GOD’S DELIVERY SYSTEM

BY:  JAN A. ANTONSSON

JUNE 25, 2015

 

 

“From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will befall you” (Job. 5:19, NIV). 

 

Because I’ve always loved the stories in the Old Testament which testify to the power of Almighty God to deliver His people from trouble, and because I grew up in a Fundamentalist Church, I began my Christian walk believing that God’s delivery system was reserved only for the faithful, for those who loved and served Him.  That was my child’s eye view of how God’s delivery system works.  That set me up with a need to be perfect, a goal which quickly deteriorated into the dust of human failure.  It took many years and many failures for me to realize that the Bible is NOT a record of perfect people serving a perfect God.  It is a record of human failure, foibles, flaws, and sins, none of which kept our Father from continuously saving us, loving us, delivering us, and holding us close. 

 

John Gavazzoni recently wrote a marvelous article entitled, “God is love; God is holy.”  I want to include his opening paragraph here, and if you didn’t get it or didn’t read it, e-mail me and I’ll send the whole article to you: 

 

“Because God is love, He is holy, and conversely, because God is Holy, He is love. Much that misrepresents the nature of God would be cleared up if folks would understand that simple truth. Twice, John in his first epistle, affirms with the exact same words, "God is love." And within the context of the law, that context, hiding its essential meaning, the Lord said to Israel, "Ye shall be holy unto me, for I, the Lord, am holy."   What God IS will ultimately determine the quality of being that WILL BE enjoyed by all creation. Hidden within the apparent moral requirement of the law ("apparent" being the operative word) is a divine promise, prophecy, and statement of destiny, all rolled into one. We SHALL be holy, FOR He, the Lord, is holy.”  End Quote. 

 

Sadly, many, including me have misinterpreted God’s statement to Israel, “Ye shall be holy unto me for I, the Lord, am holy”  (Lev. 19:2),  viewing it as an imperative call to action, a commandment to be fulfilled rather than an indicative statement of what is and what He sovereignly shall bring to pass in the lives of His children, which we all are, even if some do not yet realize this glorious truth.  The verse in Leviticus is reminiscent of Jesus’ statement, “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48, RSV).  This verse caused me much angst roiling in my soul before Harry Fox helped me to see that rather than a commandment (the imperative mood), Jesus was giving us a statement of what is, (the indicative mood.)  There’s a whole universe of difference between the two.  In fact, the two moods describe the difference between religion (“thou shalt”), and Life in the Spirit, which is Christ within us, our hope of Glory. 

 

In an on-line discussion, our friend Mark Eaton, a student of Greek, put the difference this way:  “The whole theme of the Dynamic between Jesus’ teaching and Paul's relationship, HIDDEN within the apparent DEMANDS of the Law, is the Pleasure of God Himself.  We do not have to, "Save God's Plan and WILL."  His Pleasure will Stand and we will see the Complete Revealing of HIS will in the Ages.  Time, which APPEARS to be an enemy to so many, will become a Vehicle of Judgment designated to Total Victory. End Quote. 

 

What does all this mean for our daily lives, our struggles, our hopes of being delivered from all that oppresses us?  For the past several months, I have been dialoging via e-mail, with a woman I’ll call Grace, about her struggles.  Though she has been clean and sober for the past six years, she still carries the baggage from her life as an addict, i.e., feelings of guilt, the urge to wallow in self pity, anger at God for His seeming abandonment of her, and the need for what Lenny sometimes called out in me, the demand for “instant gratification”:  What is taking God so long to answer my prayers?  Why doesn’t He act now?  Why do I have to go through this wretched cactus patch again?  Maybe you’ve suffered from some or all of these messy feelings.  I certainly have. 

 

Throughout it all, helpless to help her though I felt at times, God gave me the message for her that her current dilemma is not punishment for her past sins, nor does it mean God is unhappy with her.  It simply means it is time for her to grow up, to let Him know how angry she is with Him (He probably had a clue from the e-mails she sent me on the subject), and most of all to ask Him to help her trust Him.  He is worthy of trust, and the fact that often, our inability to do that does not reflect on Him.  He is working patience in us by the tribulation (cactus patches and knot holes) He drags us through.  We can yell and scream (I heartily recommend it since He’s the only ONE who can do anything about the situation that is causing us to want to tear out our hair and run screaming into the night), but ultimately, what He will have from us is our surrender to His ways of dealing with us, growing us up into His image and likeness.  I finally got it that the quicker I surrendered my will to His will, the sooner the trial would be over. 

 

I want to include some of Grace’s e-mail to me after she saw the hand of God turn things around in her life in her recent dilemma. 

 

“You are a blessing to me. I have never opened up to a Christian as I did to you with one exception. There was this girl that was a Christian but struggled with the addictions like I did, and so each time she would get on the wagon, she would drag someone along to meetings and church. Believe it or not, I first gave my life to Christ by praying Roman 10:9-10, with a lady named Barbara in or around the mid nineties. I was 23 years old but as you know, I could not live a like a Christian, so I kept going back and forth between religion and my bad habits.  

 

“Thank GOD that by His Miracle I been free for over six years, and I forget to be grateful for this freedom but it did take a Miracle and GOD spoke to me in March of 2004.  That is my original clean date. I had an experience with the Lord that I can’t explain, where I suddenly had the power to leave the drug life behind.  Although I did have a relapse in 2008, GOD got me back on track in 2009, and I have been free since GOD spoke to me the message of universal salvation by showing me Second Peter three, where it talks about GOD does not will for anyone to perish but all to come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9). Once I accepted the salvation of all, my recovery, my sobriety is in a much better place. I do not worry about my unbelieving family or the many unbelieving addicts I knew who even died never having really known GOD. In the end GOD will love them all into His Kingdom. When people say that silly stuff about Hitler not being in heaven, I think, “Why not? The Hitler in heaven won’t be the same monster who tortured people on earth, but a new creation of Christ!” Also it is funny people mention Hitler because if there is a hell like religion teaches, than these religious people make Hitler look good compared to a GOD who would torture someone for all eternity over sins he committed in this short life.  Anyway, Love always, Grace.  (End Quote). 

 

This testimony comes from a woman who did not have the incalculable advantages of growing up in a Christian home, and learning scripture from a child.  In spite of that, she was delivered by the unconditional love of God, our Father “who works in you, to will and to act for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13, NIV).  It’s the perfect description of God’s love and His holiness delivering us from whatever dreadful situation we may find ourselves in, no matter how weak our faith may be or how sinful our lifestyle is at the time.  Since it all depends upon His will for us rather than upon our faith in Him, we can rest assured that He will succeed and we will be delivered from that which clouds our vision of His glory. 

 

Father, You are beyond wonderful, and we who have a front row seat to watch You work, praise and worship You.  With all the Saints on this side and that side of Jordan, we join our voices with “the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”  Amen and amen.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOD’S DELIVERY SYSTEM [Jan A. Antonsson] 06-25-15          3

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