The Christian Life
Date published: November 30, 2012
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (NIV)
NO EASY ROAD
The Christian life is indeed no easy road to travel, even though God, through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary has given us all that we need to live our new life in the power of the Holy Spirit, we know that it is a constant struggle to live to please God. The most frustrating and painful thing is that the old nature with its sinful disposition is always at war with our desire to live the practical life of sharing in God’s own divine nature – 2 Peter 1:3-4.
But that is no reason to give up. God knows our frailty and had made every provision for us to daily grow in wisdom. He has also given Himself, His Holy Spirit, to walk alongside us to help us. We also have the testimonies of Christians over the centuries whose lives in this sin infested would please God. Some of them wrote down their experiences, including the revelation God gave them and the deeper understanding they had as a result intimate dependent relationship with God… Today let us consider some of the meditations of Watchman Nee, a victorious Chinese Christian who lived between the late 19th and 20th centuries. I have taken the liberty to give each piece a heading.
THE SAME GOSPEL
And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets – 1 Cor. 14:32.
Suppose a musician is capable of playing three instruments, the piano, the organ, and violin, with equal accomplishment. He may perform the same piece of music on each of them in turn, and since the three instruments possesses, each its own distinct character, each performance will be different work of art. The artist and music will be the same, but each instrument in turn will provide its own unique flavour and colour and feel.
FELLOW WORKERS WITH GOD
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God – 2 Cor. 3:5. God has His work. It is not your work or mine nor is it the work of this mission or that church group. It is His own work. Paul once expressed desire to lay hold on that task or role for which he himself had been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. We can conclude that the Lord Jesus has a specific purpose in taking hold of each of us, and it is that purpose and no other which we ourselves want to engage in. he takes charge of us that we in turn may actively co-operate with Him in His work.
Nevertheless, it is still true that we cannot of ourselves do a work that is wholly and absolutely His. We participate as His co-workers, on the one hand, we acknowledge that we cannot lift us much as a little finger to accomplish God’s purpose; yet on the other hand, we have been given the status of fellow workers with Him. It is a paradox that casts us completely upon the sufficiency of the Holy Spirit.
THE LIFE OF FAITH
Though He slay me, yet I will wait for Him – Job 13:15.
What God expects f us is that we will make personal race, we are to carry on whether or not we feel comfortable. Feelings and emotions are not to influence our attitudes toward God. The life of faith is a life lived, believing God under all circumstances.
It is always possible for us to know in our hearts that a certain course is God’s will for us, yet to feel no enthusiasm for it. We may even feel dry and parched in spirit when we perform it. Worse still, the sense of the Lord’s pleasure and conscious experience of His blessing may be dark absent. It is as though we are passing through a ravine with the enemy contesting our way. Emotion begins to doubt when it enters such a valley of shadow, but faith trusts God and obeys even in the face of death.
LET THE SPIRIT DO HIS WORK
But we all, with unveiled face beholding as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit – 2 Cor. 3:18.
Not only does the Spirit of God indwell regenerate man; He is ceaselessly at work refashioning him according to the image of Christ. We are wrong to treat the Holy Spirit merely as an honoured Christ. We are wrong to treat the Holy Spirit merely in His house for ten or twenty years. He is that active owner-occupier, fashioning, building reshaping, until the marks of His workmanship are unmistakably. That is how it should be.
When a house has been occupied by someone for a long while, it begins to reveal his personality, his tastes, his pleasures and fulfilments and we see this often when we go into homes. Just so, the fruits of the Spirit begin to appear where He is dwelling, as old features of the believer give way step by step, to the likeness of Christ. The man is changed from glory to glory when the Lord the Spirit is at work.
1st July, 2011
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