Friday, July 21, 2023
Only As Long as is Necessary
Only As Long as is Necessary
by David Brenneman
Been listening through the 30 Life Principles by Dr. Charles Stanley.
Life often isn't what we want it to be...probably the understatement of the year.
In Life Principle #7 The Dark Moments in Our Life, he says "God has designed adversity, regardless of its source, to become a turning point from which you take your greatest leaps forward in spiritual growth. He allows adversity to remain in your life only until He accomplishes His purpose in you. He will not keep it in your life one second longer than is necessary."
Adversity is anything that causes us distress or discomfort of any type or kind.
Can be home life related, work related, friendship related, marriage related, acquaintance related or something so personal that only you and God know what it is.
If you're interested, go to:
But as to today's writing...let's go see what is written about Jacob and his brother Esau.
"The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and furthermore he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and the herds and the camels, into two companies; for he said, “If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the company which is left will escape.” Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord, who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will prosper you,’ I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You have shown to Your servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies. Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, that he will come and attack me and the mothers with the children. For You said, ‘I will surely prosper you and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which is too great to be numbered.’” Genesis 32:6-12 NASB95
Jacob prayed in his distress.
Jesus answered by changing both Esau AND Jacob.
Our prayers concerning our adversities should change us as well as whatever is pressing upon our hearts. God doesn't want to leave us in a distressed state. He still intends to complete that work in us of sanctification that He began when we first came to Christ for salvation.
Do you think the formerly know as "trickster", Jacob was becoming a changed man? For sure he was. His changing character would be profound enough to merit his name being changed to Israel.
It's not hard to see that Jacob was scared. He had stolen his brother's birthright. Stolen his brother's blessing from his Father. Think he had good reason to be scared?
We face adversities in our lives for various reasons. What the reason is we may never fully know.
What ought to be first and foremost in our hearts and minds is to seek out what it is that God's either allowing or is doing that will bring us into a closer relationship with Jesus...His ultimate goal is always our sanctification, not necessarily our happiness.
Some of the strongest Christians in Church history, by all worldly accounts, looked to have lived distressed lives. Look at the faith chapter, as it were.
There's a lot to read, but my Dear Reader, it's worth reading!
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come. By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace. And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect."
Hebrews Chapter 11 NASB95.
We will indeed cry out to Jesus in our distress. I have more times than I can count.
Our adversities, our distress, ought to drive us towards Jesus, not away from Him.
Every storm has had an end to it.
Everything we come face-to-face with will either cause us to cling to Jesus all the more or cause us to separate from Him.
There is no middle ground.
As Dr. Stanley said..only as long as is necessary to accomplish the will of God for you.
It means not letting any root of bitterness take root.
It means that we don't give up on others in Christ. Especially if they are Believers.
It means, potentially, sacrificing what we think we need to bring about whatever God's doing. It means, my Dear Reader, God wants your whole heart. Adversities tend to bring to light that He doesn't have your whole heart. He is jealous for you.
So many within the Church give up on covenant relationships that are between them, God, and their spouse. God says in Genesis that what He has joined together let no one separate. It has been since the beginning...man, woman and Jesus...for life.
On our part...seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. Seek what His will is for us. Separation is never His will for us.
Jesus, as we read yesterday, set aside His own will in favor of whatever His Father wanted.
Pray today for your eyes to see why you are going through what you are. Pray for your wisdom to come from God. Pray for His will to be done in you through your adversities.
Pray on, pray over, pray through. Do NOT give up just because the world tells you that is your only way. Create your own war room. Your place to do battle on your knees. Your place of remembrance of the righteousness life that God desires for you. Your place to seek Him. To enter His Throne Room. We battle not against flesh and blood. We, in Christ, are fighters. We don't give up on whatever the will of God for us is. We don't stop praying until we see a very definitive no from God. We aren't quitters in that regard.
It's time to go to battle, to war, alongside those heroes of the faith.