This week I was considering some practical points that some brothers shared with us in the crystallization-study of Isaiah(1), some points that are so exposing and yet so true. We need to enjoy the Lord every day, and drink Him in as the living water by calling on His name. We also need to have some “warnings” and some guidelines that keep this life-tree in us growing in a proper and balanced way. Here are some of these practical points:
- Don’t tolerate idol worship – don’t get involved with idol worship! God hates idols, He hates everything that tries to replace Himself! To worship idols is an offense to God. Remember, the top idol is actually is THE SELF – most of the day we spend time not with the Lord or in oneness with Him, but loving our self and taking care of our self. But as we enjoy the Lord & at the same time we’re being exposed, we are learning to give Him the first place in all things, have Him as the Preeminent One! So – never worship any idol(anything that replaces God)(1 John 5:21)!
- Flee fornication – out of all the sins committed in the body, fornication is the worst, since it pollutes the human body and damages it. Don’t get yourself involved in any immorality – which destroys God’s created humanity AND it also affects / damages the ones around us. We are created as vessels for God, and not for fornication! We must keep our vessels clean for the Master’s use.
- Don’t get involved with any kind of division – even if you think that some people who are divisive / get out of the church life are “right”, still don’t get involved! Remain and do your best to keep the oneness of the Body of Christ, the oneness of the Spirit! We’re not for something outward, but we are here for the Lord’s testimony, and we are still in the church life because the Lord had mercy on us. It’s His mercy and not our efforts / endeavors that we enjoy the Lord today with all the saints, and that there’s a measure of the oneness lived out among us as the practical one accord. What we want, really, is the blessing that comes upon the oneness of the saints – the blessing of the eternal life!
One other item that impressed me was “ambition” – something we all have, since we have Satan’s evil nature in us. It all started with Lucifer, who is the source of all rebellion – he said five times “I will”…(see Isaiah 14)! He wanted to become the same as God and even BE God! The source of Satan’s rebellion was his ambition; if we give course to our ambition, especially in the church life, we can very easily be led into rebellion. May the Lord have mercy on us that our ambition would be exposed and dealt with by Him in His light, so that we would grow normally and properly in the fellowship with all the saints, just normal members in the Body functioning in their measure… Some practical points about ambition would be:
- Don’t care for your future – hidden in our consideration for the future is our ambition. Of course, we need to think about our career, doing our best in school, at work, in our family life and church life, but when it comes to our future, we leave our future to the Lord. We belong to Him, and He has wrecked us with His love and His life coming into us: we are now God-men, and our future is Christ!
- Don’t care for a position in the church life / in the Lord’s recovery – as seemingly as good / innocent this might sound, yet in this desire/care, as we go on in the Lord, ambition is hidden. It means nothing whether you have a position in the church life or not – any “more responsible” person can testify that with such “position” comes great responsibility that can be met only by the corresponding growth and maturity in life. If the Lord wants you to be someone(which He may very well not want), then He will grow in you, develop and spread, and mature you in such a way that, in His time and in His way, He will manifest your portion in the church. But this time it is of Him, not of you…
- Don’t care for a work that you do – although you may have a burden for the young ones or for the students, or for the community saints, or for the children, our focus is Christ and not our work. We serve and live in oneness with the Lord, and we care for Him. On the one hand we receive a burden from the Lord to shepherd His sheep, but at the same time to care in for our work / our burden too much may affect others and lead to things that are not peaceful. Just like in a family, the parents just “live out” the shepherding / parenting life; but if one of them tries & does his/her best to “impose” his/her function / authority, that family life becomes not-so-pleasant anymore, to say the least.
Ambition is like a gopher, something hidden underneath the ground that goes around and eats the roots of life of the plants.
O, Lord, do have mercy on us and save us from any ambition! Even replace our ambitions with Yourself, Lord! Lord, we don’t know what is in us – do continue to keep us enjoying You that You may replace us more and more with Yourself! Make us the same as You are, Lord, in life and nature, but not in the Godhead!