Through this vapor called life, we are exposed to a myriad of situations, with all of us at one time or another experiencing one or more of the following: depression, loneliness, oppression, sorrow, self- condemnation, inferiority complexes, the feeling of helplessness, bitterness, insecurity, chemical imbalances, just to name a few. Be of good cheer. All of the problems listed have a very singular solution outlined in the Word of God.
This is "Part Two" in a three-part series titled "Some of the Greatest Principles of All Time." If you have not visited "Part One," stop immediately and click on to "Some of the Greatest Principles of All Time, Part One, Brains and Words."
A very brief review of "Part One" follows:
1. We were created in God’s likeness, therefore we have God-like brain power between our ears;
2. Our brains have infinite capabilities;
3. We, including our brains, are made out of literal words;
4. The brain can be changed with words; and
5. God’s Words can transform your mind.
A believer must apply himself to Godly expectations. If I’m looking for the wrong thing, I won’t recognize the right thing when it arrives. Understanding the part that contradictions play in the perfect picture is imperative.
All of God’s Words are true. When I apply His words, my mind is transformed and my circumstances are transformed. Even a very tedious and mundane labor will be transformed into a glorious thing if I apply Ephesians 6:5-8:
5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
I must believe and apply His Words. The proper mind-set is central to victorious living.
Psalms 37:23 reads:
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
If you are washed in the blood of Christ and committed to following Him, your steps are ordered by the Lord. If you are serving the Lord, then Proverbs 4:18 applies to you:
But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
As we journey toward Christ, the true Light, our paths become brighter as we get closer to the Light source and then, when we see Him face to face, we will be as He is. As a servant of the Lord, Romans 8:28 becomes mine:
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.
The reality of God ordering my steps, of my path getting brighter everyday, and all things working together for my good brings me to only one conclusion: today is the best day of my life and tomorrow will be better. Of course, it sounds like an exaggeration, but be assured the statement is accurate. Years ago, I received a phone call and the caller asked me how things were. I told her that that day was the best day of my life. She asked me if I had hit the lottery and I responded, "Oh, much more than that!"
But contrary to this excellent confession exists a plethora of contradiction. Contradiction to a Godly confession plays a major role in the perfection of a believer’s walk.
I Peter 1:6-7:
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
A confession of faith will always be challenged by the spirit of unbelief—the Satanic spirit of contradiction. It is Satan’s constant mode of operation that we see portrayed in the Garden of Eden when he says to our great-grandmother Eve, "Yea, hath God said? (Genesis 3:1)" But as in all of Satan’s contradictory resistance against the word of faith, a believer’s resistance against the contradiction builds Godly spiritual muscle.
God’s Word declares in Romans 5:1-5:
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Note that tribulations that we overcome in Christ have real, lasting, and powerful benefits.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
We are to confront daily temptations with joy because the product of this spiritual exercise is the trying of our faith which produces patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.
As children of God afflictions are also promised us. Affliction, defined in the dictionary as "a state of pain, distress or grief," plays an important role in the process of God-like development.
I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
And Psalms 34:19:
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
Afflictions are employed by God to correct our ways, to get our attention, to draw us close to His heart, and never to overcome us, but to bring us unto perfection.
Through our pilgrimage upon this earth, we will be tried in various ways. By the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony, we will overcome trials, temptations, tribulations, and afflictions, and after we have suffered a while, we will be made perfect. I Peter 5:8-10:
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
The Word of God teaches that Jesus Christ was made perfect in the sufferings He endured. Hebrews 2:9-10:
9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
9And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
The promise to the saints from the Word of God has never been "pie in the sky." We are promised trials and tribulations, temptations and afflictions, and even persecution, but all to be overcome in a joyous spirit of praise. I Thessalonians 5:18:
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Repeating an earlier paragraph, a believer must apply himself to Godly expectations. If I’m looking for the wrong thing, I won’t recognize the right thing when it arrives. Understanding the part contradictions play in the perfect picture is imperative.
The title of this article is "Setting the Table" which is a principle declared in Psalms 23:5:
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
In order for God to accomplish this to the full in my life, I must have and apply a working knowledge of the principles of contradiction. Remember, the word of faith will be challenged.
Patiently waiting upon God to work a miracle in my life is foundational if I as a believer expect to enjoy the blessing of God "setting the table." A verse presently escapes me but basically God said, "I came to bring your deliverance, but you had already vacated your position." It reminds me of the passage in Luke 21:19 where Jesus says:
In your patience possess ye your souls.
In the book of Genesis is a story of Joseph, of the "coat of many colours" fame. The trials, tribulations, temptations, and afflictions he endured are well documented in the Word of God.
1. He was rejected and ridiculed by his brothers and even rebuked by his father for the dreams that God had given him.
2. His jealous brothers had cast him into a pit to die at the age of 17.
3. His jealous brothers took him from the pit and sold him to the Ishmeelites, the enemies of the Jews.
4. The Ishmeelites sold him to the Egyptian Potiphar as a slave.
5. Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of attempted rape and he was cast into the dungeon.
6. Joseph remained in prison until the age of 30, when God raised him up as the greatest kingmaker of all time.
Through all the apparently adverse situations Joseph endured, God was setting the table for him in the presence of his enemies. Even in the face of serious trials, God orchestrated Joseph’s life, blessing all that he put his hand to, and giving him favor among men and angels. The Word of God tells us that Joseph had an excellent spirit before God which requires a strong confession of faith. Had Joseph vacated his position along the road of trials, he would not have been present for suppertime when God would set his ultimate table in the presence of his enemies. Joseph became the greatest man on the earth and the preserver of life for the children of Israel. His faithfulness and patient waiting upon God made possible the setting of the table. Remember, "In your patience possess ye your souls."
Many examples exist in the Word of God of children of faith enduring great trials and afflictions to arrive at God’s table, with the ultimate one being the cross of Calvary. Had Jesus refused to obey the will of His father concerning Calvary, He would not be the Savior of this world and the spoiler of evil. God set a table for Him in the presence of His enemies.
In review of "Part Two," we find:
1. A believer must apply himself to Godly expectations;
2. Satan’s contradictions always confront the word of faith;
3. Today is the best day of my life and tomorrow will be better;
4. We are to rejoice in all things—even in trials, tribulations, temptations, and afflictions, for they develop Godly muscle and are used by God to bring our faith forth as pure gold;
5. God’s promise to His children is not "pie in the sky;" and
6. God sets the table for those, like Brother Joseph, who wait patiently for suppertime.
King James Bible