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Leaning upon the Beloved, and Other Reflections
Leaning upon the Beloved
To bring the soul to entire reliance and dependence upon Him is “the end of the Lord” (James 5:11) – the purpose of His varied dealings, whether in the “valley” or on the “mountaintop.” “Leaning upon her Beloved!” This is the outcome of the life of union – what life more simple or more blessed! In this privileged position the hidden one... comes forth to renewed service and activity.~J.P.L.
“Who is this that cometh up from
the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?”
(Song of Songs, 8:5) The daughters of Jerusalem exclaim, “Who is this?” as they behold the hidden one emerging from her time of rest in the Well-Beloved’s care. They see her now leaning upon her Beloved, for she has learned that she can only keep in step with Him as she leans upon Him every moment in utter dependence and helplessness.~J.P.L.
Spending Time Alone with the Lord
The “hidden one” must learn that the pressure of the needs of others, fancied or real, must never intrude upon the sacred hours of waiting on the Lord. Active service especially demands these times alone with God. The Master needed them, for do we not read: “Great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed…But He withdrew Himself in the deserts and prayed” (Luke 5:15-16)? ~J.P.L.
Waiting for His Grace
God provides in Nature for the creatures He has made: how much more will He provide in Grace for those He has redeemed. Learn to say of every want, and every failure, and every lack of needful grace: I have waited too little upon God, or He would have given me in due season all I needed. And say then too— “My soul, wait thou only upon God!”~ Andrew Murray
Insensitivity to Prayer
Recently I prayed for two persons in America over the phone. Both the persons believe that they are born-again children of God. But the impression I got after praying for them was they were 'dead' - dead spiritually, spiritually lifeless, absolutely without the understanding or experience of what it means to be born of the Spirit and to be a child of God. God save their churches: one is the Christian & Missionary Alliance, and the other is a Reformed Church (what they call a Bible Fellowship). Most churches seem to preach evangelistic doctrine, but it is all 'mental' and without the ministration of 'life'.
Natural Knowledge and Spiritual Knowledge
"Natural knowledge and spiritual knowledge. They belong to two different worlds. Natural knowledge is outward knowledge that you have by information. Spiritual knowledge you receive by revelation of the Holy Spirit in your heart." Many who claim to be born-again seem to have only an outward knowledge of Christ. They have not had the revelation of Christ in their hearts, nor the experience of being born-again.
You can see it by their posts. The
Holy Spirit gives you spiritual discernment. You can know what is written in
the flesh, and what is posted in true sincerity in the Spirit.
Unfortunately since the days of mass evangelism, people think acceptance of a formula is all that is needed to be born again. They fail to realize that there is the indwelling of the Spirit. And you will know how the Spirit checks you when you go your own way - the way of the flesh or the way of the world.
Confess and Forsake Sin
When you sin you will not deny it and say, 'That wasn't sin; I was not wrong.' You won't try to excuse yourself or lay the blame on others. Adam did that. You will say, 'That was wrong, Lord. I'm sorry for it; forgive me. Put that under the Blood of Jesus.' Then what happens? 1 John 1:7, 9 follows. The Lord forgives. Only then will you be able to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
You will not only seek forgiveness, but you will pray for God's grace to forsake the sin. Prov 28:13. The Lord gives much grace.
Righteousness or Right Standing with God
The one all-governing thing through the whole Bible is Righteousness or Right Standing with God. There is God, He is over all - perfect in holiness, perfect in every way! How can man stand in God's presence on right ground and say, 'I have a right to be here before God'? How to be right with God, to be able to stand up before God and say, 'I am quite right. There is no fault that God can find in me.'
Remember, the whole race of mankind in Adam has no right standing with God. There is none righteous, no, not one!
What a marvellous thing to be able to say, because of faith in Christ Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross: “Today I can stand before God without any condemnation!”
Right standing with God or Righteousness is given to us through Faith in Jesus Christ. We are made accepted in the Beloved One (Christ).
Christian life becomes more and more difficult the further we go. The oldest saints often have the darkest times. ~TAS. The darkest times, the times of distress, discouragement and almost despair - are the times when we learn most of the Lord. The Holy Spirit teaches us Christ, more of Christ, in trials which become deeper and more difficult as you grow in the Lord.
'Endure hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ.' 2 Tim 2:3. I tell you Paul the Apostle is the model of the true Christian (1 Cor 11:1). If you don't have his uncompromising stand for the truth (Eph 6:14), his heroic fighting spirit ('fight the good fight of the faith! 1 Tim 6:12), his aspiring to reach greater spiritual heights (Phil 3:10), his total commitment to Christ (Gal 2:20), his fervent zeal for the Lord - well, you have to examine whether you are in the true Christian faith or merely in a pale imitation (or travesty) of it. 2 Cor 13:5.
Spiritual Discernment: Presence of the Lord
We are such utter fools - carried away by big names, big crowds, big applause. We measure things by outward appearance. We lack spiritual capacity, spiritual discernment. We can have a happy time in a place and still not be spiritually nourished at all. We can, on the other hand, go to a small place and among humble people find 'the presence of the Lord'. We can say: 'The Lord is there!'
That, dear friends, is the key to it
all - the key to the Christian life. That the Lord should be there. That you
carry the presence of the Lord. That people should say, 'I see Christ in him
And that kind of sensing comes only to those who are spiritual. It begins when you are born again (born from above), and it grows stronger when that which is 'above' supersedes the things that are below.
Is Jesus Lord?
'The kingdom of God is the sovereign rule of God.' When we preach the gospel of the kingdom of God, are we preaching the sovereign rule of God? And where does that sovereign rule apply? Does it apply to your life and mine? Is it His will or my will, my way, my desire, my opinion (we are such an opinionated lot!)? Are we willing to come under the Headship, Kingship and Lordship of Christ? It is easy to say 'Jesus is Lord' but is He Lord in your life? Absolute Lord?
© Pratonix/Roland Oliver