Saturday, February 19, 2022

It Isn't What You Think It Is...

It Isn't What You Think It Is...

[Abraham was] fully convinced that what [God] had promised He was also able to perform. ROMANS 4:21 

Phillip Yancey wrote, “Faith is trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” That reminds us of Paul’s analogy, likening faith to a shield that deflects the arrows of the enemy (Ephesians 6:16). 

Our difficulties are darts Satan throws to cause us depression and defeat. Nothing is more stressful than disunity at church, broken relationships at work, disagreement among friends, or division in the home. We can’t make sense of these things when they occur, but we can trust God with the outcome. Faith lifts us up as we determine to trust God despite the circumstances, being fully convinced that He is able to do what He has said. He has promised to work all things together for good, to hear and answer our prayers, to guard our hearts and minds with His peace, to never leave or forsake us, and to restore our souls (Romans 8:28; John 15:7; Philippians 4:7; Hebrews 13:5; Psalm 23:3). Faith is trusting God because of His promises. Life in a Christian environment isn’t easy, but you can stand up to Satan’s attacks when you know who you’re fighting against. You can deflect his darts with the shield of faith. When [God] finds a soul penetrated with a living faith, He pours into it His graces and favors plentifully; there they flow like a torrent. BROTHER LAWRENCE - Dr. David Jeremiah Turning Points with God 

Was reading in Mark this morning and realized that an answer given by a Pastor friend of mine was right there all along.  Just as that Philip Yancey quote refers to. Only looking backwards was it making sense. 

We are used to and are taught about forward thinking. To look ahead. To plan ahead. I used to hear "plan your work, work your plan" all the time at work. 

Looking back at our lives through God's lenses show quite different outcomes than we thought we lived through. 

The question posed to my friend was about why was Jesus telling people to not tell others of His work in their lives.  In Mark we see the results of when people didn't obey.  He had great difficulty in fulfilling His ministry because all the people would come at Him to get something from Him to the extent it was harming His ministry.  Indeed as I had been told they were looking to make Him King by force to keep using Him for that.

I constantly look at my life, often wondering what's happened and where is it heading.  To be honest, it confuses me greatly at times.  Right now my Wife and I are in awe and wonder about how we have been so blessed in our new home.  I honestly struggle with not garnering the same reactions at work that I have been used to for most of 20 plus years. 

It's often hindsight that the Spirit uses to show God's work in our lives.  If we are on the same page as God, in His sanctification of our lives, then indeed we are in the Will of God. If our lives are filled with what's in it for me then there's going to be problems. 

If we are indeed in the Will of God, we ought to expect what Jesus expected, conflicts and disturbances in our lives to take our focus off of what it is the Spirit is doing. 

Everything from useful to useless things can and will happen.  Satan's focus is to hamper God's sanctifying work in all believers. He does not want people obeying or following the Will of God.  These people are dangerous to him.  They are a threat to his will being done. 

In your life things might not make sense, however, we are instructed to persevere. To keep at whatever God puts in front of us to do.  Much of life might not make sense. That's ok as long as we are obeying what God tells us.  It's the excuses that the Spirit doesn't want to hear. 
It's our trying to get out of things that He's said are necessary for our sanctification that will not please God. People who live by excuses never get to where they need to be going. 

I don't pretend to be more than what you see.  I have to be who God designed me to be. I was born how I was, in a time when I was, for His plan and purpose.  Making sense isn't a requirement for obedience. It's not even possible some times.  

A life might be taken and we see no logical reason why. A life might go through literally what we perceive as Hell on Earth, but if those lives are in Christ and those lives were lived out in obedience to God then God will have had good reason for it to be that way.  To that point I direct you to a very good book called 90 Minutes in Heaven. 

The old hymn Trust and Obey is best lived out in faith that our obedience brings about greater trust. 

Jesus indeed came to seek and save the lost.  Satan's plan was to leave people lost and keep Jesus from finding them. 

We are to go and make Disciples teaching them all that Jesus commanded. 
We will fight the same fights and encounter the same things as Jesus in regards to opposition to that. Sometimes it's the world, sometimes it's us.  

In my driver's training I was taught to frequently look in my rear view mirror. Mostly for informational purposes to keep me aware of what's coming up behind me and to see where I have been.  Look into your Spiritual rear view mirror and look at where you have been but remember to keep your eyes on the road ahead.  It's a healthy mix.

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