Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Those Who Have Gone Before

First, is anyone reading this blog? If so, would you be so kind as to email me at tomwymore@gmail.com and let me know? I have other things to do and will post less frequently if no one is benefiting! Thanks.

In last week's post, I promised that I would break away from my current topic and post some thoughts from one of my mentors, Smith Wigglesworth. Smith Wigglesworth is one of those who like Abel, "though he is dead, still speaks" (Hebrews 11:4). Smith died in 1947, but his life and words still influence those of burning heart who know that what God is up to these days includes learning to "do what Jesus did" in terms of the supernatural. Smith Wigglesworth saw thousands of people healed and delivered from demons during his years on the earth (and even a few dead folks raised). But what attracts me to him most is that he walked in humility to the end of his days and ministered to people out of deep compassion as well as power.
It is reported that Smith Wigglesworth lived the last 30 years of his life almost continually in God's presence. Following are some quotes by him from a now out-of-print book that give us some clues as to how this was possible. (The book is entitled Smith Wigglesworth Speaks to Students of the Bible). I will let his words speak for themselves.

Regarding discerning God's voice:
So these voices, if they have taking you out of peace, you will know it is not the will of God. But if the Spirit speaks, He will bring harmony and joy, because the Spirit always brings three things: comfort, consolation and edification; and He will make you sing songs in the night... if you are wild, that is the devil. If you go breathlessly to the Bible, looking for confirmation of the voice, that is the devil. (Page 131)
When you were so undone that unless God helped you do it, you couldn't do it, when you were so broken in the spirit that your whole body seemed to be at an end unless God reinstated you… then the unction came... Jesus was so manifested that they all said "Oh, wasn't Jesus speaking to our hearts this morning!" (Page 102)
Most people fail to come into a perfect line with God because they allow their own reasoning to defeat the power that God has. (Page 88)It is the easiest thing to get the mind of the Lord when your whole heart is only desiring the will of the Lord. (page 11)
The difference is joy, gladness, expression; instead of sadness, sorrow and depression. You are always right to try to spirits to see whether they are of God. If you do not, then you will be sure to be caught napping. (page 128)
If ever you know anything about God, it will be peace... God showed me a long time ago... but if I was disturbed in my spirit and was at unrest, I had missed the plan. (Page 129)
Regarding the type of commitment required to move in true spiritual power:
Once I thought I'd possessed the Holy Ghost, but I have come to the conclusion that he has to be entirely the possessor of me. (Page 43)
The Holy Spirit is shown to me that all the time he is helping me I have got to be nothing (page 76).
Regarding humility:
People are failing God all the time all over the world because they are eloquent and taken up with the eloquence, and God is not in it. (Page 102)
It is satanic to feel that you are different from anybody else, that God has a special message for you, and that you are someone very particular. Every place that God brings you to is a rising tide of humility, brokenness of heart, fullness of surrender, where only God can rule and authority-not when you are somebody, but where God is everything, and where you will be living for the exhibition of his glory. (Page 134)
Regarding living in a place of peace and power:
If you are not at peace something is wrong. If you are not at rest, something has taken place. God means you to be so at peace as if you were in heaven. (Page 88)
There you have it. I wanted to share these because this particular book is hard to find--this kind of man of God is hard to find!
Grace to you,

Tom, one of Abba's children

Monday, March 19, 2007

Be Like Jesus (part 3)

         Here is yet another thought on what it means to be like Jesus. To be like Jesus means to live in absolute dependence upon God, in absolute surrender to His will and purposes. I have hinted at this in my other posts, but I want to flesh it out a bit more.
     Jesus specifically stated that He did nothing apart from His Father. In John 5:30 He says, "By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me." (We have also looked at John 5:19 in earlier posts, which says something similar).
     Because of His dependence upon the Father, Jesus had very few decisions to make--He lived a truly simple life! His decisions were simply to listen to the Father and to do what He said, trusting in the Father's love, leadership and power.      Since Jesus taught that His followers were also to live in absolute dependence upon Him (John 15:4-5), our lives can also become remarkably simple. If we choose to be like Jesus, we find ourselves simply deciding to do whatever it takes to increase our ability to hear His voice and then deciding to obey what we hear, trusting in His love, leadership and power.
     Hmmm, I wonder how many believers (leaders or otherwise) can say that they truly live like that? We are good at quoting John 15:5 and Proverbs 3:5-6, but can we really say that we live a life that continually listens to, obeys and relies upon Him?
     I wonder what that would look like? I am fully committed to discovering the answer to this question, but if you join me in this, be forewarned! The little piece of the journey that I have taken so far has completely disrupted my previously comfortable world--so get ready for the "ride of your life"!
     Next time, I will post some wise words from someone who got remarkably close to living this out: Smith Wigglesworth.

Until then, may you stay lost in His love,

Tom, the least of Abba's children

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Be Like Jesus (part 2)

     Let's talk a little more about what it means to "be like Jesus." 
     When my younger son, Joshua, reached about 10 years of age, he became remarkably obedient to his mother and me. Both of my sons were very well-behaved throughout their growing up years, but this change in Josh was so dramatic that it was very noticeable. What happened to create Josh's movement towards even better behavior? We didn't find out until years later when we heard Josh giving his testimony. It was then that we heard his remarkable explanation. Josh said that when he reached about 10 years of age he decided that he loved his mommy and daddy so much that he didn't want to hurt us by ever disobeying us!
     The first time I heard Josh say this, I almost fell off my chair! What he said was every parent's dream: his following us came from love, not fear of consequences. But what does this have to do with learning to be like Jesus? Everything!

     You see, from a lifetime of being loved by His Father, Jesus perfectly obeyed His Father because of His love for Him. He says this in a number of places, but perhaps one of the clearest is found in John 14:31 "the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me." (NIV84).
     That Jesus expected His followers to live with the same kind of love-prompted obedience to His Abba is clear from John 14:15. There Jesus says, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." (HCSB). It's important to remember as we read these words that they were given in the context of the disciples having been deeply, deeply loved by Jesus for over three years. So, in a sense, He is saying, "I have shown you how truly loved you are, and you have responded with love for me. Now let that love for me motivate your obedience to me."
     Jesus talks again about love and obedience 
in John 15:9-10 (HCSB): "As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in His love." Is Jesus saying here that He and/or the Father will stop loving the disciples if they don't keep His commandments? Not at all, but He is suggesting that love motivates obedience and keeps us "within the range" of God's blessings that flow because of His love for us.

     I hope this is finding root in your heart. God wants to pour out His love so powerfully and continually upon us that we will joyfully respond to Him with loving obedience, just like my son, Josh, did when he was a child. You see, Josh didn't make that rather incredible decision in a vacuum. He knew that he was deeply loved, treasured, respected, cared for, etc. Without sounding like I am tooting my own horn (only by God's grace did I learn to be a good daddy!), let me share some words from a poem Josh gave to me one Christmas a few years ago: "They were happy, well behaved children who obeyed willingly one whom they knew could be trusted, one whom they did not fear... These two boys somehow knew that their father delighted in them and that he always had their best interest in mind."
     How about you? Do you know that Abba, Father, loves you, delights in you and always has your best interest in mind? Does your obedience flow from your heart freely because you know that you are loved, or are you still trying to obey to earn His love? You cannot be like Jesus until you get this right! If we are to be like Jesus, it means that we press into His love more and more so that we never, ever doubt it! When we live in His love, experiencing it ever more deeply in innumerable ways, we will obey freely and fully, just like Jesus.

     Learning to be loved so that in love I will freely obey and become more and more like Jesus.

Tom, one of Abba's children