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|Written by drk|
|Friday, 27 March 2009 15:54|
Dr. Kluane Spake
Everyone needs the right gas on a trip. Bad words are like bad gas in the tank. Our words “get us” to our destination. Our mind must choose to tell the tongue to speak Holy Words (the premium kind), or we’ll be forever divided within. The house divided against itself cannot stand. The Word must become the basis of our conversation and the basis of our outlook on life.
The enemy attacks us through our own negative words. Remember that the devil can’t read your mind, he can only take blind potshots while trying to guess what might hurt you. However, when he hears you shriek, fuss, and gripe -- then he knows he’s found the bull’s eye. He hears your doubting words, and then he knows your weakness. And He loves to keep you straggling off on back roads for years.
I repeat, this defeated foe can’t read your mind and he doesn’t know your thoughts – unless you speak them. Bear in mind, he didn’t know who Jesus was, and that’s why Herod had to kill all the babies. He would never have crucified Jesus had He known God’s divine plan to release all of us little Christs! He doesn’t know your fears until you react and give him an arena to maneuver.
If we don’t guard our garden, then we’ll get right in there with the gossiping crowd that’s telling dirty jokes and laughing about illicit sexual misconduct. Then we wonder why this “Church stuff” isn’t working anymore. It’s because we’ve lost our spiritual strength, and our cutting edge. The creative force of our life has withered. Most of us have heard about “confession” for a long time, but we lazily forget to DO it. Of course, our words mean nothing if our heart is far from Him.
Our commitment must be entirely toward holiness. We must REALLY believe that our words create life, or death. There may be temptation in your life, but it can only take root if you speak it. Be established in your heart before saying anything. Keep in mind, the doorway of your mouth leads to the heart. Quick, shut the door!
Over time, by renewing the soul, we learn to apply God’s true Words to our fears. Eventually, we begin to see beyond those buried and twisted needs of self-protection and speak Truth.
Soon, this action initiates on a more unconscious level. Do you see improvement shaping up here? Instead of being afraid of your future, your tongue controls your present.
Once you realize how your personality reacts to the unknown, you’ll no longer need a psychologist to continuously delve into inner healing. Truth now becomes the only way of dealing constructively with destructive thoughts.
You assuage your fear by expressing truth in love. Proverbs 15:4 describes the tree that grows in your garden, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life...” Isaiah says, “I create the fruit of their lips.” In other words, what you talk about creates the fruit of your life, trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord -- that He might be glorified.
è The Word of God is what to say and what to pray.
Properly tended, the garden-heart womb of our mind incubates our thoughts and soon the Seed grows. The birth canal for these thoughts is our mouth. Night and day, and day and night, we don’t know how that Godly tree grows. But, suddenly wisdom, the consequence of speaking correctly, occurs -- and a baby, the fruit of our lips, the “Tree of Life” emerges in tenderness and depth of feeling, singing into our cells the new nature that responds to His call. That “good ground” clasps around the spreading roots to prevent the tree from toppling over. From the tap-root that grounds itself in love, the disciplined tongue changes a twig into a standing timber of life that bears apples of gold in settings of silver (Prov. 25:11).
Only the choice of right words, like carefully selected polished stones from out of our hidden drawstring bag, launch a successful attack against our Goliaths. Filled with the articulate victory of fresh and powerful words, we find ourselves reverberating with this newly found awe; with new ways of behaving and thinking, with silent listening, with quickened creativity and curiosity. Surely it is out of the lumber of our lives that He builds His habitation.
è You must guard your words in order to unveil your birthright.
“My brethren...” (James directs his 3rd chapter to Christians), ” “... for we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in words, he is a perfect, mature man, able to bridle his whole body.” Then, speaking of a bridle James says, “Indeed, we put bits in the horse’s mouths that they might obey us, and we turn their whole body.” A bit can’t be seen when it works, yet it guides the horse by putting unseen pressure on the tongue. James could have said it another way, “We put unseen bits in horse’s mouths that they might comply to the rider’s desires, and with even the slightest pressure on that bit, we are able to turn their whole body.”
· Proverbs challenges us not to be jerked around like a horse or a mule with a bridle in our mouth. Our Master won’t force us to obey, but wants to be able to guide us with the glance of His eye, without force.
James then compares a person to a ship that goes wherever the captain wants. A small rudder steers a huge ship successfully through fierce storms, even though it remains unseen below the water. The whole point is, if you don’t like where you’re going, then put some pressure on your tongue. Just like the unnoticed rudder turns a ship, an obedient tongue turns your life.
It’s a fact that your faith increases by confessing, hearing, proclaiming, and speaking about the Word of God, while fear increases by talking about doubt and unbelief. Negative talking incorrectly alters the direction of your life. Be forewarned, you’ll never rise above what’s spoken from your mouth – not even if you fast and pray until the cows come home, or roll and groan on the floor for weeks -- you’ll never supersede this law of God. You, and you alone, are accountable for your words. Right words cause faith to grow and flourish. They create life, or death.
James tells us that the boasting tongue lights a little fire, but it can burn a whole forest. Then he says, “…The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue … defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of nature.” That word nature once again is “genesis,” or face of the beginnings. So this verse means that our words can defile the person that we’re created to be and stop what God intends for our life. “And is set on fire by hell.” These serious words should caution us to set a guard upon our lips.
è Prayer puts pressure on your tongue.
People have tamed almost every animal, but no one yet has successfully tamed the tongue. It flatters, lies, perverts, and destroys. It can be mischievous, proud, deceitful, and wicked. And what’s more, you can’t punish your tongue and force it to obey you. “... No man can tame the tongue. It’s unruly, evil, full of deadly poison... these things ought not to be.” How can we curse somebody one minute and praise God the next? We can go to church on Sunday morning and complain all the way home in the car. That ought not to be. Your success rests upon your earnest expectation (Phil. 19-20) choosing to speak Truth.
Think about it. The other parts of your body obviously perish with passing time. Soon your eyes need glasses and your hair gets funny colors and falls out. There are lots of people who buy hairpieces to cover up their baldness. How about that spray that puts little fuzzy things on your bald spots? You can get false teeth, and have your face lifted. Everything on your body gets tired and worn out -- except your tongue. It never breaks or gets a bad sprain. You never have to put it in a sling. It never gets tired after talking all day and night. Sometimes, you can barely get up in the morning, but that tongue just goes on and on and never wears out.
· Mal. 3:14 says, “Your words have been stout against me.” The complainers were asking why they should bother following God, because they were going nowhere – while the wicked prospered all around. This word stout could also be translated, “Your words have bound me, restrained me, conquered me, or pinned me down. Your complaining words have kept God from being able to pour out a blessing, because you have minimized your return and cursed your blessing.”
· Proverbs 6:2 warns, “You are snared by the words of your own mouth.” Wrong words seriously detour you from that holy city. Proverbs 17:7 says that your lips are a snare to your soul (the very area we’re trying to redeem). Sure enough, you will eventually harvest the words you speak. Wrong words can curve your path away from God's intended plan. Beware, the spirit of this age tries to influence your confession!
· Don’t forget that other people’s words can snare you too. There’s no way we can pray together in one accord if you’re busy remembering the terrible things that other person said about me. Besides that, have you ever wondered why complaining people use you as their confidant? Who appointed you to be the receptacle where everybody dumps their garbage? Don’t tell me you’re ministering to them… Have you ever tried saying, “No, I don’t want to hear it? How dare you talk about my friend.” How about saying, “I know he wouldn’t do that.” Proverbs says that God hates murder, adultery, and one who causes discord and division.
· “Who may abide in your tabernacle...” David asks God, “...who may dwell in your holy hill?” And here’s the answer: “He who walks uprightly and works righteousness and speaks the truth in his heart. He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor.” Is the backbiter going to be there? No! Only holy lips.
If you can’t talk positively about other Christians, why would you want an eternity with them? Better learn now, because you’ll be with these same people for a long time. Speak life. Life, life, life! Gossip produces death. Even the birds will carry your wicked stories to the king. Astonishingly, everyone will eventually account for every idle word. Oh dear! Some of us will have a lot of accounting to do.
· “Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?” Well can it? Of course not. Undrinkable and drinkable water can’t come out of the same faucet at the same time. And you can’t be holy and not holy. You can’t simultaneously speak doubt and faith. That’s why it is vital to realize that pure gifts of the Spirit are released from God into your Spirit, understood in your soul, and expressed out of your mouth.
· Just like Adam guarded the garden, you are to set a watch over the door of your lips, and protect and guard your words for they become the harvest of your garden.
Jesus sets the example of perfect confession – saying only what the Father told Him. In that way, the Holy Spirit longs to totally fracture your past ways of thinking and talking. Like Kenneth Copeland says, the Word can’t help you until it comes out of your mouth like a sword.
è Thoughts are the vertical threads with which we set our objective. Words become the fiber of our soul that wraps around our thoughts -- weaving our future and designing the fabric of our destiny. Disciplined words change our crazy quilt into one of precise pattern and scale.
1. Copy this scripture and put it on your medicine chest mirror: Proverbs 18:20-21, “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth. And from the produce of your lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Say this out loud daily.
2. Will you fail again? Certainly. Just get back up.
3. Whatever is bothering you, take control. Think on truth. Go for a walk. Force yourself to speak life. Show your mind that your spirit is the master.
4. Next, make a detailed list of all your positive qualities. Include talents, hobbies, likes, and dislikes. Write down everything that you can think of, ask your family or friends to help you. What do you like? What’s your style? Your kind of music? Colors?
5. Think about the fact that God wants you to prosper in every soul-realm area, and write a confession for yourself.
In Isaiah, God promised to do a new thing, and it shall spring forth. This new thing makes “a way” through the wilderness and creates rivers in your desert. This new thing is you and me! We’re no longer the same. The old man was forgotten at the crossroads. We left the ways of the world and adopted a new system; we became part of a new species of humans who exemplify His gospel by our actions.
New man Old man
New Jerusalem Babylon
Jesus Adam (dead in sin)
You’re converted and changed. Just like Philip was translated into a new city -- a new location. You used to be over there, but you’re not there anymore. Even though sometimes you think bad thoughts, you’re not trapped into living there anymore. You’ve been transformed. It no longer matters what the neighbors say; the Bible says you’re changed, distinct, and different from the world. Forever.
Perfection concerns this new creation. We’re not talking about having a perfect body -- with perfect proportions, tight skin, and no love handles. No. Perfection is the result of living in obedience, speaking life, being a doer, or planting the right seed – all the things we’ve been talking about. We all know by now, that trying to be perfect on our own only causes rigidity, pain, and unhappiness. So we avoid inspecting for perfection – according to our standards. God’s perfection comes from His nature, not ours. We don’t seek perfection. We seek the Lord. It is this maturity (perfection) that fulfills our purpose.
“Be perfect therefore as your Heavenly Father is perfect…”
a) That which fulfills its purpose and design.
b) Completely finished, whole in mental and moral character.
c) Without defect or blemish, lacking nothing, sanctified.
d) Highest possible excellence.
e) Fully skilled or accomplished.
A baby rosebush appears ugly and prickly until the buds appear. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this bush. It’s as far along as it should be for its growth cycle. And each level of growth displays a perfect plant – a perfect bud – that’s said to be blooming until it opens into a perfect flower. Sometimes, we may expect to be further along than we are, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t perfect. Each step and process depends upon the previous one. Obviously, summer doesn’t destroy spring, just as manhood doesn’t destroy boyhood, but completes and fulfills it.
How do we do it? James 1:4 says, “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (KJV ) The Living Bible says, “So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience (the state of rest) is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.” Perfection is Bible doctrine.
è Nothing in life can match the fulfillment of knowing that you have fulfilled the plan for your life.
As we gather that aromatic bouquet of roses into our arms, we are reminded of God’s delight in our beauty. Perfection is not the place of final arrival, but the determination to walk the high road to maturity. It means growing up! That perfection process (maturity) fulfills God’s purpose (Rom. 8:19) and we become huious, the grown-up sons (and heirs) of God (Gal. 5:25). As we walk with Jesus today, we hear Him call us into completion, “Follow Me, be like Me.”
“…Dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God”
Gen. 6:9 tells us, “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God“ (KJV). Noah (whose name means rest) became the man God wanted him to be, and obediently worked on an ark even when no one had ever heard of anything like rain. Even though his friends ridiculed and mocked him, Noah found rest in obedience. Only eight people escaped the depraved world of destruction, climbed into the ark of safety, and became separated from the ungodly. Jesus said that the last days would be like the days of Noah.
1, Noah was just (fair).
2, Noah was perfect (fulfilled his purpose).
3, Noah (whose name meant rest) walked with God.
As Noah knew about the oncoming flood, we know about another flood that’s coming at the end of time when the spirit of the age floods this world with darkness. How we prepare for this deluge is up to us. Will we be ready? The Lord works through us to build His habitation – an ark. In these last days, “rest” comes when we cooperate with the will of the Father, rejoicing that God also promises to flood the earth in another way-- with His glory.
Remember how I screamed out to the Lord that I wasn’t doing well? For many years I felt spiritually unable to understand what the Lord was saying. The problem: I was just too busy to hear… too busy being angry, being unforgiving, and being hurt. My thought life was totally filled with busy stuff -- reading this, watching that, and going everywhere. The Holy Spirit spoke very softly… and I missed it.
When a person dies to selfishness, only a precious quietness remains. Rest is the key. That’s why we must quiet ourselves if we want to hear the Lord. There’s rest within every storm. This serene perfection puts us in this conducive position of stillness in order to receive (hear and SEE) what goes on in the spirit realm. That penetrating position discharges God’s dunamis dynamite, turbine power, and presence.
Rest isn’t the absence of trials, but the confidence of God’s protection through every angry tempest. Even though increasing anxiety hallmarks the worldly times ahead, we have the answer – a haven of rest. Abiding means that we trust the promises of God, and that means we’ll soon possess them. Rest allows us to hear that still small voice – once again -- that which brings revival excitement back into our midst. King David knew that he couldn’t rest until the Lord had a resting-place. Building the Lord’s dwelling place of rest within us becomes the highest priority of our lives.
Gen. 17:1 says that when Abram was 99, “The lord appeared ... and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect (obey me and live as you should TLB).” “And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” (NKJ) We see this promise of covenant is conditional.
1. God is revealed as the Almighty.
2. Because of Who He is, you and I have all the advantages and privileges of being Abraham’s seed.
3. Therefore, we walk in that new realm and fulfill God’s will for our life.
4. If we do, then He’ll make covenant with us.
Perhaps up to now sloppy agape snuck us through the back door, but our life as a Christian should have drastically changed. Whatever our reason, the point is this: Without obedience, we have no effective way to stop the downward slide of our life. We won’t grow up. God doesn’t want us just barely saved, but rather, He wants to display us as a trophy. Col. 1:10 “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (KJV).
He wants to live in us. To do that, we (like Noah) must build the ark. But, this time the ark is within us. We “work out” our new creation into a reality -- until His indwelling glory prevails, and we no longer walk in the course of this world. So far, few have understood the passion of God to sweep across the earth and flood nations with glory and wisdom. He yearns to take us past the brink of our fear—through time and space—until we eagerly “volunteer” to pay the price to become a disciplined one.
We should concentrate primarily upon apprehending this new Christ-like person within. Everything else takes a secondary position. Can a concert pianist perform without practice? No, he concentrates on his chosen objective with determination. In that way, we rivet our attention on Godliness, so that our future becomes complete (whole, perfect). Salvation should bring us from the old ways into the nowness of His ways.
Jesus’ death and resurrection rescues us from our fallen nature. The Holy Spirit then brings forth a new nature that hates the old sinful ways. Paul tells us to reckon the old person dead, not just painted over or whitewashed. Don’t have your old self just stuffed down tight into a garbage can, waiting to startle you like a Jack-in-the-Box! No, it’s dead -- no longer selfish, impatient, or harsh. Don’t keep the old tucked away; take it off and get rid of it.
Colossians 1:13 says, “He has (already) delivered us from the authority of darkness...” It’s a fact, a done deal. Darkness has no authority, because He’s already qualified us to be “partakers of the inheritance of the saints of light.” That position is not something we moan and groan for; it’s something that we believe and receive. We work it out, until there occurs within us a total death to the prince of darkness. Our cooperation with the Sculptor’s plan brings our statue into perfection in every good work (Heb. 13:21). Then we can fully develop into His workmanship. Line upon line, He works that truth into our vessel, and then we work it out.
è Maturity and perfection is realized when we finally come to the place of giving up our own efforts and letting God’s desires become our own.
Now in spite of occasional distractions, our disorderly life begins to have vision, form, and direction. Not an easy change, I agree, but one vital to embrace – in order to deepen the meaning we crave. Now finally, we come alone to our own place of Gethsemane, the place where Jesus prayed, “Not my will but thine be done.” Jesus chose to die for us. He had a choice; and He chose to complete the perfect plan for His life. We come to this intersection as well, the place of picking up our cross and dying to ourselves. There, we give up our own preferences and trust that the Father really does know best.
Proverbs 16:25 says that there’s a way that seems right to us, but the end is death. This sin of having our own way and speaking our own mind is basic. And it causes nearly every problem in the church. If we insist on doing it our way -- of not being obedient -- then we restrict God. We must stay in Gethsemane (the crushing oil press) until our soul is pressed into the conformity of God’s image, until our unbending conviction echoes through the winds, “Thy will be done, on earth (in me) as it is in heaven.” We stay there until the costly anointing pours forth.
1. Read these scriptures, underlining the old and new: 1 Cor. 5:7, Eph. 2:15, Matt. 9:17, Mark 16:17, Luke 5:36, 2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 6:15, Eph. 4:24, Col. 3:10, Heb. 10:20, 2 Pet. 3:13, Rev. 21:5, Eph. 4:22.
2. Begin to write down goals of what you believe you’re called to do in the Kingdom.
A) Spend some time brainstorming. Make lists of what you “might” do. Allow yourself outrageous ideas for now, just write them down. Some will be jewels, and some – well, never mind! Choose the best.
B) What steps are necessary to do those things (i.e., memorize scripture, take piano lessons so that you can play at church, learn whatever you need).
C) Be quiet before the Lord. Let Him teach you. Spend two hours alone in absolute silence, just thinking. Shush!
D) Start to disciple someone. Now you know enough. That demands commitment. Start now. Do it.
Stop trying and failing. It’s time to sing, oh barren one. Living a Godly life breaks the back of oppression on your life. And that’s a promise.
Revival isn’t finding a church that’s in revival and joining it. Revival becomes birthed from a personal issue in your transformed heart where you fall in love with The Sovereign Creator. Revival can’t be defined in any other way: It’s looking like Him. It’s having a personal encounter with God -- living with a commitment to find true prosperity of the soul.
John Lake, a revivalist in the early 1900’s, demonstrated over 500,000 documented cases of healings in his ministry. Bubonic plague actually died on his hand while holding it under a microscope. His diaries tell the answer to his success. Everything that John Lake did in his ministry stemmed from his understanding of holiness. While most of us living today in the Western world know more about the Scriptures than John Lake did, the difference is what he knew he believed. He had revival.
When studying past revivals, we notice that we don’t have their sustained depth of zeal. Perhaps we have greater Scriptural insight, but we’ve lost the commitment. Perhaps we have flashier preachers, but modern believers are generally not making lifetime covenant. After all, who will flock to unpopular messages of commitment and crucifixion of self? Yet, all other messages fail to bring revival. Only a sanctified church will participate in Joel’s prophesied revival. Though theologies may differ, only holiness pierces into a dying world.
Genuine revival always causes a re-evaluation of a person’s relationship with God. It provokes repentance, and initiates a fresh commitment. The Welsh revival started with two prayer warriors who clutched the heart of God until revival eventually covered their whole nation. Then in 1857, thousands clamored to be baptized, but the lake was frozen over and they had to break through the thick ice on the lake before they could jump in! Maybe you’ve wondered where your passion has gone.
Possibly you’ve lost the desire to jump into the river. Most of us have lost that fervor. The key to achieving revival is acquiring His nature. Interestingly, one of the best ways to do this is to ask the Lord to “Send prosperity” (Ps. 118:25). The Hebrew for prosperity means a “pushing.” Surely, that’s what we need – an ardent PUSH.
Sadly, Jeremiah tells us that people in the last days lost the strength to push. We must become strengthened. Today’s the day. P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens. Zion travails and delivers a living child. It’s not a stillbirth. It’s not adopted! The head’s out, don’t back off now. PUSH. His kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven. We’re in transition -- the stages of a mighty outpouring come forth from within. Soon the river will overflow the banks of our mind and flood our cities with love.
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it”
1 Thess. 5:23-24
Jesus waits in the heavenlies for the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21). That includes our spirit, soul, and body returning to the original intention of dominion and authority.
Time after time, we find that great changes occur in storms. After all, it’s in that wilderness gale that God works to bring us into transformation. The disciples cried out in fear, “Master, don’t you care that we are dying?” (Mk. 4:38) But they weren’t really dying. Jesus told them to cross over to the other side -- it was His idea in the first place -- so what’s the big panic? They were exactly where God wanted them to be. And besides, He was there.
Mark 4:35, “On the same day, when the evening had come, He said to them, Let us cross over to the other side.” His divine purpose was to get them to the other side. Remember, Jesus didn’t say, “Let’s go half-way over and then go back.” NO, NO. Jesus later rebuked the disciples for being so cowardly -- didn’t they remember that He would never leave them or forsake them?
· Nostalgia longs for the old safe way, to go back to our first church, our comfort zone, or the good old days. A lot of us want things the way they were before. Meanwhile, God’s not going to go back -- even to make us happy. We all miss the way it was before, those memories are building blocks of our faith… but it’s time to move with the cloud, and not look behind. There’s no going back. God never calls a retreat. The old ways won’t satisfy us any more; there are no more instant answers, and goose bumps back there. Today’s a new day, and the cloud moves so we can mature.
Dusk filled the cloud tossed sky, and from the vantage of that little boat, it seemed that the darkness had won. Why is it that testing always comes at times when we can’t see? Surely, this was time for the disciples to trust in the arm of the Lord. The bottom line was that God commanded them to cross over. This wasn’t the time to pout and fuss as the blustering gales of life continued coming and going in a series of ups and downs. Hey, that’s life. Besides, God gave them the ability to know all things that pertain to life and godliness – they had what they needed to get across. The whole point is, change occurs in the process of crossing over.
Furious squalls swell within every whitecap. And to this day, Jesus doesn’t speak to the circumstances that appear to be the problem (waves in our mind). He commands the source of the problem (the winds) to be at peace. He teaches us to command our feelings (the source of our storm) by speaking as He did, “Peace, you be still -- because we’re going to the other side.”
· Peace passing all understanding sustain us in the middle of the raging squalls. Peace conquers all challenges and smothers quaking fears. Colossians 3:15 commands us ….
· At the beginning of this story, other little boats were also crossing … but notice there’s no mention of any of them arriving on the other side. Did they turn back or drift away? Sometimes the soul gets weary and drifts to its old ways. Hebrews warns us of the deadly current that detours our crossing, (2:1) “Therefore, we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them drift away.” The only boat that completes the journey has Jesus in it.
We clamor to chart our own course, and insist upon writing God’s script. We demand that our church be the way we want, or we’ll leave. We don’t want to change! Someone may have mentioned that this difficult journey may well provoke us into being like Him, but we still resist! This uncomfortable boat trip was designed to give us a corporate chiropractic adjustment until all our rotten, out-of-joint dispositions realign into a body rightly fitted together. I don’t like it either, but God perfectly planned for us to be peaceable; not twisted, cranky, gruff and coarse.
è When I’m in the boat in times of trouble, I see who I am.
We must personally cross through the incessant storms that build up pressure and squall in our life. Like in this story, when the end seems near and sinking inevitable, Jesus appears still sleeping upon His pillow; He slumbers, having given those traveling with Him the ability to take charge of turbulent circumstances. In the same way as the fearful disciples, we try to wake Him up, “God, you do it! You do it!” But He waits for us to take our authority.
“When Thou didst say, ‘Seek My face,’ and my heart said to Thee, ‘Thy face, O Lord, I shall seek”
Several years ago, the Lord told me that He would send a super-storm into the midst of our church. It was named “Typhoon Holiness.” So convincing was the Word, that many of our congregation bought generators, expecting a typhoon in the natural – and then, six typhoons came that year. Actually, these events really started this whole study into Holiness -- trying to understand what this particular spiritual typhoon would mean to us. We later discovered that this same message, with only slight variations, was heard across the land.
The first part would be a wind of purification. There would be no way to escape, because it would blow into every hidden place, even into our attics fixed with dust, and into our dark hidden boxes of rummage and clandestine secrets. Many died in the merciless gale. Only the survivors knew how to brace themselves, stand with outstretched arms, and face into the blasting winds. The only houses left standing against the storm were those built upon the Rock.
We presumed to understand the fierceness of this purging, but the intensity surprised us as we barely hung on to the altar of our salvation. The ruwach wind of the Holy Spirit relentlessly blew at our own imagined sense of grandeur and the desire to be significant. The gale howled loudly for repentance. Our human plans crashed against the coral, as the lessons of humility were written into our hearts. By letting that storm cleanse every area, we rediscovered the calm pools of sanctification and transformation that prepared for the future.
With our windblown hair all matted in disarray, we clutched onto the second part of the promise with great gratitude. The back part of the storm would be the blast of God’s presence -- of love, glory, and power – filling the church with His Shekinah glory. This very wind unleashes upon the purified church that surfs the very crest of what the Lord guarantees for this end time.
The first phase of the storm requires a death to all that we are. That leads us to the other side, where we finally know God. This process takes awhile.
è Those that will trust the blowing of the Spirit during a storm will successfully cross over into the Promised Land.
The Bible tells about a lot of different storms: The Lord has His way in the whirlwind (Nah. 1:3), Elijah went into heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11), God spoke to Job in a whirlwind (Job 38:1). Are you listening? Peace centers within the storm where God dwells. God lives in storms. If the cyclone of life intensifies, go deeper into the tranquil center of Him.
Ezekiel describes the appearance and the likeness of the Glory of the Lord (1:28). He speaks of wind, clouds, and fire. Prophets compared the day of the Lord to a storm. Meteorologists refer to the center of the storm as the “eye.” Jesus told us to be single-eyed, “If the eye is clear, the whole body will be full of light” (Matt. 6:22-23). No matter what turbulence surrounds them, vanguard believers race to the center, where all roads converge and focus. Without focus everything blurs and we lose direction. When we become single-eyed, we move into clarity.
è Get into the center of the storm, to the place of calm. Find that REST.
· Ezekiel depicts a whirlwind (Ruwach the Spirit) where the wheel within the wheel enfolds inwardly into itself, while moving forward. This represents the cooperative church moving together as one (Ezekiel 1:12). This living creature (the church), “… went straight forward; they went wherever the spirit wanted to go, and they did not turn when they went.” Each part joined as one and moved straight forward. The word Straight (#2266 Strongs) comes from the root word “to cross over” which can also be rendered “crossing with straight and unchanging purpose.” Reading further, indescribable storm-like creature wondrously shimmers as amber electrons flash-forth in greatest splendor.
Psalms 29:3 says that in stormy conditions, God’s voice thunders over turbulent water, shaking the wilderness, and causing the deer to give birth (vs.6-9). His voice commissions you to give birth to the Word, and in response your heart leaps in expectation.
Along the way, there’s always another storm to cross over with unchanging purpose. But, we ride in His boat -- the vehicle of form provided for our safety. Remember too, that all the disciples climbed into that one boat together. Peter didn’t have his little boat, and John another. We cross over in a corporate boat, and in the process, our individual agendas meld into one. He leads us upon His holy road, from where we are to where He wants us to go; from the known to a wonderfully unfamiliar place of the unknown.
Like the exhausted followers upon that stormy lake, we weary of contending with the dark waves of adversity. The One Who calms every storm teaches us to persevere until we can command our own storms to cease. The waves may be over our head but faith cannot be stolen. As with the ebb and flow of good times and bad, storms eventually end. They can’t move us from our course. Through it all, our authority perfects itself as we yield to His dealings. So keep in mind, the worst storms always come just before the biggest victory; there’s peace within, and there’s always something waiting on the other side. Even the disciples were ill prepared for what awaited.
They couldn’t see in the dusk, but Jesus could. Then finally, in the morning light, the exhausted travelers were finally able to SEE – a steep cliff. “Uck!” you can almost hear their complaints, “well, I don’t like it. It’s too high, too cold, too far…” oh it sounds so familiar. What’s that? You’re getting the picture? It’s not tranquil over there either. Yes, the Gadarene waits…the worst growler-packing, demonically depressed person that had ever been described. The whole city feared this lunatic with a legion of demons; they didn’t know what to do with him. Suddenly, that violent storm brought the disciples to the hopelessly insane man who soon became miraculously healed and transformed.
And more difficult still, the once terrified townspeople later furiously demanded that Jesus leave town. It didn’t make any sense, but they didn’t like the results. Why? This region raised pigs, and their livelihood just ran over the cliff. The destruction of their whole economic base caused them to forget the miracle -- this was serious. The result of that great miracle was that once again, the disciples were hated -- and we should expect the same dislike. God’s game plan often opposes what others want. Are you ready to withstand ostracism and rejection, even from Christians? Are you willing to be of no reputation?
The ultimate realization discloses that the hopeless Gadarene, the chained person living in the tomb… is me! I’m the Gadarene. Inside that mausoleum, memories silently breathe as nearby worms and spiders approach my face. Within my carnal soul that clings to the spirit of death, crawls legions of thoughts that entrap me with webs. The ghosts of my carnal soul haunt me with wicked traits of my dead self-nature. Finally, I surrender totally to Jesus, and suddenly He journeys with me from that isolated cemetery to a place of self-discovery. How did He know how much I needed Him to come? Then, He sets me free from that hopelessness. I died with Him – but I’m not dead anymore. He rolled away my tomb stone!
The typhoon called “Holiness” has ended. And I, stepping into the brightest daylight, watch as the veils of blindness drop from my eyelids, like the weighty cob-webs that were once strewn in the musty corners of my shrine now detach and fall forever. Freedom pulses her new strong cadence, and I can hear the birds singing their Resurrection morning song, “Winter is past and gone… it’s summertime.” Extending His hand, the Lord says, “Come away with me.”
The reasons are clear now; He caused me to cross over in order to fully deliver me from the crypt of my own making. I walk out to find that the road winds up from here among the hills to that great city. Without regret, I leave the colorless barren desert behind and advance into the gentle purple meadow slopes that are lit by a vibrant yellow-green day. Life explodes with fulfillment, moving full-tilt into my heart.
è The journey of crossing over develops Godly character and sets me free.
One memorable day, while preaching about Abraham, I explained, “A Hebrew is a chosen person of God. The word Hebrew means one who has crossed over!” WOW. I had known this and not known it. Crossing over means, “to become a chosen person of God.” But wait… now that it’s over, I see that You and I have become Hebrews, God’s chosen people who have crossed over from death, totally delivered from the chains that bind. We’re a new creation, a new creation, holy and acceptable. We’re passengers on this journey, in the conveyance of His will. He’s already chartered our course and now relentlessly positions us -- do you feel the magnetic tug upon your being? He’s the Wind, the Boat, the Navigator, and the Star that guides. The crossing over implants the divine character.
 Is. 14:24
 Mark 4:27
 Proverbs 3:18
 The tongue won’t restrain itself, we have to do it. Proverbs say, “He
who restrains his lips is wise. A fool multiplies words.”
 We don’t want to be like those who take this truth to a religious extreme. Confession must be kept in balance as part of a total change that we bring to bear upon our carnal person.
 Also Mal. 2:1-2
 Prob. 6:19
 Psalm 15:1
 John 12:49
 Later only ten people escaped wicked Sodom and climbed upon a mountain.
 Isaiah 23:17, Heb. 12:5-11
 Elijah House News, April 1996 Issue 33 this section. See Jeremiah 23, Ez. 13, Heb. 6:1, James 4:1-6. We must even submit our fleshly desires and ambitions to serve God. Only the dead in Christ shall stand in the wind of His glory (Gal 2:20, 5:24).
|Last Updated on Sunday, 12 February 2012 12:08|