For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.Philippians 2:21(NASB)
All the believers were one in heart and soul. (Acts 4:32 ISV)
The Lord must have a company in the earth who, in every respect, are a heavenly people. Their spiritual resources of life, power, wisdom, knowledge, and purpose must be heavenly and by mediation of the Holy Spirit alone. Their means and methods must be Divinely supplied and dictated. Their energy must be directly Divine energy; which means that they must have been separated from their own. The spiritual relationships and associations must be heavenly. It was the resolving into an earthly institution and system which cost the Church its Throne power at the beginning, and there can be no recovery without a clear position as to traditional relationships. There will need to be a purely heavenly position as to the really heavenly nature of the Body of Christ the Church, without any contradictions in earthly orders. We have heard it said that at a certain gathering of servants of the Lord "it was like a touch of heaven; everyone dropped for the time being their differences of denomination and earthly divisions." This speaks for itself. But why go back to them?
"They were of one mind and one soul." We can never arrange this, or decide to do this heavenly business to any consequence (except failure) unless each one concerned is in it by revelation of the Holy Spirit, and is born into it through spiritual travail. We shall be wasting our time if we expect, try, or even pray for anything really effective apart from this essentially heavenly and therefore anointed ground. There is no royal road or short cut to the Throne or to Throne power; it will cost us everything here. We have known more than one to be faced with this issue, and in trying to keep something here miss the Lord's highest and best, and later in life to know that it was so. Will you go to the Lord and ask Him to do that deep work by His Cross in the hands of the Holy Spirit which will result in your being brought into the place where His authority is exercised through you, and His rule is registered in the realm where things matter most, through your heavenly union with Him?
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. § We … have access by one Spirit to the Father.
O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.
The Spirit … helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. § This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. § When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication.
A bruised reed He will not break. § He restores my soul.
Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. § No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. § After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, since You our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such deliverance as this.
Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; when I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me … He will bring me forth to the light; I will see His righteousness.
Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10:17).
Walking in the Spirit, our faith is heavenly, spiritual; walking in the flesh, our faith is earthly, carnal.
"Is it the mind of the Father which influences my faith and controls my actions, or is it the order of things around me here? The latter is the world. Faith overcomes the world. The world, in its influence on me, is the rival of God's Word, and many a one who knows what faith is for the safety of his soul, is nevertheless not safe from the world." -J.B.S.
"It is imperative that the believer knows his position in grace, because grace is the source of all spiritual supply. A man can take unto himself nothing except it be given him from heaven' (John 3:27). Everything from beginning to end of the Christian life depends upon a proper faith-apprehension of that which the Father has bestowed upon him with and in His own Son in glory." -J.C.M.
"Most growing believers rightly maintain that all must come from the risen Lord; but instead of taking their actual position of being dwellers in heaven, and coming from there to earth, they only look up to heaven for help as to their walk on earth; and their faith and labors are always influenced and dictated by the condition and order of things on earth; and instead of seeking the mind of the Lord as learned in heaven, they are occupied with the blessing of man on earth." -J.B.S.
"Very little abiding growth and fruit can be known by the believer until he accepts the fact of identification (Rom. 6:6), and to it responds by an attitude of faith (Rom. 6:11), thus yielding himself to the Holy Spirit for the life of the Lord Jesus to be manifested in and through him (Rom. 6:13)." -G.W.
"For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7).
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow concerns of life are not ordained of God; they are as much of God as the profound. It is not your devotion to God that makes you refuse to be shallow, but your wish to impress other people with the fact that you are not shallow, which is a sure sign that you are a spiritual prig. Be careful of the production of contempt in yourself, it always comes along this line, and causes you to go about as a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than you are. Beware of posing as a profound person; God became a Baby. To be shallow is not a sign of being wicked, nor is shallowness a sign that there are no deeps: the ocean has a shore. The shallow amenities of life, eating and drinking, walking and talking, are all ordained by God. These are the things in which Our Lord lived. He lived in them as the Son of God, and He said that "the disciple is not above his Master." Our safeguard is in the shallow things. We have to live the surface common-sense life in a common-sense way; and when the deeper things come, God gives them to us apart from the shallow concerns. Never show the deep to anyone but God. We are so abominably serious, so desperately interested in our own characters, that we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life. Determinedly take no one seriously but God, and the first person you find you have to leave severely alone as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.
I therefore … beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called’
Having been taught who we are in Christ, believers are called to walk worthy, our life is to be a light shining in a dark world – a world where evil is increasing. But it is not always easy to practice the truths that we have learned from Scripture. We know what we believe and truly believe it – but do not always apply it.
We know of our abundant supply of grace - but we do not always appropriate it. We know of our inexhaustible spiritual supply– yet often we run spiritually dry. It is one thing to believe the word as fact and another to appropriate it… but when we receive and act on His word as fixed factual truth it pleases Him.
To take, accept, receive, and act on God’s unfailing Word is our prime duty. To hear, appropriate, and act in spirit and truth, demonstrates great wisdom. Once we take, as actuality, what is already ours in Christ – we are living by faith. Once we accept as practical reality what belongs to us – we become victorious. Oh, we know what we ought to do but we never seem to do as we ought!
How do we appropriate the truth of God’s word and how do we live by faith? Well, we need to know the riches of God’s grace towards us as outlined in Scripture. We need to know our position and privilege in Christ – our possessions and heritage – and then we need to put it into practice – to appropriate it.
Paul was a man who learned how to appropriate the riches of God’s grace. Paul was a guy who practiced living in the sufficiency of Christ – by faith. Paul was a person that demonstrated how the normal Christian life should be lived.
Stamford wrote of the apostle Paul: 'There was a ‘supply of the Spiritread more
Christ’s only consideration throughout His earthly life was to do the Father’s will. Christ’s heart's desire and joy was to carry out and complete God's will for His life. He did not sit around a table with like-minded men, constructing a pleasing plan. He did that which was pleasing to God, each day – every day, throughout His life: I do always those things that please Him. John 8:29
He did not engage in a 12-step program, developed through man’s clever strategy. His life work and His life prayer and His whole life-focus and joy was to do the Father’s will: not as I will but as Thou wilt. Mark 14:6 He didn’t take one verse of Scripture out of context and rest His lifework on that: My food is to do the will of Him Who sent Me, and to finish His work. John 4:34
All Christ did was done to fulfil God’s plan laid out before the world began. He did all according to God’s eternal purpose, from the foundation of the earth – the plan, which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: Eph.3:11
God has a plan and purpose for the life of every believer: man, woman, or child. Many beautifully identify what God has called them to do – to go – to be.. and Paul tells us that He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some He gave to be pastors teachers. Ephesians 4:11. And like Christ each should cry from the depth of their heart, Thy will be done. But rather than submitting to His will and crying Thy will be done.. some set off to do what a work that they perceive to be His will. Some see it as their job and responsibility to convert the world – some are quickly pushed into a ministry or service by other people.
Yesterday I was sent a little video of a 10-year-old ‘child preacher’, and the cheers, acclaim, and adoration he received were simplyread more