Welcome to 2022! I thank my Father for the tremendous blessing of you, the Jesus Tribe, in my life. It is one thing to experience eternal communion with God Himself, and to my heart this is the greatest. But to also have fellowship with those of like precious faith who long after Him together… this is more than I could hope for in this lifetime.
It is one thing to seek the Lord in green pastures and by still waters, but quite another to press into Him in the midst of fiery trials, daily crises, hurt, injustice, and all that this world can bring. And yet, for those who seek the slaughtered Lamb, there could be no greater opportunity to find Him than in such times and conditions. Precious flock of the Father’s heart… may we grab hold of our Father’s words to “fear not,” for He told us that it is His pleasure to give us the Kingdom (Luke 12:32). Even in the midst of failure and confusion, our Father’s heart has not changed concerning bringing forth His Son in us. We are covered by and held within a love so strong and deep between the Father and His Son that will endure and overcome all. If we look to ourselves, fear abounds and faith departs. But if we keep our hearts and eyes on God (Father, Son, and Spirit) then we can keep pressing into Them through it all! May our affections remain set on “things above” where Christ Who is our Life sits at the right hand of God, and not on the things down here. Why should we do this? Because “we are dead” and “our life is hid with Christ in God”(Colossians 3:1-3). May this become so much more than a teaching, but the very reality of our existence and daily walk.
It is impossible to know exactly what things lie ahead in the earth for this upcoming year, but for “the generation of those who seek Thy Face” it will be a year of the Jesus Tribe “ascending up to His Holy Hill and standing in the Holy Place where we will see Him and love Him and bear His nature” (Psalm 24). May the desires that are in the Lord’s heart for us in this upcoming year draw us up and out of ourselves and this earth into the Son of His Love and Life evermore.
In Isaiah 6, the prophet declared himself to be a man of unclean lips. Just moments before he perceived himself as clean. When all is well, we think of ourselves more highly than we ought. It is only to those who truly hunger that “shall be filled.” There is no hunger like that of a starved man in a dungeon. Free men have the possibility of tasting other things that satisfy. The prison house has the ability to impart a most sublime sense of taste along with an undying grateful heart. As long as the self-life is allowed to satisfy himself at his own whim, there will be no humbled and grateful heart.
When a man is first thrown into prison, his self-life comes to the forefront. We only recognize that we are uncomfortable over some issues. Our main thought is simply that we are suffering. If this remains the case, then we will never be free from what God considers to be the real issue. He does not want to relieve the self-life of its suffering; He wants to relieve us of the life of self so that we may live by the Life of Christ.
“Dead to self” is not the end but opens the door unto “alive unto God through Jesus Christ” (Romans 6:11). In this way, not just the strength and overcoming life of Christ would flow through us, but our sufferings also would no longer be that of our own. The pain that we regularly agonized over would no longer be the frustrations from our self-life, but we would be intimately connected to Christ thereby experiencing His very sufferings.
The sufferings of Christ are not just related to being persecuted because you are a Christian. I am speaking of hurting as we discern our true motives for release from the prison. We cry because only after extended confinement do we see how we truly lived our Christian life. We were living for ourselves, being motivated by our own desires. This is seen as an underlying motive rather than an overt selfish lifestyle.
Death with Christ and His life flooding us means that our whole view and concerns change. Very little thought is given to our own pains and problems, for we are enveloped in His heart and view.
Sadly, many are not so united with Jesus. Instead of fellowshipping with the Lord in His sufferings, we are separated and unaware that He is even pained over our ways. Therefore, in the midst of His own sufferings and concerns, He must send those things into our lives that would expose and limit the life of self in order for it to be seen for what it is. Only the dark place will cause our selfish man to rise up and fully expose himself. Then, hopefully, we will see the selfishness of our own ways and run to His heart. Until this is done, we will continue to live by our own distorted view of ourselves.