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The Daily Word of Righteousness
A Conduit Versus a Tree of Life, continued
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1,2—NIV)
The sufferings of the patriarchs and prophets were not so the Life of God would be revealed in them. Their gift was their gift and it operated whether or not they suffered. It is true that their gift from God often brought suffering and death upon them. But you would not hear Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, say "God continually brought me down to death so His Life would be revealed to you."
The heroes of faith were sons of Adam, not members of the Body of Christ. They were anointed flesh. No individual was born again or had Christ formed in him until Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Christ is the Firstborn from the dead, the first to be resurrected in the true sense, the First of the Kingdom of God, the Beginning of the new creation.
The Lord did not say to any of the Prophets, "My strength is made perfect in your weakness." None of the patriarchs exclaimed: "I have the sentence of death in myself that I should not trust in myself but in God who raises the dead."
The Lord Jesus was infinitely more than a conduit, and we are being changed into His image.
When we are willing to go to the cross, to be crucified with Christ, a newness of life comes to us. It is the Life of Jesus Christ. This is the Kingdom of God, the life-giving Spirit.
The Kingdom of God changes what we are. Serving as a conduit for the Divine Glory does not always change our personality. But dying and living in Jesus brings us into newness of life. We ourselves are changed for eternity. We become a tree of life from which other people can derive nourishment and healing.
Notice again what Paul said:
For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. (II Corinthians 4:11—NIV)
We die so others might live. This is how the tree of life comes into being. Paul was experiencing in his body the death of Jesus so the Life of Jesus would be revealed for the benefit of other people. Can you see how very different this is from merely being a conduit?
People today are praying "Use me, O God." This is a good and honorable prayer.
Maybe it is time to pray, "O God, make me an eternal, inseparable part of Yourself that for eternity others may be nourished and healed by the Life of God." Perhaps this is a better prayer in the long run.
The permanent change that occurs in our personality is seen a few verses later.
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, (II Corinthians 4:16,17—NASB)
The preceding verses reveal that the pressures brought to bear on our outer personality are resulting in a renewing of our inner personality. This does not take place when a person is being used merely as a conduit. Rather this is how the Kingdom of God is being formed in the Christian.
To be continued.