utmost.org December 19
Never be sympathetic with a person whose situation causes you to conclude that God is dealing harshly with him. God can be more tender than we can conceive, and every once in a while He gives us the opportunity to deal firmly with someone so that He may be viewed as the tender One. If a person cannot go to God, it is because he has something secret which he does not intend to give up— he may admit his sin, but would no more give up that thing than he could fly under his own power. It is impossible to deal sympathetically with people like that. We must reach down deep in their lives to the root of the problem, which will cause hostility and resentment toward the message. People want the blessing of God, but they can’t stand something that pierces right through to the heart of the matter.
If you are sensitive to God’s way, your message as His servant will be merciless and insistent, cutting to the very root. Otherwise, there will be no healing. We must drive the message home so forcefully that a person cannot possibly hide, but must apply its truth. Deal with people where they are, until they begin to realize their true need. Then hold high the standard of Jesus for their lives. Their response may be, “We can never be that.” Then drive it home with, “Jesus Christ says you must.” “But how can we be?” “You can’t, unless you have a new Spirit” (see Luke 11:13).
There must be a sense of need created before your message is of any use. Thousands of people in this world profess to be happy without God. But if we could be truly happy and moral without Jesus, then why did He come? He came because that kind of happiness and peace is only superficial. Jesus Christ came to “bring…a sword” through every kind of peace that is not based on a personal relationship with Himself.
Comment: Isn’t it funny that sometimes we seem happy and other times we don’t? How would it be if you were happy all the time? Many say that is impossible… but, doesn’t the scriptures say that “all things are possible through God”?
Those who say that you can’t be happy all the time are operating on their limited understanding. That is, for us to be happy, we must have things in our lives that make us happy. Like money, a good job, a good relationship etc… and the advoidance of things that make us unhappy. What I call “things”… and things can’t make you truly happy.
The “Joy of the Lord” is constant. It remains the same when things are good or bad in our lives because we know that our unhappiness is about to change and that our unhappiness (from things or lack thereof ) is only temporary. We always have that hope because our hope is not wrapped up in things of this world but from the promises of the Lord. And if we don’t have the hope of the lord, we will encounter times when we are up against things we can not fix… then what are we going to do? that is called despair. No hope. We may not know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds it.
Dave Gilliland – Monroe, LA – firstname.lastname@example.org – 318-343-9992