By Mrs. Robert Hammond
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. 1 Peter 5:10-11
Verse ten of I Peter 5 is the heart’s cry of every true believer. The Amplified Bible says that Christ will make you what you ought to be. Who doesn’t want that? If you have already reached that pinnacle, you know someone who has not. Someone who struggles with an overwhelming sin or desire that they can’t seem to master, no matter how many times they have been to the altar. Or maybe someone who knows they are not where God wants them to be physically or spiritually, and they cannot seem to get there.
The last time I wrote for this blog, I spoke of the Glory we as believers should be walking in. That is what we ought to be–a glorious church, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. This is what Christ is coming for. This is what He died for.
My question is, how do we get there? How do we get to that glorious church?
Let us begin with something that is hindering the Church from being who she needs to be. There is confusion and unrest throughout the world. It is downright scary. I read that over 60 Christian Churches in Egypt have been burned or in some way harmed by the present unrest in that country. In the USA, there is a confusion concerning sin. You may not be confused, but there are Christians who are not too sure about certain issues because sinners are being celebrated as victims who have overcome persecution, while those who are speaking out for righteousness sake are being maligned as intolerant and judgmental.
Several things bring about confusion: perversion (Leviticus), jealousy and strife (James 3), idolatry (Isaiah 44,45), refusing the Gospel message (Acts 21), false teaching (Acts 15), sin and disobedience (Daniel 9). The Lord Himself prophesied there would be wars and rumors of wars. The Amplified Bible expounds upon this with “disturbances, disorder and confusion.”
And we do live in confusing times, brought about by the things I just mentioned. I read an article out of curiosity about an abortionist, from a pro-abortion perspective. He was painted as a caring, concerned vilified hero, whose best buddy had just been killed in Wichita, KS, and because of that his caseload had doubled. He is in fact a murderer. The pro-lifers were pictured as radicals who don’t know what they are talking about. His pet peeve was calling the fetus a baby. (The word fetus actually means baby—talk about a confused man!) I am bringing this up because the devil, whose very name means accuser, has been hard at work making right wrong and wrong right in the U.S. and all over the world. And he has done a bang up job. HOWEVER….
God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. I Cor. 14:33
In one week, God Almighty was able to take an earth that was without form and void, and make it orderly. If you remember nomenclature and other wonderful big words learned in Biology and other fun classes, and, if you were able to close your ears to the constant propaganda of evolution, you could see clearly the amazing order in which our Father in Heaven put this earth together in just six days. Glory be to His Holy Name!
I Corinthians 12 says that the body of Christ is made up of many members, with different functions. Paul talks about the body as if a physical body with one body but many members. Verse 18 says God has set the members in the body as HE pleased. When Paul was teaching the Corinthians how to have a Spirit-led meeting he said, “Let everything be done decently and in order.”
A body does not work if the members are in the wrong place. If the foot tries to be a knee or the elbows try to be an ear. It sounds so silly and too obvious, but that is some of the problem in the church. People are trying to be someone or something they aren’t.
Let us use something obvious. Let us say, someone that God wants to work in the shadows, praying and witnessing to his neighbor decides he wants to be a pastor of a mega church. He has a good personality because he is supposed to be inviting his neighbors over for Bible studies and helping out at the soup kitchen and spending his spare time praying for his pastor. But instead, HE IS the pastor, and he really isn’t equipped, so he preaches a weak watered down Gospel, itching people’s ears because that is NOT his calling. And, while on the outside he looks enormously successful, his people are keeping up with the world in all kinds of sinful acts because they are not being fed their vegetables but rather they are getting dessert every Sunday. And the mega church is no longer a church but a social club.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
We have specific works that God has in His holy plan for us to do. He created us for these works. His plan is in the word, and more specifically He speaks to us in our heart of hearts and tells us what He wants from us.
Proverbs 3 says that if we acknowledge Him He will direct our paths. And that is what we need to do. We need to resist the confusion that is in the world. Oh, how the devil would like us to be confused. He thinks that he can prevent the inevitable from happening. But God will find the generation that is willing to surrender ALL and serve Him in humility, resisting the devil, staying sober and watching with vigilance.
That generation can be us. It can be our children, or our grandchildren. It really is up to us. Have you noticed in the books of Exodus and Joshua, that when God passed over the generation that He brought out of Egyptian bondage because of unbelief, He saved the two faithful men? Joshua and Caleb entered the promised land with the next generation. Think about that. If it is not our generation that brings this about, God could pick some faithful men and women to live long enough to be a part of the great catching away.
He did it for Simeon and Anna in Luke 2. Both were of great age. Depending how you read it Anna was anywhere from 84 to well over 100. The Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would not pass until he saw the Christ. And he came into the temple the very moment Mary and Joseph brought the Christ child to be circumcised. Then Anna, who had served the Lord with fasting and prayers day and night in the temple just happened to show up at the very moment Simeon was prophesying over Jesus and Mary. (Did you ever notice that her good works changed a little as she became an evangelist for the Christ Child?) They got to see what most if not all of their generation missed. Why? Because they were at the right place at the right time.
We can be those people. We can be those who are in the right place at the right time. We can resist the temptation to be caught up in the confusion that is abounding in our world. We can humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and let Him make us what we ought to be.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.