Advocates for Bill and Terri ~ A Spiritual Exercise

This follow-up to a previous post, Words of Life ~ ADVOCATE, is a means to share how the Lord has been working in my heart the last few days, and to ask you to join me for a life-changing experience.

The Lord brought Bill and Terri into my life several months ago. Bill lives in the southwestern part of the USA and Terri in the eastern region. They have become advocates for each other.

As they have shared how God is working in their lives, I have become an advocate for them before the throne of grace.

If you know Bill and Terri, you can skip this part and go to the exercise. But it may be a good thing to review who and where they are.

Bill and Terri each live in a physical state of paralysis. Their conditions are similar but different in how they operate in that state. They are mindful of their circumstances and have learned to function and communicate with others in a gift of clarity most of us do not have. They are each a special gift to us who know them.

Bill
Bill, diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) over twenty years ago, has been preserved long past the average two-to-five year expectancy. The Lord has done a miraculous work in Bill for a witness of the Unshakable Hope he has in Christ. With Mary, his wife and principal advocate, Bill lives at home, functioning with modern equipment that moves him from and into his bed and chair. He writes with his eyes with a computer designed for this purpose. For his blog and book project, Bill is filled with the Spirit of God, influencing and encouraging people throughout the world to know and trust their lives to Christ. His hope is not in himself or anything of this world but only in the promises of eternity when he will have full use of his body and faculties to praise and serve the Lord.

Even though ALS has drastically changed my life and that of my wife and our two daughters, I don’t believe anyone should allow a disease or any life-challenge to define who we are.

To do so is to give that challenge more credit than it deserves and is the first step on a dead-end road of hopelessness.

This trial has taught us that the only way to experience genuine and consistent hope, peace, and joy in the middle of a trial is to view our lives and situations through God’s eyes. For me, learning this was a long and difficult process—but a rewarding one; an ongoing process that will continue until the day I go to be with the Lord.

Terri
Terri, from a fall in her kitchen, has been a quadriplegic since 2013, She is single and dependent on medical staff in a nursing facility. She, too, is a witness for Christ, and attends her church for worship. Terri has siblings and church family who are advocates in the capacity of which they are able. She uses some of the same equipment as Bill and by her voice, communicates through her computer. In these six years, dealing with other medical issues, she has spent time in ICU and been moved to other facilities which upset any rhythm in her life, causing depression and anxiety. From one of her blog posts, I quote the following.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5

No matter how frustrated, disgusted, or depressed, I get about being a quadriplegic, I know I’m where I am meant to be. I don’t have to understand why this happened. I only need to acknowledge that God is sovereign, loving, and good. And he doesn’t make mistakes.

Bill and Terri’s readers continue to encourage and support them. The greatest encouragement comes from Bill and Terri to us when we read what the Lord is doing in them.

A SPIRITUAL EXERCISE AS AN ADVOCATE

We cannot, as advocates for Bill and Terri, appeal with the strength of the medical equipment they need. Those things are already provided for them. The idea and the means for advocacy on their part is for the spiritual strength and grace they need to endure and triumph as witnesses for Christ as they are bound, imprisoned in their bodies.

They are teaching us what the world is like ~ paralyzed ~ and in need of a heavenly outpouring of the Spirit to move in His people.

Here is where we can be a part of an awakening in the body of Christ.

For the last few days, the Lord has uniquely led me to pray and intercede. At first, the thought was only for Bill and Terri. Then the blessings came for me, my family, my church, and the whole church worldwide.

Three things will come as a result of this exercise.

1. Bill and Terri will be strengthened in their witness of Christ.
2. We and other Christians will be strengthened in our witness for Christ.
3. God, our Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ will be glorified.

This exercise began when I awoke. I lay still as if paralyzed like Bill and Terri. Quietly I waited, arms at my sides, imagining their immovability; then, remembering Psalm 46:10 ~

Be still, and know that I am God,

I again waited ~ motionless.

Stillness is not easy in a world that is spiritually paralyzed. The body does not want this stillness and will not succumb to it except by His Spirit.

“I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

This exercise is an excellent means to realize that every breath is by His Spirit and through Christ alone.

The Spirit then moved me to the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Our whole of living moment by moment, day by day, is for this purpose. He wants us to know Him as our Father. Through us, He is exalted, honored, and His name hallowed in this world.

This prayer and this thought of His overall sovereignty and exaltation led me to ask for an outpouring of His Holy Spirit from His throne of grace to fill me and enable me to pray in the Spirit for power as an advocate for Bill and Terri.

From the Holy Spirit’s leading, then came the request for the Spirit’s filling for them. I prayed for the continual work in their lives to overcome in the battle against weariness, discouragement, uncertainty, depression, and anxiety. Among other requests, I prayed for the Lord’s filling and leading for Bill to finish his book.

There was a third request for the filling of the Spirit for His people everywhere. (You need facial tissue for this exercise.)

I went to the next petition, which the paralyzed body of Christ needs ~ asking for His kingdom to come in power by His Spirit, and His will to be done in the hearts and lives of His people everywhere.

“God hath made with me an everlasting covenant |
ordered in all things and sure,
this is all my salvation and all my desire.”
2 Samuel 23:5

Even as with David, this everlasting covenant revealed and fulfilled in Jesus Christ, is God’s means to establish His kingdom’s rule here on earth and His will to be operative in the hearts and lives of His people.

It is by His divine power that we destroy strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bring every thought captive in obedience to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Before getting up to start my day, I finished petitions for which I usually ask. I asked for the Spirit to raise me and His people everywhere for the work He has for us to do ~ to be the moving witnesses Bill and Terri encourage us to be.

These are only the beginnings of what I have experienced in this new intercession.

During the day, this exercise can be done anywhere and anytime you can lie down, or even sit quietly and still ~ as you desire the Holy Spirit’s filling and moving in your heart and spirit for you, Bill, Terri, all who are ill or physically handicapped, and especially for the moving of God’s Spirit.

Teach your children and do this as a family exercise. Let this exercise displace some of the time you usually spend with your devices. Set your timers and stop and pray throughout the day.

If possible and you feel led, continue this exercise for a week. We may post some of the responses and address any concerns next week.

Advocates for Bill and Terri could become a movement in this world to bring an awareness of the need for God’s Spirit for all people. Let us share this need and call others to join this exercise of intercession for His glory.

Since getting to know Bill, and Terri, through her blog, emails, and my phone conversation with her, Jerry appreciates his wheelchair, and the use of his one leg though he has not been able to walk for over two years. It is amazing how your life can change when you are aware of the more significant needs of others.

Please share this with your Christian friends even as you become an advocate for Christ’s sake.

Gracious Father in heaven, Whom have we in heaven but thee and there is none on earth we desire beside thee. Draw your people to this intercession with understanding and the Spirit. Fill us and enable us to pray in the power and intercession of the Holy Spirit and Christ, our High Priest, who sits at your right hand calling us to Him, for thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Jesus’ Feet

After our pastor’s recent sermon from Luke 7:38, my heart was led to think of what it means to be “at Jesus’ feet.”

 “Behold, a woman in the city, who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat dining in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” Luke 7:38.”

“Gracious tears are wept at Jesus’ feet. Oh, if you would have your heart broken until the rock shall gush with rivers of repentance, stand at Jesus’ feet. Stand there now. If you would have a tender heart, think of the Beloved who died for you! Think of how those feet were pierced. This woman could not see that, for it was not then done; but you can see it, and note where the nail has bored each blessed foot.” At His Feet Charles Spurgeon

The first reference of Jesus’ feet is in Matthew 15:30

In recognition of Jesus’ power to heal, “great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them:”

There were those who fell at Jesus’ feet to worship Him, and those who sat at His feet.

We come to His feet to pray for loved ones, knowing by experience He is the only one who can save.

Jairus, a rule of the synagogue, whose daughter was ill, ”fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house:” Luke 8:41

In  Mark 7:25 “a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:

We find in Luke 8:35 the story of the man who had a legion of demons in him who used to cut himself, and who lived among the tombs.

“They went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the demons were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus.”

At Jesus’ feet” is the fitting place for a willing learner.

“She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word”; Luke 10:39

In the healing of the ten lepers, only one returned to thank Jesus and acknowledge His healing.

“And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.” Luke 17:16

It is at Jesus’ feet that we recognize our place before Him and honor and acknowledge His power and authority over all things.

Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” John 11:32

After His resurrection “when they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.” Matthew 28:9

When we fall before Him, it is His feet we see and touch. We come to Him in gratitude for His condescension to us, for He walked this dusty earth to proclaim the kingdom of God, our Father; then climbed that hill to Golgatha to have those precious feet pierced for our sake.

His disciples tarried in obedience to the Master and were blessed to see those glorious feet as He ascended back to the Father to rule in power and as our High Priest to intercede for us.

“For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”
1 Corinthians 15:25

“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,” Ephesians 1:22

We live under His authority, no longer enemies but friends and family ~ His church. We will not come under His feet in the wrath of God, but we will rule with Him at His feet, forevermore. We bow before Him now or will be brought under His feet in condemnation forever.

When He Reigns
“I think I see the angels and the blood-bought ones beginning one of their celestial chorales. Hear them as they begin the rapturous strain! Their notes how sweet, how seraphic, as they praise the eternal Father and the glorious Lamb of God and worship!

“We hear the song. How it swells! Listen to the soft touches of the harpists playing on their harps! Do you see how the singers and the players of instruments seem caught up in the ecstasy? But notice! as the song rises they begin to bow. As it rises higher they bow lower, and lower, and lower.

Listen!

“The enthusiastic fervour of their love has made them lift their loudest hallelujah; and lo ~ they cast their crowns at his sacred feet. The whole company are still lifting up the song to its utmost glory, but immediately they fall on their faces, prostrate before the throne. “At his feet” is their loftiest position. Let us imitate them, and making the worship more ecstatic than before, bow before him.

Lo, at his feet, with awful joy,
The adoring armies fall!
With joy they shrink to nothing there,
Before the eternal All.

“So let us praise him for all that he has done for us; and, as we praise him, let us sink lower, and lower, and lower, until in ourselves we are nothing and only Christ lives in us. Let no thought of self, nor wish for self, nor dream of self, intrude, but let Jesus be all in all.

“At his feet,” there our heaven shall be found. When our soul is deepest bathed in grateful praise we shall fall down on our faces and worship the Lamb. May the Lord bless you, and keep you at his feet for ever. Amen. At Jesus’ Feet Charles Spurgeon

 “And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever andever.” Revelation 514; Revelation 19:4

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Divine Power to Know, Be, and Do

“Ignorance is bliss” — perhaps this is true for children of the world, but not for the children of God. Our Heavenly Father desires children, and sires us into His kingdom by the divine power of His Spirit. By the same power, He continues to show us, teach us, and lead us in the truth of His Word and will, as He is preparing us for eternity with Him ~ by His grace, for His glory and our joy.

 According as his divine power hath given unto us
all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him
that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:
that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2 Peter 1:3-4

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us,
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus
throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20

Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: 
for thou art the God of my salvation; 
on thee do I wait all the day.
Psalm 25:4-5

 

The Means for Humility (pg.8)

“Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility,
meekness, longsuffering, forebearing one another,
and forgiving one another, even as Christ forgave you.”
Colossians 3:12-13  

 “Yea, all of you be subject one to another,
and be clothed with humility:
for God resisteth the proud,
and giveth grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:5

“There is a call to all earnest Christians to prove that meekness and lowliness of heart are the chief marks by which they follow the meek and humble Lamb of God.”

Humility and Death to Self
What if, in a life-threatening position, you have the opportunity to live, but you cannot let go of something you are holding.

Think of life that is promised if we not only let go of things that we hold dear, but to give up our own life. True humility leads us to die to self. The result is the humble life that is ours in Christ; now and for eternity.

“Whosoever will lose his life
 for my sake shall find it.”
Matthew 16:25

Revelation, Desire, Prayer, Reality
In Paul’s letters to the Romans and the Galatians, he teaches us that the flesh and the Spirit are at war against each other. Hope (another gift) keeps us in prayer and more watchful against the wiles of the devil. He wants us dead, but not to self.

These truths are revealed to us by the Spirit, regenerating us with a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26) so that we, seeing our ignorance and pride, come to repentance and faith — our first step toward growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. One step leads to another as we desire this humility, pray for it, and by His working, humble ourselves, deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him.

God Uses All Things to Humble Us
Every time I read Murray’s Humility, I come away with his impressive statement concerning God’s means for our humility. It is similar to Romans 8:28-29. It has made a difference in my life to see God’s sovereignty working through everything to conform me to the image of Christ..

“Accept every humiliation, look upon every fellow-man who tries or vexes you, as a means of grace to humble you. Use every opportunity of humbling yourself before your fellow-man as a help to remain humble before God. It is by the mighty strengthening of His Holy Spirit that God reveals Christ fully in you.”

 “But if we hope for that we see not,
then do we with patience wait for it.”
Romans 8:25

Murray ended his book with a suggestion for a personal daily prayer.

“Of your great goodness make known to me and take from my heart every kind and form and degree of pride; and awaken in me the deepest depth and truth of that humility which can make me capable of your light and your Holy Spirit.”   

Dear Father, all you expect from us is supernatural and beyond our doing, but you put the desire in our hearts and promise us that you are exceedingly abundantly able to do more than we can ask or imagine, by the power of your Spirit working in us. Thank you for coming down to us that you might bring us to yourself — that by your divine power, we may live a life of humility before you and men. In Jesus’ name I thank you and praise you. Amen.

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When we reach the depths of humility then are we lifted to the heights of Christ’s glory.” Andrew Murray Humility ~ the Beauty of Holiness

~ Fran

free ebook Humility~the Beauty of Holiness Andrew Murray (free audio)
A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility (free copy upon request)

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The Life and Power of Humility (pg. 7)

“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”
1 Corinthians 4:20

Jesus, on this day of the week, was raised in the power of the life He would give to those who follow Him. The Holy Spirit is still able to work the life of humility in us,

God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this;
that power belongs to God.”
Psalm 62:11

Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: Jeremiah 32:17

“The life of God, which in the incarnation entered human nature, is the root in which we are to stand and grow.  It is the same almighty power that worked there, and from then on to the resurrection, which works daily in us.  Our one need (now) is to study and know and trust the life that has been revealed in Christ as the life that is now ours.”

“According as his divine power hath given unto us
all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him
that hath called us to glory and virtue:”
2 Peter 1:3

But as many as received him, to them gave he power
to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name:”
John 1:12

The power needed to become the sons of God is the same power needed for humility.

The life God bestows is imparted not once and for all, but each moment continuously, by the unceasing operation of His mighty power.” Humility Andrew Murray

“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power
to us who believe,
according to the working of his mighty power,”
Ephesians 1:19

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us,”
Ephesians 3:20

Gracious Father in heaven, let this be our praise to you for the life of Christ that you promise your children. What you require of us, you have the power to do in us. Pour out your Spirit of humility upon us and make us to know your continual presence with us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

free ebook Humility~the Beauty of Holiness Andrew Murray (free audio)
A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility (free copy upon request)

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Humility- the Cardinal Virtue (pg. 6)

And whosoever of you will be the chiefest,
shall be servant of all.”
Mark 10:44

When we see that humility is something infinitely deeper than contrition, and accept it as our participation in the life of Jesus, we will begin to learn that it is our true nobility. We will begin to understand that (even as Jesus was a servantbeing servants of all is the highest fulfillment of our destiny, as men created in the image of God.”

“The humble man seeks at all times to act on the rule, ‘In honor preferring one another (Romans 12:10), serve one another (Galatians 5:13), each esteeming others better than himself (Philippians 2:3-4), submitting yourselves one to another’.” (Ephesians 5:21).

“Humility should be sought after as the distinguishing feature of the discipleship of Jesus.”

 “A disciple is not above his teacher,
nor a servant above his master.”
Matthew 10:24

“Humility should be esteemed as the cardinal virtue; the only root from which the graces grow; and the one indispensable condition of fellowship with Jesus.”  Humility Andrew Murray

Dear Father, our greatest need is to have the nature and disposition of Christ, the power of His love and humility poured out from heaven into vessels that you have chosen for your honor and service. We desire this sweet and lowly gentleness that is the mark of the Lamb. Enable us to relinquish all to you for the work and power of your Holy Spirit in us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

free ebook Humility~the Beauty of Holiness Andrew Murray (free audio)
A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility (free copy upon request)

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The Nature of Humility (pg. 5)

“When pride cometh, then cometh shame:
but with the lowly is wisdom.
Proverbs 11:2

“Pride is ours, from Adam, and rules in us with such terrible power, because it is ourself — our very nature. Humility (from Christ) must be ours in the same way; it must be our very self, our very nature.   As natural and easy as it has been to be proud, it must –it will be — to be humble. The promise is, “Where,” even in the heart, “sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20)

 A man’s pride shall bring him low:
but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
Proverbs 29:23

“Nothing can avail but that the new nature, in its divine humility, will be revealed in power to take the place of the old. It will become as truly our very nature as the old ever was.

“We have our life from and in Christ, as truly, even more truly, than from and in Adam.” Humility Andrew Murray


There is as much difference in pride and humility as in night and day, light and darkness — good and evil. Jesus came to make the difference in His people. The Holy Spirit is doing His work in us now in preparation for eternity with Him. There will be no pride in heaven and without it we will never get there.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name as your kingdom has come and your will is being done in the hearts and lives of your children. Let the world see what Christ does in us. Continue to grow us in the new nature that is ours in Him — for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

free ebook Humility~the Beauty of Holiness Andrew Murray (free audio)
A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility (free copy upon request)

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