Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Roil and Boil"

The rich man can live as a pauper if he does not avail himself to his wealth. In similar and far more tragic manner, the born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ can fail to experience "the unsearchable riches of Christ" if he does not access them by faith and submission to the glory of God.

"I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus: (Philemon 1:4-6).

The Christian life does not involve, as it were, the making of bricks without straw. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). There is an infinite supply of grace for godliness dwelling in us through the Holy Spirit, and if our cups do not consciously run over with assurance, peace, joy, abundance of life, and the awareness of God's love for us, it can only be because we have been tempted to forget or ignore "every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus."

Our spiritual enemies are well aware of our privilege and responsibility to avail ourselves to the abundance of Christ. They set out from the moment of our new birth to hinder our understanding and confidence in the "exceeding great and precious promises" made to us by the God who "cannot lie" (II Peter 1:4; Titus 1:2). They point to our fickle emotional sensibilities, past failures, present sense of weakness, and thoughts in us contrary to the will of God as the evidence of spiritual poverty rather than wealth. Our fleshly humanity inherited from Adam is prone to believe such deception, and if we acquiesce, the grievous tragedy of an inconsistent and relatively joyless Christian life will ensue.

Too much was given for such a terrible thing to happen in you, or in me. "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich" (II Corinthians 8:9). Personally, I think that the proper sensibility in this matter for believers is one of fiery and righteous indignation. Somebody is seeking to grieve the heart of God, and rob your life and mine of the abundance purchased for us by the inestimable cost of the Lord Jesus being tortured to death, and forsaken by God and man on the cross of Calvary. We must not allow such a perversion to happen! It does not have to happen, and in fact, if it does, we will one day weep tears more bitter than any we have ever known because we did not avail ourselves to the grace purchased for us by the blood, agony, sorrow, loneliness, darkness and death known by our Savior on the cross.

Our spiritual enemies do not fight fairly, nor do they rest in seeking to hinder our experience of the abundance of life that presently and forevermore teems in our redeemed spirits. May the thought make our spiritual blood roil and boil, and then lead us to "fight the good fight of faith," the good fight fought from the blessed reality that the Lord Jesus is "the heir of all things," and we are "joint-heirs" with Him (Hebrews 1:2; Romans 8:17). The battle is on. Let us smell the smoke of the battlefield on which we engage defeated foes. And then let us go forth to raise the shield of faith, wield "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God," and see our Lord reveal from skirmish to skirmish the great truth that no one has ever trusted in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and been disappointed for doing so. And no one ever will.

"For by Thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all them that trust in him. For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God? God is my strength and power: and He maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds' feet: and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms."
(II Samuel 22:30-35)

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