"Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God."
"If you cannot express yourself well on each of your beliefs, work and study until you can. If you don't, other people may miss out on the blessings that come from knowing the truth. Strive to re-express a truth of God to yourself clearly and understandably, and God will use that same explanation when you share it with someone else.Always make it a practice to stir your own mind thoroughly to think through what you have easily believed. Your position is not really yours until you make it yours through suffering and study..."-Oswald Chambers
I was very surprised recently to discover that the word ‘burden’ in the above Scripture is not exactly what I had thought it was -- worries, cares and heartaches. It is the Hebrew word 'yhab' which means, ‘gift, what is given by Providence, that which has been assigned to you, your lot in life’.
Your lot in life – your circumstances, your marriage, your lot in your home, and even your hardships – may not be what you had planned! But it is the lot that has been given to you. Instead of resisting your lot in life, why not give it back to the Lord and trust Him to do His work in you? He has put you in your circumstances to refine you as gold, to change you into the image of His dear Son, to make you the beautiful person that He has planned for you to be and to prepare you for His eternal kingdom.
If you were to choose your own way, I know you would choose the easy road. We are all inclined to do this, aren’t we? But the easy road will never lead you closer to the Lord, it will never deepen your understanding of the ways of God, and it will never allow you to be changed into the image of Christ.
This Scripture does not tell you to wallow in your miserable lot. It does not tell you to spoil your days with self-pity. No. It tells you to throw your lot upon the Lord. When you do, He will not only carry it for you, but He will carry you too. He has promised to sustain you in the lot He has given to you.
The word ‘cast’ in the Hebrew means ‘to throw away, to hurl, an adventure’. Wow! I like the sound of the ‘adventure’ bit, don’t you? The dictionary meaning of ‘adventure’ is ‘a hazardous or exciting experience, a bold and difficult undertaking, encountering risks, somewhat dangerous.’ This gets exciting, doesn’t it?
When you try to order your own life and make it work the way you want it to, you miss out on all that God has planned for you. When you cast your lot upon the Lord, it becomes an adventure! You will face challenges. You will have to overcome many obstacles. You may even face hardship and suffering. But this is the adventure of life. It prepares you for eternal life. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Many try to run from their circumstances, or even their marriage. Imagine standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ and God says to you, “Why did you divorce your husband? I gave him to you to lead you closer to me, to work my character into you and change you into my image. You have missed out on my purposes in your life.”One writer says, “What God lays upon you, lay it upon the Lord.”Are you ready for an adventure?
There are a lot of extremes under the banner of Christianity. That’s not too surprising, because people in general are extremists. We discover an idea and run with it until it becomes our guiding doctrine in life. It’s human nature.
The frightening thing about Christianity is that there are very few rules. People like rules. It is easier to open a book and find a rule than it is to seek the face of God. I’ve heard many people say, myself included, “I just wish God would spell it out in the Bible, it would make things so much easier…” Easier, yes… but then where would wisdom come in? Seeking wisdom means seeking God, a continual dependence on Him. When you have a rule for everything, then there is no need for wisdom, or really any kind of relationship with the Rule-Giver. [emphasis added]
People burned by hyper-conservatism and legalism, tend to take their Christian liberty and run the other way. Like a prisoner suddenly set free they gorge themselves on ice cream and lollipops because they can. After awhile, they’ll wake up with a bellyache and wonder why God didn’t stop them or something… Well, friends, it’s called wisdom. And God gives it freely to those who ask. :-)
The ideas so many of us grew up with—homeschooling, courtship, stay-at-home mothers and daughters—these are not mandates found in the Bible. Oh? Then why should I practice any of these things? It isn’t a matter of should or shouldn’t, but of wisdom...(Seeking GOD for the truth) The same goes for any other gray area we find in the Bible. Wisdom is knowing what is right for ourselves and our families. [parenthesis added]
This makes many people uncomfortable because we want everyone to be like us. It makes us feel more comfortable in our own choices. So, we tend to take very good ideas and turn them into rules. That way we can say to our neighbor, “Hey, you should be doing this…” instead of “Hey, I’ll pray with you about this decision… may God grant you wisdom.”There is so much freedom in realizing our lives don’t have to look like everyone else’s. In fact, I think once we realize that we don’t have to keep looking at others to make sure we’re ‘doing it right’ we’ll be spending a lot more time looking up… which is infinitely sweeter. [emphasis added]
"...there are those who get their eyes off of Christ, and onto any facet of the Christian life outside of an intimate walk with God, and then have the audacity to call it the straight and narrow.""Look! That man has a prayer life! That woman has a wonderful ministry at that mission. That new convert put away drugs and alcohol. That young lady just surrendered herself to God's standards of femininity and modesty. There is the kingdom of God!""Amen. Those things are in the Bible, but they are not what make up Christianity. The Kingdom of God starts in our hearts, and the moment it stops growing there and finds it's identity in dogma, doctrine, or lifestyle instead of in Jesus Christ, it is no longer the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God may and will cause outward manifestations, but those changes in and of themselves are not what makes and defines a real Christian. It's an inner heart condition and relationship that makes a child of God...."
Whenever God gives a vision to a Christian, it is as if He puts him in "the shadow of His hand." The saints duty is to be still and listen. When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will bring the vision He has given you to reality in your life if you will wait on His timing. Never try to help God fulfill His word. Abram went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all of his self-sufficiency was destroyed. He grew past the point of relying on his own common sense. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not a period of God's displeasure. There is never any need to pretend that your life is filled with joy and confidence; just wait upon God and be grounded in Him.
Do we not see God at work in our circumstances? Dark times are allowed and come to us through the sovereignty of God. Are we prepared to be separated from the outward, evident blessings of God? Until Jesus Christ is truly our Lord, we each have goals of our own which we serve. If we are willing to wait, we will see God pointing out that we have been interested only in His blessings, instead of in God Himself.
In the Bible, clouds are always associated with God. Clouds are the sorrows, sufferings, or providential circumstances, within or without our personal lives, which actually seem to contradict the sovereignty of God. Yet it is through those very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were never any clouds in our lives, we would have no faith. The clouds are the sign that God is there.
"Thank God for being able to see all that you have not yet been. You have had the vision, but you are not yet to the reality of it by any means.We thank Thee, Lord, for pilgrim days
When desert springs were dry,
And first we knew what depth of need
Thy love could satisfy
Days when beneath the desert sun,
Along the toilsome road,
O'er roughest ways we walked with One,
That One the Son of God.
How is this vision turned into reality???
We are not quite prepared for the bumps and bruises that must come if we are going to be turned into the shape of the vision. We have seen what we are not, and what God wants us to be, but are we willing to be battered into the shape of the vision to be used by God?" The beatings will always come in the most common, everyday ways and through common, everyday people.
Perhaps if there were more of that intense distress for souls that leads to tears, we should more frequently see the results we desire. Sometimes it may be that while we are complaining of the hardness of the hearts of those we are seeking to benefit, the hardness of our own hearts and our own feeble apprehension of the solemn reality of eternal things may be the true cause of our want of success.-Hudson Taylor