Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Devotional 111108

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It is indeed my distinct privilege to participate in God’s global missions; to support our missionaries and to mobilize Chinese churches to actively participate in God’s salvation plan globally. But it does not mean the journey is rosy and easy. I discovered a lot of issues involved in mission mobilization. It is somewhat like the way a government recruits and dispatches troops to battlefields overseas; it requires a lot of management skills in different areas because it involves many issues and concerns. Nevertheless, we have a Commander in Chief that is all knowing, all-powerful and all loving. He possesses all kinds of resources and creative strategies to accomplish His goal. As a matter of fact, the victory has been won. We just need to clean up the mess and conquer the stubborn resistances that are still active underground. Paul reminded us well in 2 Cor 10:3-5, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Remember, there is no civilian or bench warmer in the Kingdom of God; every member of God’s Kingdom is enlisted to active duty to fight this Spiritual warfare, even though some may be dispatched to a foreign soil. Don’t indulge yourself in a layback attitude, because it is definitely not from the Spirit of God but from the Evil One.
God said to Abraham, ‘Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.’” (Genesis 22:2). If we were in Abraham’s position, we might argue that even though God's command for me was to ‘take now your son,’ He might not necessarily mean ‘immediately.’ It is extraordinary how we normally debate! We know a thing is right, but we try to find excuses for not doing it at once. To climb to the height that God shows, it should never be procrastinated; it must be done now. The sacrifice must go through in will before it is put into action.
Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about” (v. 3). It is the wonderful simplicity of Abraham! When God spoke, he did not consult with flesh and blood. Beware when you want to consult with flesh and blood; you are seeking your own sympathies, your own insight, anything that is not based on your personal relationship to God. These are the things that normally compete with and hinder your obedience to God.
On the other hand, we must recognize that Abraham did not choose the sacrifice. Always guard against ‘self-chosen service’ for God; self-sacrifice may be a mental disease or pathetic behavior. If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; if He has made it bitter, drink it in communion with Him. If the providential order of God for you is a hard time of difficulty, go through with it, but never choose the scene of your martyrdom. God chose the suffering for Abraham, and Abraham made no complain; he went steadily through it. If you are not abiding in Him, it is easy for you to raise your fists against God. You must go through the suffering before you have any right to pronounce a verdict against it, because in the suffering you learn to know God better. God is working for His highest ends until His purpose and man's purpose become one.
God has a special assignment for each one of us who serve in His Kingdom. And His interest is not so much on the assignment we accomplish for Him on earth, but how the assignment may shape and prepare us to be the kind of member for His eternal Kingdom. Let’s encourage each other to abide intimately in Him, to serve faithfully in our roles, and to respond promptly to His call for His special assignment for us each day.
Love you because we serve in the same platoon,

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