We sang a little chorus in our Gathering today:
He’s more than enough, He’s more than enough,
He is El Shaddai, the God of plenty,
The All-sufficient One, God Almighty,
Jesus, You are more than enough.
Indeed! With my eyes on the Lord, my perspective is balanced as I consider His loving kindness to me and His tender mercies, which are “…new every morning,” and I think “no lack.”
However, in the reality of everyday living in the workplace, home or other social encounters in relationships, the Holy Spirit, my divine Guide, is teaching me to recognise the entrance of a sinister imposter, that causes me to lose my Godly perspective.
What form does this sinister imposter take? Pride! An imposter imposes himself, desiring to move in furtively without recognition. Pride is like the thorny bramble with it’s roots spreading unseen taking hold, one shoot is chopped off and removed only to discover another has grown elsewhere, seeking to entwine it’s thorny tendrils to establish itself in my life and produce it’s fruit, which is sin.
Pride imposes itself from my judgements and I am not aware of the entrance of this heinous thing that God resists. 1 Peter 5:5 “God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.” Do I want God to resist me?!!
Pride is easy to recognise in others’ lives from their judgements of others – producing bitterness, unforgiveness and discontent – discord instead of harmony. In Romans 2:1 Paul declared, “Thou art inexcusable, O man, whoever thou art that judges; for where thou judge another, thou condemn thyself; for thou that judges does the same things.” From this scripture we see that :
MY PRESENT JUDGEMENTS OF OTHERS, FATHER MY FUTURE FAILURES!……and I become a victim of my judgements. When I judge others I dig my own grave! If I seek to justify myself and insist I am not like others, I need to recognise that “there but for the grace of God, go I.” It is only the hand of God on my life and His grace that keeps me. He is my Saviour and my Keeper. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
When pride emerged in Heaven as an angel of light, God was brutal and threw him out, and he became the devil.(Isaiah 14:10-15) Pride is the enemy of God’s glory, I must see it through God’s eyes.
It is not my place to be brutal with other people’s pride – but I must be ruthless with my own. As the Holy Spirit makes me aware of it, I must root it out, humble myself and repent, before it’s tendrils pull me down in to the abyss of despond, robbing me of my birthright in Jesus, abundant life!
Pride is so intertwined in our beings that only the Holy Spirit can deal with it. The Body of Christ is so fractured in parts by it’s judgements, and when not dealt with, those parts have become victims of the same judgements, cut off from others, unfulfilled in their divine destiny. Jeremiah 29: 11-13 declares God’s thoughts towards us, His people, and our “expected end,” – which is fulfilment and not shipwreck!
Paul addressed this same problem in the Corinthian Church over contentions. 1 Corinthians 1:13, “Is Christ divided?” No! I must take my responsibility in my own relationships. People may dump me in their dustbin/trash bin, but I must NEVER dump them in mine. God sees.
God hardens hearts in righteous judgement e.g. Pharaoh in Egypt – so I must ask the Lord to keep me tender and give me opportunities to humble, otherwise another law kicks in if I refuse – the hardening of my heart.
As the Body of Christ we have not operated fully in relationships and have fallen short of encouraging, edifying and forgiving one another as a way of life. The riches that are in Christ Jesus are not only our birthright, but are more than enough, (as the little chorus quoted previously declared), but many in the Body of Christ fall short and do not have enough of His “fruit of the Spirit.”
The unity of the Body of Christ is God’s desire. Throughout Christendom divisions and fractures are found. Does this make the unity of the Body a myth? No! Hebrews 11:1 declares “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” If I am fully persuaded then I do not give up on it but endeavour to “…lay aside every weight …..looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….”Hebrews 12:1-2 If others do not live up to unity in the Body do I give up on it? No! God will bring it about, He is the author and finisher and will finish the work He started.
My responsibility is to deal with the sinister imposter in me, I cannot live others’ lives. 1 John 3:21 declares our confidence towards God. If I am confident in God my life will reflect Him and rub off on others, bringing about in some small measure unity in the Body. I am responsible for one man, to walk and continue to walk, to embrace and confess unity in the Body of Christ.
“When the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith in the earth?” Luke 18:8
The full expression of my relationship with God is the full expression of my relationship with you! Selah.