In our house we have running water, both cold and hot, we have a way to keep it warm when it gets cold, and cool when it gets hot. We have been blessed with much of what some people do not have, what some take for granted, and what others have come to expect. What we think we deserve we come to expect sometimes, and that is the perfect fuel for the days that are arriving, a system to offer people something for nothing, at least at first glance.
When people come to expect something, they generally start to take that item for granted after time, we expect water to flow when we turn the handle, but we have not taken it for granted, for there have been times when it has not, and so we have prepared.
I want to know after almost forty years of manna if the people still complained, I want to know what it was like when they woke up that morning and there was no food on the ground.
When people become religious, they start to take grace for granted. “As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16) They start to expect the continuous blessings of the Lord. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” (Job 13:15) Job could not see the blessings, because in part material possessions in his time were a sign that a man was in the favor of God, to lose those items could only mean that sin had become present, and the punishment was the loss of His blessings by the removal of those items not only of and from the world, but of health. Property of all kinds would be removed.
There are many that still believe in this trait, these circumstances, no running water, no heat, no anything that one has become accustomed to, and it means sin is prevalent in their lives. A sickness, an unexpected death, a virus that sweeps across the planet and their first impulse is that God is mad and must be appeased in some way.
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Tim. 3:12) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
These are just two of many verses that do not coalesce well with these individuals’ way of thinking. I would ask you to ponder this question, has the Lord said to you specifically “For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” (Acts 9:16) And if He did, could you still serve and praise Him as you have?
There is a verse that has been stuck in my head for over two years now, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21) It speaks of all those good things we don’t always call good, of being content in whatever state I am in, (Phil. 4:11) of “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,” (Matt. 6:33) no matter how I feel about it. It is a life that realizes that it is dead, and that Christ lives that life now.
Nothing is expected except His grace, nothing is taken for granted because a servant receives all from his Master’s hand. If we see it as detrimental, as bad, we are wrong. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jer. 29:11)
We should not fear to lose that which we do not truly own, for all that is belongs to the Almighty, saved or lost. “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Eze. 18:4) This is a place where few Christians care to go, they want some form of control, some semblance of ownership, even if all they have left is themselves, most always want water to come out of the faucet when they turn the handle.
“And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21) This was not spoken in spite, but in reverential trust and humility, it was spoken with the knowledge that the Lord God is omnipotent, that He is Sovereign over all of His creation. It is the humble heart that can speak these truths, it is the man who trusts Jesus Christ without question that can honestly say without reservation, “Thy will be done.”