Whom God Chooses – Part 3a – “Through”


But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene–walk!”
(Act 3:1-8)

In Part One, we looked at how the heroes of faith got out of the way of God. God helped them get out of the way, so He could work through them.

In Part Two, we saw that the heroes of faith acted out of absolute assurance that they were in God’s plan.

In this part, Part Three, we will see that the Heroes of faith are absolutely willing to be a channel through whom God blesses others.

“… while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” (Act 4:30)

The operative word here is “through”. The point made about getting out of the way of God and be willing to let go of your agenda and be confident that you are in His will is so that God can work HIS will through you. God does the work. He chooses to do His work through us. We do not bring our agenda to Him and hope he blesses it. One of the best summaries of this thought is given by the Chinese Evangelist, Watchman Nee. Nee was giving a series of messages at a special conference held in Shanghai from June 11 through June 18, 1940. In that series of messages, Nee talked about the question, “What is God’s Work?”

He said:

“In Philippians Paul says: “That I may lay hold on that for which I also was laid hold on by Christ Jesus.” The Lord Jesus has a special, specific purpose in laying hold on us – and that specific purpose is the thing we want to lay hold of. He has a purpose, and this purpose is that we might be co-workers with Him. Nonetheless it is still true that we cannot do God’s work, since it is absolutely and wholly His. But on the other hand, we ARE His coworkers. So that on the one hand we must recognize and acknowledge that we cannot touch with even one little finger the work of God, yet on the other hand we are called to be co-workers with Him! And this is that for which He has laid hold on us. The Lord has a definite purpose in salvation – and a clear and specific purpose in saving us – which is, that he might have us as His co-workers.”

“Now just who is a co-worker of God? Well, it is NOT one who wants to work for God, one who sees a need and wants to meet it; it is not even one who gets people saved; rather is it the one who does what God has appointed him to do in His eternal purpose, and ONLY that does he do. If we truly see that for which we have been laid hold on by Christ Jesus, all our labors, all our former works for Him will be smashed to pieces”

“The aim and object of God in everything is to reveal His Son, to manifest His Son, to “show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward is us in Christ Jesus.” This is His eternal purpose. Is this YOUR object in the work you are doing now? If it is any lower than this, then you are not a co-worker with God.” – (“God’s Work” by Watchman Nee, Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.)

Am I saying that you shouldn’t do good works? No, what I am saying is that our good works are led by God. God is doing them through us because we have gotten out of the way. Our works will reflect the will of God. We are the conduit through which God’s will is excised.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
(John 5:19)

“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
(John 5:30)

If the King of Heaven was subject to the will of God on earth, why do we think we can develop our own agenda and bring it to God and expect Him to bless it? We are called to be just like the Master.

The Apostle Paul reminded us to:

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Php 2:5-7)

 

Even this is not a work we humans can strive to accomplish. It is already accomplished in Christ Jesus. If we rest in the finished work of the cross, we are filled with the spirit of God. We are able and empowered to act and be what God has designed us to be.

God does all this in us, so that, when it is time, He can work through us. The aim and object of everything God does is to reveal His Son, to “show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

 

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

At our very best, we can imitate some of the works of God, but they, being driven by the flesh, are ineffective. There will be no works in Heaven that are not of Christ, and for Christ. All other efforts will be destroyed in the end.

 

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Mat 7:22-23)

The difference is not what they did, but whom they obeyed when they did it. Any and all works, even if they were done in the name of Jesus, if they were not first conceived by God and flowing from Christ through you, then they are of no account.

When we bless others, it is because we see Christ doing this through us. When we do anything at all, it is because we are in the vine, who is Christ Jesus. We hear the voice of Jesus and know the will of the Him who sent us, and we obey.

God worked through Jesus. We are to let Jesus work through us. The work He will do through us will be to demonstrate what the message of the Cross is so that as many as will accept this free gift will be saved.

“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

(John 14:11-13)

When we get out of the way, and understand we are part of the plan of God, and let God work the life of Jesus into us and through us, we will become a channel through whom God blesses others.

This is what it means to be chosen.

Stay tuned for part 3b.

Let’s be about it.

I love you,

David G. perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit….


Mathew 5:3  “Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶνοὐρανῶν”

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Jesus

NOTES ARE FROM “THE BLUE LETTER BIBLE

Textus Receptus

InterlinearReverse Interlinear
English (KJV)  
Strong’s Root Form (Greek) Parsing

Blessed

g3107 μακάριος makarios  blessed, happy
are the poor g4434 πτωχός ptōchos

destitute of wealth of learning and intellectual culture which the schools afford (men of this class most readily give themselves up to Christ‘s teaching and proved them selves fitted to lay hold of the heavenly treasure)

in spirit: g4151

πνεῦμα pneuma

  the spirit, i.e. the vital principal by which the body is animated

the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels, thinks, decides

the soul

for g3754

ὅτι hoti

that, because, since (Conjunction)

 

theirs g846

αὐτός autos

  1. himself, herself, themselves, itself
is g2076

ἐστί esti

 “he/she/it is” (third person singular of ‘to be’)
the kingdom g932 βασιλεία basileia
  1. the region above the sidereal heavens, the seat of order of things eternal and consummately perfect where God dwells and other heavenly beings

of heaven.

g3772

οὐρανός ouranos

  1. of the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah

  2. of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah’s kingdom

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Jesus

Jesus has a habit of choosing people who the world will overlook or ignore.  They are the common, uncomplicated masses that have nothing but themselves to offer.

Modern Evangelism sells is a faith that emphasizes self; Strength of self-will, strength of a beautiful and optimistic mind-set, the strength of what we bring to the table, what we can offer Jesus, to take or leave.  We make of ourselves managers of Jesus call, and make of Jesus nothing more than a vending machine who will make us wealthy and happy and successful.

There is no emphasis on the RICHNESS of His grace, the Joy of His salvation, and the discipleship of Jesus as Lord.

“But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,” 

John 2:24 – King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition

Growing up in evangelic churches in the South, I always heard the phrase, “Decide for Christ”.  This emphasizes something that Jesus never trusted: Our way of thought.  Jesus did not ask you to “decide for Him”, but that we should yield to Him, and that is entirely different.  To choose Christ means you will yield to Him.

Christ’s Kingdom on this earth, in this time, is made up of the “unaffected loveliness of the commonplace” – Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest.  

I can be the wealthiest man on earth, and still be poor in spirit.  What I am blessed in is my poverty.  I tried to conform to His will by my strength, my will, my knowledge, my nobility of disposition.  That is where I found that I have nothing in my own soul to recommend me to Him.  In my “Religious Bigotry”, I thought I could take everything I am and Christ would have to accept it, just the way it is.  I even gave Him permission to, if it actually needed it, to modify what I brought to the table.

On top of that show of raw arrogance, I began to claim treasures from Him.  I believed that if I were not successful in the world, beautiful to the world, and holier than anyone else, to be seen in the world as a saint, and a popular one, at that, then I was not standing fast in the completeness of all the Gifts God had given me.

It has taken my material circumstances to teach me that Jesus has no need of anything I bring to Him, and that His blessings are not as shallow as the ones I was “claiming” in His name.

He has no use for me being good, and bringing Him my imperfect accomplishments.  It is when I recognize the poverty of my spirit that the Kingdom has a place in me, and I in it.  I can enter the Kingdom and possess it only when I recognize what a pauper I am, and understand that treasures are built in Heaven, and that His riches surpass anything that the world has to offer.

No effort of mine will reveal the true loveliness of Jesus and His Kingdom.  This kind of loveliness that reveals God is unconscious.  The conscious influence I bring is something I add to what the Spirit is trying to do through me, the unconscious and unfiltered loveliness of Christ.  It is when I think that I am useful to Jesus, when I contribute MY opinion or My ability, that the loveliness of the Lord vanishes and I take the lime light.  The glow of His touch fades because I have taken its place by my strength.

It is when I come to Christ, poor in spirit, that what Jesus said is true: “He that believeth in me, out of him shall flow rivers of living water.”  If I stop and look at what is flowing, I immediately spoil and interfere with that flow.  It is in my unguarded moments that my real and true relationship with Christ as my Lord is revealed.  That is the unconscious and unaffected flow of Christ flowing from you.  I cannot improve on that.  All I can do is desire more, and as I submit to the Lord, I have more.  If I believe I have to stop what I am doing and add to that flow, than I become consciously and willfully an intruder on the unconscious and natural flow of the work of Christ.  It is when I keep my eyes on Jesus that I am the most useful to Him. I become a bystander to His glory.

The people who have influenced my walk in the Lord weren’t the ones who thought they did.  The people who genuinely influenced me the most were the ones who had no idea that they were even remotely on my radar.

I know when Jesus is at work when He produces, in the common people of life, and the common circumstances they live in, that lovely flowing river of life.  It is in the common place that Jesus is most inspiring.

My Prayer:  Lord, take me out of the way.  Teach me to abandon all the stuff I try to bring to you, and replace it with the knowledge that I am actually poor in spirit.  Make me teachable so your living waters will flow out of me.

I get, now, why Paul said that all He had was dung, compared to the greatness of Jesus and His salvation.

To serve Jesus, I must come to Him empty of my self, and desiring to be filled with Him.

Let’s be about it.

I Love You,

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com