by David Brenneman
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified." Romans 8:28-30 NASB
Life is going to be hard. Life in Christ is promised to be more abundant. As Mark Lowry said in a video of his, it means higher highs and lower lows than we think we are able to handle. And he is right!
But many run from God, although they won't call it that. They will just find some cushy place to "serve" because of how people treated them.
Does this stop the work of God in us? No...but it will cause the lessons necessary to get back on track with the character of Christ being created in us to be more involved and intense.
Jesus came to seek and save the lost in this world.
Jesus said to beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out more workers into His harvest.
That would be all who claim to be in Christ Jesus. Not some, not a select few, everyone.
We also need to not grow weary from doing good as it says in Galatians. We are often going to be bombarded. Dragged down. Beat up. All in the service to our God. We are told this in advance!
1 Peter 4:12 NASB "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you."
We go through life, often bewildered, because things aren't going to our plans.
Back up there...who's plans?
We who are in Christ are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them.
So things have happened. People will be harsh with you and I. People will be critical of you and I. Maybe even excessively so.
Are we to run from them or trust Jesus?
Satan is an equal opportunity liar.
Satan will lie to, lie about, and lie to protect what he's invested in. Jesus said that he is a liar and the father of lies. He's the deceiver. He's the enemy of God.
He absolutely wants to know the date and time of the Rapture but doesn't know it because it's only between the Father and the Son of God.
He knows it hinges on a particular someone being the last to be saved before that moment in time happens.
So he's using every tool he's developed to slow or halt people who are Christians from living out their faith. Keeping them so distracted and consumed by this world that they aren't living for Jesus with a whole heart. Everything from indulging in self to every imaginable thing.
His aim is to slow or prevent in as many ways as possible Believers from becoming fully devoted followers of Christ Jesus.
Using success as a deceptive practice as well. Pride in success is a big one. Worldly accolades and popularity.
Whatever it takes to keep people from introducing people to Jesus.
When you look at your life honestly are you a fully devoted follower of Christ? Be truthful. If the word maybe, or the phrase sometimes, describes you, then my friend you need to reevaluate your life. If you know your calling in Christ Jesus and you left it, it's time to stop running and go back. A chief fear tool of Satan is planting the seeds of "but what if God wants me to give up..." or "what if He asks me to..." or "you just don't understand those people are so critical!!!".
As it's written in the Bible...is anything too difficult for God? Who formed the mouth? Who knew everything about you before you were born? Who set you in the body of Christ as He saw fit?
Have you ran from God? Dodged your calling in Christ for something else?
This is all, regardless of our reasoning, disobedience. Jonah is a prime example of what disobedience to God's calling will get you. Jesus taught of the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
Several in the Bible ran from things and were told by God to return and submit to those He put in authority over them.
We aren't to seek to change our position in the body of Christ for something easier and with less conflict. That's tantamount to saying that God the Spirit didn't know what He was doing or thinking in placing you where He did. You're accusing Him of making a mistake.
To grow your character of Christ in you, you need to obey and submit to what God sees as necessary for you. Regardless of how complicated or difficult it may seem.
It's not too late, as long as a person is breathing, to return to God, ask for forgiveness, and go back to what He's called you to be doing. After all you WILL be asked of Jesus why you didn't. Will any excuse you provide going to stack up against all He went through to save you?
It's always healthy to take a self evaluation of our Spiritual life. Is growing in Christ important to you? Is obedience to God's Word important to you? If not, why not?
Run back to Jesus instead of away from Him. He loves you unconditionally and is waiting with open arms to receive you back. Yes life is going to be difficult but He promised you would never do it alone.
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