Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. The devotional reading was on the ‘Transfiguration of Jesus’ recorded in Matthew 17 at our prayer meeting. Again, the intimate proclamation of God for His Son touched my spirit deeply, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matt 17:5) The only command that our Heavenly Father gave to Jesus’ disciples was: ‘listen to Him!’ God did not say ‘serve Him,’ or ‘do great things for Him’ but 'listen to Him.' Attentive listening to Christ is all that matters in our relationship with God. On a contrary, if we listen to our own ambition to be godly or to be great, we will easily fall into the temptation that Apostle Paul was in before his conversion.
"Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" (Acts 26:14b) Am I set on my own way for God like Paul did when he was a Pharisee? We are never free from this snare until we are brought into the experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire (cleansing of our sins and self-reliance). Stubbornness and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit. Whenever we are stubborn and self-willed and set upon our own ambitions (even a religious one), we are hurting Jesus. Every time we stand on our rights and insist that this is what we intend or determine to do, we are persecuting Jesus. Whenever we stand on our dignity we systematically irritate and grieve His Spirit; and when the knowledge comes home that it is Jesus Whom we have been persecuting all the time, it is the most crushing revelation there could be.
Is the word of God tremendously intense to me as I hand it on to you, or does my life contradict to the things I profess to teach? I may teach sanctification and yet exhibit the spirit of Satan, the spirit that persecutes Jesus Christ. The Spirit of Jesus is conscious of one thing only - a perfect oneness with the Father, and He says, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matt 11:28). All I do ought to be founded on a perfect oneness with Him, not on a self-willed determination to be godly. This will mean that I can be easily put upon, easily over-reached, easily ignored; but if I submit to it for His sake, I prevent Jesus Christ being persecuted.
The warning of Christ in Matthew 7:21-23 always ring in my ear, “Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy (or preach) in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” I can’t imagine how it may feel when a minister is admonished in the last day, after dedicating a lifetime in full time ministry. He might have accomplished great things for Christ, built mega-sized church, raised multi-millions dollars for missions. Yet at the end, his ambition was in vain. Jesus said, ‘I never knew you!’ To be oneness with Christ is to be obedient to His will but not our ambition for Him.
Father, help me not to impose my own ambition to your will. When I am too busy to abide in you, I know it is not within your will, no matter how excited or worthy is my work. Satan likes to lure me away from you by wonderful ‘good work.’ Help me to watch out of this snare. Help me learn from your humble and gentle heart, which is to surrender my will to your purpose and sovereign will in my life. Put to death my craving for attention and recognitions. Give me the desire of your Glory, which is only available for those who are genuinely humble and meek in heart. Amen.
Love you for His Glory,