The most intimate place
The Lord said to Moses, “Behold, there is a place by me…” Ex 33:21, KJV
Though there is much talk of love, who really knows its depths? There is a place where that Love can be seen and experienced… it is “a place by me.” There is much talk about revelation, restoration and being the ones that will bring change in this world. But what is really lacking in all these human activity? The things we to often admire today are shallow things: great men, great teachings, great miracles, great movements, great success, great crowds and great wisdom. All of these things we can build a religion around. We can write books about, hold conventions and teach them, but unless they reach to the very height of the presence of God and achieve absolute intimacy with the Lord, they are only still things. It is true that one can achieve a level of self-control and righteousness, but it is only filthy rags if it is not born out of an eternal love that pre-existed long before God created man and man created religion. We were not given the bible to know the bible, we were given His word that we might love God and one another.
Now abides faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.
Our minds are too quick to adhere to anything that makes us feel we are in the right place, weather a movement or a church, but there remains a place by Jesus in abiding in Him that few have found. We like to think we are spiritual as we compare ourselves to others; that too can be a religion of Cain, a religion where we forget the deposit of Christ in others… have we forgotten that we are our brother’s keeper?
The world is earnestly seeking to see the manifestation of the sons of God. So what is it they all so longing to see? It is the love of God that can fill every empty and broken heart. Love forgives, love is pure, love is humble and love cares. Today we have too much unforgiveness and judging of one another.
Love existed long before men and it was because of the love of God that God wanted to include him in their love for one another. Obedience, unity, fellowship is easily achieved when we touch His love. We too often know these things, but do we really see it and experience it. Do we really know that love is the answer? Do we really come into His presence because of love? Do we really relate to one another under His banner of love? Do we think of His love for us during every trial? Do know how much love He has to offer? Are we growing each day in His love? If not, we will live by a thousand other motivations and emotions.
Our Christianity can best be understood and experienced by our place in abiding in Christ rather than what we know in terms of biblical knowledge and doctrine. Nothing is really understood outside of His love. What is true or better what is real only comes as we understand why He created us.
The maturity of our walk is marked by a continual dwelling between the eternal love of the Father and Son. Only the truly spiritual person knows and understands by experience what in means to be seated in heavenly places and to experience the kind of love shared intimately between the Father and the Son.
“…[You Father] have loved them as You have loved Me…that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." John 17:23, 26
Love is an environment of heaven in the presence of Jesus and the Father. Abiding in that love will make obedience easy and will give you faith.
“faith working through love” Gal 5:6
“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, [How?] looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” Heb 12:1-2
"As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.[if His joy is permitted to remain in us, our joy will be full. We are not to seek our joy, but His] This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends [this is a love that puts others first and not based on self]. John 15:9-14, NKJV
Such saints will have learned to dwell in the love of God under the shadow of the almighty. It is there that the total essence of Christianity is found…Love!!!
Such saints have learned to abide in Christ as a dwelling place of intimacy. Not dwelling in our shallow problems, but by faith resting in Him alone. Those who have found His love know that Jesus is their hiding place: there past can’t find then, their problems can’t find them, their sins can’t find them, the world can’t find them, selfishness and pride can’t find them, and the devil can’t find them. “For me to live is Christ.” Jesus said that “Satan has come and finds nothing in me.” Why is that? Because He remained in the Father. Though Jesus was the unique Son of God, was not His life on earth the pattern, the example, the very image that we are to fulfill? “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son,” (Rom 8:29) Does that not have the ring of Geneses to it, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”
All our problems, trials, religion, will never be understood for what they really are until our place, out seat becomes a living reality while we are here on earth. That is why Paul said, “I don’t care to know anything among you except Christ and Him crucified.” This place seated in heavenly places with Jesus is not a seat that is understood by doctrine, but compassion. If our minds are not set in heavenly places with Jesus, we will be strangers to the resurrected, loving life and presence that Jesus has provided for all those who love Him.
The missing element
Could divine, sacrificial love be the missing element in much of what we do?
As the years go by, I am learning to see more and more through the eyes of Love. Only as we love Him in great humility can we see anything correctly. God loves me, not as a doctrine, but as a reality that must be lived out by faith and not reasoning or emotions. He has created every situation in my life that will lead me closer to knowing Him and His love. I can never have His love as long as I have self-love and self-preservation. I am becoming ever more conscious and ever more aware of one thing: His love comes to me personally out of the cross and my ascending with Him in heavenly places…Yes being heavenly minded is good!
John 14:19-21, "A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." NKJV
God is not willing to give us men and revelation to build our religion around, He gives us His Son and the Son gives us the Father and there we find real love followed by real spiritual obedience. God will reveal Himself only if we love Him… do we understand that? It is His love living in us and working through us that causes us to feed the poor, to visit those in prison and heal the sick. It is His love that supernaturally joins us together in a heavenly fellowship mentioned in Eph 4:16, “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
If we are filled with the eternal love of Jesus, we will have a love for one another that the world has yet to see. It is the love of Jesus that will cause us to love one another and in our love for one another we will know, by experience, the depth of the Love of God. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, [not doctrine or knowledge] may be able to comprehend with all [not just your little cutting-edge group] the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge [beyond doctrine and the forms of men’s intellect and schemes]; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Eph 3:17-19, NKJV.
In the early assembly they looked for men who were full of the Spirit and wisdom. They didn’t train leaders, they recognized them. This was not a one time filling, but a perpetual filling.
“do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be [continually] filled with the Spirit.” Eph 5:18, NKJV
This is not an experience, but a life laud down and full of Joy and the Kingdom of God. Revelation can only come from a heart dedicated to His love.
What cutting-edge sect has ever walked in the fullness of His love and understood His love for them and others? Our doctrines have limited our ability to love as Jesus loves. We don’t understand His love because we are not really willing to love. We have been too long living out of our limited understanding and humanity and we have been deceived in thinking we have revelation, while all along we have not raised sonship to a level of incorporating all of the saints.
Loving others more than ourselves will keep us from anger, sin, hate and the multitude of inner wars we find today. Only the desire to love and the exercise of faith of Christ in us and us seated in heavenly places will cause us to understand the depths of His love. There are no short cuts or alternative paths. As long as we permit our carnal nature to devour and occupy all of our attention, we will never enter into the reality of truly loving Him. It is an either or choice, “for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.” Luke 16:13, NKJV
Where are our loyalties? Those who dwell in the secret place of the most high will dwell in love and obedience… that is the true and the only means of salvation given to us by Jesus. Love is overwhelming. But we must let love fill our hearts and direct our thinking if we are going to grow.
Obedience is the spiritual result of where we live and not how hard we try to obey. Jesus said it this way, “If you love me, you will keep my [not yours or men’s] commandments.”
Yes Jesus has commandments; it is in keeping them that defines His will from salvation to the life of the body. Sad that the majority of Christians don’t know that John 17 is one of His great and major commandments…
I am troubled when I see the commandments of men overshadowing the commandments of Jesus. Love and unity can not be separated, they build the body together in a bond that cannot be broken or separated. Any form of division is the result of a lack of love and understanding what the will of Jesus is. Creation is not waiting for divided, unloving sons.
I have cried for over 44 years over the many walls of division we have built. One day I was driving down the road and I asked Jesus (for the 10,000th time), “When will we see unity?” He said, “When love is restored to my body and men stop following men and start following Me.”
The provision of the cross has no value to us if we ignore it. The cross is the place where “God so loved the world;” it is there where we learn what love really is.
It is through the cross we deny our life and find the source of the love of Jesus’ sacrifice for each of us. Through the reality of the cross we see we are seated with Him in heavenly places. The other John 3:16 (1 John 3:16) has this to say about love, “By this we know love, [how?] because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren [all of the brethren].”
Love is defined by His sacrifice; His sacrifice was defined at the cross. The cross is the place where one loses their life in exchanges for His. When Jesus said, “take up your cross and follow me,” He was announcing that the cross meant a total death to self and a full surrender of our lives to the life of Jesus. If we try to hold on to the slightest bit of those precious things that are dear to us, we will find ourselves engaged in a perpetual inner battle between Jesus trying to remove those things and us desperately trying to hold on to them. Salvation came to all men through His cross, and salvation comes to us personally through our taking up our cross and following Him, both in His death and resurrection. Without the cross or death to self in our lives, we cannot be His disciple or be saved.
“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:27, NKJV
Only when we discover that it is His love that He wants to share with us that obedience becomes easy. Fall in love with Him and focus on Him and all the rest will be easy and make sense. Let His love occupy our every thought and occupy our every decision and we will find the joy of salvation.
We need to run from those problems that dominate our minds and focus. He made us to love Him.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You.” Isa 26:3, NKJV
“Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Matt 22:37, NKJV
“Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7,
Jesus is our strength.
Jesus is our hope
Jesus is our joy
Jesus is our life
Jesus is our peace
Jesus is our righteousness
Jesus is our friend
We can only be transformed if we live by Jesus and His love for us. I have a saying I use to those I have helped, “I have never met a depressed person who kept their eyes on Jesus and I never met a person who kept their eyes on Jesus depressed.”
Those who live by His love for them will be filled with love. They well live by His peace and not their depression until His peace conquers their depression. Our emotions have taken to big a role in our lives and we have therefore been ruled by them. “Let the peace of Christ rule your hearts” out of love. (Col 3:15)
When I was suffering from depression many years ago, I would get up in the morning and say, “Jesus, how do You FEEL, You have peace? Then so do I, I will live by Your peace.”
We must remember we are eternal beings, and this brief moment is only in preparation for what is finally to come. It is better to regret the loss of what we deem important here and now, than to eternally live in regret in the eternal life yet to come.
Without an understanding of the cross and His love for us.
1 John 5:12, “He who has [lives by] the Son has life; [conversely said] he who does not have [live by] the Son of God does not have life.” NKJV
Frustration has a way of making the truth a lie and the lie the truth. Such people live by a “deceived” reality that is wrapped up in a twisted evaluation of their situation and by strong feelings that only support and seal their beliefs. In their reasoning and emotions they find no basis for hope.
In truth, such wondering souls have never fully understood the cross and the resurrected life that comes from dying to self. To them, the cross presents more problems than solutions. They fail to understand that no war can be won without a fight, so they therefore fall into a perpetual passivity and self pity as the flesh slaughters the life out of them. Their understanding and feelings “rule” supreme and in the reality of the attention they give them, they are “their gods”. If the flesh wars against spirit, they fail to see the agenda of destruction through their uncrucified life, and they fail to take their stand in the reality of the cross. The cross is foolishness to them, because for them, the cross lacks an understandable solution and doesn’t seem real to their intellect and emotions. They never understand that it is the solution they serve and not Jesus Himself. All that dominates their life is attached to their goal. So to live by the life of Jesus makes no sense to them while they are hurting.
Let us remember that Jesus “raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Eph 2:6, NKJV
We died when Jesus died and we rose when Jesus rose, it is now time we made that real in our experience.
Jesus Himself is the Way, the Truth and the Life… it is all spelled out in one word…God is love!
Truly Jesus is our life. It is the place by Him we will find the most intimate place.