Forty Days to Incandescence

 

What is God doing right now in your life?

He is making Redemption real in you, setting you free from some form of captivity that will own you until He succeeds.

An erosive episode and a heartbreaking rupture in one of my relationships sent me to my friend in tears. Yes, I should have handled it better; but I was dealing with something that seemed wildly unfair . . . my Achilles heal . . . my troubled water, my churning sea.  When the last of my pain and perplexity was poured out and my tears were spent, I quieted,

I had revealed the tangled mess of my carnal, fleshy, immature, insecure self — totally out of line with the spiritual person she knows in me. But hearing it all, her eyes did not show the slightest indication of disappointment. And while I saw the situation as hopeless, she saw reason for hope, assuring me:

”This has come for your good, Valerie . . . I am confident it comes for your good.”

That truth has born out. That sickening event rife with personal failure was the lynchpin for the precision heartwork God was ready to do in me — so that He could set my essential self free from a place of inner captivity.

What is God doing right now in your life? He is using means you don’t suspect to deliver you with the same precision from the grip of what you haven’t been able to / haven’t had the strength to see.

Engage with Him in this process, and you’ll walk on water where you used to sink. Like Jacob who wrestled all night with “a man,” we wrestle in the darkness — not with a problem, but with a truth we don’t understand and can’t even name. We are not wrestling with “the wrong” done to us, but with our inability to respond “rightly” to it.  Wrestle like Jacob through the night, as painful as it is — until you own the name that describes how you have cheated others. Then, He will give you a new name; and you will walk away a new man, incandescent from having seen the face of God.

There are an infinite number of points in us that have not yet been converted from our old carnal self  to our new spiritual man.  And those are the places in our life where God is at work to make our redemption real. Those are the places where we remain hopelessly religious, hopelessly bound to self-effort, trying to keep a lid on our most unattractive self. Those are the places where we do not know the effortlessness of walking in the new man, our spirit man, our essential self — who remains imprisoned in fleshy soul, needing the Divine Sculptor’s hammer and chisel to set us free.

 

But woe to me, if I should leave you thinking that it is all about you.

It is a travesty to say that Jesus Christ travailed in Redemption to make me a saint. Jesus Christ travailed in Redemption to redeem the whole world, and place it unimpaired and rehabilitated before the throne of God. The fact that Redemption can be experienced by us is an illustration of the power of the reality of Redemption, but that is not the end of Redemption.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, February 1

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The end of Redemption is far greater than us

When Peter walked upon the face of sea, Jesus’s heart was seized by exultation — it was working! Redemption was demonstrating itself at a new level, opening a new sphere of reality . . . not just for Peter . . . but for all mankind.  God had been waiting for this moment forever.

But Jesus’ exultation was brief. When Peter slipped beneath the waves, Jesus’ heart sank — as it does with us — because the precious evidence of His redemptive power being expressed through an ordinary man had slipped back into oblivion

Jesus’ travail upon the cross released Redemption into history. And the power of that Redemption has flowed backward into time as well as forward: redeeming mankind all the way back to the very beginning of human history, redeeming those who have yet to be born in the future.

The oldest book of the Bible tells us that Jesus’ travail redeemed ancient Job:

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,

And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.

Job 19:25, NASU

The shed blood of Messiah, and nothing else, redeemed Abraham, Job, Moses, Daniel, Elijah and all the rest — before the time of Jesus.  Scripture tells us that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:8)

Redemption was established before time

and exists as a reality outside of time.

Jesus came to earth to secure it into time, to anchor Redemption into history. But before He was born, before He died on that cross, Redemption ran like a river, unhindered by time, backward and forward throughout every moment of time.

I explain this so that you can understand that, even though Jesus had not yet gone to the cross, Redemption was the power being released through Peter, enabling him to escape the downward pull — not only of the wind and waves, but of his soul’s fear and doubt — so that he could walk on water.

Redemption was the power that suddenly shone in Jacob when “the angel” asked him his name — flooding him with the realization of who he was and the base things he’d done. But in that very moment, Jacob was changed . . . becoming someone new.

Redemption is huge! Its scope dwarfs our personal “sainthood.” BUT, we dare not underestimate the joy in our Redeemer’s heart, when He sees the fruit of His travail being made visible in us.

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Redemption is the inward phenomenon

producing the outward effect

of God’s power made visible in us

The wind comes with power and we see trees bend, sand blow and water rise in whitecaps . . . The invisible phenomenon of the wind produces the outward effect made visible in trees, sand and water.

Sometimes we ache so hard for the outward effect of God’s power in our life, that we confuse it with the inward phenomenon that makes it possible.  This causes us to concentrate on the wrong thing . . .  to pray from the wrong point of view . . . and to miss the painful perplexing means that “has come for our good.”

My friend’s sweet counsel, when I was broken and in tears, assured me that my humbling situation had come for my good. This did not escape me. Taking that word seriously, I wrestled through a humbling night, until the inward phenomenon of Redemption was able to produce the outward effect of setting me gloriously free.

When Peter stepped out of the boat onto the sea, [1]

  • the outward effect was a man walking on water, but
  • the inward phenomenon was Peter’s will so fused with God’s that for one incandescent moment he walked unimpaired and rehabilitated, free of the forces that would drag him down otherwise — Redemption.

When Wesley left Aldersgate with his heart strangely warmed, [2]

  • the outward effect was God’s power and presence suddenly with him, but
  • the inward phenomenon was the release of the new man inside, with the unimpaired capacity for intimate union with God — Redemption.

When my husband and I delight in each other after all the wars we’ve fought and won, [3]

  • the outward effect is the fulfilled promise of a greater and more glorious marriage, fresh and alive, but
  • the inward phenomenon has been the hammer and chisel of the Divine Sculptor bringing forth the woman capable of receiving that promise — Redemption.

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Forty Days to Incandescence

We pray and yearn for the outward effect of God’s power to be made visible in our life  — but Redemption is the inward phenomenon that makes it possible.  We yearn for the incandescence of God’s Spirit shining through — but remain terribly naïve about how Redemption manifests in us, one point at a time.

We’ve thought that once we were “saved” that was it . . . but that was just the beginning of Redemption’s work in us, in time.

I am convinced that the soul-work we do here, now, in time . . . becoming the person who is capable of receiving God’s promises . . . becoming a person of incandescent moments when God’s power shows through . . .  becoming a person in whom Redemption can be seen . . . differentiates us in eternity.  But that is another book.

When we receive the humbling that proves the absence of Redemption at some point in us . . . believing it comes for our good, willingly engaging with what God wants to do, fusing our will with His . . . He will work the inner phenomenon of Redemption deeper into our soul, until it produces the outward effect of incandescence . . . His power showing through.

 

This takes just 40 days.

In Scripture forty is code—a symbol for the work it takes to bring about something new.

For forty days and nights the rain fell: making an end of the old earth, making way for the new.

After forty years of herding sheep, God’s work in Moses was done; and he could lead Israel out of bondage into the newness of freedom’s sun.

Israel needed forty years in the wilderness for God to forge a new heart in her: moving her from unbelief to belief, from the wasteland to The Promised Land.

And after forty days and nights of temptation in the wilderness, Yeshua strode out strong — the rigor of his testing producing new clarity on the only way IT had to be done.

By no coincidence, it takes 40 weeks in the darkness of a woman’s womb for the work to be completed that brings a new life into this world.

This book will unfold in forty lessons representing the work it will take for God to make Redemption real in us . . . in each place where we yearn for the incandescence of His power to shine gloriously though.

Understand that 40 days is not a specific length of time—but a symbol for however much time it takes God to do the work necessary.

It can take all the rest of your life or just the blink of an eye.

 


[1] Walking on Water, Book 2, January 17, 2013

[2] Heartwork Reveals the New Man, Book 2, January 24, 2013

[3] The New Man, The Essential You, Book 2, January 31, 2013

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  1. Jean Young says:

    Your lesson is in perfect harmony of the words I read earlier this morning in “Jesus Calling”. Surely God is driving the message home in multiple ways. Thank you for reminding us to direct our prayers not just to the visible, what we want to see changed in our circumstances, but to direct our prayers to the invisible, the work God is doing in us that will release our essential self. I remember Beth Moore saying something to the effect that God prioritizes the spiritual over the physical. Your truth speaks loudly as I see myself wrestling in the dark over a problem rather than a truth I don’t understand. I had just written the word “wrestle” in my journal as I poured out my feelings to God, and then you used that very word, that very illustration to speak to me. Thank you for bringing these messages to us, week after week. They are a labor of love and sacrifice of time, I know. I join you in prayer that these messages of truth will be used to teach us and prune us so our lives can bear much fruit. And the way our lives bear fruit is when there is that oneness, His life being made visible through us, as our essential self is demonstrated in this life. Know there are readers like me who hunger for the Word.

  2. Tamela Moore says:

    Valerie, Happy Birthday !!!!! I hope it is one of the best you will ever celebrated.
    Just wanted to let you know that the Lord is still using you in my life to speak volumes!!
    This mornings writing confirms that I have heard correctly to set aside 40 days with the
    Lord to listen for what is next. To prepare in ways that I have not in past years. Thank you
    again for being a familiar voice as I position myself for Redemption in places that are ready to be redeemed. Love you much, Tamela

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