The Fog Curtain

Fog….

A curtain like veil that settles upon the earth as a result of a cocktail mix of cold and warm air pushing each other out-of-the-way…

To drive amidst and through this natural curtain could be likened to driving blindfolded.

I have always been fascinated by how a vehicle’s headlights on high beam will increase the density of the fog; One would think it should have the opposite effect.

This leads me to thinking about the existence of unbelief in a heart of faith. Is this even possible?

Faith is the high-beam light, but up against unbelief the shadows often deepen into greater darkness.

When unbelief exists in the heart of man, so there exists a spirit of fear; and when fear is present all of life is channeled through a perception of loss. Faith cannot grow in this soil and neither can love.

Listen to what the Word of God says:

TAKE CARE brothers, lest there be in ANY of you an evil, unbelieving heart, LEADING YOU TO FALL AWAY from the living God” (Heb. 3:12).

Unbelief must not and cannot co-exist with Jesus in the heart of the believer. Unbelief is clothed in a spirit of defiance and arrogance which exalts one’s own life above the living God. It stinks of control. God is then redefined according to one’s perception and desire and not by faith through the Word of God.

“For who are those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? SO WE SEE THAT they were unable to enter BECAUSE OF UNBELIEF” (Heb.3:16)…..this passage of scripture is speaking of the children of Israel and their long journey through the desert. The journey long because they had forgotten what God had done for them and as a result of their forgetfulness they rebelled from hearts of unbelief, they no longer lived from hearts of faith, of trust in the One who had both delivered and saved them from slavery.

God asks for my trust. Trust equals belief and comes from faith. It is pure because it relinquishes my need for control and openly confesses my dependence upon One greater than I.

Despite all our searching, I believe this is a key element of a heart and mind at peace! If we would simply TRUST God according to His living Word…”You keep him in PERFECT peace whose MIND is STAYED on You BECAUSE he TRUSTS in You. TRUST IN THE LORD forever, for the Lord God is an EVERLASTING rock” (Is. 26:3-4).

But exhort one another EVERY DAY as long as it is called “today” that none of you be hardened by the DECEITFULNESS of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold to our ORIGINAL CONFIDENCE to the end” (Heb.3:13-14).

 am also thinking of John 8:32: “And you shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall SET YOU FREE!”

 Unbelief permeates a life with dense shadow, it acts like setting concrete on a hot day and soon a heart becomes like stone; And unbelief is a subtle as the entrance of fog, only a heart consumed by faith in the living God will see it.

Faith comes from hearing, and hearing THROUGH the Word OF CHRIST” (Rom. 10:17).

Is there any unbelief in your heart today?

The PriceTag on Following Jesus

I have been reading a most soul disturbing book; “Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret”. This man’s life story is RATTLING my heart, soul and mind! It is not that my life is being rocked, but the reality of Christ in me plowing new soil….or maybe it’s not new soil, but rather an opening of my eyes to the garden that already exists within and am being called to live my life from.

It is a life of simplicity, void of what my culture shouts that I “need”. It is a simplicity that is rich, so rich in faith, in understanding the Word of God and rich in love toward God…..I suppose it’s nothing new at all; perhaps it is as simple and as difficult as being willing to go deeper or further away from seen shores, away from what is obvious to living by faith in what is unseen.

“Holy Spirit what is this beckoning I hear in my soul? What does it require of my life? The town and conditions I have been called to do not reflect those of inland China (as with Hudson Taylor’s calling), but it is a calling I and my husband clearly heard.

Is there unbelief in my heart toward YOUR work here? Have I made a sheltered tent from all the slander, complaining and criticism I have heard ?”

“Though NONE go with me, STILL I will follow”.

I have concluded that I know little of the COST of following Jesus! Hudson Taylor was a young man in his 20’s who followed Jesus with no ifs, ands, or buts. His was a life  in God’s grip! Oh how I desire this!

My questions and search today are free and pure from any search for personal purpose or specific personal “role”, they are because of a crazy, crazy desire to love Jesus, to know Him and to understand His word as it was intended and given.

“O God THIS is what I ask! THIS is what I seek…YOU! YOU! YOU! I cough up and I lay down every thought or desire to be understood by fellow-man; I desire and place in action my inner house being in order, swept clean of all desires not of you, every hurt and disappointment, all selfishness and pride! I confess, I fear the cost, but I crave YOU more than whatever that fear may be! To trust you is to trust you for EVERYTHING!!”

Our time draws nigh, evening is almost here.

But whatever gain I HAD, I count as loss for the sake of CHRIST. Indeed I count everything as loss BECAUSE OF the SURPASSING WORTH of KNOWING Christ Jesus MY LORD” (Phil. 3:7-8).

Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life FOR MY SAKE will find it. For what will it profit a man fi he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his father, and then He will REPAY each person according to what he has done” (Matt. 16:24-27).

A Leaf Unwithered

I stood there waiting for my oatmeal to cook.

Not near the stove as you would expect, but rather by my glassed patio door just a few feet away from my boiling pot of breakfast food.

All was quiet and still.

The grassy hill my eyes settled upon was covered with what looked like icing sugar….snow had fallen in the night.

A veil of white had fallen over multiple shades of brown.

There was no evidence of vibrant life or colour, only visuals of barrenness and sleep.

The hill could not tell me today that beneath its frozen crust lay multiple seeds of Lupins waiting for the sun and rains of spring to colour the hillside in an array of the colour purple.

I recalled the scene of extravagant splendor when one morning late last spring I stood by the same door in awe of this blanket of colour.

I stood there reflecting upon how wildly different those two scenes were from each other. Had I not seen the one I would have no evidence of the other. Both were necessary, both were needed, both were created beautiful…. however, apart from the obvious cycle of seasons, if the barren hillside was my forever window scene, it would most obviously speak of lifelessness.

I reflected upon the Words of God I had read earlier in Psalm one. The psalmist was contrasting the life that walked and listened to the counsel of ungodly men (and women I might add) as opposed to the life that found delight in the words of God, and who meditated day and night upon those words.

The psalmist continues with a lesson from nature. For the life that delights and digests the Word, “he (she) will be like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in season, and its leaf DOES NOT WITHER, in all he (she) does, he(she) prospers. THE WICKED ARE NOT SO, but are like chaff that the wind drives away” (verses 3-4).

In other words, and with a different perspective and conclusion from my sleeping hill; a life that chooses to live separate from the Words of God (His promises) will prove to be a life that lays sleeping and dead, with no hope of true life from beneath, but a life that chooses to see and live life through the Word of God is a life that produces evidence of colour in every season walked…even in our winters.

This reminds of me the parable of the Sower Eplained

Hear the parable of the sower, (teaches Jesus): when ANYONE HEARS  the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown slong the path . As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for awhile, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it PROVES unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, THIS IS THE ONE WHO HEARS THE WORD AND UNDERSTANDS IT. HE INDEED BEARS FRUIT AND YIELDS, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty. (Matt. 13:18-23….for the actual parable read Matt. 13:1-8).

….

Which hillside (soil) represents your life?

A blogger’s thank you!!

Happy New year!

A simple post today but an important one!

First of all I thank WordPress for making this blog site possible for me! I thank you for the exceptional email summary comprised of my last year of writing…how heplful and how encouraging you were to me! Thank you, thank you!!

Secondly thank you to those of you who follow and who have continued to encourage me along the way. You really have no idea how much your kind words have meant to me as I have started this new path of a writing career. I have such a long way to go, and the mountain beckons humility in order to climb! I am excited for another year of pondering and learning online………………..sooooo…..thank you so very much.

I never begin a blog without laying my heart out before the eyes Jesus (He sees what’s in there anyways so I may as well admit it!) and listening for direction and asking repeatedly throughout my writing for His mind and help. I KNOW that He has asked me to follow this path, and as all of you already know, it is an intensely vulnerable one! My conclusion is though that I would rather be vulnerable with all my yucky stuff and allow Jesus to use failure and struggle then write about stuff void of my blood, sweat and tears…yah, like whatever, what do I have to loose? NOTHING! I no longer care if I am thought of as wierd, so be it, I am wierd…God chooses to use wierd people to write!!

So my chicken pot pies are smelling like they need to be freed from the heat of my oven, so will sign off for now, (and no, they are not homemade, I bought them at the butcher shop…I HATE making pastry!)

Stay posted…seek Jesus, pray constantly.