“…if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live”
Life, His Life is resurrection Life. It is a life which cannot be had apart from death. It is this very life which will carry one through the grave unto the very Throne of God itself. Our entry into this life here is the determining depth of our resurrection then (Hebrews 11:35). True Life is found in mortification, there is no teaching, no strategy or religious work which can emancipate us from the “carnal man” *(see note below) outside of this indispensable work of the Holy Spirit. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. It is only by this operation of the Spirit of God through which an individual will enter the life and the power of the Kingdom of God.
A Baptism of the Holy Spirit which does not bring an individual into the ministration of a life of mortification is not the same Spirit which empowered the disciples in the Book of Acts. Nor is it the same Spirit which throughout the ages has transformed sinners into saints. Mortification is the hallmark of a life which has been introduced into the government and grace of God Himself.
“A man may easier see without eyes, speak without a tongue, than truly mortify one sin without the Spirit.”
― John Owen.”
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”
The “carnal man” can never be made spiritual. It cannot be saved, changed or “helped”. It must be crucified in order for us to live unto God.
“He saved others; He is not able to save Himself”
The truth in Christ is they who would would save their own life will have nothing to give to others. They who lose their life for Him will have much to give. The disciple is to follow in the footsteps of their master; He who saved not Himself upon the cross bids us to follow in like manner.
In losing we find
In saving we lose
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it”
“O God, you are my God; I will seek you diligently. My soul thirsts for you…”
The true pursuit of God is a proportional response to our seeing of Him. The diligent seeking of God in the life of David was a consequence of him seeing God in the sanctuary.
“Thus I have seen you in the sanctuary, beholding your strength and glory”
The land wherein David dwelt became a howling wilderness in comparison to the beauty and the glory he beheld in the Holy Place of God.
“…My soul thirsts for you; my flesh longs for you as in a dry and weary land without water”
It is the seeing of the wonder of God that transforms one from being at home in this world into a pilgrim of faith; a sojourner with purpose and a captive of the hope which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. In beholding the Pearl of Great Price men and women are freed from the gravity and pull of this world. His beauty mesmerizes the beholder; it causes an abandonment of all other loves and creates its own quest and inertia. There can be no settling for the artificial and trite for the deep of God beckons His own with the simple cords of Love and Desire.
“Deep is calling to deep at the thunder of your waterfalls…”
The depths of His being calls out to the Christ within. The tendrils of His love grip the soul in the embrace of God Himself. Only the Love of God in Christ Jesus can ignite our hearts into such a pursuit.
“Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it”
Christ seen through the eyes of the philosopher, view Him through the opinions of men. Christ seen through the eyes of a Christian believer, view Him as a teacher or teaching. Christ seen through the eyes of a disciple, view Him as Lord and Master.
To the philosopher, a point of curiosity. To the believer, a word to believe. To the disciple, a word to obey.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever”
Dwelling in God’s presence is ever the result of His goodness and mercy following us as we follow the Great Shepherd of our souls. His goodness dwells where His mercy reigns! Quietness and confidence is the atmosphere of God’s presence.
“…in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength…”
“And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect”
May we stop and consider what the Word of God has laid before us! All that the saints of old have accomplished, their faith, their testimony and the laying down of their very lives for God’s glorious name – they yet await for us to finish what they started… “that they without us should not be made perfect”! Let the weight of this sink into the depths of our being and may it free us from the paltry offerings of the modern day “gospel”. May we lift up our eyes to see beyond the horizons of our present day experience.
Let us consider His call upon this generation that He may receive a fresh offering of ourselves unto Him.
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:1-2
“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning”
There is great comfort in knowing our God will meet us in the time of morning prayer. It is an unfathomable privilege to know that, as His children, His ear is attentive to our cry. Regardless of our situation, the bitterness and failure of yesterday must give way to the wonder of His presence today.
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning”
Mercy and compassion envelope the diligent seeker in the early morning hours just as the dew that settles upon the lilies of the valley. His quiet and healing presence sweeps over our soul nourishing, restoring and drawing us near unto that Heart of pure love. How quickly fades the angst and concern over the fears of the day which lies before us. Light and peace fill the void and empty places within as a quiet confidence springs up from deep within our soul. God is here! Not only is He here but He is listening to our trembling voices and tentative hearts. He gives audience to His own; how good and gracious is our God!
“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning”