Treasure In Earthen Vessels

Discovering the Indwelling Holy Spirit

Didn’t I Say That? November 1, 2013

The chicken salad at my favorite tearoom was just as good as I had remembered. It had been nearly a year since I shared lunch and life with my friend, Vicki. As usual, it was hard to wait for my turn to talk as we both chatted freely about our kids, grandkids, and God.

 

Her eyes sparkled as she told me about the spiritual treasures she had recently uncovered; the exciting new move of the Holy Spirit in her church; and the deepening of her own walk with God. My story echoed hers.

 

While savoring every bite of chicken salad and every word Vicki shared, it suddenly dawned on me that I had been hearing similar things from other Christian friends, my Pastor’s Sunday morning sermons, my son comments on what he would be preaching next week, and my on-going conversations with my husband as we read our daily devotionals.

 

Yet, when my friend made a profound statement that sounded strangely familiar, I thought to myself, “Hey wait, didn’t I say that? Or was it my favorite author who wrote that? Oh, now I remember, I heard that on Christian TV.” To be honest, I am losing track of who said what, including my own writing.

 

Only a few days ago I saw a Facebook post about Rick Warren, author of the famous Purpose Driven Life, with this quote: “Much prayer, much power. Little prayer, little power. No prayer, no power.” Disregarding the fact that I had ingested his book ten years before, I knew for certain that I had written that very same thing—and I had my dated journal writing to prove it.

 

I was equally astonished last December when I read a chapter titled “Go Lower” from Ann Voskamp’s awesome book, One Thousand Gifts. It closely mirrored my own writing a few months prior called: “How Low Can You Go?” So what’s up with that!

 

It also seems that more and more people are quoting the spiritual gurus from the past and acting as if it is a fresh revelation from God directly to them! I fear there’s a whole lot of plagiarizing going on. Will copyright laws ever be able to protect who said what?

 

God smiles at my silly thoughts. He knows exactly what is going on. The Teacher of all truth is simply doing His job. The Holy Spirit is accomplishing what He was sent to do—teach Jesus’ disciples all things.1

 

I may like to think that I generate some deep words of knowledge in poetic prose, but it all originates with the Holy Spirit.

 

My favorite writers from a century ago—Oswald Chambers, Amy Carmichael, and Andrew Murray—wrote many insightful books, but it all originated with the Holy Spirit.

 

Great authors in my lifetime, such as A. W. Tozer, Henry Nouwen, and Philip Yancey, have made huge contributions of revealed truths, but it all originated with the Holy Spirit.

 

The most dynamic preacher to ever live may deliver powerful sermons that seem original, but it all originated with the Holy Spirit.

 

There are no exclusive rights to eternal truths. No one can patent any of them.

 

It is no coincidence that my friends and I are all learning the same things. There is an amazing revelation happening in the church today—an awakening to the Holy Spirit, Who He is, and why we need Him. He is a real Person, and He is revealing Himself to all who are open to Him.

 

This may perhaps be the most significant move of God in my lifetime and I don’t want to miss it. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to start looking and listening for teaching on the Holy Spirit. I have listed several good books on the subject below.

 

As the Body of Christ, let us pray that Christians everywhere will wake up to the reality of their Holy House Guest.2 Start today by asking Him what He wants to reveal to you. He won’t disappoint you—revelation is His specialty.  ~Janie Kellogg

 

 

Books on the Holy Spirit:

Fresh Air, by Chris Hodges

The God I Never Knew, by Robert Morris

The Master’s Indwelling, by Andrew Murray (Kindle edition free at Amazon)

 

1 John 14:26

2 “The House Guest,” a short story, Treasure in Earthen Vessels @ http://www.treasureinearthenvessels.net, November 22, 2012

 

 

A Mystery Revealed June 29, 2013

Filed under: Christian Growth — Janie Kellogg @ 2:25 pm
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The mysteries of the gospel are not discovered, uncovered, or solved—they are revealed. They come to us only as God grants understanding. So it is with the long-sought after meaning of the strange words by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:10: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” I’ve read them no less than a thousand times, but their understanding has remained unclear. It seems to be an oxymoron.

Just what was Paul thinking when he wrote this bi-polar statement? I’ve wrestled with it for half-a-lifetime. I get glimpses here and there. Slowly, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little. Yet, glimpses eventually lead to vision.

It is becoming clearer. Somehow I sense that when I grasp it, other scriptures will open to me—maybe dozens. Who knows? It is well worth the pursuit.

Let us consider the word “then” from Paul’s statement. It denotes a lapse of time from before until now. It also speaks of a condition— from that to this; from what was to what now is; or perhaps, from what was to what can be.

Turning the sentence around is helpful: When I am strong, then I am weak. From that perspective we might say: When I consider my strength (in and of myself), then I am indeed a weak being and in a weak position. That is easy to see. Now let’s reverse it back and read it with that understanding: When I am weak (in and of myself), then I am a strong being and in a strong position.

It appears that being weak—admitting weakness—is beneficial in becoming strong. A statement by J. I. Packer supports this conclusion: “The power principle—God’s power scenario, we might call it—is that divine strength is perfected in conscious human weakness.” 1

But how do I appropriate that knowledge? How to I actually find the stronger position?

The Song of Solomon 8:5 gives some light: “Who is this that comes up from the wilderness leaning upon her Beloved?”

Leaning implies one who is weak, unable to make the journey alone, and depending on another for help, support, and strength. Leaning is an outward sign of an inward weakness. Could that be the stronger position? Is that what God desires from us—His children leaning on Him?

We know that fallen flesh cannot live holy. Only God-life can live holy. Therefore, we cannot live the Christian life apart from leaning on Him, who is Life and who gives Life.

Could it be that if I lean on and depend on His impartation of Life to me, I will be stronger than if I do not lean on Him? If so, then leaning—a true sign of weakness—is the stronger position.

Taking it a step further: Could it mean that the more I lean on the Strong One, the stronger I will become?

And yet another step: The weaker I am, the more I will lean on Christ; thus, the more I lean on Christ, the stronger I will be?

Dare I go even further: It is then in my best interest to be weak, so I will lean more on Christ?

Please indulge me just once more: If being weak makes me stronger, then can I not boast in being weak? Can I not also glory in my weaknesses because they cause me to lean on Christ? Notice the cause and effect principle in Paul’s words: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2Corinthians 12:9).

Such an idea clearly goes against our flesh, our pride, and our American mentality to be all that we can be, to pull ourselves up by our boot straps, and the survival of the fittest. Yet, we must remember that our ways are not His ways (Isaiah 55:8).

Could the long-searched-for mystery be known? Is the key to finding and appropriating God’s divine power found in weakness—admitted weakness—even boasting of weakness? How did it elude me for so long? Clearly, my best and strongest position is leaning on God.

Dear Lord, help me not to stand straight and tall by my own strength, but to lean more on You. ~Janie Kellogg

1 J. I. Packer quoted in Dr. Bruce H. Wilkerson, 30 Days to Experiencing Spiritual Breakthroughs (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, Inc. 1999), 90.

 

Love Never Fails Who? June 12, 2013

It had been a troubling morning. I was in a hotel room in Juneau, Alaska, waiting for luggage to arrive. My husband left for his early morning conference in the same clothes he had put on twenty-four hours earlier. Turbulent weather had caused our flights to be cancelled, routes to change, and nerves to fray. But none of that compared to the unsettling phone call I received shortly after arriving there.

Life had taken a painful turn for a family member. It seemed preventable, if only people had done what they were supposed to do—you know what I mean—Christians acting like Christians. Lives were unraveling; careers in jeopardy; reputations on the line. The stinging words of accusations burned within my heart as the story replayed over and over in my head. How could God let this happen?

Thankfully, I had packed my Bible in my carry-on bag. I followed the leading of the Holy Spirit to Galatians 5:22. This familiar verse of scripture listing the fruits of the Spirit brought me to a dead stop: “Now the fruit of the Spirit is love….” This word love is so powerful, so all-encompassing, so compelling. Of course, being one who prided myself in being filled with the Spirit, I knew this fruit wasn’t optional. The verse plainly states that the fruit—the growing, yielding, obvious evidence—of the Spirit is love.

The next stop on the journey to find peace for my aching heart was the famous love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. I knew it well. The words flowed from memory as my eyes followed the print. All of the characteristics of love listed in verses 4 through 7 could in no way be akin to the flesh. They clearly spoke of life in the Spirit, the high road, the selfless life, the yielding of one’s own rights.

As my eyes scanned verse 8—“love never fails”—I quickly thought, “I know what that means. Or do I?” I had always believed that if I loved, truly loved with God’s love, the other person(s) with whom I had a conflict would eventually change their mind and come around to seeing things my way. Wrong.

In the case at hand, I was confident that such a happy and blissful ending just wasn’t going to be the outcome. I also knew that for me to love meant to relinquish my right to be right, and the people involved would simply walk away thinking they had won.

It was in that moment that the Heavenly Father gently spoke a new revelation to my heart. For the first time, I saw these ever-so-familiar-words with new eyes, and thus, with new meaning. I read them again slowly, adding the freshly Spirit-inspired revelation—Love never fails me!

Today, some fifteen years later, this age-old truth proves once again to be the medicine I need. If I choose to love in every situation—regardless of the outcome—I will have the peace of God. Love will never fail to produce the joy and contentment within my spirit that only God can give. I will have grace to bear all things (including the ones I think unfair), believe all things (seeing God’s hand at work in every circumstance), hope all things (knowing all things work together for good to them who love God), and endure all things (even the things I don’t like).

It is so true—love never fails me! ~ Janie Kellogg

 

Two Sides of the Same Coin April 18, 2013

Filed under: Humility — Janie Kellogg @ 7:07 pm
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Sometimes I fear that my readers think I have gone over the edge on my conclusions of depravity and humility. I fully realize that what I am saying on these two subjects is not popular in the mainstream of Christianity today.

Even though these are two different subjects, they are best described as two sides of the same coin. Like the song: “love and marriage….go together like a horse and carriage….you can’t have one without the other,” so it is with depravity and humility. If you see your own depravity, you will be humble; and if you are humble, you can easily see your own depravity.

My generation has now heard 30+ years of name it—claim it teaching: God wants me to be prosperous, my destiny is greatest, I’m being groomed to bloom, and many other trendy ideas have filled the airways and the pulpits for years. Actually, these popular teachings, for the most part, do not address either depravity or humility. Whether we want to admit it or not, our beliefs have been shaped or at least influenced by these modern-day trends in Christianity, perhaps to our demise.

Every concept or teaching must first be weighed in the light of God’s Word. If it doesn’t pass the test there, it should be discarded altogether. If it does pass the test, it is also beneficial to weigh it in the light of what others know about the subject, especially those with a trusted and proven track record.

Therefore, in an effort to add some muscle (if you will) to my conclusions on depravity and humility, I have chosen to post a few quotes by renowned Christians. These quotes are from recognized authors, speakers, preachers and teachers of God’s Word, many of which helped shape Christianity as we know it today. They are certainly people who have helped shape my thinking on these issues.

Obviously, these two subjects are important, as many well-known writers thought they were important enough to write about them. Within their writings, we discover that these two things have a huge impact on the spiritual condition of all mankind.

The quotes are being posted on my blog under a separate title: What Other Writers Say about Depravity & Humility. Because it often takes years for this hidden mystery to unfold, I recommend that you print them and then take ample time to slowly digest and discern them for yourself.

The valuable insight to be gained from understanding these two words will enable us to press forward into the freedom that God provides—freedom from the devastating effects of the fall in the Garden of Eden. But unless we recognize and acknowledge those effects for what they are, we will never be able to deal with them according to knowledge, and at last, be freed from them.

Our next stop on this journey is the marvelous revelation found in Romans Chapter 8, but in order to do so, we must first grasp this concept here and now. If we do not, we will simply read Chapter 8 again for the one-thousandth time, our eyes will glaze over, and we will think we see it, when actually, we do not. We will accept the same teaching we have heard before, and the mystery hidden in this powerful chapter will elude us once again.

God is forever faithful to His promise that those who seek shall find. I believe great victory is just ahead for each of us! ~ Janie Kellogg

Other Related posts in Treasure in Earthen Vessels: What Other Writers Say about Depravity and Humility, April 18, 2013

Note: To access other related posts on the website, type title of post into the Search field and press enter.

 

What Other Writers Say about Depravity and Humility

Filed under: Humility — Janie Kellogg @ 7:03 pm
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For clearer explanation of this post please read “Two Sides of the Same Coin” published on Treasure in Earthen Vessels website on April 18, 2013.

 

In an effort to add some muscle to my conclusions on depravity and humility, I have chosen to share a few quotes by renowned Christians. These quotes, presented as food for thought, are written by recognized authors, speakers, preachers and teachers of God’s Word. Many of them are men and women who helped shape Christianity as we know it today. References for the longer quotes are given at the bottom of the post.

 

Please read these selected writings slowly, and if possible, print them so you can give adequate time to digesting and discerning them for yourself. I believe these vital topics have been ignored, if not completely omitted from much modern-day Christian teaching, and I fear that the Church of today is suffering greatly because of it.

 

Chris Tiegreen ~ We praise this high and holy God for His power and majesty. Do we also praise Him for His humility? We can; we serve a humble God. He did not ride into this world on a gilded chariot. He was born in a stable. He left His radiant appearance to be clothed in a human body subject to temptation and pain. We are not worthy to utter His name, but He tells us to call Him Father and Friend….Consider the humility of God. The high and holy One is never inaccessible to someone with a contrite spirit. He encourages your intimacy with Him. He’ll even wash your feet.1

 

D.L. Moody ~ God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves.

 

Andrew Murray ~ The salvation that Christ brought is not only a salvation that flows out of humility; it also leads to humility. We must understand that this is not only the salvation which Christ brought; but that it is exactly the salvation which you and I need. What is the cause of all the wretchedness of man? Primarily pride; man seeking his own will and his own glory. Yes, pride is the root of every sin, and so the Lamb of God comes to us in our pride, and brings us salvation from it. We need above everything to be saved from our pride and our self-will; it is good to be saved from the sins of stealing, murdering, and every other evil; but a man needs above all to be saved from what is the root of all sin, his self-will and his pride.2

 

Benjamin Franklin ~ A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.

 

J. Oswald Sanders ~ Humility, the antithesis of pride, has been defined….as the virtue by which man becomes conscious of his own unworthiness. We never conquer a sin of which we are unconscious or over which we do not grieve. We must hate what God hates. Self-knowledge is not easy to come by, as we are all so prepossessed in our own favor. We see the splinter in our brother’s eye with great clarity but, with strange inconsistency, fail to detect the plank in our own. We need to genuinely ask God to expose us to ourselves. When we see ourselves as we truly are, we will sink in self-abasement.3

 

Oswald Chambers ~ Self complacency and spiritual pride are always the beginning of degeneration. When I begin to be satisfied with where I am spiritually, I begin to degenerate.

 

Charles Spurgeon ~ Beware of no man more than yourself; we carry our worst enemies with us.

 

F. B. Meyer ~ I used to think that God’s gifts were on shelves one above the other, and that the taller we grew in Christian character the easier we should reach them. I find now that God’s gifts are on shelves beneath the other, and that it is not a question of growing taller but of stooping lower, and that we have to go down, always down, to get His best gifts.4

 

Ann Voskamp ~ Humility isn’t burden or humiliation or oppressive weight but humility is the only posture than can receive the wondrous grace gifts of God—God who humbled Himself and came to the feed trough.5

 

Sarah Young ~ In her book Jesus Calling, Christ speaks in first person: “Though you are an earthen vessel, I designed you to be filled with heavenly contents. Your weakness is not a deterrent to being filled with My Spirit; on the contrary, it provides an opportunity for My Power to shine forth more brightly.”6

 

Donald G. Stamps ~ Christianity is not the removal of weakness, nor is it merely the manifestation of divine power. Rather, it is the manifestation of divine power through human weakness.7

 

V. Raymond Edman ~ Climbing in the Spirit is accomplished by kneeling and not by running; by surrender, and not by determination….First, there is a hunger of heart, often followed by a sense of desperation that leads to utter surrender of self. Thereafter, there is the meeting of the soul with God in whatever manner the Almighty is pleased to reveal Himself to the desperate seeker who, like Jacob, will not let Him go until there is blessing.8

 

J.I. Packer ~ For only at the point where the insufficiency of natural strength is faced, felt, and admitted, does divine empowerment begin….Divine strength is perfected in conscious human weakness….If I could remember each day of my life, that the way to grow stronger is to grow weaker, if I would accept that each day’s frustration, obstacles, and accidents are God’s ways of making me acknowledge my weakness, so that growing stronger might become a possibility for me, if I did not betray myself into relying on myself—my knowledge, my experience, my position, my skill with words, and so on—so much of the time, what a difference it would make to me!… May God in His great mercy weaken us all! 9

 

A.W. Tozer ~ The inner veil is woven of the fine threads of the self-life, the hyphenated sins of the human spirit. They are not something we do, they are something we are, and therein lies both their subtlety and their power. To be specific, the self-sins are self-righteousness, self-pity, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-admiration, self-love and a host of others like them. They dwell too deep within us and are too much a part of our nature to come to our attention till the light of God is focused upon them….Self is the opaque veil that hides the face of God from us. It can never be removed only in spiritual experience; never by mere instruction…..There must be a work of God in destruction before we are free. We must invite the cross to do its deadly work within us. We must bring our self-sins to the cross for judgment.10

 

Hannah Whitall Smith ~ The “old man” is, of course, the self-life, and this self-life (which we know only too well is indeed corrupt according to deceitful lusts) is not to be improved but to be put off. It is to be crucified….It is of no use, then, for us to examine self and to tinker with it in the hope of improving it, for the thing the Lord wants us to do with it is to get rid of it.11 

 

Cora Harris MacIlravy ~ Let us remember that the Lord does not pour the Spikenard of Humility upon the evil odors of our pride and arrogance. It is easy to ask God to adorn us with humility and enable us to be lost sight of in Christ. But the process, through which we must pass to receive the answer to this prayer, is the way of the cross and suffering. It is ever taking sides against ourselves; it is refusing to pity our own suffering; it is taking sides against all the workings and evil odors of our pride, self-confidence and self-seeking. For only when the alabaster box is cleansed of these self-workings, can it be filled with the Spikenard of Humility.12

 

Amy Carmichael ~ If I covet any place on earth but the dust at the foot of the cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

 

We must never be dismayed over the wretchedness of man, for “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20). Great victory awaits those who will humble themselves and ask God to allow them see the hidden mysteries of the gospel. ~ Janie Kellogg

*Note: In all quotes above, emphasis has been added to words shown in italics.

 

1Chris Tiegreen, The One-Year at His Feet Devotional (Netherlands: Tyndale House Publishers, 2003), 195.

2Andrew Murray, The Master’s Indwelling, 34.

3J. Oswald Sanders, quoted in Dr. Bruce H. Wilkerson, 30 Days to Experiencing Spiritual Breakthroughs (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, Inc. 1999), 75.

4F. B. Meyer, quoted in Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2010), 171.

5Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2010), 171.

6Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 2004), 100.

7Donald G. Stamps, Life in the Spirit Study Bible (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2003), Notes for 2 Corinthians 4:7, 1816.

8V. Raymond Edman, They Found the Secret (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1960, 1984), 53.

9J. I. Packer quoted in Dr. Bruce H. Wilkerson, 30 Days to Experiencing Spiritual Breakthroughs (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, Inc. 1999), 90.

10A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Wingspread Publishers, 1982, 1993), 42-43.

11Hannah Whitall Smith, quoted in Dr. Bruce H. Wilkerson, 30 Days to Experiencing Spiritual Breakthroughs (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, Inc. 1999), 63.

12Cora Harris MacIlravy, Christ and His Bride (Chicago, Illinois: The Elbethel Christian Work, 1916), 86.

 

Confessions of a Seeker’s Heart January 15, 2013

The song replays in my head over and over. It isn’t the tune that lingers long after the Christmas Holidays; it is the implied meaning of the words: “Do you see what I see?” “Do you hear what I hear?” and “Do you know what I know?” I keep asking: Is it true—some see more, hear more, and know more than others?

 

Obviously, the characters of the song—the wind, the shepherd boy, and the mighty king—had different viewpoints from which to witness the miraculous birth of the Christchild.

 

The wind with no physical limitations could easily see “a star, a star dancing in the night with a tail as big as a kite” better than the little lamb.

 

The little lamb with no distractions should hear “a song, a song high above the trees with a voice as big as the sea” better than the shepherd boy.

 

The shepherd boy informed by an angel would know “a child, a child shivers in the cold” that the “mighty king in his palace warm” knew nothing about.

 

Each was in a place of optimum sight, sound, and knowing over those who saw, heard, and knew less. Or, could it have been their ability to see, hear, and know things in the spirit realm, and had nothing to do with where they were positioned? Regardless of what caused the disparity, it is apparent that some saw, heard, and knew more.

 

Is the same true of people? Some people see greater glimpses of God at work in the world than others. The still small voice of God—unnoticed and unrecognized by much of the world—is heard clearly by some. The Apostle Paul prayed that all the saints would know the width, length, height and depth of God’s love (Ephesians 3:18). Some do, but more don’t. Even the most perceptive among us are aware of only traces of God at work in our world. And what about me—how much do I see, hear, and know of the activities of God?

 

Moses obviously saw, heard, and knew more than the average Israelite. I think his forty days on the mountaintop were possibly days of sheer delight—days he didn’t want to end. At least, not end so that he could come down the mountain to deal with non-seeing-hearing-knowing people. Later, he asked to see God’s glory. God said that no one could see His face and live to tell about it. A compromise was struck—God granted his wish. He hid Moses in the cleft of a rock while His glory passed by, and Moses saw God’s back (Exodus 33:18-23).

 

Do I get that? God responds to those who want more. He only refused Moses’ request to see His face because God knew Moses couldn’t withstand such greatness! If I want to see God—He will let me. That is, He will reveal as much of Himself to me as I am able to endure.

 

I confess: I am not content with what I now see, hear and know. I want more. The more I get, the more I want. Seems I am never satisfied. More insight drives me to even more insight. Hearing His voice today makes me want to hear it again tomorrow. Knowing Him fuels my desire to know Him better.

 

How will I get more sight, sound, and knowing? The apostle Paul said, “…the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things” (Philippians 3:8). What was Paul willing to give up to fully know Jesus? All things. What will it take for me to fully know Jesus? The same.

 

In the meantime, here are the desires of this seeker’s heart:

 

I will continue to see glimpses—and O how wonderful those glimpses are!

 

I will continue to hear His still small voice now and then—striving to hear it above all other voices.

 

And, I will continue to know Him here a little and there a little—slowly and surely, as I am willing to give up those things that hinder me, I too will experience “the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.”  ~ Janie Kellogg

 

“Oh, the fullness, pleasure, and sheer excitement of knowing God on earth!” ~Jim Elliott

 

What! Another New Year Already December 31, 2012

Filed under: Holidays — Janie Kellogg @ 12:50 pm
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Perhaps like me, you are asking, “How in the world did it get to be 2013?” Growing up in a home where my parents believed we were living in the last days back in the 1960’s, I surely thought that Jesus would have come by now. Actually, I thought He would come before I graduated from High School, or got married, or had children. And what about those years in between then and now? Are they not much like a vapor, as if they simply passed through my hands?

 

Regardless of how we look back on years gone by, either with joy or regret, it is more beneficial to look forward to that year which we are soon to embark upon ~ 2013. The Apostle Paul said, “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3: 13-14). This new year comes with great upward opportunity to do many things. Do we not all love new beginnings? I know that I do. I love to let the past be the past, wipe the slate clean, and get a fresh start. That is what 2013 holds for us, if we will see it through those lenses. Maybe then, we can look forward to this new year with great anticipation.

 

The thing I look forward to most is new revelations from God, His Word, and His ways. I am awed at what I now see that only 12 months ago, I did not see. You may ask, “How does that happen?” It happens a little at a time. To describe it as the Bible does, it comes “Precept must be upon precept….line upon line….here a little, there a little” (Isaiah 28:10). You see, we cannot withstand ALL of the revelation of God at once. He told Moses, “You cannot see My face, for no man shall see Me, and live” (Exodus 33:20). WOW! We should be grateful that God gives revelation only as we are able to accept and absorb it.

 

We are to be ever-seeking, ever-increasing in the knowledge of God. That is His plan for us, to slowly but surely allow His Spirit to bring the light of God into our very beings. We must have light to live. We must have light to grow. We must have light to mature. Light literally “dawns upon us” gradually as we seek the face of God. I’d like to think I could have a Damascus Road experience, but it hasn’t ever worked that way for me. It comes as I ask for it and as God chooses to grant it. He, being all-wise, knows what I am ready for and what I can receive. I must be grateful for whatever He chooses to give.

 

With any new revelation also comes the taunting sin of pride. Don’t you hate it? About the time pride tries to enter my heart over a fresh revelation, I am reminded of the clear fact that there are still vast unknown truths and mysteries of God yet unrevealed to me. I must remember that humility is the key to more revelation, and to that I bow my head and humbly say, “Thank you” to the Gracious One who gives opening of the eyes, here a little and there a little.

 

May 2013 be a year of revealed truths in our lives. Let us ask the Father to open our eyes to see them; ask Jesus to enlarge our hearts to accept and receive them; and ask our Holy House Guest to make us consciously aware of them when they come our way. If we do those things, 2013 will be a year of great revelation! Are you ready to press even more for the prize of the upward call of God? I know that I am, and I will be writing about those very things in the coming year. I hope you will join me on this 2013 journey, and invite a friend to join us as well. Happy New Year to all! ~ Janie Kellogg