Monday, December 23, 2019

Growing closer...choice.

“Friend, move up higher.” Luke 14:10 ESV

 When the life of grace first begins in the soul, we certainly draw near to God—but it is with great fear and trembling. The soul that is conscious of guilt, and humbled by it, is overawed with the seriousness of its position—it is forced to bow by a sense of the grandeur of Jehovah, in whose presence it stands. With genuine humility, it takes the lowest place. But as Christians grow in grace, though they will never forget the solemnity of their position or lose the holy awe that envelops believers when they are in the presence of God, their fear has lost all its terror. It has become a holy reverence rather than an overshadowing dread. They are called up higher, to greater access to God in Christ Jesus. The people of God walk amid the splendors of Deity and veil their faces like the glorious cherubim, with their twin wings. Covered with the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, they will reverently and humbly approach the throne, seeing there a God of love, goodness, and mercy. They will recognize the promise-making character of God rather than His absolute Deity. They will see in God His goodness more than His greatness, His love more than His majesty. Then believing souls, bowing just as humbly as before, will enjoy a more sacred freedom of intercession. While prostrate before the glory of the infinite God, these souls will be sustained by the refreshing consciousness of being in the presence of boundless mercy and infinite love, by the realization of acceptance “in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). This is how believers are called to “move up higher,” enabled to exercise their privilege of rejoicing in God and drawing near to Him in holy confidence, saying, “Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6). 

So may we go from strength to strength, And daily grow in grace, Till in thine image raised at length, We see thee face to face. “Lord, Thou Hast Promised to Baptize,” Baptist W. Noel (1853)
- C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

I have read it myself, have encountered those who have experience in it...and at times I wonder if the changes that I see in me is maybe maturity. 

As odd as it may sound and after almost three quarters of a year of posts...I do wonder about my feelings. 

God continues to show me things, teach me things about Himself and both what's happening now and is coming.  

Changing priorities is huge. We choose what's important to us.  We choose to follow God or not.  There are some who wonder about how all powerful God is if all that is happening in the world is apparently out of His control. 

No, this world, this Universe isn't out of His control.

God created the Heavens and the Earth and all that is in it. He already had created the Spirit world.  But with mankind, He gave choice to.  Adam was given the choice on what to call every living thing that the Lord Jesus created.  Imagine that!  Adam up to this point was in perfect fellowship with Jesus. 
Even with the rules established by God, choice was in Adam and Eve's hands. 
When the Lord Jesus chose Israel as a people for His own possession, choice was still in their hands to follow Him. 
But, you ask, what about all that God did to them for their disobedience?  Go back to the beginning.  The Lord established a covenant with Abraham.  A binding agreement. As both we know growing up, parents have every right to establish how we are to be.  God has every right to hold Israel to their covenant.  Right now we live in a time when that covenant is on hold. Another is in place.  God isn't willing, isn't desiring of anyone to perish. He doesn't like nor want anyone to spend eternity separated from Himself.  But...the choice is in the hands of all who live. 

We choose to follow or not.
We choose the degree of our depth of our walk.

However, Jesus had every right to adjust our priorities.  To help us make better choices. Why? Because He loves us too much to leave us as we were found.  So change happens.  Both because we need it and it's His plan for us.

Inevitably we are fearful of change.  Anyone who says otherwise isn't being truthful with themselves.  But there indeed comes a time when we realize it's ok.  The fear subsides. What's weird for us is that we have been so used to being fearful we don't know what to do with the absence of it.  

Jesus said He would provide a peace that is different from what the world calls peace.  I have heard it called numbness.  It's not necessarily that I think.  But rather it's this peace of God. We aren't fearful anymore because our relationship in Christ is growing the way the Lord intended. 

Look at your life today.  This Christmas is the most perfect time to choose to get your relationship with Jesus going in the right direction.  Jesus came to seek and save. If indeed you have become one of the found, nurture and grow that relationship.  Remove things from your life that aren't important to your relationship with Jesus.  It's that simple to start. 
Replace them with something He approves of.  It's vital to replace immediately. 
Or you will be discouraged and disappointed and go right back to your old ways. 

I don't speak of any wisdom within myself.  I can only speak of what God's doing and telling me to say.  Choice is yours.  

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