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.

 

 

The Whole or the Part

Would I have created you if I did not intend to enjoy you?

Meditation Thought: “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. (1 Peter 2:16)

Prayer: Lord, I want to live as Your servant – a happy, contented, competent servant. I feel so downhearted… guide me!

Perceived Answer: “‘I AM’ with you. Trust this statement despite your downhearted mood this morning. Remember the times I have worked good for you out of your miseries. Many times you were annoyed with what took place in your life only to realize later that that which you perceived was bad was actually the situation from which I worked good for you. 

I see the whole; you see the part. You must trust Me as one who loves you – would I have created you if I did not intend to enjoy you?”

Alive and Thriving

the way to have more riches of the kind that will bring peace and joy is to recognize that there are spiritual laws in operation also.

Meditation Thoughts: “ I am the vine; you are the branches.” (John 15:5) “ It is possible to give away and become richer.” (Proverbs 11:24)

It is possible to give away and become richer because of the interconnection of vine and branches – nourishment taken from one flows into the other – so that, although the nourishment of one kind flows out, it is replaced by nourishment of another kind flowing in. The beauty of the flowing, rather than each being self-contained, is that what flows out is an enrichment by the entity of what flowed in, and then if flows out as an enrichment to the receiver. In the meantime, the “outflow” is constantly being replenished by an “inflow” from the connecting part.

As long as there is an interchange, each is nourished and thrives. But when one part starts to receive only, and stops the outflow, the other part dies – and when it dies, its outflow stops, and this kills the part that originally stopped the outflow. One cannot live without the other. We need to have that inter-dependency to keep the vine and branches alive and thriving. We cannot just take and not give; God’s creation was not structured in that manner. The more we understand that as we give, what we give is transformed into something even richer, and then as another gives, we receive the enriched gift back in the form which we need at that time, the more in harmony with our intended nature we will become.

We send out the gift of our raw material, and it is just what someone else, who is serving as a manufacturer at the moment, needs – he produces a finished product, which he then returns to us. Sometimes – maybe most times – there is a complicated exchange of raw materials and manufactured products – but the principle remains the same. Only by being willing to give away our raw material can it be changed, and added to by others, to be returned to us as a more desired form than when we let it go. The more we are willing to let go of our “better” raw materials, the more we will receive “better” finished products.

All through the Bible it is made clear that hoarding is a short-sighted self-defeating attribute. Though it might appear by physical laws that to hoard is the way to have riches, and this is true as far as it goes – the way to have more riches of the kind that will bring peace and joy is to recognize that there are spiritual laws in operation also. As these are perceived and acted upon, the riches that satisfy will then start to be piled up in the storehouse. There is no fear that they will be stolen, as there is with hoarded riches, for the riches flowing in from the observance of the spiritual laws cannot be stolen. Would-be thieves are not even aware that some of these riches exist, and even when they know of their existence, they find that if they try to steal them they disintegrate – for they cannot handle them properly, being unaware of the spiritual laws which are needed to handle these riches. As they try to grasp them with the crushing grasp of greed, the riches crumble.

A Father’s Love and Motives

…apparent defeat is changed into victory…

Meditation Thought: “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.” (Psalm 103:13)

“I am your Father – fathers do not harm their children. If they allow the children to face stressful situations, it is only to strengthen and teach them. But always the father is there to help, to console, when the situation is difficult and the child fails. The father does not send the child to do his assigned task and then forget him. He is interested in it going well for the child – he helps prepare the child for the task before he sends him to accomplish it.

I have created families so that you can know something of a Father’s love and motives – so that you can have some hint of what I am like -what unselfish love can be, what a close relationship can be. Trust me, I created you to love, not to abuse. Relax in my arms, feel my love, then go to your task reassured that the loving arms are always there to return to, for rejoicing together in victory, for consolation in defeat – and apparent defeat is changed into victory as you learn how to understand and obey My instructions more maturely, more completely.”

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.

 

Burden Transformed

Our energies can be concentrated on the present not the past, on God’s will for us, and not our will for another, and upon the full, true significance of life, not a superficial misconception.

Meditation Thought: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

This does not refer to physical labor so much as the labor we force upon ourselves due to our misunderstanding of what the Father desires from us. We “load ourselves down” with guilt – Jesus will remove the burden, if we believe He came to do so.

We fret under doubt about our decisions and worthiness. Jesus lifts these from us as we perceive ourselves as He perceives us – as children of a loving Father.

God has provided a world of beauty, of order – yet of unfolding mystery – for us to discover and enjoy.

Through Christ we learn to appreciate all that is good, to forgive what is bad, when forgiveness is sought, and thus relieve much of the strain of living. Our energies can be concentrated on the present not the past, on God’s will for us, and not our will for another, and upon the full, true significance of life, not a superficial misconception.