dinsdag 23 juli 2013

The Valley of Decision

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” Joel 3:14, KJV.

peephole5In recent months, the Spirit’s dealings have revolved around the renewing of our minds – bringing our thoughts into subjection to the Spirit. Part of us wants to see with heavenly eyesight – but we never quite make it to the mountaintop with the panoramic view – we’re much more apt to be found peeking through a knothole in the long, high fence that our reasoning mind has so painstakingly erected down in the valley of decision. All of our vain imaginings and assumptions weigh us down and distort our vision. We may desire to see more, we may desire to have the mind of Christ, but for our vision to be expanded, we must climb higher up the mountain of God. And we can only ascend to the heights, by leaving all of our baggage behind us, here in the valley. There is not one good thing in us, that is of value to God, exceptour broken and contrite heart.

It comes as something of a shock, to discover that even those seemingly ‘good’ things, we have to leave behind. And we have accumulated so many seemingly ‘good’ things while here in the valley. Even things that the Lord Himself has given to us. Things that were a blessing, an encouragement, that sustained us through our trials. We never imagined that He might require them back from us, that they were only given to us for a season. That relationship, that much loved companion, that friend and confidant. We were so close and found such comfort in each other. We were so sure that we were going to walk through this thing together; and suddenly they are snatched away, gone, and we are alone. Our heart is nearly broken, we are in despair. How can this possibly be of God?

We must make a decision. Will we lift our voice with Job and say, Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” Will we accept whatever God allows to come to us as being for our good, that we may bring Him Glory? Are we willing to come to the place where from the depths of our heart, we can say, “Not my will Lord, but thine be done?” How appropriate, that one of the definitions for ‘decision’ is – a threshing instrument.

If our hearts desire is to ‘be like Him; to be found pleasing in His sight; to be conformed to His image,’ then there is only one way to bring it to pass. We must be willing to count everything we have worked so hard for and built, all of our knowledge and beliefs, as nothing more than dung. He will not compete with what we know ‘about Him.’ He will not be content with anything less than all of us; everything we are, everything we have, every thought we think, every desire of our heart. He, Who Is Love, desires to bring us into more than our finite minds can ever begin to comprehend. But we have to go through a death, before there can be a resurrection. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” Romans 6:3.

As long as we choose to reside in the valley, we will continue to struggle in our own strength, looking to Him for help with what we can’t handle on our own. We will continue to dream and envision what will be, someday, and miss out on what He desires to work in us right here and now! TODAY is the day of salvation. “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” 1 Corinthians 9:24.

Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.”Psalms 96:2. We show forth His salvation, day to day, by how we treat others, by our words and actions. We are called be living epistles…. “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:” 2 Corinthians 3:2.We walk by faith, and not by sight. We can choose to wait around for “Some glad morning when this life is through, and I’ll fly away,” or we can choose to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” NOW. Jesus did not come to condemn the world. He came that we might have ‘Abundant Life’… “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Multitudes today are in the valley of decision. What can we offer them?They don’t need more doctrines, or denominations, or religious platitudes. They need to see men and women who have died and rose again, servants of the Most High God… “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. We may know all about how to ‘do’ Church; but it takes a death and resurrection to ‘be’ the Church.

Our hearts cry must be…. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:” Psalms 139:23. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” Philippians 3:10.

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Revelation 3:18.

We can see through the eyes of Gehazi, or we can see as Elisha… “And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17. Do we want to see with the eyes of the Spirit? Then we have to leave our baggage behind, and climb higher. How far we travel up the Mountain of the Lord, will depend on the object of our adoration.

Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:19.

We can Rest in His faithfulness. Confident that….
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” Ephesians 1:18.

If there was ever an hour when we need to have spiritual vision, it is now.

Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.” Joel 3:13.

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21.

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17.

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” Luke 17:10.

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:18.
 May we seek Him with our whole heart,
Cathy Morris, 6/8/2013