"I have heard the taunting of Moab And the revilings of the sons of Ammon, With which they have taunted My people And become arrogant against their territory.Zephaniah 2:8(NASB)
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. (Zechariah 4:10 NLT)
It is no small thing to be involved in the testimony of God's glory. We should not make a virtue of smallness, as though there were something important about being despised by others, but at the same time we shall find that whenever God has called people to display His glory, He has chosen those who have no glory in themselves.
God has always been obliged to strip His instruments of their own glory. A Moses, full of Egypt's sufficiency, must go for forty years to the backside of the desert to be emptied out and made to confess his complete inadequacy before he can become an instrument for the display of the glory of God. There were times when some of the Israelites did try to despise this now humble Moses, and he made no attempt to stand up for himself, but God soon made it manifest to all concerned how wrong it was to despise him. The glory of God appeared at the gate of the tabernacle and took up the challenge. Sometimes it takes the Lord years to get us sufficiently emptied, weak and small, so that we can bear His glory in our lives, a fact which may well explain some of His dealings with us. When He has got us small enough and empty enough, then there is a chance for the working of His Holy Spirit in glory.
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction… Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. § The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. § Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you. § Be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure … for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. § Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. § The Lord will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory.
Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.” § “Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” § I come to do Your will. § Not My will, but Yours, be done.
As He is, so are we in this world. § This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
Whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
He always lives to make intercession for them. § If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God" (Eph 3:19).
God led the children of Israel into the desert with its thirst, that He might bless them. "For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ" (1 Cor. 10:4). It is for no less a reason that He takes us into the desert at times. "How shall He not with Him [Christ] also freely give us all things?" (Rom. 8:2).
"Our Father disciplines us that we may be more fully free from the old nature, and find everything in the Lord Jesus. But He begins the lesson with the assurance, I love you perfectly.'
"I bring you into the desert to learn what you are, and what I am; but it is as those I have brought to Myself!' He gives us a place with the Lord Jesus, but then shows us what He is and what we are. The discipline of the way teaches this; but if He, in His love, strikes the furrows in the heart, it is that He may sow the seed which shall ripen in glory."
"Those who receive deliverance from their troubles never, grow like those who get strengthened in the difficulties."
"How slowly one learns that His sympathy is not expressed in removing the affliction but in raising one above it to Himself, so that He becomes so endeared to the heart that He is more an object to the heart than oneself." -J.B.S.
"The hand of God never deals but in concert with His heart of infinite love towards us." -J.N.D.
"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them who are exercised by it" (Heb. 12:11).
“Lord, I will follow Thee; but …” Luke 9:61
Supposing God tells you to do something which is an enormous test to your common sense, what are you going to do? Hang back? If you get into the habit of doing a thing in the physical domain, you will do it every time until you break the habit determinedly; and the same is true spiritually. Again and again you will get up to what Jesus Christ wants, and every time you will turn back when it comes to the point, until you abandon resolutely. "Yes, but - supposing I do obey God in this matter, what about . . . ?" "Yes, I will obey God if He will let me use my common sense, but don't ask me to take a step in the dark." Jesus Christ demands of the man who trusts Him the same reckless sporting spirit that the natural man exhibits. If a man is going to do anything worth while, there are times when he has to risk everything on his leap, and in the spiritual domain Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold by common sense and leap into what He says, and immediately you do, you find that what He says fits on as solidly as common sense. At the bar of common sense Jesus Christ's statements may seem mad; but bring them to the bar of faith, and you begin to find with awestruck spirit that they are the words of God. Trust entirely in God, and when He brings you to the venture, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis, only one out of a crowd is daring enough to bank his faith in the character of God.
The need for maturity in the body of Christ is the focus of most of Paul’s messages. It is the mature Christian who is an overcomer; a faithful steward – a wise virgin. The carnal believer is unfaithful, unwise and overcome.. 0vercome by satan; the flesh; the world. The void between spirituality and carnality lies in the life-choices of the Christian, and you alone will stand before the judgement seat of Christ: for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2Corinthians 5:10
You alone will be the one to give an account of your life to Christ. Blaming circumstances or accusing others for your life-choices is not an option. Responsibility for your Christian walk is yours alone. You can’t hide behind excuses.. you won’t be able to plead circumstantial evidence.. you can’t blame you parentage or partnerships – you won’t be able to plead ignorance..
The way to maturity in the Christian life is the focus of most of Paul’s messages. Every Christian has clear instructions on the life he is to live and the way he is to walk, and there’s no excuse for anyone to hear the accusation: oh, wicked unfaithful servant, but few seem prepared to challenge themselves and their Christian walk. Few are courageous enough to examine their walk with the Lord and fewer still are willing to plead with Him to: search the depths of my heart O God.. pleading: see if there is any worldly way or carnality in me that needs to be dealt with. Discover in me any wrong perceptions I’ve erected that hide the truth of Who You are.
There is a threefold need in the life of a spiritual man. There is a trinity of requirements for the Christian to become an over-comer. The Christian needs food. The Christian needs needs air. The Christian needs exercise – if he isread more
A sturdy tree needs good roots and a house calls for a firm foundation. How much more does our spiritual life require a reliable Source. Youth and immaturity tend to act in haste first and to think later. Maturity has learned to take time to assess the facts and to refrain from haste. God is our patient Teacher, Who is taking our life-time to teach eternal facts. He uses the natural Adamic-life to instruct us in the spiritual Christ-life and His teaching principle is based on an essential truth – the ‘source‘ rule, which is found in Genesis 1:24: everything after its own kind – flesh after flesh, and spiritual after spiritual.
The carnal is complete in Adam: for I know in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing. Rom.7:18. The spiritual is complete in Christ: like Christ …. we walk in newness of life…and you are complete in Him. Rom.6:5. Through struggles, pain and failures. He instructs us about the natural, and uses these commonplace experiences to train us in the spiritual. It is: by the obedience of One that many shall be made righteous, for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and we are complete in Him. Col.2:9
What are these foundational truths that our Father desires that we shall learn? FIRST: the Lord Jesus Christ is the source of our Christian life.We were born into Him and God has made us complete in Him: if any man be in Christ he is a new creature in Him. 2Cor.5:17. SECOND: we hold to this truth, as a God-spoken fact, and we do so by faith. Little by little He gently brings us into this reality through daily experiences. Slowly we begin to receive and accept what was already ours from our ‘re-birth‘… that: I am complete in Him.
This fact allows Him to patiently work His life into our personality, bit by bit. To form the character of our liferead more