No Substitutes

“Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:” Isaiah 29:13

Why is it that your ears continually itch to hear some new thing? What is it that you wish to find out? Will your ear ever be satisfied with hearing?1

My beloved, why do you not rather turn your ears, and your whole heart, to your Creator? Why is it that you cannot stand Me, and you will listen to anything, and anyone but Me?

You must always be looking with your eyes and hearing with your ears: such teachers indulge your ears, and speak good words of My love, but why is it that you will not come and actually be loved by Me? Why is it that you will learn and hear of My love for an entire lifetime, yet you never seek after the very object of which you study?2 Why is it that you scarcely allow My love to be perfected and flourished in you?

You pray before Me with your lips, and offer up, as it were, your incense, but from what forest have you taken such wood? I tell you, your trees are hewn down, and you gather from another forest, and burn incense from the dark woods of SELF. It is a stink.

You drink the waters of wisdom, but from which well have you drawn? I tell you, your reservoirs are empty, and from the excess and bitter waters of man’s own mind have you drawn your waters. It is foolishness.

Child, why will you force the matter? Your trees have fallen, and your waters are dried, and will you now seek out and offer a vain substitute? Shall I take pleasure in this? Why do you not rather say, “Lord, refresh me, for I will go no further”? Shall you, in your pride, uncover all My deep mysteries? Why do you force the matter? Why do you not rather say, “feed me with food convenient for me”?3

Dearest child, what is it that you lack, that you search out such strange things? What hunger do you have, that you forsake My bread, and search for bizarre and unknown meats? What thirst do you have, that you would forsake My pure waters, and lust after the foulest concoctions?4

My child, you grieve Me. Do you not know that the subtle workings of sin are in motion? Though you have a thirst, it is not for Me, and though you hunger, it is not after that which will satisfy.

Do you not see the similarities to wickedness? Do you not see the kinship to sin? For I have made man for Myself, yet he does not cease in seeking out many inventions.5 How long shall you be in heaping unto yourself vain teachers?6 Man’s heart cannot cease from wanderlust: whether it be by blatant disobediences, or “godly” teachings, it is but a sinful distrac­tion. Of this only will I ask you: where is your love and desire toward Me? Toward Me.

Your doctrines and teachings, imagined from your own lusts, are in your own heart as ugliness, yet I am beauty. Your prayers, spoken with no earnestness or charity, are as a stench, yet I am that delightful fragrance.7 Why do you look unceas­ingly to substitutes? What is it that you lack? What is it that you cannot find in Me?

Dear one, I tell you, your mind is alienated from Me through carnality. If My foes are burned with hellfire, what good sweetness shall I have in store for My own children? Do you not see that you have been distantly separated from your Maker?

Beloved, return to Me! I have made you for Myself.8 How I long to set your mind and soul, lo, even your very being aright.

How is it, that by taking thought on another creature, and on the things of creation, you can lust exceedingly, yet for My own glory you have no affection?9 Your mind lusts and spins in desire for that which you can see, and the wheels of sin begin to turn in your head. Yet to take thought of Me, you feel no love—not one spark of desire toward the very perfection of beauty, your Creator from everlasting to everlasting.10 Surely this is a dire perverseness!

“[W]alk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:” —Ephesians 4:17–18

In your present mindset, you look upon earthly beauty, and you are carnally drawn toward it. By taking thought, and by looking and lusting, the workings of sin activate and bring forth an evil bramble of corruption. Yet, if you forsake your ways, and turn from your self-life, and disentangle your net­tled mind, will not My Spirit vividly draw you to Myself instead? Could you not then take thought on Me, and meditate on My love—turning and returning in your heart, and be changed, not unto corruption, but unto My likeness?11 Unto holiness?

Oh, why are you so passionate for evil only? You are altogether too carnal. Do you not see that I have stitched into you a remarkable desire? And yet, it twists and turns only to darkness. Let Me, as it were, switch the train-tracks of your heart. Let your desire by switched over from your carnal tracks unto spiritual, and let the locomotive of your desirous love come into My presence with all fervor and haste.

Forsake your old ways, and your old life: forsake the flesh. Do you not know that I am Spirit? Why then are you so attached to that which will one day pass away?12 Turn to Me, and turn from vanity. Will not your desire, in all purity, be all the more greater for My eternal beauty? If mere man can bring such vehement desire in your heart, what shall the Almighty God stir up within you?

Come My child, and free yourself from the vain foods that do not satisfy, and from the strange drinks that do not quench, and commune rather with My own heart. You shall seek Me, and desire Me, and truly, you will find Me.13 You shall see the light of My glory, and be awakened with My likeness.14

Delve Deeper:

  1. Ecclesiastes 1:8
  2. Jeremiah 9:23-24
  3. Proverbs 30:8-9
  4. Jeremiah 2:11-13
  5. Ecclesiastes 7:29
  6. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
  7. 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
  8. Revelation 4:11
  9. Romans 1:22-25
  10. Isaiah 64:6-7
  11. 2 Corinthians 3:18
  12. Colossians 3:1-3
  13. Jeremiah 29:12-13
  14. Psalm 17:15

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