Monday, December 01, 2014

Being His Light

Jn.1: In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Matt.6: 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

When light becomes darkness then the darkness with become greater and greater. And when darkness is called light then those seeking light embrace darkness. And so we live in a day where the light has become darkness and yet is still called light. Men and women are preaching darkness and calling it light and people are embracing darkness thinking it is light. And the churches which have a little light are claiming that have all light based upon what they say they believe. And millions upon millions of professing believers are championing causes which have nothing to do with the gospel which is the source of light in this age.

And here we stand, brothers and sisters. It seems to be getting worse and worse by the day. The light of the gospel is hidden under bushels of morality, social justice, money, ecumenism, nationalism, and a general and powerful narcissism. Truly we are in the last days. And in these there is a remnant who are being called to a greater personal responsibility. No longer can we trust the church as our guide since it has been so compromised as to be little more than a social/religious community center. So what do we do?

The situation is so overwhelming that there is no remedy especially a remedy which can be planned out with human strategies. I believe there must be a revival of prayer. That seems so simple but in practice it is a monumental undertaking. We have become so obsessed with the cares of this world that prayer is just one of many parts of our lives if indeed it is a part at all. And we have grown up in an ecclesiastical climate which promotes prayer while diminishing it in practice. And we all have been affected and infected with the practices of a backslidden and compromised church.

And dare I say because of this carnal climate we have lost sight of what true and spiritual prayer is and should be. Because of television and entertainment and a laundry list of other things not only has prayer been muscled out but we are now quite ignorant concerning prayer. The believer who prays for five minutes a day is now a prayer warrior. And if you here some of the prayers coming from the pulpit you will hear such shallow and redundant offerings so as to be a recording of last week’s pitiful prayer. It is a great tragedy

But here is where I will exhort me and exhort you. I have used the arbitrary date of 1/1/15 as a starting date for searching and digging the rich spiritual ground called the teachings of Jesus. And in that vein I will be posting the words that came from His human lips but were eternal in the heavens. You see, I believe the only way to follow Jesus is to devour His words and dig deep into their essence by the illumination of the Spirit. But in the past several months I believe I have been corrected by the Spirit concerning the absolute necessity of prayer if we ever hope to not only more fully understand His words, but if we desire to infuse His words and the power into our hearts and lives.

So I am also going to strongly exhort all of us, me first, to seek with power and diligence to apprehend a more determined and a more profound and a more soul searching prayer life. The world needs light and they should find it in those who claim His name. And the only way we can be the light of the world is if His words and His Spirit control our lives and completely overshadow us with Him. Is that not the call of a disciple? Is that not what John the Baptist meant when he said, “He must increase but I must decrease”?

For too long we have elevated the Word even though our practice of it has been suspect. But we have minimized the practice of prayer as an integral and indispensible part of knowing and obeying the that same Word. And where there is little prayer there is little power. And so “orthodoxy” s become a powerless banner which most times elevates us rather than Christ.

But I am convinced that there is a world of untapped wonder that can only be experienced through prayer. In the Tabernacle of Moses the altar of incense stood for prayer.

Rev.8: And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.

And this altar stood up against the fabric wall which separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies wherein the Ark of the Covenant was. And upon the mercy seat between the two cherubim was the glory and presence of God. And when the incense burned upon the altar of incense the smoke would waft over into the Holy of Holies. Do you get the picture? Our prayers reach the very presence of God. It is a glorious mystery and a gracious gift to every true believer. But who among us can say we have used that gift to its fullest?

Prayer is a portal into God’s presence. It will change us. It will break us. It will provide for us. It will astound us. It will bring revelation. And most important of all it will glorify our God. Let us covenant to make this new year a year of prayer and the Words of Jesus. That should not be a novelty. It should have been a staple of the church for lo these many centuries.

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