Cleansing Through Suffering
I am absolutely convinced that times of crisis and sorrow are necessary for spiritual growth because sorrow will produce what laughter never can.
For one thing, those times of difficulty will produce a deeper degree of sanctification, as I pointed out earlier with the illustration of the impure clay. When you are seeking God, I mean honestly and earnestly seeking God with all your heart, you will get below the surface, down into the innermost recesses of your heart, where God is able to show you things you never knew were there.
Maybe He will show you roots of selfishness or pride you thought were gone forever. It is possible you will discover a source of anger or unforgiveness. How about hidden sins you thought you had dealt with and conquered years ago? It is amazing the things He can find in there!
Isaiah experienced this when he saw himself in the light of God’s glory and cried out, “Woe is me, I am a man of unclean lips and I live in the midst of an unclean generation.”
Moses, in his zeal, tried to go out and become the leader of Israel. Because he tried to do it in human zeal he ended up killing an Egyptian and had to go to the backside of the desert. During the 40 years in the desert God tempered and tamed him. When he was ready, the Lord met him before the fiery bush on the mount. For 40 years, YHWH had to take out of his life the elements that came from his own human zeal. Why? Because Moses was depending on his own education, his position, his prestige. He was depending on all of the fleshly, natural elements to produce the leadership of the children of Israel in his life.
YHWH was telling Moses he cannot do it out of the flesh, it has to be done by His Spirit! YHWH had to kill the flesh in order to get him in the spirit, so He could equip him to be the leader of Israel.
Moses could not do it as long as he trusted in his own abilities. YHWH’s greatest hindrance in our lives are our abilities, because anytime He instructs us to do something, we will do it to the best of “our ability” and get everything screwed up. Have you ever heard the phrase “putting your best foot forward?” Every time I have done that, it ended up in my mouth. But His Grace, His ability, is for our weaknesses. Write this down, memorize it, and repeat over and over: Faith changes things, Grace chances us! I said it before and I say it again, we cannot have a Pentecost without a Calvary!
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