Gracious Uncertainty

Uncertainty
…it has not yet been revealed what we shall be… —1 John 3:2

Our natural inclination is to be so precise– trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next– that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” We cannot presume to see ourselves in any circumstance in which we have never been.

Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life– gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God– it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “…unless you…become as little children…” (Matthew 18:3).

The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “…believe also in Me” (John 14:1), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in– but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.

By Oswald Chambers

The Peace of Wisdom

Proverbs 3:13-26

Godly wisdom can be defined as the capacity to see things the way the Lord sees them and to respond according to His principles. One of the great benefits of this mindset is peace. Generally, when life’s running smoothly and all is well with us and our loved ones, we have no trouble experiencing contentment. But often when situations become difficult, God’s perspective eludes us, and our peace is rapidly replaced with stress, anxiety, and fear.

To view a difficult circumstance from the Lord’s perspective, we need to see it encompassed by the boundaries of His character and attributes. Even when the particulars of life are beyond our control, the One who rules the universe remains sovereign over all things—down to the smallest details. He loves us unconditionally and always works for our best interest. Therefore, if He has allowed a situation, there is a divine plan and reason, and the outcome will be for our good and His glory.

That wise perspective will lead to a godly response—complete confidence and trust in the Lord despite any pain or hardship. Because of the indwelling Spirit, we have the assurance that He is more than adequate for whatever comes our way, which means we are sufficient in Him.

When difficulty hits, don’t let sound wisdom vanish from your sight. Keep your eyes on the Lord. By seeing every situation through His eyes, you can rest in His wisdom and good purposes. Then stress will lift, anxiety will be replaced with peace, and confidence in the Lord will silence your fears.

Unanswered Prayer

She ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. —Psalm 5:1-2

If unanswered prayer continues in a congregation over an extended period of time, the chill of discouragement will settle over the praying people. If we continue to ask and ask and ask, like petulant children, never expecting to get what we ask for but continuing to whine for it, we will become chilled within our beings.

If we continue in our prayers and never get answers, the lack of results will tend to confirm the natural unbelief of our hearts. Remember this: the human heart by nature is filled with unbelief….

Perhaps worst of all is the fact that our failures in prayer leave the enemy in possession of the field. The worst part about the failure of a military drive is not the loss of men or the loss of face but the fact that the enemy is left in possession of the field. In the spiritual sense, this is both a tragedy and a disaster. The devil
ought to be on the run, always fighting a rear guard action. Instead, this blasphemous enemy smugly and scornfully holds his position, and the people of God let him have it. No wonder the work of the Lord is greatly retarded. Little wonder the work of God stands still!

Lord, show me Your power today. Increase my faith. Don’t ever let the enemy claim any territory because of my doubt and unbelief. Amen.

Showers of Blessing

“And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.” (Ezekiel 34:26)

This verse provided the inspiration for the old gospel hymn “Showers of Blessing.” While it applies specifically to Israel, it states a divine principle which believers of all times have rightly appropriated to their own lives. The same word (“showers”) is also frequently translated “rain,” speaking of the rain which followed Elijah’s contest with the prophets of Baal at the end of the three-year drought. “And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain” (1 Kings 18:41).

In general, the word is most commonly used to indicate very heavy rains. In fact, its first occurrence is in connection with the great Flood. “The rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:12). This rain had poured forth from the windows (literally “sluiceways”) of heaven, and it provides an impressive picture of the tremendous showers of blessing which God desires to pour down on His people.

In the context of our key verse, the promised showers follow the condition of the preceding verses: “And I the LORD will be their God, . . . And I will make with them a covenant of peace” (Ezekiel 34:24-25). The greatest blessings of God, accordingly, must follow the knowledge of God and the peace of God, through the Lord Jesus Christ.

No doubt the greatest of all spiritual blessings, at least in this life, is the inspired Word of God, and the same word is so used: “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud. . . . So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11). HMM

Sensitive to Religion, but Living Like the Devil – Ananias

Sensitive to Religion, but Living Like the Devil
..Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8

In our day you can find plenty of men and women in all walks of life who live like the devil while insisting that they are “sensitive” to religion!

If an evangelist sweeps through and the excitement gets big enough, they will go to the meeting and swell the crowd and contribute to the offering—and it will look big.

But here’s the catch: after it is all over, the moral standards of the community are right where they were before. I contend that whatever does not raise the moral standard and consciousness of the church or community has not been a revival from God.

The “god” that men believe in now, and to whom they are “sensitive,” is a kind of divine Pan with a pipe who plays lovely music while they dance, but he is not a God that makes any moral demands on them.

I still say that any revival that will come to a nation and leave people as much in love with money as they were before and as engrossed in human pleasures is a snare and a delusion!

True faith in God—not in any god, not in religion, but faith in the sovereign God who made heaven and earth and who will require men’s deeds—that is the God we must believe in, my friends. Believing in Him, we will seek to crucify our flesh and put on the new man which is renewed in holiness.

That kind of faith in God is all but gone. When the Son of Man cometh, will He find faith on the earth?


Ananias
But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?” Acts 5:3

There were three men in the book of Acts named Ananias. The first was the man to whom Peter spoke in Acts 5. Ananias and his wife sold a piece of land and claimed they were giving all the proceeds to the church. They were lying, and their lie was exposed to protect the church from deceit.

The second Ananias was a fervent disciple of Christ in Damascus who had the joy of leading Saul of Tarsus to faith in Christ and facilitating his baptism (Acts 9:1-19). Paul later described him as a man of “good testimony” (Acts 22:12).

The third Ananias was the high priest who commanded that Paul be struck on the mouth in Acts 23:2. The apostle responded angrily, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall!”

We encounter these same three men today. Some in the church have a corrupting influence. Some in the world oppose the spread of the Gospel. But here and there we encounter true saints who maintain a good testimony and seek to win others to the Lord Jesus.

What kind of Ananias are you?

We must not let Satan in the door of the church. We must resist his temptation so as not to violate the holiness of Almighty God. David Jeremiah

Recommended Reading: Acts 9:10-19

Demonstrate Your Faith

It is the spirit that quickeneth… the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. JOHN 6:63

We know of many who have been deceived into believing that the learning and the memorizing of Christian doctrine is all sufficient. They actually think that somehow they are better off for having learned the doctrines of religion.

God actually asks of us what He asked of Noah long ago! “Demonstrate your faith in God in your everyday life!”

It is evident that God did not say to Noah, “I am depending on you to hold the proper orthodox doctrines. Everything will be just fine if you stand up for the right doctrines.”

I have read a statement by Martin Lloyd-Jones, the English preacher and writer, in which he said: “It is perilously close to being sinful for any person to learn doctrine for doctrine’s sake.”

I agree with his conclusion that doctrine is always best when it is incarnated— when it is seen fleshed out in the lives of godly men and women. Our God Himself appeared at His very best when He came into our world and lived in our flesh!

Dear Lord, enable me to demonstrate my faith in practical ways today. Remind me to put feet to my faith when I have the inclination to hide my “light” under a stack of hay.