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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Pressing Into God's Rest, #7
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— (Ephesians 1:4,5—NIV)
All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. (Revelation 13:8—NIV)
We of today sometimes find it difficult to accept the many passages of the Bible that speak of God knowing about people from the beginning of the world. This difficulty may arise from two sources. One, it is contrary to the philosophy of democracy that some people should be favored above others. Two, we cannot reconcile the idea of election with free will.
Whatever reasons we may advance to deny the possibility that God has finished all things from the beginning of the world, the fact remains that He did, and that it is required of every human being, especially the members of the royal priesthood, that he or she seek God to find out what His will is, where he or she fits in the unfolding plan.
The fundamental challenge placed before each one of us is, will we seek God's will in every area of our life, or will we grasp and cling to that which we think is best for us? This was the original temptation of Eden.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalms 139:15,16—NIV)
We may rebel against the idea that the days ordained for us were written in God's book in advance. Personally I rejoice over the concept. How wonderful to realize we do not have to prove or accomplish anything, just rest in God's will!
I am not endorsing passivity. We have to keep our faculties alert and our mind clear and decisive. We must keep pressing forward even though there are endless frustrations. We must strive to enter the rest of God, not lay on a couch and trust it will happen.
That the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things that have been known for ages. (Acts 15:17,18—NIV)
Isn't it actually a comforting thought to realize God knows in advance all that shall take place and carefully prepares each of those who love Him for what the future holds? Or would you rather try to make your circumstances into what you think they should be? You can if you like, but I would rather rest in God!
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29—NIV)
Sometimes people are upset over the above verse because they think it means certain people are destined to be saved and others destined to be lost.
If you will look at the verse, this is not what it is saying. It is not speaking of salvation but of being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. It is referring to the members of the royal priesthood, the brothers of Christ. Each one of them has been predestined to be changed into the image of Christ, not "saved" as we use the term!
To be continued.