Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing (Tozer)

Chapter 2 : The Blessedness of Posessing Nothing

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matt. 5:3
Before the Lord God made man upon the earth He first prepared for him by creating a world of useful and pleasant things for his sustenance and delight. In the Genesis account of the creation these are called simply `things.' They were made for man's uses, but they were meant always to be external to the man and subservient to him. In the deep heart of the man was a shrine where none but God was worthy to come. Within him was God; without, a thousand gifts which God had showered upon him.
But sin has introduced complications and has made those very gifts of God a potential source of ruin to the soul.

Our woes began when God was forced out of His central shrine and `things' were allowed to enter. Within the human heart `things' have taken over. Men have now by nature no peace within their hearts, for God is crowned there no longer, but there in the moral dusk stubborn and aggressive usurpers fight among themselves for first place on the throne.

This is not a mere metaphor, but an accurate analysis of our real spiritual trouble. There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess. It covets `things' with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns `my' and `mine' look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant. They express the real nature of the old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could do. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die. Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God's gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution.

Our Lord referred to this tyranny of things when He said to His disciples, `If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.' (Matt. 16:24-25).

Breaking this truth into fragments for our better understanding, it would seem that there is within each of us an enemy which we tolerate at our peril. Jesus called it `life' and `self,' or as we would say, the self-life. Its chief characteristic is its possessiveness: the words `gain' and `profit' suggest this. To allow this enemy to live is in the end to lose everything. To repudiate it and give up all for Christ's sake is to lose nothing at last, but to preserve everything unto life eternal. And possibly also a hint is given here as to the only effective way to destroy this foe: it is by the Cross: `Let him take up his cross and follow me.'

The way to deeper knowledge of God is through the lonely valleys of soul poverty and abnegation of all things. The blessed ones who possess the Kingdom are they who have repudiated every external thing and have rooted from their hearts all sense of possessing. They are `poor in spirit.' They have reached an inward state paralleling the outward circumstances of the common beggar in the streets of Jerusalem; that is what the word `poor' as Christ used it actually means. These blessed poor are no longer slaves to the tyranny of things. They have broken the yoke of the oppressor; and this they have done not by fighting but by surrendering. Though free from all sense of possessing, they yet possess all things. `Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'

Let me exhort you to take this seriously. It is not to be understood as mere Bible teaching to be stored away in the mind along with an inert mass of other doctrines. It is a marker on the road to greener pastures, a path chiseled against the steep sides of the mount of God. We dare not try to by-pass it if we would follow on in this holy pursuit. We must ascend a step at a time. If we refuse one step we bring our progress to an end.

As is frequently true, this New Testament principle of spiritual life finds its best illustration in the Old Testament. In the story of Abraham and Isaac we have a dramatic picture of the surrendered life as well as an excellent commentary on the first Beatitude.

Abraham was old when Isaac was born, old enough indeed to have been his grandfather, and the child became at once the delight and idol of his heart. From that moment when he first stooped to take the tiny form awkwardly in his arms he was an eager love slave of his son. God went out of His way to comment on the strength of this affection. And it is not hard to understand. The baby represented everything sacred to his father's heart: the promises of God, the covenants, the hopes of the years and the long messianic dream. As he watched him grow from babyhood to young manhood the heart of the old man was knit closer and closer with the life of his son, till at last the relationship bordered upon the perilous. It was then that God stepped in to save both father and son from the consequences of an uncleansed love.

`Take now thy son,' said God to Abraham, `thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.' (Gen 22:2) The sacred writer spares us a close-up of the agony that night on the slopes near Beersheba when the aged man had it out with his God, but respectful imagination may view in awe the bent form and convulsive wrestling alone under the stars. Possibly not again until a Greater than Abraham wrestled in the Garden of Gethsemane did such mortal pain visit a human soul. If only the man himself might have been allowed to die. That would have been easier a thousand times, for he was old now, and to die would have been no great ordeal for one who had walked so long with God. Besides, it would have been a last sweet pleasure to let his dimming vision rest upon the figure of his stalwart son who would live to carry on the Abrahamic line and fulfill in himself the promises of God made long before in Ur of the Chaldees.

How should he slay the lad! Even if he could get the consent of his wounded and protesting heart, how could he reconcile the act with the promise, `In Isaac shall thy seed be called'? This was Abraham's trial by fire, and he did not fail in the crucible. While the stars still shone like sharp white points above the tent where the sleeping Isaac lay, and long before the gray dawn had begun to lighten the east, the old saint had made up his mind. He would offer his son as God had directed him to do, and then trust God to raise him from the dead. This, says the writer to the Hebrews, was the solution his aching heart found sometime in the dark night, and he rose `early in the morning' to carry out the plan. It is beautiful to see that, while he erred as to God's method, he had correctly sensed the secret of His great heart. And the solution accords well with the New Testament Scripture, `Whosoever will lose... for my sake shall find...'

God let the suffering old man go through with it up to the point where He knew there would be no retreat, and then forbade him to lay a hand upon the boy. To the wondering patriarch He now says in effect, `It's all right, Abraham. I never intended that you should actually slay the lad. I only wanted to remove him from the temple of your heart that I might reign unchallenged there. I wanted to correct the perversion that existed in your love. Now you may have the boy, sound and well. Take him and go back to your tent. Now I know that thou fearest God, seeing that thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me.'

Then heaven opened and a voice was heard saying to him, `By myself I have sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.'

The old man of God lifted his head to respond to the Voice, and stood there on the mount strong and pure and grand, a man marked out by the Lord for special treatment, a friend and favorite of the Most High. Now he was a man wholly surrendered, a man utterly obedient, a man who possessed nothing. He had concentrated his all in the person of his dear son, and God had taken it from him. God could have begun out on the margin of Abraham's life and worked inward to the center; He chose rather to cut quickly to the heart and have it over in one sharp act of separation. In dealing thus He practiced an economy of means and time. It hurt cruelly, but it was effective.

I have said that Abraham possessed nothing. Yet was not this poor man rich? Everything he had owned before was still his to enjoy: sheep, camels, herds, and goods of every sort. He had also his wife and his friends, and best of all he had his son Isaac safe by his side. He had everything, but he possessed nothing. There is the spiritual secret. There is the sweet theology of the heart which can be learned only in the school of renunciation. The books on systematic theology overlook this, but the wise will understand.

After that bitter and blessed experience I think the words `my' and `mine' never had again the same meaning for Abraham. The sense of possession which they connote was gone from his heart. things had been cast out forever.They had now become external to the man. His inner heart was free from them. The world said, `Abraham is rich,' but the aged patriarch only smiled. He could not explain it to them, but he knew that he owned nothing, that his real treasures were inward and eternal.

There can be no doubt that this possessive clinging to things is one of the most harmful habits in the life. Because it is so natural it is rarely recognized for the evil that it is; but its outworkings are tragic. We are often hindered from giving up our treasures to the Lord out of fear for their safety; this is especially true when those treasures are loved relatives and friends. But we need have no such fears. Our Lord came not to destroy but to save. Everything is safe which we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed.

Our gifts and talents should also be turned over to Him. They should be recognized for what they are, God's loan to us, and should never be considered in any sense our own. We have no more right to claim credit for special abilities than for blue eyes or strong muscles. `For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?'

The Christian who is alive enough to know himself even slightly will recognize the symptoms of this possession malady, and will grieve to find them in his own heart. If the longing after God is strong enough within him he will want to do something about the matter. Now, what should he do?

First of all he should put away all defense and make no attempt to excuse himself either in his own eyes or before the Lord. Whoever defends himself will have himself for his defense, and he will have no other; but let him come defenseless before the Lord and he will have for his defender no less than God Himself. Let the inquiring Christian trample under foot every slippery trick of his deceitful heart and insist upon frank and open relations with the Lord.

Then he should remember that this is holy business. No careless or casual dealings will suffice. Let him come to God in full determination to be heard. Let him insist that God accept his all, that He take things out of his heart and Himself reign there in power. It may be he will need to become specific, to name things and people by their names one by one. If he will become drastic enough he can shorten the time of his travail from years to minutes and enter the good land long before his slower brethren who coddle their feelings and insist upon caution in their dealings with God.

Let us never forget that such a truth as this cannot be learned by rote as one would learn the facts of physical science. They must be experienced before we can really know them. We must in our hearts live through Abraham's harsh and bitter experiences if we would know the blessedness which follows them. The ancient curse will not go out painlessly; the tough old miser within us will not lie down and die obedient to our command. He must be torn out of our heart like a plant from the soil; he must be extracted in agony and blood like a tooth from the jaw. He must be expelled from our soul by violence as Christ expelled the money changers from the temple. And we shall need to steel ourselves against his piteous begging, and to recognize it as springing out of self-pity, one of the most reprehensible sins of the human heart.

If we would indeed know God in growing intimacy we must go this way of renunciation. And if we are set upon the pursuit of God He will sooner or later bring us to this test. Abraham's testing was, at the time, not known to him as such, yet if he had taken some course other than the one he did, the whole history of the Old Testament would have been different. God would have found His man, no doubt, but the loss to Abraham would have been tragic beyond the telling. So we will be brought one by one to the testing place, and we may never know when we are there. At that testing place there will be no dozen possible choices for us; just one and an alternative, but our whole future will be conditioned by the choice we make.

Father, I want to know Thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all Those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shalt Thou make the place of Thy feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Moods go by .. kicking !

May 20th.

"In your patience possess ye your souls." Luke 21:19

When a man is born again, there is not the same robustness in his thinking or reasoning for a time as formerly. We have to make an expression of the new life, to form the mind of Christ. "Acquire your soul with patience." Many of us prefer to stay at the threshold of the Christian life instead of going on to construct a soul in accordance with the new life God has put within. We fail because we are ignorant of the way we are made, we put things down to the devil instead of our own undisciplined natures. Think what we can be when we are roused!

There are certain things we must not pray about - moods, for instance. Moods never go by praying, moods go by kicking. A mood nearly always has its seat in the physical condition, not in the moral. It is a continual effort not to listen to the moods which arise from a physical condition, never submit to them for a second. We have to take ourselves by the scruff of the neck and shake ourselves, and we will find that we can do what we said we could not. The curse with most of us is that we won't. The Christian life is one of incarnate spiritual pluck.  (it's a matter of willingness and if our heart is yielding and yielded )

(I like the way Oswald doesn't soft handle this topic) And I would just like to add to this that part of our purpose as in belonging to one another is to help rouse one another; help one another to not mind and sympathize with moods that come and go, but to truly have an unction from above where we are able to walk in the Spirit and not mind the things of the flesh. As  members of One Body as we walk in the Spirit and dwell richly in Him, in turn others are right there with us and lifted up there in the Spirit as well. We are members one with another.   There is strength and power when brethren dwell together in unity. (how good and pleasant it is). It's not complicated, there is much to be gained by just being One in Him and free in Him and love & enjoy His people) Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty , and liberty from our moods !  

have a great day !

Monday, May 19, 2008

Go Where we Need to Go, Be what we Need to Be, Do what we Need to Do

Oh My.   I listened to this podcast and this so described where I seem to be this week.  I LOVED listening to this simply because he took things a step further for me - a step further from where I was at his week (where he was  at too : ) ) to where I / he need to be.

to follow Jesus
to go where we truly need to go
           to do what we need to do  
   to letting Him work it out. 

His heart is always for us ...  letting him truly work in our heart to examine how subtely the "self" takes over.  As self takes over, we lose sight of why He came, and why He calls us.  To pour out our lives for others.  The answer is getting out of our selfish worlds and pouring our lives out for the hurting, the outcast, the downtrodden.  The answer is not waiting for a revival to happen somewhere, or a visitation, a conference or a special speaker to arrive, or a movement in this or that place.  WE simply need His heart in the here and now.   We need it now, right now, where we are at.  And the good news is that it is available for us!  

His description of where he was at last week (he described it as a very numb place in regards to this thing we call "Christianity").  Boy I could witness to that one!   He, as I, out of this numb place, still need God's grace deeply and lavishly to see what we need to see about ourselves and where we are at in all of that.  Are we being selfish ?  Are we becoming religious by digging our heels in ?  Or are we staying in tune spiritually, filled with His Spirit and continuing to have a depth and a hunger that compels us to be Him whereever, whenever, to whomever.   Humility is the key, as said in this podcast.  Humility in hope that He keep us and compel us to  stay rightly connected with Him.  

I want to get back to who Jesus really TRULY is and what He really taught !  Get back to His simple commands and the desires that are continually on His heart for mankind.  He said, to "Come follow Me."  I want to follow Him and I need to get on track and stay on track and not dig my heels in so that I don't lose sight of Christ's love and purpose on behalf of others.  It's so easy to get blind and numb when we see the nonsense and selfishness of others but the only way out of that is to examine our own hearts and see what is truly going on inside of us.   
So that we can continue to follow Him. 

This podcast is really  helping me see the direction I need to go, to get on track, follow Him.  That's God's heart for us all.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Full assurance

When I am struggling and having a hard time, I find comfort often in Andrew Murray's writings. I am not sure if you have read them or if they have impacted or inspired you, but they are such a treasure. So much I have yet to glean from his writings! Some of his library is available online here for reading: http://www.ccel.org/m/murray

The book that I love most is called The Power of the Blood. It's a powerful declaration of the full assurances that we have received through the blood of Christ. I remember the first time I read this book, I thought, "Lord there is so much to be worked in me, in regard to really truly understanding what your precious blood has done for me, & Lord it will be a continual work in me of gaining understanding of the perfect, entire work of your blood on the Cross."

Murray talks in this book of many things, and I am not doing it at all justice to point out just a couple things. But as an introduction, initially he talks about how the blood of Jesus cleanses us from the sense of defilement and the impurities that sin has brought into our life. The inner cleansing as being from the stain of sin. This is so much more than knowing our sins are forgiven. The stain of sin, as in knowing we are free from the power of sin, it's holds, influences, and effects against us. Free from the guilt, shame and pollution of sin, so that we can truly experience a full deliverance, and thus, have the kind of fellowship with Him that this brings. It's God's good pleasure to cleanse us so deeply, so completely, to bring this into focus. Have a purity in us so that we see Him, love Him, devote ourselves, completely. Cleanse our conscience so deeply of this pollution that is inward, so that we are living as completely redeemed, "in the fullness of God's good pleasure."

He talks about the blood as being a fountain, a spiritual fountain flowing unceaselessly, that can be ever experienced moment by moment. How can this not be deeply encouraging to us! cleansing as Murray says, "until there is no shadow of separation between God and us!"

As I said, this is just a tiny portion in regards to the introduction of what this book offers. It is so refreshing, it's like returning to experience restoration and renewal in Him. Satan so wants to hinder us and weary us against the knowledge of what truly Christ's blood has done for us all. In whatever measure he can effect, he is seeking to destroy our faith and apprehending of this full measure that Christ has bestowed upon us. To overcome satan it is of utmost importance and to do this, we must lay hold of and be deeply convinced of what the blood of Jesus Christ has done, has truly done for us.

This comes through conflict - conflicts and struggles that come and go in our lives. Conflicts which are always aligned against this truth of the sufficiency and completeness of the blood of Christ. But as we apprehend the blood of Christ, we can truly overcome, and be overcomers against satan's wiles and tactics. Meaning, that we can experience unhindered continual joyful communion with our Lord which is no longer determined by our circumstances and situations. That there is a constant and uninterrupted experience of His Life flowing in us, through us, and around us. Satan is truly put to flight more and more as we gain this understanding: understanding of the fullness and of the power of what His blood has done on our behalf. Understanding that our life is no longer under the influence of satan or our circumstances, but it is dwelling in the place of Christ where the blood has redeemed us and delivered us.

Experiencing Him and having a relationship with Him that is not dependant upon anything else except the blood of Jesus Christ! We are so free! It's the one thing satan despises and seeks to destroy, is our assurance, our full assurance in Christ. It's like a great announcement ringing forth continually from the the heavens, as we gain this understanding of Christ's blood. There is a continual shift that declares over and over, "we are redeemed" " we are overcoming" but it comes through a battle! Truth against the lies. We truly overcome (him) by the "blood of the Lamb, by the word of our testimony, and that we love not our lives unto death".

I would like to paste one paragraph here below that I read this morning:

(page 158)

"What avails the church is available also for each Christian. In "the blood of the Lamb," he always has victory. It is when the soul is convinced of the power which that blood has with God in heaven to effect a perfect reconciliation by the blotting out of sin, to rob the devil of his authority over us completely and forever; to work out in our hearts a full assurance of the favor of God; and to destroy the power of sin - it is, I say, when the soul lives in the power of the blood that the temptations of satan cease to ensnare."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Letting Him LIve in Us

May 14th.
(My Utmost for His Highest - Oswald Chambers)

"That life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh." 2 Corinthians 4:10

We have to form habits to express what God's grace has done in us. It is not a question of being saved from hell, but of being saved in order to manifest the life of the Son of God in our mortal flesh, and it is the disagreeable things which make us exhibit whether or not we are manifesting His life. Do I manifest the essential sweetness of the Son of God, or the essential irritation of "myself" apart from Him? The only thing that will enable me to enjoy the disagreeable is the keen enthusiasm of letting the life of the Son of God manifest itself in me. No matter how disagreeable a thing may be, say - "Lord, I am delighted to obey Thee in this matter," and instantly the Son of God will press to the front, and there will be manifested in my human life that which glorifies Jesus.

There must be no debate. The moment you obey the light, the Son of God presses through you in that particular; but if you debate you grieve the Spirit of God. You must keep yourself fit to let the life of the Son of God be manifested, and you cannot keep yourself fit if you give way to self-pity. Our circumstances are the means of manifesting how wonderfully perfect and extraordinarily pure the Son of God is. The thing that ought to make the heart beat is a new way of manifesting the Son of God. It is one thing to choose the disagreeable, and another thing to go into the disagreeable by God's engineering. If God puts you there, He is amply sufficient.

Keep your soul fit to manifest the life of the Son of God. Never live on memories; let the word of God be always living and active in you.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

God's Heart is for You & I

(quote) page 90
"Come Away My Beloved"

"Be Not Afraid"

O My child, rest in Me,
Yea, quietly settle down in My care, as a bird settles in a nest.
For I am watching over thee, and in love will I care for thee.

There is no danger with which I am unable to cope.
There is no enemy too formidable for Me to handle
I am able to carry out all My purposes, and to keep thee
at the same time.

Be not afraid: neither allow terror to strike at thy heart.
My power is at thy disposal.
My presence standeth round about thee,
and nothing can harm thee so long as ye are in My care,
and that is forever . . . . . . . (end quote)

Wow, to think that God encompasses all about and watches over us with such fierce love and concern for us. Reading this, you can't help but be aware of God's tenderness and devotion to us, His children. The apple of His eye. Momentary concerns, fleeting fears, uncertainties, they seem to dissipitate as I read this. "In love will I care for thee". "quietly settle down in my care". How soothing is that, our soul can be at rest in the wonderful tender care of our Father.

"No danger with which I am unable to cope". Notice, he says with which "I" am able to cope. He is saying the battle forever belongs to Him, not to us.

"No enemy too formidable for Me to handle." Again, God is saying to us that if we are facing enemies, he regards them as up against the Father, so to speak, not us.

"My power is at thy disposal."

"My presence standeth round about thee."

"Nothing can harm thee as long as ye are in My care."

Talk about a dramatic shift that I need and have often needed - my circumstances may not change, or may slowly change over time, but my faith can't help but be renewed, and grow, soaring in the keeping and unfailing presence and love of our Father. Is there anything that He has not factored in that we have need of? I think He has lovingly completely covered every distress that might come our way. As we continually draw on this kind of reality, that our Father is ever near and deeply devoted, continually to us, we can find true constant peace and hope. Peace that He gives. We are secure in Him and He is with us, ever with us, goes before us, and never shall He ever leave our side.

I know that this is one truth that I will need to feast on, over and over and over. As life twists, turns, speeds up, slows down for you and I, the only answer that ever will be necessary, is Christ. The great lover of our soul. He is all in all. Truly the beginning and the end.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Wonderful Love


Even as the Father Hath Loved Me, I Also Have Loved you—John 15.9

Here Christ leaves the language of parable, and speaks plainly out of the Father. Much as the parable could teach, it could not teach the lesson of love. All that the vine does for the branch, it does under the compulsion of a law of nature: there is no personal living love to the branch. We are in danger of looking to Christ as a Saviour and a supplier of every need, appointed by God, accepted and trusted by us, without any sense of the intensity of personal affection in which Christ embraces us, and our life alone can find its true happiness. Christ seeks to point us to this.
And how does He do so? He leads us once again to Himself, to show us how identical His own life is with ours. Even as the Father loved Him, He loves us. His life as vine dependent on the Father was a life in the Father’s love; that love was His strength and His joy; in the power of that divine love resting on Him He lived and died. If we are to live like Him, as branches to be truly like our Vine, we must share in this too. Our life must have its breath and being in a heavenly love as much as His. What the Father’s love was to Him, His love will be to us. If that love made Him the true Vine, His love can make us true branches. “Even as the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.”
Even as the Father hath loved Me—And how did the Father love Him? The infinite desire and delight of God to communicate to the Son all He had Himself, to take the Son into the most complete equality with Himself, to live in the Son and have the Son live in Him—this was the love of God to Christ. It is a mystery of glory of which we can form no conception, we can only bow and worship as we try to think of it. And with such a love, with this very same love, Christ longs in an infinite desire and delight to communicate to us all He is and has, to make us partakers of His own nature and blessedness, to live in us and have us live in Himself.
And now, if Christ loves us with such an intense, such an infinite divine love, what is it that hinders it triumphing over every obstacle and getting full possession of us? The answer is simple. Even as the love of the Father to Christ, so His love to us is a divine mystery, too high for us to comprehend or attain to by any effort of our own. It is only the Holy Spirit who can shed abroad and reveal in its all-conquering power without intermission this wonderful love of God in Christ. It is the vine itself that must give the branch its growth and fruit by sending up its sap. It is Christ Himself must by His Holy Spirit dwell in the heart; then shall we know and have in us the love that passeth knowledge.
As the Father loved Me, so have I loved you—Shall we not draw near to the personal living Christ, and trust Him, and yield all to Him, that He may love this love into us? Just as he knew and rejoiced every hour—the Father loveth Me—we too may live in the unceasing consciousness—as the Father loved Him, so He loves me.
As the Father loved Me, so have I loved you. Dear Lord, I am only beginning to apprehend how exactly the life of the Vine is to be that of the branch too. Thou art the Vine, because the Father loved Thee, and poured His love through Thee. And so Thou lovest me, and my life as branch is to be like Thine, a receiving and a giving out of heavenly love.

(True Vine Meditations, Andrew Murray)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Overcoming Through Deepening Trust

Just reading this morning Naaman's account in 2 Kings.  

Namaan was a mighty and honorable servant.  The Lord had used him for a great deliverance.  He was honorable, a very effective vessel of God's choosing, to show forth His deliverance and perfect will in.   God used N, but at the same time, N had this struggle going on inside and outside, that he had to  deal with.   He was a leper.   This disease not only threatened his life, but he probably suffered from humiliation in terms of how others would have perceived him.   In all likelihood, the constant battle of overcoming the way he was perceived by others was just as fierce as the physical battle he faced, and the devastation he felt inwardly because of it.  

God saw this and wanted to deliver N from this torment,  and N knew that God was deliverer. But N was provoked at the Lord  because His expectation of the way God would work that out for him  was totally different than the plan God actually had in place.   Yes, God wanted to to heal him, for God loved N .    N didn't doubt God as deliverer, his doubt centered around the way God chose to heal him and how God would work that out.  It just didn't coincide with  his understanding of how God worked and therefore N rejected it.   He thought He just knew how God worked.  God saw this and it was important that He work this out of N. 

Many times we do not know what we just think we know.   WE have to smile silently to ourselves when we hear people expound on so many things.  I would rather walk quietly and carefully beside God as my friend and see how God will work it out rather than run ahead of Him.  God's ways are not man's ways and we so easily confuse the two.  God has to shake us all up and say to us, "Yes, my purpose and my heart is steafast towards you, but you have gotten just a little too religious in all of this, and I really need to not only heal you, but I need to  deliver you from yourself.  That's important to me."   (In Naaman's stubborn and religious mindset,  he wasn't able to grab ahold of God's true heart for Him.) 

I think it's safe to say that we are all the same.  We all seem to want God to work in a very precise and certain way.  WE have these expectations, all of us.  And because of them, we will expend enormous energy, attention, and resources to bring that to pass. This is quite intense in us all.   We should rather keep in focus God's true heart, His love towards us, He wants to help us, encourage us, strengthen us, be there for us, moment by moment.  But it's the moments and the process that are important.   Yes the end product is important, but more important, it's the process along the way, the here and now that molds us into what we grab hold of in the future.  God wants to dig in and clarify our misconceptions along the way so that we come into the union that is there for us in Christ that is deepening along the way.  We are so needy.  If we will truly believe that it's the here and now, and grab ahold of Him, then how He chooses to work things out  and where we will need to go with all of that, this becomes less of an issue.  It's not so much directional  *ie what direction are you going with this God* as it is relational *relational with Him, He is our focus*

Truly believing His heart is for us and for those we love, means we will trust Him and that trust will deepen.  He is careful and will use so much mercy to show us the way.  We will feel His heart in us, feeling what He feels for others.  We will come in contact with God's true heart, and in that place there is peace, and we can say "All is TRULY well".   Our union deepens and we know we are connected with the Father and He is having His way and it's all good.

His comfort, peace and  moment by moment reassurances have no earthly value, it just gives us so much hope when we know that we are not in control, He is in control,  we can trust Him more and more,  as we lay aside our expectations and our religious mindsets, and things will progress.  He is the one Thing we do know.   God is for us, loves us, and is concerned for our/each other's/ whole being .  Our greatest need seems to be, to be reminded over and over again, of who He is, He is tremendously after us and He is pursuing us.  He never changes, no matter what is happening.  Remind ourselves and each other.  We have a tremendous hope in Him.  God is working it all out according (not to our plan and our religion) but to His plan.  His plan is good.