Aug 1, 2010
What He has done for others He can do for you.
Aug 1, 2010
What He has done for others He can do for you.
We always have a vision of something before it actually becomes real to us. When we realize that the vision is real, but is not yet real in us, Satan comes to us with his temptations, and we are inclined to say that there is no point in even trying to continue. Instead of the vision becoming real to us, we have entered into a valley of humiliation.
Life is not as idle ore,
But iron dug from central gloom,
And battered by the shocks of doom
To shape and use.
God gives us a vision, and then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of that vision. It is in the valley that so many of us give up and faint. Every God-given vision will become real if we will only have patience. Just think of the enormous amount of free time God has! He is never in a hurry. Yet we are always in such a frantic hurry. While still in the light of the glory of the vision, we go right out to do things, but the vision is not yet real in us. God has to take us into the valley and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the point where He can trust us with the reality of the vision. Ever since God gave us the vision, He has been at work. He is getting us into the shape of the goal He has for us, and yet over and over again we try to escape from the Sculptor’s hand in an effort to batter ourselves into the shape of our own goal.
The vision that God gives is not some unattainable castle in the sky, but a vision of what God wants you to be down here. Allow the Potter to put you on His wheel and whirl you around as He desires. Then as surely as God is God, and you are you, you will turn out as an exact likeness of the vision. But don’t lose heart in the process. If you have ever had a vision from God, you may try as you will to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never allow it.
by Oswald Chambers
Living a life that’s committed to Christ calls for following His wisdom. Let’s look at attitudes necessary for consistent Christ-centered lifestyle:
Determination. Walking in wisdom is not something that happens automatically. We must decide ahead of time to pursue godly living wholeheartedly.
Focus. To stay on the path of the Lord’s will, we must fix our attention on His Word. As we meditate on Scripture and absorb its truths, our minds will align with Christ’s, and our choices will be in tune with biblical principles.
Spirit Sensitivity. With determination to live a holy life and with close attention to Scripture, we become more sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit, our guide who indicates the direction we are to take.
Trust. Sometimes the Lord’s choice for us doesn’t appear sensible. It may seem foolish or require sacrifice. Trusting in His perfect wisdom is necessary if we’re to walk according to His plan.
Courage. Some things God requires of us may cause us to react with fear. As our trust in Him deepens, courage grows, and we discover the joy of embracing His choice for us.
Perseverance. It is one thing to start out on the right path; maintaining the course for a lifetime is something else. By depending on God, we can persist and choose wisely over a long period.
Walking in wisdom requires that we continually practice a few basics: Know God, trust Him, listen, and obey. Is this your pattern for living? Remember, a lifetime of godliness develops one choice at a time.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” (Psalm 42:5)
This expression (“O my soul”) is not used here by the psalmist as a trite exclamation, but as a plea of heart-searching introspection, concerned over the dark depression that was about to settle over him because of the oppressions of his enemies (Psalm 43:2). The question in our text is asked three times by him in these two short psalms (Psalm 42:5,11; 43:5), and each time he answers himself: “Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him.”
Yet God continued to withhold His answer. His enemies were taunting him about it (Psalm 42:3, 10), and the psalmist, in spite of himself, found himself crying out “Why?” no less than ten times. Nevertheless, his faith in God never failed, and it thus becomes a great testimony to us today for he asked his “why?” questions in submission to God’s will. When we are tempted to “go . . . mourning because of the oppression of the enemy” (42:9; 43:2) and still God seems to have “forgotten,” then is the very time we must continue to affirm: “I shall yet praise him!” He is “the God of my life,” and “in the night his song shall be with me” (42:8).
It may not be God’s will to set us free from the “noise of thy waterspouts” (42:7) or “the deceitful and unjust man” (43:1), but His light and truth will still lead, and we can yet praise Him, despite the circumstances.
In our text, the psalmist praises God for “the help of his countenance.” In the verses which echo this verse (42:11; 43:5), his testimony is slightly—yet significantly—changed. “I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance.”
Therefore, even in a dark night of “O my soul,” we can see Him by faith, with countenances full of joy. HMM
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. —Revelation 3:17
The wilderness encroaches on the fruitful field, and unless there is constant fighting off of this encroachment, there will be little or no harvest.
I think it is exactly the same with the church, for as one of the old saints said, “Never think for a minute that there will be a time when you will not be tempted. He is tempted the most effectively who thinks that he isn’t being tempted at all.”
Just when we think we are not being tempted, that is the time of danger, and so it is with the Church. We lean back on our own laurels and say, “That may be true of some churches, but it is not true of us. We are increased with goods and have need of nothing!” (see Revelation 3:17).
This is to remind us that we must fight for what we have. Our little field of God’s planting must have the necessary weapons and plenty of watchmen out there to drive off the crows and all sorts of creatures, to say nothing of the little insects that destroy the crops. We have to keep after them. We must keep our field healthy, and there is only one way to do that, and that is to keep true to the Word of God. We must constantly go back to the grass roots and get the Word into the Church.
Lord, don’t ever let us become complacent in Your blessing. Keep us vigilant that our field might stay healthy and the little weeds might never be allowed to take root. Amen.
But let alt those that put their trust in thee rejoice… let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. Psalm 5:11
Perhaps the most serious charge that can be brought against modern Christians is that we are not sufficiently in love with Christ—love that may rise to a degree of adoration almost beyond the power of the heart to endure!
Neither the word ‘adoration’ nor any of its forms is found in our familiar King James Bible, but the idea is there in full bloom. The great Bible saints were, above all, enraptured lovers of God. The psalms celebrate the love which David (and a few others) felt for the person of God. Paul confessed that love for Christ carried him beyond himself and made him do extravagant things which to a mind untouched with the delights of such love might seem irrational.
In our Christian circles today it is rare when we find anyone aglow with personal love for Christ. I trust it is not uncharitable to say that a great deal of praise in conservative circles is perfunctory and forced, where it is not downright insincere!
There can be nothing more terrible or more wonderful than to be stricken with love for Christ so deeply that the whole being goes out in a pained adoration of His person, an adoration that disturbs and disconcerts while it purges and satisfies and relaxes the deep inner heart.
This love as a kind of moral fragrance is ever detected upon the garments of the saints—and the list of fragrant saints is long. This radiant love for Christ is to my mind the one sure proof of membership in the church universal!
If ye will not obey… then shall the hand of the LORD be against you. 1 SAMUEL 12:15
Independence is a strong human trait, so men and women everywhere bristle when anyone says, “You owe obedience!” In the natural sense, we do not take kindly to the prospect of yielding obedience to anyone.
Both Old and New Testaments of the Bible make it plain that sin is disobedience to the law of God. Paul’s picture of sinners in Ephesians concludes that the wrath of God will come upon those who are “the children of disobedience” (2:2-3).
So, we live in a generation of men and women alienated from God, and who make a great case for individualism and “the right of self-determination.” The individual’s strong statement is this: “I belong to myself. No one has the authority to require my obedience!”
Now, if God had made us to be mere machines, we would not have the power of self-determination. He made us in His image, to be moral creatures with the power, but not the right, to choose evil. We have the right to be good. We never have the right to be bad because God, the Creator, is good. If we choose to be unholy, we are using a right that is not ours!
Lord, thank You so much for Your willingness to forgive when Your children err. What other religion can boast such a loving and merciful God?