Prayer and the Elections (Romans 13:1)
LEARNING IN AFFLICTION
Learning WHAT in affliction? On the surface, that would seem an oxymoronic statement if I ever heard one! How can that be true?
This morning my Bible reading took me to Ezekiel 12 where the prophet is told by God to be an example to the Israelites, demonstrating to them what was to soon occur, i.e. their being taken into captivity. But here is the part that is applicable to our blog, Ezekiel 12:15. God tells us that it is in fact, THRU the soon coming affliction, that they, the Israelites, will know that He is the Lord. May I be honest with you? That doesn’t make any sense to me! I understand that God is the Lord, when I see Him RESCUE me from afflictions, not because I am plunged INTO afflictions.
Was this just a one-time statement by the Holy Spirit? I’m kind of hoping that this is just a fluke verse, with meaning for another time, and NOT for me today. But, unfortunately (depending on your perspective) this passage is not a fluke. First remember Lamentations 3:33 where we are told that God does NOT send us into affliction lightly. He doesn’t enjoy doing it. Second, look at Hosea 5:15, where God says that when we are in our affliction we will earnestly seek Him. And that is why this fits as we continue to look at brokenness.
Do you see what the Israelites, and by application, us in the USA do, when we are in the midst of affliction? We cry out to God. We seek Him. And you remember 2 Chronicles 15:2 (as well as other passages) where God says, so specifically, that when you seek Him, He will let Himself be found! What happens when God plunges us into affliction? We seek Him. And what happens when we seek Him? He makes sure we find Him. And then, with my whole heart (not just my mind) I realize that He is the Lord. Why? Because He has walked thru the situation with me, because He has given me peace in the midst of difficulties. Just go back into your own recent memory and let the Lord remind you of His “real-ness” in your life when you were facing difficulties.
One more thing needs to be mentioned in this regard, and it ties to both brokenness and “blaming” others. Four verses later, in Ezekiel 12:19 the Lord tells us why He sent circumstances into their life that caused anxiety and horror…it was not, I repeat, NOT, because of their leaders alone. It was because of the sins of ALL who live in the land. Application? The difficulties in our land cannot be laid at the feet of one leader or another, one party or another. The problems that we are facing are because of you and me. We are the cause of the affliction! Period!
Now I hear some of you through my keyboard, and you are voicing LOUD disagreements. May I just gently say to you, as lovingly as I can…”That’s why we don’t have revival, our arrogance regarding sin in our life.”
Aren’t you glad I’m probably not writing again until after Thanksgiving?
Mark S Mirza
Common Thread Ministries