Archive for June, 2013

There We Saw the Giants

June 30, 2013

“There we saw the giants” (Num. 13:33)

Yes, they saw the giants, but Caleb and Joshua saw God! Those who doubt say, “We be not able to go up.” Those who believe say, “Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able.”

Giants stand for great difficulties; and giants are stalking everywhere. They are in our families, in our churches, in our social life, in our own hearts; and we must overcome them or they will eat us up, as these men of old said of the giants of Canaan.

The men of faith said, “They are bread for us; we will eat them up.” In other words,

“We will be stronger by overcoming them than if there had been no giants to overcome.”

Now the fact is, unless we have the overcoming faith we shall be eaten up, consumed by the giants in our path. Let us have the spirit of faith that these men of faith had, and see God, and He will take care of the difficulties. –Selected

It is when we are in the way of duty that we find giants. It was when Israel was going forward that the, giants appeared. When they turned back into the wilderness they found none.

There is a prevalent idea that the power of God in a human life should lift us above all trials and conflicts. The fact is, the power of God always brings a conflict and a struggle. One would have thought that on his great missionary journey to Rome, Paul would have been carried by some mighty providence above the power of storms and tempests and enemies. But, on the contrary, it was one long, hard fight with persecuting Jews, with wild tempests, with venomous vipers and all the powers of earth and hell, and at last he was saved, as it seemed, by the narrowest margin, and had to swim ashore at Malta on a piece of wreckage and barely escape a watery grave.

Was that like a God of infinite power? Yes, just like Him. And so Paul tells us that when he took the Lord Jesus Christ as the life of his body, a severe conflict immediately came; indeed, a conflict that never ended, a pressure that was persistent, but out of which he always emerged victorious through the strength of Jesus Christ.

The language in which he describes this is most graphic. “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed, always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be manifested in our body.”

What a ceaseless, strenuous struggle! It is impossible to express in English the forcible language of the original. There are five pictures in succession. In the first, the idea is crowding enemies pressing in from every side, and yet not crushing him because the police of heaven cleared the way just wide enough for him to get through. The literal translation would be, “We are crowded on every side, but not crushed.”

The second picture is that of one whose way seems utterly closed and yet he has pressed through; there is light enough to show him the next step. The Revised Version translates it, “Perplexed but not unto despair.” Rotherham still more literally renders it, “Without a way, but not without a by-way.”

The third figure is that of an enemy in hot pursuit while the divine Defender still stands by, and he is not left alone. Again we adopt the fine rendering of Rotherham, “Pursued but not abandoned.”

The fourth figure is still more vivid and dramatic. The enemy has overtaken him, has struck him, has knocked him down. But it is not a fatal blow; he is able to rise again. It might be translated, “Overthrown but not overcome.”

Once more the figure advances, and now it seems to be even death itself, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus.” But he does not die, for “the life also of Jesus” now comes to his aid and he lives in the life of another until his life work is done.

The reason so many fail in this experience of divine healing is because they expect to have it all without a struggle, and when the conflict comes and the battle wages long, they become discouraged and surrender. God has nothing worth having that is easy. There are no cheap goods in the heavenly market. Our redemption cost all that God had to give, and everything worth having is expensive. Hard places are the very school of faith and character, and if we are to rise over mere human strength and prove the power of life divine in these mortal bodies, it must be through a process of conflict that may well be called the birth travail of a new life. It is the old figure of the bush that burned, but was not consumed, or of the Vision in the house of the Interpreter of the flame that would not expire, notwithstanding the fact that the demon ceaselessly poured water on it, because in the background stood an angel ever pouring oil and keeping the flame aglow.

No, dear suffering child of God, you cannot fail if only you dare to believe, to stand fast and refuse to be overcome.Tract.

• Reading from STREAMS IN THE DESERT by Mrs Charles E Cowman
• Image of Caleb from here

The kingdom of God is within you.—LUKE xvii. 21

June 27, 2013

Oh, take this heart that I would give
Forever to be all Thine own;
I to myself no more would live,—
Come, Lord, be Thou my King alone.

G. TERSTEEGEN.

Herein is the work assigned to the individual soul, to have life in itself, to make our sphere, whatever it is, sufficient for a reign of God within ourselves, for a true and full reign of our Father’s abounding spirit,—thankful, unutterably thankful, if with the place and the companionship assigned to us we are permitted to build an earthly tabernacle of grace and goodness and holy love, a home like a temple; but, should this be denied us, resolved for our own souls that God shall reign there, for ourselves at least that we will not, by sin or disobedience or impious distrust, break with our own wills, our filial connection with our Father,—that whether joyful or sorrowing, struggling with the perplexity and foulness of circumstance, or in an atmosphere of peace, whether in dear fellowship or alone, our desire and prayer shall be that God may have in us a realm where His will is law, and where obedience and submission spring, not from calculating prudence or ungodly fear, but from communion of spirit, ever humble aspiration, and ever loving trust.

J. H. THOM.

• Reading from DAILY STRENGTH FOR DAILY NEEDS by Mary W. Tileston
• Painting: ‘Bridge’ by Vladimir Paroshin

Your Companion

June 27, 2013

This reading comes from SPRINGS IN THE VALLEY, which was compiled by Mrs Charles E Cowman and published in 1939. I have no OCR software, so I am putting images of the reading here for you. I noticed that Kahlil Gibran is incorrectly termed a Syrian when he was a Lebanese American, born in the town of Bsharri. Incidentally, if you have not read Gibran, I urge you to do so. He is one of my favourite writers.

This reading today concerns the One who is always with us through any trouble.
_____


• Image from here

March Forward

June 26, 2013

**For the skeptics amongst you concerning the parting of the Red Sea, this article might be of interest.

“Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward” (Exod. 14:15).

Imagine, O child of God, if you can, that triumphal march! The excited children restrained from ejaculations of wonder by the perpetual hush of their parents; the most uncontrollable excitement of the women as they found themselves suddenly saved from a fate worse than death; while the men followed or accompanied them ashamed or confounded that they had ever mistrusted God or murmured against Moses; and as you see those mighty walls of water piled by the outstretched hand of the Eternal, in response to the faith of a single man, learn what God will do for His own.

Dread not any result of implicit obedience to His command; fear not the angry waters which, in their proud insolence, forbid your progress. Above the voices of many waters, the mighty breakers of the sea, “the Lord sitteth King for ever.”

A storm is only as the outskirts of His robe, the symptom of His advent, the environment of His presence.

Dare to trust Him; dare to follow Him! And discover that the very forces which barred your progress and threatened your life, at His bidding become the materials of which an avenue is made to liberty. –F. B. Meyer

Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life,
Where, in spite of all you can do,
There is no way out, there is no way back,
There is no other way but through?
Then wait on the Lord with a trust serene
Till the night of your fear is gone;
He will send the wind, He will heap the floods,
When He says to your soul, “Go on.”

And His hand will lead you through–clear through–
Ere the watery walls roll down,
No foe can reach you, no wave can touch,
No mightiest sea can drown;
The tossing billows may rear their crests,
Their foam at your feet may break,
But over their bed you shall walk dry shod
In the path that your Lord will make.

In the morning watch, ‘neath the lifted cloud,
You shall see but the Lord alone,
When He leads you on from the place of the sea
To a land that you have not known;
And your fears shall pass as your foes have passed,
You shall be no more afraid;
You shall sing His praise in a better place,
A place that His hand has made.

–Annie Johnson Flint

• Reading from STREAMS IN THE DESERT by Mrs Charles E Cowman
• Image of the Red Sea by agoo and found at Archeology – About.com

Your Personal Instrument Panel

June 22, 2013

–Reading from Positive Thinking for Every day of the Year by Norman Vincent Peale
–Image found here

The God of big and small

June 21, 2013

From SPRINGS IN THE VALLEY by Mrs Charles E Cowman

Daily Strength for Daily Needs

June 18, 2013

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. —MATT. vi. 28

They do not toil:
Content with their allotted task
They do but grow; they do not ask
A richer lot, a higher sphere,
But in their loveliness appear,
And grow, and smile, and do their best,
And unto God they leave the rest.

MARIANNE FARNINGHAM

Interpose no barrier to His mighty life-giving power, working in you all the good pleasure of His will. Yield yourself up utterly to His sweet control. Put your growing into His hands as completely as you have put all your other affairs. Suffer Him to manage it as He will. Do not concern yourself about it, nor even think of it. Trust Him absolutely and always. Accept each moment’s dispensation as it comes to you from His dear hands, as being the needed sunshine or dew for that moment’s growth. Say a continual “yes” to your Father’s will. –H. W. SMITH

Thine own self-will and anxiety, thy hurry and labor, disturb thy peace, and prevent Me from working in thee. Look at the little flowers, in the serene summer days; they quietly open their petals, and the sun shines into them with his gentle influences. So will I do for thee, if thou wilt yield thyself to Me. –G. TERSTEEGEN

• Reading from: Daily Strength for Daily Needs by Mary W. Tileston

• Image: ‘Field of Flowers by the Mountains’ found here

‘…if thou believe’

June 15, 2013

“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die”. –John 11:25-26

‘The Raising of Lazarus’ by Sir Edward Burne-Jones

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

June 15, 2013

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen

If you are looking for Prayers for Animals, go here

Watch Well Thy Faith

June 14, 2013

“I have prayed that your own faith may not fail” –Luke 22:32

Christian, take good care of thy faith, for recollect that faith is the only means whereby thou canst obtain blessings. Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes.

Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth to Heaven, on which God’s messages of love fly so fast that before we call He answers, and while we are yet speaking He hears us. But if that telegraphic wire of faith be snapped, how can we obtain the promise?

Am I in trouble? I can obtain help for trouble by faith. Am I beaten about by the enemy? My soul on her dear Refuge leans by faith.

But take faith away, then in vain I call to God. There is no other road betwixt my soul and Heaven. Blockade the road, and how can I communicate with the Great King?

Faith links me with Divinity. Faith clothes me with the power of Jehovah. Faith insures every attribute of God in my defence. It helps me to defy the hosts of hell. It makes me march triumphant over the necks of my enemies. But without faith how can I receive anything from the Lord?

Oh, then, Christian, watch well thy faith. “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” –C. H. Spurgeon

We boast of being so practical a people that we want to have a surer thing than faith. But did not Paul say that the promise was, by FAITH that it might be SURE?

(Romans 4:16) –Dan Crawford.

Faith honours God; God honours faith.
_____

–Reading from STREAMS IN THE DESERT by Mrs Charles E Cowman • Image by Mboverload at Wikipedia