A God For Us?

"What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?" Romans 8:31...."As Joshua approached the city of Jericho, he looked up an saw a man facing him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, 'Are your friend or foe?' 'Neither one,' he replied, 'I am commander of the Lord's army.' At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. 'I am at your command,' Joshua said. 'What do you want your servant to do?' " Joshua 5:13-14...."For us, the question is not one of receiving help, but of accepting leadership." Watchman Nee..."How much Christian work there is today that has never been disciplined, but has simply sprung into being by impulse." Oswald Chambers

 

A pastor friend recently remarked on how, in Job, we're told that "Satan went out from the Presence of God." He then pointed to the fact that Christ, His Son, was "sent out" from His Father in order to accomplish His will. I expect most of us know that truth, but are we aware of the quiet ramifications for us in it?

 

Those who are His love the promise of Romans 8:31. We want to face life, ministry, relationships, everything, under the covering of that promise. God is for us. Who can be against us? And so we go out (keep that phrase in mind) with the full expectation that whatever we put our hand to, He will bless and enable us in it. We presume that He is fully with us, engaged in our plan, our agenda. In it, we commit the sin of presumption, assuming that because we want it, or that it's "good," He's for it, will bless it, and bring it to pass. Secondly, we fail to recognize the very subtle but real difference between our going out for Him, and being sent out by Him. Oswald Chambers, who established a college for training missionaries, said that one was to go nowhere until they knew that they were not only being sent out by Him, but that He was and would be fully with them in work. They presumed nothing. They waited upon Him in everything. It is the enemy's way to go out from Him, and the landscape of the Church is strewn with the wreckage of all the lives, endeavors, and mission projects that did so, in presumption, simply because they believed that in the going, He was for them. We seek the results of studies, demographics, and such as our impetus. Too often, they are our reason for going out. We go, but we're not sent.

When Joshua was about to enter into battle, he encountered the "Commander of the Lord's host." Most think that the Commander was the pre-incarnate Christ. Joshua, in his humanity, wanted to know whether this One was for, or against the people of Israel. His answer of "neither" would have been totally unexpected. What God wanted Joshua to know, what He wants us to know, is that He will not take the role of our supporter in our plans and agendas. He will not limit Himself to being the most powerful member of our team. He will lead, He will command, and we will fully yield to Him in all of it, or He will not be going out. Otherwise, we will be going out, but we will be going out from His Presence, from Him. Do you see the subtle similarity between the way of the enemy, the way of the Dragon, and the difference from the way of Christ, the way of the Lamb?

When Joshua realized who it was that he'd encountered, he could do nothing else but fall on his face in worship. And then he got up, in submissive obedience, and went on to total victory. To choose any other way but the way of the Lamb will also result in our falling on our faces, in defeat, in shame. Oh, we may accomplish many of our objectives. We can do a lot in our own strength, but we build a house of straw. It will not stand. In the end, it is nothing. Is He for us? Yes....for all those who step out in the assurance that they are His sent ones, and who will not take a step without His Presence. We can go out, but if we do so on our initiative, we'll never enter in. Yet those who are sent out by Him enter into the richness of their inheritance in Christ. To acknowledge Him in all of our ways is to be surrendered to Him in all of our ways. We then are sent out to accomplish His purposes, not simply going out to accomplish our own. And His purposes can look very different from ours. The way of the Dragon and the way of the Lamb. One is the way of Christ, and the other is not. There is a way that seems right, and there is a Way that is right. Which is yours and mine?

Blessings,
Pastor O

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