Monday, July 22, 2013

Christian life is not Easy

We must realize as Christians that God is in control of all circumstances surrounding our lives. God takes all of the events of life, the good things and the so-called bad things, and works them "together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them" (Romans 8:28).

We must also realize that God loves us and is always looking out for our eternal benefit—even if what we are presently going through is difficult. We are told in 2 Corinthians 4:17–18, "For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever" (NLT).

Paul says in the New Testament that it was not until he heard the Law that he was conscious of sin. How true! It is not until you know the truth that the truth can set you free (John 8:32). The returning Jews experience this truth in a dramatic way. Upon hearing the Law, Israel repents of her sins and rededicates herself to serving the Lord. This repentance clears her conscience, results in rich worship, and makes her eligible for the blessings of the Lord. It sets her free! Repentance will do the same for you.

It takes deprivation to appreciate the significance of our blessings. That is why the Christian life is not always easy—with blessings flowing unabated. We get dull and stale to it—just as we do when we have too much food and too little exercise. We are indeed blessed to have the Word of God in such abundance. The returning Jews have never heard the Word, and they are truly thirsty. They stand — from dawn till dusk — and drink it in. To appreciate the Word in your life, imagine not having it at all.

The Old Testament often has a literal illustration of a spiritual truth that is explained in the New Testament. In Ephesians 6:11, we read that we are to “put on the whole armor of God”: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. Once these are in place, we “resist”—“stand firm!”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” He said, “Go…”

Isaiah 6:8-9

Brokenness and restoration make you usable to God!

Look at the chain of events in Isaiah 6. First, Isaiah had a devastating personal encounter with God (“I saw the Lord” – v. 1). This changed his whole view of life and of himself; he became a broken man before God (“woe is me, for I am ruined!”– v. 5). His brokenness and confession led to total forgiveness and restoration from God (“your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven”– v. 7). That new heart-condition then made him sensitive to God’s heart and God’s leading in his life (“then I heard the voice of the Lord”– v. 8).

What started the whole process that ended in such a powerful ministry, bringing great glory to God? It was Isaiah’s personal encounter with God. Don’t try to bring yourself to a place of brokenness. You can’t do it. It must begin with you truly coming to grips with who God is and encountering Him personally.

For some, this deep personal encounter with God happens at their conversion. For others, it comes later in their Christian lives. God may meet with you in this special way several times in your life. The result will always be brokenness—and a new anointing!

What happens to a person who dwells in a long-term state of want, need, constriction, frustration, and fear? To the unsaved, it causes a severely de-stabilizing effect. They want and need something but know not what it is (what they are looking for is peace with God through reconciliation with His Son). That is why they had previously sought to fill that hole where peace goes with the things of this world. When the things of this world are no longer available to them because of drought-like economic conditions, they panic because even the false, temporary pseudo-peace they gained from the things of this world are now unattainable. There are two responses to that panic: turning to God and find that peace, or turning to self and go deeper into the dark hole of unfulfillment. 

We have a champion in Jesus Christ. Held captive to sin, trapped with no way out, we could only wait to see what would happen. What happened was the saving love of Christ, which set us free from the trap, and continues to protect us every day.


Raj Kosaraju


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