SECURITY; PLEASURE; ACHIEVEMENT
SECURITY; PLEASURE; ACHIEVEMENT Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved From: Kingdom Concepts
Each of God’s creatures on the earth, especially the saints, must come to accept the supremacy of Christ in all matters. It is not enough just to be saved from God’s wrath. That is important indeed. But the plan of God is that Christ become the center and circumference of the universe.
The issue of the centrality of Christ, which in reality is the question of what god we are worshiping, is divided into the three major aspects of living. The Spirit of God deals continually with each of us concerning these three major aspects. They are survival and security, pleasure, and achievement. Every son of God is tested along each of these three lines. These were the three tests of the Lord Jesus in the wilderness. These are the three areas in which Christ overcame the world.
SECURITY; PLEASURE; ACHIEVEMENT
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (Ephesians :10)
The eternal purpose of God the Father is that the Lord Jesus Christ become the Center of all persons and things in Heaven and all persons and things on the earth. Every work of God is moving toward the accomplishment of this one supreme objective.
There was in ages past a rebellion against God on the part of many high-ranking angels. Through the Christian Church, the Body of Christ, the Lord God is demonstrating His wisdom to both the wicked and the righteous angels. Every angel elected to remain in Heaven will come to acknowledge the wisdom of God Almighty and the supremacy of Christ in every aspect of its existence.
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by [through] the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ our Lord: (Ephesians 3:10,11)
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)
God has determined that His only begotten Son shall be the Center of all things in Heaven. The angels of God shall worship Him.
Now, let us think about the earth.
Each of God’s creatures on the earth, especially the saints, must come to accept the supremacy of Christ in all matters. It is not enough just to be saved from God’s wrath. That is important indeed. But the plan of God is that Christ become central. God has saved us to this end.
The issue of the centrality of Christ, which is the question of what god we are worshiping, is divided into the three major aspects of living. The Spirit of God deals continually with each of us concerning these three major aspects. They are security, pleasure, and achievement.
Every son of God is tested along each of these three lines. These were the three tests of the Lord Jesus in the wilderness. These are the three areas in which Christ overcame the world.
Men are tested by money, women, and monuments.
Whether you and I become a part of God’s eternal plan to fill Heaven and earth with Christ or else become a competitor of Christ, an antichrist, depends on how we respond each day to the three major issues of security, pleasure, and achievement.
Receiving Christ as our personal Lord and Savior does not immediately solve these three problems for us. Rather, accepting Christ gives us the key to the solution. It is of the greatest importance that we understand this thoroughly, for many today are "accepting Christ" apart from sincere, deep repentance.
Accepting Christ apart from thorough repentance is not in line with the preaching of the Apostles. A study of the Book of Acts will reveal that the Apostles always preached repentance as the means of obtaining forgiveness of sin. If we do not turn from our former life and begin to make Christ central in all we are and do, we have not entered God’s plan of salvation.
It is what we do after we receive Christ that determines whether we will become a part of God’s eternal plan to fill Heaven and earth with the Lord Jesus Christ or whether we will become a competitor of Christ in the universe.
Security, pleasure, achievement—these are the three issues of life.
When God placed Adam and Eve in the garden that was located eastward in Eden, God gave his new son and daughter all the security they needed, all the pleasure they needed, and all the achievement they needed.
But one of the lessons we learn in life is that the things that come to us easily and readily we may lose as easily and readily. Before we humans can hold things of value we first may have to lose them. It is in the labor to gain back our blessings that we learn to appreciate our gifts and develop the strength to hold them properly in God so they do not become gods to us.
Security has to do with protection, a home, confidence in the future, a fortress against the enemy, privacy, shelter, warmth, comfort, independence.
Adam and Eve had perfect security in the Lord. Food, shelter, survival, were no problem in the garden of Eden. God had graciously and lovingly supplied their every need.
But sin, the great destroyer, entered. The man and woman were thrust out into a threatening environment. The issue of security emerged as the first of the three great questions of life.
Money is the symbol of security. Men seek money in order to gain protection, a home, confidence in the future, protection against the enemy, privacy, shelter, warmth, comfort, independence.
Men seek money because they do not trust God. They worry that God’s promises concerning our material needs will fail. Money is our insurance against the failure of God’s Word; it is our guarantee of survival in case God’s Character is not all it should be. That is why no person can serve both God and money.
The soldiers of Christ’s army must draw on the grace of God until the issue of security has been mastered.
Will God provide our needs or not? That is the first great question of living outside the garden of Eden. The decision that faces us is whether we will place Christ as the eternal Center of the answer to this question.
Is Christ alone sufficient for our security on the earth (and in Heaven)? Is He actually the Lord who provides? Shall we indeed know no want and fear no evil?
No individual can serve both God and money. Money appears to make us independent of God; therefore, the love of it is the root of all evil. The conquering saint does God’s will whether or not he can understand how the necessary means for survival will be forthcoming.
The soldiers of Christ march forward at the sound of the trumpet. They trust Christ to meet their needs. They will not be stopped by their inability to see the future. They know what God has stated. That is sufficient for them.
Christ Himself is our Security. Christ Himself is our Guarantee of always having as much protection as we need, as much home as we need, as much comfort and independence as we need, as much money as we need.
Christ Himself is our Confidence in the future. He is central in the hearts and minds of the saints in the realm of security. In Christ, Eden is restored. Paradise is regained.
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my strength, in whom I will trust, my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. (Psalms 18:2)
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
The Ark of the Covenant, the chest kept within the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, reveals the Character of Christ and also the character of the mature saint. The articles placed within the Ark of the Covenant, the jar of manna, the Ten Commandments, and Aaron’s rod that budded, speak of security, pleasure, and achievement.
The jar of manna represents security. The mature saint has learned to trust God moment by moment for food, clothing, shelter, health, strength, and every other element of safety and well-being.
As we have stated, the three issues facing men are "money, women, and monuments" (another way of describing security, pleasure, and achievement).
We are associating women with pleasure and joy because they often go together. After a man thinks he is secure he turns toward the second great loss of Eden—that of pleasure.
Pleasure is the realm of interest, stimulation, excitement, creativity, relaxation, gratification of appetites and desires. It also is the domain of worship.
The greatest pleasure any creature of God can know and, in fact, that God Himself can know, is pure love for another person.
God’s love pouring into Christ; the love of God in Christ pouring into us; the love of God in Christ in us pouring into other people—these are the motivations for the things God creates.
There is no other aspect of life that approaches in significance the love of God in Christ in us.
God’s love in Christ in us flowing out to others is the highest priority of all. It is the only true basis for the creation of eternal relationships and things.
There is no other pleasure as great as the flowing of God’s love. God’s love is more powerful by far than death itself. It is the power that will raise the dead bodies of the saints.
Adam and Eve were driven from Paradise, and then the search for pleasure began.
The Ten Commandments, which were kept in the Ark of the Covenant, are God’s judgments against Satan and his followers. The Ten Commandments have to do with relationships, with morality. The Ten Commandments point us toward the holiness that God loves. Holiness is Christ, is oneness with God and other people through Christ, and is freedom from relationships with unclean spirits.
Satan and his followers are helplessly chained in the area of relationships. They and those who obey them are always in Hell, are always in unrest, frustration, torment, remorse. The wicked are driven by forces of darkness they cannot control. There is no peace for the wicked—ever, at any time!
Those who make their bed in Hell will find that true love, joyous love, peaceful love, is forever denied them. They will never again hear a child laugh or enjoy the frolicking of a kitten or gaze on anything else that is pure and beautiful in God’s creation. They never again will hear the words, "I love you."
No temptation and testing happens to any individual except that which is common to all men. Christ Himself is no exception.
"Command this stone to turn into bread!"
"Not so," responded the Lord. "It is written: man’s security comes from God’s Word. Man lives by the Divine Word."
"Here, let me show you the pleasures of the world," hissed the beguiler.
"Not so," returned the majestic Conqueror.
Then He shook off the snake of seduction into the fire of God’s judgment.
"It is written: God alone is to be worshiped. He is the source of all pleasure."
Christ endured the cross because of the joy, the pleasure that would be His to enjoy forever after His travail was accomplished.
How horribly bound people are as they slavishly serve the lusts of their own bodies! The Lord has compassion on us in our lowly, animal state. But true pleasure is found only in Christ.
It is only as we discipline ourselves against indulging in the fleshly appetites that war against the soul that we can be free of the pitiful chains of lust. Restraint produces freedom. Christ gives us the power of His own Personality so we can throw off these destructive urges. He whom the Son sets free is free indeed.
Christ Himself is our pleasure. He Himself provides us with all the joy we need.
Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalms 37:4)
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. (John 15:11)
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (Jude 1:24)
Creativity and pleasure come through women and yet can be lost through women.
Eve was Adam’s source of creativity and fulfillment of the Divine promises. But Eve was also the avenue that led away from God’s Presence, away from Paradise.
Christ has had to die for the sins of His Bride, the source of His fulfillment of the promises of the Father made to Him. Such are the wondrous ways of God.
A praying, devout wife is a pillar of strength for a man of God. A self-centered, self-seeking woman can ensnare the heart of the would-be conqueror and steal his crown from his head. There are "Sarahs" in the world and there are "Delilahs" in the world.
The Christian warrior overcomes through Christ the gods of pleasure. Christ is his chief pleasure. All else in his life is brought under the discipline of Christ.
Money, women, monuments.
Achievement is concerned with enhancing our individuality, with accomplishment of purpose, dominion, the exercise of one’s will and judgment, the bringing of a vision into external form.
God’s vision is the Lord Jesus Christ as all Security, all Pleasure, and all Achievement in Heaven and on the earth.
What achievement was necessary or possible for Adam and Eve in Paradise? They had God Himself. God commanded them to populate the earth and rule it. The commandment included the necessary wisdom and power for its fulfillment. That is enough achievement for anyone.
Then Paradise was lost. But Paradise can be regained. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior we are given the key to Paradise. Whether we conquer through Christ in the realm of security, the realm of pleasure, and the realm of achievement, depends on us.
Mankind driven out of Eden was confronted with the issue of security. When man had attained a measure of apparent security he turned his attention to pleasure.
That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. (Genesis 6:2)
The pursuit of pleasure always leads to wickedness and violence.
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)
God’s response to the pleasure-seeking, wickedness, and violence was the flood.
After the flood came the desire for achievement—the desire to build a tower to reach to Heaven itself.
Man by nature is a builder, a doer. He is a little god. God’s purpose for man is that he become an integral, eternal part of God’s plan to fill Heaven and earth with Christ.
But religious man often is tempted to become a competitor of Christ, as happened to the horribly misguided Pharisees.
The desire for achievement was in the hearts of the inner circle of disciples. When they beheld the Glory of Christ on the mount of transfiguration they desired to build tabernacles.
It can be difficult for us to allow Christ Himself to be the Center of our achievement instead of attempting to "build tabernacles."
Christ Himself was examined intensely along the line of self-centeredness versus God-centeredness.
"Look at Jesus on the roof of Herod’s Temple! Hey! Jesus, up there! What are you doing? Are you going to fly away? Why don’t you jump off the roof and get back in your carpenter shop?
"Why don’t you leap off? Why don’t you dare to find out if the Scripture will work?
"Prophesy! Who hit you? Look at the king of the Jews! He looks a little sick.
"If you’re Christ why don’t you come down from the cross?"
Kings do not enjoy being mocked and they do not forget who it was that mocked them.
Men with drive and imagination set out to do something in the world. When they become Christians they set out to do something "for Christ."
Sometimes God allows energetic and able Christian men and women to perform valuable works of construction and service in the world.
But God’s servants always are more important to Him than are their works. Sooner or later the third great issue is raised: "If I remove all of your accomplishments from you, are you content to allow the possession of Christ to be your only achievement in life?"
To inform a human being who possesses drive and purpose that his achievement in life is to be Christ alone, that he will not be allowed to build a monument to commemorate his walk on the earth, is to sound the death knell. Hopes of glory fade. The cross is faced. The futility of the gable of Herod’s Temple is pondered.
Christ alone is our Achievement. He Himself is our Goal, our Accomplishment. He is All in all to us. To gain Him is our supreme objective.
And the Lord spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel. (Numbers 18:20)
So it is true of every member of the Body of Christ, of God’s royal priesthood.
The Apostle Paul was an individual of the greatest drive and purpose. He was headed for the top in the religious world.
Six years before his martyrdom, while confined in the barracks of the Praetorian Guard, he wrote:
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, (Philippians 3:8)
All those years of ministry and Paul still was striving to win Christ.
If the only achievement of our life is gaining Christ, is that enough for us?
Highly placed angels of ancient origin fell from God’s Presence, perhaps because of problems with security, pleasure, and achievement. To obey and worship God the Father was not sufficient for them. They were disobedient and proud.
God has determined that both Heaven and earth will be filled with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ Himself, and that which proceeds from Him, will be the security, the pleasure, and the achievement of every saved creature. Paradise will be restored and held by appreciative, capable saints.
The Christian saints, the members of the Body of Christ, are the first to place the Lord Jesus Christ in the center of all areas of life.
The Divine principle operates: that which we give to God will be blessed and given back to us as our eternal possession, now multiplied many times in glory. This is true of our security, our pleasure, and our achievement.
Those who choose to overcome the world through the grace of Christ in each of these three areas, making Christ the Center of all aspects of personality and behavior, will be seated with Christ on His throne.
The throne of Christ is the origin of all security, all pleasure, all achievement.
Each soldier of Christ’s army who allows Christ to be his security, his pleasure, and his achievement, will touch the world today as it has never been touched in all previous history. To that man or woman will be given the fullness of the glory of the Kingdom of God throughout the ages to come.