We seem trained to think of the worst about things at times….
- If I don’t get this life insurance, all heck will break loose.
- If I don’t get this new toothpaste, I’ll get gengivitus.
- If I doing use high-perfomance gasoline, my gas mileage will suffer!
- If I don’t drink the new Corona Premier, I’ll never have fun or friends.
- If I don’t get this new app, I’ll be unproductive.
So, we trust (at least in small part) that these things might give us something. Problem is, the promise of “the thing” doesn’t last very long. So we download more apps and drink more beers hoping for different results.
Yet the one promise we have that lasts, the joy and presence and peace of our Lord (the surest thing), is the thing we often resist and fear the most. At best, we simply don’t make time to pursue this one sure thing.
We know there’s more to life but we doubt whether it’s worth it; to give up our old familiar ways for something new – something new that we really don’t even understand or can’t fathom. We choose to hope in a future that we know is unpredictable yet resist the God we can know.
Corrie Ten Boom once said:
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God”.
Perhaps the question is: Do we really know that God is good and that He has our best interests in mind?
In Psalms 139: 17-18 David says something fantastic about God:
“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”
God’s thoughts of us are good. His thoughts of us outnumber the sands on the beaches! He knows and wants our best. He pre-ordained a wonderful, peace-filled life for us before we were even born. He enjoys watching over us!
Psalm 11:4 even says,
“For the Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord is on His heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth, His eyes examine them.“
Yet, our old ways, our old flesh patterns, our “old man”, the patterns of our past still haunt us. They are not alive (we died to them) but the enemy uses those old memories and patterns to keep us enslaved.
Watchman Nee in his book The Breaking of the Outer Man and the Release of the Spirit says:
In order for a man to work for God, his inner man must be released. The fundamental problem with many servants of God is that their inner man (spirit) cannot break out of their outer man (soul). In order for the inner man to be released, it must break out of the outer man. We have to be clear that the first obstacle to our work is ourselves, not other things. If our inner man is an imprisoned, confined man, our spirit is shrouded and not easily released. If we have never learned to break through our outer man with our spirit, we cannot work for the Lord. Nothing frustrates us like the outer man. Whether or not our work will be effective depends on whether the Lord has broken down our outer man and whether the inner man can be released through our broken, outer man. This is a very fundamental issue. The Lord has to dismantle our outer man in order to make way for our inner man. As soon as the inner man is released, many sinners will be blessed and many Christians will receive grace.
In John 12:24 the Lord Jesus said,
“Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
The Lord alone works for our good and His great plan for our lives is wrapped in a beautiful light. But we must allow ourselves to be broken so that His Spirit can reign supreme in our lives…so our spirit can be set free to love Him, ourselves and others fully.
May the Lord bless you and keep you this day and may you and I consider it a joy to die to ourselves so that His glory can shine through each of us.