Tuesday, November 13, 2012

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Oh Taste And See That The Lord Is Good

One of my favorite scriptures is “O taste and see that the Lord is good: Blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” (Psalm 34: 8). At first glance, I thought, taste? How can one taste the Lord? As time has passed, and I’ve spent more time with the Lord, He has taught me the reality of being able to ‘taste’ of His goodness through seeking His presence while studying His Word. God reveals the reality of Himself to each of us through His Word by the power of the Holy Spirit. When we are new in our walk with the Lord, He feeds us first with little baby food bites, for He knows that each of us comes to Him as little babes in the Lord.

When I first began spending time with Him through His Word, my understanding was very miniscule. One of the first things I remember puzzling over was “for those who have ears to hear, let him hear.” I thought that was a mighty strange thing to say. My first thought was, what in the world does that mean? Everyone has ears. However, as I spent more time in His Word I came to understand that He meant ‘spiritual ears’. When we get into the Word of God, the natural man is blinded to the truth of God’s Word. It is only when we come to Him in faith, that He then opens the eyes of our understanding that we might truly know Him and His ways. I have found this to be a process that is a life time journey. I have discovered that whatever is needed to expand my understanding, He continues to provide whether it has been through preachers, teachers, through precious family members or friends, or through my own individual time of study in His Word. I do know that I have learned much, but there is always so much more that I have to learn, and I yearn to do so. He teaches me more each day. It is so neat how I can read some scripture and think to myself, “O, that’s what it means.” I may think that I have a full understanding of what He is saying only to discover later that there is still a deeper and more complete kernel of knowledge to be gained from within that very same scripture. For me, this fact has only served to help me understand the importance of “be being filled” (by and of the Holy Spirit) as the scriptures convey. God is so very awesome! His wonders are new, exciting, and marvelous to behold.

I can see how an unbeliever or even a new believer might first think that some of God’s Word can’t really be taken literally. Yet, if we would only come to Him with the attitude that His Word is truth, and the element that is lacking is not within His truth, but rather in the lacking of our own finite ability to grasp and understand His truth. First, I had to learn that if something didn’t ‘seem’ to be true that it was a flaw in my own ability to understand, and not a flaw in the Word of God. That is how I came to
realize that I must depend upon the Holy Spirit to guide me and lead me in understanding the truth of God’s Word as given in the scripture, “…Lord, I believe; help Thou my unbelief.” (Mark 9: 24) Faith is a gift from God, which He gives freely to whomever would seek to know Him. It is not something that we can gain or retain separate from God. Faith also is something that grows within us as a result of a daily process as we seek to know the will of the Lord through His Word. That is why walking with the Lord is described as a personal relationship with Him. It is a process of learning to yield to Him in a manner that surrenders my entire self, mind, soul, and body to Him. It is a process through which I willingly give up the right to my own way in order to give Him access to make me more into His image. Why do we so often insist on having things our own way, when being renewed, melted, and molded into His image can only bring us greater rewards than we are even able to imagine?

I urge you to read the precious prayer that Jesus prayed for His disciples, and all who would come to believe in Him found in John 17.
He poured out His heart to His heavenly Father for you and me. Take special note of this part: “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth.” What does sanctify mean? It is the process through which the follower of Christ is set apart for sacred use, cleansed, and made holy.
Note, that it is an ongoing lifetime process. What tool did he say was to be used to accomplish the fulfillment of this process? It is the belief in and obedience to what? Again I repeat the words of Jesus Himself, “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is Truth.” It is the belief in and obedience to the Word of God that cleanses us and makes us holy. Once more, note that this is not accomplished in a one time experience, but rather as an on-going process throughout our daily lives.

As I walk with my Lord, I find the journey to be more exciting and precious with each passing day. Knowing that this journey is not just a ‘here and now’ venture, but rather, it is a wonderful adventure that begins here and continues into a never ending eternity with Him, making the trip even more glorious. Along the way, He is eager to make Himself known to us in so many wonderful ways. Through the renewing of our minds by the washing of the water of His Word, He cleanses us of our old sinful nature and restores and remakes our character to be more and more like His. Who,
in his right mind, would not want to be more like Jesus? All that Christ was, is, and does glorifies God the Father. Like Him, as we yield ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit within us, the importance of the things of this world will diminish. Likewise, the value of God and His ways will become more real than life itself. We will find that our hearts will hunger and thirst for that which is pleasing to the one true living God. Our inner being, or spirit, will come to know what it means to be on fire for the Lord. The Refiner’s fire may not always be comfortable, but its results are always more than worth the process of being recreated into His image.

As I think of how to encourage both you and I to spend more time learning from God’s Word, I relate it to the pleasure of dining at the table of a good meal, though that falls far short of the real experience of dining at the table of God’s Word. When we first sit down at the table, we are first enticed by the sumptuous smells that emanate from each well prepared dish.
We await with eagerness the anticipated satisfaction as our taste buds begin to relish the luscious flavor of each delicious bite. We ooh and ahhh as the food is chewed upon to squeeze out every bit of flavor before swallowing each scrumptious morsel of our meal. When we finish, we rub our tummies and feel the relaxing gratification of a terrifically prepared meal.

The Word of God is living. It is active when ministered by the Holy Spirit and will always result in a change for the good in the heart of the believer. As our bodies need food to grow, so also does our spirit need food to prosper and grow. Remember, faith comes (comes and grows) by hearing the Word of God. The Word of God acts like a seed, when it is nurtured and well cared for; it will grow and bring forth fruit. Though enjoying a good meal is great, in reality it can not compare to the eternal and lasting satisfaction of dining upon God’s Word. However, the comparison helped me to gain a deeper appreciation for the fuller meaning of the scripture, “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” I invite you to join with me in the greater pleasures found when dining upon the precious manna from heaven found in God’s own Word.

Draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you. He will share with you and I morsels of truth more precious than silver and gold. Each time that I have truly been ‘with’ Him, I have been showered with the glowing warmth of His precious love that He gives so freely. Yet even as I say that, there have been times that I have not made sure to seek His face to glory in wondrous presence. I have stayed away from the table that is always set for me to dine with Him. Then once I have returned to the table, I find myself singing a song directly given from His heart to me. (The following was first written as the last two paragraphs of this story. See a further explanation of its original source found in the PS at the end. For me it has become a ‘melody of words’ written in one of those special precious moments of being in the presence of the Lord.)

Oh Taste And See That The Lord Is Good!

Why have I stayed away so long?
How can I resist such a living song?
The melody of His Word far surpasses any mortal words.
My heart cries out to Thee, O Lord; Let it be; Let it be!
Let me know each moment of every day,
the newness of becoming less of me and more of Thee.
Let my heart, with a new song break forth each day,
as your love surrounds me and ushers me into your Holy presence.
On bended knee, with a humble heart I plea,
keep me close beside Thee
that your love may forever guide me.
That I may know the joy of being one with Thee,
and knowing that you inhabit the praises of your people,
may my voice forever sing Thy praises.
O what joy t’would be to always and forever be found in glorifying Thee.
No suffering can diminish the power of Thy light,
for in your arms no harm can ever be found.
His love, so dear and true, flows out so free to you and me.
Though trials will come, still dim they will become,
when once we keep our eyes on Thee.
Jesus my Savior, I love and adore you,
remembering always that it was you who first loved me.
You stand at the door of each and every heart,
and beckon to us to open the door.
Won’t you welcome Him in and heed His call,
“Come one, come all,” says Jesus our Lord.
“The table is set. Come dine from my table, and you too can know
the truth that stands now and forever.”
Hear His call as He offers this plea to one and to all,
“O taste and see that the Lord is good.”

Ginger Rahn


I was rereading this today, Nov. 8, 2012, and as I was reading the last two paragraphs I thought, did I write this? Suddenly it sounded as if it were a song written by someone. I looked back over the previous paragraphs to find the name of it. Then, not finding a title, I realized it had been written by me. But then upon further reflection, I was struck with the knowledge that no it was not just of me, but rather the overflowing of the Holy Spirit within me during a precious time of talking with the Lord. A musical melody there may never be, but to my heart He spoke this melody of words, imparting a call to always remember how precious the times when we truly come and sit at His knee. It’s in those moments that He makes Himself so very real that you feel as though you could just reach out and touch Him.

I was once again reminded of a moment in time when my oldest son, Rick,
(then about 8 years old) and I, as we were spending time in prayer with one another. I was sitting on the side of his bed, and as we held hands and I started to pray, he started smiling and giggling. I stopped for a moment and asked him, “What’s so funny?” He said, “You’re talking to Him like He’s just sitting right there in front of you.” His words struck me. I remember telling him, “Well Honey, He is!” It still reminds me of the truth of His words – “Where two or more are gathered, there am I.” Isn’t it marvelous to know that God inhabits (He’s right there!) the praises of His people. He is not a ‘pie in the sky’ mythical idea, He is Emanuel, God with us, and in us, His Holy Spirit. Once again I say along with Him, (Psalm 34: 8) “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.”


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