Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jealous Fire (Newsletter)

God the Father crafted us before we found life in our mother’s womb, he keeps count of the hairs on our head and has named us and called us with a destiny and a purpose in our generation. His watchful eye longs for us to reach the height of all-consuming commitment to our creator. His guiding hand pulls us and draws us into intimacy with Him. It pushes us forward into greater and greater intensity. He sets a passion and a fire within us that cannot be quenched by anything less than an eternal God and an eternal fulfillment of ultimate intimacy. Even as He places the beauty of Christ and the power and person of the Holy Spirit within us, He yearns over us jealously (James 4:5). He desperately desires the wholeness and the unity of our being. He wants us as He made us to be, in an overwhelming relationship that consumes every decision, every thought and every moment of our lives. He waits patiently while creation groans for the final consummation of our purpose in Christ, our ultimate redemption in complete union with the God of love.
In this life and in this walk with Jesus I am increasingly aware of the intense passion and jealousy of God. His love presses itself upon every decision, every action and every moment of every day. There are times when I deny Him portions and moments of my life and I feel the conviction and the disappointment of His heart. Jealous is the name and nature of our God, who longs to have all of us (Ex 34:14). He desires an intimacy where we are consumed and formed by His Spirit within and His spirit without.
Paul pressed boldly ahead with this single purpose, “this one thing I do. . . I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” He had unity of mind, unity of heart, unity of eye and spirit. He pressed on with undaunted and unquenched intensity. He didn’t slow in the face of beating, torture, shipwreck, sleeplessness, starvation and desertion. His course was set. The holistic hunger of God burned within him, and he pushed forward in the intensity and jealousy of a Holy God whose beauty and glory was worth it all. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” (2 Cor 4:17). This eternal perspective, coupled with an insatiable drive to know Jesus pushed him past trials and afflictions, temptations, exhaustion and despair to a life that continues to reveal the beauty and goodness of God two millennia after he finished his race with joy (Acts 20:24). He loved Jesus and He knew the love the Father had for him, a love that demanded all.
As I look back at the past year I can say without a doubt that this has been the most trying year of testing and refining. In the midst of the trials, the opposition, the battles and struggles, the sleepless nights, long days and pain pierced months, I have known the call of the Christ, the holy jealousy of God and the pleasure of the Father as He sings over me (3:17) and as His Spirit inside me holds me close to Him. Like never before there is a drive within my heart and direction within my soul to see the LORD magnified in my body (Phil 1:20) and to see the nations reached with the goodness of God. Our Father is love: a consuming fire (Deut 4:24, 1 John 4:8).
“Only one life, ‘Twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last, and when I am dying, how glad I shall be, if the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.” – C.T. Studd

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