Jesus plainly tells us in Matthew 11:28 to come to His rest! In John 10:7 He says, ‘I’m the door you must enter through.’ All too often we fail to see the open door Jesus has made for our entry into His House of Rest! This past spring a red bird appeared in the window at our house of worship. At first, everyone was pleasantly distracted by his coming to the window. However, over the course of the next few weeks he would make it his mission to attack every window on our building repeatedly becoming a nuisance to everyone. I found myself thinking, ‘that stupid little bird…’, then God said to me, “you’ve been like that little bird”. The truth is, we have all been just like that little red bird. He might have found the door of entry, but he was too busy fighting his enemies, or so it would seem! In reality, he wasn’t even looking for the door. What are you seeking? Is it the open door of Jesus that brings you into a place of rest, or are you like the little bird? Just what does he see in the glass that keeps him coming back to the place of futility? He sees himself, but he is most deceived thinking it’s his enemy. In his zeal to fight, he is bound by a deception that allows the real enemy to steal what God says is rightfully his. There is a ‘little red bird’ syndrome bound in the nature of all our flesh. The little bird is fighting against his own image though he doesn’t see it. Your image will always make you angry, frustrated, and captivated by Your-SELF and the image IT produces. There is a blindness only Jesus can remove. He says to you, ‘I’ve an anointing that can heal blind eyes so you can see the door of rest.’ It is a place of recovery, it is a place of release and abundance. Any attempt to use something other than the door will leave you beaten and bruised. There is hope and healing at the Open Door of Jesus! His lessons are the cure of our Red Bird syndrome! He is saying to you, ‘Son/Daughter, use the door! It represents the only legitimate way to my service and pleasure and by it you will produce My glory and not your own! Use the door, and you will be able to move freely in my presence where there is fulness and joy. It will be a fulness that will keep you from robbing Me and being robbed of what I alone have given you to possess!’
While recently waiting at an airport with my wife and son, I reflected upon a story my wife had told me some 18 years before during a holiday visit home to Texas when we were living in Maine. My wife was always a good-mother to be there for her children; she took great pleasure in seeing our children were well clothed, well taught and well cared for (something I will always honor her for). Isn’t it interesting in a world that says, ‘woman get out there and make something of yourself’ your real blessing will depend on your children and what they say about you. On this particular occasion, she was traveling alone with our children. She would often dress them alike or in coordinated outfits. A well remembered favorite of mine were the little denim dresses my two daughters wore to match my son’s blue denim hat… all that to say, she was making a statement that said to the world around her, “these are distinctly mine”. As I’d reminisced about the story she once told me, I got her to tell it to me again. It seems her plane was late in arriving to make a late night connection for Dallas. When they arrived at the very large metropolitan airport they got turned around and had to run hand in hand to the connecting gate. When they finally found their gate, the attendant said that the plane had already left. My wife realizing there were no more planes out, leaving her and our 3 children stranded in a strange airport, began to cry as they walked about holding each other by the hand. The cries were tears of what if, and why, and how come. As tears continued to flow, my wife felt my son’s small hand begin to gently pat her face. Isn’t that like the son, a loving touch to say, ‘I’m here, it’s okay we’re together it’s going to be alright….’ My son always did have a very good sense of direction! A short time past and a very important looking man came by and saw her crying. He was moved as he saw her tears and the children holding hands beside her. He asked what was wrong and she proceeded to tell him the story. ”Quickly”, he said, “come with me.” Understanding there were no more planes to Dallas leaving out that night and her dilemma, he got on his radio speaking to someone all the while whisking them downstairs and onto the tarmac. She said from there he put them on little cart and drove them at full speed across the runway to board a plane that He had held up to take them aboard. As she re-told what happened, I had to choke back the tears, but I was moved by the reminder God uses small things to tell one very big story. He reminded me that while I could not be there, He was able to use my only son to accurately convey His love and sentiments! I believe He is saying to you, ‘I see you in your tears and I understand your problem, I’m here, it’s okay we’re together it’s going to be alright….trust Me!’. I believe the Father wants to say, ‘I’m going on ahead of you, moving on your behalf and if you’ll trust Me, I’m holding some things up to get you where you need to be. It may not be the most comfortable means, but if you’ll trust Me it will be okay. It will be better than okay, it will be a testimony of My Unseen Power that moves others and moves out ahead of you to change what you cannot foresee.’ ‘You must trust me and receive my touch and the Son of My Love.’ ‘He has the mantle of my blessing and is able to touch you offering comfort in your long standing pain. Believe Him and trust Me.’ There is and should be a moral to every story, but how seldom we see it as we stand blinded by our fears and our tears. God says receive the touch and obtain the promise. What about your story? God is writing a story on the pages of your life– a story little different from the one I just told. I’m so moved sometimes when my wife tells me of these little miracles of how she believed God’s hand was moving in her life. Our lives are always better for having acknowledged how the hand of God moves on our behalf helping us in times of trouble! This little story has been stored away in my files for months; I kept coming back to it, but couldn’t delete it because of the truth it conveys. I believed God saved this story for your benefit, so that you might see in your sorrow, when in your tears, the Spirit of Jesus gently comes alongside you to touch you and say, ‘I’m here, it’s okay we’re together it’s going to be alright… Trust Me!’ Today in your struggle, don’t fail to see Jesus; He’s there beside you; He walks with you; He moves ahead of you, to command your miracle in spite of you, and to open what has been shut, and to shut what has been opened! He’s waiting for your response of complete trust, and through it He is moving to bring forth your story–a unique testimony of His advancing power that comes in your present circumstance to say to you, “You are distinctly Mine, all and only because of the Son!” Trust Jesus today and don’t miss this opportunity; God saved it especially for you!
The stone wall behind our barn brought a great revelation to my heart. These stones no one wanted. They were in fact dumped on the property and have spent the last 7 years or so without purpose. These stones were not purchased they were the waste product of some failed project in some other man’s field. But as I looked at the worthless stones now fit into the wall, God reminded me they have been redeemed, and as such they are part of a priceless plan to gather in souls for His kingdom. They now are part of a great purpose–a heavenly plan to retrieve what was lost. The Spirit of God says, come hear ‘the gospel of the ruined stones.‘ 1 Peter 2 says, Jesus, who although rejected by men was the chief cornerstone of God’s building. The word further states, that in Him, we are living stones being redeemed into His building becoming fit only for His divine purposes. What are the ruined stones and what is the gospel that they preach? The stones say: “what is rejected by men will become alive and useful to God.” They no longer declare an earthly cause, but live for a heavenly purpose. The stones reveal to your life that Jesus does not build by conventional means, but with supernatural power to take your ruined places and make them a thing of His beauty. Will you hear the gospel of the stones and what they can say about your worth to God? Understand your waste places can be redeemed. Understand your reading these words right now say to you God’s heart is to take the wasted space and fill it up and redeem it with the priceless purpose of Christ. Say yes to God, say ‘Lord I want you to redeem and change me’. Do it now!
Jesus is making disciples of men by way of His cross. I recently saw some youth bound in hand with their bibles in a local coffee shop, and it blessed me. We live in an age where many are seeking for a real expression to relate to this Jesus and His Lordship in their lives. It is a great thing we would aspire to do. It is important to remember in this new age where the music seems to lead the discourse, it has always been about the word of the Living God. Here is a thought to add to this modern age perception of all things as Christian. Jesus is not in the hairdo, or in sporting the new tattoo; He is not in the anti-establishment, or in being different for different sake; He is not in strange for strange sake. He is making His mark on men as aliens and strangers because they find a place for humility and brokenness because they are working out their common salvation through the living breathing Word of God. The music, and I love music, should lead me to brokenness, thanksgiving and praise as I walk as His disciple enslaved to nothing in this world, it’s thinking or culture. The music alone will not produce disciples, only a relationship with the Living Word can do that. Is the word you are hearing making you more like Jesus, or are you being defined by the pop-culture you are living in? His cross is not a new concept, but a clear command of the word; it is timeless rugged thing that leaves one strangely following the movement of the Holy Spirit keeping in step as His disciple, shedding the mantle of worldly influences to be uniquely His–He was pierced for a different cause and that will likely leave you more persecuted than popular because the way of the cross will always be the defining mark of real Christianity.
Your life will rise or fall depending upon the word that you hear. Truth is, your life in Christ is dependant upon the word dwelling in you richly to increase your hearing and make you mindful of the resources He offers you to bring you to victorious living. This year, I believe God would say to you, stop living on the faith experiences of others and take a determined approach to devote youself to His word allowing His Holy Spirit to feed you and give you and understanding of ‘the things eye has not seen or ear has not heard what things God has prepared for those who love Him’ (1 Cor. 2). Stop allowing the enemy a place in your thinking to keep you stubbornly opposed to what God says by locking you in a default position resistant to the riches of God’s word. God says, ‘find your focus in prayer’ following the example of Jesus who urges us in Luke 21 to, ‘keep watching and praying’ with a pattern of persistance that gains not just answers but victory over the thief who comes to steal your joy and your peace. He comes to rob you of the vast riches in Christ that are yours because of God’s Word. Are you going to faint or finish strong? Stop living in defeat by what the enemy says; surrender your life to God and you will hear His terms of peace and see the victory of His power on high.
O God, listen to my cry!Hear my prayer!
From the ends of the earth,I cry to you for helpwhen my heart is overwhelmed.Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
for you are my safe refuge,a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary,safe beneath the shelter of your wings!
…In the place of overwhelming difficulty We have this word as an anchor to remind us we can be lead to a place the enemy cannot reach! Our cries are the place of heavenly access… We like David, may feel a long way off from that safety, but it’s placed within our reach when we pray!
Just what is the surpassing value of knowing God and thinking His thoughts? Jesus says in John 14:1, ‘Believe in God, believe also on Me’. The benefit of this well placed trust is a heart that receives comfort amid troubling circumstances and a mind that cannot fail to accomplish great things for His Kingdom. I had this thought and I believe it is for you….Give God your mind and His thinking will develop your actions to do exceedingly beyond anything you could think as possible! Someone said recently when speaking to a group of young believers: How valuable is your life? How valuable is your walk with God and just how will God carry forth His word and advance His message, if not with you? Son, Daughter–Your life is highly valuable in God’s hands; give Him your mind, think on His word and in faith you will believe and do what is only possible with Him!