Words are the vehicle we use to declare what we think we believe, but our circumstances are the testing ground that reveal the truth of where we really are in God.
Matthew 26:35 is the record of not only Peter, but all the disciples, declaring their allegiance to their beloved Master, Jesus Christ. Speaking to Jesus, Peter said, “…..Though I should die with you, yet I will not deny you. Likewise said all the disciples”. Further on, in the very same chapter, we read the account of Jesus’ arrest and verse 56 disproves the disciples earlier declaration: “……Then all the disciples forsook him and fled”. This is a record of the disciples’ failure, but it was not the end of the story. Failure was not their destiny, but victory in Christ. When the day of Pentecost arrived (Acts 2), they were supernaturally transformed by the Holy Spirit. Failure is not a destination but a passing place and a learning curve in God.
Galatians 5:22-23 declares the fruit of the Spirit. Forbearance and humility are the qualities Jesus demonstrated during His earthly trials, yet speaking with authority, control and heavenly wisdom as He confronted injustice, hypocrisy, trials and relationship issues.
Have you had your buttons pressed recently? When we are verbally or physically attacked, we can be disappointed with our reactions to people and circumstances. When our buttons are pressed, what is in us is revealed by what comes out of us. Sometimes we are shocked to find some of the old man is still alive in our flesh life. Do not be discouraged, our God is not a God of discouragement! He arranges our circumstances to show us our need of Him in every area. Our failure is the very ground for the divine exchange to take place – “beauty for ashes”. When I recognise my need I can humbly ask my Saviour for forgiveness and change. He replaces my failure with His victorious, resurrection life. When I am confronted with those circumstances again and respond in a godly way, I rejoice to see a living demonstration of Christ in me, and my Heavenly Father receives all the credit/glory. This is the divine exchange, a walk in the Spirit, the life of Another, living His life through me. When Jesus’ buttons were pressed, only the divine nature came out because He was filled with all the fullness of God.
I need to remember if I am any different to others, it is no credit to me, but the grace of God in my life. All the glory belongs to Him alone. If He removed His hand of grace from my life, I would fail at every hurdle. I need Jesus with every breath I take, every relationship to succeed, every circumstance to triumph in. God’s love for me is overwhelming. He does not put up with me but loves me with an unconditional purity that I can experience every day.
God’s word promises “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace“. Romans 6:14
Circumstances will come to test us. God demands truth in the inward parts. We invite Him in to our weakness, stand back in humility and let Him take control. He has promised His abundant life when we let Him have dominion over us in every secret chamber of our heart. He ever seeks humility and wants to bestow His gifts of wisdom and understanding that we might live our lives to His glory.
The victorious life in Christ is my birthright.