In all probability, we have all, at one time or another been fortunate enough to have had Hebrews 11 clearly expounded and as the precious and priceless truths of faith were deeply embedded in our minds our spirits were reignited our deepest desires reactivated and we could hear ourselves with a touch of desperation say, “Do it again, Lord.”
Before we proceed any further on our spiritual quest, perhaps we need to stop and ask, especially if our paths are sprinkled with well-intended ventures into the as yet unknown, just what is the first successful step into the life of faith?
We probably already know, to our cost, that self-deception is a powerful weapon in the hand of our enemy therefore it is imperative that we closely examine our true image in the mirror called clarity. Why is this necessary? Very often the Lord reveals to us our deeply rooted and well hidden iniquities, which He desires to erase, by manifesting the fruit and its consequences in the life of another believer. This, as some of us will openly acknowledge, is a painful lesson to learn.
Today, in our midst, there are many believers, and you may be numbered among them, who have broken hearts, dashed hopes and frustrated desires, but before we all run en-masse to the healer, let us pause and re-examine our lives, this time in the mirror entitled, an honest appraisal, and we just might see that we have, admittedly unintentionally, damaged the heart of another believer.
Knowing what we know now, how will God respond to your request? How did He treat Jacob, a man who did not always walk uprightly? To the last of the Patriarchs, He said, “Arise, go up to Bethel and live there, and make an altar there to God” [Gen 35.1]. Jacob was the only one of the three patriarchs who was specifically told to build an altar. We learn here from the life of Jacob that not only will God forgive you your sins but He will also give you a new commission with added responsibilities. At this time we may need to ask what the specific qualification for building an altar is. Take a careful assessment of your heart at the mirror entitled purity.
Jacob, who had been spiritually lackadaisical in this particular field, until God spoke to him again, encouraged all the people to look into the mirror called agreement and then to bring all of their thoughts and their behaviour into line with what God wanted. Jacob was a reformer on a one man crusade. His message was, God is uniquely and permanently holy and those who approach His presence must also be holy.
Can you still remember the freshness and the amazing joy you felt when you were first emancipated from the multiple snares and the numerous entanglements of sin? For me, light was right and darkness was everything else. There was no problem in separation. The line of demarcation was clearly drawn between the elect and the non-elect. For example, at that time, “there was a great terror upon the cities which were around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.” Why not? Divine presence was inextricability joined with divine protection. Therefore all the people who heard and followed Jacob’s clear instructions arrived safely at their destination [Gen 35.5-6].
However, God was not yet finished with Jacob. He appeared to him again and the final mirror he had to look into was called powerlessness. Have you been there? If not, it is an essential requirement, for it is here that we have the key to Jacob’s newly-found spiritual successes. As a result of this encounter, Jacob continually walked with and worshipped God. He can also appear/talk to you. Your best years are still ahead.
As a man/woman of faith, is God asking you to do something which none of your friends/family have ever done? [David McArdle]
Good article. We've all looked into distorted mirrors and have gotten a wrong prespective about God, other people and ourselves. I've been here but thank God, He has the right mirror to look into---His word. Just as Jacob experienced, it can be painful at times to see what we really look like, when we thought we looked 'right as rain.' Its God's truth that helps us to be free of wrong distorted perspectives. God bless you.