Leaven And Toulouse Lautrec

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My Lord Jesus opened to me in worship this morning the reason I felt out of the Spirit and distanced from Him this whole week. I prayed as we settled down for worship that Christ's Spirit would be with us and over us.

Many minutes went by before the Spirit opened to me the path that would take me to knowing what had disquieted me all week. Supernatural came first to mind as I wondered whether a Friend with whom I had had a dialogue regarding supernatural had further considered its reality. Accepting the supernatural is hard for Western peoples as their minds are saturated with naturalistic thinking which holds that there's nothing that exists beyond nature. This is true even of Christians who are quite unaware they act from a naturalist mindset.

I had read this morning from George Fox's journal this passage: "...and as I was sitting in a house full of people and declaring the word of life [to] them I cast my eye upon an unclean woman and told her she was a witch. And I was moved in the Lord's power to speak sharply to her and so she went out of the room; and people told me that I had discovered a great thing, for all the country looked upon her to be a witch. <The Lord had given me a spirit of discerning by which I many times saw the states and conditions of people, and would try their spirits.> Journal of George Fox, P. 155. The passage came next to mind. It's one of many supernatural events George Fox tells about in his journal. And it led to recalling the leaven (yeast), specifically, Exodus 12:15, 19, wherein God tells the people that for seven days they must not eat any bread with yeast in it. In fact, on the first day of the seven, the woman of the house must get rid of all the yeast in the home.

Just yesterday I had listened to a program in which there was a question about leaven, but since I was a casual listener, I heard only bits of the response which seemed to say that if bad yeast is mixed in with good yeast the whole batch will be made bad. And because yeast rises, it will cause bad dough to rise expansively. 1Cor 5:6-8

In recalling that biblical command the Spirit layed open for me the source of my disquiet: four small books I had purchased at a market place in Chicago the Saturday before. They were only about four iches by three inches and two of them contained superbly duplicated Toulouse-Lautrec illustrations. I was enamored. Yet, the moment the source was opened to me my disquiet and foreboding were lifted from me. I praised God in my heart, though it's sad I felt restrained to do otherwise.

I witnessed my experience to my companion worshiper and said I would do something else with the books. As worship continued I thought I would sell these books. But if there was something evil about them wouldn't the money I collected be corrupt, too? Then emerged a strong counter to selling them: burn them if there is something evil about the books. Immediately, my worldly, fleshly self said You can't do that. These are precious books and you'd deprive someone else from enjoying them. The argument was on. Are the books leaven or is the accusation just the imagination of an over-zealous religious freak?

There is that in me which objects strongly, like a strong-armed man holding me against a wall, to burning the books. Then there is that still, small voice reminding me that the worldly is of Satan. And all of George Fox's exhortations are to keep to Christ Jesus, who is the Light, the Life,the Truth, the Way, the Substance of all types, figures, shadows, the Priest, the Prophet, the Strong Arm of God, the Savior, the Teacher, the Author of Faith and its Finisher, who was before the fall, who is come to teach his people himself, who was, is, and always will be.

I asked my companion worshiper to pray for me. He sounded skeptical. He wasn't used to praying on demand but he would hold me before the Lord. I know what I will do.

 

 

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