Andrew Murray on Christian Mysticism

After attempting to dialog with those opposed to the International House of Prayer (IHOP) I realized one of their many issues is their belief that mysticism is polluting the Church.  Andrew Murray is a well respected Christian author and it is my hope that his words can help move the dialog from the extremes toward the center. Continue reading

Inspiring the Next Generation

Walk about Zion, and go round about her, number her towers (her lofty and noble deeds of past days), 13 Consider well her ramparts, go through her palaces and citadels, that you may tell the next generation [and cease recalling disappointments]. Psalm 48:12-13 Amplified

The rainbow in Genesis 9, the Feast of Passover in Exodus 12, a jar of manna in Exodus 16, the Feast of booths in Leviticus 23, the 12 stones taken from the Jordan River in Joshua 4, and the Feast of Purim of Esther 9 were all established for the generations to come.  Over and over in Leviticus laws were given with this phrase “It shall be a statute forever in your generations” and here in Psalm 48 describing Zion is included in this passing down from generation to generation. 

When I was a young man, Keith Green made powerful impressions on me not just through his songs, but in his descriptions of revival especially highlighting Charles Finney.  I was inspired and was set on a course that I am still on due in large part to the descriptions of the Second Great Awakening and the stories of revival that burned in my heart.

Each generation not only needs to be taught doctrine, walked down the Roman road of salvation, but also told stories of how God has done great things not just in biblical times, but in recent generations.  Has our generation failed to inspire our children while the visible and audible world keeps streaming interesting content and capturing their attention? 

 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, Hebrews 12:22-23a. 

Walk about this Zion, join with the hero of the faith and keep looking for that city.  Inspire the generations to come with descriptions of the city of golden streets and glory.

The Treasure Hidden in a Feild

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  Matthew 13:44

Sometimes a verse is taught or understood one way but it never really has an impact, then a completely better understanding is revealed and the misunderstanding is replace with a clearer understanding of God’s ways in these dark times.  The parable of the treasure hidden in a field is one of these often misunderstood verses, in that we believe we need to sell all, buy the field and the treasure is Jesus or the kingdom.

Matthew chapter 13 is an account of several parables Jesus told.  First, a sower sowed seed in a field with various results.  Second, a man sows good seed in a field, but his enemy sows tares.  Third, a treasure hidden in a field is found, hid, and purchased.  Forth, a pearl of great price is a similar story, and finally a dragnet describes the separation at the end.

“Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”  He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.  The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. Matthew 13:36-38

Jesus clearly says the man is Himself, the field is the world.  So it is in this parable of the treasure that the man once again is Jesus, and the field is the world. The treasure hidden is not something we have to sell all to obtain, but Jesus paid the great price in laying aside His divinity, becoming a man, and purchasing the world with his blood.  Mixing John 3:16 into this parable; God so loved the field that he gave his only son that whoever believes would not perish but be His eternal treasure.

  you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14   For you were bought at a price 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23

Because the treasure is hidden we rarely really grasp just how valuable we are to God.  Many have obscured this treasure by not heeding Paul’s warning to take heed how we build on his foundation in 1 Corinthians 3:10-12.  So much wood, hay and stubble has been mixed into our religion that the treasure has been buried deeper.  It is my hope that many will discover a treasure map finding the gold, silver and precious stones, and encourage others to build in alignment with the cornerstone, on a sure foundation, and according to the heavenly pattern.

There are threads that run through many books of the Bible.  Probably the best known thread is the scarlet thread of redemption, where little hints, types and shadows of Jesus’ way of salvation are woven into Old Testament passages.   Many other threads can be discovered and traced; The Revelation 21-22 vision of the heavenly city is full of threads.  Jerusalem, the bride, tabernacle, water or river of life, foundations, walls, gates, the number 12, gold, precious stones, lamb, measuring, temple, light, glory, book of life, and tree of life are all in Revelation 21-22 and also found in many other places in the Bible.

Behold, the eternal dwelling place of almighty God is with man.  Have you caught a glimpse of the treasure hidden in a field?  Come, I will show you the bride, the lambs wife.  And he shows us a city with pearls for gates, jeweled foundations, streets of gold.  An old Vineyard song said we will dance on streets that are golden.  I think we will be the streets, walls, foundations.  We are the treasure hidden in a field, refined, combined, and artistically fashioned into the climax of history.  The eternal dwelling place of God.

 

Can’t find God?

We can’t find God in our own little world.
But God comes looking for us,
While we’re hiding under the leaves.
“Where are you, sons of Adam?
Where are you, daughters of Eve?”
He calls us to leave our own little world
And seek to come to His eternal one.

We hid among the noise, the busy life style,
consumed with the visible.
He is in a secret place and wants us to dwell there too.
Prayer can be reduced to ask God to bless or fix
Our own little world without ever seeking Him or finding Him.
We pray to the god of our own little world,
without truly communing with
Our Father who is in heaven.

Not just on a personal level, but a Church can dwell in an own little world of the religion of songs, hype, and sermons without an ear tuned to what the Spirit is saying to us.

How do we get out of our own little world?
We must get back to square one.
Start over and begin again
A journey away from noise to silence.
Away from constantly hearing too many voices
to diligently listening for the One.

Jesus did nothing except what he heard or saw the Father doing.
Jesus never dwelt in his own little world, but he died to save us from ours.

For our citizenship is in heaven,
from which we also eagerly wait
for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
who will transform our lowly body
that it may be conformed
to His glorious body,
according to the working by which He is able
even to subdue all things to Himself.
Philippians 3:20-21

Subdue us, conform us, transform us, from our little world of wood, hay, and stubble.  That we might look for a glorious one of gold, silver and precious stones once again.

Recollection

Lord my heart is not proud, nor my eyes lofty. I do not concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me. But I have stilled and quieted myself just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me. O my people put your hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever. Psalm 131

Recollection is the process of separating ourselves from internal and external bombardments and bringing spirit, soul and body into a unified whole with the Spirit of God. There are 3 basic steps to this process. Continue reading

My People, The Daughter Of My People, and Not My People

Oh, that my head were waters, And my eyes a fountain of tears, That I might weep day and night For the slain of the daughter of my people! Jeremiah 9:1

Leading Up to this Era

This is my third posting on the Old Testament.  First I wrote on the observation that majority of the Old Testament is made up of five multigenerational stories which I’ve called Grasping the Old Testament. First, God promises Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that through them both a nation and also a blessing to all the nations would come.  After a 400 gap the story picks up with Moses and Joshua leading the nation out of bondage, setting up a new society, and entering into the land of promise. The next 400 years is told in Judges when the nation seams stuck in cycles of oppression, repentance, deliverance, and peace, until backsliding into sin started the cycle over again. This cycle was disrupted by three generations of advance with Samuel, David and Solomon, which I entitled The Very First Great Awakening. Following Solomon a stable society continues until Jerusalem is destroyed and Judah is taken captive to Babylon.  God speaking through His prophets usually speaks to His people, He also often references the present younger generation as the daughter of My people and when judgment comes it falls upon a group God calls not My people. Continue reading

Old Book Review – The Secret of Intercession

Andrew Murray was a writer, teacher and pastor in South Africa in the second half of the 1800’s and early 1900’s.  He wrote over 240 books, several of which are considered Christian classics.  He wrote several short books that were intended to be a daily meditation on a subject for a month.  The Secret of Intercession has 31 short chapters and 125 pages. Each chapter begin with a verse and ends with a prayer.

The chapters build upon the previous ones laying out what is; “the solemn duty, the high privilege, and the wonderful power of intercession.”  What follows are key points from the first few days meditations.  This is one of the books that greatly influenced my life and helped lay the foundation in me for prayer and intercession. Continue reading