Apples of Gold

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ĎLet us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.í

 Hebrews Chapter 4 Verse 11

Is there anything as tiring and as destructive as needless worrying? I cannot count the number of days I have wasted in my Christian life worrying about things that never came to pass.

It is true that I longed to have faith like George Mueller but I was not expecting to have similar trials to what he had gone through. Life would be so much easier if we had a switch for strong faith that we could use whenever the going got that bit more difficult for us. Faith however is a grace that requires exercising, testing and tribulation before there is real growth.

No one relishes tribulation or the trials that so frequently come the way of the Christian. Hands up those who would love an easy life? Many Iím sure would settle for having enough money to be able to pay the bills on time, sufficient strength to do what needs to be done throughout the day and no marriage, teenager or teething babies to worry about.

Each day that we rise we have decisions to make. These decisions govern our lives. A decision today may affect us for the rest of our lives so it can be crucial to make the right decision. Is God asking you to make the most important decision of your life just now? We are all fearful of change however there are times when change is requested from on High. Do you have the faith to go with Him no matter what?

We ask God for help in the matter, we pray fervently for guidance and we even believe that we commit the whole matter to Him. We rest content for a day or two.

What happens when the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months and still the heavens are as brass with no audible answer? Has He already shown us the way? Has He put the desire in our hearts that He wants to bring to pass? Are we looking for evidence that is already there?

Impatience would have us take things into our own hands! After all God gave me a mind - we argue - that is more than capable of making the right decision. Caution!! It is also capable of making the wrong decision. Been there done that!!

OK then so Iíll wait. Huff puff!!

Not long after and patience has come to its end. Time to start blaming God. Where is He? Why is He not answering my prayers? Does He not care about me? Time is flying, He is going to be late!! How long must I wait? I had better just get going with this decision myself.

If life was hard before then having made the wrong decision life gets even harder. Everything is a slog. Life seems as though everything I do is a straight climb up a rocky slope. It takes the life out of me. Like running in sand. I feel so stressed that I do not even want to face the world in the morning. I might as well stay in my bed as it is safer there.

Have you ever experienced the hard labour of doing things in your own strength? This my friend is not the way of faith. God would have us rest in Him.

What about when we are guilty of sin? It matters not how long we may have been Christians we still try and earn Godís favour from time to time. Perhaps we have backslidden, perhaps we are simply walking at a distance from God, it matters not. We will endeavour to fix things our way.

Like little children we try and earn gold stars through good works. You know what I mean. Iíll go to the prayer meeting this week and afterwards I go visiting that person I meant to go and see months ago.

Iíll go to bed early and study my Bible for longer before going to sleep. Iíll leave reading the adventure novel for another night. Before I sleep Iíll pray for my family, ministers, missionaries and even my enemies. That should please God. Surely Iíll be blessed when I get up in the morning.

Does the expected blessing come? Is my conscience pacified? Am I aware of sins forgiven? Have my stress levels diminished any? Am I at liberty or am I yet in bondage? Is God pleased with me or angry? Am I being chastened or am I being tested?

Time my friend to rest. Phew!!

Time to rest from our labours and all our own works. What have they gained us? Nothing but more anxiety.

Note:- There are some who love nothing better than to wallow in the guilt of their sin. They have this belief that somehow or other the holier a person is the more of sin he/she will see their sinfulness, so they justify their heavy burden with this argument fully persuaded that they are copying worthies of old.

While it is true that those who are closer to the Lord are more aware of sin, the reason they are closer to the Lord is because they know what to do with their sin. They know where to take it. They glory in the finished work of Christ not at sin lying at their door. False humility is an enemy of the Christian.

If God needed our help then Iím sure He would ask for it but He doesnít. He is more than capable of sorting out all our problems and difficulties. If we truly commit our way to Him each day then He has promised to lead and guide us. What could be easier? Why do we complicate it?

If having had our sins forgiven when first we believed through the atoning work of Christ, what has changed that we look for other ways to rid ourselves of guilt other then the way prescribed for us in the Scriptures?

Has Christ lost His power to forgive? Has all the blood been used up? Did His sacrifice only cover the first part of my life and not this latter part? Are my sins more heinous now than what they were when first I knew His blessed forgiveness?

It is true that now I am sinning against Light but does that make the atoning work of Christ ineffectual? I think not. It is better that I go immediately to the fountain that has been opened for sin and uncleanness and have all my sins washed than to have them lying at my door.

There is no doubt that the Christian life is the most difficult of lives to lead, yet it is the most beautiful and the most honourable. We pass this way but once therefore let us serve God with all that we have. Let us work while it is day. Our labour should be in maintaining the rest that God commands.

This is difficult as we have so many distractions, so much to occupy our minds and so many varied complications that can come into our lives at any moment yet if we are truly His then we should be able by grace to rest in the Beloved. Labour to ward and fight the evil one. Listen not to your unbelieving heart give heed rather to God and His Word.

Those who know what this labour involves know full well how to use the shield that God has given them. It is this shield that we use to ward off all the attacks that are mounted against us. It requires labour, it can be intense, it requires an enormous amount of concentration, yet through it all we are assured of victory.

Time today to put faith into practise. My friend take God at His Word. Allow Him to lead and guide you in all yours ways. Allow Him to open doors that bar your way. Allow Him to close doors that you are not to go through. Allow Him to make the crooked paths straight and the rough places smooth. Fear not, the safest place to be is the centre of Godís Will.

Rest, peace and blessing will flood your soul as soon as you find your soul submitted wholeheartedly to God and His Way and Will. Instead of mourning there shall be dancing and instead of anguish there shall be joy.

Rest in the Lord. Trust Him.

 

ĎGod good and upright is

The way heíll sinners show.

The meek in judgement he will guide

And make his path to know.í