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There is nothing I desire besides You!

Posted by appolus on September 21, 2021

Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. (Psa 73:25-26)

Whom have I in heaven but thee? There is none upon earth that I desire but thee. My flesh fails but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. This is one of the greatest heart cries in all of the Psalms. It is often quoted but never really given context. The psalmist is living in a world where all he sees is the wicked prospering. They seem to have no real problems. They have more than they could wish for. They are not in trouble like other men. Nor are they plagued like other men. They always seem to be at ease and their riches only ever increase.

I would argue that nothing much changes from generation to generation. We could look around today and we would know plenty of people like that. And sometimes it may be tempting to think “Lord, why do the wicked prosper?” In contrast listen to the psalmists life . “For all day long I have been plagued and chastened every morning.” (verse 14) “Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain.” Don’t you love the honesty of the Scriptures? The psalmist just lays it out bare. And then comes the turn”Until I went into the sanctuary of God, then I understood….” The presence of God begins to turn his thinking around. He begins to see with an eternal perspective. He sees the end results of a life lived outside of God. He sees eternal destruction and he sees eternal glory for the children of God.

And now he is in the Spirit and he sees it all so clearly. He had been so foolish to be vexed by the rich and the ones who live their lives in ease. He sees that despite all of that that he walks in the presence of God. He is held by God Himself. He is led and he is guided by God and when it is all over he will be received into glory! He can cry out into the drama and the turmoil of his life, “you alone are my portion!” There is nothing at all in this whole earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart might fail me, but the Lord my God is my strength forever. This outer man may be perishing and I may have troubles in this world but the inner man is being renewed every day, praise God! This inner man, my heart, my soul, my spirit is being prepared to be received into glory!

Be encouraged saint, this world is not ours and we can never find a place in it. We are strangers and aliens in a far away land and we are on a monumental journey home. The road is narrow and fraught with danger. The valleys are deep and the river crossings are perilous. Storms abound along the way. Yet in all of that God is the strength of our hearts and He encourages His children along the way. His hand is upon you and His thoughts of you are more numerous than the sands of the seas shore. He awaits, He beckons, He calls. He whispers in the night watches. And the heartbeat of heaven is the beat of our hearts. Stay strong saints, our God is with us.

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Preserve my life.

Posted by appolus on September 16, 2021

Psalm 64:1 Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy. 

It is better to die by the hand of your enemy than to be taken captive by fear of him. A man dies just once, but someone taken captive by fear dies daily. And the death we are talking about is not the death of the old man so encouraged by the Scriptures, it is the opposite. To die daily to the flesh means that the spirit rises up. We decrease and the Lord in us increases. To die the death of a coward daily is to die spiritually. To be taken captive by fear is to be paralyzed spiritually. To be a prisoner to fear is to have your very thoughts taken captive. The ultimate distraction in this life comes when we are taken captive by fear in mind and body. The spirit man begins to die and the flesh rises up.

I would argue that this is what we are seeing all over the world right now in the midst of a pandemic. Fear has run amok. It has paralyzed us, literally, by shutting down everything. David cries out to the Lord in Psalm 64 verse one to “preserve my life,” from fear of the enemy. He does not asked to be spared on the battle-field. He is not asking for God to protect his physical life. No, he is asking that his life be revived in him, that his strength would be maintained in the midst of such troubling times. He wants his inner strength preserved, he wants it restored.

And so brothers and sisters. Be vigilant against fear, for it is the opposite of faith. Be diligent when it comes to your heart for out of that heart flows the issues of life. Do not let it be taken captive by fear. Be wise in these matters and see the strategy of the enemy of your soul. Ask the Lord for wisdom for He will give it to you. And in the receiving of this wisdom you shall have understanding. Remember, you have an ornament of grace that hangs upon your heart. You have a crown of glory that awaits you in the world to come. Fear the Lord in all of your ways, lean not upon your own understanding of what is unfolding in the world around you, but trust in Him. I say again, trust in Him and acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.

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His banner of truth prevails.

Posted by appolus on September 14, 2021

Psa 60:2  Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it

In every situation in our lives, we are somewhere between victory and defeat. All of us have known both. All of us would do well to remember victory while in the midst of defeat. and defeat while in the midst of victory. This is the balance of the saints, knowing and understanding that the Lord is God over every part of our lives. Might I suggest that Christendom is broken and the earth trembles under the darkness of the end of the ages. Yet even now we must cry out that God would heal the barren land of Christendom so that this dark world may have as much light as it can as the end of the ages comes quickly.

Let us praise God that He always gives us a banner of truth over those who fear Him. In the battle-field of life, the remnant saints of God shine out. And not only to a dark world but to a lost people who call themselves after the name of Jesus. Truth flies high over the battle-field for all to see. Who will run to its banner? Who will cry out to God when their heart is overwhelmed? The banner shall lead them to the Rock that is higher than all of us. This banner shall be a shelter and a strong tower in the last days of gross darkness. We shall abide in the tabernacle of Truth. We shall take a hold of the heritage of those who fear the living God. For remember saints the help of man is useless. Rich men and poor men alike are like vapors.

Trust in God at all times. Let your soul wait silently upon Him in the heat of the day. Cry out to God in the heart of the battle. He alone is your Rock and your salvation. He alone is your defense and those who abide in it shall not be moved. He alone is your salvation and your glory. Even from the ends of the earth when you cry out to Him, He will attend to your prayer. Learn to remember the days of your defeat in the days of your victory, and never forget the days of your victory when in the midst of defeat. For the one unchangeable God rules over them all and is at work in them.

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Dying alone.

Posted by appolus on September 12, 2021

Phi 2:5 For let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

And so Jesus, being found in the likeness of man, humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. How many of us know that when a friend or a family member is dying or seriously ill, then we gather around them and comfort them? There are also doctors and nurses to ease their pain. This is not the case when the dying is the dying to our flesh.

This kind of dying is a uniquely solitary experience. Being comforted by brothers and sisters does not help us when we are dying a spiritual death. It is most often quite the opposite, it tends to prolong the process. When you are in the midst of a great struggle, and well meaning people try to comfort you, if you take them to heart your troubles will only be prolonged. When you discover that God is all that you have, you will discover that God is all that you need. The cross is not comfortable, it is the very opposite of comfort. It’s not just a dying, its the dying of the cross. A suffering of loss.

Yet in the midst of dying to ourselves we are called to life, spiritual life. In the seemingly endless paradoxes between life in the spirit and our life on this earth we are called to have the mind of Christ and have the life of Christ in us. It is in the midst of dying to our flesh that we find the hidden treasures of life in the Spirit. The gross darkness of the death of the cross reveals the life and the light of Christ in us. It is the treasures of darkness. This is the crucified life and we find it as we humble ourselves and take on the form of a servant and walk in obedience to our heavenly calling. Will you walk in the life of the Spirit today?

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Show me, Lord.

Posted by appolus on September 9, 2021

Psa 51:6  Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 

Part of wisdom is to know something of who you truly are. Not the way others see you or even the way you want to be seen by others but who you are in the depths of who you are. The outward appearance has no intrinsic value when it is detached from the inner reality. The only value it has is when it is reflective of the inner man. The distance between the two is the measure of our hypocrisy. We play the actor when the man that people see is not the man who truly is. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that is true enough in the world. In the Kingdom the only beauty that counts is what God sees when He looks at us. What does God see in you?

David says in psalm 51:6 that God “makes me to know wisdom.” He is referring to the his hidden life. The inner life, the life that God know better than you. Imagine that, the only way to truth in the inwards parts is that God would reveal your inner most being to yourself. What a brutal painful journey this can be to the yielded, to the broken and the contrite. And yet, only God can do this. In psalm 51 there is a series of things God does for the broken and the contrite. Verse 14 “deliver me.” Only God can deliver us from our guilt and desires to do it. Verse 12b “Uphold me.” Only God can hold us up when the weight of sin and guilt has weighed us down. Verse 12a “Restore to me.” Only God can restore us, only God can give us the joy that comes from His salvation. Verse 10 “Create in me.” Only God can create a clean heart. Only God can cleanse the hands of those who have sinned against Him and give them a steadfast spirit in the depths of who they are.

Verse 8 “Make me.” Only God can can heal the brokenness. A healing that produces joy and gladness, a gladness that causes us to once more radiate His holiness. Verse 7b “Wash me.” God alone can wash away with the filth of this world and our flesh. Verse 7a”Purge me.” God alone can bring about the elements of my cleansing. And in the end, when we see all of this, we know wisdom. We know God. We know Jesus. And in the knowing we know ourselves in the inward parts, the hidden parts, that are to be a delight to the Lord and a light to the world.

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The truth and the sword and the Glory!

Posted by appolus on September 5, 2021

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Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.(Psa 45:3-4)

We live in a day and age where truth and righteousness seems to have stumbled, seems to have fallen underfoot and is trampled by the ungodly masses of this dark world. And the cry of the saints rises up as we see the approach of the gross darkness that is enveloping the world. I don’t have to convince you of this saint, for the same Spirit dwells richly in each of us. Our hearts are heavy as we see the multitudes swept away by the raging currents of ungodliness and lies.

I want to encourage you today saint. We serve a God who sits atop a white stallion and upon His thigh there is girded a sword. How great and terrible is this sword. It slices through the darkness and cuts to pieces the vain imaginations of men. And majesty and glory go before it. Truth will do its work. Righteousness shall prevail despite the best efforts of men and the enemy of our soul. And we who stand upon such truth, who walk in the righteousness of God, who are meek and lowly of heart, we shall see the glory! We shall revel in the majesty. And we shall see justice prevail in the end in the great and terrible day of the Lord. Stand fast saints. We shall see such things.

We shall prosper in the things of the Lord as we stand fast and await this day. We shall prosper in peace, it shall be increased. We shall prosper in faith, it shall be increased. We shall prosper in boldness, it shall be increased. We shall prosper in power it too shall be increased. In all things of the unseen world the saints shall prosper. The Kingdom shall rule and reign in our hearts, as we worship the Kingdoms King. The world may imagine a a weak and effeminate Jesus, but the reality of who He truly is shall manifest itself through us. We who will, by His glorious power, stand firm and hold the line even as Hell and all its fury thunders towards us. The line shall not break the sword shall not be sheathed until the terrible work is finished. Go forth in power saint. Ride prosperously into battle in His majesty.

 

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Death in all its many ways.

Posted by appolus on August 31, 2021

1Co 15:55  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 

Death is swallowed up in victory. There are many kinds of death just as there are many kinds of victories. There is of course physical death and for those saints who have the victory, then every aspect of death’s power are swallowed up by the life of Christ. For we know that because He lives then so shall we. The darkness of this world shall be swallowed whole by the light of Christ that is brighter than a thousand suns.

There is also death to self and every aspect of self. This is harder than dying a physical death. For it comes not once but a thousand times a thousand times. We die daily is not exaggeration. Death to desires, death to wants, death to ambitions, death to the flesh that never stops trying to press forth its “rights.” Death to rights, death to what belongs to us. Death to what should have been and to what could have been. Many of us may not fear physical death and in fact we may desire it, but there is no one who stands unmoved to the death of self. Only by living in Christ can we die to our-self. Only by knowing Jesus can we know victory.

And because we “know” Him we have already been touched by the glory of His light. Can you feel it’s glow even now deep within your heart? It burns at the center of who we are. There is life in this light of God. There is power and there is victory and because there is we can say with full authority to death- where is your sting? Oh grave where is your victory? You have been defeated and you have been swallowed whole. The victory belongs to Jesus. His very life is our victory and His eternal throne means that our victory is eternal.

Posted in bible, christian blog, christian living, Christian poetry, Christianity, church of england, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, Jesus, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, The Psalms, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Why so downcast oh my soul?

Posted by appolus on August 30, 2021

Psalm 42:5 Why are you cast down O my soul?

As the deer panteth for the waterbrooks so my soul longeth after thee. Such a famous verse so often quoted so rarely pondered. This is no mere whimsical desire to be closer to God. This is deep crying out to deep. This is the depths of a man or woman’s soul in despair of ever experiencing His presence again.Has your tears been your food day and night? Are you overwhelmed by circumstances that threaten to draw you down into the deep and drown you? Do people say to you, or maybe they don’t have to say it, but look at you and wonder “where is his God.” Has that thought soaked into the depths of your soul? You dare not even think it, therefore your soul is simply and stoically silent.

The psalmist here in the 42nd psalm speaks to his own soul. Despite what he is feeling in the depths of who he is he declares to his own soul.. why so downcast o my soul? I will yet praise my God. Hope in God for His loving-kindness in the daytime and in the night His song shall comfort you. I see that you are downcast o my own soul but I am ready to praise the Living God. Come with me my soul and together we shall drink from the waterbrooks of life. And out from the depths of despair my soul rises into the light of His glory. My tears of sadness are now tears of joy and the light of God has returned to my darkened eyes and the naysayers are astonished at my resurrection. And God alone is praised!

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church of england, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, intimacy, Jesus, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, The Psalms, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Tis good to remember.

Posted by appolus on August 26, 2021

Psalm 38:2 For your arrows pierce me deeply.

How many of us can relate to being pierced deeply by the arrows of our trials and misfortunes that are the results of our sins? David reflects back upon such a time when he was in deep distress for it is entitled “a psalm to bring to remembrance.” He feels the “Hand of God pressing down.” Many have felt the weight of God’s holy presence, yet there is another kind of heaviness. it is the heaviness of our sin and the results of it. I am not talking about the sinner here, I am talking about the saint.

These arrows that pierce David’s heart are not the fiery darts of the enemy, they are God’s own arrows that penetrate the soul of one who truly knows the Lord. Anguish indeed when we have caused a separation from our Lord by our own deeds. David so describes the inner turmoil that undoubtedly effects the outer flesh. He says there is no soundness in his flesh. Nor any health in his bones. He says his wounds are foul and festering because of his foolishness. His loins are full of inflammation. He groans because of the turmoil of his heart. His heart pants and his strength fails and the light which was in his eyes has gone out.

I speak only to those who can recognize this. If you cannot, there is nothing I can say to you. Here is how David comes back from such a place. “I will declare my iniquity and be in anguish over my sin.”(verse 18) This is the broken and contrite heart of David. This is the heart of one whom the Lord has declared to have a heart like His own. Shall we not have such a heart? “Do not forsake me O Lord my God and be not far from me.” (verse 21) These great cries were mightily fulfilled by Christ. He has created a place for us before His glorious and magnificent throne of grace. A place where we cry out to God in repentance and He hears us and forgives us and delivers us.

He restores us and revives us. As we draw close to Him then He draws close to us. His living waters heals the heart that is pierced through by many sorrows by an abundance of grace. The many festering wounds are in a moment healed. Soundness is returned to the flesh. Health is delivered to the bones. Anguish is replaced by a deep and abiding joy and the weight of His Hand is replaced by the weight of His presence. The raging storm within our hearts is pacified. And the light that had gone out from our eyes is lit again with a fierce intensity. Remember that place that sin led us to brothers and sisters, be wise and do not forget the deliverance of our Lord. Let the memory of it keep us in the beauty of His holiness.

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And suddenly He is there.

Posted by appolus on August 24, 2021

Ex 33:15… And he said to Him, If Your presence does not go with me, do not carry us up from here.

We would all agree that God is omnipresent. This means that He is everywhere at the same time. This is an indisputable fact. Yet, the manifest presence of God, the felt presence of God is something entirely different. Moses had no desire to go anywhere unless God was with him and he could commune with Him. How long has it been since you have communed with God in the midst of His manifest presence? Perhaps you never have? Or perhaps you are going through a dry spell? In the midst of one of these dry spells I remember, in my distress, on my knees, just reaching my open hand up to the heavens and crying out to God.

And without any warning, He was holding my hand. And all of a sudden that world was there again. The world of endless possibilities. In this world it does not matter if there are dark skies or endless blue ones when I am holding His hand. Whether it rains or whether brilliant shafts of light break through ominous clouds, it’s all the same to me when I hold His hand. If I can barely see through my tears of if I wear the most illuminated smile, it matters not when I hold His hand. In the depths of trials or when all is right with the world I am at peace when I hold His hand. If I mourn the loss of a loved one or or cannot see my way ahead, I am never lost when I hold His hand.

The sweet all-consuming joy of His presence. This heart of a lion that beats within the chest of a lamb. This all-consuming power of love that rises victoriously above all the battles of life. This is life when we are walking in His presence. What battle field do you find yourself on today? Do you battle the unseen enemy of unforgiveness? Or has someone wronged you and bitterness bangs on your door? Is depression seeking to overwhelm you? Has the power of darkness in one of its many forms come to challenge you today? Perhaps the darkness comes from the outside, or maybe there is hidden darkness from deep within?

Today, right now, close your eyes and reach out your hand into the darkness of your situation. Cry out to Jesus, tell Him how much that you miss Him and ask Him to take your hand. Your situation may not change, but the darkness will flee. You will be blessed in the midst of your circumstances and you will stand upon the Rock which is higher than you. He will carry you on eagles wings as the updrafts of His presence hold you and keep you. Where could we flee from His presence?

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Aunt Flo’s big toe.

Posted by appolus on August 19, 2021

Many many years ago my mother and father attended a Baptist church, and they would go to the prayer meeting. The minister was quite a strict man and gave firm instructions that no one was to pray for “personal,” issues. The prayers were to be on whatever the subject of the teaching had been prior to the prayers beginning. As someone who has”operated,” in the prayer ministry over the years, I understand where the minister was coming from. It can often be frustrating to hear someone pray for what an old friend of mine used to call “aunt Flo’s big toe.” Prayer meetings can devolve into praying for all the different body parts. A long list of peoples ailments. The whole world can be in flames and the church can be falling away, and yet, even if you are fortunate enough to have a prayer meeting, aunt Flo can play a prominent roll in it, or at least her big toe can.

One night at the prayer meeting, before I was saved, my mother “felt the calling,’ to stand and pray for the salvation of her son. It was so strong she could not resist. So, she stood to her feet, trembling, and very clearly breaking the rules, she prayed for something that was very personal to her. She felt what she called “the breakthrough.’ She knew something had happened in the realms of the Spirit. Very shortly after that I got saved, a man on the brink of suicide and ravaged by sin and the lashes of a a dark world.

I think it is great to have structure. I think it is great to have direction. I think it is great to have some kind of instruction. Yet in the end, all of that must be held very loosely or we shall certainly miss the mark. The tension between man’s order and God’s moving is a perilous one. It has to be revisited over and over again. Whether in a prayer meeting or a Sunday morning service, get it wrong and the preeminence of God is usurped. Outside of His preeminence there is only shades of grey at best, which is nothing more than darkness masquerading as something that it is not.

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One thing I have desired.

Posted by appolus on August 19, 2021

Psa 27:4  One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek ; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. 

This is the answer to life and to our walk right here in this verse from the 27th Psalm. One thing I have desired. One thing brothers and sisters. This is what my life will be. That I would seek the Lord and that I would dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. Its not that I would “get,” to heaven. It has nothing to do with getting anything in that sense, it is all about dwelling. Oh to God that men would seek to dwell rather than seek to get. Get into heaven, get out of hell. Sordid self seeking its own. It is the Lord I shall seek.

I will seek Him to behold His beauty. I will seek Him early in the morning and in the noon day. I will seek Him in the evening and before I retire to bed. I will seek Him as I lay my head upon my pillow. He is my all in all. When we have this singular mind then, and only then, in the time of trouble shall He hide me in His pavilion, in the secret place of His tabernacle. He shall set me high upon a rock.

As I dwell in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, then I know of His grace. I know of His mercy. I have been delivered by His righteous right hand. He has hid me from my enemies. Even when all have forsaken me, even as it suggests in the Psalm, forsaken by father and mother, then the Lord has been a Father to me. These things I have known in my walk with the Lord. I would have lost my heart if I had not seen the goodness of the Lord in the here and the now. My Father is not watching from some far away distant heaven. My Savior did not simply come and then leave. They are here, right here, right now by the power of the Holy Spirit. What is your one desire? If it is the Lord then you will have an open door to heaven which no man can shut.

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Who among us are broken?

Posted by appolus on August 17, 2021

Mat 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

The Word of God is immovable, it sits as the cornerstone of all that exists. The arc of our lives must bend towards the Word of God.Time and space itself bends towards the Word. The revealed truth of God establishes the foundations of all existence. In the beginning was the word and God created the heaven and the earth. The spoken word of God calls forth light and the light creates a separation between itself and the darkness. The light of God is still separate from the darkness. And in the end the Word remains and every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

The word of God speaks to the sons and the daughters of light and it calls them to bend. If the arc of your life does not bend towards the word of God then the word of God does not hold sway over your lives. It may intrigue you. It may fascinate you. It may challenge you. You may argue about it and it may be philosophy to you, but if it has not bent you, if your life has not been broken by it and renewed and put back together by it then it does not sit on the throne of your heart. The truly broken shall bend, yet in the end all those who resist and reject the chief cornerstone, that stone shall fall upon them and they shall be ground to powder and be scattered like dust.

Have you been broken? The poor in Spirit are the ones who cry out from the depths of who they are to the One who is high and lifted up. The broken are the ones who cannot even lift their heads in the presence of God. Yet He gently places His hand under their chins and raises up their heads to look at Him. He pierces the souls of the broken and the contrite hearts as they look unto Him, the Author and the Finisher of their faith.

I am broken, I am vanquished, I surrender. Is this your cry? To be broken is to see your flesh for what it is, in the horror of that you will be broken. To be vanquished is to be subdued by a superior force. And in your brokenness you are subdued and you surrender into the hand of God. Do not resist the work of the Holy Spirit in your life and in your circumstances, they are the hammer and the chisel of God. He will shape you.

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He sees and He hears.

Posted by appolus on August 15, 2021

Psalm 22:1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? 

Many men and women, down through the ages, have cried out to God in their despair. Day and night David cried out to God, yet there remained silence. Can you relate to this brothers and sisters? Have you cried out to God and the silence only seemed to add to your troubles? What kept you in that season? What keeps you in this season? Matthew Henry says “When we want the faith of assurance we must live by a faith of adherence.” Do you find yourself there today saints? If you have walked through these kinds of valleys I do not have to ask you if you remember. Who can forget the very shaping of their spirits? Who could forget the fall of the hammer upon the chisel that was shaping their lives? If gold had senses, would it ever forget the furnace? It is part and parcel of our creation.

Oswald Chambers says this of the Lord Jesus’ cry which is here foretold and prophesied by David in this first verse of Psalm 22, “The depth of this cry of Jesus is deeper than anyone can go because it is a cry from the heart of God.” No one knows the depths of this cry, no one can ever know. What we can know is that God knows the nature of this cry from His children. He knows it, because He lived it in a way that far surpasses that of any created being. And because we know that He knows this, who better to cry out to? David says this in verse three “but.” But what? “But your are Holy. You are enthroned upon the praises of your people.” He is very near to those who praise Him despite their circumstances. He is just beyond the veil of those who ever trust Him, and who can know when the veil is lifted?

Now listen to David as he nears the end of this psalm…..”I will declare Your name to my brethren. In the midst of the assembly I will praise you. ……..you who fear the Lord, praise Him! …..for He has not despised not abhorred the affliction of the afflicted nor has He hidden His face from Him. But when He cried to Him, He heard. The poor shall eat and be satisfied and those who seek Him will praise the Lord forever, let your heart live forever.” Let you heart live forever brothers and sisters. Trust in the Lord your God and praise Him for in the midst of those praises lies His throne and upon that throne sits Your God. That is how close He is to you. He hears you, He sees you and He sees your afflictions.

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How long will You forget me?

Posted by appolus on August 10, 2021

Psalm 13:1 How long will you forget me, O LORD?

How long will you hide your face from me? Have you ever asked this question of the Lord? If not, might I suggest you have not experienced the hottest parts of the furnace as of yet. In the middle of a prolonged trial we can often have the same thought as king David did.. David’s trials were not fleeting or even seasonal, but often lasted for years. David has taken refuge and shelter in caves and embraced the darkness of having found a reprieve from his trials. We can do the same. We can run into dark caves and shut our minds away from the troubles that we find ourselves in. That dark cave can look like many differnt things. It could be mindless television. It might even be alcohol or pills. Distractions of any sort can form the basis of a cave. And yet, just like David, the cave that promised safety and a place of refuge, always turns into a place of bondage.

David, in the midst of this, cries out “Consider and hear me oh Lord my God, enlighten my eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death.” This sleep, this cave, this place that we can find ourselves in, in the midst of troubles and trials, can very easily turn into the “sleep of death.” And the first step to awaken us from this place is to cry out to God with everything that is in us. To fall down on our faces and rend our hearts and seek His face. To remember the faithfulness of our Lord and how He has always delivered us and how He alone is trustworthy. His mercy prevails in the midst of trials. As we remind ourselves of these things we begin to rejoice in the God of our salvation. Sing to the Lord brothers and sisters, sing today of His goodness and His mercy. Sing praises unto our God. Awaken the dawn with your shouts as you step out of the darkness, into His marvelous light.

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Into the depths.

Posted by appolus on August 5, 2021

Eze 47:3 And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles.

There is a river that flows from heaven itself. It flows through our hearts and beckons us to come deeper. This river is spoken of in many places in Scriptures. It is the presence of God and it brings us deeper into the heart of the Almighty. There are trees on either side of this river and their roots are directly connected to the river and they are perpetually green, evergreen trees for the healing of the people and the nations. The river itself brings healing everywhere it goes. To be walking in the Spirit is to be swimming in the river of life.

As we see in Ezekiel 47, the Lord brings us to through the waters. Always the Lord, compelling His children to come deeper into Him. Not ankle deep, not knee deep or even waist deep but fully immersed in a river so vast that it cannot be crossed, it can only be swum in. We must give ourselves to the river, let go and give way to the current of the Holy Spirit. Whether you are ankle deep, knee deep or even waist deep, you are still standing on your own two feet. In many respects you are still in charge. Yet to give ourselves completely to the river then we are no longer standing.

When we are fully given to our Lord. When we are yielded to the depths and the power of this vast river, the power of the Holy Spirit, only then can we truly be led. All resistance is gone in its depths. It is carrying you towards the sea, the vastness of God Himself. Ever closer, ever deeper into the Father’s heart. And the Lord says to to you “come, I will bring you through the waters into the deep.” “Seek me with your whole heart and I shall be found and you shall be rewarded for your diligence, I am your exceeding great reward.”

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Let us sow Righteousness.

Posted by appolus on August 4, 2021

Hos 10:12  Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

There is a time and a season for breaking up the fallow ground. There is a time to sow seeds into that ground and there is a time to look to the skies in anticipation of the rain. I would argue that for the saint that time is every day, this is our lives and the life that we have committed to. Yet, there are also particular seasons. And there is the end of ages. It is time, while there is still time left, to seek the Lord with our whole hearts. Christendom, the Lord is calling to you, He is whispering to your heart that the time is short. Just as the planting season can be short, the sands of time are running out and so the window of opportunity is closing. Seek the Lord while He may be found. While it is yet day.

In order for us to sow righteousness we must first seek it, daily. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Live in the paradox of having found yet continuing to seek. And in doing so the seed comes forth and is planted into the broken up ground, the ground that the Lord Himself has plowed. And in this we reap a harvest of mercy and grace upon our lives. Let it rain Lord God, let your rain pour down upon those who panteth for your presence. Who seek not the blessing but the Blesser, who seek not the sanctification but the Sanctifier. Let the rain of your righteousness soak us to our very core and water the seed that comes forth only from you. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

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No longer seeking God for His blessings.

Posted by appolus on August 2, 2021

Look back over your life as a saint and you will see how the weaning has gone on from the blessing to the Blesser, from sanctification to the Sanctifier. When we no longer seek God for His blessings, we have time to seek Him for Himself. (Oswald Chambers- Biblical Ethics)

Ponder that for a moment and let it slowly sink in, for it will, perhaps, affect every area of your walk with Jesus. So much of our prayer life is about petition. Our prayer life is so often directly related to whatever set of circumstances we find ourselves in, or a loved one, or a friend. Imagine, if you will, that no matter what your circumstances are, no matter if you are on the mountaintop or in the deepest valley, that your relationship with the Lord is on an even keel. Think again upon the last sentence “When we no longer seek God for His blessings, we have time to seek Him for Himself.

If our primary mandate in our relationship with the Lord is “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness,’ and it is, then how can we ever do that if that vast majority of our communication with the Lord is petition. If the primary object of our prayer life is petition and not the Lord Himself, then He must be our secondary object. This, I would argue, is back to front. When the Lord Himself takes up His proper position within your heart, then, just like when the Ark found its proper place in Solomon’s temple, His manifest presence shall rain down. As the dew falls heavily on the slopes of Mount Zion, and as the oil runs freely from the top of Aaron’s head down to his feet, so too will the blessings of the abundant life fall upon those who seek the Lord for Himself.

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He tears and He heals.

Posted by appolus on August 2, 2021

Hos 6:1  Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

The same God that brings us to our knees, also raises us up. Oh that we had no need to be broken, no need to be smitten, yet in the depths of who we are we are fatally flawed. Adam in us. In the flesh we bear the sin of Adam, we stood guilty before a Holy God. Yet in us too was a light, a smoldering ember in the depths of who we are. It speaks of our guilt. When the wind of the Spirit blows upon this tiniest of embers, the God given conscience, then it bursts into flames. “You crucified the Christ,” Peter cries out as he spoke with the power of God. Men’s hearts were rent and their blindfolds fell to the ground as they gazed upon their crime and saw that their very own sin crucified Jesus. He bore their punishment.

Imagine this. You are driving down the road and you check your phone, or you text someone. And in that split second a child runs out and is run over and killed by your car. The child is dead, and you are guilty. There is no doubt about your guilt. You are racked with that guilt. You cannot think, you cannot concentrate, you cannot live. You come before the judge and you plead guilty and you desire that he throws the book at you for you know you deserve to be punished because you killed an innocent child. Nothing can deliver you from your agony. Now imagine another scenarios, your eyes are opened by the wind of the Spirit. You see that it is indeed your sin that killed a willing and innocent Jesus upon the cross. And why was He willing? To fulfill the will of the Father that He should suffer in your stead. And in the very midst of your guilt, you “know,” that despite this, He loves you. “What must I do,’ you cry out as you heart is ripped open and you are smote with the sure knowledge of your sure guilt and the agonizing realization of His love.

“Arise in repentance,” the Lord would say “and I shall give you life”. I will bind up your wounds and set you free from the captivity of this guilt. I will raise you up from death to life that you may live. For my going forth is established as the morning and I will come like the rain, the latter and the former rain. Brothers and sisters, this is how we were saved and this is how we shall live. He still tears and He still heals. He molds us in the fires of sanctification. He scourges all those that He loves and the flesh is burned up in the fires and in this He raises us up in Holiness. Who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap (Mal 3:2) He purifies His sons and daughters and purges them like gold and silver. Come brothers and sisters, let us return to the Lord.

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A door of hope in the desolate places.

Posted by appolus on July 29, 2021

Hos 2:14  Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. 

This is a truly remarkable scripture and a remarkable promise from God. All through the second chapter of Hosea we see threats and declarations from God. “She is not my wife……..Lest I strip her naked and expose her as in the day she was born…….. Make her like a wilderness and set her in a dry land and slay her with thirst…………I will hedge up her ways with thorns and wall her in so that she cannot find her path…………..I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers and no one shall deliver her from my Hand.” And it goes on. This is powerful threats from God, And after all of that “She decked herself with earrings and jewelry and went after her lovers, but Me she forgot.” Wow, can you imagine what can only come next?

And here we see for a fact that Gods ways are higher than our ways for He says “behold, I will allure her.” not judge her or condemn her, but rather entice her. Now the place of His wilderness enticement will not be a dry land where she will die of thirst but rather a place that she will discover comfort in the valley of Achor. A place of troubled waters and tears which will produce fruit from the vineyard that will blossom from that place. Is this not the story of our salvation? Was not our sins exposed to us? Did we not see ourselves as we truly were? And were horrified. Was the world not our wilderness where we were starving to death and dying of thirst? We were hedged in and held down by the thorns of our own rebellion and sin and there was no way forward for us, only down. And instead of judging us the Lord redeemed us and raised us up.

He became so beautiful to us, the very one we ran from for so long. All of our lewdness became apparent as He came close to us. His magnificent beauty reflected upon our ugliness. I remember crying out for the Lord to look away from me for I was an abomination in my own sight, in the light of the conviction of my God, the lover of my soul. And in this place, this Godly wilderness, we were transformed. Now listen to what God said to us in the last verses of Hosea. “I will betroth you to me forever………..I will betroth you to me in righteousness, in loving-kindness and mercy…….. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness and you shall know the Lord….. then I will sow her for myself in the earth and I will have mercy upon her who had not obtained mercy. Then I will say to those who were not my people, you are my people! And they shall say, you are my God.” Praise Jesus. Our God is the lover of our souls. He has redeemed us from the miry places to lay down with Him in heavenly places. Give Him glory today brothers and sisters!

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