Praise the Lord, Grace & Peace great people of our “GREAT GOD”…JESUS
For this week’s Golden Nugget the Lord placed in my heart how our Faith can enhance how efficient we are as we walk in our destiny in Jesus Christ. My question to you is, “Would you prefer 11 days or 40 years to reach your destiny? “ Of course I am speaking metaphorically. The following scriptures to establish my premise and provoke further gospel provocation are as follows:
Deut 1: 1-2“These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan, in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red Sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahah. There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb, by the way of mount Seir, unto Kadesh-barnea.”
Deu 1:6-8 “The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount: Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates. Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.”
Heb 3:16-19 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Let me begin this Golden Nugget with my premise “There are eleven days” journey from Horeb, by the way of mount Seir, unto Kadesh-barnea.” Eleven days! And yet it took them forty years! How was this? Well we do not have to travel far for the answer. It is too much like us. How slowly we get to our destination due to the lack of faith! What winding and turnings! How often we have to go back and travel over the same area again and again. It is so obvious that we are slow travelers, because we are slow learners. It may be that we feel disposed to marvel how Israel could have taken forty years to accomplish a journey that should have only taken eleven days; but it is safe to say that would be very hypocritical. We, like them, are kept back by our unbelief and lack of urgency to walk in the Spirit of God; but there is far less excuse for us than for them, inasmuch as we have greater privileges.
Some of us have many reasons to be ashamed of the time we spend over our lessons. The words in the book of Hebrews 5:12 can be applicable, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” Our God is a faithful and wise, as well as a gracious and patient Teacher. He will not permit us to pass cursorily over our lessons. Sometimes, perhaps, we think we have mastered a lesson, and we attempt to move on to another; but our wise Teacher knows better and He sees the need for a deeper purging. He will not have us to be mere theorists or Socratic thinkers. He will keep us, if need be, year after year at our same level until we learn to sing the right note.
Moses is very careful to give us, in the most precise manner, all the details of the place where the words in the bible were spoken in the ears of the people. Israel had not yet crossed the Jordan. They were just beside it; and they were over against the Red Sea where the mighty power of God had been gloriously displayed forty years before. All the logistics are described with fervent minuteness to show how God was thoroughly involved in everything that concerned His people.
He was interested in all their movements and in all their ways. He kept a faithful record of all their encampments. There was not a single circumstance connected with them, in spite of how insignificant it was. He attended to everything. His eye rested continually on that assembly as a whole and on each member in particular. By day and by night, He watched over them. Every stage of their journey was under His immediate and most gracious care. There was nothing to small that he did not notice; because there was nothing beyond His power.
The journey of Israel, from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea illustrates the history of many souls trying to come into a rest to find peace. Many of the Lord’s beloved people go on for years, doubting and fearing, never knowing the blessed liberty wherewith Christ makes His people free. I think it is most distressing to anyone who is really concerned about souls to see the sad condition in which many souls are in today. It is a rare thing now-a-days, to find in the Body of Christ a Saint fully established in the peace of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I know as being a Pastor that these things demand grave consideration for all those who occupy the responsible role of teacher and preacher in our professing church. There is a solemn day approaching when all will be called to render an account of their ministry as it pertains to how well they walked by faith!
Just like it was with Israel in the wilderness, such is it in the body of Jesus Christ, the church, and each member particularly. Jesus eye rests upon us continually; His everlasting arms are around and underneath us day and night. “He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous.” He counts the hairs of our heads, and enters into with infinite goodness, and He loves everything that concerns us. That’s why He told us to cast our every care upon Him, with the sweet assurance that He cares for us. The Lord most graciously invites us to come to the throne of grace at our time of need so that we may lay every burden upon Him, whether they are great or small.
My brothers and sisters this is wonderful, and it is so consoling to know this. It should be eminently tranquilizing to our heart to know that come what may that Jesus cares. Saints of God, the question is do we believe it? Are our hearts governed by the faith to walk in it? Do we really believe that our Almighty Creator and Upholder of all things, who bears up the pillars of the universe, will graciously undertake to do these things for us, as we journey through the wilderness of life? Do we thoroughly believe that “The possessor of heaven and earth” is our Father, and that He has charged Himself with all our wants, from the first to last? Is our whole being under the commanding power of those words inspired by the Apostle Paul when he stated in: Rom 8:31-32 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
My brothers and sisters, I fear that we know vaguely of the power of these grand yet simple truths. We talk about them; we discuss them; we profess them; we give a nominal assent to them; but, with all this, we prove in our life the actual details of our personal history how feebly we enter into them, when we truly believe that Jesus has charged Himself with all our necessities. It is one thing to hold the theory of the life of faith, and another thing to live that life. We constantly deceive ourselves with the notion that we are living by faith, when in reality we are actually leaning on some human prop, which sooner or later is sure to give way.
Saints are we not constantly prone to forsake the Fountain of Living waters, and hew out for ourselves broken cisterns which can hold no water? But yet we speak of living by faith! We profess to look only to Jesus to supply our need, whatever that need may be, when; in essence, we are sitting beside some natural stream, and looking for something there.
Wow, then we wonder why we become so disappointed. Jesus will not have us depend upon anything or anyone but Himself. He has, in manifold places in His word given us His judgment as to the true character and documented results when we put all our confidence in self or man. Take the following documented assurance from the prophet Jeremiah in Jer 17:5-6, “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.”
Saints notice the contrast in Jer 17:7-8. “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is: for he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river and shall not see when drought cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”
We have here a divinely orchestrated language that is very clear and beautiful, both sides of this premise is put before us. Confidence in the natural will bring a certain curse; it can only bring barrenness and desolation. My God will allow every human stream to dry up, every human prop to give way, in order that we may learn that it is foolish not to trust fully in Him. Wow my brothers and sisters what figures and metaphors could be more striking or impressive than those used in the bible? “A heath in the desert” — “Parched places in the wilderness” — “A salt land not inhabited.” Such are the figures used by the Holy Spirit to illustrate when we have to much confidence in our flesh and in man. Psa. 146: 1-3 Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
But, in contrast to the former, what can be lovelier or more refreshing than the figures and metaphors used to express the overwhelming blessing in simply trusting in the Lord? “A tree planted by the waters” — “Spreading out her roots by the rivers” — the leaf ever green — The fruit never ceasing.
Saints this is beautiful! Hence it is with those who trust in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. They are nourished by those eternal springs that flow from the heart of God. They perpetually drink at the Fountain of Life freely. They find all their resources in the living God. There may be “heat,” but they do not see it. “The year of drought” may come, but they are not concerned. Ten thousand natural streams may dry up, but they are not concern about it, because they are not dependent upon them. They abide fervently by the ever gushing Fountain (JESUS). They can never lack for any good thing, because they live by faith.
My brothers and sisters sometimes what we hear concerning living this life of faith should warrant more intelligence, because it should be directed toward an higher sphere and wider range than temporal things; such as the supply of our bodily needs.
Can we, for a moment, admit that a Saint of God who happens to have a settled income of any kind is to be deprived of the privilege of living by faith? Or further, should we suggest that life is to be limited and lowered to a matter of trusting God for the supply of just our bodily needs? Does our faith soar no higher than food and raiment? As a pastor I have walked, and walk by faith and hence choose not to be limited in my thought, because this would be an unworthy thought! What I would suggest, are those few but powerful words “The just shall live by faith” They occur, first of all, in Habakkuk chapter 2 They are quoted by the apostle Paul, in Romans chapter 1, where he is, with a master hand, laying the solid foundation concerning the doctrine of Christ. He quotes them again, in Galatians chapter 3 where he is, with intense anxiety, recalling those bewitched assemblies who were built upon a solid foundation which they, in their foolishness, were abandoning. Finally, he quotes them again in Hebrews chapter 10, where he is warning his brethren against the danger of casting away their confidence and giving up the race. GOLD NUGGET
My brothers and sisters from all this, we should gather the immense essential and practical value of the brief but far-reaching statement, “The just shall live by faith.” And to whom does it apply? Is it only for a few of the Lord’s servants, here and there, who happen to have no settled income? I utterly reject the thought. It applies to every one of the Lord’s people. It is the high and happy privilege of all who come under that blessed title, “the just.” We cannot limit it in any way. The life of faith is one. Faith is the grand principle of the divine life from first to last. By faith we are justified, and by faith we live; by faith we stand, and by faith we walk. From the starting-post to the finish goal of our godly walk, it is all by faith.
Paul made a powerful assessment when he stated “The life that I live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” This is why we cannot let anything detour us of this high and holy privilege that belongs to every member of the household of faith, because if we do we will fail. My brothers and sisters God delights in a bold faith. If we study the gospels, we see that nothing refreshed and delighted the heart of Christ more than those individuals who exemplified bold faith … a faith that strives to understood Him and draws perpetually upon Him. Look, for example, at the Syrophenician, in Mark chapter 7 and the centurion in Luke chapter 7.
My brothers and sisters Jesus can tolerate a weak faith — the very weakest. He can tolerate an “If thou wilt” with a gracious “I will” — an “If thou canst,” with “If thou canst believe, all things are possible.” But our Savior’s heart was gratified and His spirit refreshed when He could say, “O woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt;” and again, “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”
Please let us remember this. We may rest assured it is the very same today, as when our Lord was here among men. He loves to be trusted, to be used, to be asked and approached. We can never go too far in counting on the love of His heart or the strength of His hand. There is nothing too small or anything too great for Him. He has all power in heaven and on earth. He is the head over all things of His church. He holds the universe together. He upholds all things by the word of His power. Philosophers talk of the forces and laws of nature. But the Saint of God thinks of delighting in Christ, His Hand, His Word, His Mighty Power. By Him all things were created, and by Him all things consist.
Why then should we ever turn to another? Why should we ever, directly or indirectly, make known our wants to an insufficient mortal being? i.e. (venting on Facebook to draw attention to our situation) Why not go straight to Jesus? Do we want sympathy? Who can sympathize with us like our most merciful High Priest who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities? Do we want help of any kind? Who can help us like our Almighty Friend, the Possessor of unsearchable riches? Do we really want counsel or guidance? Who can give it like the blessed One who is the very wisdom of God…JESUS, the only one that can reveal that needed wisdom to us!
My brothers and sisters let us not wound His loving heart, and dishonor His glorious Name by turning away from Him. Let us diligently watch against the tendency to cherish confidence in the flesh and its earthly expectations. Let us abide hard by the fountain of life, and then we will never have to complain of the streams drying up. In a word, let us seek to live by faith, and glorify God as we live for Him by faith!
I personally have to bless Jesus for His mode of teaching and for His wonderful patience as He sits down with us, and goes over the same lesson, again and again, in order that we may learn it thoroughly.
Hence I choose to be accountable by knowing that faith controls my destiny, and in essence I prefer an 11 days journey over an unnecessary 40 year one. God Bless you, and continue to value and redeem the time at hand. Have a “JESUS DAY“