Five-Fold Today - Suppleness - The Strength of Christ's Might - The "Obscure Place" - Things Above - Come As a Child - Groaning Unto Glory - I Have Heard Your Cries - I Have Called You

August 9, 2002


Mary Lloyd

The early church is romanticised as an ideal we should aspire to in church today, but I think we might be surprised at some of the things that went on. The church in a growth period means men and women from all backgrounds and origins, with all kinds of problems and difficulties, coming together as God gives the increase, and learning how to live together in the unity of the Spirit. The body has a border, which is its skin. At a deeper skin level, below the epidermis as it were, the increase is happening, the skin cells are being produced and the church is expanding. If the surface is going to keep pace and cope with this increase without splitting apart, it must yield and stretch, it must remain supple, it must be moist with tears of repentance and the oil of a fresh anointing; it must be plump and ripe and glowing, full of the fruit of the Spirit.

Pride is a big factor in destroying suppleness, and so are all the sub-headings like legalism, pharisaism, elitism, intellectualism, perfectionism to name but a tiny few. Spot the symptoms in empire-building, personal agendas, fleshly aims, ego boosting, and divisive speech and behaviour. Witness the casualties in stunted church growth, poisoned church witness, lack of trust, lack of joy, lack of peace, lack of power, lack of Christ evident among us.

These are days of restoration and reconciliation. There are splits, there are wounds, there is healing needed which cannot be done at a superficial level. There are old wounds needing attention. There are new challenges as the church begins to expand which require a yielding response from those of us who consider ourselves mature in the faith. If at this stage we are finding in ourselves a tendency to split off from a part of the body, is it possible that we have ourselves become unyielding, holding on to pet theories, doctrines, familiar pain and wounding, and losing touch with that place down deep where Christ is active and creative - changing, renewing, expanding, healing - that place where we all meet in Him as one.

Lord keep us flexible, supple, ever responsive to You. Where our theories and experiences have begun to crust us over and cause us to be unyielding Lord help us, forgive us, cleanse us and get us back to that place where You are renewing us, where we can know you again active in our lives. Lord we want to see revival, we have wanted it so long we hardly dare to hope that things are changing. We have hung on to the past where we have thought there is safety, but help us Lord in these days corporately to be that new wineskin that is able to contain the new wine, in Jesus Mighty Name, AMEN

Love from Mary

The Strength of Christ's Might

Timothy Glendenning

Eph. 6:10.---' Be strong in the Lord, and in the power [RV 'the strength'] of his might.'
WHETHER we can or cannot demonstrate metaphysically the antecedent possibility of miracles, whether we can or cannot prove historically the fact of the Resurrection, whether it be true or not that Christianity contains no new moral precept, this one fact remains---incontrovertible, and on any other hypothesis inexplicable---that Christianity has been and is a moral power, that it has changed and is changing the moral tone of the human race, and that, in spite of the apathy and inconsistency of many of those who bear the Christian name, it gives a new motive to the doing of our duty, and supplies the lacking energy to our weak and struggling souls.

Strength is the common want of every one of us; we want not the knowledge of our duty but the power to do it. We all know more or less the bitter struggle between impulse and conviction; we have all been tempted---we are tempted every day---to give up what we know to be right for what we feel to be pleasant; we struggle, some of us, to resist, and we find our struggles in vain; we set out in the morning with the full intention of doing what is right, and we find before the day is half over that we have preferred the interest of the moment to known and undoubted duty. We would be compelled fear God and keep His commandments, but we find it so hard as to be virtually impossible to disentangle ourselves from the intricate ties which bind us to common modes of action, or to resist the accumulating influences which lead us to accept current maxims of morality. But the remedy lies within our reach. The Apostle, writing as one who had felt all this as strongly as we can feel it, bids us 'be strong in the Lord.'

What is this strength? It is the power to do right when we know it; to give up what will be of most immediate advantage for the sake of the inner voice which speaks to us of duty. It is the power to avoid tampering with evil suggestions; to be able to resist the ever-recurring tendency of the old Adam to angry, selfish, cowardly, indolent, uncharitable actions. it is the power to do all this in the faith and by the promised power of Him who lived and died and is present with us still---the highest type of human excellence and the highest source of moral power.

It is not merely strength on the grand scale, strength for some great act of moral heroism. That which we want, and that which our Master gives us, is strength for our common life---strength to do our ordinary duties---strength not only for the pitched battles which some of us have, now and again, to fight, but strength also, and most especially, for the daily conflicts with evil, the skirmishes, so to speak, between the advanced outposts of evil and good, where they meet so closely as to seem not so much enemies as friends.

The strength is that of a new motive, and it is given to us by One who is not only a perfect Example, but and ever-present Guide. For He who in those far-off ages trod the Judaean hills is with us still. He is with us not only as a memory of the past, but as a living influence. He who helped men in their common life long ago helps us still. The mere memory of Him would have done much for us. The bare record of His life, the story of His unflinching devotion to duty, of His boundless charity, of His unsullied purity, would of itself have suggested high and new motives. The fact that the ideal of humanity had been realized would of itself have been an encouragement and a support to us in our efforts to do better. But the strength which we have is something far higher. It is the strength of One who is ever present by His Spirit---who being very God is not far from every one of us, who being very Man can penetrate the deep recesses of our hearts and know at once their aspirations and their needs.

In Christ, timothy.


The "Obscure Place"

Karen Lundquist

Many in the body of Christ have been shut away. They have been in what seems to be an "obscure place". Many have watched as My spirit moves, in mighty men I ordained, for My purposes. They bring My word, they move and their speech cuts asunder evil, in the heart. You watched as miracles, signs and wonders move in their meeting places.

But I would say to My body, that has been in what seems an "obscure place." This has been a "place of preparation" for you. You have been faithful, you have used this place for getting ready. I spoke to you in this place and you heard me, I tested you in this place and you failed not. I gave to you in this place, My word and you heard it and received it with anticipation in your spirit. I gave you a vision and you kept it before your heart not being turned away to the right or the left. And when I called you out among the workers for a day's work, you were faithful and untiring. You allowed My spirit to move through you, as I lead you and used you for My glory. And then you found after the day's work you were once again in what seemed to be an obscure place.

But beloved this is a place I have given you, don't take it for granted. It is a beautiful place, and you will make it what you will. It is especially designed for you and there I commune with you and prepare you for the days ahead.

And now the day is dawning, it is time for you to arise and do the works I set before you. The vision before you is about to be fulfilled. You were as a woman that labored and pained for the sweet delivery of life. Take a deep breath, you are ready now, to bring forth the vision. I am pouring My sprit out through My sons and daughters. The move is upon you. You will know, because you will hear, you will see, you will move and understand what to impart, and when to impart. Even when you least expect, powerful opportunities will come your way. For I will open the doors and you will walk through, shining with My glory. You are ready to lay hands on the sick and they will recover, to deliver those oppressed, to bring My love and forgiveness to a world that have lost all since of direction. You will restore, and the broken heart shall be healed. Pour out the balm, pour out My love and My Word.

Be encouraged today for that, what seems to be an "obscure place", is a sanctuary. It is a place of worship and intimacy, it is a place I designed for you, and when you are there expect to receive, and expect to give also. It is a place no other one can enter, it was designed for especially for you, My beloved.

Things Above

Doug Morrell

True Christian behavior is the putting on of the new self by accepting Christ and regarding the earthly nature as dead. We change our moral and ethical behavior by letting Christ live within us by His Holy Spirit, so that He can shape us into what we should be. This can only be realized as we daily meditate on Kingdom priorities.

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Col. 3:1, 2)

The Message reads, "So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ--that's where the action is. See things from his perspective."

Setting our hearts on things above means striving to put heaven's priorities into daily practice. Setting our minds on things above means concentrating on the eternal rather than the temporal.

How can we go about setting our hearts and minds on Christ in our daily lives? Does this mean we're to be spiritually-minded in the midst of our everyday lives? Absolutely! It is just at that point, the center of our everyday living, that we discover God's truth and can grow stronger in our faith. It is from the moment we wake until we drift off into sleep and even in our dreams that we are to see life through the presence of God. And it is not only possible, but imperative. This is the natural, supernatural reality.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Phil. 4:9)

You see, it's not enough to hear or read the Word of God, or even to know it well. We must also put it into practice right there in the smack-dab middle of our everyday normal getting up-showering-working-dishwashing-reading a bedtime story-lives. How easy it is to listen to a sermon and forget what the preacher said. How easy it is to read the Bible and not think about how it applies to our life today. How easy it is to debate what a passage means and not live out that meaning. Exposure to God's Word is not enough. It must lead to obedience and this can only be accomplished as we set our hearts and minds on Christ and as we purpose to be led by His Holy Spirit.

"You don't understand," you say. "I'm just too busy." God says youčre dead and dead people don't have rights, possessions, nor desires. As a result, we should have as little desire for this world as a dead person would have. Our real home is where Christ lives (John 14:2, 3). This truth should give us a different perspective on our lives here on earth. To "set your minds on things above" means to look at life from God's perspective and to seek what he desires. This is the antidote to materialism; we gain the proper perspective on material goods when we take God's view of them. This is the remedy for petty arguments and division; we gain the power to unite as opposed the weakness of division. The more we regard the world around us as God does, the more we will live in harmony with him.

Are you living your life or have you yet discovered that Christ is your life?

Grow in grace and truth,
doug morrell

A fellow servant in the work of the Kingdom.

Christian Outfitters - Live Christ Deliberately!

Come As a Child

Marsha Burns

I would have you come as a child with no confidence in your ability to think or reason or understand and with no reliance on your own strength, inherent gifts or natural ability. I call you to rise up in My Spirit and to see your life and your circumstances from My vantage point. You must know that apart from Me you can do nothing. Yet, you work and strive to achieve some sense of value and accomplishment when you are already valuable to Me, and all you need to do is rest. Let My glory manifest, for My glory will only be revealed when you cease from your own labor. This is not to say that you should be idle, for when you rest in Me, I will activate you for My purposes. And, in the process of being about My business, you will find yourself rejuvenated and energized. I tell you the truth, weariness does not come from activity; it comes from the despair of self-effort. Release yourself into divine purpose and be stimulated by My Spirit to accomplish My eternal goals. Remember that I will not share My glory with man.

Faith Tabernacle
Kremmling, Colorado 80459

Groaning Unto Glory

Debra Westbrook

There is an inner tension within many lives right now. It is a tension created by the dissatisfaction and hunger welling up inside of us for more of God that consistently hits against the present reality of our spiritual condition and that of the Body of Christ around us. In other words, there is a consistent cry of desperation within us, spurred on by a state of spiritual boredom in the church that makes us desire our Lord with an inner groaning, a desperation that is impossible to put into words at times. We simply want more of Him and nothing less will do.

There are groanings deep within our spirits, longings that words seem inadequate to accurately express. These groanings appear to be the evident fruit of wilderness wanderers who have been hidden away for a season and now find themselves coming out of their desert times. There is rising up within us a 'groaning unto glory'. We want more. We must have more of Jesus. We are not satisfied. We are not so much looking for His second coming as much as we are looking for Him NOW, expecting that this side of heaven we shall enter into a greater weight of glory as He reveals Himself to His Bride and through His Bride.

Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us

This groaning is accompanied by suffering. Yes, there is physical and emotional suffering but what about spiritual suffering because we are unable to be truly satisfied. We may go to church and do all the right things. Yet, there is a boredom and a deep dissatisfaction that is an inner groaning for more of Him. We may be in ministry and not find fulfillment. There are an endless array of situations that we find ourselves in yet the truth remains the same in each set of circumstances. We are groaning unto a greater weight of His glory to be manifested unto us and through our lives. How long Lord Jesus?

Romans 8:22:23 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

There is a present glory ready to be revealed within those who inwardly groan for more of the Lord of Glory to display His magnificence through His children. This is not reserved only for the second coming of the Lord or the resurrection of our physical bodies at that time. Then it all shall be complete and finished, but what about now? Are we to wait to be raptured only? How do we handle these inner groanings that stir within our spirits for more of our Lord. These groanings unto His glory to be revealed through us are a present reality that shall rise up strongly within us now and in the coming days as Christ in us, the hope of glory shines through His sons and daughters.

These groanings deep within us have an outlet in fervent intercession and worship. In those times of seeking His face, we find that our desires intertwine with the cry of the Spirit - "Come Lord Jesus!"

These are just some radical thoughts that may stir our hearts to awaken us out of our current state of complacency and apathy. We must rise up out of spiritual boredom that is challenging the Body of Christ right now. What happens when conferences no longer cut it? What happens when the thought of going to church is less than appealing for us for we almost have come to believe that nothing really happens there anyway? What if our prayer life is stagnant and ritualistic? What if our times of devotion leave us still hungry for more? Well, I don't know but I do know this. When we continue to seek Him we shall truly find Him. So keep on seeking, keep on asking, and keep on knocking so that the Lord of Glory may satisfy these inner groanings with more of Himself. The by-product of all of this will be sure and simple.

1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Come Lord Jesus!

Rivers of Eden
Debra Westbrook

I Have Heard Your Cries

Oeolof Bertus

Psalm 63

I believe the Lord says: " I have seen you faithfulness, I have heard your cries. I have seen your tears and felt your frustration. You have not kept quiet, even as the enemy persecuted you in My house. I am about to raise you up, as I have promised(1 Peter 5:6 ; Rom.8:19). I am about to set you free, to soar as eagles with Me, high about the storms and trouble coming. No more will the enemy torment you, no more will he have is way in My house. Enough is enough. I will bless My sons and daughter with even a greater anointing and will send them to undo the works of the enemy on a greater scale. By your perseverance, My victory over the enemy on Calvary has been established. The enemy is very angry at this.

Those that have been faithful to Me, I will take even deeper and higher, to a deeper place of intimacy with Me, in My Spirit. You have been faithful proclaiming to the body: " Not by might or by power, but by His Spirit will we succeed, will we build. Draw close to Him, the masterbuilder, so He can reveal His plans to you!"

"As I have overcome the enemy, so you have, My Bride. My liberty is about to flood the church; rivers of JOY, PEACE, COMPASSION like no one has seen before (Joel 2:28)".

"My Glory is about to cover the earth, the harvest is ready! Truth has overcome and will prosper and overcome even more in the days ahead. It will never be silenced. Darkness could never and never will put out(overcome) Light! So arise, be bold and go forth, My precious army!"

I Have Called You

Deb Okereke

I have called you to walk in the Spirit of Love, there are NO EXCEPTIONS! There are none outside of My grace. I have called you to take the high road. I have called you to cover over offenses, not to whitewash them but to quickly FORGIVE and allow no roots of bitterness to spring up in your heart to defile you or others. Run to Me with your wounds, not to My Body. I admonish you to guard your tongue, it can be either a well spring of life or a harbinger of death. Choose which you want yours to be!

For My ways are much higher than your ways, for indeed I have called you as a Repairer of the Breach and a Restorer of the Streets. I have called you to break dividing walls of hostility and be a minister of reconciliation. To pour oil of peace upon My Children. To walk in the Spirit of Love, to be a Holy Ghost conduit and release My Spirit's fullness to others, a high and noble calling, an important one, and I have chosen you for this task, this vital task.

And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. (Rom 1:6)

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