Tag Archives: Abba

Squashing Religious Hindrances: The Ragamuffin Gospel (Book Review)

Far too often the truth of God’s grace has been polluted with legalism, rules and religion, hindering the children of God from the fullness of a life-giving, intimate relationship with their Creator-Father, from receiving the acceptance and love purchased for them by Christ on Calvary.

I recently read a book that helps fight against this battle which so often hinders one’s relationship with Christ and Father God. This book, The Ragamuffin Gospel by the late Brennan Manning, is a must read book that brings us back to this central truth of the Gospel of grace. Continue reading

From Strength to Strength (Psalm 84)

You and I are called to a holy pursuit: the pursuit of friendship with God. Our goal? The closest possible relationship we can have with the Lord, even on this side of eternity. This is the center from which our lives and His Kingdom flow.

The Lord alone satisfies. As wants for success, love, and contentment surface in your life, keep this truth in mind. This truth is key to our pursuit of Jesus.

When we know worldly pursuits will never satisfy, we will more readily refuse to seek other things to meet our God-given longings. We will resolve within ourselves to stay steady on a pilgrimage of pursuit after God’s heart.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
Psalm 84:5 (NKJV)

At times the yearning within your heart may make itself known with impatience and neediness as you say no to worldly ways, fleshly lust, and selfish pride. But simply remind your soul: Jesus is worth every self denial. He is worth the weeping, the aching, the waiting.

Keep going and don’t give up. Keep saying “yes” to this pilgrimage day by day, even through the failures and temptations. Get back up again and reset your face upon Jesus. Continue reading

To Live with God’s Eye View

The Lord is calling us up. He is calling us to live above the clouds and above the storm, with an eagle’s eye view.

Father God is beckoning us to come closer, and to live and move and have our being from the place of connection and partnership with Him.

We must aim to remove our focus from the earthly and the negative, and think on things above.

We must aim to learn God’s ways and God’s perspective, thinking, speaking and acting from that pure perspective.

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4 NKJV)

This comes only through the place of intimacy. It is in getting to know Jesus and hearing His voice, then following as He leads and guides. It is in knowing the heart of our Father, our God who is love and is our Refuge and Strength (1 John 4:8; Psalm 91:2; Psalm 46:1)

It is a higher perspective of living from the place where we truly dwell, seated in heavenly places with Him (Ephesians 2:6), where nothing phases us and nothing moves us except His voice, His heart, and His Spirit; and from this we follow His leading.

This is the place of being unmoved by whatever is happening around us or even trying to affect us, and instead being in tune with the Lord. This is the place of not allowing even our own emotions to lead us on, but to allow only God’s Spirit, along with His emotions and His truth, to lead and guide us, our actions and our responses.

This is the place of abiding fully in the Vine, so vital to our life, being in this world but not of it (John 15:1-5, 19; Romans 12:2).

This is the place of being fully committed to follow the Lamb wherever He goes, forsaking all else to follow Jesus no matter what.

“These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.” (Revelation 14:4 NASB)

What helps you to live with God’s perspective about your life? What do you do to help get your focus on God throughout daily life?  Share your thoughts below.

You Are My Beloved

Below is a prophetic word from Father God to me that I felt would also bless others. May His words also minister to you.

“I am here for you always, Daughter. No matter what I am with you and in you. You are Mine and I am Yours. I saw you first when I formed you in your mother’s womb, and I see you now and always. I am your Shepherd and Rearguard. I am your Life and your Strong Tower.

You are truly My beloved. Never forget that, never doubt it, for it is true no matter what you may say or do. I’m here and I’m watching over you. I’m with you always, even to the end of the age. Just as I told My disciples, I tell you the same, My daughter.

Your voice is My delight. I love to hear you sing to Me and about Me to others. YOU are My delight! I love you and I have much planned for you, to use you for My good and the good of those around you. You have a great purpose in Me.

Do not fear nor be afraid, My beloved. I hold you in the palm of My hand and never leave you. We will do great exploits together for My kingdom, just wait and see! You will love it as we go forth and proclaim for My kingdom’s sake. You are My beloved, again I say. Remember this always, for I AM always.”

Did Father God’s words minister to you as well? Share how He spoke to you below.

The Root of All Our Longing & Wanting

Chai latte in hand, I strolled through our local bookstore, browsing the titles and beauty of books, journals and stationary. I recalled the former days when I was drawn to the bookstore like a moth to a lighted lamp nearby. I would longingly look at the books, not realizing that the longing I felt would not be fully satisfied by just simply reading about God and His ways. Even when I found another good book, my yearning was not for knowledge, but for a deeper relationship with Jesus and to encounter His love, truth and beauty.

Words and pictures can help lead us and even stir up the flame of love in our hearts, but they cannot fully satisfy. It took me a while to realize that my desire to feel satisfied was what drew me to the bookstore. I love to write and to read, but I discovered that yearning for more of God was the only answer to my soul’s longing. Many of us have things in our lives that we turn to during those times when we feel a little more empty inside than usual. For me, browsing the books was one of those activities.

God does speak to us in many ways, such as through a beautiful sunset, art, words and even titles of books, but these things cannot replace pure fellowship with Him and the way this connection satisfies our hearts.

Even still, my spirit fluttered today when Jesus spoke to my heart as I browsed, reminding me of all He’s been teaching me. First and foremost, it is my Father God who I need and long for deeper communion with.

All of our longings point to Him. The ultimate root of every desire is our need for God and through close-knit moments spent with in His presence. If we will allow God a moment to shed light on this truth, we will find it always true. He uses the beauty of nature, relationships with others, the hobbies we enjoy, and much more; but ultimately, without Him, these things leave us still unsatisfied, for only He can satisfy us completely.

We must learn to cultivate an awareness of His presence with us in every moment and yet also set aside focused time to have conversation with Him and encounter Him in His Word. (Brother Lawrence, who wrote a short and very excellent book on the subject, called this “Practicing the Presence of God”, which is also the book’s title).

[A Note of Clarification: We must come to the Father through His Son, Jesus. This truth holds together all that I write: I am a Christian. I believe Jesus is the only way to the Father; Christ’s sacrifice, believing He is the Son of God and making Him Lord of our lives. Salvation is not on our terms, but His; nonetheless, He is no forceful tyrant, He is Love and He tells us that He will not go against our free choice, but we must choose Him.) For starters, see Romans 10:9-11, John 14:6, Matthew 22:37-39.]

Intimacy is an every day, every moment endeavor. Just as in other relationships, such as that of a husband and wife, it comes in grand moments of love and life shared in the big, and it comes in the tiny droplets of joy shared in a momentary glance or smile. It comes as we give love through a gesture of kindness and service to another, and also comes as we support one another in times of trial and hardship.

This too is how I think God longs for us to live–walking through life always connected to Him, and I long to live this out. To walk through each day with joy instead of stress, gratefulness instead of fear, and meekness instead of frustration… and above all, to be intimately connected to God in every moment of every day and night.

I want to be so aware of Father God that I am filled with His love and the knowing of His presence dwelling in me by His Holy Spirit. I want to be “devoured” by the One who loves me so immensely that even through eternity I will never fully comprehend Love’s depths. I want to get lost in Christ so fully that I think nothing of myself and all of Him and what is on His mind and feeling what is on His heart. “More of Him, less of me” (John 3:30).

Father God, however possible this is on this side of eternity, please bring me to this place with You.

For Christ is all, and in all… and by Him and for Him and through Him all was made, and in Him all things consist and are held together. Jesus is THE Way, the ONLY Way! May He have the preeminence – it’s all about Him! Loving Him and knowing Him! (See John 14:6, Colossians 1:16-17).

Recommended Reading/Listening:

**Highly Recommended and FREE PDF Download:  Seven Longings of the Human Heart by Mike Bickle**

Psalm 42 with a good commentary such as Charles H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David: Psalm 42
Point of Life by Misty Edwards (highly recommended! Click “MP3” on the page to download message)
The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence (read FREE online here)
Passion for Jesus by Mike Bickle (along with Song of Songs in the Bible is great!)
What Is the Point? by Misty Edwards