Email Archive

The Golden
Reed (9)

12 March 2022

We in ourselves are of
no value to God’s purpose,
but in Christ we are
so precious to God!

In our Notes on the “golden reed” in Revelation 21:15 we have stressed that all the value is with the gold, which signifies God’s divine nature. In contrast, the reed, which signifies our human nature, has no value in itself; its only function is to provide the form, the shape, through which the gold may be expressed.

And yet, it’s also the case that without the reed, the gold would have no way to display just how precious it is, and how it can transform something so common into something that is also so precious. In order to be expressed in this way, the gold must have the reed.

So, there are two sides. In this respect, once again, the golden reed gives us a marvelous picture of our relationship with Christ.

Do we really see that, in ourselves, we have no value as far as the divine purpose is concerned? We need to be deeply, deeply impressed with this fact.

The Lord told the disciples on the night He was betrayed:

“Apart from Me you can do nothing.”
— John 15:5

That is, in ourselves, apart from Christ, we are powerless to fulfill what God desires, regardless of what we may try to do for Him. In the human realm we may accomplish much, and even do good many works, but still, we cannot fulfill what God desires.

Nothing frustrates the work God actually wants to do in our lives so much as our failure to grasp this basic fact; we simply will not accept it. Instead (and I’m speaking this to myself as well), we will do almost anything to prove that we can please God in ourselves.

Only God Himself, by His mercy, can bring us to an end of ourselves, so that we finally accept our complete impotence in this regard. This is when we will enter into the practical experience of our baptism, of our death and burial with Christ (Rom. 6:3-4); of the fact that we have indeed been crucified with Him (Gal. 2:20). G.H.Pember said:

It is one thing to subscribe to an historical belief in the depravity of the human race, and quite another to be humbly conscious of it in one’s own person.
— Great Prophecies, Volume 1, page 15

It is really so. Yet, even if we were not fallen we still could not fulfill, apart from Christ, what God desires for us. We would still be nothing more than good, sinless human beings.

When we finally do set ourselves aside, however, just as Jesus Himself did (see our Note, “Why Was Jesus Baptized?”), God will be able to do something in us that He cannot do in any of His other creatures: He will begin to work His divine life and nature into our being. We will even have a sense deep within of what the Father declared concerning Jesus as He came up from the water of baptism:

“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased!”
— Matthew 3:17

Eventually we, the lowly “reeds,” will become the many sons of God, fully conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29; cf. Col. 1:27). This is what is on God’s heart, and this is what makes us so precious to Him.

We need to seek the Lord for a revelation to show us both sides of our relationship with Him; that is, how common, hopeless, and vain we are in ourselves, and how precious we are to Him in Christ. Only then will we be able to seek and serve Him in a manner that is acceptable to Him.

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— 12 March 2022 —