No Place For His Word


     Likely we all know that words have power.  Power to build up, and power to tear down.  There are words that we like, and words that we don't.  There are words that we'll embrace, and words that we'll reject.  If this is true in the human realm, how much more so is it in the spiritual?  Even if those words come from the very heart and mouth of Christ.
     In John 8, Jesus is having another one of his many discourses with the Pharisee's.  He says in verse 31, "If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."  Now, on the surface this would seem to be very good news, but it wasn't to the Pharisee's.  They said to Him, "We're the children of Abraham, and haven't ever been slaves to anyone.  What do you mean by saying 'You'll be made free'?"  They placed their confidence in their heritage and position.  Their fleshly pride and accompanying spiritual blindness wouldn't allow them to see their true condition and the bondage of that condition.  Jesus said to them, "You look for an opportunity to kill Me, because there is no place in you for My word."  Nothing about our flesh nature has changed since then.  We will still look for ways to "kill Him" whenever He speaks words that our flesh, and so we, won't accept.  Oswald Chambers said, " 'You call Me Master and Lord,' but is He?  Master and Lord have little place in our vocabulary, we prefer the words Savior, Sanctifier, Healer."  Those words don't threaten our flesh.  Those words don't require our total surrender to Him.  Those words aren't a threat to the false freedom we are sure, like the Pharisee's, we possess.
    Paul wrote that He was free to be Christ's slave.  To be His slave was his hearts deepest desire and highest honor.  This isn't so for the flesh.  It's a degrading, humiliating thing for it to submit to anything other than its own desires and wants, never seeing or understanding that it is a slave to the tyranny of those desires and wants.  For that attitude, there is no place for His Words.  Not the words that cut through our self-deception, our denial, and our self-imposed delusions and illusions.  We'll accept all of His words as long as they don't threaten those strongholds in our lives, but any word that seeks to pierce and bring down those strongholds will be resisted with all the power of our flesh.  We insist that we're free, all the while being held immobile by the chains that bind us, but never seeing the chains.
    George Matheson wrote in a hymn, "Make me a captive Lord, and then I shall be free."  Can our hearts sing that to Him as well?  Will we enter into the beauty of captivity to Christ so that we might know the true freedom it brings?  Or, will the words of His invitation find no place in our hearts?
And the shackles remain....and the darkness and bondage they hold for us.  Will He and His Word, all of His Word, find a place in us, or, will we too seek to "kill Him"?

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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