I once thought I had entered rest when I was first converted…and I had! Compared to the former horrible state of darkness and misery, the realm of repentance was glorious and restful indeed. But I had not arrived.
Then came trials, urgings and purgings leading to the receiving of God’s Spirit. Again, the realm of the Spirit was glorious compared to the one of repentance, and I rested because revelations came and great burdens were lifted and removed forever. But I had not arrived.
Chapters opened and closed and rest came at the end of each, yet beginnings introduced new fires, new terms of correction and purgings so that I could rest some more. But I had not arrived.
Then came a breaking at the hands of dark men. Healings poured in. Sight was increased and lifestyle corrected. We were blessed and we rested. But we had not arrived.
Years later, I wrote this paragraph after just having the severest trial I had ever had, likened by the Lord to that which Job had, yet alerted to the great contrast to his. (Job’s was classical, for our sakes). But I was taken right back to my very foundation and was now different than before.
Years passed again and I found that I knew neither rest nor fires like they could be. In fire, I, again more than ever, writhed in pain. Rest comes in small doses and brief intervals, only to prepare one for more fire. (He that walks with God, walks in fire, until there is no more need of fire.)
Today, God is all in all. Those who enter into rest not only have it; they ARE the rest. This is Shabbat; this is the Feast of Tabernacles, that glorious union with the Lord Jesus Christ, Yahushua Adonai Ha Mashiach. It is His coming. This is the Day of the Lord, the Day of Vengeance, the Day of Yahweh, the Day of Yahushua Adonai. Blessed be His Name!
(This poem was written years before the reality. Many of the utterings of the saint in process are prophetic, not merely poetic, even as with David in his psalms).
How good is this rest, my Lord, my God!
How good is this rest!
To sit and wait with nothing in hand,
To be patient and willing to see that in store,
To know in the heart that all is Yours
How good it is to rest!
We’ve been climbing and struggling,
Working and crying,
With nothing in sight,
With all things far off,
With hopes deferred, promises delayed
Dreams and hopes dashed to the ground,
Shattered in many pieces.
We have lost and failed
Toiling for unreachable gains.
But now we have our gain;
Now we have received our rewards.
Little did we know that we labored
For the goal of
Not having to labor.
Now we recline, now we rest;
In repose we have a new heart.
We can be patient, resting in
The bosom of Abraham;
Children of faith we have now become.
Yes, though the earth is removed
We know that Abraham needs no earth
To hold him up.
Being in his bosom, we have no need
To have our feet on passing ground.
We have our feet on solid rock;
We sit in His throne with Him;
We repose in heavenly places;
At peace we are within
Because nothing can remove us
From the safety we now have.
We see how little we have to fear;
We see how He provides.
“God is faithful!” are the words
That embed themselves in our hearts.
Our heart can no longer live without them.
God is all and over all;
We’ve sought to know that for years,
With head knowledge and lips;
We believed but did not know.
Give me the couch,
I have had the ladder;
I’ve climbed to the mountains of rest.
Let me repose, it is heavenly bliss,
The reward we have for our labours.
We have ceased from our works,
We have ceased from sin,
We have ceased from worry and fright.
God grant us this life forevermore;
May we be staid in His sight.
Thank You, Lord for giving us rest,
For so long we have so sought;
The rest You give those who seek after You
To reign and to be at peace.
No longer do enemies rule over us;
No longer do our needs hold sway;
The protection and provision
Which we now have of God
Are as a two-edged sword.
Firstly He gives us the privilege,
Secondly He gives us the goods;
Firstly He gives it within,
And then He grants it without.
Death has no sting,
The grave has lost,
The resurrection is robber and healer at once;
We are the goods He has wrested from Hell,
Repaired for Himself for all time.
Sing with the angels!
Dance with the saints!
Let Heaven explode with joy!
Celebration and feasting have fearful cause;
Nothing can stand in their way.
Sing, o creation and clap your hands!
Your smile has purpose unsurpassed;
This is your day and your hour
For deliverance from groaning and grief,
From vanity and awesome oppression,
From death and Hell itself.
A manifest son of God has risen
To set the captive free
To heal the broken-hearted,
To take away burdens of the oppressed.
Sing and dance and jump for joy!
Eat, drink and be merry!
No greater cause is there for such
When a saint has entered his glory.
There is a rest for the people of God!
No more thorn and thistle and briar,
No more toil and sweat and tear,
No more disappointment.
There is the restoration of Eden,
The blessed garden of God.
There is wealth and the glory and power
Reserved unto them that believe.
Rest, o sweet, wonderful rest,
In peace and holy comfort,
Earned, not earned, taken yet given
But appreciated nonetheless.
Fearful are the ways and judgments of God!
How high and mighty His ways!
Lift up your knees and your arms;
Lift up your head, sojourner;
Travel-weary and bruised you may be,
Robbed of your goods and your dreams,
Abandoned, alone with nobody
To care nor understand.
But He is there though He is hid,
Until the day of unveiling,
And when the veil is rent in two
From Heaven to Earth,
Then no more flesh stands in the way,
Of the Christ there is no more dearth.
There is rest in the room of the ark;
There is perfect sweetest rest.
Here in the bosom of Abraham,
Jesus is manifest.
Keep His commandments, never say die;
There is a time to come
Where cost transforms to benefit untold
And all is then worthwhile.
And carnal man, you must be told
That though I write from Heaven,
Yet I am in my flesh ’til now
And speak by such a mouth as yours.
The change has come this side of the grave
And needn’t be hoped for only beyond.
Inherit the earth, my beloved friends,
And savour the sweet rest of God!
Lethbridge, Sept. 1984
It is supposed by the lovers and inhabitants of this world that Christ came to make their existence in this world a pleasurable one by following His teachings and "principles of success." They fail to realize that His purpose was to deliver us from the tantalizings of earth and prepare us for another world by overcoming and forsaking this one. The cross of Christ represents death, not life to the flesh, and life, not death to the spirit, by the subsequent resurrection. Only a heart after God will perceive the reality of things and pursue at all costs. Righteousness is a dungeon To the son of iniquity. Truth is a stench to his nostrils; It cause his eyes to tear, His nose to wrinkle, His throat to choke. Laws are as chains to him With rough-edged shackles That tear his flesh And bind him down to Hell. Those who speak the truth Are as cruel tormentors, Dictators, fascists, despots To be despised and shunned. Fanatics they are, Upsetting the world, A blotch and a disgrace To a free thinking society, To the modern man, To the age of emancipation. Lawlessness is a palace To the son of iniquity. His pleasure is to sniff the aroma of lies. His eyes light up with delight; He swallows the darkness with zest And never has enough. Unrighteousness is as fine clothing, With lace and frill and charm. Those who speak the lie Are received as saints and kings, Friends, bosom companions To be loved and revered. Sensible they are, And level...
Until the believer is perfected, there remains some atheist in him. He says he believes, but in the final analysis, his fruits tell otherwise, quite. We worry, doubt, or fear because we don’t believe. Examining ourselves in the Light, we discover the truth about ourselves. That Light’s source is the fire that serves to purge us of the atheist within, that fire being an enemy at first, and a friend in the end. How will I know I can stand the fire Unless I am subjected? How do I develop muscle to do heavy work Unless I do heavy work to develop muscle? How do I form calluses on my hands to prevent blisters Unless I do those things That make blisters? I say I have faith to do anything, To suffer all things and smile, even laugh But how do I get that faith Unless I suffer the very things To produce the faith To laugh at the things concerning which I say I have faith? How can I cry and say, “I believe”? But when I believe, I shall not cry When the fires come Because the fires have done their work. Lethbridge, August, 1984
This was written at a time when we lived in a literal desert in Israel and I could feel all the things expressed, within my soul, because we were also in a desert in our spiritual lives, a desert through which all pilgrims on the journey to the city of God must pass. This writing was also prophetic of events that would shortly come to pass as we spoke the Word of God to Paul, whom the Lord had given us to be our friend. As a matter of coincidental fact, the day of this introductory writing (Oct. 9) is, I believe, the very anniversary almost to the hour, of Paul forsaking his wife in obedience to the Lord, to walk in the Way of Life. The desert is dry and parched, and I am hot and thirsty; We two have been matched as partners in this stretch of our history. The sun’s scorching face is forceful enough; from it I can find no escape, No shade, no water, no nightfall to comfort my soul in its wearisome journey. Miles and miles of burning sand, I scarcely know where it began… It started with greenery, then greenery and sand, and now it is sand upon sand. Yet after some miles I’ve trodden and feel I can go no farther, A trickle of water comes out of a rock, destined for that very hour. With leanness of soul and hungering for life, not a soul for months have I seen, And all my possessions have slowly been lost, ’til much lighter my journey has been. It’s strange how the harder the trials, the sweeter the life becomes; The easier the life filled with comforts, the more ...