TRUSTING THAT GOD IS SEEKING OUR GOOD
TRUSTING THAT GOD IS SEEKING OUR GOODCopyright Š 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Our task is to be reconciled to God, and to reconcile to God as many people as we can. This is not a simple task, because people do not know God and are afraid of Him.
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (II Corinthians 5:18-21)
"In Him we might become the righteousness of God" does not mean that we are righteous because we have been identified with Christ, but that Christ makes us a new creation of righteous behavior.
By "all this is from God" the Apostle Paul is referring to our being made a new creation in Christ. By a "new creation" Paul means exactly that. Our redemption through Christ does infinitely more than reform our character. It penetrates every aspect of what we are (and in the Day of Resurrection our body will be included) so that nothing of the old nature remains. All has been made new and all is of Christ.
In the beginning, Satan sought to turn Adam and Eve against God by implying that God withheld wisdom from them, not caring that this put limitations on them. The idea is that God is mean, and Satan, our friend, has come to bless us with the knowledge of good and evil.
As generation has followed generation of people, this mistrust of God has increased until people are afraid of God and do not trust God.
Through the Lord Jesus Christ, God is reconciling man to Himself. This reconciliation required the sacrifice of Christ. Christ has paid the required price for our reconciliation to God, and now desires that we take advantage of the peace with God that Christ has purchased for us.
From the sound of today's preaching, one could gain the impression that God is attempting to reconcile Himself to sinful man instead of we being reconciled to God. He has given us grace so that He can accept us without any change in our sinful behavior, it is taught.
It would be like the good Samaritan commiserating with the half-dead man and saying how much he loved him, instead of bandaging his wounds, and providing for him.
It is true that God, who has no sin, became sin for us. However, He rose in triumph over sin and death. He would have us rise with Him, not remain naked and wounded by the side of the road.
Now we have been entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation. It is not just a matter of urging people to "accept Christ." Millions of people who have received Christ are still afraid of trusting God with their lives.
It requires a lifetime of experiences with the Lord before we become totally reconciled to God.
Before we can lead people into reconciliation with God, we ourselves first must be reconciled to God. This means that we have turned away from worldliness, sin, and self-will. By self-will I mean managing our own life without seeking the will of Christ in every decisions we make; every action we take.
If we are afraid of trusting God in every aspect of living, how can we bring people to the place of being reconciled to God? Indeed, we have to become a new creation in Christ in which we are living by His life in our thinking, speaking, and acting before we are fully reconciled to God.
As I have written numerous times, the Divine redemption is moving forward. To coin a phrase from the seven feasts of the Lord, we are entering the Day of Atonement, the Day of Reconciliation. We now are to turn to the Lord Jesus with all our heart, confessing and turning away from every work of darkness in us, as the Spirit reveals these works to us.
When we confess the darkness that is in us, which is not in the image of God, not totally reconciled to God, Christ will help us to renounce that behavior for eternity. It is an eternal judgment against the spirits that seek to prevent our being reconciled to God.
Now we are in a position to teach others how to be reconciled to God.
The Kingdom of God results in the doing of God's will in the earth. As God's will is done in the earth, it enables the forces in the heavenlies to prepare themselves for the casting of Satan to the earth. Satan must be overcome by the saints before God will authorize Michael and his angels to cast Satan down to the earth.
God's will must be done in the earth if God is to be pleased to dwell among us.
If we were to announce today that every person living on the earth must immediately cease from planning his or her own life, people would regard us as hopelessly idealistic. Yet the day will come when God's will is performed by everyone living on the earth.
We cannot be reconciled to God while we are planning and living out our own life independently of the will and Presence of God and Christ.
As we think about the nations of the earth we realize how few people know God for themselves and do His will. There are people in religions other than Christianity who sincerely seek to do God's will, I am sure. But when we see what they do, how they behave. we know they are not in touch with the true God.
Am I saying that all Christians are doing the Lord's will? Not at all! It appears to me that few Christians are reconciled to God to the point that they know His will and do it. I think the reason is, no one has taught them that they can know God's will. They may attempt to be led by the Bible. But the Bible itself states that the sons of God are led by the Spirit of God.
We call Jesus, Lord. But how many of us understand this means that He personally is to conduct our life. When we read the Bible we can see how often God spoke to His saints. Well, the same is true today. If we will take the time to look up to the Lord Jesus at all times, He will direct our paths, if we are willing to be obedient.
One major problem is that numerous Christians do not truly believe that God is seeking our good. They are afraid that if they abandon their own plans for their life, God will let them down. He will not lead them into green pastures and still waters. This is the influence of Satan who strives night and day to persuade us that God is mean, not caring about our joy.
The truth is, it is Satan who is mean. If you serve Satan, obeying the desires of your sinful nature, you will have a miserable life. If you serve Satan knowingly he will destroy you.
We see today the emphasis on abortion and on homosexual behavior. Can you guess who is behind this? It is not God, I assure you. It is Satan who is intent on destroying the image of God. He hates God with all the fire of his nature. Therefore nothing pleases him more than when you abort your baby, or marry someone of the same sex, or warp your nervous system with alcohol or drugs.
The demons caper about with joy when they can persuade us to destroy the image of God. Yet, man was created to be in the image of God.
In working with people as a pastor I can see how people are afraid to trust God with certain aspects of their life, such as choosing a mate. They are afraid that God doesn't know and doesn't care about such things.
The truth is, God is extremely aware of the smallest details of each person's life. God desires fervently to bring that individual to full reconciliation with Himself, such that the person enjoys eternal righteousness, love, joy, and peace. When God can accomplish that with a person, God is filled with joy.
How it grieves me when I see a member of the congregation, particularly a young person, who does not trust God. Sometimes it is because the father is brutal or untrustworthy. You may not believe it, but a child who has an unloving father will grow up picturing God that way.
When this is true, that young person has a difficult time ever being reconciled to God.
We just have to determine for ourselves that God is good, righteous, fair, loving, and always is seeking our good. We have to state this continually, to ourselves at least. This is how we overcome Satanby insisting on the faithfulness and righteousness of God, even when we do not understand why we are having so much trouble.
We shall have tribulation while we are living in the world. Jesus promised us that this would be the case.
You would think, from listening to the evangelists, that once we made a profession of belief in the Lord Jesus, all of our problems would be solved.
Every mature believer knows well the difficult situations they find themselves in at times. They do not understand what is happening. They have been trying to the best of their ability to please God. And yet, there is this darkness that tests our faith in God.
Saint John of the Cross wrote about the "dark night of the soul." He shows that afflictions are desirable in that they lift us closer to God, even though we are miserable while enduring the experience.
So we have got to make up our mind that God is good. Then we can survive the onslaughts that come against all of us. This is what it means to "live by faith."
If I am hearing the Spirit correctly, we are coming to a difficult period in America. There shall be much shedding of blood; many dangers. I wrote Godwill Castle in obedience to Jesus, because He wants people to not be afraid when their loved ones are taken from them.
I hope people will not think I am bereft of my senses when I say that physical death in many instances is desirable. The little boy or girl who is being tortured in Syria, or starving to death in Africa, when the little one dies he or she enters a delightful world. The adult, unless he or she is a wicked, malicious individual who has hurt people, has no reason to fear dying. It is like entering the summer holidays when school is out.
I am 87 years of age. I would be pleased to die, because I know life will be much more pleasant. But I know from the Lord that I still am making a contribution that will strengthen and give wisdom to His people in the days to come. For this reason I am thankful to still be living and I have no complaints.
If I could just take people and shake them and yell in their ear, "God is seeking your good! He can be trusted! He never will leave you or forsake you! He has all wisdom and all power; He can solve any problem facing you! If you will ask Him to, He will send His angels before you to remove the dangers in your future that worry you!"
I have been a Christian since I was nineteen years of age, so I guess I have some qualifications for addressing you in this manner.
I urge you, "Be reconciled to God." Christ urges you, "Be reconciled to God" The holy angels urge you, "Be reconciled to God."
Throughout the coming days of chaos in America, let Christ be your Rock. Live in the secret place of the Most High. Abide safely under the shadow of His wings.
Can He protect you when there is pandemonium all around you? "A thousand shall fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand." He is able to single you out for safety, just as He did Jeremiah when Jerusalem was in flames.
His arms are stretched out to you. He is inviting you to come to Him as a child would to his or her Father. Your earthly father may have let you down, but God will not let you down.
Why not come to Him with all your heart and find out for yourself?
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. (Psalms 125:1)