Our Heavenly Dwelling and the Ministry of Reconciliation

by Mike Ratliff

For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened–not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. (2 Corinthians 5:1-4 ESV)

About two weeks ago I was in Oklahoma visiting my daughter and son-in-law. I did some landscaping for them as well as some general lawn care. Sometime during all that I picked up a very bad case of Poison Ivy. My arms and legs are the worst, however it is also on my cheek and upper lip. The medication that I am on is no picnic either. During all of this I have reflected much on what God is doing within this trial or test. I have no doubt that I need to be humbled and this test is spot-on for that. I am beginning to understand Job sitting on the ash heap scraping his skin with broken piece of pottery. Seriously though, I do know one thing that God is definitely doing in my heart through this. I believe the Lord is attacking my “pride of life.”

Continue reading

The Patience of Faith

Due to many pressing things happening this day, I did not have time to put together a post in our series on Eschatology. Therefore, I would like to post this devotional by Oswald Chambers from “My Utmost for His Highest.” As we dig into these deeply symbolic passages about the end times let us not become frustrated and impatient with those who are not where we would like them to be in their Biblical understanding. Instead, let us seek God and cooperate with Him as an arrow in the bow which is in His hands. Perhaps we will find that we are the ones in need of discernment and wisdom. – Mike Ratliff

by Oswald Chambers

“Because thou hast kept the word of My patience.” Revelation 3:10

Patience is more than endurance. A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says – “I cannot stand any more.” God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God’s hands. For what have you need of patience just now? Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith. “Though He slay me, yet will I wait for Him.”

Faith is not a pathetic sentiment, but robust vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. You cannot see Him just now, you cannot understand what He is doing, but you know Him. Shipwreck occurs where there is not that mental poise which comes from being established on the eternal truth that God is holy love. Faith is the heroic effort of your life, you fling yourself in reckless confidence on God.

God has ventured all in Jesus Christ to save us, now He wants us to venture our all in abandoned confidence in Him. There are spots where that faith has not worked in us as yet, places untouched by the life of God. There were none of those spots in Jesus Christ’s life, and there are to be none in ours. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee.” The real meaning of eternal life is a life that can face anything it has to face without wavering. If we take this view, life becomes one great romance, a glorious opportunity for seeing marvellous things all the time. God is disciplining us to get us into this central place of power.

Powered by Qumana

Faith’s Checkbook by C.H. Spurgeon – Wednesday November 29, 2006

This devotional by Charles Spurgeon from his Faith’s Checkbook hits me square between the eyes. It knocks my self-reliance and self-assurance legs right out from under me. Why? Because I wait poorly. I am convinced that most of the stress in my life right now is due to God destroying these strongholds in my heart. When He is done I pray that I will be one who knows how to wait – Mike Ratliff

Know How to Wait

He that believeth shall not make haste. (Isaiah 28:16)

He shall make haste to keep the Lord’s commandments; but he shall not make haste in any impatient or improper sense.

He shall not haste to run away, for he shall not be overcome with the fear which causes panic. When others are flying hither and thither as if their wits had failed them, the believer shall be quiet, calm, and deliberate, and so shall be able to act wisely in the hour of trial.

He shall not haste in his expectations, craving his good things at once and on the spot, but he will wait God’s time. Some are in a desperate hurry to have the bird in the hand, for they regard the Lord’s promise as a bird in the bush, not likely to be theirs. Believers know how to wait.

He shall not haste by plunging into wrong or questionable action. Unbelief must be doing something, and thus it works its own undoing; but faith makes no more haste than good speed, and thus it is not forced to go back sorrowfully by the way which it followed heedlessly.

How is it with me? Am I believing, and am I therefore keeping to the believer’s pace, which is walking with God? Peace, fluttering spirit! Oh, rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him! Heart, see that thou do this at once!

Powered by Qumana