Our Deep Relationship With God
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself makes intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” – Romans 8:26.
Dear Readers, today please indulge me as I share with you devotional from one of my favourite devotion writers from his book “My Outmost for His Highest.” Enjoy!
“I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ…” – Colossians 1:24. The Christian worker has to be a sacred “go-between.” He must be so closely identified with his Lord and the reality of His redemption that Christ can continually bring His creating life through him. I am not referring to the strength of one individual’s personality being superimposed on another, but the real presence of Christ coming through every aspect of the worker’s life. When we preach the historical facts of the life and death of our Lord as they are conveyed in the New Testament, our words are made sacred. God uses these words, on the basis of His redemption, to create something in those who listen which otherwise could never have been created. If we simply preach the effects of redemption in the human life instead of the revealed, divine truth regarding Jesus Himself, the result is not new birth in those who listen. The result is a refined religious lifestyle, and the Spirit of God cannot witness to it because such preaching is in a realm other than His. We must make sure that we are living in such harmony with God that as we proclaim His truth He can create in others those things which He alone can do.
When we say, “What a wonderful personality, what a fascinating person, and what a wonderful insight!” then what opportunity does the gospel of God have through all of that? It cannot get through, because the attraction is to the messenger and not the message. If a person attracts through his personality, that becomes his appeal. If, however, he is identified with the Lord Himself, then the appeal becomes what Jesus Christ can do. The danger is to glory in men, yet Jesus says we are to lift up only Him-John 12:32.
The Supreme Climb
“He said, ‘Take now your son…’” – Genesis 22:2. God’s command is, “Take now,” not later. It is incredible how we debate! We know something is right, but we try to find excuses for not doing it immediately. If we are to climb to the height God reveals, it can never be done later-it must be done now. And the sacrifice must be worked through our will before we actually perform it.
“So Abraham rose early in the morning…and went to the place of which God had told him” -22:3. Oh, the wonderful simplicity of Abraham! When God spoke, he did not “confer with flesh and blood” – Galatians 1:16. Beware when you want to “confer with flesh and blood” or even your own thoughts, insights, or understandings-anything that is not based on your personal relationships with God. These are all things that compete with and hinder obedience to God.
Abraham did not choose what the sacrifice would be. Always guard against self-chosen service for God. Self-sacrifice may be a disease that impairs your service. If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; or even if He has made it bitter, drink it in communion with Him. If the providential will of God means hard and difficult time for you, go through it. But never decide the place of your own martyrdom, as if to say, “I will only go to there, but no farther.” God chose the test for Abraham, and Abraham neither delayed nor protested, but steadily obeyed. If you are not living in touch with God, it is easy to blame Him or pass judgment on Him. You must go through the trial before you have any right to pronounce a verdict, because by going through the trial you learn to know God better. God is working in us to reach His highest goals until His purpose become one.
The Changed Life
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” – 2 Corinthians 5:17.What understanding do you have of the salvation of your soul? The work of salvation means that in your real life things are dramatically changed. You no longer look at things in the same way. Your desires are new and the old things have lost their power to attract you. One of the tests for determining if the work of salvation in your life is genuine is-has God changed the things that really matter to you? If you still yearn for the old things, it is absurd to talk about being born from above-you are deceiving yourself. If you are born again, the Spirit of God makes the change very evident in your real life and thought. And when a crisis comes, you are the most amazed person on earth at the wonderful difference there is in you. There is no possibility of imagining that you did it. It is this complete and amazing change that is the very evidence that you are saved.
What difference has my salvation and sanctification made? For instance, can I stand in the light of 1 Corinthians 13, or do I squirm and evade the issue? True salvation, worked out in me by the Holy Spirit, frees me completely. And as long as I “walk in the light as He is in the light” – 1 John 1:7, God sees nothing to rebuke because His life is working itself in to every detailed part of my being, not on the conscious level, but even deeper than my consciousness.
The Unrivaled Power of Prayer
We realize that we are energized by the Holy Spirit for prayer; and we know what it is to pray in accordance with the Spirit; but we don’t often realize that the Holy Spirit Himself prays prayers in us which we cannot utter ourselves. When we are born again of God and are indwelt by the Spirit of God, He expresses for us the unutterable.
“He,” the Holy Spirit in you, “makes intercession fir the saints according to the will of God”-8:27. And God searches your heart, not to know what your conscious prayers are, but to find out what the prayer of the Holy Spirit is.
The Spirit of God uses the nature of the believer as a temple in which to offer His prayers of intercession. “…your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit…” – 1 Corinthians 6:19. When Jesus Christ cleansed the temple, “… He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple” (Mark 11:16). The Spirit of God will not allow you to use your body for your own convenience. Jesus ruthlessly cast out everyone who bought and sold in the temple, and said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer… But you have made it a ‘den of thieves’” – Mark 11:17.
Have we come to realize that our “body is the temple of the Holy Spirit”? If so, we must be careful to keep it undefiled for Him. We have to remember that our conscious life, even though only a small part of our total person, is to be regarded by us as a “temple of the Holy Spirit.” He will be responsible for the unconscious part which we don’t know, but we must pay careful attention to and guard the conscious part for which we are responsible.
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