Sunday, December 23, 2007
In Genesis 5 we read of the lineage of Adam. It's the kind of chapter that becomes tempting to skip over because it's so repetitive. However it's usually in these types of chapters that the Lord slips in something slightly different just to grab your attention! So here's the pattern: We're told someones age at the time they became a father, after this event they live for a certain number of years during which they have other sons and daughters, then, at a particular age they die.
But then we get to verse 21. Enoch was 65 when he became the father of Methuselah. Like the other accounts Enoch continues to live for another 300 years and has other sons and daughters during this time. But there's a few differences. The first one is this: he didn't just live for a further 300 years, it says; 'Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.' (verse 22). A subtle yet significant difference, and perhaps God wanted it to grab our attention? I initially began to think about the blessing of God upon Adam and Eve - be fruitful an multiply (Genesis 1:29). The fact that Adam's descendants where having lots of kids in Genesis 5 was a good thing, but i wondered whether they were indulging in the blessings of God yet neglecting God himself? Perhaps this is why God mentions that Enoch was different, but i also wondered whether this very thing had anything to do with the fact that Enoch didn't die? - the second difference from the other accounts. 'Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.' (verse 23-24). Its almost like God wanted to snap it up and freeze this moment in time, like it was meant to send a prophetic shock wave throughout the course of human history. My mind went to this: 'I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.' (John 6:51). Walking in the blessing of God is where we want to be, but not at the expense of a close relationship with God himself. And the fruit? ...eternal life!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Todays Revelation; 'Our eyes see according to what our ears hear and our heart believes.'
A great mentor of mine would often say to me, 'Just because you think it, feel it or believe it - doesn't mean that it's true'. If only he told Eve that :-)
I read again this morning that famous conversation between Eve and the serpent in Genesis 3, and it struck me again; Eve heard the voice of the serpent, she believed what she heard and then saw accordingly. Verse 6 of Genesis 3 says 'The woman was convinced.'
She was convinced!
Make no mistake about it...the devil is a good convincer!
What was she convinced of? She was convinced that there was greener grass! She was convinced that there was something greater than what she already had. And because she was convinced,'She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her.' (v6). She now saw according to what she had heard and believed.
But here is today’s real revelation, Eve was also convinced not only of what she heard, believed and therefore saw - but she was convinced that her eyes had now been opened so clearly to this great revelation, however verse 7 suggests the opposite…that her eyes had been infact closed.
Because she heard, believed and then saw accordingly, the next logical step was to act. Verse 6 says this; 'The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it.' But then...'At that moment their eyes were opened' (v7).
At ‘that’ moment!
At the moment Eve believed her eyes were opened...they were in fact covered in deception.
So why is it that the true opening of our eyes comes only after the act that follows the deception? Perhaps it has something to do with light and darkness. The act brought the deception to light. If the act had been to seek out the Lord and his wisdom, the life that was 'the light of men' (John 1:4) would have overcome the darkness that was his death, and Eve & Adam would have saved us all some serious grief! Although, because of Jesus, we have the same opportunity, to save ourselves in a sense. Not that we can implement an act of salvation, but we can surrender to the act of Christ. How? By believing in Him only; 'But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.' (John 12:12-13).
So what we need to Hear is the voice of God. We need to Believe in his word and See the result of what he speaks and not the serpent - because not only did God speak the world into creation, but he spoke our redemption across the canvas of the universe when he said "It is finished!" (John 19:30). All of darkness heard Jesus speak these words. I think of these words as I do of those in Genesis 1:3, "Let there be light,"
The darkness knows the light.
The key is not the fact that God said, "let there be light" but the fact that once he said "let there be light, there was light!
His word conquers the power of darkness - but for us; only if we hear it, believe it and see accordingly.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Interesting revelation came to me last night during church; We know that in the times of the Old Testament when a king would send his men into battle, after they defeated their enemy the King would walk through the battle ground and take for his men the spoils. But the greatest recognition for the king that he had been victorious was signified when he would have a piece of the defeated king's robe cut off and then sewn onto the bottom or the end of his own. For a king in Old Testament times, the length of his robe would therefore be a sign or an indication of his greatness i.e. the longer his robe, the move victories he had won and the more kings he had defeated.
So God began to speak to me about the temple, about what the temple represents. If we think about the temple of the OT, it was a place where the people would come to offering sacrifices because of their sin, because of their defeatedness. It was a place where they would bring their failure, their insecurity, and their inadequacy. Not much has changed over the years. For us, the new Israel, the temple of the church is still a place where we can bring our brokenness. As we attend every week, of failures, our fears, our insecurities, and our sin all follow us through the door. But then came the revelation; 'the train of His robe filled the temple'. We worship the God of Victory, the King of kings and the Lord of lords who has defeated the power of sin, and if that piece of cloth is sewn to the end of the train of His robe, and if His robe fills the temple, then everything we bring into the temple is covered, everything we bring into the temple is defeated. We are covered by the robe of the King who has conquered death! His Robe signifies the defeat of the enemy, His Blood seals our redemption and our righteousness (past, present & future) in His name.
So lift up your eyes and see that the train of His robe fills your temple.
Thank you Jesus.
Monday, December 3, 2007
There would seem to be a clear distinction between 'hearing' and, 'hearing and understanding'. Verse 19 says some hear but don't understand. Verse 20 says that some hear, and receive what they hear with joy, but fall away when trouble and persecution comes. Why is that? Perhaps their understanding of trouble and persecution is greater than their understanding of Christ? Verse 22 says that some hear the word, but the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. So perhaps their understanding of worry is greater than their understanding of Christ? I wonder how much time we spend worrying about things that we think money will be able to fix? I wonder how many of us think that worry is a good thing. I guess if we worry about something for long enough, eventually we'll arrive at a place where we're forced to do something about it? I think we trust in worry. Verse 23 says that the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown is the one who not only hears, but who hears and understands. But understands what...what was said, or the one whom said it? Perhaps true understanding comes via relationship. Most of us understand worry because we have relationship with it. Some of us understand persecution and trouble - because we have relationship with it. Some have a knowledge of poverty...some have understanding, because they have relationship with it.
The bible says that the Gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Corinthian 1:18). Why is it foolishness? Because they hear the gospel, but they don't understand it. And why are they perishing? Because they have no relationship with the Holy Spirit, the one who brings understanding.
1 Corinthians 1:18 says, 'For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.'
So today's revelation; I want to know and understand Christ, and I want to understand Christ more than i understand trouble and persecution, more than I understand worry and the deceitfulness of wealth. I want to understand the power of relationship with the Holy Spirit and the fruit that multiplies from that.
Philippians 1:9-11 'And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.'