I woke yesterday morning reflecting on recent cycles of growth and upon how the Lord assisted me through each transition as I chose to follow Him through them. Though my soul suffered in the moment, I'm now enjoying the rewards.
I thought of how Jesus was tempted to reach beyond the restrictions He had set for Himself when His body was aching for food... a time of great vulnerability. A bad time for a dieter to find themselves in a candy isle so to speak. Yet He did not set aside the purpose and plan of God. He was not sent into this world to satisfy every desire but to fulfill the plan of God through obedience to One voice... not many... not even the voice of these bodies which cry out daily for many things.
We also came out from God. Not to set our own restrictions but to walk with Him. We are moved by Him and resist Him not even when following after Him requires us to suffer loss of cherished substance. If God did not test our vulnerabilities, we would not be tested. For even a child can stop eating candy once they've eaten too much.
I thought of how God sent forth chief elders to go before us and learn of Him that we may also learn of Him by their instruction and example. Jesus used His apostles, before their conversion, as living epistles of the record He was setting for faith. They lacked understanding but could testify of that which they saw, heard, and experienced.
It was after their conversion that the Lord multiplied His stewardship in them. While the leaders of the Jews thought they had silenced this voice they could no longer suffer to hear, they had in fact been used by God to transition His plan from flesh to flame according to His plan and promise from before the foundation of the world. Now there were many stewards speaking with one voice which they could no longer suffer to hear.
I had something come to mind that Chief Apostle Eric has shared many times but that had never 'clicked' for me. It was as if the Lord had just taught this too me but then I remembered many times Eric emphasized this but that I had not understood why at those times. The knowledge was now being joined to understanding. God was causing me to recall Eric sharing these things because God wanted to me connect learning from Him with the sending of His selected steward. This was very edifying.
I had other thoughts come to mind concerning balance and extremes. The Lord teaches us to do all things with cognitive awareness and to take the time to weigh all things upon His scale. This at times seems tedious and unnecessary but it is at those times that we let many things escape our attention and find ourselves wondering where the Lord is... It is by our diligence of faith with these things that we remain in cadence with Him.
We are walking with God. That means God is walking. We can't simply match pace with Him, figure out where He's heading, and then say... I'll be right back... keep going... I'll meet back up with you.
Why not? Because God is walking, stopping, starting, going here, going there... We cannot even predict the weather... we cannot know when and where it will rain next. How could we walk with Him without staying with Him? And how could we seek Him without being drawn to Him? We don't seek things we've never known of. We seek those things we've lost sight of.
Solomon denied Himself no pleasure, but that added nothing to his faith in God. Job was denied every pleasure, but that took nothing from his faith in God.
Lot lived among a condemned nation but that took nothing from his faith in God. Neither also did the idolatry around him add anything to his faith.
We never see a single example of holy men and women of God standing in the light being used by the FRS(*). Each one of the most celebrated in that system would condemn some, if not all, of the examples set forth for consideration in the scriptures (and would even sympathize with many of the protesters recorded in scripture.)
Why is this? Because reading scriptures about men and women who moved with God does not make us those men and women of faith. Only God can do that. He does this by visiting us with His Word. First with a selected steward and then with those coming into contact with that steward. God even draws people to His selected steward. The kings and queens of the earth came to visit Solomon... why went they there to see? Jesus asked this of those who came outside the city to hear John speaking.
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* For those who aren't familiar with the initials FRS... FRS = False Religious System. Those who persecuted Jesus were established leaders of the FRS during the time of His earthly ministry marking the transition from the house of Moses to the house of Christ. God has always allowed a contradiction for the testing of hearts and still does so today. Those of the FRS see nothing wrong with what they are doing and they think they are doing the will of God. John 16:2