Some years ago, a pastor gave this message on the night before a government general election: Tomorrow, many of us will attend a polling station to vote for the government member of our choice. We will put our cross against the candidate’s name on a piece of paper and submit our vote. When each of us entered into our salvation, we responded to God holding out His sceptre to us, and God put His cross on our lives, His mark – The Cross of Jesus Christ into our D.N.A. The transaction that took place then was the beginning of our spiritual journey in the School of the Spirit. We accepted Jesus as our Saviour and His Cross on our lives gives Him complete authority to do as He wants with us. Recognising His ownership of our lives, and making right choices, is how we make Him Lord of our lives.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s”. The ultimate price, the shed blood of Jesus Christ, ransomed me and I no longer belong to myself to live as I please. I lost possession of my life, I belong to Another. There are times when I don’t allow Christ to possess His possession, I fight against it for my right to myself and discover the misery of fighting God. How foolish!
How many times have I prayed for “more of Jesus ” in my life? There is no-one who wants to fill me more than the Lord Himself. I insult Him when I ask for more of Jesus, and yet, deny His Lordship by acting contrary to His ways, justifying myself instead of surrendering to Him. When will I realise I am not my own any more to live as I please?
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me”.
The apostle, Paul, in Romans 7, describes the continual war between the flesh and the spirit. Only unsurrendered flesh wars. Dead men don’t speak! God will arrange my circumstances to uncover my self life, my pride, that He requires me to repent of and humble before Him. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in my life.
This message in tongues and interpretation was delivered this morning:
“For it is My purpose to reveal to each of you to see yourselves as I see you, not in the depths of despair, not in the outback, the wilderness of misery, but as I see you, you have yet to see yourselves. Yes, you are in the work of My Holy Spirit but I see you through the blood of My dear Son, Jesus Christ. You are covered, but in that covering I must expose you, expose what I despise in you. I despise the pride of what you really are, apart from Me. You put on your lips many words, but out of the condition of your heart, your mouth speaks and I see the condition of your heart. You may fool others but you do not fool Me. I see right into the depths of you, and yet, I have set My love upon you. I have chosen you and shall I not conform you to the image of My Son? I see you as perfect, fully acceptable to Me, but yet, much work still to be done for you to yet “realise”.”
Paul had a revelation to describe himself as “the chief of sinners”, (1 Timothy 1:15). The more light we receive should cause us, (like Paul), to shrink from any self glory, knowing it is abhorrent to God. If I have not experienced the depths of depravity of another man’s sin, it does not mean that I am not capable of that same sin if God took His restraining hand of grace from my life. Many will declare of others, “There go I, but for the grace of God”, but do I really believe that statement? It is wisdom to embrace the truth of that statement, rather than prove it, if believing otherwise in any standing of my own. In Christ alone we place our trust. My lack of experiencing certain depths of depravity does not absolve me from embracing the description, chief of sinners. Paul had a revelation from God to understand where the depths of sin in the human heart can take us…….ungodly paths of our choosing! God wipes us all out with “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”, (Romans 3: 23), then makes a way for redemption through Jesus’ sacrifice: “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Who God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for sins that are past, through the forbearance of God”, Romans 3: 24-25.
For ALL have come short of the glory of God…….that is why we all need a Redeemer and Saviour. Our very lack of credentials, (1 Corinthians 1: 26 onwards), qualifies us to need a Saviour. What God demands, He provides. He has provided His dear Son, the door of our salvation and beginning of our earthly journey together, to enter into fellowship with Him, learning His ways, embracing His truths, maturing under His loving correction. The royal exchange takes place when I surrender and let Him live His life through me. The ultimate goal:”It is no longer I that lives, but Christ that lives in me”.