Invasion of Light

Discovering God's Glory One Day at a Time

Category: Chapter 5

Hear – Day 65

I find it fascinating that the Hebrew word for “hear” and “obey” are the same word: Shema. In the Hebrew mind to hear God’s Word was the same as to obey it. Why? Because when the Word is truly heard it causes obedience. The power of God is married to the Word and when it is heard it causes to be. When the Word of God is not heard, it is not obeyed. Therefore our real problem is not our failure to obey, but rather our failure to listen. And we should realize that the mere letters and words of the Bible have no power to cause us to obey unless we hear what “the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, etc.).

The only thing that Jesus repeated to all seven churches in the book of Revelation was “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, etc.). Only as they had ears to hear what the Spirit was saying could they be all that God called them to be.

Through the Word the inward work of maturity and love is wrought. And only as we have this inward expansion can we extend God’s kingdom outwardly. The immersion of God’s love prepares us to take the land and bear fruit for his Glory. God’s breaking and stretching work within us causes our lives to be full of the atmosphere of heaven. And when the environment is right, life can be birthed and grow. What happens on the second day prepares the way for the fruitfulness that is to follow on the third day.

Prayer: Father, I want to hear what your Spirit is saying. Give me ears to hear. And I pray for the churches, that they would also hear and obey. Through your Word create the atmosphere of heaven in me. Give me depth and dimension. In these end times, I believe you are giving your people depth & dimension, you’re taking us deeper, higher, longer and wider. You’re breaking us out of our self-made boxes and religion. You’re putting people into places of influence and breaking us through into sub-cultures that need to know you.

The Word of Grace – Day 64

God said, “Let there be…” God’s very word was the act of his grace. Here the Hebrew hayah, “to be,” is used and its usage is very insightful. The Hebrew language does not normally use the verb “to be” in sentences like we do in English. Instead of saying, “The Lord is good,” Hebrew would say something like, “The Lord good.” Throughout the creation account we see hayah being continually used and because of its unique usage we should take particular notice. What is its significance? And why does the author use this word?

It is because the Holy Spirit is communicating that through God’s Word everything came into being. This is the foundational message communicated through Genesis 1:1-2:3. Yahweh is the God who causes to be. Everyday of creation we observe that Yahweh is causing to be. We too need to be like the heavens and the earth, completely yielding to the power of Yahweh’s Word.

Prayer: O Father, when I hear your Word, truly hear your Word, it causes your will to be formed in me. It’s your Word that causes something out of nothing; it makes me beautiful. Without your Word there is no grace in my life, I’m left formless and empty. Today, I cry out for your Word and I ask for ears to hear it.

What is Grace? – Day 63

Many try to divorce God’s Word from the power and the grace of God. When we do this we will lack genuine fruit, fruit that lasts. The Word, the power and the grace of God are a three-strand cord that cannot be easily broken. If we do break them apart we do it at a great cost. Earlier we said that we can only grow by grace—but what exactly is the grace of God? The common definition—“unmerited favour”—paints some of the picture of grace but it doesn’t express the fullness of God’s grace. So what is the full picture?

God’s grace is his power to cause to be. Paul realized this when he said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was in me” (1 Cor. 15:10). It was the grace of God that caused him to be who he was. And it was that power “to be” that empowered him to work. We put the cart before the horse when we try to achieve grace by our works because works flow out of grace.

This grace, as we will see in our next post, flows out of God’s dynamic Word and always carries with it God’s power. Grace is more like a lion than a ballerina.

Prayer: Father, let me know your true grace flowing through my veins. May I never divorce your grace from your Word and power. Make me into the man (or woman) you have called me to be. I can only be that by your grace.

 

Yahweh Causes to Be – Day 62

Let us remember again that the expanse only came through God’s Word. “And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water” (Gen. 1:6). It is God’s Word that created––that made space for life. It is the Word that will expand and stretch us; it is only the Word that will give us this sort of love. God’s Word is his ordained way to bring maturity. Spiritual growth is not something we can bring up through our own initiative. Many Christian are trying to grow by their own ways, yet true growth only happens as a response to God’s Word. Not only is salvation by grace, growth is also the fruit of grace. It is not based own our works or resources. Our own works will always lead us to build a tower like Babel. Only as we hear the Word do we grow. Christians who try to grow by themselves––apart from listening to God’s Word through the Scriptures, preachers, and the rest of the body of Christ––will eventually fall. And when we as labourers for Christ try to build the church without the Word that proceeds from God’s mouth, we will build something that will not survive the test of fire (1 Cor. 3:9-15).

The Word is the beginning. I have found that many Christian have constant trouble living according to God’s standard of love. They never seem to get free from the power of temptation. Instead of living under the Lordship of Christ, they are dictated by demonic principalities and powers. What is the cause of all this? Often it has to do with not beginning right, not possessing a good foundation. In Genesis we learn that the beginning of all things is by the Word. Unless we have the foundation of God’s Word in our lives––and not just reading the Scripture, but hearing God speak through the Bible––we cannot live victoriously. Without hearing God’s Word the waters in our lives will remain un-parted.

The Word is not only the beginning: it is the power of God. There is a myth in the church that the power of God is miracles. Yes, miracles flow from the power of God, but the power of God is his Word. Paul said, “The Gospel is the power of God” (Rom. 1:16). It is the Word that brings signs, wonders and miracles. Instead of seeking miracles, the church must first seek God’s Word, only then can we be apostolic. Miracles apart from God’s Word are false. Mark recalls how the apostolic ministry operated when he said, “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen” (Mark 16:20, NKJV).

Prayer: Lord, it is your Word that caused everything to be and it was your Word that broke open the deep in the beginning. If I am going to grow and expand in you, it will be only as you speak to me. Father, speak to me. I need to hear your voice. I cannot be satisfied with hearing an echo of you, or even a recording; I want your living Word freshly spoken into my soul. May your Word and your Word alone be my sure foundation!

 

Loves Stretches Itself – Day 61

Love longs for the above—for our heavenly home—but it also steps down to those below. It is like Moses who grew up in Pharaoh’s palace but cannot stand to be separated from the afflictions of his people. “By faith when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than enjoy the passing pleasure of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward” (Heb. 11:24-26).

Love is like Elijah who stretched himself on the widow’s dead son to revive him. Elijah’s life came face to face with death. Like Jesus he engaged death face to face, not fearing its power. Elijah knew that the power of God’s resurrection life was greater than the law of sin and death. He stretched himself out upon the boy––eye to eye, mouth to mouth, body to body––just like Jesus stretched himself out on the cross. In that upper room of prayer Elijah cried out to God and the Lord sent his Spirit:

“And he stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, I pray, let this child’s soul come back to him. Then the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him and he revived. And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. And Elijah said, ‘See, your son lives! Then the woman said to Elijah, ‘Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth.’” (1 Kings 17:21-24).

It is the power of resurrection that will bring life to those who are dead in trespasses and sins. Only as we are in face to face contact with those who are dead will we be able to impart life and bring that which is from above down to the earth below. Not only do we need to step down, but also in stepping down we need to lift those who are below up to the heavenly heights. We are to minister to the lost in the spirit of “the upper room.” This means discomfort––Elijah stretched himself out on the child three times. This means intimacy––Elijah stretched himself out on the child three times. This means a heart for the “children of disobedience”––Elijah stretched himself out on the child three times (Luke 1:17). This means persistence––Elijah stretched himself out three times. Elijah shows us that the way of the cross is the way to resurrection.

Prayer: Father, may I also follow the example of Moses, Elijah and Jesus. Moses stepped down from fame and safety to be with God’s suffering people. Elijah stretched himself out on a dead boy to bring him life. And you, Jesus, stretched yourself out in love on the cross to bridge the gap between that which is above and that which is below. May that same love be in me, in Jesus’ name.

The Ebb & Flow of Prayer – Day 60

One day I was walking along the beach about an hour from our home. The waves were beating against volcanic rocks that looked like something off the surface of the moon. I then came to a beautiful spot with a reddish-brown arched cliff facing the waters. As I turned to gaze upon the waves pounding against the rocks, I could hear a roar up in the sky. It sounded like a jet plane soaring above my head. But when I looked there was no jet, just a continual rhythmic roaring. What was this phenomenon? It was the roaring of the waves being amplified by the cliffs in the background. The cliffs served as a sounding board to project the roar above me.

Prayer is like the roar of the sea. It ebbs and flows. It is deep calling out to deep. It continually rises and crashes. There are times when it is gentle, but then there are times when it is fierce. It is the Father calling to the Son and the Son calling to the Father.

At that same place I saw an eagle flying off the cliffs above the water. I was amazed at how it soared without flapping its wings. It was being carried by the wind and it flew with such grace. Only occasionally would it gently flap its wings. It knew the wind and enjoyed being moved by it.

The eagle also was like a person who knows how to pray. There is not much self-effort involved in true prayer; rather the person of prayer is energized by the wind of the Spirit. He glides on this wind being brought higher and higher. This is why Paul taught us to “pray in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:18; Jude 20).

Yearning for God’s Presence – Day 59

Why does the believer mourn? Why such longing in his or her heart? Because when we are saved this world is no longer our home. Yes, we live here, but our hearts are also in heaven.

Paul taught the Ephesians this aspect of their salvation:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 1:3, 4-6, NKJV).

Born again believers are unlike any other people on earth. They live in two places at once—in heaven but also on earth. This causes them to inwardly groan. The Christian is like a woman whose husband has gone on a far journey. Even though space has separated them, she longs to be with him. She experiences the delights of love but also the deep desires and pain that also come with love. She is one with her bridegroom, but she yearns for him to be near—she yearns, for his presence, just like we long for heaven on earth.

We are like a son longing to be with his father. After we see the light, God gives us the Spirit of Sonship by which we cry, “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6). Our hearts now forever cry out for that which is above, in the same way the earth continually cries for rain. Our hearts now mourn when wickedness triumphs and when we do not see the manifestation of God’s glory (Psa. 119:136). We are disturbed, even depressed at times, because of this place of our pilgrimage. It is the desire for our Father that moves us to pray. Only his presence puts our hearts at rest.

Prayer: Lord, as the Psalmist longed for you in Psalm 42, I long to be with you. I know you are with me, but I want to know you more. I long for your presence. It’s only in your presence that my heart is at rest. Come, Lord Jesus!

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