"...you have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes" (Song of Sol. 4:9).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Acceptance with Joy

Behold me, here I am; thy little handmaiden Acceptance-with-Joy and all that is in my heart is thine.” 

 Hannah Hurnard, Hinds Feet on High Places


Many years ago God spoke to my heart regarding the children of Israel, delivered from Egypt.  I understood that we are all set free from the bondages of sin and death when we accept Christ. We are given the law and a promise to live in His peace.  However, not everyone delivered from Egypt will enter  the promised land.  We  enter into many deserts or wildernesses during our journey with Christ.  We must learn acceptance with joy as we sojourn in the wilderness, knowing this His word is true despite our circumstances.

Hebrews 3:7 -19

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
11 As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 
14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

In those times of testing we do not always see Christ and it is easy to question where He is and why we are there. Sometimes we look back to where we were and long for what was familiar. We must remember that Christ Himself was led into the desert and tested.

Matthew 3: 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”  4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Often when we receive a word or revelation from Christ we will be tested and it is during these times that we must follow Christ's example. Hold firm to God's word, remain obedient to the word and continue to give Him praise!

When we learn to stand firm in the testing we will gain victory over that area. The children of Israel who were delivered from Egypt  lacked faith. They demonstrated their lack of faith by grumbling, complaining and disobedience to God's word and as a result died in the desert, without seeing God's promise. Those who believed and trusted in God's word,  obtained the victory obtaining the promised land. It is clear that obedience to Christ demonstrates faith and disobedience  unbelief.  If we grumble, complain and walk in disobedience we will continue to wander in circles in the desert without knowing the promises of God, somewhere between Egypt and the promised land.

 It is the flower that springs up in the desert that has learned to be happy with what God has provided.  I am learning that acceptance with joy reveals Christ to the world around me, and makes me beautiful in God's eyes.  My love for Christ and desire to please Him, is greater than the lies of the enemy found in the wilderness!!