PAULFROMNYS

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Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.

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Looking for that City #6   Bible discussions/belief

Started Sep-1 by PAULFROMNYS; 267 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-1

   

A LINK BETWEEN FAILURE AND REALISATION

One other thing with which to close this present phase as to the backward aspect of Joshua and Caleb to Abraham. They, like Abraham and all the pioneers, were a link between failure and realisation. You look at the world at the time when "the God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham" (Acts 7:2) in Ur of the Chaldees. You look at the world and you look for that which is of heaven, and where will you find it? Where is all God's thought for something heavenly? It seems that once more it has disappeared. There seems to be no testimony at all to this heavenly thought of God - a heavenly people, a heavenly testimony, something that represents and expresses heaven's thought. Where is it? "The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham", and he became the link between the failure and the realisation.

Joshua and Caleb took that up. Here is the story of the failure in the wilderness. But for them, where is the heavenliness? But for them, where is God's thought? Yet God has not given it up. It may seem to have well-nigh disappeared; it has been like that again and again. But heaven intervenes, and secures a link between the failure and heaven's triumph. That link is the pioneer. The Lord must have an instrument like that to set over against the failure and to open the heavenly way again to realisation.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-1

   

You are probably wondering, 'What has this to do with me?' You are saying, 'Yes, these are all wonderful ideas: it is quite true, it is quite clear that it is true in the Bible: but how does it affect us?' Well, it just does. One does not like dwelling in a critical way upon a situation, and whatever is said in this direction always leaves room for something very precious of the Lord still in the earth. It is to speak quite broadly. We will put it this way. The great need of Christians today is to be recovered for the full heavenly thought of God. They have settled down to something less. They have become involved in something less and largely other. It has always been like that. The New Testament was written almost entirely because of it. The Lord's people are always at least in peril of doing that - at least in peril. They do gravitate spiritually toward this world and lose their heavenly testimony in one way or another. The pressure is always there to bring down, and the Lord needs lives that have seen - that have become like those of whom we were thinking in our last meditation, for whom the centre of gravity of life has been transferred from this world to heaven, within whom there is this sense - whether they can interpret it or not, whether they can put it into a system of truth, doctrine, Bible teaching, or not - there is this sense that they are in the line of some great destiny which is beyond what this world can provide, that they have been gripped by something that they can only say is the heavenly calling, which has held them. I am going to say more about that later on; but the Lord needs a people like that, who just cannot be satisfied with things as they are: it is not just a matter of the mind, of the reason at all. It is inside of them; they know that God has done something. Because God has done something, they are committed to something far greater than the poor limits of this life and this world. They have been inwardly linked on with something tremendous. I say again, they may not be able to preach it, but they know it. We shall never be useful to God beyond our vision, our true God-inwrought vision, beyond our own reach of heart. Our measure of vision will determine the measure of our usefulness. Oh, for the immeasurable measure of heaven in the heart of a people! That is the need today.

Let me close by saying again that, while that is the heavenly calling of which the Apostle speaks so much, it is the most difficult way - it is fraught with every kind of difficulty; but it is the real, it is the true, and it is the ultimate, for heaven is a nature, a power, a life, an order, which is destined to fill this world and this universe.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-2

  

 

Chapter 3 - Abraham - A Great Pioneer

 

 

Reading: Hebrews 11:13-16

We return now to Abraham as one of the representative pioneers of the heavenly way. We begin by reiterating one thing which was so true of Abraham, but which must be true, and is always true, of every spiritual pioneer, of every one who is moving on to explore and exploit the heavenly kingdom: that is, his sense, his deep, inborn sense, of destiny. Stephen has told us, concerning Abraham, that "The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham" (Acts 7:2) when he was in Ur of the Chaldees. We do not know how the God of glory appeared unto him. It may have been in one of those theophanies common to the Old Testament and common to Abraham's later life when God came to him in man-form. We do not know. But we do know from his whole life that the effect of it was to bring to birth in him this tremendous sense of destiny - the sense of destiny which uprooted him from the whole of his past life, and which created in him a deep unrest, unrest of a right kind, a deep and a holy discontent.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-2

   Discontent may be all wrong, but there is a right kind of discontent. Would to God many more Christians had it! There was started in Abraham an urge which grew and grew through the years and made it impossible for him to settle down and accept anything less than the full meaning of God. He could not accept a second-best in relation to God. Of course, the consciousness of that had to grow. He had to come progressively to realise what it meant. It came in this way: that he arrived at a certain place, and perhaps thought that here was it, and then he found it was not, and he had to move; and then perhaps he thought, 'Now, this is it - but no, it is not. There is still - I do not know what it is, I cannot define, explain, but I know within me there is still something more that God has'. "Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on" (Phil 3:12); it was this urge through the ages - so very real in the case of the man whose words I have just quoted. He was never able to accept God's second-best. God has a second-best. Again and again in history God has found it impossible to realise His 'first best', His very best. People would not go on. He said, 'All right, you shall have My second-best', and they had it; but pioneers never do that. Abraham could not do it.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-2

   

Now, do not misunderstand or misinterpret this. This was not natural or temperamental instability. Do not think that, if you are a person who is never contented, that is a Divine discontent. It may be temperamental. You may be one of those people who can never stick at a thing for very long, who are always jumping from one thing to another. You will be an entire misfit, both in the world and in the kingdom of God. It was not that sort of thing with Abraham. There was something of heaven working in him, the proof of it being that he was always on the upward move; he was not on the horizontal, he was on the upward move. He was making progress, not only on the earth level, but spiritually, all the time.

Now you see, alongside of Abraham there was Lot, and Lot was a man who was always seeking security here. He sought the city; he sought a house. He disliked this tent life. He wanted to be settled in this world, and he sought to be settled. But Lot was the weak man with all that. Abraham who was always moving in a tent was the strong man. This was not natural at all, it was spiritual. This urge from heaven, this mighty working of a spiritual force in Abraham brought him into the very hard school of the heavenly. To the natural, to the earthly, to the flesh, the heavenly is a very hard school, and Abraham was brought into it by this urge from heaven.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-6

   

CONFLICT BETWEEN THE SPIRITUAL AND TEMPORAL

In the first place, there was the conflict between the spiritual and the temporal, the conflict between the seen and the unseen - and that is a very fierce conflict. In Abraham's life it was sometimes pressed to a very fine issue. You see, on the one hand Abraham was blessed of the Lord, he was prospered of the Lord, there were the signs that the Lord was with him. There was increase, enlargement, great enlargement, yes, embarrassing enlargement. His flocks and his herds multiplied; he was a very prince in the land - and yet, and yet, that very blessing of the Lord was at times brought to the point where the whole thing could in a moment be wiped out - by famine, acute, devastating famine. Why had God blessed and increased and enlarged, and then allowed something that could wipe it all out in no time? That is rather a difficult problem, is it not? Would it not have been better to have been kept small and limited than to see all this threatened? Abraham found the problem very acute. It was that that brought about one of his failures. He went down to Egypt.

It was a hard school.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-6

   

What does it mean? It seems that God gives with one hand and takes away with the other: prospers and blesses - and then throws in something that threatens to destroy the blessing. Is God a contradiction? Is He denying Himself? You know the temptations at such times to try to interpret. Are we, after all, but the pawns in a game? Are we, after all, but the children of chance, of fortune or misfortune? After all, is the Lord in this? Can this really explain the Lord, a consistent God?

It is a hard school. But, you see, it is wholly in keeping with what God is doing.

What is He doing?

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-6

   Well, if He blesses, there are two things bound up with it. In the first place, Abraham's blessing and prosperity and increase and enlargement had to find its support from heaven and not from earth. God is introducing the great heavenly principle. Oh, the Lord may bless and enlarge, but God forbid that ever we should assume that now we can support ourselves, now we can carry on, now we have got going and can maintain our going by our own momentum. He will see to it that, however He may bless, if a thing is of Himself - however great, however enlarged, however increased it may be - it can perish at any moment if heaven does not look after it. That is a lesson. Do not presume; do not take anything for granted. Live every moment out from heaven. As truly in the day of blessing as in the day of adversity, cling to heaven.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-6

   And then there is this other factor. God was so training Abraham that he could be safe for blessing, and that is something - to be safe for blessing. Such discipline, such trial of faith, such testing! And yet it does not matter to Abraham how much God blesses him, he does not allow the blessings to obscure the heavenly vision and halt him on the way. That is a tremendous triumph. Oh, the devastating perils of blessing! Perhaps you may feel that you do not know much about those perils as yet. But God wants to make us safe for His heavenly kingdom, safe for spiritual enlargement, safe for being used mightily; and we are never safe if things less than God's ultimate can hold us up, never safe if the good is the enemy of the best. With Abraham it is perfectly clear, that, whether in prosperity or adversity he was never allowed to settle and never allowed to seem to have arrived. If at any time he did feel he had now arrived, that was very quickly exploded. "These all died in faith, not having received... but having seen... and greeted... from afar".

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Sep-6

   Another thing about Abraham is this: that he never allowed the apparent difficulties, however great they were, ultimately to stay his spiritual onward and upward march. We will come back to that again in a moment. Do you not see how all that was taken up by Joshua and Caleb? Think again about Joshua and Caleb. These were most certainly men who had been in that school. If they had not been, they would never have taken the next generation into the land. God only knows what those men went through. You see, the story is told in so few verses, about the spies going out, and the minority report, and the taking up, or proposal to take up, stones, to stone these men and kill them. But you have got to add to that the long, long years while that whole generation was dying out, with only two men holding on to the heavenly vision. That is a hard school. They might easily have lost heart and given up and said, 'It is a hopeless outlook'; but they did not: the heavenly had got a grip upon them in their innermost being and held them. It held them, even in the greatest adversity, and they came through; they 'overcame the world'.

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