A Christian’s heavenly journey with his feet on the ground. Treasures shared that are discovered along the way.
Please note that this blog has now moved to: "Senior Eagle walking with Father"

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Onward Christian What?

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 ESV)

I remember standing in church as a small boy, waist-high to the adults and singing my little heart out, when the man next to me hissed “shut up!” I’ve never had much of a singing voice, but I thought it a joyful noise! The hymn?

“Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war ..!”

Was it possible, even at that tender age, I’d caught something of the spirit of the hymn? Did the man really understand the significance of the words, and how many do today?

As Christians, like it or not, we’re in the front line of battle. A spiritual war, that’s not fought in our strength or with guns and tanks. The Devil is out to destroy our relationship with God. So to deny the Devil's existence or be unaware of the battle, is like giving in to the enemy. On the other hand if we are aware what’s going one, the battle's as good as won. Our part is to dwell under the protection and absolute safety of the Most High.

I’ve found that the enemy fights dirty. He attacks when I’m at my weakest and least expecting it. I’m learning to recognise when it’s happening and cling to Jesus and take my stand. There have been times when I’ve felt I would never get through, but even though it often meant blood, sweat and tears, He never let me down.

There’s a life to be lived and fought for, dragons to slay, beauty to be discovered, ... so I refuse to lie down, refuse to be silent. Second verse:

"At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee;

On then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!"


Monday, August 06, 2007

Be Still!

"Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10 ESV)

When I was in a high-pressure job, I really looked forward to vacation time. Once we’d arrived at our destination and I was seated by the pool, the relief was evident. It took several days however, before I even began to relax, let alone be quiet inside. When I retired I discovered something else. I made my own stress, so couldn’t blame it all on my work. The need was still there.

Jesus had to get away from the demands made upon him. If he needed to get alone with his Father, then surely we do too? So often it’s hard to find quality time in our daily schedule, when ‘busyness’ seems to take over. We become in danger of just giving lip service to our precious relationship. Perhaps making do with a few hurried prayers, thinking we’ll leave the rest for later. But ‘later’ never happens!

It can take effort to be still, I mean really still in our thoughts, feelings and body. It can seem like the whole world wars against it. But I find, as we lay aside our agendas, and keep looking to Him, the thoughts and problems grow dim and fade away. When we eventually get ‘there’ and become quieted within our very being, it becomes effortless. It’s then when we are left with just the real presence of God.

This is the place where, for a moment, we can soar on the mountain tops, find out who we really are and even hear his voice. There may be none of this, but above all else we know that we know, He is God. Words cannot describe it. But the very silence declares “I am God” and our hearts cry out for Him.


What is Church?

“For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them." (Matthew 18:20 GNB)

The Church, sometimes called “the Body of Christ,” has many forms and expressions, which are frequently the subject of hot debate. We can however, be so taken up with these very discussions, activities and committees, as to be in danger of being diverted away from the true meaning.

When, some years after we first became Christians, my wife and I attended a conference, there was a last minute change of speaker. He was well known and respected within church circles, but I was apprehensive. I feared that he was going to bombard us with traditions and church practices. I didn’t want anymore of what I called ‘churchianity.’ I was looking for reality, life in the Spirit.

On the first evening, we were each given a blank sheet of paper and instructed to mark a blob in the centre, representing ourselves. Around that mark, we were to place further blobs, of appropriate size and closeness. One for each each Christian with whom we could be real, share anything with and feel accepted; someone from whom we could even accept admonishment.

When all was done, he suggested that those marks, no matter how few, represented a form of ‘church’ for each of us. I received this like a breath of fresh air. He had cut through all religious trappings and taken us to the scriptural grass roots.

I have since found that when there is a coming together of those of like mind, no matter how informal, where hearts are really open to God and each other, God is given the freedom to act and move amongst us, often in unexpected ways. This transcends church structure and cannot be organised, but just happens. Precious!