Thursday, October 19, 2017

It's a Relationship

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all 
your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 
Mark 12:30,31

When my boys were young I explained just how im-
portant it is never to allow Christianity to become
anything other than a relationship, for all our 'doing'
is to grow out of a relationship with the living Christ.

I am quite sure that if we included in a mother's job
description the shuttling of every kid on the block to
various activities, with the passing of time that mom
might become resentful. However, the same mother
thinks nothing of providing for her own children. As
she does the laundry, picks up after them, cooks, runs
them to various activities, cares for them when they
are sick, and confronts them when wrong, the thought
of motherhood's being a burden does not enter her
mind. Why? Because the mother has a relationship
with her children.

Few working fathers are vexed by the thought of work-
ing to provide for their families. In fact, a job that is dis-
liked is actually tolerable if one is providing for others.

In contrast, children can believe themselves put upon
when required to act on behalf of the family. That is,
they do not yet see the relationship the foundation of
the doing. As they mature and reach adulthood, they
who rebelled at the smallest inconvenience will begin
to take care of and provide for parents in times of need,
not from duty but as a normal outgrowth of the rela-
tionship.

We must be careful to emphasize the relationship that
we are to have with God. Within the context of this
relationship, anything asked of us is a privilege, not a
duty. We are not told to perform so that God will not
get us, but from love, or as a sign of commitment and
spirituality. Obedience is an enjoyable blessing amid
a loving relationship with our Lord.
Michael Wells, from My Weakness for His Strength

Reader, how many of us serve God because of the word,
'ought,' or 'to please' a God who demands a certain amount
of 'doing good?' It has been a huge relief, as I have aged,
to realize that I am living out my Christian life in a rela-
tionship and not out of the word, 'should.' If He is not ask-
ing me to do something for Him, I am free to take a walk,
read a book, or take a nap--without guilt! Even these
activities flow from His Life. We have a wonderful loving
Father who rejoices in us, in our uniqueness, gifts,pleasures,
desires. Oh, this fills me with such wonder!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I Was Afraid

Offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought
forth from death to life. Romans 6:13

One night I went to hear a sermon on consecration. 
Nothing special came to me from the message, but as
the preacher knelt to pray, he said, 'O Lord, You know
we can trust the Man who died for us.' That was my
message. As I rose from my knees and walked down
the street to catch the train, I deeply pondered all that
consecration would mean to my life. I was afraid as
I considered the personal cost, and suddenly above the 
noise of the street traffic, came this message: 'You can
trust the Man who died for you.' I boarded the train,
and asI traveled toward home, I thought of the chan-
ges, sacrifices, and disappointments that consecration 
might mean in my life--and I was still afraid.

Upon arriving home, I went straight to my room, fell
on my knees, and saw my life pass before my eyes. I
was a Christian, an officer in the church, and a Sunday
School superintendent, but I had never yielded my life
to God with a definite act of my will. Yet as I thought
of my own 'precious' plans that might be thwarted, my
beloved hopes to be surrendered, and my chosen pro-
session that I might have abandon--I was afraid.

I completely failed to see the better things God had 
for me, so my soul was running from Him. And then 
for the last time, with a swift force of convicting power 
to my inmost heart, came that searching message; 'My 
child, you can trust the Man who died for you. If you
cannot trust Him, then whom can you trust?' Finally
that settled it for me, for in a flash of light I realized
that the Man who loved me enough to die for me could 
be absolutely trusted with the total concerns the life 
He had saved.

Dear friend, you can trust the Man who died for you.
You can trust Him to thwart each plan that should be
stopped and to complete each one that results in His
greatest glory and your highest good. You can trust 
Him to lead you down the path that is the very best in 
the world for you.  JHM

Reader, how many of you are afraid to find out what
God's will is for you, just like this writer? It is often a
very difficult place and fear often makes it difficult to
hear Him. I pray for you today that you will be able
'to trust the Man who died for you.'




Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Stuck

With skillful hands he led them. Psalm 78:72

When you are unsure which course to take, totally sub-
mit your own judgment to that of the Spirit of God, ask-
ing Him to shut every door except the right one. But 
meanwhile keep moving ahead and consider the absence 
of a direct indication from God to be the evidence of His 
will that you are on His path. And as you continue down
the long road, you will find that He has gone before you,
locking doors you otherwise would have been inclined
to enter. You can be sure that somewhere beyond the 
locked doors is one He has left unlocked. And when you 
open it and walk through, you will find yourself face to 
face with turn in the river of opportunity--one that is 
broader and deeper than anything you ever dared to ima-
gine, even in your wildest dreams. So set sail on it, be-
cause it flows to the open sea. 

God often guides us through our circumstances. One mo-
ment, our way may seem totally blocked, but then suddenly 
some seemingly trivial incident occurs, appearing as no-
thing to others but speaking volumes to the keen eye of faith. 
And sometimes these events are repeated in various ways in 
response to our prayers. They are certainly not haphazard 
results of chance but are God opening up the way we should 
walk, by directing our circumstances. And they begin to mul-
tiply as we advance toward our goal, just as the lights of a 
city seem to increase  as we speed toward it while traveling 
at night.  FB Meyer

Reader, I have noticed that the question of 'where do I go
now?' is a huge one in the Christian's life. Over the years I
have discovered that God does not let me head in the wrong
direction for very long before He initiates a course correc-
tion. It comes when I am moving  forward according to the
light I have currently. During the years I had Lyme Disease
and was so tired of sitting in a chair and reading mystery
stories which I could not remember after finishing the book,
God closed almost every door I tried to open. It was not the
season for activity as He still had things to teach me, like the
word, 'wait.' Toward the end of that journey I decided to put
up a website and blog. That was six years ago and so far He
has not allowed me to give it up!

I have posted my story, The Crucible of Lyme Disease below.
http://hisvictoriousindwelling.com/story.php?id=8



Monday, October 16, 2017

Loneliness

It can be a wilderness, it can be a pathway to God.
Elisabeth Elliot

I am looking at loneliness today because I believe
that we are the loneliest generation due to two things:
Technology and business. I recently read a book on
loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot. I want to share it.

Elisabeth Elliot was the wife of Jim Elliot who was
murdered by the Aucca Indians in January 1956.
Elisabeth had waited five years before Jim realized
he had not been given the 'gift' of singleness! They
were only married 27 months before his death which
also left behind a 10 month old daughter.

Here are some of her pithy comments on loneliness:

'Loneliness is a kind of death. The loneliness of widow
hood was an exit from the comforts and consolations
of having a husband, and an entrance into the strange
world of having to make unilateral decisions again.'

'One of the surprises in store for most brides and 
grooms is that they are still lonely. Marriage teaches 
us that even the most intimate human companionship 
cannot satisfy the deepest places the heart. Our hearts 
are lonely till they are resting in Him who made us for 
Himself.'

'Loneliness comes over us sometimes as a sudden tide.
It is one of the terms of our humanness, and, in a sense,
therefore, incurable. Yet, I have found peace in my lone-
liest times not through acceptance of the situation, but
through making it an offering to God, who can trans-
form it into something for the good of others.'

'Loneliness is a gift that we can offer back to God.'

Reader, most of you will not remember the slaughter of
five men who desired to enter a tribe in Equador in order
to share the Gospel, but it was huge news in 1956. As
a result, many young men and women prepared to go in-
to unreached places with the Good News of Eternal Life.
Elisabeth continued to work in that area and had the
privilege of going into that tribe with her five year old
daughter. Amazing love!

I was able to purchase, Loneliness, by Elisabeth Elliot
from Amazon for under $3. She was married three times
and was widowed twice. Here is her biography.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisabeth_Elliot

I would also recommend a movie, End of the Spear, that
was made about Steve Saint who spent much time with
those who killed his dad and discovered why they were
killed. I was not able to stream it but it is available as a
dvid.

The love of Christ can conquer that which man cannot
even imagine!








Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Father's Business

Did you not know that I must be
about my Father's business?
Luke 2:49

     Think about your own circumstances.
     Are you so closely identified with the
Lord's life that you are simply a child of God,
     continually talking to Him and realizing
that everything comes from His hands? Is the
eternal child in you living in His Father's house?
Oswald Chambers

Reader, do you find yourself commenting to Him
concerning the things that give you pleasure, joy,
life?  He desires our relationship, our company.
Sometimes I go for hours without thinking about
the One who loves me most and who wants to be
involved in all areas of my life. Do you realize
that we will be face to face with Him through all
eternity?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Storehouses

Have you entered the storehouses...which I reserve for
times of trouble?  Job 38:22-23

Our trials are great opportunities, but all too often we
simply see them as large obstacles. If only we would
recognize every difficult situation as something God has 
chosen to prove His love to us, each obstacle would then
become a place of sheltering rest, and a demonstration
to others of His inexpressible power. If we would look
for the signs of His glorious handiwork, then every 
cloud would indeed become rainbow, and every difficult
mountain path would become one of ascension, transfor-
mation, and glorification. 

If we would look at our past, most of us would realize
that the times we endured the greatest stress and felt that 
every path was blocked were the very times our heavenly 
Father chose to do the kindest things for us and bestow 
His richest blessings.

God's most beautiful jewels are often delivered in rough
packages by very difficult people, but within the package
we will find the very treasures of the King's palace and 
the Bridegroom's love. A B Simpson

Reader, everything I pick up these days from those who
lived, worked, suffered long ago, have almost the same
message. We are all living in very trying times and just
going to church once a week, and saying a quick prayer,
is not cutting it...




Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Cross in Prayer

At that day you shall ask in My Name. John 16:26

We are too much given to thinking of the Cross as some-
thing we have to get through; we get through it only in
order to get into it. The Cross stands for one thing only
for us--a complete and entire and absolute identification
with the Lord Jesus Christ, and there is nothing in which
this identification is realized more than prayer. 

'Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before 
you ask Him.' Then why ask? The idea of prayer is not in 
order get answers from God; prayer is perfect and complete 
oneness with God. If we pray because we want answers, we 
will get huffed with God. The answers come every time, but 
not always in the way we expect, and spiritual huff shows a 
refusal to identify ourselves with our Lord in prayer; we are 
here to be living monuments of God's grace.

'I say not that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father 
Himself loveth you.' Have you reached such an intimacy with 
God that the Lord Jesus Christ's life of prayer is the only ex-
planation of your life of prayer? Has our Lord's vicarious life 
become your vital life? 'At that day' you will be so identified 
with Jesus that there will be no distinction.

When prayer seems to be unanswered, beware of trying to fix 
the blame on someone else. That is always a snare of Satan. 
You will find there is a reason which is a deep instruction to 
you, not to anyone else. Oswald Chambers

Reader, I am always challenged by Oswald Chambers. His
messages are from God's perspective, not mine.