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 The Discipline of Service

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PostSubject: The Discipline of Service   Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:50 pm

It is well to understand that the Father will have us to appreciate our portion in His Son in contrast to everything here.  We try in vain to combine both, so that a great deal of our time is spent in learning that there is nothing here to meet the requirements of our new affections.
 
There is a wandering in the wilderness in a solitary way, and yet no city is found to dwell in.  But God allows this in order that His children may find that their desires can only be satisfied by Him.  We must learn that we are not of this world.  Surely we ought to lay it to heart how much of our discipline arises from clinging to the world in one form or another, instead of on account of our testimony against it.
 
It is worthy to note that no leader of God’s people suffers less than the people whom he is called to lead.  Human leaders may rise to command and position in many ways; but the leaders of God’s people can only rise in one way, this is, through suffering (I would think primarily this concerns the enduring of hardness from trials and testings—NC).  The power to endure and encounter every liability and obstruction resting on the people is first proved and maintained by the leader; and then he can lead them in assured confidence in God, by whose power he has overcome.  We are not always morally prepared for the expression of our purposes, even though they be right ones.  There must be strength and maturity before there can be fruit-bearing.  And hence, though the desire be a true one, there will be delay and discipline until one is morally equal to the task and calling.
 
It is always the manner of the Father’s discipline to make His servants practically pass through, and learn in a fuller and more vivid way, that particular line of truth of which He designs them to be the channel.  Many attempt to serve the Lord, hoping thereby to acquire rest and peace for their own souls.  Consequently they continue the service, and value it according as it contributes the desired relief.  It is true that every true soul acting for God must be established in the sense of His favors; but when this is the object, the service is diverted from its true aim, and the proper spring of it is lost.  Service must be undertaken by one happy in God, and therefore happy to be a fellow-worker with Him; and it must be pursued and executed quite independently of its effects on himself, and entirely with respect to the will of God.
 
Great services for others will not supply the soul’s necessities, which can only be supplied from the Lord Jesus.  However brilliant our services, our own souls will famish unless directly sustained by the Lord, for mere service never sustains.  On the contrary, the greater the service, the more shall we be conscious of our own necessity and dependence on the Father for personal support.  The greatest service will not supply one drop of relief to the weary soul.  From the Father alone that must come.
 
When the one who has known the blessing of dependence on God has been drawn aside into thinking and acting for himself, no greater mercy can be vouched to him than that he should be involved in such straits that nothing but the return to dependence on the Father can afford any relief.
 
It is always the Father’s way to appoint first, and then to qualify.  With man it is the reverse: he requires qualification for appointment; but we may rest assured that the Father will fit us for whatever responsibility He has destined us, after He appoints us thereto. 
 
Our Father, in His own counsel, appoints the servant who is suited to carry out His will; but though that servant be endowed by Him with power to do so, yet unless he be controlled and disciplined by the hand of God, he will continually fall into the devising’s of his old nature, no matter how godly and divine may be his intent.  For we greatly err if we think that having the divine thought is all that is necessary as to our service; we must truly and efficiently be expressive of the thought; and this subjects us, as servants of God, to discipline which we often cannot understand.
 
The more useful anyone is, the more he requires to be brought to and end of himself, and to find his all in his Father.  We find some of His servants deeply chastened at first, in order to prepare them for a useful course; and some after a useful period are brought low and afflicted in order that they might learn how truly and fully God, in His own blessed self, is paramount to everything.
 
However well instructed in the Word a servant may be, still he requires to be in circumstances to make him apprehend really the meaning of the truth which he propounds.  The prison was necessary for Paul in order to write the Epistle to the Ephesians, as a Patmos was for John to receive the Revelation.  The truth, the diamond, requires a setting suited to itself.
 
The greater the knowledge committed to a servant, the more necessary and important it is that he should be much alone with the Father about it, in order that he may realize the nature and effect of it on himself before he undertakes to make it known to others.  This rumination is of the deepest importance.  It rebukes the haste and readiness with which many now enter on the ministry, attempting to impress others with a measure of truth which they have not proved for themselves.  Surely the servant should be able to say: “I have believed and therefore have I spoken” (2Cor 4:13).
 
It is sometimes thought that it would be a loss of time if a servant were to spend two years in solitude before entering on public services.  It is better to lose time as to work in preparing for service than to lose time in repairing one’s mistakes in undertaking a work for which one is not yet competent.
 
How little one may see the way in which each servant has to be led in order that he may be fitted for the Lord’s service!  As obstacles arise, as surely they must, in a world of evil, the exercised servant learns in the strait the sufficiency of the Father; and then he can say, “By the strength of my God I have leaped over a wall.”  The efficient servant, as a rule, first learns for himself the path and the power in which he has to lead the saints.
 
If we suffer without succeeding, it is that someone else may succeed.  If we succeed without suffering, it is because someone else has suffered.
 

- J B Stoney
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PostSubject: Re: The Discipline of Service   Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:30 pm

@oneagleswings wrote:
We ARE seated in heavenly places with Jesus although we are also down here washing this mornings dishes."
Conditionally we are here with Christ by The Spirit; positionally (as sure as being there now) we are with Him in heaven.

When the Lord Jesus said "even the Son of man which is in heaven," He was referring to His omnipresence, an attribute which only deity can possess.  He was on earth and in heaven simultaneously.
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PostSubject: Re: The Discipline of Service   Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:38 pm

Hi OEW - I appreciate your sharing with me your heart.  I agree with you that Christ is the only one to turn to initially for the unregenerate, but as you probably know, the dependence increases also with additional dependence on the Father and Spirit after turning to the Lord Jesus.

This becomes practical only through continued exposure to Scripture (the more the exposure, the more the potential, esp. within the NT, similar to sun exposure) wherein lies the present dispensations growth truths for all believers.  Stay in the Word, friend in Christ.

God's blessings to your Family!

See You There and God Be Blessed!
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PostSubject: Re: The Discipline of Service   Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:33 pm

@oneagleswings wrote:
Thank you for a thoughtful response given time to meditate and pray, much love to you and yours'.
We all share in the great commission you have your assignments and I have mine...all of ours are in common and yet specific, neither of us probably asked for it nor expected it (in my experience) but nonetheless the "prompting" is unmistakable, I had doubted it for decades , it is what it is and I can only respond "yes" and be grateful while simultaneously petrified but that does not hold me back.
I know that my methods seem unorthodox but perhaps it is what The Lord needs from some of us right now.
Twice have i lost my privileges on this site and it was for good reason, by the understanding prevalent.
Somehow I now believe that, that is changing...and that is truly exciting!
It would be nice to see more exchanges between believers, more sharing, more fellowship.
I am very humbly honored to be able to respond to you right "now" in His ever present "now" how amazing is that?!
How blessed are we in  Jesus?!
God Bless

"See you there" is one of the most kindest things anyone has ever said to me...
All glory be to God!
In my early babe-in-Christ years I experienced much opposition but quickly learned that re-reading the NT (and the OT every other of the NT) was the most thorough and quickest way to maturity--and the prime-key is always love to others unconditionally, same as the Lord's instruction (John 13:24; 15:12).

Without this being the overriding objective in all things, there will ever be significantly limited understanding given of the Spirit concerning Scripture study (1Cor 2:13).
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PostSubject: Re: The Discipline of Service   Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:48 pm

@oneagleswings wrote:
I appreciate what you are saying, but is God always fair? No, not by our understanding buuut He is always just. If i stopped to question all the means by which I arrived at the foot of the cross I'd very quickly lose sight of the blessed "ends"
I believe I know what you mean by "fair," but to me it means the same as just, but I do not wish my opinion to distract you from your learning of this.
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PostSubject: Re: The Discipline of Service   Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:05 am

@oneagleswings wrote:
It doesn't seem fair to us that God would allow Daniel to be thrown into a lion's den.
It doesn't seem fair that Jacob fooled his brother and father to obtain blessing and inheritance.
It didn't seem fair when Jesus feigned indifference to the plight of the Syrophoenician woman whose daughter needed healing.
It didn't seem fair that Joseph's own brothers would sell him into slavery and deceive their father.
That is our perception of "fair" and "unfair" upon hearing these historical accounts.
A human perception.
But God...
There is always a "but God"
But God can only be "just"...nothing less, the outcome is in His hands and however "unfair" any particular situation may seem to us by our own perceptions...whether personal trial or a neighbor's God's Will be done justly.
God Bless.
For the natural man, everything is eventually unfair and confusing, and nothing can be for their good, for "their mind and conscience is defiled--Titus 1:15).

As we know for the believer, everything even the seemingly unfair (esp, the Lord Jesus' sufferings and Cross-work) is for our good, which is what I believe concurs with your comment.

God's blessings to your Family, and God be blessed!
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PostSubject: Re: The Discipline of Service   Sat Feb 14, 2015 5:46 pm

@oneagleswings wrote:
Exactly, our concept of "fair" and awareness of "just" radically changes in the life of a believer. It is one of the first things that needs re-alignment else our little vehicles wander aimlessly all over the road, or out of the "fold" so to speak.
I don't understand why more members don't avail themselves of the excellent resources readily available on this site?
Excellent choice of scripture for your illustration B.T.W., thank you I gleaned much from it,
God Bless!
Thank you for the compliment and instructional replies!

God Be Blessed.
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PostSubject: Re: The Discipline of Service   Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:12 pm

@oneagleswings wrote:
If for any reason you have noted "instruction" it was not a conscious effort on my part. And "compliments?", simply stating an obvious fact in truth to a brother in the faith. It is I who has received instruction and affirmation in love.
God Bless.
Appreciate the humble reply!
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