“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Humbled and saved

To be humbled means self is cut down and no longer capable of deciding this or that. The will is given up and defers to another’s (God’s). Job said it right, “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer Thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.” (Job 40:4). “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:6).

“I shut down.”

Peter twice did this. The first time by the Sea of Galilee he bowed before Jesus, finding words so much unlike himself spontaneously come pouring out of this mouth. “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (Lk. 5:8). And the second and final surrender for Peter was in the Garden of Gethsemane grinding his face into the moist earth after emphatically denying his best Friend. After that there was no more Peter in Peter, no more natural, uncontrolled emotion or undisciplined feelings; no more outbursts of anger or spectacular generosity, no more impatience.

The converted soul says, “I no longer deserve to live, let alone deserve to be served and take first place in anything. Give me last place. Destruction and misery have been in all my ways; a Garden of Eden has ever been before me, but rising smoke of desolation has forever been behind me. I have not been a blessing to the world, but a curse!” The pride of man is laid in the dust.

This can only be accepted in the soul through faith in the Humbler. Only by trusting Him who owns the hand that disciplines us can we by our choice allow such strong, but effective, “scourging”. We can admit the death to self only when we have come to rest wholly in God to raise us up again after He has submerged us in total selflessness.

Yet this is the first and last requirement for eternal life. “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.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.” (Matt. 16:24,25).

But if we will commit ourselves to the righteous Judge who has never lost a case, He will wisely baptize us in the right amount of scourging and develop in us the faith we need in order to be baptized into humility; it will be His humility, His maturity, and He will be victorious in us.

The fruit appears and grows not by the effort of the branch to produce, but by the effort of the branch to stay connected to the tree or vine and, by this connection, to let the life-giving sap easily move to the genetically predisposed site for the fruit. Likewise, we must fight the good fight of faith to hang in there through it all and let God do in us whatever He will according to His will. Then, to our surprise we will see the evidence of a small budding overcoming of sin, then a blossoming of victory, and a full likeness to Christ.


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