Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Friday, January 27, 2012

Disqualified from the Fading World

Theme Song: Overcome in honor of Mark Porter

10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of Light. 13 For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Col 1

Dear Father,
        Thank You for allowing us to be disqualified from the world and for qualifying us to live with You in Your Kingdom. Please help me to remember all of what Your Spirit has revealed concerning the End which is in our sight as we put our hope in You.
In Jesus Christ's Name,

     God is exhorting and commanding us to number our days so that we may gain hearts of wisdom. He is turning our hearts towards His second coming. He is calling us to readiness, faithfulness, and perseverance. He is calling us to make forceful advances and to zealously labor. Of utmost importance, He is stirring within us intense love and world-shattering faith. In the process of working this mindset into our hearts and minds, He must cut off our earthly attachments. HIS REFINING WORK IS DISQUALIFYING US FROM THE WORLD. But oh, to be found in Him with Christ's righteousness covering us!

Hang-ups: Perspectives that Deserve to be Crucified

     There are certain "hang-ups" that we all have. Most of them qualify us for living in this world under the dominion of darkness. Most of them have an [often indirect] root cause involving the love of money. These hang-ups result in a hardening of our hearts in many areas. They inhibit our love for one another. They inhibit the outpouring of our time and strength. They inhibit our boldness for His Kingdom. There are many lies that we have believed and continue to believe involving the security of our lives and the lives of those dear to us.

     The evil forces take these hang-ups and amplify them before our eyes and command us to worship them with our lifestyles and the attitudes of our heart. The devil screams out day and night "worship the idol of gold and precious stones, of power and comfort, of earthly glory and security, of the traditions of your forefathers and culture...there is no other way for you to survive. You must worship the idol". But we know that we belong to the King of eternal riches and glory.

      Indeed the antichrists that are already in the world would have deceived the elect if it were possible. If they refused to fix their eyes on their King, they would have stumbled beyond recovery. But He will remove these hang-ups. Yes, it will involve fierce refinement.

     No, He does not command us to immediately lose all material things, but He asks us "Do you love me more than these?" He calls for us to have complete faith in Him. He knows that our faith is weak and small...very much so. He is working on our behalf to increase our faith that we may trust in His provision and His Fatherhood over our lives.

Our Deep-Rooted Strongholds

       Our deep-rooted strongholds are not deep-rooted because the devil's head has been crushed under our Savior's Heel. They are quickly removed from us as we turn towards the living God. We are tempted to believe that the removal of our worldliness will involve long battles and horror-filled anguish. But there is a sight of Him that is able to quickly draw us to Him. We would drop our idols in an instant. Oh, seek Him dear saint! Press on in the secret prayer which is known to only you and the Father. You will find Him there. "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see My glory".

He is pouring out His Spirit to all those whom He has chosen and called!

The Double-edged Sword

    We must be pierced by His Word that our hearts may be circumcised. There is a great need to come to His Word with great faith and great fear of the Author. The study of the Word of God without the power and conviction of the Spirit is idolatry. We must read His Words with a zeal to know Him and to see Him.

     Why do we struggle with apathy and boredom, joylessness and sinful addiction? It is because we have not seen Him. We have not looked for Him with all of our heart. He longs for our zealous longing for Him. He cannot tolerate our lack of emotion. He will surely cut off all those who have not been wholeheartedly committed to Him.

The Seed Sown Among the Rocks and Weeds

     Jesus warns us by giving us the examples of the seed that fell on the rocks and weeds. In both places, the seed, the Word of God, brought forth life. But ultimately the pleasures or persecutions of the world brought destruction. I ask God:

 "I have never seen someone receive Your Word with joy and fall away. If there were someone who actually received Your Word with joy, I would feel very optimistic and believe wholeheartedly that they were Your own. If they fell away, I would believe that You are faithful to complete the work that You had started in them. But when I read this parable, it sounds like people can turn away. It appears that You may allow some people who at some point received you to eternally fall away. But who is there to remove the rocks and weeds but You, my Father, the powerful Gardener and Harvester? I know that I have rocks and weeds all around my own root, Father. And then I read in Romans 1 and elsewhere that You are able to give men over to the evil desires of their hearts. You give men over to powerful delusions. You harden the heart of men. If we refuse to repent of those hard parts within our being, You are able to harden our hearts eternally. And yet You Yourself hold me for the Day of Redemption. That has been my only only way for escape. My Father, how can it be that You, the Sovereign One, would let some fall away eternally?"

11 Here is a trustworthy saying:
   If we died with Him,
   we will also live with Him;
12 if we endure,
   we will also reign with Him.
If we disown Him,
   He will also disown us;
13 if we are faithless,
   He will remain faithful,
   for He cannot disown Himself. 2 Tim 2

His own cannot disown Him nor will He disown us for He has treated us as His own Self. Their source of life is in Him. He is their wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and eternal redemption.

What Does this Food Do?

     He has given us His precious promises in His Word and His unfailing love. He tells us to put His Word and our lives on display since men ought to regard us as servants of God on behalf of His Gospel.

     Our fear has prevented us from sharing His Word, though the harvest has been ripe and ready for harvest. We thought that our lives were not fit for display, not realizing that indeed His righteousness would shine to cover our mared and shameful lives.

     As we deliver His Words to the lost in the world and as we live among them, we will discover the life-changing, world-shattering, glory-revealing nature of His Food which we have been keeping to ourselves. We will not know what His Food does until we give it to His sheep (many of whom have yet to join our fold) and watch His transformation in all of our lives. The sower and reaper are glad together.

Families for the Kingdom

Rather than using His training to perfect our families, His intention is to use our families to build His Kingdom.

26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are. 27 Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
 29 What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away. 1 Cor 7

     He is building His true Kingdom and our families exist for that end. The true fathers who follow Christ will realize this and put the Kingdom of God above the earthly comfort and security of their families. With regard to the recommendation to virgins, I have prayed something like "Father, please let me get married. We will not get distracted from Your Kingdom, but we will serve You together as a son and daughter of Your Kingdom. As it is Your revelation of the souls of many men has made me feel disqualified from the "game" of romance and marriage..." His Sovereign will for all His children is good. God does not exist to perfect our families and marriages. Our families and marriages exist only for His glory. Here are two noteworthy examples:

1. The husband may try to please his wife so that she will be happy. He gives in to her worldliness and desires for earthly entertainment. He is afraid to rebuke her in love for her ungodly temperaments because she will refuse to show him love for a week...judge for yourselves whose Kingdom you are on to refrain from seeking for the Father's daughter's eternal righteousness though it may be temporarily painful for both of you.

2. The wife submits to her husband in everything without clear insight into his soul nor unconditional AGAPE for him. She herself has deceived herself into self-righteousness in her submission and refuses to pursue true righteousness in and the sanctification of her husband. Surely the women of God have learned by now that they are able to lead their husbands by following them and bringing to the forefront those very Spirit-led acts and inclinations from the husband's life. But in the name of submission many women have refused to work zealously on behalf of her husbands soul and against the lingering evil and strongholds! There are two evils: one) a lack of submission and/or respect, two) a lack of insight into the Word of God and her husbands soul in the Light of His Word. Both are signs of lovelessness and disrespect in the wife. A woman of God will wisely assess her husband's soul and gently and quietly draw Him to the right path. An apathetic ignorant submissive wife digs her husband's spiritual grave. She needs her heavenly Father's wisdom and direction to do this. She must see His glory herself first. She must know His Words and hold them so very dear.

Intense Love

     As we sense the Day of Redemption drawing near, God unifies the hearts of His people. They will have nothing else to hope for or long for in this world. All of the distractions are the world are falling away from them and the purpose of the heavenly Kingdom increases in each of their hearts. Their love for their Lover increases within each of them. All earthly inhibitions and social classifications are cast away as the tents that we dwell in are sealed for destruction and disqualified from immortality.

Steps of Faith Which Have no Return

     The elect are learning that every step not walked in faith, with eyes on the heavenly Master and complete dependence on Him, are worthy of condemnation. Their steps, big and small, will be characterized by faith. Their strides cannot be back-walked. These steps have no return because the saints have overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of their Testimony.

Mark Porter has Seen the Glory of God!

     Mr. Porter, the superintendant of school district 833, has seen glimpses of the glory of God. God has allowed him to go through the trial of having his contract renewal unjustly voted against by the school board. I knew Mr. Porter personally from BSF. I used to go to BSF in my first 2 years at the UMN (I could still go to the High School group with my dad). Most of the other highschoolers' dads would walk with them to their classes, but dad was a leader so he had a leader's meeting before our class. Mr. Porter used to stand at the door and greet all the men who came. He would walk with me to my classroom almost every week since dad could not and was very kind to me. He serves as the Teaching Leader for the BSF men's group.

     Dad told us about his trial with the school board last month and I have been praying for him. God confirmed that He has revealing Himself greatly to Mr. Porter and strengthening his soul enormously. What dad has told me confirms this. May God vigorously defend the cause of His righteous saint! May God bring him into the Light that his enemies may be put to shame, but that the Name of the Lord will be praised and kept in high honor. Mr. Porter is achieving glory, honor, and immortality as His Father raises him up in Christ. There is only righteousness, worthiness, honor, and love that awaits him. The "Mark" of the King is certainly on him forever.


Monday, January 9, 2012

When Disaster Comes

Dear Father,
     Thank You that "when disaster comes to a city" it is You who has caused it (Amos 3:6). I have heard of Your deeds. Please renew them in our time and in Your wrath remember mercy. Will I repeat here what You have already had me write before? Help me to do Your will and please show Your glory to Your people!
In Jesus Christ's Name,

Theme Song: You are our Hope

15 He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. Deut 8

       Dear family, we are in the midst of a vast and dreadful desert. 

     This desert is vast due to the many kinds of evil and darkness around us. The desert is vast due to the legions of evil spirits that plague the hearts and minds of those around us. Without Spiritual sight given to us from above, this vastness appears to be endless in every direction. 

18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.Eph 4

     This desert is dreadful because the Lord of hosts has pronounced His judgment upon our land. No, not only the land of America, but He has pronouned judgment on the inhabitants of this entire world. 

 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: The Sovereign LORD was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land.Amos 7:4

This land is thirsty and waterless because the inhabitants have done two things:

13 “My people have committed two sins: 
They have forsaken Me, 
   the Spring of living water, 
and have dug their own cisterns, 
   broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jer 2

This land is thirsty and waterless because the inhabitants are under a famine of the Word of God.

11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, 
   “when I will send a famine through the land— 
not a famine of food or a thirst for water, 
   but a famine of hearing the Words of the LORD. 
12 Men will stagger from sea to sea 
   and wander from north to east, 
searching for the Word of the LORD, 
   but they will not find It. Amos 8

The snakes and scorpions are the principalities, evil forces, demons, false doctrines, and the spirits who "masquerade as angels of light". We know that those who are in Christ are not harmed by these.

Have we not felt it? Have we not known the endless cruelty of the waning rule of the evil one who sets himself up against our glorious God? Are you not undergoing certain events in your life which are as to you: a dark valley and an endless desert? 

His message to us is that He Himself is causing these disasters in our lives. He knows the disasters in your life and He Himself has surely caused them. 

7 Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says:
   “See, I will refine and test them,
   for what else can I do 
   because of the sin of My people? Jer 9

     He has caused them because it is only when we are in this desert that we receive His Living Water from the Rock and His Manna from Heaven. We have never known this Food and Drink. We have never tasted them. But He has brought us here that we may be humbled and that we may taste Him. His heart's desire and plan, which will certainly come to pass, is that it may go well with us in the end. 

His message to us is to wait and to watch for His movement on our behalf. Every disaster that comes your way is a blessing and a chance TO TASTE HIM.

22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
   therefore I will wait for Him.”
 25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him,
   to the one who seeks Him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
   for the salvation of the LORD. Lam 3

     He is going to cause us to experience many disasters, and He is going to show us His glory through giving us Living Water and Manna that we have never tasted before. Through the Spirit you have put your faith in this Food and Drink, yet we know that we have tasted so little of them to this day. Expect calamity and yet eagerly await what comes from His Hand. 

 14 “Therefore I am now going to allure her; 
   I will lead her into the desert 

   and speak tenderly to her. Hos 2

     For what comes from His Hand will reveal His glory to us. We will then know that there is nothing else that satisfies and we will worship Him with all of our heart and soul. 

     Do we see how good it is for us to see the glory of God? Visions of the glory of God are so essential, so necessary for us to love and obey Him. His inspiration of our hearts is so vital for the prevention of our backsliding. If we cannot see His glory, we can never understand this path that we travel or the One whom we so eagerly seek. When will He reveal His glory? Surely the Father will willingly pour out the Spirit on those who have faith. He commands us to seek Him and press on to acknowledge Him. He reveals Himself to the one who seeks Him with all his heart.

1 “Come, let us return to the LORD.
He has torn us to pieces
   but He will heal us;
He has injured us
   but He will bind up our wounds.
2 After two days He will revive us;
   on the third day He will restore us,
   that we may live in His presence.
3 Let us acknowledge the LORD;
   let us press on to acknowledge Him.
As surely as the sun rises,
   He will appear;
He will come to us like the winter rains,
   like the spring rains that water the earth.”Hos 6

     He will truly reveal Himself. What else do you desire? The smallest revelation of His glory will change us entirely. And apart from the revelation of His glory, we could never know Him or desire Him. Do we not cling to Him because something of His Words of Life or His comfort and fellowship had captured some part of us that could never let go of Him? We need to be absolutely still.There are some who have found Him and they could sing praises and hymns to Him as they were tortured, beaten, and led to the gallows. They rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer for the Lamb. How can we know His great worth if we cannot see our great need in the face of our great worthlessness? We have to see our great need! We must see it clearly, however gruesome and horrifying it will seem to us. He will do whatever it takes to reveal His life-changing and Life-bringing glory to us.

16 I heard and my heart pounded,
   my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
   and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
   to come on the nation invading us.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
   and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
   and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
   and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
   I will be joyful in God my Savior.

 19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
   He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
   He enables me to go on the heights. Hab 3

Outcomes of Seeing His Glory: from my perspective

I have seen a few glimpses of the glory of God in the recent weeks. They did not come after I spent hours praying or after spending all day in the Word. They did not come after a prolonged period of purity in my heart (As though my own righteousness paved the way for Him). They did not come when I expected them. Here were the characteristics that I remember from these instances:

1. I was silenced and awed. Normally my mind and heart are very active (though I am known by family and friends as peacefully gloomy and quiet in the recent month), and I am weighing the souls of others and myself. But when I saw His glory, my mind was stopped and yet at the same time confusion was washed away. It was as though the glimpse of complete understanding of Him removed my need to think or ponder or even feel.

2. Nothing was even remotely offensive or irritating to me. It was as though I was set free from the feeling of irritation in the flesh that is caused by various nuisances or words by others around me. It was as though my mind and body were elsewhere and I could no longer succumb to the thoughts of the futile mind.

3. Everything brought tears to my eyes. Every image of another person whom I love, every story someone shared with me, every email I read, every thought I had, reminded me of God's goodness and God's ultimate plan. 

4. I had love for people that I could never contrive. I have tried so hard on my own to AGAPE my family and people around me, but I usually feel like I can never do it. I always end up losing physical strength or needing to be alone very quickly. But after these instances, God gave a love for His people that was so closely tied to His concurrent revelation of the souls of others. I cannot read minds and hearts of people, but when I had recently seen His glory, the souls of men and women are laid bare before my eyes. When He reveals a soul, He never fails to give Agape to the one whom He reveals it to. A single sight of a redeemed soul changes the perspective completely.

5. God's Word comes alive. Reading His Word is enlightened with images of His love and splendor. Every Word and phrase fits in to the granted better understanding of His will and ultimate plan.

6. I no longer sought the love of man (which is perhaps my only human desire remaining in addition to physical comfort). I understood that everything apart from Him was corrupt and I no longer sought this as something to marvel at. I was ravished by His Great Gospel and knew I had to give what He gave me to others.

7. I understood His Gospel more clearly and His Words of Life came freely to me to deliver to others. Understanding of the Life given to us in Christ filled me with a hope and longing for heaven that I sadly do not consistently have.

8. I wanted more. I knew that I needed to see Him again and again in order to survive. I wondered how I could live most of my life without seeing Him in this way. My longing for Him increased.

Dear family, this knowledge of His glory seems like some kind of positive feedback mechanism. The more we see, the more we long for and desire Him. The more we lose sight of Him and fail to seek Him and His Word, the less we long for and desire Him.

Closing Song: Take Heart

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