So how is it going putting FIRST things FIRST? You know the direction from the Master found in Matthew 6:33.
I must admit for me the past two weeks have been spent peeking behind the will of God to the seconds and thirds I am desiring and my soul is hurting.
You see it’s winter break time to a warmer climb and this year not only is that preparation in order but we are anticipating a move from Chicago to Atlanta once our house sells. Yep, once our house sells.
Distraction from times of rich PRESENCE with the MASTER are being eaten up with anticipation,anxiety and uncertainty. Truly a foreign land for me and one I must leave with intention and purpose if I am to truly realize what I am looking for in this strange land- the land of seconds and thirds. I must return to the land of FIRST-PRESENCE the RADIANT LIGHT OF CHRIST showing me the way in an intimate, loving and compassionate constant conversation.
Today I read a passage that began to alert me to my soul condition;2 Cor. 4-ALL OF IT.
Check this out
2 Corinthians 4
1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[b] Since we have that same spirit of[c] faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Once again I was reminded that it is only by us walking intimately with the TRINITARIAN PRESENCE that we have LIGHT, that we have LIFE. And the way we walk, abide with CHRIST is through the Spiritual Disciplines. Our prayer time, our study time, our meditation time, our solitude time, our scripture memorization, our fasting and abstaining time, our time to submit and to live simply, our time to worship and to celebrate, our time to confess to one another our transgressions.
To so many who warm a pew once a week the paragraph above is not their experience so they are left groping and hoping for a better deal on the other side when they could experience a strong and abundant taste of the other side now. The point of what Jesus is saying in Matthew 4:17 is His heads up that the Kingdom of God has come near and John 15:5-8 and John 17:3 is the path to achieve his desire for all mankind. His agenda is not foremost to get us to heaven later but TO GET HEAVEN IN US NOW!!!!
HEAVEN IN US NOW:: A life clothed in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bearing with and forgiving one another and holding up LOVE as the fruit that holds it all together in perfect unity.
I remarked to a brother recently that we utilize as Apprentices of Christ so little of the Resurrection power available to us through the Holy Spirit. In doing so we realize so little prosperity as Christians. I use the word prosperity on purpose so your mind will immediately jump to a nice car, nice house, good job, health, etc. In the Kingdom of God that is near you right now this definition of prosperity has no place. Prosperity in the Kingdom is the attributes listed above as the HEAVEN IN US NOW LIFE.
The Psalmist puts it this way:
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
The man of PRESENCE delights in the law (Word), meditates on it DAY and NIGHT and what prosperity is yielded- FRUIT! In fact the Psalm says WHATEVER THEY DO prospers, whatever they do is full of THE HEAVEN IN YOU NOW LIFE!
So how should we proceed to help others including in some cases your pastor to understand how Jesus has directed us to live?
I have listed above several Spirit/Word given practices that do not require the latest church growth experts services. It only requires desire, intention, discipline and recognition that our souls are thirsty for HEAVEN IN US NOW!
Abandon mediocrity, seek abundance begin today.