Bible Ballistics: BBs #288    Vile Or Precious???

I would like to share a testimony with you this morning, and I pray that it will be an encouragement and help to you. Quite a few years ago I was involved in a particular ministry and loved what I was doing for The Lord and for others, but some issues arose and because of ideological and motivational differences made it clear, after much prayer, that I needed to excuse myself from the situation. It caused a deep grief in my heart, because I loved the ministry and the work that I was doing, but I also knew that God was leading me to leave at that time.

I found it most difficult because while I knew that God had lead me to leave, He never removed the burden for the ministry from my heart. Several months later it appeared that perhaps I should go back, so I began to earnestly pray and seek God’s face about this circumstance. I even printed off my resume and set it on the desk and told God that whatever HE wanted me to do, I would do. Go back or refrain, I asked Jesus to make it clear to me what I was to do in response to this new dilemma of decision.

As I was praying and reading my Bible the next morning, The Lord brought me to a passage that literally felt like it jumped off of the page and answered so clearly the question that I had laid before my Lord Jesus. I’ll share the verse with you and then –the rest of the story!

Therefore thus saith the Lord,

If thou return,

then will I bring thee again,

and thou shalt stand before me:

and if thou take forth the precious

from the vile,

thou shalt be as my mouth:

let them return unto thee;
but return not thou unto them
”    Jeremiah 15:19

God made it so clear to me that the stand I had taken was pleasing to HIM, regardless of what others thought about it. He clearly showed me that I should not pursue this situation, but leave it to HIM. He also confirmed for me that in my calling as a believer, a Bible teacher and leader, I needed to continue to hold forth the truths of the Word of God as He called me to do. I wasn’t to be influenced by the arguments of others or the appeal of worldly means and compromises. We as a culture, especially the Christian element of this culture, have often sold out the Word of God for the appeals and programs of worldly means to supposedly do “God’s” work! Friends, there is that which is “precious” to God, but there is also that which is “vile” to Him. And it seems that American Christendom has lost sight of the difference. God made it clear for me that I needed to just stand fast, and sit tight until He moved.

The burden never left but about 12-14 months later I got a call asking me to return as manager of the ministry. I knew it was God and I went back and helped the ministry through a difficult transition and stayed for a time, until God had completed His intended purposes for me there. I knew I had waited on the Lord, and He had provided in such a real way. When I left the ministry after that, the Lord made the timing clear that it was time to go, and He lifted that heavy burden of ministry for that particular opportunity and time.

So how do we face times of uncertainty? We must devote ourselves to The Lord, His Word and time with Him in prayer. We must seek God’s face in spite of what other’s may think or say. The Psalmist has some great words of counsel for us.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

We must walk with our hearts open before God, asking His searching, convicting Holy Spirit to reveal our needs, sins and failures and direction. Then as He reveals, we are to submit, confess, repent and go appropriately for what He speaks to our hearts. But this morning I saw another side of this passage, which I rely on frequently to remind me of my own need. We are to “Search ……. God”! By that I mean we are to search out God, and we can only do that as we bask in His Word, and study it’s depths, earnestly pray and search out HIS face! We are called to know truth and to test the waters around us. The Word demands it:

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1

Even Jesus warned us that not everything that “looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, or waddles like a duck”, IS a duck!!! There are false teachers, imitators and deceitful leaders trying to lead us astray. We must abide in the “vine” and His Word to know truth, and then we can recognize the errors!

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5

And abiding with Him helps us recognize the wolves!

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Matthew 7:15-16

There is a lot of false information being disseminated around us in the name of “Christianity”, but take heart dear ones, get into the Word of God and learn the truth for yourself. Dig out the details by asking the “who, what, where, when, why and how’s” of every passage. Read the Bible through (I recommend reading it through once a year), and not just mindlessly, to mark off a list, but thoughtfully seeking how each portion you read fits with the rest of scripture. Be active in your local Bible preaching church. And as you do these things you will learn and grow and be able to discern true from false. You will be able to “take forth the precious from the vile”; to be pleasing to God, and then He says, “thou shalt be as my mouth”. We can speak God’s truth to the world! A world that is so caught up in the “vile” that they may hate us for bringing truth to light, but we must speak, it’s what we’ve been called to do. The sowing in ours—the harvest is God’s!!! So go!!!

Blessings on your week and I pray for you as Paul did:

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire

that ye might be filled with the knowledge

of his will

in all wisdom

and spiritual understanding;

10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord

unto all pleasing,

being fruitful in every good work,

and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11 Strengthened with all might,

according to his glorious power,

unto all patience

and longsuffering

with joyfulness;” Amen       Colossians 1:9-11