♣ God, My Stability, Strength and Security
Posted by Shade of the Moriah Tree
“I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed” – Psalm 34:4-5.
ONE OF THE prime hallmarks of great leaders throughout the history of the body of Christ was such oneness with God that they didn’t exist for the approval of people – something that riddles our day and age and plagues countless of people throughout evangelical Christendom.
What made such men the men that they were? It was a sharp and somewhat long education and it was learned in no college, university or conference; it was learned alone in the desert, a time where great loneliness was felt until God was found and what is meant by that is to know Him anew Who fills those places in our hearts where only He has the right to satisfy.
God has comprised the body of Christ in such a way that we are to grow up together in Him and there is of course a co-dependence that creates such oneness and unity that Christ effectually prayed for in John 17. This is where fellowship exists, the kind that exhorts us to conform more and more to the image of Christ. That being said, everyone of us will, who are truly intent on knowing God, will encounter this transition of relying on others to relying on God first and foremost. This is not a call to isolation from others, but it is one of such where God first fills that aching void to where we say with David, “You are my Rock, my Refuge, my Shelter, my Hope, my Peace, my Defender, my Deliverer…” and it is in such personal experiences that we can say God is my stability, strength and Security. The oftentimes hidden harm we bring on ourselves is to seek that in others. “He alone [not others] is my Rock and salvation…” (Psalm 62:2) There was no other place but the harrowing wilderness, filled with tears of anguish for David to learn this. He was branded as a man after God’s own heart, but the application of that was anything other than a life void of bitter agony. David’s life exemplified, “Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning.” We only have to survey his Psalms to realise that such paths brought him into places of indescribable joy that he wouldn’t trade the world and all its riches for.
It is not weakness to rely on God, for that that is why were made – to grow in trust and reliance on Him, not the humanistic propaganda that has twisted the minds of many who state there is no God and therefore we are to find the strength within ourselves as if we are gods. There is only one God and that is El-Shaddai Himself and to deny or defy Him is humanity’s greatest weakness and downfall.
Many live with the fear of what others think of them instead of what God thinks of them. None of us are going to please everyone and there is a whole world of difference between being obnoxious and oblivious; obnoxiousness is a deliberate and selfish way about us with the intention to harm others, while oblivion is to have areas in our lives that we’re ignorant of, but there is always the aim to let God level those areas – when we’re made of aware of them in His light – until the fragrance of Christ permeates such characteristics.
Some of us will know grief beyond what we feel we’re incapable of handling, pain beyond tears, that no other person can remove or alleviate. Only God can touch the deepest recesses of our hearts. It is then we come to realise what Tozer said that, “He [God] is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts.” God will never lead us out of such a desert until we learn these lessons and it is often not a one-off period; there will be successive times in our lives of learning and relearning until we get to that place of saying with the apostle Paul, “I have learned in whatever situation I am in…” (Philippians 4:11-12) Paul was no super-hero, but a man of great weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-12) who sought and relied upon the God of all grace, the God of all-power – omnipotence – a word that we seldom hear of today. Such a testimony can be the same of us now, that we know God in the midst of whatever heartache, no matter how deep, how wide, or how inexplicable. It is only ourselves stopping us from seeking the Lord Himself – not family or friends – that results in being answered personally by Him and delivered from our fears and how so many of us desperately need that.
Living for the recognition and admiration of others is worldliness and little do many of us think so; we are prone to labelling the obvious as worldliness which goes far beyond corrupt entertainment, the abuse of alcohol, substance abuse or sexual promiscuity. The lust to be liked, the consuming desire to know the approval of others and the passion to seek the praise of others – whether through public forums or physical assembling with others – is more devilish than we think. It is an insatiable and destructive lust. To pursue such paths is to remain in the never-ending throes of insecurity. Behind the lusts and acts of the flesh is an intense longing to be accepted. The motives to be liked and admired and the driven desire to be somebody prominent in the eyes of others prevails so much in modern-day evangelicalism that there is now hardly any distinction between the world and the Church.
Scripture states we are to encourage one another – not bolster up self. The spirit of New Testament Christianity is scarce today: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). We are to “rejoice with those who rejoice and cry with those who cry” (Romans 12:15) and the support of the body of Christ during a crisis is a beautiful sight to behold when done in demonstration of the leading and power of the Holy Spirit, but we must know our times alone with God. We must seek God Himself and that oftentimes is alone, but such loneliness will shatter when in the light of realising/encountering the Father and Son taking up Their abode in us (John 14:23). Once tasted, nothing else will satisfy, nothing else will come near to the unfading marvel of this wonder. It is then we shall know with the Psalmist that those who look to God shall be radiant and their faces shall never be ashamed. This was the testimony of the church 2000 years ago amidst barbaric opposition – radiant with Christ in the throes of anguish, a body of believers seeking the approval of no one other than God Himself and this is what will ignite the 21st century Church.
Posted on April 25, 2016, in ♣ Devotional and tagged 2 Corinthians 12:9-12, alone in the desert, alone with God, anguish, approval of others, body of Christ, David the Psalmist, devotional, fearing what others think of us, fellowship, God answering us, God delivering us, God My Stability Strength and Security, God satisfying, God touching our hearts, God's abode in us, grief, hallmarks of leaders, humanity's downfall, humanity's greatest weakness, insecurity, knowing God anew, learning in the desert, living for admiration, living for recognition, loneliness, longing for acceptance, looking to God, Mark Anthony Williams, oneness with God, Psalm 34:4-5, Psalm 62:2, public forums, radiant faces, relearning, relying on God, seeking God's approval, seeking man's approval, tears, weakness, Worldliness. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.