The Dark Stages of Spiritual Growth

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1-3).

There are a number of similar patterns in all forms of life. Early stages often can be characterized by tremendous energy and acceleration of growth. Then there are periodic plateaus that take place along the way. This is the lesson of nature. We see these lulls clearly demonstrated with regularity:

  • There is the lull of the day – The daily recurring cycle of night.
  • There is the lull of the year – The yearly recurring cycle of winter.

Don’t be discouraged at the progress of Father’s work in our spiritual growth, or of the seemingly dark periods of lull. He is the Creator, you are His creature. He is the Potter, we are His clay. He is the Workman, and you are His workmanship.

To everything there is a season …

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

Even Our Faults, Our Follies and Our Sins!

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

Now we are aware that God is working all together for the good of those who are loving God, who are called according to the purpose (Romans 8:28, CV).

We can trust all to the hand of God, all problems and troubles, even the things which have seemed hard and hurtful. Even our faults, our follies and our sins we may trust to the same hand, knowing that, from these, too, some blessing will come to us according to His purpose.

JR Miller - YoungerJ.R. Miller (1840-1912)
Intimate Letters on Personal Problems
Miller Book Reprint: The Best of J.R. Miller

Aware and Unaware

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

What then, shall we declare to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? (Romans 8:31)

This great truth, that God is for us, is set against a background of our own individual impotence and personal groaning, and at times so surrounded by difficult and trying circumstances that we do not know what we ought to be praying for.

Romans 8:26, clearly states that because of our infirmity “we are not aware” what we should be praying for.

Now, similarly, the spirit also is aiding our infirmity, for what we should be praying for, to accord with what must be, we are not aware, but the spirit itself is pleading for us with inarticulate groanings.

Yet we are told that,

Now He Who is searching the hearts is aware what is the disposition of the spirit, for in accord with God is it pleading for the saints (Romans 8:27).

Notice that our unawareness is contrasted with God’s awareness. We cannot see the end from the beginning except insofar as it is revealed to us by God’s spirit and through His Word. We do not know what is going to happen tomorrow; therefore we cannot always be sure what God’s immediate will for us is. In such circumstances His spirit comes to our aid, and in these or in any circumstances that may arise, we are aware that God is working all together for our good.

Now we are aware that God is working all together for the good of those who are loving God, who are called according to the purpose (Romans 8:28).

John Henry Essex (1907-1991)
Faith Fellowship (Vol. 60, No. 3)

God’s Plan of Using “Divine Nobodies”

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

What if God is actually fond of abnormal “normal” people like me …?

What if God’s plan to save the world is hidden beneath the radar, behind the scenes, and among the everyday lives of nobodies? …

I’m beginning to see how the secret ways and deepest mysteries of God and His kingdom are often revealed off the beaten path of organized religion and frequently missed by the too-smart. Sometimes it’s not the professor or preacher leading you to divine truth but the commonplace people God sticks right in front of your face. The Bible says something about jars of clay being fit vessels for carrying eternal treasure and God using foolish, weak, lowly, despised people in profound ways (see II Corinthians 4:7; I Corinthians 1:27-28).

Jim PalmerJim Palmer
Divine Nobodies: Shedding Religion to Find God, pages xv-xvi

To Will and to Work

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

It is God Who is operating in you to will as well as to work for the sake of His delight (Philippians 2:13, CV).

This is one of the most important verses dealing with the operation of God in you. Here is what we see in this verse:

– God operating in you,
– He operates in you “to will” – to “want to” – and then
– He also operates in you “to work”“for the sake of His delight.”

Here you can see that Father is operating in you, accomplishing two things:

(1) He is operating His “will” in you – your “want to”; and
(2) He is operating His “work” in you as well – the accomplishment of what He has operated in your heart.

This is God’s operation in your life in a nutshell – “to will as well as to work for the sake of His delight.” Your Father is operating something into you; He is operating into you His Own will. He is putting His Own desires in you. Belonging to Him, you are given a willing heart as a vessel for His delight. Trust and acknowledge the operation of God’s will in you!

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

Need Is the Evidence of Supply

ListenListen to Today’s Audio Goodie
(Have the Goodie read to you!)

Judgments are pointers to grace, signposts: and not to a grace which has to be sought somewhere or manufactured; but which was there long before the judgments, and the judgments are only the necessary way of getting the grace through to us, conditioning us to accept it.

Long before there was a condition of need, God had completed His work of perfect creation. The fall and its consequences … [were] provided for in “the Lamb without blemish and without spot; Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (I Peter 1:19-20).

Norman GrubbNorman P. Grubb (1895-1993)
The Deep Things of God