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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Choosing to Suffer

I've been meditating on the life of Moses for a while now. That man was born under a death threat. His life was to be a promise of deliverance for a nation in bondage. Though this new life was born in adversity and surrounded by hostility, God secured it, raised it up and kept it for Himself and His purposes. This new life God births in those who are born again Christians, He is able to secure as well. This new spiritual life is surrounded by carnal flesh, and thinking which is determined to rule. This warfare breaks out and God's people are affected by this struggle. The new spirit life of God is vying for supremacy against a hostile, carnal nature that is determined not to die.

Just as God raised up Moses, to deliver a nation, He can raise up His life in us, and secure in us the victory. He's already made the provision. But we have to be brought to the place we are willing to say no to what we are and want and yes to God's will and the cross.

God is looking for a people who are not satisfied with the religious rut. These are a people who have read their Bibles, saw that it rebuked their life, and the church, and cried out with a God-produced cry for deliverance. They are a praying people, who love God and have undergone a circumcision of the heart-they know they are weak, and they have no confidence in anything but God and His Word and His Power. He's looking for a people who will step out of their comfort zone, be willing to suffer some things and reject everything that would hinder His life in them from operating as it is supposed to do. He's showing them the burdens of the people. They see the suffering all around them. In their own strength, they know they are helpless to change things. But there is a God on the throne who has more power than we can possibly conceive of and He wants to move and change things. He works through surrendered, sanctified vessels. He wants us to have a part in what He is doing but at the same time be unwilling to take any credit for what He does. He used one man to change things and liberate a nation from bondage. Church, what does that tell us? We have families in bondage, neighbors in bondage, spouses in bondage, parents, and children, and friends. God used one man who was willing to give up everything he had and everything he was just to walk with God and do what God said. He used Moses to liberate a nation. I know I said it again. THINK ABOUT THAT. He used Moses to prepare a people to leave bondage, and go into the promised land. OUR promised land is CHRIST-in whom our life must be hid. We can't hold on to it if it is rooted in self or this world. We lose it. It must be hid in HIM. It must be anchored, rooted, and built all in Christ, in His Word, His Spirit-HIS LIFE. How long will we halt between two opinions-between struggling with self and chasing our tails?

You know, we are no threat to the devil or his works when we are so busy fighting with ourselves, struggling with our carnal nature. We'd rather fight with our flesh than see it suffer denial and death. That is the problem. Moses refused to be called a prince of Egypt and he refused the pleasures of his position in this world. Think about that. He turned his back on the palace and that easy, comfortable and luxurious way of life. He chose to suffer for a season, with God's people, so deliverance could come. If we don't know how to travail for souls in prayer let us run to the altar, to God, who gives wisdom and understanding to all men, and let Him finish us off so He can raise the life of His Son as governor in us. Let us tarry until He baptizes us with the Holy Ghost so His power can do in us and through us what needs to be done . We get nothing accomplished and we are no good to God trying to live the Christian life in ourselves and our own strength and understanding. But if we just go the altar, recognize it is a place where something in us has to die, and just go, and trust God to put to death what needs to die, and tarry in His presence until He does what needs to be done, things will change. For so long the church has preached the altar is a place to get something from God. Not so. It's a place of death. It's a place to bring something TO God. The throne of Grace is where we go for help but an altar is a place where self dies. Something in us has to die before HIS life can be lived out as it's supposed to be. We can't serve two Masters. Self or Christ. Which one will be Lord? Choose you this day whom you will serve. We know if the altar is repaired, and the sacrifice is broken in pieces and laid on that altar in the manner God prescribed the fire will fall. If we will just tarry in His presence, and let Him break us, the fire of the Holy Ghost will fall. Then, He can use us to make a difference. It is our choice. We can be part of God's plan for deliverance or we can be left out. For the sake of those we love, for the glory and honor of HIS holy name, let us make the right choice. This may sound like a hard truth. But we can stop feeding the flesh, fast from food, and worldly influences such as media, and newspapers, and TV, and computers, and get alone with the Word of God and pray until God changes us. We can seek Him and we will find Him when we are willing to say no to everything else.

We are truly on Holy Ground when we put ourselves before this Holy God and want nothing but HIM, His way, His Word, His Will, His plan, and His power. Let us break with self and choose this day to serve the Lord, without reluctance or hesitation. We must not linger just inside the door any longer. We must put all on the altar and trust God with the results.

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