Thursday, December 10, 2009

Need of Endurance

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. --Hebrews 10:36

When God needs a person for His service-a good person, an effective person, a humble person-why does He most often turn to a person in deep trouble? Why does He seek out a person deep in the crucible of suffering, a person who is not the jovial, "happy-happy" kind? I can only say that this is the way of God with His human creation....

Ezekiel did not come out of pleasant and favorable circumstances. The light had gone out in his heart. He probably thought that God takes a long time to work out His will.

Does not this same view surface in much of our Christian fellowship? We do not want to take the time to plow and to cultivate. We want the fruit and the harvest right away! We do not want to be engaged in any spiritual battle that takes us into the long night. We want the morning light right now! We do not want to go through the processes of planning and preparation and labor pains. We want the baby this instant!

We do not want the cross. We are more interested in the crown.

The condition is not peculiar to our century. Thomas a Kempis wrote long ago, "The Lord has many lovers of His crown but few lovers of His cross."
Men Who Met God, AW Tozer p115.


18 comments:

donsands said...

Sometimes when I watch a film of our Lord Jesus being crucified, I think how incredible he was to allow us to beat Him, and even spit upon Him. But, most of all He allowed Himself to have spikes driven through His wrists, and feet. Amazing that the Father would ask this of His Son, and the Son would obey, in order to make wretches His very own children.

This truth helps me at least pray in earnest for the grace and faith to carry my cross daily. And at times God helps me. Other times I fail Him.

Thanks for the excellent words from Tozer.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Powerful words indeed and ring true to Scripture and life. Thanks, Susan. And where is everyone else in commenting on this blog!?!

Seattle Boy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
donsands said...

"The stuff of movies and childrens' fantasies."

I do like those as well, especially Tolkein.

But, Jesus was genuine, my friend. The truth is more certain than any other possibility for me, because those whom God had record the truth of Jesus Christ, for the most part died horrible deaths for this so-called "drama".

Proof from Dr. Luke:

"In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God." Acts 1:1-3

And even with much evidence, we still live by faith. There were those who actually saw Jesus in the flesh, and witnessed Him raise a dead man, and yet didn't believe in Christ the Lord.

Just arrived home from a wonderful pageant of Christmas at my grandson's school. It was very honoring to the truth of Christ's incarnation.

Have a blessed weekend Susan. And the rest as well.

Halfmom said...

Interestingly, Seattle boy's IP address shows Vienna, Wien - have we again a sock puppet among our quiet community?

Maalie said...

A Happy Christmas to Halfmom and all her readers.

Tortoiseshell said...

Halfmom: yes, you do.

nAncY said...

endurance for the race

Martin Stickland said...

Hi Susan,

I hope you all have a great and happy 2010, enjoy yourself my friend!

Love Martin & Family

Tortoiseshell said...

Halfmom, thanks for your comment on my own blog. Happy New Year to you.

My original comment was to do with the sock puppet situation, which I can confirm is the case. However, my instincts as a former journalist mean that I am reluctant to name the source.

Halfmom said...

no need my dear Tortoiseshell, though I did not know you were a journalist!

Litl-Luther said...

Hello everyone!

I can see you are still going at it. I really enjoyed reading the last few posts and comments, especially the 64 comments of in October's post! All the dialogue brought back fond memories. It is also nice to see that Maalie is still participating so heartily.

I hope everyone is doing well.

Halfmom said...

No, I think not, Litl-Luther. The posts are few and far between - not actually what I'd call, "going at it" by any stretch of the imagination.

Mostly everyone has been behaving themselves quite nicely - well, with the exception of the aforementioned sock puppet. (S)he shall remain unnamed.

I trust you and your wife and children are well.

Every Square Inch said...

I'm convicted as I contemplate that I do not want the cross - I want the crown. I recently read through Matthew and was struck by the suffering and humiliation of Jesus Christ. Unfathomable that the Creator of the Universe would be subject to such treatment.

Anonymous said...

Just happen to be passing by and found your site and thought I would put in my couple of cents worth, if that's okay. I'm commenting this in a different way . . .

The cross or the crown . . . Jesus had to bear it, He led by example, why shouldn't we?

The cross is where I would want to be but sometimes, I find myself wanting to wear the crown.

I guess I see it as we claim the cross but want to crown meaning the cross is too much to bear and the crown is a lighter load which has a lime light that shines on us as if to say, "Look at me!" We Christians are too quick to judge, too quick to hold a grudge, too quick to assume, too quick to point the finger instead of looking at ourselves to see what we can do to simply obey His Word. And where is the peace among fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord? Confronting, now, has a whole new meaning and that's why acceptance is harder. In any case, this is where we pick up the cross and say, "Pass the humble pie and show me, Lord, what I can do to please You . . . ummm, listen to You and obey, Lord? But what if it's someone I'm not clicking with? What if it's someone who is much younger than me? What if it's someone who's a know-it-all or talks too much or doesn't talk at all? What if I may be the know-it-all or have a chip on my own shoulder? What if, what if, what if...?" We can keep asking 'what if" all we want but shouldn't we keep pushing for that goal! We should have our mindset on what pleases God, not what feels good to us. We should keep listening, obeying, and pleasing the Lord even at the cost of humiliating ourselves. We are not the ones in control here. Praise God that He alone is!! If we were in control, we'd make a huge mess of things!

Yes, the cross is humbling. A good place to be!

So yes, I would [try] desperately to carry my cross and leave the crown where it belongs . . . on the Father's head, not mine!

just passing by.... said...

Sorry, Not Ashamed, I did put in a name calling myself -Just Passing By- but it didn't come up and that's why I am sending this to let you know.

Peace.

Halfmom said...

Welcome, "Just Passing By".

A pastor I had many years ago had a saying that I use to this day, "look for the kernal of truth in a cornfield of criticism". I think that is, perhaps, what you may mean.

just passing by... said...

That's what we need to do, to look for that kernel of truth in a cornfield of criticism . . . but do we do that? Are we like that with our colleagues, the people we meet, go to church with, the youth we counsel, the young men and women we mentor directly or indirectly. Again, it's all about humbling ourselves and carrying our cross. We should lead by example as Christ did.