Thursday, July 13, 2023

Orange Moon Thursday, July 13, 2023 "Means and Messengers"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Means and Messengers"

"Let the devil do His worst, and the heart attuned to God's ways and working will see the Lord do His best."
      How universally does God "work all things after the counsel of His own will" in the lives of those who trust the Lord Jesus Christ? (Ephesians 1:11).  An experience of the Apostle Paul helps us to understand.

     God granted Paul much light regarding Himself and His truth (I Corinthians 15:10).  This led to great and glorious things in the Apostle's life and ministry to others.  However, it also placed Paul in the epicenter of the arena of temptation, particularly regarding pride.  Thus, the Lord acted (akin to Job in the Old Testament), allowing an enemy to attack His servant to help him overcome the allure to self importance.

    "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me" (II Corinthians 12:7).

    Who tempted Paul to pride?  The devil, who himself fell through pride.  "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness" (Ezekiel 28:17).  What messenger did God allow to buffet Paul in order to rescue him from exalting himself?  The same devil who tempted the Apostle in the first place.  You see the point.  Let the devil and his minions do what they will to God's children.  The Lord does, in fact, allow them to perpetrate many challenging and painful things.  However, those attacks become means and messengers by which our Lord also does great things in our lives, revealing His glory thereby, and keeping us from temptations of which we may or may not be aware.  "Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler" (Psalm 91:3).

   Our enemies are real.  Their workings result in many grave effects, the consequences of which we do not ignore or minimize.  We also do not commit the moral error of assigning responsibility to God for their evil (James 1:13).   It remains true, however, that the God who works to fulfill His purposes in all things is wise enough, present enough, and involved enough to use even the malevolent movements of His enemies to accomplish His ultimate will.  Let the devil do His worst, and the heart attuned to God's ways and working will see the Lord do His best.  Of our challenges, Paul wrote, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:37).

   Look no further than Calvary to confirm that "all things work together for good to them that love God, and to them who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).  The worst and most devilish thing that ever happened - the suffering, forsakenness, and death of the Lord Jesus - became for believers the best thing that ever happened (John 14:30; Galatians 6:14).  All else pales in comparison, and all else will be found in the light of God's fulfillment of His purposes for us amid whatever our enemies seek to foist upon us.  The tomb is empty.  The throne above is occupied.  Jesus Christ is Lord.  No devil can seek to cast any shroud of darkness upon us without this Light of our Lord's triumph ready to shine above it, around it, or through it.

"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished."
(II Timothy 2:9)

Weekly Memory Verse
    "Knowledge puffeth up, but charity (love) edifieth." 
(I Corinthians 8:1)







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