Prayer-Refiner’s Fire

Me:
Good morning Father!

ABBA:
Good morning Jon!

Me:

Father, in Ephesians 6, verse 18, it says this: “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,”. What would You tell me further about this?

ABBA:

There is the possibility of doing anything either in the Spirit, or in the flesh. Do everything in the Spirit, especially prayer, which is of particular importance.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20 and again, The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless.” 21 So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas [or yourself] or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, 23 and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.

I Am telling you, this is why it is of prime importance that you pray; “all things belong to you” means you have authority over all things – and therefore responsibility. This responsibility is the charge of a steward, for all comes from My hand. This means that you are representing My authority and not that which is within your flesh. The authority of the flesh was given away in Eden. The authority of the Spirit was given under a new covenant at the cross to any who will be bound to it. I Am Spirit. It is not possible to discharge your stewardship in the flesh, as all things done in the flesh will prove to be wood, hay and stubble. Only things done in the Spirit will prove to be gold, silver, or precious stones.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10

Things done in the flesh, even for the wisest and strongest, are therefore useless. They will not pass the test. The things done in the Spirit will only be further clarified as the Refiner’s fire purges all vestiges of corruption.

Me:
Thank You Father! I ask You to help me learn how to carry out my charge in the Spirit at all times. Let me remember to allow the Spirit to have complete sway by faith. I am grateful also, for the myriad ways that You have given for us to sense whether Your Holy Spirit is the Power operating in our hearts at any moment or whether we have given place to the corruption of our rational minds. I am grateful that You are transforming my mind and have given Your Truth and your many great promises with which to occupy it, even in the sense of an armed force occupying territory in war. Thank You that You are Jehovah Nissi, God our Banner, God our Victory! I love You!

ABBA:

You are welcome! I Am indeed transforming You by the power of the Spirit and of My Word. No Word which I have spoken returns to me unfulfilled. Instead it accomplishes that which I send it to do. Therefore you can absolutely count on My promises and in My restoring all your mind and all your heart and all your strength to the purposes and to the joy and to the fulfillment of their original and perfect purposes. I love you!

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Rest and Responsibility

Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Me:
Good morning Father!

ABBA:
Good morning Jon!

Me:
This is not the first time lately You have instructed me to rest in You.

ABBA:
I know that it is difficult for you. I made you with a high sense of responsibility. What I need you to see is that the most responsible thing for you to do is to recognize that it is My doing that makes all the difference.

Me:
How do I properly put that sense of responsibility that You put in my makeup to work in a way that it fulfills its proper function and does not just end up producing stress?

ABBA:
One thing to recognize is that the enemy knows you. He may not truly understand My purposes, but he knows how to pull your strings, so to speak.

Me:
I want to learn how to be all that You intend me to be and also how not to give him any latitude for manipulation. What You intend for good should never be subverted for bad! Not even to produce stress in myself.

ABBA:
You have heard the secret to the martial art of Judo is to use the momentum of an opponent against him. In the spiritual realm, think of striving as momentum and resting in Me as a perfect counter to the very principle that gives the enemy the ability to use your own energy against you. True achievements are enabled in My power. The voice of the enemy will encourage you to glory in successes as though they were your own; ever striving for the next one. I remind you of Paul’s words of admonishment to the Corinthians: … so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other. For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? [1 Corinthians 4:6-7]

Me:
Are You telling me that my sense of responsibility is a gift that I have received?

ABBA:
A gift, and also one aspect of being made in My image (though every one is unique). Like every spiritual thing bestowed upon My children, it is a power for good when exercised in Me and powerfully destructive when operating apart from Me. This is the nature of power. Moment by moment, breath by breath, the heart focuses on things above or on things below. This is so because I have determined that you shall determine your way, whether you will walk with Me or not. I know you have heard the quote attributed to Francois-Marie Arouet (Voltaire), “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Me:
Yes, I have heard it. I have heard that he was disturbed by the abuse of power and privilege while the poor and downtrodden suffered.

ABBA:
He was exactly right about the linkage between power and responsibility. The power which I bestow can only be properly exercised in Me. It is the responsibility of the bearer of the gift to present it for My purposes, else it will putrefy under the direction of self-interest and produce only rottenness.

Me:
Voltaire had pretty mixed opinions about things of faith.

ABBA:
Do not all men? He saw the misuse of power in the church as well as in the government. Still, his reasoning was not without its flaws. This is the nature of reason.

Me:
I suppose we do. I want to know You in all Your ways and learn to miss-step less often.

ABBA:
Then keep looking to Me, as I Am the One to guide you. I have given Jesus as Example and the Holy Spirit as Enabler.

Me:
I am grateful for Your guiding hand in my life. I would obviously not have any hope of enjoying all that You have promised except You teach me to walk in the Truth. I love You!

ABBA:
You are welcome to all the guidance you will accept. I love you!

Soulful Starry Nights

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.  Psalm 139:13-14

Me:
Good morning Father!

ABBA:
Good morning Jon!

Me:
Somewhere, in each of our hearts, we marvel at our own existence; we wonder that we exist. René Descartes famous philosopher’s line, “I think, therefore I am” strikes at the fundamental fact that we have no real understanding of Your bringing us into being, except by faith in Your limitless ability and in Your boundless creativity.  As hard as it is to grasp the expanse of all Your thoughts – not Your thoughts themselves, but the glimmer that we get of the magnitude of creation and the interconnected nature of it all – it is even harder to imagine how some can come to the conclusion that every interdependent particle in the unknowable universal expanse developed by some chance.  A thermally induced wiggle here, a random interaction there … and somehow … eventually … life … sentience … complete with musing philosophers, no less.  Like David, my soul knows well that You are our Maker.  I am grateful that I don’t have to have faith in an endless stream of random occurrences!

ABBA:
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search out a matter. (Proverbs 25:2) If one ignores what I have revealed, such as My hand in creation, the likelihood of arriving at the truth by the assumptions of man is also infinitesimally small.

Me:
Last night, we watched the Day of Discovery production  Man of Science, Servant of God, George Washington Carver. It was inspirational to learn how he looked to You and allowed no obstacle to stop him, though there were many possible impediments.

ABBA:
George believed. And he loved.  A heart that is full of thoughts of Me and of things above has little time for lack or fear.  I created man to serve a purpose greater than himself.

You remember laying out in the yard with your dad at night as a young boy, looking up at the heavens, how it came into your mind that it was impossible to actually come to grips with infinity.  You would envision an imaginary box around everything and then wonder, “What is outside the box?”

Me:
I don’t have many clear memories from my childhood, Father, but I clearly remember that.

The stars in the high desert of eastern New Mexico are breathtaking on a moonless night.  The Milky Way looks, well, milky.  To know that the luminous backdrop to uncountable stars is from more uncountable stars even further away, is fascinating and wonderful, even to a young boy.  Even more amazing is the scripture that tells me that You not only created those suns but know them all by name ( Isaiah 40:26).

ABBA:
On those starry nights I was calling to you through what I have made and telling you that I Am.

Me:
I believe that I somehow felt that at the time.  I am grateful for the witness of Your works!

ABBA:
George was also able to hear as I called to him in the woods of his boyhood home.  I prepared his heart and I prepared your heart.  When you heard the good news about Jesus, you were able to accept the truth of it.  So it was with him.  I have and I Am preparing the hearts of many.  All who are open to the Truth will welcome Me and know that If I Am for you, none can successfully stand against you (Romans 8:31).

Me:
Father, I thank You for Your generosity in giving me life and that it is full to overflowing since You are in it.  I thank You that Jesus made it possible for me to be reconciled to You though His offering Himself as a sacrifice to cover my sin that I might be able to commune with You as my Father and not shrink back in fear that Your holy fire would consume me.  I thank You that the Holy Spirit has come to  fill and to guide me into all the Truth.  I thank You for Your patience and for Your plan, and for the chance to discover it.  I love You!

ABBA:
You are welcome!  I love You!

Through Job

Me:
Good morning Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit:
Good morning Jon!

Me:
We read in the Bible Gateway “Verse of the Day” from Job 19:25 “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.”  Some say that Job may be the oldest book in the Bible, that it is marvelous poetically and contains rich words and forms not found anywhere else in scripture.  And, at least Copley in his
Gatherings in Beulah posits that Job may have lived before Abraham. Yet, here You were making known to Job the day of salvation!

Holy Spirit:
The need for a Savior is known to Us.  Was known to Us, from your temporal perspective. Even at the end of time, your need for your Savior will persist.  Even as at the last He will take His stand on the earth, you will be standing in Him, for His redemption, with its focus at the cross on your behalf, sends its power both backward and forward in all eternity such that no one is beyond the reach of the efficacy of the sufferings of the Christ and Jesus’ love makes salvation available to everyone who chooses to seek refuge in Him while he may.

Me:
How can one offer adequate thanks, or all the praise that is due God in light of so great a gift?  Help me to live in such a way as to cast no shadow obscuring the brilliance of what has been presented freely.  Let my short-sighted behaviors be reined in and let my choices be guided and empowered by You!  I love you!  Thank You for seeing to it that we have such a mighty witness to this salvation by God’s word and by Your witness, even within us!  I love! You

Holy Spirit:
You are welcome!  I love You!

Not Your Average Guide

5 “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.  (John 16)

Me:
Good morning Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit:
Good morning Jon!

Me:
I have been contemplating this passage for the last couple of days.
  Jesus had some astounding things to say about the relationship that we would have.

Holy Spirit:
Don’t you think our relationship is astounding?

Me:
Yes, it is! However, in this passage, I see that there are things yet to be realized in practice.
  Amazing things from You!

Holy Spirit:
Let’s talk about that a little.
  What does a guide do?

Me:
A guide leads someone where they have not been before, or where they have inadequate knowledge, and points the way and tells about the place or thing that is being explored.

Holy Spirit:
What is the guide’s part?

Me:
He knows the place where the sojourner wants to go and has superior knowledge and skills about the destination.
  He is willing to share his time and his understanding.

Holy Spirit:
What is the traveler’s part?

Me: I suppose he has to trust the guide enough to follow and pay attention.  Probably, he chose the guide.  He has to go with the guide, as he leads.

Holy Spirit:
Is all the superior knowledge of the guide bestowed as soon as the relationship is formed?

Me:
No.
  Some of what the guide knows gets imparted to the learner a little at a time along the journey.

Holy Spirit:
How long do you think it would take to impart infinite knowledge?

Me:
Do you mean “all the truth”?

Holy Spirit:
Yes.

Me:
All eternity?

Holy Spirit:
Good thing you have been granted eternal life!

Me:
I can scarcely comprehend the depth of the riches of our relationship in this moment, much less the totality of it spread across timeless existence.
  I can barely glimpse a little way along the height and breadth and depth of the love that Jesus has bestowed on me in redeeming me and making it possible for the Holy Spirit of the Living God to be my guide to all the truth!

Holy Spirit:
If you continue this path with Me, we will continue to explore that expanse and talk of the priceless value in it, and the cost of it, and of Our intention that you come into the fullness of it.

Me:
I want to be with You, every step!
  I want to hear all that You have for Me!  I love You!  Thank You!

Holy Spirit:
You’re welcome!
  I love you!

Thanksgiving

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; – Colossians 2:6-10

Me:
Good morning Jesus!

Jesus:
Good morning Jon!

Me:
I am grateful, Jesus, that You are head over all.  I know You to be perfectly loving and incomparably wise; all-knowing and with unlimited strength to carry out justice, yet merciful and generous.  Most of all, I am grateful for Your willingness to forgive me and have a relationship with me!  I know that in and of myself, I have no way to make my way back from the dark depths to which I had sunk to sit in the Light and talk with You.  Thank You for Your gracious gift of Your presence!

Jesus:
You are welcome! I delight in talking with you, for that was the plan from the beginning.  I know you as you are and I love you.  I know you as I made you to be and I Am enabling you to grow into My vision.  In these talks we have, I desire for you to grasp My vision and to see its perfection and its power and to make it your own vision.  I do not wish to keep you in the dark, but to see you put behind you the deceptions you have owned.  They encumber your progress, like carrying around a heavy load of rotting garbage.  I want you to know My Truth.  I want you to know My Truth down in the depths of your being.  I want My Truth to burn in your heart.  I Am a purifying fire.  Your faith in Me affords you the protection necessary for Me to burn away the lies you have believed that yet hold you captive and prevent you from fulfilling My vision.  Know this today: because all the fullness of Deity dwells in Me, all the resources of the creation are at My disposal.  Yet those resources are nothing compared to the resources that are in Us.  This should be evident, for all of creation came into being at My Word, and by the power of My Spirit, by the will of the Father.

Me:
It is surely humbling to sit in Your presence, Jesus.  My mind cannot grapple with the magnitude of who You are and what you have done and what you are doing.  To know that though I cannot even properly comprehend Your majesty, You are willing to speak with me and to help me to grow out of the dimness of the past and into the glory of a future filled with the opportunity to draw nearer to You – this is reason for thanksgiving indeed!

Thank You for rescuing me from the path of death and setting me on the road to an amazing life!  I love You!

Jesus:
You’re welcome!  I love you!  Keep coming to Me, we have much left to do.