Everybody wants to be a somebody, but every somebody needs to become a nobody and lose his identity in the Body because God will not give His glory to anybody.
Colossians 2: 9-10, speaking of Jesus, “For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power.” Our security is complete in Jesus Christ and our identity should be found in Him, the Indwelling Christ, and not in our own efforts.
One of Arthur’s little stories can be found in his booklet, “Pebbles to Slay Goliath”: There was once £1,000,000. The last nought was dissatisfied with his position and pushed himself in front of the 1: £0100,000 The 0 at the end thought he would do the same: £0010,000 The next nought followed suit: £0001,000 and so the pattern continued until it looked like this: £0000001. Sadly, the noughts had devalued themselves by vying for a greater position by pushing themselves in front of the “1”.
You can never attain to God’s standards through your own efforts. Don’t try to be the product of your own invention. God provides everything He requires for godliness, when you resign and surrender to Him, the life of Another, the Risen Christ can come forth through you, for His glory.
God’s purpose is to bring us to nothingness but there is great value in this position when I put myself behind the number 1, Jesus! Jesus is the sum of all things and I am complete in Him in the order of God. If my life is dysfunctional, I am out of order. God is in the business of bringing His order to chaos. The Holy Spirit of God will guide me in to all truth when I humble myself to listen and obey. The life of God in me is the enabling strength to do His will.
It was God’s plan to make an incomplete man that we may find our completeness in His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. All the fullness of God is in Christ Jesus and is made available to us.
Our pride despises the position of being nothing and wants to be recognised. We can try to put our confidence in all manner of things other than the Lord, but this only gives us a false identity and devalues the Body of Christ, just like the nought moving his position and devaluing the sum he was part of. An ordered life is of value to God and the Body of Christ. Order is function. The fullness of the Godhead bodily dwells in our Lord Jesus and we are complete IN HIM.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 portrays the call and choice of God on our lives. The word declares that not many wise, mighty or noble are called, but the weak, the foolish, the despised and the base, that no flesh should glory in His presence. God does not consider our weakness or baseness to be despised, but an asset that He can be made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, so that we might glory in Him, and not ourselves, (verses 30 & 31.) Jesus Christ completes us and makes us into a vessel fit for His purposes.
We are all “a work in progress” in the School of the Spirit in the School of Life. One of the most important lessons we can learn is to be left out and stay sweet. No-one likes being left out. If I am hurt when I am left out, I will be puffed up when I am brought in. The coin has two sides. Scripture exhorts us to be thankful in all things. I have to learn to be content where I am, it is part of the learning curve before God changes the season and moves me on. Have I learnt to be delighted to see the blessing of God on others lives, yet suffering lack myself? An attitude of gratitude availeth much. When I delight myself in the Lord, His life in me will delight in others’ blessings and not play “the elder brother” role, as in the account of the Prodigal Son, (Luke 15:11-32). Paul declared he knew both sides of the coin: how to be abased and suffer need, but also to abound, but he learnt to find the place in God where he could say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Philippians 4:13. When we proceed to do something that is not in God’s will, He withdraws His grace from our life. Our peace is lost and God gets our attention! This is the place when we need to be still and listen for the still small Voice of the Holy Spirit to get us back on track. When we humble ourselves, God will not give us a stone when we ask for bread, (Matthew 7:9). He is our Heavenly Father, abounding in unconditional love, ever seeking to draw us closer to Himself for a deeper relationship.
God has chosen us and is working in us to bring us to that place where His life in us will “confound the mighty and the wise” of this world, (1 Corinthians 1:27), that “no flesh should glory in his presence”. When we learn to be a weak thing in the sight of God, we then discover that His strength is made perfect in our weakness, and He is glorified.
The man who learns to stay still, moves quickest when the Spirit prompts.