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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Lord I thank You

  Lord I  thank You for what You have been teaching me.  I have learned, and am still learning, to take nothing for granted, to realize that things can be changed, but that Your perfect love is the engine that motivates change and that Your perfect peace is the feeling by which I recognize that change as having come from You.  Your Holy Spirit is teaching me that if I run from things that hurt or challenge, then it is for the very fact that these things hurt or challenge that You have brought them across my path.  If I run, hurt goes with me and challenge remains where I stood.
You have helped me, and are still helping me, to love not only those who love me, that is easy, but to love those who find it hard to love me, and to realiae that no one sees the whole picture of another's life, and that there is a common enemy that would seek to separate.  You do not ask me to love, You command me to love, and I thank You Lord for Your patience with me as I learn to love others as You love me.
I have loved the song 'Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord', and know that it is a very true message.
You have continued to encourage me to take every thought into captivity and see if it lines up with Your word spoken to me, and You have strengthened me often to act upon that word, even though my carnal mind may be questioning it.  I have come to know that Your wisdom is far greater than my own, and You are bringing me more and more to put my trust in it.  You have strengthened me in the past and are still strengthening me to believe that Your word has the power to bring into existance that which does not exist.
Ecclesiastes ch.11 verse seven says 'Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun.'  You are my heavenly warrior of light Lord, faithful and true, that rides upon a white horse, having 'king of kings and Lord of lords' written upon Your robe and thigh, as You slay my spiritual enemies with Your sword, and it is pleasant for my eyes to behold You.
Lord I continue to say 'Not my will, but Your will.  Not my truth, but Your truth.  Not my love, but Your love,' and contine to make these two prayers to You.

Examine my heart Lord, look to see
If what I see in others lies also in me
Examine my hands Lord see the work that I do
Does it say 'Look at me' or bring glory to You ?
Examine my mind Lord and the thoughts deep within
Are they righteous and holy or tempered with sin?
Lord take from this vessel that You wish to mould
All that is clay and replace it with gold

Increase the 'You' in me Lord, increase the solid rock
Increase the strength the Father sent to protect from every knock
Increase the 'You' in me Lord when I try to stand alone
Remind me that I'm still a child, that in You I'm not yet grown
Increase the 'You' in me Lord, take all my foolish pride
Take the 'me' that still remains in me and place the 'You' inside
Increase the 'You' in me Lord that when all is said and done
And people say 'Thank you, thank you', I'll say 'Not me...... God's Son'

Saturday, 14 January 2012

True riches

A few days ago, on a short program called ' Fourthought ' where people are allowed to share their thoughts on a television channel called Channel four, a lady asked 'Is it right to pray for riches?'.  A song I had written several years ago came straight into my mind.  It is called 'If I could have one hundred crowns.' 
I write it as a testimony to how the Lord has always provided all my needs, and how seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness has always, and always will be, my number one priority.  To learn to be content with little or much can help to take away many fears, and relying on God brings that contentment. Praise His lovely name and the name of His Son Jesus.

If I could have one hundred crowns all decked with precious stones
If ten thousand queens of Sheba brought me presents from afar
If I lived in perfect luxury with gold to flesh my bones
Lord these things could never make me what You are

I could have the world's great scholars with their intellect and fame
They'd teach me logic, they'd teach me science, they'd teach me how the flowers grow
I would have the best position with wages I could name
But they could never teach me what You know

There's only one crown that I want, it's not decked with fancy jewels
No fine, important persons bring me presents from afar
I may live in humble dwellings surrounded by life's fools
But I've found all I need in what You are

I've found the finest teacher, God sent Him from above
And it's not with earthly wisdom that I'm taught
For I'm learning patience, kindness, I'm learning tollerance and love
And with all the gold on Earth they can't be bought

I could climb the highest mountain, search the heavens high above
I could sail the world's great seas from shore to shore
Never finding what I'm looking for, that sanctuary of love
For it's in God's house ,and Jesus is the door

Yes it's in God's house ..... and Jesus is the door

I love all scripture, but one of the most beautiful verses in the whole of the Bible to me is the first verse of Psalm 18.  It reads ' I will love Thee O Lord my strength '.  When I first came across this verse I felt it was summing up all that I have ever wanted to say to the Lord in one sentence.  For whether I have received blessing, healing, correction, knowledge or anything else from the Lord these words would express perfectly my thoughts towards Him at all times.  I know that His words to me when I seek Him are always to strengthen me in Him, and I am coming to know that I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.
If an unbeliever seeks advice or help on any matter, he or she will look to a person or a book that they believe will have knowledge on that particular subject.  How much better that I seek advice from the One who knows all things, and can do all things, including that which is not possible for man to know or do.  The only thing that has ever caused me to question what the Lord tells me is the human knowledge which is stored in my carnal mind.  If man's wisdom had never been fed into my mind there would be nothing to challenge God's words to me, and I would know only God's wisdom.
There are two strengths that are able to dominate my life and the one I try to live by is the strength of my Lord.  The other one I must try to put to death.  It is the strength that dominated the old me, the one that was born of flesh.  It has a power over the fleshly me if I allow it to, and is a liar, a thief and a murderer by nature, seeking to deceive me with false knowledge and rob me of the blessings of God and eternal life that an only be found in Christ Jesus. 
Isaiah ch.30 vs1 and 2 read 'Woe to the rebellious children,' says the Lord, 'who carry out a plan but not mine, and who make a league, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin, who set out to go down to Egypt without asking for my counsel, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh, and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt.'  Egypt here is spiritually discerned as representing the world, and Pharaoh the strength of that world.  In ch.31 vs 1to 3 the Lord continues to remind His people that only woe can come from relying on Egypt and its strength instead of consulting the Lord, saying that the Egyptians are merely men, and not God and that their strong horsemen and horses are flesh, and not spirit.
These scriptures, amongst many others have been used by the Lord to strengthen me in sickness, amongst other things many times since I became a Christian, and are proving themselves true in my life.  They have been used when I have been at my weakest to show me a power that is far above any physical power, a power that is able to comfort and sustain me where the words of men wouls not be able to.  I cannot explain it except to say that it is a feeding of the soul, a case of the Spirit of God being the main aource of my survival instead of food and drink.
The Lord showed me a long time ago the meaning of a Hebrew word found in the Bible, the word Chattath and Chattaah, sin offering, from Chata, to miss the mark, it also signifies sin in general, and is a very apt term by which to express its nature.  A sinner is continually aiming at and seeking happiness, but as he or she does not seek it in God, hence the scripture represents him as missing his aim, or missing the mark.  I believe that I can continually miss out on blessings by missing the mark when I choose to listen to my carnal mind dictating worldly wisdom rather than listen to the Lord's instruction on many occasions.  In the new testament the term 'turned back from following His ' is used when some disciples found it too hard to eat and drink the body and blood of the Lord
Although it has often been very hard to focus on what the Lord is telling me above what my carnal mind is telling me, I have found that when I do His words have become a very real strength in some of my weakest times.  Many times I have found that using the forty ninth and fiftieth verses of Psalm 119, which read 'remember thy word to thy servant in which thou hast made me hope .  This is my comfort in my afliction that thy promise gives me life. ', and reminding the Lord of the words He has spoken to me, have actually had the power to remove pain or discomfort, sometimes in seconds.
Other scriptures that the Lord has spoken to me have been brought to my mind when I have found it difficult to do or say something that would go against what my natural mind would tell me to do, and I have been amazed at the power those words have to remove my fears and bring about the foretold outcome.  The more I seek the Lord for help, and try to act on it, especially speaking it out, the more I feel His strength in me conquering the two main enemies that would rob me of His blessings, doubt and fear.  Even writing this testimony instills more of His strength in me and belief that He is able to do all things.  I continue to say ' I will love Thee O Lord my strength.'

I love Thee O Lord my strength and my song
For loving a wretch such as me
For though in my life Satan's bonds have been strong
Your love has been setting me free
Continue to strengthen me, feed me Your word
As I search for my answers in You
Then help me to act upon all that I've heard
For I know that Your sayings are true

Oh precious Lord if I could not see Your outstretched hand on my troubled sea
If I did not hear Your constant plea saying 'Don't look down child, look at Me'
Then I'd sink beneath these icy waves, far away from the hand that saves
Unable to hear Your faithful voice telling me 'Child, it's still your choice'

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Observations on Cain, Abel and Lucifer

Cain's offering was the fruit of his own labour from the ground that had been cursed after the fall, which was not acceptable to God.  As a result he got angry, killed his brother and ' went away from the presence of the Lord'.

Abel's offering was a slain animal, the firstlings of his flock, which was acceptable to God.  'Abel' means 'breath' which signifies spiritual man.

In Cain is exemplified the religion of the natural man, who will approach God with offerings of a natural kind, whilst in Abel is exemplified the worship of the spiritual man who will approach God with the offerings of the slain lamb, offerings of a spiritual kind.

Lucifer, spoken of in Isaiah ch.14 vs 1-20, is a name signifying in Latin 'Light bringer' or 'light bearer', which was given in irony to the king of Babylon because, in his pride, he said he would exalt his throne above the stars of God.  He was the oppressor of God's people, allowed into Heaven, though human, a 'light bearer' cut down and fallen from Heaven because he destroyed his land and slew his people.  Babylon was where God's people experienced a mixture of God's teaching and man's teaching.  the name reflects the word Babel, which means 'confusion'.  Christians, though 'seated in Heavenly places', can be in spiritual Babylon when they mix God's pure teaching from His word with mans' doctrine.  the only thing acceptable to God is Jesus, the Word of God, the slain lamb.  The fruit of our own labour, our own works, have no standing with God whatsoever.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Communication with God

My friend and I felt that we had been neglecting our evangelism in the streets.  We have put poetry together with scripture in the form of leaflets to hand out to people and sometimes I take my guitar and we sing songs that we believe the Lord has brought us to write.  We decided that we would go on the Friday of that week into the town centre, and also take the guitar.  By the time Thursday had arrived I was feeling apprehensive about taking the guitar out with us and singing, partly because I was just getting over a cold, and partly because I hadn't sung in the street for a while.  So I prayed to the Lord and asked Him to show me whether I should take the guitar with me or not.  I was quite happy just to give out the leaflets.
That night I had a dream that I was given a sheet of paper.  At first glance the piece of paper appeared to be blank.  Then, as I tilted it, the light seemed to catch it and reveal a hidden message, almost as if there was another layer, beneath the top blank sheet, that could only be revealed when the light caught it a certain way.  I could barely make out what it said, but the harder I looked the clearer the message became.  It was simply the number 147.
The next morning I forgot all about having the dream, until I was seeking th Lord again about whether I should take my guitar out and sing that afternoon.  I had my Bible in front of me and suddenly the dream returned to my mind.  I felt led to read Psalm 147.  The first line said to sing praises, for a sontg of praise is seemly.  Verse seven also spoke about singing with a musical instrument.  Verse eleven says that the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him.  I decided that I was being told by the Lord to take the guitar and sing.  When I reached my friends house, she said she had also been reading Psalm 147 and believed we were were to sing as well as handing out the leaflets.  This we did and had a very good response from people on the street. 
The next day I was working on my computer with an image manipulation package in which I can work with layers, a facility which gives me the ability to use several layers to build up a picture.  It enables me to totally block out a layer beneath the active layer without losing the information on that lower layer, it is simply obscured from my view.  What I see on my computer screen depends on which layer I choose to place on top as the active layer.  That same morning the postman had brought a letter from my bank which told me that there was a new way of getting help other than from the help desk at my branch.  There was a phone number to ring and if I peeled back a slip on a blank sheet of paper that was in the envelope, my code number, which I must use when I call, would be revealed.  As I peeled back the slip of paper my mind was cast back to my dream, and I realized that God was showing me something.
The blank sheet in my dream represented my carnal mind which was not really knowing what to do concerning the singing.  The other layer which appeared when the sheet of paper was tilted in the light was the enlightened word of the Holy Spirit directing me to the rhema word of God spoken to me in Psalm 147.
This incident showed me the importance of seeking God's will for direction.  As with the layers facility on my computer program, the carnal mind has the ability to blank out the spiritual mind of Christ if i do not stay in communication with ehe Lord.  Just like the layers facility on my computer, what I see depends on which mink I keep active.
Also, the personal code number that I must use to get help from my bank represented the enlightened word of God being revealed to me, in my own life and ministry, through prayer.
After I finished writing this article I picked up one of my Christian daily devotional booklets to see what the day's reading was and this is what it said.  'God revealed Himself to Samuel through His word.'