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The Testimonies of the Lord are True

How is it that the Lord takes imperfect men to do a perfect work? How is it that he is capable of taking the weak and beggarly elements of this world to negate the powers of the prince of darkness?

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. (1Co 1:25-29)

I read this words and I realize that if this is truly the case then we who are chosen are foolish… and weak… and base (shameful, dastardly, coward, mean, of no family, that is: low born) and despised. And the Lord says He is going to use us to bring to nought the things that are??? Can you understand why Gideon asked, “Who me?” I ask myself, “Lord, do you realize how imperfect I am… how I am quite the fool sometimes… stubborn and hard-headed? How I’m actually quite cowardly at times and not very strong… I’ve done so many things in the past that if all the children of God knew, they would be shaking their heads at my shame.” 

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. (Psa 103:8-14)

I read this and I come to realize that I am a lot harder on myself than He is… even after I have already repented of trespasses and transgressions that I have committed in the past. Memories come up that cause to rise in us thoughts of doubt… self-condemnation… worry… and couple that with the present struggles that we encounter in my life and sometimes… they can begin to discourage us. We say to ourselves “I’ve been here before, why am I here again” or “Here we go again”.

I’m beginning to believe that a primary purpose for the struggles in our life is to develop our testimony… of Him. He puts us through difficult experiences so that we may testify of the Lord…. Of His goodness and faithfulness toward us who believe on Him and fear Him. It’s not that we are on trial every day, but we are called to be a witness & testify, in God’s court of law. We are His witnesses in the earth.

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Act 1:8)

Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. (Rev 1:2)

I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Rev 1:9)

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Rev 12:17)

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Rev 19:10)

David’s example of “boasting in the Lord” against Goliath was his testimony in the midst of the assembly…

And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee. (1Sa 17:34-37)

Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands. (1Sa 17:45-47)

I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. (Psa 22:22-23)

Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. (Heb 2:12)

Our lives are made up of valleys, hills, mountains and everything in between. Everything seems to have some sort of ebb and flow like the tides of the seas and oceans… like a season of any sports team. The victory is not always attained by winning every battle (game).

Victory in this life is attained through holding fast to our faith, enduring to the end. The hall of fame of Hebrews 11 teaches us that not everyone won every battle. There are those who died in the faith not having received the promises because they were looking for a city and foundation whose builder and maker is God.

For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Heb 11:10)

War is usually made up of many battles. God says David was “a man after my own heart”, but if you look at the life of David you wonder, “How so?” If you look at how Abraham was described in the hall of faith of Hebrews 11, you would think that, “That’s not quite an accurate depiction of Abraham’s faithfulness. After all, he had Ishmael after the flesh while waiting on the Lord to fulfill His promise.” If you go in and look at their stories in great detail, you see the many weaknesses and the faults of character that both David and Abraham had. Yet God has chosen these witnesses to confound the wise and mighty of the world and bring them to nought.

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. (1Co 1:25-29)

God uses the paradoxes of our lives to confound the wise. The apparent contradictions are used to confound the mighty. And having us know intimately our own faults causes us to not glory in His presence.

God sees us not in the momentary perspective of the battle in which we have won or lost, but in the perspective of whether we attained the victory in the war. The result of the war is what causes all other battles to lose their significance. He looks at you with eyes, perfect in sight, through the blood of Jesus, not remembering or attributing to your trespasses against him… It is enough for us to know and recognize that which we were redeemed from, that no flesh should glory in His presence.

Did you win the war?

You don’t know! That’s why we are commanded to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). The dreaded word, “work”, pops up. “Work” here is not in the sense of earning your salvation, but in the sense of making it, obtaining it, or achieving the salvation brought about by the work that Christ has already done through these two words… “hold fast”.

  • Righteousness (Job 27:6)

  • Instruction (Prov 4:13)

  • That which is good (1 Thess 5:21)

  • Traditions (teachings, doctrines) taught to us by the apostles in words and letters (2 Thess 2:15)

  • Sound words of the apostles (2 Tim 1:13)

  • Confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end (Heb 3:6)

  • Profession that Jesus is the Son of God (Heb 4:14)

  • Profession of our faith without wavering (Heb 10:23)

  • The Word of God in truth already given to us (Rev 2:25; 3:3,11)

 

I declare unto you the word of the Lord:

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Mat 10:22)

 

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (Jas 1:12)

There many different battles in the life of a saint. The following are the battles the saints of old encountered…

Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. (Heb 11:33-38)

In order to win the war that was being waged for the kingdom of God, Paul committed himself to becoming all things to all people (1 Cor 9:22). Sometimes we get weary in well-doing because we don’t immediately see the fruit of our labors. We beat ourselves up (which incidentally is also one of the many battles waged in the war). We share the gospel and we don’t get the spiritual response we would like. Some of us here are unafraid to sit down and share the truth with others, but in the end, sometimes, we so no fruit of repentance and it happens again, and again.

Honestly, we see more people reject the life giving Word of God, than we see accepting and coming into the fullness of salvation. Yet Paul, although he would be made all things to all people, recognized that in reality he would only win some.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. (Ecc 3:1-8)

Time and chance happens to us all, both the wicked and the righteous.

It’s about time we realized that the “game is afoot”… Get up! Dust yourselves off… get back in the game.

Are you going to finish the race stumbling and falling in sin, or will you be found pressing toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:14)?

Are things in your life not going exactly as you thought they would or as you planned them to?

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. (Act 16:25-26)

What about Joseph, one of the patriarch’s of old? Joseph continually, faithfully, served the Lord no matter what wrong was done to him…

Whether you live or die, make yourselves useful and available to the Lord no matter what state you find yourself in… good or bad… mountain or valley… in a dark alley or open field.

He is the originator and finisher of our faith. He promised to bring us to completion in the day of Christ Jesus. Blessed are we that believe in the Word of God and have not seen.

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them. (Ecc 9:11-12)

Let’s quit making our circumstances our excuse… quit making our circumstances so unique that no one can understand us… quit making our circumstances so exclusive that no one can be allowed to help us bear our burden with us. We’re making ourselves so isolated… so “super-spiritual”… drunk in our self-deception that we neglect the aid that the Lord is trying to send us.

As the floodwaters were rising, first, a man in a dingy came by and said, “get in”, and the man on the roof replied, “No Thanks, I’m praying and waiting on the Lord.”  Next, a lifeguard came by, and again, the man refused the help, saying he was waiting on the Lord.  Finally, even a helicopter was refused with the same excuse, he was waiting on the Lord.  After dying in the floodwaters, and getting to heaven, the man asks God, “Why didn’t you save me?”  God replies, “I sent you the dingy, the lifeguard and helicopter, what did you expect?”

Conclusion:

Valiant soldiers of the kingdom… gird up your loins… put on the armour of God… it’s time to ante up and fight like men! Put off our self-pity, our woe is me, depression, hopelessness, self-condemnation. Let us put on faith, hope, love, charity… and stand firm in these things, not relinquishing the word of God.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. (Psa 42:11; 43:5)

Don’t lose hope in the Word of God. His testimonies are true and faithful.

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (Psa 19:7)

All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts. Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth. (Psa 119:86-88)

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Rom 10:11)

A Song of degrees of David. If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say; If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: Then the proud waters had gone over our soul. Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. (Psa 124:1-8)

If the Lord had not been on our side… all our enemies would have swallowed us alive. If the Lord had not been on our side, all the raging waters and the mighty floods would have swept over us. If the Lord had not been on our side.

So don’t give up… don’t give in… if you don’t quit, you win… you win!!! Hallelujah!

 

© copyright 2011 Jesus M. Ruiz

The Testimonies of the Lord are True - Jesus M. Ruiz
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