Posts Tagged ‘resurrection

12
Nov
10

i will trust you

Hopes turned to fear. Joy turned to tears. Life turned to death. And I sit here again. Not knowing what to do. Not knowing what to say. Not knowing what to feel.

Lost in time. Lost for words. Thinking ahead makes no sense. Thinking about yesterday hurts. So today is all I’ve got. I feel like hiding. I feel like hibernating. I feel like disappearing. But here I am.

Your plans are good. Your plans are perfect. Your love is perfect. You are perfect. You love me. Just the way I am. You don’t judge me in my darkness. You call me into the light. I want to come, but I can’t. Not yet. Not now. You wait. You invite me. It’s okay to say no.

You will always be there. You will always guide me. Even when I don’t believe that you will. You are not mad at me. You embrace me in my disappointment. You cry with me. I cry so much. Tears are tiring.But tears are all I have.

I can’t express what I feel. What’s there to say. Nothing I say will change what happened. It hurts. But I will trust you. I choose you God. The ball is back in your court. I trust that you will bring life, joy, and hope back in me again. I don’t have it in me. But you do. And you will give it to me. The way you see it’s best.

I know trust is shattered. It’s okay. You don’t judge me for my apprehensiveness. You will rebuild the trust. That’s your job. Not mine. You are the one who works out my salvation. Not me.

 

Thanks for being here. Somewhere. I will trust you!

Torben

 

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28
Apr
08

Watchman Nee

It’s not often that I read books by non-Western authors, but recently I read the little pearl The Normal Christian Life by the Chinese preacher Watchman Nee (you should check out this story of a truly remarkable man!).  It’s a book with incredible insights and depth, and a book that I know I will be reading many more times and continue to discover new things each time I read it. I have gotten many thoughts sparked by Nee’s book where he basically takes Paul’s letter to the Romans chapter 5-8 and explains how the normal Christian life ought to look like. It’s clear, it’s biblical, it’s powerful, it’s freeing. And sadly it’s not what so many hear in churches all over the world neither when Watchman Nee preached it 70 years ago nor today. We may think that we’re teaching grace and Spirit-filled life, but too often it’s just self help with a little Christian twist and some Bible verses thrown in for religious effect….! 

But Nee’s revelations from God as well as all other people’s revelations mean nothing to me, unless God in his great mercy makes it real for me. I read Watchman Nee’s book and God did give me some revelation of what’s going on in my life right now. How wonderful is it when the Spirit of God makes little black letters on a white paper background come alive and we see more of who God is, what his plans for all mankind and me are and who I am in him! Here are a few of the quotes that stood out to me, and then I hope that the Holy Spirit will make them become life to you, dear reader!

God will not give me humility or patience or holiness as separate gifts of his grace. He is not a retailer dispensing grace to us in packets, measuring out some patience to the impatient, some love to the unloving, some meekness to the proud, in quantities that we take and work on as a kind of capital. He has given only one gift to meet all our need: his Son Christ Jesus. As I look to him to live out his life in me, he will be humble and patient and loving and everything else I need – in my stead” (page 181-182)

The common conception of sanctification is that every item of the life should be holy; but that is not holiness, it is the fruit of holiness. Holiness is Christ. It is the Lord Jesus being made over to us to be that. So you can put in anything there: love, humility, power, self-control. Today there is a call for patience: he is our patience! Tomorrow the call may be for purity: he is our purity! He is the answer to every need. That is why Paul speaks of “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22) as one and not of “fruits” as separate items. God has given us his Holy Spirit, and when love is needed the fruit of the Spirit is love; when joy is needed, the fruit of the Spirit is joy. It is always true. It does not matter what your personal deficiency, or whether it be a hundred and one different things, God has always one sufficient answer: his Son Jesus Christ, and he is the answer to every human need” (page 182-183)

Anything we can do without prayer and without an utter dependence upon God must come from the spring of natural life that is tainted with the flesh. Of course it is not true that those only are suited for a particular work who lack the natural gift for it! The point is that, whether naturally gifted or not – and we should praise God for all his gifts – they must know the touch of the Cross in death upon all that is of nature, and their complete dependence upon the God of resurrection” (page 232-233)

 “inward knowledge will never be reached along the barren path of self-analysis” (page 236)

my true knowledge of self comes not from my searching myself, but from God searching me” (page 238 )

Blessings, Torben 

19
Mar
08

In

I’ve been re-reading Philip Yancey’s book on prayer called “Prayer (does it make any difference?)” these last days, and that in itself has been good for me. I enjoy reading a book that talks honestly about prayer. A book that doesn’t pretend that prayer is easy or always fun or satisfying. A book that talks about both the valleys and the mountain tops in (my) prayer life. As always it’s refreshing how real Philip Yancey is when he tackles a question of faith. I sure wish there were more authors like him..!

Anyway, this is not about telling you, dear reader, how great an author Mr. Yancey is, but it’s about a little comment  he makes in the Prayer-book. He has been looking through the New Testament and observes that we find the two little words “in Christ” 164 times in the New Testament. 164 times is a lot and it seems fair to conclude that we’re looking at one of the main themes, if not the main theme of the New Testament.

When I accept Christ as my Lord and Savior I become a part of  Christ’s family and Christ moves into me and a wonderful exchange happens: he gets my life with the good, the bad and the ugly and I get his life with all the righteousness, love and life that I don’t have in my old self. I am now IN CHRIST and all he has is mine and he is capable of doing everything through me that I struggle so much to do in myself. 
It’s a wonder, it’s a mystery, and it’s the truth. I am in Christ. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me“, Paul tells us in Galatians 2:20. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. I am in Christ just the way I am. I am perfect in Christ. Nothing I’ll ever do, say or think can keep me away from who I am in Christ. I am in him, and the journey of discipleship is about God revealing to me what this mystery means. I can’t fathom it, explain it and often times I don’t believe it, but it remains the truth. I have been crucified with Christ. I am dead. I now live in Christ. I am in him and he is in me. A mysterious union took place. I have been blessed enough for God to unpack little bits of what this mystery means to me in my life, and I long to see more. 

But this is the (hidden) message of Easter. Easter isn’t “just” about forgiveness of sin and Jesus taking the penalty that I deserved. Easter is about life, even though that in itself is obviously fantastic beyond words! Easter is also about the exchange between Christ and me. Easter is about me sharing in everything Christ is and has. Easter is about Christ’s resurrection power living in me now (Ephesians 1: 19-20). Christ is alive in his people, in his children, in his broken cups. Let’s celebrate that Christ is in  you and me. Let’s ponder the miracle of the Cross. Let’s ask God to reveal the mystery of the Cross. Let’s stay at the Christ and hear Christ pronounce not only forgiveness of sins to us, but also the possibility of resurrection, of life, of hope, of peace, of joy, of power because he himself, the crucified and risen Lord of Lords chooses to live in fragile, weak and failing human beings such as me. 

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Torben – Happy Easter! 🙂  




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