October 11

Psalms 46:4-5, 10 (NIV) 4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

10"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

Jerusalem is the city of God. It was the place God chose to dwell. His manifest presence was in the Temple behind the veil. Jerusalem is a shadow of the reality, the true city of peace, the people of God. He dwells in the hearts of His people, behind the veil of their physical bodies.

In Jerusalem there is no river. There is a valley where the Kidron flows when there are rains. The water for the physical city comes from an ancient well and from rain collected in cisterns. But in the real city of God there is a river. It springs up from the source. Isaiah foretold of this watering that would come from God and turn into an overflowing spring (Isaiah 58:11). He also foretold that when God's people listen to the Word, their peace would be like a river (Isaiah 48:18). Jesus stood in the Temple during a feast and invited all who were thirsty to come and drink from Him and experience streams of living water flowing from within them (John 7:37-38).

The city with such an abundant source of water is safe against the siege of the enemy. It will not fall. We will find God to be our help when the enemy attacks. And where do we find this water that makes us glad? Where is this Living Water to be obtained? "Be still, and know that I am God." Wait in His presence to hear the words of Life that He would speak to you. When you do, drink deeply, and accept the peace and comfort that they bring. Know He is God over all, and that nothing escapes from His sight.

Remember: Our conditions and our hearts are completely visible to Him. He will deal with the enemy in His perfect time, at the break of day. Be still, and know that He is God!

October 11

Philippians 3:8-10 (NIV) 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

Paul had a lot of worldly things to boast about. His education was among the best. His discipline and pedigree were impeccable, but he considered it all to be garbage. He had learned that the things man is in awe of had only led him to deception. But he went on to say that he considered everything a loss when compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ. He didn't just say it but actually experienced the loss of all things in pursuit of knowing Christ more intimately.

Every work, every diploma, every genealogy, everything, he considered garbage! All he desired was to be found in Christ. In Him, there is a righteousness that is unattainable by any other man. Can you hear the passion in Paul's writing to be right with God? He finally found the way to the righteousness he sought. It was to be in the One who declared Himself to be the Way.

Verse ten is a description of that passion. Read it again and again, and ask yourself if you have found that passion. It is a passion that is only derived from the Holy Spirit at work in us. It can't come from any effort of man, or any instruction, or discipline. It is a work of grace in a heart that has been plowed deep.

Consider: Can you say with Paul and all the saints that have laid down their rights to be found in Christ, "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death..."? If not, ask for God to work that desire into your heart. Ask that your heart be deeply plowed and all other desires to fall away. God will answer.