It is not our Salvation that keeps us Holy. It is but a component of this saving grace. It isn’t our intellect that saves us either. It is the work of Christ and the continuing fellowship of the Holy Spirit within us. We are but instruments of His peace, His love and His encouragement.
Times of Trial And Wounding:
There will be times when we are accused, slandered and wounded while serving Christ. I am not saying that we look for the opportunities to be persecuted or wounded, but they will indeed come our way if we are living out kingdom priorities as kingdom people!
There will be some who will stand in our way.
There will be some who will betray us along the pathway of duty.
There will be some who will laugh when we face out trials and wounds.
Some, even unknowingly, are ambassadors of hell as they entertain and execute malicious attacks on those who are faithful.
I am not saying we are perfect by any means.
We are all faulty, we are all in need of a daily washing of God’s grace upon us. Yet, if we choose to walk this narrow path and are led by the Holy Spirit, we will face opposition, persecution and wounds along the way. It is inevitable.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4
I’m sorry, what was that?
Pure Joy? In the midst of trials of many kind?
That doesn’t sound like a joyful or fun opportunity does it?
Yet pain comes to us.
Faith produces greater faith and reliance on God, but the side-effect in this “growth process” (for lack of a better term) is that we will experience discomfort, trials and hurt along the way.
No Pain, No Gain…
I’m not a glutton for punishment, really I’m not…but I do know that there is a desired outcome to this “faith” thing. We wish to be more like Christ is every way! Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as afragrant aroma” (NASB)
Becoming an imitator of God will take a journey through pain and suffering. Why? Because our fallen world won’t allow it to happen. Because our fallen, old sinful selves and habitual wanderings will trip us up. Because imitating God and becoming like His son Jesus will take immense sacrifice…sometimes more sacrifice than most of us realize at the beginning of the journey.
We will suffer at the hands of others.
We will suffer at the hands of ourselves at times.
We will experience discomfort and even pain at the lengths in with we are called to sacrifice!
Without pain we will not gain our freedom within His holiness!
It sounds sadistic doesn’t it?
It’s not. It simply is.
Your Path Right Now…
How is the pathway of duty right now for you?
Are you experiencing any discomfort along the way?
Is it because you have had to make sacrifices?
Is it because you are at times alone in your convictions?
Is it because you have faced (or you are currently facing) persecution and ridicule from others and felt the sting of it?
We are soldiers of Christ.
We have been set apart for His holy purpose!
We will find ruts in the road. We will find agony, bruised shins, and distressed hearts at times along this journey.
Do you need to come the well of refreshing again?
He is able to refresh and restore you!
He is able to replenish your spent reserves.
He can and will carry you when necessary.
He wants to encourage us today and to spur us onward even in the midst of persecution, suffering and the onslaught of those who would see us destroyed because of this faith.
For the Lord your God is with you today! (Joshua 1:9)
Carry on and know you are loved, encouraged, and supported by the Father himself!
-Just something more for our Army world to ponder today.
To God be the glory!
Just checking out your blog re some audio cassette tapes from a friend called ‘The pathway of Duty’ and looking around on the web, your site came up! (I’m in the process of transcribing the tapes to CD/USB stick) and I think your current backgound of gentle snow is very cool(Dec 2016). But I also go along with your message. Although I’m in an evangelical CoE church in the UK, I have several SA friends and worked with several in past.
We are all in the army of God, and although life can be tough at times, I hold fast to His promise that ‘in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have ben called according to his purpose’. Rom 8:28
Thank you Paul! God bless you as well!