Sept 22, 2011
Zoegirl – Jesus, Lover Of My Soul
Sept 22, 2011
Zoegirl – Jesus, Lover Of My Soul
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
An American businessman accepts a transfer for a minimum of five years to a new city—in Europe. He and his wife see it as a terrific opportunity for their family to experience a new culture. But it will be a major relocation. The husband will move first and spend three months establishing a new “home base” for the family. The wife and children will then join him. Their love and commitment to keep their family together allows them to weather the three-month separation knowing they will be reunited permanently in their new home.
It is Jesus Christ’s love for His Church that bridges the gap of our separation from Him at the present time. He has gone ahead to prepare a heavenly home for us (John 14:1-4). We wait patiently to be reunited with Him and enjoy the fulfillment of His love for us and our love for Him. One day He will return and gather us to Himself (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). Nothing will ever separate us from His love (Romans 8:39).
Never let the present distance between earth and heaven cause you to doubt Christ’s love for you.
Whatever is good for God’s children, they shall have it, for all is theirs to further them to heaven. Richard Sibbes
The word Trinity cannot be found in the Bible, but the truth of it can. While there’s only one God, the Godhead consists of three distinct persons—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All are equally omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal, and unchanging, but each is unique in function.
Scripture not only shows how each member of the Trinity fulfills His specific role but also reveals how those three roles interrelate. Let me express this idea in simple terms: The Father creates a plan, Jesus Christ implements the plan, and the Holy Spirit administers the plan.
The way of redemption showcases these roles in a clear manner. The Father designed and organized the way that mankind would be redeemed (Gal. 4:4-5). He set into motion a complex set of events, actions, and prophecies, which culminated in the life and death of a Savior. The Son carried out the plan (John 6:37-38). He followed the Father’s instructions to come to earth, even though that meant He would have to die. The Holy Spirit sees to it that every person feels a call toward God’s saving grace (John 16:8; Rom. 1:19-20). Furthermore, He transforms the lives of those who receive salvation through Jesus Christ.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are equal in their divine attributes. Yet each one relates to mankind in a different way because He has a specific role in our life. It’s very important to understand this distinction: We do not have three gods; we have one God in three persons functioning uniquely and perfectly.
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Verse two of “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” deals with life’s trials and tribulations and begins by presenting our Savior as “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, oh, leave me not alone; still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.
We may be helpless on our own, but in love He beckons us to “the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Our soul need not hang in jeopardy. “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee . . . we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man may do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5-6).
“There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:26-27). Help from none other is needed. “Thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory and the lifter up of mine head” (Psalm 3:3). As His sacrificial death drew near, Jesus’ heart nearly broke over Israel’s rejection of His love. “How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37). We dare not reject His loving provision. We can pray with David, “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings” (Psalm 17:8). The one to whom we pray will answer, for He is Jesus, the lover of the soul. JDM
It is wise to seek relief, and not sit down in despair. If we need heavenly bread we must bestir ourselves and go to Jesus for it.
Now was his dream fulfilled, though two-and-twenty years had intervened, and he had passed through slavery and prison.
Evil communications corrupt good manners. Joseph swears by the life of Pharaoh. He did it to conceal his true character, for they would assuredly judge that such was not the language of the seed of Israel.
He awakened their reflections by exciting their fears, dealing with them in the same manner as the Lord does with sinners whom he intends to reconcile unto himself. Divine severity brings the chosen to repentance.
This assurance must have been alike surprising and consoling to them. He who fears God will do his fellow men no wrong.
Their sin found them out, as ours will do sooner or later. When we sow wild oats we ought to remember that we shall have to reap them.
He who has a clear conscience is buoyed up in times of calamity.
Genesis 42:23, 24
This is a touching picture. Joseph in his great wisdom felt bound not to reveal himself at once, but his love was so great that he could not restrain his tears. When the Lord deals roughly with sinners to make them more deeply conscious of sin, he loves them notwithstanding all. Jesus has an eye of sympathy for weeping penitents.
Oh that I could repent,
With all my idols part,
And to thy gracious eyes present
A humble, contrite heart.
Jesus on me bestow
The penitent desire;
With true sincerity of woe
My aching breast inspire.
2 Corinthians 10:4
In this powerful verse, Paul speaks to us about the subject of spiritual warfare. In fact, this is one of the foundational verses on this subject, so it is vital to understand what Paul is talking about. Today I want to especially draw your attention to three words in this power-packed scripture. Pay special attention to the words weapons, warfare, and carnal.
First, Paul tells us that we have “weapons.” These spiritual armaments have been provided by God and are at our disposal. They are both offensive and defensive weapons and can be found in Ephesians 6:13-18, where Paul lists them one by one and explains what each piece represents.
Second, Paul uses the word “warfare.” The word “warfare” is taken from the word stratos. By choosing to use this word, the Holy Spirit alerts us to some very important facts about spiritual warfare.
The word stratos is where we derive the word strategy. This informs us that spiritual warfare does not occur accidentally but is something that is strategically planned. Just as any army plans its line of attack before a battle begins, the devil plans a line of attack, decides which methods he will use, and chooses the approach he wants to take as he cautiously charts a well-thought-out assault.
But the word stratos doesn’t just describe the devil’s strategies. It also tells us that if we will listen to the Holy Spirit, He will give us a strategy that is superior to any schemes of the devil. The devil is not the only one with a strategy. The Holy Spirit always holds the key to every victory, and He wants to provide us with a divinely-inspired strategy that will render null and void the works of the devil every time!
The Old Testament is filled with examples of divinely-inspired strategies. Consider the case of Joshua and the children of Israel as they stood before the walls of Jericho (Joshua 6:1-27). What strategy did the Lord give them? They were to walk around the walls of Jericho once a day for six days and seven times on the seventh day. Then after the seventh time around the wall on the last day, they were to blow trumpets made of rams’ horns. None of this sounded “reasonable” to the natural mind, but the effects of that God-given strategy are still renowned today!
Or consider the time Jehoshaphat sent out a praise team before the army to sing and to worship the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:20-25). What army would send singers and musicians to the frontlines of battle in front of its armed soldiers? Yet as they sang praises to God and played their instruments, the Lord supernaturally set ambushments and the enemies were smitten.
That day the children of Israel walked away from the battle without losing a single fighter. Not only that, but they were also weighed down with gold, silver, jewels, and other riches in abundance! There was so much plunder that it took them three days to gather it! How did they win this famous battle? They received a strategy from the Lord and then followed it accurately. The results of that strategy are legendary.
In both of these cases, the line of attack made no sense to the natural mind, but it released so much power that it completely crushed the foe. So don’t be surprised if the Holy Spirit gives you a strategy that doesn’t make sense when you first hear it! Remember, He operates on a higher level than you, and He knows what you don’t know. Therefore, He may tell you to do something that seems odd to you at first. But you can be sure that Spirit-inspired strategies always work!
Imagine an army that is fully equipped with weapons of warfare but has no strategy about how to use those weapons against the enemy. Even with all those weapons and artillery at their disposal, an army in this condition would utterly fail.
Likewise, although it’s crucial that you put on the whole armor of God, that’s just the first step. You must then have a strategy on how to use those weapons and how to attack! Until you receive a strategy from the Lord on how to use your spiritual weapons, they will be of little help in driving back the forces of hell that have come against you.
This leads to the word “carnal.” In Greek, this word is sarkos, which describes anything that is of the flesh, fleshly made, or fleshly conjured up or anything that is natural or of an unspiritual nature. Paul uses this word when he writes, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal…”
In effect, Paul is saying, “Don’t look to your flesh for the weapons or strategies I’m describing to you because they do not arise out of natural talent, mental exercises, or human efforts. These are spiritual weapons and spiritual strategies, and they come from the spiritual realm.”
When you put all these Greek words together, Second Corinthians 10:4 carries this idea:
“Our God-given weapons are to be used in connection with a divine strategy. But don’t look to the flesh to find that strategy, for the battle plan you need is not going to arise out of your own natural talent, mental exercises, or human effort.”
If you want to receive the strategy needed to assure your victory, you must turn your attention to the realm of the Spirit, for it is from this realm that you will hear from God. You must spend time praying in the Spirit and reading the Word. By yourself, you will never conceive a plan that will deliver you.
Just as spiritual weapons come from God, so do spiritual strategies. So use your head as much as you can, and think through every step. But as you seek God, stay open for Him to graciously give you a supernatural strategy for destroying the work of the devil. And don’t be surprised if God tells you to do something that seems a little odd. Since the beginning of time, God has been giving effective strategies that seem strange to the mind of man!
Lord, I know that today I’m going to need a supernatural strategy to do what I need to do. My own natural mind is working all the time to come up with solutions. I’m doing the best I can do, but now I need extra help. I need a divine strategy—a divine idea so powerful and effective that no force will be able to resist it! I know that these kinds of strategies are imparted by the Holy Spirit, so right now I open my heart wide to Him. Holy Spirit, I ask You to drop a supernatural idea into my spirit and soul. Please help me to properly discern it, understand it, and then follow through with obedience.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
I declare by faith that the Holy Spirit gives me the strategies and ideas I need. I am willing and ready to do whatever He tells me to do. The Spirit of God was sent into this world to be my Helper and my Guide, and I know I can fully rely on Him. I must have His direction, or I won’t know what to do. So today He will speak to my heart; I will perceive what He tells me to do; and then I will obediently carry out His good plan for me!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Don’t be surprised if the Holy Spirit gives you a strategy that doesn’t make sense when you first hear it. Remember, He operates on a higher level than you, and He knows what you do not know.
What happens to our Christian friends when we play around with sin?
Why should we care about how our actions impact others?
“If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it… ” (1 Corinthians 12:26a)
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
Following, are excerpts from a letter I received today from a close friend who is lamenting over the sin of a fallen brother:
“Where my real grief lies is with Sam and his family. Mary and I have been experiencing severe buffeting due to the consequences associated with (Sam’s sin)…
“Dwight, never before have I ever in my life convulsed due to the sin committed by a friend… it made me wretch… How much more so for a pure and holy God…
“Be careful how you walk, Dwight, for the days are full of evil and Satan continues to roam about looking for guys like you and me…
“After seeing Sam’s world come apart in the midst of the absence of accountability to anyone… it serves as a terrifying reminder of just how close we all are (to sinning) at any given time.”
Like it or not, our actions do profoundly affect the lives of those around us.
Not to mention the account to which God will call us, should we by our actions cause others to stumble.