Refreshment in Refuge
by Gina Burgess
Think about Isaiah when he saw the Lord sitting upon His throne in the Throne Room of Heaven (Isaiah 6). Today we live in a culture that does not recognize the sheer mightiness of God. We're blind to His glory. We are deaf to His voice. Busyness shuts out His presence. Perversion of marriage mocks true spiritual intimacy with Him. The gift of life He gave us is made a travesty through murder of the unborn and the violence depicted in movies, on TV, and in video games. The colossal miracles that He performed (and still performs) are paled by the man-created drama in those same movies, TV shows, and video games. It is no wonder that our vision of God's royal majesty is dimmed, and that our spiritual sensitivity is dulled. We have no clue about the holiness of God. But Isaiah knew. He was undone.
Have you ever thought what you might do if you were suddenly transported to the Throne Room of God Almighty?
I tremble. I shake at the Thunder from the Throne. I fall to my face. So ashamed am I. So undone. I am so unworthy I cannot look upon His face. My mouth is stopped. I cannot beg for mercy because I know I do not deserve even the merest crumb of it. The Four Living Creatures protect me from His Glory or I shall cease to exist. I am mute with terror. I have no words for my defense.
Holy, holy, holy. Though the smoke shall hide Thee. Though the eyes of sinful man may not see Thy glory, only You are holy. There is none beside Thee, perfect in power, in love, and purity. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea. Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity.*
Then suddenly, a warm hand presses my shoulder and soft white robe comes between me and the throne. I grab His robe and press my face deep into it. It smells so good, and so clean, and so fresh. It is warm because I feel Him through the soft cloth.
A low voice whispers tender words to me and my terror melts away. His hand slides across my back and He lifts me in His arms so strong, His strength stills the tremors of my terror like His breath stilled the wind and calmed the waves. He looks at The Father and simply says for all to hear, "Father, this one is mine."
Satan is a liar. Jesus calls him the Father of Lies. We know from Proverbs that trusting in a deceiver is like a broken tooth or a foot out of joint (Proverb 25:19). What is wise about following a deceiver? It is like leaning on a broken staff where the splinters pierce the hand leaning on it. People who lie are being guided by Satan and are walking in darkness.
It doesn't matter whether someone believes something is true or not. Believing a falsehood never makes that falsehood a truth. By the same token, believing truth does not make that truth any truer. Truth is not relative no matter how much one wants it to be.
James 4:7 Then be subject to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Antistete resist. ἀνθίστημι anthistēmi anth-is'-tay-mee; to stand against, that is, oppose: - resist, withstand. Take a stand against the Devil. Please read that as a choise, a decision. Satan will always go to God and tattle on us. He is the first to condemn which is why he is called the Great Accuser. Our Father wants us to be at the throne of Grace before Satan gets there, confessing our sin and making things right with Him. Μεθοδεία this is the word translated “wiles”… “schemes”. Methodeia (meth-od-i'-ah) Our word Method comes from it; traveling over, that is, travesty, (trickery): - wile, lie in wait, this is the method of Satan, no surprise there. Following and pursuing of an orderly and technical procedure in the handling of a subject. And the subject is us! Satan is a wily trickster and as methodical as the most extreme scientific process. In other words, there is a method to his madness. He also has a method, and orderly plan for our life.
This is why we need to stay away from liars and cheats and, in essence, the unfaithful (deceiving) person. These people are influenced by Satan to such a degree that their conscience is seared.
I know a reformed pathological liar. This person is the very reason why I hate liars so much and why I have a huge problem trusting people. I want to believe a person, and some might call that gullibility. But there are certain things that a person does when lying that cannot be disguised or hidden. Body language, eye movements, turns of phrases all add up to a person telling the truth or to telling out right, bald-faced lies.
Here is the truth. The former pathological liar could never change himself. He always failed. One day when he hit rock bottom, he looked up. There, and only there, did he find the kind of power that would wipe out all the lies and all the filth. Make no mistake. This man was a believer in Jesus as his savior. He chose to act in such a way that was shameful and deceitful. Sinful actions are choices. The devil does not make you do anything. You choose either the righteous way or the sinful way. God waits on His children to get to the bottom and then asks, "So how are those bad choices working for you? Care to make a change? If you are willing, I will help you."
Do you know why people find it so easy to make the sinful choices?
Absolutely a Christian can choose to do ungodly things. But when he or she listens to the Holy Spirit’s urging to turn from the wicked path, that person will walk in the light again. Remember that the disciples’ feet were dirty. We don’t need a bath, but our feet need washing daily.
I’ve read the back of the book. It is quite revealing and especially encouraging to those who love the Lord with all their heart, mind, and soul, and who love others as themselves. But woe to those who practice wickedness. Our days are short, and this makes Satan furious. His schemes and wiles will grow more fervent, therefore we must grow more watchful guarding our children and ourselves against the wickedness he sows.
(*Text by Reginald Heber, Based on Sanctus Revelation 4:1–11, Melody "Nicaea" by John Bacchus Dykes, Composed 1861 -- some paraphrase by me.)
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She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.
If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection
Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and eBookChristian.com
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