Treasure In Earthen Vessels

Discovering the Indwelling Holy Spirit

God Has Feelings Too August 27, 2014

Sometimes we forget one important truth—we are made in the image of God. Does that mean we look like Him? The truth is, we don’t actually know since no one has ever seen God and lived to tell about it. Does that mean we act like Him? Certainly not, for since the fall of man, we switched sides and started acting like the devil. Does that mean we think like Him? Not here either! The fall robbed us of our God-like qualities and innocence.

So, what about us is in God’s image? I believe it is our ability to think, to process information, and to make choices. But perhaps a more personal look-alike-trait is that we have emotions because God has emotions. Consider this:

When I see earthly parents…….

~ holding a baby on his/her lap—I see a loving Heavenly Father coddling me.

~ smiling as their toddler takes its first step—I see Father God smiling over me when I take a step of faith.

~ consoling a child with a scraped knee—I see a compassionate God picking me up after a fall and telling me it will be OK.

~ disciplining a youth who refuses to obey—I see a gracious God disciplining me when my stubborn heart demands its own way.

~ worrying over a teen that has ran away from home—I see the pain in the heart of God when I stray from Him.

How could we think otherwise? If it is true that God loved us so much He gave up His only Son in order to rescue His lost children, why wouldn’t we know that God has feelings?

God certainly does have feelings of love, joy and compassion; but also of pain, sorrow, and sadness. This is an important fact for us to know, that is, if we are going to pursue a closer relationship with Him.

Think about it—when you and I have feelings, it’s because we really do look a lot like our Heavenly Father! ~ Janie Kellogg

Small footprintKey Quote: “God is a person, and in the deep of His mighty nature He thinks, wills, enjoys, feels, loves, desires and suffers as any other person may.” ~ A.W. Tozer

 

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Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord August 22, 2014

After years of searching for and writing about the secret place, I recently summed up my findings in an earlier post with this single statement: There is more to this walk with God than I currently know and possess.

 

I believe the biggest mistake we make as Christians is to think that we already know all there is to know about God. That one prideful attitude clearly puts us on the team with those who have “eyes that cannot see and ears that do not hear. It squarely lines us up on the side of the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. It bars our ability to grasp many things Jesus “has to say to us,” and keeps us locked in the same room with those who “cannot bear it now.” It identifies us closely with the woman at the well to whom Jesus said, “If you only knew who it is that speaks to you,” yet we do not know.

 

The person who says “I’ve got it all” blocks his own pathway to experiencing the more Jesus promised His followers. One only needs to read Job 38:1 through Job 42:6 to understand how totally minuscule is our knowledge of the great and mighty God. If this whirlwind discourse to Job doesn’t send us to our knees, then we very likely abide in a sad, prideful state. It will do us good to read it now and then.

 

After an awakening to Job’s own utter smallness, he responds to God: “But now my eyes see You.” I am reminded of the lyrics to Michael W. Smith’s popular song from a few years back:

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord,

Open the eyes of my heart.

I want to see You.

I want to see You.

 

May our prayer today be one of genuine admittance that we are needy—greatly in need of God’s grace and light in our lives. The suitable word here is humility, and oh, how we need it. That is, if the eyes of our hearts are indeed to be opened to see the Lord! ~ Janie Kellogg

 

Small footprintKey Concept:  If we believe that we currently have it all, we will never see, hear, know, or possess the “more” that God promises to us.

 

For more Secret Place Secrets visit www.treasureinearthenvessels.net and follow the footprints.

 

Why Is the Secret Place so Secret? August 18, 2014

If the secret place is a special space where God meets with His children and He actually desires that they find it, why it is such a big secret?

Great question! I may not have all of the answer, but I do have some of it. We serve a holy God, who is surrounded by holy, glorious beings that worship Him day and night—because of His holiness! Actually, He is so holy that any being that comes into His Presence tainted with sin and corruption will die. It was so with the High Priest of old when they entered the Most Holy Place once a year. If they went in without proper preparation, they didn’t come out alive.1

Think about it—unholy beings are literally in danger if they enter the Presence of God unprepared. It is for our very own protection that the secret place, that special abode of the most High, is hidden from the masses of sinful humanity.

Isn’t that just like God—always, always, always looking after His creation in order to give them His very best? Sounds a lot like a kind and loving earthly Daddy! If we only understood the kind and loving nature of our Father God, who loves us enough to give His beloved Son to die in our place, we might actually get it.

Thankfully, entrance to the secret place is reserved for those who come with prepared hearts. And we shouldn’t let that deter us from seeking to find and enter it, for it is a place of great blessing and comfort. It is available to all born-again believers—when we are willing to come on God’s terms. Anything less is not in our best interest. ~ Janie Kellogg

Small footprintKey Concept: The secret place is reserved for those who come with prepared hearts.

For more Secret Place Secrets visit www.treasureinearthenvessels.net and follow the footprints.

1Leviticus 16:1-4

 

God Wants to Meet with ME! Really? August 12, 2014

It has been a lifelong journey for me to realize that God actually wants to meet with me. After all, isn’t it true that He sits on a golden throne somewhere up in the sky and runs the world? What interest would He have in meeting with a simple nobody like me?

Since the fall in the Garden of Eden, mankind has been laden with guilt and shame. Adam and Eve transformed from being God’s BFFs (best friends forever) to cowardly, disgraced creatures attempting to hide behind flimsy foliage. But even that didn’t work—God came looking for them. Naturally, we think to punish them.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! He came looking for them so He could fellowship with them, talk to them, to discuss how things were going with their responsibilities as overseers of His creation. Adam was top-dog, you know, head-supervisor of God’s world. It’s easy to understand that he and God had much to collaborate about while on their morning coffee break.

Ever wonder why we automatically assume God wants to find us so He can punish us? Ever think that perhaps it is the enemy of our souls who plants such discouraging, off-the-wall thoughts in our hearts without any proof whatsoever?

Just for the sake of doing something different today, think about the far-out idea that God wants to meet with YOU because it brings HIM pleasure! Now that’s a stretch for us long-time traditionalists.

I believe that we will never enter the secret place unless we are willing to accept the truth that God greatly desires to meet with us. And He wants to do so because it not only brings enjoyment to us, but to Him as well. Stretch yourself and consider this: the CEO of the Universe longs for an audience with YOU today!

It’s true. Dare to believe it. ~ Janie Kellogg

Small footprint Key concept: We will never enter the secret place unless we are willing to accept the truth that God wants to meet with us because it brings HIM pleasure!

For more Secret Place Secrets visit http://www.treasureinearthenvessels.net and follow the footprints.

 

Footprints ~ Pointing the Way August 8, 2014

While I have heard the call of God to write something and have struggled with what I am supposed to write, one thing is clear: I do know what not to write.

As I slowly unearthed the secret place secrets discovered by the great Hall-of-Faith Heroes over the past 500 years, I readily knew that anything I attempted to write would be a do-over—it simply has already been written. Who could touch the poetic beauty of Amy Carmichael, the eloquent style of Oswald Chambers, or the theological brilliance of Andrew Murray? Certainly not me!

I am the first to admit that I have neither the historical knowledge nor the theological background to make the point, define the logic, or explain the argument of what scripture means by the term “the secret place.” God always equips us for what He calls us to do, and I am surely not equipped for that task.

A few months ago, as I was whining about my lack of ability to write such important information, God simply said: “Point the way.” That made sense. I might actually be able to do that—point you to the works of many great writers who certainly did/do have the qualifications to write such information.

Since Jesus’ assignment to the first-century disciples in Acts 1:8 was to testify of what they had seen and heard and knew by experience, I will also share with you my experiences in finding the secret place. I am equally sure that you have some to share with me.

In the meantime, may we never forget our high calling to be His witnesses, especially to those we meet today. And don’t forget to watch for those footprints pointing the way! ~ Janie Kellogg

Small footprint Key Scripture: “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20

 

There is more to this walk with God ~ August 5, 2014

It has been 15 years since I first heard God’s call to write. The big question is: Write what?

I record this call in my journal every time I hear it—“Call to write ~ 2001; Call to write ~ 2004; 2006; 2010; 2011; 2012; 2013; 2014.” I write it in the margins of the books I read and re-read. Perhaps dozens of times I have documented my call to write—to write something anyway.

In those 15 years, I have filled many journals with something. In 2005-2007, I completed a two-year writing course through the Christian Writer’s Guild. Yet, even upon finishing the course, I wasn’t any closer to knowing what to write.

However, through that writing course God put me on the trail of a new ideology—new to me anyway. I didn’t question its validity because of the spiritual giants who embraced it, such as: D.L. Moody, Andrew Murray, Hudson Taylor, and A.W. Tozer, to name a few.

I found it in many places, often obscure and not fully defined, but it was there nonetheless. One very helpful book was: “They Found the Secret” by V. Raymond Edman, who wrote about the lives of 20 spiritual gurus and their discoveries. I gradually dug deeper into the lives of many of those 20 people, always coming up with the same conclusion.

Today, I can sum up my findings with this one single statement: There is more to this walk with God than I currently know and possess. That has been the crux of my on-going search and that search has clearly led me to the secret place.

That something will be the content of The Secret Place Secrets. ~ Janie Kellogg

Small footprintKey Concept: There is more to this walk with God than I currently know and possess.

 

See other Secret Place Secrets at http://www.treasureinearthenvessels.net.

 

Just enough light for the step I’m on August 1, 2014

Many years ago I heard a speaker say, “If you’re not journaling, start now!” I took her advice and I have never regretted one of the 26 red spiral-bound 6”x9” notebooks that I have used up journaling. And, I have no plans to stop. Ever.

I told my children that if my house catches on fire, I won’t risk my life rescuing the family photos—it will be my journals that I go in to get!

They are filled with life—my spiritual life! I have never done the “Dear Diary” thing and never plan to. But I do document what God speaks to my heart as we walk together in this Father-daughter relationship.

My journals are filled with the treasures I have taken the time to capture with pen and ink. They are priceless to me—my very own words of encouragement, correction, and love messages from my Heavenly Parent! And, they are my memory that won’t fail as I grow older.

Within these journals I have recorded the key concepts that were revealed to me as I journeyed to the secret place. I can trace God’s hand leading me one step at a time. He opened my understanding and then enabled me to take the next step.

I love the song by Stormie O’Martin, “Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On.” That’s the story in my journals—God giving me just enough light to make the next step—not the ones for next week, or next month, or next year.

So, if you’re not journaling, I hope you start now! As we move forward, I will identify the key concepts, scriptures, and quotes for you. I like to call them footprints. I am so grateful to the writers who left some footprints along their path for me. Check out the one below. ~ Janie Kellogg

Small footprintKey Concept: As I journey to the secret place, God gives me just enough light for the step I’m on.