Anyone who has ever gone to the gym to exercise knows that it is a major commitment. However, they also know that the investment pays off. The greater the pain, the greater the gain. For those who are more disciplined, we accept this trade-off and voluntarily submit ourselves to the requisite pain and agony in return for the rewards.
However, most of us prefer controlled rigor. We like to go to the gym on our schedule. We like to exercise in a preplanned manner and many would prefer to utilize machines that can be controlled to ration out the required effort rather than free weights or other means that are less controlled. We like knowing that if things get too bad, we are able to quit if we really want to.
The rigors of life
When it comes to life in general, we like to think that we are tough as nails; but we would prefer to bypass the pain part. We want the gain without the pain.
The Remnant: God’s “Special Forces”…. Really?
Among the Remnant, there is a tendency to think that we are the “special forces” of God’s army: We are the “chosen ones” that God calls upon who respond in the blink of an eye to jump tall buildings in a single bound as we emerge from the telephone booth. We are God’s “minutemen”.
All of this is sort of in the background of our consciousness and largely unspoken. You have to sort of be there to experience and sense it. You probably won’t find it written down: But it is an observation that I hae witnessed it many times.
As a part of the Remnant of God, we need to embrace the reality that the special forces are not special forces in name only. The “special forces” are the special forces because they have worked hard and poured out until they didn’t think they had anything left and then they turned right around and did it all again. They have suffered the relentless grueling days and never-ending nights; they have crawled through the mud and the swamps to face the enemy on their own turf; they have been there and done that.
And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.Revelation 11:13
It is adversity that makes us strong
As the Remnant, the sooner we learn that adversity makes us stronger, that every challenge is an opportunity for the glory of God to shine forth, the better off we will be.
What is “the Remnant”?
In fact, the very word “Remnant” in itself expresses that very thing. The word Remnant means far more than sitting in an armchair wearing a green beret with a beer in your hand while muttering your opinion on what others should be doing.
The very word “Remnant” carries with it the idea of being a survivor. The Remnant isn’t just a leftover that was cut off of the main, rolled up and then tucked back to the rear of the closet never to be seen again for 20 years. Biblically, the Remnant is a group of people that God has called out, tried, tested, trained and battle-hardened. They are “survivors” who are waiting patiently to be called back into service.
In the book of Acts the “Acts of the Apostles are renowned, and rightfully so.
However, we tend to sort of “gloss” over the reasons for these great works of God. The reason for the great works of God that are recorded in the book of Acts is because there was a great need for them:
“Where sin abounds,
the empowering presence of God abounds much more.”
The idea of “Fear not” is a common theme in the Bible: But it does not mean to disregard real and obvious threats. Rather it means to deal with them. Healthy fear is a survival mechanism that God created us with.
Four times in just the first chapter of the book of Joshua God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous. Why is that? Because God knew that he was going to be on the front lines “doing the stuff”. If there is no fear, there is no reason to be “strong and courageous”.
The Remnant learns how to channel that healthy fear in such a way that it is a beneficial force for God rather than a destructive force of the enemy.
It’s kind of like water; when it stays within its boundaries it is a necessary life force: No water, no life. However, when uncontrolled it brings death and destruction.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.James 1:2-4
Great fear creates great power
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