In the midst of an ordeal that pressed in every way imaginable, physically, mentally, and above all, spiritually, Job was able to proclaim of His Father, "Even if He slays me, yet I will trust Him."  We admire those words, and we want to believe that we would say the same in those circumstances, yet, I think, in our hearts, we don't really believe God would ever deal with us in such a manner.  We don't believe that He would ever really desire to "kill" us, but I think our belief would be wrong.  Very wrong.
    Pastor and writer Jack Taylor once said to the effect, "Stop asking God to deliver you.  He wants to kill you."  That's a strong statement, and it's not one that will find a lot of listeners in the western church.  When our times of testing, trouble, pain come, our cry is for Him to get us out of these circumstances, this pain, and this trouble.  We want to evacuated, and in a sense, so does He desire this for us, but the difference is found in our understanding of evacuation.  We want brought out of situations that we believe are killing us.  He wants to bring out of us conditions, attitudes, strongholds of the flesh, and of sin, things that He knows are killing us.  In effect, He wants to kill what's killing us.  The process will most assuredly feel like "death," because these things can take a very strong hold on our lives.  Bitterness, unforgiveness, lust, jealousy, unloving hearts and lives, the list is really endless, and the presence of any and all of them brings the element of death into our lives.  The Father, in His love, knows that their presence in our hearts does us great harm, and He also knows that we rarely see them as He does.  We're adept at tucking them away in different parts of our heart and life, giving them different names, and denying the reality of what they are.  Only by taking them, and us, through the fire of affliction and yes, pain, is He able to bring them to the surface of our life, kill them, and bring us into a deeper purity.  We cry out for deliverance, but it's a deliverance that allows these things to remain in our lives and hearts, but God is not interested in leaving such things within us.  As Taylor says, He wants to kill that in us so that we may truly live in Him.  His call to us is always to "go on" with Him, but we can't go on until these things are brought to death so that we might have life, and our lives will be an ongoing journey His bringing us to death so that we might have His life.
He wounds that He might heal, and He "kills" that He might give life.  
     To what degree is the Father's objective being carried out in yours and my life?  Is the cross of Christ something we see in churches, or a reality in our life?  Are we most interested in a life that allows us to hold onto things that are killing us, even if it may be a "painless" death, or do we embrace a life that will die to everything that is not of Him, so that we might have all that is Him?  The first yields a life composed of what Paul called rubbish.  The latter yields the fullness of His life, the fullness of Him.  The first is the flesh's objective, the latter His.  Whose objective is being carried out in us?

Blessings,
Pastor O 
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