TITLE: The Pipeline
By Doug Laird
Envision a pipeline that runs from God's throne of grace in Heaven to the individual lives of His children, here on Earth. Attached to this pipeline are two supply tanks. One contains divine blessings. The other contains adversity.
God controls how much divinely ordained blessing or adversity is sent down the pipeline at any given point in time.
Yes, I said adversity. Some divinely ordained adversity (Acts 9: 16) is necessary in order for specific groups and individuals to be in place to accomplish divine objectives.
Job 2: 10 makes it clear that both blessing and adversity come to us from God. The amount of blessings and/or adversity flowing down the pipeline at any given point in time is in line with the divine objective(s) that God has in mind.
The wise will pray, "...Give me neither poverty nor riches; ... (so) That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or that I not be in want and steal (or otherwise sin)...(Proverbs 30: 7-9 NASB parentheses mine)."
This mixed blend of blessings and adversity is the "all things" spoken of in (Romans 8: 28).
It's relatively easier to bask in the joy of the Lord when there are more blessings than adversity in the mix. The testing of our faith is when it's the other way around.
Not enough prosperity opens the door to all kinds of evil (1Tim. 6: 10). Not enough adversity, there will be little spiritual growth.
When God increases prosperity, He will also provide the means to maintain humility (Romans 12: 3) so that the prosperity does not become a curse (Proverbs 30: 8). In the midst of adversity, God provides the power (John 15: 5) to either endure (John 19: 30) or to escape (1Cor. 10: 13).
The blessing and the adversity will last until it fulfills it's divine purpose.
With whatever human means are available, we are tempted to seek the quickest means and shortest route of escape, but those who accomplish the most are the ones who face and endure the most frequent, intense, or prolonged adversity.
To accomplish God's plan, Christ needed a cross. So it will be for those who follow Him (Matt. 16: 24).
Not all earthly prosperity is a blessing (Mark 8: 36). Not all blessings involve prosperity. Some of the most blessed people have little of what the world considers prosperity.
The devil encourages us to pursue other sources of prosperity in order to keep God out of the picture.
Among these sources are ourselves independent of God, other people, the devil and those who do his bidding.
On any given day, there is going to be a mixed bag of both blessings and adversity that will come our way. Some are from God, some are from the aforementioned sources.
Q. How are we to distinguish the difference?
A. When the prosperity, loss, and/or adversity brings us closer to God (or the things of God), they are from God. If they take us away from God (or the things of God), they come from one or more of the aforementioned sources.
Our Father in Heaven will not deny us anything that He desires to give to His children, providing that whatever we ask for is not destructive and is consistent with His plan.
That's where the devil enters the picture.
To the extent that God allows, the devil will gladly give us anything and everything, be it prosperity or adversity, that can take us away from God and/or the things of God.
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the (devil's - Luke 4: 6) world (1John 2: 16 NASB parentheses mine)."
Many evil thoughts and actions that Christians entertain involve something they don't have (James 4: 2): something they want (Psalms 23: 1); something they think they need (Gen. 3: 6): something think they have coming (Matt. 19: 27); something that someone or something is keeping from them (Gen. 3: 5); or something that wicked people have (Psalms 73: 3).
In God's timing, and for His purpose(s), the Lord gives (Phil. 4: 19) and the Lord takes away (Job 1: 21) in order to accomplish His will.
In an act of faith (trust and confidence), His followers are called to accept His will when He determines when enough is enough.
* This article was wriiten and posted as a Challenge Entry @ faithwriters.com.