Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It is High Tide and Time to Rise and Pray

RISE and pray lest temptation overcome you is the admonition from the Lord's mouth to His disciples. And rising requires releasing ballast or water from the ship's hold.  As someone (anonymous to me) was quoted, “An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship.  Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you.”  The filthy bilge waters of the world is cresting and falling on us heavily in this hour.  Do not allow it into your soul; do not allow it to permeate and saturate you (lest you sink and not rise).  Pray that you be found worthy to escape all that is coming upon every person that is upon the face of the earth.

Though it is assured that He will keep His people, His people must keep themselves, and more specifically, keep themselves in Christ, and consequently, keep themselves out of the wrath of God (and in the love of God).  Disciples are those who discipline themselves; they are those who say to themselves (like David did long ago), that “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not fasten its grip on me.  A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil” (Psalm 101:3-4 NASB).

Turn those TV’s and useless media devices off!  Set nothing worthless before your eye-gates; let it not fasten its grip upon you.  HATE what it does to you, and do not fool yourselves into believing that it does not affect you, because it does.  The battle is raging and even the smallest distraction dissipates your spiritual energies.  The flood of ungodliness will be impervious (ultimately) to unsinkable souls, yes, but the constant barrage makes even the most buoyant of souls to bob up and down too much; and this constant bobbing moves the eyes off its aim, blurs the vision, and keeps the soul from the fullness that God has for her.   

Doug Addison, in an article recently released (7/8/2014), called “Prepare to Fly in July,” said he had a “Deep Blue Ocean Dream.”  He said, “I had a very brilliantly colored dream in which I was swimming in a deep ocean and came upon a forgotten city at the bottom of the sea. There were treasures and buildings like the city was still in use. In the middle of the city there was a sunken whale.  The prophetic representation is that people have been like Jonah. They have a powerful prophetic calling but ran and got swallowed by a whale. Now many abandoned prophetic callings are being brought back for others to fulfill. These are deep callings from God.  The result of the Wind from Heaven and these deep callings will be a new breath of the Holy Spirit into the deepening of your relationship with God.”  This is a wonderful and uplifting word, but a word which will not see the light of day if not believed and appropriated.

Consequently we must RISE and pray to the Lord with the same realization that Jonah arrived at when he was in the belly of the whale at the roots of the mountains in the deepest depths of the sea...seemingly forgotten...and certainly no longer visible to the naked eye.  Hmmm...much like the hidden work of the Holy Spirit!  It was from this place, this tribulated place, this tight and cramped place, this grave place, that he came to realize that “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy” (Jonah 2:8 KJV).  The Amplified says it like this: “Those who pay regard to false, useless, and worthless idols forsake their own [Source of] mercy and loving-kindness.”

The evil and adulterous generation that Jesus Christ spoke harshly to, those that cravenly sought a sign from Him, were given only the sign of Jonah the prophet, and the facts of Jonah’s case: that he was three days in the belly of the whale, and that similarly, for three days, the Son of Man would be in the grave.  Both Jonah (whose name means “dove,” and which corresponds to the work of the Holy Spirit) and the Lord Jesus Christ, were brought back from the dead to preach a message of life by way of repentance from dead works, a change of mind focus and attitude adjustment off of self (soul life) and her craven needs, to a new way of life that simply looks to God to fulfill the soul’s legitimate needs.

To rise from the dead, to rise from the depths of the sea, is accomplished by no longer paying attention to “lying vanities,” to no longer looking to self (or self’s idols) for answers.  We undermine the very grace of God meant to help us when we look to ourselves rather than to God, and that foolish tendency is only eradicated by the work of the Holy Spirit (which points to Christ).  Nonetheless, “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin” is the remedy...so long as it is taken with the rest of the verse: “But alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11 NASB).  IN Christ Jesus and DEAD TO SIN is only accomplished by looking (paying attention to) Jesus Christ, the author and finisher (the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End) of our faith.  From start to finish, He answers, He remedies; He is risen, and we ONLY arise in Him.  He overcame, and we must overcome in Him.

RISE and PRAY, believe and pay attention to Him!  Do not refuse Him who speaks from heaven.  Indeed, “Take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose; for it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth.  Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34-36 Amp.).

“When He [Jesus Christ] arrived at the place [the Mount of Olives, or at the height of anointing, that place in the garden of Gethsemane where He began to sweat blood to secure the victory over sin in prayer first, and which culminated in action secondly at the cross], He said to them [the disciples, those that followed Him and His words], ‘Pray that you may not enter into temptation’” (Luke 22:40 NASB).  And “When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them SLEEPING FROM SORROW, and said to them, ‘Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation’” (Luke 22:45-46).  “Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were FULLY AWAKE, THEY SAW HIS GLORY” (Luke 9:32). 

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things (immorality, impurity, greed, and the like) the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.  Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.  Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.  But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.  For this reason it says, ‘Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’  Therefore BE CAREFUL HOW YOU WALK, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:6-16).

“To this end...we pray for you always, that our God will COUNT YOU WORTHY of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:11-12).  “Behold, I am coming like a thief.  Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame” (Revelation 16:15).