From the Pastor’s heart
Tossed To & Fro
Isa 54:11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
The twilight zone of tempest is to be tossed to and fro by rejection and abandonment. In this passage in Isaiah 54, we see a picture of a Husband (God) abandoning His wife (Israel) (in the loins of Israel it includes the Church) for a period of time. This automatically causes reproach and shame to the wife of youth because she has lost her lofty position of once being accepted in the highest place and then abandoned because of her rebellion. The Husband who has other plans for her makes a promise to her that never again will He abandon her but on the contrary, He will cause her to rise up and be decked with jewels of acceptance for everyone to see. Yet, He warns her of arising discontent from other quarters that seek to destroy her. He tells her that He did not send them but they are enemies of this union between Husband and wife. In other words, He says, don’t blame Him for the problems that will come because of the wife’s new lofty position but to understand that His protection is over her. He comforts her by saying that no weapon formed against her shall prosper.
The state of the Church in many quarters is in great difficulty because it has not made room for the Bridegroom and prepared itself in the manner of an impending marriage. As a result, the Church is taking a battering. The word of the Lord is absolute in the giving of Jesus as the Husband to the Bride (The Church), (the Church is made up of all who are born again, who truly walk with God). The Church has to understand this. Giving of Jesus as the Bridegroom means there can be no turning back from the marriage. This is also the assurance of God to the Church, that this marriage is settled in heaven. All attacks that happen subsequently are not as a result of God rejecting His bride but by the attacks of demonic forces. Added to this, sin causes open doors for all areas of relationships to be affected. One man’s sin is another man’s problem. Gal_5:9A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Through the sin of Adam & Eve the whole world fell into the grip of sin and death.
In dealing with rejection and abandonment amongst ourselves we realise that our journey of compatibility is a settling of differences and taking on of roles. I cannot emphasise the importance of these two areas in relationships. We can no longer blame God for what goes wrong in our lives because He has given us the word to settle all our differences. The problem however is, we do not submit to the word but seek to force one another to submit to each other one way or another. God’s heart is that we submit to each other through His word which is the standard. When Jesus submitted to God’s will, he achieved the impossible. He did not argue His position in order to achieve His end. He simply took on the role of a servant and humbled Himself in obedience right up to the cross.
If we are to walk in freedom with our heads held up high, we have to walk in God’s love and esteem one another above ourselves. That is not always going to be easy because of the character of each individual. When a person gets saved, they are saved as they are but cleansing and healing in its fullness has not yet taken place. This is what causes so many problems in the ongoing journey after receiving Jesus. The moment you receive Jesus, He becomes your Husband. If however, you rebel against His word or do not follow it, one will find that problems arise beyond measure because the devil gets in on the act and plays upon our weak characters that has not yet been strengthened by God’s word.
It is the patient loving Husband in Christ Jesus who waits for His bride to become spotless. He realised that the journey for us would not be easy and so gave us the Holy Spirit to convict, shape and cleanse us on our journey. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit leads us into a place of standing on the Rock by virtue of the word of God and so when the storms come, we are able to stand; no weapon formed against us shall prosper. The warning is in place that many will gather to breakdown the relationship between Jesus and us but we are able to stand by His power (Holy Spirit) and word. We must seek this word to breakdown our enemies. In the following verses, God shows us that He has given us the weapon of His word to destroy our enemies and tells us exactly what to
do. Jer 1:9Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. Jer 1:10See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant. Added to this, we understand that the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Eph_6:17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Spiritual warfare can be fought successfully when one realises that God is not the problem but our enemies who are outside of God. Our enemies include our sin nature, the devil and our weak characters. Once we begin to conquer them through the word, peace comes in and further warfare is accomplished on a level of strength of assurance rather than rejection and abandonment. God has settled the issue of sin but we have not. The reason for this is, we are still in the flesh. Some people can never settle on the word of God because of pride. This number one failure of human character has caused all the chaos and confusion that now prevails in humanity causing the word of God to be set aside for worldly pursuits and answers. The pursuits of this world loses taste quickly and worldly answers do not have any strength to carry the problem. The world heaps money on problems only to fail miserably.
God keeps assuring us that we do not have to be tossed to and fro between two opinions. If we choose His way, things work out His way not our way. Once we choose, we have to stick to the word. That is what spiritual warfare is about. When we realise that the word is all supreme, then we can go ahead in our journey of life step by step facing each situation that comes against us by His faithfulness and power. I am convinced that God cannot be moved by our pride or attempts at usurping His authority of the word though we try. He is immovable and so eventually the word breaks everything in its path. Luk 20:17And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Luk 20:18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
God is assuring us of His love in the whole of Isaiah 54 and is asking us to take hold of His assurances so that we no longer are tossed to and fro. Our emotions are at the best of times like a boat in a storm that cannot be stopped by human endeavour. That is why when Jesus spoke to the storm, He said; ‘Peace, be still’.
He says the same thing in Php 4:6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Php 4:7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
When a person is tossed to and fro, they are never satisfied because they cannot settle. The moment they cannot settle, they become confused and despair over every little thing. The whole point of having God on our side is not to despair. This is easier said than activated in our lives. That is why the word is so important. It may seem that the word cannot give us comfort in a situation that is so difficult in the natural it seems that no one can help. Yet, miracles, signs and wonders are wrought through the word. It is the word that saves and heals. It is the word that provide and restores. It is the word that cannot be changed. Time and again we have had testimonies of the word and its power. Why is it we still fail to receive the life and power of that word? I say; because of pride, lack of understanding, an inability to apply the word correctly (knowledge), laziness on our part, offense and the cares of this world, impatience and hurt.
When you are adorned with jewels of God’s bounty, one shines in the darkness and darkness comprehends it not. You also become a target for the evil one as he sees you rise up by God’s decree and favour. Learn to receive the acceptance of God and destroy the rejection of this world and the evil one. Stand by what God made you to be and not what you think yourself to be. You have what you have by virtue of what God has given you. Be happy and thank God for every little bit you have. Expand and enlarge on the basis of His word over you.
Nick makes it through life without arms or legs purely by the word of God. He went from being desolate and alone to powerful in faith, rich, married and even reproduced. This is the power of the word of God in our lives if we dare to believe Jesus.
Henceforth, do not be tossed to & fro by every wind of doctrine and begin to behave like the Bride of Christ even as you are adorned by God
Lots of love