Travel Days - Arrival, Revival, & Getting There –– Purity 971
Purity 971 02/20/2023 Purity 971 Podcast
Purity 971 on YouTube:
Today’s photo of the sun wearing a crown of cumulus clouds while it shines over the bend in the road of Waite Road where my canine pal Harley was allowed to run free while we were out for a morning stroll comes to us from yours truly as I had the presence of mind to bring my phone and capture this scene this past Saturday.
Well, It’s Monday and like many others with school age children, I am on vacation this week and coming to you live from the Embassy Suites in Colonial Williamsburg Virginia and after a long drive here I have a couple of things to say about travel days and my previous pipe dream of rerouting my return trek home through the revival that was happening at Asbury University in Wilmore Kentucky.
I discovered this morning that Asbury President, Kevin Brown, released a schedule, after my previous posting, on Saturday that announced that the final public service for the event that will forever be known as the Asbury Revival of 2023, was scheduled for last evening, at 7:30 pm. So, it’s over Johnny… it’s over.
Brown released the schedule that ended the revival with the following statement:
“As we enter the third week of this renewal movement, our desire is to be faithful to our mission as a student-centric Christian University,”
“Further, we believe that the continued flourishing of such a movement invites us to commission our Asbury community, visiting students, and other campus guests from across the world to neighbor-serving, God-honoring work.”
If I may paraphrase, the good university president:
“Alright, alright, Y’all got Jesus? Now why don’t you take what you got here, and go out into all the world and make disciples or do something good for the kingdom of God. After Sunday’s evening service, there’s nothing to see here.”
Like a bartender at last call, Brown’s statement ended the revival party essentially telling anyone who got blessed by the happenings at Asbury over the last few weeks: “Y’all don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here!”
So the revival I and countless of others had prayed for has come and is now over. So my toying with the idea of going to Asbury from Myrtle Beach SC on Friday is now caput. And after yesterday’s 9 hour drive to Williamsburg, Virginia, I’m okay with that!
If the revival at Asbury had continued, and if the miracle of having both my wife and teenage step kids agree to go had happened, and I felt called by the Lord to go, it would have been a 9 hour and 30 minute drive to get there. And after actually experiencing a 9 hour drive to Virginia yesterday, I’m glad that I won’t be called to make that decision to go to Asbury.
Asbury University’s president did the right thing. His job is to run a Christian University and as awesome as it is to experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and to have an influx of people praising and worshiping the Lord, we as the body of Christ are not called to just come together in continuous worship and adoration, we are called to go out and make disciples, the mission that Christ gave us and that the president’s statement alluded to.
The party has to end some time and the work of the kingdom has to continue so even though I am on vacation this week, I am glad that the president announced a return to normal with the release of the schedule that ends the revival but invites the public back to the regularly planned public worship – chapel services- that will resume on Wednesday at 2pm. So let’s get back to the normal business of “doing what we do” on the path of Christian Discipleship!
For any Asbury converts or revivalists that don’t know what that is, I invite you to check out the discipleship teachings I provided on the mt4christ247 podcast, and MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel, for Victory over the Darkness, The Bondage Breaker, and Freedom in Christ, because all though you may have felt that you “have arrived” with your salvation or recommitment to your faith, let me first congratulate you, but let me also encourage you that there is much more that the Lord has planned for your life that will make the last 3 weeks in the glory cloud at Asbury seem like small potatoes, or at least a beautiful beginning to what could be an amazing adventure of a life in Christ.
Although you have surely “arrived” and found your place in the kingdom of God through your faith in Christ, we still have more travelling to do on this path that Lord has called us to walk on. Our journey is launched when we are born again in salvation and continues in progressive sanctification where we actually live out our new lives of faith by learning God’s ways and following Christ’s example as outlined in the Bible.
So although we have fully arrived in one sense , we are “not there yet” in another. To anyone new to the faith: welcome to your first Christian paradox!
I am including a link to an article from simply bible dot com that breaks down how we “have been saved”, “are being saved”, and “will be saved” on the blog today to give you an ideas of how our faith can simultaneously be one reality in three tenses (https://www.simplybible.com/f066-sure-saved-in-three-tenses.htm).
This same yesterday, today, and tomorrow aspect of our faith works for our sanctification too and can be demonstrated by how I was “sanctified” – made holy - by receiving Christ’s righteousness on the day I put my faith in Him, but then was further sanctified as I began to repent of the sin in my life, and I will progressively “get there” in terms of sanctification when I continue to align myself with the Lord with other areas of my life that He will call me to repent of. And of course, no matter what my progress is like here on earth I will be ultimately sanctified when I enter into the Lords kingdom either at the hour of my death or when Christ returns to rule and reign on earth.
So in terms of our salvation and sanctification, we can all honestly say that “While I am not what I want to be, I’m not what I used to be, and the Lord will help me continually, and ultimately, to be the person that He made me to be!”
Knowing that our faith is progressive can give us great hope because we can leave our darkness of our pre-Christ existence and move deeper into the freedom and victory that the Lord has for us.
But let’s keep it real, the fact that we are “in process” or in the midst of “Travel days” can be frustrating and disappointing.
We could feel that we have been cheated by the good news because we haven’t instantly become the kind, caring, and clean super saints that never say a harsh word or never make a mistake that we imagined we could be if we “really were a Christian”.
Well, if that’s were you find yourself – condemning yourself for not being “all that you could be”, let me remind you of Romans 8:1
Romans 8:1 (NKJV)
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
So if you are in Christ Jesus – if you put your faith in Him as Lord and Savior – stop condemning yourself for not being perfect! There is no condemnation for you any longer, so stop it.
Also let’s realize that we need to “walk in the Spirit” – we aren’t “there yet” – we are in the midst of our traveling days towards our new life in Christ – okay we already have it but now we are walking further into it okay…
And the verse never says anything about stopping. We are to walk in the Spirit – THE END – just like the three tenses of our salvation and sanctification – we have walked in the Spirit – the day we said “Yes” to Jesus, we are walking in the Spirit – although it could look like a “stumble” or crawl in the Spirit depending on how you are following Him – and we “will walk in he Spirit – as in “10 feet off of Beal” literally – when we go far beyond “waling in Memphis” and go marching with Christ Himself into His kingdom!
So don’t get frustrated or disappointed in your walk, although it can be a grind, every day we are making progress! If nothing else, you are one step closer to eternity!
Anyway, believe me, just like yesterday’s 9 hour drive to Virginia wasn’t so great and yesterday’s “Travel day” may seem like a complete waste because all I did was spend the day driving and ending up exhausted, it was all for a purpose - To Get THERE!
I’m not sure what historical touristy delights I will experience today in Williamsburg but I never would have gotten the opportunity if I not only decided to “go there” but actually did the hard work of “getting there”. And whether or not I am thrilled or disappointed in what I see here in Williamsburg, I did the work to experience it. This is my life and this Williamsburg chapter is now forever a part of the narrative and no matter whether my experience is good, bad, or indifferent I will experience and learn something from going that I would never have known if I had decided to spend the week walking Harley up and down Waite Rd!
Already, I got to experience what a 9 hour drive is really like (I have had similar long drives in my distant pass but it feels like I never did) and have a better grasp on what it would be like to actually do it if another revival should spring up somewhere and I get the idea to go chase it.
As I stated on Saturday, I have experienced the Holy Spirit’s manifest presence more that once and now that I have a more recent experience with a long drive, I may not be so envious of revival revelers if the distance is too far!
Enjoy the Holy Spirit’s presence! He is awesome! I know Him! Tell Him I said “Hello, and I Love You” – Never mind, He’s right here – dwelling in me!” No need to drive there after all! No need to chase the revival!
Anyway, my points are that while we should enjoy the Holy Spirit’s outpourings and corporate worship service, we also need to do the “regular business” of our faith – prayer, Bible study, evangelism, and service, good works, to others too.
Also, while we have arrived in God’s kingdom, we are also “not there yet” and while our “travel days” may be hard, we should remember that they are necessary because they will get us closer to where we want to go and we should rejoice because they are things we can learn from and enjoy.
So keep walking and talking with God no matter what today brings you to because every day spent with Him is worthwhile and it brings us ever closer to “getting there”.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
14 Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed.
Today’s Bible verses encourage us when we choose to do what is good and run from evil, God will help us!
Hey, I don’t encourage people to follow the Lord because it will always lead us to suffering. When we decided to turn from our evil ways of doing things and when we place our faith in Christ, God helps us in incalculable ways that go beyond giving us eternal life in His kingdom.
Salvation is enough reason to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, but God’s word encourages us that if we seek the Lord with the way we live our life, by repenting, He will help us.
In this turning from evil, God helps us by giving us strength, wisdom and guidance to accomplish success (when we ask Him for it). We can overcome!
But God also helps us by giving us the life we would have never known without Him. I’m in Williamsburg Virginia because of the events of my life that all fell into place when I decided to not only “believe in Jesus” but when I decided to answer His call to follow Him in repentance.
Because of faith in Christ, I am living out the consequences of the life of repentance and seeking to do God’s will. Among many other wonderful things, through my faith I met my wife and she suggested Williamsburg, so here we are.
This is just one small example of how God will shape our lives when we follow Him.
Would you call that help?
The trip to Williamsburg specifically, no. But I would call the string of events that happens when we decided to follow the Lord as His help. He helps us to understand who He is and what the best way to live our lives is. He gives us wisdom in His word. He gives us strength in our spirits. He gives us life in Christ. And He blesses us with good things and with endurance when things are not so good. God helps us.
But as today’s verse indicates, one of the “keys” of experiencing God’s help is to run from evil and to do what is good: to get in harmony with God by living a righteous life that cancels the strongholds and footholds of the enemy.
So run from evil and run to the Lord and He will help you!
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
By ARTHUR W. PINK
GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AND THE HUMAN WILL
1. The Nature of the Human Will
What is the Will? We answer, the will is the faculty of choice, the immediate cause of all action. Choice necessarily implies the refusal of one thing and the acceptance of another. The positive and the negative must both be present to the mind before there can be any choice. In every act of the will there is a preference—the desiring one one thing rather than another. Where there is no preference, but complete indifference, there is no volition. To will is to choose, and to choose is to decide between two or more alternatives. But there is something which influences the choice; something which determines the decision. Hence the will cannot be sovereign because it is the servant of that something. The will cannot be both sovereign and servant. It cannot be both cause and effect. The will is not causative, because, as we have said, something causes it to choose, therefore that something must be the causative agent. Choice itself is affected by certain considerations, is determined by various influences brought to bear upon the individual himself, hence, volition is the effect of these considerations and influences, and if the effect, it must be their servant; and if the will is their servant then it is not sovereign, and if the will is not sovereign, we certainly cannot predicate absolute “freedom” of it. Acts of the will cannot come to pass of themselves—to say they can, is to postulate an uncaused effect. Ex nihilo nihil fit—nothing cannot produce something.
In all ages, however, there have been those who contended for the absolute freedom or sovereignty of the human will. Men will argue that the will possesses a self-determining power. They say, for example, I can turn my eyes up or down, the mind is quite indifferent which I do, the will must decide. But this is a contradiction in terms. This case supposes that I choose one thing in preference to another while I am in a state of complete indifference. Manifestly, both cannot be true. But it may be replied, The mind was quite indifferent until it came to have a preference. Exactly; and at that time the will was quiescent too! But the moment indifference vanished, choice was made, and the fact that indifference gave place to preference, overthrows the argument that the will is capable of choosing between two equal things. As we have said, choice implies the acceptance of one alternative and the rejection of the other or others.
That which determines the will is that which causes it to choose. If the will is determined then there must be a determiner. What is it that determines the will? We reply, The strongest motive power which is brought to bear upon it. What this motive power is varies in different cases. With one it may be the logic of reason, with another the voice of conscience, with another the impulse of the emotions, with another the whisper of the Tempter, with another the power of the Holy Spirit; whichever of these presents the strongest motive power and exerts the greatest influence upon the individual himself is that which impels the will to act. In other words, the action of the will is determined by that condition of mind (which in turn is influenced by the world, the flesh, and the Devil, as well as by God) which has the greatest degree of tendency to excite volition. To illustrate what we have just said let us analyze a simple example—
On a certain Lord’s day afternoon a friend of ours was suffering from a severe headache. He was anxious to visit the sick but feared that if he did so his own condition would grow worse, and as a consequence, be unable to attend the preaching of the Gospel that evening. Two alternatives confronted him: to visit the sick that afternoon and risk being sick himself, or, to take a rest that afternoon (and visit the sick the next day) and probably arise refreshed and fit for the evening service. Now what was it that decided our friend in choosing between these two alternatives? The will? Not at all. True, that in the end, the will made a choice, but the will itself was moved to make the choice. In the above case certain considerations presented strong motives for selecting either alternative; these motives were balanced the one against the other by the individual himself, i.e., his heart and mind, and the one alternative being supported by stronger motives than the other, decision was formed accordingly, and then the will acted. On the one side, our friend felt impelled by a sense of duty to visit the sick; he was moved with compassion to do so, and thus a strong motive was presented to his mind. On the other hand, his judgment reminded him that he was feeling far from well himself, that he badly needed a rest, that if he visited the sick his own condition would probably be made worse, and is such case he would be prevented from attending the preaching of the Gospel that night; furthermore, he knew that on the morrow, the Lord willing, he could visit the sick, and this being so, he concluded he ought to rest that afternoon. Here then were two sets of alternatives presented to our Christian brother: on the one side was a sense of duty plus his own sympathy, on the other side was a sense of his own need plus a real concern for God’s glory, for he felt that he ought to attend the preaching of the Gospel that night. The latter prevailed. Spiritual considerations outweighed his sense of duty. Having formed his decision the will acted accordingly and he retired to rest. An analysis of the above case shows that the mind or reasoning faculty was directed by spiritual considerations, and the mind regulated and controlled the will. Hence we say that, if the will is controlled, it is neither sovereign nor free, but is the servant of the mind.
It is only as we see the real nature of freedom and mark that the will is subject to the motives brought to bear upon it that we are able to discern there is no conflict between two statements of Holy Writ which concern our blessed Lord. In Matt. 4:1 we read, “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil;” but in Mark 1:12, 13 we are told, “And immediately the Spirit driveth Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan.” It is utterly impossible to harmonize these two statements by the Arminian conception of the will. But really there is no difficulty. That Christ was “driven” implies it was by a forcible motive or powerful impulse, such as was not to be resisted or refused; that He was “led” denotes His freedom in going. Putting the two together we learn that He was driven, with a voluntary condescension thereto. So, there is the liberty of man’s will and the victorious efficacy of God’s grace united together: a sinner may be “drawn” and yet “come” to Christ—the “drawing” presenting to him the irresistible motive, the “coming” signifying the response of his will—as Christ was “driven” and “led” by the Spirit into the wilderness.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts
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Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.
My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ), her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship