That Still Small Voice

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”~ Seuss


IMG_5251      “For anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

I want to live with His light shining truth upon my circumstances.

But I often lay bare in my cowardly refusal – because of a fear of rejection and ridicule – to live from my true self, who is clothed in the resurrected Christ. I often choose that love of self (unto the forgetfulness of God) when I am faced with another person who is difficult to love. This is a tomb-like place to be. There I stand irritated, distant, unloving and ungracious – all of the things HE is teaching me that

HE is not.

I want to rise above.

But HOW?

I often ask that harder questions, and am never satisfied with cliches of truth like: “Trust the Lord”. Facts are facts, but standing alone they do not give life.     IMG_5247

 

 

The living answer is simple. He draws me to Himself, the Person, Who yearns for a heart relationship. A relationship that reaches deeply through those important facts that can simply fill the head.

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life”

He desires that I see HIM so I can see all things through His eyes.
One way He helps me accomplish this is that He has made many “picture books” for His “little one” –  in creation and in scripture – so I can see and understand the deeper things of God.
I imagine myself crawling in His lap as He opens one of those books and begins to read it to me.
He shows me the sun:
Just as it is a simple fact that the sun rises, so is it a deeper truth that the sun gives life, movement, health, warmth, and a vast array of relationships. The sun brings the interconnected dance of life and without it all would be dead – a picture He created so we could see that…..IMG_5254

The Son being alive FOR US,  wants His presence to bring true life, healthy spiritual movement, kind warmth and rich inviting relationships. The facts leave the page and become the Person.
He makes our lives an artistic masterpiece, a dance of spiritual life.

Soak Him in.

“We are His poetry piece♥♥ created in Christ Jesus…”

With that picture in mind can I take you back in time to the morning when Jesus arose? Very early in the morning just after sunrise (no coincidence in that timing), along comes Mary. She talks to Him, not knowing with whom she is talking, and in sadness asks if He knew where the beloved body of Jesus lay. The grave was empty. She is distressed.
It is then He breathes with familiarity her name – which often she had heard before.

She knew that voice….
and collapsed in joy and victory into an embrace. Can you imagine being there at that moment?! Moreover, can you imagine being her?

Yet in a way, we are.
“Living in an awareness of our belovedness is the axis around which the Christian life revolves.”

I often think of Jesus saying my name.

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He says my name as I stand shackled to myself, events and people around me that are negative. He reminds me there is another way. He reminds me to become more and more familiar with His voice, with HIS promptings in my heart; so I too can RISE and collapse in Him with joy and victory; so I, and you, can have a vision of those same dark things through His light – and reflect that beauty outward. img_5256.jpg
My broken hallelujah: “Help thou my unbelief”

May you and I hear His “still small voice” call our names out of those places where we lay bare. The circumstance may remain, but we will KNOW WHO surrounds us, and we can REST IN HIS LIFE AND LIGHT.

We can live a resurrected life;
therefore, in His glorious name,

 

 RISE.

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“….that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and

what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe,
according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ
when he raised him from the dead…”


Ephesians 5: 14; John 5:39,40; Ephesians 1:17-20
also see, Romans 8:11 and Acts 2:24

♥♥The word “workmanship” in Ephesians 2:10 is from the Greek word “Poiema”, meaning poem/God’s creative work – just as He created “the things that are made {Poiema}” in creation (Romans 1:20).

Don’t Give Up

                                       
“That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” ~ Philippians 3:10, 11

If I were to pick one “life verse” it would be this one without hesitation. At the young age of 20, I can recall memorizing it with the desire and prayer to know Him, to really know Him. But then there was that phrase, the fellowship of His…….
sufferings.
I wasn’t too sure about that one.
However in this life there really is no avoiding it, at least the suffering part of the phrase, right? BUT we can control  HOW we are going to walk through it.
As my years have passed I have been forced to learn a bit about that “how” and each lesson has been invaluable only because of this:
Through every difficulty I have been through, He has taken me deeper than my own feet could ever have…..deeper than I ever would have, had I seen into that future.
And as I look back on my life I would do every one of those “deaths” to my own plans and desires all over again, because “Jesus doeth all things well”.

And that is why I (and you) can say,
“Take Me”

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Difficulties have a way of bringing me to a crossroads. Standing between two I ask, “Will I pass through this hardship and seek to find His purpose, His treasure in it? Or will I just give in to allowing it to overcome me, will I allow it to take me and distract me from HIM?”
Pausing, I remind myself that at the end of His road is the promise of the resurrection, of life, and of  a DEEPer closeness to my Protector.

Or

Still pausing, I could choose the other road and give up and thus lead myself to a place that is just simply dead, goes nowhere and makes the trial a really sucky waste of time.

There are my choices.

Those are what I have really reminded myself  of every time those VERY hard trials hit. I knew I had to pass through those deep waters* no matter what.  So I might as well fervently pray that I would find the treasure in it………so……….with a release of resistance and the hope of a deeper life, the “take me” seeps slowly from my lips.

And then comes the movement
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“Deeper”
(than my feet could ever wander)
This movement toward Him is that sweet place of allowing Him to SHOW Himself to my heart, to my soul, to my spirit. Deeper describes that word “knowing”* which is really a word of intimacy, not just a knowing of, or about someone. It is a word of depth into a Person. A word of love, binding me to my heavenly Groom……

and this takes my every sense.

This is best expounded upon with a poem I wrote in the throws of one these troubled times. It describes more of the passage of suffering as it is happening.

(A note of importance: remember that death and suffering were never meant to last forever, because all over nature God has communicated to us that after death has done its work, life takes over. So it was with His own suffering on the cross, and the glorious resurrection that followed, and continues on for us.)

Fellowship of Suffering ~ A Divine Exchange

Open my eyes to clearly see; the path
You took of humility.

Incline my ears to every sound;
Your silence cried out when beaten down.

Enhance my taste to every good
that joy in pain You understood.

Train my scent to know the prayer
of tears of blood that broke the snare.

Then full my arms to Thee embrace
as I fellowship in sufferings face to face!

In this place of relationship in trials, I see many things but all are sourced from, in and through
“His Love”

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I pause before I type any more words. How can we describe this, how can we describe Him? I can see why Paul in Ephesians* added words like, length, breadth, depth and height to the expanse of His love. We are called to know this because in knowing this we know Him and in doing so, we have the fruit of a true life*.
His love fuels our “take me” and His love woos our steps into His depths* and His loves makes our life able to bring forth all life that is organic, viable and real*.

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(Now this is kinda cool and I love when things like this happen):
Right after I took the picture at the top of the post of my Bible journal drawing, I picked up a book I had been finishing by A.W. Tozer and read the following (which I must share in closing because it fits so perfectly.) May we believe His road is best.

“Where such faith is, God will always work in line with our reckoning. Then begins the divine conquest of our lives. This, God accomplishes by an effective seizing upon, a sharp but love-impelled invasion of our natures. When He has overpowered our resistance, He binds us with the cords of love and draws us to Himself. There, faint with His loveliness we lie conquered
and thank God
again
and again
for the blessed conquest.”

With that to look forward to,
Don’t Give Up.
He is worth it.
And so are you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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The word “know” – Strongs 1097 /ginṓskō (“experientially know”) is used for example in Lk 1:34, “And Mary [a virgin] said to the angel, ‘How will this be since I do not know (1097 /ginṓskō = sexual intimacy) a man?'”

1 Peter 1:5-8

“The Divine Conquest” by A.W. Tozer; pg 63

Philippians 3:11-13