Taking Courage in His Carriage

I often think of taking courage, as “buck up and take it” kind of courage. But the other day, I was thinking and praying out loud, and instead of saying courage, the word “carriage” came to my mind.

The reason we can have courage is because of His carriage. He carries us. If we know the Lord for who He is, His strength, His love and devotion towards our good, we will have courage. When we are not having courage to do His will, it is because we are either outside of His will, or are not expecting Him to do great things and receive His blessing and goodness upon us.

When we think about how great big God is and add it to His love for us, we see the Red Sea part before our eyes.

The man cried, “I believe. Help my unbelief.” Then Jesus rebuked the evil spirit out of His son. He will do things and answer our prayers in order to help our belief in Him! Some times the answer, is what increases our faith. But “we receive not, because we ask not.” But the man asked! Therefore, he received! His cry was desperate, but he needed help in believing fully in what has seemed impossible for so many years. With Jesus all things are possible, and Jesus proved this to Him. He understands the feeling of our infirmities, therefore He understands our weaknesses in believing fully.

This is the Lord “carrying” this man. Our faith is not our own. It is given to us by Him. But we must ask, seek, knock to receive faith. Faith is by the power of His Holy Spirit.

The grace to endure to the end is impossible!  But with Him ALL things are possible! So get into His carriage, because He will give you courage!

He tells us to carry our cross (Mt. 8:34), but He also says, I will help you get through,by bearing this cross too.

The Marriage of Rest

In Psalm 132, David is praying for the Lord to come to dwell with him.  He says that he will not sleep, until he finds a place for the Lord to dwell. (vs. 4,5) He was so zealous for the Lord’s house that he lost sleep! The Lord too is looking for a place to dwell…a resting place. A place to have His Spirit.

We so often emphasize our need for rest. In Hebrews, we are told to labour into that rest. The rest that is found when trusting in Christ! But He too is seeking rest. True resting in Him cannot occur, unless He can truly rest in us. He will only rest in us as we take up our cross daily by choosing His will and not our own.

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Joh 14:23  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
1Jn_4:13  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 1Jn_4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
This is another reason we purge ourselves of self and sin. Not for self’s rest, but for Him. Because He too needs a habitation. He desires and longs to fill our hearts with His presence. (Ps. 132:13,14) To abide with us in unity.
He has been preparing a home for us already. He is now looking for a people that He too can dwell in. Shall we desire and long for the home, if we have not given our hearts to be a home and rest for Him? If two become one, they each surrender their lives fully. Christ’s promises are only for those who obey and surrender all. He has already paid the price and gave His life. Now He is looking for a people who will do the same for Him.
In whom you also are being built up together to become a fixed abode for God through the Spirit. Eph 2:22 (Wymth)
Rest in Him, and Him resting in us. It is Him overtaking self. This is the crucifixion of self. But we must allow Him full reign in our hearts. Otherwise He cannot fully dwell and live there.

When two people get married there is a rest in dwelling together. In submitting to one another’s wills, they come to a place of unity and surrender. How much should Jesus and the church also enter into this unity of rest.

We can only really truly rest in the Lord, if He is able to rest in us. His presence brings us rest from the fight around us and within. His Spirit is where we see deliverance from sin, self, and the temptations that come. We see this rest, by yielding our members for His purpose.

“Therefore……

….present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Rom 12:1

Only in Hearing are We Saved

It’s in the Strait and Narrow
that the waters overflow and grace abounds.
Not in lakes and ponds do waters flood.
But in the rivers
are often floods!
So obey the strait and narrow
in order to gush His waters of grace.

In the pressures of life
are we made right.
By turning us into gold
He does come as Light.
We are His jewels made in the quarry where pressure is much
And beauty and crystal-shine is too.
Under the deep dark, layers of mud and yuck,
and we too in this world of dark
Are to come forth in Light as His jewels.

Though it is never by pressure, trials, or tribulation that we are fully made right.
BUT by His Spirit we are saved.
Those who draw nigh unto Him in trial,
He will also draw nigh unto.
Those who deny His help in trials,
He will also deny.

Let us remember that God was not in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire.
But it was His voice that Elijah heard alone in the cave.
Here is where He drew nigh,
Here is where he received.
Grace from the Father’s lips,
of mercy, faith, comfort, help, and guidance.
Here is where the Father lived.
In drawing nigh,
Elijah found Rest and Hope in his trial.

The Praise of God

When we seek the praise and approval of man the result is:

Frustration
Grief
Disappointment
Anger
Sin
Fear
Unfulfilled plans
Hurt
Despair

When we look for the praise of God the result is:

Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance
More grace
Filled plans
His Approval
His fellowship
Christ-likeness
Surrender
Hope

So all that you do, do heartily as unto the Lord, because all His promises of new life are sure. Jesus had many doubting Him, questioning Him, and trying to get Him to deny the Father, however, He won the battle by doing only the Father’s will and not man’s. There are many man-made works that we can do, but there will be no peace in it. Don’t sacrifice His peace for man’s peace. It’s counterfeit.

For His Glory Alone

If any of you are like me, you have wondered and asked God the reason of things, whether in hope, or faith, or even doubting, you’ve asked.

I have asked why I was born without a believing family and why still no one is saved *yet.*

Why I remain unmarried…Why I live where I live…About my financial bracket…About probably almost everything….Yes discontentment can arise pretty quick in this mindset!

Though I have found there is no logical explanation other than one reason given to us in the New Testament. If we lean on our own understanding of why things happen or don’t happen, it only brings confusion within. Our peace will leave us. He is our peace. So as we abide and live in Him, peace in all areas of life will come. When we hold on to these things above, we are left in sin because of unbelief.

When Lazarus was sick, Jesus said it was for one thing, “the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” (Jn. 11:4) It was not because of sin. It is not mentioned any where that Lazarus was sick because of sin or because of his lack of faith. There was NO other reason, other than for “the glory of God.” So when we ask why the Lord has allowed certain things to happen in our lives, we can lean upon this truth, that it is for the glory of God that the Son of God will be glorified.

Though it’s okay to ask why some times, or if the Lord is allowing it to happen for a reason. But often the thing is used to learn of Him. Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered. This is true for us as well. The circumstances we endure, which are not always ideal or desired, are used by Him to conform us into His image, for His glory! This is why we can say “Hallelujah” in our circumstances. Because there is always joy in our salvation. And it is often by His ordained circumstances that we can learn to walk in His grace in these circumstances.

In another situation, a man was born blind. So the question is asked, “Did his parents sin?” (Jn. 9:3) He was born blind for “the works of God.” We too are born blind but are given purpose to prove the work of God. What a glorious calling in life! Many of us are proud and like to prove ourselves to others. Let us instead “prove the work of God,” that He is able to make us stand in the righteousness of Christ.

So let everything in your life be for His glory alone and not for anything else on this earth.

 

What is your “chief joy”?

Ps. 137:6,7 If I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy……May my right hand forget her skill. May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. (May their song to the Lord leave them.)

In this Psalm, the Israelites were in captivity. Their captors told them to sing one of their songs, but they almost questioned it. “How can they in this foreign place?” But their joy was not in their circumstances, but in the Holy City, Jerusalem.

Even things in this earth can increase our joy. Why is this? Is Jesus really “all and all”? Is joy in Him so full and overflowing, there is no more room for more joy? “Whom in Heaven do I have but Thee”

Where was Paul’s Joy?

3Jn_1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (In those he ministered to walking in the truth)

Jas_1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (Not in circumstances.)

Phm_1:7  For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother. (The refreshing and love of the brethren.)

1Th_2:19  For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? (The brethren walking in the Lord’s Presence)

Php_4:1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. (Other brothers and sisters)

Php_2:2  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. (Knowing the Brethren walk in the same love, and mind)

Rom_15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (the Holy Spirit)

Paul’s joy was in deep communion with the Father, and doing His will. And as Jesus said, “being about His Father’s business.”

A Lesson From Baking

Upon making these Paleo Spice Muffins this morning…..

muffin1

They look good don’t they!

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup”

Oh but the disappointment to follow!

muffin2

There is no filling! No meat! No depth!

Heb_5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

If you are hungry and seek meat that is filling this is what Jesus says, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” Jn. 4:34

This is what set apart the Pharisees from the disciples. His disciples “followed Him” whereever He went and did the things which He taught (Jn. 8:31). The Pharisees stumbled in the darkness at His words of phophecy.

Fruit only comes by Marriage

I often hear so much about good works… Good works, good works, good works. We must have good works! And yes of course we do! But even the prophets are judged by their FRUIT! Not by good works.

So it seems to me, to truly know a follower of Jesus, it is by their fruit that we shall judge. Perhaps it is only by true marriage to the Lamb that true, genuine fruits are possible. When someone is truly walking in that deep intimacy with the Lord, they are unmoved by situation and circumstance which can make our boats move to knock out bad fruit!

If we are not wholly rooted in the ground with Christ, our roots are not deep. Good fruit does not usually grow with shallow roots! And they are more overcome by the weather and wind.

So let us seek FRUIT, not good works alone, and judge our spiritual walk by fruit, not good works. Our good works should come out of a life ridden with much fruit.

“Have you ever noticed the difference in the Christian life between work and fruit? A machine can do work: only life can bear fruit. A law can compel work: only love can spontaneously bring forth fruit. Work implies effort and labor: the essential idea of fruit is that it is the silent natural restful produce of our inner life. The gardener may labor to give his apple tree the digging and manuring, the watering and the pruning it needs; he can do nothing to produce the apple: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, joy.” The healthy life bears much fruit. The connection between work and fruit is perhaps best seen in the expression, “fruitful in every good work.” (Col. 1.10). It is only when good works come as the fruit of the indwelling Spirit that they are acceptable to God. Under the compulsion of law and conscience, or the influence of inclination and zeal, men may be most diligent in good works, and yet find that they have but little spiritual result. There can be no reason but this—their works are man’s effort, instead of being the fruit of the Spirit, the restful, natural outcome of the Spirit’s operation within us.” – Andrew Murray

Do not trust in Princes!

Ps. 146:3,4
Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
His spirit departs, he returns to the earth, In that very day his thoughts perish.

These are the consequences of becoming carnal, even unto spiritual men. (1 Cor. 3:4)

“His spirit departs” —-We quench the Holy Spirit
“he returns to the earth” —-we become earthly and perhaps even sensual, worldly
“his thoughts perish” —-our earthly thoughts only bring death, because we have not the mind of the Spirit to keep us

“It is the Lord who gives the increase.” Spiritual enlightenment and revelation can only come by way of the Holy Spirit. The wisdom of God must come from God. No earthly wisdom will do.  “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. ” 1Co 2:5

God is a jealous God and He does not give His glory to another. If we are His children, we are also His glory. So do not give to another man, that which He has bought and paid for.

This is another reason why Jesus told Nicodemus, that he “must be born again.” Without the Spirit, Nicodemus would not understand, nor would he see. It is not by man’s wisdom or enlightenment that we can know or see. This is old testament believing. The Great High Priest has come! His name is Jesus and He gives life and revelation to ALL who come and ask.

How can one be saved by another with the same sinful flesh? Only Jesus who was without sin could break this yoke of bondage. He is the Perfect sacrifice for all sin because He was without sin. Only a man stronger than sin can break the power of sin. (Mk 3:23-29)

The Lord is your strength, and He is the saving strength of his anointed. Psalm 28:8

So this is our joy, that He who was despised and rejected, felt the cruelty of men, and was physically tortured, still was without sin. And He who lived this life, imparted this same grace to us. That even in our struggle, our pain, our trials, sin WILL NOT prevail, unless we are unbelieving. It is because of Him that their is still joy, hope, and rest in all of life’s toil and snares. He knows our every need and care. He is the prince that has come to save. There is no other name by which we can be saved.

 

TRUE Wealth

In Revelation Chapter 3 verses 14-22, Laodicea is being rebuked by the Lord because they  have put hope in wealth from this world. Is it wrong to have wealth? No. Is it wrong to have “need of nothing” of the Lord because hope and trust is instead in this wealth? Absolutely.

The Laodiceans have deceived themselves in thinking that their earthly wealth and garments, that are not purified holy and righteous, will last forever, but in REALITY they are “miserable and poor and blind and naked.”

In verse 18,  Jesus tells them to “buy” from Him “gold refined by fire.” This is TRUE wealth that lasts forever. He says without this wealth our “nakedness” shall “be revealed” because the first wealth is temporal and not of His Spirit, which lasts forever. So in order to be clothed with garments that last through fire, we must be clothed with His garments which can only be bought with His “gold refined by fire.”

But how do we get this “gold refined by fire”? Let’s first start by looking at the refining process. In order to be refined, one must go through the fire. What’s the fire?

Peter describes it as such in 1 Peter 1:6-7, “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Trials prove your faith by fire.)

Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. Isa 48:10

It is by the fire of affliction that we are purified and cleansed. To purify by fire is the best way to refine and remove dross. Fire used to refine gold is often at temperatures above 1000 degrees celsius. This is a high enough temperature to burn anything that is not pure. True gold DOES NOT burn but anything that is not gold will burn, including dross and fake/counterfeit gold. So if our faith is counterfeit and not true to the Lord or not pure, it will also burn when we are put through the refining process of affliction.

It is by faith that we are saved. So if we truly seek salvation, it is a blessing to receive these trials and afflictions which purify and refine our hearts to be more in tune with His glory, praise, and honour.

Back to Revelation 3:18, His gold is bought. How is it bought? “I thought everything was free in Christ Jesus.” Yes, it is free, for everyone who is willing to pay the price. 🙂

To those who are willing to be His disciple there is a cost. A cost of losing oneself and live only for Him. A cost of transferring credit of glory and ownership to His will and pardon. A cost of trial and affliction but in return receive gold. (Lu 14:26-28)

We all know many who have heard the costs but are unwilling to pay. Their thoughts are on now and not eternity. For if we cherish our life on earth, we will perish in the end.  So buy His gold, with your life. All else in this life fails and falls apart because moth and dust and fire eat and remove it.  (Lu 9:24,25)

Many people would not entrust huge treasure to those who are unfaithful. Our Lord is no different. He seeks faithful stewards of His riches, not those who do not value His Word.  So…. “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?” 1 Cor. 13:5