Do you pray for the “Peace of Jerusalem” as we are commanded to do, knowing that by mouthing these words we are asking The Lord to hasten His return for us? And that the “hastened return” will, in fact..bring the coming Tribulation upon Israel and those who are not “taken up”…that God’s attention will once again be focused on His people, and on the final 7 years of their judgement?
For…peace will come to that city beloved of God only after their judgement is complete…after the Great Tribulation is ended. The bible tells us so.
And so..part of that prayer is asking Him to Rapture us and get those final scenes into play.
Thinking upon this…there are some of us who are perhaps just on the edge of becoming “more” than just a believer; that the decisive step will be ultimately denied them because the age of the church…of the mystery…will have come to an end.
These thoughts spring from selfish thoughts on the part of this writer…who was basically a baby in Christ for all of 70 years…at which time The Lord firmly stepped in and presented the topic of **Discipleship** to her consciousness. He did this by way of many and varied medical crises resulting in infirmities that demanded immediate and crucial surgeries…which in turn demanded increasing dependency upon HIM as each recovery stage was completed.
Up to that time, she thought she was quite fine, thank you…following all the religious requirements and being very satisfied with herself. Having been a strong person and able to take care of business throughout her life, what more could there be? A bible reading here and there; prayers offered irregularly…truly a dormant figure. Saved, yes. But that was it.
As the Holy Spirit revealed what had been previously hidden from her eyes..that a more intimate relationship with Christ is HIS desire…that a growing love should be taking place, much like in a developing courtship relationship; a deepening, richer commitment which then would create a need to switch from “milk” to “meat” in order to support this “growth spurt” in this person who had been spiritually stunted up to this point in time…a new way of life was entered into where self had to be put aside and the ability to totally rely on HIM for all things became the right thing to do. Looking only at HIM…talking to HIM…(prayer now is a constant conversation with Abba….our “Daddy”….someone once wrote that each morning begins by his making that first phone call to God…then placing the phone on his shoulder in order to keep the conversation going as he goes about the business of each day.)
That growing, deepening relationship with HIM demands a leaving behind of family, friends and perhaps even location…for God does “separate” us into HIM so that HIS will is accomplished. We are called out of religion. There is a price to pay. Our salvation…is free. A gift.
Our discipleship…costs us. In many ways. But we must abide in HIM.
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
We grapple with the fact that even those who were closest to us…when we were mere “babes” in the Body of Christ..now have turned their backs. And this…without our even uttering one word. (In this writer’s experience…she was told that she now is different. And when she took that “opening” to try and explain what caused the difference that they perceived..the scorn and derision began. We must expect this, and ask the Holy Spirit for the strength to stand firm.)
So be it. The bible tells us that this will happen, so all we can do is pray pray pray pray for those misled, unbelieving friends and relatives who are now in our past.
(As an aside; after one of many surgeries and with a successful rehab at home under way..while all these new revelations were spinning around in my mind….a dream occurred. In it, I was attending a christening. Cannot remember who was there…but it was crowded. A happy affair. The baby was dressed all in white, with a white frilly cap on her head. Someone handed this little one to me…I looked down at her: that little baby in the white frilly cap had an old, wrinkled face! What a shock! The face in that bonnet was mine! Truly…not a pretty baby! Awakening, I was puzzled. Then I began to laugh, for that aged baby in the dream represented a beginning to me. What a vivid picture! It was time to start all over again and devour the scriptures with newly found passion and delight. Getting the “meat” required now. It was time for that 70 year old baby to acknowledge her “Christening” and begin to grow into the next stage of spiritual life!)
Now, had the Rapture taken place prior to the above described events…this writer would have been taken up with no “rewards” to offer her Lord. Saved, but “by the skin of her teeth!” As if by fire!
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
And so…now, along with the prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem another prayer is also sent up. That those who are waiting for whatever reason to take that next step…from infant to mature adult in Christ…that they will get a move on! That they will sense the urgency surrounding this move. For… “Today is the day of Salvation.”
2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.
Psa 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
Pray that those who need to begin to partake in the enriched spiritual life that is theirs in Christ….will “get the lead out” and move ahead…trusting in The Lord….prepared for all consequences….finding their strength in HIM…reaching the end of themselves..relying on HIM for ALL things!
And at the same time…looking for our Blessed Hope.
Submit yourself to the rule of that “Royal House Guest” who dwells within you. Willingly allow HIM to expand HIS living space in HIS temple on earth…which just happens to be you and your body.
Follow our LORD….as a disciple. It can only be done in HIS strength. Submit yourself!
Below are a few notes that might prove to be interesting as we travel along together…. each with slightly different gifts and experiences and placement in Christ’s own Body…of which HE is the Head!
******It might be good to stress several points just here. (1) Never was a believer brought into healthy spiritual maturity by means of pressure meetings and constant exhortation nor before he was prepared by the Spirit. (2) Healthy progress is based on the apprehension, understanding and appropriation of the truths in Christ that make for real growth. (3) The experiential aspect of all truth, and especially these so-called deeper truths, is closed to all but the needy heart. Until one is aware of his need to progress spiritually, he will never be brought beyond the birth truths—a mere babe in Christ. “Therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ, the Messiah, advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belongs to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works [dead formalism], and of the faith [by which you turned] to God” (Heb. 6:1, Amplified).
(“Principles of Spiritual Growth” by Miles Stanford)*****
****”God asks us to present our bodies as living sacrifices to Him (Rom. 12:1). Until we have done this there is nothing else we can do. Notice this exhortation comes after Romans six. There is a reason for this order—crucifixion comes before consecration Uncrucified self refuses to be consecrated. This is why so many people with all sincerity walk down the aisles again and again, consecrating uncrucified self to God” (H. Duncan).****