"The Abundance Of All Things"
We referenced Deuteronomy 28:47 in yesterday's message, a chilling indictment of Israel by the Lord:
"Thou servedst not the Lord with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things."
Israel set forth from Egypt toward a land that flowed with milk and honey, but even more, with a God who flows with promise, provision, and protection. They didn't know Him well, however, and when the appearance of threat and difficulty presented itself to eye and heart, they distrusted their Lord to the degree they never entered the promised land (with the exception of trusting Joshua and Caleb).
"They... entered not in because of unbelief" (Hebrews 4:6).
The principal holds true in the present dispensation of grace as revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice" (Philippians 4:4)
"His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3).
"Better promises" grace born again believers in the Lord Jesus than Israel ever imagined (Hebrews 8:6). The assurances speak to greater realities than merely earthly provision. "Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the Heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). God Himself supplies the heart of all blessing through the indwelling presence of the Spirit of Christ. He dwells within us, as opposed to His dwelling with Israel (John 14:17). Yet again, however, the joyous experience of such abundance awaits the faith that affirms and believes the Truth to be true. Appearances, emotions, and faulty perceptions often tempt us to think of ourselves as just ourselves, rather than ourselves as inhabited by the living God. Indeed, the Apostle Paul defined carnality in terms of forgetting such glorious reality: "Ye are yet carnal, for whereas there is envying and strife and divisions, are ye not yet carnal and walk as men?" (I Corinthians 3:3). We are to walk as human beings inhabited, motivated, led, and empowered by the living God. Only unbelief hinders us from doing so and thus knowing the surpassing abundance of all things that "shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).
Israel saw giants in the promised land that distracted their view of the living God, causing them to feel like grasshoppers rather than God-hopers (Numbers 13:33). The same temptations await us in the context of our life experience. "Their are many adversaries" declared Paul (I Corinthians 16:9. Moreover, our foes are bigger than us. In relationship to the infinite God who indwells us, however, our enemies are infinitesimal. This is truth. This is reality. The is the promise, the promise not of land, but of life, the life of the risen Lord Jesus. Let us open the eyes of our hearts to see Him, the Life of our lives, and and the Source of joy and gladness for the abundance of all things.
"I come that they might have life, and that they m might have it more abundantly."
"Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy."
Weekly Memory Verse
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son, and if son, then an heir of God through Christ.