Broken by God
To walk in newness of life
we must deal with the Lord
day by day
In our previous Note (“Why Was Jesus Baptized?”) we considered how baptism signifies that we should not do anything apart from Christ and His divine life working within us. We still live, but now Christ lives within us in His resurrection life so that He is the one being expressed through us (Rom. 6:3-4, John 15:5, Gal. 2:20).
But, all this is on the side of the truth. So now we must ask, how can we actually enter into the experience such a living? And the answer is, by our being dealt with by God and being broken by Him. That is, the Lord must deal with us so that our natural strength, our ability to live apart from Him, is broken by the cross.
This is not a once-for-all experience. Even though at times we may pass through great crises in our life that turn us to the Lord in a deeper way, more often it is an ongoing, daily experience:
Then [the Lord] said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
— Luke 9:21
As we consider the Lord’s very sober word here, we must have a basic realization. That is, following the Lord is not a matter of our desire, but of our decisions. We can have all the desire in the world, but if it does not move us to heed the Lord’s word and truly follow Him, it means nothing. In all the great and small things that come to us day by day, we must choose to submit to the Lord and allow Him to subdue us and bring us closer to Himself. Then we will become those who truly know Him and take Him as our life.
Unfortunately, so often we Christians waste our sufferings, rather than gain the benefit from them!
Recently I have been reading and reviewing, once again, the excellent book Spiritual Knowledge, by Watchman Nee. In it he states:
If anyone wishes to know God he must learn to have transactions with Him. In other words, he needs to deal with God and to be dealt with by God. Many Christians carelessly let difficulties or problems pass by without receiving dealings from God. They do not know why He sends them these difficulties ….For this cause, we must deal with God and receive dealings from God, and then shall we truly know Him.
— Page 15
No doubt, we often suffer due to our own mistakes, or because of our disobedience to the Lord, or because we are simply passing through the general sufferings that are common to the human condition, such as health, family, or financial problems, getting older, or the loss of loved ones. Even so, we must still believe:
…All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
— Romans 8:28
Thus, we must exercise ourselves to seek the Lord in our circumstances, so that He finally appears to us and shows us the meaning of what He has allowed to come upon us, what particular aspect of our person He is dealing with. When that happens we will exclaim, as Jacob did:
Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not!
— Genesis 28:16
We will realize that God, not man, is behind it all, working in it to help us give up on who we are, to live instead by the divine life and nature within us, and thus walk with Him, day by day, “in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).
— Up Next —
“The Secret of Breaking”
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— 1 November 2021 —