| What do you want from God?|
For Jews require a sign and Greeks seek after wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, to the Greeks , foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1st Cor 1:22-24)
Madam Guyon writes…………….I am deeply grieved that so many in this day(she lived 300 years ago, people never change)even some good people, allow themselves to be led astray by the enemy. Has not God warned us against false prophets and lying wonders of the last days? All true prophets have spoken in the name of the Lord-”Thus says the Lord.” The enemy gains great advantage because people love extraordinary manifestations, signs and wonders. I believe the inordinate love of external signs is used of the enemy to draw people away from the Word of God and from the inward way of faith.The signs that come from God encourage you to die to yourself. (Intimacy with Christ..p21)
Madam Guyon spoke prophetically when she said that “the inordinate love of external signs is used of the enemy to draw people away from the word of God.” According to Barna , this generation is the most Biblically illiterate generation for almost 300 years.
You see, what the Jewish people wanted, much like Christianity of today, was signs and wonders that would enhance their lives. Their illnesses would be healed, they would be fed, but most of all that it would lead to the destruction of their enemies and position them in a place of power and influence. They needed outward signs that would not only prove God was who He said He was, but that He served their worldly interests. If they could not have God serve them, then they would not believe or follow Him. This is actually the opposite of faith. They wanted the substance of things seen. The Greeks wanted wisdom, they wanted to fully understand and master a philosophy. If they could not understand the subject, in this case God, then He would be rejected. They only wanted to follow what they could understand in their own minds. They were in effect their own little gods. Again, the opposite of faith. What they both got was Calvary. And by being focused on outward signs and philosophies, they missed the greatest event in the history of the planet.
God Himself had stepped into time and space. Not as a rich man, not a highly educated man, but as a poor working man. The Lord Jesus was born amongst the filth and stench of a manger, not in a palace or in a temple, but in the very lowest reaches of the earth. If you are a religious man or a worldly man, Jesus is going to disappoint you every time. He will not perform at the whim of men, He came to die and to bid others to do the same. To the Jews and much of Christendom today, a stumbling block, to the Greeks and the educated class of today, foolishness. Let no one doubt this though, Jesus had come to conquer, and conquer He did. He conquered doubts, He conquered fears, He conquered death He conquered pride and He conquered sin.
So for most people Calvary is offensive. They want, no demand victory over their circumstances. They want to follow a God that will give them their best lives now. Yet the way of the cross is the same today as it was then. It signifies death, death to ourselves and the things of this world. It signifies victory in the midst of our circumstances. We see in the cross the perfect example of obedience which followed Gethsemane. When we embrace the circumstances of our lives, that the steps of a righteous man are ordered of God, this is the beginning of faith. When we surrender to the Lord in the very midst of the most difficult circumstances, then a whole other world opens up before us as we willingly take up our cross, this is the narrow road that leads to life and ironically the road that leads to the miraculous. This is a life that leads us to embracing and moving in the unconditional love of God that casts out all fear and fear is the deadliest enemy of faith.
Many times circumstances were overcome by the Apostles, just as many times they were not. Yet the Apostles discovered true faith in the very midst of their trials and tribulations. The Apostle Paul learned to be content in whatever circumstances he found himself in. It is worth remembering that all of the Apostles and a good many of the early church were eventually tortured and killed, were they abandoned by God? Did they lack faith or a good confession? The truth is that we are not called to live our best lives now enhanced by miracles that elevate us above the rest and prove that God is God. We are called to the battle. God elevates Himself in us in the midst of our infirmities and trials. He is glorified in the saint that is dead to this world and alive to the next.
Regardless of your circumstances today, know that Jesus is in the midst of the storm with you. The fact that you are in a storm does not mean He has abandoned you, in fact quite the opposite. All who live Godly in Christ Jesus will encounter one battle after another as they move along the narrow path of life with their cross that signifies death to this world. If you are trying desperately to live your best life now and require God to move miraculously on your behalf to establish that, you will face a life of disappointment and fear and lack of true faith. You will have a leanness in your soul and walk in very shallow waters, you will certainly not walk in the overcoming power of Christ. If you would walk in His wisdom and power you must cast yourself into the deepest part of the river of life where you cannot stand upon your own two feet but where you are taken by the current of God to whoever or wherever He chooses. This takes obedience and surrender, this takes actual faith, not the ” faith,” that requires a sign which is no faith at all.
| 2014/1/15 11:29|
| Re: What do you want from God?|
There is a difference between wanting signs and wonders from God, and wanting God for Himself, and who Himself is the God of signs and wonders.
It is a question of motive. The Apostles cried out to God to stretch out His hands and perform signs and wonders to make Himself known to His adversaries? If signs and wonders were a good things in Bible times when it was heavily abused by the false followers who came to have free food and to see a show of signs and wonders, why are they a bad thing now?
| 2014/1/15 16:54||Profile|
| Re: |
Hi untobabes. It is usually a question of the times in which you live, although the quote was from over three hundred years ago and Jesus also said that an evil and adulterous generation seeks after signs.
Mat 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
This goes in line with the original Scripture I quoted that the Jews were always looking for a sign. Think about John 6 where Jesus exposes the real nature of why the crowds were following Him and when He revealed Himself and what it takes to follow Him, the crowd left Him and would later turn on Him. I am sure no one would argue that we live in evil and adulterous times and I did not write this article in a vacuum. In Charismatic and Pentecostal circles there is an obsession with signs and wonders, miracles. If our grand obsession was Jesus then we would probably see many more actual miracles.............bro Frank
| 2014/1/15 17:56|
| Re: |
Yes brother Frank,
If our obsession was Jesus we would see much more signs and wonders.
I guess your church background is different from mine, while yours may involve excessive false manifestations in the charismatic circles, mine is dead intellectualism that is very orderly, civil and smug.
That is why we all must go to the scriptures to find the balance and the truth.
What I see there in bible time is people who are not any different from people today, and who followed Jesus only for what they can get from Him.
We see in the OT an inviroment saturated with witchcraft and demon worship, but I do not see God reactiing to that by saying, well, since the devil can perform miracles too, I should use other means lest the people get confused.
When God sent Moses to Pharoh, knowing the the Egyptian magicians will be able to do some of the miracles, yet, God still used miracles, signs and wonders much more powerful than what any demon can perform.
The question is, when jesus said, an evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign and no sign will be given, did he stop using signs or did he continue.
And when Paul said, the Jews seek after a sign, did he continue doing signs or did he cease?
We must let the Word provide the answer instead of reacting to the abuses we see around us and the inviroment can effect our judgements.
I believe we are in desperate need of God showing his power through all means possible including signs and wonders. we are facing challanges that are not human. We have a young generation that is submerged in witchcraft. There are Satanists that have their regular meetings of serious prayer and fasting to advance the Devil's hold on souls, and yet we the church are doing nothing and can do nothing against it.
Dose that make sense to you, brother.
I am sorry if my my spelling or grammer is off.
| 2014/1/15 19:47||Profile|
| Re: |
Hi sister, I am not from an excessive false manifestations charismatic background. The piece was not designed to say that God does not work in the miraculous. I think if you read the quote, it is aimed at an "excessive desire" to see signs and wonders that takes one away from the balance and the truth of God. I am widely travelled sister and I can tell you that this " excessive desire" to see signs and wonders is pervasive across the spectrum of Pentecostalism which is my background. You may not have seen it sister, yet that does not change the landscape. I have written as much about dead intellectualism as I have written about excessive desires to see miracles and the reason I do it is to bring balance. God knows what is in the hearts of men. He knows why people want what they want and He is simply no mans servant. He only comes down in any kind of power and anointing to bring glory to Himself. I hope that makes sense to you sister..........bro Frank
| 2014/1/16 0:07|
| Re: |
I can tell you what I want from God.
So often people only get a word or a sentence and that is it and yet if God is so real why can we not have conversation with Him as we do with each other? This includes those who seek God and fast and pray.
| 2014/1/16 10:47||Profile|
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Hi Deadn, you say " if God is so real." I think that may be a bad starting point for even a word never mind a conversation, would you not agree? .........bro Frank
| 2014/1/16 11:23|
| Re: |
Yes, bad way to start out a conversation.
| 2014/1/16 12:04||Profile|
| Re: |
On the other subject DEADn, I have found that God is not a chatter box so to speak. On a life or death issue for me near the beginning of my salvation He spoke into my heart and said " There is another way." I heard that in my spirit and within those words I felt the Holy Spirit expounding, telling me to come away with and trust Him with my life and so on.......bro Frank
| 2014/1/16 18:39|