smallwanderings



"Take the adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes! 'Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of the old life and into the new!" Kenneth Grahame - Wind in the Willows

9.24.2012

The Mystery of Godliness in the Word

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

“He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.”  John 14:22-24

“The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life.”  John 6:63

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”  John 17:3

The mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16), is that God would make Himself known, not mystically, but concretely by those means that we can hear, see, and touch (I John 1:1-2; Romans 1:20).  Mystical experience is subjective and easily counterfeited*. 

The word of God is the concrete expression of the person, nature, and purpose of God in Christ.  But not the gnostic, new age Christ of our own subjective design that fits our personal temperaments and preferences.  “Take heed that no one deceive you.  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ’ and will deceive many.”  (Matthew 24:4-5).  Paul speaks of those “who did not like to retain God in knowledge” (Romans 1:28).  These people will be deceived because they have left the concrete revealed knowledge of God and they substitute in its place their own subjective concepts of God, or the non-existence of God (Psalm 14:1).

The fact that God has given us His word, not in mystical revelations to our mind, but in concrete words that have real, absolute meaning is one of the greatest gifts of grace that we have.  How uncertain we would be of God’s truth without it.  How nebulous and diluted would our concept of reality be.  How lost would we be in our own empty imaginations about who God is, and what He has done for us. 

“To the law and to the testimony!  If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

They will pass through it hard-pressed and hungry; and it shall happen, when they are hungry, that they will be enraged and curse their king and their God, and look upward.

Then they will look to the earth, and see trouble and darkness, gloom of anguish; and they will be driven into darkness” (Isaiah 8:20-22).

“…having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;

who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

But you have not so learned Christ  (Ephesians 4:18-20).

The ignorance that leads to despair is only remedied by receiving the absolute word of God.

__________________________________________________________* There is also the mystical aspect of the Holy Spirit speaking to our human spirit, but He does not “reveal” any new truth, nor does He produce any effect that is contrary to the word of God.  He teaches us according to word of God, and causes us to understand it, believe it, and live by it.  In this way He makes known to us  who Jesus Christ is.

9.20.2012

I am a worm, and no man… Psalm 22:4a

I have nothing to offer God except my broken heart and contrite spirit.  “What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?  I will take the cup of salvation…” Psalm 116:12.

I can only be an empty vessel, and I am a broken one in my humanity.  It is enough.  He will gather the vessels and fill them with oil, like the widow whose sons were to be sold.  He will fill them with the oil of His Holy Spirit, and that oil, and that oil alone will heal them.

“Neither is there in salvation in any other…” Acts 4:12.  The Spirit of Christ sheds abroad in our hearts the love, the very nature, of God. 

Oh to be just a vessel that has been broken so self has all run out and been lost.  A vessel that is unable to fill itself; unable to satisfy itself.  A vessel that is satisfied in not being self-satisfied.  A vessel that so filled with the oil of Christ that it has no need to be self-conscious.

Mary Magdalene was so concentrated on the person and love of Christ that she washed His feet with her tears and dried them with her hair, even before Christ washed the feet of the disciples.  She was so easily moved by the Holy Spirit that she thought exactly like Christ thought.  And she washed His feet because of His love for her – she had been such a broken and soiled vessel and He had healed her and cleansed her – she could only love Him.

How He longs for us to learn His love that way.  “For God so loved the world…” – SO LOVED the world that hated Him. 

"I have loved you from all eternity, because I have loved you, because I AM love; therefore I have drawn you to Myself with loving-kindness throughout all the days of your life." Jeremiah 31:3

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” I John 3:1

9.18.2012

The Eyes of Doves

001
Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes.  Song of Solomon 1:15
His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.  Song of Solomon 5:12

9.17.2012

Jerusalem

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.

Peace be within thy bulwarks, prosperity within they palaces.

For my brethren and companions’ sakes I will say, Peace be within thee!

Because of the house of Jahweh our God I will seek thy good.

                                Psalm 122:6-9

9.12.2012

The Artist as Intercessor


















[Click on the picture to go to the article]

9.10.2012

Only a Small Rose


It is only a small rose.
Yet it seems the universe
Unfolds itself from within.

And the laughter of
A thousand blushing
Brides, misty eyed,

Echoes with the fragrance
It distills in sultry airs.

9.05.2012

Christ Imagined or Revealed

The soul of the believer imagines Christ by mental process and emotional evaluation.  The spirit of the believer knows Christ by revelation.  The word of God entering into the mind of the believer must penetrate through the mind into the spirit where the Holy Spirit reveals Christ from the word.

The word enters the mind as objective truth.  If it penetrates to the spirit the Holy Spirit causes it to become subjective truth through the revelation of Christ to the human spirit.  The human spirit receives the truth by mixing faith with the word.  If the objective truth does not enter the spirit through faith it is either rejected or becomes subjective in the soul by mental manipulations of reason and an emotional evaluation of relevant and relative worth.  The soul humanizes the divine.(1)

The spirit receives the impartation of the divine into its humanity thereby having the spirit and souls transformed into the image of Christ.  Christ expressed in the written word is Christ formed as the living word in the spirit of the believer.  Christ cannot be formed in the believer in any other nature that that nature which is expressed in the written word.  Objective truth and subjective truth can never be dissimilar. 

Crisis is the primary means by which God brings a believer into the process of being taught by the Holy Spirit.  Crisis brings the believer into an objective evaluation of the inability of his soul to know Christ - and the absolute necessity and dependence he has for the Holy Spirit to reveal Christ to his spirit.

Crisis clears the soul of the imaginations of the mind and the evaluations of the emotions, and causes the soul to become subordinate to the spirit.
________________________________________________________
1 The soul, because it cannot perceive Christ in the reality of His nature, creates a mental picture of Christ relevant to it own nature, and conceives of Him as being a good man, a good example, a liar and deceiver, or some imaginary, mythical figure.  The soul will accept or reject its concept of Christ according as it perceives it to be positive or negative.

The Perishing of the Outer Man

"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed" (Lamentations 3:22).

The outward man perishes (2 Corinthians 4:16) not only in the physical body, but also in patterns of thought and emotion, and habits of volition.  It would be of little consequence if this perishing was only in our bodies.  It is our minds that need to be renewed, and through our minds our emotions and volition. 

God addresses our thought patterns in His word by the Holy Spirit.  But often because the word remains objective to us and does not initially affect our subjective mind, we are brought into situations which are beyond our capacity to address in our natural mind.  Here the "outer man" begins to mentally perish because it does not have the resources that are needed. It enters into negativity and reaction in an effort to extricate itself from its responsibility to the situation.

This perishing is intended to, once again, open our eyes to our inability to be like Christ in our outer man.  Christ desires to lead us away from our perishing in the situation to the already accomplished fact of our death with Him.  "He who has died has been freed from sin" (Romans 6:7 NKJV).  Our death with Christ has freed us from the sin nature of our outer man.  If we think of this only as positional truth we will never escape the perishing of our outer man, or the situations that cause it.

Christ did not die so that we could be counted righteous only; He died so we could be righteous really, experientially in the progressive action of the Holy Spirit imparting to us Christ's nature through the word of God and grace.  Grace is our license to be free, absolutely free - free in our mind and so free in every aspect of our redeemed, regenerated humanity.

So the necessity of our outward man perishing so that we may realize the grace and glory of the inner man being renewed day by day.  The outward perishing causes us to leave our own capacity to live life, and to come to Christ to receive His capacity to live.

 For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you (2 Corinthians 13:4 NKJV).

8.31.2012

Broken to Know Him

Brokenness is when Christ has brought the soul of His child into submission to the Holy Spirit in the human spirit.  It is not primarily a submission to doctrine as something taught; but submission to doctrine as the thought of God expressing Himself in the person of His Son (Hebrews 1:2).

Doctrine is the form of God's thoughts about His Son expressed in words. "...whom having not seen you love.  Though now you do not see Him, yet believing..." (1Peter1:8).  

Christ is the end of the law to all those who believe, that is, Christ is the point to which doctrine moves the believer.  The purpose of doctrine is not having knowledge of divine information, but knowing Christ, and in knowing Christ knowing the Father.

The Fragrance in the Air

How near the beautiful shore 
My small bark drifted;
Slowly, without rudder or sail. 
And I all the while gazing -
Longing to run aground there, 
Even if half dead in violent storm.

Yet neither wave nor wind moved
Me nearer to sweet ecstasy,
Or farther off to harsh reality.
Endless days I drifted too near
And too far away.  I could only
Smell the fragrance in the air.

8.28.2012

Like the Morning Mist

Your presence (it seemed) slowly filled my room
Like the morning mist fills the valley, nestled close
Within the comfort of the ever-watching hills.
My thoughts and self awareness became lost
In the softly glimmering stillness of Yourself. I
Quieted my soul within to hear the sweet distilling
Of Your dew, the cautious currents of Your whispered
Loves.

7.22.2012

Righteousness and Glory

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23.  It does not say that all have fallen short of God's righteousness, but of His glory, i.e the manifestation of His nature.  Of course righteousness is an attribute of His nature, but before the fall of man righteousness was never an issue between God and man.  God did not teach Adam about righteousness, but drew him into fellowship with Himself so that being with God he would become like Him.

Righteousness is only an issue for the believer now when he is out of fellowship with God.  "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all UNRIGHTEOUSNESS," I John 1:9.  When we confess our sin, God brings us back into fellowship with Himself so we may become more like Him, having dealt with our unrighteousness by the blood of Christ.

"knowing this: that THE LAW IS NOT MADE FOR A RIGHTEOUS PERSON, I Timothy 1:9. 

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. AGAINST SUCH THERE IS NO LAW," Galatians 5:22-23.

There is no regulating standard of righteousness against the fruit of the Spirit, i.e. the attributes of the nature of God that are born in the person for whom and in whom Christ has been made all righteousness.

5.19.2012

Light denied me -
Could not hide me
From its painful
Staring gaze.

Love denied itself
To hide me;
Drew from light
Its loving grace.

Love Crosses The Barren Void

Light crosses the barren void,
A near infinite abyss,
To consume the object of love's desire
In vehement flame.

Love weeps to own what it cannot
Possess, and gives itself
To satiate the flame, which consuming
Is consumed.  What then remains?

The love, the object, and the flame
Are all as one, and all the same;
Each found only in the other
("Thou art called by My name").

Lost yet saved love finds itself
Fully in the fury of the flame;
Love finds itself in the object
Of desire, which bears its name.

Love crosses the barren void,
The infinite abyss to
Consummate the object of desire
In purest light of flame.

5.11.2012

Forgiveness

Reconciliation is the greatest expression of forgiveness.

2 Corinthians 5
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.




5.10.2012

Death

Death, though an enemy,
Comes as a friend 
And gently says,
"This is the end."
"Of death," I whisper
With a smile as he
Removes the outer layers
Of who I am.  And then,
I walk away.

5.03.2012

Jeremiah 31:3

"I have loved you from all eternity, because I have loved you, because I AM love; therefore I have drawn you to Myself with loving-kindness throughout all the days of your life."

4.29.2012

Offended Out of Comfort

He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem. Luke 9:51
Then saith Jesus unto them, All you shall be offended because of me this night. Matthew 26:31

Jesus purposely goes to the place where the natural love of the disciple will be offended. 

The place of my call is my Jerusalem because that is the place where the cross will have its greatest impact upon my life, my soul.  It is the place where my natural love for God will be brought out into the light and I will be offended by that light and also by my own inability to live up to that light.

"I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loves." Song of Solomon 3:2 

 Christ does not remain in the comfort and complacency of my positional identification in Him.  He is active and living "about the city" seeking and saving the lost.  If I will follow Christ it must be in the divine activity of the risen Christ in "the city" of lost men and women.  Life living in the city of death.

My death with Christ leads me into life among the dying.  If I refuse to leave the comfort of my position, the comfort will not continue.  It will remain with me only as I leave it.

4.20.2012

Freedom

There is a freedom that is not volitional.  It is the freedom of intimacy with God.  I am free in love, that is, I move freely in the purity of union with God which does not involve my will because my will has been submitted to the perfect will of God which is, simply, that he loves me and I love him.

This is the freedom that the soul has apart from external things that still may require decisions.  It is the freedom of who I am apart from what I do.  I am absolutely free to be who I am in union with God.  I have no decisions yet to make about who I am - any decisions that present themselves to my mind concerning who I am are outside of the union with God as to their source, content, and argument.  They do not come from the mind of Christ, but from the flesh, the world, and the devil.  I have no obligation to consider them as they contain no truth.

Therefore there is a freedom that has absolutely nothing to do with the freedom of the will.  It is a freedom from decisions, not a freedom in decisions.  "If the son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."  The prodigal son had absolute freedom to be a  son; he had no freedom to be a servant.  He could not be a servant; he was a son.

Nothing can separate me from the love of God because I have been united to his essence and I am a partaker of his nature - God is love.  I am not choosing to be united to him; I have been united to him.  I am not trying to be loved by God, or to love him; I am in union with his love.

Confession is not to restore my union with God.  It is to reorient my mind to that union which already is, and cannot be broken.  The blood of Christ cleanses me from all unrighteousness, not to restore my union with God, which cannot be broken, but to remove the distraction of guilt.  The holiness of God is the purity of his love.  Guilt obscures the purity of his love because I think I do not deserve it.  Therefore he removes the memory of unrighteousness so I have no more consciousness of sin, and I am not distracted from his love.  I am free in who I am and in what I think of myself in relation to the holiness of his love.

"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in Him." (I John 4:16b NKJV)

3.29.2012

Many of us are loyal to our notions of Jesus Christ, but how many of us are loyal to Him? Loyalty to Jesus means I have to step out where I do not see anything (cf. Matt. 14:29); loyalty to my notions means that I clear the ground first by my intelligence. Faith is not intelligent understanding, faith is deliberate commitment to a Person where I see no way.  - Oswald Chambers

who i am...