“There Is A Door” – A Poem

There is a Door,

Whose thresholds are countless to cross
Whose Mystery dwells in my dross
Whose rooms I have yet to all see
Who by each new entrance makes free

This Door is the blest Son of Man
Forever unfolding His plan
With each day a whisper in ear
That crossing, I might be drawn near

There is no door other than He
Whose entrance by which one might see
His heavenly holiness shine
Here on earth as where all is divine

There is such a Door to be found
Every day His still voice does resound
Let us hear, for that Spirit does speak
To the lowly and unto the meek

Make your entrances while it is day
That at night you may not slip away
For He shuts and He closes at will
And the seats at His table do fill

O come to the Door and make haste
For His thresholds are just a foretaste
Of the glory which He shall make known
Through the ones within whom He’s now shown

Behold the Door, He is our sight
And an ark filled with children of Light
That the flood of His vengeance be passing
And renewed shall be Day everlasting

– Brendan

The Perfecting Of The Saints

 

“Salvation is from our side a choice,
from the divine side a conquest of the Most High God.”
– A.W. Tozer

 

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to his purpose.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Romans 8:28-30

 

I’ve never heard a teaching based upon this scripture which did not at least contain within it a subtle pleading on behalf of sin and imperfection. Yet here are pure and holy words, which by the Holy Spirit speak expressly to the perfecting of the saints, whose sins their Saviour takes awaysaving them “even to the uttermost.” It is an irony bearing the very fingerprints of Satan, that most who in word affirm the electing Grace of God despise hearing the true reason that He so appeared to all men.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching US* that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
Titus 2:12-15

* “US” – The Grace of God (the Person of Christ) appeared to all men to teach the children of God the fear of the Lord. The Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world: which gift is abundant toward those who avail themselves of it by the powerful operation of the gift of HIS faith within them. He appeared to all; but He came unto His own. Now therefore, let His own continue to receive Him even to the fullness of God; for He has other sheep of which we know not, and He will have the full-grown tree of His planting though He finds need to cast away unfruitful branches in the process.

For judgement Christ has come into the world, “that the ones who do not see may see, and they who see may become blind.” (John 9:39) That which we see of God, we are judged according to. Holiness is walked in by earnestly operating in what God has revealed to each one. Only by this shall men see the Lord: who then must either come to the Light, manifesting the practice of truth which has been wrought in God; or they must walk more determinedly in darkness, working evil before the face of God’s enlightenment because they hate His Light on account of its exposure.

And this Light beams clear and bright in Romans chapter eight, which speaks perhaps most loftily of the highest wonders of His grace.

 

And we know that all things work together
for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called
according to His purpose…

God equates loving Him with obedience to the calling given to each of His children. Men speak much of a love for God, but few make their calling and election sure. Loving God is proven in those who walk in the specific purposes of His will for them by the Holy Spirit, who gives all unction for the task. Would that we availed ourselves of His boundless resource, unto His good working in “all things”! For of such the apostle can be confident, “that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Php 1:6)

 

…For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate
to be conformed to the image of His Son,
that He might be the firstborn among many brethren…

Foreknowledge is the eternal desire of God pursuing men. It is the pleasure of the Good Shepherd to go after a lost sheep; even to find the one in leaving the ninety-nine. And to these, who by the Father are drawn to Him, He seeks to reveal the eternal purpose for which they were apprehended by Him: which is that they might themselves apprehend Him. This is that for which we are predestined; for by laying hold of He who first lay hold of us, we become in this world as He is, so that when He appears we may be like Him, seeing Him as He is. The predestination of God has within it the strengthening power of His grace to this very end for those who remain in Christ. Those who do not avail themselves of His strength to be conformed to His image fail to walk in what He has predestined. The destiny of each child of God becoming a perfect reflection of Christ the Son is decided by God; but it is carried out in those who continually yield to His way that it might be manifested as true. Jesus’ brother, sister, and mother are those who do the will of His Father. The likeness of the Son is revealed within each one to the degree that they allow Him to conform them to that glorious image – no cost in this life being comparable to the glory that shall be revealed…

 

…Moreover whom He did predestinate,
them He also called…

God’s calling is to be obeyed: disobedience is the calling neglected, and a calling neglected stands in judgement over the one called. “The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” – they remain immovable in God, their blessing impending upon the diligent; but the wicked and slothful servant moves only to bury it in the cursed soil of earth. If only he had discovered the heavenly-tilled soil which God is so gracious to produce in men’s hearts, if they would but submit to the process of growing in His good and perfect gifts! “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.” (Lk 12:47) In the parable of the marriage feast (Mt 22) Jesus sent “to call them that were bidden” (v3 – KJV). The word for both call and bidden are the same Greek word (καλέω – Str. G2564). Literally, He “called them that were called,” and they refused to come on account of their own pressing earthly cares. They would rather fellowship with the dead than follow Christ and leave the dead to bury themselves. It is well to be called; but to end here is an eternal shame. That which we have received from above, let us also give, give into, and give in to fully. The callings of God are not optional if we should supp with Him in the highest of heavenly gladness. There is a place reserved for those without an inheritance (“outer darkness… where there is weeping & gnashing of teeth” – Mt ch. 8, 22, 24, 25). In the words of Peter, it is partaking of the divine nature TODAY which brings us abundantly” into His kingdom still partaking…

…give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1 – (read the whole chapter)

 

…and whom He called,
them He also justified…

Religious men would not arrange the list in Romans 8:29-30 with justified following called if they had written it; for to them these words carry nothing beyond the past tense. But God, knowing the end from the beginning and the hardness of men’s hearts, speaks by faith concerning present and future realities as though they were past; so that men may likewise avail themselves of living by HIS faith in order to lay hold of the Truth for themselves. For by the Word of God the heavens and the earth were created; and the gospel of Christ that very Word remains the power of God unto salvation for them that believe (present-tense). “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith unto faith. As it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Faith is to be the substance growing within a person unto the righteousness of God being revealed in them. For the just are those who are justified, and justification is for those called to righteousness; and those in whom said righteousness is not revealed did not make their calling and election sure from faith to faith. For the creation’s expectant groaning shall only be satisfactorily answered by the revealing of the sons of God; and these are only revealed to the degree that Christ in them is revealed, Who is their hope of glory. The just are those in whose hearts the light of Jesus Christ has shone as out of the midst of darkness; so that now as His salvation draws ever-nearer, they strive for no less than to see the word fulfilled: “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.” Men want justification to be a trite excuse for rationalizing their neglect of this high and upward calling to glorification after His likeness. But here the Holy Spirit will have none of their guilty pleadings on behalf of iniquity and sin; which He came as an inward fire to remove and to purge, that we should be liberated to walk transformed by His ever-renewing power.

 

…and whom He justified,
them He also glorified…

The just live by faith; and if they “NOW live by the faith OF the Son of God” (Gal 2:20), then shall they find at work in them that same living righteousness which is only “through the faith OF Christ” (Php 3:9). It is only in walking by HIS faith, and that increasing, that God’s end for His own shall be attained to: the full sanctification of their whole beings. Paul expressed this longing of God for His people,

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God
your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless
unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

There have sadly been those throughout history who have divided these three parts of the human person with the intent of suppressing certain ones for the glorification of others. This is folly. God does not regard the body or the soul any less than the spirit; for He created them to glorify Himself, and He partook of all three that He might perfect them all in His children. Those who are happy to pursue the perfecting of the spirit, yet deny that the soul and body could possibly be sanctified WHOLLY, saying that these must rather be irreparably broken or suppressed in this life, will only fall short of the glory of God which He holds in store for each of these components which make up the whole.

The spirit of man, which men are so often proud to boast in, is not our own. “But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.” (1Cor 6:17) And the Word of God divides soul and spirit for the purpose of discerning unto the good of both; not unto the pushing down of the soul, but for restoring it to the wholeness and freedom of a man’s entire being in God’s purposes. For even after the fall of Adam, God has still woven each one together in the womb: each with a personality and certain traits which are only brought to fullness and right usage in sanctification – but not thrown away; for God has woven and continues weaving that vessel to be a unique expression of His likeness. God forbid that His call and gifting within us should have doubt cast upon it by the carnality of those who despise the humanity of man in his soul. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man: for in God the two are completely compatible. For in the image of God He created man, and the life of the Christian is again hid with Christ in God. Each is therefore given the means to be a reflection of the various facets of God’s wisdom and glory. An excellent diamond requires light to strike its multiple faces from different angles in order to display the manifold beauty of its singular essence – not because the diamond is unable to display all of its glory at once, but because its viewers are insufficient to behold much of it apart from interactive movement in the light. God’s is One; but the wisdom of His glory as displayed in the many-membered church of His Son is manifold. Few have considered that to despise and neglect the soul may well be tantamount to giving it over to the Devil’s purposes. He will gladly steal, kill, and destroy whatever is carelessly left within his reach. The merchandising of men’s souls is a key characteristic of Mystery Babylon. Therefore the “churches” of men, which truly produce only formulaic proselytes despising their own souls rather than calling many sons to Christ’s glory: these entities are Babylon’s harlot daughters.

And the body of a man: the body is not a vessel to be considered worthless; for the very body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. The “flesh” often spoken of by Paul as being at war with the Spirit usually refers to the sinful nature, not strictly the body. This is easily distinguishable by children from the other times when Paul refers to the physical body using the same term. The crossover in terminology is an acknowledgement of how sin operates amidst the fabric of the person, not a blanket condemnation of all things on the physical plane, or even of the soul. Men are carriers of the sinful nature, and outside of Christ, hopelessly subject to it; but we not the sinful nature incarnate. There is only One who has tasted such an unfathomable baptism of unmatched horror so that we who believe in Him never should: “He became sin who knew no sin, that we should become the righteousness of God in Him.” The cross we are called to bear is one of identification with Him, not one of being condemned as sin, which He already bore once for all, so that “there is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus…”

“…that WE should become the righteousness of God…” – Not only “that our spirits should become,” or perhaps even, “that our spirits and souls should become.” No. But rather the whole of the person, wholly sanctified! Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of the Majesty of high in His fully human resurrection body, for our sake! He is our mediator because He is “the man, Jesus Christ”! The scriptures do not speak of simply shedding the mortal to be clothed in in immortality; they rather speak of the mortal putting on immortality – there is a great difference (1 Cor 15). The former despises the body, the latter hopes of its translation. “It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” And the likeness of our spiritual body to His image will be in proportion to how we bore His image in the earthly body: for AS we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1Cor 15:49). “AS” – Gk. καθώς, Str. G2531 – inasmuch, in proportion as, in the degree that. It is the hope of the church who endures His refining fire that in the last days they should not all sleep…

Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. BUT thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:51-58

The resurrection of the dead which Paul longed to “attain unto” was the final resurrection (Gk. ἀνάστασις – Str. G386, always used of the  resurrection unto glory, or of Christ’s fore-running resurrection). He sought this translation; but he was a man born out of due season, yet still he strove to this end “if by any means…”

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:10-12

“…either were already perfect” – The perfecting of the saint is in view here because it is possible through Christ; and its present earthly chapter of being joined in the likeness of His death culminates in partaking of the same resurrection. “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” (2Cor 4:10)

 

For the one that died has been justified from sin.
Romans 6:7

…and whom He justified, them He also glorified.

 

Let this high calling not be received as condemnation, but as hope which further purifies God’s children in the seeing of Christ our Life.

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure.
1 John 3:2-3

The purity and completeness of Christ’s bride is what brings about her translation; and when she is found in perfect unison with the call of His Spirit, He will answer coming forth to escort her, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” (SS 2:10) The Spirit of truth is the One witnessing, let us obtain His good witness to this end…

By faith Enoch was translated so as not to see death,
and was not found, because God translated him.
For before his translation, he had obtained witness
to have been pleasing to God.
Hebrews 11:5 (LITV)

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

 

“Let us consider the possibilities of faith.”
– A.B. Simpson

Psalm 73 – Purity Of Heart

Truly God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
Psalm 73:1 (ESV)


~ FIRST, AN EXHORTATION ~

The holy nation of God is made up of those who are pure in heart. The thing which God is after is a holy nation, and He will have it at great cost. No, He has even already paid for it immeasurably. So when and how shall He see the full fruit of the travail of His soul? His being poured out unto death is the promise of glory; but in every merciful promise of God, the recipients are justly charged to actively inherit its spiritual substance in the likeness of He who opened the way unto that abundance of His Life.

The aim of our charge is love
that issues from a pure heart
and a good conscience
and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:5

His holy uncompromising love issues forth from pure hearts because the pure heart has no defilement of conscience, so that their participating in the faith can always be instant and authentic. These are a peculiar people, for they are no one’s possession except His. They are not even their own, for they see and are ever undone at the immeasurable worth of His buying price. Today is the day for purity of heart to be sought and acquired in the members of God’s house, lest the jealous yearning of His indwelling Spirit be provoked to wrath upon His near visitation.

The prophet wondered aloud regarding the day in which the Lord suddenly comes to His temple: “But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appears? For He is like a refiners fire…” We the temple stand at the threshold of that day, and we ought to be trembling; for He shall first visit His own house to purge the iniquity and burn the chaff. If evil will not be removed from our hearts by the Lord in His strivings with us, then the Lord is free to remove the evil of heart.

Beloved, we are God’s children now,
and what we will be has not yet appeared;
but we know that when He appears
we shall be like Him,
because we shall see Him as He is.
1 John 3:2

He identifies His own by their likeness to Him. Now, there are degrees and varied expressions of His manifestation through each one of us; but let each one earnestly participate in whatever measure which God has entrusted to them, lest any be ashamed at His coming as was the wicked and slothful servant. Those who will not see Him as He is will not be like Him. This truth transcends whatever we may think defines the boundaries of His house. Those who abide in Him unto the doing of righteousness by faith may have confidence at His appearing; but those who shrink back from substantive faith leave themselves to walk in a most precarious hope and superficial assurance. For by not being continually lead of His Spirit, they see little of Him in person, and the wonder of His Life remains but a faint abstraction easily traded for lesser things. Pray the Lord opens their eyes, lest they carelessly slip away and not endure!

But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal:
“The Lord knows those who are His,” and,
“Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver
but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable,
he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy,
useful to the Master of the house, ready for every good work.
2 Timothy 2:19-21

If the ungodly shall not be spared in the final judgement, much more should the unfaithful servants learn again to serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling before that final day; those whom He expectantly appointed to present His church to Him a chaste virgin, spotless and without wrinkle. “It is time for judgement to begin at the house of God.” The names of those who weep over the ravished daughter of Zion are being written in the books, as well as those who have ravished her; and not a wicked soul shall His slaying Spirit spare: beginning at His most holy sanctuary, which they have defiled by their abominable revelings in HIS bride.

Let every one whom God has called into the fellowship of His mystery heed the warnings of His word.

 

~ THEREFORE ~

I write this (especially what follows) to the earnest of heart, who desire no other shepherd than the Good One, who cry for nothing less than the Lord Himself to be fully glorified in them: His perfect will done in light of these things.

This Psalm [73] has for some time now been a sharp instrument in the skilled hands of my Physician, and it necessarily remains so. It contains the words of a man rightfully disenchanted with the spiritual injustice of his day, yet crippled by the impure response of his heart toward it. The proverb is true: “the more knowledge, the more sorrow;” and the sorrowful soul not being continually restored by the Lord can become just as deceitful and desperately wicked as any unregenerate heart. Those who see the horror of things as they are and hear the urgent call of God can easily run the risk of feeling as though they have come to something which excludes them from requiring further heart surgery. Herein lies the path of becoming both unmerciful and unjust in response to what God is revealing. The great danger of conviction is that we become content with its mere presence, neglecting its call to ever-deepening repentance.

The Psalmist continues…

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For they have no pangs until death;
their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Psalm 73:2-5

“I was envious of the arrogant…” Here is the admission of a man who observed the order of things correctly, yet contemplated them unrighteously within his soul. A lack of personal peace due to the succeeding of the wicked indicates this envy in the hidden heart. Envy is not merely covetousness. Covetousness has to do with lusts and selfish desires; but envy describes a self-centered sense of justice. Envy is a root of restless evil which supplies the many tendrils of covetousness. But even if we do not directly covet the unrighteousness of men or their gain by it, it is still the sin of envy which we find inwardly robbing us of walking in the peace of God. In being envious of the arrogant, we become arrogant. Where God does not appear to be the fulcrum of justice, we overstep Him to seek out our own. This is the envy here described. We act in the passion of envy and speak in the heat of our own displeasure. The reasoning is righteous, but the execution is not; and this is not a matter of outward method, but of the inward heart.

This envy reveals the absence of Godly contentment; it is the frame of those seeking their own justice for all that rightly disturbs their souls. The Devil has learned well to drain the Godly contentment out of those who are righteously dissatisfied with the status quo of man’s religion. For what we envy is the apparent peace of the wicked in light of the apparent disappointment of “I the righteous.” But this is not reality as God sees it; since there is no true peace for the wicked, and disappointment is not the lot of those who trust in the Lord. We think too highly of our selfishly impassioned understandings. A lack of entrusting God’s capable hands to be in control of matters too lofty for us brings about the crippling frustration of envy in our souls, so that in the secret of our hearts we rail against the most high over our perceived predicament while the wicked prosper.

Self-pity is the unrighteous bog in which we soak our hearts when we allow the evil of men to overshadow the goodness of God in our present sight. But we are exhorted to see from eternity, that we may bring back the piercing decree of eternity to lighten this present darkness. The decree from what our own eyes see and our own ears hear among men will not do; since from these God’s perfect justice and equity can never proceed. But those who have stood in His council are constrained to speak the truth in a true heart; for at their appointments with the King, mercy triumphs over judgement. By the brightness of His glory before their eyes and in the burning of His coals upon their lips, His perfect justice ever becomes their acquaintance.

By mercy and truth iniquity is purged:
and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.
Proverbs 16:6

Let us therefore with thankfulness and fear fix our eyes upon the things which are of Christ, our only boast; for by these we find the renewing of our troubled minds, and receive the heavenly wisdom both seen and heard in the stark yet measured words of our Lord. Neither the fear of man nor the wrath of man works the righteousness of God; but there is an inner choosing of God’s peace which disarms the provocateurs of Satan, and a bold confidence in “His own arm” amidst dire circumstance which confounds the evil powers. Blessed are they who invite the searching light of God into the unvisited places of the heart, that when His purifying fire comes it may be gladly received to do its work.

But regarding the wicked, whose hearts we ourselves emulate through the unrighteous fellowship of envy, the Psalmist continues…

Therefore pride is their necklace;
violence covers them as a garment.
Their eyes swell out through fatness;
their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice;
loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens,
and their tongue struts through the earth.
Therefore His people turn back to them,
and find no fault in them. And they say,
“How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease,
they increase in riches.
Psalm 73:6-12

“The murmuring spirit… has much of the spirit of Satan within it.”
– Jeremiah Burrows

The soul most embittered by perceived injustice most quickly rises within the ranks of the unjust. The unjust were all at one time crying out for justice themselves. For no sooner does a man give himself to earnestly seek God’s justice in light of great evil, than the Devil and the flesh remind him of every wrong that he has suffered at the hands of men – especially the betrayal of his very brothers. When we seek the undoing of unrighteousness to find the peace of God rather than standing in the peace of God to find the undoing of unrighteousness, we inevitably find ourselves likewise setting our mouths against the heavens. Yet what was our Lord’s response to this world, who knew men’s wicked hearts beforehand? See what it accomplished! For in Him the Spirit blew where it wished. At one time He was quick to rebuke; at another, to extend mercy; at another, to leave men to themselves. All these interactions were enthroned upon righteousness and justice; for He knew what was in man, because He knew where He came from and where He was going. He perfectly discerned others because He perfectly discerned Himself, so that the Holy Spirit was at liberty in Him. The degree to which we discern ourselves determines the degree to which we discern outside of ourselves and are enabled to be more precisely led by His Spirit.

He shall not judge by what His eyes see, or decide disputes by what His ears hear, but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall kill the wicked.
Isaiah 11:3-4

Such is the way of one whose life proceeds from heaven. The desired reward of true righteousness is the singular glory of God, who today still sends His rain upon the just and the unjust alike. The pure in heart know that they are not the protectors of God’s glory – this is why they can stand undeterred in spirit despite the wicked schemes round about them. For the wise do not dare touch the Ark of God to steady it, though it appears for a moment to waver. The tempter prompts good yet undiscerning men to seize the day right when God is about to make it His own. Any ministration which bypasses the direct working of His Spirit is a ministration after the spirit of antichrist. If we are grieved by what we see and spurred to action with the Holy Spirit, then let the justice of God first overtake and trample our own motivations, lest our own decree go forth and not His. The purest justice flows from a vessel which has itself been most refined in judgement; but the heart envious toward evil men reveals its own impurity as it wearies of walking uprightly amidst such a perverse generation…

All in vain have I kept my heart clean
and washed my hands in innocence.
For all the day long I have been stricken
and rebuked every morning.
If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.
But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end.
Psalm 73:13-17

The response of an impure heart toward evil both within and without God’s house causes our brethren to stumble, for in our envious condition we ourselves are slipping. Let such infancy in grace give way to maturity through both receiving and trusting His good counsel, which He reserves for the ones who diligently seek Him. Holy ground is walked upon by those who earnestly desire to look upon His beauty and inquire in His temple. Only here is made known in the depths of our being the unfathomableness of His perfection in His dealings with men: of His foreknowledge and His longsuffering, of His mercy and His wrath stored up for their respective days, of the desperate longings of His heart unsearchable, of the boundless symmetry of His way inscrutable. Those who humble themselves to seek the counsel of the Lord regarding their grievances will find not merely words to fill an intellectual gap, but living eye-salve of the Holy Spirit. For He reveals His heart regarding the wicked only so much as we allow our own darkness to likewise be lightened.

Truly You set them in slippery places;
You make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment,
swept away utterly by terrors!
Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when You rouse yourself,
You despise them as phantoms.
When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward You.
Nevertheless, I am continually with You;
You hold my right hand.
Psalm 73:18-23

In the nearness of God the end of evil men is at last discerned; for here is our own wickedness also discerned. He allows the wicked to prosper that they may heap up a most complete judgement for themselves: this itself is a judgement of God, and we dare not interfere with His proceedings as children rudely interrupting His court. The pure in heart do not overstep God’s decree regarding the wicked: they are satisfied with it; for they have seen His decree’s relevance even to themselves but for His ever-new mercies. They find peace even in the hearing of His heavier counsels, for they know the good of conceding to His way. In this they are not denying His intercession through them, but they uphold its rightful place. Intercession is the extending of God’s heart within us for what He has decreed, not of our own counsels toward Him; and there are times when He emphatically says, “Pray NOT for this people, for their good…” (Jer 14:11) There is a sin leading to death, and we would do well to walk in the discernment of He who sees the hidden thoughts and intentions of men’s hearts. Conversely, in those for whom God still suffers long there can be a particularly unruly waywardness which requires us to trustingly remove our hands from them, so that He who drew us to Himself apart from man’s devices might be able do the same in them. It is not that we give up; but we do let go, certainly grieved with the Spirit yet also freed from ourselves that we may rejoice in His hope.

We often despise God’s times and seasons, because He uses them to challenge what we think should be happening and how soon. The sooner we trust Him, the sooner we shall see His hour. But we need to trust Him first – then He will do whatever pleases Him, however it pleases Him. The prophet Elijah, who hid himself in virtual exile for years at a time upon the command of God, became so entwined in God’s perfect will that he could confidently say, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to MY word.” (1 Kings 17:1) Elijah lived standing in the Most Holy Place before God Himself, speaking and moving according to whatever he saw the Father doing. He was a true intercessor: a man who stood in the gap, just as Noah who “by faith… condemned the world” in his building of God’s refuge for the righteous few. The battle within us is not merely between action and inaction; it is a matter of whose action. There is a Devilish restlessness which saps the Godly strength of the ready soul.

The most well-intentioned self-will is the greatest neutralizer of true intercession. The tether which binds fleshly action to a holy burden is sensual and demonic; but those who are overcome of Christ overcome the world in His faith. They are secure in daring to say “Thy will be done” because they have chosen to live before the judgement seat of Christ today. For it is here that we discover our need to be led by the hand into the maturity of a living understanding, where our perspective of justice gives way to His own. If we could taste but a drop of His holy anguish over the injustices of wicked men, we would be utterly ashamed of our own imperfect angst. In the covert of His wings vexation is removed from the soul; and the spirit of loneliness and rejection which fostered all manner of sins gives way to renewed strength by returning to the arms of He who never truly forsook us. The burden of the whole world is the Lord’s; and we shall only rightly partake of His burdens if we allow Him to minister rest to our souls, else their weightiness will cause our hearts to fail and our flesh give way to defeat. We cannot minister to the Lord if we are not first ministered to by Him. We may speak much of readiness yet His love remains bound within us, unable to be fully and freely expressed.  But deliverance finds those who at last give up pride and let Him win, consolation is found by those whom His word breaks in pieces, and the anointing is poured out of broken vessels. The works of which the pure in heart shall tell are HIS.

You guide me with Your counsel,
and afterward You will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is nothing on earth
that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
For behold, those who are far from You shall perish;
You put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to You.
But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all Your works.
Psalm 73:24-28