What IS God doing when he brings us low?
God, in His infinite wisdom, has purposed from before the foundation of the world, that those whom He chose in Christ will be conformed to the image of Christ while on earth through the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians)
He is disciplining us–training us—-for His kingdom. His kingdom is not of this world.
All of his dealings with us—all of the daily trials, sufferings, hardships, impossibilities—-He is changing us inwardly to become like Christ.
He is renewing our innerman daily–though our outterman is perishing day by day.
He is allowing us to go through things that are unexplainable in human wisdom in order to get us to let go of the earthly, visible, tangible things—and grasp and cling onto the unseen things of Heaven.
He is breaking us of our self, as we deny our self daily and follow His Spirit.
If we think that we can enter the kingdom of God and still live like we are only from and for this life/world on earth—–we are blind. Friends with the world—-enemy of GOD!
That is not to say that we are to abandon our homes, families, and all the things necessary to live here on earth—-but it is to say that we can not comfortably live in this world and life as if there is NOTHING else.
HE IS TEACHING US HOW TO OVERCOME THE ENEMY
In our desperate times, when we can’t seem to find Him, and when all seems to be lost and hopeless—-that is when the enemy steps in full force and starts accusing God of not loving us, and that’s when he tempts us with doubt!
And the enemy’s desire is to get us to doubt the love and sovereignty of God because he knows that if we admit into our minds a lie like this, he will gain ground over our soul, and be able to bring us back into bondage by deceit!!!!
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR THOUGHTS!
And note how utterly WRONG the idea is that God does not love us or that He is not truly sovereign.
- God is love, the Bible says.
- He created all things.
- He alone is sovereign over all evil and all good.
- His plans can not be thwarted.
- He is the searcher of men’s hearts.
- And He is the only One that we can put our trust in and find the rest and peace that surpasses all understanding.
ISRAEL AS OUR EXAMPLE
Psalm 106 has a lot to say about our God, and about the things that Israel did that caused our God to cast them off:
- Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt v.7
- they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies v.7
- but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red Sea v.7
- Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake, that He might make His mighty power to be known v.8
- He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up v.9
- so He led them through the depths, as through the wilderness v.9
- And He saved them from the hand of him that hated them v.10
- And redeemed them from the hand of the enemy v.10
- THEN BELIEVED THEY HIS WORDS;THEY SANG HIS PRAISE v.12
- THEY SOON FORGAT HIS WORKS V.13
- THEY WAITED NOT FOR HIS COUNSEL V.13
- BUT LUSTED EXCEEDINGLY IN THE WILDERNESS V.14
- AND TEMPTED GOD IN THE DESERT V.14
- And He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul v.15
- THEY ENVIED MOSES ALSO IN THE CAMP, AND AARON THE SAINT OF THE LORD v.16
- The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram v. 17
- And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked v.18
- THEY MADE A CALF IN HOREB V.19
- AND WORSHIPPED THE MOLTEN IMAGE V.19
- THEY FORGAT GOD THEIR SAVIOUR, WHICH HAD DONE GREAT THINGS IN EGYPT v.21
- WONDROUS WORKS IN THE LAND OF HAM, AND TERRIBLE THINGS BY THE RED SEA v.21
- Therefore He said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away His wrath, lest He should destroy them v.23
- YEA, THEY DESPISED THE PLEASANT LAND, THEY BELIEVED NOT HIS WORD: V.24
- BUT MURMURED IN THEIR TENTS V.25
- AND HEARKENED NOT UNTO THE VOICE OF THE LORD V.25
(And just to clear up any confusion as to whether or not the wilderness story has anything to do with us in 2016, IT DOES.)
1 Corinthians 10 is where Paul the Apostle informs the Corinthian believers that the things written about the Israelites in the wilderness are for OUR EXAMPLE!
“But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Corinthians 10:5-11
DO NOT FORGET HIS WORKS!
It is easy when we are going through a desperate time to totally forget all that God has done for us. We easily forget that He gives us air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, and all the other luxuries of life to use. We forget that He sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. We forget how he miraculously saved us and gave us new life. We forget all the million other times He has come through for us when we needed Him desperately.
And when He delivers us, like the Israelites, then we believe and praise Him.
But what if what God is after is a people who praise Him when NOTHING seems to be working out?!
What if He wants us to be an example to a perverse and crooked generation, that against all odds, we believe and trust in a God who has promised to never leave us!
What if this really isn’t about us at all, and it is ALL about CHRIST!
When all seems hopeless, let us WATCH AND PRAY and take heed lest we fall into:
- lusting after evil things
- tempting Christ