Let us take a moment to consider, if the LORD is the one true God, who are all of the other gods? Are they all of the things that we physically make with our hands? Is it our televisions, computers, and the stuff that many of us “worship?” Or, is it something far more simple, something easier to comprehend? Yet, in a way, it is the hardest thing to believe. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 10:38, “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
What does it mean to draw back from something or someone? Is it a refusal to believe or do what we are seeing or hearing? Could it be being told an idea with truth to back it up, yet, we still refuse to accept it? How about knowing to do something and just not doing it? In my own Christian walk of faith, I have stalled out many times in my own spiritual growth. I have fell over in disbelief, pain, and agony. Yet, I never fled from the truth. In the Book of Zechariah, we are told about the coming calamity that the world is facing in chapter 13. Let us look at a few of these verses. “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” What does it mean to be brought through the fire? Consider the words of Paul once again, “But if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
What is it about fire that can make it somewhat unpleasant? Well, it burns, quite literally. Most of us know of the story of Jacob and how he wrestled with the LORD, the one true God. At the end of it all, he came out with a limp. He is one, who pushed into the fire and didn’t draw back. In this world of around 8 billion people, picture the suffering of those in a third world country. Picture the suffering of those in Ukraine. Consider those in Russia who have no part or interest in what the government is doing. All of these levels of suffering are common to every man. Our gas prices have risen, the cost of most things have significantly increased these last couple of years. Is any of this similar to wrestling with GOD? It appears to me that it is not.
The problems that we see in this world leaves us with a choice to make. We can begin to get angry, bitter, or discontent over it all. Or, we can begin to ask questions such as, “None of this is making any sense?” “Why is all of this even happening?” “Why is GOD allowing this to take place?” In order for the LORD to receive us, we need to become as a little child. We need to seek Him, intimately. We need to know Him. And, it comes at a cost. We, as Jacob, will end up coming out even similar. As we push into the truth, many things that we may see or hear may be hard to believe. At those moments our response should not be such as, “no it couldn’t be.” It needs to be similar to, “Father, I trust you, lead me through this.” A little child is humble and they are ready to learn and listen. They typically don’t get angry when being taught or disciplined by their parents.
When being instructed, a child may at times stand there in fear, trembling. Why do you think that the Bible says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom?” At this point in time, seeing all that is happening, I don’t want to be a part of the two thirds that gets cut off and dies, I would rather be a part of the one third that continues to be tried and purified in the furnace of affliction. I will now backtrack to Zachariah:1-3. “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.”
What are the idols and why do they have names? “But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men. But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.” – Jeremiah 10:8-11.
May the LORD, the only true GOD, bless you and keep you as one tried and purified through the furnace of affliction. “Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken? Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up; To make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head. I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.”
Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner