Inside Perspective - July 2014

My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I am delighted in the goodness of the Lord and His continuous flow of grace into our lives! I am reminded of the past grace of election that was brought about in the fullness of time upon the bloody cross of Calvary- and thus, we bow our heads in worship. It is written, "He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world..." (Eph.1:4).

Today, having been cleansed, we walk triumphantly in the power of the Holy Spirit, rejoicing daily in the succoring comfort of His ever-present keeping grace. Our hope is in the living, glorified, sovereign Son of God, as He ministers to us this precious grace in the power of an endless life-and thus, we bow our heads in worship. Indeed, the Word declares that we are, "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation..." (l Peter 1:5).

More so, we await with great anticipation the future grace of our glorified bodies and the permanent enjoyment of His Presence and His wonders in the Kingdom to come-and yes, we bow our heads in worship. It is written, "...He shall come to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all them that believe..." (II Thess. 1:10a).

These are all extraordinary biblical truths, and we do well to embrace them by faith. But the reality of our daily lives, and the circumstances thereof, seem to always challenge said truth. Everyday mundane events can easily besiege our faith, and we can lose our focus on that which is eternal and become side-tracked with that which is temporal. Always remember: emotions will move you but for a moment, but truth transforms forever.

I myself could whine, as so many do here in prison. You have never heard a lament until you have heard one in prison! However, I am about to begin my 24th year in prison, and paradoxically, to my great joy, I am also about to begin my 24th year of freedom in Christ! Truth be told, I have nothing to whine about. I have an awesome life in Christ that is full of the goodness of God! My heart always goes out way further than my ability to minister, and I have more Kingdom work to do than hands with which to do it! I am surrounded by the lost; opportunities are everywhere, and so, I preach as a dying man, to dying men.

Beloved, are you teaching yourself to see your circumstances as God-ordained opportunities? If you do not, joy will evade you! Seeking your own is only to seek your worst. Do not love the world beloved, for its siren call comes straight from the pit of hell. The Lord's joy is when we worship Him in our ordinary daily lives. He delights when we worship Him in our work and while we go about our daily chores. However meaningless our tasks may seem to us at the moment, He loves when we worship Him in all that we do. He is worthy!

It is written, "By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff." (Heb.11:21)

This verse had always puzzled me. I often wondered why Jacob worshipped leaning on the top of his staff. I went to the text in Genesis and found nothing. But then God unexpectedly spoke to me one ordinary day, as I went about my chores in the greenhouse….

It was a couple of weeks ago, and I was alone on the back-forty working like a mule. I was weeding and edging and sweating like a water buffalo. Without forethought, I leaned on the top of my spade as I stopped to catch my breath. This pause turned into a very special moment! I realized the beautiful day, the low humidity and a delightful breeze that caressed my senses were all declaring the glory of God, and my heart immediately worshipped His Presence. At that very minute, this verse flooded my soul and I knew Him intimately. I had not thought of that verse since I could remember, 'but He quickened it to me’. It was a sweet, holy moment, and thus, I just bowed my head in worship. You see beloved, the Lord is well aware of our mundane daily lives! For example, Jacob was a shepherd and his staff- which was always with him- represented who he was and what he did. He worshipped God in his ordinary life and his staff symbolized that very truth.

My spade, which is always with me, represents my life as a gardener. And so I worship my Lord in my daily chores of gardening. That day in the greenhouse, I understood it so clearly as I leaned on top of my own spade, and as a result, began to worship! God joys in us when we worship Him in our normal life, not just on Sunday mornings. And God is so pleased with this principle, that He put it in Scripture as an eternal testimony.

So what about you? Maybe you are a mother- are you worshipping your Lord in the changing of diapers, while leaning on the crib? Perhaps you are a landscaper-are you worshipping your Lord, as you lean upon your mower? Maybe you are a cook in a steaming hot kitchen- if so, are you worshipping Him while you are leaning on your stove? Whoever you are and whatever you do, you are indeed leaning on something-and thus, you should bow your head...


Joyfully in Jesus,
Love Philip