Thursday, November 29, 2007

Terah dies is darkness

Interesting that Terah was on his way to Canaan (Genesis 11:31). The land was not yet promised as an inheritance, that comes in the next chapter, but perhaps there was something inside of Terah that was supernaturally leading him there? So why did he settle and die at Haran?
We know that Haran was the name of Terah's son whom had just recently died.
Perhaps he couldn't let go of his son's death? Perhaps the pain of death in the past hindered his ability to receive new life in the future? Perhaps he settled too early? Perhaps he settle for far less that God had in store for him?
Interesting that in the original Hebrew, the spelling of the town 'Haran' is slightly different to that of Terah's son, but even more interesting that the town of Haran was a place where the moon-god was worshiped. We all know that the moon is visible predominantly when it's dark. Perhaps in his spirit, Terah was walking through the valley of the shadow of death, but only to stop right in the middle of it!
We know that Haran was a man that served many gods. Perhaps when you serve a god a darkness, the darkness is where you will feel most at home? 'The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it' (John 1:4-5), but when you serve the God of light...your only option is life, 'In him was life, and that life was the light of men' (John 1:4). No doubt important the note that God is not just the God of light...but that He is light, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12; John 1:9 says 'The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world'
Perhaps God was leading Terah to the promised land, but he only got as far as the place where his heart would allow him to go no further?

Lord i pray that my heart would not settle in the valley of the shadow of death. I pray that the things that have died in my life would not be the things that hinder me from walking in 'life' toward the promises that you have set before me.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart' (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Matthew 12

In Matthew 11 John sends his disciples to enquire if Jesus is the one they'd been waiting for. This was Jesus response;

"Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."

In Chapter 12 Jesus continues to demonstrate what he has just spoken;
He speaks to the Pharisees about food (v1-8), He heals a mans crippled hand (v9-14) and he restores sight and speech to a man who is demon possessed (v22-32)
Praise the Lord. But it would seem that the message still wasn't getting through. This wasn't just about the people on the other end of the miracle, but it was just as much if not more, about those that weren't - it was about the religious leaders...the Pharisees!
They were the ones that were hungry, because they weren't feeding on the bread of life. They were the ones that were crippled, because the work of their hands contradicted the work of the Messiah and therefore the work of God. They were the ones who were blind...because in their attempt to fight for the ways of God, they became blind to God himself, and therefore the words of their mouth were powerless.
The pharisees were good people...they simply believed that if we all just got everything absolutely right...the Messiah would come and we'd all be saved. True. But the only way they'd ever get it right would be if Jesus got it right for them (and us).

I wonder if we (both corporately and as individuals) fall into the same trap...of believing that if we can just get everything absolutely right...we'll get out miracle, or, we'll see revival, or the Lord will bless the work of our hands. We'll perhaps that's why we're still sick, still crippled, still hungry, sill poor and still blind!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Leadership

So we have a new Prime Minister...
Would it be inaccurate to say that Kevin Rudd is a sensitive new age guy? My perception is that he prides himself of listening to the needs, hopes and dreams of his people and then seeks to bring about change in those areas. I believe that the leaders of Israel during the reign of Kings Josiah, Jehoiakim and Zedekiah were the same. The problem was that what the people wanted was unrighteousness. The greater problem was the leadership that allowed it to happen, and the consequence was exile.
Jeremiah 10:21 says that the shepherds, (pastors, leaders, rulers - civil and religious) were 'senseless'. Not necessarily senseless to their people - but senseless to the voice of God.

'The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the LORD; so they do not prosper and all their flock is scattered.' (Jeremiah 10:21)

verse 23 says this;
'I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.

Today I pray for our 'New Leadership', I pray that Kevin Rudd would become a, sensitive new age guy...sensitive not just to the people of this nation, but sensitive to the sovereign God who reigns over us, and who seeks from among us righteousness.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Rain and Reign

"I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth." (Genesis 9:9-11)
We know the Noahic covenant to be an unconditional or unilateral covenant. God says in v11, 'I establish my covenant with you', Not 'we' establish 'our covenant' with each other, but, I now establish my covenant with you...and with your descendants after you' (v9)
A simple revelation, but my thought was this; What does it mean for God to say that 'Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth." (v11) Does this mean that if man again became as wicked as the people of Noah's time, that God would tolerate our wickedness, and not destroy us? And does this mean that we're currently better people than those of Noah's time? Or is God saying, my people need a savior, never again will I allow them to reach a point where I have no choice but to destroy them? I think it means this; To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Jude 1:24)
Perhaps this is why we symbolically sing 'rain down on me'. Thank you Lord that the rain of your Spirit has washed away the sin of my heart.
Every time we see a rainbow, we should remember two things;
(1) That God has promised himself he will never again destroy all the earth with the flood of rain
(2) God will send an all consuming rain again...not an r.a.i.n rain, but an r.e.i.g.n reign ...and you'd want to make sure you're in the boat!
God is not seeking the destroy the earth, but to redeem it back unto himself.
But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself. Selah (Psalm 49:15)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Who may dwell?

LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken. (Psalm 15)
According to Exodus 29:46, it's the Lord who chooses to dwell amongst us,
According to Psalm 23:6 it's the Lords goodness and mercy that follows us and therefore allows a response from us - to choose to dwell where he's already chosen to us and amongst us. Perhaps how we respond determines how we remain.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I have a dream...I surrender.

Noah had a dream, a dream given to him by God, to be a deliverer to the world, a deliverer of souls that were perishing. But due to the shier length of time it took to build, and the doubt that must have entered his mind, with still no rain, I'm assuming that time after time after time, the Holy Spirit must have been saying to him...lay it down.
Abraham had a dream - to be a father. God gave Abraham a dream - to be the father of a great nation. But then God said to him...lay it down.
Jacob had a dream, to be blessed, but God was asking for a heart of surrender...lay it down.
Joseph had a dream, but for 13 years, God said...lay it down.
Moses had a dream, a God given dream, to lead a nation into the promised land, but God said...lay it down.
Gideon had a dream, a God given dream, to lead an army (a whole army) into battle, but God said...lay it down.
Perhaps Jehoshaphat had a dream, to be a leader free of attack, but God said...lay it down.
David had a dream, to build a temple for the Lord, but God said...lay it down.
Joseph would have had a dream, to be the natural father of his first born son, but God said to him...lay it down.
Mary and Martha had a dream, the see Lazarus saved from death, but God said...lay it down.
The disciples had a dream, that Jesus would rise as a victorious militant leader, but God said...lay it down.
Paul had a dream, to preach the gospel in certain places, but God said...lay it down.

I wonder if at times Jesus had a dream, to save the world without the cross...

Does 'i surrender' mean 'i give up'?
Does 'i surrender' mean 'i give over'?

I surrender.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Preaching in the Desert

I guess I've always wondered why John the Baptist ate, slept, lived and worked in the Desert.

The desert is a place that (in my mind at least) represents death. The environment would be harsh and unforgiving. Signs of life, as we've come to understand them, would be extremely rare. Surely when you dwell in a place like that, it would begin to condition your mind to that being the norm. But that there was my answer, exactly that is today's revelation. As i began to read Matthew 3 this morning i found myself thinking, 'thank you Lord for John the baptist'.

Before the people of Israel could accept the gift of life, they needed their eyes to be opened to what lay before them, to what they were walking into, or even currently living in the destiny of - death!

John the baptist was a prophet. He lived his life 3 steps ahead of the flock. He was living in what they were walking into. His life was shouting at their current destination.

Thank you Lord that in the place of death, you place a prophet who speaks life.

Today's revelation again highlights the importance of whom it is that you listen to. When your in the Desert, it would be easy to listen to the voice of death, but the Lord desires life, His purpose is fruit, fruit that is produced in keeping with repentance (v8)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4)

When you hear the voice of life (in this case John the Baptist), a repentant and obedient response brings not only a destination of life, but a light that shines the way - the way out of the desert - the way to life.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Word of the Lord came to me

It always sounds impressive to read - 'The word of the Lord came to' ...(in this case)...'Jeremiah', (Jeremiah 1:4)
I think it's interesting how something inside of all of us says...i wish that was me!

Simple but significant revelation; we don't need to wish we were Jeremiah, or even wish that the word would have come to us as it came to him, because according to John 1:14 we've received perhaps an even greater gift, 'The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us'.

We know that because God is God; he formed us in our mothers womb, and before he formed us, he knew us. We know that before we were born, he set us apart. Romans 8:28-30 says 'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.'

So again, perhaps we've received an even greater gift than those who've gone before us, because we know that for us - he conquered sin and death - and therefore redeemed 'us' back unto himself...not just our time or our gifts or our voice, but us.
John 1:11-13 says 'He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God'

Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth. (Jeremiah 1:9)

Our words can be born of natural descent
Our words can be born of human decision
Our words can be born of human will
But surely now that we are children born of God, our words must be also

Monday, November 12, 2007

Abide in me

Being in a place that you don't want to be is hard work! It's a bit like the difference between 30 minutes at the dentist as apposed to 30 minutes at a Harry Connick Jr show...full big band included :-)
But even being somewhere that you do want to be - for an extended period of time - can become hard work; ...heard one chart - heard em all...!

As i began to pray this morning the Lord immediately said to me, 'Abide in me...' (John 15:4), My immediate reaction was 'yes, i will...i want to...i'm on to it...i'm working at it...i promise...!

When you have a full perspective of the word 'abide' you do understand that there is an element of conscious remaining; of responsibility; of not departing from that 'place' or 'time' or 'state of condition'. But to remain or 'abide' also means 'to be held' or 'kept, continually'. This i found releasing.
To be held against your will (at the dentist...) is tough, but to be held in the arms of God is the most freeing reality you'll ever experience. But it's only freedom if you allow it to be. God is saying to me 'be still', 'Let me keep you', 'Relax for heaven sake :-)'