Posted by: forfreedomalone | 17/12/2019

…..and finally.

Q. I am going though some tough stuff right now and my Pastor says it is an attack of the devil. My pal says it is God who is testing me, but my Pastor says that God never tests or tries anyone and that all trouble comes from the devil; just read Job! I am confused and don’t know how to handle the stuff I am going through. Can you help?

A. I believe I can, I will certainly try; but it will take a very great willingness to see what you have never seen.

It is standard teaching which your Pastor is teaching you. God is good and only good, he wouldn’t hurt a fly and if you are suffering it is either sin in your life or Hasatan attacking you. This may sound good but it leaves us helpless and confused. If it is sin in my life, which sin is it? What am I to do about it? I have confessed everything I can think of, I have repented over everything that ever came to mind and still I am where I was. If it is Hasatan, what do I do about him? I have screamed and shouted at him, I have cast him out, down and away. I have rebuked him, taken authority over him and pleaded with him, but nothing changes. This stuff is just powerless to help but only those who are truly honest will acknowledge that.

To get real understanding one has to be willing to accept that one’s definition of ‘good’ may be more than a little lacking.

God is good. But his goodness does not involve kowtowing to our demands and desires, bringing him down to our level, but in making us rise up to his. His level is holiness and he desires that we meet him there, in holiness and purity. Quite obviously we cannot be holy or pure of our own doing so, many dismiss the idea that we can be pure and holy at all; others say it is a gift of God and we have already received it, so we have nothing more to concern ourselves with.

Hebrews chapter 12 tells us otherwise and explains to us what is happening when we are going through, what you call, “tough stuff”. This is the discipline of God. God, a loving father, disciplines the son he loves; he does not, as so many do today, indulge his beloved son, he disciplines him. He trains him to run a long and hard race because he knows the race will be long and hard. To do otherwise would be anything BUT loving or good. He gives his Spirit to his son and says, “Walk with me”. We see this in the life of Jesus, why do we think we are any different if we consider ourselves to be sons also?

In the Book of Job we find a self righteous and arrogant man who believes that God is delighted with him and ows him. God knows differently and allows Hasatan to knock Job down to size. Hasatan does NOTHING to Job under his own authority; everything is with the permission of God. In the end, Job realises that he is an arrogant man and acknowledges that he needs a mediator. When he is humbled God restores him.

When we are going through difficult times they are tests and trials presented to us by God. He is disciplining us in our walk with him. The discipline we need is to stay the course, fight the fight, run the race and NEVER give up. But what is this fight about? It is the fight to overcome.

Hebrews 12 tells us that there is something without which we will never see God. It is often said that this thing is faith, but that is incorrect; without faith it is impossible to please God, but there is something else we require in order to see him and Hebrews 12 tells us that thing is holiness. Holiness is not perfection; we are not perfect and will never be in this life; sadly, many believe that they are and this hinders their walk and progress to holiness. Holiness is what you achieve when you set something apart from everything else for the exclusive use of God. This is why we need discipline.

God wants us, body, soul and spirit, as his exclusive property. If you have ever tried to concentrate on a book in a noisy place or to do some mental arithmetic when someone is talking to you, you will know how hard discipline can be; but if you don’t discipline yourself you will not be able to complete the task. It is WAY too easy to get distracted and wander off the path you are supposed to be following. God knows this with our intention to be holy; it’s pretty wholly, we need training and discipline.

When we are God’s and God’s alone we will trust him in all circumstances, we will never be moved from walking a very narrow path with him, we will cling to him no matter what the circumstances and no work of Hasatan will ever drive us from him. This requires us to be fully his; holy (set apart for his exclusive use) and humble (dying to self in every sense). If we have any element of ‘self’ left in us we are not and cannot be holy, because we are not set apart from ourselves for God’s exclusive use.

Every trial is a test of how willing we are to humble ourselves, be his alone and refuse to return to running our own lives, with our arrogant assumption we know what is best. This is very “tough stuff”, but his call, no matter what we are going through, is one I heard many, many years ago; “Will you trust me anyway?”

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