Our flesh life is continually at war with our spirit man when it refuses to yield to the indwelling life of Christ. Genesis 21 records the account of Hagar and Ishmael, (symbolising the works of the flesh), being cast out into the wilderness. Hagar bewailing her position had run out of water. She settled herself and her child down to die, no longer able to hope for anything but death. She had come to the end of herself…..and then God, in His mercy, stepped in. He opened her eyes to see a well of water He had provided for her and the child.
When we come to the end of our hoarded resources of good ideas, we arrive at the end of ourselves, ( just like the prodigal son). God waits for us to get out of the way in order for Him to work in our lives. Our weakness and failure are the opportunities for God to work through us, for His glory. He does not want our strength and ability, just our availability for Him to display the life of His Son through a yielded vessel. God’s ways and thoughts are so much higher than our feeble ones. The line from an old song reminds us: “It’s down on my knees where I learn to stand.” I never get things wrong because I am weak, I fail because I try to do things in my own strength. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 teaches us the qualifications God requires of us, “the foolish, base, despised, weak, not many wise after the flesh, mighty or noble”, in order for Him to display His strength and power through a yielded vessel. This is God’s plan to display His glory. The work and the credit all goes to Him! In spite of my running from Him at times, He never ran away from me. I am here today because of a gracious, Heavenly Father who never let me down.
1 Corinthians 15:49, “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” We have no problem displaying the earthy image, why do we have so many problems displaying the heavenly one? All my resistance to the life of Jesus being seen in me is because I want my own way. Every day, every relationship bristles with opportunities for yielding to the Spirit of God, preferring others before myself, their will before mine. God comes, sometimes I do not recognise Him in the form of another person. Jesus reminds us, Matthew 25:45, “….Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.” I can so easily fail to see God in the “ordinary”, and miss Him. In Matthew 16:2-3, Jesus accuses the Pharisees of being able to discern the weather patterns from the sky, and yet so unable to discern the appointed times and opportunities from God. How about me? The longed for Messiah of Israel was among them, but their pride rejected His image. Jesus did not fit into their wrong image of the coming Messiah. So many of them missed their opportunity, and Jesus wept over them: “O Jerusalem, …..how often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and YOU WOULD NOT!” When I reach heaven I do not want my earthly life to be defined by my “would nots!” Every provision has been made for you and me through Calvary to bear the image of the heavenly man, Christ Jesus. It is time to MOVE OVER and allow the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus to operate in us, bringing all glory to the Father.
Let us make the words of Paul our prayer, Ephesians 1:17-19 “That…the Father of glory may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. The eyes of your understanding being enlightened that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us who believe, according to the greatness of his mighty power.” The Lord is the source of all knowledge, wisdom and power. “Thine is the kingdom , thine is the power and thine is the glory, forever. Amen”
“Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world,” 1 John 4:4 There is a divine life pressing to come forth in each of us! As I yield my life to Him, a song of melody springs from my heart, “Thou mighty Christ, come forth in me”, and all heaven joins with an anthem of praise: ” Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son, endless is the victory…..”