Instructions by Night

Psalm 16
Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.
I said to the
Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good besides You.”
As for the saints who are in the earth,
They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who have bartered for another
god will be multiplied;
I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood,
Nor will I take their names upon my lips.

The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You support my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

I will bless the Lord who has counseled me;
Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.
I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will dwell securely.
For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Me:
Good morning Father!

 

ABBA:
Good morning Jon!

 

Me:
“Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.” That phrase is key to the very existence of this Psalm isn’t it?

 

ABBA:
Look it up in the Hebrew concordance. “Mind”, does not capture the fullness of it.

 

Me:
O.K.

chilyotai_3629.htm

 

ABBA:
ḵil·yō·ṯay – the innermost part, deep enough to actually control what you do (hence “my reins”). This is “mind” only if operating in the Spirit by the power of the counsel given by Me. A purely intellectual approach to the scriptures – that is, apart from Me – will come up short. Toward the other extreme, it is unwise to try to rely on inner promptings except by also testing them against the scripture. You need need My whole counsel (Acts 20:27) and comfort (John 14:16).

 

Me:
I am grateful that You are willing to give all these helps to true communion with You. Left to what I can attain with only mental processes, I am prone to talk myself into an endless loop, able to make many sides of an examination seem plausible (Proverbs 18:17).

 

ABBA:
That is why I give them. I do not want you to be unaware of My love or of My provision for you. Neither do I want you to be deceived. I Am the Truth, I want you to walk in the truth.

 

Consider also, that this Psalm was penned by David, as in the night, he heard Jesus nighttime prayers in the garden, “…You will not suffer Your Holy One to suffer decay…”, twenty-eight generations forward. Do you think David would have been able to accurately see all these revelations of the Messiah, except by My Spirit, who is unfettered by time? I made them known to him and gave him a heart to record what he saw in the watches of the night, that when these things came to pass, there would be no doubt that that there is salvation in Jesus and that your redemption was planned from the outset.

 

Me:
Truly, I cannot read these words without recognizing they are a perfect fit for what is revealed of the heart of Jesus, expressing His confidence in You while staring a gruesome death in the face. I cannot forget that the death He suffered was not due Him. The suffering He endured was earned by me. I see in these words his faith being expressed that You would show Him the path of life. Not that You had already made it known, but that You would.

 

ABBA:
To you also, it has been revealed that He is the path of life (John 11:25). In faith, also, you rely on this promise.

 

Me:
Yes I do! And, I am more grateful for that fact than I can adequately express! Thank You! I love You!

 

ABBA:
You’re welcome! I love you!

 

Me:
Obviously!

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Grace Until…

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? [Micah 6:8]
 
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. [Romans 12:2]
 
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him [Hebrews 11:6]
 
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. [Mark 10:18]
 
Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. [Matt 5:48]
 
Me: 
Good morning Father!
 
ABBA:
Good morning Jon!
 
Me: 
One could get the impression that You want us to seek to walk with You, having faith that You can change us into what You want us to be.
 
ABBA:
Imagine that…  Have you considered how Jesus’ words about no one but God being good squares with these other verses telling you not only to be good, but to be perfect?
 
Me: 
I believe Jesus was trying to convince us that we are incapable of being good enough on our own to live up to the standard required to have a rewarding relationship with Holy God.  I have often wondered, though, about Jesus question “Why do you call Me good?”, since He is good.
 
ABBA:
The answer to “why” is because He is God and I Am good.  The one he was questioning did not get that, either.  
 
Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 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.  [1 Corinthians 3:16-17]  This is the secret to the paradox in these verses we are considering together.  Having accepted Jesus and received the Spirit, you can say with Paul:
 
But if while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor.  For through the Law I died to the Law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. [Galatians 2: 17-21]
 
So then, you have grace to walk with Me while you are submitting your life to the transforming power of the Truth.  You still have the choice today: be transformed by the renewing of your mind, or destroy the temple of God with the things of the world. If you did not have this choice, would I have given you so many helps to aid you on your way?
 
Me: 
Thank You Father, for patiently explaining the scriptures and for sharing Your heart to save us.  Thank You for the grace to walk in Christ that all is not lost at any misstep!  I love You!
 
ABBA:
You are welcome!  I love You!  I have gone to great lengths to show you that I Am your loving Father.

The Spirit of Christmas Past

20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion,to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,”
declares the Lord.

21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 59)

Me:
Good morning Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit:
Good morning Jon!

Me:
It never ceases to amaze me, Holy Spirit, the sight that You gave to the prophet Isaiah, concerning the coming of Jesus. Last night, we read dozens of passages in Isaiah for our traditional lesson and carol service. Some are almost like they were written at the same time as the Gospel of Luke, though I know they preceded the virgin birth by probably 700 years.

Holy Spirit:
What is seven hundred years to Me? I Am One who is eternal, without beginning and without end.

Me:
You are always amazing in all Your works! I think the thing that is hard to grasp is Isaiah’s willingness and ability to listen to You and to hear so faultlessly.

Holy Spirit:
That is the primary qualification of a prophet.

Me:
Still, I have the scriptures to test what I hear from You and all the New Testament and the benefit of the salvation wrought by Jesus on our behalf. Whereas, Isaiah was only looking forward to the incarnation.

Holy Spirit:
I Am not constrained by time. We have talked about how Jesus’ sacrifice is not constrained by time either. It is the fact that the words of the law and the prophets, which became the scriptures, point to the cross and the desire of God to save that enabled all who would seek and listen to prepare their hearts to receive. The apparent constraint of their lives being in time before the incarnation of the Christ is no hindrance. The true difficulty is lack of faith and an unwilling heart clinging to its sin.

Me:
Oh, Holy Spirit, there is so much that has been beyond me. Trying to grapple with the concept of time and Your freedom from it boggles my mind.

Holy Spirit:
That is why your salvation, and in fact, all your relationship with Us is based on faith and not on understanding. A child can love his mother before he is capable of understanding all that he will eventually come to know about her. Your relationship with Me is like that, and will remain so on this side of the grave. In the end, the limitations imposed on you by the ravages of sin will be swept away and you will know Me face to face.

Me:
I look forward to that, Holy Spirit. Yet, at the same time, I cannot shake the apprehension that accompanies contemplation of the end of my days. Is that a lack of faith?

Holy Spirit:
Do not worry about that. You only feel the sense of self-preservation that I built into all. It is primarily there to counter the evil whispers of the deceiver that either recklessness or suicide are answers to anything. As a woman is prepared for birth during the months of pregnancy, so those who are Mine are prepared for the end of their days, when it is time.

Me:
Then I thank You for being spared the struggles of some in that regard, and I ask You to shine Your light on them and fill them with the knowledge of Your majesty and their hearts with Your Joy! I love You! Thank You for speaking with Me! What a treasure this time is! What a great gift to know You and to be known by You!

Holy Spirit:
You are certainly welcome! This relationship with you is My desire and I place more value on it than you can know. I love you!

The Spirit-Mind Connection

The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. – Isaiah 26:3

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2

17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. – Ephesians 4

Me:
Good morning Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit:
Good morning Jon!

Me:
I think you put it in my head to look at the connection between Your work in my life and my mind. I tried a Bible search on spirit and mind. Wow! I got a result of eleven verses, and that doesn’t count the more difficult search where the two words are separated by the artificial verse divisions.

Holy Spirit:
Does that seem surprising to you? Man was created in the first place to have a relationship with God. Remember when the boys first started to make acquaintances, how they maintained they had hundreds of “friends”? You were not intended to have that sort of relationship with Me. Our intention is more closely mirrored by the joyous intimacy that you experience with [your wife], and even that is far short of Our aim. Most attempt to maintain a relationship with Us that is more like the early self-aggrandizing example from the boys in public, instead of more like the deepening example of your marriage to [your wife]. That relationship, by the way, is energized as it is because the both of you are also tied in to Us in intimacy.

Anyway, in your physical existence, We ordained that the part of you that is commonly labeled the “mind” – and physically operating in the brain We designed – be apparently seamless from the spiritual part of your nature. Why? Because intimacy with Us requires it. What if the “spiritual nature” were separated from the “mental processes” like two friends with one in Denver and one in Boston, forcing them to communicate over a distance? Intimacy then takes much more of an effort.

Speaking of challenges, how about being dead for starters? Sin dealt a death-blow to the spiritual part of your nature. (Genesis 2:17, Ephesians 2:1) And speaking of that, what exactly is the spiritual part? I refer you to this insight I gave John: God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24) The spiritual part of you is the part that is designed to connect to Us. Jesus sacrifice on your behalf made a way for your dead spiritual nature to be resurrected as He is. The “renewing of your mind” is first and foremost a journey from death to life. (John 10:10, Romans 6:4)

Me:
This is a fantastic gift, Holy Spirit! A treasure beyond any possible physical valuation! You must love us beyond all measure! The grace bestowed on me is so undeserved I am still unable to grasp the magnitude of it!

Holy Spirit:
That is the nature of a developing relationship. The ability to both comprehend (mind) and experience (in the spiritual sense) the depth of it comes with your growth. I AM Spirit and I AM without limits. Your spiritual limits decrease as your former state of death recedes in your rear view mirror, so to speak, as you draw nearer to Me.

Me:
Thank You for this time and these insights, Holy Spirit! I love You!

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