and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

To See in the Spirit

       The Lord has shown me things: in dreams, visions and flashes of pictures in my head like (here).  To me, there is nothing abnormal about this for God has been doing these things for millennia for believers and unbelievers*- if we read the Scriptures in context.  A God who can create the world can surely do anything He wishes at any time or with anyone He wishes.  Some of the Scriptures indicate things I am very glad not to see and other things I would very much like to see, but overall I realize He knows best what I should and shouldn’t see.

Elisha kept thwarting the plans of the Syrian king.  He would warn the king of Israel where their army would be and Israel was saved.  The Syrian king sent a great army to surround the city where the prophet Elisha was staying.  His servant rose that day, saw the army and fearfully said, “…Alas, my master! What shall we do?(2Kn. 6:15)

And he answered, Do not fear, for those with us are more than those with them. And Elisha prayed and said, I pray You, Jehovah, open his eyes so that he may see. And Jehovah opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 2Kn. 6:16,17

       Elisha knew either by faith or sight (seeing in the Spirit) that God’s army surrounded them.  He was not afraid because he ‘saw’ the truth.  His servant only physically saw the vast Syrian army and this made him fearful.  Elisha prayed his servant’s eyes would be open, they were, and the servant saw a vast army of God (including chariots and horses) surrounding Elisha.  God allowed this servant to see in the Spirit.

       Though there are many who experienced dreams and visions recorded in the New Testament, the largest content came from John who was in the Spirit as he saw Jesus (Rv. 1:10,13), Heaven (4:2) and the future of mankind.  I’m sure some of these things troubled John to see, but the Lord had a purpose for everything John witnessed.

       My reason for posting about this today is two-fold.  One is I want to remind us all that God is in control and can utilize anyone He wills by any method He chooses.  The second thing is that there is a whole ‘spirit world’ out there that we can’t usually see: good “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God…” (Lk. 2:13) and evil “principalities, against powers, against the world's rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places.(Ep. 5:12)

Of this we should daily remember, and ensure that we test all we ‘see’ against the Word of God, and pray for discernment from God in these last days.

Oh Lord, open our eyes that we may see Your truth,
      fill us with Your Spirit that we might see all You desire us to see and know what it is You
       wish us to know.  Thank You for Your many incredible blessings.

"And it shall be in the last days, says God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And in those days I will pour out My Spirit upon My slaves and My slave women, and they shall prophesy. And I will give wonders in the heaven above, and miracles on the earth below, blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before that great and glorious Day of the Lord. And it shall be that everyone who shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Ac. 2:17-21 (from Jl. 2:28-32)

*Abraham (Gn. 15:1), Jacod (Gn. 28:12,13), Micaiah (2Ch. 18:18), John (Rv. 4:2)
 Abimelech (Gen. 20:3), Pharaoh’s servants (Gn. 40:8), Nebuchadnezzar (Dn. 2:28), Cornelius (Ac. 10:3)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Thunderous Applause

       Last night I went to the concert of a well known Christian band which I won’t name because it will distract from the things of which I want to write.  The music was great and God honouring.  The enormous crowd seemed to be good hearted and God loving.  The band speakers have a passion for the Lord.  All seems well and I had a good time but yet I am unsettled.  One thing keeps rising to the forefront of my thoughts: who was the thunderous applause really for… 
God… or man?

       If it was God then why don’t we hear that kind of worship in our services?  If it was for the band (man) why are we giving them more enthusiastic cheering than God?  I don’t think the band really wants us to adore them and not God.  I don’t think God wants us to adore man and the talents He gave them over Him- the Creator.  When the band got off the stage, the cheering was deafening until the band came back to play a couple songs.  That never happens when the worship team or the preacher goes off stage.  When’s the last time we thundered praise so that God’s presence wouldn’t leave a service?  Um, well, a better question might be if we’ve EVER thunderously applauded God.

Clap your hand, all you peoples; shout to God with the voice of triumph. Ps. 47:1
Make a joyful noise to Jehovah, all the earth; breakout, and rejoice, and sing praise. Ps. 98:4

       There’s so much more I’m thinking as it’s racing through my head and I know the Lord’s using it to change something in me, and that’s okay.  But I don’t know where it’s going and I sure am not comfortable with how unsettled I feel, though I know that God is good and always does His utmost to teach and guide us into truth.  Should we be clapping so much for man?  I don’t think so.  Was the clapping all for man?  I’m not sure.  Should we want to shout and clap and stomp and praise our God loudly?  If we are those kinds of people at concerts then I’d say we should be those kinds of people toward God.

After all Jesus has done for us, how could we not be?

those who honor Me I will honor,
and those that think little of Me shall be lightly regarded.
1Sm. 2:30

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Missing an Opportunity

       Last night hubby and I were driving home from my favourite ice cream joint and I asked if he wanted to go for a walk with me on a trail we’ve never journeyed.  Since I hadn’t brought my camera, I couldn’t take it along, and sure enough, there were several pictures I would have taken if I’d had it.  He just kept reminding me (jokingly) how the light shone just right for that picture, and the texture of that plant made for an interesting shot, if only…  Ergh!  So I missed about ten good shots because I thought “I probably won’t have a use for it.”

       Perhaps I will try the path tomorrow when I am driving by, but there is no guarantee the flowers will look the same as they did yesterday or that it will not rain.  And it rained today so that may have changed things as well.  Still, I will take a chance and hope for the best, trying to remember it’s always safer to have my camera at all times.  Did I tell you I love my new camera?  I captured a shot of an 1/8th moon that was bright on the outside and showed the craters on the edge of the inside.  So cool!

       I heard about someone who died the other day and I wondered if I had ever missed an opportunity to share the good news with them.  I don’t remember if we even spoke to each other.  How sad is that?  I think missing out sharing the love of Jesus Christ is the worst of the missed opportunities because it could result in some person ending up in hell.  I wouldn’t want that for anyone. 

And He said to them, Go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all the creation. Mr. 16:15
that through my mouth the nations should hear the Word of the gospel, and believe. Ac. 15:7
       In the mornings I usually jog 5k on my treadmill or outside on a rare occasion.  Most days I have time to properly stretch after, but if I am late getting started I run out of time and have to leave before stretching.  This means I will likely end up getting stiff especially in the neck and hip area.  There are always excuses to missed opportunities, but excuses won’t change the fact we lost out on something helpful, fun, incredible, exciting, interesting, etc.  Personally, I’m going to endeavour to make time, open more conversations, and carry my camera all the time rather than losing out on something good.

making the best use of your (opportune) time because the (days) times are evil. Ep. 5:16 ISV
Walk in wisdom toward those on the outside, redeeming the (opportune) time. Cl. 4:5
Come now, those saying, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city and spend a year there, and we will trade and will make a profit, who do not know of the morrow. For what is your life? For it is a vapor, which appears for a little time, and then disappears. …  Therefore to him who knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin. Jm. 4:13,14,17

Please don’t miss this opportunity to personally know the Lord (deep down) if you don’t already, and surrender your life to Him.  Consider:

Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts...
Hb. 3:15


To my faithful readers,

Sorry, I've been gone and I forgot that where I was going there was no internet service available to post.  Of course, perhaps the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" may be true for my posts as well??? J 

Anyway, I will try to do better next time... summer is always difficult though as everything seems to change...

Sunday, July 06, 2014

How to Come to Jesus

       Today as I reread the story of the woman sinner finding forgiveness in her Savior, I had to ask myself if I have done the same since finding salvation in Him as a teen.  This woman had to crash a dinner party at the house of a Pharisee.  Pharisees avoided defilement at all costs and a wicked sinner, a woman at that, would have been avoided.  This woman knew that, yet entered the room knowing how she would be seen- but she didn’t care.  How often do we come to Jesus hiding in the shadows, not wanting anyone to see?

“And one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And going into the Pharisee's house, He reclined.” And behold, a woman, a sinner in the city, knowing that He reclined in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster vial of ointment. And she stood behind Him, weeping at His feet, and she began to wash His feet with tears and wipe them with the hair of her head. And she ardently kissed His feet and anointed them with the ointment.  Lk. 7:36-38 

       Check out the picture of how they used to eat and we see how the feet were often behind the person reclined to eat.  There stood the woman, so abased by her own sin that she stood sobbing/ weeping over Jesus’ feet.  Probably horrified (I would be anyway) by this odd washing, she quickly humbles herself down at His feet and tries to dry them off with her hair.  Her hair!  Most of us would say “Ew!” and would find anything to dry off dirty feet besides our hair.  And while she’s drying, more tears are falling because she is still humiliated by her own sin.  She kisses His feet over and over again (a woman touching a man’s feet- a rabbi at that! forbidden…), ignoring embarrassment, and anoints them with perfumed oil, probably bought at great cost to her.

       This woman sees her own sin, totally gets how filthy she is and is willing to put what’s left of her reputation on the line.  She is at the lowest she can go and nothing else matters.  In her remorse, she falls at the feet of Jesus humbling herself.  Did we do this?  Do we continue to do this?  She will do anything for her Lord even if it means humiliating herself, wiping His feet with her hair.  She shows her great love for Jesus in her continuing kisses and costly anointing (v.45,47).   Are we willing to humiliate ourselves for Jesus and do we love Him so much we remain at His feet kissing them?

And He turned to the woman and said to Simon, Do you see this woman? I entered into your house, yet you gave Me no water for My feet. But she has washed My feet with tears, and has wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with ointment. Lk. 7:44-46

       In contrast, Simon wanted Jesus ‘in his life’ on his own terms.  He probably thought: ‘You can come in, but I’m not going out of my way to extend hospitality.  You can sit at my table, but I’m not humbling myself at Your feet.  And I am not defiling myself by touching Your filthy feet.  I will show You some respect, but not great love that I don’t yet feel.  I will not spend of myself on You…’  Which way do we ‘come to Jesus?’

And He said to her, Your sins are forgiven. And those reclining with Him began to say within themselves, Who is this who even forgives sins? And He said to the woman, Your faith has saved you, go in peace. Lk. 7:48-50

How will we come to Jesus?

       Notice the words of Jesus are not spoken to Simon, but to the woman- the sinful woman Simon looked down upon.  Jesus spoke the words to her that we all need to hear: “your sins are forgiven.”  Forgiven.  Washed away.  Because she trusted Jesus…  Because we trust Jesus.  Because we see who we are and fall at His feet repenting of our sins.  Today.  Tomorrow.  Always. 

His forgiveness…
          His peace…

Thank You Jesus!!!