Tuesday, July 28, 2009

God is Love

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (II John 4:16)

Brethren, it is important in these last days that we know the character of God; to believe and know the love that He has toward us. This revelation is the foundation of our confidence with God, and without it, it is difficult for our faith to be effectual.

“Well, I know that!” you might say. But wait a minute, Satan has launched an all-out assault in order to hide this truth from us, and replace it with an often-subtle form of guilt and condemnation, or “sin-consciousness.” He knows that if he can deceive us into thinking that God is upset or “displeased” with us in some way, then he can paralyze our faith, or destroy it altogether. If we are not careful, we will become like Job, who though he was a righteous man, didn’t quite understand God’s true character, and in an effort to “appease” Him, inadvertently opened a door to the devil.

Most of us have heard the story of Job, and probably in the context of God “allowing” tribulation in his life in order to “test” his commitment and his faith. We all applaud Job for being so “faithful,” and for his commitment to stay true to God, which of course was a good thing, but in reality, the whole situation shouldn’t have had to happen at all!

Our nature is to blame God, or blame others for trouble that comes into our lives, rather than accepting personal responsibility. If we caused the problem in the first place, through ignorance or disobedience, than we can fix it through wisdom and repentance! This is very good news!

Job’s sin was very subtle, and it actually appeared to be a form of humility on his part, but in reality, it was a subtle and lethal form of pride. His many sacrifices offered to God were offered in fear, and his words and actions began to work against him spiritually.

Let us never fall into the trap of blaming our Heavenly Father for evil things that can present themselves in our lives (James 1:13-17). In doing so, we put Jesus back on the cross again, bringing Him shame while justifying ourselves (Hebrews 6:6). We must remember that Jesus has already perfectly pleased the Father (Matthew 17:5), and in proving His love through obedience, He successfully fulfilled the law, in its totality, thereby bringing us full redemption from its curse.

Many times we give the devil too much credit! Though we must enforce Jesus’ victory through faith, Satan’s power has been legally destroyed. He is not in heaven accusing us any longer! In fact, God didn’t waste any time; he was very successful in removing him permanently from heaven after Jesus Christ defeated him on the cross (Revelation 12:10). He no longer has any access to heaven, nor the throne of God, as he did in the days of Job, or in the days of Peter, before Jesus rose from the dead (Job 1:6, Luke 22:31). The devil is now confined to the earth (Revelation 12:12), where he accuses us to ourselves, and to one another.

The Apostle Paul, who suffered great tribulation at the hands of a demonic assignment sent by Satan to stop the Word of God (II Corinthians 12:7, 11:23-28), had learned to trust in the truth of God’s character. He was able to come to a place where he could declare, “The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work,” (II Timothy 3:11, 4:18), because in understanding God’s nature, he could discern between an evil work, and the works of God.

Even though Moses met with God face-to-face, he cried out to the Lord, “Show me thy way!” (Exodus 33:11-13, 18-19) The difference between Moses and the children of Israel was that Moses desired to know God’s ways, his heart, while the children of Israel were only interested in His acts. They were thrilled when God performed signs and wonders among them, but as soon as the “newness” wore off of these mighty acts, they would turn away from the Lord and become rebellious and disobedient (Exodus 32:1-4, Psalm 106:12-14).

If we truly seek to know God, the believing part will be easy! This is why Paul prayed for the churches, that they might know the love of Christ, the breadth and length and depth and height of it! (Ephesians 3:14-19, Philippians 1:9)