Wednesday, 11 January 2012
This is a post that I wrote over at dedicatedfaith.org, but I wanted to share here as well.
It is almost impossible to describe the immense turmoil the world is going through right now: entire countries are in uproar, revolutions spread, and people are uncertain about the future. Christians who have been imprisoned for years, continue their plight unheard of by their families, and many around the world live in constant fear of being imprisoned. Protestors are marching all over the US, and the uncertainty of the coming elections this year has many people around the world on edge. Dictators have fallen and are being replaced by the next generation of dictators around the world.
The throne of Satan is truly cruel.
Acts 2:28 -- You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’
The salvation of Christ is as deep as it is wide -- its depths stretch as far as the soul and its breadth is as wide as the heart. Every turmoil has been overcome in Christ Jesus. The ways of life have been made known.
So extensive is the salvation of Christ that it surpasses the things of this earth and makes them even unworthy to be named among His salvation! He conquered the plight of sin and death, He removed the yokes around our neck, and He has restored the children of God with a new heart and a new spirit.
When I stop to consider the salvation of Christ I am overwhelmed by the comprehensive work done in Him -- indeed, when the scriptures instruct us saying, “set your mind on the things above” or “think on the things of excellence”, they are telling us that the salvation of Christ is so incredible, so powerful, so overwhelming and so complete that it demands and requires our full attention all the time! It is that big!
This brings me to my first point: 1) the way of life in Christ Jesus has been made known and in Jesus the work is made complete. So what is missing?
Rom 15:13 -- Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The believer is filled with peace and joy in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. They are the fruits of the Spirit.
If I have a tree and call it an apple tree, but it produces figs, do I not have a fig tree instead?
Likewise, if I have a thorn bush, but call it a rose bush, do I not still have a thorn bush?
So it is in the Kingdom of God: if I have the Spirit of God, I shall know its fruits. And they will be obvious to me, and they will be in me, and I will partake of them.
A brother whom we met in the missions field hit this nail on the head when he confessed in response to the teachings of another brother, “I see what the Word of God declares and I do not see them in my life. I think I have been so afraid to admit this all my life that I never addressed the issue.”. Because he admitted what was lacking in his life, he was made ready to begin drawing unto God for restoration and to be made complete.
John 15:10–11 -- If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
For many it is merely a matter of faith: they have not believed, and therefore, followed Christ. Still more, it is a matter of deception- Satan has introduced a lie and sown thorns and thistles in among the wheat. Tares have come up with the wheat and chocked the life out of us.
Often times it is a matter of coming to God in prayer and exposing our lives to the Light of the Word of Truth so that He may “prune” the areas of our life that are preventing us from becoming fruitful and bearing fruit in the Kingdom of God (and remember, Peace, Joy, Love, and even Hope are fruits of the Spirit).
1 Cor 14:33 -- For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
Surely God does not lead us into confusion but into peace. So as many are in confusion, if they should draw unto Him, forsaking their former lives and coming to Him with humility, love, and sincerity of heart, surely He will write the marks of peace on the hearts and seal them forever in the Holy Spirit -- the seal of our covenant with God!
John 7:38 -- “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ”
Jesus is not weak in His power to deliver according to His promise. He does not lack what is necessary to create rivers of living water within us.
There is such a immense and wonderful desire in the children of God to find these living waters; so much so that we are even here, on a site, dedicated to such a pursuit! Knowing this desire, let us draw firmly and wholeheartedly, with all our hearts, soul, mind, and strength to the God of our salvation who is able to create in us living waters from which abundant peace and joy will flow.
So that in times of trial and turmoil, in times of peace and prosperity, we will have learned the secret of contentment and always dwell in the peace of Christ, which is never to depart from us.
John 16:33 -- “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
2nd Thessalonians 3:16 -- Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!
When have you had to dwell in the peace of Christ? What did you learn from having to trust God in that time? How have stories of people overcoming tremendous obstacles by relying on God's peace and protection impacted your life?