not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;1 Thessalonians 4:5(NASB)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
God does not tell us what He is doing when taking us through dark experiences. If He did, it would be all right. If He said, "I am going to lead you into a hard time, it is all going to be dark and strange and perplexing and bewildering and helpless, but it is all right, I am working a tremendous thing, this is what I am going to bring out of it," if He said that, the faith element would fade out. If only He would tell us He is doing something, and what He is doing, instead of leaving us in the dark and seeming to be so far away and without any interest in us! If only! Ah yes, but He did not do that, and we know He does not do that, He does not explain. But here is the challenge.
This is what is meant by Hebrews 11 and the men of faith, that is what it means. And thank God we have the heritage, we have a great heritage, we have more than they had. These men did not have a Bible, it was not written when they were going through it. We have their story and so much more. We see the issue, we have the sequel, but is it really helping us? When you are having a bad, dark time and feel that all has gone wrong, read the story of Joseph again... starting on it you will not want to put it down. Take its great lessons. The God of Joseph is our God and He is doing the same thing, and we know that that is true to life. What I have been saying is so true to life. We have that evidence. That, at any rate, is very much like my experience, and therefore I have reason to think and believe that the same thing is involved. The God of resurrection is working this to glory.
Once upon Eternity…. there was God. Before time was created there was God, only God and nothing but God. Before space was shaped and stars were formed, God alone existed, and it was there He conceived you. In the beginning God. Genesis 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
Oh what glorious and profound statements and yet, what an announcement of pure, divine simplicity. The old and new combine into a cacophony of unutterable harmony. The beginning testimony of our wonderful Saviour demonstrates purity and order. Each verse thunders of the magnificence and majesty of the triune Godhead. Each verse journeys back to that point where God spoke creation into being. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
This succinct statement has caused many mighty minds of men to wonder. This brief synopsis has confounded magnificent minds for millennia. This awesome truth has caused a library of postulations to be penned, and yet this simple testimony is so wholesomely pure.. that even a little child can hear and understand.
This was the moment that the triune God brought the material universe into existence. This was a demonstration of His absolute, sovereign power over all His creation. He started painting His earth from a formless void. He began His masterwork at the point where darkness hung like a shrouded veil. His great work of art, began to unfold with spectacularly simple, multi-hued strokes – brilliant brushstrokes of His mighty Word.
He began to hover over the darkness, as the vibrating breath of everlasting life.. brooding over thick, intense darkness, that shrouded the face of the deep. Following an anticipated movement of hushed animation and heightened tension, God started to apply the first brushstrokes of His work of art. He begins to score the first note.. and His melodious music begins to play. LET THERE BE LIGHT.. Then came streaming forth:-read more
You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured upon Your lips; therefore God has blessed You forever. § The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. § His mouth is most sweet, yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend.
All bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. § He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom. § The sword of the Spirit … is the word of God. § The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. § The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
You shall bruise His heel. § This is your hour, and the power of darkness. § As the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. § Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith. § Resist the devil and he will flee from you. The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, for He sees that his day is coming. § The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. § The devil … was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone … and … will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
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).
Vision: The Word gives us the true picture of growth. Verification: The Spirit gives us a taste thereof. Vindication: The Lord Jesus, later, gives us maturity.
"A great mystery surrounds the spiritual growth of the hungry-hearted believer. The Spirit gives a foretaste of a deeper life before the believer is led into the fulness of it. Many believers mistake their foretaste for the fulness, not realizing that the Lord is just beginning to lead them."
"The forwardness of nature is the failure of our youth - our spiritual youth, as well as our natural youth; eagerness to run in God's path, but not apprehending what the path is, or what it requires to walk in it. On the other hand, when the cost is counted, and our weakness known, the energy begotten of self-confidence being gone, we need a stimulating call on God's part, to get out of the persistent occupation with our weakness now, as with our strength before." -F.W.G.
"Suffering is not meant by God to be loss and deprivation. Satan says that it is. God means suffering to result in increased spiritual capacity, which is the basis of added responsibility, trust, and fruitful sharing. The branch of the vine may bleed from the drastic pruning and feel stripped of much glory; but more and better fruit is the vinedresser's vindication."
"As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (1 Cor. 15:49).
“For every one that asketh receiveth.” Luke 11:10
There is nothing more difficult than to ask. We will long and desire and crave and suffer, but not until we are at the extreme limit will we ask. A sense of unreality makes us ask. Have you ever asked out of the depths of moral poverty? "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God…but be sure that you do lack wisdom. You cannot bring yourself up against Reality when you like. The next best thing to do if you are not spiritually real, is to ask God for the Holy Spirit on the word of Jesus Christ (see Luke 11:13). The Holy Spirit is the One Who makes real in you all that Jesus did for you.
"For every one that asketh receiveth." This does not mean you will not get if you do not ask (cf. Matt. 5:45), but until you get to the point of asking you won't receive from God. To receive means you have come into the relationship of a child of God, and now you perceive with intelligent and moral appreciation and spiritual understanding that these things come from God.
"If any of you lack wisdom . . ." If you realize you are lacking, it is because you have come in contact with spiritual reality; do not put your reasonable blinkers on again. People say - Preach us the simple gospel: don't tell us we have to be holy, because that produces a sense of abject poverty, and it is not nice to feel abjectly poor. "Ask" means beg. Some people are poor enough to be interested in their poverty, and some of us are like that spiritually. We will never receive if we ask with an end in view; if we ask, not out of our poverty but out of our lust. A pauper does not ask from any other reason than the abject panging condition of his poverty, he is not ashamed to beg. - Blessed are the paupers in spirit.
His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. And His brightness was as the light; He had horns coming out of His hand: and there was the hiding of His power.
Habakkuk = Embracer of burdens
Now is a time of faith’s testing for the saints of God. Now is an hour of unprecedented, satanic fierceness. Now is the point that God’s kingdom and His Christ’s are being challenged. Christ’s authority is being challenged with increasing intensity. Either the Lord is preparing something new, or He is bringing all to consummation. Such times demand outstanding strength and endurance for victory to be assured. Such time challenge us to endure: Be thou enduringly faithful to the very point of death.
Habakkuk’s writings demonstrate him to be a deeply burdened man. Habakkuk also demonstrated himself to be a great prayer warrior. For three chapters his colloquy displays mutual and intimate intercourse with God. Habakkuk and God carried on a reciprocal Spirit to spirit, Soul to soul communion. Together they had deep communion..Depth to depth fellowship – yet throughout, there was, “a hiding of God’s power”. Hab.3:4. Habakkuks was deeply discouraged…
The wicked ruled and seemingly escaped all the judgment they assuredly deserved.. yet the righteous suffered greatly and the intensity of their grief only multiplied. Habakkuk was deeply dismayed and profoundly discouraged. Habakkuk could not see God working out His plans in the temporal realm. He continually saw oppression and injustice piling over the heads of the righteous: O God, how long shall I cry, how long wilt Thou not hear! I even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Hab.1:2. But the Lord informed him far worse was to come and there was only one way to live: Faith – Faith – FAITH was the only answer he was given: but the just shall live by his faith. Hab.2:4
Habakkuk was to live by faith, in contradistinction to all that he saw in his surroundings. He wasread more