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Are You Looking through or Only at Your Window?

Are You Looking through or only at your Window?

 

To you, does the Bible serve as a wall or a window?

 

God designed Scripture as a window to let in the light, not as a wall to close it out !

 

Christ was grieved because people used the Scriptures as a defensive weapon rather than a window through which they could see the glories of God's kingdom. They dedicated themselves to analyzing that Window in the minutest detail, never thinking of opening it and letting it serve the purpose for which it was intended! Jesus put it in these words:
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. John 5:39,40.

 

The Jews thought that making Scripture their main focus would guarantee them eternal life. Jesus disagreed with them. Scripture was not given to serve merely as a protective structure! Its main purpose is to reveal something not visible to the natural eye. Scripture is God's window into the world of the Spirit! Jesus never was, nor is He confined by Scripture! He was before Scripture, and will be after Scripture has outlived its purpose. It reveals Him in a world that is free and alive, a world into which He beckons us to join Him!

 

Life in the Spirit is not inside your little fortress. Jesus cannot be contained inside our religious boxes. He is free, and invites us to share that freedom with Him, because,
If the Son liberates you - makes you free men - then you are really and unquestionable free. John 8:36 (Amp).

 

The Jews had the window, and they diligently studied the window as though their lives depended on it, but it never dawned on them to open it and see what it might reveal. It is sad that many today are so fascinated with Scripture that they spend countless hours pouring over it, just like the Jews did, yet they never think of opening the shutters and exploring the wonderful world of the Spirit where Jesus lives. The shutters on the outside are closed tight. Is it any wonder that they are groping around in the dark, always studying, and debating, yet
"never coming to a knowledge of the truth?" 2 Timothy 3:7.

 

Jesus was never shut in or limited by Scripture! No structure can contain or limit Him. Scripture reveals Him and beckons us to join Him where He lives.

 

What did David see when he opened the shutters? Did he focus on the window itself or did he see what it was intended to reveal? What he saw one day as he looked through it, is recorded in Psalm 23.

 

He saw a Shepherd carrying a lamb in His arms. As he looked more closely, he realized that the lamb had a name on it, and that name was "David." Then he watched as the Shepherd carried the lamb into a meadow carpeted with lush green grass, and laid it down in the shade of an evergreen tree. His heart leaped as he saw the lamb nibbling at the grass, and romping about as though it had not a worry in the world. Freedom was everywhere, but it never went far from his Protector, and the Shepherd never took His eyes off the lamb.

 

As he looked on in amazement, he saw the lamb playfully skip back to the Shepherd, who picked it up again and together they went over a hill from where they could see a brook gently trickling toward a lake of crystal clear water. Once again they stopped, as the shepherd gently set the little creature down on the ground. In a playful mood, the lamb skipped down to the edge of the brook and touching its nose to the water, began to drink in the life-giving liquid. What a pleasant sight to behold! Everything seemed so peaceful, so restful!

 

"Oh, what a contrast to what life is like inside my own little box," he mused! "If I could only be like that little lamb! How do I go from where I am to where my heart longs to be?" Then, as he watched, something began to stir inside his soul. A change was taking place. Gradually, as he pondered the scene outside the window, it seemed that he began rising as on wings of the Spirit, and gently floated out into the sunshine and into the presence of the Good Shepherd. Only then, did he realize that the lamb beside the Good shepherd not only carried his name. He was the lamb! His soul leaped with revival! He had entered an entirely new world!

 

Like David, let's follow Jesus into the realm of the Spirit beyond the window of Psalm 23.

 

My eyes open, and I realize that I am no longer a prisoner! Yes, I had the Word. I loved it and I poured over it day and night! I wanted to follow in my Lord's steps and to do His will. I thought that knowing and believing the written Word was the beginning and the ending of righteousness. Like the Pharisees, I did not realize that it was given to us only as a window and that it could be opened to reveal His person in the world of the Spirit! How many years I have wasted mulling around in the darkness of my own reasoning and spiritual pride!

 

Taking me by the hand, my Lord and I begin to stroll together through the meadow. As He talks with me, His voice seems to carry a mellowing and penetrating quality. At times it seems that my ears hear no sound, but I can hear His voice coming from deep within my soul. I marvel at how this can be! How can I hear Him when I hear no sound? I did not say a word, but he heard my thoughts and in my heart I heard His answer.

 

"Be still and know that I am God! When you are still, you will hear me speak into your ears. You will also hear me in your heart, and you will hear Me speak into your spirit. My deepest mysteries are released into your spirit before you hear them in your mind. That is why We created you in Our image. When you desire to know My will, you will first hear me in your spirit. Listen carefully, and you will recognize the paths I have chosen for you to walk in. In fact, it was not with your natural eyes that you first saw through the window of My written Word. The eyes of your spirit saw what the natural eyes could not."

 

The meadow we had been walking in suddenly seemed to disappear from under our feet. We were approaching a wasteland of sand and scrubby brush. I hesitated, and turned to look back. What purpose would it serve to give up the beauty of what we had just seen, to go into a place so bleak and desolate? I hesitated. But the Lord looked into my eyes without saying one word. I knew He wished to guide me on, but He waited for my response. Would I follow where He leads, or would I question His wisdom? Would I trust Him, or would I demand that He treat me as an equal? Would I be so arrogant as to question His moves, or would I trust Him as my God and follow wherever he leads?
I turned away from the beauty of the meadow that had fed my soul, and looked into His eyes. He seemed to hear my thoughts. "Yes, my Lord, I will stay by your side wherever you may lead. My soul hesitates as I see what lies before us, and even though I would choose to go back to the meadow, I will follow You! Give me the courage to face whatever may lie before us."

 

Smiling, He spoke: "I brought you into this world for a purpose, my son. The Father has prepared an assignment for you. You were not born on this planet merely for a passing visit. You have been chosen to play a vital part in one of the greatest dramas in the universe. I have cared for you as for a child, and now it is time to prepare for your assignment. Let us go on."

 

The soft cushion under our feet gave way to drifting sand. My footing became somewhat unstable as I struggled to keep pace with my Lord. He noticed, and gently grasped my hand in His. As we walked over the brow of a hill, I saw a valley that caused me to draw back. It looked like the aftermath of a war. My nostrils caught the stench of death. Wrecked vehicles covered the landscape and among them were bodies of the dead. What a contrast to the lush meadow and the clear babbling brook that had just fed my soul!

 

"Lord," I said, looking into His eyes, "Must we go this way? Isn't there a safer route by which we may circumvent this awful place? I'm afraid that I may lose the joy and the peace that have gladdened my heart such a short time ago! This is terrible! I wouldn't choose to go there!"

 

Holding me close, I heard Him in my spirit: "This is part of the assignment that all who accept their God-given roles must see and experience. As you read in one of My letters to you,
I have told you these things so that in Me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer -...for I have overcome the world.- I have deprived it of power to harm, and have conquered it [for you]. John 16: 33.

 

"Why do you think that I chose to leave the glories of My heavenly kingdom and become like one of My creation? Was it because of preference, or was it because of a great need? This universe is in turmoil and in a state of flux. An enemy has chosen to challenge the God of light. We are a universe at war, and you have chosen to play a role in defeating the prince of darkness. You can not be effective in your calling unless you experience firsthand the brutality and the hatred that the prince of darkness has unleashed upon those who choose to follow the Prince of Peace. Many of those who have chosen to follow Me did so knowing that their decisions would cost them their lives. They have chosen to surrender their lives rather than betray My trust. What you see in that valley below is what caused Me to come to your side and prepare you to face our common enemy with confidence."

 

"But, Lord," I protested. "What am I in the face of so formidable a force? I am only human! I'm afraid that I may be more of a liability than help in such a conflict! What about choosing someone who is well educated in such things, or has gained a reputation and experience? I am not in the least qualified to venture into such an assignment! Aren't You making a mistake?"

 

"Look, My son," I heard Him say, "You are no longer the little lamb that I carried in my arms. You are no longer the child that I placed in the shade of that tree in the meadow. You have learned to drink from the brook that I showed you. You are now a grown man. Yes, you are more than a man. You are My man, and I have staked My own life on you!

 

"Whenever you feel insufficient, thank God! Therein lies your strength and security. Take time to read the passage I have selected for you from the letter I gave to My servant John, and do it often. Your success lies not in your own strength, or wisdom, or expertise! It is when you recognize your own weakness that My strength is activated and flows through your veins! In this warfare you will not stand so long as you look to what you can do. Your secret to victory is to always remember that because I have already overcome the evil one, your victory is secured. However, success is not measured in this life alone, but in the realm of the Spirit!"

 

"But let Me warn you," He emphasized. "Some of those who accept the call to be My disciples, and experience the thrill of victory when they discover that it is My Spirit flowing through them who wins the fight, these face an even more formidable foe than the Prince of darkness. The enemy most to be feared is not the enemy out there! It is the enemy who rises up from within your own soul. You see, My son, you have two enemies that must be identified and defeated. One is he who has caused the carnage you see in that valley below. The other is one you were born with. Since Adam sinned, all humans have inherited the sin nature. This is the enemy that teachers who feed on fruit from the Tree of Knowledge have sought to camouflage and to keep out of sight. It is the human ego! Your ego is the enemy who eats away at your soul from within!

 

"The human ego loves nothing better than to feed on the words of Scripture. To the ego, Scripture is the final frontier. The ego can see nothing beyond the written Word. That is why it can never see Me, its Author! It will study the Word, and dispute the Word, and defend the Word in an effort to earn for itself the coveted title, ‘Defender of the faith' with added degrees for recognition. The ego gloats on this! These are those whose vision never penetrates beyond the window. To them, life ends with the written Word. They have eyes but do not see, because they have never seen what the window of Scripture was designed to reveal. The Word should be studied, but it is only an opening by which we may glimpse the glories of the Spirit realm."

 

I listened in awe as my Lord continued. "Because the ego is not seen as a potential enemy, these folk allow it to feed on the victories I win through them. As a result, some begin to feel that they have become the custodians of My Holy Spirit, and that they are qualified to be "in charge!" Instead of seeking direction, they now presume to take matters into their own hands. My Spirit who led them to victory is now relegated to the back seat. The Holy Spirit is looked on only as an aide in case they run into trouble. Miracles may continue, but as you read in Matthew chapter 7, verses 21 to 23, they are now energized by another spirit. This can be the fatal crash! If you do not watch and pray, where the external enemy fails, the enemy inside may succeed."

 

I felt faint as I listened. "Lord, may we sit down and rest a while?" I pled. He took me by the hand as we sat down in the shade of a rock.

 

"This sounds daunting, I know," He said gently. "But I would be exposing you to great harm if I did not prepare you for what you are about to experience. I have prepared you by quenching your thirst when you were thirsty and feeding you with the bread of life. My Words of Scripture are now hidden in your heart. Guard them carefully. They will always point you to Me. I will never leave you! Remember, you are mine! Now let us go on."

 

As we walked into the valley below, the sights and smells were beyond anything I had imagined. "Lord," I protested. "How could you allow such misery in a world that You have created? Why do you not put a stop to it? I don't understand!"

 

"My friend " He began slowly, "My kingdom is based on love, not coercion! We gave man the option of choice because the kingdom of God is based on freedom. Because we love, we hold none against their wills. Mankind is free to follow the ways of the Prince of Peace, but may choose otherwise. Because I love, I let them go. If they return, they were mine. If they do not return, what you see in the valley below is the result, and to top it off, then they blame the Creator! Have you not read in My Letter to you that ‘They hated Me without a cause?' This has been going on since the beginning of creation." John 15:25.

 

His words gave me courage. Slowly we descended into the shadowy valley that smelled of death, but I was no longer afraid. My Lord assured me that He had taken many pilgrims across that desolate wasteland and lost none who chose to trust in His person. As we moved among the dead and the dying a subtle fear began to grip me and I tightened my hold on the Lord's hand. Then, I felt His gentle squeeze as He whispered softly into my heart, "Hold steady! You are drawn into what you focus on. Look at Me, and you will see hope. Look at the misery in the world, and it will overwhelm you."

 

Then, with a sad look in His eyes, He spoke slowly. "For thousands of years men have sought light from the Scriptures by looking to the Tree of Knowledge instead of to the Tree of Life. Because their attention was on the letter instead of on its Author, the enemy has blinded them into thinking that the window of escape from sin that I provided in Scripture is not a window at all, but a confining wall. Even if someone should venture to open it, the mob inside that religious prison would stone them as they did My prophets. To look directly to Me, to whom My Scripture is pointing, as you read in Hebrews 4:16, would be considered treason. To them Scripture has become a prison. Scripture was intended to serve as a doorway to life, but by closing Me outside, it has been turned into a place of death. They are so close to freedom, and yet so far!

 

"Like the Pharisees, to whom the study of Scripture had become their greatest passion, all who refuse to look through the written Word (the window I have provided) to Me, the living Word, will also become My enemies. Such people worship the created rather than the Creator! By neglecting an intimate relationship with Me and My Holy Spirit, the Word has been reduced to a prison of lifeless legalism where intellectuals love to debate technicalities that feed the ego."

 

After a long pause I heard Him speak into my heart again. "Lest people misconstrue what I am saying, when sharing this truth with others you must emphasize that this does not diminish the importance of Scripture in the least. It only puts it where it belongs, second to the person of your Lord. Without recognizing this distinction, people will never escape the legalistic trap."

 

Pondering His words, we made our way to a rise from where we could view not only the valley of death, but also the mountains glistening with snow in the distance. There He stopped and suggested it was time for refreshment. "But," I interjected, "Why do we not first distance ourselves from that awful scene down there in the valley of death? It would be so much more pleasant if that place were out of sight. I hate it!"

 

"That may be true for you," He replied. "But I have more than your good in mind. The love and care I lavish on you are not for your sake alone, but also for the sake of those who are still alive midst all the carnage in that valley. You see, my young one, I do not hate those who hate Me. I died for them even as I died for you. When they witness My care for you, it is that any remaining spark of life in their hearts might be fanned into a flame and they might begin to see again. I will never cease loving them, but I will not compel them against their wills. Even to their dying days, they may return if they only will."

 

With that, there appeared before us a table loaded with the most beautifully prepared food I had ever seen. It was loaded with fruit of all varieties. Vegetables I did not recognize were served on what appeared like leaves of gold. The food sent off an aroma that in itself seemed to feed my soul. Crystal goblets filled with what appeared like red and white wines sparkled beside every place setting. I just stared in awe! It was a table set for royalty.

 

"Come, and sit with Me," my Lord beckoned. "Let us receive this nourishment with thanksgiving and praise to the Father. Let us eat and be merry in full view of those who consider us their enemies. It is your joy that may cause them to take another look at what they once rejected. As they consider the contrast between their state and yours, may they be stirred into realizing that there is plenty of room here for any who would wish to join us."

 

Then, as I looked above the table, I saw a large banner floating in the gentle breeze. It was positioned so that it could be easily read from anywhere in the valley below.

 

Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money for that which is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to Me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Isaiah 55:1,2.

 

My cup of joy overflowed!
From that moment, I knew that whether I stood
upon the mountain top of victory,
or was passing through the valley of the shadow,
while following my Lord,
I would be dwelling in the house of the lord, forever!

 

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