Part III (continued)
Building An Ark For The Soul
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf...." Heb. 6:19-20
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you." Isa. 43:2
Noah's Flood was universal, but it was not inescapable. God prepared a way of escape through the building of an ark. In the dilemma before us, building an ark is also our solution. It is the answer to harnessing the Comforter's power under the government of the Truth in our lives. Building an ark is the counterpart to Jesus' word about building a house on solid rock. But it takes the picture of the house a step further. An ark does not just withstand a storm. It floats on it! Building an ark turns what would otherwise drown us into something that will ultimately buoy us up into the eternal glory of God.
What is our ark and what does it mean to build it? In the Old Testament, the ark was not only a boat that could float on water, but it was a vessel for the dwelling of God in the Holy of Holies. Both of these are pictures of the New Testament spiritual ark, which itself has a double meaning. In one sense, our hearts are the ark for the Lord through the Spirit of Truth. From this perspective, He dwells in us. In the opposite sense, Jesus, through the Spirit of Truth is our ark. We dwell in Him. As our ark in the eternal, Hebrews says Jesus is the anchor of our soul. An anchor for what? An anchor for us amid the waves of the Spirit's mounting earthly Presence.
This brings us to the key point of our entire study: The process of building an inward ark of Truth through strategically planned interface with the Comforter's rising tide is the key to turning certain doom into the salvation that will ultimately usher us from the earthly to eternal glory. If neither feared nor loved, but rightly responded to in measured faith, the Comforter's expanding Presence will mature our relationship with the Father to the place that it is fit for inheriting the kingdom of God as perfected sons.
In the wake of all the deluded swimmers and surfers, it's easy to forget that the Comforter's ministry has a necessary purpose to our salvation. By devoting ourselves to build an ark, we not only recognize the supremacy of abiding in Christ, but also the Comforter's mission in advancing that union. As potentially destructive as His flood can be, the Spirit's intent is not to drown us, but to prepare and "acclimate" our relationship with Christ to the eternal realms where we will ultimately be manifest and where the Spirit pervades all. It is designed to start adapting our personal union with the Lord now to the eternal so that, when the eternal appears, we will be ready for it.
- A Shoreline Strategy for Building
Building a spiritual ark is a lifelong process involving a skillful mix between living on the land of personal scriptural understanding and venturing the waters of the Spirit. It involves the measured interfacing of our personal relationship in the Lord with the Spirit's corporate tide -enough to benefit from the tide's influence, but not so much as to be swamped by it.
When building a boat, we actually build it on the landin "dry-dock." But we must test it on the water. We don't just build a boat and then launch it into the ocean. It must be proven for seaworthiness. So it is with the ark of our soul. We build our relationship with the Father on the land. This means we build away from the sea in private alone time. We build through our own personal study of scripture, prayer, meditation, and personal worship. This personal building is the focus of our enterprise, and the chief mission of the Spirit of Truth in us.
But as an ark, our knowing of the Father must be tested in the shoreline waters of the Comforter's presence and work in the corporate church. The seaworthiness of our personal walk in Christ must be repeatedly proven and strengthened by controlled but increasing interface with the spirit-filled community of believers. This means we must submit to relationship with others at His direction, opening ourselves to the full complement of his anointings.
- In and Out of the Water
Taken all together, we must submit to a process where we repeatedly take our ark into and out of water. We must spend time with the Spirit of Truth. Then, we must carry our personal relationship into corporate relationship for a time, testing our love for the Father against the Spirit's flow in the church. Then, once we've reached our limits of seaworthiness, we must come out again. Once the poisons of laodiceanism and delusion in the body prove to be too threatening, we must withdraw. We must haul out of the water and see where our ark leaks. We must note everything about our boat that was inadequate. Where did we lose first love? What was the threshold of tolerance?
Once we have shored up our anchor beyond the veil, then we must go back in againsubmitting to relationship, submitting to the anointing. Last time we tried our boat in a pondthis time in a lake, next time in a river, then in the ocean. Each time we will increase our endurance. Each time we will come back out, fix the boat, wait on the Father. Ultimately, we will come to the place in the Spirit of Truth that we can float indefinitely on the sea of the Comforter. We will come to that place in the Father where our eternal link is so secure that we can remain indefinitely amid His anointed glory in the churchand never stoop to worship a mannever stoop to leave our first lovenever succumb to the pressures of socialism and delusionnever be tempted to receive of the Holy Spirit's power as an end in itself!
We are being brought to the place where we can receive and even minister the Comforter's most intense miraculous powers yet remain unmoved where we can see strange things and remained untouched -where we can receive prophecies-good and bad, on target and off the wall-and remain unphased from our inner sense of gaze on the Lord. This is the hope of glory laid before us! This is the purpose of the Father toward us in hope of the true City, the true Body awaiting manifestation in the eternal..
Faithfulness to the process of ark building is the one true solution to our dilemma in integrating the Spirit's dual nature in our lives. It solves the mystery of the Spirit's purpose in the church. And it removes the offense caused by those who have abused either the Spirit's Truth or Comfort natures. We can do it! It can be done -if we just have the unflinching willingness to let God work this out in us. We can embrace the full Holy Spirit. We can overcome. We can put on Christ's complete image, obtain His gloryand not get messed up in the process! We can do it together. In helping one another build our ark, we fulfill the true purpose of being the church.
Part III cont.... Now Is The Time To Build