Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Devotional 190809

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It is wonderful to be back to my ‘routine’ again. I missed my quiet time before the Lord and enjoy His presence. It felt like starving from food for so long that your stomach was craving for some solid food for your body. We have no strength to serve unless we have physical well being to do so. In the same token, we have no spiritual strength if our spiritual well being is at stake. Indeed, we need His strength more than we need food to live and to serve.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). God means us to live a fully-orbed life in Christ Jesus, but there are times when that life is attacked from the outside, and we tumble into a way of introspection which we thought had gone. Self-consciousness is the first thing that will upset the completeness of the life in God, and self-consciousness continually produces wrestling.

Self-consciousness is not sin; it may be produced by a nervous temperament or by a sudden dumping down into new circumstances. It is never God's will that we should be anything less than absolutely complete in Him. Anything that disturbs rest in Him must be healed at once, and it is not healed by being ignored, but by coming to Jesus Christ. If we come to Him and ask Him to produce Christ-consciousness, He will always do it until we learn to abide in Him.

Never allow the dividing up of your life in Christ to remain without facing it. Beware of leakage, of the dividing up of your life by the influence of friends or of circumstances; beware of anything that is going to split up your oneness with Him and make you see yourself separately. Nothing is so important as to keep right spiritually. The great solution is the simple one - "Come to Me." The depth of our reality, intellectually, morally and spiritually, is tested by these words. In every degree in which we are not real, we will dispute rather than come.

Self-consciousness is an expression of self-centeredness. Just as Paul said, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (Romans 8:5), self consciousness is to have our mind set on what our nature desires. And once we constantly yield to our nature’s desires, we are being controlled or dictated by our own desire instead of God’s desires. On a contrary, if we live according to the Holy Spirit, we will set our mind on God’s desires. We will become Christ-conscious. It is not a easy transition to change from self-conscious to Christ-conscious. Our mind is conditioned to think according to our own flesh but not according to the Holy Spirit. It really takes deliberate effort to set our mind in Christ at all time. But this is exactly where the battle field is in terms of our spiritual warfare. Satan would do whatever to take full control of our mind and disrupt our Christ-consciousness. We will not automatically “react” with the mind of Christ. Instead, we automatically react with the mind or attitude of our flesh. As a result, we cause split in church and divide our union in Christ. That’s why Paul admonished the Philippians, “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being, like-minded (Christ-consciousness), having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose” (Phil 2:1). Let’s set this as our life goal to grow in Christ.

Love in accordance to His mind,

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