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In The Clearing

May 19, 2009

This past weekend, Ryan and I took part in his final cub scout spring camp as nine months from now, he will move up to the boy scouts if continuance prevails. The campout transpires annually on an outcropping of land on the east side of Lake Chapin. While the daytime is dominated by a flurry of activity, the overnight is so peaceful that one can find a profound and undisturbed closeness to the Lord. A walk out to the end of the pier at midnight, under a star-filled sky, with nothing but the sound of the waves, and suddenly the rest of the world is light years away. The gentle breeze blowing in from the lake reminds one that the Lord is doing a work; unseen by those who are fixated on this world, but very apparent to anyone who determines in their heart to “be still” and listen. It’s an incredible work; albeit a short one as the Lord is drawing closer, those who maintain the testimony of Jesus and issuing the “final boarding call” to those who continue to love their lives in this world. 

John 3:8 “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

 Although it was only for a weekend, this might be as close as I’ll ever get to my “dream vacation” of being stranded alone on a deserted island for two weeks or so, with nothing but a bible and a notebook. (And perhaps a soccer ball named Wilson) As this age rushes toward it’s conclusion, a couple of things are needful for us all. Neither is an earth shattering revelation and neither is above the other insofar as importance. First is the admonition in Hebrews 3:13 to exhort one another daily. (I was reading here Friday as an incredible thunderstorm was passing over Lake Chapin in the overnight hours.) We’re in this together and we all need encouragement. I find much encouragement in the posts and comments of other saints who seem to be getting the same leadings from the Holy Ghost that I’m receiving. Which leads to the second admonition.

We need as much uninterrupted time before the Lord Jesus as can possibly be secured. More than just a few minutes here and there, or while driving to work. Such times are always beneficial and awesome, but there’s a need for extended time of just seeking, and abiding in, the presence of the Lord Jesus. Letting go of our itineraries, leaving behind anything that would announce the time, and allowing the Lord to do his perfect work in us. It’s such a sweet place and whenever I’m there I always find myself asking the same question.  “Lord Jesus, why do we allow ourselves to become overcharged with so many things that have no eternal significance?” When we come into the presence of the Lord, all of the trials in our lives seem as nothing while all of the treasures that the world so lusts after become as yesterdays debris. 

Our entire attitude is transformed as the Lord begins to open our eyes to a larger portion of the big picture. (Psalm 73:17) In the natural, we see a very limited portion of the whole, and that through a glass darkly. On top of this, all that we do see is of the temporal category and is destined to melt with a fervent heat.  (II Corinthians 4:18) We cannot even begin to imagine the volume of that which we don’t see, but we can be assured that it is beyond comprehension. I mean, I’m still fascinated with the fact that God has been in existance forever and never changes. This truth keeps getting more incredible by the day as we cannot even begin to explain how such a thing is possible. And yet Jesus stated “Before Abraham was, I am.” The first of the following passages has been quoted many times in the history of this blog, yet it explains exactly what we must do if we’re to truly “know our God” and be more understanding of the bigger picture that’s unfolding before us.

Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.”

Luke 24:45 “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.

Understanding that can only be found by abiding in the presence of the Lord and diligently searching the scriptures. These are days of incredible confusion and profound deception. It’s a dangerous situation for the saints, and a completely disasterous one for any who remain in the valley of decisions. An exhaustive evaluation of the days events; their causes and the effects that they have on the whole, will simply leave one “exhausted” while the conclusions so diligently sought after continue to mock them from afar. The storylines of this world all have their roots in the spiritual realm and trying to define them through logical means is simply not possible. (David Meyers phrases it perfectly: “the problem is global sinning” but this truth will never be discussed by the “experts” who routinely appear on CNN)  

In Christian circles, there’s also a tendancy, by many, to retreat to the comforts of our own understanding instead of seeking the Lord. We like to be able to see the supply line and feel as though we have some control over outcomes. We run around in circles; trying to make logical decisions concerning complex situations that are well beyond our understanding. When that doesn’t work, we may start heaping to ourselves teachers who seem to specialize in that which is perplexing us; sometimes to the point of unwittingly placing them above that which is written. A teacher who is perceived to specialize in the area of financial success will gather a following in a hurry. (Although there is a definate need for such teaching) Then, as a last resort, we come before the Lord Jesus who sees the end from the beginning, who knows every heart, and who distributes understanding, according to his purpose, to anyone who sincerely enquires.  

Philippians 4:6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

The conclusion of this is the same admonition that has been the focus of several posts over the past few weeks; an exhortation to draw closer to the Lord Jesus and let go of every hinderance.  To let go of our lives in this world, and truly seek first the kingdom of God. If we’re truly seeking first the kingdom of God, our prayer life will reflect it. This is an area where I have growing to do as I get distracted way too easily. Well I have to be going for now. Thanks to all who kept Morgan in prayer. She’s staying with a friend in Three Rivers as of two days ago, but she really needs to know Jesus. Please keep CR in prayer as he is confronted by an important decision. The Lord is doing an awesome work in the CR household.

Blessings always in Jesus name.

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7 comments

  1. Ok, that’s it, I just have to come here daily to get my fill… 😉

    “When we come into the presence of the Lord, all of the trials in our lives seem as nothing while all of the treasures that the world so lusts after become as yesterdays debris.”

    It’s so hard for me to find balance lately with “having to work” and wanting, needing to spend all of my time in His presence. I love to climb the hill behind our house and although I can see the business of everyone going “somewhere important” I can safely sit back and not be part of the ratrace. I am blessed to live in a place where a 20 minute drive can take you to the deepest, most secluded places there can be.

    Yet last time I climbed the hill, enjoying His presence, He gently let me know that while He loved spending time alone, I’m needed among the people. It’s extremely hard for me to find balance. The scripture that says, to live is for Christ to, to die is to gain, becomes ever more clear to me as time moves on. I’m glad you got to spend some time under the stars with Him, those are times I cherish as well…


  2. Wonderful post. God is calling us to Him and it is an amazing place of still waters and green pastures . . . if we are willing to follow.

    Rachel
    http://www.stirringthedeep.com


  3. Timbob,
    I read it all. Very good. God sure has blessed you with the ability to write. Some of us don’t get to enjoy that gift, oh well.
    Thanks,
    Richard


  4. Hi Deb. Finding the proper balance can be difficult; ecpecially when we begin to grasp just how temporal this world is. As such Paul explained it as being “a strait betwixt two” as he really desired to be with the Lord, but had a heart for the churches.

    This layoff period is an awesome time to get closer to the Lord and I’m really enjoying it thus far. Thanks so much for stopping by.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.


  5. Hi Rachel. Still waters indeed; even when the world around us seems to be spinning out of control there remains a rest for those who place their complete confidence in Jesus.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  6. Hi Richard. As long as truth goes forth that’s the main thing. I always have to do a sef-examination whenever I visit your site. It’s so awesome the way the Lord has brought so many of us together in this venue for the bulding up and encouraging of each other. Thanks so much for stopping by. Please tell Susan I said “hi.”

    Blessings always in Jesus name.


  7. Thanks Timbob,
    I will tell her Hi for you.
    Bless you,
    Richard



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