Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Our Metal-Mettle Being Tested
At the suggestion of my friend Dave after reading my reply to Pete, he thought this would flow nicely with it, I agree.
I couldn't resist sharing this from Wayne Jacobsen's book, The Naked Church.
"Gold refined by fire." 'Fire-refined gold is a common biblical analogy for an active faith that can stand the test of difficult circumstances. It is a far cry from the pseudofaith touted today that attempts to compel God to give us whatever we desire. Faith is not a gimmick; it is an intimate trust and dependence on God that is not hinged to circumstances but grounded deep in God's nature.'
Boasting in our Weakness
''He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness.' Most gladly therefore I will rather boast in my weaknesses that the power of Christ may tabernacle over me.'' II Corinthians 12:9
It is one thing to say that we cannot make it, and it is another thing to give up trying to make it altogether. Can we see that these are two things? The first condition to victory is to realize that we cannot make it, and the second is to give up trying to make it. If we will admit that we cannot make it and give up trying to make it, we will overcome.
What does it mean to try to make it? Let me take temper as an example. Suppose you are a quick-tempered person, and you cannot control your temper. The more you try, the more you fail. You admit that you can do nothing about your temper. What should you do? You know with certainty that there is no way to control your temper, yet you still try to control it. Then what do you do? You try to be more careful when you speak with others. You try to avoid those with whom you cannot get along well, and you try to talk to those with whom you can get along well. You avoid fellowship with those who agitate you and run away from their face. Every time you are about to lose your temper, you try your best to suppress it. You try to suppress it with more prayers. What is this? This is being unable, yet at the same time trying to be able.
Brothers and sisters, please remember that the condition of victory is acknowledging that we are unable, and the greatest barrier to victory is trying to be able. Victory is from Christ; it is Christ who is living on our behalf. The overcoming life requires that we take a stand and declare, ''I cannot make it and I do not intend to make it. Please make it for me. I will not fabricate my own victory.'' I have heard a few sisters remark to me, ''Brother Nee, it would be wonderful if my temper could improve a little.'' I always tell them, ''You have to thank the Lord for your quick temper.''
Weakness is not something that one should lament over or weep about. Weakness is something that one should boast in. You may have said, ''Thank and praise the Lord He has made me overcome,'' but have you ever said, ''Thank and praise the Lord, He has made me fail miserably''? You thank and praise the Lord for giving you patience, but have you thanked and praised the Lord for your impossible temper? Have you thanked and praised Him for your pride? Have you thanked and praised Him for your jealousy? Have you thanked and praised Him for your unclean thoughts within and for your sin? Brothers and sisters, do you have a sin which you cannot even confess? What are you going to do? Are you going to be sorrowful? It is a glorious thing for a man to realize that he is helpless. Once the Lord shows you that you cannot make it, He will immediately show you that God can make it. Your Lord does not show you your inability to discourage you, but for you to believe that He has an excellent opportunity to work in you. In the past you may have grieved over your weakness or wept over your sins. But today you can boast and praise! ''Lord I thank You because I cannot make it. I thank you because I have no way to overcome. I am not able. I rejoice because I am not able. I rejoice because I cannot do anything. Only You can do everything.'' If you do this, you will overcome.