Reality and Responsibility
The beginning of reality for us, as Christians, is the hearts desire to know God’s personality and character…..intimately.
The end of reality….if end it could be called,….is the hearts love of God only.
To see and know the love of God….to desire to be near to Him always, to ache, to long, to let nothing come between our hearts gazing on Him.
Psalm 42:1-2 “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
The Song by Fredrick Faber:
“Only to sit and think on God, oh what a joy it is!
To think the thought, breathe the Name, earth has no higher bliss.
Father of Jesus, loves reward! What rapture will it be,
Prostrate before Thy throne to lie, and gaze and gaze on Thee!
Jesus, I love Thee so, I know not how, my transports to control;
Thy love is like a burning fire, within my very soul.
O Spirit beautiful and dread! My heart is fit to break,
With love of all they tenderness, for us poor sinners sake.”
Psalm 43:3-4 “O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles.
Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise Thee, O God my God.”
We think that our responsibility as His believers is varied….with many things that we should do….
…and though we are called to individual obediences….
…..our responsibility, as Christians, is simply to use God’s foreordained means to bring about His foreordained ends for us.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
God saw you before He created anything, and gave a purpose and power for your life in Christ.
He gave you a will so that when His life is implanted within you, you could will with Him.
For it is, as Jesus said, “If any man will…”
He gives us the Holy Spirit….Who supplies the means for obedience….
…..but we must exercise our will.
Our will is the faculty of choice….the cause of all our actions.
When we will, we are choosing one thing….and refusing another.
When God, through the Holy Spirit makes known HIs Will, we are to deny ourselves (which is to refuse my thoughts, and feelings about this)….
…and then, I accept His Will for this.
I want to stress in this, that spiritual reality is in the fellowship and communion we have with God along the way in which we will to do His Will.
The Israelites crossed the Rea Sea dry shod, were fed and cared for with Manna from heaven, and had water come out of a Rock so that all had some….
….but they never had spiritual reality.
To them God was either a benefactor…..or a hard taskmaster.
They applauded His mercy….and despised His righteous judgements.
So when it came time to completely trust Him,….they failed.
Hebrews 3:19 “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”
Faith and Hope are given Christians by the Holy Spirit.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for..” (Hebrews 11:1)
That “substance” means a setting underneath……like the Rock we are to stand and build on…..like the Everlasting Arm that holds us up.
That is faith. It establishes in our hearts and minds that God is real….and is our God…now.
This is the Faith that commands, and it rest in the Hope of all you have been given up-to-date.
Hope is the anchor of our soul (Hebrews 6:18-19)…..which goes deep and embeds us firmly in Christ….so that as He is unmovable, so are we.
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
And how are we to be unmoveable? “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
Faith is the substance of things hoped for…
…and both faith and hope take the things the Holy Spirit reveals to us, and makes them real in our experience…..
….makes them part of the building we are building with God…..as we deny ourselves, and will with Him.