Over the process of time, Iíve learned a few things. Albeit Iíve learned them the hard way. Nevertheless, they were deeply rooted and Iím not likely to forget them. Praise God!
Iíve learned that God definitely CAN do anything, but doesn't always do it just because we believe it ought to be done. I've learned that when we stop kicking against the pricks and accept the will of God as sovereign, we are then in a position to receive the gift of peace that surpasses our understanding. Iíve learned that when we stop kicking against the pricks and accept the will of God as sovereign, we are then in a position to receive the free gift of Godís joy to strengthen us.
So, am I mature enough now that I no longer need to grow? (Yes, I was laughing when I asked that question.) Thatís so preposterous. I am, in fact, just a babe who often gets sat in the corner to be given time to get over my choking episodes from biting off more spiritual meat than I can possibly chew. I often sit in that corner (the one with my name firmly pasted on the wall) and suck on the pure milk of the Word, contemplating the simple things of Christ.
But having tasted the goodness of the Lord, I hunger greedily for more. I can almost hear my Heavenly Father say, ďOkay Kid. You want it? You got it.Ē Ah, and then there I go again, biting off more than I can chew and learning another one of the lessons of life as one of The Kingís kids that prepares us for being the overcoming, spotless Lambís Bride.
ďOvercoming.Ē Seems thereís a bit of milk to that Word. ďTo him who overcomes ...Ē I donít know about the rest of the Christian congregation, but I, for one, have had a LOT of overcoming to do. God only knows that I couldnít possibly have overcome half of what I have on my own. And the one thing, thus far, that I have had to work hardest on to overcome is the human tendency to struggle with the sovereign will of God.
That overcomersí Word is a promise for the future, a little milk to wash down the meat, a promise that has to do with sitting on a throne and judging angels and reigning with the Reigning King of Kings. But there's something else ...
There are these sweet little kisses, like the ones courting couples leave on love notes to their betrothed ones that whisper promises of great things to come. There are chocolate chips that go in our after dinner desert that we can snack on a little bit before dinner that make us eager to finish up our spinach. They are mere appetizers, small portraits of a much greater painting. There are free gifts for the present to those who overcome that are small in comparison to what we will receive.
There are gifts we receive now for overcoming the temptation to fight against the sovereign and perfect will of God. They are peace in the midst of storms and joy in the midst of sorrow. Selah. (Think on that one.)
Yes, I may very well have much growing left to do. But itís nice to know peace that you canít really know. Yes, you read that correctly. Let me rephrase it for you though: Itís nice to experience peace that transcends beyond the barriers of human logic ... that surpasses my understanding. And itís nice to be overjoyed when I can find no joy. Rephrase that too? Itís nice to know true strengthening that only comes from the joy OF THE LORD when sorrow and/or grief knocks down the door and tears into all that seems good and pure in my world.
The learning process isnít fun! And I sure hate to be the bearer of SEEMINGLY bad news, but it isnít something weíd do well to escape. You see, it is to those who overcome that the Lord has promised a place on a throne, judging angels and reigning as Queen with The King of Kings. I think many of us have had the strange assumption that being ďnew creaturesĒ means we wonít be ourselves anymore. Hey, weíre going to lay these mortal bodies down someday and take on glorified bodies, immortality. But Iím still going to be ME and youíre still going to be YOU. The difference, besides that flesh being gone, is that our gowns will shine so bright with the glory and righteousness of God that it would hurt any mortal eyes. But the preparation process is NOW.
Being ourselves and sitting on that throne means that we need to have some skills. And I donít mean the kind of skills it takes to rule a basketball court or win over a pretty, blue-eyed blond. Iím talking reigning skills. Like the Word says, how can we expect to judge angels if we have a hard time judging simple earthly matters? Yes, the learning process stinks ... even if I DO happen to like spinach. But I take joy, the free gift of joy, the joy OF THE LORD as my strength to endure the trials, or ďlearning processesĒ that set me up for royal stature. And just about the time I think Iíve got that giving-in-to-the-sovereign-will-of-God thing down, I get stuck back in the corner again.
Excellent, well-written article, my sister. As usual you received the message and passed it on for other believers. As a milk drinker who also tries to bite off more than I can chew this really hit home. Thank you and God bless. Keep serving. In Christ, Christian