The Father finishes what He starts

The Father finishes what He starts

He who calls you is faithful; and He also will bring it to pass. – 1 Thessalonians 5:24

1 Thessalonians 5:21-24

 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
 22 abstain from every form of evil.

 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

In the English language there are two words which sound very familiar: bend and bent.

Bend is a verb which means to cause something to change shape by physical force. Or it can have the sense of turning or directing in a particular direction. While bent is a noun which refers to an inclination, an interest, a fondness, or a predilection. Although the word is essentially neutral, it often takes on a corrupt or morally crooked sense. After the time of the Fall in the garden of Eden, the human race became fallen or bent away from walking with the Father.

“Humans are born ‘bent away’ from the Lord. Our natural inclination is to please and serve ourselves. This is diametrically opposed to a lifestyle which serves and honors the Father. When we become believers, our Father begins to bend our will and ways back towards Him. But we must cooperate and yield to the process; otherwise, we are of little use to the kingdom” (Stanley).

”The Lord wants to eradicate every thought pattern and activity promoting dependency on anything other than Him. This means that relying on oneself for security, salvation, or physical and emotional comfort are outside His will. Actions that advance a person at the expense of others are also ungodly” (Stanley).

Paul encourages us to understand and gain the right perspective regarding what the Father desires for us. The Father longs that each of His children have a paradigm shift in their thinking and understanding. The Father wants to take our twisted and warped perception, our bent for evil, and bend us back into spiritual shape.

The Father uses the spiritual force of the living Word of God and the dynamic inner working of the Holy Spirit.

The Scriptures are living and powerful. They reveal and identify what we are within at the deepest possible level. In the hands of a spiritual Surgeon, the Father, the Scriptures are like a spiritual scalpel. The Father uses them to deeply cut within our innermost being that we might know who and what we really are.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

As we spend time reading and meditating upon the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit uses them to transform us from within.  How? He carefully and skillfully diagnoses inward maladies and reshapes them until they are spiritually straight.

REFLECT & PRAY

Isaiah 55:8-9

 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Father, help me to understand your ways and think your thoughts after you.

INSIGHT

In 1400 BC, the nation of Israel entered into a covenant with the Father. The covenant included both blessings and curses (Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28). The blessings would be actualized if the people obeyed the law of Moses. If they chose to disobey, the curses would fall upon them.

It was up to the people to choose which path to take. For the 800 years between 1400 BC and 600 BC, the people chose to disobey, and the results were catastrophic.

Repeatedly, Old Testament prophets were sent to warn the Jewish nation that judgment would come. But they chose not to hear and heed the warnings. Rather they went their own way. As a result in 722 BC, the Assyrians conquered the ten northern tribes (the Kingdom of Israel) and took them off to captivity. Between 605 BC and 586 BC, the two southern tribes (the kingdom of Judah) were conquered, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, and the people were carried off to captivity in Babylon.

They were now aliens living in a foreign land with no hope. However the Father had promised that the captivity would last only 70 years and one day they would return.

Jeremiah 29:10 For thus says the LORD, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.

Jeremiah 31:9 Tears of joy will stream down their faces, and I will lead them home with great care. They will walk beside quiet streams and on smooth paths where they will not stumble. For I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my oldest child.

The Father always fulfills His promises no matter how difficult or impossible they may seem. So it will be for every child of the King.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 He who calls you is faithful; and He also will bring it to pass.

He is actively at work seeking to straighten that which has been bent. We can take the high road and choose to seek to do His will. The rest is up to Him.

Proverbs 3:6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

When we see things as the Father sees things, we are then capable of properly responding to Him. This is the Father’s intended outcome for our lives, and He will faithfully work to bring it to pass.

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