When Darkness Comes

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 29, 2009

“God’s people have no assurance that the dark experiences of life will be held at bay, much less that God will provide some sort of running commentary on the meaning of each day’s allotment of confusion, boredom, pain, or achievement. It is no great matter where we are, provided we see that the Lord has placed us there, and that He is with us.”
John Newton
~~~

“We are moved by the act of God. Omniscience holds no conference. Infinite authority leaves no room for compromise. Eternal love offers no explanations. The Lord expects to be trusted. He disturbs us at will. Human arrangements are disregarded, family ties ignored, business claims put aside. We are never asked if it is convenient.”
Samuel Chadwick, quoted by J. Oswald Sanders
Enjoying Intimacy With God, 97
~~~

In your darkest night the Lord of love has not forgotten you. The hand that guides you is nail scared because He loves you. Your Father who directs your steps sacrificed His all for you in His Son. When you have unanswered questions and heaven seems silent you can know your Shepherd is tending you. Jesus said to a father in a dark time of receiving word of his daughter’s death, “Do not fear, only believe” (Luke 8:50, ESV).




Posted in Faith

Doing The Next Thing

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 27, 2009

“When your heart is absolutely surrendered, and you are depending on the Lord to guide you, then you can trust Him to put His thoughts into your thinking and infuse His desires into your desires or change them. Philippians 2:13 (ESV) promises, ‘For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.’ Another translation says it well, ‘For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him’ (NLT). Believers should not wait passively for the Lord to tell them what they should do. He has given us a mind that He expects us to use. He has promised to direct our steps if we trust Him rather than ourselves, and seek Him in all we do (Proverbs 3:5-6). He declares quite clearly that He ordains our steps (Proverbs 20:24). In Acts 16:6-7 Paul had a plan but the Spirit directed his steps a different way than he had planned. In Romans 1:13 Paul said, ‘Often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far).’ As Christians we should plan for what we are responsible to do and faithfully do it with all our heart as to the Lord (Colossians 3:23). Ecclesiastes 9:10 instructs, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.’ When God wants to redirect your steps in the midst of walking out your plan, He will. When we are wholly His and trust Him, we can rest with assurance that He is guiding us as we fulfill our responsibilities, doing the next thing we know to do.”
Author
The Spirit And Presence of Christ, 122
~~~

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)
~~~

Do you want with all your heart to do the will of God? If so, then you can rest in peace that His indwelling Spirit will guide you through your natural thinking process and desires because He wants His will for you with limitless steadfast love.




Posted in Will of God

Faith Is Trust

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 23, 2009

Faith is trust in a person. This means being fully persuaded about a person’s honorable character and therefore being able to depend on them with utmost confidence. They can be fully trusted to keep their word, and to doubt their word would be to doubt their character, which would be a grievous offense against them.

Christians live by faith in Jesus Christ. They are justified by faith in Christ, and they walk by faith in Christ. From beginning to end the Christian life is one of simply trusting Christ. The only other option is to doubt His character and to trust in self. This is not a good option!
To trust the Lord Jesus is an inward, deliberate, and conscious choice to rely upon Him to do exactly what He promises. It is steadfast confidence with inner resolve to hold Him reverently to His Word, even when there is no feeling, experience, or evidence indicating that it is real. Faith pleases Him because it honors Him by demonstrating confidence in His invisible Personhood and His trustworthy character (Hebrews 11:6). He cannot lie!

How does this work our practically? In daily living we are confronted by circumstances and relationships, trials and tribulations, disappointments and blessings, heartache and sorrow, needs and challenges. Each comes with God’s fingerprints on it because of His determined purpose to further conform us to the image of the Lord Jesus. This is a lifetime process. One who trusts the Lord Jesus accepts whatever comes with confidence in His sovereign ordering of life and makes a deliberate choice to trust the Spirit of Christ within to express His beautiful character through them in the present situation. This is not always easy, and sometimes we forget to trust Him. When this happens our old ugly self shows up and we feel we have failed terribly. However, a compelling love for the Lord Jesus, coupled with a driving desire for Him to be seen through our weak humanity all the time, keeps us pressing on in faith (complete trust) so that His will is done by us through His Spirit for His glory. Nothing else really matters, does it? The Lord Jesus seen through you, though unconscious to you, is the Father’s will for you.
~~~

And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.

Galatians 2:20 (ESV)




Posted in Faith

When Christ Draws Near

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 16, 2009

“The story goes that Thomas Aquinas, perhaps the world’s greatest theologian, toward the end of his life suddenly stopped writing. When his secretary complained that his work was unfinished, Thomas replied; Brother Reginald, when I was at prayer a few months ago, I experienced something of the reality of Jesus Christ. That day, I lost all appetite for writing. In fact, all I have ever written about Christ seems now to me to be like straw.”
Brennan Manning

The Ragamuffin Gospel,
199
~~~

“Sometimes the revealed presence of Jesus Christ by His Spirit can be so felt that it affects your physical being. His presence brushes against you. His hand is upon you. A revelation of Him passes right through your soul. You know that the King of Heaven has come and visited you and you feel the lingering embrace of this Holy Being whom you cannot see.

During these times, conviction of sin and failure is accompanied by a profoundly deep awareness of being loved by this Holy One from heaven. A window of heaven opens and a measure of its rarified atmosphere falls upon earth in a particular place at a particular time yielding moments that are indescribable, unexplainable, and unforgettable. And you respond to the Holy One of heaven with a hushed reverence, a sober humility, and a more pure worship.

Sometimes stunned silence is the only appropriate response. At other times ‘joy inexpressible…full of glory’ is one’s experience (1 Peter 1:8). In either case, we become aware that we are finite, created beings who have been visited by an infinite, invisible, and eternal Creator, Redeemer, and exalted Lord. The sovereign God who is always present everywhere has drawn inexplicably and breathtakingly near in the Person of Jesus Christ by His Spirit.”

Author
The Spirit And Presence of Christ, 168




A Transformed Heart

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 13, 2009

Do you long to be like the Lord Jesus? Of course, you and I know what the correct answer should be. However, the correct answer with one’s mind is not the same as an honest answer from one’s heart. The sobering question is this: does your heart long to be like the beautiful Lord Jesus? Your heart is the core of your personality, the center of your being. Your heart directs your life. Each of us lives out of our heart. Whatever controls our heart controls our life. Hard circumstances nor another’s irritating behavior can never be excuses for our own ungodly behavior. These external matters simply bring forth whatever fills our heart. Either sin proceeds from our heart or Christ-likeness proceeds from our heart. The great need for Christian living is a transformed heart. A transformed heart motivates, guides, and expresses itself outwardly through attitudes, countenance, words, and deeds. A selfish heart does the same with all its ugliness. Every believer at times fails to express the loveliness of Christ, and this brings shame and grief. It also further reveals the need for deeper purification and transformation of heart, and therefore it serves for good.

One who longs to be like the Lord Jesus regularly meditates on God’s Word, along with prayer, and endeavors to apply His Word to practical details of daily living so as to please Him in all things. This devoted lover of Christ, without effort, wakes up thinking about pleasing Him, habitually returns to God pleasing thoughts throughout the day, and ends the day with the same compelling desire. Their whole life is consumed with a passionate desire that rules their heart. Their heart is captured and controlled by the love of God, and they crave conformity to the character of Christ. Yet, knowing full well their inability in themselves to be and to do what their heavenly Father desires, they habitually turn with simple trust to the Spirit of Christ within them and call on Him to live His beautiful life through their frail humanity. And with perfect faithfulness He does—His own glory and pleasure! This is life abundant—His overflowing life.
~~~

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13b-14 (ESV)




Abiding In God’s Love

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 9, 2009

“The original disciples were enamored with Jesus. They adored Him. He was the preeminent focus of their devotion and the incomparable passion of their souls. He occupied their minds, hearts, and affections above all else. He was real to them, not some distant personality who lived, died a horrific death, and was resurrected. They enjoyed His presence, and love for Him engulfed their souls. The apostle Paul uttered the passion of his heart when he wrote, ‘I want to know Christ,’ (Philippians 3:10 NIV) and ‘the love of Christ controls us’ (2 Corinthians 5:14). The love of God arrested their hearts. John wrote, ‘We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us (1 John 4:16). They treasured the love of God who cherished them, and their response was to love Him with abandon.

We also swim in the boundless ocean of His love. God wants us to relish His astounding grace, revel in His love, and cherish his compassion. He desires that we rest in His secure embrace and delight in the wonder of His tender care. He wants us to be wholly gratified with Him and enjoy His blazing love for us. God could not think of us with a more tender love than He does every nanosecond. As His children, we are infinitely precious in His sight. We can go to bed conscious that we sleep in His love and awake the next morning remembering His personal, compassionate affection toward us. Psalm 48:9 in the New Living Translation reads, ‘O God, we meditate on your unfailing love as we worship in your Temple.’ The same translation says in another place, ‘For I am constantly aware of your unfailing love’ (Psalm 26:3).

Author

The Spirit And Presence of Christ, 95-96




Posted in God's Love

Privilege Of Present Realization

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 6, 2009

“This Flame of the Presence was the beating heart of the Levitical order. Without it all the appointments of the tabernacle were characters of some unknown language; they had no meaning for Israel or us. The greatest fact of the tabernacle was that Jehovah was there; a Presence was waiting within the veil. Similarly the Presence of God is the central fact of Christianity. At the heart of the Christian message is God himself waiting for His redeemed children to push into conscious awareness of his Presence. That type of Christianity which happens now to be the vogue knows this Presence only in theory. It fails to stress the Christian’s privilege of present realization. According to its teachings we are in the Presence of God positionally, and nothing is said about the need to experience that Presence actually. The firey urge that drove men like McCheyne is wholly missing. And the present generation of Christians measures itself by this imperfect rule. Ignoble contentment takes the place of burning zeal. We are satisfied to rest in our judicial possessions and for the most part we bother ourselves very little about the absence of personal experience.”
A. W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God, p. 37
~~~

The Lord’s conscious presence does what nothing else can do. His presence brings refreshment, healing, rest, renewal, quickening, new vision, strengthened faith, hope and love, and the list could go on. His revealed presence is far, far more than a good Bible study, or an excellent sermon, or a stirring praise service. His conscious presence can enter during those times, but sometimes His presence quietly comes without those activities. You can press into His presence while alone in your prayer place, and He will melt your heart with His love and stun you with the awe of His beauty. Words seem most feeble in those times. The sweetness of His nearness fills your spiritual senses with what cannot be described, and everything of this world fades into the shadows with His nearness.




Posted in Worship

Present Possibilities

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 2, 2009

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10:19-22 (ESV)
~~~

“It is impossible to exaggerate the ‘present tenses of the blessed life,’ of which this is one. We are so apt to associate the Christian life either with the past (had), or the future (shall have), that we often lose blessing and power through the forgetfulness of our present possibilities.”
W. H. Griffith Thomas
Hebrews: A Devotional Commentary
~~~

If a wealthy relative left their entire estate to you, then with excitement you would want to know right away what it is and how much. You would listen very attentively as the lawyer read from the will what was included in your inheritance, and you would be very thankful for a copy of the will so you could go over it several times and ponder how to use the estate most advantageously.
Our Heavenly Father has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:3). He has poured out upon us grace upon grace. His loving desire is that we know our present tense inheritance so we can fully enjoy it now. Merely to read the black and white words on a Bible page is not sufficient for those present possibilities to become reality. We must read them, ponder them, believe them, and receive them with thanksgiving. Then the Holy Spirit can make them real in our heart and our experience. The verses above are full of present tense blessings for us to receive with much thanksgiving and enjoy now. How many can you find to rejoice about?




Posted in Faith