Sunday, January 22, 2023
How We See Life Isn't How Life Is
How We See Life Isn't How Life Is
by David Brenneman
Jesus is more concerned about your holiness than your happiness.
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we celebrate in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:1-5 NASB
2 Thessalonians 4:3a NASB "For this is the will of God, your sanctification."
We who are in Christ Jesus aren't necessarily going to face a life of success and pleasure that we see those in the world pursuing. We aren't necessarily going to have a life of personal dreams achieved. We need to understand that in Christ there's but 2 priorities of God concerning Believers. The first is our sanctification. Our being made to be like Christ through His work in us. To achieve this means an intimate relationship with Jesus. It means taking down the walls we have erected in our hearts and to become what we were always intended to be in Christ Jesus. The second is to be doing that which is assigned to us to be doing in the body of Christ by the Spirit of God.
Some might point towards a verse that says that if we delight in the Lord He will give us the desires of our hearts. Actually, consider reading that backwards. The desire of our hearts should be in delighting in the Lord.
When our desires and God's will are the same, God sized things happen. When we pursue knowing Jesus, He honors that. When we pursue intimacy with Him, He honors that. When we do as the Spirit directs us, He honors that.
It may not make sense. But it will be right in His eyes, according to His purpose and His plan.
Sometimes we think we've messed up God's plan too much to be of use to Him. My Dear Reader, you aren't that good. Neither am I. Things might be delayed, they might be adjusted, but God's will will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Sometimes our disobedience causes God to shift something that we were given to do off to someone else who is being obedient. His plans for mankind will not be thwarted. What's written in the Bible will still take place. Jesus said not one portion will not be fulfilled to the smallest letter.
Part of His will is going to be difficulties. It's going to be struggles. We learn in these to have a deeper intimacy with Jesus. We learn to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and to lean not on our own understanding. We learn that He indeed has never left us or forsaken us. We learn to love others as He first loved us. We learn to let go of the things that this world traps people in. Making more room in our hearts for the things of God.
Being successful isn't necessarily what the world defines it as. Some come to Christ and go through a lot. It doesn't mean they are failing at Christianity. Sometimes the things we go through are incredibly difficult and painful. Just like in the physical world, Spiritual surgeries can be equally painful. Sometimes needing to be done in stages so as to preserve the patients ability to survive. Jesus never stops in His work in our lives. He doesn't grow tired. Never is weary. He is patient with us in our infirmities. He's well acquainted with grief. He was a man of sorrows after all. He indeed wants what's best for us. It may not take the shape and form we are thinking of either.
Pray often and as frequently as breathing. Find out through your prayers what's next.
Be intentional in being in God's Word. Don't allow distractions that don't need to be there. Be honest with you about what needs to leave your life. If it's coming between you and Jesus, get rid of it. Don't justify what doesn't belong.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.
Set your mind on things above not on the things of this world. Pray without ceasing.
Ask Jesus how you can become more like Christ. Listen.
Many things in this world will be extremely attractive to you. Choosing to take up your own cross and following Jesus is far more important. When life gets difficult remember who is there with you. Remember your positive faith history. Write it down. Read it often. It's been God's instructions through most of the Old Testament.
God's enemy wants us to panic when we see things happening to us and to those around us. He wants us to jump to conclusions. Most of the time, my jumping just gets me to the wrong conclusion. I don't see what God sees. I don't know what God knows. I just know His words to me are : Trust Me.
Indeed some point to another that eye has not seen nor has ear heard nor has it entered the heart of man all that God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9. Well...look at that again. It does not mean nor say anything about any exclusions from difficulties. Many many saints in Heaven had no idea of the real truth behind what was going on that lead to them departing this world to step into eternity. We do not know what God knows. What is important is to make the most of our time. We live in a world that spends billions on NOT making the most of our time. Spending millions on people to play sports when there's other things that the Lord says are of a higher priority. Millions are spent on disposable entertainment. Billions even. Passing along the debt to the next generation. Handing away rights and priveleges to get something rather than pursuing what God wants in a person's life.
Look at what motivates you. Look at what you do in your 'down time'. Look at where you spend your time more than where you spend your money. Is there any dedicated time spent with Jesus each day? Are your thoughts on your day first thing rather than on what Jesus wants you to be doing in your day?
His workmanship will not stop until we step into eternity. His Spirit will not stop in doing what must be done to make us more like Christ. Our obedience and disobedience only determines how much of that will be done while we breath the breathe of life. We will either see the blessings of God for doing so or miss out on the blessings of God for not doing so.
I''m facing some difficult times tomorrow and as odd as it may sound I'm ok with it. I'm ok with whether or not I am able to keep a certification or to lose it. Achieving it was enough. I'm ready to move on. Things that used to be important to me just no longer are. I just want to have a job to do that is helping others.
I do not want the weight of a mortgage so I'm praying that God takes care of that, so that I can get a job that lets me help others by using all that He's taught me throughout my life. I'm not striving for any other worldly dreams or aspirations. I've already achieved what was possible for me in this life. Done things that I thought I'd never do and then some. My dream job awaits only in the timing of God. When He says so, so it shall be. I want to encourage all of you to consider it well that there's much more to your life than you can ever imagine in Christ Jesus. Being willing to accept what God wants for you is the first step. His will to be done, not ours. As part of a 'theme' has been...do everything we do as to the Lord. Do it to the best of our ability. Do it with the right attitude. Remember all the good that God's done in our lives. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. Let's do this...