This is a guide for those seeking the Presence of God in their hectic internal world.
So much needs to be cleared from the Workbench of my mind.
So that it can become an Altar where God can meet with me.
- Many cares. They keep me from seeing and knowing Him.
- My self-sufficiency. It keeps me from even looking to Him.
- Distractions–I put them on the Workbench, making no room for Him.
- Many Cares
- My Self-Sufficiency
These three things have been my mindset, and way of being. However, The following three things are what I long for.
4. An Altar–My First ministry
I cannot account for why, but in these moments I have discovered that the eagerness of God has been ready to send the fire of His Holy Presence to blow through, and search out, and scour away my heart with the Glory of His Spirit, His Word, and His presence.
5. The Fire
All of this is one thing: His letting you know Himself. It returns the heart to its original glow, and the problems are cast with a smaller shadow. His light shines from a heart now aglow with his fire. And so long as that fire is kept burning (For our heart is a most unreliable fuel) then it will keep our minds enlightened.
6. Enlightened (In the Christian Sense.)
As Paul prayed, so I pray “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. ~Ephesians 1:17-19
For this to happen, you must clear your workbench and first make it an altar.
I’ve been here before
The world is sprawling around
The rush of water forcing its way
Down, around, along the ground
Inland waves sweep you off your feet
Fear of loss, and helplessness
Feeling too paralyzed to go outside.
Familiar is the feeling when I choke
A shame, a stifling of the breathing life
Situations feel insurmountable
Everything beyond my reach from my unsure footing
Each victory seems one stroke against the tide
Catastrophe feels bigger than reality
I wish I could run and hide myself somewhere.
This is what I have always known
The storm, the shame they have an eye.
One is the calm around which the winds rage
The other is that body’s light, I evade to the floor.
The fear to surge through the fiercest tempest
Only to let the ferocity shatter my frailty
Venturing to enter that gaze safely
Elihu told Job that God was here
Our heart meandering knows this home.
The screaming winds guard this safe place.
The place only the humble seek unswervingly.
As shame gives up the last ounce of covering
Naked and vulnerable just I alone remain
Staring into His gentle clear blue sky.
Ordering all powerfully
Present within our midst.
Testing the heart
I’ve been here before
The world is sprawling around
The rush of water forcing its way
Down around, all over the ground
I will wait here with Him safely
His presence my security
His eye, my soul’s calm.
Click to listen at CDBaby
I will keep a link to this on “My Music” but I wanted any followers to know where they could find my first Opus online.
It’s an oracle, or a burden the Lord impressed on my heart during my second last semester at College. It didn’t get anywhere then, but the Lord had me keep working on it, and now it’s available to the world.
The essence of the whole, is it traces the journey of the heart from the Prophet’s cry to the Glory of God, and shows the believer much of what he must know in between.
There are words to the Oracle, God gave me 3 years later, but for now, only the music is released for listener, theorist, and enthusiast alike.
May you find as much if not more soul-firing encouragement from this music as I did in writing it.
It takes faith to believe that God is.
Once you have this, you can see him.
I do not promise that you will
Because He must decide to reveal Himself.
It takes a pure heart, with no guile.
Some believe that this is impossible,
But all things are possible with God.
How will you recognize him?
You won’t be able to ignore.
No more than a stick can ignore an all consuming flame.
How did I see Him?
Music purged my heart of unexpressed filth.
Writing arranged my thoughts according to biblical specification.
Love set my heart on fire for another.
Joy surged in my creative freedom and pleasure of wisdom.
Peace quieted me in His approval.
Translation laid sticks of explosive dynamite end to end.
The Holy Spirit’s voice was the match.
The prizing and valuing of His own personal being.
And Jesus the Living one of all my life came.
T. Austin-Sparks~ “God’s answer to strengthen His people for Suffering.”
Is a new unveiling of the glory of the person of Jesus Christ.”
“What is the answer?
A new grasp of His greatness
And then if we are suffering
If we are knowing adversity, trial
And the clouds seem to be gathering, Accumulating, increasing.
How will we get through?
Only thus: by this:
A new heart revelation–unveiling
of Jesus Christ.
And I am sure that will do it.
God give it to you.”
~T. Austin Sparks
“By His stripes we are healed.”
There it is again.
I’ve heard that so often, like I’ve heard, “By the atomic bomb Nagasaki was destroyed.”
Let me rearrange it:
We are healed by His stripes.
Let me take care of the pronouns.
We are healed by Jesus’ stripes.
Let me personalize it for this blog.
I am healed by Jesus stripes.
Why? What about Jesus getting beaten senseless is so healing for me? I’m sick. I consider the deepest cause of my sickness is my own self-salvation, my own self-righteousness, my own self-service, or simply, my own “sin.” Is it just a matter of Jesus being beaten for that, that I am healed?
“The stripes that wound scour away evil.” All the brokenness of the world He scoured away in his body. There is something to that, because His resurrection proved that God was coming not just to crucify the world, but resurrect the world. The world will burn. The world will be remade. We will die. We will be changed. Every pain I face isn’t just a reminder that it hasn’t happened yet. It’s a chance to go to the cross and embrace it and say, “I accept your mercy to righteously judge my brokenness and my sinfulness because of your great love, and I lay down my life again, the way Jesus did on the cross, and ask you, that I may take it up again to serve you a little longer.”
The Cross is the door; only the dead can pass through it. That means I can’t save myself, I can’t heal myself, I can’t rule myself, I can’t love myself, or keep my relationships or my family, my church, even my own life for myself. “God you can have me, but you can’t have my family.” You haven’t gotten a hold of it yet. It’s Christmas, the “Family Holiday” it has become more so than Thanksgiving. Everything needs to be nailed to the cross, even family. Right?
So how does this practically apply? I am going to wait patiently for the Lord to completely heal me. Seems simple. People of the “Faith” tradition will say, “Proclaim it!” I do indeed. Just remember God doesn’t listen to the proud. He listens to the humble. 🙂 The humble are those who embrace the cross. It’s perfectly in keeping with God’s plan for the world to work supernatural healing in the world. I kinda want someone to come to my house and teach me a bit more of how this works, but the cross takes care of all sickness. And if there’s a sickness still, then He’s bringing part of the world to the cross, until it’s completely put to death. I guess.
The Cross is the answer. Thoughts?
Thanks Tim Keller for helping me with that phrase.
– – Dear Reader,
– – You have read lots. Here’s something else. I’ve been sick with a grueling fever for the past week or so, and I’m tired of it. As soon as I sit up, I start throbbing in my head. People are depending on me for so many things. I have responsibilities. Children to lead in song, home-bound family who need to go into town, and this is not to mention my truck which needs fixing, my laundry needs to be done, and I have about 2 hours of upright energy a day before my fever goes up a single degree. Thankfully my family are around to care for me, and take care of pressing needs as they arise. Things came to a pretty weepy head today when I had to skip work at school. I cried out, “God please come get me!” from my curled up blanket on the couch, wracked with weariness and worried-ness.
– – Finally. He really does listen. He just listens better than we do to ourselves. I could tell you countless times I had asked him to heal me because people depend on me. But now the problem comes down to just me living with me. What kept crushing down on me was the weight of everything I had to do, and just could not do. I had to partially delegate it to my boss.
– – I know He listens every time, but He responds to honesty. Suddenly, in that moment, I found myself writing in my journal, “Thank you for saving me from my own self-salvation.”
– – I like to think I can fix things. I can do it. I can handle life. I can face challenges. I can manage my time, my relationships, my money. And so I can, or at least act like I can. But what happens when all that power is gone? You go to your power source and have the balls to ask him, “Get me more power, so I can take care of things myself, so I will not need you to save me, cause if you save me, that means I have to completely serve you alone.” That’s what I’ve been doing anyway. I wrote this down after that realization:
“Let’s face it. We’re all a bunch of sucky self-saviors.” I slept with peace after that, ’cause I know my Savior is real. He won’t save everything important to me. That’s not His job. His job is sustaining the cosmos, just like he showed Job. And in the End his Wise plan is best.
There once was a tuner who walked down the street tuning every instrument he could. The thing was that everyone knew him to be a tuner, so not everybody liked him. Some avoided him because he made them feel out of tune. Others were happy to have someone who would help them stay in tune.
Still, he yearned for harmony everywhere he went. He knew that instruments on their own weren’t as beautiful as they were when they played together. He could tell if any note was not ringing true from the instrument’s most vibrant register. He also wrote music for each instrument to play to let their tuning really shine. He believed that if every instrument was tuned to itself, since the Composer also made very instrument for his world-wide Symphony, then it would sound more fitting and glorious with the whole symphony than it would with just standard tuning in that part of the world. He knew that every instrument needed to be in tune in order for the Great Symphony by the Composer he served to sound as glorious as it could be.
Because of his tuning skills, he found it easy to match any instrument’s tone with his voice. But this tuner, did not always know what pitch the instrument was naturally supposed to tune to. At first, he did not even know what was Standard tuning for instruments in that part of the world. But he checked other tuners to learn and seek agreement.
The Tuner regarded his tuning fork as his most precious possession. The Tuner’s standard for his tuning was the Ancient Music for which all instruments were originally tuned, as well as being in constant conversation and concert with the Composer of it.
The Tuner could play anything joyfully and skillfully, but since the tuner did not know, or often accept Standard tuning, he did not see himself as “a tuner.” He played at his job more than toiled. His favorite thing to give people was the understanding to be in tune with themselves, the joy of harmony created by playing with other people, and the wonder of the grand Symphony of which they were all a part.
His greatest fear was for people’s trust and willingness to tune to him to create discord, disharmony, and disunity within a person, among the instruments, and within the Symphony itself. It would disqualify him as a tuner worthy of the Composer, and he would be worth nothing but to be fired.
Yes, I am the Tuner.