Thursday, November 19, 2009
A New Way Of Living-Continued
This suffering we endure is the Father’s best for us. The Father uses all things for our good (Rom 8:28-29). The evil doings of Joseph’s brothers was ordained of God and meant for the good. “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good...” (Gen 50:20)
Paul sat in the Roman Caesar’s prison, yet he said he was the “prisoner of the Lord” (Ephes. 4:1a). We see from this that Paul considered his suffering to be actually at the hands of the Lord. Trusting God His Father, Paul learned to be “content in whatever state” the Lord placed Him (Philip 4:11).
Our suffering is often at the hand of other people. People who are ignorant of the truth of the indwelling Christ will often persecute the Christians who desire and seek to walk with Him single mindedly. Frankly, these most often are other Christians who do not know Him intimately. The cruelest sufferings I’ve endured in this life have been at the hands of my “brothers and sisters in Christ”. Paul says we may be may denigrated, defamed, and vilified as we seek to walk with Him. “And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled (vilified), we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 13Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth (refuse) of the world, and are the offscouring (scum) of all things unto this day.” (1 Cor. 4:12-13). You will be misunderstood if you follow Christ within you. Jesus was misunderstood by the men who reviled and killed Him because He claimed, as we do, to be one with the Father as His offspring bearing His very life.
Peter says it’s not at all strange for a Christian to suffer. It’s the smelting or purifying furnace for God’s glory to be revealed in us. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery (smelting) trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.”(1 Pet 4:12-14)
The suffering God prescribes for us, are for our good, since suffering does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We cannot make our self trust God – so it is He that is at work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil 2:13). “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (1 Peter 5:10)
Jesus came “in the name of” or authority of the literal Person of the Father. Paul, suffered for Christ’s “name’s sake,” that he might also bear the authority Christ. “But the Lord said unto him (Ananias), Go thy way: for he (Saul/Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name (my person) before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16For I will shew him how great things he (Paul) must suffer for my name’s sake (name = person, for the sake of the expression of Christ’s life)” (Acts 9:15-16).
“The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” will flow out of us in the person (authority) of Christ – but first we must be broken in soul for the release the flow of His Spirit. Many want to speak with God’s authority but this only comes as we submit to or suffer His Lordship from within – then our speaking will be His speaking.