Expeditions

Look up to Me when you stagger and fall – don’t look to the ground where you lie – but up to Me to catch My extended hand so that I can raise you up and encourage you along.

Meditation Thought: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6)

“The thirst has been created in you, that you might have the desire, the stamina to search for the water to quench it. And as the “Living Water” refreshes you, satisfies you, your delight will want to be expressed in helping others to recognize their thirst, and then to lead them to the place where they can quench that thirst.

Continue your expedition – in spite of all obstacles – for the goal is worth all costs. I will be your Guide, My strength will uphold you when you ask for my help – look up to Me when you stagger and fall – don’t look to the ground where you lie – but up to Me to catch My extended hand so that I can raise you up and encourage you along. The further you travel, the more you learn, and the more adept you become at traveling – I will show you the way, and I will also show the way to those companions you pick up along the highway. Come, let us satisfy your thirst.”

 

The Work of an Artist

…there is strength where there was no strength before…

Meditation Thought: “And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20)

“I – perfect love, perfect power – am with you – broken vessel – always.” What happens when a skilled artist takes a broken vessel to repair? He restores its beauty, he restores its use and so blesses those who use it, when it had been unable to be of use before.

God created the perfect vessel – which was broken by sin. But God sent his repairman-artist to mend and renew. There is strength to be used – there is strength where there was no strength before. And there will be no weakening as long as the vessel is kept safely in the care of the Artist, where He can keep it in good repair, using His strength to keep it strong and useful.

 

 

Perceive the Valley from the Mountain

Our role is to share our experiences, to share our knowledge, and to share our love which has been quickened.

Meditation Thought: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

To be baptized is an act of being set apart for special service – the observing of the commandments is the nature of the service – the presence of Jesus is the moving power of the service. The baptizing, or setting apart, is the reason that those who believe cannot behave as the crowd behaves.

It is as if Christ takes us to the top of the mountain, where we can come to new perspective and knowledge of the valley, and then we can go back to the valley to share our new knowledge and wisdom to help others, and to urge them to go for themselves to find the new view of the valley.

Living in the valley after the trip up to the mountain is not the same as before the trip – it is more intense in every way, for awareness is sharpened, and new knowledge changes perception. Some will resent the ‘differences’, others will see it as being desirable and wish to take the trip too; our role is to share our experiences, to share our knowledge, and to share our love which has been quickened. Thus we provide the opportunity for our neighbors to respond to our sharing, and through their response, Jesus moves. And so the process becomes a ‘making disciples of all nations’.

(When we look at the world with our human eyes only, it is as if we look at a map in a book. When we look at it with spiritual eyes, we see it as a globe with topographical markings added – we can perceive so much more of the true qualities when we have a more complete perspective.)

Heavenly Wisdom

We learn patience, and trust, as the heavenly wisdom does its work of oozing into the situation.

Meditation Thought: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.  And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:17-18) Also pertinent is “By his good life let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.” (James 3:13)

Qualities of heavenly wisdom:
1. Meekness
2. Pure
3. Peaceable
4. Gentle
5. Open to Reason
6. Full of Mercy
7. Full of good fruits
8. Without uncertainty
9. Without Insincerity

The wisdom that is earthly is:
– bitter jealousy
– selfish ambition
– unspiritual
– devilish
– false to the truth. (See James 3:14-15)

Look at the qualities of heavenly wisdom – they are almost all foreign to our quick reactions when we experience attack, or when we perceive what we believe is foolish – unless we have come to know and to trust God as His principles are revealed. If we walk in the flesh, we use worldly wisdom, and are confused when the results are frustrating. It is a strengthening experience to set aside our human emotions of annoyance and desire for revenge, and to act in heavenly wisdom – for the results are not immediate, at least usually.

We learn patience, and trust, as the heavenly wisdom does its work of oozing into the situation, of gradually – by a replacement process – changing the situation and the results of it into something positive, something good for all, whether or not it is perceived as good by the participants – for to those who love God and believe him and act on that belief, every situation will, by prayer, and by “heavenly wisdom” action, be changed to be good for His believers. With God there is no defeat – but His respect for free will is so great that often His wisdom is seen by us as more of the “turtle” speed than the “hare” speed; nevertheless the result is the winning of the race.

Turning From, Turning Towards

Your task is to learn of My methods, of My attitudes, of My will in general and My will in particular – and then in prayer, in yielding to the Spirit, speak and act. 

Meditation Thought: “For it is God’s will that by doing right, you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” (1 Peter 2:15)

“Take your cue from Me – I only invite, suggest, touch lightly, lovingly. The response is left to the one touched. But it is when you are behaving in imitation of My ways that the response is likely to be positive – a response which will turn one from selfishness, from foolishness, from sin – toward love, consideration, wisdom, respect, righteousness.

Your task is to learn of My methods, of My attitudes, of My will in general and My will in particular – and then in prayer, in yielding to the Spirit, speak and act.

When you are in this state, you are doing My work, and when you are doing My works, it will not be in vain.”

In Step with the Guide

In the marriage ceremony, two people become united into one. In the same manner the ‘ceremony’ of confessing Jesus as the Son of God unites the believer with God.

Meditation Thought: “ Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” 1 John 4:15

In the marriage ceremony, two people become united into one. In the same manner the ‘ceremony’ of confessing Jesus as the Son of God unites the believer with God. The life – perhaps lives could be used – are changed; for the inter-relationship changes the life of the believer, but God is also doing differently than if that person had not confessed Christ as Savior. Once we accept Christ as Savior, and act as if we have a new relationship, we behave differently. Only people who have a similar relationship can truly understand! That is why believers often act incomprehensibly to non-believers, for they are ‘marching to a different drummer’.

But once we know God and recognize Him as Guide of our lives, we must obey Him, and not the usual order of society. We are out of step with the world, but more importantly, we are in step with God.

Refuge in Battle

…therefore we can live in hope and not in fear. 

Meditation Thought: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” (Nahum 1:7)

Just knowing that we have a stronghold (a refuge; a place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack) to turn to gives us courage – so that we have more power as a result of knowing of our stronghold; we do not have to bear the burden of the battle without help.

However, we need to know where our stronghold is in order to use it, and to use it if it is to be of any value to us. We can learn to use our stronghold effectively if we search for it, become familiar with it, and practice using it. No matter what happens in our lives, we know we have that stronghold to protect us; therefore we can live in hope and not in fear.

Jeweled Crown

And so what appears to be death of self is actually the resurrection of self in new glory

Meditation Thought: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

When we place our delight in the Lord, we will have constant delight – for the Lord is always loving, caring, helpful, dependable, powerful – and willing to fulfill the desires of our heart. When we learn to be adept at taking our delight in the Lord, we will rejoice in the fulfillment of our desires as a natural consequence.

The ability to become adept at taking our delight in the Lord, however, is one which must be rigorously developed and practiced. There must be time to learn His Word, to listen to His Counsel. There must be courage to act upon His instructions – and His instructions may well bring the ridicule of the world, and most devastatingly, even our loved ones. We must learn to seek truth and not accept face values, we must “fight city hall”, we must be active and not passive, we must put duty above pleasure, we must sacrifice ego to become God’s weak vessel into which He pours His strength.

When we are able to submerge ourselves into what we thought was a swallowing up of our identity into God’s will, we learn that miraculously the very burying of ourself in Him crystallized us into all we were meant to be: we are fulfilled in an unsuspected joy as we emerge more totally individual than ever before – a new creature in Christ, a jewel set off more brilliantly because of our placement in His crown. And so what appears to be death of self is actually the resurrection of self in new glory, the clay reworked by God into a new and beautiful vessel to be used by Him, to be delighted in by Him, a completion of His creative process.

 

Rays of Hope

Who is with us every second of our lives; who is constantly concerned for us; who seeks to help us? Our dear Lord –

Meditation Thought: “Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4

Who is with us every second of our lives; who is constantly concerned for us; who seeks to help us? Our dear Lord – when we rejoice in Him, He is always there – no disappointment that the one we wish to rejoice with and in has disappeared.

The Lord is our source of rejoicing – pouring out “rays” of love, peace, help, guidance; rescuing us in times of trouble with His energy and wisdom. But unlike the sun, which sends out heat and light, but receives nothing in return; we send our “rays” back to the Lord – rays of hope, of trust, of love, of obedience. There is constant exciting movement from one to the other; an inter-changing of rays to make the other glow with love and gratitude, and a sense of fulfillment. All of the rays are needed to make the relationship whole, to make both God and His creation whole, totally as we were intended to be when He created us to complete the outpouring of the love which He needed to express.

 

Blessed, Beloved, Pampered

So, too, we enjoy our early party here on earth, as our Father lavishes His care and gifts upon us, but it is only later that we will come to know what a truly great celebration He has for us with Him.

Meditation Thought: “Beloved, we are God’s children now, it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears, we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2

We are God’s children now. This moment. I am His blessed, beloved, pampered daughter. And yet what He does for me now is only a preparation for even greater joys later.

I’m thinking of the excitement of a child’s birthday. The child is so excited and happy at breakfast when the family gives him special attention and also gifts. He knows there will be a party later, and he anticipates it eagerly, but it is only during the party, that he truly realizes the difference in the quiet celebration in the morning, and the more intense one in the later hour.

So, too, we enjoy our early party here on earth, as our Father lavishes His care and gifts upon us, but it is only later that we will come to know what a truly great celebration He has for us with Him. We are forming, growing, while we are here – but when we join Him we will be His matured believer, having changed from sinners to forgiven sinners to His own beloved children formed new in His image, grown to be like Him.