Bring up a child in the way he should go…is God’s principle for His own children. He knows the way we should go and has set this eternal principle in our heart. He knows that only as His children submit to His leading will they be truly content, for He knows that only as our 'Jehovah Jirah', will our needs be satiated – only as He is our soul Supplier – our sole Provider will we grow in grace.
He knows that the only peace with God a sinner will know, is His forgiveness, but He also knows that the only path for His children is their need of Him – for it is only as we rest in Him will we find the true peace OF God. It is only as we discover our need of His work – and will in us, will we grow. It is only then that we will grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ, for without Christ we can do nothing John.15:5, but I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength. Phil.1:13
In the first flush of the Christian journey, the saved saint rejoices in God his Saviour, and God’s grace is experienced as prayers are answered and love starts to bud. And the believer’s early path becomes a way of joyful expectation and euphoric bliss.. others are told of the gospel of grace and others find rest in the same God of our salvation. But God established His principle – that new converts must grow and mature. But WHY? Because God knows that it is love for the Giver more than love of gift that counts.
God established His principle – that new converts must grow and mature. But HOW? Well, God knows that a sturdy oak is only established amidst the storm’s pressure.. so God set need of Himself deep in the bowels of each believers’ heart - a need to know Him; a need to love Him; a need to need Him. For this is the food of faith. So one by one He removes the rungs of safety and the nets of security, to establish the blossoming of this established principle of 'need'… to establish the principle of 'need' in the soul. As the old but sombre adage goes:- you advance or retreat in the Christian life, but you never stand still.
God waited 80 years for His friend Moses to be established in this principle. He could not use the headstrong Moses when Moses thought that he had all the answers. Moses had to wait and be weathered. Moses had to discover that God alone had the answers. Moses had to be humbled to the point of seeking the Giver and not the gifts. Moses had to be set apart for a long season, before God used him mightily. Were Moses’ years of waiting a waste of time? Never! The headstrong prince of Egypt had to become the humble man of God.
Have your years of waiting been a waste of time? Never! For whatever your life-situation – God is using it to establish your need of Him. Have your experiences of falls and failure been a loss of time? Never! Whatever your life-situation, God is using it to establish your need of Him. God is using all life’s situations.. good and bad, to conform you into Christ-likeness. God knows that the only path to growth for His children is their need of Him, for He has set a need of Himself deep in the bowels of each believer's heart - a need to know Him; a need to love Him; a need to need Him.
But it means dying to self. It means dying to the self-life which as Moses found can be very painful. One saint of God expressed this 'need' that God places in our hearts like this:- "It is more than comforting to realise that it is those who have plumbed the depths of failure, to whom God invariably gives the call to shepherd others. This is not a call given to the gifted, the highly trained, or the polished as such." Without bitter experiences of their own inadequacy and poverty.. they are quite unfitted to bear the burden of spiritual ministry. It takes a man who has discovered something of the measure of his own weakness to be patient with the foibles of others. Such a man also has first-hand knowledge of the loving care of the Chief Shepherd, and His ability to heal one who has come humbly to trust in Him and Him alone. Therefore, he does not easily despair of others, but looks beyond sinfulness, wilfulness, and stupidity, to the might of unchanging love.
The Lord Jesus does not give the charge, "Be a shepherd to My lambs … to My sheep", on hearing Peter’s self-confident affirmation of undying loyalty. Oh no! He gives it after he has utterly failed – failed to keep his vows and has wept bitterly in the streets of Jerusalem. God has set eternity in the heart of man, and this is eternal life.. that you personally know, love, and need the Father.. and personally know, love and need Jesus Christ, Whom He has sent. God knows that the only path to growth for His children in their need of Him – for He has set a need of Himself deep in the bowels of each believer's heart.. a need to know Him' a need to love Him; a need to need Him. But it means a dying to the self-life, which as Moses found – can be very painful.
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