Reflections by the Pond

#762: Taking God Seriously: Taken as a Whole

(Fifth in a Series)

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May 30, 2016

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Colossians 1:9

To take God seriously we must be filled with Him. To be truly filled with God we must take all of Him. We cannot pick and choose what we want of God. He cannot be broken down into compartments, bins filled with His various character attributes, bins from which we may, at our personal discretion, choose to select or reject. He is of a piece, unified, inseparable.

He is to be taken as a whole...

#761: Taking God Seriously: A Transaction of Trust

(Fourth in a Series)

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May 23, 2016

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Like many other teenagers and young adults, I passed through a period of rebellion. It was a time when I rejected the wisdom and instruction of my earthly father, declaring them to be both insignificant and immaterial. Happily, before he went to live with my heavenly Father, I realized the utter stupidity of that position and spent good, productive times filling myself with more of my dad's life, learning more about his history, more about what lay in his heart.

Just so, before it is too late, we are to spend good, productive times with our heavenly Father, filling ourselves with more of His life.

It is a matter of trust. Filling ourselves with more of God is as profound, yet also as simple and direct, as that. It is as direct as deciding who we will trust; it is as simple as putting down our busyness to spend quiet time with Him. It means getting out of the kitchen and curling up at His feet...

#760: Taking God Seriously: A Cosmic Love Affair

(Third in a Series)

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May 16, 2016

From the beginning of man's existence, God has condescended to minister to him on the earthly plane. One need not rise into the heavenlies to meet God; He is pleased to meet man where he lives. But God is not of the earth; He only meets with man here for man's benefit. God is spirit, and dwells in a spiritual place. For man to apprehend the fullness of what God has to offer, he must release his hold on the familiar and dare to soar in spiritual realms...

#759: Taking God Seriously: The Center

(Second in a Series)

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May 9, 2016

How deeply do men err who conceive of God as subject to our human will or as standing respectfully to wait upon our human pleasure. Though He in condescending love may seem to place Himself at our disposal, yet never for the least division of a moment does He abdicate His throne or void His right as Lord of man and nature. He is that Majesty on high.
A. W. Tozer

Where do we begin? Where do we begin the process of taking God seriously? We begin by taking hold of—by believing, by practicing, by living—one fundamental truth. It can be stated in a number of ways, but means the same no matter the arrangement of the words...

#757: All in All

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April 25, 2016

It isn't that we find ourselves bumping into Father God at every turn; it is not necessarily like running into an old friend we might happily meet on the street. Rather, it is like seeing and experiencing everything in our life as if through our own private "God filter." The Holy Spirit, in residence in our body, receives and translates every experience into a form that both glorifies God and illumines His character for us. It begins with God's omnipresence, but then expands and matures into His omni-influence...

#756: Allured Further On

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April 18, 2016

Many are the plans in a man's heart,
but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21 niv

There is nothing inherently wrong with power or wealth; most individuals born of woman, of any economic level, wouldn't mind having a bit more of either or both. But those who dwell in that heady atmosphere, who rarely step outside its gilded portals, will inevitably acquire a skewed perception of what life is like for the common man. While they remain cloistered in their marbled halls, the power elite can repeatedly make bad decisions that harm those not of their ilk, those they claim to represent.

And when Christians cling stubbornly to the perspective and mindset of this impermanent earth, when they form their opinions and base their decisions on what seems right to them, they distance themselves from the One to whom they profess devotion...

#755: Life from Death

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April 11, 2016

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God.
Job 19:25-26 nkjv

In the natural world, whatever is truly dead, remains dead.

In that tomb near Calvary, however, where the lifeless body of Jesus was shrouded and sealed away, true life returned where before there had been true death. No natural phenomenon; this was the eternal Son of God fulfilling His promise...

#754: Not All There

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April 4, 2016

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might."
Deuteronomy 6:5

If we choose to conduct our lives by long distance, rather than in person; if we deny ourselves the tactile and sensory pleasures of the immediate for the superficial inanities of strangers; if we willingly enslave ourselves to a plastic existence, played out in a world beyond our reach—if we choose to live this way, we are only diminishing the quality of our own life.

But when we bring the same attitudes and behavior into our relationship with holy God, we are offending—we are sinning against—Him...

#753: Life With Him

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March 28, 2016

"I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you..."
Hebrews 13:5b

The human mind has a difficult time wrapping itself around the resurrection and the events that followed. On one level, we must abandon our inherent disbelief regarding the very concept of bodily resurrection—that someone who has thoroughly and completely died could come back to life. On another level, we struggle to grasp that that body, though corporeal, might still pass through walls and closed doors, and instantaneously be in one place and then another. On yet another level, after we finally accept the truth of the first two, we are then left wondering why Jesus, now raised from the dead and having fulfilled His reason for coming, would linger on earth forty more days. Putting ourselves in His position, we imagine we would have wasted no time racing back to heaven, and sweet reunion with the Father.

But then, we are not God...