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Posts Tagged ‘affliction’


KJV and NKJV Scripture

– He that speaks of himself – seeks his own glory. – John 7:18

– Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger and not your own lips. – Proverbs 27:2

When man searches for his own glory, it is not glory in the eyes of God (Proverbs 25:27).  Glory-seeking like this leads to a lot of prideful speaking.  Personal pronouns like “I” and “my” preface communications followed with words about how proud one is of such things as their children, charity, or careers.  This talk has crossed from world to Word, with many Christians openly and pridefully glorying of works and churches.

Satan fell like lightning from heaven a long time ago (Luke 10:18) – never to return because of his pride. The devil wanted a glory only God is ever entitled to. Our Father will not give His to another (Isaiah 42:8). So, since then, Satan has been roaring around like a starving lion here on earth, going to and fro (1 Peter 5:8, Job 1:7), seeking whom he can devour.  People like Job, who had developed a huge “I” problem.

Here is a man God called upright, and who eschewed evil (Job 1:8).  It did not matter to Satan.  The devil saw Job’s worldly blessings as his hedge for honoring God (Job 1:10), and his self-glorying (Job 29:20) as a reason to destroy nearly everything Job had.  Seeking God’s permission first as is always the case – Satan then promptly proceeded to eradicate almost all of it in the span of a single day (Job 1:12-19).

Job’s worst fears had just been realized (Job 3:25). When his three friends heard about all that had just happened, they showed up in support.  However, all four sat silent for a week.  Job’s grief was great.  Why did God allow such horrific affliction (Job 2:7, 11-13, Lamentations 3:32-33)?  Well, Job was a man of flesh whose glory was fresh inside him (Job 29:20).  This is always unacceptable to God (1 Corinthians 1:29).

The 29th chapter of Job clearly shows how blinded he had become by both his prideful “I” issues and “my” mentality.  From the 6th to 25th verse, God’s name is not mentioned once.  However, Job uses “I”, “my”, and “me” 39 times in just 20 verses.  He just cannot stop talking about himself here.  Job certainly seemed to cherish the idea he was choosing out the paths in life for other people – instead of God (Job 29:21-25).

Seeking our own glory sows seeds of arrogance and pride.  Unrighteous roots soon form and branches of bragging, gloating and showboating are fast to follow. Such is boasting in everything but the Cross of Christ (Galatians 6:14) … and it is not glorying in personal infirmities so God’s grace can be sufficient at all times – that the power of Jesus can rest upon us continually (2 Corinthians 12:9, 1 Peter 4:14).

During the Jews’ feast of tabernacles, some of Christ’s brethren implored him to start showing himself more openly than he had been doing (Mark 1:43-44, Mark 8:27-30).  Otherwise, what was the point of Jesus being so secretive (John 7:2-4)?  However, Christ couldn’t seek glory belonging only to God by broad-casting heavenly works and miracles to as many as possible – as one leper did (Mark 1:45, John 7:18).

We are all to give proper glory to the Lord – humbly; not pridefully – before He causes darkness.  Before our feet stumble upon the dark mountain – and when we look for light again – He shall then turn it into the shadow of death (Jeremiah 13:16).  It isn’t the gushy and loud lip service glory given most frequently on a Sunday morning; but by quiet life service like Christ, born out of a steadfast, unwavering faith within.

So we can keep ourselves unspotted from the world as much as possible (James 1:27).  So we prove our own works to God – and have rejoicing in ourselves alone – and not in another (Galatians 6:4).  So we’re happy having faith to ourselves and do not flaunt in front of others (Romans 14:22).  So the glory stays right where it is supposed to – above and not below (1 Chronicles 29:11, Psalm 57:5, Psalm 113:4).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things.  Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. – 1 Corinthians 9:25

– For He is like a refining fire and a fuller’s soap.  And, He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver – that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. – Malachi 3:2-3

In order for it to perform as designed, steel has to first be treated with heat at various temperatures depending on what it is to be used for.  Flexible and bendable steel used in things like metal springs or hoses is exposed to hotter degrees.  This is a type of refining process called tempering.  It is so the steel in these instances of being treated with higher heat can withstand years and years of use and abuse.

Although the outer surface might get dinged up or dented quite a bit along the way, the steel won’t snap or break because of improper tempering.  It’s able to serve according to its intended purpose for a long time.  Another type of refining heat process burns away impurities called dross from precious metals such as silver and gold.  If not, they wouldn’t be as pretty to look at, nor have much value or worth.

Well, we are all valuable and worth more than gold to God.  It’s just we are all born with a lot of dross and untempered hearts.  This is why must be born again (John 3:5) at some point before we die, for there is no other way for our Father to refine us with His fire, except from within.  We have many worldly impurities for Him to purge – and frail, flawed, infirm flesh to temper and strengthen (Psalm 39:4, Romans 6:19).

We can’t do any of this with an external power we are never given by God to begin with (John 19:11, Acts 17:28).  However, if we have already received the Holy Ghost upon being born again, it was a baptism of fire (Matthew 3:11).  We should remember feeling it inside instantly when God shed His love abroad in our dark hearts back then, commanding His light to shine out from them (Romans 5:5, 2 Corinthians 4:6).

Since that time, we have had a spiritual blaze burning inside our body.  This is God’s refining fire.  We have to constantly keep it stirred up so that nothing of the world quenches it (2 Timothy 1:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:19).  Subsequently, if we humbly obey God unto death (Philippians 2:8), and abide with Him side-by-side until then, He will purge and burn up all roots and branches of unrighteousness (John 15:1-6).

Even still, we should never think it strange concerning any fiery trial God uses to try us (1 Peter 4:12).  They are to teach us suffering like Christ endured (1 Peter 4:13), to work patience (James 1:3), and purify our hearts by faith (Acts 15:9).  All trials are required by God (Ecclesiastes 3:15).  All of them must have an earthly and eternal purpose as He will never grieve or afflict us willingly (Lamentations 3:32-33).

Still, trials are never joyous (Hebrews 12:11).  Just as there can be heated ones in a human courtroom, the same kinds can be handed down from heaven.  Some can make us feel like we have been tossed into a fiery furnace of affliction for far too long at times (Isaiah 48:10).  However, raging against God with railing accusations of Him not being fair is not the way to cool things down (2 Kings 19:27, Ezekiel 33:20).

Accepting by faith our Father is trying to temper, refine, and purify our soul from the inside out, and acknowledging Him in all ways as we walk through the fire of trials (Proverbs 3:6), is a far better way to not get burned.  If we fully believe as those young Jewish men thrown into an actual furnace did, God will walk by our side through the flames, so we can emerge without even being singed (Daniel 3:10-27).

Tried by His holy refining fire, strengthened within and tempered by the power of His heavenly might (Ephesians 3:16-17), and souls purified with heat like precious silver and gold in His sight.  So we can stand fast and firm in our faith (1 Corinthians 16:13) – yet remain flexible and bendable enough to bear years of potential abuse and accusations from those who still resist or refuse the truth (2 Corinthians 11:4).

Unless we go back and follow worldly gods after each refinement.  We will know if we’re still minding earthly matters and setting affections on them (Philippians 3:19, Colossians 3:2).  Our conversation will follow (Exodus 23:13), with corrective consequences to consider.  God may have to turn up the temperature knob on His refinery of affliction (Daniel 3:19), so we learn lessons now and don’t get burned forever.

 

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