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    “We must carry on our work with patience. We must bear with many abuses and injuries from those to whom we seek to do good. When we have studied for them, and prayed for them, and exhorted them, and beseeched them with all earnestness and condescension, and given them what we are able, and tended them as if they had been our children, we must look that many of them will requite us with scorn and hatred and contempt, and account us their enemies, because we ‘tell them the truth.’ Now, we must endure all this patiently, and we must unweariedly hold on in doing good, ‘in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.’ We have to deal with distracted men who will fly in the face of their physician, but we must not, therefore, neglect their cure. He is unworthy to be a physician, who will be driven away from a frenetic patient by foul words. Yet, alas, when sinners reproach and slander us for our love, and are more ready to spit in our faces, than to thank us for our advice, what heart-risings will there be, and how will the remnants of old Adam (pride and passion) struggle against the meekness and patience of the new man! And how sadly do many ministers come off under such trials!”
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Don’t Go to Egypt

Wow. Pastor Ron did it again. His messages are to me very obviously spoken directly from God’s mouth to my ear. I feel like God is remaking me into someone from whom He’ll one day ask something big. It is as if I’m in the refining fire – and boy is it hot! He’s calling up one by one those truths in my life that I have already tucked away and is making them real – so real that I’m feeling pulled inside out! All I can say is I hope I live through it. This valley is riddled with rocks. Behind every tree is a dangerous beast that threatens my family. Under every rock is a snake ready to strike. I feel like a weary traveler in a Pilgrim’s Progress type of story. If I hadn’t already read the last page, I’d feel as though my very soul was in peril. Yet, His assurance is as real as the pain that threatens to take me over.

Above me I see clouds ready to burst like the call of impending doom. I see moving shadows all around that are the embodiment of an eerie, supernatural threat. As in the book of Esther, God is here, but I can’t see Him. He has stepped aside to give way to His faithful servants. He has set the burden of His will on the shoulders of fallible, yet Spirit-filled believers. It’s no trial to trust the One true God, but it is tenuous to say the least to trust fallible man, actual human flesh to do His perfect will even if God Himself directed it this time to be so. It is a new road that He takes me on. Hopefully my faith is up for the journey.

Here are the verses – the living Word that the world so easily casts aside.

Jeremiah 42:1-12  “Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least even unto the greatest, came near, And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, ‘Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the LORD thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:) That the LORD thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.’

 Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, ‘I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto the LORD your God according to your words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing the LORD shall answer you, I will declare it unto you; I will keep nothing back from you.’

 Then they said to Jeremiah, ‘The LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send thee to us. Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God.’

And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah. Then called he Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, And said unto them, ‘Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before him; If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you. Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand. And I will shew mercies unto you, that he may have mercy upon you, and cause you to return to your own land.'”

Though the people who brought this petition did right in the beginning by asking the Lord to judge and guide, they ended up going into Egypt rather than staying put like God told them to. It proved to be a big mistake on their part to seek the help of the world when God was so very present and able. I borrow from another story to end – the story of David and God’s judgment for his sin. God gave his three choices as chastisement for his sin and this is what David decided:

1Chron. 21:8-13 “And David said unto God, ‘I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.’ And the LORD spake unto Gad, David’s seer, saying,  ‘Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.’ 

So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, ‘Choose thee either three years’ famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me.’

And David said unto Gad, ‘I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.'”

We should never go to the world for solutions to our problems. It will hurt the cause of Christ. Nor should we rely on human reasoning to deal with our problems or sin in our life or others. We need to always go to God. He is able. The world is not. Satan is the prince and power of this world, and those in the world is not worthy to entrust the advancement of the cause of Christ. Our goal ought to always be to glorify God and bring others to Him. If what we are doing does not fulfill those two objectives, then we are not following the example of Scripture and we will be a liability to His kingdom.

Heb 10:30,31 “For we know him that hath said, ‘Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.'”   Even so, I choose God’s hands over the world’s. For like David said, “Great are His mercies.”

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