'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
Several weeks ago we discussed in this column the judgment for accounting and reward that every Christian will give before Jesus (see Archives), which the Apostle Paul refers to explicitly (Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Until that time, there are other actions and judgments occurring that can assure us of a favorable hearing before Him.
There are other judgments that will be continually going on now in our lives. One that should be occurring but often is not is: the judgment of ourselves. Strangely perhaps, but some never see the need for this. The word here is "see". Our way usually seems right in our own eyes, at least most of the time. If we would make this judgment a rule of our living, we could avoid much of the trouble in our lives. If we would practice judging ourselves, there would be no need for God to judge us with the view of correction of our course, or chastisement to guide us. Even in this, He will guide and gently show is the right path, if our attitude and heart is right toward Him.
A most difficult condition to see in ourselves is presumptuous sin. If we do not discern it in ourselves, it can dominate us. It can rule us because it is an unconscious state of mind. It is therefore hidden from us, outside our conscious awareness. It branches out into greater and greater problems within the sin principle. The love of money is a root of all evil, but presumptuousness is another one. David especially petitioned God to keep him from such sins (Psalm 19:13). Presumptuousness can be a very subtle condition, having its basis in pride and arrogance. Self-pride is difficult to see - in ourselves especially. If we are running our lives on this, is like running blind. It is subtle because it so resembles freedom, and the desire to be free from restraint, and to maintain certainty in life.
James addressed this problem when he said: “Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air]. You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing]. But as it is, you boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong“.
Nothing can waste our very being more than false assumptions about anything in our lives, especially the future. Lack of the discipline of restraint is another hallmark of our world. There is a relationship between presumption and assumption. The first operating in our minds leads to the second - assumption - which puts it all into action. Those to whom James was writing were apparently about to reach the point of action. At this point they were only saying these things in their hearts unconsciously. They were beginning to feel that the future was certain for them now. Certainty about the future - perhaps the pinnacle of presumptuousness.
There is an on-going judgment in this life by God also in the sense of how we are handling life in general (1 Peter 4:17). This is a progressive judging as time goes by in our lives. There is contained in His judging any correction which we may need. Most of the discipline and correction could be avoided if we would constantly measure ourselves by His Word, the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and by those whom He has chosen to teach us (1 Corinthians 11:31). But if we are corrected and disciplined by Him, it is perfect, from pure love. The Holy Spirit's still, small voice will guide, measuring and monitoring our developing maturity.
The Holy Spirit will be gently guiding and directing us in applying the Word of God to every thought, word, and action. If we will yield to Him in all things, we will avoid many great and painful transgressions and their consequences (Psalm 19:14). Becoming able to self-judge ourselves, responding to the Holy Spirit as He nudges us to make a course corrections, or to eliminate some habit or practice from our lives, will greatly increase our joy and sense of security in Christ.
At the same time, rightly judging ourselves preserves our conscience, and assures our hearts, which will promote a sense of well-being. As the process grows and increases in intimacy and love for God, we become less and less of who we were - to more and more of who Jesus is. While we are being judged, we are also judging ourselves. If we continue in Him, when we stand before Him some day, we will have done all that He has enabled us to do, with what He had given us to do with.
We need never to fear, or ever be ashamed. Perfect love will have cast out all fear and shame (1 John 2:28)...
And great will be our reward!
“Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came and brought him five more, saying, Master, you entrusted to me five talents; see, here I have gained five talents more. His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys.” - Matthew 25:19-21 (AB)
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