Reflections by the Pond

#721: Born With the Yearning

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August 17, 2015

The longing to rise, though congenital, may still surprise. It comes upon us during moments of wonder and grace, moments of rapture tinged with the spiritual. It may take our breath away in moments we understand, but that are too wonderful to contain, such as moments when we cradle our newborn child, or gaze upon the face of a loved one just passed. Because all of nature is His, it very often comes upon us when we are surrounded by those things for which man is not responsible, such as during a stroll in the early morning wonder of God's creation.

We carry it within. It is as much a part of us as our first breath. To reject it is the same as to cut off an arm or gouge out an eye. To embrace it is to accept the fact that we are forever incomplete without God...

#720: Adaptation over Immutability

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August 10, 2015

"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding."
Job 38:4

The bright sweetness of God cannot be enjoyed after it has been rubbed dull by the earth's abrasive darkness. Indeed, by such treatment it is rendered unrecognizable. And it is the height of man's arrogance to presume to refashion an omnipotent, omniscient, eternal God. To remake God is to reduce Him (in the mind) to a small god—that is, no God at all, but a mere idol. Of what earthly good is a god fashioned from the soil? What profit is there in rising toward someone already lower than oneself? For, by its very nature, whatever is fashioned by man is something lower than he who made it; the creator is always superior to the thing created.

To change God from what He is, is to set man above Him. And any attempt to change Him is to say, "I will remain who I am, and bring God down to my level." To change God is to reverse the universal order of our being, for, in His universe, He is the one who creates and refashions...

#719: Loving the Familiar

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August 3, 2015

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2 Corinthians 7:1

So we cling to what we know: doing, rather than being. It is far easier to join a committee, or serve coffee at the social, than to have an intimate relationship with an invisible God. And, as a result, our faith becomes root-bound—not rooted and grounded in the love of Christ, but rooted into the familiar soil from which we came, and thus firmly anchored in the plane He is inviting us to leave. The higher life begins with understanding that a foot in the door is not the same as dwelling inside; buying a ticket for entrance through the Pearly Gates is not the same as living a life comfortable with what is inside...

#718: Deciding to Rise

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July 27, 2015

"By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return."
Genesis 3:19

The beginning of change is the decision to make it. The Spirit calls to the heart of man, igniting a longing for God—a longing not just for redemption, but for something better; not just for holiness, but for a higher plane. There is something better, and God knows what it is. But man and woman must decide whether they will live with God on His higher plane, or remain stuck in the foul muck of earth...

#717: Faith's Natural Enemy

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July 20, 2015

[King Uzziah's] fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he was strong. But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God, for he entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.
2 Chronicles 26:15b-16

Pride is built into man from the factory. It is part of his original equipment. It is, perhaps, that part of man requiring the most intensive retraining by the Spirit of God, for it is the root of his rebellion, and the comfortable home base of his cognitive sin.

Pride is that part of us that keeps God at arm's length—even in a Christian's life. We stiff-arm the Creator of the universe, because we are of the opinion that our inbred resources are superior to His. Pride in the unbeliever keeps him from knowing Christ at all; pride in the believer keeps him isolated from the benefits, the blessings, the power of that relationship.

Thus it is faith's natural enemy...

#716: Better Than Earth

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July 13, 2015

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
Colossians 3:1-2

Our bodies are made for the soil, but our minds, our spirits, are made for loftier precincts. When Christ comes in and we are converted from being fleshly to being spiritual, our priorities, our tastes, are changed from the bland diet of earth to the sumptuous feast of heaven. When the Holy Spirit enters us we are literally changed from one species, as it were, to another—from a flesh-being to a spirit-being.

But our flesh remains, no matter the conversion of appetites. Flesh has its own appetite, and its insistent cravings fight against our desire for higher sustenance. So we must keep on seeking, keep on demanding something better than what earth has to offer. For this place is still in the grip of the father of lies...

#715: A Point of Clarity

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July 6, 2015

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?
Colossians 2:20-22

The world would have us believe that the height of wisdom is to be fair and open to all beliefs. But of course real wisdom reveals that when we believe in everything, we in fact believe in nothing.

Christians in the United States have been suddenly brought to a point of clarity. No more fence-sitting; no more grays. Suddenly there is a bright line of demarcation between good and evil, for it is now law in these United States that people of the same sex can marry.

Christians must now decide: Will they stand for the bedrock of God's truth, or will they take their place on the quicksand of a nation that has lost its way?

#714: Life & Light

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June 29, 2015

In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. John 1:4

Adam proved that the original life of his creation was not sufficient. He had breath, he had being, he had a spirit, he had a soul. But he discovered something else in him that nullified the rest: sin. The existence of sin meant Adam's end would be death—death and darkness. Sin meant that his end would be an eternity away from the God who made him, and who had happily communed with him up till then.

So God, knowing that the basic, material life of creation was not sufficient, and wishing to restore His communion with man, sent new Life—eternal life—to man in the person of Jesus...

#713: Real Truth

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June 22, 2015

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." John 8:31-32

This world must be a horrible, treacherous place to live for those without Christ. It is as if the fools of this world have purposely chosen to trudge along in soupy quicksand, when high, dry ground and a clear path are readily and easily available. Why would so many cling so religiously to a slippery, ever-shifting mélange of P.C. twaddle, when the high ground of eternal truth is there for the asking? Perhaps the depravity of man has at last become undeniable...

#712: First Place

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June 15, 2015 that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
from Colossians 1:18

From television commercials, billboards, radio ads, and presidential hopefuls the poisonous rhetoric of a self-absorbed society is drilled into our brains from birth. There is no escape from it. If it is not from the lips of a self-important narcissist running for office, it is pouring forth from ad agencies peddling products by priming their potential suckers with, "You are worth it," "You deserve it."

There is no escape from it...