Since Part 1 of “Service into Worship” there has been much growth in my mind and heart. God has been allowing my circumstances to “stretch” me.
“That our sanctification did not depend upon changing our works, but in doing that for GOD’s sake, which we commonly do for our own.”
-Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God
In regards to the above quote, I am on the path for ordination within a denomination that focuses on “holiness.” Something beyond consecration and surrender. Holiness could be simply put as living/walking in the Spirit, or one could get into the explanation of the death of carnality. One thing is for sure, and I am learning this evermore is that righteousness cannot come from human efforts. One can simply not change their mind or their heart. A movement of God must happen within them. It is not initiated by a decision, but instead the Love of God pressing on our hearts. The Light shining in the darkness, and mankind is the darkness. Recognizing that darkness and yielding to the perfect Light brings sanctification. Initially illuminating our nature to ourselves, and eventually filling those dark crevices. Sanctification is a setting apart. One who is lost in the sea of darkness becomes set on a hill shining out onto that same sea. In the darkness one lives for themselves. In the Light one lives for the sake of others. This is a continuation of the story of growing in that Light, which is the grace of Christ Jesus.
for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Recently, I have been studying the Letter to the Philippians, a letter often referred to as the “Letter of Joy.” Paul does mention to “always be full of joy,” as he does in many of his letters, but I see a more solid theme running through these words. Live together in one accord. As we come into the Light of Christ, we are adopted into the family, the body of Christ, the bride of Christ. Together, we must be one in purpose and mind, or we aren’t together at all. Nothing is more important than being one with Christ and in Christ. If we are one with Him, we should then be one together.
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as GARBAGE, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
Philippians 3:8-9 NLT
Nothing compares to knowing Christ, being one with Him, in faith. This faith is not in acts or ideas or even self, but instead in the person of Jesus. Total trust in Him brings righteousness. Paul contrasts Christ against what he discards: himself, his stature, his status, his circumstances.
Christ > Self
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Jesus did not hold himself higher than anyone, instead he humbled himself as a servant to others. By considering other’s as more important than yourself, you begin to truly love others, as it is a commandment directly from the Lord.