Wednesday, July 23, 2008

About Holy In Christ, by Andrew Murray

Wow. Reading this book was like being on Daddy's lap. I hated to finish it. A few excerpts:
"There is no holiness but what He has, or rather what He is, and gives. Holiness is not something we do or attain: it is the communication of the Divine life, the inbreathing of the Divine nature, the power of the Divine Presence resting on us... When God calls us to holiness, He calls us to Himself."

"Where God is, there is holiness; it is the presence of God makes holy."

"Holiness is not something we bring to God or do for Him. Holiness is what there is of God in us. God has made us his own in redemption, that He might make Himself our own in sanctification."

"Seek not holiness in the first place in what you are or do; seek it in God. Seek it not even as a gift from God, seek it in God Himself, in His indwelling Presence."

"As we enter in and abide in the holiness of Jesus, it will enter in and abide in us."

"The more I see and have apprehended of the holiness of Jesus, the less shall I see or seek of holiness in myself. He will make me holy: my tempers and dispositions will be renewed; my heart and mind cleansed and sanctified; holiness will be a new nature; and yet there will be all along the consciousness, humbling and yet full of joy: it is not I; Christ liveth in me."
(Andrew Murray)

The older I get in the Lord, the more I appreciate the simplicity that is in Christ. I am not smart enough to remember all the steps to make myself good enough for a real Christian. And they have no charms for me. But I can remember Jesus, who gave Himself for me, and lives to make intercession for me, and invites me --ME-- to abide in Him, and He in me. And He wins me over every time I think on Him. His kindness towards me; His patience with me; His work on my behalf sweep my soul off its feet. His love for me is a mystery I do not understand. But I want it, and I am so thankful for it. This book highlights it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

God's Will and my Submission to it

I have been reading a book called Holy In Christ by Andrew Murray. I recommend it to all believers: it has been so edifying. This morning I read the chapter about Holiness and the Will of God. A few quotes stuck out to me, and I thought I'd share them.

"So long as we look at the will of God... as law, we feel it a burden, because we have not the power to perform --- it is too high for us. When faith looks to the Power that works in God's will, and carries it out, it has the courage to accept it and fulfill it, because it knows God Himself is working it out."

"An acceptance of God's will prepares the believer, through the Holy Spirit, to recognize and know that will in whatever form it comes... In accepting his circumstances as the will of God to try and prove him, he is in the right position for now knowing and doing what is right."

"He has chosen the will of God as his chief good, and has taken the life-principle of Christ to be his: 'I delight to do Thy will, O God.'"

"A life in the will of God is rest and strength and blessing."

"May this be the holiness in which I live, that I forget and lose self in pleasing and honoring Thee."

I don't know about you (although I have my suspicions), but I am so aware of my own self-will that rises up against doing the will of God. My spirit wishes me always to be doing His will -- and delights in it. But my flesh is always opposed to His will, whatever it may be. I was praying this morning for help to mortify the deeds of my flesh. I want to live in submission to God's will, to serve Him with the body and mind I live in. But I can't serve Him myself unless He abides in me, filling me. I need Him: His Life, His Strength, His Will working in and through me. I am utterly corrupt -- completely opposed to all the will of God. But Christ on my behalf has fulfilled it. As I live in Him, I am one with Him in purpose, action, and desire. Thank you, Jesus.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Awaiting Our Cue (From an Email to a Friend)

I meant to write to you weeks ago about our individual places in the body of Christ. I was watching a PBS thing about a symphony orchestra, and the Lord really used it with me to show me a few things. I pulled out my journal right there and began to take notes. It was right after I had become so discouraged about my place in the body of Christ, because I didn't like the ministry I have of exhortation (at least at times). I get tired of having to say things when everyone else gets to play the good guy and be well-loved.

So, first: a couple of verses He encouraged me with.

"The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works." (Psalm 33:13-15)

"We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10)

"Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14)

About the symphony:

Every person had an instrument. Every instrument had a different part. Sometimes the same instruments had different parts to play than each other. Every member got his cue individually from the same person -- the conductor. When each member plays his own part, on his own instrument, the harmony of sound is beautiful -- unified beauty.
It would be so tragic if one part tried to copy another member's or instrument's part.
Sometimes a musician sits idle -- waiting for his part. He doesn't look very busy just then.
It's almost like the conductor plays the orchestra by his direction of it.
The parts are different -- some slightly; some greatly. Some are loud and solo, some are quiet and soothing. Some are part of a group of the same sound.
At the end, it is the conductor who gets the glory.

These things really ministered to me. I don't know -- Lani thought you might like to hear about them, too. We all have different parts to play in the body of Christ. Stillness is supposed to be time of waiting on the conductor's cue. Don't take your cue from the fellow workers -- they could very well be playing a different part, or another instrument all together! Play your own part well, on cue, and He will be glorified by it. And there's a place for your part -- even if you only get to bang the gong one time.