What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory (Romans 9:22-23)
Just because we see sinful people prosper doesn’t mean that God has looked away from their sinfulness. We are told not to envy wicked people in their prosperity, for that prosperity will lead to their ruin. Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong (Psalm 37:1) The scripture above tells us about God and the great patience He shows toward the “objects of His wrath.” It then ask us to consider what purpose He has in showing them patience. He looks to show His children the “riches of His glory.” What could that mean? The Hebrew word for glory originally means “weight” or “heaviness.” The same word is then used to express importance, honor, and majesty. Take a moment and consider that definition in this context.
How many people that the world views as prosperous are dead and empty on the inside? They have sought and gained the best the world has to offer at the expense of their peace and are now left with nothing to fill the void in their heart. Our sovereign Father gives us the opportunity to see what gaining the world and losing your soul looks like in the flesh. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? (Matthew 16:26) These people who have chosen to ignore God are without the most fulfilling thing available to us, a relationship with the Father.
As the “objects of His mercy” we can live with the joy of knowing the riches of His glory. We know that the presence and provision found in relationship to God outweigh the lesser things of this world. God’s provision is designed for us by our Creator, not our sinful desire. Believers can live with the peace of knowing God and the assurance that we have more than enough to walk the path He has called us to. Gaining more might drive us into worldly assurance. God loves us too much to let us wonder from what is best for us. We can let His light guide us on our walk with Jesus and be an example to those God has “prepared for destruction.” God desires that none shall parish.
Let God’s glory shine through you. You might be the reason His patience benefits someone who is looking to fill the place in their heart where God is meant to dwell. Let others know what it means to see the riches of God’s glory and what it is to grow in His mercy. Show the world that God’s great power can also be shown in the grace and mercy of His patience toward all of us.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
(2 Timothy 2:24-26) And the Lord’s servant must (1)not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, (2)able to teach, (3)patiently enduring evil, (4)correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
Patiently enduring evil
There is patience in love. Love is patient and love is kind when its source is the Lord. Evil returned for evil only magnifies the darkness of the world. It requires a selfless spirit fueled by Jesus to show patience when evil tries to cover up the love to which we are called. It is almost certain that resistance of one evil moment will not change a heart, but patience as the evil is drown out by God’s love creates real change. The light of God drives out darkness just as the deceiver will flee in the name of our Savior.
Let’s consider some of the promises given to us through Jesus Christ: newness of life (Romans 6:4), salvation (Romans 6:23), become a child of God (John 1:12), righteousness of God (Romans 3:22), eternal life and escape from judgement (John 5:24), justification through grace (Romans 3:24). These are the things freely given to us as gifts from the Creator and Sustainer of the universe when we decide to accept reconciliation to Him through His son which He offered to any who choose to receive.
There are also things offered to believers which require us to allow God to work in us through His spirit. (Philippians 2:12b-13) work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. These are things that we cannot do on our own. We need God to act in us in order to overcome the sinfulness given to us in original sin. We need the Holy Spirit to renew our minds, to break out of our personal strongholds, to overcome temptation, to drive away the deceiver, to understand God’s word, to guide us in God’s will for our life, to discern God’s will, to be our joy and light in this dark world, and to be God in us! The problem with some is that they expect God to pour these things on us. It doesn’t work that way. These things are grown in the hearts of believers as fruit when the believer matures in their walk with the Lord. God is too wise to hand such powerful things to us in our spiritual youth. As we grow in relationship with the Father He makes these things available to us. Human wisdom has parents who set up trusts for their children so they don’t squander the gifts they receive. How much wiser is our Heavenly Father? God makes all of these things available to His children, but His wisdom is in His timing and our maturity.
Don’t lose hope when God doesn’t hand you understanding or doesn’t deliver you from situations you have walked into. Know that you may not be ready to fully understand that moment yet or that you still need to grow in your painful situation. (Romans 8:28) And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Know that God wishes to bless you more than you desire to be blessed. He knows that those blessing deserve to be used for His greater purpose in you. Come close to God, get to know His heart for you, and never doubt that the same spirit that flowed through and raised Christ is in you; and available to glorify God in ways that surpass your imagination.
Part of our Christian walk is to look to The Father for guidance and to let Him light our path. God’s plan for our life will always be better than our own. In moments of quiet God will give you direction. He will place a promise on your heart so that you can see the outcome of His provision. The difficulty at that point is handing that promise back to Him so that He can develop it in His timing. We have a tendency to strive under our own strength to accomplish His will. We do it with the best of intentions, we want to serve the Father. Our direction shows obedience but our timing doesn’t. We end up settling for a lesser version of what God desires for us. We stop growing toward the completeness we are called to in Him. We then have a choice to live a lesser life or to let go of that partial provision so that we might see His full glory.
Now we are forced to deal with the pain of loss, or the anticipation of waiting on His timing. It’s God’s desire to groom you during the waiting process so that you can fully receive what He has for you. God’s ultimate desire is to mold you into His likeness. We have to be ok with whatever that process looks like. Knowing that waiting is a God ordained process gives us a reason to rejoice. If you know God made you a promise, it belongs to you. Nothing you or anybody else does can take away His provision. Worship God for speaking into you and being the light of your path. Take the time to enjoy the walk with Him that culminates in fulfilling the promises He gives to you.
Adam Gave It Away
I was considering the fallenness of the earth and the fact that the earth is under the control of satan. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. (2 Corinthians 4:4) The world falls deeper into the chaos of sin every day. People think of sin as the big things (murder, assault, rape, etc.), but in fact the world is covered in sin when you compare us to the holiness of God. The world God gave us was covered in His glory, and it was very good! And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31) The world has fallen into darkness (away from God’s light) and its sinfulness is so prevalent that people don’t recognize it anymore. Sin has become normal and everyone is desensitized to it.
I began working through Genesis today for a group study and had a thought in regards to all of this. God gave the world to Adam and Eve. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion… (Genesis 1:28) Adam and Eve were given dominion over all of the earth and its creatures! But above we see that satan is the god of this world. We have to realize that Adam gave satan this world in original sin. In God’s light Adam ruled over all of God’s creation, but in sinful darkness, satan is lord. I say this to illustrate how sin gives the deceiver power. Sin gives him a foot hold in the lives of all people. When hearts are turned back to God and made pure in the blood of Jesus, satan is defeated. God’s light drives out darkness. The same goes for your mind, heart, and life. Give God control of everything and walk in His light. Satan doesn’t have dominion over you if you refuse to give it to him, in sin. Don’t make the same mistakes we see in Adam. Let him be our example and let Jesus be our way out. Only with the help of the Holy Spirit can you escape the darkness. The Spirit of God is yours in Jesus. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:17-19)
(Matthew 24:45-51) “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
This is a parable we should live by. They all are of course but the ideas of God cannot be simply spoken and understood. They must be developed in a heart filled with the Holy Spirit to become fully alive and applicable. Any time Jesus provides us a parable it speaks to every aspect of our life. The beauty of that is how the Word is alive and evolves in meaning to guide us in all seasons of life.
This parable speaks to God’s children, those who have accepted Jesus and are seeking to develop their lives with the indwelling of the Spirit. God is our master as we delight in the service of His kingdom. The religious structure man has created, in an attempt to reach God, clouds the true desire of God. God wants our hearts, our faith, our obedience, and true relationship with Him. Following the rules of fallible men leads away from His calling to us. The rules instituted by man create exclusivity which does not exist in the eyes of God. The rules man creates drive brothers and sisters in Christ away from the steadfast forgiveness and acceptance in Jesus. Not being open to relationship with all believers and helping them to grow is the same as ‘beating our fellow servants.’ If we are not ‘feeding’ them and helping their walk, we are in fact ‘beating’ the love of God back as He reaches out to all of His children. Look at this parable as a call of God to treat everyone with the love God shows you in your fallen condition. Don’t follow the rules of man. They are fallible, like the man who devised them. It is a mistake to take and try to grow the perfect word of God. If God didn’t choose to put in in scripture, who are we to add to the perfect plan of our Master?
God has a plan for all who are obedient to His guidance. The plans and blessings God has prepared for those who are faithful to staying His course are far beyond our imagination. One of the most difficult aspects to walking in God’s light and taking Him by His right hand is that those who have hardened their hearts and choose to dwell outside of God’s light will never understand this walk. Being selfless, joyful, at peace, and confident make the lost question the sanity of a mind focused on the things that are eternal. God’s plan will not always be clear to those who stay in the shadow of earthly sin. Faith allows a believer to be steadfast in the provision of our God. We must accept the responsibility that comes with a knowledge of Jesus and the indwelling of the Spirit of God. God’s people must harness the power available in the Holy Spirit and become leaders of the lost, a guide toward the light of God and His path. We are only able to rightfully lead when we are rightfully lead by God. A real leader must see the goal before those who are meant to follow. Be a reflection of God’s light and a beacon in this dark world.