1 John 5:13-15
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Three certainties – the security of knowing
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him.
In concluding his letter, John gives us three certainties to dwell on – three anchor points to hold us secure in the changing winds and tides of life. We know that we are His, forever. We know that He hears us. And we know that He not only cares for those who are His, and gives us a Father’s ear, but also a Father’s provision.
There is always an onslaught going on against these three anchor points. Are we His? It doesn’t always feel like it. It can seem that when we call out, the cry fades away down a long tunnel. And giving us what we ask? We can all find examples to ‘disprove’ that as the enemy willingly hands them out to us.
So it doesn’t feel true, much of the time. But we are too accustomed to letting our feelings be arbiters of what is true or not. Actually, feelings are just feelings – emotional gauges. They indicate how we are responding to what is going on in us, like regular observations on a patient’s chart in hospital. Further diagnosis is needed to discern whether what is going on is a good process of life-giving truth, or whether this is a cycle to be caught and changed because we are getting caught up in what is not true, the battle of the mind, the lies the enemy is always trying to sow into our thinking.
There’s so much going on for all of us, it’s hard to pause and analyse where it’s coming from. Those thoughts, those experiences, those conversations – they are either life-giving or they are life-sapping. The life-giving part is what builds us up, but we are all called to be on a mission, and that means exposing ourselves to what takes life out of us, rather than the other way. We just need to know which is which.
Why do we partner in a fellowship that we call a local church? It’s because of the mission – we do it together – and because of the onslaught – we stand against it together – and because of the confidence of knowing we are His and that He hears us. We need to be brought back to that place. We need the ‘reset’ of worship, encouragement and strengthening from the Bible, perhaps a personal word of prayer. We are easily picked off and disabled as individuals, a much harder target as those in fellowship – because, covenanted with God and others, we believe, we have confidence, we know because we know.
More on these three certainties tomorrow.
How would you explain this to someone else: What does the battle of the mind feel like to you? Why is it important to you to be covenanted together with others, in a fellowship? What has been your experience of ‘battling it’ alone?