A Certain Place…

There is this place that I know, a place where I spent a great deal of time when I was a youth, a place that if I were to return to now would usher in a flood of memories…none of them bad. Not many of us have a place that holds for us what seems like a lifetime of memories. The place I know goes by the official name White River Canyon, to me however it’s just known as the place…that certain place. In High School my buddies and I would spend our holidays and long weekends at that place. We would camp, fish, hunt rattle snakes and drive them old dirt roads just to see where they would lead us.

I loved going to that place, and even now I love to think about that place. What’s more is that as I have grown older I have realized that it wasn’t the place that I longed for or really loved at all. It was the experience of spending that time with friends…friends that I loved, friends that trusted me and I trusted back. Friends that would eventually go onto to join the military and make separate lives as I have. One friend in particular that would only begin his new life before his life was taken. A friend that never had the privilege of watching his daughter grow up…or even be born. A friend that even still I think about nearly every day of my life. A friend that I would come to name my middle son after. Aside from all that has changed however I have never forgotten that place…the smells, the sights, the laughter and the joy. I presume that as long as I live I never will.

Jesus it seems  would often retreat to a similar place, whether it be the Mount of Olives or some other hill just outside of Jerusalem. In fact in Luke chapter 11 just before his disciples asked him how to pray, scripture tells us that Jesus was in a certain place.

Luke 11:1

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

At first glance this may seem insignificant and often times we encourage others to follow that pattern and find for themselves a certain place…a special place…a place that is known between only them and God. I don’t disagree at all with this advice, however after doing a little reading yesterday I happened across this verse and the spirit within me spoke another message from the same verse. Here is what it said…

One day Jesus was praying in a place of certainty. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

I am not sure whether you caught the subtle difference and in no way am I attempting to take the scripture out of context, but only to add another dimension of truth to what the scripture has already said. Jesus always prayed from a place of certainty, Jesus was always in the fathers will and doing the fathers business. Jesus always had a holy motivation to do for the father and ask of the father only what the father willed. Scripture tells us that many times we ask but do not have because we ask with wrong motives…selfish motives.

The truth is that even the disciples recognized this in the ministry of Jesus Christ, so much so that they begged him for this teaching…”teach us how to pray.” It’s not that they didn’t know how to talk to God and surely all of us likewise know how to talk to God, but do we really know how to pray.

The effectiveness of the private ministry Jesus had with his father was evidenced in his public ministry to the lost. In his private ministry Jesus would come to know fully the fathers will and do exactly as he asked…though his flesh be opposed Jesus would always subdue his flesh by his spirit so as to be perfectly aligned with the will of God.

So here we are asking the question, what effect, if any at all,  is my private ministry with the father having on my public ministry in the world? Understand that location has absolutely nothing to do with praying from a certain place, there is a way we can pray with certainty. We must confess our sins to God and in doing so he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, we must check our motivation and ask of ourselves is there any degree of selfishness in my prayer, and finally we must spend however long it takes prostrated before God waiting for the command that will compel us to act. We shall not move from that place of certainty until we have wrestled the blessing from his hands.

Good Day…


…Sin Speaks

Condemnation is the language that sin speaks. Surely the wages of sin are death, but prior to death when the reaper whispers into our itching ears to warn, or even mock the ones he comes for…he whispers condemnation.

He has told me more than once that I am a lost cause, recalling for me the sins of my past or even worse the sins I am still bound to. Lucifer, that mighty angelic creature says to me in the midst of my sorrow…”you will never be enough.” He implores me to work harder for the gain I seek and the glory I long to know. It is a compelling argument for the simple fact I need no reminding of who I am, if anyone should know, it is I. I know my failures and I am deeply acquainted with my sin.

I am foolish then to have listened to the promises of God. To have taken heed of the fact that scripture declares “His grace is sufficient.” That if I were only to confess my sins to God “He is faithful and just to remove that sin as far as the east is from the west.” To have believed that a turning away from sin were sufficient or even possible is foolish talk says the one who cloaks himself with light.

Solutions to life problems are rarely as easy as scripture has laid them out. If life has taught me anything it has taught me that work returns its great reward…and so I work. Work is a good thing and we are commanded to do it, in fact we are told we will work by sweat of our brow. Work…hard work is as valued in our culture as our freedom. One could say that it was due to our work that we have known our freedoms. Satan then uses this to his advantage, advancing the same promise whispered into our ears…work…work…work for your freedom and freedom you shall know.

The master of all deception, Satan’s greatest skill is to take what on the surface is good, what is noble, what is righteous and use it to advance his own cause, creating hostility between the savior and the saint. To whisper into the ears of Gods greatest men the lies he has fathered. If one is to defeat an army of superior strength, one must first weaken that army before engaging it on the field of battle. Now the tactics he employs are coming clear. The work that God has called us to is altogether a different work than that which Satan has bound us to. Satan is calling us to work for peace and freedom from sin in the same way that a man might work for his wages. Hence the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.

We weary ourselves with work, we tire quickly and quickly we come to the conclusion that the whole thing is a wash. The effort is too great, I will never secure my bounty. We are in a weakened state now and Satan readies his forces for the final attack. It’s here that the secret is exposed that in our weakness we find our strength. We have finally given up the work, willing to sacrifice the wage we hoped to earn. It is here, in our surrender that we can now receive the gift, the gift that reveals the lie. What is done in the dark will be made known in the light and God, the father by whom all good things come down is the father of light revealing to us our peace.  Peace that we shall only know through a full surrender.

God whispers too, and the whispers of God are beckoning men to come, kneel before the cross of Christ and surrender your rights and freedom…it will indeed be the most liberating thing you have ever done.

Be-lie-ving the lie…

Lies…Lies…Lies…we are so used to telling lies in our faith that truth appears only as a mirage. Something we desperately try to reach but never quite get there. Scripture speaks to the devastation of a lying tongue…its cost and consequence. We often justify these lies with well intentioned attitudes that reflect our desire not to hurt or offend others.

In time we also come to believe the lies we tell. Has it not dawned on us that Satan himself has fathered these lies. In fact scripture tells us that Satan is the father of all lies. It is equally true however that while Satan is the father of all lies, God himself is the father of all lights, a father from which all good things have come.

What is the difference and what connection can be made between the father of all lies and the father of lights? Why does scripture tell us that all good things come from the father of lights? How are the gifts and the light connected?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, yet darkness covered the face of the deep. So what did God do next? He created the light and after observing the light God said it is good. Light is good…Why? Simple: You see without light we as a people would have no vision and where there is no vision the people perish. Therefore light is good because light gives us vision. It stands to reason then that vision is equally good for that was the purpose of the light.

Why then is vision important? So that we as a fallen people living in a fallen world could make a distinction between that which is good and that which is not. For it is by vision that we see the heavens declaring his Glory, and we can say that it is good-that God is good. Without vision we as a fallen people living in a fallen world would lack the tools necessary to distinguish between the good and the bad. We may in fact be forced to rely on our other senses…senses that can and will lead us astray. Yes, I know our eyes have the same tendency but imagine for a moment you are lost in a mountain wilderness, darkness has set in and the cold has come with it. You know you must keep moving, but have no knowledge of where you are going. The dangers are lurking everywhere. Cliffs on two sides and animals hungry for an evening snack are stalking your every move…you sense they are there but you cannot see their presence. You are terrified and pray for light…for vision. You see, in your current dilemma your other senses are meaningless for the most part and you recognize the one thing that darkness has stolen is the one thing you so desperately need.

God knew this even from the beginning, because in the beginning his first act after having created the heavens and the earth, was to create the light and to separate it from darkness. Notice too that God did not give the same approval of the darkness that he did to the light, when he called that light…GOOD. Scripture lends itself to this subject more than once and more than once the petition is made “give them eyes to see.” In other words give them light. Scripture says “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”

So often what we see in the physical world is only a reflection of what is happening in the spirit world and it is equally true that there are many today whom are living in darkness. Jesus himself hath said:

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should remain in darkness.” 


How well the Apostle Paul understood this truth to have penned these words…

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light, for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth. Test and prove what pleases the Lord. Have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that is illuminated becomes a light itself. So it is said:

“Wake up, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Yes, we once were darkness but now we are light…however the scripture also says:

“If we say we have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not     practice the truth.”

and so now we are back to the beginning. Many of us have said we are children of light, we have said this because a preacher hath declared it so, or maybe it was our parents whom having reassured us from our youth have now led us astray. If we say we have fellowship with him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. Satan is the father of all lies, God is the father of lights. It is this light that exposes the lies that Satan has told…if you have come to salvation by any other means than Christ, you have believed a lie, and it is perhaps the greatest lie that was ever told.

This Christmas season be wise as the wise men were and follow that light, I assure you it will lead you to the truth.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night.