By Carl Itaman
We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labour] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. Roman 8:28 (Amplified Bible)
We are assured and know…
Apostle Paul writes and says “we are assured and know”, he is referring to the people who have submitted to labouring with God. A people who have jettisoned the love of the world and have said to the Master “here I am”; I will follow you wherever you lead me. And the response of God usually to such a people who comes to him with a true heart will be “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew you; and ordained you…. ” this are my plans for you, I will require that you trust me and follow me where ever I lead you and this you will do until we together accomplish that very purpose of mine (God) for which I called you.
Then the journey begins and you become part of the “we” which Paul referred to and the reality of the passage “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (KJB) comes alive also in your personal life.
Full assurance can only be born out of a heart that is on a journey with God. Until you have a journey which started with God there can never be true assurance in your heart. Apostle Paul did write in that manner because of the tribulation they were facing at that dispensation of time and he needed to remind the people of their assurance in God despite the onslaught of the enemy against the church. It didn’t matter what was going on there was a need for the early church to be reminded that their individual and cooperate journey started with God and because he (God) called them to that journey he (God) is a partner in their labour. Therefore, they needed to rely in the assurance that God is with them, so Paul wrote and said “we are assured and know”
But where do we stand in this present day and in our contemporary times? We also, both as individuals and on a corporate level need to have the same level of assurance the early church had, and for that to happen men everywhere will need to hear God’s voice and radically obey every word spoken by him to the letters like the early church did. Until that happens, we are void of true assurance in our journey, and we will be marred with fear in any seemingly ugly situation not knowing if God is present. Apostle Paul puts it as “WE” which means there is a certain people having that assurance and knowledge that God is a partner in their journey. These set of people are people given over to him (God) completely, a people only living to glorify God in doing only what he has commanded them to do and actually bringing it to a place of completion. These set of people are called the body of Christ with Christ being the head of the body. These set of people are not church members or a people who go to church because of necessity, they are a set of people who hear his voice and follow him to wherever he leads them. If we don’t find our place in God in the same vein as the early did there will be no “assurance” in our hearts as they had and the body of Christ as it is today will remain mute and ineffective.
It means we have to again renounce all that we have walked into on our own and say to the Lord, I refuse to walk in my ways from today I give it all up, speak to me and I will follow you to wherever you command me to go. When this happens, it doesn’t matter what you see your confidence will remain even when the negative tides and storms of life comes knocking, your assurance in God will be immovable and when your assurance in God becomes immovable you are bound to finish the very purpose for which he (God) sent you .
..all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called..
Suffice to say that not everything that has happened or is happening in our lives rarely work for our good. We know this to be a true saying, but many will still confess that all things are working together for good just to polish the acceptance of their defeat, and being completely ignorant of what has transpired, we wallow in the quagmire of confusion and in our human frailty we become more desperate and confused with life itself. That you face disappointment from day to day and all kinds of ill and terrible things without knowing where you stand and what to do other than to keep hoping and applying all kinds of human antics to get your life to the place where you, on your own wants it to be is a life void of the assurance apostle Paul spoke about. However, full assurance can only be born out of a heart that is on a tangible journey (In line with the design and purpose of God) with God. Until then we will remain vulnerable to the enemy, insecurity will constantly rock the very foundations of our hearts and that banal phrase of a watered down confession of all things working together for our good will continue to rob our dear lives from truly retracting our lives back to God for a journey with him which will give us the “we assurance”. When you are on a journey with God you fully are aware of it and when you are not you also are aware.
Apostle Paul and others who had that assurance did follow God wherever he was leading them and because they were obedient in every step of the way they had an assurance. It didn’t matter what level of persecution they faced, it didn’t matter how many times they were ship wrecked, it didn’t matter how many times they got attacked on the way, it didn’t matter how long they lacked, there was a resounding assurance that all that was happening was working for their good because they were on a journey with an exact destination, labouring together with the one who holds eternity.
Heroes of faith had that assurance that whatever was happening to them was only working together for their good for one sole reason. Their journey started with God and as they consistently journeyed with God they knew that all was in the hands of God and having that knowledge they knew nothing can ever go wrong no matter how bad it seem. Many of us remain in the place of being born again and stay there forever and never step into the place of journeying and co-labouring with him.
Unfortunately, men who have removed themselves from following God are also ignorantly confessing that all things are working together for their good because they feel they love God. To love God is to only live by doing what God has commanded a man to do, but the opposite is the case with many. The majority will plan their life and run after the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of the life (1 John 2:16), and still believe whatever happens in between is working out for their good. We need to know that until a man completely strips himself of all fleshly lust and submit to the Holy Spirit of God to practically direct his path on a daily basis he will not step into that dimension of life where all things whether good or bad is working for his good.
And why call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke 6:46
Apostle Paul could only be assured that all is working out for his good because he was busy about his father’s business. He was one who called the Father Lord (Acts 9:5) and did exactly what the father commanded. Until God becomes the LORD of a man’s life his confession is void and baseless. In the last article I sent out, I did say that men do not stumble on a journey with God, for everyone that will come to a place of walking in the divine purpose of God for him must hear the very voice of God and continually be guided by the same voice of God until the purpose for that life is complete. Therefore, Jesus declared to his father in John 17:4 I have glorified you on the earth: I have FINISHED the WORK which you gave me to do. (King James 2000 Bible)
…according to [His] design and purpose.
Again, I like to remind us that we can only be assured that all things are working together for our good if only we have answered the call of God for our lives and have submitted to his purpose alone. If this tangible reality is not yet in place in our lives, the unfolding events that will befall us might consume us, if perhaps they don’t consume us they we will cast us down and the only choice we have in the flesh is to fight with desperation. But a prudent man sees danger, and hides himself; But the simple pass on, and suffer for it. Proverbs 22:3 (World English Bible) Men everywhere run from pillar to post looking for solution and connections to the uncertainties of life that befalls them, many have corrupted their lives the more because they have no journey with God, many have given up on life and has accepted it just the way it comes because they have no journey with God.
To have an assurance means to be called by God’s purpose and design and to allow him work out His pre-ordained purpose through you as you humbly follow in obedience. Until a man steps into such a place his tomorrow is extremely uncertain, until we step into the very purpose of God for our lives all things are not working together for our good. There is only one place that all things will be working together for our good; it is called the place of total obedience to the voice of God. Because at the end of the day the very voice of God leads all men to God himself, it leads men to the original intent which he (God) has for every individual from before the foundations of the earth was laid. When God spoke to Jerimiah in Jeremiah 1:5 he (God) simply spoke to him about what he made him for before the earth was laid, and this draws my attention to the countless number of so-called prophetic churches that will only prophesy to gullible men the kind of cars they will buy, the type of houses they will build and they kind of riches they will get even when is so glaring that the life of the so-called prophetic recipient is totally opposite and against God, but Jesus will declare to anyone who comes to him and say “seek first the kingdom and his righteousness” . I have been a victim of such “prophe-lying” in time past. The deception and that act of replacing God with gold did border me a lot but I got healed of my worries when I read Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end? (NIV) it was obvious I didn’t love to have it that way and I was healed. When the heart of a man is not right he is bound to fall into the pit of lies and deceit which will bring him many troubles. And we must be careful to maintain a faithful and pure heart before the Lord because he rewards a man according to the rudiments of his heart. Many a people have heard the pure gospel of the kingdom but will still prefer to put on a devious heart. Hear this: To the faithful you (God) show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. To the pure you (God) show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd. 2 Samuel 22:26 &27(NIV)
Joseph had a dream from God:
Joseph knew he was called by God and for him to fulfil God’s purpose he was required to stay obedient to that call, he was required to continually follow God regardless of the ugly situation. He knew he was on a journey with God, although he never saw the tough times that will come but whatever came to Joseph he kept his focus. He was sold by his brothers, lied against by Potiphar’s wife, jailed and won’t be remembered by man for his good works. In all, there was one thing that kept him, “assurance”. Why was he so assured, because he heard God and that voice set him on a journey with God, in that journey he was faithful and knew his call was to be about his father’s business against all odds. If you are on a journey with God you will have no choice than to have an unshakable assurance that all things are working for good if you cast not away your confidence which have a great recompense of reward. And so Joseph like Paul in later times had that complete assurance that all is working together for his good because he answered that call of God and faithfully was walking in it. Whatever came, Joseph knew God meant it all for GOOD. Then Joseph said “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. Genesis 50:20 (ESV)
The journey of Joseph is an example of one who had all things work together for his good. Joseph didn’t look for other means to rescue himself, he didn’t have to blame people for doing him wrong because he had a dream from God and he was good to it. When you begin to cry and wail, when you only complain and look for other means to ease your self-authored journey it simply means you have no assurance and you have no assurance because you have no defined destination. You have no defined destination because you authored the journey of your life and all you have laid your hands to do. A life in this realm is nothing but a life of failure and vanity, as it doesn’t matter what you achieve in the flesh (outside of God) it will be burned up when the king of glory comes.
Need I remind you that even at the end of every journey the very ultimate good that God intends to accomplish through men who are walking with HIM is primarily to bring the very purpose of God himself to a completion. Not the purpose of the follower or co-labourer but the very purpose of God himself. Everyone who followed God brought to completion only the purpose of God in whichever environment he took them to, it wasn’t their purpose but God’s, it wasn’t about the good they received at the end of the process, it was about the good of the kingdom that God wanted to bring to a particular environment through men who submitted to his Lordship. It has never been about the goals and aspirations of men and it will never be. God doesn’t and will never care about your goals and aspirations; all he cares about is HIS own goals and aspiration.
It is always pleasant to be on a journey with God because it brings men who are completely given over to him to that original place of dominion on the earth. Sons of God are created to bring God’s dominion and ruler-ship to every facet of life and this can only happen when one has found the kingdom (the king and his domain) and operates from that dimension of life. An accurate walk with God eventually brings us to that place where we truly become more than conquerors. We must totally trust God and allow him work out all things according to his own purpose and design. If it is according to his purpose and design then we will have that assurance, we will know that everything works together for our good because he began his purpose in us and he is mandated to stay with us until finish together. ..and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:20 (KJV)
Are you among the “WE”? Do you really truly have that “assurance and know”? It is a place exclusively reserved for his (God) own and I tell you the truth you are his (God) because he created you for himself. All you need do is to check within you and give it all to him out of a true heart if you haven’t. So much awaits you on this side where Elohim (God) himself is waiting for you.