THE WHOLE REALM AND RANGE OF CHRIST FOR EXPERIENCE, IS DEPENDENT UPON HIS RISEN LIFE IN US, OUR LAYING HOLD OF IT, AND STANDING ON IT. MAY THE LORD SHOW US MORE OF WHAT THAT MEANS.



Sunday, October 16, 2011

THE MEASURE OF THE CROSS

The Cross of Christ encompasses ALL things.  In particular it brings the whole race in Adam to an end, and it begins an entirely new race in Christ risen!

Our God is become that consuming fire of the Alter of His Son Christ Jesus.
The letter to the Romans presents the Cross there in its full measure.

The Cross of Christ is the alter to which each of us must go to lay our lives in surrender to Him.  It is a place where the natural and carnal man must come.  Jesus said that flesh and blood could not enter into the Kingdom of God. 
What does that say of Jesus of Nazareth who was flesh and blood?  He himself suffered the pouring out of His life's blood, becoming the first born of those risen from the dead.

How can we compromise the Way, the Truth and His life for anything less than following Him into the requirements and full apprehension of His perfect will and purpose for our lives?

Nothing that flows out of the flesh will secure our right and relationship to the risen Christ.  It is only at the Cross where we can be filled with the streaming flow of His precious blood for ministry of any kind.  It is a ministry which flows from a broken and humbled vessel, from the least to the greatest.

The Cross of Christ defies making Christianity into a legal system of bondage.  For the Church is built outside of time and the world.

The Cross of Christ is applied to all that spoils the harmony of the Body of Christ.  There is an excruciating dislocation within the Body when there is discord like yeast __it ferments until the whole Church is filled with self interest and pride, offence and unforgiveness, until there is nothing left but a false spirituality that is left to make merchandise of the things of God.

Anything that we add to the Cross, makes Christ less than He is.  Again I say, "It is at the cross, the alter, where we find the ALL_NESS of Christ for our lives.  He becomes our spiritual strength, supported by a sound mind, grounded in truth and righteousness.  He is our inspiration, our hope and eternal salvation.  Not because I have told you so, not because you heard a sermon of this truth, but because when we take hold of this Spirit Word by faith, we will experience the reality of the new nature of His life in us,  His mind through the gift of the Holy Spirit that will reveal Him more and more to us as we come seeking Him in ALL things.

The full measure of the Cross brings us to Christ's Kingdom which dwells within us, to overcoming, to victory in Jesus, our Messiah.

Now All things relate to our inner life.  It touches our nature, our conduct, order and ministry.  (Ministry to our family, friends, community and nation).  We will manifest the rule of His kingdom effectively and eternally to the pulling down of strongholds, by letting Christ reign from the Alter of His sacrifice for our lives.  It is the place where the fire will come down before many witnesses and consume that which is false and would challenge the WORD among God's people.

Run to the Alter of the Lord, run to the Cross,  let Him crucify your flesh, for only the truly crucified will walk in the Spirit, will partake of the things of His kingdom, will be defended and kept from the things of this world.

This is not doctrine.  I'm not preaching.  It is a place of redemption, it is a place of power,  it is a "real" experience of crisis and revolution, it is where the most important decision of your life will be made.  Everything will be shaken, overturned, and in some ways a reversal of what you have been taught and have known. 

I pray that what I have shared will draw and motivate you to investigate the tremendous and personal invitation that is yours in approaching the One who is perpetually waiting to make you His own.  To make you alive by the blood of His sacrifice __by the full measure of His Cross.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A WATCHING OVER THE BARS





Under the custody and charge of the sons of Merari shall be the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars. (Numbers 3:36)
I am glad the bars are mentioned as well as the boards. The bars are the things that unite the whole, and if those things are kept always under your eye you will not move in cliques, and you will not have personal preferences, and ones and twos moving off on their own because they get on together. We have to remember that in the body of Christ there is nothing clannish, nothing that is merely of human preference, but all the members are held together in oneness. That is a responsibility. How much damage has been done by preferences, by human affinities having a place among the Lord’s people! There must be a personal care, there must be a watching over the bars, all maintained together. It is what the apostle means when he says, “Give diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit.” We shall never keep the unity of the Spirit by taking sides with one against another. We may think that is care for the one. Oh, but what about the other? The bars will be a corrective, will keep the balance, and will give due regard to every member. Then there are the pillars. Here we have each one’s responsibility, for something hangs upon them, and we have to help one another in our responsibility before God, for each one is called to carry a responsibility, to carry a weight from God. It is bearing one another’s burdens.... There must be mutuality in this responsibility, each one carrying his own weight before the Lord, and yet all one.
The peril is that we should begin to make our ministry something that is watertight.... Draw in your mind’s eye three squares, separate, standing each alone, and you will have what represents a very great deal of the nature of work for the Lord in our day from time to time. “Oh, this is my work, this is my department, this is my line; I am called to be this, I am called to do that! You have your work, you have your particular line, and I have mine! You go on with yours, and I will get on with mine, and don’t let us get overlapping!” That is where the breakdown comes. “I am an evangelist, not a teacher! You get on with your teaching, and I will get on with my evangelism; don’t let us interfere with one another!” That is putting responsibility into watertight compartments. The result is always loss.... It is a blessed calling, but it is a responsible one, it is a solemn one. Oh, that today you and I might find adjustment to this. The test is as to whether it is the Lord Himself to whom we are devoted, or whether it is to some personal thing.

 Give diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit.
Gleaned from T. Sparks writings.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

WHAT A DAY OF REJOICING THAT WILL BE.

"I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord."  Philippians 3:8

What is it that causes us to procrastinate at the decisions to leave all for Christ.  Is it,  "What will people think?" __ "I'm so busy with raising a family, providing for their needs."__ "I'm doing everything I possibly can right now, church involvement, charity work, I volunteer all my extra time as it is." __ "Just how much knowledge does a person need to be at peace?  I read my bible faithfully, go to bible study, what do you mean, "the excellency of the knowledge of Christ?"

Most of us move through our Christian lives feeling the frustration of not doing enough, not giving enough, not praying enough, not feeling enough, just totally incapable of approaching the patient grace of the Living person of Jesus Christ.

This is the excellency __ to move and have our being in the WORD.  To see, and hear and know Him as our Lord, our friend, our guide in the moment by moment, every day hour of our lives.

He will make us His Testament, of living epistles to those around us.  The more you seek to know Him __ the more He reveals the power of His Spirit who will arrest your apprehension with His legal authority to give you "new life" in Him.  This new life is His gifting to you __ that comes to rest in the joy of His intimate and Living Word.

To the new believer, it is the surrendering of the flesh life to a life of Spirit.  This is nothing that we can accomplish on our own.  It is a birthing into Christ's Life which only can come forth from faith and confession of our own inability to produce what is required of the Spirit.

To those who have been born from above __
When your faith is become restless, and weary in waiting __ When the passion of your first love smolders to dying embers __ When the voice of the mortal enemy of your soul is heard above the still small voice of  "The One Crying in the Wilderness"
__Press on!  Hold fast!  Be still!  Wait!  Stand on His promises!  They are true and trustworthy. 

You may have to let go of everything to take hold of Him __ but I tell you this __In Him is life, life more abundant, life full of the peace that this world cannot give, joy unspeakable and full of glory, and all the treasures of God's kingdom reserved for that Day when we meet Him face to face __What a day of rejoicing that will be.  __Raf

Friday, October 7, 2011

LORD, YOU ARE MY DAILY BREAD


Though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. (1 Corinthians 10:17 NLT)


We do feed upon Christ in prayer. To put that in another way, there is an imparting of Himself to His Own in prayer. We may go to prayer in weariness, and rise in freshness; we may go to prayer exhausted, and rise renewed. Is it that we have simply uttered some form of prayer, prayed some prayer? We know quite well if that is so we do not get up very much invigorated. Formal praying does not bring very much Life. Going through a form of prayers sometimes only ministers death. But really seeking the Lord, reaching out, taking hold of the Lord, giving ourselves up to the Lord in prayer, never fails to have renewing, uplifting, strengthening results. You say prayer may wear you out? Yes, but there is a wonderful strength that comes by wearing out prayer. There is vitality given to the spiritual life even in prayer that tires us physically, and we go in the strength of it. Yes, prayer is a way in which Christ is ministered to us by the Holy Spirit. Prayer is a way in which we feed upon Christ; He becomes our Life....
We feed upon the Lord, and He becomes our Life when we recognize the Divine order of spiritual fellowship. That is a Divine order. You have it brought in with Acts: "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers." There is a tremendous means of grace, a tremendous enrichment of Christ in the fellowship of the Lord's people. I believe the enemy will get believers, when they are together, to talk about anything under the sun rather than about the Lord. It is easy when you meet together with the Lord's people to be carried off with all kinds of matters of interest, and not to begin to talk about the Lord; but if you do there is always an enrichment, always a strengthening, always a building up; it is the Divine way. Fellowship is a means of imparting Christ to the believer. And wherever spiritual fellowship is possible, you and I ought to seek it, look after it, and cherish it. There are all too many of the Lord's children today, who have no chance of spiritual fellowship, and who would give anything to have it. The Lord would have us at least two together. That is His order, and there is something in ministering Christ to one another. There will be something lost unless that is so. These are ways in which we feed upon the Lord.
By T. Austin-Sparks

Thursday, October 6, 2011

THE SPIRIT OF HIS FELLOWSHIP

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. (Philippians 2:1,2 NIV)


The fellowship of the Spirit is___ the spirit of fellowship: 

Christ's Fellowship is not a passive thing: it never can be a passive thing, because all the hosts of hell are out against it. If there is one thing that hell is against, it is the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and the fellowship of the people of God.

Unceasingly, evil powers will seek to destroy that fellowship, because that fellowship spells their final undoing. Therefore the fellowship of Christ can never be a neutral, passive kind of thing.

 If we have the Spirit - and of course I am addressing those who are supposed to have the Spirit - we should know that, if some part of our fellowship is out of joint, in it's doctrine, it's focus on Christ or with another member of the Body of Christ to which we belong, it is, as it is with a dislocation in the natural physical body: there is an ache, a perpetual ache.... Something is wrong.

That inflammation grieves the Holy Spirit and is giving a positive witness that there is something that needs attention.   And if you go on long enough, the Holy Spirit will withdraw and leave you to it, just because He is positive. He will not brook persistent negatives on these things; He just will not have it. He is going on and saying: "All right, if you are determined to stay there, you can do so. I am going on." And there arises a very, very serious situation. That is, of course, grim and terrible. But it all gathers round this truth that the Holy Spirit is positive on the matter of fellowship....

We must challenge our hearts about this. The Holy Spirit, normally, is always positive - I could almost say aggressive. He is never negative, He is never neutral. If He has to pause, it means that He is waiting for something; for it is not His nature to do that - He would go on. May the Lord fill us with the mighty energy of His Spirit!

Gleaned from ___ The Cup and The Fire - by T. Austin Sparks.

SO IT IS WRITTEN


I KNOW THAT THERE ARE THOSE WHO TRULY DESIRE TO HAVE EARS TO HEAR WHAT IS HIS OWN HEART AND WILL FOR US IN THIS HOUR.  I AM COMING TO KNOW THAT THE ONLY WAY TO FIND THAT RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST, IS TO COME ASIDE INTO THE INTIMACY OF HIS FELLOWSHIP.  AND THE LOVE OF THE BRETHREN.
EACH OF US WERE PLANTED INTO THE SOIL OF OUR ENVIRONMENT FOR A REASON.  WE ARE TO BEAR FRUIT,  TO COMFORT AND ENCOURAGE THOSE IN THE FAITH WITH  PRAYER AND GOD'S LOVE.
I'M SPEAKING OF COARSE OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN BORN ANEW INTO THE BODY OF CHRIST.
FOR THE SHORT TIME I HAVE BEEN ON MULTIPLY,  I HAVE SEEN THE GREAT DIVIDE PULLING FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE SPIRITUAL SPECTRUM___AND IT SEEMS TO BE THAT SAME DIVISION WHICH IS TAKING PLACE IN EVERY ARENA OF LIFE. 
THESE ARE DARK DAYS___ BUT THAT ONLY MEANS THAT THE LIGHT OF CHRIST WILL SHINE BRIGHTER IN THIS WICKED GENERATION. 
THE POWER OF HIS WITNESS IS MIGHTY AND  POWERFUL.  IT IS AS THE ROAR OF A LION IN A THIRSTY LAND.  THOUGH THE HEATHEN RAGE___THE GLORY OF THE LORD WILL MANIFEST IN THEIR MIDST.

                                *************
"OH YOU KINGS THAT SPEAK LIES AT ONE TABLE
YOU SHALL NOT PROSPER
NOR STAND IN THE DAY OF BATTLE
WHAT MISCHIEF IS IN YOUR HEARTS AGAINST THE INNOCENT.
YOU HAVE RAISED YOUR ARM AGAINST THE HOLY COVENANT
TO DO EXPLOITS IN YOUR OWN NAME
YOU THINK TO HAVE INTELLIGENCE WITH THOSE WHO HAVE FORSAKEN MY LAWS.
YOU HAVE POLLUTED THE SANCTUARY OF MY STRENGTH
AND DARE TO SET UP THE ABOMINATION THAT MAKES DESOLATION !
BEHOLD !  MINE OWN ARMY
STRONG AND READY TO DO EXPLOITS IN MY NAME.
THOSE WHO CLEAVE TO YOU BECAUSE OF YOUR FLATTERIES___I SHALL SPEAK A WORD AND THOSE THAT KNOW ME SHALL HEAR ME.
SOME WHO UNDERSTAND WILL FALL IN BATTLE
THEY SHALL LAY DOWN THEIR LIVES
FOR THEIR FRIENDS
OTHERS SHALL BE TRIED
IN THE FIRES OF AFFLICTION
AND PURGED TO MAKE THEM WHITE.
WOE TO THOSE WHO GIVE PRAISE
TO THE king WHO EXALTS HIMSELF 
AND MAGNIFIES HIMSELF ABOVE
THE TRUE AND LIVING GOD.
WHO SPEAKS WITH VAIN AUTHORITY
AGAINST THE GOD OF gods.
YOU MEN WHO HONOR FORCES
WITH THE STOLEN TREASURES OF MY PEOPLE
AND DIVIDE THE LAND FOR GAIN
THINKING YOUR TRAITOROUS PLANS TO BE SECRET STRONGHOLDS __WITH STRANGE FLESH AND HIDDEN gods.
YOUR END WILL COME AS A WHIRLWIND
EVEN THOUGH YOU SET YOUR TABERNACLES
BETWEEN THE SEAS,  OR IN MY GLORIOUS MOUNTAIN
NONE SHALL HELP YOU__NONE SHALL DELIVER YOU
THIS SHALL BE A TIME OF TROUBLE THAT THE EARTH HAS NEVER SEEN
YET SHALL MY ANGEL MICHAEL STAND FOR MY PEOPLE.  THEY SHALL BE DELIVERED, EVERYONE THAT SHALL BE FOUND WRITTEN IN THE BOOK FROM ALPHA TO OMEGA
THE WISE SHALL SHINE AS THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE FIRMAMENT, AND THOSE WHO TURN MANY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS, AS THE STARS FOR EVER AND EVER.
HAS IT NOT BEEN WRITTEN?___HAS IT NOT BEEN SEALED UNTO THIS DAY?  WHAT SHALL BE THE END OF THESE THINGS?
WATCH !  BE VIGILANT !  PRAY !
FROM THE TIME THAT THE DAILY SACRIFICE SHALL BE TAKEN AWAY, AND THE ABOMINATION THAT MAKES DESOLATION IS SET UP___
PREPARE !  STAND FIRM !  BE OF GOOD COURAGE !  WAIT !  STAND IN YOUR PLACE !
THE HARVEST IS RIPE
THE PRESS IS FULL
THE VATS ARE OVERFLOWING
MULTITUDES, MULTITUDES
IN THE VALLEY OF DECISION
THE DAY OF THE LORD IS NEAR
IN THE VALLEY OF DECISION
I THE LORD WILL ROAR OUT OF ZION
I SHALL UTTER MY VOICE FROM JERUSALEM
THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH WILL SHAKE
HOLD FAST MY BELOVEDS
FOR I AM THE HOPE OF MY PEOPLE
THE STRENGTH OF MY CHILDREN
NO WEAPON USED AGAINST YOU SHALL SUCCEED
SO SHALL YOU KNOW THAT I DWELL IN ZION
IN MY HOLY MOUNTAIN
SO SHALL YOU KNOW THAT I DWELL IN YOU
MY VOICE SHALL BE HEARD BY ALL WHO HAVE EARS TO HEAR
MY SPIRIT WORD SHALL FLOW AS FROM THE MOUNTAINS, DOWN INTO THE HEARTS OF MY BELOVEDS
YES,  EVEN AS A FOUNTAIN INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD
AND YOU WILL DWELL IN MY PEACE FOREVER AND FOREVER,  FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION."
SO IT IS WRITTEN
                                       ************
May the Lord bless this writing to the hearts of it's hearers.  As that wonderful song admonishes us___
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
and the things of earth
will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory and grace."
Thank you each one for letting me share my heart, and the heart of those that I have gleaned from over the years.  May each of you be made strong in the fear of the Lord,  in the power of His Word in you and in His constant and abiding grace.  His love and mine, ____Always and always. ___Raf

THE FIERY FURNACE__THE TRIAL OF FAITH

LET MY HEART BE SETTLED
AND MY MIND STAYED ON THEE
THOUGH TRIALS ASSAIL
LET MY CONFIDENCE BE
THE LOOSING OF BONDS
AS I WALK THROUGH THE FIRE
WITH ONE WHO IS CLOTHED
IN HEAVENLY ATTIRE
STOKE IT MY ENEMY
TO A SEVEN FOLD HEAT
THIS IS THE FIRE THAT YOU'LL SURLY MEET
LORD,  I WOULD NEVER HAD KNOWN
HAD I NOT WALKED WITH YOU
IN THE FIERY FURNACE
NOT ONE __BUT TWO
LET NOT THE SMELL OF THIS
SUFFERING AND TRIAL
BECLOUD, LORD, YOUR GLORY
BUT THAT ALL WHO HAVE SEEN
ARE LEFT WITH THE WITNESS
OF WHO IS MY KING  ___Raf

ONE ON ONE


LORD,  I PRAY FOR MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHO SEEK TO WALK WITH YOU TODAY.  THOSE WHO DESIRE FOR A TRUE SENSE OF FELLOWSHIP IN YOUR SPIRIT.
I PRAY FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW YOU,  BUT COME ASKING FOR YOUR MERCY AND GRACE.  WHO DESIRE TO KNOW YOU IN A PERSONAL WAY,  BUT DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO APPROACH YOU.  THANK YOU LORD THAT YOU ARE MORE EAGER TO APPROACH THEM THAN THEY KNOW.
LORD I PRAY THAT WE  ALL WILL STAND STILL LONG ENOUGH,  AND QUIET ENOUGH TO KNOW WHEN YOU COME.
LORD DO YOU COME?  I MEAN, ARE YOU EVER SO FAR AWAY,  THAT WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR YOU TO ARRIVE FROM FAR AWAY.  I MEAN,  LIKE,  A MESSENGER HAS TO TAKE A MESSAGE, THEN WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR YOU TO ANSWER.
DO YOU HEAR US RIGHT NOW, AS WE SPEAK?

PERIOD

Lord; Your Word is clear to lead, guide and comfort my soul. You are the solid Rock upon which I stand. Your Blood, is testimony to all who would debate as to who I am. I am Yours. Bought at great price, and sealed unto the day of my redemption. PERIOD!

Tears of thanksgiving and praise)___ Lord, Like David, I cry out, "Why is my soul cast down?" And in Your mercy and grace, you reveal that like a sheep that has no real balance, only You can stand me on my feet, when I cannot get up on my own. You seek me out when I go astray. Oh Lord my God, forgive this sheep that wanders off at times, or stubbornly feeds in green pastures when You have moved on, and I lose sight of YOu, for a morsel? Forgive me Lord, forgive me.

All I know, is that my heart is breaking within me, and I desire nothing but the shelter of your arms. I ask with everything in me that you lead your sheep into the circle of Your safe and abiding Love. You alone are our rest and our peace. You are my only satisfaction. You are my food and drink, Only You can restore my soul, You speak to my fear and doubt, and YOu speak, "Peace be Still".

In all of this, You prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies, anointing my head with oil. Yes, Lord, You are the Good Shepherd, who leads your sheep, who defends them against attacks of enemies. Your rod and staff comforts me. I run to you, You are my hiding place.

Lord as I just said that, this is what I heard.

"That's right, run home to Daddy, coward."

Abba Father__they couldn't have gotten close enough to say that to me, if I was where I belonged.

My only fear is being outside your will, and walking in my flesh. Keep me within the sound of Your voice, the sound of your voice within. Thank you Lord for hearing my voice, for rescuing me, for being my confidence, my hope and faith, my salvation. Thank you for standing faithfully by and letting me see and know my enemy, and how helpless I am on my own. For feeling the rush of your grace in delivering me. Thank you too, for soundness of mind and and Holy Spirit who comforts me. For though my heart condemned me, You remained faithful. ___Raf


LAUNCHING OUT INTO NEW HORIZONS


You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. (Hebrews 3:13 NLT)
One of the things that hardens our hearts against the Lord the most is doubt and confusion concerning His Word,  His Spirit Word.  He himself is the WORD, and as we come to abide in him, listening intently for that still small voice that speaks clearly,  our hearts are filled with His faith, the confidence and the joyful peace of our right relationship with Him and our freedom in not depending on someone else's interpretation of truth concerning their  own reality of Him__ We were not created in Christ to be sheep followers, but followers of the Good Shepherd.
Sharing our relationship, in testimony of Him is one thing, and allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal Christ through that testimony, without manipulating how the hearer will interpret it,  is letting Christ become their reality,  their choice,  their salvation.  And if they truly seek Him, they will find Him.  In Him is Truth, and our relationship with Him and with the brethren is safe and comfortable there.  It is where Peace abides.  It is where Love abides.
The earth is filled with ideologies, isms, schisms, and prisms of their own intellectual concept of truth, their reality of it___and that's OK,  because that's the dock that we, each, must launch from into true faith, of the incomprehensible Christ.
We must come to launch out into the deep of His perfect righteousness, from our own moral-ness.  We must come to recognize that there is nothing in ourselves that we can trust,  not even our best intentions, our highest goals, our surest emotions.  The flesh heart is deceitfully wicked,  who can know it? 
Christ does, praise his name. !
Especially in our motives__ we say, "Our motives were right!" We talk about our conscientiousness, we talk about our intentions; but you and I do not know what lies behind what we call our good motives.
There is a deceitfulness about this human heart that defies our greatest attempt at tracking it down, and we shall never do it....For in this life, the flesh and the Spirit will always be at war.   
The church has become such a confused thing, and such a tragedy; for the prevailing idea is that if you give yourself over to God He will take you up and use you:  This is proselytizing. 
"Christ did not come to bring over our humanity and consecrate it to the Himself! ___You can't consecrate your old man to the Lord, and go out and serve the Lord, with a consecrated old man!" it is utterly contrary to the teaching of God’s Word.
All the world over we have people serving the Lord in the energy of their flesh, in the reasoning of the flesh, in the emotions of the flesh.  Moral-ness.  
Meet them, counter them, frustrate them, and you meet something evil; you meet with a fight, a division, a schism, a scattering, and wholesale resignations.
Do you see what a havoc the enemy can make in that which is called the church, because people with best intentions and purest motives have come to serve the Lord with all their own intelligence,  their interpretation and reality of the written Word___in their own strength, and their own emotion, in their own reality. 
They have not seen that God has closed the door to the old creation, in relation to those He has called unto himself___ and that God’s attitude is this: "The only thing that can satisfy Him__ that can serve Him is His Son, and if you are going to come into His service, He has to be the energy of everything, the Life of everything, the Wisdom of everything!" He has to be the governing, ruling reality in everything. It is not to be a matter of your impulses, your thinking and reasoning,  but of His urgings and leading by the Holy Spirit; not your sitting down to reason out what it would be good to do for the Lord, what ought to be done, what needs to be done, said or what you think you know or don't know,  because it is  HIS TESTIMONY, the Holy  Spirit revealing Christ___ nothing more....
Launch out from your moral reality, which is self-righteousness.  Cast out into the deep.  Leave behind your old creation and give it to God,  launch out into the will of His mind, His heart, His perfect will and purpose for you, then let your living in Him and His living in you be testament and witness to the Reality of Christ.   
Secondly,  launch out from humanistic will-worship to the worship of Spirit praise in truth, that uninhibited flow of Spirit that rises up as Living Waters, running over, and never running dry.  Christ is the source of this fountain, without Him it is mere will-worship,  the cares of this life, the fears, doubts and confusion it  brings, the disappointment of failures, especially those within your own power to fulfill___
 This is what happens when we work out of our own strength, our own knowledge, our own moral-ness, our will-worship a relationship that really is without a conscious revelation of who He is, and why we worship Him. 
Our reality should originate from the "new creation man"  the new nature.  LOVE is come.  Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!  __Raf
*****************************************************************
"God begins with birth. The church of the firstborn is something quite new, and it comes out of a death. That death is the death of an old creation, and the resurrection is of something that is not the resuscitation of an old creation, but the resurrection of something wholly of God."  T. Sparks

GRACE GIVEN BY MEASURE

LORD__IS THERE SUCH A THING AS GRACE FOR WAITING?
IF THERE IS,  THEN I NEED YOUR GRACE,  IN GREAT MEASURE.
ACTUALLY,  I NEED
THE GRACE OF PATIENCE THAT WON'T LET ME WAIT. 
OR IS IT FAITH I LACK THAT WON'T LET PATIENCE REST IN WAITING?
TRUE FAITH IS PATIENT,  TRUE PATIENCE WAITS AT REST IN FAITH
MEASURE THEREFORE YOUR GIFT OF GRACE UNTO ME IN FAITH BELIEVING
THAT I MIGHT ENDURE THIS INESCAPABLE LONGING FOR YOU,  TO KNOW THE LOVE THAT IS BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION, AND TO BE FILLED WITH YOUR FULLNESS,  COMPLETE TO YOUR DESIRING IN THE MEASURE OF YOUR GRACE.  __Raf

CHRIST CAME TO WHAT WAS HIS


But He insisted on no kingly prerogatives. Quite the contrary. He veiled His divinity and lived among us as a servant. He walked mile after mile on weary, dusty feet. He slept on the cold, hard ground. He explained heavenly mysteries with gentle, fatherly patience to obtuse and self-centered people. He sought out the sick, the poor, and the most despised. Then He freely offered His life in sacrifice for our sins and underwent the most unjust, agonizing, and ignominious execution imaginable.
Christ therefore has set a standard of humility that we can only just begin to imagine. Without His help, we would have no hope of imitating Him. Hopelessly selfish as we are, we would not even think of following Him down the path of humility if there were no incentive. But there is an incentive, the greatest incentive of them all.
After His humiliating death, the Lord Jesus rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven. He took His seat in glory, and He reigns as King over the entire universe. Nothing escapes the sway of His power. He judges all and is judged by no one. After humbling Himself, He has been fully exalted. If we follow the humble Christ, He will share all these prerogatives of heaven with us.
Scripture teaches over and over again that humility is the way to God. The first will be last, and the last will be first. The mighty will be humbled, and the humble will be exalted. The rich will go away empty-handed, and the poor will be rich. Those who laugh will mourn, and those who weep because of the world’s foolish pride will laugh and rejoice in the Kingdom of God. ___by  bro.Mark White

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

SONG OF MY SOUL

Blessed song of my soul
with wings to give me flight
into realms of jasper glow
and ice blue gray of night
To heights and depths the melody
from strings of my own heart
spring up from deep eternal springs
where Living Waters start
Let heaven and earth record this day
what praise in Spirit and truth
is but the echos found in me
from former times of youth
Where You my Lord called out my name
and drew me to Your side
and still this day,  I hear the song
"In Me my child, Abide."   ___Raf
Shout aloud and sing for joy,  you the people of the most high God.  For He is mighty, the Dayspring of our hearts, the Great One of Israel among you.  gleaned from ___Isaiah 12:

DREAMS AND VISIONS


Lord,  I sit here looking at the computer,  there's such an ache in my heart.  At times I feel like I'm unable to connect with the things of this world anymore.
What was the purpose of the dream I had the other day?  So real, that it woke me out of a sound sleep.  I heard myself say,  "Turn from, and in my heart finished the sentence__ your wicked ways."
In the dream I first saw, standing on a street corner,  some women,  who were grossly over weight and stark naked.  Upon raising my eyes I saw that these women were at the beginning of a line of naked women stretching off into the distance, as far as my eyes could see.  I somehow had the feeling that just because they appeared to be women,  they were men and women.  Suddenly, and completely unexpected, I raised my arms toward them and spoke with such authority, that they turned their attention to me.  It was in a language that I did not know.  I was struggling in my mind to understand what I was saying, when just as suddenly those words came,  "Turn from your wicked ways!"
All day, until now, I have held this in my heart Lord.  And the thing that You showed me in my minds eye of a house I was in, watching all these people trying to FIX it.  Everyone was working at something different and seemed to have a different idea about how it should be done.  And then you showed me that the foundation of the house was being completely eaten away by ravenous termites, and all of their work was in vain.
Again You spoke;  "NO MAN CAN FIX IT."
OK,  I've shared it here.  And I'm trusting that if it is from You, then you will speak to the hearts of those You will.  To those who have ears to hear.
I see our homes,  our communities,  our nation and the whole world trying to FIX IT!  Lord,  how is it that they are so deaf and blind?  Yes the blind leading the blind.  They have turned everyone to their own way.  The foundation upon which this country was built is being whittled away to nothing.  We have sold our souls for a morsel.  Our sons and daughters for a life that fades away like a vapor. 
I myself do not sense the Wrath that is to come in the reality of its judgement.  Your Word___You are the same yesterday, today and forever.  There is no shadow of turning in You.  Your Word is Your Law,  it is Your nature,  Your government, established from Alpha to Omega.  It changes not.
I remember when you said, " I pray not for the world, but for those, Father, whom you gave me, who are in the world."  It's all about those who are yours, though you are not willing that any should perish, and that they too may enter in, as you draw them and give them opportunity to choose whom they will serve,  turning from their wicked ways.
No military might,  no amount of money,  no plan for jobs,  no national or any kind of health plan, no United Nations,  no Stock Exchange, no Democrat, Republican, or Party of any kind,  No Bible thumping , Koran thumping, Torah thumping, Book of Mormon thumping thumpers will ever be the answer to the endless, problems that face the world today.  The world is become Babylon.  It's towers sway at the vibration of the Word which is coming forth in the earth.  It is Christ come in flesh,  His kingdom ruling in the hearts of men and women who groan for the release of His will and purpose to be fulfilled in this age.  Your manifest Sons.
Not male or female, not Jew or Gentile, not rich or poor, bond or free.  All stand naked before You Lord.  You see your own clothed in the righteousness of Your Son. Robes washed in His very own shed blood.  Nothing but the blood will wash away sin. 
I'm asking that you give me a sense of the reality of the seriousness of what you want me to know and see.  Forgive me for my apathy, my false sense of security, in my lifestyle, and my relationship with You. 
For I have made a covenant to follow You Lord and to keep your commandments and testimony, Your precepts and statutes, with all of my heart and soul.
  Do what you will to reveal at what great cost my salvation was purchased, ((( in its reality ))).  That my testimony will speak with conviction and Spirit power, to the redeeming of souls for Your kingdom.
This I ask, this I pray, this I covenant this day, in Your name Lord.  Amen.   ___Raf

THE HEART OF A SHEPHERD KING

2 SAMUEL 23:13-17  "And three of the thirty chief went down, and came to David in the harvest time unto the cave of Adullum: and the troop of the Philistines pitched in the Valley of Rephaim.
And David was then in a hold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem.
David longed, and said, "O that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!
And the three mighty men break through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David:  nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the Lord.
And he said, "Be it far from me, O Lord, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives:"  therefore he would not drink of it.  These things did these three mighty men.
Oh Lord, there's so much here to learn, both in the natural aspect of our lives and the spiritual.  The "shepherd-ness" the "priestly-ness" and the "kingly authoritative-ness.
I've always feared my lack of respect and true understanding of the difference between the Shepherd and the King.  Both personalities, I perceived as stern, totally uncompromising, and without a sense of joy.  How was I ever going to come into right relationship with someone like that?  After all I knew myself, and there was no way I'd ever measure up without controversy and rebellion. 
I wasn't about to follow someone else's say so about a God that demanded something from me I wasn't sure I wanted to give.   I always asked "Who did you say this Jesus was?"  And they'd answer in the words of numberless denominations, home studies, door knocker proselyte makers, you name it.  But no one impressed me that they had met this shepherd-king and KNEW HIM  personally in a way that convinced me that He was the one communicating His reality to them, instead of a lot of second hand, hand me down info on some one who lived thousands of years ago.
"PROVE TO ME THAT HE'S ALIVE AND RISEN FROM THE DEAD!"
But the Word of Him, had begun to take root in me.  He was taking root.  And in spite of myself, His Holy Spirit was revealing, HIS REALNESS.
In the mundane-ness of my life,  this One, I knew not, came, and said, "Follow Me."
It wasn't,  "will you follow Me"  it wasn't, "Follow me, or else."  It was a command that drew me to follow, like the first shoot of a sprouted seed breaks through the soil to the sunlight of day.
That was the life of David, from the very beginning.  He grew in the stature of the measure of God's will and purpose in him.  Yes, he was a man after God's own heart, not because he was a perfect men, but because he was the vision of God's own heart in glorifying Himself among His people,  and because He knew the seed which was planted in David, His heart tendered it as a master gardener would, seeing that it would come to fruition.
I know I've wandered in thought here, but it's nearly impossible not too.
Today we see the Davids of God's Kingdom, hold up in a wilderness place.  They are anointed and appointed vessels of the Lord.  Christ in them, who have and will come forth as the manifest Sons of God.
They long for the "Living Waters" of the well that never runs dry, in that place of God's fulfilled purpose in their lives.  
But:  
It is so important to understand, the mercy and grace of our God in surrounding us with the mighty men of faith that go valiantly into those spiritual strongholds to retrieve the Living Waters for us who long for it.  It's the self-less, covenanted, prayer warriors, watchers of the flock, shepherds of the sheep, who spend sleepless nights, and groan with the Heart of the Good Shepherd King, who willingly pursue and take it from those who have laid siege upon the rights and authority of what belongs to God's people.
Has anyone you know, made the sacrifice to deliver the Living Waters of God's Word to you?  You, a chosen vessel and one after God's own heart. 
When someone comes with the gift of the Living Word in his hand for you,  do you recognise the price that the mighty in faith, obedient, fearless and covenanted to Christ are presenting to you?
Where are the shepherd-kings?  Where are the mighty men,  or the thirty chief of the faith?
I believe that if we look, we will see them, all around us___and just like David, we will see those who for the unity and love of the brethren, give much, though sometimes unseen and unrewarded. Do we feel the awesome need to pour their priceless gifts out from ourselves, who have not considered the very blood of their lives that may have been offered in our behalf.
We wait and serve__they serve and wait.  Think on these things.
Oh, and I just want to let you know,  My Shepherd-King smiles.  __Raf

SPIRITUAL STAMINA__THE ENDURANCE OF FAITH

We stand our tallest when kneeling in prayer, in the power of His mercy and grace.  In the power of Spirit and Truth.
To stand tall in the Spirit, is to stand strong and steadfast.  One who can go into battle covenanted to give all to the glory and purpose of God and His Kingdom.
I was blessed recently concerning a story in II Samuel 23:   It speaks of mighty men who were David's chief men at his side.  It is parabolic of our times.
There is a picture of the order of those who serve Christ, according to their faith and commitment.  Their trustworthiness.  They were all valiant, noble and honorable men,  but there were only three who were mighty in the surrender of themselves to the full will and purpose of David, and to the vision and promise of God's anointing and purpose for his life, and the life of God's people.
Read the 23 Chapter of Samuel, if you will.  The exploits and heart of these three men, will inspire you to take up your cross and follow Him.
There are two that spoke to my own heart in particular.  The one who could not let go of his sword after the fight.  The sword actually seemed to become an extension of his hand.  In his weariness of the fight, he sees it through to the end, sword in hand.
I ashamedly have taken up things in the service of the Lord___starting with zeal, and then in the heat of the battle, have not finished to the end.
There always comes a point of commitment, of tediousness, weariness or great cost in serving the Lord.___in some cases even grave danger.   It is then that our hand slackens and we are tempted to not endure.  Where is our spiritual stamina?
The mark of a mighty man (strengthened by the Lord) is a stamina that goes beyond our own initial zeal and enthusiasm__beyond the fresh challenge of a new situation. 
Remember Peter, who boasted of his willingness to fight for the Lord?  But Jesus saw his heart.  The Bible is full of stories, of those who stood the test, of facing giants like the young shepherd boy David.  Of Daniel, in the lions den,  the three young captives who were throne into an oven for not bowing to a strange god.  And then some of those who had special callings and fled, like Elijah, Jonah, Jacob, and the 11 disciples at Christ's Crucifixion.
These Philistine spirits come against us today,  wave after wave of them,  rushing against us and constantly renewing their attacks.
No matter who we are in Christ, no matter what giant you may be facing, or the roar of lions against you, or how hot the fires of affliction__  it is just because we are His, that we too will face the enemy of our souls in the coarse of our lives.  And like so many before us,  we will become weary, heart-sick, and worn out from the battle___
I beseech you brethren to"keep your hand on to that sword___ the Word and Promises of God___ till you have finished the coarse."  IITim. 4:7  ___Raf
I will follow up with the second mighty warrior in the next blog post.

THE DANCE


This morning, a thought___ actually, a question, kept going through my mind. 
"What goes forward, and backward at the same time, and still remains together?"
A whole day has gone by, and I am just now seeing that it is the answer that I've asked the Lord for concerning something that has been on my heart.
Maybe one reason I didn't get it at first, is because I have two left feet.  When it comes to dancing,  I've already got it in my head what the next step should be, not taking into consideration that I have a partner.  I just automatically expect them to follow.  And I'm always stepping on toes.
If I step backward with the rhythm of the song,  then I just expect my partner to step forward, and follow me.  I know you can see where I'm going with this.
One of the first things to learn, is that there is one who leads, and one who follows.  The One who leads is the strength of the dance,  the one who follows is the beauty of the dance, she glorifies the leader, with surrender to his lead.
There is a knowing in the dance,  being of one mind in the flow of it.  The movements can speak of the many emotions of the flesh___but of coarse I am not speaking of that form of dancing.
There is a "Dance of Spirit" that we can learn, called the "Unity of the Faith."  It is a dance of the heart, the mind and the spirit.  It is the dance of the brethren, it is the dance of the Bride of Christ and her Groom.  It is a dance of mystery,  as they are one as the Bride surrenders to the lead of her Lord.  Forward and backward, yet ever as one.
As we surrender to His lead,  and allow Him to manifest the strength of His will and purpose,  it will become the glory of the dance,  the beauty of the revealing of the Son of God in His dance of Love.__Raf

A TEACHABLE SPIRIT


"Lord, help me to receive your Word, and treasure your commands within me,  so that I might incline my ear to wisdom and apply my heart to understanding;  I cry out for discernment, and lift my voice for understanding.  I search for the hidden riches of your Word as one who searches for silver and gold. 
Let my knowledge be found in You, for to fear You is the beginning of wisdom.  You have promised to give wisdom to those who ask.  I seek it from your own mouth.  For You are the Living Word and You have promised the stored up wisdom to the upright.
You shield those who walk uprightly.  You guard the paths of justice and preserve the way of Your saints.  Therefore do I wait upon You Lord,  to learn and understand righteousness, justice, equity, and every good path."
Today I offended someone by sharing the written Word, Lord___ concerning a particular post that they had posted on their blog.  You used this to teach me a valuable lesson. 
Proverbs 2;10-11  " When wisdom enters into your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul;  Discretion shall preserve you and understanding shall keep you:"
I'm not a very tactful or reserved personality__ when I am blessed by Your Word Lord,  I want to run with it instead of rejoicing before You.  
You pointed out how my eagerness was received as insensitive and froward.  I thought it would be received gladly as from the Lord, since it was quoted directly from the Word.  I didn't even consider the length of my comment.  I didn't consider anything at all.  I didn't wait. 
If the Holy Spirit hasn't spoken that Word through His witness within, to be shared, then it becomes the letter of the Word that can be received in offence or condemnation.
This is a type of frowardness, and it is an abomination to the Lord.  His secrets,  ( the opening of His Word to us, comes from the mind of Christ, though His Holy Spirit.  It is always the same__it glorifies Christ.  When it is manifested according to His will and good pleasure, according to His purpose.
How do we discern when we are being froward in sharing the Word of God? 
The answer for me is that of speaking or presenting God's Word,  either out of my own understanding and interpretation, or out of the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who is the power and revelation of the Word we share, whether it be the written Word, or the spoken Word.
Froward-ness will only sow discord among brethren.  As well intentioned as we might be in sharing our zeal and convictions concerning the Word, it may be without any discernment of the heart and mind of the receiver. 
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable__ because it is the Word that precedes out of his mouth by the Holy Spirit.  In my zeal,  I did not wait upon the Lord.  The scriptures were truth, but rejected because of my presuming it would be received.  The Lord prepares the heart of the one receiving His Word, even as He is in the Word He speaks.
Though sharing God's Word is our liberty in Christ__The WORD Himself will counsel, comfort, exhort, lead and guide those who hear it, by His Spirit.  And we must discern the Spirits leading at all times in presenting Christs Testimony. 
Our minds and hearts must always be teachable, open to how the Holy Spirit is revealing Christ.  Not doctrine,  not opinion, not law, not private interpretation;  But the discernible Word of God which will always give witness to Christ.  It will always be received by the hungry spirit, the thirsting spirit, the teachable spirit__the prepared heart.
Lord, deliver me from any froward-ness in presenting Your Word.  ___Raf

MAKE MY HEART YOUR BETHANY LORD

As I look back on my own journey of faith in Christ.  The one and most agonizing disappointment was in those who befriended me because of what to me was the "realness of the intimacy of Christ."  Those who shared Him in their gatherings (denominations) with such zeal and purpose.  They taught me to read the written word and to hide it in my heart, and for that I will forever be grateful.  But,  I was taught by the written word,  that the WORD could speak to me, even as He had spoken to the early saints made perfect.  This is in no way to imply that I am perfect.  Though the Word says, "be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect." 
That seems like a contradiction to some, perhaps many.
If I am dead to my flesh, and alive in Christ, His life in me should make me perfect.  Is perfect sinless? 
Not in this flesh!
Christ in me is perfect, but He rules in me to surrender my will to Him in complete faith and obedience, allowing Him to manifest the authority that is His, the wisdom that is His, the Word that is His, by His Holy Spirit.  His Holy Spirit.
I am His, but I am not I AM.  This is not a subject that I will ever wrestle with another, I have seen the result of wrestling with the angel of the Lord, and will not temp Him to break my hip or place a thorn in my side.  I am guilty of it in other ways, and know that lesson of pride and presumption.
I am, only because He IS.  I bow the knees of my heart and soul before Him, acknowledging,  "He alone is God."
To be one with Him, surrendered to Him, covenanted to Him, sanctified in Him, does not make me Him.
Jesus lived in the union and fullness of His Father.  He was One with Him, in will, and purpose, obedient unto death.  He confessed that he could do nothing except what He heard from His Father, in judgement and mercy (though He could have) he did not seek His own will, but the will of the Father.  He is my fullness, but I am not the fullness__I desire with my will, for His purpose to reconcile all to Himself,  not willing that any should perish__I desire to obey Him in all His desire, will and purpose, but I can not do anything except He manifest in me to do that work.
I am the workmanship of His hands, the vessel,  NOT THE POTTER.
I cannot comprehend the agony of His disappointment___look at that word and see what the Spirit would have you see___dis-appointment.
Have you ever had everything go wrong in keeping you from keeping an appointment?
He was Appointed, Anointed, Predestined and pre-Ordained in His coming.  Every cell of His body pressed Him to fulfill the commission of His Father.
He was dis- heartened and dis-spirited over and over again by those of his own family,  those that claimed to minister the laws and covenants of God.  Yes, He came to His own, and His own, received him not.
They were the fig tree that bore no fruit for Him, and they bear none to this day, save in Christ Jesus.
Today you will find Him in Bethany,  that place where He is invited in to find the fellowship of Spirit and Truth.  Little flocks of those who seek to serve Him and minister TO HIM. 
I pray that He will find us eager to sit at His feet and "Hear His Word."  for that is His meat, that is His consolation___that we Hear, and perceive, and receive the greatest gift that He brings to your house, the sanctuary of your heart___the gift of seeking you out for His own satisfaction.
Do not be cumbered about with trying to please Him with works of the flesh, with fruits of your labor.  Kneel before Him, be still, and KNOW the WORD__He is God.
 

THE BATTLE IS THE LORD'S

Lord, sometimes my heart is filled with perplexity and bewilderment.  I know what your written word says__but I also know how the real world around me defies so much of what is promised there, and I am left to either explain or try to understand why there seems to be so many contradictions.
My mortal, humanistic reasoning tries to exasperate what faith I have in what I cannot see.  I cannot see beyond it without Your Holy Spirit.  Help me Lord.
What is your will and purpose in all the reprobate and terminal decay of human decency and empathy.  I think Sodom and Gomorrah would squirm at the atrocities of our generation. 
It is a plague upon mankind, worse than the black plague.  The vileness of the mind and spirit no longer hides in the darkness but manifests itself in the light.  In his nakedness, man is exhibiting his corrupt and degenerate nature in all its perverted ways, shameless, and deaf and blind.
How do I tell someone caught in the grip of fear and bondage, there's a better way?  How do I explain that to a child who has been abused by the ones they love and look up to the most.  Or a nation that knows nothing but depravity, sorrow and despair.  We send missionaries to these lands in the name of our God,  while we dance and sing, and shout in our spiritual Disney Lands of  powerless imagery. 
I'm angry Lord,  I'm disillusioned, and dismayed.  I could type ten thousand words,  shout from the highest roof top,  "Turn from your wicked ways, for the Day of the Wrath of God is upon you!"  Even those who declare to be Christians, are full of apathy and are at ease in Zion. 
Lord, I know that I'm not the only one who feels this way.  Many of us see the corruption at work in our own homes and family, struggling with answers and genuine convictions, while those who should be pillars of the community, (and many are) spread their corruption without remorse or repentance.  Not to speak of the powers that be compromising and bartering with justice at the expense of the innocent. 
"Enough!
What, and who are you trying to save with your fear and doubt?  Who will hear your empty words?  You are like a banner in the wind that has no power except display.
Do you care who will benefit from the truth?  Or do you fear the consequences of it.? Or both?  Cease from your work, it is mine.  Confess,  that you can do nothing.
Were you able to save yourself?  Did you not come to hear my voice?  When all was chaos and darkness, did you not see my Light.  Did any of your reasoning, fear and doubt save you out of it? 
Why did I save you Raf?
Lord,  I wasn't talking about me.  I know what you've done for me.  I'll never understand the fullness of your gift to me, enough to give honest praise and thankfulness, with understanding, it is beyond me Lord.  But I do want others to share in this same gift that I know is available to them.  It was your love that gripped my heart when you forgave me of things, I know, no body else would.  And even if they did, I couldn't forgive myself.  You showed me that your forgiveness was my only way to freedom, rest, peace and joy, and as priceless as that has been, you have taught me that it is also that I might grow up into the fullness of your own stature.  Lord how do I explain such things?  
All the things I hoped for, that money could not buy, that those I loved the most could not give me,  were freely found in you.
 I know the difference that it makes in the lives of individuals, families, friends, communities and nations, that live by at least a moral code of ethics.  Where justice, empathy for others motivates the golden rule.  But you are so much more than that Lord. 
It's so late, and I'm not even sure that all this reasoning is getting me anywhere.  Or even where I'm trying to go with it, except to You.
Raf,  I would have you lay this burden down.  Can you obey me in this?  I have not called you to carry this burden.  No man will be conformed to me, except by my Spirit.  Look not upon the world in its humiliation, in its corruptness, and measure its need by your ability to save or change it.  You still look upon man in his flesh, and not his spirit. 
Do you not yet know, that it is I who dwell in you that is your hope of glory?  Or that only I am able to subject all things unto myself, even the world? 
Yes, you do know that I dwell in you, even as you type these words, they are not your own.  You feel the draw of my Spirit in you to understanding and revelation.
There is no struggle or effort in your reasoning with me, because you know me within.  Your struggle is in not yielding to Faith.  You lean to heavily upon your own thoughts and ways.  You will never conform to my ways nor convince others to, until they see My finished work of reconciliation and sanctification in your life through faith and obedience in my Word. 
Words, knowledge, doctrine, rite and ritual, works, or will,  cannot bring about what you long for.  I am the Way the Truth and the Life.  Walk in me, speak my Word, and live my Life in you.  That's all I require of you.  In the simplest of days in all of your ways,  fear me and keep my commandments.
Concerning the rest___leave it to me.  Do not waste time with controversy to my will.  Let your faith in my Word become your rest, your peace and your joy. 
Let not your heart be troubled, peace be still, Raf." 

THE STILL SMALL VOICE AND THE LION'S ROAR


I have come to realize since I opened my site, that it is very easy to offend others.  I would say right now that I certainly would never do so intentionally.  I realize too that each of us look upon the Lord with having different backgrounds, nationalities, religious doctrinal beliefs and so on. 
I try very hard to focus and set my eyes upon the Lord, and what is His heart, His mind, His will, His Testament.  How I present it, may bring conflict in some instances, and I pray that you would seek first the unity of our faith, which is in Christ our Lord.
There is a blessedness that exists in the Un-offended.  That surety and security of faith in His loving discipline.  The fear of the Lord, in all we say and do.  Even if there are severe requirements of Him, to share His Testimony, and what seems contradictory, and sometimes unreasonable to others, or poorly presented in our way.
What is seen from the Hill top is a totally different view from the Valley.  In Christ we come up, and go down freely.  Each time inspired to relate the beauty of His fullness.  Sometimes our words do not convey the reality of the vision. 
His is the Lamb of God,  He is the Lion of Judah,  He is meek and lowly,  He is strong in the power of His Word.  He roars like a lion, and His enemies flee,  He speaks with a still small voice,  to those who have ears to hear.
I want no one to put value upon my perceptions of the reality of God and truth.  In this I will surely become an offence to many.  But let it be so, if it press you into Christ, seeking Him first, and listening for His Word within your own heart.
I am not saying that I will never offend anyone, or that I myself might not be offended.... what I am saying is that my heart is fixed in Love, God's love, and that in itself will offend some.
One once said,  "My dependence is upon Christ, which I hope expresses itself in iron devotion and loyalty to His Word.  This is the condition that governs all the blessedness of the un-offended."
Having said all this, my heart is full, for love of the brethren, the sheep of His pasture, His saints made perfect, His Bride.  He is our peace, there is no offence in Him toward us, though His life and death, and resurrection offends many.  ___Raf___

I COME TO LOVE YOU LORD


Lord,  today I wanted so badly to hear from some member of my family.  To hear how they are,  to share in the things of their lives,  to rejoice with them, to comfort if need be.  Just once, without them calling because of something they needed.
I felt ashamed,  and it pressed me to my knees.  I felt the spirit of resentment in me.  I needed to be needed for something other than.....
As I poured out my heart to you,  and You so graciously and patiently listened to my hearts cry,  there was a silence that I have rarely known before.  It was the silence of your own grieving heart.  I suddenly felt that in spite of Your own desire for me to come and just be with you, wanting nothing,  You chose to turn your attention to me.
Oh Lord,  forgive me, forgive me, forgive me.  I love you Lord,  let me love you Lord,  I make the mistake of thinking I can't love you the way you need to be loved.  I couldn't love you at all, if you hadn't first loved me.
Forgive me Lord,  I come to love you Lord, wanting nothing, but to know that you are satisfied in my coming, that my heart is free from desiring none but You.  I love you Lord.   Raf.