Under The Lord’s Control

Posted by Jerry White on Feb 26, 2009

“The most miserable person on earth is the man or woman who does not know how to turn to God—or how to draw from God all that the soul needs to live. They are easily disturbed, easily driven to fear and anxiety, easily driven to self-pity and dissatisfaction.
Why are these people so easily troubled? It is because they cannot control circumstances or get life to turn out exactly the way they want it to. Also, because they cannot have exactly what they want.”
Thomas ‘a Kempis
Come, Lord Jesus
Edited by David Hazard, p. 67
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11 (ESV)

The lesson the Lord Jesus kept teaching His disciples was, “you can trust Your Heavenly Father. Do not doubt. He knows your need before you ask Him. He hears your prayers. The very hairs of your head He has numbered. Not a sparrow falls without His knowledge. He will care for your every need. He is present with you always. He will never fail you or forsake you. He knows what is best for you.”
Heart knowledge of this assurance brings peace and rest. Retaining control of one’s life prevents these truths from becoming real, and therefore hinders rest, peace and joy from ruling within. Because the Lord Jesus loves you with all of His heart, never is there any reason to doubt that every detail of your life is under His watchful care. This means that all that comes to you has His fingerprints upon it, and it comes with perfectly measured design and loving purpose. Someone pointed out that the hand that guides us is nail-scarred. No safer place is there to be than out of my control into His complete control.’’

Posted in Total Surrender

Within The Veil

Posted by Jerry White on Feb 23, 2009

“Hearts that are ‘fit to break’ with love for the Godhead are those who have been in the Presence and have looked with opened eye upon the majesty of Deity. Men of the breaking hearts had a quality about them not known to or understood by common men. They habitually spoke with spiritual authority. They had been in the presence of God and they reported what they saw there.
They were prophets, not scribes, for the scribe tells us what he has read, and the prophet tells what he has seen. The distinction is not an imaginary one. Between the scribe who has read and the prophet who has seen. there is a difference as wide as the sea. We are overrun today with orthodox scribes, but the prophets, where are they? The hard voice of the scribe sounds over evangelicalism, but the church waits for the tender voice of the saint who has penetrated the veil and has gazed with inward eye upon the wonder that is God. And yet, thus to penetrate, to push in sensitive living experience into the Holy Presence, is a privilege open to every child of God.”
A. W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God, pp.42-43
I meet few who long to know the Lord’s presence in His manifested reality. One may see a large color photograph of a lovely sunset and be impressed with its beauty, but to stand on a hillside amidst the sounds of nature and feel the soft evening breeze while gazing at a rose and orange and yellow sunset across the valley is so far superior to the picture that it is not even worthy of comparison. It is the same with the truth of God’s revealed presence. Many are content with His promised presence, or with the doctrine of His omnipresence, but they do not have a compelling thirst for the Lord Jesus to disclose Himself like He promised in John 14:21. Christians may learn Bible truths in Bible studies, go to church worship services, and have their personal devotions, but to think that they can see more than a mere picture that someone else has taken is foreign to them. The Lord Jesus is self-revealing, but He withholds His self-disclosure from those who are content just to look at pictures of what others have seen. Gracious Lord, stir us until we long to see your glory.
Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” (Exodus 33:18, ESV)

Posted in God Manifested

Journey Of Discovery

Posted by Jerry White on Feb 19, 2009

Walking with the Lord Jesus is a journey of discovery. Two simple truths one must learn by experience. These truths can be mentally understood from the Scriptures, but one must learn them through experience if they will become real deep within. These two truths are:
1. My self-life always fails.
2. My indwelling Savior never fails.
When these two understandings sink into my soul I have found the best place to be. Knowing in the depths of my soul that I am totally unworthy, and can never be worthy, and knowing that I am helpless to be what I am supposed to be, I then turn to Him as a needy child, helpless and trusting.  The Lord Jesus then undertakes on my behalf, and He delights to do so.
In this honest place of self-knowledge, which is sometimes painful to learn, and in this confident place of His absolute trustworthiness, I find peace, rest, and joy. This blessed place of experiential knowledge comes through both painful and glad revelation, and with it I cease trying to be what I can never be in self’s power and begin to really become what He alone can make me through His life in me.
Every believer must tread this path. There is no short cut. There is no easy way. There is no other way. This is the path through the narrow gate and along the hard way, and it leads to life abundant.  This necessary path for growth in truth and grace requires humility.

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. Romans 7:18 (ESV)

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25a (ESV)
O to be saved from myself, dear Lord,
O to be lost in Thee,
O that it may be no more I,
But Christ that lives in me.

A. A. W.

The Lord’s Correction

Posted by Jerry White on Feb 16, 2009

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
And chastises every son whom he receives.”

Hebrews 12:5-6 (ESV)

“Oh, what an unveiling of the heart of God may be seen in a loving correction! No truth in experimental religion is more verified than this, that the severest discipline of our Heavenly Father springs from His deepest, holiest love. That in His rebukes, however severe, in His corrections, however bitter, there is more love, more tenderness, and more real desire for our well-being than exists in the fondest affection a human heart ever cherished. And often times, in His providential dealings with His children, there is more of the heart of God unfolded in a dark overhanging cloud than is ever unveiled and revealed in a bright and glowing sunbeam. But this truth is only learned in God’s school.”
Octavius Winslow
Morning Thoughts, April 15

Our Father’s determined purpose is to conform us to the likeness of Jesus Christ. What does it mean to be like the Lord Jesus? It means to be humble as He is humble, to be love as He is love, to be pure as He is pure, to be holy as He is holy, and to walk righteously as He is righteous. If this is God’s determined purpose for me then should it not be my determined purpose also?  If I truly love Him for who He is, then would I not want to be like the Lord Jesus? His discipline is as necessary as His Word and Spirit for my transformation. His chastening is a painful blessing of love with eternal purpose.

Defeated Or Disobedient

Posted by Jerry White on Feb 12, 2009

“The Christian should never complain of want of ability and power. If we sin, it is because we choose to sin, not because we lack the ability to say no to temptation…Too often we say we are ‘defeated’ by this or that sin. No, we are not defeated; we are simply disobedient! It might be well if we stopped using the terms ‘victory’ and ‘defeat’ to describe our progress in holiness. Rather we should use the terms ‘obedience’ and ‘disobedience’. When I say I am defeated by some sin, I am unconsciously slipping out from under my responsibility. I am saying something outside of me has defeated me. But when I say I am disobedient, that places the responsibility for my sin squarely on me.”
Jerry Bridges
The Pursuit of Holiness, p. 84

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
John 14:15 (ESV)

The Lord Jesus says obedience is the way we express our love to Him. Conversely, disobedience indicates a lack of love for Him. The Lord leaves no room for excuses. He considers our obedience or disobedience a very personal love relationship issue. Obedience is far more than fulfilling a list of impersonal commandments. Obedience is the way we show our love for our beloved Savior. If I think failure in obedience is no more than disobedience to an impersonal commandment then what harm is done except for my own guilt and shame? Surely asking for forgiveness will remove that. But if I see that disobedience is very personal toward the Lord Jesus, and that it reveals my lack of love for Him, and that it grieves Him, then I become concerned about Him and the true need of my own heart to love Him more than I do. Disobedience requires ruthless honesty: “Lord, I do not really love you like I should, nor like I want to. I disobey you because I love myself, and my sin, more than You. Please be merciful to me, and do a deeper work in me that will result in my loving You passionately and supremely.  Change my heart so that I can’t stand the thought of grieving You by disobedience.”

Posted in Obedience

Christ Our Sufficiency

Posted by Jerry White on Feb 9, 2009

“For our salvation, all fullness was communicated to Christ, ‘for it pleased the Father that in him all the fullness should dwell’ (Colossians 2:9). And Christ did not receive the ‘Spirit by measure’ (John 3:34). So from this fullness, Christ is all sufficient to supply all the needs of his people (John 1:16). Had the Spirit been given to Christ by measure, we would soon have exhausted all his supplies. So because of his fullness, Christ has all sufficiency in himself to be to the soul all that the soul desires. Is the soul dead? Christ is its life. Is the soul weak? Christ is its strength. Is the soul ignorant? Christ is its wisdom. Is the soul guilty? Christ is its righteousness and justification.”
John Owen
Communion With God

For in him [Jesus] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.
Colossians 1:19 (ESV)

What is your need just now for living a God glorifying life? Where do you have to go to obtain it? Our Heavenly Father made it so very simple for us. We need only turn to His Son, our Lord Jesus, in simple faith because all we need or will ever need is in Him. We do not have to learn some new principle, or discover some new rule, or attain some new state of spirituality. All He desires for us to do is to come to Him in simplicity and humility and quiet trust. His fullness is measureless, and His sufficiency is for you and me—personally. The veil of the temple was torn asunder when He was crucified so we can boldly enter by His shed blood anytime and anywhere to obtain grace and mercy in our time of need. His throne room is always open to His children, and He says, “Come, my dearly loved child. I have given all you will ever need in my beloved Son. Look nowhere else but Him, and trust Him by simply asking.”

Posted in Faith

Waiting In Stillness

Posted by Jerry White on Feb 5, 2009

“Blessed the man who learns the lesson of stillness and fully accepts God’s Word, ‘In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.’ Each time he listens to the word of the Father, or asks the Father to listen to his words, he dares not begin his Bible reading or prayer without first pausing and waiting, until the soul be hushed in the presence of the Eternal Majesty. Under a sense of the Divine nearness, the soul, feeling how self is always ready to assert itself, and intrude even into the holiest of all with its thoughts and efforts, yields itself in a quiet act of self-surrender to the teaching and working of the Divine Spirit. It is still and waits in holy silence, until all is calm and ready to receive the revelation of the Diving will and presence. Its reading and prayer then indeed become a waiting on God with ear and heart opened and purged to receive fully only what He says.
‘Abide in Christ!’ Let no one think that he can do this if he has not daily his quiet time, his seasons of meditation and waiting on God.”
Andrew Murray
Abide In Christ

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.
Psalm 37:7a (ESV)

With sound readily available to us through electronics, solitude and silence in our day are neglected disciplines. Those accustomed to sound may even find stillness and aloneness a bit frightening. Aloneness with His Father in a quiet place was a regular practice of the Lord Jesus. He found it absolutely essential for His daily life and ministry. If it was true for Him, is it not true for us also? If I were to entertain a very godly person for meaningful fellowship and conversation would I be so rude as to do so while listening to something else? Those who want to grow in conformity to Christ cultivate the blessed habit of being alone with the Lord Jesus in silence with single-eye focus and reverence so they can wait upon Him to hear His heart, and sometimes just enjoy the safe stillness of His presence.

Desire Requires Discipline

Posted by Jerry White on Feb 2, 2009

Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.
1 Timothy 4:7 (NASB)

“Neglecting time alone with your Lord will impoverish you. You will be drawn away by your own selfish desires, the attraction of the world, and the ruthless attack of the enemy. One cannot continue in fullness if he or she does not continue drinking of His life, and this requires self-discipline. Thirst must find expression through self-discipline because discipline is necessary for godliness (1 Timothy 4:7). Sometimes Christians confuse discipline with legalism. The Olympic athlete with his eye on a gold medal is not legalistic because he disciplines himself for the purpose of winning, but rather he is self-disciplined because he wants to win. Longing to be the best motivates him to prepare for the competition, and that is not always easy. If you have your heart set on the goal of knowing and seeing God and becoming like Jesus, then discipline is necessary in order to fulfill your desire. You will have to make choices against an enemy whose intent is to rob you of a close and affectionate relationship with Jesus. The devil will even use good things to hinder you. Jesus let nothing, even ministry to the masses and the needs of suffering humanity and lost people dying and going to hell, keep Him from necessary time alone with His heavenly Father (Luke 5:15-16).”
The Spirit and Presence of Christ, pp. 98-99

My dear loving Father, stir in me such deep and strong thirst that I cannot help but run from this worldly desert to heaven’s flowing river in order to drink deeply of Your life-giving refreshment. Amen!