Today I was doing my 1 Peter study – you know in chapter 2 (v 7-8) where he talks about the precious cornerstone being a rock of offense and stumbling. Then in Romans 9:30-33 it basically says (I’m paraphrasing) Gentiles pursued righteousness and didn’t get it. Israel didn’t get there either. They did not pursue righteousness by faith , but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone as they were destined to do.
And then there’s this… Twice means God is trying to say something…
The Eye of the Needle
By: Charlotte Baker
I stood among the sons of men, strong and tall. My heart was filled with enthusiasm. My life was given to the purposes of God. Upon that day, I said to the Lord, “I will do mighty exploits in the name of my God.”
The Lord came unto me , and said, “What is it, son of man, that thou wouldst have?”
I said, “Lord, if I could only be among those who play sweetly upon an instrument and who sing well in the house of the Lord, then I would do great things for my God.”
The Lord came to me, and He gave unto me the desire of my heart. He stood among the sons of men. He let me play, and He let me sing. I saw the day when the hearts of men were moved by that thing that the Lord had given unto me.
After hearts of men were moved, I stood back, and said to myself, , “ Now I will be content, for I have been able to move the hearts of men.” But in my secret hour, I bowed my heart before my God and said, “Lord, Thou hast given what I asked for, but my heart is heavy. I have a longing for something more.”
He came again unto me in the night season. He asked me again, “son of man, ask Me again the thing that thou wouldst have of Me.”
I said, “ Lord, I see men bowed by burdens low. I see hearts that are broken. I see sadness and discouragement. O, give me the power of the spoken word that I might speak the Word and their hearts will be delivered.”
The Lord came unto me and said, “ son of man, I have given thee the things which thou has desired.” With great joy, I marched before the people of God. In my youth and in my enthusiasm, I spoke the Word and men were delivered. I spoke the Word, and their hearts were made whole. I knew what it was to bind the brokenhearted and to pour in the oil of joy for mourning.
While men were praising Him and glorifying His name, I went back to my secret chamber. I bowed my head in sorrow. I said, “O my God, O my God. I am not satisfied.”
He came again unto me and he said, “So of man, what is it that thou again desirest of Me?”
And I said, “O my God, give me power in my hands that as Thous didst do, I might lay my hands upon the sick and see healing flow.”
He said unto me, “It is done as thou has commanded.”
From that very day, as I went to the nations of the Earth, I saw the sick raised from their sick beds. I saw pain and suffering go away.
I was rejoicing as I went to my secret place. I bowed my head before God. I said, “Now my God, I will be satisfied, for Thou has given me that which I have desired.”
No sooner had the words come out of my mouth when the heart within me began to ache and cry. I said, “God, I do not understand this. Again, my heart is sad.” I said, “Lord, wilt Thou just one more time give me the thing I ask of Thee?”
He said, “It is done.”
I said, “God, I desire to go against principalities and powers, the powers of wickedness of this world in spiritual darkness in high places.”
He said, “Surely I give it unto thee. Now go.”
So, I went, and the Lord allowed me to go into dens of iniquity and holes and dives where men hide from the light because of the sin and evil that is upon them. There was a day when I saw demons cry out at the very presence of the power of God that rested.
Then I went back to my secret place broken. I said, “God, I have asked Thee for all that I desire, and still my heart is not satisfied. Nor do I feel that I have touched the thing that Thou hast called me to. In my youth I had expended myself with all the things that my heart had desired.”
Then one more time a gracious and loving God visited me in the night season. He said, “Now, what is it that thou dost desire?”
In brokenness of heart, I bowed before Him, and I said, “God, only that thing which Thou dost desire to give unto me.”
He came unto me and said, “Come with Me, and I will take thee on a journey.” He took me past my friends. He took me past those with whom I had come into the house of the Lord. He took me into a desolate place. He caused me to go into a place alone in the wilderness. I said, “O my God, Thou hast cut me off from those I love. What art Thou doing unto me?
He said, “I take thee to the place where all men must come if their heart’s cry is to be fulfilled.”
At a certain hour, I bowed before a gate that is called, “the Eye of the Needle.” There before the Eye of the Needle I heard the voice of the Lord say, “Bow low.” I bowed low. He said, “No, lower.” So, I bowed lower. He said, “Yet lower. Thou dost not go low enough.” So, I went as low as I could go.
I had upon my back my books of learning. I had with me my instruments of music. I had with me my gifts and abilities. He said unto me, “Thou hast too much, thou canst not go through this gate.” I said, “God, thou hast given me these books. Thou hast given me these abilities.” He said, “Drop them, or thou dost not go.” So, I dropped them, and I went on through a very small gate that is called “the Eye of the Needle.”
As I went through this gate, I heard the voice of the Lord say, “Now rise to the other side.” As I rose, a very strange thing happened to me. For lo, the gate which was so small that I must lay aside everything, was so wide I could not fill it. As I stood in the presence of the Lord, I said, “God, what is this thing that Thou hast done unto me, for my soul is now satisfied?”
He said, “Thou hast come through the gate of worship. Now come up to the Circle of the Earth, and I will show thee a great mystery. I will reveal unto thee the thing that I am doing among the sons of men.” he Spirit of the Lord caught me away. He took me to the Circle of the Earth, higher than the eagle flies, beyond where the clouds can rumble, beyond where the sun shines of the moon find her path. There at the throne of my God, He said, “Look down upon My people.”
I saw strange things. I saw my companions gathered around a very small gate. I saw them wringing their hands and crying. They were saying to one another, “God hath given us these instruments of war. This sword is my sword, and I will work against the enemy. I will bring the enemy down. I cannot go through this gate, for if I go through this gate, I must put down my sword. God has called me to be a warrior, and therefore I will not do it.”
And I heard another on say, “Me? Lay down my instruments of music? Lay down all that God had given me, just to go through that silly little gate, to be nothing but a bare man who comes out on the other side stripped of everything? I cannot do his thing!” I saw them as they stood aside in their pride, afraid to bow themselves before a very small gate.
Then I saw again, as the Lord brought me closer to the gate, I saw a man bow low, laying down everything that he had. As he came through the very wide gate on the other side, his instruments of music were there. His sword was there. His books were there. The power was there.
The word of the Lord came to me, “Go now and tell this people before thee, I have given unto this people extreme talents and much ability. I have called those who are instrumentalists to play. But I say unto thee this day, if thou dost not come through the very small gate, which is the gate of worship, and bow low and lay before Me thine instruments, thy talents, thine abilities, thy vision, and thy power, thou shalt always be among those who will only be able to minister to the hearts of men and bless the hearts of men.
“But there is a gate open in the Church in this hour which is a very small gate. Through that gate only men who are worshippers will go. These men will lay talents before their God. These men will say ‘God, we will be worshippers.’ Through that wide gate they will come. As they come through that wide gate (hear again the Word of the Lord), they will arise again on the other side, not to minister unto men, but to minister unto their God.
“I now present before thee a choice. Thou canst minister unto men, and I will cause thee to sway the hearts of men with thy talent. Or thou canst humble thyself as one passing through a very low gate and become a worshiper of God. Then thou shalt minister unto the King.”
So I’ll just leave this here – just in case… For those who have ears to hear…