Saturday, August 24, 2013

Why Is It So Dark in Here?

Years ago in the lace shops of Brussels there was an unusual method used to make the finest lace in the world.  It was unusual because the rooms were darkened except for a light from one window, which fell directly upon the pattern. There was only one spinner in the room and he sat where the narrow stream of light fell upon the threads of his weaving. The spinner believed that the lace was always more delicately and beautifully woven when he worked in the dark and only his pattern was in the light.

Sometimes it is very dark for us too. We are not able to discover any beauty, any possible good in our trials or crisis. We do not see the thing that God is working out in us or a loved one or some situation. Yet some day, we may find out that the most exquisite work during our lifetime was done during those days when it was so dark. No circumstance, trial or tragedy has the power to place us outside the reach of God’s hand. Priscilla Shirer, Christian author and speaker, said “There is a calling out of your chaos.” Our circumstances don’t necessarily have to change for God to transform us into the man or woman He wants us to become. Some of God’s most exquisite work in our lives will be done during dark and difficult times.

In Judges 6, we find Gideon working at night under an oak tree while he was threshing out wheat in the most unlikely of spots – a winepress. His conditions were anything but favorable. He was the least of his family—in the least of families. He was working in one of the least possible jobs as a farmhand threshing out wheat--in a hiding place--alone--in the dark!

The angel of the Lord appears to Gideon telling him that the Lord is with you. Gideon struggles with this news because he can’t see how the Lord is with him amidst the struggles and difficulties he and the Israelites face from their neighboring enemies.  After Gideon brings an offering to the angel of the Lord, his eyes are immediately opened to see he has been talking to the angel of the Lord. Gideon discovers a new calling and the power to accomplish it.

God is a personal Heavenly Father who draws near to His people everyday. He is present during our workday, daily errands and tasks. He desires for us to have our spiritual eyes opened to His presence every day. Only then does the opportunity unfold for us to understand our calling and the vast inheritance we've been given to accomplish the tasks set before us. That is the heart of Ephesians 1:18-19 "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." 

What have we inherited? We have inherited our salvation through Christ our Lord and Savior. We have inherited the Holy Spirit indwelling within us to guide and teach us. We have inherited an understanding of God’s Word, which then equips us to know Him more intimately and follow the path He has purposed for us. With Him our purposes and possibilities completely change. We have inherited a citizenship in HeavenLooking at all the things we have inherited, I would say we have inherited some pretty wonderful glorious riches! Oh yes and another thing we have inherited --We are outfitted and equipped with the very armor God wears!  God's armor is listed in Isaiah 59: 16-17

"He saw that there was no one,
he was appalled that there was no one to intercede;
then his own arm achieved salvation for him,
and his own righteousness sustained him.
He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
and a helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance

and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak. 

We find that same armor for followers of Christ listed again by Paul in Ephesians 6:14-20;

"Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak."

How amazing is that? We dress ourselves against the enemy with the very armor God wears! That is a bold statement!

So, what do you think disqualifies you from being a mighty warrior for God? He called Gideon, the least of the least! Let’s look at a list of people from the Bible who set the example for whom God calls:

God doesn’t call the equipped—He equips those whom He calls. Trust God in His purposes and plans for your life. Don't let the enemy tell you or sell you a lie.  Don't settle for less than who God has created you to become--a man or woman after His own heart!

I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me! (Philippians 4:13)

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