As a writer for The TRUTH Under FIRE, The RED PILL Consortium and FROM the MIND of FIRE, I also endeavor to keep my head up, eyes open, heart listening and seeking God's will in uplifting the truth of His Word and exposing, denouncing and proving the falsehoods being promoted in this dark world.
Recently the LORD has been speaking to my heart about these issues (and only three days ago, as of this writing, I received an email from a Sister Saint who was enquiring about the intention of my writing and the nature of my articles) He has encouraged me to start focusing a bit more on the edification of the saints with biblical exhortation and messages that can bolster and strengthen Christians in days of such debilitating despondency (which seem to increase with no turning back). It's far too easy to become imbalanced and be all about exposing lies and deception, relating conditions of dilapidation but neglect the edifying truth of God's Word with the intent on blessing GOD's children!
It is in such days as these when messages of this kind are needful, more so now than ever!
With this in mind, I would like to "revisit the OASIS" and bring cool, refreshing water from God's Word that will invigorate and empower; and as well as this, some restful, shade from the blistering heat of turmoil, instability, controversy and uncertainty.
The first article on the OASIS dealt with very much the same subject matter, but it had a definite focus on missions and ministries that promotes the Gospel message of salvation for the lost who are certainly wandering the deserts of this wayward world. You can read that article here.
This time around however I want to focus my attention on the saints of God who have already been to the OASIS and received that living water from the LORD Jesus Christ, but who may be due for another visit and refresh themselves in the sometimes weary journey on this dusty pilgrim road.
Whether sinner or saint, we all get weary in this life, we acquire heavy burdens, deep sorrows, wounded hearts, disillusionment and discouragement - yet the saint at least has the wisdom to know there is a place to go with such things - into the arms of our AWESOME LORD Jesus! Let's hear Todd Agnew tell us about it (you will note the message in this song is towards the lost, but even the saved can sometimes 'lose their way' in life, amen?):
COME YE SINNERS
As mentioned in the previous article:
"Only the Almighty Savior Immanuel Satisfies
In a world of deceitful, sinful and empty mirages, amidst the barren bleak deserts of parched souls, there is an O.A.S.I.S!"
JESUS Himself is that oasis. Our singular source of strength, refreshment and power, and above all: our greatest joy and deepest and best love!
I've shared these same verses before, but as the Word of God is a well beyond depth, there is always something more the Spirit of the LORD can teach us (I once participated in a Bible study where we spent well over an hour examining just HALF of one verse!). Therefore let's look again at
Isaiah 58:11-12 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
Obviously a drought is a place and condition in which there is a severe lack of water, and no rain to replenish the parched lands. Yet in life there are all sorts of droughts aren't there? We can and often do experience a lack that is both burdensome and painful:
The loss of a loved one; losing a much needed job or even a home. A lack of peace, or a stable and secure life. A lack of clarity and sure direction in a life plagued with occasional confusion and uncertainty. This list could go on indefinitely, couldn't it?
With today's faltering economy here in America (and the world over), with even more threatening storms on the horizon, its quite understandable how we could experience a lack of peace and security and fear about what the future holds.
We don't know what our immediate future holds, but we do know Who holds our future (both now and in eternity) - in His nail scarred hands! We can trust Him! I myself have wrestled with worry, and one day earlier this last Spring, I was out walking and praying about these things when the LORD showed me such a sight, and spoke with tender-loving rebuke such words I will never forget! To read about this, have a look at this previous MoF article -
HE WALKS and TALKS with me
"The LORD shall guide thee continually..." We may not be aware of His guidance, we may even cry out "Where are You God?" when all the while, behind the scenes He is faithfully guiding both yourself as well as your circumstances (Consider the Divinely led trails in the lives of the patriarchs like Abraham, Joseph and Moses). Where God guides us is to an "expected end" (Jeremiah 29:11), that is a place of hope and expectation for good things that render blessing to our lives. He is faithful to guide us continually; God doesn't take 'time-outs' and abandon us to our own fate.
Even in these days in which we live, He remains faithful and true to His Word, and guides us continually . . . Our God is a Rock and a Refuge where the righteous can run and be safe (2 Sam 22:3; Ps. 62:7; 94:22)! He is the sure foundation that nothing can disturb, and upon which any who are founded upon will know stability and steadfast security in the "everlasting arms" (Matt. 7:24-27):
Deut 33:26 - There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun (Jerusalem), who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky.
vs. 27 - The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath [are] the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.
vs. 28 - Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew.
vs. 29 - Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.
"...and satisfy thy soul in drought and make fat thy bones..." Immanuel alone can satisfy us! Immanuel: God with us, and if God is with us, and for us, none can stand against us (Rom.8:31). Relish the thought of that; really meditate on the truth of this statement: if GOD is for us, His children, walking in His righteousness, empowered by His Spirit... what's the very worst that can happen to us? He will be certain to satisfy us, and not merely to the depths of mere physical needs - note that it says our "soul" will be satisfied. "[Our] bones will be made fat", that is, we will experience a deep health (in whatever capacity God so chooses) in spite of adverse conditions of the worst kind.
It seems that God delights in placing His children in impossible situations only to prove Himself valiant on their behalf!
King Asa had an impossible situation when a vast host of Ethiopian warriors and their allies came against the House of Judah, and he sought the LORD and He won the day for them! Yet Asa ruined a perfect opportunity later on when Basha, king of Israel came against him: he sought not the LORD but for the king (Benhadad) of Syria to come to his aid.
For the LORD will "show Himself strong" for those who would direct their sincere ("perfect" or whole-hearted) and seeking hearts to God Almighty!
2 Chronicles 16:7-9
¶ And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.
Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand (emphasis mine).
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
How often we have "wars", that is strifes, contentions, etc. in our lives only because we don't call upon the LORD as we used to! May we learn to resort to the LORD God in each and every challenge, be they as big as a 'Jericho' or as small as an "Ai" (Joshua Ch. 6 -8). No problem is too big for God's power, nor is any so small that God in His compassion doesn't notice!
"...and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not." All this in the day of drought! Satisfaction of soul, fatness of bones; a lush, generously watered garden and a never ending spring of water - from the Almighty hand of the God of the Impossible!
I believe these promises are spiritual in nature just as much as they are physical; that the LORD will see to all our needs whatever they may be. In the days of physical want, there will be God's provision (Ps. 37:3), and in the (coming) days in which the church has fallen into such a deplorable state, that one is hard pressed to find the truth of God's Word anywhere (Amos 8:11-12) yet for those who revere the Holy Scriptures, they will receive and themselves become vessels for the never ending springs of the water of God's Word (Eph. 5:26) to reach the lost all about them.
In fact when one examines the context of this scripture found in Isaiah 58, one observes that these blessings are bestowed upon them who open up their lives as channels of blessing and edification for others in meeting their needs (see vs. 6-7, 10, 12). God is never limited in His purposes with only ourselves in view; He longs to reach out to others through us, His church. I believe the days ahead will prove to be just such opportunities to pray, seek God and see Him move upon our lives - to the blessing and benefit of those around us! This includes of course the work of salvation in the souls of those presently lost!
In this (spiritually speaking) 'desert-world' toys and trinkets are not needed; just water, cool shade and sustenance. I believe in the days ahead as we continue to lose our extravagant trinkets and toys won in the arena of materialistic wealth, this will prove a blessing for us! For those who are stripped of everything except their LORD Jesus, its at such a point that they realize how truly, insurmountably wealthy they truly are - in HIM!
Satan has deceived the church here in America by pursuing the "dream" of Americana culture and in all actuality has robbed us of attending our LORD, sitting at His nail pierced feet and reaping the blessing that is He Himself! He who treasures the presence of Jesus in their life doesn't merely have any need of any other treasure, but spurns them, choosing "that better part" as did Mary (and not her sister Martha) at the feet of her LORD (Luke 14:38-42) .
Remember the cry of Moses:
Exodus 33:15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.
Moses wasn't going to budge from that spot (where God's presence dwelled) if He wasn't going to go with him. Look upon such a relationship of intimacy and love and tender fellowship between Moses and His Maker and know that the LORD God, our heavenly ABBA craves such a love relationship with each and every one of His children! There is not one He would overlook, but welcome all equally with His magnificent love and tender fellowship - such is the Father-heart of our God!
Hear what David declared about the LORD and his one desire:
One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
Hear the awesome words of our LORD Jesus Christ, crying out for all to hear, down the corridors of time into our present day:
John 7:37 - In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
:38 - He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
:39 - (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
When the LORD cried out from the Cross and said, "IT IS FINISHED!" and the veil in the Holy of Holies (the very center most part of the Temple where once a year on Yom Kipur the High Priest would enter in, with myriad sacrifices made, and stand in the presence of God), it signified the end of the Temple ministry, for God would no longer dwell in houses of stone, but in human houses - within the hearts of those who would receive Jesus Christ as LORD and SAVIOR - and know the fellowship with God that He Himself intended from the beginning. When once Jesus Christ was glorified in a resurrected body, He breathed on His disciples and said, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit" (John 20:22) and they became temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19)!
At this point, saint of the living God, the LORD is nearer to you than your very own breath! We need not go to a temple, or even our local fellowships to enjoy, to partake, to abundantly bask in the very presence of the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth! If this doesn't astound you, you didn't read this carefully enough!
We hold weekly prayer meetings here at the house (Sat. nights) and regularly I pray to the LORD and confess that I am amazed that the Holy God of all creation, the very Holy One of Israel, the KING of heaven to Whom the most powerful and holy cherubs bow their angelic faces and dare not look into the brilliance of God's glory, but remain on bended knee in utter obeisance to the Omnipotent One are outdone by those of us born of His Spirit, who can approach Him at the throne of grace with confidence ("boldness" as in Heb. 4:16) and address Him as Father.
His Spirit as "rivers" (torrential, powerful streams) of living water should flow out of our hearts "bellies"
John 15:10 - If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
:11 - These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
:12 - This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
May we all resort to the OASIS more often than we've been accustomed to doing; may we imbibe deeply of the LORD's precious Word, partake in a prayerful practice, and know our Abba in all the love, joy and peace that He brings unconditionally to those whose hearts belong to Him!
My deepest prayer for you saints is one that I pray for myself:
Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
2 Cor 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
Jude 1:24 - Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
:25 - To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.