Shipwrecks And Snakebites

       I heard not long ago of a book entitled, "The Insanity Of God."  Now, before you pull back and label that a blasphemous statement, I challenge you as to whether there has ever been a time in His dealings with you where you thought that maybe, just maybe, God had lost His mind?  A time where nothing made any sense, where He seemed to not so much be absent, but to be literally working against His own interests, allowing things that seemed to be destroying the very foundation of His kingdom.  
      I've no doubt that if we were asked as to our belief in His sovereignty, infinite power, and many promises of victory, we would affirm that we believe them.  We would quote the scriptures that tell us that "all things hold together in Christ."  We would say that we believe Revelations 19:11, that He who sits on the throne is always faithful and true.  We would say we trust in I Peter 3:22, that all angels powers and authorities must and do bow before Him.  We believe that, but then, in one of those "sudden things" His Word speaks of so often, everything, and I mean everything, collapses, and life becomes, as Mark Batterson said, like that of Paul, "a pattern of shipwrecks and snakebites."  Shipwrecks and snakebites orchestrated by the Father, and which to those who were looking upon the events of Paul's life, must surely have indicated that the Father had indeed, "lost His mind."  It may have seemed so to them, but it didn't to Paul.  Was he perplexed, yes, and he wrote that he was.  Were there times that he was discouraged, again, yes.  Cast down?  Crushed?  He admitted as much.  But he was never beaten, and indeed, said that he was "more than a conqueror," through and in Christ.  He was so because though he may not have understood at all what His Father was doing, or know just where and to what He was leading, He knew His God.  He knew His heart, and that His heart towards Him was one of goodness, mercy, and love.
And so, even in the midst of the seeming insanity of His God, He lived at and in His rest and His peace.  Why?  How?
     The answer is seen in Ephesians 2:6, where Paul said that God has "raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realm." Amidst the pattern of shipwrecks and snakebites, the prison cells and the suffering, Paul lived in the heavenly realm with Christ, in His presence, partaking fully of His life, peace, joy, and strength.  The snakebites and shipwrecks were real, but life in Him was more real.  So much of what was happening to him made little or no sense, and to the flesh, it would certainly appear as if the Father really had lost His mind, butseated, not running about, in panic, composed, at peace in His presence, Paul knew that what appeared to be was not what mattered.  It was what was, and what is.  The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit.  This was his real "reality," and the chaos and insanity of life could not move him.  Neither, if we will live in that place that Paul did, will it move us.  
     Are you living the pattern of shipwrecks and snakebites?  Does it look like God has lost His mind, at least in His dealing with you?  If we wait for Him to explain Himself, we will wait for a very long time.  If we will choose, as Paul did, to live not at the mercy of our circumstances, but in the power of His presence, in the heavenly realm, we will, in Him, be raised above them.  Shipwrecks and snakebites may continue, but we live in victory in their midst.  They can only serve to take us more deeply into Him.

Pastor O 

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   May 2019   
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