In the second year of Darius the king, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came by the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,Haggai 1:1(NASB)
The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. (John 6:63 NLT)
It is one thing to have a conception or apprehension of the purpose of God, and to be given up to it, but it is an extra thing to know how God would realize His purpose. And it is still another thing to know the means He would employ. There are many who have a true conception of what God's purpose is, but the means which they employ are not God's means, the way in which they go to work is not His way, and therefore they find that the Lord does not support them. They may be in a true direction, but being out of fellowship with the method or means they are compelled to take responsibility for the work themselves, and find the resources. Thus they find themselves oftimes exhausted, brought to a standstill, and having to resort to all kinds of methods and means to raise the resources to carry on God's work, because they are not in the real enjoyment of His Own support. The work of God becomes a burden upon their shoulders, and the Lord cannot order it otherwise because there is not the fullest fellowship and sympathy between them and His ways, His methods, His means, His times and the details of His purpose.
Now, in the case of the Lord Jesus it was quite the contrary. In the details He was in secret fellowship with the Father. With Him this represented a detailed obedience unto one comprehensive purpose. The only explanation needed by Him in any given matter was simply that of knowing that the Father willed it, and without any further word He did it. That was the basis of His relationship. Never do we trace in Him a sign of waiting to question why a thing should be done in a certain way, or at a certain time and not another, or why certain means should be employed and not others. It was enough that the Father willed it. The explanation came in the justification and vindication that followed. The doing of the will of the Father was a matter of obedience which never moves out from self but always out from the Father. As that held good in His case the spiritual resources of sustenance, maintenance, strength, and energy were all supplied.
I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters where the floods overflow me. § Waters flowed over my head; I said, “I am cut off!” I called on Your name, O LORD, from the lowest pit. You have heard my voice: “Do not hide Your ear from my sighing, from my cry for help.” You drew near on the day I called on You, and said, “Do not fear!”
Will the LORD cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up HIs tender mercies? And I said, “This is my anguish; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the works of the LORD; surely I will remember Your wonders of old.§ I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested. § “Ask! What shall I give you?” And Solomon said to God: … “Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people.” § God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore.
Asa cried out to the LORD his God, and said, “LORD it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power … O LORD, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!” So the LORD struck the Ethiopians before Asa.
O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come.
My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in [your] weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9).
In self we are crippled; in Christ we conquer. The secret is to face up to the former, and rest in the latter. The disadvantaged believer has all the advantage - he knows it must be "not I, but Christ."
"It is a great step when the believer fully consents to his own weakness, and the abiding consciousness of it, and so works faithfully on, fully assured that his Lord is working through him. He rejoices that the excellence of the power is of God, and not of us. Realizing his oneness with his Lord, he considers no longer his own weakness, but counts on the power of Him of whose hidden working within he is assured.
"It is this secret assurance that gives a brightness to his look, and a gentle firmness to his tone, and a perseverance to all his efforts, which of themselves are great means of influencing those he is seeking to win. He goes forth in the spirit of one to whom victory is assured; for this is the victory that overcometh, even our faith. He no longer counts it humility to say that God cannot bless his unworthy efforts. He claims and expects a blessing, because it is not he, but Christ in him, that worketh. The great secret of abiding in Christ is the deep conviction that we are nothing, and He is everything." -A.M.
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God". (2 Cor. 3:5).
“While ye have light, believe in the light.” John 12:36
We all have moments when we feel better than our best, and we say - "I feel fit for anything; if only I could be like this always!" We are not meant to be. Those moments are moments of insight which we have to live up to when we do not feel like it. Many of us are no good for this workaday world when there is no high hour. We must bring our commonplace life up to the standard revealed in the high hour.
Never allow a feeling which was stirred in you in the high hour to evaporate. Don't put your mental feet on the mantelpiece and say - "What a marvellous state of mind to be in!" Act immediately, do something, if only because you would rather not do it. If in a prayer meeting God has shown you something to do, don't say - "I'll do it"; do it! Take yourself by the scruff of the neck and shake off your incarnate laziness. Laziness is always seen in cravings for the high hour; we talk about working up to a time on the mount. We have to learn to live in the grey day according to what we saw on the mount.
Don't cave in because you have been baffled once, get at it again. Burn your bridges behind you, and stand committed to God by your own act. Never revise your decisions, but see that you make your decisions in the light of the high hour.
But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
Paul had to come to realise that behind intense suffering, was as a divine purpose and Paul led the way for us all to understand that, My grace is sufficient. Why was Paul given this reply from God, when he asked the Lord to remove his suffering? Why didn’t God just take it away? Did He not love Paul or care about him? Yes, of course, God’s love is eternal; all-embracing and unconditional.
But Paul like us, had to come to an understanding that our strength in is Christ and not in ourselves and Paul like us, had to learn the many spiritual blessings that flow from suffering. In His grace God knew that suffering would develop and mature Paul’s faith, which is more precious than gold in God’s sight. And this is equally true of all believers – of you and of me. God desires each of us to mature in the faith for our sufferings and trials are but for a moment – and He gives us His all-sufficient grace for all our needs
The faith of every child of God is precious to Him, for He knows how important it is that we mature in our Christian life, so that we are not tossed about by every wind of doctrine or deceived by every lie of the enemy. He desires that we store up treasure in heaven and that we maintain a firm trust in His unchanging word. And so God uses the circumstances of life, both good and bad, to test our faith so that it grows strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
But faith can’t be tested in the sultry days of summer nor in the armchair of ease. Faith is tested in the smelting fires of trials, as the temperature of the fires are heated seven times hotter, and yet it is God Whoread more
Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
Union with Christ or being placed in Christ, is as simple as A-B-C, for it is a result of simply trusting in Jesus as Saviour. And communion with Christ and fellowship with God is similarly as easy as 1-2-3. But false perceptions of God’s Word, often causes believers to doubt their union, and misappropriate God’s Word. And it often causes confusion about communion – about fellowship with the Father.
But Scripture tells us many times, that union with Christ is an eternal relationship. Scripture also gives very clear instructions on how to maintain communion with God. And John expounds the personal, intimate relationship we so long for, and he tells us how to maintain fellowship with God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
In his first epistle chapter one, John leads us through a logical path of why communion can be interrupted. He gives instruction on how we also can regain and maintain this intimate fellowship. But ingrained, religious traditions often causes us to misappropriate John’s teaching. Similarly, self-imposed perceptions of what John writes, often causes incorrect application.
John tells us about the beautiful, personal and intimate communion we can all enjoy with the Father, which is the right of all His children. John reminisces of his own intimate fellowship with the eternal Son, Jesus Christ. John saw Him, heard Him and touched His Lord, and delights to tell us that we too can enjoy like-sweet communion.. precious communion and he continues: truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
Decades after Christ had ascended into heaven, John tells us: truly our fellowship IS with the Father, and IS with His Son. And we discover this is possible because we are in union with Christ for we have the same indwelling Spirit of Christ as John. Communion is possible with the Father and the Son, by means of the Spirit – and it isread more