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Archive for the ‘The Psalms’ Category

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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Time to find your Nathan voice.

Posted by appolus on September 12, 2021

As I was reading Psalm 51 the other day, it occurred to me that we refuse to be a Nathan to the world. We will not tell the world what ails them. We refuse to offend the world with the truth. We refuse to tell them that they are guilty. David has a very painful revelation of who he was and what had become of him. It leads to the restoration of his soul. Imagine going to a doctor who only ever told you that you were fine, despite the evidence to the contrary. He refuses to tell you because he does not want to make you “feel,” bad. Yet, the spiritual reality for most of the world is that they are dying and unless they find the cure for what ails them they will die in their sin, the thing that ails them.

In America we love to stand up for our rights. We are typically more outraged by our rights being violated than we are that the vast majority of those who violate our rights are dying in their sins. Daniel was not outraged at being thrown into the lions den. He was, however, steadfast in his faithfulness to pray, even when there was a law passed telling him not to pray. His boldness was clearly seen when he flung open his windows and prayed as he always had. Our boldness would come as we fought against being taken to the lions den. Daniel knew that is where his faith would lead him. Very shortly, we will have the opportunity for true boldness. The boldness to exercise our faith despite knowing bad things will happen to us as a result. We have to come to the point where we ask ourselves do we care more about our rights or about a dying world. Or do we care more about offending a dying world than we do about their eternal souls.

In psalm 57 we see David in a cave. He had fled to the cave as Saul and others pursued him. He cries out to God that his soul is among lions. He was surrounded by people whose anger was so great that they were “on fire.’ Their teeth were like spears and arrows and their tongues like sharp swords against him. They had put out snares to capture him and dug holes that he might fall in them. We live in such a world brothers and sisters and it is getting worse. Yet, David knows he could not stay in that cave. He says that his heart is steadfast in his love for God. He says that he would awaken the dawn with the praises of God. You cannot do that in a cave. He would exalt God. It is time for the saints to arise from their slumbers, get out of that cave and find their voice again. Be Nathan to the world. Nathan was the voice of the Holy Spirit to David, we have been called to be the voice of the Holy Spirit to the world. Will you fulfill your calling? It has nothing to do with your rights. Yo don’t have any, you only have the right to be obedient to God.

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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.

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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!

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christian quotes, Christianity, church of england, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, God's love, intimacy, Jesus, Oswald Chambers, sanctification, 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 | 1 Comment »

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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