Janet Weaver Smith and George Smith ©9-4-2015 gardenministries.org
The road toward complete dependence on God and trust in Him may include any or all of the harsh conditions Paul described in 1 Corinthians 4:11-12. For those of us who must have Christ fully formed within and who are relentlessly pressing toward the goal of winning the prize of our heavenward call, God is dealing with the last vestiges of unbelief and fear. Ironically, it is hardship that “tells on us.” When hardship hits, our response reveals how much we trust and hope in God and His goodness, or don’t.
When the storms of hardship begin to whip up around us, we cannot let them distract us from our fervent goal of completeness and union with Christ. All the more, hardship is the time to press in and fix our eyes on the Author of our faith—Christ Jesus—and let Him perfect us as we continue to believe Him. We can actually use these very hardships and shocking events to our advantage by letting them drive us deeper into Jesus.
When shocking events began to unfold, like Job, our first reaction should be to bow before the Lord in worship and thanksgiving, declaring that God is good, not because we are acting all fake and religious, but because we have learned along the way that when hardships occur, we actually want to turn to God and dive into His deep, not detach and turn away from Him in offense. In our season of preparation, God has changed our hearts to be like Jesus who always entrusted Himself to Father.
Thus, that which we “speak” about God’s word, we have come to intimately know as truth and so it will holds us when the storms blow. That is why God often speaks His word to us before the storm comes and then gives us time to believe it so that it works within us an intimate, knowing belief in who He is. When hardships come, this “knowing” place with God instantly activates and empowers us to take refuge in Him because we have learned to love and trust Him in all circumstances. And this is how we have come to know Him; we know, believe, and obey His living and active word.
Ephesians 6:13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
True love and devotion for Jesus is and will be the only thing that holds us when we are opposed. No human compassion or love can hold us in what is coming in the earth. The revelation that we are about to begin seeing is how much God personally and intimately loves each one of us.
Jesus is going to begin to reveal to each individual the true Bridegroom heart—His intimate passionate longing for me as an individual… and who I am in what He has assigned me to be within His body. When we begin to get that revelation—the empowered knowing of how much Jesus loves individually us—we will be, by the Holy Spirit, empowered to respond back to Him with an equal love. But it will never be human love; it can only be divine love. God loves God. Jesus came and made the way for God to literally be put in us so that Father could love us and show it and have a relationship with us that reveals the truth of our Father’s love.
It is a great mystery in the Throne Room of Father; how it is all about Him, beginning to end, yet He has chosen to take it “being all about Him” and make it all about us. But in making it all about us, we are freed by the Spirit to give it back and make it all about Him. That’s intimacy. That is a truly interactive, intimate relationship. Because as much as I sit and long for Jesus, it’s such a pale shadow of His longing—His waiting for me to want Him the same way He wants me. We do not have the capacity in our own human physiology to generate that kind of love so He put His love in us by the Holy Spirit so that we can love God with the Love of God so that we can partake of God’s love for God in us.