Okay, so how many times can one read the same book and just keep getting ministered to on so many levels and in so many new ways? God just knows how carnal and slow I am and so keeps taking me back to some of the same things over and over.
"Nothing but the Blood" YouTube video a couple of weeks ago. That's about the time it started... I knew God was leading me back to Andrew Murray's book, "The Power of The Blood of Jesus" for what has to be at least the fourth reading.
One of the issues of today that ignites so much controversy if even mentioned in Christian circles is the matter of sanctification. Holiness. Consecration. Separation. Setting ourselves apart. In my view, it is a major missing element in the body of Christ today. We don't seem to mind being saved AND talking about it but mention sanctification and mini wars break out. We want to be as cool as the world, do the same things as the world, dress like the world, dare I say it drink like the world, talk like the world and hang out with the world.
Now don't get me wrong here. Balance and filtering every aspect of our lives through rightly dividing the entirety of the word of God is the key. But I don't see any examples of the New Testament believers carrying on with their former way of life once they were born again. Paul, Peter, John, Matthew, Luke were all solidly "set apart" not only by God but in the way they lived their daily lives to do the work of the kingdom. When Jesus 'ate with sinners' He maintained His mission which was anointed of God and consecrated with strength, power and ability from the Holy Spirit to go about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him. Hey, if that's what we are doing when we hang out in worldly places then more power to us. That's not what I see happening and that's not what I'm addressing.
For me, when I accepted the Redemption Jesus purchased for me, God brought me out of a life of self destructive behaviors. I realize not everyone was as bad off as me when they came to surrender at the feet of our Lord. Regardless of what we think we were saved from, we each need to realize the reality of what every single one of us have been saved FROM. Perhaps then we wouldn't take it for granted.
It is a right view of the Blood, I believe, that keeps all of these points in check and is perhaps one of the critical missing elements in our Christian circles and even churches today. When was the last time you heard a series of teachings on the Blood?
So this post is already way too long. I guess I'll have to make it a series... imagine that. :-)
I could quote just about every line of the Andrew Murray book I referenced here. It's really that full. But I'll close with these words from his book...
"For victory over sin and the deliverance of the sinner, God has no other means or thought than "the blood of Jesus." The blood must have the same place in our hearts which it has with God. From before the foundation of the world, the heart of God has rejoiced in that blood. Our heart will never rest, nor find salvation, till we too learn to walk and glory in the power of that blood.
It is not only the penitent sinner, longing for pardon, who must value it. No! The redeemed will experience that just as God in His temple sits upon a throne of grace, where the blood is ever in evidence, so there is nothing that draws our hearts nearer to God, filling them with God's love, and joy, and glory, as living in constant, spiritual view of that blood."
I believe with all my heart that the closer we get to God in the truest spiritual sense, the more our hearts desire Him. The more we desire Him and then stay true to that desire in our outward lives, the less power our carnal desires have over us. It is then a matter of separating our lives UNTO God and not so much a matter of separating our lives FROM the world. The desire for "the things of this world" will fade and even become abundantly unappealing.
"The blood must have the same place in our hearts which it has with God."
This has become my constant prayer.