IWG JOURNAL JULY 2013
WRITTEN BY LINDA SCHREURS
Linda with her mom, Dellrose
In this issue:
- Whatever Happened to Purity?
- Surviving Hard Times, by guest columnist, Martie Cornell
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO PURITY?
I may be presuming wrongly, but most likely there are only Christians reading this IWG Journal. Nevertheless, my hope and prayer is that the message written in these Journals each month would go far and wide for the ‘building up’ of those who take in its encouraging insights and revelations. So I ask the above question first to believers and then of course to non-believers. If anyone engages in reading the pages of the Bible, one soon learns that God admonishes us to be holy as He is holy. (Lev. 10:10; 11:44, 45; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Pet. 1:16 and in many, many places in scripture). It’s not something that comes easily for any one of us. We’re all made of weak flesh. Flesh gives birth to flesh, and spirit gives birth to spirit. Flesh will do the ‘fleshy things’ while a truly born again believer who has the Holy Spirit within can rely on His power to live a life of holiness and victory. It can be done!
But don’t be fooled by people who say they are Christians and yet live a compromised lifestyle. I’m saying ‘life style’ not an occasional ‘slip’ as happens to all of us from time to time. The Lord would have us love everyone right where they are, just as He’s done with us! So we need to lovingly pray for them and nurture them toward God’s truth regarding holy living.
Those who are involved in pornography, those who choose to live together without marrying, those involved in ‘alternate lifestyles,’ etc. that are not consistent with God’s Word are living dangerously. Some even study the scriptures, but do not want to abide by it as Jesus admonishes them in John 5:39: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me that you may have life.” He cautions them again in Matthew 7:21-23 that not everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved, “…I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” So let us examine ourselves more closely in light of these weighty issues.
What we need to know is that just calling oneself a believer or a Christian is no guarantee of a heavenly hereafter. Beware. Take caution. We must make careful examination on a regular basis to see if we truly remain in step with the Lord. Have we become lukewarm? Have we neglected prayer, lacking communication with the Lord? Have we begun to compromise His Word? It’s imperative we examine ourselves as 2 Corinthians 13:5 says: “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you fail the test?” (See also 1 Cor. 11:28-32) The question remains, “Have we failed the test of true faith in the Lord Jesus? Are we truly walking in the holiness we’re called to?” That’s a thought to chew on.
Self examination is vital
John 3:5-6 is very clear on this division between our fleshy nature and our godly nature of which we’re called. Jesus shows us this self examination when He says - “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Flesh is self centered and acts out. But if we’re truly abiding in the Holy Spirit we’ll do the good, wholesome, and holy things that lead to life and life more abundantly! (John 10:10)
Unfortunately the directive by God to be holy seems to be dwindling through lukewarm, uncommitted Christians along with society’s acceptance of following the crowd into all kinds of abominations. Being on the fence is indeed a very dangerous place to be because we could lose our blood bought eternal life of heavenly bliss with the King of kings. Revelation 3:16 is powerful. Assess your condition to see if you’re hot or cold in your relationship with Jesus. Read that scripture closely. Ponder it. Drink it in. Embrace it. Being lukewarm means your spiritual life is in critical condition and you need to act NOW before it’s too late.
TV Shows, Movies, etc.
The hour is getting late, my friend. It’s time to adjust our spiritual thermostat to HIGH. Live the ‘high life’ in the MOST HIGH GOD, the Lord Jesus. Live for Him and be touched, renewed, refreshed. Live again! Live in healing, deliverance, restoration, provision, purity, passion and an ever deepening relationship with the Divine Lover of your soul. The rewards are out of this world!
Just when I think I can’t be shocked anymore, I’ll see something while channel surfing for a TV program, or see an ad for a movie, or in a newspaper article, etc. It’s beyond crass and disgusting to see what’s openly and publicly displayed for all the world to see, especially to our youngest and most vulnerable precious children whose lives are being nurtured for evil or for good. We’re in the days of Isaiah 5:20-21 “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!” Those amongst us who give nods of approval for all kinds of sins, especially the blatant ones these days regarding sexuality, had better be careful!
So where’s the holiness? Where’s the fear of the Lord? Where are the models of godly living? Oh to be sure, they’re out there, but it’s growing further and farther away. If ever there was a time for prayer – it is NOW! One of the greatest revivals of world history is about to take place and it will be just as it has happened in many past revivals, coming as a result of persecution. Oh yeah, I want to sign up for that one! But rest assured, just as the church was born in the book of Acts with great distress and persecution, even death - as well as great signs, wonders and miracles, so it shall be at the close of the final age to come. This is detailed for us in the final book of the Bible, Revelation. It’s despair and deep darkness for those not found in Christ, and it’s blissful crowning of glory for those who are. Choose wisely now. Live for Jesus now. Live holy as He is holy and as He’s called you and I to be, not as the world is, but as He is.
History repeats itself
History repeats itself, they say. And it surely does. History reveals that when bad times get worse, it drives many to prayer. Why not make it a priority and not a last resort? Why not turn to your Creator, King and Savior Jesus and turn away from demonic schemes, themes and trickeries of mankind that entice and dice up our lives, chew us up and spit us out like we’re a lukewarm leftover?! We’ve simply got to be hot for God in every area of our lives, just a token time on a Sunday morning isn’t near enough.
Jesus is the WORD. (John 1) So listen to Him. Listen for His Words of life in your life. His Word is all consuming and reigns forevermore. When you begin listening more closely, you see things…you experience His gestures of love…you hear heavenly things like the influx of His awesome voice, His tone, the clarity of it, the holiness of what He speaks...the power, magnificence and glory of it! Then holy reverential fear of God will fall upon you and you’re changed from the inside out. You can never be the same again. “Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men…” (2 Cor. 5:11)
In the ensuing days and months, it’s going to be ‘HOT OR NOT’ according to Revelation 3:16. True followers of Jesus, must and will stand their ground for holiness, purity and righteous living not giving in to worldly, ungodly, unbiblical political agendas. Philippians 2:13-16 is relevant here. “…Prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not toil in vain.”
What does it look like?
So what does being on fire for God look like? It’s certainly more than token prayers or those said in desperation. It’s the constant desire to develop an ever deepening, spiritual intimacy with the Lord. Cost is not optional. They just go for it no matter the price. Philippians 1:20 comes to mind “…that I not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”
The hot for God believer reflects the passion of the Lord’s disciple John, who listened to the very heartbeat of God. (John 13:23) They’re someone who’s driven by holy passion to be in conversation with the Lord, cherishing His Presence above all others. They may enter into times of fasting to concentrate more fully on Him. And they certainly have fallen in love with His Word!
They love with holy, godly love. They forgive. There is a humility and graciousness about them that exudes graceful confidence in knowing who they are. It’s setting oneself apart to be pure even if those around you aren’t. It’s about being loyal and faithful. The committed believer also takes time to ‘dine with the Divine ’in Holy Communion, partaking of the Lamb’s Body and Blood that brings strength of heart beyond human measure. Does this look like you and I?
Our God tells us in Ephesians 4:22-23 (and in so many other places), to be pure and holy before Him “…that in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (My emphasis) Let’s purpose to be as close as Moses was with God when he had to veil his face because of the light of God’s glory. That’s hot!
Could you be that ‘one’?
One man on the mountain prays. Moses. This one, lone man prays while all the masses of people below the mountain made themselves a god - a golden calf to worship. (Exodus 32) As history shows us again and again, the ‘masses’ aren’t always correct. Take our current society on the marriage issue alone. Let’s remind ourselves that it only takes one person to change something gone array. One person like a Rosa Parks, a Martin Luther King, a King David against a giant Goliath, a Billy Graham…just one person can make a difference. Could you be that ‘one’?
But THE ONE MAN, JESUS, THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD, THE WORD MADE FLESH – CHANGED THE WORLD for all those who will come to Him and be holy as He is holy. He came to give light and life to those who would listen, obey, pray, bow, bend, repent, praise and worship the King of kings and Lord of lords. So let’s live holy as He is holy.
Let us not live for our own pleasures, but for that of the Lord’s amazingly holy, unending, powerful, everlasting pleasures as noted in Psalm 16:11, “You will make known to me the path of life; in Your Presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand are pleasures forever.”
SURVIVING HARD TIMES
My mom lost her husband, my dad…the day after Valentine’s Day of this year. I wanted to present this picture of her along with myself in this month’s IWG Journal to honor her because July is her birthday month. It will be extremely hard to celebrate that milestone without my father. Tears of sorrow are mixed with tears of a ‘life well lived’ by both my parents. Together for 67 years, my mother and father gave me treasured life lessons.
So what can we do, and how can we go on throughout each day when great pain and loss have invaded our lives? In light of the mixed emotions of going through hard times and yet knowing the ‘joy of the Lord’ when He’s in our life, I want to re-introduce a guest columnist who was in an earlier IWG issue this year, Martie Cornell. She has kindly given me permission to share an edited e-mail sent to me awhile ago.
Martie has experienced some of life’s hardest trials and yet, continues to inspire everyone around her. Can people say the same for you and I? I pray it to be so! But it’s certainly not easy. So what does one really do when faced with loss, pain and suffering? We must turn to the One who knows suffering beyond human comprehension because He carried ALL OF US, ALL OF OUR SIN, ALL OF OUR SORROWS, ALL OF OUR PAIN to the torturous Cross of Calvary. O what a wonderful Savior is our Lord Jesus! Passing through life’s tribulations in a victorious mode are indeed doable. But it’s not done by our own power. It comes through commitment, passionate pursuit, and total surrender to the Lamb of God, Jesus, who died for us so that we would always know freedom, joy and peace.
Our Guest Columnist is Martie Cornell of Omaha, Nebraska
Bruce and Martie Cornell
Martie was on our IWG Ministry Board for a number of years. From the first moment I saw this dynamic woman of God, I was drawn to her exuberant love for the Lord Jesus. You will love her as well and will be wonderfully encouraged by what she shares in this article. Martie and her husband Bruce, enjoy Christian fellowship at their newfound house church, JOY MINISTRIES, in Plattsmouth, NE (associated with Heidy House of Prayer [HHOP] near Ponca, NE). She was previously involved with AGLOW Ministries, Fort Dodge, IA. Bruce and Martie have been married for 33 years and have 3 adult children.
You have no idea what breakthroughs took place within the past 36 hours. That in itself is why, again, I weep within ... so thankful for God's wondrous ways ... the numerous lessons He's given me within such a short time.
I actually just finished journaling it. Exhausted about an hour ago, I knew I couldn't rest my head on the pillow until writing it down ... it being so pertinent, so pivotal in moving forward. For the time being, let me say in short - as I long to go to bed - the effective prayers of a righteous (wo)man availeth much. (James 5:16) Heaven's gates were shaken, and hell's hoardes were set running.
Getting up this morning, I purposed to remain at His feet until I had rest. Interrupted, I made the mistake of getting up ... and not returning. From there on, all H broke out, ... but God! I stand in further awe as never before at His goodness, His love, His mercies ... grace ... His passion ...His love is truly intoxicating. How wonderful to become addicted to Him! Where there was gross darkness surrounding me within and without today, His love cracked down every wall before day's end.
Something further I'd like to share, Proverbs 13.12(a) ... "hope deferred makes the heart grow sick" ... had come within repeatedly the past few weeks. I could really relate to that as I opened it this morning and made a word study of it. The interruption came just when I was about to dig further into "part b" of the verse ... "but when desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Just at the point when a great longing for Him came, the interruption "arrived.” From that point to the point of today's culmination, again sitting at His feet, He gave me the desire ... causing my spirit to soar once again.
I could never do any justice in expressing my heartfelt thanks to the Lord for this day--the good, the bad, and the ugly, but through it all, He impressed upon me all the more that yesterday's manna isn't enough for today ... to keep the oil burning lest it go out and we be found wanting. Oh, Lord, may it never be! Keep our hearts steadfast on You, our Refuge, our Rock, our Lover ... our Best Friend.
Only the Power of God
And to you, my sister and friend, thank you for your most precious gift of sacrifice and prayer. For His name's sake, breakthrough came ... a true depiction of Jesus telling His disciples to remove Lazarus' grave clothes ... for He arose indeed, conquering the spirit of darkness and death which so vehemently attempted to destroy us. (John 11) Those who’ve caused my many prayers, heard my testimony. They’ve seen the "before and after" involved this day, and I'm certain they cannot deny that only the power of God could bring such feats. For this, too, I'm thankful.
What little I've shared only scratches the surface of all that's transpired. I'm reminded of how the Lord had been impressing upon me that this would be a Memorial Day never to be forgotten. My initial thought was something tragic perhaps happening ... another 911. Inasmuch as I thought it'd be a worldwide event, I can attest to the 911 call of today in my family's life ... it being a most memorable one indeed. There had been prayer last night at church to break generational curses. I knew it was the beginning of restoration, hallelujah! \ 0 /
Hugs to you, my dear friend. I so appreciate you, Linda Jean. And to think that just this week, having heard the name, "Joan of Arc" mentioned, thoughts came to you. In fact, the name was brought up as a friend was praying, and what I perceive to be prophetically spoken, mentioned Joan of Arc. Whatever God has in store, I know it's no small matter. Like John the Baptist said, I am not worthy to untie the Lord’s sandals. (John 1:27) In spite of ourselves, He loves us, laughs at us, laughs with us, mends our broken heart, and shapes us, forms us further into His image when going through the fire. Is it worth it? Every moment of it, yes. If it brings us closer in heart to Him ... to mirror His image, indeed, the answer is a resounding "YES"! To Him be all the glory!
Linda Will Be Speaking At: Grace Bible Fellowship, 1535 -36th Ave., Moline, Ill., July 13th, 8:45 AM.
Women's Hermitage - Sept 26-29. It's a record number going, but there's room for one more! Call ASAP!
Women of Fire Fellowship – Will resume in the fall.
Women of Fire Summer Prayer Meetings – Thursdays at 7 PM at the Schreurs home. To RSVP/get directions email Linda at: LindaSchreurs@intimacy-with-God.com
- Armageddon Bride
- Word’s Aptly Spoken
- Holy Communion! Holy Invasion!
- Linda’s CD: Holy Communion! Holy Invasion! (Spiritually intimate prayers set to music)
All these can be viewed and purchased on the website or ordered directly from the address below.
INTIMACY WITH GOD MINISTRIES
Mike and Linda Schreurs, P.O. Box 1294, Johnston, Ia. 50131-1294, Phone: 515-270-0231. E-mail: LindaSchreurs@intimacy-with-God.com. Website: www.intimacy-with-God.com
*All gifts tax deductible. *Member of Morning Star Fellowship of Ministries, Charlotte, NC