Thursday, August 13, 2009

Devotional 130809

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Thanks for praying for my ministry at a summer retreat. If you visit my blog you will see some of the pictures I took since last weekend. It was a pleasure to witness God’s work in the lives of different brothers and sisters; hearing their struggles and stories reaffirmed the fact that our sweet Holy Spirit is always active in the lives of His children and in His church. I enjoyed some quiet time I had with the Lord in the beautiful campground of Redwood Christian Park, and the fellowship I had with this lovely group of people who seeks to become the community of the cross.

"Quench not the Spirit" (1 Thessalonians 5:19). The voice of the Spirit is as gentle as a light breeze, so gentle that unless you are living in perfect communion with God, you never hear it. The checks of the Spirit come in the most extraordinarily gentle ways, and if you are not sensitive enough to detect His voice you will quench it, and your personal spiritual life will be impaired. His checks always come as a still small voice, so small that no one but the saint notices them.

Beware if in personal testimony you have to look back and say - "Once, so many years ago, I was saved." If you are walking in the light, there is no looking back, the past is transfused into the present wonder of communion with God. If you get out of the light you become a sentimental Christian and live on memories, your testimony has a hard, metallic note. Beware of trying to patch up a present refusal to walk in the light by recalling past experiences when you did walk in the light. Whenever the Spirit checks, call a halt and get the thing right, or you will go on grieving Him without knowing it.

Suppose God has brought you up to a crisis and you nearly go through but not quite, He will engineer the crisis again, but it will not be as obvious as it was before. There will be less discernment of God and more humiliation at not having obeyed; and if you go on grieving the Spirit, there will come a time when that crisis cannot be repeated, you have grieved Him away. But if you go through the crisis, there will be the rise of praise to God. Never sympathize with the thing that is hurting God all the time. God has to remove all our sharp edges in life.

God never stops working in the life of His beloved. Sometimes we wished God would slow down His shaping work in our lives, but He would not. The author of Hebrews said, “The Lord disciplines those he loves…” (Heb 12:6). When we go through His discipline, we should have full confidence in His love and wisdom. He knows better than we know ourselves. God wants to give us the best in life. He wants to shapes us to the kind of person that will bring joy to Him, to ourselves and to others. A life in God’s hands is a life with many scars; those scars are like scars that a skillful designer cuts on a piece of raw diamond, for the purpose of bringing out its beauty. The hardship you have gone through in life represents the beauty of character that God wants to shape you through it. Remind us O Lord of your love, so that we can rejoice in the dark light of our souls, celebrate in the midst of suffering, serene in the middle of storm, hope in the midst of crisis. This is Christian living and this is Christian joy, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Habakkuk 3:17-18). Rejoice in the Lord, my beloved brothers and sisters. God is with you always…

Love you for His delights,

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