Don’t get burned

God has perfect knowledge
God sees all persons and things,
God sees them all,
God even sees the secrets,
God sees with one clear, certain, and unerring view.

In the Second Book of Samuel Absalom, the shrewd aspirant to David, his father’s throne,
wanted an interview with Joab, the top General of David’s army.
He sent for Joab to come to him, but Joab refuses.

The obstinate grizzled soldier had no respect for Absalom’s request,

So Joab’s field was next to Absalom, and he was growing barley there.

And Absalom set it on fire!”

Then Joab arose and came to Absalom.

God uses the same shock. Often He burns something we value to bring our hearts to Himself.

Being austere toward God.
Being obstinate at His touches in our life.
Being cold & ignoring of Jesus loving knocking on our hearts door.

Can cause our barley-field to be set on fire;
There’s deep feelings that can plunge us to our knees when what’s so precious to us gets
wrapped in the flames of loss. How many things need to be covered with the ashes of our
extinguished hopes before we open up to let Jesus have all of us???

Our Lord touches our tenderest spots
He sweeps away the objects we love too well.
But it’s better to have our idols dashed into invisible atoms.
Then to miss out on the deeps of Jesus loves.

As one has stated

“Pain often drives to prayer.
The door that shuts a man out
from the world shuts him in to reflection,
and finally into the ark of safety.”

God brings us into the room of trial so we’ll find Him in the room with us!

As one has noted

“I could never see Jesus until I became blind.”

“Three weeks on the couch of pain & peril has taught me things
which I never learned in three years at a theological seminary.”

“One had his fortune swept away in a conflagration; but his heavenly hope
was locked up in what was more fire-proof than any iron safe, his character
came out like pure gold from the flames. One of the most benevolent & useful
merchants in America saw the flames of ruin go through his field of barley,
and the earnings of an honest life laid in ashes!

But his heavenly inheritance was more then all the money of Bill Gates & the very
loss of his stocks and “securities” led him to inventory afresh the blessed treasures
which he has laying up in heaven.
So, being a bankrupt, we finds that our best investments are untouched;
there has been no depreciation in our real estate in heaven, which lies at
God’s eternal throne.”

So we cry: Put a torch to our barley field that we would find our all in You!

Our loving God has a purpose in every trial.
If our heart is broken we cry!

Wherefore hast thou set my field on fire?”

It’s ridiculous to flee away from God in petulant despair.

He is only burning up our barley to bring thee closer to Himself.

Let His flames
Let His burning gaze
Bring us to His throne of grace & mercy.

If our truck flies over the embankment while we’re sleeping
If we’re plunged into a frozen swamp of pain & confusion

Fall into His loving arms & drink in His rich promises.

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Stop worrying

It’s so easy to Worry
But worry is not only a sin against God, it is a sin against ourselves.
It‘s like a slow suicide. We devastate & shortened our lives by it,
We let in the bitter acrid poisons of drop after drop of noxious gall
into our souls moment after moment by not resting in our Fathers hands.

As someone noted
“Faith carries present loads & meets present assaults & feeds on present promises
Faith commits the future to our faithful God.

Its song is,

Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step’s enough for me.”

As one has expressed

“The palms of His hands whilst I look on I see
The wounds He received when suffering for me

Oh, how deeply the cruel gravers cut our names in Christ’s dear hands!

Those nails that fastened him to the cross were the graying tools,
and he leaned hard while the iron pierced through flesh & nerve & vein.

Yet the graying is more than that, for the Lord himself says,

I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.

The sufferings of Christ for us were such that never, by any possibility,
can he forget us.

Since He has died for us, he will never cast us away.
By his death, on this cross, Christ ensured that all those
for whom he died shall live with him in his kingdom as surely
as he Himself lives. He paid not in vain such a tremendous price;
neither will He lose any part of that which he has thus purchased
for Himself.

What a blessed memorial, is not only God’s eternal love,
but Christ’s suffering love!”

He Keeps us as the apple of His eye;
He Hides us in the shadow of His wings

Psalms 17:8

For in the day of trouble He will conceal us in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide us;
He will lift us up on a rock.

Psalms 27:5

You hide us in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man;
You keep us secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.

Psalms 31:20

So please!
Hide us from the secret counsel of evildoers,
From the tumult of those who do iniquity,

Psalms 64:2

Lowth, wrote in the Pericles by Aristophanes:

His powerful speech
Pierced the hearer’s soul, and left behind
Deep in his bosom its keen point infixt.’

So Pindar, Olym. ii. 160:

Come on! thy brightest shafts prepare,
And bend, O Muse, thy sounding bow:
Say, through what paths of liquid air
Our arrows shall we throw?’

Just as we’re graven in His hands & heart
We long for His powerful voice, to live in our inner being
with great elegance & force.

As arrows let these words of Your love enter into our hearts

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He sees us & feels us

All things are naked & open before God’s eyes
with whom we have to do;
even the thoughts & intents of our hearts

Heb. 4:13

The Lord is always looking
He sees everything
He cares for those who trust in Him.
This us our incomparable privilege to be always under our Father’s eye,
We’re never out of sight of our best Friend.
He gazes over us. He perceives each thought, feeling & action.
He notes every detail & declares the end from the beginning for each of us

As one has written:
He sees—Ranging from the frozen pole to the scorching equator,
He sees—dwellings in hills & valleys, in huts & palaces,
His divine eye regard all the members of the family of man.

Our Lord is represented as dwelling above & looking down below;
seeing all things,
but specifically observing & caring for those who trust in Him.

GOD doesn’t miss a thing— he’s alert to good & evil alike. Prov 15:3

Even hell holds no secrets from GOD—He read each human heart Pr. 15:3

Our hearts are desperately deceitful,
a puzzle that humans can figure out.
We’re anomaly’s of aberrant behaviors
Our idiosyncrasies & incongruities are bungled it irregularities of inconsistencies
But I, GOD, searches our heart
Our Lord examine our mind
God’s Spirit probes to the heart core of each delicate aspect of our inner workings.
He alone gets to the root of all things in us.
He treats us as we really are, not as we pretend to be. Jer. 17:9-10 paraphrased

He reveals Himself
As our God near at hand
He’s all around us. He’s eyeball to eyeball.
He penetrates everything with His gaze
No one hides out in a corner where they can’t be seen
For He is present everywhere Jer. 23:24

WE ARE EXPOSED

A W Tozer wrote-

God knows instantly & effortlessly all matter & all matters,
God knows all mind & every mind, all spirit & all spirits, all being & every being,
God knows all creaturehood & all creatures, every plurality & all pluralities,
God knows all law & every law, all relations, all causes, all thoughts, all mysteries,
all enigmas, all feeling, all desires, every unuttered secret, all thrones
all dominions, all personalities, all things visible & invisible in heaven & in earth,
all motion, space, time, life, death, good, evil, heaven & hell are throughout
Known of our God

Friberg writes-

We’re Stark naked! Stripped down! Without clothing! We can hide from others.
We can even do a good job of hiding from ourselves. But we can’t hide from
the One before Whom all hearts are open & all desires known?
We cannot — We can’t conceal ourselves from God.
We’re stripped naked before Him,
There’s nothing to hide in. There’s nothing to hide behind.

To be naked & to be open before God’s eyes

Is the word “Laid bare” (trachelizo from trachelos = neck)
It means to bend back the neck as the surgeon does for operating,
as when an anesthesiologist inserts a tube that he might be able to see the vocal cords intubating life giving oxygen thru our airway!

Figuratively Trachelizo describes the bending back of the neck of an animal to be slaughtered for an offering in order to expose the throat.

It may refer to the wrestler’s art of seizing one by the throat, rendering him limp and powerless.

Wuest writes that trachelizo “means “to seize & twist the neck or throat.”
It was used of combatants who handled their antagonists in that way.
It meant also “to bend back the neck of the victim to be slain,
to lay bare or expose by bending back.”

But to have our Lords penetrating discernment that is able to search
the inmost depths of our soul.

We realize as He gazes in all His searching, all His revealing & all His infallible
piercing clarity that His eyes are the eyes that filled with tears at the tomb of
Lazarus Jn 11:35

Jesus in deep sympathy walked twenty miles to Bethany, where Lazarus’s desolate,
grieving sisters were. This was just moments before Jesus would be stretched out
and hammered to a cross. But His heart is not bursting in sorrow for Himself but He’s
Swollen in His soul for us. His tears run down His cheeks & His voice is choked
with emotions over every sorrow we have.

He insert Himself vicariously right into our sorrows & He takes the burden deeply
into His own heart.

In all our afflictions He us afflicted.

Yes! Our Lord sees everything! Yes He intrinsically knows us microscopically!

And His love is the deepest love as He, with moistened eyes, moves His powerful
arm to burst open our tomb & bring our dead Lazarus hearts to life in HIM

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Cloud land

If we want to know what clouds of affliction mean & why they are sent
we can’t flee away from them in fright with closed ears & bandaged eyes.
Fleeing from the cloud is fleeing from the God’s love behind the cloud.

In one of the German picture-galleries is a painting called “Cloudland”;
it hangs at the end of a long gallery, and at first sight it looks like
a huge repulsive daub of confused color, without form or beauty.
As you walk towards it the picture begins to take shape; it proves
to be a mass of exquisite little cherub faces, like those at the head
of the canvas in Raphael’s “Madonna San Sisto.”
If you come close to the picture, you see only an innumerable company
of little angels & cherubim!

How often our soul is frightened by trials. We see nothing but confused
and a repulsive mass of broken expectations & crushed hopes!
But if our soul, instead of fleeing away into unbelief & despair, would only
draw up near to God, it would soon discover that the cloud is full of angels
of mercy.

In one cherub-face it would see “Whom I love I chasten.”
Another angel would say, “All things work together for good to them that love God.”
In still another sweet face the heavenly words are coming forth,
“Let not your heart be troubled; believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. Where I am there shall you be also.”

God’s ways are not our ways, but God’s ways are infinitely better.
The cloud is not so dense but love-rays shine through.
In time the revealing “winds shall clear” away the dark & dreadful mystery.

Kind words of sympathy steal into the shadowed room of incongruity.
If Christ does not come in visible form to our Bethanys,
He sends His faithful servants and handmaidens with words of warm,
tender condolence.
John 14 never gleams with such a celestial brightness as when we read it
under the cloud. No cloud can be big enough to shut out heaven if we keep
the eye towards God’s Throne.

When we see the cloud from God’s side it will be blazing & beaming with
the illumination of His love. The Lamb which is in the midst of the throne
will be our Shepherd & He will guide us to fountains of waters of life.
God will wipe away every tear from our eyes.

Theodore Cuyler

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Public faith

There’s private faith that tends to hide our heart
There’s Public faith that takes the lid off unconcerned with ridicule
This means we’re going public with what’s in our heart,
We hope we do it with humility & respect for others,
But there’s always the possibility of those that impugn our character
as we speak of the truth of what Jesus means to us

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He receives our affection

Yesterday was a day set aside to express our affection to each other.

In Luke 7 the open heart of Christ receives & accepts affection from a lady everyone was rejecting.

This is a fragrant activity we can spread to every day.

Valuable ointment & kisses lavished on the feet of Jesus. It’s attractive.

The Lord is radiant with acceptance.
He receives the affection of sinners
I know he appreciates each affectionate expression from us to Him.

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Let Feelings Flow

We suppress our feelings because we’re worried they are wrong. Others of us are so led by our emotions that we let them dominate everything, including our confidence.

Teach Me To Feel contains 24 honest, personal & uplifting meditations on the psalms.

Courtney Reissig looks at emotions we all experience, ranging from shame, anxiety, and anger through to gratitude, hope, and joy.

For each, she shows how the psalms give us permission to acknowledge how we feel before God & how they can help us to use those feelings productively & faithfully.

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