'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'Revelation 2:29(NASB)
I have told you all this so that you may find your peace in Me. You will find trouble in the world but, never lose heart, I have conquered the world! (John 16:33 Phillips)
When the spiritual stands to confront the merely formal, traditional, nominal and "natural," then there is going to be trouble. This is not now merely the reaction from the world: it is the reaction from religion. I would go further, and say it may be the reaction from Christianity. There is a very great difference between formal, traditional, nominal, "natural" Christianity, on the one side, and spiritual Christianity, on the other; a great deal of difference. So much so, that this also becomes a battlefield the battlefield of a lot of trouble.
Leave formalism alone, and everything will go on quite quietly. Leave traditionalism alone that is, the set order of things as it has always been; that framework of things as it has been constituted and set up and established by man; that Christianity which is the fixed, accepted system of things and you will escape a great deal of trouble. But seek to bring in a truly spiritual order of things, and trouble arises at once. And YOU are the trouble maker! The truth is that the trouble lies in the existing condition, the situation, the state; but it is only brought out by your action. And so spiritual men and women, and spiritual ministry, are called "trouble makers," because the two things cannot go on together. That is where Israel was. They had the traditions, they had the oracles, they had the ordinances, they had the testimonies; they had the forms, they had the system they had it all; but, in the days of the prophets, there was ever this vast gap between the "externals" and "internals" of life in relation with God. The heart is far removed from the lips. The spiritual reality is not found in the formal. You may have it all but then bring in the truly spiritual meaning of things, and trouble begins in that very realm. It is the trouble which arises when what is external and traditional comes into conflict with something which is truly spiritual.
Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. § Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. § I sat down in his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. § I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.
I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart. § My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes … More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. § Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror.
With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
We are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags. § “There is none righteous, no, not one.” … For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness … that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Accepted in the Beloved. § You are complete in Him.
For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7).
Our Father often uses our failure to foster and fortify our faith.
"Faith is dependence upon the Father. And this God-dependence only begins when self-dependence ends. And self-dependence only comes to its end, with most of us, when sorrow, suffering, affliction, broken plans and hopes bring us to that place of self-helplessness where we throw ourselves upon our Father in seeming utter helplessness and defeat. And only then do we find that we have learned the lesson of faith; to find our tiny craft of life rushing onward to a blessed life of fruitfulness and service undreamt of in the days of our fleshly strength and self-reliance."
"The divine counsel shall stand, and the divine good pleasure shall be accomplished. What relief for the heart amid rebuffs and disappointments! The Father will perfect that which concerns His own; and even where there are mistakes and failures, as alas! there are in abundance with all of us, His rich grace abounds over all, and actually takes occasion from our very mistakes to shine out all the more brightly - though, assuredly, the mistakes must produce their own painful and humiliating consequences.
"It is the remembrance of this which alone can give calm repose in the midst of the most discouraging circumstances. If we take the eye of faith off the Father, our souls must soon be overwhelmed. It is our privilege to be able, in our little measure, to thank our Father in view of everything, and take refuge in His eternal counsels, which must be made good despite all the unbelief of the Christian, and all the malice of Satan." -C.H.M.
"We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith groweth exceedingly" (2 Thess. 1:3).
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything that I have told you.
When writing about the glories we have in the Holy Spirit, Warren Wiersbe wrote: 'People of the world live by sight and depend on the externals, but Christians walk by faith and depend on the eternals'.
There is a lot of truth in this simple statement for the Holy Spirit is our Helper. He is our Help and Helper, our Comfort and Comforter – He is our Advocate. He is also our Teacher and Trainer and His work is to make us more like Christ. When one walks by faith in Christ we have abiding access to the very Spirit of God.
While Jesus lived in the world He was all these things to his little band of followers, But when He ascended on high, He sent the Spirit to replace His physical presence. When the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, to baptise the Church into Christ and to fill them with His fullness, He took up permanent residence in each believer’s heart – and Jesus promised He is to guide us into truth and train us in all godly living.
Never before had the Holy Spirit permanently in-dwelt the whole body of believers. In the age of Israel, He empowered a few believers for a specific length of time, in a particular way or work and He also came in power upon prophets, priests, and kings, but this was never a permanent indwelling.
Pentecost inaugurated an unparalleled period in the chronicles of the human race. That momentous event in the history of the world began a new and glorious chapter. The ongoing outpouring of the riches of God’s amazing grace from that uniquely special occasion, on all believers, has been through the beautiful ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus told His disciples that: the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Fatherread more
Since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
We are children of the light, for we walk in the light of the knowledge of Christ. We are children of the day, yet we live in a world of darkness, sin, and lawlessness.. and so we are to be sober, clear-headed and wise in our Christian walk and witness. We are to be sober and circumspect as we work, watch, and wait for the Lord’s return.
This doesn’t mean living with a long face or putting on an illusion of piousness, but rather we are to be realistically alive and living in prepared anticipation. We are to be calm and collected in spirit but not lulled into a false sense of security. We are to be temperate in mind, dispassionate in heart, and vigilant in soul. We are children of light; children of the day – and so we are to be clothed in Christ.
There are three preeminent graces, which form a believers’ protective covering. Together they shine as shafts of light when Christ is seated on the throne of the soul.. for when we are covered with Christ we have put on faith and hope and love.
Both faith and love unite as one, for faith works through love – while love feeds faith. This protective breastplate of faith and love is our covering of Christ’s righteousness, for the heart that abides in Christ is the one that stands firm in the day of trouble.
Faith is the spiritual fruit of patient endurance: as seeing Him who is invisible. Love is the root that bears all things, believes all things, hopes and endures all things. The former enables the patient tenacity of trusting faith in Christ Jesus. The latter excites the diligent works of a growing love for Jesus Christ, and they intertwine as His banner of love, over those that trust in His name.