The Seriousness Of God

God Took You Seriously

People give their lives to Jesus Christ for many reasons. Some need physical or emotional healing; others are in search of peace and forgiveness. Whatever our condition, God meets us in the valley of our need. Indeed, the Lord reveals Himself to man as heaven's answer for our needs. He is a father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows. He even makes a home for the lonely and leads out the prisoners into prosperity (Ps. 68:5-6).

God uses our need to draw us to Christ.

Yet, the consciousness of our need narrows our revelation of God, limiting His activity in our lives to the boundaries of our struggles. Thus, many Christians never awakened spiritually to the deeper call of God, which is to attain the likeness of Christ. We are forgiven, healed and blessed, but we experience a ceiling on our spiritual growth.

Regardless, the Spirit of God remains committed to our personal transformation. If we should awakened spiritually to the vision of Christlikeness, the attention of God will approach us in a unique and powerful way. Indeed, two things will occur: one, we will read the Scriptures with revelation; Gods word will speak to us in a much deeper way as we discover the reason why we exist.

The second reality that will unfold is this: our lives will begin to progressively face greater challenges. You see, we think that just having a sincere desire to be like Jesus is itself an attainment, and it is. But it is only a beginning. If we are serious about our transformation, God becomes serious in fulfilling our quest. He will place us in situations that are designed to kill our old nature, often compelling us to Christlikeness just to survive the battle.

Consider the heroes you have studied in the Bible: each faced great conflicts before they reached certain spiritual levels, and they often experienced greater conflicts after they enjoyed important breakthroughs. Look at what Joseph experienced before he attained his destiny. Or consider what David had to conquer before he became king. God is not squeamish about testing our character. His goal is to create in us the very life of Jesus.

Consider what Jesus faced at the Jordan River. First, He was empowered by the Holy Spirit. We would think this Spirit empowering would launch Christ into His public ministry, but instead He is driven by the Spirit into the wilderness. Why? The Bible says, to be tempted [or tested] by the devil. For forty days Jesus fasted and prayed. At the end of this time, we might expect a great spiritual breakthrough, but the opposite actually occurred. In fact, the first supernatural being who appeared to Jesus after His fast was not God, but the devil.

Three times the character of Jesus was tested by Satan himself. Most of us are familiar with the story of Christ in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1�11), but remember: Jesus faced all three of these temptations without having eaten for forty days. In weakness, the tests grew more intense. And here is my point. If we are serious about personal transformation, we will soon realize that when we pass a test, life does not necessarily become easier. In fact, what occurs is that we soon graduate into something more difficult. And it is here, in the more difficult test, that our quest for Christlikeness is being answered.

Perhaps you are facing conflict that seems beyond your understanding. You ask, Why am I in this battle? What did I do to deserve this conflict? It is possible that the whole reason for your increased warfare is that you prayed, sincerely, "Father, I want to be like Jesus." God took you seriously. by Francis Frangipane

Blessings, in Christ
In His Glorious Name Ministries

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