Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands--Ephesians 2:11(NASB)
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you. (Ephesians 1:18 NIV)
The Holy Spirit’s illumination concerning the church is a thing so difficult to explain to any who may not have experienced it. But to those who have seen it, it needs no explanation. It makes such a difference on all these matters. You will be able to preach Ephesians, Colossians, Romans; preach all about the church as the Body of Christ; you may read it all in books, and still there may be no real expression of it. Then one day it was as though the heavens opened and the thing broke upon your spirit, and you saw it; and all kinds of adjustments became necessary in life. You can say, "I saw that the church was no denominational or national thing; I believed in the oneness of all believers..." yes, you can say all that! And yet there is something more. There is something can only come by revelation. You can have the other, and it will just take you so far. But get that something more, and it will take you a long way ahead. It brings you into the realm of the conflict and cost, but you are out in an altogether new realm. It is necessary to God’s end.
It is one thing to say these things and point them out and emphasize them; you say: "How do you get it? We see what you mean, it is all very clear, but we have not got it!" Well, if you really are of the undivided heart, if your heart is wholly set upon the Lord and you see as far as you can see these things, and have very definite dealings with the Lord about it; it may not be in a day, it may be slowly, steadily, quietly you begin to move into a new realm of understanding. And you find that your point of view changes; your standard of values changes; your insight changes. It may take months, but at the end of the time you say: "I am changed! Something has happened to me. I can no longer accept what I used to accept!" It may be like that, or it may come in a flash. How it comes does not matter very much, the fact is the importance of this thing – spiritual illumination. The apostle prayed that these to whom he wrote might have it. Let us pray that we might have it, and that all the Lord’s people might come into that.
When they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. § Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people. Blessed be God! § He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. § I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. § O my soul, march on in strength!
No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. § The fruit of the Spirit.
He removes it by His rough wind in the day of the east wind. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.
Though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.
Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. § But was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
My grace suffices for you, for power matures in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9, Wey.).
There can be no true and intelligent rejection of the self-life without thorough heart preparation by the Holy Spirit. We read in the Word that self is to be hated and rejected, but the development of this attitude may be long removed from the initial revelation. Years of processing separate Romans Three from Colossians Three, in our experience.
"Why are we so deficient in divine power? Simply because we do not like the way it begins. Its beginning is to hate one's own life, and this is an awful start; but there is no tower' built without it. You must refuse human material, or you cannot build to true structure. Power enabled Elisha to take hold of his own clothes and tear them into two pieces. It begins with self-abnegation. This explains the reason why there is so little power. Very often one lingers over his losses like an exile, but he must rise out of it; he must bury his dead out of his sight; it is a great day when that comes to pass, and then he can be useful to others." -J.B.S.
"To be willing to accept crucifixion with Christ, to leave all yourself, your plans and your longings, your abilities and your possessions, all of them at the Cross, so that you only trust and love and live for the Lord Jesus, hurts a great deal. It requires an absolute venture of faith; but beyond it, God says, much fruit.' And the way to it is into the ground and die' - it is the only way; His way."
"Most gladly therefore will I boast of my infirmities rather than complain of them - in order that Christ's power may overshadow me" (2 Cor. 12:9, Wey.).
“Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?” Acts 26:14
Am I set on my own way for God? We are never free from this snare until we are brought into the experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire. Obstinacy and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit. Whenever we are obstinate and self-willed and set upon our own ambitions, we are hurting Jesus. Every time we stand on our rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we are persecuting Jesus. Whenever we stand on our dignity we systematically vex and grieve His Spirit; and when the knowledge comes home that it is Jesus Whom we have been persecuting all the time, it is the most crushing revelation there could be.
Is the word of God tremendously keen to me as I hand it on to you, or does my life give the lie to the things I profess to teach? I may teach sanctification and yet exhibit the spirit of Satan, the spirit that persecutes Jesus Christ. The Spirit of Jesus is conscious of one thing only - a perfect oneness with the Father, and He says, "Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart." All I do ought to be founded on a perfect oneness with Him, not on a self-willed determination to be godly. This will mean that I can be easily put upon, easily over-reached, easily ignored; but if I submit to it for His sake, I prevent Jesus Christ being persecuted.
The book of Job, like every jot and title of the Word, has its own unique purpose, and like all historical and prophetic scriptures it is Christo-centric.. it points to Christ. The book of Job has comforted Christian souls down through the centuries, but like all inspired Scriptures, Job fits into God’s unique purpose and plan.. a plan formed in the heart of God, before the foundation of the world, that Christ should be all in all. And so the book of Job is not only a great comfort to the suffering believer.. it is, from start to finish, a wonderful type – a type of God’s whole plan for Man – a plan set out in the opening chapter of Genesis – “let man have dominion..” Gen.1:26
It demonstrates the way that God, over time, increasingly reveals Himself to man. It typifies the path that the man of faith must follow to “see God and live.” Job is not suffering because he has displeased God. Job is not suffering because he has sinned – indeed the opposite is the truth, as we are instructed from the start of the book. God is omniscient – knowing the past, the present, and the future. God knew Job would endure to the end – when He permitted the enemy to attack. God knew that Job would triumph, despite the sufferings the enemy would inflict. God knew that the enemy would be defeated – defeated through Job’s experience.
God knew that Job’s sufferings would achieve His ultimate plans and His purpose.. plans and purposes that were laid down, before the foundation of the world. God knew that Job’s tribulations would bring to fruition His eternal Plan… a plan conceived in the heart of God that Christ should be All and in all.
Job is described, in intimate terms as My servant…. he is “MY servant Job…” Both at the start and end of the book of Job. God‘s unequivocal statement is.. “Job is MINE” – “Heread more
He knows them that are His.
2 Timothy 2:19
I have loved thee with an everlasting love.
He careth for you.
1 Peter 5:7
Sometimes Scripture calls believers the body; the bride; the little flock, but He is personally concerned with each one, individually. He is Personally concerned with you and He is personally concerned with Me – concerned with each of His children, personally. Concerned with what affects each life… each hurt: each disappointment: each loss: each pain.
He KNOWs each one by name and responds to each heart cry. He responds with a correction:- “What doest thou here Elijah?” He responds with warning:- “Simon, Simon, Satan has desired to have Thee..” He responds with one word of tenderness:- “Mary..” He knows and cares not only who we are but all about us.. every intimate detail; every longing of the heart; every unfulfilled desire of our hurting soul.. – He scheduled each day.
No temptation comes – without His permission. No test is given – without the grace to come through it. No loss of goods; or friends leave Him unmoved. No unfulfilled longing passes by His compassionate heart. We have a merciful High Priest, Who is touched with the feelings of all our infirmities.
Moreover, He is leading us on…and He is leading us home; each step is planned – each path traversed – is under His watchful eye. Hurt and trouble and pain and grief and unfulfilled desires are permitted for our training and our development.. for the future plans He has for you. Yet He has promised to wipe away all tears from your eyes. He has promised beauty for brokenness, He has promised Joy for despair, He as promised to give you back those years that the locusts have eaten.
God whispers:- I know the plans I have for you.. plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope, for He Knows and He Loves and He cares. There is a glory that lies ahead which cannotread more