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Relinquishing The Observable Fixations

April 5, 2009

The best way to begin this post is with a visit to the words of the apostle Paul; even though the second passage has been referred to often over the history of this blog:

Acts 20:22-24 “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

Philippians 3:7-8 “But those things which were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”

Paul left us an example of one whose affections are firmly on things above. Such a person; while they must abide in this world for a season, the heart has abandoned all sentiment for that which the world holds in high esteem. When they tasted, they discovered that the peace of God and joy of the Holy Ghost is so complete that all of the worlds methods of seeking fulfilment fall woefully short. As we draw ever closer to Jesus, there’s such an overwhelming abundance of life that absolutely nothing in this world can add to it. One simply cannot add water to a cup that’s overflowing. We long for those around us to come to Jesus and know what it is to be born of the Spirit. But despite our fervent efforts to explain this reality to others, our words always seem unable to capture the its essence.  Those outside the household of faith continue to “think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot” thereby making manifest the truth that “the Lord gives the increase.”

When we encounter another who makes a profession of faith in Christ, we can quickly discern from their conversation, the level to which the realities of the world to come are manifest in their lives. Sadly, many fail to embrace the idea of having their affections completely on things above. Their conversation will employ all of the familiar “christianese” terms, but will also carry hints that they regularly entertain fleshy cogitations as well. Not necessarily wicked or perverse things; just carnal ponderings such as excessive political bantoring, the remodeling project at home, the farings of a favorite sports team, the weather, the career path, the big sale going on at Home Depot, the price of tea in China, the new vacuum cleaner, or what have you. The contents of ones heart will always spill proportionally into their dialogue. A casual observation has been that when a carnally minded christian is confronted by an intense focus on the deep things of God, they seem to become uncomfortable and desiring of an escape back to the confines of the mundane.

I say this as one who, over the course of the past 26 years, has gone through the same kinds of seasons. For example, there was a time when my outlook was very politicized and it affected not only my conversation with others, but my prayer life as well. In those days, I followed the script and played “donkeys versus elephants;” often praying fervently for victories in the political arena that favored my outlook.  But when we draw close to the Lord (not that I have attained any level of super-spirituality; this is merely a reflection on a deliverance that the Lord has wrought in my life) we begin to realize that  much larger and far more significant forces are at work. The daily dramas playing out in this world are merely physical fallout of an ongoing spiritual war that’s far more complex than we can fathom. Sadly, the majority of christians seem to focus on the temporal sideshows; carefully scripted to maintain a captive audience, without prayerfully seeking the Lord for true understanding. (Jeremiah 33:3)

A closer walk with Jesus will inevitably bring about adjustments in our lives. A spiritually minded person; that is one who remains focused on spiritual things, will not be rattled by manifestations in the physical realm. (Astonished perhaps, but not shaken.) Nor will such a person find it necessary to supplement their lives with a neverending array of idolatries and lustful pursuits. This is because our “completness in Christ” is not just a theological concept but an ever-present reality. The contentment is so absolute that there’s a craving for nothing of this world; only an intense desire to be about our Fathers business and be a good ambassador for Christ. If we are walking close to Jesus, the former lusts will simply drop away. Our conversation and example will reveal a heart that’s firmly set on things which are eternal. (II Corinthians 4:18)

One more thing seems needful to mention before closing. We are entering a time of unparalleled trial. Very few seem to grasp this and none of us can fathom what it will look like at this time. One thing, however,  is needful for us to realize. If we are not 100% persueded, we’ll seek to save our lives in this world. If we are harboring idols in our heart or entertaining doubtful considerations, we’ll buckle at the most critical moment and become shipwreck. I know a lot of professing saints who appear to be clinging to this present paradigm and a disturbing mental picture of what the great falling away may look like is taking shape. I pray that this post admonishes anyone who stops by to draw close…..I mean REALLY CLOSE to Jesus and to let go of every hinderance. This has been a standing prayer, as it were, for everyone that I know. That they would have a greter revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ and that he would truly be their first love.  Anything less is a recipe for everlasting disaster.

The following link can be found on the page featuring posts from other sites, but because it’s so needful, here it is again:

PREPARING FOR THE UNDERGROUND CHURCH 

This is a writing that’s found on Peters Blog site (The Age To Come) that challenges us to seriously examine ourselves. I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.

Luke 12:32-34 “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Colossians 3:1-4 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”
I Timothy 6:6-7 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 “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 run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
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4 comments

  1. Thank you for this admonishnment, timbob! It was much needed today.


  2. How fickle is the human heart. We must remain vigilant. We must remain true. Drawing close to Christ and showing Him as our Lord is the answer.
    The shaking has just begun.
    Thank you for your vigilance.


  3. I’m glad the writing continues to help – I take no credit!

    Blessings,

    Peter


  4. Greetings. I’m in a rush so I’ll have to do a combined reply.

    Scotti. It ws something that I needed reminding of too as the tendancy to place excessive emphasis on the things of this life is ever present.

    One-still-blooming (Great name) Amen. We truly need to draw closer to Jesus and abide in him. The temporal issues then just drop away as we focus on things above.

    Peter. I think it’s every bit as important as when you firt posted it several months ago. I pray that everyone would read it.

    Thanks to all who have stopped by. Blessings always in Jesus name.



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