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(Weekly teachings updated 10-25-06)
PATHS TO RESURRECTION, ABUNDANCE, POWER, AND GLORY! (Pt. 2) (Read Pt. 1 Here)
Rev. Gerie Martin
The paths of resurrection, the life of abundance in Christ, His power and His glory do not come about instantaneously, much as we would wish it to be so. Coming into the fullness of the life of Christ in us is a life-long process.
Just as Christ has called us to renew our minds, our thoughts and our hearts, the call also includes the need to re-think everything we are and everything we do in our lives according to His words, His will and His priorities. This is all part of the dying to self process. He says we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), walking in His authority. God is not a liar, therefore what we think of and declare ourselves to be from the natural or physical realm must be put aside and the truth of who He says we are must be lived out, according to the power of His Holy Spirit within us. If we surrender to Him, He will enable us to do what He requires of us.
As we acknowledge our need to continue to grow spiritually, we begin to acknowledge Jesus as our Lord and not just our savior. His being acknowledged as Lord means dominion is given over to Him in every part of our life, not just that which is pleasing to us. We are called upon by God to repent of our fleshly way of living and thinking, our ‘tumulus’ ways, our ‘filling up’ the space of our lives with ‘self.’
In the following short story ponder upon the different ways the two young colts respond to the voice of their master and consider which one describes your current way of living.
I Saw the King’s Carriage
On a dirt road in the middle of a wide field stood a beautiful carriage, something on the order of a stagecoach, but all edged in gold, and with beautiful carvings. It was pulled by six large chestnut horses, two in the lead, two in the middle and two in the rear. But they were not moving, they were not pulling the carriage, and I wondered why. Then I saw the driver underneath the carriage, on the ground on his back, just behind the last two horses’ heels, working on something between the front wheels of the carriage. I thought, “My, he is in a dangerous place; for if one of those horses kicked or stepped back, it would kill him, or if they decided to go forward, or got frightened somehow, they would pull the carriage right over him.” But he didn’t seem afraid for he knew that those horses were disciplined and would not move ‘till he told them to move. The horses were not stomping their feet or acting restless, and though there were bells on their feet, the bells were not tinkling. There were pom-poms on their harnesses over their heads, but the pom-poms were not moving. They were simply standing still and quiet, waiting for the voice of the Master.
Two Young Colts
As I watched the harnessed horses, I noticed two young colts coming out of the open field and they approached the carriage seeming to say to the horses, “Come and play with us; we have many fine games; we will race with you, come catch us.” And with that the colts kicked up their heels, flicked their tails and raced across the open field. But when they looked back and say the horses were not following, they were puzzled. They knew noting of harnesses, and could not understand why the horses did not want to play. So they called to them, “Why do you not want to race with us? Are you tired? Are you weak? Do you not have strength to run? You are much too solemn, you need more joy in life.” The horses answered not a word, nor did they stomp their feet or toss their heads. But they stood, quiet and still, waiting for the voice of the Master.
Again the colts called to them, “Why do you stand so in the hot sun? Come over here in the shade of this nice tree. See how green the grass is? You must be hungry, come and feed with us. It is so green and good.
You look thirsty. Come drink from of our many streams of cool water.” But the horses answered them with not so much as a glance, but stood still, waiting for the command to go forward with the King.
Colts in the Master’s Corral
And then the scene changed, and I saw lariat nooses fall around the necks of the two colts, and they were led off to the Master’s corral for training and discipline. How sad they were as the lovely green fields disappeared, and they were put into the confinement of the corral with its brown dirt and high fence. The colts ran from fence to fence, seeking freedom, but found that they were confined to this place of training. And then the Trainer began to work on them, with His whip and His bridle. What a death for those who had been all their lives accustomed to unrestrained freedom! They could not understand the reason for this torture, this terrible discipline. What great crime had they done to deserve this? Little did they know of the responsibility that was to be theirs when they had submitted to the discipline, and finished their training. All they knew was this process was the most terrible thing they had ever known.
Submission and Rebellion
One of the colts rebelled under the training and said, “This is not for me. I like my freedom, my green hills, and my flowing streams of fresh water. I will not take any more of this confinement, this terrible training.” So, he found a way out, jumped over the fence and ran happily back to the meadows of grass. And I was astonished that the Master let him go, and went not after him. But He devoted His attention to the remaining colt. This colt, though he had the same opportunity to escape, decided to submit his own will, and learn the ways of the Master. And the training got harder than ever, but He was rapidly learning more and more how to obey the slightest wish of the Master and respond to even the quietness of His voice. And I saw that had there been no training, or testing, there would have been neither submission nor rebellion from either of the colts. For in the field they did not have the choice to rebel or submit; they were sinless in their innocence. But when brought to the place of testing, training and discipline, then was made manifest the obedience of one and the rebellion that lay hidden in the heart of the other. And though it seemed safer not to come to the place of discipline because of the risk of being found rebellious, yet I saw that without this there could be no sharing of His glory – no son-ship.
Into The Harness
Finally, this period of training was over. Was he now rewarded with his freedom and sent back to the fields? Oh no! But a greater confinement than ever now took place, as a harness dropped about his shoulders. Now he found there was not even freedom to run about the small corral, for in the harness he could only move where and when his Master indicated. And unless the Master spoke he didn’t move at all.
The scene changed and I saw the other colt standing on the side of the hill, nibbling at some grass. Then across the fields and down the road came the King’s carriage, drawn by six horses. With amazement he saw that in the lead, on the right side, was his brother colt, now made strong and mature on the good corn of the Master’s stable. He saw the lovely pom-poms shaking in the wind, noticed the glittering gold harness about his brother, heard the beautiful tinkling of the bells on his feet – and envy came into his heart. So he complained to himself, “Why has my brother been so honored, and I so neglected? They have not put bells on my feet or pom-poms on my head. The Master has not given me the wonderful responsibility of pulling His carriage, or put about me the golden harness. Why have they chosen my brother instead of me?” And by the Spirit the answer came back to me as I watched. “Because one submitted to the will and discipline of the Master, and one rebelled, thus has one been chosen and the other set aside.”
The process of dying to self begins with a choice. The choice faced by each believer is that of submitting every area of our lives or rebelling against the call of the Master’s voice. One choice will take us through difficult times as our flesh fights to remain alive. The other will allow us to go our own way, do our own thing and in the end, have nothing to lay at the Master’s feet when we stand before Him at the great White Throne Judgment. The question being set before you today is this; Which colt represents your current way of living in Christ? This then is what we must bring before Him and allow the Spirit of God to reveal our hearts that we will not go off into rebellion.
To be continued next week...
Blessings & Love,
Rev. Gerie Martin
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