Momentary Affliction!

light affliction
I received this text last Wednesday from a dear brother who happens to live in Virginia. Because of relationships with strong brothers in the Lord, I get communications such as this frequently, whether it be texts, emails, FaceBook posts or phone calls,  during the course of any given day. It’s always good to receive them because it helps to feed my spirit man, encourages me to see that Father is speaking/dealing with brothers about similar things and allows me to receive the insights they may have on certain issues.

You can probably surmise that the brother who sent me the text might possibly be “going through” some stuff at the moment!  Any believer that is salt and worth their salt goes through seasons of pressing and crushing. There isn’t anyway around it. You must go through it and humbly endure such seasons.  But, I have come to understand, wise believers recognize such seasons and realize their purpose!

But we have this treasure [the reflection of the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ] in earthenware containers, in order that the super-excellence of the power might be from God as a source and not from us.

We are being hard pressed from every side, but we are not hemmed in We are bewildered, not knowing which way to turn, but not utterly destitute of possible measures or resources. We are being persecuted, but not left in the lurch, not abandoned, not let down.

We are being knocked down, but not destroyed, always bearing about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus in order that the life of Jesus might be clearly and openly shown in our body, for, as for us, we who are living are perpetually being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake in order that the life of Jesus might be clearly and openly shown in our mortal body.

That passage of scripture is from 2 Corinthians 4 and precedes the “light momentary burden of affliction” quoted in the text.  The end of that chapter provides the following:

……while we are not contemplating the things that are seen but the things which are not seen,for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

While most believers are praying to God for deliverance from situations and circumstances that appear detrimental to their carnal life, physical body and way of life, sons being matured must learn that Father is dealing with them for their development…………… a laboratory lesson in learning how to partake of His Divine Nature which He has seeded into them.  I am sorry to have to say, that the squeeze has to come so that which is in us can come forth.

While scripture is clear about the fact that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to Him, very few believers actually do.  The reason?  Because we love our own life and we seek to preserve it. That, my dear reader, is a play out of the old orphan playbook.  Jesus told us that if we seek to save our own life, we’d wind up losing it! Most believers think that since they name the name of Christ that it is beneficial in serving them in order to preserve their carnal, fleshly existence.  Frankly, most conversions occur because people are afraid of eternal damnation represented by hell and they seek to preserve themselves from it rather than truly understanding Father’s goodness and the purpose He has in redeeming.

So, while they seek to preserve their existence, Father is at work in and through “things” to TRANSFORM them from functioning in carnality (governed by the flesh and its powers) over to spirituality (quality of existence governed and led by the Holy Spirit).  God is Spirit. Not flesh.  Father is Eternal.  Not temporal.  We must learn to contemplate the eternal things and allow them to be the basis for our existence in the earth.

“Well, brother, how in the world do you do that?”  You may be asking.

We look to Jesus!  He is the focal point of eternal invading the temporal and expressing the spirit over the carnal.  He authored and completed THE FAITH we are to receive/have and function in while present in the earth.  He endured the suffering of the cross and he learned obedience through the things he suffered. He spoke when he heard Father speak and he acted when he saw Father act.  Through the man Christ Jesus, eternal purpose and substance became preeminent over the carnality of this age!

“Yeah, but, ………………he was Jesus!”

Yep.  And you and I, if we are truly born again, come from the same Source as he did.  Such function isn’t a pipe dream………….it is the design and desire of Father’s heart. The entire WAY that Jesus brought in and established is to be walked out by every believer, initiated individually and consummated corporately.  And until we convert over to the same mind of Christ that said, “Offerings and sacrifices you have not desired, but you have given me a body that I might do your will.”, we will continue to prolong temporal circumstances by seeking only for deliverance from them. (please see the nation of Israel that successfully turned an 11 day journey from Egypt to the Promised Land into 40 years by not dying to flesh and submitting to the rule of God in their midst.)

Temporal circumstances work in us an eternal purpose.  If our minds are focused upon the things that Father is focused on, we will understand that truth and deal with Him accordingly. It takes relational trust with Him, as Father, to believe He knows best and will work all things together for the good of them that love Him and are called according to His purpose! His plan is to bring us fully into His LIFE – not keep us in the life that we have always known.  The sooner we understand this truth and release this life, the quicker we will come to KNOW Him and His Christ ……………..which is eternal life! (John 17:3)

The above mentioned brother continues to walk through it; ever learning, ever growing.  My prayer for all of us is that we constantly hit that stride!

Keep your peace!

 

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10 thoughts on “Momentary Affliction!

  1. It is a genuine shock for scores of people I have met, and continue to meet, to discover that Jesus does not exist to assure them of the American good life. They genuinely believe He is a commodity they can leverage for their personal advantage of temporal comfort and ease if they just live “obediently enough,” (holiness types) or “break enough generational curses, et. al. ” (charismatic types–discover the magic blockage to the good life). They are genuinely shocked, and utterly ill-equipped mentally, emotionally, and spirituality to face any unpleasantness or adversity in their lives. A “theology of favor and blessing” has degraded into a theology of denial and self-interest.

  2. Absolutely! We have created immature, entitled believers who expect to live their best life now. 😬 we must equip and mature His People – especially in the West. Can you imagine persecution here in the U.S like it is now in Iraq?!?!?

  3. This comment came via email from a sister in Missouri ……thought I’d share:

    The victim mentality tends to manifest itself in people saying that some small physical thing will solve our problems. I was so guilty of that…but what you said about that being part of the “orphan play book” is so true. I no longer want deliverance from physical issues. I want deliverance from spiritual bonds that prevent me from being close to God and hearing Him. His thoughts are so far from mine…I need to hear Him so that I can change my thoughts to match His.

  4. Bryon,

    Good thoughts on adversity and affliction – what are your thoughts on those suffering from physical illnesses and such. Do you see those as coming from the hand of God to help us grow, or do you see it more as God, being the opportunist that he is, working in our life and causing us to trust him more when sicknesses come. We have been praying for a friend who genuinely believes God made her sick and that it drew her closer to himself. I know it isn’t good to put God into our charismatic, faith-healing box, but I also don’t believe in a God who makes people sick on purpose, at least not normally, except a few old covenant examples.

    • My take………..it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. If Father put the punishment on Jesus for the healing of our sickness/disease, why would He then put that on us? The fact that we live in a fallen age and sickness/disease apparently prevail again points back to the original point of the post……..we are extremely carnal focused rather than spiritually focused and considering the entire eternal view. It is a mark of immaturity to retain a carnal mind regarding such matters and not transition over to the mind of Christ.

      with that said, i truly believe that as the Body of Christ comes to maturity and true corporate expression is put forth, there will be miracles of healings and deliverances brought to pass in our midst. We see glimpses of it in our small circles of relationships and corporate expressions. But, I know Father must continue to deconstruct our ideas/thoughts of what “church” looks like and is – so that His design can come to existence.

      I am sure that if our dear brother Crosby is paying attention, he will take his liberty to address your question as well.

      • Excellent insights about the body of Christ coming to maturity and seeing healings increase as the corporate expression increases. I am part way through reading Steve Crosby’s book about Healing and have found it to be very encouraging and insightful – it has answered a number of questions for me so far. Wow – Robert worthing’s answer was also very insightful. Blessings to you brother.

  5. We must not use the Cross the way a lame man uses a crutch, that is, to keep himself upright and mobile despite his affliction. That is nothing more than trying to maintain in our sin. The Cross first, and foremost, must be understood as a place of judgment and death before it can ever be a place of healing and life. What we don’t want to consider is the idea that as lost men we are like someone with broken bones that have healed without being set properly. These bones will have to be broken again and set properly if they are ever to function as intended. Father is not so much interested in our comfort as our conformity to the image of His son. It seems that too often notions of favor and deliverance have confused, in the minds and spirits of some, comfort and conformity. Conformity involves radical trust and love, an acceptance that life in Christ can have seasons when life is a crucible. But out of it comes an unanticipated and unimagined intimacy with Father. Conversely, comfort breaths in the twilight of convenience and convention. Comfort is not the way of the Cross, but leaves one much like the prisoners in Plato’s cave allegory. They will only see the shadow of the Son, but miss the substance.

  6. I am with Bryon, God does not use disease and sickness to teach or chastise His children: He is Healer, not “sicknesser.” He has given us the Holy Spirit to teach us, not disease. However, in a grand redemptive scheme can we learn in our affliction? Of course, because nothing is outside the scope of his redemptive reach, ESPECIALLY when thinking outside of our self interest and in alignment with HIS purposes in the earth, and the collective benefit to the community. There is more at stake in ANY situation than my personal circumstances. All things working, etc. However, we live in a fallen world . . . suffering . . . disease . . sickness . . .death – -Exist — and so do deliverances, miracles, healings, etc. We live in the realm of both, and that is annoying to people looking for simple formulas to follow to guarantee pleasant outcomes. I talk about it in depth at http://www.stevecrosby.com/Healing-Miracles-Books-p/hhhk.htm which some have been so kind to say as the best, most honest, most thorough treatment of the subject they have ever read.

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