Step into New Things: I’ve Been to the Mountain Top! – Purity 1055
Purity 1055 05/30/2023 Purity 1055 Podcast
Purity 1055 on YouTube:
Today’s photo of the tree at the 2nd lookout site of Mount Antone, overlooking great views of farmland and the southern Vermont Mountains comes to us from yours truly as my wife, TammyLyn, and I ascended the 2600 feet to the summit of the tallest peak on the Merck Forest & Farmland Center’s property in Rupert Vermont. Mount Antone is officially part of the Northern Taconic Mountain Range and although reaching its summit wasn’t too challenging, it was a definite high point of our Memorial Day Weekend backpacking adventure that had us away from many of the modern conveniences that we take for granted.
Our cabin was dead ended towards the rear end of the preserve’s property and didn’t have electricity or indoor plumbing and as no one was renting any of the nearest lean-tos or cabins, TammyLyn and I had at approximately ½ mile distance to our nearest neighbors. I didn’t hear a lawnmower, weed whacker, or even a chainsaw all weekend and it was only on our way to Mount Antone and Clark’s Clearing did we see any other living souls.
Seclusion can be a little unsettling at times but when you realize that you are relatively safe and secure in your accommodations, and that the Lord is with you wherever you go, you can really enjoy the peace and tranquility of God’s creation without fear and just bask in the goodness of just “being”.
Of course, just because we were “roughing it” didn’t mean that my wife and I decided to take a vacation from our faith. Even though we both enjoyed “getting away from it all”, we didn’t want to get away from God. We maintained our regular Bible study and enjoyed our own personal studies as TammyLyn revisited a book she had read years earlier, Made to Crave – By Lysa TerKeuest, et all – on satisfying our deepest desires with God, not food ( might have to check that out) – and I was able to complete Volume 1 – The Essentials of Dr. Karl Payne’s “Transferrable Cross Training” on Discipleship as well as get most of the way through “The True Works of the Holy Spirit”, a booklet by John MacArthur. So in many ways – probably just because of the decision we’ve made to keep God at the center of our lives and marriage – our vacation was a spiritual retreat as well. But please don’t imagine some hyper spiritual posturing on our part, we were just enjoying each other’s company and giving each other space to seek the Lord’s peace and guidance without getting in each other’s way. Our faith should never feel forced, demanding, or complicated and so it wasn’t.
Although, we were “out there” in the woods, we weren’t too far gone and actually had enough cell reception to be able to receive and send messages from family. I don’t think I would have necessarily known this as I had assumed that we wouldn’t have had reception and only brought my three cell phones (1 work, 1 personal, and 1 old) as media devices for Bible Study (you have got to love Logos Bible Software) and for listening to a Christian audiobook or “soothing sounds” to sleep by. But TammyLyn tested the reception as soon as we got there and assured her children and both our mothers that we had arrived safely! You can take a mother of 5 into the woods but you can’t take the mother out of her, I guess.
Anyway, no matter how much I may have been a little disappointed in not being completely off the grid and unreachable when we arrived on Saturday, I was rejoicing over the fact we weren’t completely cut off on Sunday as we were able to “stream church” via Facebook. So even though we were in a cabin in Vermont with no electricity, we sang along with and listened to our church’s Sunday service live from Clifton Park! And although it was Sunday, the wife and I decided to worship the Lord by getting out in His creation with the trek to the top of Mount Antone and a hike to Clark’s Clearing (That’s my last name – we had to go there) before we returned to the cabin for a Sabbath’s rest.
Overall, it was a wonderful trip and it taught me to keep following where the Lord leads me and to try new things. Although we struggled mightily on the journey into the woods with our fully packed backpacks, yesterday’s excursion out took half the time as we were less burdened (without the weight of 2 days water supply) and were more experienced, wiser, and stronger from what we had learned and done just a day or two before.
And that’s a great analogy of our faith, we can get stronger in our faith when we step out into it and test ourselves. The growth that TammyLyn and I experienced as hikers and backpackers in a relatively short time would have never been realized if we had never “gone there”. Before this trip, neither one of us had any real backpacking experience and could have easily dismissed the idea altogether.
But after our previous visit to the Merck Forest Center’s Gallup Road – and it was a long rather challenging day of hiking - and with a few days off for Memorial Day, something inside me inspired me to step out in faith and “book it”. And TammyLyn, who had never backpacked – immediately – went about making sure that we were adequately equipped to go. I may have “set the course” but TammyLyn really made sure we could “make our way”. So not only did we learn and experience something new in backpacking, but we also used it to draw closer to God and one another. But none of this would have been known, if we didn’t choose to follow the “call” and support one another along the way.
Well, it’s Tuesday and even though TammyLyn is back to work, I have the day off and will use it to finish off that booklet on the true work of the Holy Spirit and to prepare for tomorrow evening’s meeting of Celebrate Freedom – the recovery/discipleship growth group at my local church – where I will be sure to do my best to encourage those gathered to step out in faith and to trust the Lord to move them into a deeper knowledge and experience of their freedom in Christ as they have decided to trust and follow the Lord to help them walk away from the “hurts, habits, and hang ups” they wish to leave behind as they pursue the meaning and purpose that God has for them.
For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple apologetic will provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verses are:
3 For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.”
4 Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
Today’s verses encourage us to wait patiently as the Lord fulfills His promises in our lives and to realize that this walk of faith isn’t necessarily just about pleasing ourselves.
Christ’s example shows us that just because you decided to follow and do the Lord’s will, it doesn’t mean that people will applaud you for it. In fact when you decide to follow the Lord, you can expect to be insulted as Jesus was insulted, and persecuted as He stated that the world would hate His disciples, just as it hated Him.
But today’s verses remind us that The Bible – the Scriptures – never promised us a rose garden – a life without suffering – but it does promise all those who put their faith in Jesus Christ a place in God’s family and kingdom in eternity. The word tells us of the true story of hardships that the prophets, apostles, and Jesus Himself suffered before us to encourage us that those who went before us faced trials and death secure in the knowledge that God was in control and would save us even when it looked like all was lost.
Christ’s death and resurrection proved that our worst case scenario was something that we would overcome. Worst case – we die – but when we are in Christ we have not lost hope because at moment of our earthly death we will go on and live with God in eternity, and then one day return with Jesus to rule and reign over earth, before the new heaven and earth!
So, wait for it! – God’s got a LOT MORE in STORE for us, and He is faithful to fulfill all of His promises – that assure us of place in His kingdom forever and a purpose that goes beyond this life.
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 The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3)
A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit
5 - The Covenant-Offices of the Holy Spirit
The Spirit’s Covenant-Office: Sanctification
Now the “office-work” of the Holy Spirit in connection with this “everlasting Covenant, ordered in all things and sure” (2 Sam. 23:5), may be summed up in a single word, sanctification. The Third Person of the Holy Trinity agreed to sanctify, the objects of the Father’s eternal choice, and of the Son’s redemptive satisfaction. The Spirit’s work of sanctification was just as needful, yea, as indispensable for the church’s salvation, as was the obedience and blood-shedding of Christ. Adam’s fall plunged the church into immeasurable depths of woe and wretchedness. The image of God in which her members had been created was defaced. Sin, like a loathsome leprosy, infected them to the very heart’s core. Spiritual death spread itself with fatal effect over her every faculty. But the gracious Holy Spirit pledged Himself to sanctify such wretches, and frame and fit them to be partakers of holiness, and live forever in God’s spotless presence.
Without the Spirit’s sanctification the redemption of Christ would avail no man. True, a perfect atonement was made by Him and a perfect righteousness brought in, and so the persons of the elect are legally reconciled to God. But Jehovah is holy as well as just, and the employments and enjoyment of His dwelling-place are holy too. Holy angels there minister whose unceasing cry is, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts” (Isa. 6:3). How then could unholy, unregenerated, unsanctified sinners dwell in that ineffable place into which “there shall in no way enter anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie” (Rev. 21:27)? But O the wonder of covenant grace and covenant love! The vilest of sinners, the worst of wretches, the basest of mortals, can and will enter through the gates into the Holy City: “And such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11).
From what has been said in the last paragraph it should be clear that sanctification is as indispensable as justification. Now there are many phases presented in Scripture of this important Truth of sanctification, into which we cannot here enter. Suffice it to say that aspect of it which is now before us is the blessed work of the Spirit upon the soul, whereby He internally makes the saints meet for their inheritance in the light (Col. 1:12): without this miracle of grace none can enter Heaven. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (1 John 3:6): no matter how it be educated and refined, no matter how disguised by religious ornamentation, it remains still flesh. It is like everything else which earth produces: no manipulation of art can change the original nature of the raw material.
No process of manufacture can transmute cotton into wool, or flax into silk: draw, twist, spin or weave, bleach and surface all we may, its nature remains the same. So men-made preachers and the whole corps of creature religionists may toil night and day to change flesh into spirit, they may work from the cradle to the grave to fit people for Heaven, but after all their labors to wash the Ethiopian white and to rub the spots out of the leopard, flesh is flesh still and cannot by any possibility enter the kingdom of God. Nothing but the supernatural operations of the Holy Spirit will avail. Not only is man polluted to the very core by sin original and actual, but there is in him an absolute incapability to understand, embrace or enjoy spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14).
The imperative necessity, then, of the Spirit’s work of sanctification lies not only in the sinfulness of man, but in the state of spiritual death whereby he is as unable to live, breathe, and act Godward as the corpse in the graveyard is unable to leave the silent tomb and move among the busy haunts of men. We indeed know little of the Word of God and little of our own hearts if we need proof of a fact which meets us at every turn; the vileness of our nature and the thorough deathliness of our carnal heart are so daily and hourly forced upon us that they are a such a matter of painful consciousness to the Christian, as if we should see the sickening sight of a slaughterhouse, or smell the death taint of a corpse.
Suppose a man is born blind: he has a natural incapacity of sight. No arguments, biddings, threats, or promises can make him see. But let the miracle be wrought: let the Lord touch the eyes with His Divine hand; he sees at once. Though he cannot explain how or why, he can say to all objectors, “One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25). And thus it is in the Spirit’s work of sanctification, begun at regeneration, when a new life is given, a new capacity imparted, a new desire awakened. It is carried forward in his daily renewing (2 Cor. 4:16) and is completed at glorification. What we would specially emphasize is that whether the Spirit is convicting us, working repentance in us, breathing upon us the spirit of prayer, or taking of the things of Christ and showing them unto our joyful hearts, He is discharging His covenant-offices. May we render unto Him the praise and worship which is His due.
For most of the above we are indebted to some articles by the late J. C. Philpot.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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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)
For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge
“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).