Thursday, August 27, 2009

"Our Need For Necessity"

(For my dear brother Dwayne, long since with our Lord, but still with us in heart)

One of the believer's greatest needs is necessity, that is, circumstances and conditions of challenge whereby our hearts are moved to trust God, and thus, to "glorify ye the Lord in the fires" (Isaiah 24:15).

As with Mishael, Meshach, and Azariah (the given Hebrew names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego), had there been no oven, there would have been no revelation in the oven of the "form of the Fourth... like the Son of God" (Daniel 3:25). We exist for such illumination as generated by the flames God allows in our lives, and if at some point we have prayed, "Lord, be glorified in me," we can be sure that our Father will orchestrate need for the purpose of revealing His supply of Christ.

Being a born again believer is no light matter. Earthly trials and tribulations that could have been avoided apart from faith and consecration come our way as the direct result of it. As with the Apostle Paul, "messengers of Satan" are sent to "buffet" us in order to keep us in proper place of humility from which God can be known in us, and through us (II Corinthians 12:7). Indeed, the wonderful office of the Holy Spirit as "Comforter" would never be known if we had no need for His balm, nor would our capacity for ministry exist (John 14:26). "God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (II Corinthians 1:3-4). We reveal to others the tender ministrations of God's Spirit only as we ourselves have needed and accessed them, and again, without the oven, no fourth Form.

We must accept the challenging, but blessed reality: we need necessity. "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy word" (Psalm 119:67). The Psalmist's frank confession characterizes us all, doesn't it? As much as we would like a consistently faithful Christian life experienced in a beautiful garden on a scenic mountaintop, the fact of the matter is that no such reality presently exists. Discomfort, lack, pain, loss, heartache, and heartbreak are required if we are to know God in His fullness, and just as importantly, if we are to desire to know God in His fullness. Paul closes our consideration with a confession startling to some, but known by all who have been cast into the fiery ovens that cast warm and beautiful light upon our glorious Savior...

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak,
then am I strong."
(II Corinthians 12:10)

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