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InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
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Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Esteeming the Presence - Art Katz

I just thought I would share this little snipet from the [url=http://www.benisrael.org/]Ben Israel[/url] website, I found it thought provoking.

ESTEEMING THE PRESENCE
I have for a long time been secretly irked in my inner man with the growing preoccupation of many of God’s saints to desire the ‘presence’ of God. It is implied that this is the summum bonum of the faith, the high water mark of true spirituality. In this supposedly ‘exalted’ realm lies the key to revelation, anointing and all that could be coveted for successful ministry. My own disposition, however, is to receive His presence as surprise and not something sought for in itself―lest this become the final hiding place of self now safely ensconced in ‘ultimate’ spirituality itself!


How much then, do I appreciate Oswald Chamber’s remark that “The abiding consciousness of the life is to be God, not [my] thinking about Him.” In this state, one looks at “everything in relation to God, because the abiding consciousness of God pushes itself to the front all the time” – whether felt or not! This characterized the apostle Paul and Jesus Himself even when ultimately tested at the Cross. The cry, “My God, my God, why has Thou forsaken Me?” is not the statement of the momentary lapse of the Father, but the supreme moment of the Son’s sonship in an obedience that did not falter whether present or absent. It might well prove to be our own.


The kind of abiding consciousness of God is the province, I suspect, only of those whose whole life, purpose and reason for being is the Lord’s. Those who are yet independent entities with their own designs, however ‘spiritual’ and ‘consecrated’ will prefer a ‘presence’ to augment that spirituality and confirm them in their ‘dedication.’ Can it be that many of the spurious revivals of our time have given opportunity to the enemy to duplicate in the soul realm of the naïve and unsuspecting coveted experiences the result of which have neither fostered maturity nor been enduring? Better, I think, to have one’s secret life hid with God in Christ with that “pious mind that views all things in God and God in all things.” The one who is anxious to obtain the ‘presence’ risks haunting doubts about himself should he fail and forfeits the very peace where “the abiding companionship of God” [1] waits to be enjoyed.


[1] All quotes are from My Utmost for His Highest, June 2nd. That of “the pious mind..” is from Spurgeon’s Treasury of David, vol. 1 p. 381.


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Ron Halverson

 2005/6/28 17:29Profile
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 Re: Esteeming the Presence - Art Katz

InTheLight --- thank you for sharing that.

In fact, that book of daily devotionals --- Oswald Chambers --- MY UPMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST, I begin with daily leading into my morning prayer times. It's an excellent read and worthy of much meditation. Many have said that other than the Bible itself, it is the most inspiring and inspirational book they have ever read. About that I would agree.

Moreover, since I have began hearing Art Katz's preaching here on the Psalms it has improved the quality of daily devotional times, leading into my morning prayer times. Especially, I like the message he preached "Gleanings from Psalms 27."

I have since placed an order for that tape and received it. I can't tell you how many times I have since listened it again and again. It's v-e-r-y encouraging and strenghtening.


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J.C.

 2005/6/29 22:42Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
In fact, that book of daily devotionals --- Oswald Chambers --- MY UPMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST, I begin with daily leading into my morning prayer times. It's an excellent read and worthy of much meditation. Many have said that other than the Bible itself, it is the most inspiring and inspirational book they have ever read. About that I would agree.



Yes, Art Katz seems to be a big fan of Oswald Chambers and 'My Utmost' in particular, and so am I. There are many good devotionals out there but I haven't found one better than 'My Utmost For His Highest'.

Thanks for sharing about the Psalm 27 message from Art, I don't think I've heard that one yet, will rectify that soon. 8-)

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2005/6/30 0:04Profile
roadsign
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 Re:

Quote:
The one who is anxious to obtain the ‘presence’ risks haunting doubts about himself should he fail and forfeits the very peace where “the abiding companionship of God” [1] waits to be enjoyed.



I think of an infant in a playpen who screams every time Mommy walks out of the room. He thinks that if she is not experiencially present, she has abandoned him.

If she continuously bows to his immature demands by running back to him and taking him out of the playpen, she makes herself a slave to him and she enabiles him to remain in his selfish, immature state. He must learn that when she is not in sight, she is still PRESENT, and still will provide for his needs.


So many people are still like toddlers. They scream for an experience of the presence of God in order to accommodate their weak faith. They walk from experience to experience but never learn to grow up. They never learn to walk by faith in the ever-presence of God.

We must learn to walk by faith and not by sight, or according to what we experience in any of our other natural senses.

Does this make sense?
Diane


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Diane

 2005/6/30 7:42Profile
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 Re: Presence of God

RoadSign, I would have to say your right.

As I read your post a psalm came to remembrance.

May I share it with you?

Psalm 105:39 (NKJ) says,

"He spread a cloud for covering,
And a fire to give light in the night."

It this passage the psalmist describes how the Lord guided and protected His people Israel on their forty-year journey through the desert of Sinai.

He spread put out a cloud as a covering in the daytime and in the night gave them fire that provided both light and warmth.

I am have been told by those who know the Sinai desert, that in the daytime it is very hot, but at night it becomes bitterly cold.

In daytime that cloud was a shield that protected them from the heat of the sun's rays.

But at night it became a fire that gave them both light and needed warmth.

This is how God guided His people for forty years through the desert.

For us as Christians, the cloud that guided Israel vividly prefigures the place of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Saint Paul tells us that those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God (Romans 8:14).

As God guided Israel through the desert by the cloud. He guides us through the world by the Holy Spirit.

What the cloud was to Israel, the Holy Spirit is to us.

In the times of heat, He overshadows us.

In times of darkness, He gives light.

When it becomes cold all around us, He gives us supernatural warmth.

In all circumstances our environment is actually tempered by His presence.

All this is summed up in the title by which Jesus promised the Spirit to His disciples: the Comforter.

Lord, help us, to be continually guided and overshadowed by Your Holy Spirit.


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J.C.

 2005/7/1 3:00Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
I think of an infant in a playpen who screams every time Mommy walks out of the room. He thinks that if she is not experiencially present, she has abandoned him...He must learn that when she is not in sight, she is still PRESENT, and still will provide for his needs.



This is a terrific analogy Roadsign!

MC


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Mike Compton

 2005/7/1 3:10Profile
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 Re: Terrific analogy!

Compton you said "It was a terrfic analogy."

I agree with the analogy, but why do you say it is?

I have not asked this question to challenge what you said. But only for reasons I felt that by asking that question it may serve to bring more light on the subject is all.


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J.C.

 2005/7/2 18:25Profile
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 Re: show me the light

Quote:
I felt that by asking that question it may serve to bring more light on the subject


Jacob, I think I missed the light. Can you explain?
Diane


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Diane

 2005/7/2 19:51Profile









 Re: Esteeming the Presence - Art Katz

'Those who are yet independent entities with their own designs, however ‘spiritual’ and ‘consecrated’ will prefer a ‘presence’ to augment that spirituality and confirm them in their ‘dedication.’ Can it be that many of the spurious revivals of our time have given opportunity to the enemy to duplicate in the soul realm of the naïve and unsuspecting coveted experiences the result of which have neither fostered maturity nor been enduring? Better, I think, to have one’s secret life hid with God in Christ with that “pious mind that views all things in God and God in all things.”

Recently I realised that we are all a bit like Jacob when we are in God's hands. No matter who or what we are, our choices and mistakes show us up for what we are, in 'glorious technicolor', as it were. It is possible to stay the way we are, but if we truly desire growth, we have to learn to deal with revelations of our shallowness and be prepared to dig deeper, or be dug deeper, to build our house on the Rock.

I think it's a little harsh of Chambers to suggest an either-or scenario, but maybe that's a device he used to spur his students on to higher aspirations.

Joshua,

Your exposition blessed me, especially this.

Quote:
He spread put out a cloud as a covering in the daytime and in the night gave them fire that provided both light and warmth.

I am have been told by those who know the Sinai desert, that in the daytime it is very hot, but at night it becomes bitterly cold.

In daytime that cloud was a shield that protected them from the heat of the sun's rays.

But at night it became a fire that gave them both light and needed warmth.

This is how God guided His people for forty years through the desert.


I would like to add further, that originally, the fiery-cloudy pillar was leading them, but when they became [i]aware[/i] of their enemies, the pillar moved behind them, between them and the Egyptian army. Not only did this [i]hide[/i] them from the enemy, but it turned the enemy's day to night and their night to day. The fire which you were describing as light, was as bright as daylight. That's some fire! The day-night arrangement worked by letting God's people get ahead, while the enemy was sleeping.

 2005/7/2 20:39
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re: Parent and child

Roadsign said

Quote:

I think of an infant in a playpen who screams every time Mommy walks out of the room. He thinks that if she is not experiencially present, she has abandoned him...He must learn that when she is not in sight, she is still PRESENT, and still will provide for his needs.


I responded...
Quote:
This is a terrific analogy Roadsign!


JakeforJesus wrote:
Quote:
Compton you said "It was a terrfic analogy."
I agree with the analogy, but why do you say it is? I have not asked this question to challenge what you said. But only for reasons I felt that by asking that question it may serve to bring more light on the subject is all.


JakeforJesus,

In answering this question(Sorry it took so long for me to respond)let me admit that I wish I knew more about the presence of God...

Although Roadsign's analogy could perhaps be used as an illustration of God's "Omnipresence" and the comfort we take in knowing he is everywhere, this is not what impressed me about it.

The heart of the analogy (for me) lies in the parent/ child relationship. A parent's heart is not omnipresent...but everpresent because their hearts are always close to the child. Precisely because the good parent's heart is never far from the child is the reason they will not show up as the baby dictates. The parent is on a more profound mission...namely that the child would mature.

A few years back there was the God Chasers movement that objectified the presence of God into a tanglible paranormal entity that would occupy physical space within a church and spark electric life changing power...this was called the "manifest" presence of God. I think this is looking for His presence in the wrong direction...namely that the outerman will come into contact with the presence of God and be changed by the experience. Regardless of the validity of this phenomena, I believe focusing on this is akin to Roadsign's "baby crying in the crib."

So, let me expound on Roadsign's analogy as heard through my ears... God is an ever present parent that is intent on maturity. Even in His "absence", He is present with us as we are on His mind. "lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Mature people sense their parents in a way that is different then children...inwardly vs. externally...Adults sense their parents within their own character. (I'm so much like my dad...)

If the kingdom of God is within...then why do so many seek His presence externally as if our senses will convince our hearts...except He first be manifest in and through our hearts. Why would God manifest Himself in a way that by-passes our hearts? "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." On sunday mornings, if we can't find the presence of God in our hearts...we ain't going to find Him in church. (If we insist on delicous signs and wonders, then perhaps other spirits will eagerly entertain us and distract us from the inward work of the Holy Spirit...)

These words from Jesus:

"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."

More glimpses of the presence of God...

"There is one body and one Spirit,...one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

How is it manifested?..can we "feel close" to God? Accordingly...
"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father...My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

and these words...

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

With this perspective, I apply Roadsigns' analogy along these lines: In my youth I hoped to experience the presence of God, but once I reached maturity I determined to practice the presence of God.

The words of Andrew Lawrence, the final chapter of "The Practice of the Presence of God."

"Let us not amuse ourselves to seek or to love GOD for any sensible favors (how elevated so ever) which He has or may do us. Such favors, though never so great, cannot bring us so near to GOD as faith does in one simple act. Let us seek Him often by faith: He is within us; seek Him not elsewhere. Are we not rude and deserve blame, if we leave Him alone, to busy ourselves about trifles, which do not please Him and perhaps offend Him? 'Tis to be feared these trifles will one day cost us dear."

MC


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Mike Compton

 2005/7/3 0:09Profile





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