Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The approved, the qualified

32/40 Elul 28

There is a lot of futile talk these days in Christian circles towards the classification of Christians. Several years ago a presbyter of a christian organisation died. Before his death, he fell out of grace with the Chief pastor. Be reminded that the Chief pastor in this case does not refer to our Lord Jesus Christ, but rather the head of the organisation where this man belonged to. We heard the story that this pastor paid to have him taken to so-called „big men of God” around the world. None of them was having the power to have him healed. Then he died.

The pastor started narrating how he was not walking with the Lord while still alive. He gave allusions to how he talked with him to amend his ways and have the right relationship with the Lord, or words to that effect. Nearly everyone I knew at that time within the organisation agreed with the pastor and they parroted what he said whether rightly or wrongly. If we assume that this pastor actually said what was reported of him, we could then ask if this is the right mindset or not. Does it agree with the mind of Christ? Later on it became a doctrine in that organisation that if you, as a christian, are sick of any type of disease then it is as a result that you are not walking with the Lord. But how should this madness be dealt with?

James 5:11 Lo, we call happy those who are enduring; you heard the endurance of Job and you have percieved the consummation of the Lord, that very compassionate is the Lord, and pitying.

You must have seen Christians suffering around you, either physically, spiritually or both, and in certain instances they do not have any explanations for their conditions. And neither you. Lest we jump into conclusions there are several reasons why Christians are tried. Whatever the case s/he who have endured trial becomes approved; hence s/he is [called] happy.There is no such thing as someone either exclusively having it fine or under trial for the rest of their lives, but these are like passing through peaks and troughs, walking on the mountain and sometimes down in the valley. For those who have experienced both there is no need to introduce them to atmospheric conditions prevailing in those places. „On the mountain and in the valley, on the land and in the sea, the Lord is the portion ... „ of his beloved, goes the song. And make no mistakes, there would be trials. It is one of our promises as followers of the Christ. And if you are not having any trials, I have no good news for you. You are simply not walking according to the Anointed. But why do trials come?

It is good that trials come, because they make us know the depth of our own hearts. You may say that God knows how we are going to react to trials, so why does He still allow it to happen? Do you mean to say that what God knows should not come into material existence? How would it otherwise be plain to you? How would you know the depths of your heart? It is in those circumstances that you would be able to see how much you love God or how much you are lagging behind? Trials might become for us ’writing on the wall’ that „We are weighed and are found wanting.” Even with such a language the righteous stands upright, shakes himself from the dust, repents and moves on in the grace of the Anointed Lord. The believer, in such situation, learns not to depend on the „arm of flesh”.

There are germs in our souls, from which we should be purified. They are in various forms. They may be in the form of what we desire and are lusting for, deep down within us. They may be greater than God, in the subjective sense, that we do not even know. Hence they become idols, graven images. And not knowing what is in our souls, we would even make staunch confession of the name of Jesus, not because we are false, but because we do not have absolute control over the reins of our lives. God allows those things to be brought to surface, so that we have some understanding and bow down before Him in the name of the Christ.

Abraham was tried, and he did not fail. He endured in his trial. And he was rewarded for standing the trial. Job was tried. His was very severe and we have some serious lessons to learn from what he endured. He was a man who walked with God. He was flawless and upright, fearing God and shunning evil. Satan, the Adversary seemed to have singled Job out. Why? Because he was upright. Simple and straightforward. Because of Job’s flawlessness Satan asked for him to be tried. Satan got his request. Job was tried. In many ways, not only Job suffered in the trials. His possessions were destroyed, his children died, as well as all his cattles. Everything he had was gone within what would be the „twinkling of the the eye”. All that happened because of a righteous man. So when you see someone died or something destroyed, it is not necessarily because of sin, but the opposite. When people die or things destroyed, we always grumble like atheists, who take God, who does not exist in their rhetorics, responsible for all calamities. And this is the point. You do not know why many things happen the way they do, unless revealed to you. Every answer belongs to God, and He does not owe you any explanation. You may think He does, but you cannot take Him to court. You are not His counsellor or adviser.

Most modern Christians would have dubbed Job a curse from God. In fact they may have said Job suffered because he did not walk with God and was living in sin. There is no reference that Job was living in sin. The opposite is what is recorded about him. He was a God-fearing associate who shuns evil. Modern Christianity, on the way of destruction, have no understanding how someone walking with God could be undergoing such difficult times. The fact is that modern Christianity is creating its god in its own image. Modern Christianity seeks for a god to command, who does all that it requests, at the push of the button, in the magical name of Christ. It tries to make an errand boy out of God and His Christ.

When you, as a follower of the Christ, are undergoing such trials, because Satan asked for you as the righteous of God, things you have possessed and built for many years may begin to fall apart like a house of cards. Remember that you bring nothing to this world – not even your children – and you take nothing with you when you die. You came naked, so also when you go. In trials strive to become cleaner and be at peace with the Father Eloah. We also do have a record of Satan asking for the first disciples of our Lord.

Lk 22:31 Now the Lord said, "Simon, Simon, lo! Satan claims you men, to sift you as grain. 32 Yet I prayed concerning you, that your faith may not be defaulting. And once you turn back, establish your brethren."

In the case of Job and that of Peter it is clear that Satan was at his business of accusation. He is the Accuser of the brethren. He asks, he claims, he makes intercessions before God day and night to get you, the righteous (Rev.12:10), but we have our High-Priest, Jesus making intercessions for us. And since our Lord is the High-Priest we are priests. We pray and make intercessions as well. We should not allow the voice of our Adversary to be heard, but rather our voices.

As a summary, trials happen because of what we are, and that may be due to sins within us, or because we are the redeemed of the Lord, the righteous of God in Christ Jesus. I know it is both. Stand firm in the Lord and endure whatever it is that comes your way till the end, in order to enter into His rest.

James 1:12 Happy is the man who is enduring trial, for, becoming qualified, he will be obtaining the wreath of life, which He promises to those loving Him.

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