destruction. And as the scriptures say, "'Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. [...]I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from me you workers of lawlessness (Matthew 7:21,23 ESV)."'"

We must receive what God says to us now, so that these difficult pronouncements can serve as grace to us, cultivating the pure and clean fear of God in us for our journey towards knowing and being with Him fully in this life. If we do not receive this as a grace now, there's the risk that it will be the pronouncement of God's judgment on us later. Right now is a window of opportunity and grace to respond to God meekly, for He is kind, fair and merciful. Later, His fair judgment will come against all within us which remains wicked that we continue to identify with instead of surrenduring it to death on the cross which Christ calls us to carry like He did. And yet, even when God's judgment comes, it is grace too, for it is hopeful for the great fruit which will come as a result of it. It's only when rebellious people harden their hearts even against God's strict judgment that these words in Matthew 7 become a pronouncement of condemnation for all of those outside of Christ (for in Jesus there is no condemnation). Make no mistake: Now is the time to utterly die to every trace of wickedness and hypocrisy and pretense in our lives. Wickedness will destroy us and this world, if we do not follow Jesus in overcoming wickedness by dying to it and receiving the life of God. Our real identity is in Jesus, so why should we feel offended when He reveals and judges wickedness inside of us that we still identify with? We should thank Him for doing it, even though it hurts for as it says in HEBREWS, He disciplines those He loves.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Faith of Blood, Sweat and Tears

Endurance is required of the people of God. The knowledge of God that will explode with light and illumination in the earth and the lives of people with dynamic power will only come by faith-a persevering faith with blood, sweat and tears. It will come when the people of God love the Lord their God with all of their existence by faith-that is, with all of their past, present, future, with all of their thinking, with all of their imagination, with all of their emotions, with all of their thoughts, with all of their decisions, with all that they control, and with all that they cannot control. It will come when people, by faith alone in the grace of God, stop being victimized by wickedness and instead overcome it by the power of God through the name of Jesus and by the active power of God's Spirit invading their entire existence. It will come when people, by a persevering faith of blood, sweat and tears, stop being offended by God and instead meekly receive the implanted word of God, instead of exalting their own understanding against God's understanding. It will come when by faith, through grace alone, they truly surrendur all, spirit, soul and body to God's control.

The knowledge of God will explode with power and illumination on this earth, revealing and giving glory to the name of Jesus, the only name under Heaven given by which people can be saved. Will people embrace salvation and freedom or be offended and reject it, becoming victims of wickedness instead? Who of us will have the courage to persevere, with blood, sweat and tears, into the faith and gospel of God, given once and for all through Jesus, choosing to love God with our whole existence, know God with our whole existence and partner with God and His work with all of our existence?

The glory of God WILL blanket the earth. The whole creation GROANS for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God. We are meant to see and know Him for Who He Is. He beckons us to vision of Him and His throne room. He beckons us to fully love Him. He beckons us to partner with Him. His kingdom, power, rule and authority are at hand. He will take possession without our permission. We must put to death everything in our lives that is in opposition to all that He values. If we have a dirty past that we're ashamed of, it's time to dig it up and humbly present it to Him at His altar, for He's a God of grace who will graciously redeem Your past with time if You'll honestly and candidly bring your past too Him. He'll redeem Your past and use it for His glory. You'll go from darkness to light. Your past that hated God will be turned into a past that gives Him glory and loves Him. He redeems the past, encounters you in the present and secures your future if You'll give it to Him of your own free will. It's time to break up your hard heart and prepare for His to give you righteousness.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spiritual Emphysema

So the craziest thing happened tonight, something very atypical for my times of prayer. I was confused about some things and so I said to the LORD, "LORD, I just need to see something." So I closed my eyes, focused, and in my imagination I saw myself hacking, coughing, and with shortness of breath, having trouble breathing. I was not sure what this could mean, although I know that breathing and breath are related to the Holy Spirit (see the original Greek and notice that spirit and breath come from the same word; they are pictured together). And then the words "spiritual emphysema" came to my mind. I was not sure if I was being random or the LORD was trying to speak to me, but I hopped on the internet to look up first "emphysema" and then "spiritual emphysema." Lo and behold, there are actually people online who write about "spiritual emphysema" and I was amazed at what I found! In short, God has shown me some truth this weekend about myself, that I must confront. Just another everyday encounter, where God is speaking through everything!