I am deeply burdened by this friends. It can be so subtle, and even make its way right into our spiritual lives, if we are not careful.
All About Us
It is not hard to tell that in our sinful nature, the main thing is SELF. Self-sufficiency, self-gratification, self-assertiveness, self-will, self-pleasure, self-accomplishment, self-ambition, self, self, self. The essence of pride is self. It is in every one of us, in our sinful nature. We can’t escape it any other way except by the Cross of Jesus Christ.
When we accept the Cross, and reckon our SELVES dead, we are saying and accepting that we are no longer living unto ourselves and for ourselves!
We die to all that self! And we accept that we are raised to newness of Life in Christ, now living unto God and FOR God alone!
But what do we see today in “Christianity”? It is all about what WE can get. What God will do for US. How Jesus will save us, and give us this and that and the other thing. It is totally focused on US. Even well meaning christian people who are no doubt following Christ and born again, often cater to this message that it is all about what WE can have and get from Christ, etc.
This is wrong, if it is all we hear and believe.
When Paul gives us that incomparable description of the Lord Jesus Christ, and His place in God’s universe, we come to see that everything was made by, and for, and unto HIM. That means that everything was created to display Him! We were created uniquely to express His nature and character. The whole creation speaks of Christ in spiritual principles if we have eyes to see that!
So in terms of Christ coming, and sending His Spirit, if we look closely in Acts, what do we see the Apostles preaching immediately after Pentecost? JESUS CHRIST AS LORD. In the power of the Holy Spirit, they were preaching Jesus Christ as LORD over ALL heaven and earth! They came as witnesses in the power of the Spirit to testify to the fact that He was raised from the dead and seated on the right hand of God, over and above all rulers and powers and authorities and every name that is named! And it was by this Holy Spirit powered revelation that souls came into Christ, and were regenerated and given the Holy Spirit unto salvation.
Look how it is today in 2017:
“Come to Jesus and He will save you so you don’t go to hell and face judgment!”
“Jesus will be your friend, your lover, your husband, your this, your that!”
“God is able to give you everything you ever wanted if you do X,Y,Z!”
“If you want to live a completely happy and perfect life, believe in Jesus!”
Everything now is first focused on saving the lost, getting people saved, and making it all about how we need to get people saved! This is not the right order. It should be first of all about how CHRIST can have HIS rightful place in each life! That is what matters most! Not our salvation. Our salvation is important and I am not saying we should not seek the salvation of others—-BUT—in the first place, that is not the thing, it is CHRIST having His place as Lord that is MOST important!
I’m sure there are others, and even worse because even when we are truly born again and growing in Christ, we can become subtly focused on our self, not even realizing it, and asking the Lord to bless us spiritually for our own benefits and interests. That is probably the worst case!
His Rights FIRST, Then Comes The Blessing
Now, I am NOT saying that what the Lord truly blesses us with is wrong in any way—— He literally gave Himself up to die for the whole world to be able to come back into right relationship with God. He so loved the world. So I am not suggesting that He does not give great blessings, HE DOES!
But, in the FIRST PLACE, it is not about what WE can get from Him, it is about what HE gets from US!
He is Lord! He is the rightful owner of this universe, and until He is given HIS rightful place in a heart, there can be no true blessing at all. When He is made Lord, and we truly let go of all things to Him, that is when our heart is flooded with His peace that surpasses understanding! When He is truly Lord, that is when we experience His spiritual blessings of grace and mercy and love.
We, in the first place, don’t deserve anything from Him. We are nothing but beggars at His feet. And when we have a right understanding of these things, and we allow the Cross to remove all that is self, we come into a greater appreciation of our Lord, and it is those who are truly meek that are the happiest! We glory in the fact that EVERYTHING for life is found in Christ, and not in ourselves! We are done with our selves, we have been crucified to our selves and to this world! That is TRUE freedom, friends! And that produces the true, genuine heart worship of the Lord in spirit and truth! When we see that it is all HIM, and we are nothing!
Through many different experiences, we will have to come up to the fact and face it whether or not we are after something for ourselves, or if we have truly let go of the self in each different situation. That is our training. That is what the Lord is doing in our lives, getting us to let go to Him, and when we truly let go, that is when our heart is flooded with His glory and power and love!
As long as we are holding onto something just for our selves, we will not be able to come into all that the Lord truly has for us, in Christ!
The most perverse things can be carried out all because of this inherent self principle in all of us by nature. The things people do to other people to satisfy them selves. It is sickening!
I pray that we all might face this fact, that in us is this self and all the perversity and iniquity of the world in union with satan himself, and for us in Christ, we have died to that. And we must ever seek the Lord to put to death in us all that is of that self, in order to make full room for CHRIST!
At whatever the cost, put us to death Lord, that Christ may truly be ALL IN ALL in us!