How often when faced with a trial or tribulation that tests our very mental stability that we inevitably cry out to God, “Where are you”! At these moments we come face to face with the strength and resolve of our Faith. It is never clear and very stressful what has happened why we are facing such calamity in our life and immediately we either question any possible sin or worst; question God. We become and need to be constantly introspective about our Faith as we walk through this world’s myriads of obstacles. The one things that is sure is that God is near no matter how much we feel He is distant as stated, “You are near, O LORD” - Ps. 119:151.
Two phrases stand out as to what our body, mind, and spirit are to be for God to be near. These include, “whose heart is completely His” and “Be sober-minded and alert”. God is merciful and compassionate to help us when we cry out in desperation but He more cherishes a heart that is completely His so that He won’t need to take the time to save us constantly but rather use this time to give us more of His Kingdom life. The metaphor here is that the more attention that is given to constantly fix something; is the less time that can be devoted to building it up. What are we; but the temple of God; not of brick and mortar but of Righteousness. As parents, we relish the day that our child does everything the way we would do based on our experience, wisdom, knowledge and understanding of things and issues, and often is can be disappointing to repeat the same advice on the same issues because our child is not learning or appreciating our instructions. God is no different saying, “Their ears dull, and their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts” - Is. 6:10 and Matt. 13:15. Peter places full responsibility at the feet of all Christians whenever they are subjected to satan’s fear of death; because they have not consciously kept themselves aware of satan’s devices, even though we ought to know them as stated, “for we are not ignorant of his devices (schemes)” - . 2 Cor. 2:11. When we are subjected to God’s Spirit or satan’s schemes it means we are exposed and not under duress of this subjection. We have a choice to choose life or death in these situations for by life; God is near and by death; satan is near. It’s like being exposed to a fire which can either give life by its warmth or death by its flames and this is determined by how near the fire is to us, just as God or satan is.
God was near to Jesus constantly during His ministry even in the trials and tribulations or in the testing of His Faith, but only as a man. Once Jesus became resurrected; there was no more testing. The only difference between Jesus and those who stumble in their Christian walk is Words and actions which is a reflection of the heart whereas, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” - Prov. 4:23. Another way to says this is, “By persistent effort, we determine how our life is”. The persistent effort of filling our heart with Righteousness that is Jesus, the Word, and the Spirit. For these are the things that God looks for in our hearts, so that He can be near. There is no doubt in both Testaments where God has intervened to save His from persecution by trials and tribulations. Sometimes it is dramatic as when Moses parted the Red Sea - Ex. 14:21; or as miraculously when Jesus was hidden among the crowds avoiding those who sought to harm Him - Lk. 4:30. When God is near; the impossible becomes the norm. Many contemporary Christians have similar experiences because they persistently journey into Righteousness because God wants to be near to us and demonstrated this with His Son for our example. Many think resurrection is reserved for Christ and the dead but by Jesus’ Blood sacrifice; He restored, renewed, resuscitated, and resurrected the dead body, mind, and spirit of all those who want God to be near.
Flush it Out! - God will be near when we are near to Him.
To be near to God is a journey of Righteousness for as stated, “And this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no distinction, for all, have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” - Rm. 3:22. To be the Righteousness of God is linked with the Grace of God, because of ourselves, we can never meet the true standard of God’s Righteousness. Literally, it is by our true efforts from the heart that God sees and brings His Spirit into our spirit that is expressed in our actions, especially our words as stated, “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits” - Prov. 16:1-2. As we journey into His Righteousness; God examines us and answers appropriately. Remember, what is God looking for; men and women who He can demonstrate His Salvation Spirit through, not only with the Word but more so with signs and wonders stating, “and was affirmed by God through signs, wonders, various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will” - Heb.2:4. To have God near requires our free will to partake in His works for His Glory and not ours.
Why do we face trials and tribulations that test our Faith? The clue is within our Righteous walk with God and can be gleaned from Jesus’ ministry. The first things we have to come to grips with is nothing happens here and now without God’s permission. God is absolute in His Power and Principalities and has no boundaries. This we see in the garden as He debased satan declaring, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel." - Gen. 3:15. Did you notice, God basically started an Earthly war between man and satan with one condition? The man is “stepping” on satan’s head while he is nipping at the man’s heel by bruising, but neither can kill the other. This is the trials and tribulations that happen to every man and woman in this world, but many within the Faith turns this declaration upside down or allow satan’s deception to take away God’s declaration. This declaration indicates man is above the serpent’s head and are not equal. That the man is to face the serpent’s head, crushing his authority with satan only allowed to attack us from behind or our exposed side. Throughout the Old Testament; God intervened on behalf of His people but not in the New Testament. God’s Salvation has always been available throughout the Old Testament up to the cross in the New Testament but its facets required a man to reveal and demonstrate them in the person of Jesus.
Every man, woman, and child in this world will face trials and tribulations regardless of their personal faith in a real God or a counterfeit. The challenge is not these incidents that are faced but it is the attitudes and actions of those who face them and is part of God’s direction to choose life or death where every time we make a decision; it is recorded by the Heavenly realm stating, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today” - Deut. 30:19. Now, some may say this is only addressing a one-time choice for life or death but framed under the full context of the Bible and the judgment seat; it is clear that we will be accountable for making decisions through our life that enforce death’s agenda and including the extent of one’s Righteousness. The Bible says, “We might become the Righteousness of God” - 2 Cor. 5:21. Paul leaves a condition in becoming God’s Righteousness in that it is up to each individual to exercise and strengthen their Godly walk towards this Righteousness. Now, God has made us His Righteousness by the Blood of Jesus but this is referring to a right standing under the statues of His Kingdom, just like becoming a citizen of a country. The more we embrace, obey and implement the Kingdom ordinances; is the more we perfect the walk of Righteousness in right standing before God. This is not about being flawless but more about having a Righteous consciousness in our daily walk.
This is why God is near based on that Righteous consciousness. We are body, mind, and spirit or rather a spirit that requires a mind and body to operate in this physical world. As a person, we have no choice but to interact physically with our senses but as the Righteousness of God, it is our mandate to operate Spiritually in this world. When satan took the authority of the world from Adam, he twisted God’s original intent to use the Spirit to dominate the Earth with the physical, awkward and limited fleshly interactions and why Paul denounces this mindset stating, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God” - Rm. 8:6. The part that is key is “not subject to the law of God” because being in the world does not automatically make us of the world. Another way to says this is, “do not have satan’s ways for God will not be near” for to be carnal minded is to operate like satan preventing God’s law (Spirit) to oversee us. The law of God is the Spirit of God just as a constitution would be to the citizens of a country. A way or guide that protects, provides and propagates under certain conditions of operations or partaking in it.
God knows and Paul encourages the Body to mature when it comes to God’s Kingdom, often stating, “I could not address you as spiritual, but as worldly, as infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for solid food. In fact, you are still not ready” - 1 Cor. 3:2. How true these words resonate today especially in churches that still only speak and show Jesus still paying for our sins with a crucified Jesus of a cross. Paul may have been called to take the gospel to the world but it was Peter who was given the keys of the Kingdom by Jesus saying, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” - Matt. 16:19. Peter matured into the Kingdom’s Spirit and later this maturity is revealed when he states, “Like newborn infants, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it, you may grow up in your salvation” - 1 Pet. 2. He said “like” a newborn infant, we should hungry, desire, and want “pure” Spiritual milk in order to “grow” our own Salvation. Peter is telling us receiving the Blood of Jesus is one thing but maturing in that Blood is another.
May. 17, 2017.
God is near.
The first acceptance of the Blood gives us rights to other things of Salvation only if we work on or for it. This is also stated saying, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God. Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come. If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” - Heb. 6:1-6. It is basically saying, “get on with Salvation” for if someone having been given life go back to death continually; it’s putting Christ’s work of the cross to shame and makes a mockery of its effectiveness. We still must make a daily, hourly and by the minute choice for life as opposed to death if we want God to be near. For why would God want to “hang out” or be near with those who are not sold out to Him and His Kingdom, demonstrating an appreciation of the heart for His only begotten Son’s sacrifice; where God has clearly stated, “because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold; I am about to spit you out of My mouth”! - Rev. 3:16. The Christian cannot have it both ways and expect God to take the half efforts of their faith to appease Him as the Old Testament people did with their lip service and animal sacrifice. For when God is near; He does not hold back anything that is Righteous before Him; as stated, "Every good and perfect gift is " - Jm. 1:7.
Jesus did not do what some of the prophets were already doing such as commanding the Angelic forces as with Elisha stating, “the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire” - 2 Kings 6:17. So why is Jesus so critical to becoming the Righteousness of God? There are a lot of Spiritual reasons why Jesus is paramount in the Christian Walk and requires several Revelations and study of the Word, but His reason is as simple to state, God not only stands on His Word but more so, His actions. God is not like those who say. “Do as I say, not as I do”; but by His integrity demonstrates He will also bear the failure of Adam through His Son to make right the wrongs. God gave us Adam who fell, so it would not be unusual for God to give another man who would rise up; all for His Glory and as Paul states, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” - 1 Cor. 15:22. When it says “to die” and “be made alive”; it is talking about our birth-right of Righteousness. To die is to lose it and to be made alive is to restore it. Jesus restored all that Adam lost and He demonstrated this by His actions of Words, miracles, and authority over demons; before the final sacrifice.
Whenever we step outside these laws and Spirit; we essentially have abdicated our rights as Kingdom heirs of all that is Righteous before God including His very physical and Spiritual presence in our lives. By consciously staying within this Spirit; God and life is near and by detaching ourselves we become subjected to satan and death. God and satan are constantly searching for someone to be subjected to them as stated, “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” - 2 Chron. 16:9; and “Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” - 1 Pet. 5:8.
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