A Call To The Remnant

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Archive for January 6th, 2022

Holding back the sea.

Posted by appolus on January 6, 2022

Phil 4:11 I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content.

 A dear older brother shared this story that he heard decades ago from a woman and it is one of these portions of wisdom that sticks with you. She told him that for over forty years she prayed for her circumstances to change until she finally realized that the circumstances were there to change her. This would horrify many people, especially those who are of the word of faith persuasion or the name it and claim it crowd.  Yet it would be a challenge in general to all who profess Jesus as their Lord.

It is natural to want to run from difficult circumstances. It is supernatural to want to be changed by them. The fleshly man wants, above all else, deliverance from what ails him because he is at the center of his own universe. When the Lord Jesus occupies that place then the only desire is to become more like Him no matter what set of circumstances that it takes.  There is a line from a worship song that says “There is another in the fire, watching over me, there is another in the water, holding back the sea.”

I suppose the question then becomes, would we rather be in the fire with God or out of the fire without Him? If we had to choose, how would we choose? Can we lie down and sleep in the boat in the midst of the storm knowing that Jesus is holding back the sea? Only the man or the woman whom God Himself has changed by the power of difficult circumstances can ever hope to be content in every situation. The key to overcoming and walking in the peace that surpasses all understanding is to give yourself fully to Jesus in the midst of the fires and the floods of life. The narrow path that leads us home is marked by fire and flood and only in Christ can we walk through them. 

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Changed forever by an incoming tide.

Posted by appolus on January 6, 2022

There is the presence of God to be found in glorious worship, the kind of worship that lifts your spirit. It can lift up the head and invigorate the heart and fill you full of joy and you leave strengthened. This is good worship. Yet there is another kind of presence of God in worship, the kind of presence that there seems to be a famine of throughout the land. The first kind of presence we spoke of lifts your heart, the second kind of presence invades every part of who you are. It falls from heaven like a heavy dew, heads are lowered and hands are raised. All becomes quiet. One barely breathes as the Spirit of God slowly descends down through our heads into our hearts and down to the very soles of our feet, and the ground upon which we stand becomes Holy ground.
 
The first kind of presence uplifts us, the second changes us fundamentally. As living waters pour into us then it rises up like a great river that is so full that it overflows its banks. The banks themselves begin to crumble and fall into this river of pure life as it swells up and floods every part of who we are. The landscape is being changed by this flood, the very topography of our lives is being flattened by its power and everything that is not securely rooted to its foundations is simply swept away. Changed forever. And when the flood recedes we are left with a glorious afterglow. As the deer pants for the waterbrooks, I wonder, do our hearts pant after this kind of encounter.
 
The Lord Himself does not need professional worship teams. He does not need people to encourage us to stand up, jump up and down and raise our hands. In the Welsh revival two young women singing either acapella or simply backed by a piano typically sang “Here is love, vast as the ocean.” And there was love, in the very midst of them, vast as the ocean, flooding the hearts and minds of all who attended. Brothers and sisters, in all our modernity, what have we lost? In the program of churches and the professional class of worship leaders and pastors we have lost the simplicity of it all. And in the losing of it we now have to entertain the people. Spirit led worship is exactly that, it is Spirit led.
 
In work we have a routine. In life we have a routine. Prisoners in prison have a routine. Oftentimes we are slaves to the routine, it is what gets us through life. Yet, there is nothing routine about the Holy Spirit of the Living God. He is dynamic and you can never know what way the wind will blow next. Have we sold our souls for a routine? Routine in the home, routine at work, routine at church. Routine people do not change the world. Routine people do not do wage war on the battle-fields of life. The Spirit of God is dynamic and those filled with His “dynamis,” change the environment around them because the environment inside them has been filled to capacity and is overflowing its banks. Lord fill us again to overflowing with the kind of presence that invades every part of who we are.

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