The terrible battle to be fought by the seeker of God is against unbelief. One moment, we can be so full of belief, of joy and excitement, assurance and boldness. Then, as little as it takes to slam a door, so quickly and surely have saints of God known the onslaught of unbelief in all its terrible power.
Our fight is the fight of faith. Our faith is the victory. Nor is it a faith concocted, a matter of will power. It is rather, a surrender to God, an acceptance of things as they are, an acknowledgment of things as they are and entrusting them entirely out of our control to His. Thus we come out of our valleys, our clouds of darkness and into the light.
Wave after wave,
Billow after billow,
No rest, no peace, except for a time,
A short time, a breather so to speak,
From the unrelenting pressures which increase.
Darkness all around us,
Blind alleys at every turn,
Clouds obscure the light of day
And leave us damp and cold.
When will we be free?
When will the storm cease?
Has it no end? Has it no bounds?
Can we go on with our hopes
Dashed to pieces at every turn,
Like cardboard huts in a hurricane?
Is it sin in our lives that causes this state?
Is the wrath of God kindled against us?
Have we no hope, no reason to expect
An end to intermittent turmoil?
“There is no peace to the wicked,” the Scriptures say,
Yet we have searched and searched ourselves again.
And though we know that in our flesh dwells no good thing,
We still find ourselves without an answer.
The sky is as brass, His voice we don’t hear,
Our steps we seek counsel for, to no avail.
When will He come and show Himself?
When will we be clean to receive our King?
When can we have our hopes fulfilled?
Why does He hide His face from us?
How is it that curses seem to haunt us still?
Is our faith so small
That we do not enter in
To that which He has in store for us?
Or is this nothing more and nothing less
Than a process of refinement,
A must like the seasonal pruning of trees
To bear more fruit?
But where is the fruit?
I have my seasons of sorrow and humiliation,
But where are my seasons of harvest?
I despair from knowing the answer.
I thought I had it;
I do not.
I hoped I would receive it;
Will I ever?
Have I confessed my unbelief
In asking if I’ll have an answer
When I ought to ask for it
Believing I have received it?
Lord, help my unbelief!
I am like one up to my nose in quicksand;
My perishing seems so sure.
I surely cannot help myself,
Nor can any man
or number of men
In anything they can do.
My only hope is that my God
Will come and lift me from the quagmire
In which I have fallen and sunk so deep.
I thought I was out, never to return.
Many times I thought I was out,
Only to find myself enveloped again.
How can these things be?
Do the Scriptures not tell us
Of a life of victory and of power?
Are only a chosen few
Given to be as Stephen and Samuel?
Or have they too had such lives
Of trial and loss and failure
Before the dawning of their day
To shine as lights much brighter than the day?
Am I to believe
That this is a preparation,
That all goes according to plan?
Or must I fear
That all is almost lost,
That I have failed,
That there is no base for hope any more
That God will not deliver
A sinner such as I?
Yet a faint glimmer of hope lives on
Even as I enquire.
I know my God is able;
I know I want His will
At any cost there is.
And so I wait
That He will save
And manifest Himself
Once more forever more,
Never to leave again,
His presence ever there
For me to enjoy.
Hear me, Lord, and hear my cry,
I have no one but You.
If all this cloud and quiet
Is for our very best
Then can I accept it, assured
That You will come and be to us
What You have promised
In Your appointed time.
Must I also be in the dark
About this as well?
How much harder it is to live
With uncertainty upon uncertainty!
But if You are faithful
And if You choose,
You are able
To cleanse me and deliver me
To be with You
And You with Me.
Come Lord, please come.
Lethbridge, Sept. 1984
Jesus said “Judge not according to the appearance but judge righteous judgment.” Therefore there is a right and true and valid judging. The problem is that many do not recognize the difference between the right kind and the wrong, and many lawless, hiding their own sins, refuse to acknowledge that there is a valid kind to which they might be subjected by judges who are used by God. What is the sure and fair standard? It is none other than the revelation of God, given to men who have died and received that understanding and wisdom in those matters they judge, having been given to know the secrets of the heart. The price is the beam by way of the cross. Measure me! How long am I? How tall? How big? How strong? Is there anything to measure When all is said and done? Do I compare to what I was Or what I will yet be? And what will I be? Do I compare to others? What standard will you use? What I have, will I always have it? Is it worth having to lose it in the end? Is the glory worth the shame? Vanity! Utter vanity! Our possessions aren’t two cents! One day they’re here and then they’re gone. Failure never relents. Judge me if you think you can; What measure will you use? Inner, outer, upper, lower, Do you have any clues? Appearance is not all there is In fact, appearance isn’t. It is NOT. But how will you know what is? Does reality not exist? Is it not available? Or is it here and unperceived Only because you are blind? There is an answer. Lethbridge,...
It is already a wonder that the word "leisure" still exists in our vocabulary. Its manifestation has become scarce, its original nature obscured. Leisure today is rushed toward, through, past and entirely missed. We are in a sea of drowning souls panicking, frantically grabbing for safety, pulling any and all rescuers down with them to death and hell. Only there will the hustle and bustle of this world cease even as the land of Israel finally enjoyed its sabbaths once the population was removed into foreign captivity. Go a little faster, busy man. There isn't enough time, not nearly, To do all you would like to do. There are only 70 years in a life, 24 hours in a day; A third of those waste away; Sixty minutes in an hour, Not enough seconds in a minute To accomplish, achieve, attain. Find a faster way, a better way, A short cut to get what you're after. Give less to get more; Get more by giving less. Time is money and money is time. Hear the rhythm of the stamping feet, Tempo speeding, sound increasing, Over the mind to reign. Grab here, run there. Does haste make waste Or does waste make haste? Horde your riches, busy man, Or do you know where they are? Pride is a merciless lord; The Joneses must not get ahead. Bigger and better is the code And the mode and what a load! Grab an upper to keep you going; Take a downer to slow you up. What?! A downer to slow you up? Dare I say it? Wait a minute! A downer to slow you up? ...
Though men have many idols, which they worship consciously or otherwise, they do not serve these gods so much as themselves. Idolatry’s purpose is to serve one’s self, to preserve one’s self in the flesh, from the cross. If an idol fails to serve the worshipper in the way that he seeks, he will remove that idol from its pedestal soon enough, and find another, unless of course, he is determined to wait patiently for that idol to produce its desired effects one way or another. Idolatry is inconsistent, contradictory and unprofitable in every way. Money is only a medium of getting. Getting is the medium for serving self. It is serving self until God is worshipped in spirit and truth. In the Scriptures There are many polarities. One of these Is God and money. A man will make his vows to God Ever so faithfully And fervently, Professing to believe. But let it cost him money, Not another’s, but his own, Let his wallet be threatened And then we see the fruits, The heart exposed, True thoughts unveiled And he walks away, Having nothing But his money. He has his god And his fruits tell it. Though he justifies himself, He is sad and empty. You say you believe in God, Yet He is the One who gave you What you have. He is your source. But I will tell If you are a bird By the feathers that come, If they come. Better I should wait For feathers to come of themselves To prove you are a bird, Rather than demand That you show me feathers. Feathe...