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How Intimate Are We?

How Intimate Are We?

In describing Leonard Ravenhill, his son Paul said, "His life and ministry were a passionate protest against the religion of the twentieth century. The church where man has made his image of God, not graven in stone but rather graven in words, and then set this up saying, 'This is your God, worship Him.'

"My father saw God as infinitely beyond man's endeavors to explain Him, infinitely beyond man's efforts to serve Him. He saw God as an eternal fire of Infinite Life and Infinite Holiness - to be known in the total surrender of ourselves. He saw God as bringing us into an awareness of His limitless world where His holiness and mercy meet in a glory that transforms all it touches. God was to be known not by the mind but by the heart . . ."

That is what the Lord is saying to me over and over. Recently the Lord has been shaking me to my core with His word:

"Who will be able to endure the day the Lord comes? Who will be able to survive on the day he appears? He is like a purifying fire and like a cleansing soap" (Malachi 3:2)

I love my Father with all my heart and desire. I am confident that He loves me. I know at any moment of the day I can come boldly before His Throne of Grace to receive Grace and Mercy in my time of need. I know the voice of my Father. I delight in His Word, yet still, I am fully aware my knowledge of Him is shallow and has only touched the surface of Who He is. I desire more. I need more!

It is so sad to see how arrogant so many Spirit-filled brothers and sisters have become. They have no idea who they are dealing with. In all of their confidence and all their positive confessions and all their declaration of faith, they do not fear Him.

I don't care how confident you feel right now. When the Lord arrives, and you stand before Him, you will be shocked at how weak and puny you are. Think of His "fire" and "the day of His coming." Sure, just like I've been praying for Heaven to touch the earth and "for His perfect will be done." Just understand, "on the day of His coming," there will be some dramatic shifts — especially in us!

Malachi 3:2 asks "who can endure the day of His coming?" Will you? Prepare all you want, but He still asks, "who can stand when He appears?" Oh, my brothers and sisters throw aside your confidence and arrogance and despite your salvation and your rebirth and the gift of His Spirit, He will still be "like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap." Allow His cleansing to come, now, not when your time is due.

"When He appears," the refiner's fire will burn. Even the most experienced firefighters will tell you that despite the most advanced protective equipment they wear, the heat of a fire can still injure or kill them.

How do you think you will fare when He stands before you? Our Lord is an "all-consuming fire," and even when John, the "disciple whom Jesus loved" saw our Lord, and "fell at His feet as if dead."

Knowing our seasons and how the Lord wants us to respond is always empowering as we continue to follow Him. In I Chronicles 12:32, it says the tribe of Issachar was known for its ability to "understand the times and seasons and know what Israel was to do." Today is the time to understand the season at hand and remain sober-minded and pliable under His care. How open to His work are you?

Father, I understand that you will send your messengers who will prepare the way for you. I honestly ask myself if I can endure the day of your coming? If I can stand when you appear?

I also understand that you will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; that you will purify the Levites — not the world or unbelievers, but your priests — and refine them like gold and silver.

Father, my only prayer is that when you have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, I will be counted as one. I come to you in fear and trembling knowing that without your gift I could never endure.

I love to read stores about those who, like John, were able to testify to having seen Jesus with their own eyes, observed, and touched You with their hands — The Word of Life (I John 1:1,3). Allow your Spirit to continue to draw me closer and continue his teaching me about you. Amen, my Lord, Amen.

Nickolas
Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List. However, you can also find these messages at: Thought For The Day)

I do thank you for your gifts It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.