February 2016 NEWSLETTER
In January we had a SHOP Gathering at a beautiful retreat centre in the heart of our province. When we gather from throughout the province, we worship and seek the Lord for His heart, to hear and discern what He is saying so we can pray more effectively in stewarding our province. At this centre there were two old scales on display that were originally in a grain elevator. One was at the entrance and the other on another floor. The second night there, I had a dream and upon awakening, the only thing I remembered was: being at a doctor's office and when he told me to step on the scale, I quickly ran away. At first it seemed funny but as I shared it with the group, we felt the Lord was trying to say something; that it was not a coincidence that the place had two scales and that I would dream about a scale.
The Lord is training us to discern His voice, not only with Him speaking and by the scriptures, but also by dreams, visions and everyday circumstances. We do not walk in presumption or try to figure out what He is saying using our human understanding but we position ourselves in humility and ask for His wisdom and understanding. As we did that, one of our prophetic individuals felt the Lord was saying: "do not let man weigh you, even if they are professionals or have authority". In other words we are not to be influenced or directed by man's opinion and their evaluation of who we are and what we should be doing. This is not about living a separated or isolated life. Our need and interdependence on one another as Christ's Body is vital to maturity, strength, and fulfilling our destiny. I am speaking of our personal heart issues.
Immediately this scripture came to mind:
I Corinthians 4: 2-5 (amplified bible) - Moreover, it is (essentially) required of stewards that a man should be found faithful (proving himself worthy of trust). But (as for me personally) it matters very little to me that I should be put on trial by you (on this point), and that you or any other human tribunal should investigate and question and cross-question me. I do not even put myself on trial and judge myself. I am not conscious of anything against myself, and I feel blameless; but I am not vindicated and acquitted before God on that account. It is the Lord Himself Who examines and judges me. So do not make any hasty or premature judgments before the time when the Lord comes again, for He will both bring to light the secret things that are (now hidden) in darkness and disclose and expose the (secret) aims (motives and purposes) of hearts. Then every man will receive his (due) commendation from God.
It is true that only God knows our hearts and we cannot conclude in the natural as to what is in any man's heart. But at the same time it's not a 'game of chance' or 'hope that somehow we will be alright on judgment day'; thinking we cannot know our hearts until then. From beginning to the end, the scriptures speak over and over regarding the Lord inviting us to come and be with Him. As we pursue this relationship, we make ourselves known to the Lord and the Lord in turn makes Himself known to us. As we sit in the Light, we see the darkness that is in us and we ask for forgiveness and receive His grace with thanksgiving . We are changed a little more into His image, as we exchange our fallen nature for His divine nature. It's a lifetime of relational interaction with Jesus, the One Whom we are to become one with. Our life on earth is our only opportunity to be changed, prepared and equipped for eternal rule. Our standard cannot be what we think or what any man or religious organization has set for us but we must seek the Lord ourselves to hear and see what He is saying and showing us personally. We will all stand before the Lord someday with our life laid bare; the degree that we have allowed Him to work in our heart here is the degree that Christ in His Glory will be formed in us. I repeat; our need and interdependence on one another as Christ's Body is vital to maturity, strength and fulfilling our destiny. I am speaking of our personal heart issues.
Look at the warning given to the Laodicean Church in Revelation 3: 14-22. They looked really good in the natural, being rich, prosperous in all their ways, lacking no good thing. From God's perspective they were wretched, miserable, poor and blind. The invitation was to allow Jesus to come and show them their hearts while there was still time so they could see their faults, repent and be cleansed and purified with fire. There is yet a short time to seek this relationship that Jesus desires and requires of us as His called and chosen. If we are not living in divine union with Him we will not pass the tests that are coming upon the whole earth in the days ahead. We need Christ formed and living in us to overcome the seduction and deception of falling into alignment with the god of this world, who entices us to yield to the lust of our eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.
For instance, if we have not seen and repented of the layers of pride or insecurities in our heart we will take the bait for position or promotion to feel good about ourselves or to feel worthy instead of seeking the Lord for His will and purpose. Jesus overcame these temptations when He walked the earth and it is only as Jesus lives through us that we can overcome. It's not what we accomplish for God while we are on this earth, it is what He is allowed to do in us that remains for eternity. Salvation is the first step towards a transformed life. Sanctification and transformation is a journey we embark on through seeking to know Him and His ways. Let us not be tossed about by what we think and what we feel or what others say. We must know and hear the Lord for ourselves by seeking Him as if our life depended on it because the truth is "our Life does depend on it".
May Christ be fully formed in us, our only hope of glory