Jesus disposition was never geared to self-realization.
Oswald Chambers has been in heaven for years but he has long been one of my cherished mentors through his books. As I meditate on his godly wisdom – all based strictly on Scripture – my mind explodes with related thoughts. Something he said years ago is still needed by Christians to-day:
“The miracle of Redemption is that God turns me, the unholy me, into the standard of Himself, the Holy One, by putting into me a new disposition – the disposition of Jesus Christ”
Then why have I sometimes observed a nasty disposition in myself and other Christians?
You will remember what Pharaoh (Genesis 41:40-44) said to Joseph. Only in the throne will I be greater than you. Joseph could have strutted his stuff, tossed around his authority, even helped himself to the riches pouring into Pharaoh’s coffers. But he chose to live humbly and obediently before God and he transformed the possibility of starvation into plenty for the Egyptians and his own family. What can that teach me?
My body is (1 Corinthians 6:19) the temple of the Holy Spirit. God is absolutely sovereign. He is KING. But He has appointed me as governor of this body. With awe I am seeing deeper and deeper into the magnificence and terror of my God-given free will. I can (Philippians 2:5) LET the mind of Christ be in me or I can CHOOSE to make up my own mind and do it my way. Whatever I choose there is a day coming when the King will demand an accounting for how I governed.
I’ve not forgotten disposition. If this seems jumbled, I apologize but I’m just following my thoughts.
I’ve read the Book of Job many times but this time – like never before – I feel the deep, cutting hurt from the cruel words of self-righteous, judgmental, arrogant know-it-alls. I enter into Job’s pain and as I read, I find myself actually talking to him – trying to comfort him by telling him the purpose and what is up ahead. Then I hear Jesus say, (John 14:10) the words that I speak, I speak not of Myself. Jesus also said (Luke 2:49) I must be about My Father’s business. What business was that? To reveal the Father by EVERY thought and word and deed. How was that continuously possible? Because the disposition within Him was never geared to self-realization. What kind of an attitude did His disposition give Him? He was ALWAYS in every situation –understanding, compassionate, patient – and all of this clothed in selfless love.
I want that disposition to operate in and through me. When I was born again, Jesus came to indwell me by the Holy Spirit. All of Him came – He didn’t leave His disposition behind. As governor in this temple/body what do I need to do? Is my natural disposition bent on self-realization – what I want to say (remember Job) what I choose to do in order to please me?
They that are Christ’s (Galatians 5:24) have crucified the flesh. HOW? Definitely we have nothing to do with sin, which belongs to hell and the devil. The natural life is not sinful but sin made it necessary for God to make the natural spiritual. It is not a matter of giving up sin. It is a matter of giving up my right to myself – my natural independence and self-assertiveness. I need to see that it is the right and good from the natural standpoint which keeps me back from God’s best. My debate is not with sordid – evil – wrong but with the good that hates the best. To crucify my flesh will cost the natural in me everything. If I choose to be a disciple of Jesus (Matthew 16:24) how do I deny myself? Give up all rights to myself – whether choices – words – actions and attitudes etc. My natural life can only be made spiritual by sacrifices. If I refuse to sacrifice/crucify the natural – the supernatural will never become natural in me. It’s entirely up to me – it’s not a question of praying but of doing. I must continually discipline myself. The natural in me must be turned into the spiritual by sacrifice.
There will be times when it feels so right to say - or to do – but discipline will teach me whether or not my attitude has its source in the disposition of the indwelling Lord Jesus. Crucifixion of my flesh by continual sacrifice means – deny self and take up my cross (Matthew 16:24). The cross always speaks of death – the death of everything in me that was never in Jesus. Self-consideration can be a landmine. Self-pity is Satanic because it is a declaration that God is wrong in what He allows. Let the circumstances be what they may – maintain complete reliance on Jesus.
Keeping my eyes on circumstances instead of on Jesus will always make me miserable. Let’s say I find myself in a bad mood. HOLD IT! What possible right could I have for a bad mood? Am I hungry – homeless – without warm clothes or clean drinking water? Moods go by kicking not by praying. I need to kick my mood to the curb where all garbage is picked up – then count my blessings – then pray for precious persecuted believers who are hungry – homeless – without warm clothes plus brutal torture. If I can receive God’s lavish grace and dare to permit a bad mood –I need to repent.
For myself – 3 questions:
Am I using words to assert myself or are the words that I speak (John 14:10) not of myself but of the Lord Jesus Who lives in me?
1) Am I busy with my plans – my desires – my ideas – my preferences or am I (Luke 2:49) about my Father’s business so that (Galatians 1:15-16) God is pleased to reveal His Son in me?
As governor of the Holy Spirit’s temple – under the King’s authority – am I (Galatians 2:20) living the crucified life?