“Hindsight is 2020”, and a lot has taken place in the past decade. Some things, as someone said, “I wouldn’t go through the experience again for anything, but I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything either.”
As always, I’m so thankful for the semi-annual training recalibrating me just in time for a new year. There was a lot of shining even as I received not-so-good news, and a lot of repenting on my part. Right from the first message, I was touched with
If we are going to fully possess Christ as the good land, we must beware of having an evil heart of unbelief.I.B.1
It does make me marvel… after all that the Lord has brought me through and been faithful in (see this and this post), I still don’t trust Him to bring me through the next thing. I really am like the children of Israel…
Then Message 2:
…the Lord Jesus…recognised the government of God, lived a human life that was absolutely under the government of God, and committed everything related to Him to God’s government.I.E
I’ve been taking br MS’s word and “handing over” to the Lord, but it seems that the matters don’t actually leave my hands. I still hold onto them, analyse them, try to work them out…
Message 3 was especially hard because it was after the news and feeling discouraged because of it… but wow, how timely.
If we contact the Lord, we will experience Him as a grain of wheat, and in Him we will be content with our situation.III.A.3
And the rest of the outline — on the barley, the vines, the fig trees, the pomegranates, the olive trees — just kept asking me, “How can you bear responsibility, cheer God and man, be a channel of supply and honour God and man when you’re shut in with what concerns you?”
Message 4 is probably the most aspiration-instilling of the whole training:
In the ascended Christ we may engage in spiritual warfare, for in Christ’s ascension there are the peaks of reality (Amana), victory (Senir), and the destruction of the enemy (Hermon).III.A.3
My weakness has been an easy target for the enemy, and it never works to fight back from the low plane I find myself in. How I need to experience Christ as a land with these mountains!
Message 5 showed me the supply:
Christ is the One who supplies us, sustains us, and makes us those who love God, trust in God, fear God, subject ourselves to God’s ruling, mind the tender feelings of God, and live in God’s presence.I.C
Lord, do in me what I cannot do!
Message 6 was made practical during study time by br BD…
God’s will is for us to enjoy Christ.II.A
Paul didn’t wait until he was out of prison to enjoy Christ. Br BD said “Seeking to get out of your situation can become an idol! Instead, in that situation, we should seek to enjoy Christ.” This reminds me of the verse the Lord gave me after coming back from the FTTA in 2016…
Each one, brothers, in what status he was called, in this let him remain with God.1 Corinthians 7:24
God’s will for me, right now, is that I enjoy Christ!
Christ is rich beyond measure, but the church today is grovelling in poverty because the Lord’s children are indolent.Msg9, IV.C.2
Lord, save me from indolence! I’d like to live a life of labouring upon Christ.
Last but not least, Message 12 was…solemn:
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today: I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life… in loving Jehovah your God by listening to His voice and holding fast to Him… that you may dwell upon the land…Deuteronomy 30:19-20
Choose life! How? By (1) loving God, (2) obeying His word, and (3) receiving His blessing. The result? Longevity in the land — our days being extended upon the land (30:18).
Lord, You’ve brought me through thus far, but I’d like to extend my days on the good land. For this, save me from passivity — empower me to choose You, to choose the principle of life, to choose what causes life to increase. And I choose blessing…
We all want to receive the blessing, but we may not realise that the blessing requires a sphere of God’s authority, a sphere under God’s administration.III.B.3
This reminds me of what br DC said at our alumni fellowship:
God’s economy is His household arrangement. You don’t get to enjoy the dispensing first; you have to be under His arrangement!
I’ve been unhappy with God’s arrangement, in rebellion toward His authority. How then can I expect His blessing? And what kind of blessing have I been looking for?
The greatest blessing that we receive from the Lord is not what the Lord gives us; it is what the Lord makes us, what He enables us to become.III.F
Lord, I care for Your blessing. Bless me with the fulfilment of Revelation 3:12 —
He who overcomes, him I will make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall by no means go out anymore, and I will write upon him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which descends out of heaven from My God, and My new name.
Wrought into me what God is, the nature of the New Jerusalem, and the person of Christ. Have mercy on me that, in 2020 and beyond, I may be able to receive Your blessing unhindered.