Friday, December 16, 2011

Reflections on "My Utmost" December 16 Part II

"Always distinguish between God’s order and His permissive will, i.e., His providential purpose towards us. God’s order is unchangeable; His permissive will is that with which we must wrestle before Him."

We do not have to worry about knowing His will. We know Him, as we are already known by Him (Galatians 4:9)

What is God's will -- that we be one with Him (John 17:21), that we become more like Jesus Christ.

This is not an effort that we must achieve. This is a love offering from the Holy Spirit (cf Romans 5:5), as we are transformed by faithful meditation on the word of God, which renews our mind (cf Romans 12:2), and thus transforms us from glory to glory to be more like Jesus! (2 Corinthians 3:18)

"It is our reaction to the permissive will of God that enables us to get at His order. "All things work together for good to them that love God" – to those who remain true to God’s order, to His calling in Christ Jesus."

Pastor Joseph Prince has exploded the effort-merit mentalities that many preachers -- all good men of God -- have attached to the blessed Promise of Romans 8:28:

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

We love God because -- He first loved us (1 John 4:19), and He continues to love us, and love in us (Romans 5:5).

We are called according to God's divine purpose because we have been redeemed by the incorruptible blood of Jesus Christ! This is not a calling that we are still waiting to hear or receive, but one that is already at work within us:

"But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine." (Isaiah 43:1)


"Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," (2 Timothy 1:8-9)

"God’s permissive will is the means whereby His sons and daughters are to be manifested. We are not to be like jelly-fish saying, "It’s the Lord’s will." We have not to put up a fight before God, not to wrestle with God, but to wrestle before God with things. Beware of squatting lazily before God instead of putting up a glorious fight so that you may lay hold of His strength."

Chambers touches on an important issue for some believers, who live entirely on God's grace, but we have to receive it, we have to appropriate it by faith! Pastor Andrew Wommack has uncovered something very powerful, starting from the promise revealed to us in Paul's epistle to the Ephesians:

"By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

"Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2: 8-9)

We are saved by God's grace, but we must receive it by faith. God's grace has been extended to the whole world (cf 1 John 2:2), but not everyone is going to be saved, because there are those who refuse to believe on Him, and therefore they are condemned already (John 3:18).

We do not struggled to believe though; we are called to abide in Him more, laboring to enter His holy rest:

"Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." (Hebrews 4:11)

Here, "labor" renders the word σπουδάζω spoudazó, which accurately means "to hasten, to be eager, or to be zealous"

"Rest" renders the original word "κατάπαυσις, katapausis, which indicates "resting, rest", but is also a Hebraism related to the Israelites settlement in Canaan.

Let us remember that the Lord provided the Israelites a Promised Land flowing with milk and honey, a land where everything was provided for them. The Lord wants the same life for His faithful believers today!

This "labor" is not a striving, but a great desiring, like the word "ζητέω zéteó" seek, desire of Matthew 6:33) Desire, want, and you shall receive!

In order to receive, though, we have to believe on Him! Jesus addressed this matter succinctly to devout Jews early in His ministry:

"Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:28-29)

This is not just God's work in us (Galatians 2:20), but the "work" that we are required to do.

See also the celebrated passage in Mark:

"And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

"For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." (Mark 11: 22-24)

"Have faith in God", that is a high calling, a tall order for fleshly man, so easily seduced into trusting his senses and sanity. Yet by faith, we can indeed move mountains.

And of course:

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6: 33-34)

We are to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), and thus we continue in the Kingdom of Heaven, which is "righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17)

We have a part to play in the great plan, the will of God, that:

"The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

"The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints," (Ephesians 1: 17-18)

We need the Holy Spirit to work and develop in us, which we receive by faith in His Word and patience in His diligent, eternal work through us from our eternal, born-again spirit to our mind, daily renewed, and in our body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

This is not a life of struggle and pain, but a joyful existence, a carefree life filled with the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to reign in life! (Romans 5:17)

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