Wednesday, December 22, 2010

STOP TRYING TO SATISFY GOD

NOTE:  This teaching is for now.  Though written many years ago, it applies to our modern Christian emphasis on “self-improvement” and “self-transformation”.  I pray that God will enlighten each of us today, and let us stop working, striving, fighting, in our own efforts to satisfy the Lord.  He is satisfied fully with Christ, and we are to live in Christ, and have His life in us, which then takes care of it.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…” Gal. 5:1

A. Brother

STOP TRYING TO SATISFY GOD
T. Austin-Sparks

“When one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
Now the Lord is the Spirit;
and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is liberty.”
2 Corinthians 3:16,17

If we turn to the Lord, and are occupied with Him in the way we have indicated, the Holy Spirit sets us free.

It may be you are struggling, striving, fighting, wrestling, praying, pleading, longing, yearning, asking the Lord to set you free from condemnation, free from fear, from from those paralyzing bonds in which Israel was when the glory appeared.

Do you want to be free from fear, from dread, from terror, from condemnation? What are you doing to get free?

There is one simple, direct way, namely, to be occupied with the Lord, to turn to the Lord. Get Christ as God's satisfaction in your view, and cease trying to satisfy God yourself.

Faith in Christ is all God's requirement. How deeply true were His words, "Apart from me ye can do nothing". "Abide in me. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me".

That is only figurative language, which means, Be occupied with Him, set your mind on Him, dwell in Him, rest in Him, abide in Him; or, as Paul would say, Gaze on Him, behold Him, let Him be the object of your occupation, and the Spirit will make you free.

More than that, this beholding of Christ means that the Holy Spirit changes you into God's likeness: "Beholding... we are changed".

It is not said, Beholding, we begin to change ourselves, we embark upon self-transformation with all its struggle, and conflict, and battle.

We are changed by the Lord the Spirit. Be occupied with Christ, and the Spirit takes up the matter of transforming into His image.

Be occupied with yourself, and you will see that the law of conformity to type operates. If you are the type, then you will conform to that type. If Christ is the type, then the Holy Spirit will conform to His likeness.

Then this being occupied with Christ means that the Holy Spirit makes us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant. I do not think that ministry is such an onerous thing after all.

We need to came back to the simplicity, the spontaneity of ministry. Be occupied with Christ, and the Holy Spirit will show you more and more in Christ with which to be occupied, and as He makes that livingly real you will have something to give to others.

Your ministry may not be a platform ministry, but it will be ministry, something for others. Who wants more than that?

Oh, the snare of the platform idea that so often constitutes the whole conception of ministry, as though other people are not ministers at all. It is just as much your privilege to behold Christ as any man's in this universe, and, that being so, it is just as much your calling to minister what you see in Christ to others.

8 comments:

  1. Could you please email me at wendyworn@yahoo.com? I need to discuss something with you.

    Thanks
    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  2. Linda:

    Please understand I want to help people to the extent I can here on the blogsite, and welcome any and all subjects. I will be glad to deal with anything appropriate here that helps us live the Christ-life.

    This is all about directing people to Christ, and to connecting with those around them in the Body of Christ directly.

    God will give you, if you ask Him, someone near to you there you can relate to face-to-face as brother or sister in person. This is my directive from the Lord, so I hope you can accept this.

    I often get requests for personal emails back and forth, but God tells me to encourage my brothers and sisters to directly connect with someone where they are living. This is what He wants us to do, even if it requires stretching out and being uncomfortable.

    Our internet society often enables us to reach out at great distances, yet we are called, conversely, to direct touch with other members of the Body of Christ as often as possible.

    Believe me, my wife and I know the difficulty of this. Many so-called "Christians" are not to be trusted with our personal struggles. Yet we must try, and reach out, and be real with them.

    And, Christ Himself is there, to give His anointing and His answers. He will meet you, no matter where, no matter the subject. He will give you His counsel, which, believe me, is better than any of mine!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was witnessing to a brother online, who if he continued wanting to know more about Christ I was going to ask you to talk to him since I felt it was inappropriate to undershepherd a man being a woman. That was what I was going to discuss in an email. I respect your wishes not to correspond by email.

    Proverbs 18:13

    Blessings in Christ
    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  4. Linda:

    What a blessing that you are willing to work with those online who need direct help. I pray for you in this. I completely agree that you should refer a man to another man who will be able to guide him into Christ.

    Thanks for being so understanding, as my natural tendency is to jump in with both feet in everything. This has been a hard discipline for me, but the Lord makes plain to me that I must devote myself right now to repairing the walls of my own Jerusalem. This means loving my family, working through some issues there and in other areas of my life, and connecting locally with those God gives me.

    I am positive, sister, that God will give that seeking brother exactly what He needs, through you or others.

    Again, thank you for considering me in this task, and may our Lord Jesus Christ continue to work in you to "will and to do His good pleasure."

    Stay hard on Christ's heels as you are. I hope you and this man and others will benefit from the teachings of the Word I put on this site.

    Your brother in Christ,
    A. Brother

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Brother

    I am praying for you that the Lord will continue to inspire you and that the Holy Spirit continues to move through you on this blog! It has been a tremendous blessing!

    Much blessings in Christ for 2011!
    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks, Linda, the same for you in your life...
    may Christ become our "soul" focus this year.
    A. Brother

    ReplyDelete
  7. What is required in order to have Jesus ABIDE in us and we in Him?

    Can we do it:

    1. By accepting Him as our our own personal Lord and Savior ?
    No. Where does the Bible say that?

    2. By the grace of GOD only? Sola Gracias?
    No. Where does the Bible say that?

    3. By faith in GOD alone? Sola Fides?
    No. Where does the Bible say that?

    It is simple common sense that since He commanded that we must do something, then doesn't it stand to reason that He would also tell us how to do it?

    Jesus was very clear in what we must do in order to have Him ABIDE in us and we in Him.

    Jesus left this command for us in John 6:53-57:

    53 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you (the taken away branch);

    54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

    56 HE WHO EATS MY FLESH AND DRINKS MY BLOOD ABIDES IN ME, AND I IN HIM.

    57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me."

    ReplyDelete
  8. Michael:

    Yes, Christ instructs us to "eat of His flesh and drink of His blood." But what does that mean? Does it mean to "take communion" in church as a liturgical act? Does that assure we will be intimately abiding in our Lord Jesus?

    Or does it mean something much more? That we follow our Christ so closely that we live His Life of love and sacrifice for Him and for all those around us.

    Great point to bring out, brother. Christ demands our all, our very flesh and blood, be replaced with His.

    That's why Paul said, "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." (Gal. 2:20)

    My prayer is that each of us reading this will take the commands of Christ seriously today, and follow Him no matter the cost.

    A. Brother

    ReplyDelete

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