The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.Genesis 2:8(NASB)
They shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels. (Malachi 3:17 AMP)
If we have committed ourselves to God thoroughly and really meant with the Lord that we want His full will and we do not want our own, and by His grace we will go the way that He leads and shows, whatever it costs, if we have done that and then situations have arisen which look terribly complicated and seem to contradict the faithfulness of God, what am I to conclude? What are we going to conclude? We have to conclude one of two things that God cares nothing for all our devotion and consecration, and just lets us get into any mess, or else this is all under His eye. That is ultimate. We have either to believe God or not to believe Him. You have all this here in the Word, and it all bears down upon this, that people who are related in Divine foreknowledge and Divine sovereign action come into situations like that, but in the end that sovereignty has been shown to relate to something unusually precious to the Lord, "and they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, even Mine own possession, in the day that I do make" (Malachi 3:17).
The Lord is after something more than ordinary and He needs a people for it, but such a people will have unusual experiences, inside and out. It will not be the ordinary, normal course where everything goes well and straightforwardly. It will not be like that for these people. They go through ways that are tortuous and exceedingly difficult, but there is a sovereignty at work. That is my way of analyzing and summing up the situation as I see it in the Word, and I can only say to you that it is not foreign and strange to God's special purposes to have experiences like that. Whether it be the remnant of Israel, whether it be the reactions of God in this Christian dispensation, in the book of the Revelation, the messages to the churches which are just on this ground, it is all like this. Nothing seems normal with a people like that, because God is not going to have anything that is just normal, as we call the normal. It is something more, something extraordinary, and our experience therefore is extraordinary.
The Chief Shepherd. § I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own… My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. § I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. § I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick. § You were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me… So I said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” § Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. § The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory. Your sun shall no longer go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended.
The God of all grace . . . called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee" (John 1:48).
"And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bore fruit an hundredfold" (Luke 8:8). The more fully and thoroughly hearts are cultivated before conversion the more healthy and fruitful they will be after conversion. Many Christians hurriedly seek to plant the seed in unprepared soil, and then wonder why it is so soon withered, choked, or snatched away. "Good ground are they who. . . having heard the Word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience" (Luke 8:15).
"I believe that a work of God sometimes goes on behind a particular man or family, village or district before the knowledge of the truth ever reaches them. It is a silent, unsuspected work, not in mind and heart, but in the unseen realm behind these. Then, when the light of the Gospel is brought, there is no difficulty, no conflict. The battle has been won.
"It is, then, simply a case of stand still and see the salvation of God.' This should give us confidence in praying intelligently for those who are far from Gospel light. The longer the preparation, the deeper the work. The deeper the root, the firmer the plant when once it springs above the ground. I do not believe that any deep work of God takes root without long preparation somewhere." -J.O.F.
"Concentrate your prayers on behalf of some soul or souls and pray for such, night and day, until they come to Christ. Then continue to pray for them until Christ is formed in them!" (Phil. 4:19).
"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me" (Mal. 3:1).
He who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the LORD that He may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:15-16
Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.
What a shock it is to discover our whole Christian life has been lived in the flesh. What a revelation to realise our fleshly striving was of ourself. How disturbing to eventually recognize it is not Christ but I that lived in me. Well, it certainly was for me.
The spiritual man is the one who has the mind of Christ, and Phil 2:5 exhorts us to: let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. How articulate is that tiny little word let.. let.. let this mind be in you.. allow this mind to be in you.. grant permission for this mind to be in you.. sanction; authorize.. permit this mind to be in you, that was in Christ Jesus.
We are to be of the same mind.. to agree with – to cherish the same views, and by implication there is much lacking that needs to be addressed. And the process of sanctification brings every believer to this blessed spot. Now, justification (the process of being saved by God), is a choice. It is one of many choices we make in this life. For example:
Initial Salvation or being born of the Spirit, is a choice we all make in this life. EITHER→ believe on the Lord Jesus Christ→ and you will be saved→ saint. OR→ don’t believe on the Lord Jesus Christ→ and you will not be saved→ sinner.
The choices we make today are eternal choices.. through time and into eternity, but God’s grace dictates that the choice is open for every sinner until death. But throughout the life of a sinner, the Spirit is convicting that sinnerread more
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. That I may know Christ.
Scripture with it hundreds of promises and prophecies is only a tool.. a tool that Christ Himself used on the Emmaus Road to unveil Himself to the two friends. We read in John chapter 4:39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.
Just as faith is the essential key to unlock our hearts to His love, and just as charity is one small part of the whole of the love of God, so prophecy is a mere signpost to point us to incarnate love: Love never fails, but whether there are prophecies, they will be done away..” 1Cor.13:8
Scripture from prophecy to poetry, from history to science point to Him, and on that road to Emmaus in Luke 24 we read that: beginning at Moses and all the prophets, Jesus expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27. But to know Him requires us to set aside all that wants to elevate self. And the more we know Him the more we trust Him – and the more we trust Him, the more we love Him – and the more we grow to love Him the more clearly we see self for what it is
Don’t despair – as He breaks your heart to crush your self-life. This is most truly a demonstration of His inestimable love for you. It is through the Spirit’s practical revelation of the sinfulness of self that we gain, the deeper knowledge of the Holiness of Christ. It is at this point that we truly start to count on Him as our life, until we can say with Paul at the end of our earthly toil:
That I may know Christ….. and I also count all things loss for the excellence ofread more