That’s what I heard while jogging.
I can no longer claim that I jog when my thirteen-year-old walks the pace I run. We stumbled on this discovery last night.
Listening to my FPEA Homeschool conference MP3, I replayed the last few seconds of Mark Hamby’s presentation just to be sure I heard this man correctly.
“God’s trying to kill you.” Huh?
“God wants us to die to ourselves.” Oh. And with this, the light bulb switched on.
“God brings conflicts in our lives… Satan is not the one that is causing problems in your life. A lot people blame Satan. Satan doesn’t even know who you are. He could care less who you are, and if he did, God is the one who has allowed him to do it. So God’s in control of the whole thing and when he does cause conflicts in our lives, he does it because he loves us,” Hamby suggested.
Now this perspective contradicted what I previously believed. I liked blaming the gnarly-faced red guy, picturing him frothing at the mouth, ready to trip me up. He’s easy to point a finger at.
Whether it’s sickness or another housing hiccup, could God use these things to perfect my faith which bring about His purpose in my life? I always thought the enemy roamed around, seeking to kill and destroy believers.
The quote Hamby used next caused me to wheeze heavily into my phone recorder in an attempt to capture such profound words.
Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fenelon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“The Great Physician who sees in you what you cannot see, knows exactly where to place the knife; He cuts swift and deep into your innermost being exposing you for who you really are; but pain is only felt where there is life and where there is life is just the place where death is needed most. Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die it abides alone but if it dies it brings forth much fruit.” ~Francois Fenelon, author of Let Go
So which is it?
Does God desire to kill our selfish nature through hardships? Or, does the enemy, who’s been observing us since Genesis, seek to beat us down and rendered us useless for the Kingdom? Can it be both? Update: Some of you asked how to comment. Scroll to the top right of the page and click on comment.
Thanks, Pastor Dan, for your insight. I’ve included your response below (emphasis added):
“Just a couple of thoughts. I don’t believe that our troubles come from God. Jesus taught that He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly and that our enemy’s desire was to Steal, kill and destroy.
I also see in the New Testament that things like sickness for the believer are always ascribed as being sent by Satan. Jesus is constantly undoing Satan’s work
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who wereunder the power of the devil, because God was with him. Acts 10:38
Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” Luke 13:16
We are also told that Jesus…is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, Heb 1:3. That is, Jesus was doing in the physical realm what God The Father was doing in the Spiritual. So, it’s not like Jesus as Godwas bringing healing into the lives of believers and the Father was bringing disease. Not if He is the exact representation of The Father’s nature.
Jesus did promise that in this world we would have Tribulation. That comes from living in a fallen world and that “the god of this world )2 Cor.4:4)” who is Satan is actively working to bring destruction. God doesn’t send it but He promises to use it:
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Rom 8:28
Who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Cor 1:4
So, I get what the speaker was saying but I probably wouldn’t use his terminology. God is always pruning in our lives. However, removing sin and things that hinder is very different than sending disease. Just some thoughts”