The Daily Word of Righteousness

Changing Our Strength, continued

He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. (Luke 1:53—NIV)

How about you? Are you ready to do big things for God or are you ready to worship the big God?

Of all the people in the world who had a remarkable testimony, who knew God and was blessed with the Spirit of power and revelation, none exceeded the Apostle Paul. But God dealt severely with Paul in order to break down his natural wisdom and strength, which probably were outstanding.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. (II Corinthians 1:8,9—NIV)

Notice that Paul does not blame the devil or people for his pain. He states that the things that happened to him were for the purpose of changing his reliance on his own considerable abilities to God who raises those who are dead to their own ways.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. (II Corinthians 4:8-10—NIV)

Paul was "hard pressed on every side" so it would not be his adamic nature that was exhibited but the very Life of Jesus.

We must be made barren before the eternal Life of God can be brought into view. The new Jerusalem comprises people whose natural strength has been exchanged for God's strength. It is these who will rebuild the places destroyed by Antichrist, the great tribulation, and the invasion of the army of the Lord.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. (Isaiah 61:4—NIV)

Paul had an extraordinary revelation of Paradise. Lest he be exalted in his own glory God permitted Satan to attack Paul's body.

Paul prayed repeatedly that God would lift the affliction.

Finally the Lord spoke: "My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in weakness."

We do not enjoy being made weak. But Paul decided to rejoice in his infirmities because it became obvious to him that the Lord's Presence was much more with him when he was totally dependent on the Lord for his daily strength.

God dealt strictly with Israel, bringing His people through an inhospitable desert before He would allow them to enjoy the bounty of Canaan. God deprived them of many comforts in order to teach them how to behave in the land of promise.

God deprives us of many comforts as He teaches us how we are to behave in the new age to which He is bringing us. Once we have immortality in our body we will be capable of causing great harm to God's creation. We must be taught, tested, taught, tested, taught, tested in the present world until God is positive that we will keep all of His commandments when we are released into glory.

To be continued.