'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
"For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently." (1 Corinthians 10:13 Amplified Bible)
What are the circumstances in your life? Where are you - right now - in terms of what you are experiencing, what you are dealing with, what you may be worried about, or involved in?
An elderly Indian Chief was approached by his son concerning the difficulties, problems and trials in his life. The son was very upset and distraught. Tearfully, he spoke on and on, describing in great detail all the problems of his marriage. Finally, after a very long time, the son grew silent. Expecting his father to begin to explain, drawing from his accumulated years of wisdom, the son was prepared for a long session and settled down waiting, and was prepared for all the time it might take for his father to solve his problems. He had complete confidence in his father. After only a few moments of reflection and gazing off toward a high mountain ridge, the father spoke. He said calmly, but firmly: "Deal with it...". The father then turned and walked away.
Undoubtedly, this was NOT what the son wanted to hear!
How many times have we looked for a boost, or just for someone to say or do the right thing, or the expected thing, and it just does not happen? We want to say "just give me a break!". This seems to especially be the situation in many workplace environments. Often responses (if there is ANY response at all) come back in one form or another as ‘DEAL WITH IT...!" or something even more explicit. It is not what we wish to hear, because we feel we are ALREADY dealing with it. Often we may feel that GOD also is saying just "deal with it", no matter what our circumstances are, and that dealing with it is what we have always done. It has become like the proverb, "the more things change, the more they remain the same"!
It is true that God does at times leave humans to their own devises, for reasons of His own. (2 Chronicles 32:31) This is rare, and when He does it, it is always remedial, or preparatory, and is done in love for someone as part of meeting them where they are.
There is a basic truth that we as Christians must keep uppermost in our minds, our heart of hearts, down deep in our souls as long as God gives us the grace of life. It is simple, in a way - but it calls for something called faith and patience. (James 1:3-6) That is why it is so difficult at times to follow through and persevere. It is universally true for all those whom God is dealing with, or will deal with.
GOD ALWAYS MEETS US WHERE WE ARE with what we NEED for that time.
I heard a minister tell a church that was looking for a new pastor that he prayed that the church would not get the pastor they wanted, or the one they deserved - but the one they needed. God doesn't wait until we get to where we think we want to be, or where we should be, or where we could be, or even where He wishes us to be, or where we will be.(Romans 3:8) That is a lot of conditions. But they should give us much comfort, hope and assurance. God is VERY acquainted with us at any place in time or space. He knows who we are - through and through.(Psalm 103:13-14) At all times He knows our distance from all things, even from ourselves, others, and Himself. We, as human beings, just do not know - indeed CANNOT know - our true state at any given moment. God knows where we are from eternity past to eternity future. It is just not IN us to know ourselves.(Jeremiah 10:23)
This is why and how God will never allow us to be tempted or tried beyond who we are, or WHERE WE ARE at any given moment. God meets us in our moments of lapses, mistakes, errors in judgment, in all things. Even when we are not conscious of the true conditions, when we are sleeping, busy, preoccupied, do not understand the past, cannot anticipate the future. In times of brokenness of spirit, grief, sorrow of heart or fear, He is the ever present God. The list is endless. Everything may seem so confused, cluttered and complicated. That is because we are finite. God is infinite. God is always there. (Psalm 139:3-12)
Through it all, God knows where we are - always.
There is another aspect of God meeting us where we are which is not as dramatic or obvious, at least to the world around us. Often, in the most unlikely places and illogical times God by the Holy Spirit will minister to Christians, or intervene in some way that just seems totally illogical. Sometimes in busy moments, or in a crowded place of noise and activity, or in a totally unlikely situation or a very worldly environment, God gives enlightenment, encouragement, even inspiration. This writer has experienced this, and it seems that God often does this to manifest His omnipotence, and his grace by doing what we consider unusual. It can be at times like this that we can be as close to God as in a church service or in private prayer. It has provoked worship and thankfulness very deep. Closeness and intimate fellowship with God can be experienced anytime, any place through the Holy Spirit. When God does this, it glorifies Him and humbles us at the same time. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10) It should not surprise us once we realize that God often operates in the realm of the unexpected and the unusual.
So - no matter where you are - EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED from God!
We as humans and Christians, consciously or subconsciously, often tend to put God in a box. We expect Him to stay there, so to speak - to do the expected, when it is expected, on a schedule (especially our schedule), because we expect certainty from Him. Perhaps this is a kind of formalism or legalism. (2 Timothy 3:5) God is not only in the tent or temple as in ancient Israel. He is everywhere present, especially in the deepest part of a Christian heart. But our humanness cries out for predictability in our lives. But we must understand that God is GOD. He is not bound by time and space. He is only bound by His holiness, character, His love, His promises. So He meets us where we are at all times - anytime - with whatever He has for us. Otherwise He could not really meet us everywhere we are. Relationship is IN - the physical by itself is OUT. In this sense, God is not in the real estate business with His children - location, location, location is not everything with Him. Physical conditions or locations are no barrier to an infinite, almighty, creator God who loves to surprise us, as well as love us in to the uttermost. God can meet you at a place and time, and in a manner you would least expect - wherever you are. We must meet OTHERS where they are also. But that is another subject for another time...
God CAN meet ANYONE where they are...but there has alway been those who feel that they are OK where they are, and need no one to "meet them". These do not understand, of course, what or who they really are, or where they are. Like the frog in the pan of water that is increasing in heat so slowly, he sees no reason to move. They are self satisfied where they are, believing that being a good person, etc., is the place to be. He will meet them where they are, in His time. Their "pan" is comfortable - for now.
Once He meets us where we are, He will always DEAL WITH US ACCORDING TO where He desires us to be. It will always be according to our NEED - not necessarily what we want or deserve at that place and time. It is ALWAYS with perfect love, compassion, patience (Oh! how patient He is!) and understanding of our TOTAL situation. He will do all that he does WITHIN our circumstances at that time, until He has moved us closer to where He wants us to be. An infinite God can do that. We often think and feel we cannot "afford" to be that way when dealing with others. That is because we are finite, imperfect. It is because of where we are. Since God is infinite, and is everywhere we are, we can trust Him without any reservations or preconditions.
One of the most important things to clearly understand about why God is the way He is toward us is that He can be this way with us ONLY because of WHAT JESUS DID (WJD)! God is perfect justice wrapped in perfect love and grace - a perfect metamorphoses. Jesus BOUGHT for us - at an incomprehensible price - this infinite consideration of where we are! Through Jesus, where we are, begins to eventually become where we should be, and who we should be. If we will surrender all to Him and trust Him, He will work within us that which He has always determined us to be. (John 15:4-9) And that is to be like Him. Humans were originally created in God’s image! ONLY US. Not angels, not animals, not fowls of the air or creatures of the sea. WE are created in God’s image. Imagine that for a moment. IN THE IMAGE OF ALMIGHTY GOD! This is difficult to wrap our minds around, but it is true! The terrible events in that garden long ago marred our image. But Jesus is in the process of bringing us back to God’s image. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, He now comes to meet us. He comes running to us, as it were, to meet us where we are because now THERE IS A WAY BACK. from what happened in the Garden of Eden. Have you ever wished you could find a way back to something or sometime in your life, and just "fix it"? We have heard the expression, "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it"?...
Humanity is broken. Jesus is about to "FIX IT"!
Perhaps as well as God' s decision to create us in His image, there was another conversation in heaven similar to this:
"FATHER, THEY ARE HELD CAPTIVE BY THE EVIL ONE AND HEADED FOR DESTRUCTION! THERE IS JUST NO WAY THEY CAN "DEAL WITH IT" I WILL GO DOWN AND PAY THEIR DEBT OF SIN, FAILURES, AND MISTAKES - I WILL BUY THEM BACK FOR US - I WILL RANSOM THEM! WE, THE THREE OF US, MADE THEM IN OUR IMAGE, DEAR FATHER! (Genesis 1:26-27) I WILL GO, SO THAT THEY MAY BE LIKE US AND WITH US FOREVER. BECAUSE WE LOVE THEM SO MUCH (John 3:16), I WILL MEET THEM, WITH JUST WHAT THEY NEED -WHERE THEY ARE. WHEN IT IS FINISHED, I WILL THEN CHOOSE SOME OF THEM TO TELL ALL THE WORLD WHAT I HAVE DONE FOR THEM. THESE WILL CARRY THE GOOD NEWS TO THE WHOLE WORLD - WHEREVER THEY ARE..." (Matthew 28:19-20)
Now, "IT IS FINISHED"! ... (John 19:30)
Jesus has FIXED all our yesterdays, tomorrows - and our today. He is now the God of ALL our days. The cross - that is the way of His love to reach us. (John 13:1) He has been coming, searching, reaching out to all of us for nearly two thousand years now - He is still doing it. He is meeting those who are lost, tossed to and fro, many who feel they do not even know where or who they are sometimes. Jesus will now take our hand and lead us back. It doesn’t matter anymore where we are. Jesus will meet us where we are and take us from there, IF WE WILL LET HIM.. The past is PAST. He can transform the past. After all, it is only our PAST, not our future. (Mark 16:19-20)
He then enters into the SMALL THINGS in our lives - moment by moment. (1 Peter 5:7; Zechariah 4:10) We should talk to Him constantly, silently or out loud, about EVERYTHING, anything. that concerns us. Sad things, happy moments, simple or unimportant things. Just talk to Him. Otherwise how could He meet us where we are? This is a most overlooked or misunderstood truth, and it explains why many do not experience closeness with God. It a barrier to intimacy with Jesus. Humanly, we just tend to think that since God is SO GREAT, He is only into big things. Nothing could be more false. It is here - in the deep, hidden recesses of the heart, in our spirit, that God does His most important work, because you see, that is WHERE and WHO we REALLY ARE. This is where the battle is.(Mark 7:21-23) He recreates and changes us from the inside out. He is big enough to rule the Universe - and small enough to dwell in our hearts! "How great Thou art!"
The Indian chief could not meet his son WHERE HE WAS. He could not handle his brokenness, and ENTER INTO where he was...he could only walk away. Jesus was broken beyond all comprehension. He understands brokenness in a way no other ever has or ever will. We simply cannot deal with where we are - but He CAN. He will NOT TURN and walk away.
But, WE MUST TURN - from who we have been, what we are naturally (Mark 16:16), and begin to move toward Him. Then He will move toward us. Surrender to Him. Trust Him. Strive to obey Him because of His unquenchable love (Matthew 11:28-30). We must give HIM all our yesterdays, our today, and our tomorrows.(Matthew 14:31) He will transform us more and more into His likeness. Every moment He will be meeting us where we are to accomplish this. (2 Corinthians 3:16-18) Jesus is faithful - He will never walk away. (Philippians 1:6) All power in heaven and earth has been given to Him. (Matthew 28:18)
Never mind what might have been, or was, or is now. Turn to Him right here, where the two of you are, in humble submission. If things seem wrong, He will make them right, in His way, in His time. (Joshua 1:9)
Finally, he will take us to a much more wonderful place to be, than where we ever were, or where we are. It is a place He is making ready for us right now. He will then give us new, immortal bodies, and a life through eternity that is beyond our wildest dreams... (John 14:1-3; Revelation 21:1-5)
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