Consider the account of the trial of Job’s faith. Job was righteous in his own eyes and tried to justify his life and works to the Almighty. The Lord permitted the devil to attack his family, his goods and his health, but not to take his life. In chapter 23 of Job, we read the account of him having truth with the Lord about his present condition. He states how he feels so low in his sufferings that he cannot even perceive the Lord anymore. In spite of this he makes the statement, (Job 23:10), “But He knows the way that I take, when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
The book of Job reveals the roller coaster he was on emotionally during his trials. Few have been tested as severely as Job, but all trials and suffering are accompanied by emotional or physical pain relevant to each one of us. All my self efforts cannot turn the hand of God. Recognising my weakness is the qualification He requires to display His mighty power through me for His glory, not mine. If Jesus, the Son of God, our Pattern Man, declared, “I can of my own self do nothing. It’s the Father in me that does the works”, why should I think my efforts will please the Lord? God uses the trials of our lives to bring us to the end of ourselves and self efforts, that we recognise our divine destiny is to be a surrendered, yielded vessel that Christ shall live His life through us. This is the mystery Paul spoke of: Christ in you, the hope of glory, (Colossians 1:27).
Do I recognise my trial as a divine appointment in my apprenticeship? Job declared of the Lord, “For He performs the thing that is appointed for me”, Job 23:14.
Any inconsistency in my life reveals where I am not fully yielded to the Lord. The statement, “I am not as far on as I think I am“, is not a negative statement, but a safe statement of truth. Paul exhorts us to consider, “Let him who thinks he stands, take heed lest he falls”, 1 Corinthians 10:12. There are times when I do not hear God as clearly as I should, but God has not finished with me yet. Our journey continues together. His grace is sufficient and when I have been fully tried and tested, like Job, I shall come forth as pure gold, giving God all the glory!
The fullness of God is our inheritance in Jesus Christ through the finished work of the Cross. It is not some rare, to be hoped for experience. It is offered to us through Christ. It is our birthright. Consider Esau, Isaac’s son. He sold his birthright to his brother, Jacob, for a bowl of stew! (Genesis 25:27-34) In a moment of desperate temptation, feeling weak with hunger, Esau sold it. The record states he ate and drank, THEN ROSE UP AND WENT HIS WAY! Selah………..Scripture states Esau’s actions demonstrated he despised his birthright. His choice made the way for his brother Jacob to steal his father Isaac’s blessing, by the deception recorded in Genesis 27. He lost his birthright through his own choice. Selah. Our choices in life have consequences, whether good or bad.
How is this relevant to me? I have an inheritance in Christ I have not fully walked in. Where do I trade my birthright in Christ? Every time I insist on having my own way. I need to trade the right to myself, to surrender my will to the Lord in order to walk in the fullness of God. Are surrender and abandonment the same? Or is to abandon myself fully to the Lord, cutting all the shore lines of safety, a higher place? The Lord Jesus ever beckons me to come up higher with Him.
DON’T DESPISE YOUR BIRTHRIGHT!…..your inheritance in Christ. It cost His lifeblood to purchase it for you and me on that cruel Cross at Calvary. When I insist on having my own way, I am no different to Esau.
We all have plenty of opportunity in our lives to allow the mighty Christ to come forth. Whatever our circumstances today, God is using them to get rid of the dross in us, to bring us to the fullness of Christ, the gold of God. Let us not embrace criticism of others. Let us not accuse God of folly when we do not understand matters. He is our loving Heavenly Father and cannot change. His word declares it. That settles it! We are only in measure on our journey as yet, but don’t settle for it. Don’t settle for less than God’s best – fullness, our birthright. Believe for more!