“Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard,and I am come for thy words”
There are depths in God which can only be touched through the bonds of relationship. This cry of the inner heart to know the One in whom are “hid All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” is a constant of those who have touched His purity and power. As Paul breathed out in his letter to the Philippians: “That I might know Him…” The seeing of Him leaves us speechless and steals the affection for all other things from our hearts. The hearing of Him rejoices the heart and makes our flesh tremble. No wonder the Bride in the Song of Songs cries out with fulness of heart,
“I sought him whom my soul loveth”
Song of Songs 6:3
This is no casual relationship; not some acquaintance we hold in high regard. This is the eternal Love of God indwelling the human heart. It is a contradiction beyond comprehension: The All-Knowing One, the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity choosing to offer through the mystery of Redemption access, and what’s more, relationship; relationship of the same substance and depth that exists between the Son and the Father! There are no words to convey such things.
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us…”
The heart that truly seeks this depth in Him will also seek such depths with His people. The evidence of His faith, His heart and His Life within is revealed by the longings for these things. Faith causes us to apprehend this truth, love necessitates it and hope sustains our pursuit of it. We seek Him because He first sought us. We love Him, because He first loved us. The seeking of Him, the pursuit of Him and the longing for the depths of His Being is the result of Him living in us.
“Deep calleth unto deep…”
This is the pure language of relationship. It is the cry for ever-deepening bonds as One heart reaches out to another. It is a language without words. It cannot be articulated, expounded upon or taught. The reality is that it can only be entered into upon the grounds of His sacrifice and grace. Love by its very nature draws that which it loves to itself. Its disposition is to share, express and replicate itself in all who are near. Seeking is simply the response to this eternal call. Obedience is the result for love ever seeks to please that which it loves. To serve Him is the greatest joy in life.
It is no wonder that Daniel set His heart to understand and to the “chastening” of himself. To such a heart come the words of grace “wherefore I am come for thy words”! To hear such things from God and to know His favor is the sum and purpose of life. It is the great prize for which Paul had set his mark. (Philippians 3:14).
Blessed are those who seek Him with one pure motive: to know Him. Let us set our hearts to have that singular desire.
“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts”(Isa 28:9)
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom 12:1-2)
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, DO: and the God of peace shall be with you”
Knowledge is good. Understanding the work of Christ on the cross is the foundational truth whereby we have the assurance of our standing in Him. Upon this cornerstone the Father was able to send unto us the power and wonder of the Holy Spirit that we might receive Christ within and live lives that actually reveal Him. It is through the glorification of Jesus, His death, and His resurrection, that the Holy Spirit has been sent into our hearts.
“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”
The plan and the purpose of the Holy Spirit being given is to produce His likeness in us. To whatever degree truth is actual on an individual level will determine the depth of our journey into the Unity of the Spirit*. We have far too much apathy in the knowledge of what Christ did FOR US* when in reality the pressing issue (for each of us) is what has He accomplished IN and THROUGH US. They who have the true knowledge of what He did for us reveal its wonder by our abandonment to His Will (Romans 12:1). Jesus died for the sins of the whole world but how few are radically affected by His great sacrifice. Faith is the defining agency between a mere knowing of a thing and the incomprehensible changing power of His resurrection life.
“Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth”
1 Corinthians 8:1
The giving forth of the Spirit of Christ is to culminate in a life (true life) with an authentic expression of He who is The Life. It is a life of doing because it proceeds from a life of being. Paul in the spirit of true humility could declare this incredible statement:
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, DO: and the God of peace shall be with you”
For those with ears to hear and eyes to see, the purpose of God in Christ is the very power to renovate our pride of knowing into the humility and brokenness over our true spiritual condition. The pride of man is shattered by the truth of Christ!It is not what we know that has value in the economy of God; it is what we become by the work of His Spirit within us. Faith is the conduit through which this transformation is conducted.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…”
The measure of Christ’s work within us is proportional to our submission to Him. Light is simply the flow of power through a flimsy element. The element has no ability to produce light in itself. It matters little if the element can give a great discourse on the composition of power, how it is made and where it comes from; if there is no actual flow there will be no light. So it is with us. The knowledge of God must culminate in the flow of His power through us in order for His purposes to be accomplished. Paul was not content in what he knew. He did not glory in the revelations given; his heart was inflamed with the necessity of “apprehending” that full power of Christ within.
“Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus”
May God, by His Spirit, impact our lives afresh with the depth and the heights to which He has called us. The glory of this call cannot but produce within us a depth of humility which frees us from the pride of knowledge and bring us into a living hope that sustains us in the seeing of our great need for Him.
There is but one unmistakable proof of this living hope being active and alive within us:
“…but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure”
1 John 3:2-3
The Hope of Christ within will always produce a growing purity of heart. The great and (H)impossible call and purpose of God remains:
“As He is,
so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17
*Note: The Unity of the Spirit is the fruit of our being in Him. My submission to Him and His Spirit reigning in you results in us being unified in Him. Fellowship in Him will always be proportional to the depth in which we walk in His Light. Where there is no true fellowship with another, Light is the issue. The validity of our walk is revealed in the wonder and joy of our sharing in Him one with another.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another”
1 John 1:7
*Note: Eternity will not be long enough to explore and comprehend the mystery of His sacrifice and the Love which motivated the grand and unfathomable gift of Himself. The measure of His grace is purposed to produce burning, living and radical lives which have been affected by the wonder of His unspeakable gift.
“Who gave himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Thesethingsspeak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee”
“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals”
He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ (Rev 3:5-6)
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. (John 15:5-6)
“He will keep the feet of his saints”
1 Samuel 2:9
This scripture gives an assurance of His keeping grace. The feet of his saints speak of various things; one is sensitivity unto the Lord. Moses met God at the burning bush still shod in the shoes of Egypt. His sensitivity was lacking; though he stood in God’s presence he was unaware of the Holy ground upon which he stood.
“Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground”
There was a numbness in God’s presence and an unfamiliarity with the things of God. Yet we see God drawing near to teach him the way of holiness. We see God at work in Moses to cause him to walk carefully and reverently before Him. In removing the shoes of Egypt, Moses was abandoning the ways and culture of Egypt and being introduced to the wonder of God. One cannot hold onto the ways of the world and expect to grow in the wisdom of God. The two are contrary.
“And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you…”
A sensitive walk is one of feeling our way in God. We must remain sensitive to the intonations and gentle leadings of our Shepherd. These things are beyond the hearing of the ear and seeing of the eye; they can only be known through the deepening of relationship. God desires for us to become so ONE with Him that we know within our heart the way we ought to go. These things are not learned quickly; but as we set our heart to the daily doing of His will there is a recognition of His leading which can only grow through the medium of obedience. It is here we sense that “keeping” of our feet and His Shepherding grace is most evident. We discover by our response to His direction that even small incidents take on importance and adventure. There is a gentle assurance of “this is the way, walk ye in it”. Sensitivity in our walk is vital if we are to learn of Him.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me”
This yoke binds the heart of the disciple to the will and the way of the Master. It is always voluntary. He encourages, validates and directs us with His Staff; He also corrects and chastises us with His Rod. Both of these expressions come from the same heart of Love. The four Gospels are full of these great aspects of His Love. It is a poor parent who does not both affirm and discipline their child.
God’s purpose is for us to be led in a sensitive walk that transcends hearing, seeing and circumstance; where we instinctively do His will by virtue of an abiding relationship. It requires an intentional and vigilant walk by His disciples.
“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye”
The Psalmist goes on to declare:
“Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle”
God’s way with His own is filled with such depths of promise. He stands as our great Shepherd to lead us into those places of relationship and grace. It is our obedience and willingness to learn that determine the extent of our walk with Him.
“Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness (righteousness and stability)”
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering…”
2 Timothy 4:2
For the preaching of The Word to be effective, it must spring from the source which is the love of God Himself. Care and concern for the status of God’s people is the motive. It does not rise from self-righteousness but from a deep knowing that God is righteous. There is a suffering borne by those who behold apathy and complacency; a pain carried within the hearts of those who feel the call of God to deeper and higher things, who sense a responsibility to cry out in the darkness. The call to speak is greater than the vessel. The need to present God far outweighs the desire for acceptance and friendship. Longsuffering is the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit. It is not an attribute of the flesh, but its hold upon a heart produces a suffering long with the condition of God’s House.
Sin is the reason for the suffering of humanity in its lost condition. Love is the reason for suffering in the godly. Christ suffered most, leaving us an example of what righteousness will bring to one who is growing in the wonder of His light and love.
“For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself…”
Let us consider Him who endured the contradiction of sinners, who suffered long in the midst of a perverse and lost generation. The greatest contradiction was from His own people who, in their blindness, and religious ambition, condemned Him to death, even the death of the Cross. Those who follow on to know Him must experience in some small way the same rejection.
“Love suffers long, Love endures all things”, and, to whatever measure we are held in its sway, there will be a corresponding expression of its virtues. By contrast, apathy cares little, speaks smooth words, is pragmatic and remains uninvolved with the conflicts between light and darkness. It hides itself in religious garments of false separation and indifference just as the priest and the Levite who passed by the man who lay beaten in the streets. It was the despised Samaritan, who involved himself in the plight of this one, of whom the blessed Saviour tells us to “go and DO likewise”.
The true love of God necessitates involvement and personal risk. The religion of men produces insulated living and empty words which lack the one essential thing: Love. The preaching of The Word must be fueled by the fire of the Love of God to make Him known in this world.
“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ”
The Grace of God received is revealed in the “necessity” to preach among those to whom the vessel is sent “the unsearchable riches of Christ”. There is no desire to draw men and women unto themselves. They have no church, organization or earthly agendas; they live to make Him known! Grace received can have no other heart!
“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”
1 Corinthians 9:17
There is no room for self-promotion or boasting; it is a burden of “necessity” to preach the Gospel. There is an unction and a fire which burns within those who hold a glimmer of His beauty and wonder. This is not a weak gospel that robs His people of the purity and the power of this love. This is not a casual gospel with a gentle presentation designed to make the wayward comfortable and anesthetized to their own sin. For what is often presented as the “love of God” is in fact a “gospel’ of a god who has been made in their own image and to their own liking.
Where are those who feel the pangs of “necessity” to make Him known in this day? May God pour out upon us a grace that produces lives compelled by the Love of God to make Him known. May He save us from slumber, indifference and ungodly apathy, speaking of “deep” things yet revealing our shallowness through unremarkable living; lives with little or no effect upon the world around us. Let us not claim to have a faith in word but which denies the power of God even within the confines of our own homes. It is time for a new generation to arise who will “Preach the Word” and bring strong exhortations of God to contend with the bondages of a lost generation.
May those who bear His fire in their hearts declare His Word unto the earth and unto the heavens!
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine”
2 Timothy 4:2
“Preach* the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort…”
2 Timothy 4:2
There are many who preach today, but not The Word. There are many who quote scriptures but fail to preach The Word. They preach their own words and their own gospel; they preach to gain the approval, affection and finances of those listening. Paul’s instruction to Timothy is to preach the Word that brings reproof, rebuke and exhortation! How few are willing to risk their popularity, their income, their positions or “career” in the organizations of today for the sake of truth. Many ascribe to the “relevant” things of today, but they will not touch The Word; a “sharp two-edged sword” which divides the soul and spirit of the religious man (Hebrews 4:12). Many are reticent to utter the Word of Life which will cut and reveal the thoughts and intentions of the religious man. They seek the favour of men while turning their back on the God who IS a “consuming fire”. Those who bear His Word must know, in some measure, the temperament and fervor of a God who hates mixture and compromise.
Preach the word!
This was the cry of the Apostolic heart in a Day when the Fire of God was burning, and the faith of God’s people was penetrating the darkness of the world in their time. “Preach the Word” is the call of God to His people in this hour who desire His Sword within their own hearts; who know that in order to walk with Him in holy places they must themselves be holy. Preach the Word has ever been the purpose and the directive of the Holy Spirit for He has come to lead and guide us into the truth and power of holy living. Without holiness we shall not see God! Let the truth of this Word revolutionize our hearts. Our pursuit of holiness is the revelation of our desire to see God!
The depth of an individual’s pursuit for holiness is the revelation of their desire to see God!
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord”
Hebrews 12:14 (ESV)
Preach the Word whereby men and women are filled with a fire to pursue holy living. Preach the Word which transforms the tepid, the comfortable and the passive into flaming hearts of purpose, captured by the Eternal Call of God.
“Is not my word like as a fire?”
Fireless preaching comes from cold hearts, compromised living and empty altars. If His Word is like fire, should not those who Preach His Word be of the same disposition and temperature?
God is speaking today, let those who have ears to hear, hear.
*Preach the Word - In a large segment of the Christian Church preaching the Word is relegated as ministry to the unsaved. This was a foreign concept to the early Church (who turned the world upside down). Timothy was sent out to travel through out the Church of God to observe their order, their love for one another and to contend with false teachings and error in their midst. We need those who will "Preach the Word" to the Church in power, unity and truth that HE may be glorified in our midst.
“And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that He might know how much every man had gained by trading.”
The magnitude of God’s grace and the abundance of His gifts are evident throughout the New Testament promises. The depth of His unmerited mercy can only be fully appreciated through the medium of walking out those gifts in faithfulness. We see this throughout the Gospels. The Parables of the pounds, the talents, the sower and others, show the variety and the wonder of His gifts AND their corresponding accountability. To each of the recipients of the Pounds in the above Parable the reward of Christ was determined by their “trading” of the thing given. The individual who received one pound without their diligence to the precious gift given were never able to fully appreciate the gift or the giver’s worth. It remained unchanged, undeveloped and unappreciated. For such the Day of the Lord holds no rejoicing. How did Jesus respond to the one who held His precious things lightly?
“Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant… and he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds…”
The great gifts of God require our full attention. They become far more developed and valuable as we are faithful to them. In this Parable (unlike the Parable of the Talents) every individual was given the same initial amount; through their faithfulness and investment the one pound became ten, and to another became five. Yet for the slothful one, the one talent remained one. In the Parable of the Sower the one seed sown in a variety of the soils, produced very different outcomes. The fruitfulness of the seed was determined by the soil, not the seed! The same Pound given produced different results in the lives of each of these individuals. The great eternal question to each of us? What have we done with the precious gifts allotted to us?
We read in the great chapter of Faith in Hebrews 11, the faith of our forefather’s lives and the testimony they have left for us that we might walk in like manner.
“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respectunto the recompense of the reward”
The reason Moses forsook Egypt and chose to suffer affliction and reproach was because he had “respect” for the eternal rewards of Christ! He accounted the reproach of Christ to be of more value than Pharaoh’s riches! Men and women who fail to develop the great gifts of God hold a disrespect for His Gifts of Mercy and Grace. The verity of Moses having “respect unto the reward” is a New Testament truth declared in the Book of Hebrews; it is a truth of infinite value for the people of God in this day! We live in a Day when the Gospel preached minimizes or denies the reward and the Judgment Seat of Christ unto His Own! (2 Corinthians 5:10) We have a gospel today which speaks of a salvation regardless of how we live our lives where the faithful and the unfaithful all just go to heaven without any eternal consequences relating to the life they lived. Without the solemn truth of the “fear of the Lord” men and women, who are truly God’s children, see no reason to develop the gifts of Christ in their own lives. Much of the “ministry” in God’s house is satisfied with a people who are undeveloped in their “own” gifts and ministries in God. This false gospel is convenient for the leaders as they maintain their authority with little or no local accountability. It is also convenient for the people as they feel free of their responsibility to God in His purposes for their lives.
“…the priests rule by their own authority; and my people love to have it so”
The result is a poor and impoverished church which lacks power, vitality and the raising up of the Body of Christ through the development of their own ministrations. This arrangement will not alter the accountability of each individual unto God for themselves. His Word is clear and our Day of giving an account of how we lived our lives unto Him remains true and unchangeable.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men”
2 Corinthians 5:10-11
(I do not write these things to be contentious, but because I am compelled to be faithful unto His Word to all who read these things. We want our day of standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ to be a day of joy and great rewards, not of loss and sorrow.)
A gospel which denies our accountability is not only a deceptive lie but a robbery of God’s glory and investment!
“Will a man rob God?” “Yet ye have robbed me” But ye say, ‘Wherein have we robbed thee?’ In tithes and offerings”
The tithes and offerings of the New Testament is for us to give back to God the increase of His gifts to us. If one with a gift of healing, a word of knowledge, a ministry in the Word, or a thousand other ministrations He has lavished on the Body of Christ does not invest that in others, we not only rob ourselves of the reward of Christ but we also rob His Body which is to be built up “by the functioning of every part”! (Ephesians 4:16) If every part is not functioning, the Body of Christ will suffer loss!
Paul in his understanding of this vital truth exhorted and encouraged the people of God to walk and fulfill the ministry that God had given unto them.
“And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hastreceived in the Lord, that thou fulfil it”
“Neglect not the gift that is in thee…”
1 Timothy 4:14
“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God…”
2 Timothy 1:6
We must reject a gospel which presents ministry as something for a privileged few and began to read His Word in the truth and solemnity of its simple declarations.
“But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all”
1 Corinthians 12:7
Read the context of this scripture and do not let any teaching, doctrine or cunning words of men deter you from the truth and grace which has been given to “each one” of us!
When we stand before Him, may we each hear:
“Well DONE, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord”