by: Gary R. Kane
Luke 12: 22-26
22. Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25. Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
If there is no need to worry about these things, then there is no need to worry about anything period ! There is no need to worry, as God has promised to supply all these needs and every need. Worry still breeds the self reliant attitude God wants out of us. We have got to realize it is all Jesus. Not say it, and amen it, and have a theological admiration for the verse "God will supply all your needs" but truly have it in our spirit as a walk of life, a communion with God, that will dispel all the fear doubt and unbelief and mistrust towards God that causes us to rely upon our own ingenuity, and upon MEN. God never told us to rely upon ourselves, for this is self righteousness, and unbelief, and he told us ‘cursed is the one who trusts in, or relies upon men’.
Jeremiah 17: 5
5 This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
Cursed are those who run to Egypt's shade for help they will be disappointed. "Why?" God is not in it !
Isaiah 30: 2-3
2.. Who go down to Egypt without consulting me; who look for help to Pharaoh's protection, to Egypt's shade for refuge. 3 But Pharaoh's protection will be to your shame,
Egypt's shade will bring you disgrace.
This describes a people that are stubborn to follow the Lord, do die to their own ways and worldly desires. A people who look at the ways the world offers, and the world in the church. They take the solutions the world has for them, and mix it with what God says, and think this will be to their deliverance, their rescue. They do not consult the Lord, they listen to the spirit of the world, of this age. They seek refuge in the "shade" or comfort of the things that the world tells them will relieve their misery and pain, and instead of seeking God and believing and waiting on His promises, they take the short cut, they help God out. This brings as the scripture says, shame and disgrace. How? Because It does not work ! This path leads to compromise and fear of men and seeking their approval rather than God. This brings them to a state of confusion, and this always leads to disgrace and shame, once their pride is exposed.
After all, the shade of Egypt is the wisdom of the world.
This comes from the lips of the god of this world, and he always brings shame and disgrace upon those who listen to his voice and in their pride turn to a different way than what God said and promised if we would but trust him and him alone. Don't just think about some poor ungodly sinner out there in the gutter of the world. No, I tell you that this very mind set fills pews and pulpits all over the world. A people who can fill a seat every time the door is open and yet run from the light. Be programmed not to examine certain parts of the Word of God out of fear or tradition. This voice can be heard in councilors who do not understand the dealings of the Holy Sprit, and seek to remove the people of God who seek their advice from what God is trying to do in them. Again, putting their hands in Gods business to help him out.
Every time we choose to do something different than what God says and promises, we move out of the light and into spiritual darkness. Every time we choose to run from the light we pile chain upon chain on ourselves and soon become slaves to bondage. Most people in the Church have no idea they are in bondage, slaves to the flesh and the devil in certain areas of their life. They have a perverted view of the true love of God for one thing, and are not taught doctrines that will conform them to righteousness.
We all will face troubles of many kinds. What is a tribulation to one, is not much of a difficulty to another. None the less we will all, who love the lord and seek his righteousness, face trials and tests and many painful things.... We will suffer loss, time and time again. One loss the body of Christ needs to experience is loss to self. Denying self. Dead to self. Loss of your rights, your convenience your comfort. Dead to the flesh nature and its desires.
Matthew 16: 24-25
24. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
In it all, we still must come to the revelation we need, that we cannot do anything of our own accord. This does not mean we are passive and do nothing. It does mean we ONLY do what we know to do, until the Lord takes us through this thing we have worried about and struggled in and tried to fix ourselves, and brings us out on the other side, and there is "another side." The thing we should all know to do is to stay in the word of God, and trust his name, and stay in worship prayer thanksgiving and love righteousness, and obey him. That we KNOW to do, and that is what we must do in the times the Lord is not clearly speaking or giving us the direction we so desire. That is what we must do even when all seems to be going well, so we will be “prepared for the times that will come.." He will when it is time, give us the direction needed. We turn to men and to friends and to everything we can, and self help books and sermons, and councilors and everything we can do to get God to answer, to get God to tell us what this thing is, what is it all about, when will it be over, will I get through it, will I be healed, delivered. What is it for, what have I done ! Is it all me? How much longer must I endure? Jesus said it is those that endure to the end that will be saved !No answer comes, so we panic and help God out, we sit and figure, and plan, and try and make these plans fit into Gods way for us...
Isaiah 30: 1
1.. "Woe to the obstinate children," declares the LORD, "to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin;
And all the while we are not allowing the Lord to have his way in this particular situation, for fear it won't come out 'our way', or that we do not have the feeling of being in control any longer, and we cannot stand that. We have family members and relatives, friends, brothers and sisters who we see have a problem, we want to help them, and we go to them and suggest some help for them, and we DO SEE the way through this thing. Well it is like this. I took a man deer hunting once, he was right beside me with his rifle and I told him to shoot the deer, he said I cannot see it, I said I can, it is right there. He said where? I said look right there ! Although he was literally right beside me, the deer was hidden from his view, there was in front of his line of sight an obstruction of some sort. Then in desperation, he handed me his rifle and said you shoot him for me, I can't see it !
This is how it is so many times in our walk in Christ. We can walk right along side a family member, brother or sister in the Lord, or pastor a congregation of people, and we SEE the problem, we have a clear view, we are at an angle to have clear sight, and we have from the Lord the answer. But no matter how much we tell them or show them, they cannot see it. This is caused by several things, the main one I'll save for the last here. One thing is sin, unrepented sin. Something that they will just not die to. There are so very many people in the body of Christ that have died to this and to that, but there are still some areas they refuse to die to, to completely give to God, to lay on the altar, and this blinds them in many areas of their walk. Another reason can be because from our angle we can see, because we have been before the Lord, and been in the word, and laid hold of the horns of the altar in our everyday walk with God, and they have not been committed to this. They are lazy in their time with God, there is from their "field of view of this thing," a distorted view, or no view at all, because they are some what dull of hearing and seeing from their lack of communion with the Lord.. So, they hand you the rifle, (as it were), and say, "hey pray over me, council me, cast this thing out of me and off of me, deliver me, help me..." They want you to do it for them. It is if they want you to “put it do death” for them. Now I am not saying we cannot help one another. That is pray or counsel or help in some way. But we cannot die to the flesh for them though can we ? In fact we should help encourage them on in the Lord and we should carry one another's burdens, be an encouragement, help them as the Lord allows, and be a tree of life they can come and eat from. That is receive Love Joy Peace Patients Kindness Goodness Faithfulness Gentleness and Self Control. The fruit of the Holy Spirit in us to be a encouragement and a refreshing to them. But, we are not to carry their burden for them, so they get a quick fix and still continue not to seek God out for themselves, and get to know his heart and learn the process of going through the fire, and the dark night of the soul.
We are not to carry this burden for them so that they become dependant upon men instead of God. We carry them in the way of being there to love and encourage, but not to take away from them their fire or test or trial, or whatever God is doing or allowing in their lives for him to bring them to the place he wants them and makes of them what he wants, and use's them as he wants. I tell you God is there for you, no matter how much you cry out and ask this and that of him and perhaps still do not hear a thing, or it is taking so very long in your opinion of things. He is there. You may not think so, but he is there. You may think this is all bent towards your destruction, but God says, " All things are working for the good to them that love God and are called according to his purpose.." Romans 8:28. God may have you in a Job like experience, perhaps not to the degree of Job, yet it may very well seem that way to you. Remember Job lost all he had in one day, and then his wife walks out the door and encourages Job by saying .. "just curse God and die.." ! In other words turn back to Egypt, look at another way. Do not surrender yourself to the Lord completely he will make strong demands upon you and you've already lost so much already. This is what the world the devil and the flesh say to us in a crises !
We should use this as an example to us spiritually, that the day we came to Christ, we should have ‘lost everything'. Everything of the flesh. Being buried with Christ to walk in the newness of life. In 'ONE DAY', dead to all that bound us and now changed by the Holy Spirit exchanging our unrighteousness for his righteousness. After all what is righteousness? Doing what is right in God’s eyes not our own. Well we all know the end of this story.
10. After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.
We all like that part. We will prosper we will gain so much from the Lord if we will go through this test, this trial or suffering. Beloved this is not it at all ! But it is the mind set of some in the Church. And in some of what is called Church they will tell you that you will never have to suffer at all. That is not the will of God for you to go through times of suffering, and loss or hardship. You do not need to go through the fire they tell you !
They camp on what Job got back ! Not on the real significance of what happened with Job through this dark night of the soul where he had to learn and take his hands off, and humble himself and commit to God everything of himself that was left.
Look in Job 42: 4-6
4. "You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.' 5. My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes."
He said MY EARS HAVE HEARD OF HIM (GOD), BUT NOW MY EYES HAVE SEEN HIM ! Not seeing in the tangible, the natural, but seeing God's heart. Seeing his dealings, seeing his all sufficient grace and mercy and his ability to take care of the pain and hurt and fear. To take care of the heartache and wondering of it all. That it has to be GOD that brings it all together, it has to be God that brings us through, it has to be the 100% power of the risen Christ that will prevail over every trial and heartache and everything we face in this life. Then when we have submitted to the way and will of God without reservation, God will bring all the light we need. Even if we never hear why like Job, or never understand why like Job never did, we can come through this thing by the power of God and say with all boldness and truth, "but now I've seen him..."
In other words beloved. God seemed to put Job into a state of dereliction. Not understanding really why all these things had come upon him. It was a time for Job to place all his faith in God's wisdom and sovereignty and learn to love God for himself alone, for he had no other reason to love him. That is to say, no blessings no joy, no health no family or material possessions. No reputation before men to brag about. No help, no answers. Nothing ! You see God never reveled the full story to Job. Job does not say in the end, "now I see it all clearly." No. He says in verse five, "Now I see God." He says now I know him, now my doubting and fear and unbelief and questioning God at every turn, and trying to seek my own way in and out, and around and through are vanished in the midst of the wonderful understanding of the love of God towards me. Hallelujah I have a different view, I am seeing through God's spectacles as it were.... What a liberty. What a freedom. What a glorious end to a fiery furnace. A trial that others tried to tell him was to his destruction. I trial that his flesh wanted to look for a way out of. But God had an eternal purpose for the sufferings that Job went through. To know him!
God says he is the potter, and when you get on that wheel and submit, it still hurts, and your going round and round, and God is pressing in here and there, and applying pressure to this area and that area, and we may not like it, and it may be painful, and we may want to turn and tell him how to do it and to hurry up, but I assure you that if we stay on the wheel, no matter how long it takes, we can rest assured, if we will stay out of the way, and not try to find the answers, or call everyone we know for help, and not look for the better path the flesh tells us to take, and not look for the exit door. If we will but lay our life down voluntarily on the altar of Gods perfect will for us, we will not panic, we will not fret and seek men, but we'll know that God is doing a thing, whether we understand what it is or not, we can rest assured it is for us to be more like Jesus, and that it has eternal purpose, and it is ultimately for the glory of God !
We may be in the fire of our lives, surrounded with not even a friend or brother, or pastor or anything or any one that seems to comfort us, or give us relief. It may be the darkest, and most frightening time of our lives, with the heat turned up seven times hotter, as it was with Shadrach Meshach and Abednigo. But they told the king, in this case Nebuchadnezzar, ( a type of Satan) that they would not bow.
Daniel 3: 18
16. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
Did you hear that ? In other words they said: "We know God is able to deliver us, but even if he chooses not to, we will NOT bow down to you. We will not compromise... That is when (the devil) stoked the furnace up seven times hotter. You want to know why he did that? Just let me ask you a question. How much fire does it take to burn you? Just a match, a candle, a small tiny flame will burn you. That furnace was already hot as all thunder, and he says seven times hotter ... Why? Was it not enough fire to burn them? No, that is not it at all. It was "an intimidation factor from hell" to try and scare them into bowing down and giving up, and throwing in the towel, and calling it quits, and saying I guess that is just more than "we can handle..." You may say, preacher you are crazy. I have looked at this and that, you don't know what I'm going through I am scared to death at what I see. I am between a rock and a hard place ! Then two things I say to you in answer to that. Quite looking at the furnace ! Take your eyes off the storm, off your self, off your desires, and fear not that you are between a rock and a hard place. Turn to Jesus, He is The Rock !
I got news for you today beloved, everything is more than you can handle, so just let God handle it all ! You see some people will go so far, and they will struggle through so much heat, fires test trials, and boast, "I will not bow down I will never give up, God I'm on your side here..." Great. Then when the heat is turned up seven times hotter than what they already been going through it is a ploy, a plot, a scheme of the devil to "intimidate you" and get you to look in that furnace and say NO WAY, that is to much I can't do this, I just have no hope at all now, I thought I could handle this, but not now, that is more than any one can bear !
So now fear and the discouragement of "never ever surviving this kind of thing, comes at you." Now then, do we stand and say I'm with you God, I'll never back down, you can have me Lord, do as you will I'm all yours ? Or do we try and work it out again, make a deal. A little compromise, ah ha, I have a plan I will implement, and I bet that will bring this thing around. I'll help God out, after all he does not expect me to go into this mess! I should not have it this bad, this ruff. So we compromise instead of placing that complete and total trust in the hands of the living Christ, the one who will be in the furnace of affliction with you, and then we fail. We fail God because we did not trust him. We had to understand it all, work it out, have all the answers !
Now let me tell you what happens next if you have followed your own plans of reasoning, or action, because it will not work. The devil and even some of your friends, will allow you to believe you are a miserable failure. Look what happened to him. After all the help we gave him, after all the time we stood beside him, and he has taken the path of his own doing, his own intellect, his own plans. Now a godly friend would not be down on you, or think horrible of you, or cut you off, or walk away from you and have nothing to do with you again. Not if they truly love you. Not if they love the Lord. But not everyone in the house loves the Lord with all their hearts. They can, along with your own since of failure driven by the flesh nature, and along with the lying tongued devil, make you feel even more miserable. I learned years ago about the demonic spirit of "superiority". He is most times in these fires we go through to turn you back . He comes through and works along side the spirit of religious pride. Always. He will tell you that you are pretty spiritual, perhaps a notch above some others around you. Then when you sin, he comes to tell you what a failure and disappointment you are to God and even those in the Church. After all if you were really walking with the Lord you would not have done this thing. Once you repent, and that is usually not out of godly sorrow at this point but rather out of condemnation brought to you by this superiority spirit, you strive now to be better and not fail again. You strive because the repentance was not birthed through true conviction from the Holy Spirit, but rather from guilt and condemnation from the spirit of pride, that caused you to want to feel better and please men and look good before men, rather than please God. True repentance comes by way of conviction of the sin committed, and brings the desire to be right with God, and a godly sorrow, that is a brokenness, and contrition, that leads you to truly despise the wrong doing, and inspires you to want to please God by faith, therefore true repentance takes place and brings with it absolute victory over the world the flesh and the devil and now you are free. Let me say to you this. If this is you, or not, whether you have refused to die to the flesh, and allow God to have his dealings with you. Whether you have crumbled under the fires and trials, and pains of your situation, and have allowed pride to work it's way into your heart and there is no room for true humility.
I tell you there is time for you to have hope in knowing that you can still allow God to turn all this around today, if you will only offer yourself to him as a living sacrifice, and trust in him with all your heart and stop leaning on your own understanding and listening to, and asking everyone their opinions. Asking a brother or two who are walking with the Lord, and are acquainted with the dark night of the soul, is fine, but they cannot become your prophetic answer machine. They will only be allowed by God to go so far with you, and even they will one day say to you, "I do not know what else to say, I have no other answers, I wish I could help more, I have told you all I know, I hear nothing else. So, I pray for you, love you, stand with you by faith, but dear one YOU must walk through the valley of the shadow of death the way God has designed for you to walk, and that with your hand in his hand. He has promised to never leave you nor forsake you, he said I will never leave you as an orphan, but I cannot walk this out for you...."
When you get to this point, if you have not learned to take your hands off well before this to allow God his way no matter what, or no matter the lack of understanding, then you can be destroyed in your fire, shipwrecked ! Let me tell you beloved that Gods silence is defining ! So, if you have gone through this process, and there is no longer a friend a loved one, a pastor or prophet to give you answers or "take you through," then learn it now, right now, God is with you ! Die to the flesh once and for all. Submit your self therefore unto God. Throw yourself at his mercy and love and grace, cling to the cross of Jesus Christ, cast down every imagination and every lofty thing that raises itself against the word of God, and say with all your heart like Job.. "though you slay me I will trust in you"! Let me share this one more passage with you.
1 Peter 1: 3-9
3. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4. and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Verse 8 says. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.
All though you do not see him now, you love him. Although you do not see your situation changing, although you do not see one thing seemingly go right, although you do not see one solid bit of evidence of any change in your situation, the word says, "you love him !" Although you do not see the hand of Christ moving in your behalf, he is there, and he is working it out, and he will take you through, if you have resigned to allow the Holy Spirit his way with you in every area. You do what you know to do, until God tells you what else to do, or takes you through like Job with NO explanation what so ever ! But you love him! Because he is working in your behalf or in behalf of that loved one or family or church congregation answering your cries and prayers and petitions, and intercessions, he is working whether you see it or not, and if you will hold on to that way of looking at God, and stand by faith right there, then you will see the hand of God one day moving and healing and delivering, and bringing peace where there was none, and life where there was only death, and restoring to you all he has promised he would, and the best thing of all, is that like Job you can shout from the roof tops, "my ears have heard of you but now my eyes see him."
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