A Valley of Dry Bones. Can these bones live? They are so dry, all hope is gone. Without the Lord, there is no hope. But with the Lord, nothing is impossible. He is the God of the hills and the valleys. He comes down to the valley. He breathes – and His breath enters into the dry bones. Life! Hope!
His chosen is a Lily of the Valleys, a lily among thorns. Life may begin in the valleys, but as He comes, leaping across the mountains, and bounding over the hills, the call is to go up. Aliyah!
“Come, let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God!”
But there are many valleys to be crossed on the way up – for the promised land is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven.  Be encouraged as you cross the valleys, dear pilgrim – the valleys drink the rain from heaven.
As you begin your journey, take note of the signs of the goodness of the LORD. As you pass through the Valley of Eshcol (cluster) taste and see that the LORD is good! Do not be discouraged by the giants in the land – your God is able to deliver you from them! He will give you victory over the giants in the Valley of Elah (oak). Can you see, dear pilgrim, He will bestow on you a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair, He will make you an oak of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendour!
“Come, let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God!”
The Valley of Baca (Weeping) becomes a place of springs as the pilgrim passes through. Sowing may be done in tears, but there will be reaping with songs of joy. The journey may begin with weeping, carrying seed to sow, but there is a promise of a return with songs of joy, as sheaves are carried back.  Rain from heaven will cover the Valley of Weeping with blessings.
As those blessings continue to fall, dear pilgrim, now see you are in The Valley of Beracah (Blessings). It may seem as if there is no way across this valley, but do not lose heart! Sing your praises to Him! Praise Him for the splendour of His holiness! You will see Him clear the way Himself for you to cross this valley. Receive His blessing and bless Him!
“Come, let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God!”
The Valley of the Shadow of Death reminds us there is no need to fear evil, for He is with us, and His rod and His staff comfort us.
As we cross these difficult valleys, He provides encouragement all the way. He reveals His glory to us as we ascend a high mountain – we hide from His glory in the cleft of the rocks that He has provided for us. But do not hide from Him too long, dear pilgrim. Listen to the encouragement of His Voice!
Oh! Take the time, dear pilgrim, to feast on these blessed words! Dare to look up! And as you look up, He will give you all the grace you need to traverse every valley in your path. Even the Valley of Achor (trouble). In this world, we will have trouble. But take heart! He has overcome the world. The Valley of Achor. Only He can redeem this from the scene of judgment against the sin of Achan into a door of hope!
And this door of hope will lead you from strength to strength, until you appear before God in Mount Zion.
“Come, let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God!”

The darkest battlefield

Reblogged from Christ is deeper still


Workman of God, O lose not heart, but learn what God is like
And in the darkest battlefield thou shalt know where to strike

Thrice blest is he to whom is given the instinct that can tell
That God is on the field when he is most invisible

He hides himself so wondrously, as though there were no God
He is least seen when all the powers of ill are most abroad

Ah, God is other than we think, his ways are far above
Far beyond reason’s height and reached only by childlike love

Then learn to scorn the praise of men and learn to lose with God
For Jesus won the world through shame and beckons thee his road

Frederick William Faber, 1814-1863.

Love of the brethren

holding hands bonding

“Love for the brethren is far, far more than finding agreeable the society of those whose temperaments are similar to or whose views accord with my own. It pertains not to mere nature, but is a spiritual and supernatural thing. It is the heart being drawn out to those in whom I perceive something of Christ. Thus it is very much more than a party spirit; it embraces all in whom I can see the image of God’s Son. It is, therefore, a loving them for Christ’s sake, for what I see of Christ in them. It is the Holy Spirit within attracting and alluring me with Christ indwelling my brethren and sisters. Thus real Christian love is not only a Divine gift, but is altogether dependent upon God for its invigoration and exercise. We need to pray daily that the Holy Spirit will call forth into action and manifestation, toward both God and His people, that love which He has shed abroad in our hearts.” ~ A W Pink