July 27, 2018
2 Timothy 2:21 (NASB) Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
God cleanses us off this world’s mold through the process of shaping and crushing. God keeps dismantling everything evil and inaccurate so He could use us for every good work.
God has opened us the door to enter a new journey; entering our promised land.
1. It’s the end of the wilderness era; the time when we see all kinds of miracle, but with our lives full of MIXTURE between the old and the new
In the wilderness, Israel first-handedly witnessed God’s miracles and guidance. However, they kept remembering about Egypt (their old life), even though they lived as slaves there – definitely not a life worth living! As a result, Israel kept struggling with their leader, Moses. Moses has clearly seen what God provided for them in the future; a promised land flowing with milk and honey. Still, Israel wanted to return to their old life. Egypt has been molded so strongly in Israel’s life.
I could imagine how difficult it was for Moses to lead a group of people to move forward, while their eyes keep looking back. As a consequence, Israel had to go through a long and painful crushing process. The old generation must circle the wilderness for 40 years until most of them die there. God only allowed the next generation to cross over to the promised land because they have a different heart compared to the old generation. They no longer carry the mixture; Egypt has truly been cleansed from their lives.
Pay attention: only those who have a different spirit could enter the promised land. Joshua and Caleb proofed it. Although they are part of the old generation, but they become pioneers for the new generation.
2. Crushing process will prepare us to live from His word alone, and to walk this journey of faith together with Him (Deut 8:2-3)
Our old self has the nature of seeing before believing. God transforms our nature to live by faith; we don’t see, yet we believe. We take God’s word as the proof of what God will give (Heb 11:1-3). Only those who are willing to die, to believe God even when it doesn’t make sense, and to let go of everything for Him (all-out) could live from the word.
The world keeps molding man to depend their lives on external facts and human strength (“man shall live by bread alone”). On the other hand, those who live by faith learn to depend their lives on God’s word, holding fast to His promises, and keep believing it to such an extent; they are fully confident that it will SURELY PASS albeit NOT BEING ABLE TO SEE THE PROOF now.
Hebrews 11:7 (NASB) By faith Noah, being WARNED BY GOD ABOUT THINGS NOT YET SEEN, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Hebrews 11:8 (NASB) By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, NOT KNOWING WHERE HE WAS GOING.
Only those who are willing to die, to believe God even when it doesn’t make sense, and to let go of everything for Him (all-out) would want to do something based on their faith of what cannot be seen, and do it in perseverance (Heb 11:7). Only those who are all-out, who live by faith alone, are willing to step out of their current life to a place they don’t know (Heb 11:8).
3. There is one mutual characteristic across the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11: they live by faith because they BELIEVE IN THE ONE WHO SPOKE TO THEM
Hebrews 11:11 (NASB) By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered HIM FAITHFUL WHO HAD PROMISED
Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God MUST BELIEVE THAT HE IS, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
They KNOW THE PERSON of God, WHO IS THE ONE who gave them the order to act. As a result, with only one command, they obey right away without struggle.
4. A renewed mindset (having the mind of Christ) will strengthen someone to act all-out (willing to die, to believe God even when it doesn’t make sense, and to let go of everything for Him)
When Abraham received the word to sacrifice Isaac, he responded according to the mindset that has been formed in his life.
Hebrews 11:19 (NASB) HE CONSIDERED that GOD IS ABLE TO RAISE PEOPLE even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.
Without any renewing of mind, one will surely struggle hard when they receive such a word, moreover to obey it. We could give 1001 excuses to reject the word and leave it for our old habits and patterns. There is no other choice; our mind must be renewed according to His word!
I believe Abram observed and learned much from Terah’s journey of faith (that ends in Haran). I believe, in Haran, Abram learned to align His mind with God’s word, overcoming his father’s life principles that were planted in his life (Gen 12:1-3). As a result, Abram successfully stepped out of the city that held his father back (Gen 12:4)!
Abram achieved the victory to leave Haran, stepping into his faith of journey. And it turns out, his victory also brought others who are connected to him to experience the same thing (Gen 12:4-5).
Our victory will bring our neighbors towards their own. It will give them the bravery to go all out for God – willing to die, to believe God even when it doesn’t make sense, and to let go of everything for Him! #iLoveGod
Ps. Steven Agustinus