In this last part of The Pit and the Wilderness, we look at Discovering the Promises, The Hidden Blessings, and The Sustaining Power of His Spirit.
Discovering the Promises
“I am a stranger in the earth:
hide not thy commandments from me.”
When we look at the words that John wrote to those who followed Christ, we see the promises that are ours through our pilgrimage here. In the same sentence before “the whole world lieth in wickededness,” he said, “And we know that we are of God.” 1 John 5:19
In the previous verse, he said,
“We know that everyone who has been born of God
does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God
protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.”
He has brought us out of the pit. We can travel the remainder of our journey with this assurance.
Paul knew and experienced the promises.
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins
to deliver us from the present evil age,
according to the will of our God and Father,
to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Simon Peter shared these promises.
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.“ 2 Peter 1:3-4
Many say that we fail to obtain these blessings because they are hidden from us in our disobedience. Our heavenly Father does not waste anything ~ just as Jesus did not give His life to suffer and die in vain but to effectively save all His people (Matthew 1:21).
How can God’s blessings be refused?
He is able ~ exceeding abundantly able ~ to bring His own children to receive what He has prepared for us (Ephesians 3:20; 1 Corinthians 2:9) He is God. He is the Father. He is not disappointed ~ rather He rejoices over us because of His own work (Zephaniah 3:17). He prepared before the foundation of the world what He brings to pass according to the power of His Holy will.
We can pray to God the prayer of Isaiah 64:1
“Rend the heavens and come down, as the melting fire burneth,
to make known your name among the adversaries.”
But we also, as His people, praise Him with Paul’s words in Ephesians 4:1.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who in Christ, has blessed us with every spiritual blessing
in heavenly places.”
These blessings are for His children who live daily in the wilderness, through His Word and Spirit, enduring with faith and persevering to the goal.
God does not hide the blessings from us ~ we find them as we continue on our way. They are seemingly hidden in our circumstances. They turn up where we might least expect them. This is the experience of living faith that He works through us. Through every trial, He is waiting to bless us.
Sustaining Power of His Spirit
“Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.
My soul cleaveth unto the dust:
quicken thou me according to thy word.”
His Spirit is every moment sustaining us. These thoughts of hope and assurance have remained with me since that vision of the pit. There have been moments of trial in which my paths have taken me through valleys, sometimes to the mountaintop for a special time with Him but these were temporary.
As I continued on my way, the pit was revealed again and again, sometimes on each side with only room to walk, as over a narrow bridge, so that I could almost feel a hand on my leg; other times as if on a tightrope extended above the openings.
Other times I have had to cross great streams that would have carried me away except that He was holding on to me and carrying me across, or holding me as I was carried downstream.
There have been paths through tunnels, blackness surrounding me ~ at times having little more than a faint light ahead ~ but as I continued, the light became brighter.
There have been days so dark that it seemed as if I was in a dungeon with no light at all, with only the hope that He would bring me out in His timing.
It is during these times that I remember ~ this darkness is nothing compared to the darkness of the pit from which God has brought us, and of even greater darkness that is yet to come for those who are not His.
“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness:
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
His grace is truly sufficient for all times and for all trials (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
As we continue through this wilderness, we who are in Christ will encounter the enemy at every turn, but we are assured that we are not alone. God is always with us.
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven,
having the key of the bottomless pit
and a great chain in his hand.”
Thank you, Lord, for the wilderness.
In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
Suggested reading: God is Our Goal