Tuesday, June 17, 2014
We OVERWHELMINGLY Conquer!!!!! - - - - - - - I Peter 5:6-9 - - - - - - - GMG: Wk: 3, Monday
Complete Victory has already been proclaimed. But what's this?
But there's more! We OVERWHELMINGLY Conquer!!!!!
Why might God go so over the top and proclaim this overwhelming truth?
S. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. I Peter 5:6-9
O. But backing up a bit before exploring the overwhelming truth..
Here we begin to see so much of the reason why God pursued us..... He loves us, beloved - ......
But that is not the only reason He pursued us! Nor is that why He made sure He told us that we OVERWHEMLINGLY Conquer!
Yes........ He is the ultimate Father who loves His children, but He pursued us when (as in Ps. 139) we have tried to run from Him...... yes, in part, so He could take away His judgments against us. That is overwhelming! (Zeph 3:15)
But that is still not all of the reason why He pursued us!
Why else did He pursue us - just so we can 'overwhelmingly conquer' when He has found us? Just so we can rest in Him?
That hand that led us in Ps. 139, we now see in I Peter 5:6 as 'the mighty hand of God' - - - But here in the same verse, we are to be humbled 'under the mighty hand of God.'
The students in my music studio - - - being students of music, typically have to deal with pride not only in their lives, but also in relation to their music. Vocal students in particular can even convey their pride through their voice. Rather than teach them the techniques that can mask the 'symptom' of pride, we address it at its source. To do so, we begin by defining it thusly: Pride is the justification of our coveting. (To date, no one has brought an example to my attention that did not fit with that definition - but it's not straight from scripture, so I'm open to correction if a biblical correction or a real life example contradicts this definition......)
So, keeping in mind the fact that pride's opposite is humility....... and now looking back at verse 6: 'Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God....' and looking ahead at why the might of His hand is referenced here: because OUR adversary, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour...... - - - - - One might begin to ask, "What can we be proud of when we were brought under the mighty hand of God... out of His love for us, to fellowship with us, and to protect us from an enemy that is too powerful for us?" ...... And what is there to covet when we are in such a place? There is *nothing* to be proud of save God Almighty Himself. And there is nothing to desire, save God's presence to comfort us, protect us, provide for us, and on and on...... But more, He has even more of a plan for those who 'humble (themselves) under the mighty hand of God!
He plans to exalt us 'at the proper time.' Now that might be exciting and encouraging, but that is even humbling, come to think of it! Who am I to be exalted?!? ...... I'm no one. Then why will He exalt me? Because of His love...... (that love He has ....... for *us*........ think about it.....)
So, do we relax, those of us who are 'humbled under the mighty hand of God'? - - - Not in this life! No! We are to be sober and on the alert! God's mighty hand is with us. We can feel safe and secure, but there will be 'sufferings' (vs. 9) which will challenge our faith!
So! We must be alert to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus - and stand fast in our faith, that we may resist him (remembering that even "Michael, the archangel, when contending with the devil, he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation but said, 'the Lord rebuke thee'." Jude....)
Our faith is in the Complete Victory established by the Mighty Warrior for us, His beloved.... But the God who searched us out, gave us His Word that 'nothing can separate us from the love of God' - not tribulation, nor distress, nor persecution, nor famine, nor nakedness, nor peril, nor sword! ..... But in all these things, we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us!
God chose to honor faith! Blind faith! faith unable to physically see the promises because of the sufferings of this life. Yet faith that can believe that those who say we don't have faith if we are going through trials are like Job's naysayers - yes, that faith can sustain us so that we may resist all attacks, AND EVEN REALIZE THAT IT IS *****IN***** THESE THINGS THAT WE OVERWHELMINGLY CONQUER.....
THROUGH HIM WHO LOVED US!!!!!!!
Through Him: The Mighty Warrior........ Amen!
We might want to believe that being 'under the mighty hand of God' prevents such a need for a Mighty Warrior to aid us and protect us *in the midst of sufferings...,* but the Word of God is clear. It is *in* these trials that we overwhelmingly conquer! We already heard the news about the Complete Victory.... but look! It IS more!
It is not just complete victory:
We Overwhelmingly Conquer! Bless the Lord, O my soul! And all that is in me!.....
And thus is faith honored........ when the faith is placed in the Lord Jesus Christ.......
The Savior! The Promised One!........
So, through His pursuit, He is honored........ but why else did He pursue us?
When He reached us, and humbled us under His mighty hand, He knew we needed protection from the evil one.
But that is not the only reason He pursued us, beloved!
He also pursued us, those in such dire need, in part, to demonstrate how we are to pursue others who need His love.
It is time to be like Him!
Go! Go now! Go ye therefore! ......
Look out your doorway.... have any nations come near to your door? If they have, it is so much more simple to establish a mission to reach the nations that have come to you.
How many of us should have 'Gone!' but did not?
So the mighty hand of God has pursued many, and brought them to us, for their sake!
He is yet pursuing the nations!
It is time to pursue the nations with Him!
Yes, even in the midst of sufferings! Did Jesus avoid suffering, or wait until any suffering was past, before He stood in faith, resisting the evil one?!?
May it never be!
Because it is ****in***** sufferings that we overwhelmingly conquer!
Oh, the flesh wants to cry out! End the sufferings that we may rejoice in the victory! But scriptures here is the proper tutorial for our hearts that would so much like to listen to the flesh.
Hear it! Hear the truth!
Count it all joy! ....... each suffering....... Count it all joy!
For it is *****IN***** sufferings that we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us!
The light of His own life shines brightest in the darkness through the sufferings of His cross.
The light of His life in us shines brightest through the sufferings that come to us, which we take to His cross.
Now......... may we rest in His love...... and glorify His love before the nations..... more and more...... standing in His promise that We Overwhelmingly Conquer..... standing on that promise as we go........ and ......
....... counting it all joy!!!!!!!!
........every bit of it!!!!!!!