Borrowed Truths

The Fellowship of His Suffering (Part 4)

Borrowed Truths

The Fellowship of His Suffering (Part 4)

To suffer ourselves, to die to self (Rom. 6:8)  may be one of the most difficult things for a Christian to do, and of course I do not mean that in the sense that we have to live with ourselves, but that we would on purpose deny ourselves any good thing. We hold ourselves, most generally, in such high esteem that the last person on earth that we would want to deny is us. It can be as simple as having that piece of chocolate cake that we know will cost us extra time on the treadmill, yet we still eat it; challenging another to a contest that we know we will win, and possibly losing the friendship of the other person in the end, but they will get over it; to accepting yet another position in the church that will give us perhaps the admiration of the congregation, but will take precious time away from our family that already rarely sees any quality or quantity time from us, but we will make it up to them, someday.

“Take pride in your path of employment, the vehicle you drive, the house that you live in,” these are the words and way of the world, a world that we are only supposed to be traveling through, (1st Pet. 2:11) not seeking our own in.  Pride does not allow us to die to self and to live for Christ, it is a terrible sin, perhaps the worst, for in it we place our will above the Will of God.  Humility before God we may well try to feign, yet of course he sees our hearts and motives, but before our friends, co-workers and acquaintances we will rarely show a side of us that might not be accepted in present company, especially to those who have also professed Christ, for we may not be embraced. Many of us have taken the words of 1st Cor. 9:22 to mean that we will never truly be ourselves in front of anyone, always pretending to try to fit in no matter where we are or who we are with, and in doing so we may end up only being ourselves when we are by our self. In other words, “What would they think of me” becomes the norm, not a true humility that denies one’s self for the name of God and for His glory only.

We may deceive those around us with this false humility, this pretending of humbleness and denying of ourselves, we may even delude our own self, having continued in these deeds and thoughts for so long, but be sure of one thing, God is not deceived, for He looks on the heart of man, (1st Sam.16:7) and we can hide neither deed nor the thoughts of our intents from Him. We are commanded to deny ourselves not only when we are alone, not only when we are in the company of our most trusted friends, but at all times, in view of all we meet, our Lord must always be first. By the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, the lust of the eyes can be held in check, the lust of the flesh can be hindered, and the pride of life can be put to death, but if there is one thing that we must do, we must be willing to submit to His Holy power.

There is nowhere in the Scriptures that God says that He wants us to be happy, but there are many verses similar to Jer. 29:11 that let us know that it is good that He desires for His children, that if we are happy it is only because of His wonderful mercies. (Do not mistake happiness for the joy of the Lord) “The love of money, (not money itself) is the root of all evil” (1st Tim. 6:10) we are not to hoard money for moneys sake, nor does he desire that we on purpose try to remain poor, for then we would be a burden on others, He has promised to “supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19) To die to self serves no purpose if it is not replaced with a lifting up of the Lord Jesus Christ, for there have been many “good men” over the centuries that have done good and even great works for the civilization of man, yet glorified not the name of the Lord our God, and serving man for man’s sake only is of no eternal value.

Of one thing I can tell you for sure, if anyone seeks the praise of men, they are not seeking the things of God, (John 12:43) and all who seek for men to give them glory and honor instead of the Maker of all men, have the root of pride well imbedded into their soul. Remember that the very first sin of pride in the Word of God was not Adams disobedience, for that was either, in my humble opinion, greed for more, lust for power, or love of a woman over love of God, it was Satan’s sin of pride. “I will be like the Most High” (Isa.14:14) Granted, there are most likely not a lot of individuals that believe that they will be God, or can usurp His authority, but do we not do this each time we say in a sense, “My will, not thine,” have you ever met someone who believes that if they were sitting in Christ throne with Him, that things would run smoother, more efficiently, is this not what we do when we know for a fact that we have been commanded to either do or not do a specific thing that our Lord has commanded, and we refuse.

True humility will not promote a self-governing religion, but will foster a knowledge that we have been freed from the thoughts of others concerning ourselves, because all of our actions, as best as we can in the Lord, are meant to glorify and lift up His wonderful name, and so our thoughts will always be on Him. This Christian brother or sister gladly refutes religious doctrines that expound traditions and rituals that serve as commandments of men instead of the truth of God’s word. Sadly, in this day and age, there are many places that call themselves church’s that are far from places of true worship and praising of our Lord, yet within many others still, there are followers of Jesus Christ who understand, whose one goal in life is not to be the recipients only of the glorious attributes of our Precious Savior, as magnificent a blessing as they are, but the Savior Himself. These individuals are willing to suffer the loss of money, house, things and family, even life itself, for His glory, because for these most precious souls, this is not suffering, this is joy, this is rejoicing, for Christ is their only delight.

We suffer with Him when we, in humility, set all our desires aside for Christ’s glory.

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