Spiritual Truth You Can Depend On

Filed under Discipleship, Holiness, Nature of God, Truth

For Us

One of my favorite things about reading my Bible is when the words seem to leap off the page. They don’t actually glow like the moon runes on the elven parchment in the movie, “The Hobbit,” but there are times when the Spirit illuminates a verse and it comes alive. I am currently in the Psalms, and as I read each day sometimes something stands out. Today it was Psalm 56:9b. “This I know, that God is for me.” I’ve read it before and it never seemed all that life-altering, but for some reason I was repeatedly drawn back to that verse today. I went on to read Psalm 57; then back to 56:9. I got half-way through 58 and was drawn back to 56:9. It seemed to me that there was something almost profound in the pronouncement that God should be for us.

What does it mean to say that God is, “for,” us? He is more than a fan. It isn’t as though He is cheering from the sidelines hoping that we will win the day. I think that God being for us means that He is actively involved in the game with us. He is setting things in position so that we can accomplish whatever we are called to do and He is taking an active role in helping us to succeed in meeting His will. It’s important to see that success in meeting His will is not always what we think success is. For most people, success is prospering financially, increasing in health, being more secure in family relations, gaining that new job or being accepted into the country club. God doesn’t care about those things. Sure, He may bring many of them to pass in the course of completing His will, but the human idea of success is far removed from God’s idea of success.

God sees success in our setbacks because oftentimes we have to be knocked down a couple of pegs before we can be useful to God. Maybe losing a job, (which seems like a failing to many of us), is only the beginning of something which we cannot imagine. Sometimes in order to make us look up, God has to knock us flat on our backs first. Oswald Chambers reminds us that, “It is not that God makes us beautifully rounded grapes, but that He squeezes the sweetness out of us.” Being in the winepress is not always an enjoyable thing though. We tend to think that if God loves us, then He should be making things easier for us, He should me giving us what we think is best. But God is doing what He knows is best, and doing it in the most perfect way possible.

God does love us. John 3:16 makes it plain; “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have life everlasting.” That’s a whole lotta love going on there! The Bible talks about love all the time and we use the word as though we understand love, but do we? How many of us really think about love? Can we explain what it is? We seem to know when we are in it, when we are giving it or receiving it but when we are asked, “What is love?” we choke. The cheating answer is to say that love is God. OK, that’s true but it goes much deeper than that. Love is an essence. Love has no place unless there is an object. No one says, “I love.” We say that we love something or someone. It isn’t a feeling, it’s a commitment. It’s intangible but able to be felt. Love cannot exist but that it is given away, because love held within benefits no one and withheld love is really no love at all.

God is for us and shows it by His love for us. We are the object of God’s love. Think about that for a moment; the infinite, perfect inconceivable love of God Almighty is directed at us; Christian believers. How is it that the insignificant, lowly worms that we are should garner the favor of the most perfect and beautiful essence in all existence? God’s favor toward us is evidenced all around us in ways that we allow to pass as coincidences or natural occurrences but when correctly seen, are supernatural gifts of affection to us from the One who is for us.

Just last night my day at work unexpectedly got dragged out an hour and a half longer than it was supposed to. I only get one day off a week so the day before my day off is one where I do everything possible to be out as early as possible; last night it didn’t happen that way. What’s more; I was planning on mowing the lawn when I got home so that it would be finished before the big storm hit today. Now when I say mowing the lawn you must realize that out here in the country, when you have acreage like we do, mowing is not the 45 minute thing that townies understand. I mow about 3 acres. That’s the immediate yard by the house, the lower pasture near the barn, another half-acre on the north side of the house and walking trails that extend to the far reaches of the property.

When I got home last night, in resignation, I accepted that I would only get to mow the immediate yard and the rest would have to wait until it reached the point where I would need a hay mower to get through it, but God is for us and there are no coincidences. This morning as I was reading my Bible and sticking on the verse that kept hammering that God was for me, I realized that even at 7am, with a storm forecast for later in the day, I could finish the work outside. You see, normally the dew makes mowing nearly impossible because the grass clogs the mower and overworks the engine with its excessive weight. But years ago an old Indian taught me that God doesn’t waste a dew-fall on a day when He is going to send rain so even at 7am, the grass was nice and dry this morning. God was for me this morning!

The trick is to see how the things that come to us are really for our benefit. God does not allow anything to reach one of His children without first filtering it through the lens of His divine providence. We can be like Daniel because there is nothing to fear when thrown into the lion’s den when we have a God who is for us. It’s been said that whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and God wants us to be stronger. But the good thing is, even if we were to die, for the Christian, how bad is that? We are in a win – win situation, even though it sometimes seems like we are hard pressed. It’s our resistance to the pressure that is hard to bear. If we yield to the winepress then the sweetness flows easily from us, but if we resist the pressure builds until it seems as though we will explode.

We will ultimately give in to the pressure. God is the irresistible force and we are anything but immovable objects. If we could only accept that releasing our sweetness in the winepress of the Lord is actually good for us, then we might grow faster. Yielding to the pressure is not a loss for us, it’s allowing ourselves to be used as God sees fit and SINCE God loves us, and SINCE God is for us, and SINCE God allows whatever comes into our lives, our stubborn resistance is not only futile, but foolish as well. When we really understand that God is for us, we will begin to see that releasing the juices of our sweetness is something which God can use because it’s our sweetness that proves to be…

All for the Glory of Christ

A Cup?

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