The Daily Word of Righteousness

Dying in the Lord, #13

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

There is a tremendous difference between living in the soul and living in the Spirit of God. Sometimes it seems most Christians are living and working in the soul rather than in the Spirit. How can we tell whether an individual is living and working in the soul rather than in the Spirit of God? It is not difficult to discern the difference.

The believer who is living and laboring in the soul is self-righteous, self-centered, impatient of delay, quick to blame anyone who he thinks is hindering him. Believers who live in the soul are often bitter. They readily take offense. They scheme and plot, manipulating people and circumstances in their endeavor to "serve God." They must have their own way in every matter. They are easily discouraged because they are trying to do God's work apart from God's will, supervision, and assistance. They are as responsive to authority as an untrained horse. They kick and prance about supposing themselves to be "free in the Spirit."

Christians who live and work in the soul are envious of those whom God is using. The Pharisees murdered their own Christ because they were serving God in their soul, in their personal ambition. They were not like Samuel or David who were directed by the Lord continually. Had the Pharisees been hearing from God they would not have murdered Christ.

Perhaps we do not realize how interested Satan is in the Christian churches. We think of Satan being in the houses of prostitution or with the drunken man vomiting in the gutter. Do we suppose that the most highly placed of the cherubim spends his time in such filth and despair? He leaves that to minor demons.

Satan is interested in the inheritance of the Lord Jesus. He will be found among the twelve disciples. He will attend the most fervent assembly he can find. He wants to talk of love. Satan in his "love" sought to keep the Lord from going to Jerusalem to be crucified.

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Matthew 16:23)

Satan desires to have great gifts of healing and miracles so he can be the center of attention and glory. Satan looks for the zealous believer who also desires religious glory but who is saving his life rather than losing it in the Lord. Satan enters that individual and attempts to steer the assembly away from patient waiting on the Lord. Satan does not fear any amount of religious activity no matter how "Christ-centered." Satan trembles in terror at the thought of the believers waiting on God until the Lord Jesus appears.

How many Christian assemblies of our day are being divided by self-willed believers who conceive of some plan of action and then use every form of persuasion to turn the leaders of the church away from the patient waiting on Christ? "Get busy and save souls," they cry. "Fast and pray until God does what we desire." "Establish apostles and prophets in the congregation."

The things they suggest may have merit and may be the Lord's desire for the assembly at some point. But the spirit of "selling" and pushing is not of God.

To be continued.