Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Being taught is one thing but unlearning is another ..

Oswald Chamber's today

July 29th.

"Behold, He cometh with clouds." Revelation 1:7

In the Bible clouds are always connected with God. Clouds are those sorrows or sufferings or providences, within or without our personal lives, which seem to dispute the rule of God. It is by those very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were no clouds, we should have no faith. "The clouds are but the dust of our Father's feet." The clouds are a sign that He is there. What a revelation it is to know that sorrow and bereavement and suffering are the clouds that come along with God! God cannot come near without clouds, He does not come in clear shining.  ( how would we come to know how great His comfort is if we had not a need for comfort; how would we come to know peace if we had not trials and confusions and chaos at times..  God is truly our greatest need and through these direct revelations of His love, compassion, peace, etc, we come to realize that our hope and joy is not dependant upon life's ups and downs but on the unchanging everlasting character and grace of God )

It is not true to say that God wants to teach us something in our trials: through every cloud He brings, He wants us to unlearn something. His purpose in the cloud is to simplify our belief until our relationship to Him is exactly that of a child - God and my own soul, other people are shadows. Until other people become shadows, clouds and darkness will be mine every now and again. Is the relationship between myself and God getting simpler than ever it has been? (this to me is important because its one thing to be taught but it's quite another to unlearn.  Unlearning brings purity into our hearts - unlearning the misconceptions and mistaken identity if you will that we have attached to God.  He uses much in our lives as we open up our hearts to Him continually, to unlearn (not teach) the erroneous mindset religious minded belief and perceptions of who He is and His character to gently direct us into the  love of God .  He wants us to comprehend who He truly is and how wonderful, loving and gracious He is.  We only get there by unlearning our religious mindset ingrained in us all)

There is a connection between the strange providences of God and what we know of Him, and we have to learn to interpret the mysteries of life in the light of our knowledge of God.  (everything that comes our way either gets misinterpreted through our false perception of who God is or else we see things IN LIGHT of His true character and we are therefore living in a realm spiritually that is one of tremendous peace, love, hope, etc  )  Unless we can look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging God's character, we do not yet know Him.

"They feared as they entered the cloud . . ." - Is there anyone "save Jesus only" in your cloud? If so, it will get darker; you must get to the place where there is "no one any more save Jesus only."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Conveying His Love

How do we ? Can we?

Just having to think about how we should (convey His love ) to one another seems to be more revealing than anything, doesn't it ?

Is it something we can figure out finally and just go and do for the rest of the day? Yes, we all want to grow in His love, genuinely and deeply, and understand what scripture teaches us about God's love.

Yes, there should be love evident constantly in us.

Because He is love and clearly when we receive Him, we are receiving love.

Only His love first in us can produce the kind of love that is worth conveying.

I have a friend who use to say that much of our failures towards others is what he terms a love failure. I have been trying to get him to coblog on here with me and if he ever accepts my invitation, he would have much to share on this ...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How to Continue (I still need to be free to pursue this)

What does it mean to truly live like Jesus ?  If we want to live like Jesus, (a very common statement in the religious world btw) it has to be noted that we can do all the right things but the question will remain = did we pass the test?  The real test I think in that regard will always be ... do we see and care for the unloveable?  Are we willing to do so quietly and unnoticed?

Many would readily say that they know this, but I think it's worth repeating, ... 'cuz we can do all the right things you see but still not truly care for those around us, that are in need and have lost hope.  We need a vision check.  Do we even see the needs around us ?  Which is more important?  We  can get buried in religious church life, cliques, ... it might be a well regarded religious standard, (to be like Jesus) but is it real, TRULY REAL, or is it meaningless ?  We should think carefully about these things.  

Who really cares you know, about how much we know,  how much faith or revelations  we have - who really cares - if, when no one is watching, we still don't get iT -  that true faith (the kingdom that is within) is about being moved at usually considerable cost  to ourselves, yet despite this, moved towards others with deep compassion and love.  This attitude is not very glorious and doesn't get praised or look to be monumental perhaps, but oh well!  Regardless, inwardly, is our heart moved towards this kind of love, love that is reaching out, perhaps in a  quiet manner, silently or even openly.   Spiritually to prosper means that our inward man is being renewed in this direction.

We can be doing all the things that look Christian, (fellowship together all the time, go to services, go to church, speak the language, etccc) but STILL the test is not over and never will we pass it if we measure this by  how many times you do certain things, or even how well you do them, how well it appears, but do you lay down your lives for others?  That is the key.  Are you willing and am I willing?

I feel like this might be the answer key  to unlock the door so to speak .. and to free entirely from religious compulsions.  Compulsions do not bring the transformation that Christ's life is about.  Compulsions  only have a promise of life, but they fail to deliver.  The lock us in a place where we end us over and over trying to gain that promise of  life, but the longer we stay in them the less we are willing to acknowledge of unfulfilling they are.   Certainly less than the freedom Christ died to give us.  They will keep us locked away yet still thirsting for real life that is fleeting at best.  I want to be free , to be real and to pursue the life that can come from within.  His life and  power  awaits us !   

Monday, July 21, 2008

What True Desire for Spiritual Life might just look like...

Been thinking about the blind man in Luke 18, who sat by the wayside, "begging" . I just imagine that the pharisees and those following Jesus on the way to Jericho were probably very disgusted by the beggar as he sat begging along the road side. It appears they just assumed that Jesus did not have time or any real concern for him. After all, they had to get to Jericho,didn't they?

How little they knew, they didn't really know Jesus, did they. Yes they were following Him, yes they were following Him for some time perhaps. Yet it appears that they were the ones who seemed to fail the vision test. They ignored the blind man and in fact, they rebuked the poor beggar for his cries and commanded that he stop crying out to Jesus to have mercy on him.

Perhaps they thought there was far more important business at hand. Maybe they were in fact concerned with themselves, with their own needs, with what they needed to be doing, in their following of Jesus, you know, to get it right. Of course, we know Jesus is not like that and of course He had tremendous compassion on the man by restoring his sight so that he could see. Gloriously see! Perhaps in the end the blind beggar even saw far better than the multitude following Jesus, for it says "And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it gave praise unto God."

Now onto spiritual vision. That is what I am referring to. We are blind. We are blind spiritually and this blindness comes in various forms. Nevertheless, it is still blindness. There is an endless flood of voices out there that will share with you their particular methods of attaining spiritual life and restoring our vision from blindness . It all seems to say similar things when you look at it. But is it ? What method did this poor blind man use? Was it a method? I mean, he didn't even have a method, did he? Did he adhere to a theology, did he adhere to a doctrinal statement? I think not. All he knew is that he was desperate to "see" and that he truly was without 'sight' and unless Jesus helped him he would remain blind.

On the one hand, the one road (the road travelled by the multitude) appeared to lead to spiritual life, didn't it. After all, they were the "ONES" who were following Jesus. The other road - the one the beggar sat on - is for all who realize the failure of methods and practises and seminars , on and on, of attaining spiritual life. This becomes all too wearying and such a burden that finally, exhausted, we too lay down at the side of the road, and cry out to the Father to restore us, (completely) to grant us spiritual vision in the fullness and to the degree that only He can impart. We acknowledge to Him that we no longer want to be a part of the multitude striving, demanding, performing for spiritual life (the well travelled road) .

The other accounts of the story of the blind beggar talk of him throwing off his cloak. This to me shows how desperate this blind man was. how desperate we too can become if we travel the more travelled road of trying to attain to spiritual life. He was willing to forsake the comfort of his cloak (comfort of our perceived religions) which would be very precious to him. Make no mistake, religion is very precious to many people and the last thing they would 'throw off' if you will, would be their cloak of religion. But for those of us who have been willing to do so, we have been brave in doing so, for we are misunderstood completely, BUT most importantly, we too see what we could never have seen, if we had not come to that point in our life of realizing the futility of it all and the desperate need to cast aside our religious performance based behaviours and simply trust God to restore our spiritual vision and life.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Similar Thoughts

I was just talking with some people these past few days about church and it's really really interesting to me (and frustrating also) of how we can think we know everything there is to know about Church, about Christ, about scripture, the list goes on and on, but after so long over being a 'mature Christian' get it wrong. I mean all wrong. What this means is ... I don't think I want to mature. Maybe gracefully :) No - kidding - but I feel a bit frustrated because when talking to IC's, even people who are not IC these days, it's not working for me. I wonder what's wrong. I am more at ease talking to someone who is down to earth, real, inviting, warm, challenging to me. (It's like a warm breeze that snuggles in around my heart or something.) But if they are trying to validate their version of Christianity, Churchianity, Scripture, well then it's like , ok, this is about them. I would rather ... stick a needle in me or something : )

It leaves me wondering if it is possible to bridge the chasm here, have I missed something? I seem to be able to value others deeply, in terms of being genuine and caring. I just want to love as He loves and follow Him. It doesn't seem complicated to me but then .. is it? I have thought that I could bridge this chasm that is there in many ways. But I am not sure now, it just seems very hard for God's Holy Spirit to penetrate the rigid religious mindset . It seems to take so many different shapes, forms, .. There is so much value and effort (enormous) placed and embraced on things such as how we do church, when do we go to church, who get's to do what, when will we gather, what shall be the order of service, who is eligible to do communion lol. I have no interest at all in that : ) It's just far removed from what I think of when I love Jesus and simply want that same expression in my life. But then people say, "well we all believe in Jesus and that is what is important". Is it ? It seems to me now that I keep hearing this that is also just a sort of religious statement repeated that bothers me. It's one thing to say we all believe in Jesus, (but do we ?..) because what we truly value and truly embrace, the place we reap life from, often can reflect and be something totally different, even without realizing it. That is for us all. WE can say all we need is Jesus but then we often encamp with only those who are like=minded and/or of the same denominational persuasion, believe the way we do, and all of that.

I want to click you over to Jeff's post today because it helped me and encouraged me ..
thanks Jeff!


Monday, July 14, 2008

The one thing I know and can grow & count on, His love; Knowledge fades away but love, His love, abides forever

I am not really into blogging these days (summer I guess or probably I don't have anything to say) I was up to Whitney for a few days and I am just getting used to being home - I would rather be there all summer. LOL.

But what a pure joy it is to know Him and love Him and be loved by Him. Summer, winter, fall, spring. That is something we can always say, and shout and always count on, and tell the whole world!

On that note, I have been thinking the last few days along the lines of how there is one thing we know - one thing we can count on - His love. Knowledge will fade away, but love, His love, will abide forever.

I was thinking that we should always be careful in our quest for knowledge and how easy it can be to fall into such a trap as seeking knowledge rather than love. I have people who send me emails with all sorts of doctrines, concordance references, detailed meanings.. you get the point, or rather, it's they that are trying to make a point. But is it a point for Jesus on how lovely He is and how much he loves, how much he embraces and cherishes and oversees His lovely people ? and this long before we arrive on the scene? I don't think so. The Holy Spirit wants to live and have His way in all things in all of us. Why is it hard to really grasp that, why is it that we all want to do His job for Him. He is ever more devoted to you, I, and His people than we could ever hope to be - and as much as I think I can do so much and should do His job for Him, He is much better at it.

Again it's worth repeating if not for anyone's sake but my own, we simply do not know what we think we know, have known, might know, and as such, we certainly do not know the degree of love and abiding care the Lord has over all His children, ie how the Lord has worked & spoken into a person's life and heart, year by year, even such as our own. He is just so lovely.

I want to learn this and it's my hope that the longer I walk with Jesus, that I will find this gaining a sincere place in my own heart. That I will come to realize that I know far less that I thought I knew, here's hoping that would be true, and because of that, the focus is not what I know or do not know. He is the focus.

Perhaps the more you and I could travel and go along in this direction of sincerity reigning in our own hearts, the more we might discover of how lovely He truly is , ,, simply put, that is why love, His love, is so wonderful. That is one thing I know that we can grow in and count on.

Knowledge fades away but love abides forever. I want to go this way and I realize that ultimately, it is a place of weakness to actually let the Spirit do always what He wants and the way He wants . Meanwhile, that we wouldlet ourselves be quietly and patiently consumed in Him. He is all in all. It's never about being right, it's about being like Him. I know that you want this as I do.