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Discussion Forum : Devotional Thoughts : On the Plains of Shinar

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Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


Good morning! Praise the Lord!

Some profound thoughts in your poem, Apollus. Thank you very much.

When I am low in my troubles and darkness covers me
And the messenger, its only bad news that he brings
I will call upon my God and arise again once more
Like a dove with silver sprinkled on its wings

Do you know that I have never received bad news from the Lord? He is a constant source of encouragement and comfort. In this life, no one ever receives bad news from Him. We may receive a foreboding message of warning, but even that should be seen as a message (of good news) from the loving hand of God. Cain did not receive God's message that way. Our heart attitude to God determines "how" we receive His Word.

God's message to Cain only "cramped" his lifestyle and desires.

I really like this stanza, Frank.
Zion you are small, as far as mountains go
To look at you no one could ever tell
That this would be the place, of power and of grace
This would be the place that God would dwell

It reminds me of 2Co 4:7.
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."

Here is a short story in keeping with this devotion and a couple of thoughts I have. Please add your thoughts bringing out the riches of Christ within you.

In the days of Samuel the prophet, Israel was at war with the Philistines. In one particular battle, Israel was defeated and 4,000 Israelite soldiers were slain. When the people came into their camp again they were dejected and confused. They wondered why the Lord had not given them victory over their enemies. Were they not His people, had He not given them the land? Why had their enemies prevailed over them?

Then some of the elders of Israel had a great idea (the elders, no less). They would send to Shiloh, to the tabernacle of Moses and have the two sons of the high priest bring the ark of the covenant into the camp that they might carry it before them into battle. Surely through the ark, God would grant a great victory.

Soon there was hope and expectancy in the hearts of the men of Israel as they waited for the most holiest possession of their nation - the very representation of the presence of the Living God. And it happened that as the ark of the covenant came into the camp that all of Israel shouted with a great shout.

When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout and understood that the ark had come into the camp of Israel, they became terrified. And instead of fleeing for fear, the Philistines greatly encouraged one another and resolved to fight with utmost courage.

That day Israel suffered a mighty defeat and 30,000 of their soldiers were slain and the rest were completely scattered before their enemies. Not only that but the Philistines captured the ark of God and took it away to their own country.

Why did such a calamity happen to the people of God? Because someone came up with a reasonable plan - such a sensible scheme. And all of it was done in behalf of God.

Schemes, good intentions and cool ideas cannot replace a humble and pure heart before God.

The only thing that persuades God to fight for you, is for your heart to be right with Him.

He does not respond to techniques and Christian "superstitions".

Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

In His love,

 2013/5/17 10:17Profile


Just a wee clarification on the stanza about the messenger of bad news. I was referring to bad news from the world which is why the m in messenger nor the h in him was not capitalized :) For example, a messenger of bad news maybe a doctors report or the loss of a job or a policeman at the door.

I agree with your thoughts brother. I think of AI and how the Israelites suffered defeat after the mighty victory of Jericho. Sin inside the camp, sin inside the heart is something that has to be dealt with. He requires truth in the inner man. No matter how honorable the task at hand, it does not trump integrity. The presence of God fell when the arok of the covenant found its proper place in the holy of holy's. Now we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and His presence comes when Jesus finds His proper place in our hearts . It is a good question for all saints to ask". is Jesus enthroned in the depths of our heart." ........bro Frank.

 2013/5/17 11:27


deleted for triple post :)

 2013/5/17 11:31


deleted, triple post :)

 2013/5/17 11:32


triple post!! deleted :)

 2013/5/17 11:33

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


Oh yeah, I understood. I did not make myself clear. I was contrasting the bad news we get from various sources and the good, encouraging and comforting words we get from the Lord.

Very good thought in your sentence and exactly what I am trying to say. You encapsulate it quite well.

No matter how honorable the task at hand, it does not trump integrity.

 2013/5/17 11:54Profile

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211

 A Common Theme

I suppose you might recognize the common principle found in each of these stories. It is that man has a propensity and even a drive to do something toward, for, or on behalf of God. Since the dawn of creation, one abomination after another has been done by man in the name of God. We have a way of judging these things by our own yardsticks, our own values, likes, dislikes and we never ask this question, "Has the Living God commanded me to do this thing?" Never mind that your scheme is so necessary, reasonable, or logical. Never mind that it is so pure--how would you really know your motives anyway?

Jesus Christ is the King of King. His people should inquire of their King ans seek His command. To do otherwise is to deny His sovereignty. The problem with this is that He might not tell you to do what you want to do. And that will not satisfy your addiction. But you ask, "What addiction?" The addiction known as "my ministry." All of us to one degree or another have a natural, innate drive to somehow make a difference on this earth for Jesus Christ. It is a heady thing for us to consider that we can have some input into and effect upon the Kingdom of God. The more ministry we have, the more ministry we want.

Did you know that God is not interested in your ministry?

At least not nearly so much as He is interested in you. Before there can ever be proper ministry, there must be proper vessel. I am not talking about your spiritual gift or supernatural empowering. I am talking about transformation.

The work of the Holy Spirit in your life.

 2013/5/18 9:39Profile

 Re: A Common Theme

Really good thoughts brother to which I entirely agree. Bottom line, we are both talking about the difference between a vital relationship with the Lord, and religion.

"The addiction known as "my ministry."

Now that is a great quote. I know men who are addicted to their ministry. It is what gives them worth. And the greater their lack of intimacy with the Lord, the greater their need to glean worth from what they do rather than who they are. Yet ultimately, they will always have ill feeling towards those who are intimate with the Lord and this will always show, no matter how hard they try to hide it, because one is of the flesh and the other is of the Spirit and the two cannot be knitted together.............bro Frank

 2013/5/18 11:18

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211

 Re: My ministry, cont...

Amen, again Appolus. Speaking of what gives us worth...

When we first come to Christ we find our value and worth in Him. Our constant "identity crises" in life prior to Christ come to a halt as we realize our true identity is in Christ. But somehow, our value which is found in Christ becomes based on "what we do" rather than "who He is".

And when it becomes "what we do", then we need to create "results" commensurate with what we do..."our ministry". Then it becomes all about "results", produced.

The "rest" that we find in Christ is opposite the religious propensity of man.

Resting in Christ is all about being faithful to Him and leaving the "results" up to Him.

He has called us to be FAITHFUL, not to produce results. What kind of eternal results can we produce, anyway? "Can the branch bear fruit of itself?"

"Unless the Lord builds the house, they that labor, labor in vain". (Psalms)

Going back to the my previous post concerning the "Holy Spirit's work in you". It takes years-a lifetime. It consists of pain and suffering. PRESSURE! The work of the cross. Without the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, regardless of your spiritual gifts, YOU WILL make the offering of Cain, build the city of Babel, offer strange fire of Nadab and Abihu or march confidently carrying the ark of God right into the jaws of destruction. If God is merciful to you, He will bring your folly to a swift end. If God is not merciful to you, He will let your abomination done in His name grow larger and larger. And more and more addictive to you. It will look like man. It will act like man, and it will have the foul stench of man. And you will lie awake at night agonizing over how to keep it going and how to make it bigger-all in the name of God. That is not the "Rest of God."


 2013/5/19 14:52Profile

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211

 Re: Entering His Rest

In another thread there is a very good statement.

"Belief does indeed equal obedience."

Nothing has changed regarding God's ways between the OT and NT because God's ways are tied to His Character, which does not change like the wind (or like man).

We see in the OT that those who did not enter the Promise Land died in the wilderness. It is the same today. Those who will not enter into the Promised Land (Christ's rest) by faith (belief) will die in the "wilderness" (unbelief).

Being born again is NOT "entering into His Rest". That is only being rescued from Egypt and putting us into a position to enter the "Promised Land" (His Rest). We now have a walk to walk and this is a walk of faith and love.

We are to set aside everything that so easily besets us and look unto Jesus.

Listening to today's "Gospel", there is nothing to apprehend after one prays a prayer or walks the aisle. There is no walk to walk because today we are saved by slogans.

 2013/5/19 22:09Profile

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