Apprehending And Appropriating
By Lois J. Stucky
Messages in this issue should convince us that victory in our lives depends on our apprehending and appropriating the marvelous provision God has made for us in Christ Jesus. A songwriter overwhelmed by these truths expresses it for us: "Oh, what a salvation this, that Christ liveth in me!" Christ the Victor living in me "my life to be!" exults another songwriter, thrilled at God’s gracious and excellent plan for us. What could be more perfect than that the Resurrected Christ live His life in the fullness of His power in His blood-bought people? What could be more personal and more precious that having our blessed Lord within, in our heart of hearts?
To fully apprehend and appreciate these great truths takes time and meditation. A young man from Ethiopia wrote us recently that English being his second language, he had difficulty understanding the Herald of His Coming messages--until he started reading them on his knees. This humble, hungry heart, depending on God’s help as best he knew how, eager, even anxious to apprehend what was there for him, reached the great Heart above and brought the help he needed. So delighted was the brother to have new understanding that he is going back over the 1996, ’97, ’98 and ’99 issues on his knees. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6). We can take a lesson on apprehending the precious things of God from this young man.
And might we have the patience to go over and over important truths such as these, especially if we are a young Christian and unfamiliar with them. Sister Moore used to reprint an item with the title, "Repetition Is the Law of Deep and Lasting Impressions." The article quotes Charles G. Finney, a successful revival preacher, as saying that a noted lawyer told him that whatever he wants to impress clearly upon the minds of a jury, he repeats over and over, in order that they not fail to feel the force of the matter. Finney, himself having practiced as a lawyer and understanding well, says that if a jury having to do with "common affairs of this world" needs repetition before they apprehend as they need to, how much more ought we to be willing for repetition that we understand fully the great truths of God’s Word that have eternal bearing.
Might we each one be eager and anxious to apprehend all that into which God would lead us. Then we must be willing to accept it, to believe it and to believe it is for "even me." We need to appropriate it for our daily life. Put it into practice. Memorize especially helpful promises. Meditate on them. We especially encourage this for new readers until they are established in the ways of overcoming the enemy and maintaining victory in their own lives. Our calling in Christ Jesus is a high and holy one. We cannot think lightly of it, but must endeavor to fulfill all God intends, for His dear sake.
God who provided this life of victory for His people, has a work for us to do. We are not to spend our whole life in simply maintaining our own spiritual victory. God’s grace and provision are great enough to make us "more than conquerors." God depends on His overcomers, those who have appropriated His way of victory, through whom to overcome the works of the devil in this world.
We all need to pray and we all need to be prayed for. We never know when and where Satan might call up his hosts to attack. There God has need of warrior saints who will rally to withstand and to stand as victors in His Name. We are praying at this time with a dear missionary saint, one who, while temporarily home in the States some years ago, volunteered her services at Herald of His Coming and who has supported with prayers and gifts in a most helpful way. Her life of faith through the years has been admirable. Now, though long past retirement age, she continues to serve God in a land of much idolatry. She and a national pastor and family live in a section of a city where there is blessed success reaching Sunday school children. But there are two temples nearby very active in practice of satanic things. She and the family have come under attack in body, mind and spirit. She is experienced in spiritual warfare but is calling for reinforcements to win the battle.
Our prayers go up also with young men especially in Africa, who write us of feeling the call of God on their lives, but who do not have the victory they must have to be a successful servant of God. Struggle as they might, the clutch of the enemy in some area of their lives holds them captive. It takes more than regular prayer. In lands where the Gospel light is long and slow in dawning, darkness is still pervasive. Powers of evil hold viciously to their victims until forced to let go by God’s victorious weapons. No one has to give up in hopeless despair. It may take desperate praying, godly sorrow, deep repentance. But the victorious, almighty God is on their side, and He has won victory through Christ over the devil, and that victory is for those who apprehend and appropriate it.
Think of the battle going on in this country for the souls of children. The enemy comes with one tactic after another to grab for himself the souls of our nation’s most precious possession, our children. Satan seeks inroads through toys, books and music that have occultic overtones. He corrupts through violence in television. Currently he is making a strong bid through pornography on the internet, a media which children are using more and more. Thank God for parents and for school and library officials who are on guard for the sake of children, but even so, the enemy is sly and sneaks in where he can. Needed are soldiers of the Cross who will be instruments in God’s hands for putting the enemy Satan to flight. Every American Christian parent and grandparent should take up spiritual arms for this purpose. Children are too young to realize the fury of the battle and too easily fall prey.
And how the unreached peoples of the world need our prayers to deliver them from the enslaving powers of darkness. Multitudes know not enough to pray for themselves. Again and again we thank God for anointed men who are focusing the prayers of God’s people worldwide on these multitudes who have yet to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we continue to unite aggressive prayers of faith, strongholds will crumble and fall, and victims will go free! We will hear more and more reports of some from every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation who have joined the ranks of the redeemed.
Yes, Christian brother, Christian sister, God has need of us in this hour of increasing iniquity and sin. We must first of all appropriate our crucifixion with Christ (Romans 6:1-7). We dare not shun the way of the cross if we expect to be victorious. This provides us the "spiked shoes" which enable us to stand sure-footed in the battle. Nor must our faith stagger at our being raised with Christ to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:8-14), exercising authority over the enemy Satan.
Let us be in the Word of God as much as possible, and be skillful handlers of the Word, as we are urged in the article, "Words of Omnipotent and Divine Authority." You will find many Scriptures in this issue to memorize and use. Use them plentifully in your prayers.
Let us make vital use of the precious Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, another powerful weapon with which to overcome the enemy. Billheimer’s article is explicit concerning this effective weapon. We must keep ourselves sheltered under the Blood when we do spiritual warfare as protection against the enemy.