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Faithful stewards of the mysteries of God learn that revelation begets revelation. One discovery of the truth broadens our mindset to reveal or further explain the topography and ways of the kingdom of God. It’s like a steward finding fertile ground on the backside of his master’s estate and then plowing up large nuggets of gold. For some reason, I have in my mind’s eye Jed Clampett shooting at a rabbit and discovering oil.

Anyway, back to the reality of our Father’s kingdom…

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Luke 11:9

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Matthew 5:6

God is not hiding the truth from us that we might never find it. He lovingly accommodates those with an expressed interest in faithful stewardship.

In our article on Living Without Sin, we explored the separation of our spirit man – the one born of God – and our flesh. The importance of this discovery is worth repeating, in summary:

  1. God offers the grace we need to live in victory over sin. We lay hold of that grace through faith (not self-effort).
  2. Recognizing that sin resides within our flesh and not in us (those born of God) gives us clarity and great encouragement for the battle we face against the sin in our lives. God the Holy Spirit is at enmity with the sin in our flesh; not with us. He is our all-powerful ally in the war against sin.
  3. With clarity comes responsibility. As new creatures in Christ, no longer deceived about the battlefield and gloriously aware of His battle tactics, we must take ownership for putting down our flesh (by the Spirit).

This discovery – particularly #2 – leads to an incredibly encouraging revelation about the role suffering plays in the battle against our flesh and its mind.

The Good Purpose of Suffering

Once we realize that our flesh is not a part of who we are as men and women born of God, we can use all forms of suffering to further separate our newly created self from the flesh and its mind. In a very real sense, our new, born-of-God self is not negatively affected by persecution, affliction, trial, and tribulation. Read the rest of this entry »

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