Quit Worrying!

Think on the parable of the sower (Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8). I won't quote it here since everyone should already know it by heart. (If you don't, you need to go read and memorize it!) This is one of the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. The word of God goes out to all, but only some will hear it and have it produce new life. This is a hard thing to come to understand at first. It seems unfair, but, the Father is just and fair. He gives everyone the same opportunity to receive salvation by Jesus. It's just that some never will accept it. The truth is nobody would accept salvation unless God first chooses them:

They said to him, What shall we do to work the works of God? Jesus answered, saying to them, This is the work of God, that you should believe in him whom he has sent. (John 6:28-29)

Everyone whom my Father has given me shall come to me; and he who comes to me I will not cast out. (John 6:37).

For this is the will of my Father, that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall have life everlasting; and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:40)

No man can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:44)

Many of his disciples who heard it said, This is a hard saying who can listen to it? (John 6:60)

Just because of this saying a great many of his disciples turned away and did not walk with him. (John 6:66)

(I've picked out these excerpts to make my point. It would be good to read the whole chapter!)

At first, this seems like a contradiction. Everyone who wants to can have salvation, but only those the Father draws will have it. Here is another mystery of the Kingdom. God chooses, not us. You've probably heard something like, "God chose us before the worlds were formed because he knew we would choose Him." Sorry, but that's backwards. The only way any of us can choose God is if He chose us first and then created the "good soil" capable of receiving His word. He gives us the ability to choose Him. (It is so typical of man's arrogance that he thinks that God would leave His plan up to us!)

So should we just find those that God has chosen and deliver the word to them? Nope. The word is spread to all, and the gift of salvation offered to all, so that God can say to the wicked as He throws them into the lake of fire, "You had a choice." This way, God proves without a doubt that man cannot save himself either by his works or by his own free-will. Even if all that is needed for salvation is to call out to Jesus, man by himself will never do it. It is all God's will and God's power. Some will probably recognize this as the hoary doctrine of "prevenient grace." Just as importantly, we won't know until the end all who are chosen. This is the parable of the tares and the wheat. The two are allowed to grow together until the time of the harvest. So, we deliver the gospel to all freely.

So, how do you know if you're chosen? Well, you're here aren't you? If you didn't have the spirit in you, you wouldn't even care about these things. If you are chosen and then led to a place like this, you'll find it's harder to get away than it is to stay. There is something else that needs to be said, and I guess this is the place to say it. We have been through some fierce spiritual battles here lately. No doubt some have said this place is filled with a bunch of judgmental, mean-spirited people with weird or wrong ideas. They will try to leave, but those who are called here will find that after a few days they'll get the notion of "checking up" on what's going on here. Pretty soon they'll be back. Take it from someone who learned this lesson the hard way years ago. If you are chosen it is more difficult to get away from God's will than it is to stay in it. (I have to remind myself of this from time to time!)

It's easy to get worried about what you need to do. My experience is that we only make mistakes when we ignore or resist the spirit of the Lord speaking to the heart. That spirit never lies, won't sin, and is never wrong. All mistakes are the result of not listening to the Lord's voice in your heart. The way to avoid mistakes is to first deny self (i.e. fast) and then to enter into rest and peace (i.e. sabbath) so that when the Lord speaks you will hear. It takes lots of practice, but the closer you get to Jesus, the easier it gets.

Listen with your heart for the Lord's voice. Confusion and doubt is the flesh fighting against the spirit. Turn away from pride, fear, doubt, anxiety, anger and the confusion begins to dissipate. Seek for that state of rest called peace that passes all understanding. When the desire of the flesh is out of the way and the spirit is at peace, then you can hear the still, small voice of the Lord and you will know that you know that you know.

Concerning God's judgment,

There is therefore no condemnation to them who walk in the flesh after the Spirit of Jesus Christ.  But you are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if the Spirit of God truly dwells within you. Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him. What then shall we say concerning these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Excerpts from Romans 8)

I just love that chapter of Romans. Nothing more needs to be said really. God's wrath is delivered on the wicked, not on those who are in Christ.

All of that is just lead-in to this: Quit worrying and do as the spirit leads.


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