What Should That Look Like?

#1
Sunday, October 27, 2013, 7:50 a.m. – I was awakened this morning by the sound of my husband getting himself ready for the day. We talked for a moment, and then he began telling me about his time in the Word of God this morning, so we resumed to the living room to continue talking. He shared with me that he had asked the Lord several questions this morning, things for which he was seeking answers; that he had then read Isaiah 43, and that he believed the passage of scripture answered at least one of his questions definitely.

The Lord Jesus had put the song “Return to Me” in my mind upon waking this morning, so as he read this passage of scripture from Isaiah 43:16-21, I realized it was to be part of my quiet time with the Lord this morning, because it fit with the song the Lord had put in my mind just before Rick shared with me. I believe God had him share that passage with me for a reason this morning. After we finished talking, I then read Isaiah 43 and my passage in 2 Corinthians 6. I will quote portions from each passage in the NIV.

No Stumbling Block

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. ~ 2 Co. 6:3-10
A “stumbling block” is an object that causes one to stumble or fall; referring to that which causes material ruin or spiritual downfall; that leads one to fall into error, into sin or into destruction (Net Bible).

We, as servants and witnesses of the Most High God, should be ever so diligent in this matter of not putting a stumbling block in anyone’s path. We must be willing to endure much suffering for the sake of the name of Jesus Christ and for the sake of the gospel of Christ. We must daily put on our spiritual armor of God supplied to us with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes and attacks against us, such as our sword of the Spirit - the Word of God, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness and our shield of faith (See Eph. 6). We must resist the devil, flee temptation, and draw near to God in full assurance of faith. We must yield control of our lives to the Spirit of God so that we daily put on his love, kindness, purity – moral uprightness, sensitivity to God’s voice and his will, endurance of injury absent of retaliation, and truthful speech - and all this in the power of God.

We also must be willing to endure patiently during times of dishonor, bad report, false accusations, abandonment and rejection; and during times when we are beaten down for our faith in Jesus Christ; as well as when we are sorrowful, poor in the eyes of mankind, of no account to humankind, and/or lacking in pure love and affection from others towards us. The reality is that we are not lacking in any good thing. God has supplied us with all that we need. He knows the truth. He will give us the strength and power to accomplish his will in and through our lives, we will bear fruit for his kingdom, and we will learn to be content in whatever circumstances God has us in, knowing he will work out all things for our good. In this way our ministry will not be discredited.

Spoken Freely (Cf. Isaiah 43)

We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:


“I will live with them
and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”
Therefore,


“Come out from them
and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you.”


And,

“I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.” ~ 2 Co. 6:11-18
One of the main reasons the apostles endured such opposition and persecution is because they spoke the truth of the word of God into people’s lives and hearts. And, there were those who did not readily or eagerly accept those truths, and so they possibly withdrew from the apostles and did not respond to what was said, so Paul was making an appeal to them to communicate with him in like manner of love and truthful speech, it appears.

In Isaiah 43, God said something of a similar nature to his chosen people. I believe there is a message in this passage, relating to this passage in 2 Corinthians, which is to be applied to God’s people today, specifically to his spiritually adulterous and idolatrous church. God reminded the people of who he was – their Creator, Savior and Sustainer. He was their Deliverer, Comforter and Protector. He was their Redeemer, Lord and King. And, he reminded them, too, of how he viewed them. They were precious and honored in his sight, i.e. they were valuable to him. He had created them and us for his glory.

Then, he addressed the subject of idolatry with them, and he appealed to their common sense regarding these idols as compared to the One and Only True God. Apart from God there is no Savior. No foreign god could save them. They were to see that he was to be their only God. So, for their sake, he would judge Babylon, for the purpose of delivering his people from captivity in Babylon and for the restoration of his people. And, I believe he will do something similar to this in our world today, and soon, i.e. he will bring judgment upon the world of sin and upon his worldly church in order to deliver his people from slavery to idolatry and their spiritual adultery against the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And, the book of Isaiah tells of this in many places, but specifically in chapter 2.

God Has Made a Way

“Yet you have not called on me, Jacob,
you have not wearied yourselves for me, Israel.
You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings,
nor honored me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with grain offerings
nor wearied you with demands for incense.
You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me,
or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices.

But you have burdened me with your sins
and wearied me with your offenses
.” ~ Is. 43:22-24 NIV
Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, not just so we could go to heaven one day. He died to free us from the yoke of slavery to sin so that we might be free of the control of sin day-to-day, and so we could walk daily in the Spirit of God in Christ’s righteousness within us. And, Isaiah 43 foretells of this plan of salvation through Jesus Christ (see vv. 16-21).

Even though Jesus Christ did all this for us, many who profess his name still live like this is not true. They live just like the world. They participate in the deeds of darkness. If Jesus Christ is truly in us, and we have died to sin and self, and we are allowing the Spirit of God to live his life in and out through us, what should that look like? It should look a lot like what Paul described at the beginning of 2 Co. 6. Yet, why do so many not get this? We can’t be partakers of the table of Christ and the table of demons at the same time. There is no harmony between a believer in Jesus and the world of sin. We are not to be idolaters. We are not supposed to be in agreement with the world of sin. We are to come out from the world system (the sinful world) and be truly separate. Yet many, instead of living like Christ is truly living his life in and out through them burden God with their sins and weary him with their offenses, so he is calling out to his adulterous bride to return to him.

Return to Me / An Original Work / September 5, 2013

Based off Jeremiah 31; Cf. Rev. 2-3

I have loved you with an eternal love,
Which I give to you, in my faithfulness.


Keep your voice from weeping,
And your eyes from tearing.
You will be rewarded
With much fruitfulness.
There is hope for you that My family
Will return to Me; live in victory!


Though I discipline in My love for you,
My heart longs for you that you walk in truth.


Turn your thoughts to your Lord.
Choose to walk in His ways.
Turn from your sins daily.
Follow Jesus Christ.


Oh, how long will you wander in your sin?
Give your hearts to Me; be restored within.


I will satisfy ev’ry weary soul
Who repents of sin; is renewed within.


Behold, days are coming;
It will surely happen;
Though I discipline them,
They will thrive again.


I will be their One and their Only God.
They shall walk in white; be in Me, made right.


http://originalworks.info/return-to-me/