Searching for a new direction

We are not changed by stating confined in the same old place, thinking the same old thoughts, and doing the same old things. We are changed when we meet the challenge of moving on: of seeking new revelations, of desiring new experiences, and of finding new places.

Meditation Thought: “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God,  and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.'” (Mark 1:14-15)

Jesus “preached the gospel”: in other words, Jesus revealed the words of God for His people that His children would understand Him and have the life of the kingdom as soon as they understood.

Jesus was – and is – the interpreter of God’s directions for the living of the kingdom while still involved in the physical things. But it is not possible to understand even Jesus’ interpretation of God’s Word if a person has not repented from the commitment to the physical and animalistic dedication of self. Until one turns from the visible and the obvious in search of the invisible “things” of the Spirit, and the “things” which are hidden until they are sought, one cannot understand Jesus’ teachings.

It is the repentant heart searching for a new direction that finds the way. It does little good, however, to find the way if it is not followed!

We are not changed by stating confined in the same old place, thinking the same old thoughts, and doing the same old things. We are changed when we meet the challenge of moving on: of seeking new revelations, of desiring new experiences, and of finding new places.

The kingdom is not a place, or limited by time or even a state of mind. The kingdom is our will becoming so homogeneously blended with God’s will that His works are our works, His Word is our creed, and His Love expands our love til nothing remains in our life that is not an expression of love.

We may not succeed, as did Jesus, in living in the kingdom completely while in our human state – but in the process of trying to live out our belief in the possibility and desirability of doing so, we become “new creatures in Christ”‘ we are “transformed from glory to glory”, and we at least live in a new dimension, even if it is not quite the dimension of pure unadulterated kingdom.

Dwell in Safety

But when we know that the Lord will defend us from all harm, we no longer need to be on guard or to fight. We do need to make effort, however, making sure that we are within God’s presence so that He can protect us. He will not force us…

Meditation Thought: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8) May 5, 1983

Only when we feel we have no need to defend ourselves are we able to relax and rest.

There are many areas in life which threaten us – not just physical, but emotional, mental and spiritual. We at times fear the circumstances that might come in the future.

If we have to cope with all of these threats by our own power, we can hardly rest, for we are poorly equipped to defend from every side the things which could destroy us is they reach us, and we must constantly be on guard to meet the challenges of the foes.

But when we know that the Lord will defend us from all harm, we no longer need to be on guard or to fight. We do need to make effort, however, making sure that we are within God’s presence so that He can protect us. He will not force us to be where He is, doing what He is doing. But if we are not with Him, doing His works – then we are in the wilderness and lost and alone, forced to fight whatever would destroy us.

Prayer: Oh Lord – I desire to be with You, doing your works. Help me to be even more perceptive as to how to be with You without wandering off to follow some interesting distraction. Help me to really do Your works, not just desire to do them.

Then shall I dwell in safety and sleep in peace.

Thank you!

Amen

The Power of a Resurrected Life

Yes – I appear much the same, and circumstances appear much the same: nevertheless, transformation has taken place

Meditation Thought: “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so? …But all this has taken place, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” (Matthew 26:53-54, 56)

The Father has given me freedom. Yes He does put certain propositions before me – and he express His preference as to my response to them.

My response is determined by my trust of, love of, dedication to and knowledge of my Father.

I often choose to ignore His propositions, for it is obvious that they will require effort, and probably produce pain. At times, however, I have the courage to say “Yes” despite this foreboding appearance… and when I do, what happens? I do suffer the effort and humiliation of carrying my own cross to where I will be crucified. And I do suffer agony of being nailed on that cross.

But then – then, when I wonder if I can stand the pain and shock and horror – it ends! And what takes place then is as miraculous to me as Christ’s resurrection. I am resurrected – born anew, into a new person, into new circumstances. Yes – I appear much the same, and circumstances appear much the same: nevertheless, transformation has taken place. I have obeyed my Father and in doing so, I have enabled Him to release previously unperceived power: power of a resurrected life. That is, the sure knowledge that my Father is loving, does create good, and that not one indignity, unto death itself, shall defeat me when I trust Him and obey Him.

In all things He works good for those who love Him , who are called according to His purpose, and who respond positively to the call.

May God be praised!

The Father’s Kingdom Revealed

It would seem that upon His act of proving life beyond the flesh, He also revealed the “place” of His Father’s kingdom…

Meditation Thought: “I shall not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:29)

The “next time” Jesus ate (and presumably drank) with His disciples was after His death and resurrection. This would indicate that He considered His “Father’s kingdom” where He and the disciples were eating together – which was in Galilee, which was in the world, where the disciples were – where Jesus had requested they meet Him.

It would seem that upon His act of proving life beyond the flesh, He also revealed the “place” of His Father’s kingdom: the place being wherever the resurrected Christ meets a believer. Or perhaps, more accurately, the place where a believer meets the resurrected Christ, as he proceeds according to directions given to him by Christ.

The directions for us are “spelled out” in His direction to His original disciples. His teachings concerning God and God’s kingdom were intended for all: this was His very purpose of birth and death and resurrection in the flesh.

As was true of the disciples, we can be with Him only by joining Him – and He is in the Father’s kingdom. This is where we shall find Him: not in a church building, nor in another’s faith – but in our own inner spirit and mind, with a contrite and searching heart. Only when we begin to grasp the awesomeness – and the power – of the resurrection can we have the courage and fortitude to find the kingdom where we can meet our Lord, and allow Him to teach us about our Father and our Father’s kingdom.

This kingdom is so unlike our physical environment that it takes adjustments in many areas to even begin to comprehend it. It is more like traveling to a new planet than a new country. Not only is there a difference of language (consider how many ways Jesus attempted to describe what the kingdom is like – there seemed to be no adequate words in our language to reveal it accurately) – but a difference of cultural values, of perception of priorities, and a totally new environment, requiring a different style of living in every area.

No wonder it takes us a long time to have even a remote conception of what we are encountering in this kingdom where we meet Him!

It is made even more difficult to stay with Him as the world attempts to get us to remain focused upon it, and remain concerned only with the physical and with the self-interest aspects of life. Only by conscious, consistent effort are we able to stay focused on Christ and thus remain in His Presence in the kingdom.

We simply do not have the stamina to do this alone: we must admit we do not have that much power within ourselves, and ask Him to hold us close, and lend us His strength to do all that we need to do as the Father’s children – obedient and reflective of Him in character and in deeds. This is the only way that it is possible to be with Jesus in the Father’s kingdom.

In one respect, it costs us dearly – our pride must be paid as ransom – but in another respect it is free – Jesus has paid the ransom for our sin of rebellion against the Father.

When we are able to be willing to pay the pride and to accept the gift, we have found the key to unlock the gate to the Father’s kingdom. April 26, 1983

Keeper of the Kingdom

The kingdom is administered differently than the world is administered.

Meditation Thought: “Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me… Truly I say to you, as you did it to the one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'” (Matthew 25: 34-36, 40)

Your Father desires that you, as His child, inherit His kingdom. But you must be responsible before He can entrust it to you, knowing that you will be competent to deal with the inheritance, using it as He he has used it, or more properly as has administered it.

The kingdom is administered differently than the world is administered.

The ‘keeper of the kingdom’ must be, as is the Father, loving, gracious, forgiving, righteous, helpful, compassionate, zealous, energetic, orderly, competent, kind, perceptive, wise, knowledgeable, powerful.

How can you be such a ‘keeper’ – particularly as you have the ways of the world beckoning you to follow them? – the ways of selfishness, greed, self-seeking, slothfulness, deceit, slander, ruthlessness?

Only by disciplining yourself to know the Word (which is the law of the kingdom)) and to emulate your Father from whom you inherit, doing His works as He instructs you and reveals His ways to you, can you be entrusted to be a ‘keeper of the kingdom”: an heir.

The Son has clearly demonstrated the type of heir that is pleasing to the Father, the methods to be used in being a keeper of the kingdom while at the same time being in the flesh. While in the flesh, you are to be a keeper of the kingdom precisely as you will be behaving when you leave the flesh.

The physical manifestation is the training which you will need, and the development of your skills needed to administer the kingdom in the realm other than physical. You are to become skillful at using many talents in such a way as to multiply them, bringing joy not only to your “master” who entrusted them to you, but to those whom He benefits with them including yourself.

A Future of Good Return

…the present determines the character of the future.

Meditation Thought: “…if the householder had known in which part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and not let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:43,44)

You must anticipate the future, realizing that the present determines the character of the future. This will give you strength to conduct yourself as you ought, even when the required behavior is not to your liking at the moment. Not all moments will be “sacrificial” moments – in fact, as you come to rejoice in the perceiving and doing of the will of the Father, more and more activities will be joyful, and fewer and fewer perceived as sacrificial. It is this change in perception that is the moving of the kingdom upon the earth. It comes only by discipline and sacrifice of selfish desires – but the rewards of the discipline and sacrifice are as bountiful as the promised “hundred fold” harvest. It is this knowledge which gives you courage to labor for the moment, particularly when the labor is not to your liking.

The times of reaping the harvest – the unfathomable joy of actually having the promised return, will be carried in your memory as your tools to make the labor easier during the “tilling” times.

The more you experience in planting, tilling and harvesting – whatever area (field) it is in, the greater your wisdom and knowledge is to prompt a bountiful harvest.

This is consistent with the rewards of using whatever “talents” are provided int the most productive ways possible, and also the more provided, the more required. Each portion is either multiplied or not, and the more portions the more dramatic the contrast of results. The “Son of man coming at an hour you do not expect” compares to the owner of the fields checking out the status of your care of them. You cannot “set up” a good appearance for the “inspection” because you have no notice of the inspection time. Therefore, care must be constant and inspection will always reveal good care of the field because good care never ceases, when the laborer is as concerned about the harvest as the owner.

IT is the laborer who realizes that the owner will share the harvest with him who is able to be motivated to do a good job. If he is lazy he eventually cheats himself. It is those who will remove concentration from self alone who will know this, and thus use the present to provide a future of good return for themselves.

Powerful Generator

I shall, in exchange for your gift of your self-will, give you the unfathomable power of My will as the motivating force in your life.

Meditation Thought: “Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive it, if you have faith.” (Matthew 21:22)

“Your faith is the power generator. It is My energy flowing to you that is to be your motivation and ability to move. But in order to actually “generate” power to bring change, you must be a freely-moving generator, not wedged motionless by ignorance of My energy which seeks to move you, or by concentration of your own concerns to the exclusion of thoughts of others.

It is your faith in Me as loving, good, powerful, righteous, a promoter of order and harmony, that enables you to be flexible and able to be turned easily by My energy. As you turn, then My Spiritual energy is converted to physical energy through you, and it is this physical energy which is directed to wherever it is needed to be an answer to prayer.

I need you – as I needed Jesus – to do visible work. You need me – as Jesus needed me – to do visible works. If you want to go along in the ordinary, non-miracle producing life, that is your privilege and your choice. Stay stuck in your own concerns, your own desires, your own little world.

But if you want to be vibrant, if you want to direct energy to change the world into the character of the Kingdom – then concentrate on Me: My character, My modus operandi, and direct your faith to perceive My will and to accept it gladly, knowing that it will spin you at a dizzying rate of speed to generate good: “good” being defined as all that is a reflection of Me in character and in behavior. Let this thought capture your imagination and your emotions, for it is by these that your faith can be enlarged and enhanced. The larger your faith, and the more it resembles Jesus’ demonstrated faith, the more effectively it will prepare you to be “loose”, thus responding immediately and powerfully to the touch of My energy upon you.

You can change the world – by being My spinning generator directing energy to transform darkness to light, to do great works impossible without this energy. One thing only is needed: your faith and commitment to follow through when your faith draws My energy to you. Trust Me. Believe in My Word as Truth. Stake your life upon this trust and belief. In this way, the very “losing of your life” (by giving it to Me to direct rather than you directing it) shall be the gaining of life for you: I shall, in exchange for your gift of your self-will, give you the unfathomable power of My will as the motivating force in your life.

If My force is turning you freely, at My chosen speed, will not the power thus generated be of the proper voltage to perform the works that I choose for you to do? This is My “Modus Operandi” in every one who is my obedient, devoted child. How many ways must I propose My wisdom and love until it is accepted by My children?

Do not any more delay in believing My messages and acting upon them.

The world needs you to beat swords into pruning hooks. The world needs you to light the darkness of blindness to the Kingdom.

Allow me to turn you freely: you may spin only slowly now, but you shall, as time goes on, work up to our full speed needed for maximum generating power – if you believe and commit yourself to that belief.”