“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction…” - Matthew 7:13
In Jesus Christ it is possible to experience God’s fullness on an ongoing basis. In Him it is possible to abide in the Father’s presence and bear spiritual fruit that is supernatural in nature. It is possible to live out of the liberating life of the Holy Spirit breaking through all that the enemy of our souls uses to keep us bound up in our fears and frustrations. But, not without a struggle! And even though we know this to be true, that spiritual conflict is inevitable, it is the tendency of all of us to deviate to the path of least resistance. We want victory in our lives, but we don’t want to have to fight to get it. We want overcoming by osmosis rather obedience.
We have somehow developed a mindset that God should, that He would, dispense blessings like a cosmic vending machine with minimal effort or energy on our part. Sadly, when God doesn’t allow us to dictate how He works, we become disillusioned and irritated with Him. The end result is it that we wander back to our old ways of making sure we get our way – resulting from a heart shift that becomes a slow fade back to the things and attitudes of this world. In Mark 4:19, Jesus states that the cause for all this boils down to the “desire for other things.” He is supposed to make sure that every want and need is supplied (isn’t He?), and when it doesn’t happen the way we think it should we head out after substitutes.
We will deal with this more in tomorrow’s devotional. But for today, let us end with the understanding that suffering is not an aberration to those who lack the faith to move God to their agenda. Oddly enough, in God’s kingdom, pain embraced teaches us to love Him more. For some I’m sure this sounds strange. But this kingdom that we are citizens of is led by a crucified king. Please take the time to work through the verses given below. Hope comes through suffering which teaches us to trust the love of God – a very unique kingdom indeed.
Read Romans 5:3-5. Why do you think it is suffering that teaches us to trust the love of God?