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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shadow

Psalm 23:3
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.


For those who walk with Jesus, death is but a shadow of reality. It is real as far as a shadow is real. We can see it and it moves and seems to cover light; but it is not the true reality for the Christian. The true reality for the Christian is eternal life. Real life and real death are spiritual. What happens in this visible, touchable life in this present world is only a shadow.

In Ephesians chapter 6 we are told that our war is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces. Many places in Scripture tell us to look to the spiritual reality and give no credence to the physical life. Our flesh and bodies are of no account. We are to look, by faith, to the unseen. The life we have here that seems so real is a shadow. The reality is in the spiritual realm. The Spirit of God, the Devil, Holy angels, demons: this is the reality that is taking place. The unfolding of God’s miraculous glorifying of himself in Jesus is taking place – ongoing – in this spiritual, unseen world. We see shadows of it here on earth. Satan toys with us and teases and tempts us with the shadow existence that he rules for this time. He is quite aware of our inability to see things clearly and our unwillingness to believe what is actually there without seeing it. This is why we are to live by faith and not by sight.

Within this real realm of life and death – the spiritual, there is one truth; Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself is the Truth. Jesus is the creator and sustainer of all things. That which remains and endures and proves true is truth. All that is outside of Christ is a lie. So we have a false reality – life in this world, a reality that is a lie – spiritual outside Christ, which will not remain, and reality that is Truth – Jesus Christ and all that is within Him. 2 + 2 =4. Those are real numbers and it is a truth. It will not change but will remain true forever. It cannot be altered and remain true. This is reality that is truth. 2 + 2 = 6. Here we have real numbers and an actual equation but it is a lie. It will never be true and will not stand or be of any use. # + $ = ?. This is a semblance of an equation. There are no real numbers; all can be filled in to mean anything. It is not true and not directly a lie; it is a shadow of a real equation. This is the world we live in.

Living in this unreal world makes us just a little vulnerable. If we will dwell in Jesus, we can live out our earthly life in God’s shadow (psalm 91). For those who live by faith, God is ever near. It may seem at times like our prayers have to go very far to reach His ears but He is quite close. We may call out to Him to come and be with us and help us to pray. He is there – it is us who must come. We must come out of the shadow – inwardly and into His forgiving and giving light so that we can pray and seek His favor and guidance to bring and be blessings for others.

The shadows cling and pull and make webs in our minds. The less frequently we pray; the more intense they seem. We must practice our faith close to the throne of God and continually step out from the shadows into His light so that we can discern His will and hear His voice. There are times when it seems just so hard to get free of the distractions of the dark world we live in. Fighting our own way is like fighting through fishing line. Jesus, our Savior, tells us to rest, to trust, to listen and to obey.

Rest on Jesus. Rest in the love of the one who cares for you. Trust in God’s love and power for others; they are His interest. Listen – be still, stop flailing and hear the heart of God. He is right there. Obey – do not turn from what is right because of difficulty. This life is a shadow but we who are Christ’s are spiritual so our prayers are real. We are carried to the Throne of God in the arms of Jesus. He will rescue us from the shadows that can only threaten and taunt.

I come to you Father, in the arms of Jesus
Thank you for having me.

Out of the shadows and into your light – I come in the arms of Jesus.

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About Me

I met Jesus in March 1997 and soon after I began the practice of writing things down that were happening in my life with the Lord. Over the years, in the rare times that I have looked back into older journals, I have found that the things the Lord was showing me then are the same things He is showing me now. This does not make them less helpful, on the contrary, it makes them more helpful. God is exactly who He says He is and is doing all that He said He would. We need to be reminded of God and His faithfulness. The intention of this blog is to encourage God's people to continue and to grow in their confidence in Jesus Christ. The things posted here are from my journal and are meant to be an example of God's love and help as He loves and helps me. I would expect that you would have reason to trust Jesus Christ with your life (and death) if you haven't heard about Him so I invite you to go to my page "About Jesus" to see why you can and should have every confidence in Jesus and Jesus only for all things.