Class Notes: 11/21/2012
Thanksgiving message... Satan tries to get us to be impatient so we become unthankful
We have seen in previous studies that when the founders of our nation came to America they celebrated thanksgiving because they understood that in the midst of the adversity they were enduring the grace of God had made it possible for them to endure and prosper.
President Lincoln eventually established Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday in 1863.
Believers in Jesus Christ are instructed to be thankful at all times. Paul tells us in 1Thes 5:18; "In everything keep on giving thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you"
Thanksgiving is a product of the contentment that comes from Grace Orientation that we reciprocate to God because we have the capacity from doctrine to wait on the Lord. There are over 30 verses in the Bible that reference the principle of "waiting on the Lord"
Isa 40:31; But those who wait for the Lord's help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles' wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired.
In 2Tim 3:1-2; we see that a characteristic of the "last days" is being unthankful because people become self-centered. This lack of being thankful is a product of the function in the arrogance skills of self-justification, self-deception and self-absorption.
In 1Pet 5:8; We are instructed to be on guard against Satan's devices and one of his devices is to tempt us into becoming impatient with the timing aspect of God's directive will and that if we are not careful this impatience can result in our being sucked into the cosmic vortex through the mental attitude sin of being unthankful.
A perfect example of this temptation was what God permitted Satan to do to Job as part of his evidence testing.
Job 1:11; But extend your hand and strike everything he has, and he will no doubt curse you to your face!"
We see here that Satan's purpose was to try to get Job to be impatient and accuse God because of his suffering. Job did become impatient with himself and his accusing friends, but he never lost his confidence in God.
Though he did not understand what God was doing, Job knew that he could trust God and that God would vindicate him in the end. Job 13:15; Even if he slays me, I will hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face!
We see from this that patience is an important component in the development of capacity or experiential righteousness that is necessary to reciprocate thanksgiving to God in all circumstances of life.
Unless we have patience, we can never learn what God wants us to learn so that we develop the capacity to glorify him through our persistent and consistent positive volition in the PMA of His word.
James 1:2-4; My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.
Being unthankful because of impatience is often a function of immaturity. Children are usually impatient; they cannot sit still long enough to get the things done that need to be done. Children are always asking such "How long do we have to wait?" or "are we there yet" that reveal their impatience.
But ingratitude because of impatience is also an indication of unbelief or doubt. Isa 28:16 "He who believes will not be in a hurry" Note 3 When you find yourself restless and nervous, anxious to "do something," you can be sure you are not sufficiently trusting in God to fulfill his promises by completing the work He has begun in us.
Heb 6:12 tells us to be "imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises" We see here that faith and patience go together. When we really trust God, then we will wait on him to accomplish what he has promised and not become impatient.
Impatience is not only an indicator of immaturity and unbelief, but it is an indicator of living under OSN control of the soul in the cosmic systems. The flesh (OSN) is always impatient, but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Gal 5:22, 23;
The "natural person" or "old man" is impatient; but the "new person" or "new man" is obedient to God the Holy Spirit and as a result is patient. Whenever a believer is impulsive, or quickly irritated, you can be reasonably sure that that they are not walking by means of the Spirit, but instead are functioning under OSN control of the soul.
Impatience inevitably leads to bad choices. Abraham became impatient with God and fathered Ishmael with Hagar, his wife's handmaid, in order to have an heir. Ishmael was not the promised heir and he caused nothing but trouble and Abraham had to wait another fourteen years for God to provide Isaac who was the promised heir. Gen 17:18-19;
Moses became impatient with the people at the second Meribah and he struck the rock instead of speaking to it with the result that he was not permitted to go into the Promised Land. Num 20:11-12;
King Saul became impatient and would not wait for the prophet Samuel to come. He rushed ahead of God's will and offered the sacrifice, and this was the end of his kingdom. 1Sam 15:22-25;
Satan knows that if he can tempt us into becoming impatient, he can lead us to do something impulsive and stupid and get ourselves into trouble. On the other hand, patient endurance is a source of blessing.
Satan tempts us to take what looks like short cut that is actually a dead end and if we take it we are hindered but God permits it because He honors free volition and if we love God he works it all to the ultimate good. Job understood this. Job 23:10; But he knows the pathway that I take; if he tested me, I would come forth like gold.
God will never permit any trial without having a definite purpose for it in his plan. God wants to teach us patience. The only way we can learn patience is by going through the trials that God assigns to us. The trials of life are the tools God uses to mature us, to build our doctrinal capacity, and learn to trust in Him and not ourselves.
When you find yourself being impatient, you can be sure that Satan and the OSN are at work, and that you are at risk of making a bad decision. When the circumstances of life are irritating, it is the time to beware. When family problems, friends, finances, or feelings are making you impatient and unthankful, then you can be sure Satan is nearby waiting for an opportunity to attack.
Our defense against these attacks is Grace Orientation.
Job is not the only believer that God permitted Satan to cause to have health problems Paul had a similar experience.
2Co 12:7-10; And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me-to keep me from exalting myself!
v8 Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
v9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
v10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
We do not know what Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was; but whatever it was, it caused him enough difficulty to make him pray three times it to be removed. Our Lord prayed three times in the Garden that the cup (his substitutionary spiritual death) might be avoided but it could not be removed because it was required for the salvation of mankind.
When difficulties come, it is not wrong to pray for deliverance but don't expect the prayer to be answered in the way that we request. God did not remove Paul's health problem but God did fulfill Paul's desire. "My grace is sufficient for you." It is the grace of God that enables us to overcome when Satan attacks us with suffering.
It is only through the use of the grace of God that we can develop the patient endurance that we need as we go through the trials of life 1Pet 5:10; And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
Our God is "the God of all grace." The Holy Spirit who indwells us is "the Spirit of grace" (Heb 10:29;). God's throne is a "throne of grace" (Heb 4:16;), and his Word is "the word of His grace" (Acts 20:32;).
Grace is God's policy from beginning to end. God's grace is God's provision for our every need. Grace is a continuous supply it is not something we only receive when we have a need.
Grace is God's overflowing supply for our every need. Grace cannot be earned or deserved. Grace can only be accepted with thanksgiving.
We were saved by God's grace. Eph 2:8-9; For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.
This means that "the riches of His grace" (Eph 2:7;)are now freely available. God can give you grace for service (1Cor 15:10;), grace for sacrifice (2 Cor 8:1-9;), grace for praise and thanksgiving (Col 3:16;), grace for what we say (Col 4:6;), grace for divine good production ( 2Cor 9:8;) and grace for suffering (2Cor 12:9;) just as he did with Job and Paul.
What do we need to do when Satan attacks and tries to make us impatient and unthankful from suffering.
Immediately submit yourself to God through rebound. If you react, you will give Satan another foothold in your life. This is what Job did. Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Job 13:15;
Thank God for the test. Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father. Eph 5:20; In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1Thes 5:18;
This does not mean you enjoy the suffering, but you know that because you are suffering in the will of God on behalf of Christ and you know that he is in control. Paul and Silas sang and praised God after they were falsely accused, beaten by the authorities and locked down in stocks in that Philippian jail. Acts 16:22-25;
That led to one of the most effective evangelistic opportunities that they ever had with the Philippian Jailor and their response to him regarding salvation. Acts 16:31;They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."
Focus your mind on Word of God because It is the "word of His grace" (Acts 20:32), and the gracious promises of God will strengthen you. Remember: we must learn to live by means of the recall of doctrine (faith).
Psa 119:67,71; Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word…. It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.
God's Word contains the promises and encouragement that we need for each day.
Rom 15:4; For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Instead of becoming impatient and unthankful, look for ways to glorify Christ in the midst of the adversity. Remember, God wants us to use our body to glorify him; Satan wants to use our body to accuse the Lord. Patient enduring in suffering always glorifies God. Natural minded people cannot understand how Christians can suffer and not complain or react
1Pet 2:20; For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience! But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
1Pet 4:16; But if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God.
In the midst of the shame of the beating by the authorities and underserved suffering of the imprisonment, Paul and Silas glorified God by singing and praising the Lord.
While he was being stoned to death, Stephen glorified God by praying for his murderers.
Many of David's psalms record that he could praise God even when he was being persecuted and rejected.
Paul's letter to the Philippians that revealed his complete contentment and tranquility was written from Roman imprisonment when his life was in jeopardy.
When we orient to God's grace in thanksgiving we discover the Spirit of grace working in our life and we grow in patient endurance. Remember adversity is inevitable but stress is optional. Adversity is what circumstances do to us, stress is what we do to ourselves.
God may not change the circumstances, but he will change our thinking so that we will see how the adverse circumstances of life will work for us rather than against us and we can say as Paul did "Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me". 2Cor 12:9;
As we celebrate thanksgiving let's not allow ourselves to become impatient and drift off from the grace of God by falling for Satan's propaganda and lies and becoming unthankful.
© Copyright 2018, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved.