4/05/16 Raising Up a Standard
“Would you give up hearing the words, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant,’ for relief from whatever you’re going through right now? Is the removal of some of the pressure that is now part of your life worth the price of not blessing Jesus? Will you trade all the work that is intended to be done in you just to have some ease and comfort? I know it isn’t so! So many have given up when the times got too tough. So many took the easy road of moving in their own strength when it looked as if they had to find a way to survive.
"I know that you can see past that immature behavior. I know that you will press on to the high calling that is intended for you. Please don’t cave in under the light pressure to which you are now called. Place your eyes on Jesus. He is your strength. He is your wisdom. He is your guide to the crucified/resurrected life. He did not fail when the cost was everything. His power is now available to you so that you will make it. Press in to Him. He will never fail you.”
Genesis 25:29-33 NIV
29) Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.
30) He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!”…
31) Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
32) “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
33) But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
Philippians 3:12-14 NIV
12) Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
13) Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
14) I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
As trailblazers to the high calling that is once again being heralded by our Father, the only precedent that is available to us is the Word and the lives of those who have gone before us, especially Jesus Christ. Whenever the Lord begins to straighten the path that His church is on, those who respond to the call back to the pursuit of holiness and the high calling of Jesus Christ are considered to be running contrary to the established norm by those traveling the well-worn road. Looking to those who will not deviate from the norm of self-comforting, socially acceptable, practical Christianity will accomplish nothing but confusion and heartache.
Most of you know that the Lord is raising up a standard against the flood of complacency in His church. The standard is Jesus Himself. Looking to Him is the only pattern to follow. Observing the lives of those who walked with Him, and understanding that they had the same dilemma in the world in which they lived, can give comfort when times get especially rough. The price paid to overcome the ways of their world - using God’s ways and not their own - was everything they had and all that they owned.
God is not able to fully use those who fold under pressure from the people around them who will not move where He wants them to go. He is calling out those who know His heart, and are determined to follow it, no matter what the cost.
Needing Your strength to make it, Lord,