SHARING IN THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST – 2
SUNNY ORLY COFFMAN
OCTOBER 1, 2002
I was awakened this morning long before the sun made its appearance with this thought: “The trials, troubles, woes, pains, and sufferings of this life are just deep cleansing agents God drops into our bathwater that we might be cleansed of all hindrances to His Plan and Purpose for our life.”
For much of my life I was blinded by traditional teachings which had led me to believe: “a loving God would never bring anything but good into His children’s lives.” There is total truth in that statement, but there is a serious problem in our perception of what is “good” and what is “evil.” He says that His Ways and His Thoughts are so much higher than ours. God promises us that “all things work together for good to them that love Him and are called according to His Purpose.” Many of the ALL THINGS don’t feel like “good” as we walk through them, but the end result is “good” as we reflect on what was produced in our lives by these challenges.
What kind of a parent would we be with our own children and what kind of children would we have if we only fed them the candies and cookies they want instead of a portion of broccoli and some spinach to balance out their nutritional intake? What kind of lives would we help produce in our children if we never taught them the simple lessons, such as a hot stove burns small fingers? What would their lives become without our loving correction and guidance? If we see the necessity of assuming responsibility as a parent to teach our own children “life lessons” to help prepare them for lives filled with wisdom and success… how much more does our Heavenly Father have that same desire for us?
If God gave us everything we wanted and never allowed circumstances in our lives to teach us the correction we need, how would we ever grow into the maturity necessary to become Sons of God? Many still find it impossible to believe that it is the desire of God for us to be like His first Son, Jesus. But He makes it so plain in his written love letter to us. “Those that are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God.” [Gal. 2:20]
Great injustice has been done by many shepherds in pulpits as a result of their false promises of great wealth, fame, and an “easy street” lifestyle resulting from our acceptance of the fact that Jesus is God’s Son and that faith and trust in Jesus opens the door to all of the material blessings we can ever hope for. God has most certainly made all provision for our spiritual assurance and development through His first Son, but so many preachers never teach the balance of God’s loving correction through much suffering… and yet God’s written word makes it plain that we are birthed in the furnace of affliction. [Isa. 48:9-11] Even Jesus Himself was taught much through His earthly trials and sufferings. If the Plan of God and the purpose of God for our lives is to be like Him, how do we think we’re going to escape the same kind of experiences?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a doom and gloom writer…but I am a realist and I see the hand of God in ALL that represents me and my life on this earth. I know that God is in control of it all. I know that even in the midst of what may seem like the trial of a lifetime, my God is continually at work bringing forth perfection in me. I know that He desires me to walk in holiness: that He might indwell a holy temple – me! Could you dare to believe that the Creator of the Universe also desires to dwell within you – to use your vessel for his Holy purposes – to love others through you? Can you just imagine being available continually to God for His purposes alone… not just to have a self-focused life…not to simply think about all of the things you desire for yourself, but to experience the joy and excitement of God using you in some way to effect positive change in the life of another person?
It is time we accept the fact that God created what we see as “good” and He also created “evil” – or what we perceive as evil… and all for His purposes… and all for our own benefit. We’ve been eating from the wrong tree in the garden all our lives. We’ve been judging everything by the twisted perception of “good and evil” instead of keeping our total focus on God – trusting that He will allow nothing in our lives except it is working out perfection in our own walk… changing us into the image of His first Son, Jesus…and all of this for the purpose of our being molded and made into the image of Jesus so that we may walk as He did on this earth.
My husband and I were continuing a discussion on the suffering of Christ and the afflictions he bore and Roger said he felt that Jesus had taken so much suffering upon Himself for the deliverance of the Babylonian Church. That He, Jesus, in His own crucifixion, had been the “ice breaker”, the “heat taker,” the “sacrificing saint” – the one who took the rap of the false accusers – those that operated then and even now out of a carnal mine [man’s intellect] rather than being led by the Spirit of God.”
It was this kind of thinking that made the crucifixion of Christ possible. Many were deceived by the law – thinking they were doing the will of God by getting Jesus out of the way. But it is important we see their own true motive – their personal intention – the attitude of their hearts. The Pharisees and perhaps even the Sadducees were fearful their own position would be threatened by this man, Jesus, who came claiming to be a man of peace, loving everyone that came across His path. They knew they didn’t possess the kind of love He had; and somehow they knew that it was the key to everything. They wanted him dead… the threat removed… their positions insured.
As we continued our discussion, my husband saw that in building the tower of Babel, those people were trying to be as God… competition… not a family spirit… not working into God’s plan. So, God confused their languages to keep them from effectively communicating. This tactic caused them to discontinue their building program for the Tower of Babel.
My husband saw a today application of defeat for the attempted manifestation of this same spirit, simply manifesting in a different way. He saw all of the different denominations… and their competition between themselves and their same lack of effective communication… as the same kind of “glitch” put into their program to effectively stop their forward progress.
Once again, man trying to be as God – worshiping the creature [some priest, pastor, apostle, evangelist] instead of a Loving God and walking in a respectful Fear of Him, has opened the door to God again confounding their present “intellectual theology”… the same spirit of the Pharisees and Sadducees of Israel… still living under the law… eating from the tree of good and evil… still judging…still trying to make it without God rather than being willing to die to self [the carnal mind – his fleshly thinking – his influence of education and emotions].
A few months ago the Lord spoke to us about a train going 100 mph and how that train had to come to a full and complete stop before a change of course could come forth.
Man in his carnality has done so much to attempt to maneuver God… by demanding and commanding Him to answer prayers prayed that were not instigated by God. Man in his adamic nature demands recognition for his commands and demands the undivided attention of both God and man…setting himself up as God. Looking back in history we see that the church still had its demands upon God through the rituals practiced…i.e., sacrifices, rites, etc. – and all of this instead of an attitude of humility and sincere desire to listen to what God directs and to fit into His Plans. Man would rather listen to man [someone he can see] than to hear from the voice of God [someone he cannot see].
There were still some in that day that were Sons of God – hearing and heeding what God spoke, such as Shadrac, Meshack, and Abednigo, Daniel, and the Prophet Joel. These men knew in their inner most being the heartbeat of God… having been made willing to listen.
The greatest deceiver of all time is a man thinking and speaking from the carnal approach concerning the spiritual things of God. The divine revelation comes to the spiritual man – not the carnal, adamic man. A man in the spiritual can accept the changes of God. But a man in the carnal must reason everything.
The science of biology and the science of physics are both intricately involved in the fulfillment of man. Man is made in the likeness and image of God… thus man in his spiritual state [when the marriage of the soul and the spirit are consummated – the spirit now being the head of the spirit – man now being led by God instead of his own intellect and emotions] – is also a creator.
Man in his human nature had difficulty accepting the responsibility that is truly his… i.e. – passing off his part of the responsibility of rearing his own children to his wife. Man needs to be submitted to God – in that submission, he will receive the knowledge and understanding of how to lead his family and accept his responsibility within the family circle.
The direction may be revealed to the wife by the Spirit so that she may be able to follow the leading of her husband and receive the revelation which God is imparting through the head of the family. God will speak to a humble man, but He will chasten a man filled with Pride. Man cannot have idols – not even his wife or children – wealth or material possessions.
For him to have wisdom – to be the ordained of God, he must hear what the Father is speaking with no sidetracks, no hindrances, no need for any man’s approval. Knowing he has heard from God is sufficient. A double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways. But a humble man – that is willing to listen – will be exalted by God.
SHARING IN THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST – 2 [Sunny Orly Coffman] 10-1-02 1