So God has this problem to deal with. It began in eternity past, and it will continue through to the end of time: Nothing will remain in eternity that is not of the Spirit. All that is done from self-will and independence will be rejected. Study the life of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Gideon and David. In all these people we find that God made sure His purposes were accomplished only through His Spirit and not through man’s ability, reason or flesh.
My wife has said to me, “God must have talked to many people and asked them to do what you are now doing—people who are smarter, abler and more educated. But they didn’t follow the Lord’s direction. So He came to you, and you said yes.”
Why did God choose me? Scripture answers that question in 1 Corinthians 1:27–29 (NIV), “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (emphasis mine).
Before Adam and Eve disobeyed and ate the fruit from the forbidden tree, they had no understanding of good and evil. This period is known as the dispensation of innocence. There was no right and wrong. All was God. And all that was done was in absolute dependence upon God. Whatever He said, that was it. They never had to reason or figure things out. Nothing in their heads was centered on themselves. They lived in absolute innocence!
Now why would God set that tree in their midst and say, “Don’t eat this”? To abuse them? No!
God wanted to demonstrate to the worlds out there, to the angels, Lucifer and all the demons, that submission, surrender, is the way by which He accomplishes His eternal purposes. And this principle could only be validated when Adam and Eve were given the freedom to choose between submission or rebellion.
Mankind, like the angels, was given the freedom to choose to obey and submit to God’s authority or to disobey and rebel. With this sacred principle, God gives us the choice to demonstrate to the seen and the unseen world that submission is the means through which His eternal purposes are accomplished.
Paul Billheimer in his classic book Destined for the Throne explains that the whole reason for creation was so God could find a bride for His Son. Our life on earth is thus the classroom where we are trained to reign with the Lord throughout eternity. Through our choice to submit, we are being prepared to rule with Him.
Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Touching Godliness (ISBN 9781595891211) © 2008 by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia.
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