The darkness within - Jeus Army Life, Day 484

by carf of flickr.comLast night I got together with a few brothers for a meal and a time to think about our spiritual lives. It was a valuable, rich evening which I truly appreciated; and it wasn't all thinking-stuff, we had a practical time of practicing prophecy and anointing our host's flat, but an interesting issue did come out of it that I'll relate in a moment.

On the way to work this morning a brother was talking about how shocking it would be if we all spoke out what we were thinking all the time! We concluded that we'd soon learn to control our thoughts, which begs the question - why don't we? The brother commented that the problem was that thoughts exist in our private world where no one else can see them (except the Spirit of God), in other words they exist in the darkness. We don't have to control our thoughts because no one else can see them. It reminded me of the scripture:

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
Matthew 6:22

In other words what you focus on effects your how good or bad your conscience is. We can be full of darkness (and how great that darkness) because while on the outside we pretend to be good, inside we are truly rotten and wicked, not really focussing on Jesus or giving ourselves to him.

When I had been with the brothers I'd spoken about Jesus' story of the slave who did nothing with the talent given to him by his master (Matthew 25). The slave was an intimate member of his master's company, if he were a modern Christian he would have gone evangelising when his brothers evangelised, he would have prayed for people to be healed if that was the activity of the day, he might be moved to cast out demons, but when asked to do the specific work of personally investing his energy for the profit of his master he failed because he practiced disobedience in his heart. The slave was punished.

How about us?

Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'
Matthew 7:21

by bitmapr of flickr.comIt is vitally important that we give ourselves to knowing Jesus with all that we are or he will say that he never knew us. We simply cannot allow the darkness to rule within. Interestingly all that Jesus says before his words on focussing on the darkness is about what we do in secret, and how it must all be given to God. It's too easy for the hypocrite in each of us to do whatever everyone else is doing and think that we are doing good. It's all about what we do when no one else is looking. We've got to get our religion right.

True faith produces a life full of actions, not a head full of facts.

Photos by carf and bitmapr of flickr.com


Get it right - Jesus Army Life, Day 478

by dhammza of flickr.com This world is tough, but have you not yet noticed? We were not made for this world.
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will... establish you.
(1 Peter 5:8-11)


The prayer meeting - Jesus Army Life, Day 473

by zeeDOC of flickr.com I'm going to write this and try not to sound self righteous... and probably fail... here goes: We have a regular prayer meeting which begins at the ungodly hour of 7am in the morning. Up till recently it was attended by all of 2 going on 3 people, this week we moved the meeting from Friday to a slightly more convenient Thursday and now it is attended by 3 going on 4 people. Please note the deliberate tone of sarcasm - there are twelve people who live here.

It's not that I want to begrudge anyone their sleep, I'm an early riser, it's easier for me than others, and sometimes I forget; but getting up one morning a week at ten to seven isn't like being a Cistercian monk and getting up at daybreak, it's just asking you to be a Jesus Army soldier. And I'm cool with those who've decided that this is something they don't want to do, not everybody needs to be there - we're mature adults and we can choose how we manage ourselves. The thing is (sigh) we have made a commitment to prayer meetings, it is part of our covenant together. For good reason we can't afford to be nonchalant about our prayer-life - as a household we have to remain in the will of God.

Please don't accuse me of being intense, this is far from intense. I am simply convinced that God honours our dependence on him.

photo by zeeDOC of flickr.com


Hands held high - Jesus Army Life, Day 470

by lanL of flickr.com At our house-family breakfast this Sunday one of our newest residents described how she was experiencing life in community: "It's like I'm a toddler walking on my tip-toes and being held by my Dad. I'm scared I'm going to fall any moment. I've got my hands stretched up high to hold on to him as he leads me; it's exciting to be taking steps in God!"

I thought that was an amazing description. It's kinda how I'd like to live the whole of my life.


Serenity - Jesus Army Life, Day 466

I'm really trying hard to learn the value of the meaning of this word: serenity. The clearest definition I have of it is: "a disposition free from stress or emotion". I've been trying to focus on that lately. Not so much the emotion but the free from stress part.

by ccgd of flickr.comThere were some prophetic words spoken over me lately about God "broadening my shoulders". Makes sense I suppose but it's a tough one. Still, I know that unless I go through this little trial I won't be able to shoulder greater responsibility in the future. Without embracing the small suffering now I won't be any good to anyone in later life. And I need to be, I desperately need to be. How else can I fulfill, whatever it may be, the work that God has for me to do? And it's what Jesus did for me.

...Worcester tonight.


Couldn't have said it better - Jesus Army Life, Day 457

I found this poem the other day, it's gorgeously wonderful:
God and I?
That’s simple.
We are like two big people in a very tiny boat
who are continually,
unexpectedly bumping into each other
and giggling.

I could not have said it better. It describes so much of how I experience my relationship with God. I would love to meet the Sufi poet who wrote it. I feel we would have a lot to share. I'd like to ask if he or she knows what it is like to wake up and feel in love too because sometimes, not always, but sometimes Jesus makes me feel that way; it is a feeling that is irreplaceable.