God at Arm’s Distance

July 18, 2013

God at Arm’s Distance

Revelations 3:15-20
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Did you ever have a relationship with a person where you really liked them, but you wanted to keep a little space with them, you really wanted the relationship on the terms of your comfort level? Many of us have those kinds of relationships in our marriage where we love our husband or wife, but we want our own space to live our own life and do our own thing. We want a relationship, but we want it at arm’s length, a place we can either pull away or be close, but not feel too confined. Isn’t that very much like the relationship many of us have or have had with the Lord? We believe in Christ, we love God, but we are afraid to get to close to Him. We’re afraid He might let us down, or we’re afraid He might require too much of us, or we’re afraid we’ll have to give up the things we love and want to do. Fear is the counterpart of faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Herein is contained a promise of God that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. For a lot of us there is truth we would rather stay ignorant of or things we would rather not hear, because it requires of us accountability and we rather like things the way they are. I know these things because I see so many of them in me. I don’t always like it when somebody speaks the truth to me in areas where I am comfortable and don’t really want to change, yet I know that if I refuse to hear the truth and harden my heart, I am shutting out the Holy Spirit. I am holding out my arm and saying to God, “don’t come any closer Lord, you are infringing upon my territory, my self will.” Then I am reminded that I am not my own, He bought me with a price and my life belongs to Him completely and without reservation.
So many of us, especially here in America, have been so blessed and we have enjoyed so many things and privileges that we have become fat and satisfied. We are the Laodicean Church it speaks about hear in Revelation 3. “We are rich, increased with goods and have need of nothing.” In the natural that is true, but in the spirit it has left us “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” We can’t serve two masters and when we choose to be rich in the things of the world we suffer spiritually.
Most of you who read this faithfully are those who are willing to hear the truth even when it is convicting and most who don’t may not want to read it because the Lord does deal with us in hard areas that we maybe rather not have to deal with. The truth is we will have to deal with these issues either now while there is still time for us to align ourselves with the will of God or when it is too late and we experience the displeasure of the Lord. If there is one theme the Lord seems to be reiterating again and again through these writings it is that He is calling out a people for His Name, a people He wants to have relationship with and bring out of the common into the Most Holy Place. He is calling us higher into Him. The Lord is a consuming fire and as He draws us into His bosom and into His heart that fire is going to become hotter and hotter to our flesh till it consumes it more and more. Will we welcome his embrace which means we will buy the gold of His nature tried in the fire and we will put on the white raiment and clothing of His righteousness? Will we anoint our eyes with the salve of His Truth so that we might see by the Spirit and no longer by the flesh? Will we receive the rebuke, the correction and chastening of the Lord that brings us to repentance because we have quit holding God at a distance, surrendered our whole heart and said, “Yes Lord, I want all of you no matter what the cost.” Some of us need to make that commitment today in our lives. Perhaps we had in the past, but have found ourselves again compromised with the world. It was to the Church that Jesus said, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Jesus is calling out for us to come back into right relationship with Him, to sup with Him, to “eat of His flesh and drink of His blood” so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. We can never give up anything in this life that the Lord requires of us but what it will result in so much more in Christ. Instead of holding God at a distance open your arms and embrace Him with a full commitment of your love and devotion. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches (Revelations 3:21-22).”

Blessings,
kent

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Return to Your First Love

Revelations 2:4
Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Most of us have been in love and hopefully still are if we are married. Remember the thrill you felt to be with the one you loved. They were your desire, your focus and they filled your thoughts continually. All you could think about was them and how you wanted to be them when you were apart. Remember how your world revolved around that special person. There was no one else in the world like them. When you were away from them for an extended period your heart yearned for them or when you thought you might lose their love your heart grieved and broke. That was your first love.
Remember when you first came to Christ and the joy of salvation filled your heart. The Holy Spirit had given you a revelation of Christ’s great love for you and you fell so in love with Him. Many of the same emotions that you experienced with the human relationship of love, you experienced with Christ. He was the delight of your heart and you wanted Him to fill and be a part of everything you did. No greater joy and blessing was there than to be in His presence. He was so real to you and you vowed in your heart you would never leave Him or turn away from Him.
Many of you know that when you have been in a long-term relationship, such as marriage, with the person you love those feelings and emotions often subside over time. You still love them, but you take each other for granted a lot. All of those first feelings, emotions and passions of love have faded into a daily routine that often has lost it’s luster. After all, we have all of the demands of life upon us and so many other things competing for our time, attention or affection. We come to find we have left our first love.
As we have done this with our human relationships, we have most likely been guilty of doing it with Christ. Is He the passion, the love, the joy and the longing of your heart that He once was or have we slipped into complacency and lethargy concerning our love relationship with Him? Yes we still love Him, we are Christians and He is our Savior, but is He still our lover? Does our hearts still long and thirst after Him every day? Does He continually fill our thoughts and are we in constant communication with Him? Is He the praise on our lips and the song in our heart? We all so often fail in the area of neglecting our relationships. We can have many good attributes, but we don’t want to lose that “first love”. It is the passionate and fervent love that is always in pursuit of the object of its love and affection. Ask the Father to renew in you that passionate, fervent “first love” for Christ. Seek it out and lay hold of it again. It is vital to us individually and corporately if we are to be His bride, His Church and possess all that He has for us in Himself as our husband.

Blessings,
kent

Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

Malachi 3:1

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

When asking the Lord what is the most important message of this hour I believe “preparation” is what He is dropping into my heart. It is the time of a John the Baptist ministry when He has sent His servants into the Land to stir the hearts of the people to repentance and preparation for the coming King.

We have all grown so complacent with the lifestyles that we lead. We truly have far greater riches and blessing than the majority of the rest of the world. That is wonderful in some ways, but in others we have fallen into the snare of self-reliance and contentment. I see this in my own heart as well as others. In the spirit, God is speaking, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” He is exhorting and warning us to stir ourselves to faith and action. It is a time to really seek the Lord and what His purpose and plan is. We may still be in the stages of preparation, but we should be no less diligent in seeking God’s highest for our lives. Things are boiling beneath surface and there will soon come a time when things will be released upon the earth, no doubt in both realms of light and darkness. Lethargy and mediocrity will prove to be the ropes that have tied our hands and feet. Over and over in what we hear the Lord speaking He is saying, “press into Me, repent of your sinful ways and start pressing into the high calling that is yours in Christ Jesus.”

The book of Proverbs teaches that it is the wise man that listens and takes heed to reproof, but the fool only despises it. May the Lord heighten our spiritual senses and accountability today as we endeavor to walk closer to Him and pursue His righteousness. A shaking has already began and a judgement has come upon His house, for God first judges His own house. He is exposing our sin and our corruption. He is shouting from the rooftops those things that have been done in the closet.

This is the day for us to get our hearts right again, to purify ourselves and put away our iniquities. Can we hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches? More importantly are we willing to act upon and prepare the way of the Lord by first preparing our hearts? If you had one month to put your life and your house in order what would you change? What are our priorities in the light of eternity? The decisions and the choices we make today will ripple through our eternity. They may make the difference in whether we stand or fall, whether we are honored or dishonored before the Lord. Many of us are compromising ourselves as King Jehoshaphat did in the Old Testament. He was a good king and he loved the Lord, but in 2 Chronicles 19:1-3 we see God sending a prophet to warn him about compromising with evil. “When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, 2 Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD ? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you. 3 There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God.” While many of us embrace and believe the principles of righteousness we embrace alliances with those walking in darkness. The Lord is calling us today unto separation and preparation. Jehoshaphat met his end because he was in an alliance and relationship that was not in the will and purpose of God. Be careful whom you build your relationships with.

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, [and] prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:19-22)

Blessings,
Kent

What is Our Temperature?

November 21, 2012

What is Our Temperature?

Revelations 3:15-17
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

The state of our spiritual temperature has to do with our acceptability before the Lord.
The Spirit of the Lord is giving us his temperature preference in this passage concerning the church and us as individual Christians. Many of us, if were not familiar with this verse, and ask the question of how we would rate ourselves in our spiritual walk with the Lord; whether hot, lukewarm or cold, would probably respond “lukewarm.” Why, probably because we see ourselves vacillating in our spiritual commitment and walk with the Lord. Many of us love the Lord, but we are not completely sold out and zealously pursuing Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. We are Christians of convenience, mindful of the Lord when it is convenient for us to do so. The Spirit is speaking to us that He would rather not have us committed at all than to have us in a tepid state of apathy and lethargy where we live a semi-committed life. For us to be cold is defined as sluggish, inert in mind. One who is destitute of warm Christian faith and desire for holiness. While one that is hot is defined as one zealous and fervent of mind. It is so easy for all of us to fall into the error and pitfall of complacency in our relationship with the Lord. God wants us to be passionate about Him. He gave us this great salvation, not to have as an intermittent portion of blessing for our lives, a spiritual or religious activity to appease our conscience. He gave Himself wholly, unconditionally in His love for us. We do Him grave injustice if we desire to give anything short of our best and all for Him. Let us press into Him today and enter that “hot zone” where we are passionate and zealous for our Lord. We don’t want to be distasteful and the object of His rejection because of our unstable ways. James 1:8 says, “A double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways.” Are we single-minded today, where Christ is our life and all that we live for and do in life is centered around Him and His will for us? He is calling us continually higher in our spiritual commitment and walk with Him. Let’s be Hot for Him!

Blessings,
kent

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