"If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.John 15:19(NASB)
Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the Head. (Ephesians 4:15 ESV)
Things may be taking a new and different shape, but the purpose of God is the same. We may be presented with His vision in new and further-on aspects, but it is only what He originally meant. Can we adjust? Can we leave "the things that are behind"? Without raising any questions as to the right or wrong of what has been, can we "go on" and "grow up," "attain"? God-given vision makes men of prayer. This is almost too obvious when we remember the men of the Bible. It was vision that got them away from the trivial and petty. It requires vision to get prayer on to the major lines and to make it real travail. What a bound and range those prophets had in prayer! But what immense issues were precipitated. It is not our vision for God, but His vision in us that will be dynamic, and that will determine value.
I cannot conclude without pointing out that what could be voluntary with much gain has often to be made compulsory with much loss. This is because we do not stand back from time to time and in detachment and waiting upon the Lord give Him an opportunity of enlarging vision. Many a work which has mightily served the Lord and been a great spiritual testimony has lost its former glory, purity, and impact because it has become a "Work," a "Movement," an Organization, and its ramifications and responsibilities have become such as to completely rule out any such "retreat" with God, where that work is put back and a real openness to the Lord for anything else, more or other, is enquired after. The Lord might send prophetic vision by ministry to lead into His fuller meanings if there was a way for it, but we are too busy. What tragedy is related to such preoccupation!
This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise. § I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth. § Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore. For great is Your mercy toward me, and You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. § Who is like You, O Lord, … glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? § I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving. § They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty!”
We ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. § Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again.”
Job answered the Lord and said: “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth.” § The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. § David … , to whom also He gave testimony and said, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.” § I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy. § That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious unto you" (Isa. 30:18).
Waiting upon the Father is not a matter of long-suffering, but of expectant faith - quiet, restful, confident dependence upon One who is fully trusted. Often the God of circumstances must teach this waiting by placing us in situations that offer no other alternative.
"When the testing comes, does our faith prove true? Does our confidence in the Father become shaken and our hope prove uncertain? When the clouds have gathered and the thunder rolls and the lightning stabs the darkness and the roar of the storm is in our ears, can we keep our eyes and thoughts off the tempest and continue in the quiet and peace of the Father's presence?
"When the enemy of right and wrong has thrown down the gauntlet and is trampling ruthlessly upon that which affects the honor of our Lord, and when he seems about to bring ruin upon that which our Father has purposed, can we refrain from rushing in to strive with him, and wait for Him in quietness and confidence,' with a true sense both of our weakness and of His faithfulness and strength? When we have no word from the Lord except to wait and everything seems to be at a standstill, does the certainty of hope remain undimmed?" -A.H.
"When you are in faith you will find that the Lord Jesus does not remove the pressure from off you until you are asleep in it, until you are able to take it quietly. You learn His grace first, and then His mercy."
"Faith possesses all things, and hope stretches on to the fulness of the possession, yet in no restless mood, for patience sits by the side of hope in the believer's soul, and teaches him to wait for the glory of the Father. If we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.' (Rom. 8:25)." -H.F.W.
"I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined unto me" (Ps. 40:11)
You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God, through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:5
When we were plunged beneath the crimson flood we were washed as white as snow. When we were drenched in the blood of the Lamb we were made as pure as wool. When we plunged into the fountain filled with blood, we emerged clean and cleansed. When Christ’s redeeming blood flowed, He paid the ransom price for the sin of all. He washed us in His own blood and His righteousness became our inner garment. And you know what….. it is by God’s GRACE.
Sometimes scriptural terminology becomes so familiar that we miss its magnitude, but Christ’s robe of righteousness renders us as perfect in the sight of God as Christ! When God looks at you and me, He sees Christ’s righteousness – not our impurity – and the amazing thing is that it is all by GRACE.
When we first trusted Christ as Saviour we became a part of the household of God. When we initially believed in Jesus, the Spirit took up abiding residence inside us, and we became part of the family of God – and we became His permanent habitation. And the astonishing thing is that is all and only by GRACE. If ever this fact fails to knock us speechless, we need to revisit this stunning truth.
Sin had rendered us strangers and foreigner – aliens to God – homeless and helpless. Blinded minds and bloodied hearts at enmity with the Creator Who made us. Worldly pursuits and foolish pride set a barrier between us and our heavenly Father. We were without God and without hope – chained by Satan and bound for hell. It is not a pretty sight and it had eternal consequences that are inconceivable.
There was nothing we could do to extricate ourselves from this chilling position. There was no one that could help for all are helpless slavesread more
to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved
His very own, His very own,
Wonderful grace in His Word is made known,
Chosen by the Father,
Purchased by the Son,
Sealed by the Spirit,
I’m His very own.
Oh! the riches of His grace - the wonders of His grace - the glories of His grace. We are recipients of the wonderful story of grace conceived in the heart of the Father. We were foreknown to the Father before the world was created and man was made. Overflowing blessings and provision in abundance have been foreordained for us. We are predestined to become like the Son of His love and foreordained to son-ship.
The Father has allowed us a glimpse into the wonderful wealth of all we are in Him. He has given us a peep behind the scene of His infinite wisdom and boundless love.. for He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. He purposed that we should be holy and blameless before Him.
Through His love He predestined us to adoption as sons, through Jesus Christ.. and He did this according to His kind intention and gracious will – and He did this to the ultimate praise of the glory of His grace. Oh! the riches of His grace - the wonders of His grace - the glories of His grace.
God’s grace is founded on the work of Christ, the Son of God Who is God the Son, for His plan has provided redemption and purchased us from the penalty of sin. In Christ, the Beloved, we are redeemed, released, purchased, and paid for. In Christ, we are chosen and positioned with Him in high and heavenly places. In Christ, we’re adopted as sons, given an inheritance, and made joint-heirs with Christ.
We are beloved of the Father and accepted by Him because we are in the Beloved. He has made known to us the mysteryread more