It's like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the sky nested in its branches."Luke 13:19(HCSB)
By Myself I can do nothing. (John 5:30 NIV)
One of the most difficult lessons that the Lord's children have to learn is how to let go to God. Even in a matter that is right and in the purpose of God, there has to be the lessons which Abraham had to learn through Isaac. It is not our personal clinging to a God-given thing, whether it be a promise or a possession, but faith's restful and fear-free holding on to the Lord Himself. If we had a thing from the Lord Himself we can rest assured that what He gives us He will not take again without some larger purpose in view; and on the other hand, none can take from us what He has determined for us. But there are many dangers which rise from our own will in relation to a Divine gift or purpose.
The first is of making that thing ours instead of holding it in and for the Lord. This leads to fierceness and personal uprisings. Then jealousy will not be long in showing its ugly head, and jealousy with its twin – suspicion – soon destroys fellowship and spontaneity of communion. Does not jealousy declare most loudly the fact of personal possession, personal interest? If we realized how privileged we are to have even a very small part in the things of God, and how it is all of His Grace, surely we should be very grateful that we could just have the remotest connection with Him. Then further, when we hold things received or as promised or believed to be for us as only unto the Lord, in restful trust, we make it possible for the Lord to save us from being mistaken in the matter. It is not an unusual thing for a child of God to come to see that a thing which he or she most strongly believed to be God's will or way for them was not so, and it had to be surrendered. If there was any personal element of will in it the experience has proved terrible, and has left works of bitterness and mistrust. Yet once again, a strong personal mind and will in relation to things of God too often makes us a law unto ourselves. That is, we get into an attitude which implies that we only know the will of God in the matter. We do not trust that others also may be led of the Lord in this thing, and so the corporateness of guidance so necessary to the house of God is destroyed or paralyzed.
Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
If anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. § I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone … not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. § When you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, “We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.”
Our boasting is this … we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshy wisdom but by the grace of God. § We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
Noah … planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk. § [Abram] said to Sarai his wife, … “Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me.” § Isaac said to Jacob, … “Are you really my son Esau?” [Jacob] said, “I am.” § Moses … spoke rashly. § The men of Israel … did not ask counsel of the Lord … Joshua … made a covenant with them. § David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
All these … obtained a good testimony through faith. § [All are] justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. § The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
“Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord God, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways.”
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you" (2 Cor. 9:8).
Once we come to rest in the fact of what He has accomplished for us in Christ, there need be no concern as to how and when He will carry it out in our daily life.
"How many a child of God remains weak and timid because, instead of being occupied with what God has promised, he is considering how it can be fulfilled. But we have nothing to do with the how; it is enough that our Father has given us His Word. Whatever, therefore, may be the nature of the suffering or trial through which we have to pass, let us ever account that God is able to fulfill all His promises.
"Let nothing ever lead us to doubt the certainty of His Word, though we may be utterly at a loss to understand the manner in which He may see fit to accomplish it. We shall then be able to testify, with Joshua of old: Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof' (Josh. 23:14)." -E.H.
Our Father often encourages the weak in faith by giving speedy answers to prayer; but the strong in faith will be further developed by God's delays. Delayed answers to prayer are not only trials of faith, but opportunities of honoring God by our steadfast confidence in Him."
"For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen" (2 Cor. 1:20).
“An horror of great darkness fell upon him.” Genesis 15:1
Whenever God gives a vision to a saint, He puts him, as it were, in the shadow of His hand, and the saint's duty is to be still and listen. There is a darkness which comes from excessive light, and then is the time to listen. Genesis 16 is an illustration of listening to good advice when it is dark instead of waiting for God to send the light. When God gives a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will make you in accordance with the vision He has given if you will wait His time. Never try and help God fulfil His word. Abraham went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all self-sufficiency was destroyed; there was no possibility left of relying on common-sense ways. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not of displeasure. Never pump up joy and confidence, but stay upon God (cf. Isaiah 1:10,11).
Have I any confidence in the flesh? Or have I got beyond all confidence in myself and in men and women of God; in books and prayers and ecstasies; and is my confidence placed now in God Himself, not in His blessings? "I am the Almighty God" - El-Shaddai, the All-Powerful God. The one thing for which we are all being disciplined is to know that God is real. As soon as God becomes real, other people become shadows. Nothing that other saints do or say can ever perturb one who is built on God.
And Jesus must needs go through Samaria. Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus saith unto her, ‘Give me to drink’. ‘Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.’
The soul of man was made for God and needs fellowship with God. Without God the heart and soul of man is lost and in bondage to a cruel taskmaster – but when a lost soul returns to the Lord he finds peace and satisfaction. The spirit of every believer is born anew at the time he first believed – but the soul of every believer needs to partake of the Living Water each day. To say that a believer has no further need of the Lord once tasted, is false, For blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6
But sinner and saint alike will find no lasting joy in the fading pleasures of this world. The tidbits of the world are evanescent – the refreshment of the Lord is everlasting. Jesus said, I shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” John 4:14. His living water from God brings life and health and healing and wholeness. And He showed me a pure river of water of life – clear as crystal.. The tree of life is a healing stream, whose leaves are used for wholeness – for the healing of the nations” Rev.22:1
And He uses you and He uses me to be channels through whom His living waters may flow.. if we, in deep humility, will empty ourselves of king self.. if we, in self-brokenness, will invite Him to reign as supreme ruler in our lives. His living streams brings a glorious hope of salvationread more
The servant of the Lord must be gentle.
2 Timothy 2:24
And great grace was upon them all.
When God conquers us and takes all the flint out of our nature – when we get deep visions into the Spirit of Jesus, then we see, as never before. We see the great rarity of gentleness of spirit in this dark and un-heavenly world. The graces of the Spirit do not settle themselves down upon us by chance.
If we do not discern certain states of grace, and choose them – in Him… if we do not nourish them in our hearts in the power of His Holy Spirit, they never become fastened in our nature or behaviour.For we must will to do of His good pleasure – not our own. Every advance step in grace must be preceded by first apprehending it.
The next step, is a prayerful resolve to have it – in Him, but this requires a dying to self. So few are willing to undergo the deep, intense, purifying fire. His chastenings – out of which thorough gentleness comes. We must die to self, before we can be conformed into His likeness. We must die to self – before we can be turned into the gentleness of His Spirit..
Crucifixion involves suffering. It is a real breaking – a real crushing – a real crucifixion of self. A shattering that wrings the depths of the heart and conquers the mind. There is a good deal of mere mental and logical sanctification nowadays, which is only a religious fiction. It consists of mentally putting one’s self on the altar.. and then mentally saying the altar sanctifies the gift.. and then logically concluding therefore that one is sanctified! And such an one goes forth with a flippant and theological prattle about the deep things of God!!
But the natural heartstrings must be snapped; broken; smashed; crushed.. for I know in me (that is in my flesh -my old Adamic self) dwells no good thing: “For Iread more