It is only when YAHWEH draws a person to Himself that they are ready to hear Him. Many people trying to serve Christ attempt to lure people to Him by softening His requirements. A person must be ready to turn from their own self-reliance before they can turn to the Savior. They may be convinced to join a ministry, serve in the choir or as a musician, become an usher, even become a Sunday school teacher, but they will rely on their own reasoning regarding how to serve, how to live, and what the bible says about it. While this self-styled Christianity may be acceptable in certain circles, and though many Christians have replaced judgement with blanket acceptance in conformity to this age, the standards of Christ remain unchanged. This is why many will hear Him say, “Depart from me you workers of iniquity for I know you not.” They refused to uncover themselves and take up the cross. To properly meet Christ, we have to offer ourselves to Him the same way He offered Himself to us.
The Christian walk does not begin when a person makes a confession. The walk with Christ begins after a person takes up their cross and dies to themself. The bible quotes Christ saying it this way,
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24 KJV)
Self-reliance is the original sin that separated man from GOD and so total surrender is the only true path to repentance and reconciliation. I would like to share some teachings from Oswald Chamber’s Classic daily devotional, My Utmost for His Highest. I believe his teachings are in harmony with the Word of GOD on this topic.
“The Christian worker must never forget that salvation is God’s thought, not man’s; therefore it is an unfathomable abyss. Salvation is the great thought of God, not an experience. Experience is only a gateway by which salvation comes into our conscious life. Never preach the experience; preach the great thought of God behind. When we preach we are not proclaiming how man can be saved from hell and be made moral and pure; we are conveying good news about God.
In the teachings of Jesus Christ the element of judgment is always brought out, it is the sign of God’s love. Never sympathize with a soul who finds it difficult to get to God; God is not to blame. It is not for us to find out the reason why it is difficult, but so to present the truth of God that the Spirit of God will show what is wrong. The great sterling test in preaching is that it brings everyone to judgment. The Spirit of God locates each one to himself.
If Jesus ever gave us a command He could not enable us to fulfil, He would be a liar; and if we make our inability a barrier to obedience, it means we are telling God there is something He has not taken into account. Every element of self-reliance must be slain by the power of God. Complete weakness and dependence will always be the occasion for the Spirit of God to manifest His power.” (Entry for May 5th)
“My vision of God depends upon the state of my character. Character determines revelation. Before I can say “I saw also the Lord,” there must be something corresponding to God in my character. Until I am born again and begin to see the Kingdom of God, I see along the line of my prejudices only; I need the surgical operation of external events and an internal purification.
It must be God first, God second, and God third, until the life is faced steadily with God and no one else is of any account whatever. “In all the world there is none but thee, my God, there is none but thee.” (Entry for July 13th)
If a man wants scientific knowledge, intellectual curiosity is his guide; but if he wants insight into what Jesus Christ teaches, he can only get it by obedience. If things are dark to me, then I may be sure there is something I will not do. Intellectual darkness comes through ignorance; spiritual darkness comes because of something I do not intend to obey. (Entry for July 27th)
Christ says, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see GOD.” You can be the most prolific teacher of the twenty first century, but you cannot get a person to grasp the eternal weight of the truth until their heart is seeking it. YAHWEH orchestrates circumstances in our lives to prepare our hearts for His revelation. A pure heart belongs to the person who is ready to see everything as it truly is instead of how they would have it to be. This person treasures Truth as life, reality as intended by the will of GOD.
66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:66-69 NKJV)
Only GOD can orchestrate the breaking of self-pride. It may take only a ray of light at the right moment, or it may take a flaming meteor from Heaven. In either case, Christ will be standing ready with the healing balm of mercy and truth. In this moment of brokenness, if a person acknowledges the truth of their dependency on GOD, He will restore them with the joy of His salvation.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17 NKJV)
“1Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers. 2 And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8:1-3 NKJV)
The wilderness was a harsh place, and the cross is rugged, but they both serve the purpose of GOD. Those who allure through speaking of a softer way to the promises of GOD are trying to fix you up with a false god. GOD draws people to Himself through those who love Him and reflect Him as He is. YAHWEH does not need any embellishments for He is already perfect. Any seeming enhancements will only distort and blemish His glorious perfection.
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