Written by Phyllis. Posted in Articles

Among those who call themselves Christians, there are disciples and there are the saved and there are the pretenders and the deluded. Jesus made this clear in many of his teachings in His time on earth. Thankfully, anybody in the non disciple ranks can move up by becoming obedient- or as Jesus presented the opportunity, "follow Me ; drop all that encumbers you and follow Me trusting that I will protect you, provide for you and guide you AND take care of all that you abandoned and left undone"
    There is a real problem with God. I would guess that in almost everybody's life, there is a wooing or a set up by the Holy Spirit that attracts an atheist, an agnostic, or a religious but not born again person, or a born again but stagnant person to draw that person to God. And God is attractive. A disciple can think back to ecstatic Holy Spirit filled encounters with great pleasure and testify to the beauty and holiness and joy of those times. The problem that occurs is with the absolute sovereignty of Him who is Holy and loving; at some point He's going to command you! And a further problem is that this ecstasy that you want to dwell in exists in obedience; not all the time, but you pretty much have to obey to have any chance of enjoying it again. On the other hand, you can kind of slip by the command issued in a still small voice and try to enjoy that ecstasy by recreating that moment over and over again, whether that means going down to the alter every Sun., or running from meeting to meeting, seeking out the big names that might or might not deliver, or moving from church to church, hoping to recapture the joy of fellowship you experienced at one of them along the line.
    This problem that God has getting his membership up is because of His plans for and goals of glory. These plans require a team effort and there's only one head coach- front office- owner entity and that is God. He is the Supreme Creator and because of that fact there can be no other nature to our relationship to him other than commander/ obeyer. But He's calling us to unimaginable glory. Paul saw it; he mentioned the coming glory that we were to be a part of and referred to it many times summing up the peculiar process we were subject to as enduring light and momentary affliction ( he could be a master of understatement) for the spectacular glory we were to enjoy. In Hebrews it describes Jesus' attitude to the future glory: "He, for the joy (and glory)of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God".
      Jesus learned obedience through the things he suffered, or through the living of this earthly life. There was the inner conflict between the sovereignty grasping nature of the flesh and the spiritual, truth knowing nature that trusts and is willing to obey and follow God. In order to obey we must trust God and believe His Word is true. Very often it is that act of obedience that puts you in a very difficult situation that will crush you unless you grow in trust and faith.
  My wife and I went through a time in which we were to tithe of our businesses gross,( which after the fixed expenses of business and life was pretty much what we lived on), and then close that business, give away lots of money and stuff and depend on Him. It was an awesome time of discovery and growth, but now instead of the wonderful wealth that the prosperity message promised, I find myself in my 60's, having given a lot of stuff and money away that is not in a 401k or pension fund or assets. And now is the time of believing God and His Word when circumstances that were created by obedience are loudly testifying against His promises and the truthfulness of His Word. This is what the psalmist was writing about when he wrote that Joseph while in irons, was tried by the Word.(Ps 105:19) Or as one man of God said one time,"Lord, I'm where You told me to go but I don't like it here!". The not liking it part is because the believer is being dominated and trained to ignore the demands of the flesh, the world , and the enemy, and trust God unto joy and believe His Word.
  That is the process of building an overcomer and it is through the collection of overcomers that God will build His Kingdom and bring Himself glory!



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