Thursday, May 07, 2009
Coming From Behind to Shape Our Lives
Please read part one first, here.
Our prolonged stint on earth, where ever that might be and whatever that might encompass, is worth whatever it takes to establish us in His righteousness.
Here is an example that spoke volumes to me regarding the ongoing separation taking place as the Father continues to deal with inner motives, attitudes of the heart: “Take Job, for example. Job was famous for his patience (James 5:11), he was “perfect and upright” (Job 1:1), but God saw a gross imperfection in Job. Nobody else could see it, for as we have already said, it wasn’t because Job had outwardly sinned that God allowed him to be tested. God put him through the kind of trial that forced that imperfection to surface. No ordinary trial would have caused this. It had to be the kind of trial in which his best friends would ruthlessly accuse him. Job eventually got very self-righteous. In the end, however, Job saw himself as he was. He repented in sackcloth and ashes, and saw that he was a great sinner (Job 42:6).”
Often within a total breakdown, we can experience a great ‘breakthrough’ in our lives as we continue to be established in righteousness. As for Joseph, a very important part of his preparation was that he be delivered from self-pity, self-righteousness, and from any need to manipulate his future.
In my opinion it was these dreams that Joseph was given that were being used to accomplish the following: “There was no known precedent for a true child of God being thrown into a pit to die, much less surviving! For a child of God this might this might even be evidence that he was out of God’s will. There would be no way that Joseph could explain to anybody while in a pit that he was in God’s will! The ten brothers said, ‘We shall see what becomes of his dreams’ Gen. 37:20). They were quite sure that they had him in such a fix that nobody could conclude that he was God’s man.” Long before all of his brothers and Father would eventually (according to his dreams) bow before him, Joseph was going to bow in his heart in recognition of the fact that those very dreams were God’s instruments used to establish him in an inward true righteousness! This has everything to do in my opinion with being “called”! (“God Meant it for Good”, by R.T. Kendall)
Joseph, like us, was going to discover that our gracious God and Father comes from behind to shape our past, so that, if we will believe Him and give him time, we will come to see that his hand was with us even at our worst moment.
The following quote is from the book “Unto Full Stature” by DeVern Fromke:
“It is indeed sad that so many have interpreted adoption as though it were the taking of a child outside the family into a new family. This is Western adoption, but not the Biblical or Eastern conception. The Greek, Roman, or Jewish father, adopted none as a son but his own child. Birth made him a child, preparation and discipline brought him to adoption and the full stature of son ship. R. B. Jones, scholarly theologian has written: ‘To be a son is infinitely more than to be a child, and the terms are never loosely used by the Holy Spirit. It is not a difference of relationship, but in position. Every ‘born-again’ child of God has in him the nature of His Father, and is a beloved member of His family. Adoption cannot make the child and nearer or dear, yet it gives the child a status he did not enjoy before, a position he did not occupy. It is recognition as an adult son, the attaining of his majority, the seal upon his growth to maturity of mind and character. A child has God’s nature; a son has God’s character.”
“Yet in the midst of this traditional pattern of confinement by men (man trying to govern the work of His spirit), God has always had His remnant in every hour-those who are pressing unto full son ship and stature. They know that inner stretching and adjustment of the Spirit, and even though painful seem to delight in it, for they realize that such an inward stretching is God’s way of producing a spiritual elasticity, vitality and capacity they could not otherwise know.”
“Yes that stretching takes place when the life is completely governed by the Holy Spirit. God alone can keep one prepared for every emergency and situation. He can keep one properly balanced in determination and flexibility when the sever test is on. We have the stretching of knowledge. One can look at Peter and see that he had developed a fixed position regarding certain laws of the Old Testament and his interpretation of them. From his rigid, static position he argued, “Not so, Lord.” Until he had “thought on the vision” he insisted, “not so, Lord.” He was neither stretchable, teachable nor adjustable. Yet what a tremendous advance, not only for Peter, but for the whole Church when, without giving away any steadfastness or determination, he adjusted to the new light that the Lord gave, and to a new knowledge of the Lord and His ways. This ability to be adjustable to new insights of truth has been a problem throughout the centuries, not just for individuals but with groups as well.”
Even with the Pharisees were not exempted. It was Jesus’ intention to see them likewise be prepared for the new wine of His presence! Let’s listen to what the author has to say about this: “Finally, what does Jesus say about the wine skins? He would seem to say that either they will remain flexible by continuous stretching, or they become hard and inflexible, and by resistance to His will be usable only for old wine. When He looked at the Pharisees in their rigid positions, Jesus could discern that they were like wine skins fixed, and without elasticity. So He insisted that “new wine must be put in new wine skins…” We can almost hear Him say: “Let me make you anew-and keep you forever new.”