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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. (Hebrews 4:1)
The second life is that in which we are filled with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and are clothed with an eternal, incorruptible body. In this new form, ideal relationships can be realized. We no longer are plagued with a self-seeking soul nor with a lustful, spiritually lazy body.
It can be seen, then, that our entrance into the rest of God, into the land of promise, depends on our successful change from a self-centered soul in an animal body into a spirit in complete, restful union with God in a spiritual body. This is the goal of the Christian discipleship.
The moment we are born again we begin our pilgrimage toward the land of promise, toward loving, joyous, and peaceful relationships with God and people.
Between the point where we are born again and the land of promise lies the wilderness of humbling and instruction. In the world, the place of our wilderness wandering, we have tribulation. We experience chastening.
And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. (Deuteronomy 8:2,3)
The Christian who is not chastened is not a son of God.
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (Hebrews 12:6)
Why must we experience tribulation?
We experience tribulation because the transition from the self-seeking soul to the God-filled soul is difficult and we do not enter it willingly. We must be driven into it. We much prefer our first personality.
Every true Christian when he places his trust in Christ is born crucified. The reason the Christian people of today are having trouble is that they never have firmly and decisively counted themselves as crucified to the world and the world to them. They are attempting to live for Christ and live in the world at the same time. They will not let go of the present world.
It is impossible to change from a self-seeking soul to a God-filled soul until the believer lets go of his life in the present world. There is no other route to the land of promise.
Love, joy, and peace are possible only when our relationships with God and with people have been made right.
Relationships can be made right only as we are being changed from a living soul into a life-giving spirit (I Corinthians 15:45).
To be continued.