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II Cor 6.4

In the true Christian life as defined by the scriptures it is not we who make demands on God, as some of the more charismatic sects of Christianity might suggest. Such as the  “name it and claim it,  I want it and I want it now ,” sort of  crowd.  Rather it is God who rightfully makes demands of us.

He demands that we endure hostilities, and that we endure in holiness. A true mature believer, changed by the Spirit of God, seeks not comfort but endurance, not prosperity but purity, not popularity but obedience, not acclaim but sacrifice, not desiring the pleasures of this world to look like an overfed politician, but rather the pleasure of God to look like Jesus Christ.

The paradox of responses to our service to God is the result of the flesh versus the spirit, as Paul describes here in the sixth chapter of II Cor. verse 4. ” but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance; in afflictions, hardships, distresses, stripes, imprisonments, tumults, labors, watchings, fastings.” This is endurance or survival on the fleshly response to ministry, satan’s attacks,  as it were. But we also endure or never waver in the spiritual side by giving up on living in ” purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, in the Holy Spirit, genuine love, the word of truth, the power of God, by the weapons of righteousness, for the right hand, ( righteousness) and the left, (judgement.)”

I pretty much doubt that any of us will have to face the endurances that Paul faced, but his salvation was predicated on Acts 9.16 ” for I will show him how much he must suffer for my names sake.” We on the other hand are required to endure in purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, etc. exemplifying the fruit of the Spirit as defined in Galations 5.22.  “Love, joy,peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.”  This is the power of God in us, so that when calamity arrives we too can endure all things.

The end is nearer than you think,  let us not grow weary in well doing.

Karl