For we are the circumcision, who give worship to God and have glory in Jesus Christ, and have no faith in the flesh (Php 3:3 BBE).
God's salvation is a complete work. It is more than spending eternity with Christ, but includes everything we need to live life to its fullest, its most abundant, and its most enjoyable TODAY and NOW. It provides peace, safety, prosperity, and healing in all its forms - mental, emotional, and physical. God has left nothing out.
I believe these words with every fiber of my being. I have lived them, and they cannot be taken away from me. Well, the other day, during my daily Bible reading, I came across verses 19-20 in Romans 4. Speaking of Abraham, it reads:
And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; (Rom 4:19-20)
When I came to the words, "he considered not," I stopped short. Back in December of last year, I made a New Year's resolution and posted it here on my blog. I have made no secret of my desire for complete healing in my mind and body from the damages of fear, and THIS YEAR I determined to reach my goal. I will have it because God has promised it to me. Yet as I have walked my life out day-by-day, there are times when the reaching out is harder than others. Earnestly, I have sought the Lord's guidance on turning my thoughts further toward where they need to be to walk in faith. And this thought brings me back to Abraham.
Consider Not! Consider Him!
What does it say in Philippians 3:3? I love the BBE version of this chapter, especially. Paul here is speaking to the church and he tells them that of all the people who could trust in their flesh, he should be the greatest. He has more reason to trust in his own righteousness more than any other.
I think the idea of our "own righteousness" sometimes trips us up. But our righteousness is self-confidence. The King James Version states this verse, "Have no confidence in the flesh." This instruction is for every area of our lives. We have self-confidence anytime our idea outweighs God's. It is all those times you knew you should do a certain thing, act a particular way, or follow through with something He has spoken to your heart, yet you didn't do it. Instead, you argued. "But God...what if..."
That's just it though! There is no "what if" with God! I once heard a preacher say never to make "plan B" and this thought has always stuck with me. Anytime we prepare plan B, we release part of our trust in God and place it instead in ourself. It is like saying, "God might fail, so just in case, I will..." But, no, it doesn't work that way.
Abraham "considered not" his body. He knew how old he was. He knew it was impossible in the flesh. He knew how old Sara was. He didn't look at those things because he knew the promise of God and believed in God's faithfulness to perform it. Hebrews 3:1 tells us to, "Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus." The word "consider" here (and in Romans 4) specifically means "to fix one's eyes and mind upon." (Thayer's Greek Definitions) So instead of fixing our thoughts on ourselves, instead of considering what we can do, we must instead fix them on Christ and who He is.
I like the words of a commentary, speaking of Romans 4:19-20.
“The nature and power of Abraham's faith are shown. He believed God's testimony, and looked for the performance of his promise, firmly hoping when the case seemed hopeless. It is weakness of faith, that makes a man lie poring on the difficulties in the way of a promise. Abraham took it not for a point that would admit of argument or debate. Unbelief is at the bottom of all our staggerings at God's promises. The strength of faith appeared in its victory over fears. God honours faith; and great faith honours God.” (MHCC, e-sword.net)I love the phrase, "no argument or debate." In other words, Abraham didn't make plan B. Another commentary says, "He did not regard the fact that his body was now dead, as any obstacle to the fulfillment of the promise." (Barne's, e-sword.net) Abraham did not let his body become an obstacle to the fulfillment of God's promise in his life.
In my own life, I have let my physical weakness become that obstacle. There have been so many times when my confidence was in my flesh.
"If I can just get in the car, I'll be okay."
"If I can just get there, this will pass."
"If I pray for an hour first, then I..."
I mean well each time, yet my true confidence was in myself, not in God. And I realize this every time I fail - "Why couldn't I do that this time?" The truth is, sometimes trusting is hard. I have discovered the acting out of the Scripture's instructions is often hard. They are easily preached and easily heard, but difficult to DO, mostly because we trust in ourselves to do them. How much easier they become when we can "let go and let God!"
The final truth of it all is found in the last two verses of Philippians 3, and these are the Scriptures on where I stand and rejoice. (Rm 5:2)
For our country is in heaven; from where the Saviour for whom we are waiting will come, even the Lord Jesus Christ: By whom this poor body of ours will be changed into the image of the body of his glory, in the measure of the working by which he is able to put all things under himself. (Php 3:20-21 BBE)
It WILL BE changed! It will be changed TODAY and NOW! If I will just consider it done...
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.