Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Testing and Temptations

Psalms 11:5 "The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked,
And the one who loves violence His soul hates."

"Our Lord sets such a high value on His people’s faith that He will not screen them from the trials by which their faith is strengthened. You would never have had the precious faith that now supports you if the trial of your faith had not been like a fire. You are a tree that would not have rooted so well if the wind hadn’t rocked you back and forth and made you take firm hold of the precious truths of covenant grace. Ease in this life is a great enemy to faith; it weakens the joints of holy bravery and snaps the sinews of sacred courage. A balloon doesn’t rise until the cords are cut; affliction does this same service for believing souls. While wheat kernels sleep comfortably in the husk, they are useless to people; they must be threshed out of their resting place before their value can be known. So it is good that the Lord tests the righteous—it causes them to grow rich toward God."

I highly doubt that there's any man, woman or child who hasn't looked up after something unpleasant has happened and asked "Why?"

Perhaps that is the most asked, self-contained, question ever.

In it lay countless other questions. 

Some have seen the drawings and undoubtedly many more have seen uprooted trees.  The sheer volume of the root system of a tree is mind boggling.

But that's only the part you are first drawn to.  It's just as important to look at the soil.

A tree with a huge root system that is in a mostly sandy soil will not fare as well in one rich fertile ground.   Storms will come and while the storms are the same for both the risk of being torn asunder are greater when the soil is weak.

The same goes with our Spiritual walk. 
What's your foundation?  Are you trusting in Jesus or some man in a pulpit?

The vision of the Church is solely at the discretion of Jesus Christ.  Not anyone else.  It's not my vision, not yours. Only Jesus is the head. 

We often need to look at our surroundings.  I am often reminded of the Berean Church.  There's a very specific and significant reason why it's mentioned the way it is in the Bible.

They took nothing at face value from the teaching presented.  They looked up everything.  They prayed for understanding.  Interesting to note is that they never had nor needed additional books to do this.

Trials and temptations are part of life.  Consider the words of Jesus.  After one leaves this world He mentions entering into His rest.  His rest. Meaning Jesus's idea of rest. Which means a lack of the storms of life.  Means no more trials and temptations.  Means no more working through each day of troubles.  No more worrying and anxiety.  Peace as He gives, which is whole and complete.  My personal belief is that this prohibits people who have gone on before us to see down here from Heaven.  Because to see this world in the state its in would prohibit anyone from having perfect peace.  I have no doubt that those who are saved and gone on before us are indeed praying for us.  They are at the Throne of God. They are at the place where intercession happens.  I believe that the only beings that can see from Heaven to here are God and Angels.  Only they could maintain the right perspective and only they are still working and have not entered into rest.  The work of those believers who have gone on before us is done.

But for us believers who are still here, work is still here for us to do.  With our hands for sure, but more so for our hearts and Spiritual hands. We still have barriers to work around. We still have trials and temptations to deal with. Our work is to do what Jesus puts before us to do.  We, like those in Heaven, have people who need prayer to come to Christ.  We, like those in Heaven, are interceding for those we cannot physically reach but God can.

Oh the weeping that would be found in Heaven should those there be able to see the world they left!  I just believe God's mercy extends to that point of not allowing them to see down here.

It's certainly found in Hell, where those there cannot see back to this world either. But in their case a great many there weep because of their choice to reject Jesus and knowing the people they know likely will be joining them in torment. 

What all who read this need to understand is just how great the theological equalizer death is.  Everyone has their theology corrected when they die.  For those who either sat on the fence or outright denied Christ, they wake up in Hell and are either weeping in torment at what they missed or they wake up in Hell raging at God. Refusing to believe they were sent there, refusing to bow to the will of God for them but now living their sentence.

For those who are believers, it matters not what kind of Church they attended. Their theology will be brought in line with the unblemished truth of the whole Word of God. I firmly believe that we will spend eternity learning to really understand God's Word...and even that might not be long enough.

So when you are at your point of asking Jesus "Why?" just remember there IS a reason.  Believe me, nobody from me to Billy Graham, C.H. Spurgeon, to Martin Luther or any other Believer is exempt or was exempt from asking that question.
You are in good company.

Jesus said that to be saved you must come as a Child.  Consider a Child's perspective.  Children ask why, they ask what and ask how.  Children ask to see more.  But don't miss the focus perspective.  That Child is focused on receiving from one direction.  His or her parents.  In the believer those questions should have us focused on Christ for the answers.  Not self help books.  Not so-called specialists.  On Christ.
Be so careful of what you receive as teaching.  Scripture says that in these latter days there will be many false teachings.  As a matter of fact it says they are doctrines of demons.  Twisted, very near to sounding like it came from God, types of practices and policies.  Remember Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  A deception.  Doctrines of demons will be deceptions. 

There's a very significant reason why Scripture says to pray without ceasing.

The world says to live for the moment.  God keeps having to snap His fingers to draw our attention back to Him.  Our world is full of deceptions and distractions.  The very heart of what a temptation is.  We are very much like a dog in our attention span when they are looking at us n see a squirrel.

Praying without ceasing. Hymns, songs and Spiritual songs. Making melody in your heart towards God.  Remaining focused.  It's a hard lesson when we keep getting slapped, kicked, punched and our fingers and toes stepped on or hit.

But as God showed me an example of with a professional fighter.  If you are indeed trained well. You will see what's coming and will not be surprised.  You will be able to avoid being hit by not being there when the swing comes.  I watched a boxer, for 5 minutes straight, miss by a fraction of a second, every blow his opponent threw at him. He was practically in his face and couldn't connect.

Thing is, the more in Christ you are, even when the blows come, you will not be shaken. Paul was bit by a poisonous snake.  He shook it off his hand into the fire.  Not saying to go out and do that, but the point is, if we are at the center of God's plans for us, we cannot fail.  It may be a rough ride but we cannot fail.

Keep in God's Word. Keep in Prayer.
Keep praising Him.  Don't be pulled off the road by worldly distractions.

Seek Jesus at all times, especially when you are confused or confident.  I could tell of many times when I was confident that I understood God and was oh so very wrong.  I got ahead of Him and messed things up. 

Pray without ceasing.

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