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Liberating Dependence

After being “born again,” the fact of remaining so is never an issue, thus the trials are not only to manifest unbelievers who falsely profess faith (sower’s parable), but also to increase the strength in the believer’s faith. Canaan being assured leaves us with the second most important issue—that of strengthening our faith, especially to the place where there is no room for doubting the security of Canaan.

The reason for strengthening faith is not to avoid a potential of losing it but rather that we may learn enough trust in God in order to find, as much as lies within us, peace in the trials here and now (2Cor 12:10), same as that of fire which increases the purity of precious metals (Isa 48:10; Mal 3:3; 1Pet 1:7). To me, Jordan is like the hardness in the trials of this life, which after being brought to cross brings us to Canaan (Heaven). Thus the level of strength in faith is revealed in the level of peace in the hardness.

This is best seen in those who learn to disallow the problems (trials; hardness of this life) to “trouble” (John 14:1) them. God would that our faith matures unto the finding of peace in our trials, which is where the strength of faith increases the most, and it is in this life only that we will “walk by faith.” I always say that regardless if believers are brought through kicking and screaming or in peace, they will be brought through.

A ship at sea suddenly encountered at storm, at which time caused much fear in the crew, who all rushed to the captain and asked him what they were to do. He encouragingly asked them to notice the shaking of a portside plank in the hull and replied that if that goes we will go down. Then he asked them to notice the great amount of smoke which is coming from the boiler and replied that if the boiler blows we will go up. The he again encouraging replied that until either occurs we will go through.

- NC

Liberating Dependence

They are told in Deuteronomy 8 to “remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years”; and their journeys, according to their goings out, are written by Moses (Numbers 33). They pitched at last by Jordan (v 49); all the dealings of the way whether bright or dark, or both, go to teach the one great lesson, namely, dependence on God. “Man doth not live by bread only but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live” (Deu 8:3). This also was the word quoted by our Lord when tempted by Satan. He knew nothing but dependence—dependence according to the will of God expressed in His Word.

But if dependence on God be learned by the vicissitudes of the way, when dependence is learned, Jordan is reached; so that while my heart rests in dependence upon my Father, I am crossing the last barrier between the wilderness and Canaan. I am not only dependent upon the Father for His Word and mind about everything; but the old man, that which hinders me and bars my entrance into the scene of light and joy in His presence, is at the same time reckoned dead. Jordan is properly my death with Christ.

The dealings of God in the wilderness have taught me dependence upon Him according to His Word; but as soon as I have reached the sure and blessed way to go through the wilderness, I find I am in spirit so over Jordan that I am not in the wilderness; in spirit I am over Jordan and in the Land. When I am entirely fit to travel through the wilderness, I am not sensibly there (feel as though no longer in the wilderness, i.e. this life—NC), but in spirit across the Jordan and in Heaven.

We are not morally prepared to cross the Jordan until we are fully fit to walk in the wilderness. I am not able to reckon myself dead until I have learned full and entire confidence in my Father. One may try to get in Canaan, but the way is through the Jordan; and though one might try to die to everything here, yet it would be a poor thing, even if it could be accomplished, without at the same time, unqualified confidence in the Father. When I am most fit to go there the barrier which the old man rears up disappears. The water of the Jordan is but touched, and all of the barrier disappears. For we have died with Christ, but it must be accepted in faith.

The new life is planted within us and it is surrounded by a hard shell—the old man. There are two forces at work to liberate the new creation from the dense obdurate shell—the one within, and the other without. The one without is the circumstances through which we are passing; the one within is the hunger and effort of the new being, the inner man, to be liberated and to grow. The outer things cause the inner man to turn to the Father and to wait on Him; and when this turning to Him is complete (learned to always trust—NC), deliverance is known (“deliverance” not salvation, but the peace found in the trials of the believer—NC) and the hard shell is broken.

We all, in some way or another, suffer from the shell; but once we know that it is the shell that hampers us, we seek the power (reliance of the Father—NC) that will enable us to break through. In this tabernacle we grown, being burdened, and the Lord tries us in one way and another; but there is no bitterness in the trial, once we see that He is only doing from without what is in cooperation with His Spirit within, namely, to free us from the bondage of the shell. Dependence upon the Father enables us to break it from within like the young bird. May we accept with thankfulness His mercy in breaking it from without; which is really only helping the desires of His own spirit within us.

- J B Stoney

Miles J Stanford devotional: http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/