For it is written in the Law of Moses, "YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING " God is not concerned about oxen, is He?1 Corinthians 9:9(NASB)
We talk about our motives, and we say, "Our motive was right!" We talk about our conscientiousness, we talk about our intentions; but you and I do not know what lies behind what we call our good motives. There is a deceitfulness about this human heart that defies our greatest attempt at tracking it down, and we shall never do it.... Here is where the church has become such a confused thing, and such a tragedy; for the prevailing idea is that if you give yourself over to God He will take you up and use you: "Bring over your humanity and consecrate it to the Lord! Consecrate your old man to the Lord, and go out and serve the Lord, with a consecrated old man!" it is utterly contrary to the teaching of God’s Word. The result is that in the work of God all the world over you have people serving the Lord in the energy of the flesh, in the reasoning of the flesh, in the emotions of the flesh. Meet them, counter them, frustrate them, and you meet something evil; you meet with a fight, a division, a schism, a scattering, and wholesale resignations.
Do you see what a havoc the enemy can make in that which is called the church, because people with best intentions and purest motives have come to serve the Lord with all their own intelligence, their own strength, and their own emotion? They have not seen that God has closed the door to the old creation, and that God’s attitude is this: "The only thing that can satisfy Me, that can serve Me is My Son, and if you are going to come into My service, He has to be the energy of everything, the Life of everything, the Wisdom of everything!" He has to be the governing, ruling reality in everything. It is not to be a matter of your impulses, but of His urgings and leadings by the Holy Spirit; not your sitting down to reason out what it would be good to do for the Lord, what ought to be done, what needs to be done, but what He shows you, nothing more.... You and I must not bring over our old creation and give it to God, expecting God to use it. God begins with birth. The church of the firstborn is something quite new, and it comes out of a death. That death is the death of an old creation, and the resurrection is of something that is not the resuscitation of an old creation, but the resurrection of something wholly of God.
The Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish. § The Lord will show who is His and who is holy. § Your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. § There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.
Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You. § When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path. § 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.
The solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
No one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation. § In Me you … have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness. § The night is far spent, the day is at hand. § He shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, like the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain.
He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces. § There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. § We who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air … Therefore comfort one another with these words.
God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth" (2 Thess. 2:13).
To be Christ-centered, we must be Spirit-dependent.
"It is basically the belief of the truth; it is not belief of the fruits. The Holy Spirit cannot present to me the fruit He has produced in me, as the object of my faith. He speaks to me of my faults, of my sins, but not of the good works that may be in me. He produces them in me, but He hides them from me; for if we think of them, it is but a more subtle self-righteousness. It is like the manna which, being kept, produced worms. All is spoilt - it is no more faith in action. The Holy Spirit must always present to me the Lord Jesus Christ, that I may grow and have peace." -J.N.D.
"An understanding of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is basic to Christian growth. Spirituality is Christ-likeness, and Christ-likeness is the fruit of the Spirit. Spiritual power is not the miraculous or the spectacular, but rather the consistent manifestation of the characteristics of the Lord Jesus in the believer's life. All this is the work of the Spirit, of whom the Lord Jesus said, He shall glorify Me' (John 16:14).
"What are the ingredients of spirituality? First, a spirit of dependence, whatever may be the state of faith and the blessings we may have realized. Secondly, an entire confidence in the goodness of the Father; for He is love. Thirdly, the Lord Jesus as the constant object of the affections of the heart, for the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart is to fill it with contemplation of and fellowship with the Lord Jesus in glory."
"Changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18).
The main idea in the region of religion is - Your eyes upon God, not on men. Do not have as your motive the desire to be known as a praying man. Get an inner chamber in which to pray where no one knows you are praying, shut the door and talk to God in secret. Have no other motive than to know your Father in heaven. It is impossible to conduct your life as a disciple without definite times of secret prayer.
But when ye pray use not vain repetitions…(Matt:6.7). God does not hear us because we are in earnest, but only on the ground of Redemption. God is never impressed by our earnestness. Prayer is not simply getting things from God, that is a most initial form of prayer; prayer is getting into perfect communion with God. If the Son of God is formed in us by regeneration, He will press forward in front of our common sense and change our attitude to the things about which we pray.
"Everyone that asketh receiveth." We pray pious blether, our will is not in it, and then we say God does not answer; we never asked for anything. "Ye shall ask what ye will," said Jesus. Asking means our will is in it. Whenever Jesus talked about prayer, He put it with the grand simplicity of a child: we bring in our critical temper and say - Yes, but . . . Jesus said "Ask." But remember that we have to ask of God things that are in keeping with the God Whom Jesus Christ revealed.
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
1 John 3:9
The moment we were born from above we were positionally sanctified for we were placed into the body of Christ by the Spirit – and we are forever positioned in Him. The instant we are saved, we are set apart unto the Lord. We are sanctified. We are positioned in Christ and we are positionally sanctified. We were positionally sanctified when we were justified by faith in Christ, but must move to practical or progressive sanctification, if we are to grow in our Christian life.
Throughout our Christian walk we are to be increasingly “set apart unto the Lord,” We are to be progressively sanctified / practically sanctified. We are to grow in grace. But how does sanctification take place, and in what way does sanctification happen? Well, being sanctified means that we are set apart unto God – growing spiritually. The power of sin and death in the lives of all believers was broken forever at the cross, and so we are enabled to live a life of holiness – a life that is “set apart unto God”.
When we were reborn, we received a brand new baby life – our new life in Christ, but the old sin nature will remain in our dying bodies until we are glorified – until Christ comes to take us home to heaven. But the old nature seeks to regain supremacy over our new life in Christ. Only the new, born-again life that is positioned in Christ is positionally sanctified – and Only that new born-again life in Christ can be progressively or practically sanctified. The old sin nature is incapable of godly living. The old sin nature is incapable of being sanctified.
If we are to be practically sanctified, it can only take place in our new life. If we are to grow spiritually.. growth only take place in our new Christ-like nature.read more
Give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
2 Peter 1:10
We are exhorted on many occasions to be maturely established in the faith. We are encouraged to press on to the high calling of Christ. We are entreated to gain spiritual perception and godly discernment. We are enjoined to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus.
Why then is there such lack in the body of Christ? Why such spiritual infancy? Why is there such a dearth of spiritual perception – a deficiency of discernment? Why are there so many that live out their Christian life in spiritual infancy? Spiritual lack and stunted growth is most often a failure to grow in spirit and truth.
There are many believers who are so rich in Christian experience and good works.. many mature men and women – mellowed with time, who strive to work for the Lord. But the stark reality is that not all work for God is service to God. There may be good claims made – genuine reasons for engaging in the Lord’s work. There may be many who profess “we have done many wonderful works in Thy name”, but motives may fail to achieve His end and His desire and His will for our lives – rationale which is deficient in achieving God’s unique plans and purposes.
The bible is a-flood with what is at the root of God’s heart and His desire of us. The scriptures are a-wash with examples of what is important to the Lord. His word is explicit as to how to spiritually mature and grow in grace. So what is this eternal desire in the heart of God…? And why do so many miss it? Well it’s simply this :- We are to decrease, as He is to increase until He is everything and I am nothing,
Sadly this simple standard yet profound principle is devastating to the human ego. It flies in the face of whatread more