Monday, October 07, 2013

The Glory We Continue to Miss

II Cor.9: 15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
I Pet.1: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

We all have precious or exciting memories. When your football team won the championship; when your children were born; that new car smell; the day you graduated; and some other days or events are still etched in your mind. But even though you can remember with great fondness these things you can never get the same exact feeling in all its depth. What you felt at the time cannot be fully replicated. You can feel a piece of it but not the entire experience you did at the first.

But that is just one of many things which set our spiritual lives apart from anything upon this earth. Yes, I can remember when I first became born again and when Jesus came to take up redemptive residence with my being. It was exhilarating to say the least. But I have found an amazing truth over almost forty years. I still can experience the same feeling I had on that first part of my journey. In fact, I have grown in my knowledge of Him and I now know more of who He is and what He has done than I did back in 1975. And with that sacred knowledge my communion and worship has only intensified. It is true.

There are certain moments when I cannot help but cry because of who He is and what He has done in the face of who I am and what I have done. I pray you understand that sentence. The more I see of Him combined with the more I see of myself the more I am lifted upon wings of miraculous glory and the more I become a broken vessel of worship and service for Christ. And the residual emotion I can feel is sometimes so intense and so unspeakable that I cannot even share in words what my inward being is experiencing.

Can you identify with what I am saying and can you say “Amen!”? But some professing believers have no idea what I am saying. To them a perfunctory trip to a building on Sunday mornings is the extent of their worship experience. That is profoundly sad since if they truly are believers they have missed the glory of His presence and how it can and does affect you. If Christianity is nothing more than a few moral rules coupled with a church service then it is little more than a religious practice void of the spiritual power which is inherent in the Person of Christ.

This “so great salvation” is so much more than just a set of doctrines and statements of faith. If all we have are written truths as the evidence of our faith then our faith is an innocuous belief system which is expressed through pen and paper but without the living, breathing revelation of those beliefs. And since unbelievers do not read much less search the Scriptures just how will they come in contact with Jesus? Certainly the Holy Spirit draws sinners, but that same Spirit wishes to completely control our lives and render us as earthly conduits of the eternal glory of the Son of God.

And there is only one path to that kind of glory. Death. You and I must die to ourselves which is no easy task since we have grown very fond of ourselves and the voice of our fleshly lusts. Let us not kid ourselves. Even Paul had to die daily. I have found that kind of death to self is a moment by moment challenge which manifests different levels of success. I have discovered a curious thing in this regard. Over almost forty years I have left a church service, and even preached in one, only to within the hour exhibit a selfish and carnal attitude. But rarely have I left the glory of the prayer closet where I was broken by His presence and then I so quickly was stripped of His power. I am saying that the very key to spiritual power and broken Christlikeness is found in prayer and in His presence.

What could compare with His presence? The church has satisfied itself with all sorts of activities, marriage and finance seminars, and moral crusades while how passionately do we seek His very face/presence? Let us be very honest here. The church at large has been satisfied to have church without His presence. And music and gimmicks have replaced His presence. But without prayer, humility, and self denial God’s presence will remain aloof. People will stand in line for hours upon hours to see some group or to be first in line at a store’s big sale and yet they will spend almost no time sacrificially seeking His glorious face.

Think about that for a moment. Here is the Creator who suffered and died to ransom us and to be the only sacrifice for our sins and our theology suggests we have eternal life through Jesus and yet we treat Him with such indifference? Can there be any greater shame?

If I should gain the lowest and meanest place in heaven I shall consider myself to have been give infinitely more than I ever deserved. (CH Spurgeon)

If we put what we say we believe in neon lights for the whole world to see, and then we juxtapose our lips and lives upon that incandescent sign, would not the world think us the very epitome of hypocrisy? I am not saying we are unbelievers, but if we are really honest the accepted version of the Christian faith has become a tacit acknowledgement of Jesus but an energetic construction of a life which excites the flesh, satisfies carnal desires, and generally meshes nicely with a fallen western lifestyle. Oh how we could know so much more of our Blessed Savior if we wholly rejected this world and sought His wonderful face with all of our hearts! In many ways we treat Christ Jesus as some kind of martyr and not the Lord of all Lords.

And so here we are…content with scraps and only musing about the unspeakable glory which is available to all who diligently seek Him while denying themselves. Oh the power of this world and all its deceptive allurements. Here stands the church looking over the wall and seeing from afar the glory of the Risen Christ and the eternal feast He has prepared, and yet we are being distracted by cotton candy. Only a true God-sent revival will wake us from our self serving sleep and guide us into the King's glorious chamber.


Anonymous said...

In the comment square, it says 'no comment' and that's how I feel, yet I want to comment, but can't delve deep within my heart to know what I can say here.

Of course, it's Amen! It's all true. Deep personal prayer and seeking is the only real way. Unfortunately, I can't get there. Sometimes I don't feel human. I can't get in that place. Maybe it's my personality, or DNA, or it's the chronic pain everywhere that keeps my mind focused on the flesh, and I can't get through the headachy maze from my brain to my heart, but I cannot pray in that deep spiritual way that so many say they can. I feel left out and like a spiritual misfit toy.

When I was fully born-again, I was miraculously filled with His Spirit and spoke in tongues and for two years, I could suddenly just, in my heart, go to prayer and commune with Him and felt He was listening and responding. And many things ensued that were miraculous, in the way He answered me and ministered to us, my family.

But those days seemed to be a 'season' for me. Life and disappointment and chronic illness and job loss, home loss, financial loss, and family crises and everything just came down on us so hard, and at the same time dealing with a mother with an abusive personality disorder who had a stroke and needed care and placement in a nursing home. I was sick, depressed, lonely, yet was in a church. I was full of anger because my only sibling and sister would not help and ignored my mom and her needs, while she was jumping from one relationship to another. I found out my mom's account was drained of thousands of dollars and could only conclude my sister, who was in charge at that time was playing around with monies. This all happened while my family moved 3 times in one year from city to city, looking for work.

Now, I don't have the energy to be part of a church, my mother passed away, we have no family, friends, and my husband and I are celebrating alone our 35th wedding anniversary today. There is no joy in our lives, no fellowship with other christians, just worry about our sons who are in the world. No 'time out' from our financial trials. No 'time out' from worry about where we live if we can't make the mortgage payment this month. It's too much to bear and why I can't go to the Lord and feel His presence, I don't know.

Just sharing this with strangers and realizing how so many of us are all so different. We are composed of our circumstances, our childhood, positive or negative, our physical health, our mental health, and all the usual stresses put upon us every day. And then, we hear how the wicked rule the earth and can do so much damage and yet never seem to get caught. Politicians playing games with people's lives and we are helpless. The news, the atmosphere is ripe with misery and there is nothing this world offers to give true joy. I know it's found in Christ, but that's a whole process and I'm still not there. I wonder if there are other christians out there who would admit these things as well? Every christian I've said this to, years ago, would rebuke me and hush me up and treat me like an unruly child and throw a hundred verses at me, ones that say, we have to have thorns in our flesh, or that we can overcome by praying more, or that we can offer our suffering and see it as some kind of future benefit. Just wondering why I'm such a misfit. I don't even fit in with the unchurched.


Cherie c. said...

Happy Anniversary Jackie!

Love you sister! Miss you too!

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Dear J, the first to do is to desire to stop making statements like: Just wondering why I'm such a misfit. I don't even fit in with the unchurched.

Be encouraged J, for Jesus said that in this world His followers would have trouble but He also said He has overcome the world.

If you look at your commentaries you will notice that often they feature no scripture at all. I would encouage you to go back to Psalm 1! Study it very earnestly then start desiring to have the same witness as the Psalmist.

Endeavour to treasure this Psalm and ask the LORD to grow in you anew a delight in His Word. Delighting in His Word and delighting in Jesus and experiencing His joy are linked together.

Praise Him for His gift of salvation, for He truly is worthy of praise. Truly the joy of the Lord Jesus is our strength.

Reine Gnade

ChristopherV said...

J. - I hear you. I'd like to speak with you if you would. Email me anytime:

In Him,


Cherie c. said...

Part one:
We all have moments of weakness everyday whether we realize it or not. We also face other hurts and doubts everyday. We lose our way and then feel stupid when we regain our direction. This I am told is part of Sanctification.

It is a way for us to lean ever more upon the Lord. To Trust Only in Him completely. I am guilty of not realizing that and feeling stupid.

So I have made it my focus these past few months to devour as much of His Word as possible. To seek Him, to keep Him in front of me, clinging desperately. Asking, seeking, knocking. He didn't answer right away. But then again, I could have been more diligent. I am far from perfect.

But when He did, I was blessed beyond measure. When the eyes of my understanding was opened, it was more than a feeling, it was a glimpse, however small, of the Glory we will share. I have spent too much time in fear and doubt and stepped out in boldness to seek Him. Not demanding, but humbly seeking, and with a sincere desire to know Him more. I am not great, no where near it. But it hurts when I share this with other brothers and sisters and they mock me. Why?

I only want for them what difficult seeking and reading and prayer, not even diligent prayer has done for me. Because it was Jesus centered, not me centered. If anyone were to see me they would laugh at me. I am studying Isaiah and I approach that book with trepidation. I have sat with the chapter in front of me and just stare at it waiting for the courage to read it. Why? Because it speaks of wrath, then the salvation comes. It is a hard book to get through. Yet is also shows me the character of God and I want to know. Truth hurts when it should my mother used to say. If only she know how profoundly correct she was, but not on a spiritual level. God's truth hurts when it should. If my sharing with you a blessing and we disagree about some things, please don't mock me or say things that make it seem like you are jealous. I am not trying to make you feel bad. I only want to share with you, my brothers and sisters the Joy of the Lord. God knows I have share too much despair with you. Why do you reject me when I share the joy?

If your lack of seeking the Lord makes you jealous of those who do, then recognize this ass a conviction and thank God for His correction. How do I say this, which some will take it as boasting? Because I was there. I was the one listening to a brother or sister who gave their all to get to know God and His Word, and see them beaming from the blessing their study was rewarded with. I was jealous! Why, because my flesh is prideful. I was lazy, still am to a point. But when I was convicted of my laziness, due to my flesh, I wanted to lash out. Instead, this time, I let the conviction deal with me. How humbling it is to see who you are through the eyes of God. Makes you want to crawl under a rock.

Cherie c. said...

Part two:

There is a time that is coming where the invisible church will be persecuted because we will no longer be invisible. Things are happening now that will force us to come out in the open. Will you be equipped? Will you be ready" Will we continue to miss the Glory that God has more than said come seek it, seek me, and find Him and His Glory through His Son!

I am a woman of 51 years of age who has spent the better part of my life making excuses, blaming others, rejecting correction only to find myself behind. One day you will go to biblegateway and you will not find a Bible there that is authentic. Meaning that one day, and one day soon, the version of the Bible that is not altered will be gone. We see new versions come out every week it seems. One day you will only have false doctrine in which to feed your soul. Now is the time to repent, ask for forgiveness, and seek the Lord!

I no longer have an excuse. I no longer can get away with being lazy. Now is the time to entrench myself in the Word of God so that when they do take away my Bible, I won't need it. I will have His truth so deep in my mind, soul and heart that I won't need paper. But I also look forward to hearing Jesus teach us His Word at his feet. Oh, John wrote that there is so much more to know about Jesus, I can hardly wait.

The Word of God was illuminated to me the other night after months of seeking truth. It was so overwhelming I melted into tears of thanksgiving because He thought me worthy to finally know the answer to a question I have had for months now. It was a laborious, hurtful time, but so worth it. This does not make me great. On the contrary, it makes me stupid to have not done this sooner, and no sooner after the joy there was the conviction. I was convicted of not seeking Him more earnestly. The reward is sweet. The conviction painful. But that is what we are supposed to go through. It is called Sanctification.

You can mock me if it helps you deal with your own laziness, but I will still love you anyway. I have been where you are more times than I care to admit, but when faced enough with the same old same old, perhaps you too can seek more diligently the Lord. When you reap the reward that true study of the Word brings, I will be here waiting to hear all about it. I want to share in your joy. I promise I will not mock you. I am certain that I will come upon a period of laziness once again. God forgive me. But I pray it won't be for long. Time is so short. So very short. My prayer this day is God's blessing on your efforts to seek Him, see His Glory. That you find a period where you focus solely upon Him and His Word. That you reap the reward of deeper truth and knowledge of Him. To cherish this as more precious that gold or even your loved ones. That when you melt into tears and fall upon your face it is with great humility and joy unspeakable. I can't wait for you to be closer to our Lord like never before. These times make us stronger. I used to seek the help of man. No longer. I covert all the time I can to seek, knock, and spend time with Him and His Word.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus, May the Grace, Peace and the Love of our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with you this day.

Cherie c.

Cherie c. said...

Please forgive my spelling errors. Tgsnks

Anonymous said...

So sorry to lay it thick on friends here, from my post yesterday. "The Glory we continue to Miss" provoked me to comment like that, as it is exactly where this last days church needs to be. If I don't get this in my soul now, I won't be ready for what's to come.

My faith walk has been distracted with 'things' and 'defeats' that pull me hither and tither, and what Bro. Rick wrote, "missing the joy of his presence" is something I miss, even though I've felt it before. My son just called up after I read this post yesterday and shared a story. He met a girl who had been affectged by a young man, a baptist christian, yet he was all about 'works'. This girl was stirred by his testimony but she didn't like how he acted when not talking 'church'. So, my son shared with me that, after his conversation with her, that he (my son) wished he could get back to the early days of his salvation and feel the joy of his presence". So both of us were on the same page at the same time, and this post came out that morning. THank the Lord. This is a powerful witness that the Spirit is also at play in our lives, as well as the Word. My son is trying to live the christian life in a secular world and he's being tugged into the music industry and needs prayer.

THank you, Chris Vanning, for the kind offer to reach you. I hope you'll find that joy in His presence too. I believe we will, and when we're weak, He comes to us. I have to live by faith, and show it in my words here. Sometimes, my faith goes way off and I speak my negative vibes before I should.

Even in my days or moments of doubts and lack of faith, I know we CAN, through the Lord, now matter how, wake up and get back into His glorious chamber. But, we need the Body of Christ, to all help each other out through prayer to ask the Lord to get us there. Am certain that Brother Rick is praying for us, as all here. We can lift each other up, and lift the weaker ones up to the Lord. I believe it because the Bible says so. Amen.


Anonymous said...

Cherie, thanks for sharing with us so honestly and passionately.

My understanding is that when we are saved we are no longer in hiding from the LORD. The LORD longs for us to come boldly before His throne of grace and not to hide under a rock!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Cherie wrote, You can mock me if it helps you deal with your own laziness, but I will still love you anyway.

Cherie, in my opinion mocking begets mocking. Mocking hinders rather than helps someone deal with their problem of being spiritually lazy. Spiritual laziness or indifference can't be solved by sinful man. What is needed is the miraculous intervention of Almighty God.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Jackie. I missed reading your ultra calm comments! Good to see you edifying the unchurched again!

Josef Sefton

Martine said...

Thank you :) I agree wholeheartedly with you!

It is through our passionate journey to seek and feel His presence that we become authentic in our Christian faith. By going on this journey, we affect our progress only by growing more Christ-like- turning our flesh-nature into Christ-nature, if I can say that ;). There is no feeling that one can experience that supersedes the absolute joy and rapture that takes over the soul, mind and body of a person who 'connects', even for brief moments, with his maker, the Living God. God does live within every single creature on this Earth, but He values the human above all, because he/she has the ability to return His love and to worship Him by choice and desire. I believe it is God's joy that surges through us by way of the Holy Spirit, when we are 'connected'.

That connection is, in effect, an internal, spiritual revival that can and should also take place on a societal level, if humanity wants to have any hope for peace, joy and genuine love among itself.

Anonymous said...

When I was unsaved on some ocassions I felt connected to God. I felt blissful joy when I listened to a Beethoven Piano or Violin Concerto. I also felt loved by my parents but many years later I realized that I was unsaved!
Although I had experienced many deep beautiful and edifying emotions according to the Bible I was also spiritually dead.

Dear readers, connections can sever but if anyone is in Christ they are a new creation!

A child of God is in Christ.

Dear readers, it is most important to know that man's will needs to be submitted to God's will! Do you feel connected to God and know nothing about Lord Jesus Christ? Then go and search for a Holy Bible and start reading the NewTestament. Let the author of the Holy Bible really connect with you! An occassional connection is not enough- you must be born again!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Galatians 5
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to
the other;

The works of our flesh are sinful, Christ is sinless!

Galatians 5
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Jesus died on the cross to offer sinful man a way to inherit the kingdom of God.Let's look to Him to teach us about the importance of His atoning sacrifice, so that we can wholeheartedly trust His witness and have praise in our heart for gracious love towards us!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

I will say AMEN to this, Brother Rick.

It seems to me that just about all who come to Rick's blog have some sort of physical disability. I have it also. But, everytime I want to complain or tell someone about this struggle the Lord stops me and I am reminded of Paul who kept going forward to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in spite of his physical problem.

Everytime we start fretting or lamenting about our problem we are not allowing the GLORY of GOD to shine through our lives. I will say this again, it is not about me or us, it is about our Risen Savior, our Redeemer, Jesus.

If we want to see the Glory of God, keep up the work He has given each one of us to do. And that Glory that we all want to see will be there. It will not be long before we hear that trumpet blast and see with these bespecticaled eyes Jesus in all His glory coming on a cloud. Praise God, Praise Jesus.

I almost forgot, I hope that Jackie and her husband had a fine anniversary.


Anonymous said...

Well said Joel, but if someone still had this same body how could they live a totally different life? All those in the presence of Jesus will not be wearing glasses and viewing Him through eyes plagued by disease, for He is going to bless true believers with a new body that is appropriate for a new exciting life!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Reine, I am talking about just before we are changed, in the twinkling of an eye. For an instant we shall hear the trumpet with the ears that we have now and I beleive with these eyes of flesh, for an instant, we shall see Jesus on a cloud. Do you think that that twinkling is just the glink of the sun or is it the absolute glory of Jesus, the Son of God, returning to claim us?


Cherie c. said...

I understand what you're saying Joel, but I disagree. If I can't, on occasion, be fed up with this body and look to my brothers and sisters, then who can I turn too. Jesus said to encourage one another. We leaned from Paul himself about his infirmities. Paul encouraged Timothy when he heard of his discomfort.

I would hope that anyone who is down or upset with this life to run to me for a kind word, or just to listen. It is those who complain about everything that I have a problem with. Those who never seem to have any joy are just ungrateful. Part of the Christian life is to be thankful in and out of despair. Jesus never said that life would be easy and if we cannot rely upon each other it is very sad indeed, and I might add, unbiblical.

Dear brother, I am here if you need to vent as we share the same inward groaning to be with our Savior and Lord. Our flesh tries to get the best of us and we all need encouragement from time to time. We are not alone as we are in Christ, but the Word also says to support those in the Faith as the day draws closer.

I hope I can come to you for a word of encouragement or just to fellowship. To be able to come to any one of my brothers and sisters and feel welcomed.

Has anyone heard from Kim lately? I have not and I wonder about how she is doing. I will give her a call and let you know how she is doing.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Annette said...

Great post Pastor cut to the heart for I wept profusely.

And Happy Anniversary to Jackie and your husband, ditto Joel's last comment! May you be richly blessed in the ways of our LORD all of your days here on earth.

Anonymous said...

Cherie, my malady is hereditary, there is not much that can be done about it. So I do not dwell upon something I can not do much about. What good would it do me or you to vent as you put it. We do not have because we do not ask. You know what I am talking about, it is going to the Father and asking for Him to work through us. Yes He can heal anything that is wrong with us, but to what purpose.

I have to remember that I was reared up differently than most. My parents were missionaries. I worked as a cowboy for several years before I married and had children. That life toughens a person up. Because you mostly are performing your duties far off from the main ranch site and all that work there. You are by yourself, breakfast, lunch and dinner. The only ones you have to talk to are your horses and a dog, who helps when you need it. They were all good listeners!

I learned also that God was not far away during those times either.

If my words seem hard, forgive me. That is who I am.