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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Changing Our Strength, continued
For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you, says the LORD your Redeemer. (Isaiah 54:7,8—NIV)
The Christian's sins were forgiven by the blood of the cross. We have been reconciled to God in this legal sense. The actual reconciliation of our personality to God takes place after we have been forgiven and filled with God's Spirit.
In each of us there is worldliness, various bodily lusts, and self-will. These three areas must be dealt with thoroughly before we are totally reconciled to God in personality, before we are living in untroubled rest in the center of God's will.
We go through much tribulation and numerous tests before every facet of our personality is brought through death and resurrection. All that is in us that cannot stand the Fire of God's holy Presence must be removed from us. Only that which has been raised in Jesus Christ is permitted to enter the Kingdom of God.
It is this very aspect of salvation, that of the sufferings we experience because of our sinful nature, that is missing from today's preaching. Until it is restored Christians will lash out at the tools God is using, or abandon their integrity and flee from the furnace, betraying those who trust in them.
We are found worthy of the Kingdom of God only as we work through, as cheerfully and as patiently as we can, the many afflictions we experience.
If you are going through such a period of frustration, bewilderment, pain, dread, deprivation, at the present time, do not quit. Just do not quit! Stay with God. You are not in a grave but in a tunnel.
Think about the three Hebrew men in Nebuchadnezzar's furnace. A fourth Man was there, the Lord Jesus Christ. That same Man is with you through all your afflictions.
God has not forsaken you although at times it may seem that He has.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked from the furnace without the smell of the fire on them. Only their bondages were burned. So it will be with you if you do not lose your integrity but stay faithful.
The higher your building is destined to be the deeper the foundation will be dug. Those who are to be on the left and right hand of Christ must be baptized with His baptism and drink from His cup. They must share His sufferings.
After you have suffered for a while God will restore you splendidly.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (I Peter 5:10—NIV)
Until God wounds you and then binds you up you are still living in your adamic nature. Your adamic nature is not suitable for God's Kingdom; neither is it of much use for a world cursed with the presence of Satan.
God does not want you to be exalted. God desires to be exalted. For you to be exalted would lead only to your destruction. It actually is God's wisdom and goodness that is insisting you be crucified with Christ and live by His Life. Only then are you safe. Only then can you realistically look forward to fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore.
Once God is satisfied that you are ready for His Kingdom you never again will be subjected to His anger and chastening.
To be continued.