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Friday, November 4, 2016, 1:32 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Have Thine Own Way, Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 119:73-80 (ESV).

Your Hands Made Me (vv. 73-77)

Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
because I have hoped in your word.
I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.​

God/Jesus Christ is our creator, so he knows us inside out. Not only does he know everything about us, but he is the one who planned who we should be, and what we should be doing in this life, which he has given to us on the earth. He placed us in the wombs of our mothers. That means he put us in our families. All the days ordained for us were written in his book before one of them came into being (See: Ps. 139). Even before we were formed in the wombs of our mothers, God knew us, and he had a plan for our lives (See: Jer. 1:5). Not one of us is here by happenstance. God made us, and he placed us on the earth, because he has a purpose for each of us to fulfill.

The hard part for us, as humans, is often in accepting God’s absolute sovereignty over our lives. It is hard for us to imagine that God, who is loving and kind, would allow us to be placed in difficult situations. We sometimes have this image of God as one who only gives happiness, and that he has no control over what goes on in the world, but that isn’t true.

Our God and Lord Jesus Christ is far above all rule and authority, power and dominion. God the Father has placed all things under Jesus’ feet. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. In everything he has the supremacy. Amen! He is the ruler of God’s creation; the head over every power and authority; and all angels, authorities and powers are in submission to him. Praise God! In that we can rest secure, knowing that God rules supreme over all. [See: Eph. 1:15-23; Col. 1:15-20; Rev. 3:14; Col. 2:9-10; & 1 Pet. 3:21-22.]

So, we need understanding of God’s purposes in what he does, and in what he allows in our lives, so that when hard times come, our faith is not shaken. God allows or he brings about adversity in our lives to refine us like silver. He uses unjust treatment in our lives to purify us and to prune away those things which are interfering with our walks of faith. He disciplines us for our good so that we may share in his holiness. Those who have been trained by such divine discipline will produce the peaceful fruit of righteousness (See: Heb. 12:3-11). Jesus never promised us that the Christian life would be easy, or that we would be free from suffering. In fact, he told his followers that they should expect to be treated as he was.

God’s goal for us is not to please our flesh, but to purify it. He wants us to be holy, i.e. to be separate (unlike, different) from the world, because we are becoming like Christ. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. Jesus said that if we want to come after him we must deny self, take up our cross daily and follow (obey) him. Paul said that if we conduct our lives after the flesh, we will die (in our sins), but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of our flesh we will live (with Christ for eternity). And, John said that if we say we have fellowship with Christ/God, but we walk (in lifestyle) in darkness (sin), we are liars.

Comfort Me with Your Love (vv. 76-77)

Let your steadfast love comfort me
according to your promise to your servant.
Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight.​

So many professing Christians want God’s comfort, but they don’t want the discipline, i.e. they don’t want the cross of Christ in their lives. They want his mercy and forgiveness, but they are not willing to let go of their sin. They want the resurrection without the crucifixion. But, Jesus had to go to the cross. He had to die for our sins in order to put sin to death. And, then he had to be resurrected back to life in order that we might have new life in him, victorious over sin. Yet, we can’t have life without death. Not only did Jesus have to die, but coming to Christ means we die with Christ to sin and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (See: Ro. 6:1-23; 8:1-14; Eph. 4:17-24).

As well, God allows or he causes us to go through hard times in order to purify us and to conform us to his image, but he does not leave us comfortless. He comforts us with his love, his grace, and his mercy, and with the assurance that our trials were not without purpose. Some people find comfort in thinking that God has no control over their circumstances, and that he is impotent to do anything about the enemy of our souls.

I would rather find comfort in knowing he is absolutely in control over all powers and that they can’t touch me unless he allows it, and that he allows it for a purpose, and that he will fulfill that purpose in my life through it. I can accept the trials a whole lot easier knowing that my life is in God’s hands, and that everything has a purpose, and that he is going to work all things out for the good of us who love him, and who have been called according to his purpose (See: Ro. 8:28). Amen!

They Have Wronged Me (vv. 78-80)

Let the insolent be put to shame,
because they have wronged me with falsehood;
as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
Let those who fear you turn to me,
that they may know your testimonies.
May my heart be blameless in your statutes,
that I may not be put to shame!​

Who are our enemies? – The ones who have wronged us? The Bible teaches us that our real struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (See: Eph. 6:10-20). In other words, this is a spiritual battle, not a physical one, and it must be won with spiritual weapons of warfare – truth, righteousness, the gospel, our testimonies, our faith, salvation, the word of God, and prayer.

Yet, our real enemy, Satan, has hordes of servants who do his bidding, both in the spiritual realm and here on earth. First of all, we need to pray for the salvation of our human enemies, i.e. for those who hate us and who are scheming against us. We need to not try to get even with them, but leave vengeance to God alone. And, we need to love and forgive them, and treat them with kindness, even if they despitefully use and abuse us. And, we need to trust our lives into God’s hands, and trust him to rescue us, in his timing, and to judge those who have mistreated, us, too, while holding on to the hope that many of them will be saved.

I will note here that this takes much spiritual discernment to know who our real enemies are, too, because there is so much deception going on in the world right now. What our government, for instance, and the government controlled media project to us concerning who our enemies are is most likely fabricated for their own evil purposes. So, just because the media or our political figures or even some of our preachers tell us that we should fear certain groups, and tag them as our enemies, don’t believe it just because they said it, but pray, and ask God to show you who is really against us. You will probably be surprised if he hasn’t already revealed this to you by now.

Some people will say, “Why do I need to know this?” I believe we need to know this so we don’t put our trust in the wrong people or wrongfully accuse those who have done us no wrong. We also need to be aware so we don’t fall into the devil’s trap of deception and end up on the wrong side, thinking we are on the right side. We may be giving allegiance to Satan and not even realize it because we are being duped by master deceivers and manipulators. So, don’t trust whatever you hear, see or read, but test everything against the Word of God, against God’s divine character and will, and in prayer, ask God for much wisdom and discernment, and then believe him when he reveals to you the truth.

The main thing here, though, is that we stay connected to the head, Jesus Christ, and that in all things we are listening to his voice, and that we are following him wherever he leads us. And, we need to keep on sharing the truth of the gospel with all who will listen. In addition, we need to make certain that we are walking in truth and that we are not self-deceived. We need to yield to God’s perfect sovereignty over our lives, and let him do his work of transformation in our hearts for his purposes, for his glory, for his praise, and for our good.

Have Thine Own Way, Lord / Adelaide A. Pollard, 1862-1934
George C. Stebbins, 1846-1945 / Tune: ADELAIDE, Meter: 54.54 D

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o'er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!


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