The following are two indisputable facts:
1 THERE IS A GOD
2 I AM NOT HIM
Scripture declares of the Lord, Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
In the previous verses, (6-7), we are encouraged to seek the Lord and forsake our unrighteous thoughts. The Lord will sometimes take us on a path where we do not understand what is happening, but He requires us to humble ourselves, bow to Him and remove the shoes of our understanding. In the trial of our faith He requires we abandon ourselves to Him in complete trust, in order for Him to bring us through the passage. He is willing and able to bring us through, by His strength alone, for His glory. These times are our “Bethels”, where we reflect and discover and declare, like Jacob, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I knew it not,” Genesis 28:10 – 22.
Do I recognise my need for absolute dependency on the Lord in every area of my life? If I do not, I leave myself open to prove it. In the natural there are many gifted, talented, confident and successful people. These talents bear no spiritual currency whatsoever and are meaningless in the light of eternity. Unless a person accepts Jesus Christ into their life these talents are worthless spiritually, but placed into God’s hands, they can be used to extend His kingdom, for His purposes and glory. The spiritual gold wrought in our life through the work of the Holy Spirit is stored in the treasure houses of heaven, (Matthew 6:19-21).
As I surrender my independence to the Lord, I exchange it for dependence on Him. I discover that I am no longer waiting for God, it is He who has been waiting for me to get out of the way. I plan and strive to fulfil His laws in my own strength and fail miserably. When I look at my failure, depression sets in. There is only One who can live this Christian life and He is the Indwelling Christ, seeking to be released through me as I abandon my ways, surrender and humble myself before Him.
The greatest thing available to man and the answer to the world’s problems is the enabling power available from the Indwelling Christ. Only Christ can produce it, but man can prevent it. Have you discovered that in your own strength you cannot fulfil the commandments of Jesus and despaired at your failure? Take heart, the Lord wants to replace your feeble efforts with His divine power. Has your grace run out? Do you find you cannot be the person God created you to be?….unable to fulfil what you believe to be your God given role in life? Head in hands, we try to fathom why there is a lack of what our Heavenly Father promised when He said, “My grace is sufficient for you”, 2 Corinthians 12:9. Have you meditated on the following words contained in this verse?…..It continues, “…for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” If I am lacking in grace, God is not to blame, I am. So, why do I not have a sufficiency of what God has promised? Because grace is married to truth. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. John 1:17 “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” I want what God has promised, His grace, but I can only access it when I turn the tap of truth on. I have to embrace the truth of my failure: that is, that in my own flesh and strength, I cannot live this Christian life. I need the enabling power of the Indwelling Christ to live it through me. Truth is creative for Jesus Christ is the Truth. When I run out of grace I need to run into truth. As I humble before Almighty God, surrender my will, confess my lack and failure, I then invite Him into my weakness and discover the wonderful truth and power of His word….”for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” I then discover that He, the Lord Jesus Christ, is to me what I am not.
There is a simplicity in this revelation and the only way into it is by embracing truth of my failure. I do not fall from grace because I am weak. I fall because, in my pride, I believed I was strong! I can wear the robe of a Pharisee that looks good on the outside by my works, but if my motive is wrong then my heart is rotten on the inside. God looks on the heart, not on my works. I cannot short circuit the work of the Holy Spirit in my life by producing good works. God is looking for a broken and a contrite heart, this He will not despise, but delight in. God’s ways and thoughts are not man’s, they are much higher. Our barrenness qualifies us for His royal exchange. Read Isaiah 54 and embrace the promises there. He will give me a song in my barrenness. As I magnify the Lord, the life of the resurrected Christ begins to flow through me. It is in Him that we live and move and have our being“, Acts 17:28. THE MOVE IS ON – embrace it! When we realise what we are not, He is able to give us His oil of joy for mourning, a garment of praise for our spirit of heaviness, His beauty for the ashes of our life, (Isaiah 61:3) As we embrace the truth of our barrenness, the power of the resurrected life of the Indwelling Christ flows through us. His glorious life replaces the weak efforts we were trying to produce in our own strength.
GOD DOES NOT WANT TO IMPROVE ME, HE WANTS TO REMOVE ME, and replace me with the divine life of His Son, bringing all glory to Him. He alone is worthy to receive all honour and credit for the life of His beloved Son in me. Hallelujah! Sing, o barren, sing!….and embrace your glorious future in Christ…the joy set before you.