The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Poverty: What is it?


#1

Poverty=

Ptocheia (akin to ptocheua)

  1. What Jesus Christ experienced on our behalf (voluntarily). -2 Cor. 8.9-

  2. Destitute condition of saints in Judea. -2 Cor. 8.2-

  3. Condition of the Church in Smyrna -Rev. 2.9-


#2

Help of the Helpless

Daring to extrapolate the full implications of Jesus’ statement, “Without Me, you can do nothing,” I reached the conclusion years ago that the point of intersection of the sovereignty of God and the collective believers’ subjective state is an intersection of the Father’s decision to act, and our fully recognized state of utter helplessness until He does.

I expect to see indication of the impending, final, consummate move of God in an accelerated realization of our poverty of spirit; that is, of having no autonomous spiritual resources in ourselves. As long as we imagine that God is awaiting our facilitating of His purpose, we deceive ourselves into thinking that we are not, in fact, spiritually bankrupt in and of ourselves and bereft of any ability to contribute to the doing of God.

Nowhere are we told that we are to be God’s helpers, but rather, God is “our help in time of need.” But we must face how great is our need. Does the Lord simply step in to add His strength to ours? Is that the meaning of the Lord as our Helper? No, certainly not! He is the Helper of the utterly helpless, not of those who merely need Him to supercharge their efforts.

There is no positive place in the administration of God for joint-enterprise; no place for, “If you will do your part, God will do His”; “God helps those who help themselves”; 'God is waiting for you to…"; “You need to let God…”

The Lord has granted us in Christ a non-contributing, fully-participating partnership in the fulfillment of His purpose for man for His glory, a glory that He freely gives by grace to us without any element of meriting the same. Thus, nothing can substitute for a good dose of failure to qualify one for this mode of participation.

The world exalts those whom it judges to “have the right stuff,” but it is very apparent in scripture’s record of the history of many of the men and women within whom God worked, that at some point their preparation for service brought them, not to a place where they said, ‘I’m ready, Lord; I’ve got the right stuff,’ but rather, if I may paraphrase a rhetorical collage of their combined attitude: “What, me? You’ve got to be kidding, Lord. I don’t have what it takes.” -John Gavazzoni-

Are our broadest hopes broad enough? Shall there be a nook or abyss, in all the universe of God, finally unlightened by the Cross? Shall there be a sin, or sorrow, or pain unhealed? Is the very universe, is creation in all its extent, a field wide enough for the Son of God?


#3

Is it not strange the long seasons that can elapse on the back-side of the desert? Year by year falls into the great abyss, and at the juncture where we can no longer speak, and the great struggle to do the will of God vanishes into weakness and death, the Bush appears pulsating with Deity. It is there at the asamuth of death and weakness the Living One speaks.

"Take off your shoes from off your feet"

Holy ground! The place where dust and Divinity meet! It is there in absolute weakness and inability, the Lord manifests Himself as the God who raises the dead. The road into the Tree of Life is by way of the flaming swords swirling in every direction. Those who reach for the Tree will suffer the loss of the hand, the fingers, the grasp of all they are! And as the process of the swirling swords rage upon these ones, great loss is inflicted, for nothing, no one, comes to the other side the same as it enters…

NOTHING!..NOTHING!..NOTHING!

The great stages of the Living One’s glory must be in degrees of doxa. We are changed from one degree of glory to another and another! It requires a thought beginning in the mind of the caterpillar that ultimately leads to the building of a cocoon from which caterpillars become butterflies, and dust moves from the road of life into the Divine One, described as “the Living”, the “I am”, not the I was, the I AM.

It is this Heavenly Road that grasps us, the Heavenly One, the Source leading to the Road, the sustaining Guide of the Road, and the Goal of the Road. All things lead to Him, through Him and for Him! And by Him all things consist. It has taken me over 70 years to go a journey that could be accomplished in 11 days, but dust and Divinity must meet; the goal is not all the story, the path is of equal value in the I AM! Each of us are on different stages of our Father’s drawing hand, some so wrapped up in themselves they cannot see the bush that is aflame and is not devoured. It is just a common bush for many, but

"Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; and only he who sees takes off his shoes. -Eliz. Barrett Browning-

Are our broadest hopes broad enough? Shall there be a nook or abyss, in all the universe of God, finally unlightened by the Cross? Shall there be a sin, or sorrow, or pain unhealed? Is the very universe, is creation in all its extent, a field wide enough for the Son of God?