Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Weary (05/03/12)
- TITLE: The Heavy Yoke
By Doug Laird
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When embittered, it matters not if the bitterness is directed towards God for not intervening or towards whomever else we hold responsible.
It is up to us to rid our souls of any bitterness, or we are the ones who are going to suffer the consequences.
Ephesians 4:31 (NASB) “Let all bitterness…be put away from you…” is not a suggestion. It is a command.
The sin of bitterness does not diminish the integrity of a believer‘s salvation, but like any other sin (James 2:10) it takes the advancing believer out of fellowship (2Cor. 13:14) and denies him/her access to the (John 15:5) enabling power to produce divine good.
Fellowship and access are restored when the sin is confessed (1John 1:9 and forsaken (John 8:11).
God’s circle of defense (Job 1:10) around each born again believer prevents much adversity from hitting our lives of which we are unaware.
Whatever adversity that God allows to pass through the circle of defense has a divine purpose.
As any seasoned veteran of spiritual combat can tell you, the environment of an advancing disciple is hardly one of peaches and cream.
The daily environment of the true post salvation spiritual life is a battlefield.
What God sends or allows are the circumstances in which one is called to glorify God while here on earth.
Eventually, what comes is the divinely ordained means of the recipient’s earthly departure.
Each stage of adversity prepares the advancing disciple for even greater adversity and greater opportunities to glorify God.
The advancing disciple is called to endure whatever adversity is sent or allowed to come for as long as it takes for the divine objective to be accomplished.
The question that believer should ask God is not, “Why?”, but “What?” it is that He desires to accomplish.
While desertion from the battlefield relieves spiritual cowards of the ever-increasing intensity of spiritual combat, God is denied the glory that the believer would have brought Him.
Glorifying God in the midst of spiritual combat in the presence of observing angelic and human beings was the purpose that God created the human race.
The deserting believer does not lose his/her salvation, but loses a part of the eternal reward that he/she would have otherwise received (1Cor. 3:15).
Advancing disciples will be offered temporal prosperity (Luke 4:6) and will receive temporal adversity from Satan.
Such distractions are for the purpose of impeding or preventing any further advancement in his/her post salvation spiritual life.
The adversity that a believer consists of everything that God allows (Job 2:10) for His glory and our spiritual development.
To the degree that an advancing disciple continues to advance in the realm of spiritual combat, he/she will receive a corresponding increase in both the intensity and frequency of demonic attacks.
Satan and the Ephesians 6:12 forces of evil will not waste the “big bombs” of spiritual weaponry on the average born again believer, and God does not allow any form of temptation beyond what any given disciple can handle.
Only the battle-scarred “special forces” of advanced disciples have developed the spiritual maturity enabling them to make the (Phil. 4:13) claim.
Satan knows that he can prevent the average believer from going forward in the plan of God by simply allowing the subtle, but wearisome pressure of every day life to distract the believer from focusing on identifying, let alone executing, the true post salvation spiritual life.
Satan welcomes the contribution that the production of human good makes towards making his world (Luke 4:6) a better place to live, be it from the hands of believers or unbelievers.
Dropping the “big bombs” runs the risk of collateral loss of the human good that the average believer has been duped into believing is the divine plan for his/her life.
In most cases, getting the believers to focus on temporal issues is all Satan needs to do to keep the average believer from entering into or remaining in true discipleship.
Weariness, that being the loss of strength, motivation, and desire is inevitable whenever we attempt to resolve spiritual issues with human power.
God allows us to experience weariness to teach us the need to utilize divine power (John 15:5) and not human power to identify and to execute the true post salvation spiritual life (Phil. 4:13).
His yoke is light and easy; we make it heavy and wearisome.
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