Posted: March 13, 2012 in Books, Christianity, Education, Family, History, Life, News, Parenting, Quotes, Uncategorized

“When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood…”

– Psalm 73:16-17 NIV

Excel in 2012 and Beyond is the current bible study theme my mother, sister and I participate in. Part of our study reflects upon the reality of thoughts, emotions and attitudes that infiltrate the place of hope within us and seek to overrule us and cancel out the fulfillment of God’s promises toward us. We have discussed the reality of disillusionment that comes with life, because life will often interrupt us with unexpected turns that take us places we neither desire nor are we prepared to go in. God is with us during the journey to offer direction, comfort, guidance and support. Some of the opposition we face during moments of unexpected turns are what I call ‘internal noises’ that distract us and seek to dissuade us from hope down the path of dissatisfaction, disappointment, discouragement, discontentment and eventually alienation from God due to resentment, bitterness and anger.

This has helped me to better understand what is written in the book of Ephesians that teaches that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against dark forces of this world and spiritual wickedness in the heavenly realms. Also in the book of Ephesians, the bible teaches that we are blessed in the heavenly realms with all spiritual blessings in Christ. If Christ is in us, by faith, where we receive the spiritual blessings in the heavenly realms, then that means that the spiritual wickedness that occurs in the heavenly realms occurs within me too. In our bible study we have discussed that the appropriate step to overcoming the momentary feelings of dissatisfaction is to take action. In Hannah’s hope for a child, she stood up, went to the temple and poured out her soul to God. This, however, after year after year external provoking and internal noise that caused her to stop eating. I am certain that when Jospeh received the dream/vision from God regarding his future, he did not forsee the hostility, hatred, conspiracy for murder, betrayal, family rejection, being put in a pit, sold into slavery, deceit, temptation,  injustice that led to imprisonment and then languishing in prison 2 years longer than anticipated. This, however, does not prevent God from performing what He spoke to us in our hearts. Part of what helps me to move from through into the new place in God is to understand what God is communicating to me. In all thy getting, the bible teaches, I should get understanding.

Faith spurs us to be deliberate about believing. Faith also requires us to take action, because faith without works is dead. Like Abraham, faith requires us to move from where we are to the place where we cannot currently see. Faith, fueled by hope, keeps us from heading down the path of dissatisfaction towards resentment, bitterness and alienation from God. Joseph kept a positive attitude and worked hard and it was recorded in scripture that the LORD was with Joseph. Joseph was able to maintain his ‘spiritual equilibrium’  undeterred by the internal/external opposition towards the new place God was preparing him to step through into. As the psalmist of today’s scripture reference declared, it was only until they entered God’s sanctuary they understood what was oppressing did not need to be the focus of their attention. When they entered God’s sanctuary they shifted their focus from what was oppressing them to the One who liberates, delivers and sets free. The best action to take to deal with the internal/external opposition to your transition towards your place of blessing and fulfillment is to enter God’s sanctuary.

May God draw you to Him in a way that uplifts and upholds you and arouses within you what will propel you forward fueled with faith and hope to experience the fulfillment of God’s promises for a better qulaity of  life.

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