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Latest revision as of 00:19, 14 February 2020

Spiritual Survival in the Coming Days 14

So I sent messengers to them with this reply: "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?" (Nehemiah 6:3—NIV)

Come down from the cross and save yourself! (Mark 15:30—NIV)

Many call to us to come down from the wall, to come down from the cross. We choose to ignore them because we trust only in the Lord. We will not attempt to take our spiritual gifts and callings and use them according to our own notion of how the Kingdom of God should be built. Yet we do not languish in passivity, we labor to enter the rest of God.

It is not easy to live in this manner when the clamor on every side is to go out and save the world. But it is the way of all true prophets and witnesses of God.

We don't just go fishing. We wait until the Lord Jesus makes us fishers of men. This waiting may continue for many years—maybe until we are too old to do much of anything without God's strength.

Paul had to be brought low, didn't he, that the excellency of the power might be of God and not of himself.

I eagerly expect and hope I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:20,21—NIV)

Paul had elected to take his place on the cross with Christ and to share in the resurrection and ascension of Christ. Then God, through numerous afflictions, made that crucifixion and that resurrection a day-to-day experience. The result has been the manifestation of the Life of Jesus through Paul's Epistles, the Epistles that have changed the course of world history.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20—NIV)

We read passages such as the above and assume the learning of them somehow makes them true in ourselves—some kind of doctrinal stance that all Christians take who are on their way to Heaven.

Not so! While it is good to memorize Galatians 2:20, it has to be lived out in the realities of life. We must experience the sufferings and death of Christ until it no longer is our self-will that is dictating our actions but Christ who actually is living out His Life in us.

Then we live by faith—faith that Christ will give us the continual strength and wisdom we need to overcome the hurdles placed in front of us.

By the way, don't waste your time rebuking the devil. When you are afflicted call on the Lord. Your problems are coming ultimately from Him, although God may permit Satan to afflict you as was true in the case of Job.

It was Satan who afflicted Job. But imagine how inappropriate it would have been for Job to spend his days rebuking the devil for destroying his family and possessions!

To continued. Spiritual Survival in the Coming Days 15