Patient PossessionBro. David Chancellor
10/1/2006 6:00 PM
Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.
"In your patience possess ye your souls…" What does it mean to possess your soul? It’s part of you. Own your soul in patience. Be in control of your soul. Behave in a way that honors God. Be what he would have you to be.
Everything mentioned here has happened before. There are things for us to go through, too. Others have had to face things that were beyond our comprehension. There are many things to go through and overcome. People have had to go through horrific and difficult things.
"And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death." Whatever comes your way, God can give you the grace to go through it and overcome it. "Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist." You don’t have to worry about and anticipate the troubles, because God will walk you through it. Anticipating trouble before it happens causes you to experience the trouble before it happens. We don’t have to do that. We can let God handle things and get us through. When we leave it in his hands and rest, he’ll give us an answer to the trouble that can’t be gainsayed or restisted.
We need to be able to go through and endure what we face graciously – in a way that honors God. Stay in control of your being. This takes God’s help. Be able to rein yourself in and just take what comes to you.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-6
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
God will purify us, but he wants that to produce something in us that keeps us pure. He wants us to be able to control ourselves. We don’t have to fall apart with everything that happens. We need to be able to live a life of purity and holiness. We can rule our spirit by the grace given to us by the Spirit of God. People need to learn how to control themselves. Children have to learn how to control themselves through discipline. Part of controlling ourselves is to control our words, attitudes and actions.
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
Someone who can’t control himself is a broken down and defenseless city. It’s not a state of victory. People need to see the grace of God in challenging situations. The world needs to see an example of sanctification and honor.
And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thine own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
Simeon prophesied about Jesus and said that Jesus would be spoken against to reveal hearts. Mary would experience pain also. She was a partaker in the suffering of Christ. As a mother, she was hurt when he was hurt. She needed patience to possess her soul, just as Christ needed God to go with him through it all. We might find ourselves at the foot of the cross sharing in Christ’s pain. We need to be able to possess our souls in patience in those times. Let God speak up for you. Let him give you the words when you’re cut to the quick. As we go through things that are hurtful and wrong, we want to be able to take it, and not give back like we get.
Don’t glory in shame and failure. Find the patience in God to possess your soul. He can bring you through when those times come. Have enough patience to go through the present trial. Stay in control of your words and actions.
1 Peter 4:16-19
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
When you suffer as a Christian, don’t be ashamed. You might suffer, but if you bear it well, God can be glorified in it. "Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator." Let God keep you. We need his help if we would rule our spirit. We won’t stay in control of ourselves by our own strength. Commit the keeping of your soul to God. He can help you to say the right thing. He’ll give you the words to say and how to say it. What he gives will help matters. Look to him for the grace to rule your own spirit. If you can’t rule your spirit, you’ll hurt yourself. We need the Spirit of God in us to shine out to the world. He knows how to give us what we need to overcome.
2 Timothy 2:1, 3
Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. … Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
We need to be able to endure hardness. The only way to do this is to be strong through the grace that is in Christ Jesus. God never intended us to be militant or use carnal means in the struggles we go through. There are things we have to go through and we need the grace of God. Have the patience to go through the hard times. Patience is more than just "getting through it;" it’s getting through it with grace. Get the patience to possess your soul.
Society views religion as a philosophical/social thing. They need to see that there is something in God to solve the problems of the soul of man. As we endure hard times, we can find what we need to go through and others can see it. We want others to find what we’ve found in Christ.