Whom God Chooses – Part 3a – “Through”


But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene–walk!”
(Act 3:1-8)

In Part One, we looked at how the heroes of faith got out of the way of God. God helped them get out of the way, so He could work through them.

In Part Two, we saw that the heroes of faith acted out of absolute assurance that they were in God’s plan.

In this part, Part Three, we will see that the Heroes of faith are absolutely willing to be a channel through whom God blesses others.

“… while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” (Act 4:30)

The operative word here is “through”. The point made about getting out of the way of God and be willing to let go of your agenda and be confident that you are in His will is so that God can work HIS will through you. God does the work. He chooses to do His work through us. We do not bring our agenda to Him and hope he blesses it. One of the best summaries of this thought is given by the Chinese Evangelist, Watchman Nee. Nee was giving a series of messages at a special conference held in Shanghai from June 11 through June 18, 1940. In that series of messages, Nee talked about the question, “What is God’s Work?”

He said:

“In Philippians Paul says: “That I may lay hold on that for which I also was laid hold on by Christ Jesus.” The Lord Jesus has a special, specific purpose in laying hold on us – and that specific purpose is the thing we want to lay hold of. He has a purpose, and this purpose is that we might be co-workers with Him. Nonetheless it is still true that we cannot do God’s work, since it is absolutely and wholly His. But on the other hand, we ARE His coworkers. So that on the one hand we must recognize and acknowledge that we cannot touch with even one little finger the work of God, yet on the other hand we are called to be co-workers with Him! And this is that for which He has laid hold on us. The Lord has a definite purpose in salvation – and a clear and specific purpose in saving us – which is, that he might have us as His co-workers.”

“Now just who is a co-worker of God? Well, it is NOT one who wants to work for God, one who sees a need and wants to meet it; it is not even one who gets people saved; rather is it the one who does what God has appointed him to do in His eternal purpose, and ONLY that does he do. If we truly see that for which we have been laid hold on by Christ Jesus, all our labors, all our former works for Him will be smashed to pieces”

“The aim and object of God in everything is to reveal His Son, to manifest His Son, to “show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward is us in Christ Jesus.” This is His eternal purpose. Is this YOUR object in the work you are doing now? If it is any lower than this, then you are not a co-worker with God.” – (“God’s Work” by Watchman Nee, Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.)

Am I saying that you shouldn’t do good works? No, what I am saying is that our good works are led by God. God is doing them through us because we have gotten out of the way. Our works will reflect the will of God. We are the conduit through which God’s will is excised.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
(John 5:19)

“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
(John 5:30)

If the King of Heaven was subject to the will of God on earth, why do we think we can develop our own agenda and bring it to God and expect Him to bless it? We are called to be just like the Master.

The Apostle Paul reminded us to:

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Php 2:5-7)

 

Even this is not a work we humans can strive to accomplish. It is already accomplished in Christ Jesus. If we rest in the finished work of the cross, we are filled with the spirit of God. We are able and empowered to act and be what God has designed us to be.

God does all this in us, so that, when it is time, He can work through us. The aim and object of everything God does is to reveal His Son, to “show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

 

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

At our very best, we can imitate some of the works of God, but they, being driven by the flesh, are ineffective. There will be no works in Heaven that are not of Christ, and for Christ. All other efforts will be destroyed in the end.

 

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Mat 7:22-23)

The difference is not what they did, but whom they obeyed when they did it. Any and all works, even if they were done in the name of Jesus, if they were not first conceived by God and flowing from Christ through you, then they are of no account.

When we bless others, it is because we see Christ doing this through us. When we do anything at all, it is because we are in the vine, who is Christ Jesus. We hear the voice of Jesus and know the will of the Him who sent us, and we obey.

God worked through Jesus. We are to let Jesus work through us. The work He will do through us will be to demonstrate what the message of the Cross is so that as many as will accept this free gift will be saved.

“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

(John 14:11-13)

When we get out of the way, and understand we are part of the plan of God, and let God work the life of Jesus into us and through us, we will become a channel through whom God blesses others.

This is what it means to be chosen.

Stay tuned for part 3b.

Let’s be about it.

I love you,

David G. perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

POWERFUL GRACE


10513399_10152600234320628_3221227884745986876_nTHE BURNING QUESTION

 

Have you ever prayed fervently for something, and got what you prayed for? I did, and it caused problems. The problem it caused is that I discovered I cannot serve two masters. I cannot have it my way, AND God’s way…not when my way does not harmonize with what it is God is trying to accomplish in my life. I discovered that what I had asked for was a compromise position on what it is that God wants to accomplish in the life of my family.

See, Sandy and I have been praying fervently that God grow us up, make real believers of us, and remake us to be the image of Christ.

I also asked God for something that I have been asking Him even before I came to know Him in a very real way, last August. Strangely enough, I got what I asked for. EXACTLY the way I asked for it.

At the time I did this, I didn’t know there was a big difference between what I want and what God wants for me.

It turns out that, God will place at your feet anything you ask, if you ask believing it will be done. The problem is that, you have to make sure that what you ask is what GOD wants to see happen in your life.

If what you get does not harmonize with the will of God for your life, then what you experience is going to end up being a painful experience. You will discover that you have to do things God’s way, your way, or someone else’s way.

Here is an example of what I am talking about. God called Abram of UR, out of UR to go to another land. Abram didn’t go right away. He was supposed to go when he was called. He was supposed to go alone, too. He waited, and then took his uncle, relatives and his half-sister, whom he married. He didn’t go to where God told him to go, either. Where he ended up quickly became a barren land and had a famine. God told Abram to go NORTH. Abram went SOUTH, to Egypt. THEN Abram lied to everyone and said the hot babe on his arm wasn’t his wife, but his sister. Eventually the truth would come out, and people would kick Abram out of the place, but offer him peace offerings for nearly committing adultery with his wife.

Foreigners had to tell Abram he was sinning against his own God. By this time, Abram is old, and has not seen the promise of a great multitude occupying the land. You know the rest of the story.

The point is, God called Abram, told him what needs to be done, and Abram did it his way. The Bible describes it this way: Pro 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. (e-SWORD).

Abraham did what he thought was the right thing to do based on his understanding of the circumstances. What he did, however, slowed down the progress that God had in mind. But, through it all, Abraham became a man of great faith, because he got to see what God can do INSPITE of Abraham’s interference.

Abraham got the promise, but it took a long time. None-the-less, God was directing Abraham’s steps out of the path Abraham chose, and led him back into the promise.

When we take matters in our own hands, we slow the promise of God down. Then we end up in a situation. If we are smart, we will stop and ask relevant questions of God.

“What are you trying to reveal to me, God?” “Where are you in this situation?” “What are you trying to show me now that I am listening, that you couldn’t show me because I was asking for my own way?” God could have, by his power, prevented what He allowed to happen by His wisdom. The reason is because God needs to reveal Himself in every aspect of your life.

TRUST IN THE LORD

 

When you can finally quiet your heart, you have to ask these questions, then be still and listen for His answers. He WILL answer. If you ask God to rescue you from the consequences of you having your own way, He may do that, too. However, He will see to it that the lesson is repeated until you finally catch on to what it is that God is trying to show you.

The Bible puts it this way: Pro 3:5 & 6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

I asked for what I wanted, and God let me have my way. I discovered that, having my way exposed several weaknesses in my character, and that I have a lot of growing up to do. God turned my selfishness into a blessing. Sandy and I pray constantly to be made like our Savior, Jesus Christ. If I ask for anything from God that contradicts His character, His will for us, or His vision of who we are in Heaven, then I have to be prepared to deal with the outcomes. Even then, God is not judging me. God has already fulfilled all his judgment in Christ Jesus.

God is going to use even my selfishness to teach me and upgrade me so that I can be better at understanding what it is that God wants us to do.

It is the way of the flesh to call someone out on their failings, and judge them and condemn them. It is God’s way to take your failings and call you up to a higher standard.

Through the power of God’s Grace, He will show you what it is you need to do. Through the power of His Grace, God will empower you to do that very thing.

THE OUTCOME

 

Sandy and I have not yet understood all the lessons we need to learn through our circumstances. But one thing we do know, He made a promise to us, and, one way or another, He will see to it that His promise in us is fulfilled in us.

We are called to serve God because of Jesus Christ. We feel the urgency of this call, and we have a burning fire in our hearts to obey. Now we wait quietly to see what God wants us to do next.

Your outcome is secure if you have genuinely given your life to God through Jesus Christ. God is calling all of Humanity to come home to a relationship with Him. We have had several millennia to see what life is like apart from God. Jesus Christ did for all of humanity what we are not able to do for ourselves. He became all sin, all failure, all disease, all things that formed a barrier between us and God, and, for our sakes He died of them. He became the judged. He was the sin eater. He went to hell on our behalf. And he rose again to prove he has the right to be called the Son of God.

Sandy and I want to be part of the team of messengers He will be sending out to reap the final harvest.

The outcome of even my failings is, I will grow to be just like Jesus Christ. This is God’s promise to you, too.

 

MY PRAYER FOR US ALL

 

Father God, I come to you in the name of Jesus, our Savior and Lord. I pray you give us all a vision of what needs doing, and the power of your Grace to get it done. Grow us all up to be just like Jesus Christ. Teach us to put aside all our vain imaginings, and selfish desire. Teach us daily how to be your Child. Make us into the image of Your Son, Jesus. Time is running out. The enemy is afoot, and we are too busy being religious and selfish to care what goes on around is, in front of us, and even because of us. Grant us mercy. Show us all your love and your will.

AMEN

Let’s Be About It!

I Love You

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com