The Oil, The Spirit (1)

Today, I am going to give you a recipe:

1 hin of pure Olive Oil

500 shekels of Myrrh

250 shekels of Cinnamon

250 shekels of Calamus

500 shekels of Cassia

First you take the pure olive oil. This is the pure element of divinity of God. In the beginning there was just God. In Genesis 1:2 of the Spirit of God (the essence of this divinity) was all there was. Well, this is just the start of the recipe.

Then comes the Myrrh. Flowing Myrrh was used in ancient times as a painkiller and often used in burials. The Lord was presented with Myrrh by the wise men. At His death He was offered Myrrh to drink. Thus from childhood through death His life was a life of suffering. In Isaiah we are told that the Lord was a root out of dry ground. This means that He did not find any satisfaction in HIs environment.

After the Myrrh, we have to add the cinnamon. Cinnamon. Cinnamon is a heart stimulant. This means that the precious death of Christ is sweet and effective. It stimulates our heart making us happy and joyful in the Lord.

Then, we will add Calamus. Calamus was a reed that shot up from it’s swampy, marshy growing place. This represents the resurrection of Christ.

Finally, Cassia. Cassia is an insect repellent. The power of Christ’s resurrection repels all the evil “insects” (which of course is Satan) from our being.

This Holy Anointing Oil was compounded and used to anoint all the furnishings in the tabernacle. This anointing separated these items from common usage. Now they were separated and ready to be used in the service of the tabernacle.

In Psalm 133, the anointing oil was poured upon Aaron, the High Priest and upon his beard and garments. To be those doing the work of the tabernacle we need to be those anointed and filled with the Spirit. Then we will experience and enjoy all the aspects in this marvelous recipe of the Spirit. Then as we  remain in the body (signified by Aaron’s garments) we will have the “painting” of the anointing oil, then our service will be to “paint” others with this marvelous spirit.

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God’s Military Draft

Have you ever heard the conundrum, “Can God create a rock so big that even He can’t move it?” Any way you consider it what it does is question God’s power. God is omnipotent. He has unrivaled and unlimited power. On this earth then, is God able to do whatever He wants to do? Oddly enough the answer is no. What? What is this? Why? Here’s the thing, God created creatures with a will. That’s right, you and I , we have an independent will. We can choose whatever we want to choose. God, because He is righteous and just, will not violate our free will. Our will then becomes God’s limitation. God’s will then can only be accomplished when God has a people who are one with Him. Today, God cannot do whatever He wants on this earth because WE ARE LIMITING HIM.

In the Old Testament, God moved through the tabernacle. In Exodus 30:1-10 there was the golden incense altar. As a previous message brought out those who pray at the incense altar are praying for God’s move on the earth. Immediately following verses 1-10 are 11-16 which show the result of that prayer for God’s move: The expiation silver that numbered the children of Israel and formed them into an army that fought for God’s interests on the earth. When we pray for God’s move at the golden incense altar we will realize that God is unwelcome everywhere on this earth. The only way that God can move is through fighting. Now, this fighting is NOT against flesh and blood. That is, this fighting is NOT a physical warfare but a spiritual warfare fought against the evil powers, principalities, and the authority of darkness in the air.

But to be drafted, conscripted into God’s army is not for just anyone. There are requirements. The requirements revealed in Exodus are these:

  1. Males. This is in typology, so it does not refer to only men, but those among God’s people who are strong in their spirit.
  2. 20 years of age. This means that they must have a certain degree of spiritual growth and be at least at a particular stage of maturity.
  3. Formed. This army is not made up of a special ops unit. It does not require individual Spiritual giants and “prayer warriors,” rather, this army has been formed of ones who are under authority, are experienced warriors, and have been coordinated for God’s move.

All of these requirements center around one crucial matter and this was the heart of burden of the message: growth. Our desperate and urgent need today is for a group of people to grow to maturity. Pray for God to grow in you. Pray for God to grow in your companions. Pray for God to grow in all the saints all over the world. Just begin to pray! The Lord then will sovereignly use persons, things, and events to empty us of everything that fills us. He will remove every preoccupation. This emptying out of everything else will then increase our capacity to be filled with Him. When we are transformed and filled with the divine life we will then reach spiritual maturity and be ready to be formed into an army that will fight the spiritual warfare so that God will no longer be limited and God’s will on the earth will be accomplished.

 

Water

In the matter of the Altar of Burnt Offering (the bronze altar), what was so significant was this precious matter of the death of Christ. On the cross, the Lord’s blood was shed for our redemption. However, it was not just blood which flowed forth from the Lord. John 19:34 reads: “But one of the soldiers pieced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.” Water also flowed from the pierced side of the Lord Jesus on the cross. In the tabernacle the next item also matches this experience for after the altar of burnt offering comes the laver of bronze.

This laver was formed from the bronze mirrors of the women who served at the entrance of the tent of meeting. This means that when we come to the Crucified Lord, we are exposed and we can truly see who and what we are. Like the hymn says, “I am a sinner that touchest You.” However, the bronze laver does not simply expose our fallen condition and defiled being, the laver is also filled with water. Hallelujah for the water! Water. I have never appreciated this clear, refreshing liquid as much as I have after seeing this. The water in the laver signifies Christ as the life-giving Spirit. Our hope is in tasting and experiencing this One in a constant way.

The water in the laver (that is the life-giving Spirit) is available for us to drink. Our drinking is actually our being washed and cleansed from all the earthly things that defile us. The serving priests HAD to FIRST come to the laver to wash before they could enter into the tabernacle and experience any of the furnishings. In our service to God, we must first experience and enjoy the washing of the life-giving Spirit.

This continual washing is the Lord loving us to the uttermost. Love is the source and motivator for our being washed. In Ephesians it says that Christ so loved the church that He gave Himself up for that He might sanctify her by washing her in the water of the word. We are so loved. He loves us to the uttermost. To respond to His love, we need to open up to drink the Spirit. We need to drink the Spirit when we come to the word in a prayerful, exercised way. This drinking is not something that we may graduate from. In fact, this process is one we must remain in for the rest of our lives. We need to be the “ing” people. That is, we need to be those experiencing, opening, calling, receiving, shouting, reveling in the washing of the refreshing, life-giving water in the word of God. As we drink and are washed and renewed, the bride of Christ is beautified and thus prepared to meet her Bridegroom.

Now Christ is the life-giving laver

Now Christ is the washing One too.

He’s now sanctifying, renewing,

To beautify both me and you!

//Oh Lord, Amen, Oh Lord, Amen, Hallelujah!//

A Tree

The Bible starts out with a Tree (the Tree of Life) and ends with a Tree (the Tree of Life). In between we have very many Trees, the apple tree in Song of songs, the cypress and olive trees in the Prophets, the vine tree in the Gospels among others. Last night in message four we saw another Tree, a marvelous gold tree with almond blossoms and shinning light.

In Exodus 25:31-40, God revealed to Moses the design of the lampstand. Actually, what God gave to Moses was a design of Himself. The pure gold substance of the lampstand denotes God the Father in His divine nature. The form signifies God the Son as the embodiment of the Father and the lamps denote God the Spirit as the seven Spirits of God shinning out God. In Exodus however, there is only half the story, Revelation chapter 1 shows that the one lampstand is now seven lampstands. These seven lampstands are the seven churches. The Church is a perfect reprint, reproduction of the Spirit.  This is the intrinsic significance of the lampstand and the highest peak of the divine revelation. God is reproducing Himself in the Church.

In our subjective experience, the lampstand signifies the God-man living. This is the living of Jesus Christ again on the earth. It is a life that demands a price to gain the fresh, golden oil. In Zechariah there is this picture of the two sons of oil who empty out the oil from themselves to pour into the lampstand. The Christ that we experience and enjoy as we draw near to Him and partake of Him through eating must be wrought into our being and poured out from us. This means that this life is a life of suffering. The lampstand is of beaten work. Christ’s life was a life of suffering. To live a life of suffering is to live a life through the cross and by the Spirit that we may be blended with others that together we may shine forth the light of life. It is a life fully in and through the resurrection life of Christ. Each cup of the lampstand was an almond blossom. Like those upon Aaron’s rod, this signifies the resurrection life of Christ. This life is the fruit of the Spirit and it is the light, the expression of God. To have such a life is to have a living that proclaims, “not I but Christ” and “for to me to live is Christ.” To be such a person, what we need is to be fully open to the Lord for His infusion. Every morning when we come to the Lord, we need to open and pray to the Lord to search out all the chambers of our heart. As He searches and enlightens our being, we are transformed to have the true God-man living.

Finally the organic maintenance of the golden lampstand is Christ’s shepherding us in His heavenly ministry. Psalms 22 speaks of Christ’s death and resurrection, Psalms 24 of His coming back, in between we have Psalms 23: The Lord is my Shepherd. I had never seen this before. Incredible. What links the Lord’s death and resurrection to His return is His shepherding. Today, the Son of Man walks in the midst of the golden lampstands. He is girded with a golden girdle tied about His breast. This means that in His precious, tender, loving humanity, the Lord cares for us. He dresses the lamps to make them proper, that is He cherishes us that we may be happy, pleasant, and comfortable. He trims the wicks, that is He removes all the negative things in our being that prevent us from shinning forth God. He nourishes us with Himself so that we may together be His shinning expression and manifestation upon the earth.

Lord, may You gain this in us.

“Great, but have you eaten?”

After the last two messages, I think I have this image in my head where I sidle up to the Lord, who of course is sitting on His throne, and I push a button and a little packet comes out with the a little card stating “sufficient grace for today, come back tomorrow.” Honestly, for me, this is the same as that small book with the title: HWMR. But, taking care of that form isn’t the point, is it? The point is that when we come forward into the Holy of Holies, to the Ark, in our experience the Ark becomes the table of the Bread of the Presence.

What is the table for? A feast! What is the bread for? EATING! The Christian life is a life centered and focused on eating. It is NOT a matter of doing or not doing this or that. It is NOT a matter of putting on a façade of piety. It is NOT a matter of trying to change people’s thoughts and beliefs and workings and doings. It is simply and wholly a matter of eating.

Not long after the children of Israel began their wanderings in the wilderness God provided them with heavenly bread, manna. The manna became the constituting element that separated them from the other peoples and made them a heavenly nation. (Remember, you are what you eat!) But, the table of the Bread of the Presence signifies a deeper experience in our eating. Actually, we need to learn to feed upon Christ, to take Him in, to enjoy Him in this deeper way.

The significance of the Bread of the Presence in our experience can be seen in these five points when contrasted with the manna:

First, the manna was in the wilderness, outside of the outer court of the tabernacle. The Bread of the Presence is in the Holy Place. As a Christian you have the right and duty to enjoy Christ. Wherever you are, you can enjoy Christ! This is the manna. He is ready and available no matter where you are. But, there is a special portion of Christ that can only be found in the Holy Place and it is related to the Ark. The Ark is the embodiment of Christ, the Holy Place is the built up habitation of God. What is this? This is the church. This particular portion of Christ can only be enjoyed and experienced when you are built up with other believers. Do you feel like you can go on alone? Or do you realize your need for the other members? If you realize this need, then you can say that you have (to whatever extent) been built up in the church.

Second, the manna was available to everyone. The Bread of the Presence was food only for the Priests, God’s serving ones. This ties in with the third and fourth contrasts which are that the manna was the supply for their living, whereas the Bread of Presence was the supply which enabled the Priests to serve God; and that the manna was the daily supply whereas the Bread of the Presence was a weekly supply.

Finally, the fifth contrast was that the manna was scattered about on a field whereas the Bread of the Presence was arranged in a particular way upon the table. This signifies that eating this supply will produce a manifestation, a display of Christ that will be a nourishment to both God and man. When we eat manna we are separated unto God, when we eat the Bread of the Presence we become the duplication and manifestation of God on the earth.

These are marvelous, detailed points of how we need to partake of the Bread of the Presence. However, what stood out to me from this message wasn’t so much the how, but the who. This is the Bread of the PRESENCE. What does this mean? In Hebrew, the word translated as presence here is literally, “face.” To come into the Holy Place to enjoy the Bread of the Presence means that you come forward to the Ark as the throne of grace and enjoy Christ in the very face of God. The treasure in our spirit (the reality of the Holy Place) is that we have the face of God. A person’s face and countenance reveals everything about that person. When we have God’s face and live in His presence, we know God’s heart and thus can walk according to God’s heart and live a life that fulfills God’s purpose. Hallelujah, eating Jesus is the way!

The Kapporeth

So the first message boils down to: draw near to God. In fact, you need to draw so near to God that you become one with the divine, human, universal incorporation of the Triune God. Distance, remember? Well, there’s problem. God is love, light, holy, and righteous. Because God is all of these things, fallen man cannot have access to Him. Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are all sinners. And even if we haven’t sinned (in the last day or two, anyway) guess what? We FALL SHORT of God’s glory. The first message told us to eat the hidden manna within the golden pot, within the ark, but if you were to enter into the Holy of Holies, you would see that on either side of the Ark keeping watch over the contents of the Ark were two cherubim made of beaten gold. These were the cherubim that made sure that anyone who came forward met the high standard of God’s divinity.

In Old Testament times, the high priest would enter into the Holy of Holies once per year. Upon the skirt of his robe there were bells. These bells would ring as the priest worked. However, if the priest did not match God’s standard of glory, he would die when he entered the Holy of Holies. Hence, the high priest would always come forward with fear and trembling, fearing whether or not he matched God’s glory. The high priest would sprinkle the blood upon the “kapporeth” or cover, that is the expiation cover of the Ark. This lid, “covered over” or rather appeased God’s requirements so that the high priest would be able to come forward to the Holy of Holies. Appease. What a wonderful word. Appease means to pacify or placate someone by acceding to their demands. The standards of God’s glory are demands upon us which we cannot fulfill. However, the blood upon the cover appeases God’s demands and allows God and us to meet together to fellowship and allows God to speak to us and lead us.

Today, Christ is the great High Priest who through His own blood has opened a new and living way for us to come forward, not with fear and trembling but with boldness. We come forward not to a throne of judgement and condemnation that judges how much we fall short of God’s glory, but rather to a throne of grace where we find mercy and receive grace (Heb. 4:16). He is the propitiatory sacrifice whose blood was shed for our redemption. He is also the expiation cover, where the blood is sprinkled to appease God’s righteous requirements. Christ is also the propitiation place, the place where God’s presence is and where we come to fellowship with God and listen to His speaking. Finally, today He is the throne of Grace installed in our spirit where we can come to experience all the reality of these marvelous promises.

Let us therefore come forward with boldness! To live our Christian life, a life of purpose and truth, we need to be a person who receives God’s infusion in the Holy of Holies, then we will be a person in the Lord’s ultimate recovery that will terminate this age and usher in the age of the kingdom and ultimately the New Jerusalem.

The Ark of the Testimony

Oh man, why are you here on this earth? What a question. This was the question that was posed to me in this message last night. Why are you here on this earth, for you or for the Lord?

In the Old Testament, the children of Israel had one function as they were wandering through the wilderness: They carried around the tabernacle. That was it, traveling around, wanderers. The main item in that tabernacle was the Ark of the Testimony. As we know, the Old Testament is a book of pictures, what is the reality of the Ark? The Ark represents Jesus Christ as the embodiment and presence of the Triune God.

The Ark was made of acacia wood, showing the strong, amazing, beautiful humanity of the Lord. It was overlaid with gold, which signifies the precious, shining divinity of the Lord. Within this Ark were the two tablets of the testimony. The ten commandments (check out my other post if you need a refresher on what those are all about) were a picture of what God is: Love, Light, Holiness, Righteousness. Christ is also the testimony of God, not a picture, but rather a living portrait. Within the Ark there was also Aaron’s rod that budded. This signifies Christ as the resurrection life to carry out a serving life that buds, blossoms, and bears fruit and fulfills God’s purpose. Finally, within the Ark, there was also the manna within the gold pot. This was precious to me. The manna, within the golden pot, within the ark, within the Holy of Holies. What is this?!?

Let’s take a look at this. The Holy of Holies is the deepest place within the tabernacle, where God’s Shekinah glory dwelt. Where is this place today? It is our regenerated human spirit! When we turn to our spirit, we can access the hidden manna, this personal, intimate, portion of Christ that can be assimilated by us to become our life and life supply.

How do we do this you say? Good question. Love. That’s the key. As this hymn states:

What e’er thou lovest, man/ that too become thou must;/ God if thou lovest God,/ Dust, if thou loves dust./ Go out, God will come in;/ Die thou and let Him live;/ Be not and He will be.

I found that the key to this message lay in the word “distance.” There must be no distance between us and the Lord. We must separate ourselves from everything else. When we draw near to the Lord, draw near to this wonderful Christ represented in the Ark of the Testimony, then we can partake of this life and live a life that fulfills God’s purpose. We can be a reproduction of the life that He lived on earth. A life in which there was nothing of Himself (Jn. 5:19), in which He did not do His own work (Jn 14:34, 17:4), in which He did not speak His own word (Jn 14:10, 24), which was not by His own will (Jn 5:30), and in which He did not seek His own glory (Jn 7:18). We must let this same life be our Christian work and service, our Christian life.

This, is the purpose of my Christian life and the reason for which I am here on this earth.

Around the Corner

I. Daniel 9:24-27 is the most precious portion in the book of Daniel; the seventy weeks in these verses are the key to understanding all the prophecies in the Bible–Dan. 7:7, 23-25; 12:7; Rev. 12:14; 13:1; 17:12

This message did not disappoint, it was complex, multifaceted, and to be honest with you (which you know I always am) mind numbing. And, well, I am not a dunce, neither do I cringe away from gathering little nuggets and gems of knowledge that will give me the upper hand in a battle of Bible trivia, but at the moment the ceiling and light fixtures at the training center make more sense to me than the first half of my notes which just look like this:

1. Prophecies reveal Christ. 2. Reveals God’s move on the earth. History-Past move, Prophecy-Future move. 3. Principle: literal interpretation.

1. Rebuilding of the temple. 2. Coming of the Messiah. 3. Seven years at the end of this age. (Tribulation) 4. Antichrist. 5. Millenium (spelling error in original, millennium has two n’s? Should I know that?)

1. The beast, Dan 7, Rev 13. 2. King from the North Dan 11, 8. 3. Continuation of Roman Empire Dan 2. 4. Antichrist Dan 12. 5. Great Tribulation Matt. 24:21. 6. Man-child and the Dragon Rev 12. 7. Seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls Rev 8, 16. 8. Secret rapture and open rapture.

1.Gathering of the Jewish people. 2. Fig tree. 3. Jerusalem trodden under Matt 6:7. 4. Rebuilding of the temple.

The last thirty minutes or so make much more sense, and not only do they make sense, but there was a resonating within my being that I hadn’t felt in a long time. It has to do with one thing, our attitude. Specifically our attitude toward two things, to the age of mystery and to the Lord’s coming.

Within the seventy weeks revealed in Daniel there is a gap of unknown duration known as “the age of mystery.” This gap is not just a way to explain the Lord’s delay, but it is a hidden, secret, mysterious period of time within the physical, outward, human time in which the Lord is doing something that cannot be seen and apprehended physically. All the stuff in my undecipherable notes are physical, literal things available to be seen by all men, but the work the Lord is doing today within His believers has nothing to do with the physical world. Why is this so important? Because we as Christians too often confuse and mix and try to get the two things to fit perfectly together when in reality they are two magnets who cannot coexist in the same realm.

The mustard seed in the book of Matthew grew into a huge tree whereupon the birds of heaven came to roost. This is the church growing roots into the earth and gaining political power and thus losing sight of the fact that we are a heavenly people. We are sojourners on this earth. We shouldn’t be striving and angling for human power. It is not a matter of politics. It is not a matter of getting our earthly human governments to mirror and conform to God’s government. Forget about it! Set your sights somewhere else. Set your eyes on the Lord’s return.

Which brings me to the second part of our attitude. Our attitude regarding the Lord’s coming. From message three and the beginning of this message we can see that the truth of the end times and the Lord’s return has been recovered. If we are diligent, we can enter into this truth, but there is the need for the recovering of the experience of waiting for the Lord’s return.

Waiting. The proper attitude we should have toward the Lord’s return is that of waiting with hopeful expectation. This doesn’t mean we don’t go about our business, of course we go ahead and lead normal human lives, but how is our attitude?

How precious was our brother’s sharing of ME Barber’s attitude. On the last day of the year she prayed with these words to the Lord:

“Lord, there’s no need to wait until next year, there’s still time for You to return this year.” And as she came to a bend in the road she said, “maybe He will be around the corner.”

May we follow in our sister’s shoes and have the attitude that even at 11:59 on December 31, 2012 we would hope and expect that He be just around the corner.

Faithful

Picture this:

A great human image with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, abdomen and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet partly of iron and partly of clay.

Do you see it?

It seems easy enough to interpret: four sections of the image, each corresponding to four empires which in the sight of God are the totality of all human government from Genesis chapter 10 until the end of the age. This very concise and in some ways rather simple picture is actually the controlling vision in the book of Daniel. This thought was mind-boggling to me. Maybe because (as you will see in my next post) the complexity of some of the other visions and prophecies in the Bible are so complex and multifaceted that they seem that much more…I don’t want to say valuable, but you get my drift. But why is this vision the controlling vision?

This is the controlling vision in the book of Daniel because this vision reveals the destiny of human government and reveals what will happen in the last days. If we receive this vision, if we really see it, we will be clear as to where we are at right now and we will realize that the time is short. If we see this vision we will be infused with the desire to respond to the Lord’s words at the end of Revelation: “Amen, come Lord Jesus!”

So, what is the destiny of the great human image (human government) unveiled to us in this vision? Its destiny is to be crushed by the stone cut out without hands. This stone, the overcoming Christ with His overcoming bridal army comes to crush the image at its toes following which the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold are crushed all at once and become like chaff from the summer threshing floors. But you want to know something, that’s not the end, that corporate smiting stone becomes a great mountain and fills the whole earth. Key word: FILLS.

This is what will happen, Christ will fill the whole earth; His kingdom will come and will fill the whole earth forever.

This all begins today. Today. That is all we have, so we must take advantage of every “today” the Lord gives us to open to the Lord so that He would come and make His home in our hearts to fill us. The Lord desires to fill the whole earth, but He must start with filling us. So, today, take the time to be infused, to be saturated, to be permeated, to be filled! This happens through our loving the Lord with our first and best love, and our loving His appearing. If we are those loving His appearing we will remain faithful to the end.

Faithful. The outstanding characteristic of an overcomer: faithfulness.

If we see this controlling vision, if within us there is the proper response to this vision, we will be welcomed by the Lord with these words:

Well done, good and faithful slave.”

Amen, Lord fill us. Amen, Lord make us faithful. Amen, come Lord Jesus!

Man of Preciousness

Daniel lived at a time when God was moving to turn the age. The age when the children of Israel were to return from their captivity to the land of Immanuel to rebuild the temple and the city.

However, God would not do this alone, He needed someone through whom His divine will could be carried out. Today, like in Daniel’s time, God is moving to change the age. The Body must be built, the Bride prepared, the Army readied. This is not done by building “churches” on every corner or lobbying for the NRA; rather it can only be done through men of preciousness, men fully, wholly, absolutely open to God, joined to God through His word, and separated from the world. Men of prayer, having an excellent spirit, fearing God, honoring God, exalting God, and living under God’s rule in the reality of the kingdom of the heavens.

Daniel was such a man. When the heavenly messenger visited Daniel twice he called him a man of preciousness even telling him that he was preciousness itself. Why was Daniel referred to as such? Daniel was precious to God because he had dispensational value. He was fully under God’s authority, he was a self-sacrificing person with a spirit of martyrdom. With such a person, God could do whatever He wanted.

What an amazing person Daniel was. I have to admit, he and I…well…we may be sprouts from the same Father, but..oh Lord, what I shame I am. Not consecrated, not separated, thankless, unprayerful, closed, rebellious, complicated, and above all selfish and self-centered.

And probably, looking at myself, looking at the standard, I could have given up before bothering to get started if not for roman numeral III in the outline:

Daniel joined himself to God’s desire through God’s Word–Dan. 9:1-4; Deut. 17:18-20; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Eph. 6:17-18; Psa. 119:11, 24.

To be a man of preciousness, we must be constituted with the One who is Precious. This One, this precious Christ is found in the Word. I absolutely loved the utterance in the outline, the Word is the “condensation of God’s light.” From it we receive the life supply and the divine watering. Through it we are washed, sanctified, renewed, transformed, and conformed to be the duplication of Christ.

Saints, forget everything else, just muse (taste and enjoy through careful considering) upon the Word. Exercise to pray over and with God’s Word to receive the life to be made into preciousness itself.