Longsuffering

January 31, 2014

 

Longsuffering


Ephesians 4:1-3

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 

 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 

 

Longsuffering, patience, forbearance are all attributes of our heavenly Father and those that are to be a part of our nature and behavior as we walk in the Spirit.  Many of us might have to admit that longsuffering and patience is not one of our stronger areas.  We have goals, agendas, deadlines and most of us are in the rat race of moving a hundred miles an hour through life trying to get as effectively and quickly from one point to the next in the shortest amount of time.  Time is a commodity that is precious to us.  There never seems to be enough of it.  We are usually rushing from the time our feet hit the floor until, exhausted, we fall into bed.  Invariably in our race through life there are the slow pokes, the obstacles, the things that don’t go right, the obstructions to what we have our eyes fixed on as our next destination.  Those are the things that raise our blood pressure, push our buttons and often cause us to get very irritable and impatient. Without realizing it we want everyone to be patient with us when we take our slow sweet time, or impede the procession of life in some way, but we have a hard time dealing with being on the other end.  All of these objectives we have and time crunches we are in make it very hard for us to be patient and longsuffering.  The human element and personalities of others often just drive us up the wall, because they aren’t meeting our expectations.   

We can even see the frustration of God’s heart when He deals with us time after time, after time with areas of our lives and we don’t seem to want to change or lay hold of it.  We read the rebukes of Jesus sometimes, even with the disciples, because what should be plain, they don’t get.  Yet Jesus doesn’t scream and shout, throw up His hands and walk away, He forbears with them.  All of us are aware in dealing with the dynamics of human relationships we can all become frustrated, which can lead to impatience and anger.  Then we end up acting and saying things that latter we feel like a horse’s rear end for having done.  

Think about Sunday morning, you’re trying to get ready and get to church on time, but somebody is in slow mode.  You hate walking in after things have already started, but its looking like you are going to be late again.  Frustration is building, you continue to ask if they are about ready, the other person begins to get irritated with your irritation and impatience, words start to be exchanged and before you know it war has broken out.  The trip to church is an exchange of angry words, frustrations and by the time you arrive, you at your spiritual best.  

The enemy is at work to always rob our peace and rest in Christ.  Sometimes our longsuffering is brought about through a lot of prayer and tongue biting.  The flesh, emotions and feelings are often hard to contain and maintain.  Isn’t it wonderful that we get so many opportunities to practice?  Most all of us struggle in these areas, but we must always be reminded that our position is that of the servant and putting others before ourselves.  It is often these surface issues of impatience that cause us to miss the deeper needs of people and how God would have us to minister to them.  We always have to remind ourselves that God’s business is our priority and not our own.  Sometimes I think God puts obstacles in our way to force us to slow down.  I’m convicted that I don’t want to become and be like God’s people of old, “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them (Matthew 13:15).”  Where would you and I be today without the longsuffering of our Father?  We wouldn’t even exist.    

Sometimes the one I get most impatient with is myself, for all the stupid mistakes I make and all of the things I forget, but then, if it does nothing else, it should serve to give me patience and longsuffering with others; being as forbearing with them as I must be with myself.  As the Australian’s say, “ No worries mate.”  Let’s slow done and be aware of how God wants to move in us and though us, even in those often frustrating times and events that touch our lives.  We are learning to be His expression and that can only come through longsuffering and patience.

 
Blessings,
kent
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God’s Working

November 12, 2012

Psalms 95:6
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker

God’s Working

Let us come, worship and bow down before the Lord, our God, our Maker.
In His presence is joy for evermore and the peace that passes all understanding. Come before Him with gladness, singing; making a joyful noise and melody in your hearts. The privilege of our eternity is to stand in the great hall of His presence, singing, “Holy, Holy , Holy to the Lord God Almighty, who was, who is and who is to come.”
Father paints the landscape of eternity with the beauty of His creation. Lavishly and wonderfully He creates from the mega to the miro and into universes we have yet to see or know. Only the mind of the Spirit in us can comprehend the height, depth and width of His love and the magnitude of His greatness. To the human mind, it is off the charts. How foolishly we so often try to fit God in the box of our understanding and limitations. Invariably He never fits the box or the formulas we try to equate Him too. Even His Word, we have pared and interpreted with the limitations of our insight and understanding. Father wants us to walk in the light of what we know and understand, but never be limited to that place, for to do so is to sentence one’s self to ignorance and dogma. God is the God of truth, but the light of that truth, burns so much brighter than our capacity to fully apprehend it. Even as God is bringing us from glory to glory in the light of understanding, revelation and transformation; God, Himself ever increases from glory to glory and we have the privilege of being His awesome children.
Let us never boast in ourselves or of ourselves, for any greatness in us is the reflection and outshining of our Father.
Oh, how we get our eyes upon the rudimentary elements of this world. Our fixed gaze is upon the temporal rather than the eternal. All that Christ is in us so transcends all that we covet and hold of value upon this earth.
The gold of God, are the souls of men. That gold He is always mining through us as we reach out and proclaim the good news of His reconciliation through Christ Jesus. As He mines from the earth, He begins in us the processing to refine our ore into pure fine gold. It is a lifelong process, of crushing, taking us through the fires of afflictions and removing the impurity that has been impregnated into our lives. He hammers us, shapes and molds and yet through all of this destructive-creative process He looks upon us with joy and longing. While the processing’s can be severe at times, He never allows our spirit to be crushed, but remains like the diamond in the center of us that withstands and shines more brightly through every level of processing. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Here is the principle of Eternal Perspective. The temporary is the place of preparation for the eternal. If we are only temporal or earthly minded then we will miss the greater picture of God’s plan and design for us. The earth is filled with the inhabitants that only know to live for the here and now, when they even know, in a moment is will all pass away. Such is not the case for we who have hope, for we see that is not the things of earth that matter, but again, like Paul in Philippians 3:12-14 says, ” Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
We are a heavenly citizenship, called and set apart for heavenly purpose. Therefore our purpose is not in expressing our will, our desire or ambitions; it is in the expression of Father’s and those things which He has placed within each one of us for His glory. Jesus tells us, ‘don’t worry about these earthly things. Your Father already knows what you a have need of. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.’ You see when earthly wealth and allure are not our focus, but only the Father, His purpose and will; then Father is able to release into our stewardship the things of this world, because they no longer possess us, but we possess them and know how to steward them for Father’s glory and honor.
Father is our Treasure! He is what we live and breath each breath for. Let us get so caught up in Him that nothing of this world matters except that which pertains to His purpose and direction. ‘We are the light of the world and a city set upon the hill can not be hid. So let your lights so shine among men. ‘

Blessings,
kent

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