We are destined to live a life of blessing. But, to make it a reality, we have to know who we are in relation to Almighty God. Then, we need to have a desire and willingness to be trained in the ways of God, making decisions each day to live in a manner which pleases Him. Once we are able to keep on keeping at it, our character will be refined and defined according to God’s word, and we become a vessel fit for the Master’s use.
Rest assuredly, we can entrust ourselves into the hands of God. Isaiah 43:1 tells us that God is the One who has created us, formed us, redeemed us, and called us. God has created us according to His image, and He knows all about us. We may not like the way we look or even the way we sound. No matter what we think about ourselves or what others think about us, what that really matters is: What God thinks about us. We are who He says we are. We may still choose to be stubborn by holding onto our ugly-duckling complexion eventhough the word of God says otherwise. Since God is all-wise, we ought to be smart enough to acknowledge that His thoughts and ways are always, without exception, higher than ours. Let His words be the mirror that reflects the true conditions of our heart, and let His Spirit searches us and knows our heart; tries us and knows our thoughts. Let’s cease striving with God, right here, right now. And: let God be God; let go of our hang-ups; and let’s go with God by believing that we are who He says we are and we have what He says we have.
Hear then the words of God:
“ I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psalm 139:14)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of ourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1 Peter 2:9)
So, in spite of our present shortcomings and/or despite what people say wrongfully of us, the word of God can change our life inside out. We, ourselves, our inner man, is the only obstacle. Let’s not put the blame on others or our circumstances. Let’s act on the word even if we are not fully persuaded because His word is the truth and will not come back void. God watches over His word to perform it. He is the One who is responsible to see that His word is operative. Ours is the easy part – we just act upon what God tells us through His infallible word. Our job is not to figure it all out. God did not say, if (when) it feels right, then do it. The heart of the matter is : Can God see our faith by our acting upon His word? If He can, it will be done unto us according to His word.
Consider Psalm 1:1~3 (Amp.): “Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly (following their advice, their plans and purposes), nor stands (submissive and inactive) in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down (to relax and rest) where the scornful (and the mockers) gather. But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. And he shall be like a tree firmly planted (and tended) by the streams of water, ready to bring forth his fruit in its season; his leaf also shall not fade or wither, and everything he does shall prosper (and come to maturity).”
How are we to walk?
By following Jesus who is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. It is important for us to know the true way (route/direction) so that we can live the abundant and eternal life which Jesus promises. We can follow Jesus by reading the word of God which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105). His word shows us the immediate steps as well as illuminates the path ahead of us. With Jesus as the Good Shepherd leading us on, surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our life and we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forevermore. Now that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for us, the Holy Spirit is present to teach and remind us the truth of God’s word (John 14:26) and lead us in the way that we ought to go (Romans 8:1b). Indeed, as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (Romans 8:14).
How are we to stand?
By putting on the full armour of God and standing against the wiles of the devil, working through sinners who have not been vigilant. “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints:” (Ephesians 6:14~18).
How are we to sit?
By choosing the good portion of listening to and waiting upon God as Mary did when Jesus spoke while her sister, Martha, kept busy and fussed over her works. “He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened My ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away.” (Isaiah 50:4b~5) “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) So, let’s expend the time to tune-in to God’s channel and receive the broadcast of His still, small voice. Everyday.
When we take care of our daily posture of walking, standing, and sitting, we are in fact developing the habit of delighting and desiring for God’s word. And, we begin to experience the truth of Psalm 119.
How are we to handle God’s word?
By reading, listening, studying, meditating and memorising it. The more we know, speak, understand, experience and remember God’s word, the more competent we will be to handle it as the sword of the Spirit against the wiles of the devil and become an overcomer. Joshua 1:8 records for us that: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
How are we to not miss out on the blessing of God?
By observing the great commandment, and growing in the grace and knowledge of the Anointed One, Jesus Christ.
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37~40)
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:7)
“And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” (1 John 3:22,23)
The rich young ruler in Mark 10:17~22, fearing that he might miss out on eternal life, came running and asked Jesus, “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” In reply Jesus revealed the commandments which the young ruler has kept: Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. Indeed, it was so, because the man said that he had kept the aforesaid commandments since his youth. Apparently, the man had no idea what was missing in his life.
Then, Jesus gave him an object lesson in love; “beholding him loved him”. It was love personified. God is love and he who has seen Jesus has seen the Father. Jesus wanted to flood the young man with His love, to show him that this was precisely what was missing in the man’s life. No wonder Jesus went on to say to him, “One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” Jesus knew what the man lacked and how the man can be set free from his love for his great possessions, which has crowded out the love of God and the love of his fellows.
The love of God which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit must be brought to bear in all that we do. Having great possessions is not the problem. The problem is when we do not show love for God and our neighbours. As Paul said in I Corinthians 13:2~3 (NKJV), “And though I have the gifts of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
When we love God and our neighbours, and we act upon God’s word by faith, we will realise our hope for a life of blessing.