From the Pastor’s heart                        The Refusal

Isa_54:6  For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

These words paint a picture that is so human that it is stuff that movies are made up of. Many movies paint a very true picture of human rejection in love and the consequences of such rejection. The rejection is more a refusal of a person, who in their own opinion believes they are worthy of acceptance. In the giving of marriage or in the pursuit of love, call it romance if you want, often time, refusal takes place. When this happens, the woman refused is so devastated that it can end up in any one or a combination of scenarios such as, isolation, frigidity, suicide, bitterness, hate, years of suffering and the list goes on and on.

 

I remember this case of a young girl in India given in betrothal to a young man. Her dreams of marriage and acceptance in society was realised. The young man in question came to see me before he proceeded with marriage. He said to me that he had led a life that was never going to be suitable for a young virgin like the one proposed and accepted for him. He felt, if he proceeded with marriage, the girl would be disadvantaged tremendously because she was innocent. Because his innocence had been lost by what he had experienced as a young man in very dangerous circumstances. So, he asked me what to do. I said; he needed to make up his own mind on the matter but I thought what he was saying was wisdom. He refused the marriage and the girl was devastated to say the least. She locked herself in the room and went into depression. Years later, I heard that she had married another young man. I do not know what rejection she carried with her into the marriage and how it may have affected them both. Yet, I am sure, if she had not dealt with it in the scriptural way, she would have carried into her marriage her refusal and the consequences of what she had felt.

 

God’s refusal can be very devastating. It is not only life threatening but has serious implications for daily living. In the case of King Saul, he was refused after he was accepted. That led to the loss of his reign over a kingdom, death of his son, and finally the death of himself. The ultimate loss was, he lost the eternal reign that he could have had through his family line. This great honour went to King David instead. There have been cases in the New Testament as well of God’s refusal. One was Simon the Sorceror, the other was Judas and finally Annanais and Saphirra who kept back part of the proceeds that they had promised God which resulted in their deaths.

 

I take away a lot of hope from this verse because, in my own life I was refused. I was so refused that I went from one rejection and refusal to another all at the hands of the so called Church, my first marriage and what started in my mother’s womb to destroy me. Yet, God watched it all happen till one day, He spoke to me on the pulpit from this verse just before I began to read it to preach. My body which was taken over convulsed with the over powering presence of the Holy Spirit. About a hundred people were watching me go through this encounter with God for about a minute. I could not do nothing till He let me go. It was then that I knew I was no longer rejected but accepted no longer refused but accepted and it finally ended up in my second marriage not long after.                   I cannot thank God enough for this verse.

 

The word of God is the most powerful tool of God to achieve His ends. When He speaks, it is done. This verse brings hope to all who have gone through rejection if you can receive it. What one has to understand is, God is not rejecting you because He likes to but because of certain things that have to be done in your life before He can accept you. So, the refusal takes place. One is, God has to deal with sin in our lives. The second thing is, God has to show that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of His mouth. The third things is, He wants to prove you and make you. The fourth thing is, he wants to humble you.

Many people including myself have gone through this procedure because of human pride and understanding. To become spiritual one must learn to deny the flesh. There are three things of the flesh one must deny according to 1Jn_2:16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. All this has to do with the world. So, why leave us in the world to go through this? The answer is; to be able to enter the new world in heaven according to John 3.3:5. God has to remake a new man who once was made perfect but failed God. So God refused that old man in Adam to make a new Adam in His Son Jesus and all subsequent children through Jesus. Once this process is complete, we will enter the new world. So, instead of refusal, we now have acceptance. Where we were rejected on the basis of sin, we are now accepted on the basis of grace and mercy through faith in Jesus. God is doing it in an acceptable time. Everything takes time. Ecc_3:11He hath made every thing beautiful in His time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

 

I used to be a hurried person and lived a hurried life. Even now, I have to learn to wait on God, otherwise, I know I will make terrible mistakes. I do not want to be rejected or refused on the basis of my mistakes or sin. That is why I seek to walk in the Spirit pursuing the things of the Spirit for the new man is spirit not flesh. Though the new man also lives in the flesh like others, he is a spiritual being. The fundamental basis of this new man is that he is not refused anymore but blessed and accepted because of what Jesus did on the cross not because he is spiritual. His spiritual life is as much subject to scrutiny and refusal if he continues to live in sin deliberately. There are several clear warnings in the Bible about this. Many think that once they are born again they can do and say anything. They never stop to think of the consequences that exist for sons and daughters, which are far greater than for the ones who are unsaved. Knowing the truth and then refusing it, is refusing God, who in turn refuse us.

 

I am always amazed at people who live in a manner that rejects God and others around them. I know that I am perceiving this from hindsight but it still amazes me even though I too was once like that. This gives me compassion for people to receive them, rather than refuse them. If we are afraid of people and refuse them on the basis of their sin or lifestyle, we will never be able to win them over. Today, the opportunity to refuse people is higher than ever because we live in an instant world of relationships through technology that can be made and broken at a whim and a fancy. People have better relationships with their computer or dog than they do with other human beings that they reject because of offence or having been rejected themselves. Rejection is a primary cause for many of the unloved people in the world. Churches have rejected people, countries have rejected their own citizens and there is racial discrimination alongside ethnic differences that cause huge problems. I am always blessed to see people walk in acceptance and agreement. If two cannot agree at least they can agree to disagree but maintain a relationship of acceptance. If two agree, nothing can be sweeter. I am always seeking to come into agreement with God. There is no better basis for acceptance than agreement with God. Even if man or circumstances reject me, then I still have agreement and acceptance with God. What can be sweeter than this? This is the basis of righteousness; knowing that God is love, can never fail, never lies, will always be there and never let me down if I walk with Him in righteousness. Halleluah!

Individually or corporately, the day of refusal is upon us as much as the days of final acceptance. The Lord is calling us out of our sin, despair and rejection. Don’t refuse God. Jer_5:3O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. Many are still holding out through pride but have no standing. They are dead and their bones are rotten. Others have fallen to the wayside only to find that their return to God is painful. My friends, God is love but He is not going to sit back and let us ride all over Him with sin and pride. If He threw out Lucifer from heaven, why would He tolerate us? In His grace and mercy, He is reaching out to us for our redemption. He is saying to come back to Him and He will receive us.

I am going back to God everyday in the hope that He will perfect me. There is hope yet for me and I can see that His acceptance brings rewards and peace. Are you going through turmoil and rejection? Come to God. He will accept you where no one else will. Then you can hold your head up high in the face of shame and condemnation knowing that your sins are forgiven you and that He is ever reaching out to save you. The God who accepts us will comfort us and reward us beyond our expectations. 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. Isa 54:12And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. Isa 54:13And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isa 54:14In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee

Lots of love      Pastor Noble