God manifested in the flesh.
To grasp holy God’s unutterable hatred for sin - meditate on Calvary. To grasp merciful God’s unconditional love for sinners – meditate on Calvary. Why the difference there at Calvary? Because the Good Shepherd Himself (John 10:14-15) actually, became the Sacrificial Passover Lamb. Because of God’s Holiness (Romans 1:18, Romans 1:28, Ezekiel 18:20, JN.3:36) sin brought wrath and death. Because of God’s mercy His sacrificial love (John 3:16, Titus 2:11) offers a new life of victory and transforming power to all who will believe and receive (John 1:12) the Lord Jesus as personal Saviour.
One morning recently, the Lord said something rather unusual to me - - “Learn to endure the itch. Don’t irritate, aggravate and worsen it by scratching.” My aging body has several itchy spots but I knew that was not what God was talking about so I asked Him what it meant.
If anything happens in any area of my life that seems to make it the worst of times for me, it is actually the best of times for me because of the rock-solid reality TRUTH of God’s good, holy, beneficial purpose for me in those very things. There is no need for me to scratch around, try to dig out reasons or whine to God to change things (while I irritate the possibly temporary itch.) God will never change things until they serve His purpose to change me by continually making me (Romans 8:29) more like Jesus. His wisdom is to accept everything as coming from God’s hand. If we do, we will never need to retaliate or defend ourselves or complain. We have a vivid example of this in Jacob’s experience (Genesis 32:24) of wrestling with God all night. It is an illustration of our struggle to make a final and complete surrender of our will to God. Jacob had one thing right in that he would not (Genesis 32:26) release his hold on God until he received God’s blessing and God rewarded him. God’s touch changed not only Jacob’s name but also changed Jacob himself and brought him to a deeper level of intimacy (Genesis 32:28) with the Lord. I’m remembering that hymn – “Then the hand of Jesus touched me and now I am no longer the same.” God’s touch gave Jacob a limp and that limp was a constant reminder and evidence of the personal, loving, secret touch of Almighty God. No more could Jacob rush off helter-skelter to do his own thing. Jacob would never exchange his limp for going back to the way he was before God slowed him down with a touch during an all-night encounter.
The revelation of God’s Sovereignty and grace came to Jacob in the darkness. I agree with Jacob. I would not exchange the increasingly precious Presence of God and the companionship and teaching of the Holy Spirit and the continual living reality of the indwelling and outliving of the Lord Jesus - - for perfect health and/or anything else that might appear to be desirable. Never forget this true fact. Everything minus Jesus equals nothing – BUT – Jesus plus nothing is always everything. What else did Jacob receive from the Lord beside his limp? Jacob’s limp was the confirmation of God’s promise to Abraham that through his line would come (Genesis 22:18, Galatians 3:16) the anointed Messiah of Israel and the Saviour of the world.
All the riches of the blessings and promises of God to Jacob can be ours if the dark night struggle is over and our will (Romans 12:1-2) is fully surrendered to the Lord. God’s love for us (Jeremiah 31:3) is an everlasting love and our sanctification (Hebrews 10:10) is God’s will for us. Do we realize that it is a gift of privilege and wisdom to surrender our will to the Almighty Sovereign King of the universe? Are you in constant touch with the reason why?
The reason why – is Jesus
The reason why – is the WORTHINESS of
The LAMB of God
If the Lord has touched your life with one or more limps, explore the hidden treasures in them of increasing patience, greater compassion for others, growing into God’s viewpoint and more. Every morning I get a warm hug of love and promise from my beloved heavenly Father which assures me (Deuteronomy 33:27) that I am always sheltered in the arms of God. God not only blessed Jacob every day but He also filled him with promises for a glorious future. Are you thrilled with the wonderful realization that the Lord does the very same for us with His blessings and promises. Our future is as bright as the promises of God. That is why our path gets brighter all the way HOME,
But until we get home - - (an old hymn)
“ ‘Til I feel the throb of the great heart of God, until I burn out for Thee.”
(Amy Carmichael) “Don’t let me sink to be a clod, let me be fuel for the fire of God.” Amy Carmichael, was the answer to her own prayer as she left her very comfortable home and spent her life in India to manifest the love of God to women and young girls trapped in the sex trade. Jesus said (John 14:8-9) “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father.” Nobody has ever seen God the Father so what did Jesus mean? (Oswald Chambers) “God does not manifest Himself to His children, He manifests Himself in His children. People saw the Father not separate from Jesus but because He was revealed in Jesus.
Jesus said (John 14;1-11) I don’t do these works of Myself but the Father Who lives in Me manifests Himself through these works, words and miracles of His own power. He also told us (John 9:4) that WE must work the works of the One Who sent Jesus. When people see our good works (Matthew 5:16) they will glorify our Father, Who is in heaven. God will be glorified by the manifestation of Himself in the good works He does through us. (Major Ian Thomas) “Jesus as Man – was Man – as He as God – created man to be”. Our good works are the holy consequences of God manifesting Himself in His activities within and through us.
Others will see the manifestation of God in the lives of believers but the individual Christian in whom God is manifested will not. (Moses did not know (Exodus 34:29) that his face was shining). We are not to lust for personal spiritual experiences and seek (Jeremiah 45:5) great things for ourselves. Simply to trust and obey gives God the opportunity to manifest Himself in me. Because He is manifested in me, the manifestation of God Himself will shine through to others. Nothing of my doing – I am truly the vessel. For this purpose, God is pleased (Galatians 1:15-16) to reveal His Son in me. Are you and I always available for the works of God’s kingdom, because we whole-heartedly believe that God is all He said He is and that He never breaks His Word? If Jesus is totally Himself in me, as God the Father was in Jesus, then I will continually be in God’s will. As the glory of God was revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6, 2 Corinthians 4:10) the Resurrection Life of Jesus is to be revealed in our bodies. This is God manifest in the flesh.
It is indescribable privilege to have been created by the Lord with an ordained plan – to be redeemed at unspeakable horrendous cost, to have the incarnate Deity of the Living God revealed through you and me. This is the purpose for which God created us for as long as we are earth-dwellers. This is God manifested in the flesh. This is eternal reality. This the reason why.