“…for when I am weak, then am I strong”
2 Corinthians 12:10
“To trust in the strength of God in our weakness; to say, “I am weak; so let me be. God is strong”; to seek from Him who is our life, as the natural, simple cure of all that is amiss with us, power to do and be and live, even when we are weary–this is the victory that overcomes the world…
“I am weak,” says the true soul, “but not so weak that I would not be strong, not so sleepy that I would not see the sun rise, not so lame but that I would walk! Thanks be to Him who perfects strength in weakness and gives to His beloved of His very life even while they sleep!”
– George MacDonald
The renewal and re-genesis of our minds and spirits is a constant need of God’s children. The stains from living in an unholy world, the accumulation of wrongs which remain unforgiven, the disillusionment of unfulfilled hopes and aspirations, can all cloud our seeing of the truth and perfection of Christ. The need for His renewal is essential to eviscerate the weights of bitterness, envy and unbelief which encumber our souls. Cynicism and hardness of heart are the result of seeing the world through the dark lenses of unbelief. God’s answer is always Himself. His work of preserving His own is through the agency of His Spirit revitalizing us through a fresh ministration of His Son.
Without this vital work of God, we would become casualties of our own wrongness. We would spend years in vanity and disillusionment walking in a wilderness of futility. The years would pass, the best of our days consumed in the emptiness of vain imaginations and deceptive reasonings. David knew well these dark valleys and left us glimpses of God’s mercy to keep the steps of His own.
2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. 3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. 5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. 6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. 7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. 8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. 9 They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. 10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. 11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? 12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. 13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency…
In the mire of his own thoughts David descended into unbelief and envy. We can see the digression as his thoughts become more cynical and despairing. He states that his “feet almost slipped” in the abyss of unbelief. His salvation was God’s Presence which lifted him from the dregs of this world into the marvelous realms of the light and glory of God.
17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; now I understood their end
Clarity and understanding come from Him. The eyes of our spirit are renewed in the seeing of Him. We are enabled to mount up with wings as eagles in the beholding of His Glory. Let us ever draw near to the only one who can keep our eyes lifted up, our hope alive and our spirits refreshed — the One who is making all things new!
Let Him lift us out of our own dark reasonings into the blessed hope of His appearing. Find fellowship and communion with those who speak truth, love truth and have the fire of the Living Christ within that we may be found faithful in the coming days. Paul spoke highly of those who refreshed the hearts of God’s people, including his own.
“For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore, acknowledge those who are like that.”
1 Corinthians 16:18
“And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison.”
The Life of Samson is a SIGN to the Downtrodden
Round and round the unseen track trod this prisoner bound in brass. Round and round, his broken soul weighed down with the pain of having failed his God. The once proud and arrogant Samson, with God-given strength, who feared little and did as he pleased, was now reduced to an object of worldly sport and the jeering of his enemies. Round and round the defeated one walked, his hopeless and pitiful existence spent in this daily, endless grind. Ridiculed by his foes, and apparently abandoned by his God, his end seemed near.
Many children of God have lost hope and thus assume that these are their last days with no seeming purpose. Others cling to promises which seem farther away today than they did the day before. The evening shadows fall heavily upon their souls. The light which burned bright in former days gives way to obscurity and growing doubt. Round and round the monotony of the daily path slowly drains their joy and passion for God. Just like Samson lives are beaten down with defeat, broken dreams, and shattered hopes in the midst of failures and circumstances too great to overcome. The way seems barred, the doors shut. Such would be the case – except for GOD!
The once powerful Samson was reduced to slavery and ridicule because of his foolish love of Delilah (representing the world and its ways). He fell under her seduction and gave up the secret of his strength. Bound and fettered by her beguiling ways, his eyes were put out (his spiritual vision) and he became the slave and merchandise of the Harlot. Time passed in worldliness and selfish pursuits until at last the realization begin to dawn upon him as to the dire place to which he had fallen. The careless life he lived, the reckless abandon to his selfish ways and pursuits, brought him to a place of utter bondage and hopelessness.
“But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved”
May God remind us that His promises hold true and His mercies never cease. The enemy, your enemy, does not know the hidden ways of the Lord. The Devil sees not the secret council of the wisdom and the purposes of God. God will surely “renew their strength” and in due time “they will mount up with wings as eagles”. It is time to lift up your eyes which have been blinded by your enemy; a day to lift up the hands which hang down and to once again sing the song of the Lord with joy. It is of the Lord’s mercies to work in our Day; to cause His servants to arise and, as Samson, strike a greater blow in our weakness than we ever did in the days of our strength.
“Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning…”
“Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
“They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together”
The unseen world is filled with confrontations between Light and Darkness. Temptations and persecutions assail the righteous as flooding waters; a battle that is waged daily. Many of these battles are far from sight but are fought in the thoughts and imaginations of our inner life. It is here where victories are won and we are afforded greater vistas of the Grace of God.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”
2 Corinthians 10:5
Often our victory in casting down these thoughts will come as we lift Him up. The Holy Spirit has one mandate in this world and that is to bring all things into the obedience of Christ. It is in our thoughts that life is defined, victory known and our confidence in Christ arises. Authority in the inner life will culminate in victory in our daily life.
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue…”
2 Peter 1:5
The persistence of the temptations of the world and the weakness of the human heart require a diligent and continual drawing of grace from Him. In our victories we find ourselves “hid with Christ in God”. He is to become our dwelling place with the intent that He will be at home in the sanctuary of our hearts.
Purity is the path to seeing Him, Faith is the hand which holds Him, Humility is the grace which draws Him.
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death”
Podcast – Cherubim and Our Warfare, an Introduction
“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee…”
“So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”. (Gen 3:24)
“For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil…”
1 Peter 3:10
The sacred scriptures speak much to us of the relationship between the words we speak and the quality of life we are afforded by the Grace of God. This exhortation from Peter is often overlooked. In the midst of the strife, contention and competition in religious circles, these words offer us a warning and a promise from God. Wisdom is the result of the fear of the Lord. In its sway we begin to weigh our words before we speak. We are saved from rash words filled with evil intent and the tendency to inflict upon others the poison of our own hearts. How often we need to be reminded of His omnipresence. He is present at every conversation weighing the words of our anger, foolishness and unsanctified thoughts.
“But I say to you, that every idle* word, whatever men may speak, they shall give an account of it in Judgment Day”
There are no words spoken which will not be accounted for in the Judgment Day. All our words will be required of us in that Day. Jesus continues on in His discourse;
“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned”
The fruit of one’s lips are the revelation of their heart. We see here God’s perspective on the words we speak and the deeds we do. How we need to touch the Holiness of God to see and understand the implications of foolish words and an unbridled tongue! The gossip, slander and the seemingly innocent words spoken to dishonour another brother, or to further inflame situations in the Body of Christ, carry heavy repercussions in this life and judgment in the next.
“Do any of you think you are religious? If you do not control your tongue, your religion is worthless and you deceive yourself”
The value of a person’s walk and their relationship with God is readily seen in the words spoken. Regardless of our profession of faith, the religion of one who speaks with an undisciplined tongue is vain and worthless.
“One who brings gossip betrays a confidence, but one who is of a trustworthy spirit is one who keeps a secret”
In our daily lives we either justify our walk with God or we reveal the vanity of our religious ways.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom”
*Note: The Greek Word translated “idle” ἀργός is a compound word comprised of “ergon” (ἔργον) translated as works and deeds and is used 176 times in the New Testament; “ἀ” (the letter alpha which is often used in the Greek as a negative). A simple transliteration would be“words without the corresponding works”. (Words without power, fire or purpose. Words which do not inspire change in the hearers).
Humility is the precious fruit of the Spirit which becomes ours by the seeing of Him. It is in touching the Presence of God where we are delivered from our boastful words and the discrepancy of saying one thing while walking in another.
Our works are to give the words we speak the weight and verity of Christ living within us.
“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
(Please read the context of this scripture James 2:12-26)
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, DO: and the God of peace shall be with you”
It is impossible to fully measure the depth and the power of Christ’s Salvation without an accurate appraisal of sin. The power of the Life of Christ in an individual’s heart is readily seen in the change and ongoing growth in His righteousness. While many content themselves with a judicial decree, Christ came to “make us free” in deed and in truth. It is the drowning person who knows the value of a life preserver. It is the condemned prisoner who understands the wonder of pardon! So too, those who have tasted of the heavenly gift of Christ, fear sin. They dread its contamination in their soul and the grieving it brings to the Spirit of God!
“A man who fears not God, will break all his laws with an easy conscience, but one who is the favorite of heaven, who has been indulged to sit at royal banquets, who knows the eternal love of God to him, cannot bear that there should be any evil way in him that might grieve the Spirit and bring to the name of Christ. A very little sin, as the world calls it, is a very great sin to a truly awakened Christian.”
“All unrighteousness is sin”
Let the Holy Spirit impart to us the weight of His Word and the estimation of the Holy Spirit concerning our lives. Righteousness is doing what is right in God. Treating others as Christ would; whether in speech, actions and even in the hidden intentions of the heart. Righteousness is walking and living through the power and wonder of the Holy Spirit. It is a walk free from unrighteousness, compromise or partiality.
“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother”
1 John 3:10
“What I am doing you do not understand now”
Can we trust that this is so in the now of our life? Is there a situation, a perplexity, a painful circumstance that seems to linger without any “proof” that there is an end in sight? Can we with the faith and trust of a child look to the unseen hand of God and believe that even in this HE IS AT WORK? His ways are higher, deeper and motivated by a love and desire to bring us to a greater relationship with HIM. He will not waste or squander the short and precious time that we have here. It is our part to behold HIS work and believe in the hidden hand of HIS wisdom to work for us “the exceeding, and eternal weight of glory”while we by faith walk in the circumstances before us.
“What I am doing you do not understand NOW”
This is the statement of a wise and gracious Father who is working, at this moment, to bring to pass HIS PURPOSES in our life. Though we may not yet see we believe that HE who knows us best loves us most! The clay must be firmly and painfully pressed and molded, the gold heated and tried in the furnace. The lukewarm heart must be subjected to circumstances to revive its warmth and passion for Him, the prodigal son “must come to himself”, and the fruitful branch must be pruned. All these things ARE FOR OUR BENEFIT AND LEARNING.
“What I AM DOING you do not understand now”
Can we see above the storm clouds that this is HIS HAND? Could Joseph possibly grasp that his “brothers” selling him into the hands of rough and heathen men was God’s “DOING”? From God’s perspective HE was sending a man into Egypt, (Psalm 105:17) to one day be the means of deliverance to these same brothers. From the misery and drudgery of slavery and prison rose a wise and tested PRINCE; one whom the fires, darkness and testing did not destroy but were actually servants of the MOST HIGH GOD.
“For You, O God, hast proved us: you have tried us, as silver is tried.You brought us into the net; You laid affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but you have brought us out into a wealthy place”
PSALM 66:10 – 12
A wealthy Christian life is one that is going through the processes of HIS LIFE. These are not ones who cry and despair of their poverty; they have discovered and have tasted of the wealthy place. Their waters fail not in drought; their resources are hidden and true. They are like trees that “bear fruit”in every season for their roots are drinking of the River of Life (Revelation 22:2). Let us not succumb to the present circumstances but let us in FAITH and TRUST believe in the ONE that says
“WHAT I AM DOING YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND NOW,
BUT YOU WILL KNOW AFTER…”
“We cannot always trace God’s hand, but we can always trust God’s heart”
“Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged”
The word of the Lord to Joshua was spoken to offset the fear and the discouragement of God’s people after forty years of seemingly pointless wandering in the wilderness. While a faithless generation passed away, God was speaking faith and encouragement to a new generation. It was a time of change; a New Day. The call of God to possess the promises given had fallen to a New Generation and within those promises lay new responsibilities for them to dispossess their enemies. So it is in our day. There is an exhortation for us to “Go Up” into the things of God.
His Word is spoken for those who will hear to rise up and leave the aimless wandering in the wilderness of powerless words; of a gospel that has been without direction and purpose, and an endless promotion of strategies and self-seeking men.
“Go Up” is spoken to a new generation. “Go Up” is God’s Word to those hearts whom the paltry offerings of empty words can no longer satisfy. There is a generation who find complacency in words, teachings and doctrinal concepts but there is also a generation who cannot find rest apart from the wonder of HIS Life within. The one generation must arise out of the complacency of the other.
Those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life are filled with the pulsating power of the Lamb’s Life.
Let us hear His Word afresh. May we feel the drawings of His Spirit to deeper things, higher things and living things. Let the “Go Up” of God bring a new seeking of Him who makes “all things new”!
“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth…”