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Glory to Glory

April 10, 2007

 Philippians 3:13-15  “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do. forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”

I’ve always been fascinated by II Corinthians chapter 12 where Paul writes about the man who saw the third heaven.  The fact that he had to remember back fourteen years indicates that such events are rare.  Last night I was once again wondering, what would it be like to see eternity.  To see our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all of his glory  and to see all of the saints who’ve gone on before us.  To see, for a moment, not through a glass darkly, but face to face.  To hear the heavenly chorus with melodies so perfectly beautiful that it simply has no earthly counterpart.)  To be where absolutely nothing sinister can ever enter and there’s simply no form of pain, ill-will,  or tribulation.  To see the world to come and find that it’s so far greater than our greatest imagination that it defies explaining.

And then to return to this place.  How would one function in this place after having such an encounter?  My heart already seems so far removed from this place that my only reason for wanting to be here is because of the souls whom I love that are still outside the ark.  Other than that, I desire to be there; not here.  To see glory and then come back; I don’t think I could function here anymore.  I’m reminded of Frank Bartlemans telling of the Azuza Street revival.  Oftentimes he would be led of the Spirit out to the mission to pray at night.  Sometimes he would be alone and sometimes there would be another person who had also been led of the spirit to the mission.  He told of how they would spend all night in prayer and yet it seemed like just a few minutes. It was so sweet and the presence of God was so overpowering that nothing in this world seemed to matter.  Later in the day he would hear others talking and their conversations just seemed “harsh and cold.”  Even neutral conversations such as talk about the weather or plans for the day.  After such a closeness to God all of it seemed distant and irrelevant. 

The book that he wrote was both joyous and heartbreaking.  Joyous to read about how God visited that place so powerfully that unsaved folks passing within two blocks of the building would fall under conviction.  It was heartbreaking in that the church today seems far removed from being prepared for such an outpouring.  The revival on Azuza street ended when the spirit of man decided that he knew how to run the meetings.  The clock began to have authority and things were planned out.  The same thing happened to the similar revival that was taking place in Wales.  I read this book almost three years ago and then gave it to others, however it’s as though I read it yesterday. 

When I was in the navy, we had an awesome fellowship on board the USS Guam.  Guys who were young in the Lord as was I and yet loved him wholeheartedly.  I remember the free-form bible studies in the corner of the mess hall that would go into the middle of the night.  No program or format; just digging into the word of God and going as the Lord would lead.  I always felt out of my league somewhat as these guys could pull up the most obscure verses from memory while I needed a concordance to find even the basic ones.  Yet I was in the right place at the right time as much growing took place in those years.  Each season of my life, the there were folks there who were needful for that season.  Even in the rebellious years, folks would come along at times and be a reminder that I wasn’t where I used to be and needed to address this. 

My season of backsliding lasted for a few years, however, it ended in March of 2004.  I was surfing the internet when I came across the address for the church in Norfolk Virginia, where I used to fellowship.  That night, while lying awake, I found myself remembering the old paths; thinking on the days when I had been walking in greater obediance.  I found myself saying as is written in Jeremiah; “what have I done?”  The next day, while on my way to work, I “officially repented” of all the rebellion and asked the Lord to straighten out this life which had become such a mess.  I can say that the Lord was faithful and is still faithful.  As depressing and damaging as the season of rebellion was, many lessons came out of it; nemely the importance of not loving the things of this life and keeping our heart with “all diligence.”  This will sound weird, but by the grace of God, I have understanding today as a result of lessons learned during that dark season. 

II Corinthians 7:11  For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea what clearing of yourselves, yea what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge!  In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”

There is a quote on Codes blog site which states the following:

“Most of us could summarize our lives around 5 or 6 defining moments.  Moments that if we had chosen differently would have radically altered the trajectory of our lives.”  (Erwin McManus) 

I don’t know who Erwin McManus is, but this is a fascinating quote and so very true.  Of course the single most defining moment for every saint was the day that we came to Jesus.  The day when we woke up lost and on the hellbound express but suddenly Jesus called and said “follow me.”  The day that our names were recorded in the book of life as we repented of our sins and gave our heart to Jesus.  The day when we became a new creature and all of our yesterdays were taken away.  The day when we began the journey down the strait and narrow path, although none of could have imagined at first how much work had to be done in our lives.  That we would be, from that day, a “work in progress” and that we would find ourselves having to constantly grow in understanding and faith.  I can point to a number of defining moments since the day when I came to Jesus but time would not permit me to go into detail.  

Well I need to get some things ready in the barn as one of the goats, Booton (I didn’t name her)  is ready to go into labor.  I wasn’t planning to post today and this just sort of “happened.”  Praise God who is always in control and who is faithful to finish the good work that he started in us.  We just have to keep moving forward.  Each day we will either go forward or slip a little.  (slipping always happens in small unnoticable increments)  As long as we move forward, we can’t slip.    Until next time, I wish all a most blessed day in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior whose name is above every name. 

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8 comments

  1. Erwin Mcmanus is awesome. He is lead pastor of a church in Cali called, “Mosaic.” I just finished his two books, “Barbarian Way” and “Soul Cravings.” I’m reading his older book, “Uprising” now.

    http://erwinmcmanus.com/thespeaker

    He also has some great podcasts online at Mosaic.org.

    The latest quote that I loved is from his book, “Uprising.” He states,

    “Perseverance has multiple dimensions. Perseverance is more than just waiting. It’s more about how and why we wait. It is the ability to stand and thrive under pressure. When we hold out for the good, our perseverance is expressed as patience. When we hold on to the good, our perseverance is expressed as endurance. To persevere requires wisdom in the process and grows us in wisdom through the process. When we do not persevere, we do not grow in wisdom.” -erwin r. mcmanus-

    His daughter Mariah tells him when he speaks, “Remember, nothing less than spectacular!” God calls us to be so much more than average!!!

    “My heart already seems so far removed from this place that my only reason for wanting to be here is because of the souls whom I love that are still outside the ark.”

    This is most agreeable. I feel as tho so much of my life cannot be explained to those who are outside of Christ especially in the past five years. It wouldn’t make any sense to them if I even tried to make them understand. It’s a bit frustrating at times b/c I do, like you feel so far removed from this place.


  2. Greetings Code. Thanks for explaining this. It was kind of strange quoting someone and not knowing who it was. He sounds like a great pastor. Thanks for commenting and always being in touch.
    Have a blessed evening in Christ.


  3. […] by the way Timbob has a great post today as usual, and Total Transformation has tremendous willpower, that I need […]


  4. Great post! I think sometimes the best posts are ones that we don’t necessarily plan but that just pour out of us. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this.


  5. Hey Tim, have I mentioned how much nicer this new format looks?


  6. Timbob, the most deifing moment indeed is when we come to Christ Jesus and begin this journey of faith. But there are other defining moments along the way, that have been and remain precious and sacred to my heart.
    I’ve shared a couple on the blog, but most are held in my heart.

    One of the things that struck me here was how everyday conversations seemed cold and harsh. Sometimee it seems true of my veyr own conversations and even emails. When they get into the everyday stuff of life and circumstance, they seem as such, and lifeless.
    Interesting…

    We can make up so many “reasons” why we have to follow the clock in worshsip or prayer, but rest assured, the Holy Spirit cannot be scheduled, and He will eventually be grieved if we keep shutting Him down.
    Who wants that to happen? Not I!

    Blessing to you timbob, and much grace!

    Susan


  7. Hi, timbob, great post…Blessings


  8. I remember when I was so desperately trying to get off of drugs and failing miserably every time. One day the Lord broke into this despairing season of my life and revealed to me that it wasn’t about an all or nothing life, it was about simply growing forward, one little step at a time. This revelation released so much pressure from my life and by His mercy and grace I was able to in time become totally set free from those addictions. I will never, by the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ, forget His call to grow forward. It wasn’t how much I grew, but that I was indeed simply growing and in time I would leave these and many other things behind. Today, I still purpose to simply grow forward, bit by bit, inch by inch, step by step, for this is His call, to simply grow forward toward he who is the light and the truth for us all.

    Another great post!

    Every Blessing in the Lord Jesus Christ!



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