The Lord does not take anything casually, and neither should we. His Word is clear. He will not tolerate and He will not compromise. What He will do, is forgive a genuinely repentant heart. Soldier of The Cross, no one has it all together. There is no Believer who has ever "arrived." If you were to meet with the most mature, the most published, the most respected, they would tell you that they have never climbed up onto any plateau that removes them from the need to confess and repent. We have a glorious gift. He who saved us by Grace has made it clear that He longs for a heart that is completely available. That means repentance - a turning from one direction and the embracing of another. There is nothing else.
I have never found Job to be a picture of patience. He distinguishes himself as God's man because he refuses to blame God and refuses to whine or complain. At the same time, he is miserable and genuinely suffering. What Job does not know, is that God has chosen Job to show his substance of faith. Soldier of The Cross, are you willing to be chosen for such a thing? Do you trust God enough to let Him to do anything He wants to with your life? If not, why not? God is without flaw and does not fail. Is it possible that He will leave you in the wake of some other agenda? Of course not. He has made Himself clear. He is the Lover of Your Soul. He will never leave you. He will not withhold any good thing. Wait for Him. Trust Him. Tell Him what you are doing. Raise your hands and sing to Him. Ask Him to teach you to praise Him. Turn away from the thing you think is so hard and look at the One who holds the stars in place. He left Glory to take your place in death and bore your sin. Who has done more for you?
In order to see answered prayer, you must take God at His Word. Because we so often pray according to our human limitations, we similarly look for answers according to our concepts of what we think is good for us. The vase, immeasurable creativity of our God is so far beyond our experience or imagination, that He has asked us to trust Him and to take Him at His Word. He has said He would do what is best for us. If He is allowed, He will do what Glorifies himself. Those who long to be like Him will tell Him so and will allow Him to do anything, in order to bring about His own likeness in them. Those soldiers of The Cross will assume that He is having His way, because they have appropriated the Promises. They have told Him this in prayer. So, in storm or in sunshine, those who want Him more than anything else will go to Him in prayer. They will tell Him that they can trust Him. They will thank Him for the things that are explosively enjoyable. They will thank Him for the things that seem impossible. They will thank Him for the whole gambit, because they have determined that He can be trusted. Soldier, have you made that decision ? Have you told Him aloud? What thing could be distressing today? Tell Him you trust Him and that you stand on what He has said. Remember, you are always on display, and if you trust Him, it will be reflected in your words. These things must take place in prayer. Those who refuse to submit to him in prayer are always nervous. Bitter. Afraid. Tired. There is no greater privilege than to be chosen for the special blessing of His attention and answered prayer. Simply agree with God. Do it in prayer. Do it aloud.
Those who have determined to lay up treasure in heaven are abundantly free to work and harvest with abandon. In fact, it is the living by sight and the need to preserve earthly security that cripples the believer. Soldier of The Cross, you must take God at His Word. If He says we must make eternal investment, we must present ourselves to Him for obedience in this area. Those who have taken Him seriously are able to live with little or with much. They do not prefer to be with the wealthy over the poor. They work at the highest level even if they are not being paid. Those who invest eternally, consider the Lord to be the provider of the daily bread, as opposed to their own efforts. Even the most wealthy Christian must pray in his daily bread - otherwise, he feels responsible for his own sustenance. Tell the Lord what your priorities are. May He change you? Tell Him. Aloud.
Soldier of The Cross, what does it take to distract you? Physical pain? Financial difficulty? A threatened reputation? Misunderstanding? Injustice? Grief? A lonely marriage? Professional difficulty? A misbehaving child? What about discontent in the local assembly? All of these things are part of living in a fallen world. He never said we would not walk through the fire. He only said He would protect us while walking through the fire. Every day I deal with people who say they are born again, yet they are not willing to let the Lord have His way in any area of their lives. As soon as there is discomfort, they must scramble to be on top of things. They think they have to be right and they are desperate to be in control. On the other hand, every day I am in contact with those who love Him, see Him and want nothing else. Soldier, He wants a heart that submits to His Way, His Will and His Wisdom. These things happen in prayer and you must speak with Him about it directly. Aloud. Today.
God's Word is the bottom line. You may not lie to accomplish what you consider to be a godly aim. You may not bite back at someone because you think he has done something bad to you. You may not enhance a story to persuade the listener to side with you. Your behavior is not to be determined by circumstances, but by God's Word. He never fails. He never changes. He never compromises. He never leaves us. He is The Truth. He is The Life. He is The Way. He is The Door. He is the Bright and Morning Star. He is the Rose of Sharon. He is the Lion of Judah. And more. He is always right. His Word is always true.
God's Word makes it clear that His authority is to held in high regard. If you have an ear for the Lord, you will hear his voice when His people exercise their gifts. He speaks through imperfect man. He reveals Himself through imperfect man. He leads through imperfect man. He loves through imperfect man. Soldier of The Cross, respect is not about the person in the office, it is about the office. If there are issues, pray and perhaps go quietly to another to pray. Let the Lord deal with any problems. Do not be defiant and do not publicly challenge. You will only make a fool of yourself. He who went after you and wooed you, will attend to His Own.
The Lord is incredibly interesting. Everything about Him draws the gaze. The richness of His personality is infinite. His Love woos us to the extent that all else pales in comparison. He is Holy. Perfect. The creativity of nature is staggering. His personal rescue is beyond any plot mankind could design. He longs for your attention. He named you. Tell Him what you love and appreciate about Him. Tell Him today. Aloud.
We have protection against all the efforts of the enemy. Soldier of The Cross, look at the great Ephesians passage concerning the armour. We have a shield that can be lifted up against anything the enemy sends our way. We have been told the truth about many things, even though we do not have the capacity to understand. We have been asked to do things that make no sense, apart from His command. We have been asked to thank Him for things that seem to go wrong, by sight. We have been told to give, when there is not enough to give. We are told to go when there is no apparent way. We are told to love the most unlovely. and when we expect it the least, we are ambushed about guilt from the past or fear about the future. Soldier, we have the Shield of Faith. We can trust what He Has Said, and we can lift it up in the face of the enemy. It does not have to make sense. We do not need to see the end. We do not need to understand the past. In Him, we live and move and have our being. Because He IS, everything is different.
You have one who is watching over you keenly. He is aware of even a flickering thought in your mind. He is aware of each tiny pain. He knows how many hairs are on your head and he has collected your tears. He wants you to know that underneath you are The Everlasting Arms. If the above is true, why do you worry? Is it actually possible to leave your burden with the Lord, or is it a frivolous request? Soldier of the Cross, it is not a request. We are commanded to leave anxiety behind once and for all. Certainly, this is not something the flesh can do. It is supernatural and is done b y faith - because He said so. He will never go away. He will never let you down. He will never weaken. You are always held by the Everlasting Arms.