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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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There are no limits to His righteousness.

Posted by appolus on September 19, 2021

Psalm 71:14-15 But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness, and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits.

You can see the undulations of Davids heart as he goes back and forth. He makes much mention of his enemies and the things that ail him. It takes up a considerable amount of his thinking. His mind vacillates between complaints about his enemies and the glory of God. Yet in verse 14 we see the turn. The mind and the heart that was fixed between these two points is now firmly fixed upon God alone. And in this we find our own proper response to our trials and tribulations and infirmities. Let us not give the enemy nor the situation any ground. Let us hope in Him continually. That is a declaration. “I will praise you, (despite my circumstances) yet more and more,” that’s another declaration.

And now that the mind is focused on God, here we hear the results. “My mouth shall tell of your righteousness, and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits.” All day long, night and day David’s heart and mind is now firmly fixed on God. And as his eyes settle upon the glory his wonder increases dramatically. He begins to see that there is no end to the righteousness of God. He is captivated by it. He is equally captivated by the salvation of His God, he realizes it has no beginning nor does it have an end. Glory to God. He then is encouraged in his own heart “I will go on in the strength of the Lord God.’ You see what happens when our focus is totally upon God? We see His strength, we see His power, it begins to grip every part of us.

And out of that flows praise. It’s now not because of his enemies that he does not want God to forsake him, he now does not want God to forsake him until “I declare your strength to this generation and Your power to everyone who is to come.” Glory to God. He says “Your righteousness Oh God is very high, You who have done great things Oh God,who is like You.” When we, in the midst of our storm, cast our eyes upon Jesus, forgetting what surrounds us, He elevates us above the tumult. He does this in our hearts and our minds and in our souls. We are not praying for deliverance, we are praying for the strength to continue to praise Him.

And just like Paul and Silas in the dungeon, who were not praying for deliverance rather they were singing the praises of their God, then down will come the power of God in our lives to the astonishment and marvel of all who see it. Glory to God, let us praise Him this day. This is our deliverance. This is our open door to heaven. This is how we see the glory of God and join in with that heavenly throng. “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty.”

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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.

Posted in bible, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church of england, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, Fresh Fire, healing, intimacy, 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 »

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.

 

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church of england, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, 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 | Leave a Comment »

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.

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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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Rivers of Grace

Posted by appolus on August 24, 2021

Rivers of grace and oceans of love
Is always sufficient is always enough
The heavens shall open and rain down on me
I who was captive now gloriously free

It raises me up to where I belong
That which was weak, is now very strong
This river of grace, this ocean of love
Takes me to places I've never dreamed of

I found the Father without any chart
And Jesus His Son to the depths of His heart
Now Only in thee can I ever abide
In the cleft if the Rock, I forever shall hide

Rivers of grace and oceans of love
My glorious Jesus is more than enough
The heavens wide open rains down upon me
No longer a captive just gloriously set free.

Posted in christian blog, christian living, Christian poetry, Christianity, church of england, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, Jesus, poetry, revival, spiritual poetry, 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 »

The foolish men of this world.

Posted by appolus on August 22, 2021

Psa 33:10  The LORD bringeth the counsel of the nations to nought: he maketh the plans of the people of no effect. 

In all the affairs of men, they merely bleat with the noise of a thousand sheep upon the hill. It makes no difference to the fate of sheep how much they bleat, man will do what man will do with them. God will do what God will do with men. Even now as we watch the actions of the wisest men in the world, at least in their own estimations, we see their plans coming to nothing. Savage men of the baser sort hold the strings of power over the strong and sophisticated. The wisdom of the wise is utter foolishness to God. He raises up the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. No king is saved by the multitude of his army for it is God who fashions the hearts of those who are ripe for judgement. They may run to and from but if they escape from the lion they shall run headlong into the bear. If somehow they escape from the bear and make it home, they enter in and give a sigh of relief, just as the viper strikes.

Shall God’s people be afraid when the Lord comes down? Why should they be afraid even though the mountains crumble and the great seas mount up and recede? The wind may gasp and hold its breath but the Lord’s anointed dwell safely within His pavilion. The earth will surely shake when He rends the heavens and comes down. The beasts of the fields will stop and raise their heads and the trees shall clap their hands. The thunder will thunder and the lightning shall strike. The princes of the earth shall be brought low and wicked men shall cry out in despair. Yet the children of God shall be be safe within His pavilion and they shall not be afraid. They sought the Lord and He heard them, and delivered them from all of their fears. They looked to Him and were radiant and their faces were not ashamed. Stand fast saints and let your faces shine out into the darkness to the praise and glory of our God.

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The best version of your self

Posted by appolus on August 21, 2021

I recently heard a man, who was promoting a men’s ministry group say “come and be a better version of your self.” I shuddered in my spirit when I heard that. Not because the man was not well intentioned but because he was. Do you know what the best version of your self is? It is filthy rags before the Lord. The best version of your self would not even allow you to mount the first rung of the ladder of what God wants for you. Jesus said that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, considered to be the holiest men in all of Israel, you will in no way enter the Kingdom of heaven. This would have caused the people to despair, because they had it all wrong.

Imagine someone said that unless you were better than Mother Teresa, you would never get into heaven. Most of the world would groan (for they consider her to be holy) just like the people did when Jesus stated that truth about the Pharisees. What Jesus was actually telling the people was that these religious people were not holy at all, in fact, quite the opposite. What you could see on the outside had no bearing on what Jesus could see on the inside. Dead men’s bones. Men and woman who loved to be greeted as something special, something holy. Men and women who loved to be called “teacher, pastor, nun,” and any other title you can think of. Hypocrites who actually conceal the Kingdom of God from men through a cloak of holiness and righteousness and religion. Who travel the world and make converts who are twice the children of hell than they are.

The outside of the cup and the platter is clean, they are the best versions of their self. Yet, inside they are full of hypocrisy and idolatry and uncleanness. Rotten to the core. Polluted in everything that they do. And how could it be otherwise? They have taken self and promoted it. Their best selves are living their best lives now. And this is the hook. Come and live the best version of your self now and live your best life now. Consider the calling of God. He bids you come to die. He says that the best that you have to offer is rotten to the core but He has the cure. A cross. Who will crucify their flesh to the cross? How many men would show up if that was how it was advertised? Not too many I would imagine. Your best self leads to eternal death, and the death of your flesh leads to eternal life.

We live in a world where it is all about self. It is the idolatry of the age. Its not a new thing in our time, it has just reached dizzying heights. The high place of self has exalted itself up beyond the heavens. Whether it is the worse of self or the best of self its all self righteousness and it is filthy rags before the Lord. So called men and women of God try to make people feel better about themselves. It becomes mutual exaltation. It is reciprocal in nature. The only cure is death to self, and the only instrument of death for self is a cross. This is why the Lord bids us to take up our cross daily. To follow the commands of the Lord in this is to walk to the narrow path and to thin out the crowd. The broad road to destruction has a banner over it which reads “follow this road for the best version of your self.” The narrow path has a banner over it which reads “this way to Calvary.” Shall you take the broad road or the narrow path?

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He whispers in the wind, can you hear Him call?

Posted by appolus on August 21, 2021

God is longing to speak to His people. If He is outside the camp, will you go outside the camp and look for Him? If He is outside the four walls of your church or denomination will you just stick with “what you have?” What a tragedy. The modern day church is like a bustling city where everyone is rushing to and fro, each going their own way. Look at any busy street scene in New York or London and you will see tens of thousands of people going in every different direction. They are all Londoners, they are all New Yorkers, but that is where the distinction ends. They are part of a metropolis and the one thing you know about any metropolis is that it is noisy. It is full of distractions. It is inhabited by individuals.

In the day of the Lord there is darkness, not light. There are feast days and special days within our church calendars and in our age God says He hates them. The offerings that we make to God in the days of our darkness, the Lord will not accept. Our songs of praise, nothing more than the noise of a city. The Cain spirit offers up sacrifices of its own efforts. It give the minimum that it can give and it gives out of a desire to receive. It is utterly rejected by the Lord. God sees the idols from Egypt that you have hidden away, they are covered by your feast days and offerings and noisy worship, they shall be uncovered. For in the days of the Lord’s darkness, His light shall penetrate every last motivation.

The praise of God and the worship of God is our sacrifice to Him. Our lives, crucified, is our acceptable worship of Him. Without genuine sacrifice, without a genuine desire to seek Him where He may be found, without this one singular desire to dwell with Him, then we shall simply dwell with one another. Fellowship gathers around the Lord. It is the gathering of the called out ones. There is no other fellowship. He is in the midst of those who seek Him and who desire to dwell with Him. Those whose greatest desire is to behold His beauty. The tabernacle is an intimate place, away from the noise, away from the clamor of the world. It is a place that is found by those who seek.

If our focus is on the finite then we cannot see the infinite. Our focus must be on God alone, He is our exceeding great reward. We must see our lives in the context of who we are in Him or we can never see Him at all. God is calling and He is calling with a still small voice. His voice is not in the thunder or the earthquake, His voice is heard on the breeze. If we would hear Him, then we must fall silent. Worship begins in the heart as a small whisper in the wind. Can you hear a whisper on the wind in the midst of a noisy city? Can you hear The Lord calling? In the end we are consumed by Him, ruined by Him for this world. The beauty of His Holiness and the train of His robe slowly fill us and overwhelm us until we are fully consumed. This is the light that speaks to the darkness of our day, the day of the Lord. The darkness that He brings discovers the light. We shall be one or the other, but we cannot be both.

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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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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.

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church of england, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, God's love, God's voice, Jesus, praise, revival, Spiritual warfare, 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 »

Transformation is the fruit of genuine deliverance.

Posted by appolus on August 14, 2021

The great high point of my life, was my death. When I was born again I stood like Peter , James and John on the mount of transfiguration. And just like them, I mistakenly thought it was time to build something. Little did I know that quite the opposite would be true. It was time to dismantle everything. Or to say it more accurately, for everything to be dismantled. And this would take place in the depths of the valley floor, not on the top of a mountain. Chambers writes “Before sanctification we know nothing, we are simply put in the place of knowing, that is, we are led up to the cross. In sanctification, we are led through the cross.”

Can you say that you life is one of being “led through the cross?” Has it been a process of being crushed and broken in the darkness of the valley floor? Have you spent much of your life trying to scramble up unattainable mountains? Supernatural joy and likeness to our Lord comes not in the building of structures in high and beautiful places. It comes in the midst of surrender to the dismantling process in the depths of the valley of the shadow of death. And the purpose for it all is to transform us into useful servants of the most High God. We too often think of the cross as a place of deliverance, rather than a place of transformation. The transformation is indeed the fruit of our deliverance.

The cross is not the beginning of the life of Jesus, it is the culmination of it. Our transformation begins the moment that we take up our cross. Being brought to the cross is one thing, being nailed to it is quite another. Staying there is one thing when you have no power, staying there when you have the power to come down is quite another. Between the two positions lies a great gulf, on one side is life and on the other side is death. To live in Christ we must die. The mountaintop will come in good time, when He lifts us from the valley floor and takes us home. In the meantime, our business is the business of dying, its the business of the cross. Our calling is to die daily.

Posted in Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church of england, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, God's love, inspirational, Jesus, Manifestations, revival, sanctification, 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 »

Overcoming the darkness.

Posted by appolus on August 12, 2021

Psa 18:28  For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. 

What a wonderful promise we see here. God will light our candle. He is speaking to His own. He is speaking to those who walk humbly before Him. Who honor His word in all that they do. Who are merciful and gracious and kind. To them, He will be merciful, gracious and kind. He will honor those who honor Him. He will bring light to our darkness by reviving out spirits. This tells me many things. It tells me that God’s people get discouraged. It tells me that their candle, metaphorically speaking, can go out. And when it does it causes the darkness to press in and surround them. And yet even then, when we sense that our candles have gone out, yet shall we still honor God. Even when the darkness presses in on us from every side, we shall never deny our God. Even when we do not hear from Him, we say in our hearts ” I will honor Him till the day I die even if I never hear from Him again.

This, brothers and sisters, is overcoming. This is enduring. This is our manifestation of our own love for God and it is not conditioned upon anything. We know in our hearts that we worship God, not for what He does for us or will do for us. Not because we desperately desire to be relieved or delivered from our circumstances. Not for any other reason other than He is worthy to be praised. If this is indeed your heart brothers and sister, He will come to you in the night watches and all of a sudden your candle is lit. Your lamp explodes into light and the darkness is held at bay. The way ahead becomes clear and you you put one step in from of another and you keep walking down the narrow path. It is He alone who arms us with strength. He alone is our Rock. He alone is a shield to us and His word is always proven true. We can stand upon it and it is a lamp unto our feet.

Lord, your right hand has held me. You have armed me with strength for the battle. You give me feet like the feet of a deer and you set me on high places. You lift my spirit from the depths of the valley and you raise me up above the darkness. The Lord lives! Blessed be the Rock! May your name be exalted in all the earth. If your candle has went out brother or sister, keep on walking in faith. Keep on honoring Him. Lift Him up, praise Him, be merciful to others. Love as you have been loved. He will light your candle and you will burn again. The way ahead that has been so obscured with darkness will give way as He lights up the darkness, for even the darkness is light to our God. You will find your way forward. God bless you on your journey today and be encouraged.

Posted in Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church, church of england, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, faith, Fresh Fire, healing, intimacy, Jesus, revival, scripture, spiritual growth, 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 | 2 Comments »