“This is my Yes, my Homage to You”, a worship poem from L.Willows (Revival, Joy, God’s Glory, Holy Yes)

This is my Yes, my homage to You

I breathe because,
the morning opens before me in splendor
and I am filled with Air
that praises you my God, my Father.

Here, is the path that I walk upon-
bathed in the warmth of the sun rising,
kissed by the breezes of the dawn-
held in the aroma of misted leaves bending,
filled with love rising that calls out Your Name.

I breathe because,
the sky opens wide
and dips to greet the day as
I cast my heart before you my God, my Father.

Here is the path that I walk upon-
covered with sweet-smelling flowers bearing dew that shines.
Here, amidst stories filled with mysteries in time,
held in cathedrals of tall branches reaching.
Airs come seeking. Love is teaching. 

I breathe because,
the Life you give is new, asking, inviting and
I can only say Yes to you my God, my Father.
Is there a moment that we step into Air?
Is there a place that we find where to dare?

Here is the path that I walk upon
bathed in the warmth of all that seems true
filling each moment with breath – life anew.
This is my Yes, my homage to You.

© 2019 Linda Willows

2 Corinthians 1:20 “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”

Psalm 30:4-6 -“Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.For his anger is but for a moment and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

Lamentations 3:22-23 -“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

“The Flying Horse” from L.Willows, C.S. Lewis; Pastor Tom Holliday (Redemption, Miraculous living, for Christ, a New Creation)

Lift Off!

C.S. Lewis on Transforming a Horse into a Winged Creature

–For mere improvement is not redemption, though redemption always improves people even here and now and will, in the end, improve them to a degree we cannot yet imagine.”

“God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man. It is not like teaching a horse to jump better and better but like turning a horse into a winged creature. Of course, once it has got its wings, it will soar over fences which could never have been jumped and thus beat the natural horse at its own game.

But there may be a period, while the wings are just beginning to grow, when it cannot do so: and at that stage the lumps on the shoulders — no one could tell by looking at them that they are going to be wings — may even give it an awkward appearance.” ) Mere Christianity.

A Challenge to live like a Flying Horse!

Last week, our Pastor Tom Holliday of Alexandria Presbyterian Church repeated the challenge “Do you want to live like a “Flying Horse”? Really? How are you going to do that?”

I loved the image of a Flying Horse! He told the story of the C.S. Lewis quote weeks before. I was intrigued. He dared us to live like Flying Horses. Could we be challenged to live with radically transformed hearts? In lives that soared beyond and above fences that we had not even dreamed lifted and towards heights far beyond and above what our imagined “ceiling” was?

Are you sensing how it captured my heart? I even turned it into a song. (privately) Enjoy my passion. The image of a flying horse, of being transformed into one – made me thoroughly filled with joy.

We all need to lift to grow wings. We need to become Flying Horses.

What does that mean?

The horse in the story is us as we move through spiritual transformation. More, it is about Miraculous Living and how to overcome hindrances by redemption. We can only Fly through the power of Christ in us. His Spirit is the agent of our transformation. His Heavenly Father, our God draws us towards Himself. He sent His son to live amongst us and drew him back to the Heavenly Places, calling us lovingly to rise from the fallen- become the ‘new man’, the redeemed, grow “wings” and answer His Call. 

Lewis speaks about the hindrances within each of us that we face when we try to fly using “other means”. We ask for power to rise above.

We try to be kinder, nicer more pleasant people seeking all means of adapting to fit this world. We “work” at it. We depend on our own ability to improve our status in this world. We keep trying to improve the status of being kinder and continuing to “better ourselves”, gaining ground of status; similar to a horse in a race horizontally. Yet Lewis suggests a better way. Let the horse grow wings.

There is only one way to grow Wings. We become a New Creation.

He describes the awkward stage when the wings are still growing. At this stage, when the wings are just beginning to grow, they are like “lumps on the shoulders”. No one could even tell that one day they will be wings. I get that lumpy shoulder stage. How many can relate to that? Spiritual transformation, breaking through to the “Lift Off” can be experienced in many stages of joy, challenge, quest, trust, hope, effort, trial, and joy again.

2 Corinthians 5:17: “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”

Inevitably, we become witnesses to the old, everything that ‘becomes old’ in ourselves and in our environment- experiencing a form of death. It starts to pass away as we ourselves become a new creation. The work of Christ “works” in us. Our work ceases to “work”. We surrender to Him, our lives surrender and we trust in him, completing the work that He began in us with the gift of Grace.

Trust in God allows Miracles to Take Flight.

When we trust in Christ, we begin to learn to Fly. We become Flying Horses.

We must trust in him to complete the work he began in us as he prepares for the coming day, new creations in a new heaven and earth.

What forms does that trust take? What does it look like?

Trust happens inside of an intimate relationship. It is honest. When your heart is honest before God, it can relate in an intimate and trusting way. It is the ability to form a two-way dynamic. There are many examples of Trusting God in Scripture.

Look for the examples of the prophets in the Old Testaments and the apostles in the New Testament. I love Moses in Exodus. What do you find? Trust in a relationship requires honesty, listening, and humility. Are there more qualities that you notice? Do we need perseverance? How is trust built? What is it built upon?

  • Learn to form an honest dialogue with God. Seek Him out as your most important Consultant and Source of Wisdom and Discernment. He Is.
  • Bring your heart to God and ask Him to search it. Ask for help knowing that you do not have the ability to “see” your own heart. He will answer you. Let Him lead you.
  • Pray. Seek God in prayer as the most important part of your life. It is the most intimate relationship to cultivate in life.
  • Find God in Scripture. Know Him through His Word. He is there. Allow the Holy Spirit to bring it to your heart by praying before reading.
  • Seek God’s guidance and wisdom in all things. Let God lead you in life. Know that He sees the details as well as the whole, the before and the after. Listen.
  • Trust in His Promises (Scripture). Keep God’s Word with you all the time.
  • Keep encouragement and Encouragers near to you all the time. Notice that He places this near to you. Recognize it and express gratitude.
  • Express and cultivate Joy. Generate Joy in your heart and in your surroundings.

See and become God’s Goodness and God’s Love. Though we fall short of His Glory, we glimpse it.

We are Trustees of His Goodness.

1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

Become a Trustee by being what you know in Spirit. Be the one that is known by Jesus.

Become A Flying Horse. Having glimpsed His Glory – Leap Towards It.

We long for Christ. That longing is one that propels the heart with such a surge, it can make “a horse fly”, it can change the most ordinary life into one that is extraordinary.

Prayer that was dry becomes vivid with the Presence of God. Hearts that were lost are found. Broken places are healed. Revival becomes a word with new meaning. It starts to shake the foundation of self like a wondrous new birth. Something winged emerges. A joy that cannot be suppressed takes hold even in the midst of challenges. The Longing is like nectar that grows so sweet, life seems dim without it. It, The Promise of His Holy Blessing and Return becomes Hope, a Hope deeper and more glorious than any other.

Fly. Fly. Fly. (still singing)

© 2019 Linda Willows

“The Prayer of Worship and Adoration”, by J. Oswald Sanders from the C.S. Lewis Institute (Elements of Prayer, Through Christ Alone)

 

Prayer: Worship & Adoration by J. Oswald Sanders

Reprinted by permission from his book Prayer Power Unlimited (Source: C.S. Lewis Institute, Knowing and Doing )

A notable lesson in prayer was learned by the author when he read that in prayer there are at least five elements that should be present in a well-balanced prayer life. In a sense, prayer cannot be analyzed, since it is a unity and the outpouring of the single life of the one who prays. Yet in another sense, it can be divided into its constituent elements.

“The fact that [prayer] is worship, and the further fact that worship may be expressed in various forms,” wrote H. W. Frost, “makes analysis possible….Prayer is indeed one. But also it is multiform.”

The five enumerated elements are: worship, or adoration; thanksgiving; confession; petition; and intercession. This concept opened a new world of prayer, for hitherto his prayers had been almost entirely petition. Now the prayer life embraces whole new areas of spiritual experience.

Our Lord’s immediate answer to the request of His disciples, “Lord, teach us to pray,” was, “When you pray, say: ‘Father’” (Luke 11:2). In other words, prayer begins with God. The pattern prayer He gave them was halfway completed before He prayed for personal needs. The concerns and interests of God came first.

This is a supremely important lesson. If God is not given the chief place in our praying, our prayers will be anemic. When our thoughts begin with Him, love is kindled and faith stimulated. So our first lesson will be concerned with Him. We shall consider worship, or adoration, for this is involved in the petition “hallowed be Thy name” (v. 2).

Dr. R. A. Torrey, who was God’s instrument to bring revival to many parts of the world, testified that an utter transformation came into his experience when he learned not only to pray and return thanks, but to worship—asking nothing from God, seeking nothing from Him, occupied with Himself, and satisfied with Himself.

The idea of worship is common to the whole human race. But as generally used, the word worship seldom conveys its full scriptural content. It means “to bow down or prostrate oneself.” Worship is the adoring contemplation of God as He has revealed Himself in Christ and in the Scriptures. It is the act of paying honor and reverence to God. 

When we pray “Hallowed be Thy Name” we are worshipping God.

F. W. Faber caught the sense of the word in these lines:

How wonderful, how beautiful, the sight of Thee must be,
Thine endless wisdom, boundless power, and awful purity.
O how I fear Thee, living God, with deepest, tenderest fears,
And worship Thee with trembling hope, and penitential tears.

The Old English form of the word, worthship, gives an interesting sidelight on its meaning, implying worthiness on the part of the one who receives the honor. This is reflected in the apocalyptic ascription of praise to Christ: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive… honor and glory and blessing” (Rev. 5:12).

Worship flows from love, and where there is little love there will be little worship. But there can be an element of selfishness even in love. We can and should worship God in gratitude for what He has done for us, but it reaches a higher level when we worship Him simply for what He is, for the perfections and excellences of His own being.

“I have known men,” said Thomas Goodwin, “who came to God for nothing else but just to come to Him, they so loved Him. They scorned to soil Him and themselves with any other errand than just purely to be alone with Him in His presence.”

Worship, then, is the loving ascription of praise to God for what He is, both in Himself and in His ways. It is the bowing of the innermost spirit in deep humility and reverence before Him.

When Scipio Africanus returned to Rome after a resounding victory, he rode in triumph, followed by his captives. As he went, he scattered the largess of the victor to the crowds that lined the way. Some were stirred to gratitude by his liberality; some because he had rolled away from their homes the fear of the invading army; still others, forgetful of their personal benefits, praised the qualities of the victor—his courage, resourcefulness, liberality. It was in this last group that the highest element of worship was present.

Worship can be wordless. “My soul, be thou silent unto God,” said the psalmist (Psalm 62:5, ASV, marg.). There are times when words are an intrusion, times when the worshipper is hushed into awed silence by the ineffable Presence and can only be silent to God. A single word can enshrine a wealth of worship, as when the word Rabboni fell from Mary’s lips (John 20:16).

But worship must be “in truth” (John 4:24, KJV), that is, free from mere profession or pretense. Brother Lawrence, that saint of the kitchen, learned that to worship God in truth is to acknowledge Him to be what He is, and to acknowledge ourselves to be what we are.

How Worship is Stimulated

The scholar in the school of prayer may feel that God seems far away and unreal, so that attempts to worship Him seem a farce.

The question arises, How can I know God better so that I can worship Him more worthily?

God has granted a partial revelation of Himself in the wonders of nature. “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1, KJV). We learn there of His almighty power, His transcendent beauty, His unsearchable wisdom. But nature does not reveal Him as a God of love and mercy.

Only “in the face of Jesus Christ” will we see the full blaze of the divine glory (2 Cor. 4:6, KJV). All the fullness of God dwells in Him in bodily form (Col. 1:19), and no worship that ignores Christ is acceptable to God, for it is through Christ alone that we have access to the Father.

In Thee, most perfectly expressed,
The Father’s glories shine,
Of the full deity possessed, Eternally Divine!
Worthy, O Lamb of God, art Thou,
That ev’ry knee to Thee should bow.
Josiah Condor

This raises a second question: How can I know Christ, who alone reveals God?

The answer is, of course, that we know Christ primarily through the Scriptures, which are the only tangible means of knowing Him. “You search the Scriptures…and it is these that bear witness of Me” (John 5:39). In them is to be found the complete and satisfying interpretation of God in Christ.

The Scriptures are rich in material to feed and stimulate worship and adoration—especially the Psalms, which are God’s inspired prayer book. As you read them, turn them into prayer. Vast tracts of truth await our exploration. Great themes abound—God’s holiness, sovereignty, truth, wisdom, faithfulness, patience, love, mercy—all of which will call forth our worship.

The use of a good hymnbook in private devotions can be a great aid to worship. Not all of us find it easy to express our deepest feelings or to utter the love of our hearts to God. We are very conscious of the poverty of our thoughts of God and the inadequacy of the words in which we express them. But we can appropriate the outpouring of worship and praise of men and women whom the Spirit has gifted to express these thoughts in verse. Try using a hymnbook regularly.

We should guard against the idea that worship is confined to the realm of thought, for Scripture links worship with service. During the temptation in the wilderness, our Lord quoted the Old Testament: “You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only” (Matt 4:10, italics added; cf. Deut 6:13, marg.). We should not separate what God has joined. Worship is no substitute for service, nor is service a substitute for worship. True worship will inevitably find expression in loving, sacrificial service.

PRAYER
Worthy of praise from every mouth,
of confession from every tongue,
of worship from every creature
Is Thy glorious Name, O Father, Son and Holy Ghost;
Who didst create the world in Thy grace
and by Thy compassion didst save the world.
To Thy majesty, O God, ten thousand times ten
thousand bow down and adore,
Singing and praising without ceasing, and saying,
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts;
Heaven and earth are full of Thy praises;
Hosanna in the highest.
Nestorian Liturgy

A native of New Zealand, the late J. Oswald Sanders (1902-1992) was a consulting director for Overseas Missionary Fellowship, the organization founded by Hudson Taylor in 1865. He preached and taught in conferences in many countries and wrote over 40 books on the Christian life, including The Incomparable Christ, Satan Is No Myth, and Enjoying Intimacy With God. He received the Order of the British Empire for Christian service and theological writing.

Source: Knowing and Doing, C.S. Lewis Institute (Learn More)

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