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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Launch out into the Deep

I found these to be the perfects words to meditate on at the close of February.

Streams in the Desert - February 27 entry
"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day."(Gen. 32:24.)
LEFT alone! What different sensations those words conjure up to each of us. To some they spell loneliness and desolation, to others rest and quiet. To be left alone without God, would be too awful for words, but to be left alone with Him is a foretaste of Heaven! If His followers spent more time alone with Him, we should have spiritual giants again.

The Master set us an example. Note how often He went to be alone with God; and He had a mighty purpose behind the command, "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray."

The greatest miracles of Elijah and Elisha took place when they were alone with God. It was alone with God that Jacob became a prince; and just there that we, too, may become princes─"men (aye, and women too!) wondered at" (Zech. 3:8). Joshua was alone when the Lord came to him. (Josh. 1:1.) Gideon and Jephthah were by themselves when commissioned to save Israel. (Judges 6:11 and 11:29.) Moses was by himself at the wilderness bush. (Exodus 3:1-5.) Cornelius was praying by himself when the angel came to him. (Acts 10:2.) No one was with Peter on the house top, when he was instructed to go to the Gentiles. (Acts 10:9.) John the Baptist was alone in the wilderness (Luke 1:80), and John the Beloved alone in Patmos, when nearest God. (Rev. 1:9.)
Covet to get alone with God. If we neglect it, we not only rob ourselves, but others too, of blessing, since when we are blessed we are able to pass on blessing to others. It may mean less outside work; it must mean more depth and power, and the consequence, too, will be "they saw no man save Jesus only."

Streams in the Desert - February 29 entry
"Launch out into the deep." (Luke 5:4.)
HOW deep He does not say. The depth into which we launch will depend upon how perfectly we have given up the shore, and the greatness of our need, and the apprehension of our possibilites. The fish were to be found in the deep, not in the shallow water.

So with us; our needs are to be met in the deep things of God. We are to launch out into the deep of God's Word, which the Spirit can open up to us in such crystal fathomless meaning that the same words we have accepted in times past will have an ocean meaning in them, which renders their first meaning to us very shallow.

Into the deep of the Atonement, until Christ's precious blood is so illuminated by the Spirit that it becomes an omnipotent balm, and food and medicine for the soul and body.

Into the deep of the Father's will, until we apprehend it in its infinite minuteness and goodness, and its far-sweeping provision and care for us.

Into the deep of the Holy Spirit, until He becomes a bright dazzling, sweet, fathomless summer sea, in which we bathe and bask and breathe, and lose ourselves and our sorrows in the calmness and peace of His everlasting presence.

Into the deep of the Holy Spirit, until He becomes a bright, marvelous answer to prayer, the most careful and tender guidance, the most thoughtful anticipation of our needs, the most accourate and supernatural shaping of our events.

Into the deep of God's purposes and coming kingdom, until the Lord's coming and His millennial reign are opened up to us; and beyond these the bright entrancing ages on ages unfold themselves, until the mental eye is dazed with light, and the heart flutters with inexpressible anticipations of its joy with Jesus and the glory to be revealed.

Into all these things, Jesus bids us launch. He made us and He made the deep, and to its fathomless depths He has fitted our longings and capabilities.           ─Soul Food.

"Its streams the whole creation reach, So plenteous is the store; Enough for all, enough for each; Enough forevermore."

The deep waters of the Holy Spirit are always accessible, because they are always proceeding. Will you not this day claim afresh to be immersed and drenched in these waters of life? The waters in Ezekiel's vision first of all oozed from under the doors of the temple. Then the man with the measuring line measured and found the waters to the ankles. Still further measurement, and they were waters to the knees. Once again they were measured and the waters were to the loins. Then they became waters to swim in─a river that could not be passed over. (Read Ezekiel 47.) How far have we advanced into this river of life? The Holy Spirit would have a complete self effacement. Not merely ankle-deep, knee-deep, loin-deep, but self-deep. We ourselves hidden out of sight and bathed in this life-giving stream. Let go the shore-lines and launch out into the deep. Never forget, the Man with the measuring line is with us today.
--- John G. Machen

2 comments:

Nolan said...

Wow, I just noticed that I have comments on my blog! I am going to have to go back and read them because they are long comments lol.

I don't think there are many people in this world that like to be alone for more than a moment. It's good to have people around, but sometimes we can't hear ourselves think! It's truly a great way to speak to the Lord in prayer. I like the examples you listed of the miracles that took place when they were alone with God. The mountains are an amazing place of quiet reflection. Time seems to slow down, and when you listen, you can hear.

rowan said...

Wow, thank you for posting this. I own the streams in the desert devotional book... it was a gift given to me and I'm sorry to say I left it on the shelf and picked up other books that I thought were more urgent to read- books about grand subjects of theology and broad doctrines, but through these books I haven't established a consistent acknowledgment of God or even meditation upon Him. I've been wrapped up in learning about Him,but not taking the time to BE with Him. So, thank you for posting this encouraging message. ~ Your sister in Christ