We Are in His Field
It is intrinsic to understanding God’s sovereignty that we realize what Paul meant when he said that Christians are God’s field. He is showing that God owns us. This simply means that God has total rights to our lives. We have no private life; our private life is His. We cannot go on a two-week vacation and say, “God, I want a good time, and You have been breathing down my neck for most of the year. I would like a couple of weeks away from You.” No, He’ll go with us on vacation; we have no time that we can call our own. It is His time. We have no secret thoughts about which we can say, “God, I just don’t want You to know about this.” We do not own ourselves.
Does this disturb and annoy you? Or does this thrill you to your fingertips to know that you are bought with a price? It is true whether you like it or not. You are His; He owns you. You are God’s field; it is not your field. For that reason God can do what He wants with you, and because you are His, you can’t get rid of Him even if you tried. You may have said to God, “Leave me alone.” But He didn’t; He would not.
Because He owns us, God has no obligation to us. God ultimately takes the responsibility not only for saving us but also for our development.
Every virtue we possess,
And every conquest won,
And every thought of holiness,
Are his alone.
Posted on 02/27/2008 4:02 PM by Abe
What Is Your Thorn in the Flesh
What is your thorn in the flesh? Is it a frailty? It may be a physical problem. It may be an emotional problem. It may be a personal weakness.
It may be a fault: a defect, or imperfection—one that feels embarrassing and humbling. You may have prayed about it a thousand times. You may have asked people to lay their hands on you and to pray that this imperfection would disappear. I myself have done this.
It may be a friend. Sometimes a dear friend can be a real thorn in the flesh. Perhaps he is difficult. You want to be with him, but afterward you feel frustrated or all the worse for being in his company. It may be a love-hate relationship. You feel you can’t be without this person, but the relationship is always edgy, prickly. You feel that even discussing it would be spontaneous combustion!
It may be an enemy. This person seems to live to make you look bad! But it may be that your enemy—who keeps you on your toes (not to mention your knees)—is raised up by God to keep you sharp and careful.
Could your thorn in the flesh be that you have known failure? It may have been financial failure, a failed marriage, or a job loss. Or, when facing temptation, you failed, and the whole scenario haunts you daily.
Perhaps someone has lied about you. You cannot defend yourself. People believe the lie. You long with all your being to be vindicated. But God withholds vindication. This could be your thorn in the flesh.
Don’t despise your thorn, whatever it is. Don’t resent it. It exists by God’s sovereign pleasure. It is for your good. It is the best thing that ever happened to you next to your conversion and anointing. It is only a matter of time before you will appreciate it.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. —Psalm 103:13–14
Posted on 02/27/2008 9:06 PM by Abe