Thursday, November 19, 2009

Self-Rule, Self-Effort

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.


Māris said...

I was comforted through these words.

Rich said...


So cool Father comforting you my dear friend and brother..Ciao!!

Dumela said...

An interesting blog

Rich said...


Thanks for taking a peak at this interesting blog :)

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Did I misunderstand? Are you saying that God causes our suffering? I thought that the message of Job was that God does not cause it but protects us through it -- if we let Him.

Rich said...


I appreciate your question and at the same time trying to understand it.
For example here is something that I want to offer for consideration re: your question... But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake."

Also re: the situation with God and Job and his sufferings, God didn’t imo cause them, but did allow Satan to do a much similar thing as when Jesus said to Peter that Satan had repeatedly asked permission to sift Peter like wheat and Jesus telling Peter in advance that was exactly what was going to happen.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Rich, let me then throw your own question back to you because I am not sure that I can answer it coherently. Why would God allow Satan that unkind opportunity? So that we grow? So that we learn to trust? I know some people say that it is to test us, but then why do only some people get tested and does not God know our hearts without such testing?

Rich said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks so much for causing me to do some thinking!

In my opinion, God knew Job's heart very well. But JOB didn't know Job's heart. God loved Job too much to allow him to remain in his state of self-righteousness. Job didn't know God's heart whatsoever. Like most of today's Christians, he served a demanding, judgement-exacting deity. Job thought that to appease God he had to do so via his upright behaviour or his blameless performance. He did not know God's heart of love for him. Job also did not see the depravity in his OWN heart. He truly thought he was doing everything 'right' and so did everyone around him.

So - how could a God of love allow Satan to do what he did?

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Rich, good points. So, I could draw a conclusion here that perhaps God did not want simply Pharasaic behavior, even if it was not tinged with self-righteousness, but a loving relationship without fear. After surviving all that he experienced, I imagine that Job would never experience adversity in the same way again or be truly afraid, but rather feel fierce trust and deep love. Job is an interesting story, for sure. I think there are levels of meaning far deeper than we usually discuss.

Rich said...


Our God and Father is only going to have sons (and daughters) filling His house because they KNOW they are Loved. The story of the generous and loving Father in Luke 15 illustrates imo an identity theft that had robbed both sons from know first, whose they were and secondly, who they were in relation to their Father.
Our Father longs for us to know and to continuing growing in the true knowledge of his total unconditional love for us whereby as He demonstrates His love (those whom he loves, he chastens, corrects, disciplines) by allowing us to learn as our elder brother Jesus did, obedience by that which we will suffer.

Without the solid unshakable foundation of His total unconditional love for us deeply established in our inner most being, when his loving correction comes which it will, we will usually mistakenly see it as rejection rather than that which is desperately needed to bring us into a fuller and richer expression of the life that begot us in its seed form.

Two books I want to highly recommend to you if you so choose to follow up on are, Identity Theft, by Kevin Avram and Wes Best, and The Misunderstood God by Darin Hufford, each in there own right powerfully point out with great clarity.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Thanks for the enlightening dialogue and the time it took you to write it. I will indeed follow up on those book suggestions. I had not heard of either. (So much to learn!)