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)
Today is my mother’s birthday. Her diaries catalogue showers of blessings amidst a mountain of difficulties. Today is my daughter’s wedding anniversary – her life also is peppered with deep hurts and trial and a cascade of Gods graces. My times also have had its deep pains and great joys and I am sure yours has too. Indeed, I know of no-one who has not been deeply affected by this world of sin.
But most think that their hurt and their disappointments are greater than most. And many, like Demas and Orphah, turn back to the world. But this is God’s take on that issue: there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will NOT suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the trial also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1Cor.13:10
“My” word (the word ‘Wait‘) wait on the Lord, has been the mainstay of the past year. It’s been the word that has crossed my path throughout my earthly journey. And today I still wait. At times, I am sure like me, you are tempted to just give up and walk away. And then probably like me you get up in the morning and start over again and again.. knowing that it is not only the start and the journey along the way, but the finish that is also important.
We are exhorted not only to be overcomers, but to be faithful right up to the end. Revelation 2:26 tells us: "he who overcomes, and he who keeps My works until the end.." Rev,2:26. I take comfort in the following words today – and I hope that you do too. I Am thy shield, Have no fear… I will not permit anything to overtake you, other than My will for you. I can see the future.. your future. I can read the heart.. your heart, I know what you need better than youread more
‘’Change and decay in all around I see,” go the words of that well-loved hymn. Oh Thou who changes not, the immutable God, abide with me. As we look back over our various lives, not one thing remains unchanged. People come and go, and our hearts are touched for good or stained with pain.
Death claims many, and betrayal or disinterest have waved others farewell.. and life marches on. Nothing stays the same. Opportunities come and go like the proverbial merry-go-round. We miss many favourable circumstances – and make many wrong choices.
Our faith fluctuates like the tides of the sea – now strong - now failing fast. Our love and hope often waxes and wanes, like the phases of the moon. The laws of mutation, have set its mark upon the brow of all humanity. Gray hair replaces glossy black or shining golden tresses. Faces start to wrinkle and feet to swell. Eyes start to dim and memories to fade. The lithe strength of youth is replaced with memories of what it used to be. Teeth are capped and pressure of daily life replace a long-lost free spirit.
We live in a world where men forget us and alter their attitudes towards us. Affections are transferred as more ‘interesting’ company is courted. Friends we consider so stable, forget loyalty as private interest dictates. Oh yes, change and decay in all around I see.. and so do you. But God is immutable. God is the changeless One, with no degree of turning. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever – Amen. Heb.13:8
In the carousel of life, even the man of faith is dissatisfied with his earthly lot, and we long for stability in just something – anything.. until we begin to understand the reason for the impermanence. God designed a mutating life with innumerable ever-changing scenes, so that we would become dissatisfied with this decaying world system.
God organised life’s’ metamorphic round to cause dis-ease inread more
I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying, “The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.”
Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us! Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us … Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins, for Your name’s sake! § O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do it for Your name’s sake; for our backslidings are many, we have sinned against You. § We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against You.
If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.
I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:12 NLT)
For strength to overcome and press on, only a revelation by the Holy Spirit in us can suffice but it can! A revelation that is within one's spirit and not a mental appreciation of truth, even though it is truth about God. Oh, the power to be able to say "I KNOW," not "I have heard or read," but "I KNOW." It is an experience nothing can rob us of. It is absolutely essential to have this revelation by the Holy Spirit because we have to meet forces of evil against which nothing can stand save that which is of God. "In pressure Thou hast enlarged me." How? Because of the constant uprising of the Life within. Trouble, trial, sorrow... we are subject to these things, they are common to all men, but we rise above them through the "strength of His might" within. We are strong because of the Light given in the knowledge of God Eph. 1:19. This is a growing revelation. Paul is writing to the Ephesian saints, and what a wonderful history these had! See Paul's words to them in parting (Acts 20:17-38). To such he says, "That ye may be strengthened to apprehend," showing the necessity for the mighty power of God in bringing through revelation. The enemy mightily withstands revelation; to mar or hinder that, he'll stop at nothing!
Light and Strength go together; endurance is by revelation, "I know." Establishment in the truth by revelation of the truth, this brings an impact on Satan and his hosts; light leading to might. When the Lord opens eyes you see what happens, "the eyes of your heart being enlightened, that ye may know" this is the result of opened eyes. "Knowing that He that raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also with Jesus" 2 Cor. 4:14.
For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge" (Rom. 10:2).
It takes more to break inertia than to ease momentum. Misdirected zeal is more easily corrected than inert sloth.
"It is possible, and very humiliating, to be awakened to the fact, though we have had a measure of zeal for the Lord, that we have barely known the things we should have known, nor the behavior that is becoming to us in this marvelous day of grace.
"But it is the love of the Lord Jesus that would lead us on, through the judgment of ourselves and ways, into deeper communion with Himself to be better representatives of Him here in whose likeness we shall soon appear."
"The snare with zealous, but unprepared and unbroken hearts, is to do the right thing in the wrong way. It is not enough to know the right thing, but I must know the right way of doing it. The latter is not easily learned; the former is the fruit of light; the latter is never acquired but as there is practical grace and love - the activity of the Lord Jesus' nature in me by the Spirit." -J.B.S.
"Denial of the old man is where he is most felt, not where he is least felt; and all the light of Scripture cannot promote growth without self-denial. Here is where most fail, and in this day there is a great deal more zeal to acquire knowledge and intelligence in the wonders of revelation, than to deny the man that has no sympathy with it, nor part in it, but condemnation."
"Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil" (1 Tim. 3:6).
Awake, O north wind, and come, O south! Blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out.
Observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! § (The fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth,) finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
The Helper [is] the Holy Spirit. § The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace.
In a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.
One and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.