"Nothing more impressive than an intellectual and spiritual approach to seeking truth and a willingness to embrace it unconditionally."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The End Is Better

So often it is easy to get caught up in the negativity of the present that it blinds us from seeing the brightness of tomorrow. I say this from experience. It is not my natural emotional outlook to be an optimist; I have a natural proclivity to pessimism. Apart from the working of the Holy Spirit in my life I would probably be a very depressed person. I hate uncertainty. I am the type of person that likes to know how it is all going to unfold; and if I don't know, I assume that it is going to be bad.

With that being said, one must through the power of the Spirit adjust his carnal thinking to harmonize with the promises of scripture. Scripture readily reveals the magnificent plan of God for the life of the believer. As the Prophet Jeremiah said, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11)." The believer must always remember, that in spite of my present circumstance or condition, I have a future!

My favorite text is Ecclesiastes 7:8:
"Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit."
The writer says, "Better is the end of a thing than its beginning." My past dare not boast, "I am his greatest days." My present dare not say, "Your greatest days are now." For my future is the time that God has chosen to be my best. What I must learn is to be patient. The proud in spirit insist that he have everything now, by being unable to wait he misses the better that is reserved for the last. If the end is better, then truly the patient is better than the proud; for it is the patient, not the proud, that can endure to the end to receive the better.

It is God's method to progress toward the better. God is never regressive, but always progressive. The entire message of Hebrews can be summed up in one word, better. The message of "better" in the book of Hebrews is that the New Covenant, with all is parts, is better than the Old Covenant.

  • Christ is better than the Angels-Hebrews 1:4
  • Christ is better than Melchisedec-Hebrews 7
  • Christ gave us a better hope-Hebrews 7:19
  • Christ was made a surety of a better testament-Hebrews 7:22
  • Christ has a better ministry, for a better covenant, based on better promises-Hebrews 8:6
  • Christ was a better sacrifice-Hebrews 9:23
  • Christ is a better resurrection-Hebrews 11:35
  • Christ had better blood-Hebrew 12:24

God did not give his best in the beginning, he saved his best for last. This is illustrate again in marriage feast of Cana; the wine at the last was better than the wine at the beginning (John 2).

The Christian walk is one of increasing illumination. Your walk with God should be better today than at any point in your past. "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18)." Keep walking, it will get brighter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Subtlety: The Forgotten Power of the Holy Spirit

When most think of the "power of the Holy Spirit" what comes to mind is rushing mighty wind, cloven tongues of fire and speaking with tongues. Some think of casting out devils, laying hands on the sick, or one of the nine gifts of the Spirit. While these may be manifestations of the "power of the Holy Spirit," there is a power of the Spirit in the believer's life that is quite forgotten, the power of subtlety.

This is the power of the Spirit that is overlooked because it works, at times, when I am unaware of its presence. It is not audible or visible, and is often undetectable, especially to those around me. It is a work of the Spirit that brings glory to no one but God.

It is the power of the Spirit that gradually and slowly sanctifies me in practical and ordinary ways. It is at work when I find myself saying no to things that I used to say yes to. It is that small change in attitude toward a situation that normally disturbs me. It is the will to resist the seduction of besetting sins. It is inner peace about a situation that had been ruling me in fear.

It is the Spirit working change in me that I did not realize happened until after the fact. It is not flashy or glamourous, but dynamic none the less. God help us remember that you are at work in us in the mundane, not just the mighty. It is this power of the Spirit that worked for Elijah: not in the strong wind, the earthquake, or the fire, but in a still small voice.