Let God Choose

…they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. – Genesis 6:2

The problem here is not the men and women were marrying but that they were marrying “whomever they chose.” Instead of consulting the all-knowing God, they followed their lusting heart’s desire. This would lead to the Flood.

Today, let’s not make the same mistake. Whether it be marriage or searching for a college or a job or anything else. Let’s consult God. He knows the plans that He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11). Trust Him to lead.

It is not enough simply to marry another Christian, to go to a Christian school, or to find a good job. We are to marry the person God wants us to marry, to go to the college God wants us to attend, and to find the job that God wants us to work. We must be careful to follow God’s specific plan for our life. Crucify your own plans and desires. Ask God what He would have you do. Let Him choose.

God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him. — Jim Elliot

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This and That (12/3/12)

Leonard Revenhill Quotes and Stories — Grandpa has put up a series of posts telling of some of his experiences with Leonard Ravenhill as well as sharing excerpts from some of Ravenhill’s letters.

Challies’ “Top Books of 2012” — Here are some book recommendations from “The World’s Most Famous Christian Blogger”®.

Don’t Undersell Your Commute — An article by Jonathan Parnell that convicted me.

Luther Quote — A great quote posted by Tullian Tchividjian.

Living Waters is coming out with a new movie on John Lennon called Genius here is the trailer:

God Is Good

God is sprit.1  The heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him.2 He fills heaven and earth.3 Where can I go from His Spirit? Or where can I flee from His presence? If I ascend to heaven, He is there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, He is there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there His hand will lead me, and His right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,” even the darkness is not dark to Him, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to Him.4

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.5 In His presence is fullness of joy; in His right hand there are pleasures forever.6 O taste and see that the LORD is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!7 For we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.8 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?9 The Lord is good.10

1. John 4:24 2. 2 Chronicles 2:6 3. Jeremiah 23:24 4. Psalm 139:7-12 5. Psalm 33:5 6. Psalm 16:11 7. Psalm 34:8 8. Romans 8:28 9. Romans 8:32 10. Psalm 100:5

Blood: Overcoming

Post number 3 of 3 on “Blood.” Once again, this is taken from Dr. Paul Brand and Philip Yancey’s book, In His Image.

“This property of blood, which can be shared from person to person, gives meaning to a word used in the Bible that has otherwise seemed puzzling to me: the word overcome… ‘Overcome’ connotes strength and commanding power: a terrorist with a machine gun overcomes an airplane crew; a huge Japanese sumo wrestler overcomes his opponent. On the other hand, ‘blood’ connotes weakness and failure- a bleeding person has been overcome.

“Why does the apostle use this jarring combination of words? The answer, I believe, lies in the biological pattern of how blood overcomes.

“At a very tender moment, during his last evening with the disciples before his crucifixion, Jesus said this: ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33). At that time the declaration with its heady ring of victory did seem heartening. To those of us who read those words in retrospect, however, His words have a strangely hollow tone.” (92)

He continues on the next page to explain, “When the power of God confronted the power of men, Jesus, who could have called on angelic reinforcements, chose to yield to a handful of soldiers with their whips and nails. The distinction between overcoming and being overcame has blurred.

“…God’s visit to our planet is primarily remembered not for its display of raw power but for its example of representative suffering. A pattern emerges through the refining fire of suffering: God responds to evil not by obliterating it, but by making evil itself serve a higher good. He overcame evil by absorbing it, taking it on himself, and, finally, by forgiving it. Jesus overcame as the One who goes before, by going right through the center of temptation, evil, and death.

“…[I]magine God, after looking with great sadness on the virus of evil that has infected His creation, casting aside His own prerogatives to take on the shell of a victim cell of that abhorrent virus in order to vaccinate humanity against the death and destruction that are sure to follow. An analogy points to truth weakly; nothing could have more force than the simple assertion, ‘He became sin for us.'” (93)

Dr. Brand went on to describe an epidemic of measles that broke out and threatened to harm his infant daughter if she was not immunized. They were able to find “someone who had experienced measles and had defeated that disease” (94) and she”fought off the disease successfully.” (95)

“There is a sense in which a person’s blood becomes more valuable and potent as that person prevails in numerous battles with outside invaders. After antibodies have locked away the secret of defeating each disease, a second infection of the same type will normally do no harm. A protected person has ‘wise blood,’ to use a term Flannery O’Connor originated. Could this process cast light on the description of Christ being ‘made perfect through suffering’?

“…The blood of Jesus Christ has overcome. It is as if He went out of His way to expose Himself to temptation, to encounter the stress and strain you and I will meet- to gain wise blood for our benefit.

“…Today, when we partake of Communion wine, it is as thought our Lord is saying to us, This is My blood, which has been strengthened and prepared for you. This is My life which was lived for you and can now be shared by you. I was tired, frustrated, tempted, abandoned; tomorrow you may feel tired, frustrated, tempted, abandoned. When you do, you may use My strength and share My spirit. I have overcome the world for you.

“An overwhelming, sudden temptation can catch even the strongest Christian off guard. We need to be prepared, and the symbol of the blood reveals how: by relying on the wise and powerful blood of the One who goes before us.” (95)

What Is Faith?

Here is a biblical definition of faith taken from the Amplified Bible’s rendering of Hebrews 11:1:

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. (emphasis added)

Faith is not blindly trusting a god who we hope is real. Faith is putting your confidence in the unseen God. Though we cannot see Him, He is just as alive as you and I. We know this is true. We, as Christians, gladly affirm it. But often in the daily grind, we live as atheists (or at best deists).

We worry and complain like those who aren’t Christians. We forget that every circumstance in life is ordained by God (Proverbs 16:9). Therefore, we should not complain. By complaining, we tell God that what He has done is not good. We forget that when we bring all our troubles to God in prayer He promises to give us peace (Philippians 4:6-7). Therefore, we should not worry.  “[I]t leads only to evildoing (Psalm 37:8)” and shows that we don’t believe God will take care of us.

2 Kings 15-17 tells an interesting story:

15 Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

We, like Elisha’s servant, need our eyes opened to the unseen realities. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart that you may know the reality of His presence in your life. And trust God even when He is “not reveled to the senses” — this is faith.