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My Thoughts: They Gravitate Unto Thee

September 3, 2009
To love the Lord Jesus, who paid for our sins on the cross, with all of our heart. We are fully persuaded, and will openly profess to others, that he is our first love; above all that is in the world and all who are dear to us. Yet this is an erea in which a continual monitoring of the heart is necessary. It’s so easy to drift; so easy to unwittingly allow agendas, trappings, status, religion, and what have you, to slip in and become “that for which we live.” A daily petition of mine that my love for the Lord would grow stronger than the day before. That each day, this world would appear a little more alien, the world to come a little more real, and the souls in our midst seem a little more eternal. In other words a continual drawing closer to the Lord and a continual clarifying of things as they truly are; not as they appear from this side of the atomic filter. We need a continual uniting of the heart toward those things which have eternal significance.
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
We live in an age of incredible superficiality; where things are often not as they appear. Even the presence of those things that accompany salvation” may not tell the whole story of another. For example, it’s very possible for a person to fit the billing of what is considered a “modal Christian;” be present in the church building every time the doors are opened, be very loving and generous toward their neighbor, consistantly engaged in acts of charity, and yet not be born again. Likewise, it’s possible for one who has been born of the Spirit to become so occupied with ministering and fulfilling the role of a “good Christian” that they leave their first love and begin to serve the routine. This “changing of the guard” so to speak, can be so seemless that there’s no external hinting of what has transpired. The church at Ephesus is a primary example of a situation where everything seemed in place, and yet they had become servants of the institution.
Matthew 7:22-23 “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Revelation 2:2-4 “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my names sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
The following passage is of much comfort and compels us to stay close to Jesus: 
Philippians 3:15 “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.”
This thing was dominating my thoughts for much of last week; that being the indicators that our heart is right with God. “Is he truly our first love?” Such an answer can be easy to reveal in a land where a public confession of Jesus Christ could mean a date with the executioner. But in an environment of relative ease, the answer may be more obscure. We know when we have a heart for the things of God, our words and actions will offer evidence to this. But words and actions can also be forged to present a deceptive image to the world and even to ourselves. As I was typing the familiar passage of Matthew 7:2 something stuck out. “Lord, Lord,” They say this twice; as though it’s a common profession, while pleading their case with a resume of “things done” in Jesus name. This is one of the most sobering passages in scripture and compels us to consistantly search our hearts.
Words can be feigned and performances rehearsed to the point that even the most discerning of folks will think them to be authentic. There is, however, something that cannot be artificially generated and that is the meditations of the heart. Where do our cogitations travel to when nothing is calling for our attention? In the secret spaces of the mind; safe hidden from the prying eyes of our contemporaries, our affections will play out in panoramic splendor. If our heart is right with the Lord; if Jesus truly is our first love, our thoughts will drift in his direction. We will think on heavenly things, and ponder the deep things of God. We’ll think on our great salvation; remembering how we spent a considerable amount of time “a heartbeat away from hell” but now rerjoice in knowing that, our names are recorded in heaven. We’ll have peace as we understand “that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
This is an area of continual wrestling as I have a very active imagination which doesn’t like to be reigned in. It prefers to rummage through fragments of ideas and stories, to see what can be made of them. Diligent study is a daily challenge as this imagination doesn’t like to be hemmed in by boundaries; preferring to roam curiously and unhindered. It is, in effect, the man that I used to be, striving to make a comeback and, as the apostle Paul made known to the Corinthian saints, “we must die daily.” For a long time I tended to make excuses for these mental vacations that would transpire periodically. There have been times; especially in periods of profound exhaustion, when the train of thought would be “all over the map” so to speak; venturing into areas that had been catagorized as “conquered.”  It’s the old nature, grasping for “just a taste” of that which it no longer has unlimited access to. Last week, some clarifification came forth concerning this phenomenon. It can be an indicator of a very serious spiritual problem, which can be best explained with the following analogy.
All of us remember the first time that we fell in love. That special someone who came into our lives and we soon wondered how we ever made it without them. They began to dominate our thoughts and aspirations; regardless of what was transpiring around us. It was a true love far in excess of simple physical attractions. We desired to know them better and, most likely, began to adjust our ways to better mesh with their world. Love for another will supercede circumstances while bridging the most incredible gaps carved out by time and space. Others in our ambence who come against the relationship serve only to make it stronger. What really hit me concerning this analogy was this thing: “When we love someone, it’s not a struggle to think about them. Our thoughts will naturally drift in their direction.” We don’t have to wrestle with a plethura of thoughts to make our way to our significant other because they are always dominant in our meditations.
If this is true in the physical world; concerning a relationship which, at it’s best, will endure only as far as the grave, how much more should the same hold true of those who once were lost but now have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. A relationship that will remain long after the earth has passed away and the final star has ceased to shine. A relationship that, in the ages to come will be so incredible that it resides in that category of things “too wonderful for this present theater.” When our love for Jesus is where it should be, it will fend off challengers. We’ll not allow a form of godliness or the enslavement of institutional expectations to interfere with this unadulterated love for the most high God. We’ll not be moved when noisy but shallow theatrical presentations call out to us and say “come over here; we have an awesome worship team.” If our heart is where it should be, we’ll instinctively seek out those places where we can be closest to the Lord; be it with a cast of thousands, or camped out in a wilderness alone.
I must be going shortly to tend to other things. This monitoring of where the thoughts travel to has been very revealing as to some areas of my life where growing is needed. Wandering thoughts; even toward those things considered neutral, are an indicator that our relationship with the Lord Jesus could be stronger. When we are close to him as we should be, the former loves by which we were routinely distracted will cease to have any influence over us. This is not to say that we can let our guard down as the old nature is ever present and waiting for an opportunity to get the ball back. But when our love for the Lord is where it should be, we’ll give all diligence to maintain the close relationship.
Blessings always in Jesus name.
Psalm 63:1-11 “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips.
When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.
But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.
But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.”
II Corinthians 10:5-6 “Casting down imaginations, ande very high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obediance of Christ;
And having a readiness to revenge all disobediance, when your obediance if fulfilled.”
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8 comments

  1. “a heartbeat away from hell”

    Thank you!


  2. Hi Darksculptures. Thanks for taking time to stop by. We have a salvation that is beyond explaining and a Savior more wonderful than words can express.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.


  3. Hi Timbob,

    I like the analogy you made about how it is when we first fall in love and our thoughts just always seem to naturally gravitate toward the one we love. I do find that most of the time, my thoughts are on the things of God. Sometimes for me though, it’s difficult to keep them there when I’m facing pressing circumstances. This has been an interesting week for us. I usually teach a Bible study on Tuesdays, and it was difficult to get my mind and heart prepared to teach. Our house was scheduled to be auctioned off on Thursday, and my husband had been trying to stop the process, and this was weighing on my mind. When I got to the home where I was going to be teaching, I found that another lady there was facing a worrisome cirucmstance and asked for prayer. I shared with the ladies the possibility of us losing our home on Thursday as well. We began to pray, and the Lord really moved in, and all 3 of us felt His presence in a great way. The Bible study was great too. I got to teach about my favorite O.T. character, Joseph, and it was so pertinent to all of our situations. Anyhow, that prayer meeting and Bible study helped to get my heart back where it should be. On Wednesday, at almost the last possible minute, our mortgage company was able to postpone the sale. I know a lot of folks were praying, and I’m believing God that we will be able to work something out to stay in our home. My husband’s business has picked up a little, and for that, I am so thankful.

    Anyhow, appreciated this post, and thanks for the reminder that we need to set our affections on the things above.

    Blessings,
    Carol


  4. Hi Carol. Praise God for postponing this sale! It’s so amazing when we find ourselves at the shores of the Red Sea with no excape and he opens a path through the sea. Our situation is seemingly stablized at the moment, but anything can happen and I have a strange perspective on it. If we were to lose this plot of land, our lives would become much simpler. My heart is fixed on heavenly things and an eternity with Jesus, as is yours.

    Time is so short and my fervent desire is just to be where the Lord would have me. So may tracts to get out, so many lost souls all around me, so broad is the catastrophy playing out before us. Thanks so much for stopping by and for the report of an incredible deliverance.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.


  5. Hi Timbob,

    Just a final note here. Even if our sale hadn’t been postponed, we would still serve the Lord and just move on to whatever place He had for us next. It just would be difficult after being homeowners for 18 years to go back to renting or even being homeless, but I know that God knows what is best. I’ve been musing a lot on a message I heard over ten years ago entitled, Your Setback Is Really A Set Up. The main thrust of the message concerns Joseph and how he went through situations in his life that appeared to be setbacks, but God had a plan all along. God always has a plan, even when we don’t seem to understand what He is doing. We just have to learn to trust in Him and not allow ourselves to become bitter or lose faith when things don’t seem to go the way we think they should. Well, enough said. Hope you have a great weekend.

    Bountiful blessings,

    Carol


  6. Thank you for sharing Carol. My name is Wayne (we live here in Ohio) when I read your present situation regarding the temporal things in your life, and your most hopeful and spiritual outlook, I was personally very encouraged and I thnak our Lord for your faithfulness. FWIW, I believe as the weeks and months go on, we will all be increasingly tested in this bond we have with the trappings and expectations of the so-called American Dream. I strongly believe in the spirit the Lord is asking us (if we have ears to hear and a heart to follow) here in the wilderness to lay it down, to forsake the attachments we have with the world and its system – and this may mean different things for each of us – debt obligations, ownership, community involvements, business arrangements, etc.

    For the Bride must make herself ready, and all her attention and the occupations of her heart are on her groom yet out ahead. Notice where her focus is in Rev 22 –

    The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. (Rev 22:17)

    The coming of the Lord, and the making of herself ready, seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness, being suitably dressed (hungering and thirsting for righteousness) for the wedding, all of this is what captures her rapt attention. For her there is nothing and no one else, relatively speaking – only that first and foremost love for her Lord that sadly the Ephesian church had forsaken.

    The heart it seems, although it can hold many things can only hold one thing first and most – this must be our Lord, and His Coming, and the summing up of all things in Him as ordained by the Father.

    Carol, I invite you to visit our journal where we share many things the Lord is laying on on our hearts, relating to brokenness, loss and gain, the the urgency of the prophetic moment – what the Lord is saying to those with ears at this very moment in history. Perhaps by His grace you will find encouragement and affirmation regarding some of the things you are living through.

    We will include you in our prayers and in our hearts. Hold fast to Him as perhaps other things are being released or yet to be released that He alone may have the preeminence.

    Wayne (a bond-slave of the Lord Jesus Christ)

    http://livingwalk.wordpress.com/
    http://www.livingwalk.com


  7. Hi Carol. I truly believe that your entire family is prepared spiritually for anything that should transpire in the natural. And as you mention, the account of Joseph is a perfect example of everything “seeming” to go wrong in order for the servant of God to be in the right place at the right time. Had a single incident in his life been altered, he would have not been in the proper place to offer interpretation of the dream.

    Thanks for stopping in. Blessings always in Jesus name.

    timbob


  8. Hi W.E Smith. Thanks for taking a moment to share your unsights here. I’m really glad to have found your blog. I’m curious as to where in Ohio you reside. Perhaps a future visit would be possible. It’s amazing to find a number of saints in the blogosphere who understand the times in which we live, however in my own neck of the woods, there’s only one other person with whom I can discuss such things. These are incredibly strange times and certain to get both stranger and more traumatic as the day approaches.

    Thanks again. Blessings always in Jesus name.



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