Pause and think about it!

Archive for October, 2014

My Testimony, by Yvonne

I was blessed to grow up in a home with parents who taught me about John 3:16—how God loved me so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to be my Savior. From the time I can remember, it was my desire to be accepted and loved by Him. Even though I was told that God’s love for me was not dependent upon what I did or didn’t do, I still stumbled through times of darkness and feeling separated from Him.

Often at night, I would be gripped with fear that the world was coming to an end and I had not achieved the perfection needed to go to heaven. I could literally hear the congregation singing, “Oh when the saints go marching in…” But the part that haunted me was, “Oh Lord, I want to be in that number…” It was as though I was crying out, Wait for me! Don’t leave me behind. Usually these night-doubts would drive me to my parents’ bedroom where I would plead with them to pray for me to have peace.

Finally, at age eleven, I had an encounter with God on my knees between my parents at the sofa of our home. Soon thereafter, I was baptized in Coal River on a cold November day—so cold, they had to crack the surface ice to complete the baptism. I expected that after that day, I would no longer be plagued with doubts about my salvation. I had such a wonderful peace—and a feeling of being on top of the world. However, I still didn’t comprehend that feelings are fickle—that salvation is by faith, not by feelings, and that I would not always “feel” saved–loved and accepted by Jesus.

My hunger to be accepted by God was misappropriated. I picked up the list of “thou shalt nots” from my holiness teaching. Conforming to outward appearance only sufficed to appease the flesh. My spirit continually hungered for more of God. I struggled to perfect my thoughts and attitudes and clung to God’s promises of being with me “always.” I involved myself in as many spiritual activities as I could—revival meetings, conferences, Bible reading, choir, classes, church services, and Bible Club at school. Each one gave me the euphoric “feeling” for which I longed, but much like caffeine gives you a lift, it soon wore off and I needed more.

Probably the most significant characteristic that derailed me was my often-untamed temper. I doubt that few outside my family knew there were times when I simply “lost it.” I was not rebellious against my parents. I was not disobedient. But the emotional outbursts came primarily when I was unable to accomplish my short-term goals or to rule over my spirit in certain emotional settings. He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls (Prov.25:28, Amp). When-ever this happened, the enemy brought accusations against me—both true, based on what I had done or thought, and false, just to torment my mind.

I had just turned 18 and recently graduated from high school when a very wise Pastor Haynie prayed with me that the Lord would “restore the joy of her salvation.” That summer, I spent many hours driving out onto the dirt roads of the countryside, finding a place to park and pray. There, in those meetings just between God and me, I confessed to Him that I longed to measure up to what I thought were His expectations of me. And He spoke to me about His unlimited love—how it wasn’t based on how I performed or felt. There, with the wildflowers blooming around my feet and the cows grazing and gazing over the fence, I gave Him my life with all of its quirks, doubts, misgivings, and frailties. I surrendered to Him my plans, my goals, my desires, and my excessive temper—all of me. In exchange, He gave me a promise of righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom.14:17).

That summer a new chapter in my life began. Did I ever fall short and fail Him in my attitudes and thoughts? Of course—but I confessed, and He forgave. Did I ever have doubts again? Of course—but I cast them down and refused to doubt my salvation. Did I ever feel unworthy again? Of course—but I remembered that it was not by works of righteousness which I have done that saved me in the first place. Did I ever have more out-of-control tempter? By God’s grace, no more tantrums, but thankfully healthy emotions remained.

God surely did lead my life from that point on—in a way that neither I nor anyone who knew me could have predicted. His unlimited love has enveloped me until this day—and will forever be mine. The Psalmist wrote from his heart, and I share his testimony: If God hadn’t been there for me, I never would have made it. The minute I said, “I’m slipping, I’m falling,” God’s love took hold and held me fast. When I was upset and beside myself, He calmed me down and cheered me up (Psalm 94:17-19, MSG).

I thank God every day for His love. It cannot be grasped. It cannot be comprehended. It is so high, so wide, and so deep that it covers every imaginable situation. And He’s given it for free. Oh how He loves me—and you!

Eph. 3:17-19, NLT – Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

I’ll Go!

Lord, You have bade me do Your will,

And I have struggled firm and still.

Yes, Lord, I love Your Name to tell about,

And I love to sing and pray and shout.

But, dear Lord, that night I promised You

I’d be Your child all the way through,

I did not know if You would call me

To carry Your message at home or across the sea.

Now, Lord, You know I am Your child,

And I’d walk for You that last long mile.

Although at first reluctantly,

I now commit myself to Thee.

Whatever, Lord, Your call may be

Gladly, I shall answer Thee.

Wherever that the field is bare,

Please, dear Lord, send me there.

If it be Your will for me to go,

You’ll be my guide through ill and woe.

Yes, dear Lord, I’m ready now;

My life is Yours this very hour.

Thank You Lord for matchless grace,

Someday I’ll see Your glorious face.

In my back yard or across the sea—

Gladly I’ll go, where’er You send me.

By Yvonne

Age 18, Summer 1958

(c) Yvonne Karl. yvonnekarl@gmail.com

Who is Jesus? He is…

Who is Jesus Christ to Whom we give thanks? 

In Genesis, He is The Promised Seed of the woman.
In Exodus, He is the Passover lamb.
In Leviticus, He is the high priest.
In Numbers, He is the star to rise out of Jacob.
In Deuteronomy, He is the two laws: love God and love your neighbor.
In Joshua, He is the captain of the hosts.
In Judges, He is the covenant angel named “Wonderful.”
In Ruth, He is the kinsman redeemer.
In Samuel, He is the root and offspring of David.
In Kings, He is the greater than the temple.
In Chronicles, He is the king’s son.
In Ezra and Nehemiah, He is the Rebuilder.
In Esther, He is the savior of God’s people.
In Job, He is the Daysman.
In Psalms, He is the song.
In Proverbs, He is the wisdom of God.
In Ecclesiastes, He is the one among the thousand.
In Song of Solomon, He is the bridegroom of the bride.
In Isaiah, He is Jacob’s branch.
In Jeremiah, He is our righteousness.
In Lamentations, He is the unbeliever’s judgment.
In Ezekiel, He the true shepherd.
In Daniel, He is the stone that became the head of the corner.
In Hosea, He is the latter rain.
In Joel, He is God’s dwelling in Zion.
In Amos, He is the raiser of David’s tabernacle.
In Obadiah, He is the deliverer on Mount Zion.
In Jonah, He is our salvation.
In Micah, He is the lord of kings.
In Nahum, He is the stronghold in the time of trouble.
In Habakkuk, He is our joy and confidence.
In Zephaniah, He is our mighty lord.
In Haggai, He is the desire of the nations.
In Zechariah, He is our servant, the branch.
In Malachi, He is the Son of righteousness.

In Matthew, He is Jehovah’s messiah.

In Mark, He is Jehovah’s servant.

In Luke, He is Jehovah’s man.

In John, He is the Son of God

In Acts, He is the Builder of the Church

In Romans, He is the Justifier of him who believes

In 1 Corinthians, He is the first-fruits from among the dead

In 2 Corinthians, He is the unspeakable gift

In Galatians, He is the Seed of Abraham

In Ephesians, He is head of the church

In Philippians, He is the supplier of every need

In Colossians, He is the preeminent One

In 1 and 2 Thessalonians, He is the returning Lord

In 1 Timothy, He is God manifest in the flesh

In 2 Timothy, He is the Lord, the righteous judge

In Titus, He is the Blessed Hope

In Philemon, He is Savior of Slaves

In Hebrews, He is the High Priest

In James, He is the royal law.

In 1 Peter, He is the chief shepherd

In 2 Peter, He is the day star arising in our heart

In 1 John, He is our Advocate

In 2 John, He is the confession of one who is true

In 3 John, He is source of prosperity

In Jude, He is the beloved.

In Revelation, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Several variations of this can be found on the internet and in various book collections with no mention anywhere of the source.

(Also quoted in Chapter 25 of Yvonne’s Book, East of Bethlehem, 2003).

The River of Life

The River of Life begins in Genesis and runs throughout the Bible. It is seen for the last time in Revelation 22. It is a frequent type of the Holy Spirit. Jesus refers to it in John 7:38-39 when He says that out of the believer shall flow rivers of living water—spoken with reference to the gift of the Spirit. God is the same yesterday, today and forever, so if He saw the baptism of the Holy Spirit when in the flesh under the emblem of rivers flowing out of the soul—then it is the same which He saw at the creation of the world:

“And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads: the name of the first is PISON…and the Name of the second river is GIHON…and the Name of the third river is HIDDEKEL…and the fourth river is EUPHRATES.” -Genesis 2:10-14

The one river with its four streams corresponds to the gift of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. The manifesta­tions of the gift come out in streams as given by the same Spirit but different operations (I Cor.12: 4-13). The streams reflect the maturity or growth of the individual.

PISON

The name of the first river is PISON which means overflowing or covering. ­When our heart is cleansed by faith and we are saved, the river begins to flow ever so gently. The soul is like dry ground—so grateful to drink of the fresh overflow of water.

GIHON

The second river is GIHON which means bursting out or breaking forth. When applied to the soul, it is the intense de­sire to pour forth the joy of the Lord in praise, thanksgiving, and Preaching. As the waters gather momentum while flowing through a narrow channel, they cut a wider and wider path. This water in the heart bursts forth as the Spirit gives expression or utterance.

HIDDEKEL

The third river is the HIDDEKEL, which is equivalent to our rapids! It means active or vehement. How many a per­son has experienced the forgiveness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, only to find that new boldness of testimony that just pours forth. One can ride the rapids with­out sinking, but it usually results in a few incidents of being thrown overboard and getting wet.    

EUPHRATES

The fourth and final branch of this river is the EUPHRATES, which literally means His Sweet Waters. How refreshing is that quiet stream that warms and satu­rates the whole being with the sweet spirit of Jesus, and brings us into His Presence.

“There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God…” -Psalm 46:4

We are the city of God and this River of Life flows into us from the Throne of God.” Its streams (the Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates) create the emotion, the passion in our lives. They elicit the feelings that come as we go to the throne and allow this River to flow into us, then out from us!

“The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come,’ and let him that hears say, Come, and let him that is thirsty come…” -Revelation 22:17

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest (Presence of God) by the blood of Jesus…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” -Hebrews 10:19-22

Come to the throne! Come and drink of that pure water! Come and be washed in that crystal clear water! Come frequently, not just once in a while. We don’t want the water to stagnate in us. We need the river to continually flow through us—to be a channel for it to get

to others. Jesus told the woman at the well that He would give her water which would cause her never to thirst again.

Come on up to my Throne, my people

I delight in your presence with Me.

Come on up, sit with Me in high places

I will meet your every need.

Here in the heavenlies, you may linger

Here at My Side, you may stay.

Then all else will grow dim and silent,

Come to Me, to My Throne, Come away!

Sing, oh sing, in My Name, my people.

I receive your praises with joy.

Come closer yet, oh how I love you!

I rejoice over you, oh come to Me!

-Words and Music by Yvonne Karl

Jesus, our King and Bridegroom, de­sires to fellowship with us, His bride. He longs just as much to have that relationship with us, as we long to have it with Him. He knows we are thirsty, and urges us to come to Him for a drink!

“I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely; let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely…” -Revelation 21:7; 22:17

The last invitation that Jesus gives in His Word is COME TO THE WATER!—to the River of Life, the streams whereof will make us glad! He sent the Holy Spirit to draw us to that River, and then causes it to flow into us and out of us. When Jesus died on the cross for us, this River flowed out of Him as water and blood poured from His side. The River of Life continues to flow freely! Come!

Come experience the Pison (the gentle cleansing of salvation); the Gihon (the exciting, bursting forth of the Holy Spirit); the Hiddekel (the bold, active ministry of the Holy Spirit); and the Euphrates (warm, sweet Presence of the Lord).

“He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, ‘out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water,’ but this he spoke of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive…” -John 7:38-39.

When we find ourselves dry and thirsty, in need of spiritual water to quench that thirst, we just remember that all we have to do is COME! The water is always flowing freely. We may experience it directly from God Himself as we worship Him and rest in His Presence; or we may experience it as it flows from a brother or sister in the Lord who has been in His Presence. Wherever this water is, we will find its “streams make us glad!” We will let it flow out of ourselves onto others and then we can sing to them:

I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me, Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see; Opens prison doors, sets the captives free. I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me.

___________________________________________

C. Yvonne Karl, Volume 2, Number 3, (c)1987

yvonnekarl@gmail.com

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