Thursday, May 7, 2009
Formed in the Fire of His Love
Except It Die
I highly recommend reading this blog entry first to get a better sense of where I'm going in this two part posting. You can read it here.
Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone, but if it dies, it brings forth an abundance of fruit!
This is taken from Psalm 105: “He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold as a servant. His feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in chains of iron and his soul entered into the iron, Until his word [to his cruel brothers] came true, until the word of the Lord tried and tested him.”
I love the following from Proverbs, loosely translated: “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, he who rules his [own] spirit than he who takes a city.” James 1:20, “for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
These are but a few random thoughts that may not necessarily follow any set order regarding what I am beginning to see regarding his ultimate purpose for me and others (many are called, but few choose to embrace being processed). Also, “according to those whom He foreknew, he predestined them to be conformed to the likeness of His only begotten son, and, that Christ might be fully (established) formed in [them].”
Two things in particular shine brightly from the verse in Psalm 105. Iron had to enter into Joseph’s soul. In my opinion, this is not just a play on words: both his metal as well as his mettle was being developed, and it’s this very thing I want to try and unveil more clearly for those likewise called and chosen of Him.
Until God’s word (to his cruel brothers) came true…until the word of the Lord tried and tested Joseph, he was not ready or in sync with the Father’s redemptive plan which was yet to unfold.
What most, if not all of us who have received a word from the Lord in some manner or another, (such as in Joseph’s life as a young boy) have in common is this: those dreams or words from God, these dreams, if they are in fact from Him, are designed to undo us, slay us, process us, transform us, and it is this reality that largely remains hidden from our self-for-self heart condition!
To further illustrate my point, let’s look at two of our brothers in the scriptures, first Moses. God said this of Moses, “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.” Yet in light of this glowing affirmation of his inner character, he was provoked in his spirit, and out of that he deliberately disobeyed God’s direction, to “speak to the rock (a shadow of Christ), not smite it. In spite of his great track record of humility, this altercation prevented Moses from entering into the Promised Land.
Now for Paul, “Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary. But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].”
“Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.”
Paul was not referring in any sense to missing heaven, but instead of missing out by deviating from his course - the heavenly vision graciously presented to him when apprehended of the Lord!
We are all blinded not only to the reality of Whose we are, but also very much likewise blinded to the reality of sin’s influence in our mortal bodies clinging to us within our flesh. We all mistake innocence to be what God is seeking to find in our lives, and just as it was not the fullness of what was in God’s heart for Adam and Eve, likewise he has so much more for you and I, His church!
Stay tuned for part two.