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Beyond the Window of Psalm 23

Beyond the Window of Psalm 23.


To You, Is Scripture a Wall or a Window?


The Jews saw Scripture as a wall, rather than a window into the realm of the Spirit.
To them, there was no reality or hope beyond the written Word. They were limited to a Book.


Jesus said: Lift your eyes off the paper (Scripture) and look to the Author! John 5:39,40.
The Jews had become so fixated on the written communication they had received from God, that they had no time left for the Author of those Scriptures. That is the earmark of a legalist. They equated the literal ink and paper given to them by the prophets with the original Author of the message. Their vision had become so blurred that they no longer recognized the difference between the Creator and what He created! God is still alive and He still speaks!
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 (Amp).


The scholars in Christ's day saw Scripture as the ultimate wall, or the final frontier of reality. The rejected Him in favor of what they thought His letter meant. Scripture was intended as a link to its Author, not as an end in itself. If you do not go beyond what the brain can conceive, you will never attain to what God can reveal. Scripture is God's window into the spiritual realm. Human logic alone was never equipped to see into the heart of Scripture. To the natural mind Scripture is an impenetrable wall.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, that you may know Him better. Ephesians 1:17,18.


Consider Jesus' prayer in Luke 10:21:
I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.


As the Holy Spirit opened David's eyes to see what was hidden beyond the framework of the window of Scripture, he discovered a whole new reality that transformed his life. He recorded what he saw as he wrote the Psalms, but even what he saw is beyond the comprehension of human logic. To see what he saw, we must look with the eyes of the spirit. Flesh and blood (logic alone) cannot accept what only the enlightened spirit (heart) can see.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you. Ephesians 1:18 (NIV).


David recognized that with the natural eye he could not see into the spiritual depth hidden inside the written Word. When he wrote in Psalm 115:5 that, They have eyes but cannot see, he was expressing the same truth spoken later by John the Revelator when he wrote in Revelation 3:17, 18 that the Laodicean church needed the divine eye-salve to cure their blindness. David prayed that the eyes of his spirit might be anointed to see beyond the surface.
Open my eyes that I may see..., he prayed. Psalm 119:18.


The apostle Paul also prayed this prayer.
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened... Ephesians 1:18.


For many years one church we know boasted that they are the Laodicean, or last church depicted in Scripture. That was until they realized that the description of blindness attributed to them was a rather unsavory photograph of their spiritual condition.


At last David saw it! What did he see? He saw into the glories of the Spirit realm where the embracing arms of his Good Shepherd carried him into the safety and security of the Promised Land. He also witnessed the gauntlet through which we all must pass en route to the banqueting table in the presence of their Lord.


It was in the Valley of the shadow of death that he identified his real enemies, both external and internal. He was shocked to find that one's ego is the most vicious and the subtlest of all. It can be sucking away your life-blood while at the same time giving you the illusion of greatness. An enemy within is always more dangerous than one on the outside.


To survive, the ego must keep self on the throne. By losing control, it would wither away and lose its power to deceive. That was the prophet's warning in Jeremiah 17:9.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.
Who can know it? (NIV).


In three of the Gospels Jesus points His finger directly at this hidden enemy that we normally regard as a friend. Worldly wisdom teaches us not only to feed this enemy who poses as a friend, but also to equate him with our own self worth. According to Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34 and Luke 9:23 Jesus said;
And Jesus called...the throng with His disciples, and said to them, If any one intends to come after Me, let him deny himself - forget, ignore, disown, lose sight of himself and his own interests - and take up his cross, and...follow with Me continually, [that is,] cling steadfastly to Me. Mark 8:34.


This command was a direct attack on the ego that demands self-worship. The Holy Spirit and the spirit of self-worship cannot both rule in the same house. One or the other must submit, and as Creator and Redeemer, our Lord cannot take a back seat to any imposter.


But, you might protest, if a person loses his self-confidence and sees himself as a nobody, how can he stand against the enemy and boldly represent the light of the Christ-centered faith? What about the self-actualization programs that tend to build up one's sense of self worth? Are they off track? Let us answer with another question. Is the answer to our basic needs in building up and refining the original self-preserving natures that we were all born with, or is our victory in ...Christ in you, the hope of glory? Colossians 1:27. Why can the truly fulfilling life only be found on the resurrection side of the cross? What did Jesus mean by the statement in Mark 8:34? If His statement challenges you, then this article is especially for you.


Ego's magical touch
The ego responds well to Satan's flattery. He offers you the world, so that "You can be your own god." This was his sales pitch to Eve, and he tried it again on Christ.


"If you don't make yourself the reason for living, you will become nothing," he chides. "If you don't put your own interests first, no-one else will. Do all the good you can, but make sure that you collect the interest, or don't bother!"


What a contrast to the life and teaching of the Prince of Peace, who entrusted His own well being to God that He might remain free and also to show us how we can be delivered from our ego-centric slavery! The challenge is How do I set myself free from the tyranny within? How do I deal with my self-preserving ego? Scripture is the window to the solution. The theme of Jesus' ministry, and of His apostles, was to show us how to relinquish the control of our lives to Christ so that we may become an asset in His kingdom. What is our part in subduing the ego and in transferring control from self to our Lord?
Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5 (Amp).


How do I "let"?
What is involved in "letting" the mind of Christ be in us?
"Letting" presents two opposing realities. To let, you must,
1. Invite something, or Someone, from the outside to come in and,
2. You must make room for that Someone to come in by first evicting what is there.


The natural self-serving mind and the mind of Christ are in opposition to one another. Both cannot rule at the same time in the same house. What are the earmarks of the controlling ego?
1. Self-will. 2. Self-preservation.
3. The need to be in charge. 4. The need to be right.
5. Control over others. 6. The ego will defend its position to the death!
This ego must be dethroned if the mind of Christ is to replace it.


When you respond to the Spirit's invitation to be "born again," you open yourself up to the spiritual realm. By the Holy Spirit, the kingdom seed (divine sperm), is planted within you. At that point,
You have been regenerated - born again - not from a mortal origin (seed, sperm) but from one that is immortal by the ever living and lasting Word of God. 1 Peter 1:23 (Amp).
For clarification of the word "seed" or "sperm" see 1 John 3:9 (Amp).


What happens when we co-operate with the Spirit? The divine seed grows, blooms and matures into the new you. Unless the principles of the kingdom of God replace your egocentric instincts, your conversion was only a mental exercise that further feeds the ego, which, in turn, will not yield to a new Master. The key to dethroning the ego is presented in what is commonly known as the Lord's Prayer. We will look at this model prayer as recorded in Matthew 6:9-14 9-14.


To "dial" the Father, we begin as Jesus did. "Our Father, who are in heaven..."
In these words we acknowledge God not only as our God, but just as a human comes into being as the result of a specific life-giving act by a man, so also, we recognize the fact that our birth into the kingdom of God was not initiated by any act or decision on our part. Our birth into the kingdom of God was by the will and initiative of God. Our role was simply to accept His invitation and respond.
But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the become the children of God...Who owe their birth neither to bloods, nor to the will of the flesh...nor to the will of man [that of a natural father], but to God. - They are born of God! John 1:12,13 (Amp).


Then, we show respect to the Monarch who rules the universe. "Hallowed be Your Name." Would a man be allowed to enter Buckingham Palace to see the Queen, while dressed in his work clothes and his cap pulled over his eyes? Would a woman presume to approach her monarch wearing shorts or a bikini? Sadly, these days some might have the arrogance to try it, and some earthly rulers who have little self-respect might accept such behavior. Why do so many today show little reverence when they approach the King of the universe? It is because they have no concept of who God really is. They picture God merely as "the man upstairs" or worse still, as someone on their own level. Such people are spiritually blind. They may have accepted the theory of the new birth, but they have never seen the King for who He really is. Exteriors can either hide or expose the quality of the heart.


Outward wrappings are not primary, but they are an indication of the contents inside the package. It is true that God looks on the heart and is not impressed by the polish on the outside, but a secular and irreverent exterior is an indication of the condition of the heart. Once the heart is transformed, that divine work is eventually going to be reflected on the outside. God begins on the inside, but that does not mean that the work of God's Spirit stops there. Eventually, it will show in the whole body temple!


After transformation, we are ready to be shown the reason for our calling.
"Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."


Some people see themselves as the center of God's universe, and that the main reason Jesus came to earth, was to redeem the all-important "me." If that were so, why is it that Jesus spoke far more about the restoration of the kingdom than about personal salvation? Read His parables and see how most of them were used to illustrate various aspects of the kingdom that He came to restore to its rightful King. What is our part in all this? As soldiers of the cross we are invited to join with Him in rescuing the kingdom of God from Satan who deceived Adam into selling it for a lie. That is what it means to be made citizenship in His kingdom.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household. Ephesians 2: 19.


The Amplified Bible expressed the original Greek flavor of this text in these words.
You now share citizenship with the saints... and you belong to God's [own] household.


In modern terms, we have exchanged our earthly citizenship for citizenship in God's eternal kingdom. No wonder the prince of this world looks on us as deserters. That is why a true saint is treated as an alien here. If the world still loves you, and you love it, you had better check your credentials and see where you are registered.


In our new calling, we are to look to our divine Source for daily bread. "Give us this day our daily bread." This is more that a request for food that simply passes through the bowels. A soldier of the cross hungers for the divine Manna, the food of angels with which the soul is nourished. Jesus invites His followers to the heavenly buffet.
The disciples urged Him saying, Rabbi, eat something. But He assured them, I have food to eat of which you know nothing and have no idea. John 4:31,32.


In Isaiah 55:1,2 the prophet invites us to seek food from God's spiritual storehouse.
Wait and listen, everyone who is thirsty! Come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Yes, come, buy priceless [spiritual] wine and milk without money and without price [simply for the self-surrender that accepts the blessing]. Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? And your earnings for what does not satisfy? Hearken diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness [the profuseness of spiritual joy].


Our Father has an ample supply of food that will nourish the soul and he promised to supply it to those who are open to receive it. He will not waste the spiritual manna on those who do not appreciate it. God offers us manna that will not melt away in the mid-day sun. Why do so few realize the spiritual food Christ offers? Revelation 2:17 and 3:20 indicate it is hidden from those who insist on keeping self on the throne. It is also hidden from those who think Christ's job is to help them in their quest for riches that can never be carried beyond death's portals. In fact, Jesus introduced His model prayer to the Jews with this caution regarding temporal blessings:
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Verse 8.


Contrary to what some teach, God's temporal blessings are bestowed on the wicked and on the righteous alike. He loves all with an everlasting love as long as they are alive. He never withdraws His love, and only awaits their response. If anyone dies without God, it is because he did not respond to God's entreating love. This truth was made plain to Jeremiah when he complained that the wicked enjoyed worldly prosperity while the righteous were being oppressed. See Jeremiah 12:1-5. Just because a person prospers materially is no proof of God's approval. Very few of God's prophets and disciples ever focused on worldly prosperity. In this regard read Hebrews chapter eleven. These folk did not waste time storing up wealth that they could not take with them.


Jesus expressed God's unbiased love in Mathew 5:45 when He talked about loving one's enemies, and used as an example, the fact that God causes the sun to shine both on the righteous and upon the wicked, and He sends rain on both. Through nature God treats all people alike. In this prayer we are not told to ask for worldly goods. Worldly wealth has always been our greatest trap. 1 Kings chapter eleven is one of the saddest chapters in the Bible. It is a record of Solomon's final days. Having started out in humility and concern for his people, he gradually lost his perspective and died in sin. Prosperity and luxury ate his heart out. Having never surrendered his natural passions and his love of money, he lost his place in the kingdom of God. 1 Kings 11: 5,6.


Jesus climaxed this prayer with a challenge that separates those who simply fake Christianity, from those who respond to the Spirit of love.
"And forgive us our debts, as we have also forgiven (left, remitted and let go the debts, and given up resentment against) our debtors."


This is the final nail in the coffin of the enemy within. Just as Jesus surrendered all His rights for our sakes, and forgave us unconditionally before we even knew Him, so also, He asks us to pass this favor on to those who have unjustly treated us. The human heart knows no greater peace and tranquility than what follows after you have taken the initiative, and like Jesus, forgiven your antagonist while he is still out to destroy you. His action may have created a prison around you, but the key is in your own hand. Only you can let yourself out. Forgiveness unlocks the door and sets you free!


However, forgiveness is not always followed by reconciliation! Jesus granted forgiveness to the whole world when He died on the cross. However, all the world has not acknowledged its sin and accepted that forgiveness! If you forgive the one who has wronged you, you have freed yourself from his trap. If he acknowledges his error and asks forgiveness, he has also freed himself. If he persists in his wicked ways, turn him over to the Lord and leave him alone! God will deal with him as he did with Joseph's brothers. Remember that Joseph ruled the mightiest nation on earth for at least nine years before he made any attempt to contact them. Joseph waited for the day when God would bring them to him. He did not meddle by trying to fix something that from a human standpoint was not fixable.


You can forgive a person and set yourself free, even though he may never acknowledge his error. When Jesus was dying on the cross, He prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34. I often pondered that statement by Jesus and said to myself; That was OK because His tormentors did not realize what they were doing, but what about the person who attacks me maliciously, knowing full well what he is doing? How do I relate to him?


One day Dorothy called to me excitedly and said that she had just discovered the secret to this forgiveness business. What is it? I asked. She read form Acts 7:60 these startling words:
And while they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, Lord Jesus, receive and accept and welcome my spirit! And falling on his knees, he cried out loudly, Lord, fix not this sin upon them - lay it not to their charge!
As Steven forgave the unrepentant he set his own soul free.


To forgive those who acknowledge their sin is human. To forgive the unrepentant is divine! To be forgiven, we must unconditionally forgive even those who maliciously abuse us. Let's pray for the divine anointing promised in Revelation 3:18 that we may see through and beyond the syllables of Scripture into the Spirit realm where the light of God's glory can set us all free.


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