How shall the Rich enter in?
By Paul Ravenhill
TThis is our entire problem... the kingdom is of the Poor!
The rich is he who has... and in God's world, he who has possessions (or thinks he has possessions) of his own, is automatically and totally excluded from participating in the things which God bestows.
The poor is he who has not... and it is to these that God gives. These are the ones into whose empty cups God pours the things of his kingdom.
It's not just about wealth of monetary possessions.
A poor student is one who lacks learning.
A poor musician is one who lacks talent.
And the rich person is the one who possesses his resources in any field, be it learning, music, sports, money, or anything else.
"How hardly shall the rich..."
We live in a day so full of emphasis on our resources.
We live in a day when from childhood people are taught their 'worth.'
But we live also in a day in tremendous spiritual poverty.
Here, in the spiritual realm, we lack -- in knowledge, in strength, in revelation, in faith, in love, in grace.
Just as the Pharisees who thought they saw and were blind, so we think
we possess - and we have not.
Just as the Laodicean Church we measure ourselves by our own
parameters and see not our true condition.
More and more in these days I am conscious of the immensity of the realm of God, and how abysmally little any of us know of this.
What is our awareness of the reality of that Living Kingdom which fills and maintains all things?
Someone said to me many years ago, "Prayer is measured not by its length but by its intensity." I've never forgotten a young lady in Paraguay, praying for that nation and saying, "Lord let me cry; let me cry as one cries for his only son." May God give us to find that strong desire which causes all else to bow before it and which brings us to the place where our prayers are heard and answered.
People speak of the importance of having a dream - I don't think so... a dream usually comes from within; 'old men shall dream dreams', and is as good or bad as the life from which it springs, the soil in which it is planted.
But a vision is from without,
beyond our world,
beyond our experience,
beyond our learning.
It is a revelation imparted from the world of God, beyond the knowledge and teaching of men. If God cannot give us vision, if we are left with only our man-made dreams - we perish.
I wrote at the beginning of this year of Israel led by a prophet - one's whose eyes had been opened.
I believe today more than ever that what we need as the people of God is to have our spiritual eyes opened - to see the things which HE has prepared and the paths which HE sets before us.
"Thy kingdom come"...
There is no point in praying it unless we know what it is about.
And there is no way to know what it is about unless it is by revelation.
And there is no way to find the revelation except by seeking.
Julian of Norwich said something to the effect that
God causes us to desire a thing,
And to seek a thing,
Because He desires us to have that thing.
He is Light and He desires that we desire and seek Light...until He can flood our souls with that Light.
This is not just Light in the sense inner assurance, but Light to illuminate every area of this dark world around us.
Light that shines in a dark place.
Light for each day - and every way.
Light that will not cease to shine until we come to that Place where there is no darkness.
He desires for us a transformed life. A life where we are no longer full of ourselves and our supposed resources but emptied that He may fill us with Himself.
May He grant us the drawing power of His Light and the fear of darkness that will bring us to the Light of His Presence.
Copyright © Paul Ravenhill 1999 - http://www.ravenhill.org/