Monday, 14 May 2007

Isaiah to Revelation

I was reading through Isaiah and compared it to Revelation and noticed the following:

There is only one thing that will quench the fire of the destruction of the Lord – the WATER of His salvation, found in the wells of His love or in the river that flows from His throne within the temple (Rev 22).

Another piece of interesting information is, that the voice of the “Son of Man” is like rushing water as well (Rev 1:15), which brought me to the following conclusions:

Firstly, if the water can quench the fire, and the water comes from the river out of the temple, flowing from God’s throne, it starts with the voice of God, who sits on the throne. His word is the water.

Secondly, He is the one who can quench the fire of His destruction, by His word.

Thirdly, flowing out of point two, the Bible is the water and bread, the food to eat and the water to drink to abate God’s wrath. The water which flows from His mouth to bring salvation, and which douses the flames of the fire of destruction.

This echo is found in Isaiah 12:1 “you turned away your anger and comforted me instead”. In other words, the fire is turned to living water, and in verse 3, the water is drawn form the well of salvation.

Just further thoughts on this: if we disregard the well and the water and the hope and salvation it offers, the only thing that will be left, is the fire of destruction.

It sometimes amazes me how all the different parts of the Bible fit together, and how it all makes sense, when seen trough a different book.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Single and married

This I wrote a few days ago, but as an introduction I must say, that it might confuse some people on why I can say all these things. Please read to the end and I hope it will all make sense.

About a year ago I came to a crossroads in my walk with God. Feeling completely abandoned by Him, because He did not give me ALL I wanted. I was plunged into despair and wanted to renounce Christianity completely. There were things that God did give me at that time, but not the one thing I did desire at that time – a husband. Needless to say most of what I had to come to terms with, revolved around this issue, and I’m glad to say that the following will shed some light on the issue and on a revelation I had never had before.

Before I start with the explanation, let me quote Charles Spurgeon from the book “Prayer and Spiritual Warfare”: “When God reveals anything, He wants us to believe it”. So, here is the revelation and some further thinking and outworking behind it….

What has God revealed to you recently? Has He opened your eyes to some profound truth that just blew you away? With me it was a couple of things, parts of which I have told you about already, but here they are:

1. Once a Christian, there is no going back. We are all occupied / indwelled, if you will, by God’s Spirit. How do you get rid of someone who is IN you? There is just no way you can run from that.

2. God loves you, no matter how far you stray. When I was at the point of renouncing Christianity , even there I could not escape it. God, in His love called me back and showed me His promises and benefits of being His child and bride.

3. Furthermore, He satisfied the need for a husband, since the biggest revelation was about a wedding! God Himself said that Christ will hold a wedding feast at the end of time. Apart from the wedding being for the church, the picture to me was also about individuals. This needs some explaining.

According to Eph 5:22 ff, Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her. He is the head of the body, He loves the church and cleanses her, He cares for her and feed her, and there is intimacy. All these pictures can be taken either corporately (as a church) or as promises to the individual. If we therefore understand, that Christ is our husband, then the four points from Ephesians are His promise to us:

1. He will be our head, our leader and He expects us to submit to His will. This is not only corporately, but individually as well. How this physically manifests itself in your life, I cannot say, but for me it is the acceptance that I will not have a husband on earth (at the moment that is). Of course there are other ways in which we need to submit to Him, but this is the one I want to dwell on.

2. He will love us and cleanse us and present us as holy and blameless. This means that we WILL be disciplined and cleansed from unrighteousness in the here and now, but he promise stands that one day all of our blemishes / stains / wrinkles will be removed and we will be perfected. The discipline is not always easy, and I can vouch for that, but all the promises are worth it.

3. He feeds and cares for us. As hard as it may seem sometimes, God does provide. To some He gives more, to some less, but He does provide. For me it is often difficult so see what my friends can afford and I envy them. I look at my resources and think: “If only…” Yet, I have not had too little to survive, God has always provided abundantly, in miraculous ways sometimes. As a husband, that is His job, and I need to know and accept that. Yes, there are times when the provision isn’t according to what I WANT, but He’s never been wrong to give me what I NEED.

4. Physical intimacy. As a church we are intimate with Christ in the way that we seek for His closeness and teaching. As individuals there is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you can’t get more intimate than that. I do understand that I hear a big BUT in my ear when I say this, because often I feel I cannot go on without that human intimacy. I need flesh and blood to talk to, to touch. Yes, and I suppose I do also want to experience the intimacy between husband and wife. Yet, I have always found trustworthy people to share with, to talk to, who gave godly advice and sometimes just hugged. Those moments are special to me and I will not forget those people.
On the other hand, I know that we are sexual beings and often we crave that intimacy more than anything else, but if I’m single, is it right to crave for that? Isn’t my relationship with God more important than a physical desire? Isn’t Christ so much more than a human being?

It is difficult to explain as a single person, but what am I really looking for? How do I know what God’s will really is in terms of marriage for my life?

It might sound contradictory to what I said in my introduction, but from an early age I said that I did not want to get married, and there has never been a strong desire to get married. This desire, to be married comes and goes, but until God shows me otherwise, I’m to remain single. For those of you who now go: “ag shame”, please do not pity me, or try to convince me otherwise. Do not presume to know the will of God for my life by saying: “it’ll come”! I have a deeper relationship with God as a result, whom else can I rely on?

Yes, sexually I do have needs, don’t get me wrong, but the desire to look for a fulfillment of those needs are taken away. I do not know how God does it, but He does and I’m glad that He does. (Otherwise I would run after every single guy who comes my way.)

So, as a single lady, in a society that tells you, you are only half a person if you’re not sexually active, or do not have a husband / boyfriend, I have found a relationship that is far more rewarding than any other I have ever had. Over and above that is the knowledge that I am already married. How cool is that?

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

More on Isaiah

This is a piece I wrote in April as part of my devotion.

Taken from Isaiah 14, the following stood out for me:

All who say: “I will make myself like the Most High” will find the throne occupied and the mountain taken. They will be toppled from the height and unseated from the throne.

If you fall into the hands of the Most High, woe to you! There will be no pit deep enough for your humility, “But you are cast out of the tomb like a rejected branch” – even in death you will be humiliated and shamed. The warning goes out to ALL nations – is His hand stretched out against us? Isaiah 14:26-27

There is also a promise: if Zion is established and we are her people, we will find refuge within her because God is within her.

Isaiah 16:5 God will establish a throne – IN LOVE – a faithful man from David’s house will sit on it (the throne is occupied).

What a promise do we have! We do not have to fear kings in this world, who may try to destroy us, because our King is eternal and will never seek our destruction, if we belong to Him and serve Him in faith.

Friday, 4 May 2007

the foggy night

hahaha yesterday I was looking for pictures of street lights in the fog, but I noticed that the cameras do not really do it any justice. I also was thinking that I need to invest in a good digital camera and that just take a bit of money, unfortunately.

All coming though, all coming though

Thursday, 3 May 2007

In the mist

The other night I was driving through a bit of mist on my way home and it reminded me of my time in Swakopmund, where that happened quite often.

I like driving and walking in the mist. Everything is fuzzy and you can concentrate on your thoughts much better. Sounds are muffled and there is nothing quite like a street lamp's reflections through the fog. Trees look more imposing and the grass greener.

Yes, a little nostalgia helps as well. I did get quite sentimental about my teaching days in Swakop. There were numerous times I walked to and from the school in the mist. Although walking in the mist at night is not recommended, it does give new perspective on life and thoughts, and is much better than during the day.

New perspective in the way that thoughts become clearer, but also the past can be analysed much better. Nostalgia always needs to be brought into perspective with the present and with the future, otherwise, what is the point in looking back? Yes, the days were good, but they also had their problems and challenges.

Nostalgia always helps me to remember my favourite verses from Philippians 3:13 + 14 (taken here from the NKJ)
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.