I seem so easily thrilled of late by the revelation that falls so readily from the pages of scripture. How have I missed this Nectar of God for so many years? Actually I have been reading for forty years, yet the mystery of the Word is so fresh and deeply meaningful with each new revelation.
Perhaps this is what preachers mean when they refer to the “Living Word?” Hearing the Word as in listening to a sermon, never is quite like hearing a word in one’s spirit in intimate moments of communion with God.
My annual read through has me in the Book of Daniel, always a renewing window, as there is so much relevance in this book. In Chapter 5, King Belshazzar is lost in his godless mockery of the temple vessels, stolen earlier from Jerusalem.
“Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God which was in Jerusalem; and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. They drank the wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.” Dan. 5:3-4 (KJV).
Unfortunately for the King, he stepped over a line in his drunken stupor, not from alcohol alone, but from a life engorged by pride and power. I must wonder how many of our global leaders today are near that line of demarcation, totally unaware of the fact that there is a God…just as in Daniels’ day, though this leader was only a generation or so away from Nebuchadnezzar’s awesome and mercy filled recovery.
This book so reveals the depth of sin that silly men fall into when their religion, or any other system, leads them down a course that affords a place of drunken power. BTW, Christianity was never intended as a religion but a way out of religion!
This leads me to my second point as I examine my own sinfulness. That is, my own falling short of the Law of Christ; that phrase itself, quite peculiar. Christ came to destroy the Law, a system that Paul describes in the Book of Galatians as a means only to frustrate men to grace. Grace being defined as reliance upon the Spirit alone and the righteousness of Christ, a gift of love from the God of love.
So how do we know we are living within that law? We manifest the fruit of the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace (inward), longsuffering, gentleness, goodness (manward), faith, meekness, temperance (Godward): against such there is no law.”Gal.5:22-23 (KJV). Parenthesis my own.
So, what has me so worked up this morning that I would take the time to process “out loud?” The next three verses:
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Gal. 5:24-26 (KJV).
As I reexamine my own life, I realize how easy it is to allow oneself to become caught up in the early stages of what, if neglected, can allow a legacy of faith in Christ to be squandered; then propagating a generation that acts no differently than King Belshazzar.
Yet, daily addressing these weaknesses by the Spirit (note I didn’t say trying harder, that’s the old Law of Moses) can lead to a generation of Daniels, and that my friend is the true test of legacy.
In the Queens words:
“There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him.” Dan. 5:11a (KJV).