Monday, February 8, 2021

And Jesus said, "I want to!"

In Matthew 8 Jesus does something unthinkable...after having gone up the mountain for some solitude and then later, coming down, a multitude follows Him. In the multitude is a leper who comes and worships Him and cries out, "Lord, if you want to - you can make me clean!!" Jesus, putting forward his hand and touching the leper says, "I want to! Be clean." 

I don't know if we understand the seriousness of the transaction that just took place. The way the Jews viewed lepers, the amount of ritual cleansing that would have been required, the desire and willingness of Jesus to enter into such a scandalous situation. It's astonishing. It's so Jesus.

John Eldredge said of that moment with the leper,
If you don't find this one of the most beautiful stories you have ever heard, you won't want Christian Holiness. And you sure won't understand Jesus. the man is free. Free from what people think, free from religion. Free from false obligation. People won't like it, won't understand it, they'll draw false conclusions, point fingers, and worse. He is free from that as well. Oh to be so free! The more you fall in love with Jesus' genuine goodness, which is true goodness, the more you will absolutely detest the counterfeit of a false piety and a shallow morality - as He did. Jesus has a wild freedom, born out of a profound holiness. Which makes Him the most remarkable person I've ever known.
My husband and I were listening to a Face to Face interview in 2017 with Elder Holland and Elder Eyring. Youth were allowed to ask the two Apostles a question and they would answer it face to face, off the cuff. One question was from Lily from Illinois who said, "I'm a senior in High school and I'm having trouble having good prayers, more like conversations with God. Do you have any suggestions, or what do you do?" 

Elder Eyring responded by saying,
"Be modest in your expectations. God is close and he loves you and he'd love to have a conversation but remember, he is God. I always worry when someone speaks to him in too familiar a way because it is not easy. Heavenly Father's words, His ideas, are not exactly ours. So the idea of having a conversation where you're chatting with Heavenly Father, is probably a little bit of a lofty goal. My own feeling is....I pray as if He's there, as if He's listening. And He is listening. I believe He is always sending messages to me. But sometimes there's long silences, for me at least. So when she speaks of a conversation in her prayers, she's making it sound a little more casual than I think it's possible to be. We're dealing with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and they are so far above us in terms of their powers. In fact I've been with people who chat as if they're chatting..I've heard them pray and I've thought, "youre a little more familiar with that than I am". If you can just get the feeling that he is hearing you and then if on occasion answers come back often clearly in your mind, sometimes not, maybe just by reading the scriptures the answer comes that way. But the conversation is not quite like he and I together (motioning to Elder Holland), for instance, we talk with each other and it's very personal, Elder Holland and I have had wonderful conversations. But I don't have conversations with Heavenly Father like that. At least I don't. I do a lot of the asking and then I wait and then I wait and answers come. But not in a conversational mode."
When I heard that response to a young person developing in their relationship with the Lord, my heart sank. That's not my experience of Jesus...friend of sinners. The disruptive way Jesus always went for the worst kind of person. People who are shabbily dressed, most baggage, most ailments, most possessed...that's the Jesus I talk with in a conversation on a daily basis. He's the One who invited me into that conversation with the reckless way He chose to live - with sinners by his side. He's the One who says to me, "I want to!" when I ask Him to come into my brokenness. 

"When Jesus died, that most holiest of curtains was ripped in half. Torn, top to bottom. And who was it that did that? Surely not the priests. It was God himself. He took that veil and ripped it in two.

So why do we insist on stitching it back up?

A whole lot of what passes for worship, sacrament, and instruction in Christian circles is sewing lessons—hanging that veil again. Done in the same spirit that says, “God is too holy for us to approach.” I’ve read it countless places, written by popular theologians. I’ve heard it said many times from the pulpit. We must not be too familiar with God. Do not presume to come too close.

Said who?

They are trying to re-create the Holy of Holies in the name of reverence. Except, it was God who ripped that curtain forever with his own two hands. That is clearly over. Understanding this truth will open up new realms for you in relating to Jesus, and enable your heart to love him."

Want more? I got this from John Eldredge's book: Beautiful Outlaw. Besides the scriptures, this is the best book I have ever read. 

The Name Lives On


David Phelps

Saturday, January 23, 2021

"It Is Written..."

I have been reading the book, The Gulag Archipelago, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. It is a true account of other holocausts that took place in Europe mostly during Stalin's rule in the USSR from 1929 to 1953. It speaks of the imprisonment, brutalization, and very often murder of tens of millions of innocent Soviet citizens by their own Government whom the Government believed (with near to zero evidence) to be anti-Soviet.

I have been so surprised at how many millions of innocent Soviet citizens were tormented into signing a paper which said they were guilty of being anti-Soviet. Whether you were guilty or not, it didn't matter. You may have greeted a friend on the street whom they believed was anti-Soviet, so you were arrested too. Like spreading germs through contact, a glance, a handshake, a smile to the wrong person could land you in death camps across Russia.

It is a terribly disturbing book to learn such horrors have existed. I have asked myself a few questions:

What makes some people so evil?
Does that evil exist in me too?
How do I overcome evil?

Solzhenitsyn made a list of methods which break the will and the character of the prisoner without leaving marks on his body. By using these methods, they could get millions of innocent people to sign a paper of lies condemning them to a long prison sentence for treason.  

As I read the methods they used to break people down, I saw that they are the very tools the adversary uses to enslave us in our minds. It is exactly how he gains power over us as we succumb to his method of torment. 

Here are some of the methods Solzhenitsyn listed:
  • Come at night
  • Persuasion: ("Look, you're going to get a prison term whatever happens. But if you resist, you'll croak right here in prison, you'll loose your health. But if you go to camp, you'll have fresh air and why not sign it right now?")
  • Foul Language: Useful to people who are brought up, refined, delicate. 
  • Psychological contrast: sudden reversals of tone or mood. 
  • Humiliation
  • Confusion
  • Intimidation
  • Lie
  • Playing on one's affection
  • Sleeplessness
  • Hunger
Solzhenitsyn then goes on to say that people were: 
"arrested for nothing and interrogated about nothing...the Criminal Code (the law book of how to interrogate criminals); and the codes themselves are not on open shelves in our libraries, nor sold at newsstands; nor do they fall into the hands of the heedless young."
Later he says: 
"The principle of our interrogation consists further in depriving the accused of even a knowledge of the law...And of the hundreds of prisoners I knew who had gone through interrogation and trial, and more than once too, who had served sentence in camp and in exile, none had ever seen the Code or held it in his hand!"
It was only when the code was 35 years old that Solzhenitsyn was able to find a copy. Reading the laws he said, "I read them today touched with emotion...Oh, if we had only known that in time!" Had they been able to quote the law, their interrogation would have come to an end and their freedom procured. 

We are engaged in the midst of a war for our souls. Unbelief is sweeping the earth. It is common for most youth to know more than one classmate who has committed suicide. You yourself may know someone in the last few years who has also attempted or taken their own lives. They are inprisioned by their Enemy...the one who entraps our hearts and minds in sleepless nights, with persuasion, confusion, humiliation, and then lies. 

And we, like those interrogated by the USSR, are caught by surprised sometimes....shocked at our own dark or depressing thoughts and feelings - all are warfare tactics of the Enemy.

Because we can't see the spiritual world, we very, very, very often discount it's intense reality. 

You have an enemy that doesn't sleep and whose only desire is to claim you his, to see your spiritual death and suffering complete. He will use ANY method to break you. Make no mistake - you are a marked traitor and he will wear your faith down until you simply become robotic in prayer...predictable in your worship...and mechanical in your study of the scriptures (if you study them at all). 

If you will ask the Lord to awaken your heart to see the battle and the spiritual war in your day to day life, your life will become very interesting very quickly. Approaching arguing children in your home as a spiritual attack or your annoyance with your spouse or co-worker as a spiritual lure set to trap you, will cause you to approach the Lord in prayer far differently, more intently, and with a purpose designed to shake the very jaws of hell

We underestimate the prayer of a righteous soul in combating the enemy. Prayer is where I see most people struggle in their relationship with the Lord. And that is no surprise...prayer is the place where mountains are moved. Where the enemy is bound and forced to fall back in battle as you make advancements towards his demise. 

I shared Solzhenitsyn's story with you because what he wrote is your story too. You are being daily tortured in his interrogation confines...he is pulling out all the stops to enslave you in his prison camp, if you'll admit it. There are areas in your mind where the enemy has a stronghold. "Agreements" have been made...false beliefs you have where the adversary has whispered lies to you and you agreed and spiritually signed the papers, condemning you under his power. It is only through prayer that these agreements can be broken. You must identify the lies you believe and, with Jesus Christ as your advocate, break them in prayer. With the law.

Christ showed us the way to overcome the interrogation. 


And then use it. 

Read as Christ completes his 40 day fast and then uses the law to keep from coming under enslavement:

Matthew 4:

4 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

Your enemy never rests. Never stops. He desires to destroy a family. A marriage. A relationship. A soul. He isn't happy until he immobilizes you and the methods he uses to break your soul are common but the message is tailored to you. By knowing what "is written" in the scriptures and then using it to combat the lies he tells you, you will have angels come and minister to you!

"It is written."

"If Ye Love Me" 


Tallis - Tenebrae


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

With Love, Your Enemy...

The United States seems to be in commotion right now. Large parts of the world are also going back into lockdown. Tensions are very, very high. 

I want to say this (for myself more than anything) and I need to say it before I forget it again. The Leftist aren't pure evil. The Right isn't the ideal party that would solve all the worlds problems. 

Each side is filled with human beings. And they have strong beliefs on the best way to go about things. When we start labeling people, to any degree, we stop seeing them as human and when we stop seeing another person as human, we can more easily justify using and abusing them. Only the Lord can truly show you someones heart.

The capital 'T' Truth is, the government isn't the enemy, your siblings or parents or church leaders or former boss or your co-worker isn't the enemy...but you do have one. And the enemy is relentless in the war on your heart and soul. He is ancient and he never, ever sleeps. 

He appeared in the Garden of Eden to our first parents and then later to Cain, tempting Cain's pride and desire to be right. Satan patiently and meticulously set up Cain for failure...for that single moment when Cain's offering wasn't accepted by the Lord. In Moses 5:21 it says, "and Satan knew this" meaning he knew Cain would become wroth:
21 But unto Cain, and to his offering, he had not respect. Now Satan knew this, and it pleased him. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

It was a calculated plan....Cain was set-up. And now you need to remember, you are living in that same calculated plan. 

Satan is setting YOU up.

The Lord reminds Cain that if he Cain does well, he will be accepted and The Lord reminds Cain that Satan desires to have him (v. 23). Cain decided to hearken to the lies Satan propagated and it lead to an ancient way of doing business, of deceiving the masses into following in and trusting another voice.

Satan said to Cain: "Swear by thy throat..." and he taught Cain ancient secrets which lead to power and wealth beyond comprehension. And Cain taught it to his brethren (v.29) and Cain became "Master Mahan...the master of this great secret and he gloried in his wickedness." (v. 31)

In Ether 8, Moroni tells us that the secret combinations still exist in his time and will exist in ours.
18 And it came to pass that they formed a secret combination, even as they of old; which combination is most abominable and wicked above all, in the sight of God;
19 For the Lord worketh not in secret combinations, neither doth he will that man should shed blood, but in all things hath forbidden it, from the beginning of man.

20 And now I, Moroni, do not write the manner of their oaths and combinations, for it hath been made known unto me that they are had among all people...

And now to the purpose of this post: It is to remind you that you have an enemy and everything taking place on TV right now is nothing more than a distraction keeping you from turning your heart, mind, and will fully over to the Lord. 

Because there are secret combinations had among all people, I would be a slothful servant if I didn't take the time to point out that yes, Trump may say the most cringe worthy things and it's easy to get caught up in that, but what comes out of his mouth is peanuts compared to what is transpiring all around you. 

It is easier to skim what I write next...or discount this post with a label that tells you the evil can't run that deep or be that orchestrated. And you most certainly can do that. Or you can pause to consider if Moroni was telling the truth...that these ancient secret combinations are had among all people with the purpose to steal, kill, and destroy.

Did you know that only 6 companies own all of the media? I used to think that CNN was its own company. I was surprised to learn that it is owned by TimeWarner. TimeWarner owns companies like Hulu, Warner Brothers, HBO and many, many more. So if I want to program the masses into believing something, as the head of one of these six companies, I can do it through the movies they watch and filter the same message into the news they receive thus creating the reality we believe

Please click on this link if you can't see a video:

Let's look at the news and who is telling us some of the stories we hear. Let's start with Anderson Cooper of CNN. Did you know his mother was Gloria Vanderbilt? Here's a childhood photo of Anderson with his mother on their bed. 

Did you catch the decor above his bed?

The image is hard to see but it shows a man on an alter with what appears to be burning around the alter, two angels surround the alter, a female priestess above the alter, a beheaded man to the left and the famous checkerboard pattern which is known anciently to represent dark and light. 

Child sacrifice is part of the secret combination, as Moroni saw. Feasting on the flesh of other humans, also part of the evil Moroni witnessed:  

Moroni 9

8 And the husbands and fathers of those women and children they have slain; and they feed the women upon the flesh of their husbands, and the children upon the flesh of their fathers; and no water, save a little, do they give unto them.

9 And notwithstanding this great abomination of the Lamanites, it doth not exceed that of our people in Moriantum. For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue—

10 And after they had done this thing, they did murder them in a most cruel manner, torturing their bodies even unto death; and after they have done this, they devour their flesh like unto wild beasts, because of the hardness of their hearts; and they do it for a token of bravery.

Did you know that New York City passed a law last year that allows women to abort their baby even up until the moment deliver if the mother feels her health is at risk? That means a woman can be in labor, 9 months pregnant and choose to abort the baby, and it's legal. 

Do you know the musical artists your kids hear on the radio? Do you know what they preach when kids plug in their headphones?

Here are images of the top musical artists right now:

 Lady Gaga wearing raw flesh/meat

Hollywood Top Music Artists, Actors and Actresses attended this art gala in Los Angeles where you were able to eat "cake" versions of humans. I don't have the stomach to show more photos than this one.

Or how about the Duchess of Cambridge who is married to Prince William of England. This is a photo outside the hospital after she just gave birth to her baby. Look at the dress worn in the movie "Rosemary's Baby" which is a film about a woman being impregnated by Satan. 

Now do I think that Kate Middleton ordered that dress to wear after she gave birth? No. But the people that tell her where to go, what to wear, and what to do know exactly what they are doing. 

Taylor Swift sitting on a throne with snake rings, snake candle holders and surrounded by snakes. In this video she resurrects herself out of a graveyard and says that she resurrects all the time.

Beyonce with the head of a goat

Madonna with the head of a goat

I could go on and on and on. That's all I can handle for now. I'm trying to illustrate that you have an enemy. And we are being set-up like Cain was - and it pleases the adversary

Come out of the darkness, come out of the deception. 

The enemy's tactic is to distort, deceive, and distract.

Eyes on Jesus. 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Fight For HOPE


This podcast will be the best use of your time today, I promise. 

The Fight For Hope 


Wild At Heart

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

To The Missionaries

I love the missionaries. My husband and I both served missions and have many good and difficult memories as we struggled and grew into stronger people inviting others to come to Christ. Recently we had the missionaries over and my mind was drawn to my own nieces and nephew serving missions right now. As I listened to these missionaries and where they had originally been called to serve in far more exotic and exciting places than Utah, I thought of my own experience getting called on a mission.

When I put my papers in for my mission call I had a German last name which included ancestry directly from Germany. I had also taken 5 years of German. My expectations were that I would be called to Germany or a nearby European countryside or maybe even Australia (where I could meet the Man from Snowy River). The possibilities were endless. 

Then I opened my mission call: 

Tokyo, Japan

I had entirely forgotten that Asia existed on the globe when I put in my papers. I felt like Ralphy in the movie, "A Christmas Story" when he gets his Little Orphan Annie decoder pen. Licking my lips in anticipation I read my mission call - hastily trying to decipher it's words as I stuttered out the message... "T...T...Tokyo....Japan?!"

When I went to the MTC, it was grueling. Three months of a language that made no sense to me. The mission field brought more intense challenges and I often thought to myself that any other mission had to have been better than this one.

Tokyo was the mission I needed to burn away the dross inside of me. I would often see Naaman the leper in my mind's eye. Naaman was an important captain of the host of the king of Syria. He was "...a great man with his master, and honorable...he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper." (2 Kings 5:1)

Naaman's wife had a servant who told her that there was a Prophet in Samaria who could heal him. Naaman and the king of Syria worked together to petition (with tons of gold and goods) the King of Israel for their prophet to heal Naaman. When Elisha hears of Naaman's desire he says, "...let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel." (v.8)

What happens to Naaman next reminds me of what I experienced as a missionary. Full of excitement and hope (and possibly overly confident and prideful) as I went into the mission field:

9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.

10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.

The missed expectations of a mission happen to all missionaries! You come out in a blaze of glory on your chariot with your brand new outfits, all the glory stories from years of mission stories, perfectly styled hair, and shiny shoes! You expect your companion will like you, you expect to get called to a great place with people who will want to listen to you, you expect to baptize a lot, you expect the days to be filled with people interested in the Gospel, etc. etc.. And so when a little messenger comes out with a simple message like, "Serve" or "Forget yourself" or "Go to Texas or Florida or Utah for your mission instead of where you thought you would go" or, "Stay quarantined in your apartment more than you get face to face time"- it can be hard, just like it was for Naaman.

Oh Naaman...he's so distracted by what he thought would happen, he rides away more focused on all the places that would have been better rather than accepting the healing offered to him. He's real - and I relate to real. Naaman said: 

12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. (I often thought of all those other missions that would have been better than Tokyo!)

13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? (If I had been called to the most popular mission in the world, would I not be doing the same thing of preaching Christ and sacrificing my all for Him?! How much rather then, when I am called to a place I didn't want to go and the Lord promises me that I can be made clean - should I do it?)

14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. (Naaman surrenders 'self' for the promised healing that comes when we trust in the Lord)

With all my heart I can truly say, there was no better mission than Tokyo, Japan. I sacrificed everything to go there. Opportunities to advance my degree, spend time with family, marriage, friends, and more. When I got there I had expectations of how it would go, and none of it went the way I thought it would. I had to humble myself to 'bathe' 1. in front of family and friends as I struggled week to week, and 2. do so in what I thought was the worst river/mission. My faith was profoundly challenged as I submitted to each dip in the river which required me to strip off more of my hopes, dreams, pride, and desires until my heart was aligned with His Will, His Desires, and His Strength.

A.W. Tozer said it the very, very best:

"...Abraham possessed....sheep, camels, herds, and goods of every sort. He had also his wife and his friends, and...his son Isaac safe by his side. He had everything, but he possessed nothing.... The world said, 'Abraham is rich,' but the aged patriarch only smiled. He could not explain it, but he knew that he owned nothing, that his real treasures were inward and eternal.

"There can be no doubt that this possessive clinging to things is one of the most harmful habits in the life. Because it is natural, it is rarely recognized for the evil that it is. But its outworkings are tragic.

"We are often hindered from giving up our treasures to the Lord out of fear for their safety. This is especially true when those treasures are loved relatives and friends. But we need have no such fears. Our Lord came not to destroy but to save. Everything is safe which we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed.

"Our gifts and talents should also be turned over to Him. They should be recognized for what they are, God's loan to us....We have no more right to claim credit for special abilities than for blue eyes or strong muscles. 'For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what has thou that thou didst not receive?' (1 Corinthians 4:7).....

"The ancient curse will not go out painlessly; the tough, old miser within us will not lie down and die in obedience to our command. He must be torn out of our heart like a plant from the soil; he must be extracted in agony and blood like a tooth from the jaw. He must be expelled from our soul by violence, as Christ expelled the money changers from the temple. And we shall need to steel ourselves against his piteous begging...

“Father, I want to know Thee, but my cowardly heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival.... Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there."

Oh My Soul


Casting Crowns

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Beauty for Ashes


At the close of the year 2020, may you have many things to reflect on that bring you joy. The Lord can take our ashes and make beauty. For mourning, He gives the oil of Joy. For the spirit of heaviness, a garment of Praise (Isaiah 61:3).

This video is worth watching. This girl composed this waltz when she was about 14 years old and her prologue at the beginning can be likened to the year 2020.

God bless you.

Siren Sounds Waltz
Alma Deutscher 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Slothful and Unwise Servants

I was reading an LDS Living magazine an article which I will link here about the church handbook updates. The article went on to list new additions and changes and what caught my eye was this change:

An added section titled “Seeking Information from Reliable Sources” counsels Latter-day Saints to be wise in their pursuit of truth. “Seek out and share only credible, reliable, and factual sources of information,” the text says. “Avoid sources that are speculative or founded on rumor. The guidance of the Holy Ghost, along with careful study, can help members discern between truth and error (see Doctrine and Covenants 11:12; 45:57). In matters of doctrine and Church policy, the authoritative sources are the scriptures, the teachings of the living prophets, and the General Handbook.”  (emphasis is theirs, not mine)

Two things broke my heart when reading that. First, the General Handbook has been placed on equal footing with scripture (see the last sentence). There is no mention of consulting the Lord and seeking His spirit to obtain your answer. I think the argument could be made that, "we have living prophets and they wrote the handbook and prophets write scripture so, there you go." I have multiple concerns with that argument so I ask you, does it read like divine scripture to you? To me, it reads more like Exodus 21. Exodus 21 comes after Exodus 20 where Moses invites the children of Israel up the holy mount to meet their God face to face. 

Remember their response?

"And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die." (v.19)

They wanted a prophet, not God Himself, so they got what they desired. God is good - He truly gives you the desire of your heart.

If you pay attention to Exodus 20 and Israels rejection of an intimate relationship with God...the chapters following Exodus chapter 20 get gnarly....rules that make my head quite perplexed and sometimes shocked. As I've pondered on those chapters where God writes an ancient handbook of instructions I came to the conclusion that they didn't want God, they wanted what they wanted. "Hey Moses, what about if a man steals an ox, or a sheep, and like - they kill it, or sell it...what rules do we have? Or like, if a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten and shall put in his beast, and like - you know, he feeds in another man's field, how should we handle that one? Or like, what do we do if a man shall deliver unto his neighbor money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man's house - what do you say we do?" You get the gist. 

Like the current handbook of instruction, if we aren't willing to engage with the Lord directly, then we must be commanded in all things. Are we so distant from the Lord that rulebooks and guidelines are considered equal to Holy Scripture with no mention of Seeking the Lord and His Righteousness? We are the chosen people, right? We know the way to salvation? Yet, we are modern day children of Israel saying, "President Nelson, if I want to take a picture in the chapel after sacrament meeting, what should I do? If I feel prejudice towards someone, is that okay with the church? How should I dress and groom myself? Can I be cremated and still be resurrected?" You get the gist.

Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. (Jeremiah 17:5)

President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel–said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church–that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls–applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall–that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds…”
TPJS p.237
The second thing that is heartbreaking is the blindness and hardheartedness and refusal of members to not only see where we are at, but to see it as a problem at all. If we are at the point where we need rules, rules, and more rules, we are so far strayed from the spirit we claim to be in possession of. From the words of the hymn, 'Let the Holy Spirit Guide':

1. Let the Holy Spirit guide;
Let him teach us what is true.
He will testify of Christ,
Light our minds with heaven’s view.

2. Let the Holy Spirit guard;
Let his whisper govern choice.
He will lead us safely home
If we listen to his voice.

3. Let the Spirit heal our hearts
Thru his quiet, gentle pow’r.
May we purify our lives
To receive him hour by hour.

I often wonder if the Book of Mormon Prophets were to show up at one of our Sacrament meetings if they would be "exceedingly astonished." The structure, the repeated phrases, the unilateral uniformity. Moroni shows us a pattern of what his sacrament meetings looked like: (Moroni 6)
9 And their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost; for as the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done.

One of my favorite Book of Mormon moments is in Mosiah 26 when King Mosiah gives Alma authority over the church. In this chapter, the children of the people who listened to King Benjamin were too young to understand the words of King Benjamin and so they grew up not believing in Christ and were causing many to commit sin. Alma was deeply troubled. He didn't know what they had done personally but many witnesses came testified against them.

Alma had a conundrum. He was, "troubled in his spirit." And so what did he do? He went to King Mosiah and essentially said, "Help! You take this one." And King Mosiah, being a great leader said, "Behold, I judge them not; therefore I deliver them into thy hands to be judged."

Alma is stressed out, troubled to the max. He has the weight of grievous sins of the church members on his mind and heart. Things in the church were going so well since King Benjamin died. This was all too much. And Alma had been a sinner himself at one time in King Noah's court. How can he judge them. Alma's relief and answer could only come from one source and it wasn't a handbook of instruction on do's and don'ts and how to's...

13 And now the spirit of Alma was again troubled; and he went and inquired of the Lord what he should do concerning this matter, for he feared that he should do wrong in the sight of God.

14 And it came to pass that after he had poured out his whole soul to God, the voice of the Lord came to him, saying:

15 Blessed art thou, Alma, and blessed are they who were baptized in the waters of Mormon. Thou art blessed because of thy exceeding faith in the words alone of my servant Abinadi.

16 And blessed are they because of their exceeding faith in the words alone which thou hast spoken unto them.

17 And blessed art thou because thou hast established a church among this people; and they shall be established, and they shall be my people.

18 Yea, blessed is this people who are willing to bear my name; for in my name shall they be called; and they are mine.

19 And because thou hast inquired of me concerning the transgressor, thou art blessed.

20 Thou art my servant; and I covenant with thee that thou shalt have eternal life; and thou shalt serve me and go forth in my name, and shalt gather together my sheep.

In that moment, Alma received eternal life. He received a DIRECT covenant with the LORD that he would have eternal life. And how did it all come about? "Because thou hast inquired of me concerning the transgressor". Thank goodness that King Mosiah told Alma to solve the situation. Because of Alma's fear to do wrong in the sight of the Lord, he was blessed. He received Eternal Life.

How many mistakes have been made in leadership positions because they consulted a book rather than the Lord? How many missed opportunities to wrestle with the Lord in prayer over another soul, fearing to do wrong in His sight? How many times would He have gathered you as a hen gatherers her chicks, and you would not? I heard a speaker say, "I once paid $1,000 for advice that I could have received after an hour on my knees."
D&C 58: 26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.   

It Starts Right Here
Casting Crowns

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Invite The Cross To Do Its Deadly Work Within Us

It is my guess this post will be skim worthy and boring to most. A lot of my posts are boring I guess. When I see the statistical analysis on this blog, the posts that focus most on Jesus get the least amount of views and shares. I don't care though, because frankly...I love Jesus. 

A.W. Tozer said:
“It is now common practice in most evangelical churches to offer the people, especially the young people, a maximum of entertainment and a minimum of serious instruction. It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God. One can only conclude that God's professed children are bored with Him, for they must be wooed to meeting with a stick of striped candy in the form of religious movies, games and refreshments.”
― A.W. Tozer, Man: The Dwelling Place of God

Rome, Italy Temple (link)

“And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent” Matthew 27:51

“I want the presence of God Himself, or I don't want anything at all to do with religion... I want all that God has or I don't want any.”
― A.W. Tozer

“The Church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshiping men. This she has not done deliberately, but little by little and without her knowledge; and her very unawareness only makes her situation all the more tragic.”
― A.W. Tozer
Removing the Veil 
by A.W.Tozer
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus" - Heb. 10:19
Among the famous sayings of the Church fathers none is better known than Augustine's, "Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee."

The great saint states here in few words the origin and interior history of the human race. God made us for Himself...should faulty education and perverse reasoning lead a man to conclude otherwise, there is little that any Christian can do for him. For such a man I have no message. My appeal is addressed to those who have been previously taught in secret by the wisdom of God; I speak to thirsty hearts whose longings have been wakened by the touch of God within them, and such as they need no reasoned proof. Their restless hearts furnish all the proof they need.

"Question: What is the chief End of Man? Answer: Man's chief End is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." With this agree the four and twenty elders who fall on their faces to worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, saying, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." (Revelation 4:11)

God formed us for His pleasure, and so formed us that we as well as He can in divine communion enjoy the sweet and mysterious mingling of kindred personalities. He meant us to see Him and live with Him and draw our life from His smile. But we have been guilty of that "foul revolt" ...describing the rebellion of Satan and his hosts. We have broken with God. We have ceased to obey Him or love Him and in guilt and fear have fled as far as possible from His Presence...and from that Presence we have fled, like Adam, to hide among the trees of the garden, or like Peter to shrink away crying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord."

The whole work of God in redemption is to undo the tragic effects of that foul revolt, and to bring us back again into right and eternal relationship with Himself. This required that our sins be disposed of satisfactorily, that a full reconciliation be effected and the way opened for us to return again into conscious communion with God and to live again in the Presence as before. Then comes His working within us - He moves us to return. This first comes to our notice when our restless hearts feel a yearning for the Presence of God and we say within ourselves, "I will arise and go to my Father." That is the first step...

The interior journey of the soul from the wilds of sin into the enjoyed Presence of God is beautifully illustrated in the Old Testament tabernacle. The returning sinner first entered the outer court where he offered a blood sacrifice on the brazen altar and washed himself in the laver that stood near it. Then through a veil he passed into the holy place where no natural light could come, but the golden candlestick which spoke of Jesus the Light of the World threw its soft glow over all. There also was the shewbread to tell of Jesus, the Bread of Life, and the altar, of incense, a figure of unceasing prayer.

Though the worshipper had enjoyed so much, still he had not yet entered the Presence of God. Another veil separated from the Holy of Holies where above the mercy seat dwelt the very God Himself in awful and glorious manifestation. While the tabernacle stood, only the high priest could enter there, and that but once a year, with blood which he offered for his sins and the sins of the people. It was this last veil which was rent when our Lord gave up the ghost on Calvary, and the sacred writer explains that this rending of the veil opened the way for every worshipper in the world to come by the new and living way straight into the divine Presence.

Everything in the New Testament accords with this Old Testament picture. Ransomed men need no longer pause in fear to enter the Holy of Holies. God wills that we should push on into His Presence and live our whole life there. This is to be known to us in conscious experience. It is more than a doctrine to be held, it is a life to be enjoyed every moment of every day.

This Flame of the Presence was the beating heart of the Levitical order. Without it all the appointments of the tabernacle were characters of some unknown language; they had no meaning for Israel or for us. The greatest fact of the tabernacle was that Jehovah was there; a Presence was waiting within the veil. Similarly the Presence of God is the central fact of Christianity... At the heart of the Christian message is God Himself waiting for His redeemed children to push in to conscious awareness of His Presence. That type of Christianity which happens now to be the vogue knows this Presence only in theory. It fails to stress the Christian's privilege of present realization. According to its teachings we are in the Presence of God position, ally, and nothing is said about the need to experience that Presence actually. Ignoble contentment takes the place of burning zeal. For the most part we bother ourselves very little about the absence of personal experience.

Who is this within the veil who dwells in fiery manifestations? It is none other than God Himself, "One God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible," and "One Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God; begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God; begotten, not made; being of one substance with the Father." Behind the veil is God...He waits to show Himself in ravishing fulness to the humble of soul and the pure in heart.

The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and the, Church is famishing for want of His Presence. The instant cure of most of our religious ills would be to enter the Presence in spiritual experience, to become suddenly aware that we are in God and that God is in us. This would lift us out of our pitiful narrowness and cause our hearts to be enlarged. This would burn away the impurities from our lives as the bugs and fungi were burned away by the fire that dwelt in the bush.

What a broad world to roam in, what a sea to swim in is this God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is eternal...Time began in Him and will end in Him...He is omniscient, which means that He knows in one free and effortless act all matter, all spirit, all relationships, all events. He has no past and He has no future. Love and mercy and righteousness are His, and holiness so ineffable that no comparisons or figures will avail to express it. Only fire can give even a remote conception of it. In fire He appeared at the burning bush; in the pillar of fire He dwelt through all the long wilderness journey. The fire that glowed between the wings of the cherubim in the holy place was called the "shekinah," the Presence, through the years of Israel's glory, and when the Old had given place to the New, He came at Pentecost as a fiery flame and rested upon each disciple.

Frederick Faber was one whose soul panted after God as the roe pants after the water brook, and the measure in which God revealed Himself to his seeking heart set the good man's whole life afire with a burning adoration rivaling that of the seraphim before the throne. 

His love for the Person of Christ was so intense that it threatened to consume him; it burned within him as a sweet and holy madness and flowed from his lips like molten gold. In one of his sermons he says, "Wherever we turn in the church of God, there is Jesus. He is the beginning, middle and end of everything to us .... There is nothing good, nothing holy, nothing beautiful, nothing joyous which He is not to a His servants. No one need be poor, because, if he chooses, he can have Jesus for his own property and possession. No one need be downcast, for Jesus is the joy of heaven, and it is His joy to enter into sorrowful hearts. We can exaggerate about many things; but we can never exaggerate our obligation to Jesus, or the compassionate abundance of the love of Jesus to us. All our lives long we might talk of Jesus, and yet we should never come to an end of the sweet things that might be said of Him. Eternity will not be long enough to learn all He is, or to praise Him for all He has done, but then, that matters not; for we shall be always with Him, and we desire nothing more." And addressing our Lord directly he says to Him:
I love Thee so, I know not how My transports to control; Thy love is like a burning fire Within my very soul.
I have risked the tedium of quotation that I might show by pointed example what I have set out to say, that God is so vastly wonderful, so utterly and completely delightful that He can, without anything other than Himself, meet and overflow the deepest demands of our total nature, mysterious and deep as that nature is. Such worship as Faber knew (and he is but one of a great company which no man can number) can never come from a mere doctrinal knowledge of God. Hearts that are "fit to break" with love for the Godhead are those who have been in the Presence and have looked with opened eye upon the majesty of Deity. Men of the breaking hearts had a quality about them not known to or understood by common men. They habitually spoke with spiritual authority. They had been in the Presence of God and they reported what they saw there. They were prophets, riot scribes, for the scribe tells us what he has read, and the prophet tells what he has seen.

The distinction is not an imaginary one. Between the scribe who has read and the prophet who has seen there is a difference as wide as the sea. We are today overrun with orthodox scribes, but the prophets, where are they? The hard voice of the scribe sounds over evangelicalism, but the Church waits for the tender voice of the saint who has penetrated the veil and has gazed with inward eye upon the Wonder that is God. And yet, thus to penetrate, to push in sensitive living experience into the holy Presence, is a privilege open to every child of God.

With the veil removed by the rending of Jesus' flesh, with nothing on God's side to prevent us from entering, why do we tarry without? Why do we consent to abide all our days just outside the Holy of Holies and never enter at all to look upon God? We hear the Bridegroom say, "Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice and thy countenance is comely." We sense that the call is for us, but still we fail to draw near, and the years pass and we grow old and tired in the outer courts of the tabernacle. What doth hinder us?

The answer usually given, simply that we are "cold," will not explain all the facts. There is something more serious than coldness of heart, something that may be back of that coldness and be the cause of its existence. What is it? What but the presence of a veil in our hearts? A veil not taken away as the first veil was, but which remains there still shutting out the light and hiding the face of God from us. It is the veil of our fleshly fallen nature living on, unjudged within us, uncrucified and unrepudiated. It is the close woven veil of the self-life which we have never truly acknowledged, of which we have been secretly ashamed, and which for these reasons we have never brought to the judgment of the cross. It is not too mysterious, this opaque veil, nor is it hard to identify. We have but to look in our own hearts and we shall see it there, sewn and patched and repaired it may be, but there nevertheless, an enemy to our lives and an effective block to our spiritual progress.

This veil is not a beautiful thing and it is not a thing about which we commonly care to talk, but I am addressing the thirsting souls who are determined to follow God, and I know they will not turn back because the way leads temporarily through the blackened hills. The urge of God within them will assure their continuing the pursuit. They will face the facts however unpleasant and endure the cross for the joy set before them. So I am bold to name the threads out of which this inner veil is woven.

It is woven of the fine threads of the self-life, the hyphenated sins of the human spirit. They are not something we do, they are something we are and therein lies both their subtlety and their power. Promoting self under the guise of promoting Christ is currently so common as to excite little notice...To tell all the truth, it seems actually to feed upon orthodoxy and is more at home in a Bible Conference than in a tavern. Our very state of longing after God may afford it an excellent condition under which to thrive and grow.

Self is the opaque veil that hides the Face of God from us. It can be removed only in spiritual experience, never by mere instruction. As well try to instruct leprosy out of our system. There must be a work of God in destruction before we are free. We must invite the cross to do its deadly work within us. We must bring our self-sins to the cross for judgment. We must prepare ourselves for an ordeal of suffering in some measure like that through which our Saviour passed when He suffered under Pontius Pilate.

Let us remember: when we talk of the rending of the veil we are speaking in a figure, and the thought of it is poetical, almost pleasant; but in actuality there is nothing pleasant about it. In human experience that veil is made of living spiritual tissue; it is composed of the sentient, quivering stuff of which our whole beings consist, and to touch it is to touch us where we feel pain. To tear it away is to injure us, to hurt us and make us bleed. To say otherwise is to make the cross no cross and death no death at all. It is never fun to die. To rip through the dear and tender stuff of which life is made can never be anything but deeply painful. Yet that is what the cross did to Jesus and it is what the cross would do to every man to set him free.

Let us beware of tinkering with our inner life in hope ourselves to rend the veil. God must do everything for us. Our part is to yield and trust. We must confess, forsake, repudiate the self-life, and then reckon it crucified. But we must be careful to distinguish lazy "acceptance" from the real work of God. We must insist upon the work being done. We dare not rest...being content with a neat doctrine of self-crucifixion. That neat doctrine is content to imitate Saul and spare the best of the sheep and the oxenInsist that the work be done in very truth and it will be done. The cross is rough, and it is deadly, but it is effective. It does not keep its victim hanging there forever. There comes a moment when its work is finished and the suffering victim dies. After that is resurrection glory and power, and the pain is forgotten for joy that the veil is taken away and we have entered in actual spiritual experience the Presence of the living God.
Lord, how excellent are Thy ways, and how devious and dark are the ways of man. Show us how to die, that we may rise again to newness of life. Rend the veil of our self-life from the top down as Thou didst rend the veil of the Temple. We would draw near in full assurance o f faith. W e would dwell with Thee in daily experience here on this earth so that we may be accustomed to the glory when we enter T by heaven to dwell with Thee there. In Jesus' name, Amen.



Bethany Worship

Ruth here: I recently watched a YouTube video of a young man who died and went to heaven. I wasn't interested in watching it but I had a couple hours of stacking wood to do and since it kept appearing in my YouTube feed, I clicked on it and listened. I'm glad I did. What I got from it was vital for me. The young man said that in God's presence you only desired to do His will. You awaited His every command. THAT is what this life is about. You are given free will, we all are. And we sure do use it to it's fullest. But it's time to put off the prodigal and stand at the Throne...seeking His Will in all things. 

If interested, I will attach a link to that man's experience. I want to give a disclaimer - I don't think anyone is an expert on heaven. I listened to his experience. It was accurate and real to him and it taught me things because I left out judgment.

Link here:

Sunday, November 29, 2020

The evil habit of seeking God-and....

These writings are excerpts from author A.W. Tozer who wrote these things over 70 years ago and are still just as applicable today.

My soul followeth hard after thee: 
thy right hand upholdeth me. 
-- Psa.63:8

Christian theology teaches the doctrine of prevenient grace, which briefly stated means this, that before a man can seek God, God must first have sought the man.

Before a sinful man can think a right thought of God, there must have been a work of enlightenment done within him; imperfect it may be, but a true work nonetheless, and the secret cause of all desiring and seeking and praying which may follow.

We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit. "No man can come to me," said our Lord, "except the Father which hath sent me draw him," and it is by this very prevenient drawing that God takes from us every vestige of credit for the act of coming. The impulse to pursue God originates with God, but the outworking of that impulse is our following hard after Him; and all the time we are pursuing Him we are already in His hand: "Thy right hand upholdeth me."

The doctrine of justification by faith -- a Biblical truth -- has in our time fallen into evil company and been interpreted by many in such manner as actually to bar men from the knowledge of God. The whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless. Faith may now be exercised without a moral life and without embarrassment to the Adamic ego. Christ may be "received" without creating any special love for Him in the soul of the receiver. The man is "saved," but he is not hungry nor thirsty after God. In fact he is specifically taught to be satisfied and encouraged to be content with little.

God is a Person, and in the deep of His mighty nature He thinks, wills, enjoys, feels, loves, desires and suffers as any other person may. In making Himself known to us He stays by the familiar pattern of personality. He communicates with us through the avenues of our minds, our wills and our emotions. The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the soul of the redeemed man is the throbbing heart of New Testament religion.

You and I are in little (our sins excepted) what God is in large. Being made in His image we have within us the capacity to know Him. In our sins we lack only the power. The moment the Spirit has quickened us to life in regeneration our whole being senses its kinship to God and leaps up in joyous recognition. That is the heavenly birth without which we cannot see the Kingdom of God. It is, however, not an end but an inception, for now begins the glorious pursuit, the heart's happy exploration of the infinite riches of the Godhead. That is where we begin, I say, but where we stop no man has yet discovered, for there is in the awful and mysterious depths of the Triune God neither limit nor end.

Shoreless Ocean, who can sound Thee?
Thine own eternity is round Thee,
Majesty divine!

To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul's paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart. St. Bernard stated this holy paradox in a musical quatrain that will be instantly understood by every worshipping soul:

We taste Thee, O Thou Living Bread,
And long to feast upon Thee still:
We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.

Come near to the holy men and women of the past and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God. They mourned for Him, they prayed and wrestled and sought for Him day and night, in season and out, and when they had found Him the finding was all the sweeter for the long seeking. Moses used the fact that he knew God as an argument for knowing Him better. "Now, therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight"; and from there he rose to make the daring request, "I beseech thee, show me thy glory." God was frankly pleased by this display of ardor, and the next day called Moses into the mount, and there in solemn procession made all His glory pass before him.

David's life was a torrent of spiritual desire, and his psalms ring with the cry of the seeker and the glad shout of the finder. Paul confessed the mainspring of his life to be his burning desire after Christ. "That I may know Him," was the goal of his heart, and to this he sacrificed everything. "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may win Christ."

Hymnody is sweet with the longing after God. "His track I see and I'll pursue," sang our fathers only a short generation ago, but that song is heard no more in the great congregation. How tragic that we in this dark day have had our seeking done for us by our teachers. Thus the whole testimony of the worshipping, seeking, singing Church on that subject is crisply set aside. The experiential heart-theology of a grand army of fragrant saints is rejected in favor of a smug interpretation of Scripture which would certainly have sounded strange to an Augustine, a Rutherford or a Brainerd.

In the midst of this great chill there are some, I rejoice to acknowledge, who will not be content with shallow logic. They will admit the force of the argument, and then turn away with tears to hunt some lonely place and pray, "O God, show me thy glory." They want to taste, to touch with their hearts, to see with their inner eyes the wonder that is God.

I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain.

Every age has its own characteristics. Right now we are in an age of religious complexity. The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us. In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart. The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and that servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all.

If we would find God amid all the religious externals we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity. Now as always God discovers Himself to "babes" and hides Himself in thick darkness from the wise and the prudent. We must simplify our approach to Him. We must strip down to essentials (and they will be found to be blessedly few). We must put away all effort to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood. If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond.

When religion has said its last word, there is little that we need other than God Himself. The evil habit of seeking God-and effectively prevents us from finding God in full revelation. In the "and" lies our great woe. If we omit the "and" we shall soon find God, and in Him we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing.

We need not fear that in seeking God only we may narrow our lives or restrict the motions of our expanding hearts. The opposite is true. We can well afford to make God our All, to concentrate, to sacrifice the many for the One.

When the Lord divided Canaan among the tribes of Israel Levi received no share of the land. God said to him simply, "I am thy part and thine inheritance," and by those words made him richer than all his brethren, richer than all the kings and rajas who have ever lived in the world. And there is a spiritual principle here, a principle still valid for every priest of the Most High God.

The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness. Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately and forever.

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

I'd Rather Have Jesus