It is only when we have come to a thorough end of ourselves, that we are ready to come to the Lord. Jesus invited people saying, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden” (Matt.11:28). Jesus does not invite everyone to come to Him. Here we see Him inviting only those who are sick and tired of their sin-defeated lives. The prodigal son came back to his father only when he had “spent everything” and “no man gave him anything”. Then only did he “come to his senses” (Luke 15:14-18). We can grow spiritually only when we come to that point in our lives where we don't care for the honour of men, and have stopped complaining about people and circumstances - and are now sick and tired only of our own defeated lives. That is true repentance.
Otherwise, we will be like premature babies, who need to be kept inside the incubator constantly (constantly warmed and encouraged by others). We must not find our security even in the church, but only in the Lord. Ezekiel 36:25-30 prophesies about the abundant life that Jesus would give us under the new covenant. It goes on to say in verse 31 that when we come into that life, we will “loathe ourselves for all the evil that we had done in our previous days”. One of the primary marks of a man of God is that he has a cry within himself at all times saying, “O wretched man that I am. How shall I be totally delivered from all sin?” (Rom.7:24 - paraphrase). He constantly longs to be free from all the defilement and even the smell of sin in the flesh.
God wants you to be strong in the day of adversity (Prov.24:10). But you must build up your knowledge of the Lord in this time of peace if you want to be strong in that day of adversity.
God's ways are not ours. He has to break you first - through many frustrations and failures - and so He sends you where you can get that spiritual education that He has planned for you.
None of us would ever have thought of sending Moses for 40 years into the wilderness to look after sheep and to face the humiliation of having to stay with his father-in-law and work under him, all those 40 years, in order to prepare him to be the greatest leader of Israel. But that is God's way. God did something similar with Jacob before changing him into a prince of God (Israel). The most difficult task that God has is to break a man. But when God succeeds in doing that, the power released through such a man will far exceed that released when the atom is broken!
Paul said about his experience, “We are knocked down, but we get up and keep going” (2 Cor.4:9 - Living). God allows us to be knocked down now and then. But we don't stay down like others. We get up and keep going. And that is what infuriates Satan even more. God also gives us an education in sanctification through being knocked down, so that it turns out for our very best. So I continue to proclaim the victory of Jesus and the defeat of Satan even more since that day, everywhere I go. Hallelujah!!
- Zac Poonen
Originally posted on https://www.cfcindia.com/node/74089