i want to be HOLY
Friday, April 20, 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
It is said that children test the boundaries set for them by parents, teachers and elders, and that when parents fail to establish and enforce boundaries children crave them; they want to know when they do wrong. And they also want to and need to know when they do the right thing. I identify with this. I grew up in a home where the boundaries were nebulous and what boundaries there were I easily circumvented when I entered into my teens. I got in a LOT of trouble. This has had an effect on my life since I was born again in 1976.
When I belonged to a church which honored prophetic gifts and prophets from 1988 onward several prophets spoke the word and the heart of the Lord to me. I cannot remember one word which did not encourage me to a greater or lesser extent. Yet often I would ask God to give me a word to tell me what I was doing wrong! I wanted correction, I wanted boundaries. Even in this past week I thought to go to a pastor prophet I have known to ask for a word from the Lord: a word that would “really tell me like it is”, that would correct me or even rebuke me, even harshly.
Two days ago I was praying and thinking when the Lord spoke to me in the still small voice. I don’t share this lightly because it is not something that some people believe can happen today. But Jesus is not impotent today. He can still speak. The question is: “Will we believe He can speak to us and will we listen for His voice?”
What God said was this: “You have brought your sins before me, they are forgiven.” I doubt I will soon if ever forget hearing those words! To me their meaning is at once concise and comprehensive. It acknowledged my being a sinner, thus rebuking me albeit ever so gently. At the same time it gave me great courage and joy. I saw that God my Father truly sees only the blood of His Son covering all my sins. It is almost that after believing the Gospel of Christ God ignores the sins I have done and will yet do! I don’t want any to think that I take this as an excuse for sinning even one more time! It is not; there is never an excuse for sin.
Today I called that pastor prophet and shared this testimony with him. As we talked I was able also to see that when a believer sins after his/her salvation, that and every sin carries a new weight of shame previously unknown. For now he/she/I understand what sin is (evil), who it offends (God), and what (my/your) sin required (the bloody death of the Son of God!)! It is understandable that we might desperately want God to rebuke us and correct us severely. And I’m not so sure that He won’t do that in some cases. He did “upbraid” the disciples for “their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.” Mark 16:14 But God is LOVE!
He truly showed me that LOVE in those few words: “You have brought your sins before me, they are forgiven.” I know my own heart as you know yours, yet we can’t know each other’s. We don’t need to. The shame of my sin is enough to humble me, as your sins are enough to humble you. That God forgives such an evil man as me is truly beyond my human comprehension. But by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, by His filling up of my understanding I am able to agree and receive the gift of Christ’s sacrifice and righteousness in exchange for ALL my shameful sins!
It is 35 years since I was born again FROM ABOVE. Many days in that time were lost to sinning. I have had two extended periods of backsliding, and many years of confused faith and living. But God IS FAITHFUL! He that began a good work in me is bringing it to completion! One scripture which seemed so foreign to me in 1976 is absolutely true of me today: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). ! An another I learned somewhat later is burning its way (in a good way!) into my soul: “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). ! Hallelu Yah!
Thank You Jesus. To God be the glory, great things and with me seemingly impossible things He has done.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Repentance has been called the joy filled life by sister Basilea Schlink. (Her book Repentance- The Joy Filled Life (by M. Basilea Schlink) is available through www.kanaan.org .) I have to admit that my life lacks the constant joy that I desire, and lacks it because I have not been diligent in seeking God in the repenting of sins. I have no one to blame for my failings but myself. Many persons have shown God to be faithful to reward their diligence; it is now time I also seek Him diligently. It is my hope that something in the following may encourage you and help you to please God and to be joyful.
I don’t know how many times I have been quoted the verse “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8.1,2 It is a wonderful verse and very necessary to understand. Yet today I am struck by the thought that I have been confusing condemnation with conviction, and perhaps some quoting the verse to me have as well. Bob Mumford has pointed out that the truth almost always appears (quite) negative in its appearance. Conviction is a Divinely granted, unmistakable and clear understanding of my sin by the Holy Ghosts reproofs.
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; John 16:8
The great good news is that since I am in Christ, the revelation of the fact of my sin(s) hurts. My conscience is alive to God, and because it is, I have sorrow, godly sorrow. It seems that I may have misunderstood godly sorrow, perhaps as it is present in my soul where unforgiveness, self pity and unfounded anger also reside. Is this kind of mixture possible? It seems so, and is very disturbing to me. But is not that the “fate” of even Divine conviction, that it is often not immediately welcomed with joy, or even acceptance.
Now in this process do we not cut off the deep workings of the Holy Spirit if we too quickly minister the assurance of Romans 8.1,2 and leave aside the matter I describe above? I think we need to know personally that sin is a great sorrow to our God who has never sinned, He who did watch His Only Begotten Son die because of sin, He who must also administer eternal condemnation and separation to countless souls daily. If we are saved to conform ourselves to the Image of Jesus our Savior, we will just necessarily have to be sorrowful as He was/is, and sorrowful over our sins. These ideas seem to have been lost in Christendom.
Instead of the acknowledgement of the need for godly sorrow, we seem to skip blithely to a state of “no condemnation”. I have come to the conclusion that faith without works is dead and that the first work of the Gospel is repentance. Repentance has been called the first word of the gospel. Christendom has in so many places rejected the idea of works, not knowing that there are dead works to be rejected, but living works to be embraced.
Matthew 3:1-2 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
John 6:26-29 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
If repentance is the first word of the gospel, does this verse not contain the second? “…believe on him whom he hath sent”
I am persuaded that the second word of the gospel can be summed up as “work: believing God has sent Jesus and bear the fruits of repentance.” That repentance comes from conviction and conviction from the Holy Ghost is without question, yes? If not we have made it all up in our mind, and are in deception still. But since God is, He is able to regenerate us in every way, but not without our full fledged cooperation, that is, our submission to Him, believing on and in Him. He knows all and knows so much better than we how we must live and not perish.
Luke 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
What are the fruits of repentance? I had to consult a friend for this paragraph. I wanted to skip right to Galatians 5.22&23, but there is a journey to be made. He pointed out that repentance, which means change, will replace evil fruits with good fruits. Pride and arrogance will be replaced by humility and brokenness, greed with restitution and giving, envy with contentment, drunkenness with sobriety, lust with temperance and self denial. Idolatry will give way altogether to the Living God. Witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, all will be trod under by Love and the gospel of peace.
It is the initial appearance unpleasantness of repentance to the carnal mind which hinders so many, as it surely has hindered me. Mans carnality wants an effortless salvation. It is the selfish nature of carnal thinking to arrange for that, but effortless salvation is shallow at best, if it is salvation at all. Repentance can only make room for joy and for blessings untold and unknown without it. Today I fear many, and I remain without the fullness we might have by responding to the Truth about their sin. It seems very clear to me that the joy and the assurance of salvation will come and grow and be strong only by repentance. Oh to be as Paul our Apostle of the Lord Jesus who said: Brothers, by the right to be proud which the Messiah Yeshua our Lord gives me, I solemnly tell you that I die every day. 1 Corinthians 15:31
©2007 d. severy
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Through to where?
We simply must examine ourselves. And be seeking the truth about ourselves. It takes only a moment for me to remember the self constructed frame that I sought to live by, the house that I built which I believed would get me through. But then came One who whispered “Through to where?”
It is quite often that my old carpenter wants to return to my old frame house. I step inside and my foot goes through the flooring. When I pull my foot back up, there is sand all over the shoe. If I do not turn and flee away from this shack of horrors, troubles are sure to come. If I proceed to build a fire in the old fire place, what will that be but strange fire? O the woe that strange fire brings. It warms and enlivens the man of flesh. It revives death. There is a way (a lifestyle) that seems right unto man, but the end thereof is death.
We cannot paint the picture strongly enough. God paints with a black blacker than the most moonless starless night, and with a white brighter than bleached linen at on a cloudless day. Bad is bad and good is good. They are more separate than night and day. The night and the day are both alike to God. He sees as well at as at . And He sees everything all at once. No thing and no action escape His attention. And while we are still bound by His will to these jars of clay, we live in a world where good and evil are in such close proximity that we bump elbows with bad things daily.
While they may touch of temples of clay, shall we allow them to enter in? God forbid. God, having forgiven our sin by the blood of His Son HAS cleansed the temple. Why then do I often find myself brushing sand from my feet? How is it that I did not notice the sand I walked across to get to that old shack? What are the sign I missed? I admit that I failed to do the right thing, and did the wrong thing, even if the wrong thing was doing nothing at all. But need I do these wrong things over and over? God forbid.
If you are not living in freedom from actions and habits that are wrong, not only God forbid them, but YOU ALSO FORBID THEM!!! God must be pleased by all our sincere efforts to please Him. Be to pleasing Him, forbid yourself the sins you have done to please your appetite. Do this not to make a name for yourself, but to show the Lord’s esteem in your repentance and obedience. It is God who makes us righteous. I can never be impressed by my repentance. To stop sinning is not glamorous; it is the need and duty to God of everyman. I do not stand above others because I repent. Nor do I stand above others because I obey. Yet it is true that we stand apart from willful sinners in our cooperative life with God.
This is where the enemies of God will seek to drive a wedge. Obeying God is consequential. It brings delight to God, and comfort to our souls knowing He is pleased by our obedience. Yet obeying God also sets us apart, often in stark contrast with those who do not obey, even those who sit in the pews or folding chairs with us. It may bring much opposition from the enemies of God, even from those who worship beside us.
The devil is busy trying to cause others to mock us for our good obedience. The term “goody two shoes” comes to mind. If we are faithful in our repentance we will walk ever nearer to Jesus, He who ultimately was killed for being good. Yes, He was so good that He was entirely misunderstood, and murdered out of that misunderstanding! Let us walk ever nearer to Him no matter how much opposition the devil stirs up against us.
It is so rightly said that if we are opposed for obeying God, we are suffering as Christ suffered. To be opposed, even crucified, and murdered because we obey God can only end in our salvation! It is appointed unto every man to die, and then to be judged. We who believe in the Son of God Jesus have been pardoned the condemnation and sentence of eternal separation from Him, that second everlasting death for unbelieving Christ, no repentance of wrong deeds and thoughts, and not returning our souls to the Father by Jesus.
Whatever death we may die, it is the death of the flesh. Our spirit and souls are then (yes, even now!) everlastingly alive !!! Shall not then the yoke of the Lord Jesus be easy, and His burden truly a light burden? Shall not then the self denial He requires be a joy as it brings the illumination of His fellowship, and the opportunity and power to serve others? Then we may lead others to the wonderful straight gate and narrow way, when they are aware that we seek no reward from them, we seek instead for them their reward of faith, received through their faith, that is: their trust in His unmerited Favor.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Revival or Arousal?
I have wanted to see "revival". Yet I have not much admired the “revival” meetings that are frequently scheduled in various places. I have believed that God would bring "revival" according to His schedule.
The word "revival" does not occur in the King James Version, or in the Complete Jewish Bible, or in the Amplified Bible, or in Young’s Literal Translation. I am no longer looking for "revival" - but we have liberty to live. Or shall we sleep?
Revelation 3:1-6 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. (2) Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. (3) Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. (4) Thou hast a few names even in
Has our Master’s letter to
Mark -29 And he said, So is the
We are not meant to live forever in these clay vessels. There is no more valuable life to live that that which pleases God, and serves His people. Yet when this life is lived, it will be hated by the lawless ones.
John 15:18-27 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (20) Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. (21) But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. (22) If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. (23) He that hateth me hateth my Father also. (24) If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. (25) But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. (26) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (27) And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
Mark -29 And he said, So is the
O children of God, please don’t resist Him, please return to Him and stay. Let His fruit be nourished and grow, and bountifully remain on each branch of you. And do not fear the “grim reaper”. Those who will destroy the clay vessel, are they not those who destroy the earth? If they refuse your good news, which the Almighty has given to you, they have put themselves in a peril which can never touch your everlasting life.
Awake, Awake, Awake. Awake!!! You who sleep: Awake. You are not dead, and though you are weak, His strength is overflowing in His faithfulness to your faithfulness to enable your service (ministry) and witness (spiritual identity) to again be lively according to the lively hope that is in you by His grace.
Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
( I have written a letter I must now heed)
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Today I must follow Thy Son, it is without any doubt my calling, and should be my zealous joy. I confess that the days are yet filled with peril, and especially with distractions and pleasures in my wealthy country. Mercifully do please expose my apathy and even my hypocrisy regarding Thy will.
Lord, Thou dost cause all things to work together for good for Thy children. Even so I ask that Thee today to cause many, many things to work together for good, for salvation for the countless unbelievers, including those near to me.
I especially remember my friend C____, and all those who live in lands not of their earthly birthplaces. Help them to see that we are all journeying toward new and everlasting destinations, and that we have a choice to make regarding Thee. Give them powerful proof of Thy omnipresence and agape love for all Thou hast made.
Lord, please continue to send out the gospel, and to equip the preachers, and teachers, and prophets, and all who will faithfully and holily give Thy Word, the true Bread of Life of the lives of the unsaved of our earth. Correct all Thy servants who may stray from Thy will.
I pray for those who suffer, and suffer greatly, wars, violence, disease, injury and famine. Miraculously take away any bitterness and even their afflictions. Help them to cry out to you for relief.
Lord Jesus Christ, Thou hast proclaimed a day when no man shall be able to work. Please Lord, may it not be found in this time to be so.