maandag 27 mei 2013

Lord, Deliver Me From the ‘Supposed To’ Taskmaster

If we are pressing in to ‘Know Him,’ we are finding stumbling blocks along our way. Little things that can effectively trip us up and slow our progress. God, in His infinite goodness, is far more patient and longsuffering with us, than we are with others. One of the most devious taskmasters we are enslaved by, could be called the ‘supposed to’ taskmaster. He is different for each person, as he grew and developed within each individual from childhood on. But he most definitely resides within every one of us. He tries to hide behind our God-given conscience at first. Then he tries to incorporate himself into our religious training (a place he can really flourish), and control not only our actions, but our judgments and expectations of others as well. Have you honestly never been brought up short by an image of what you imagine you are ‘supposed to’ do? Or how you think you are ‘supposed to’ be? He works closely with condemnation; who we should all know is the opposite of conviction. And who of us have never felt the debilitating power of condemnation, effectively crippling our spiritual growth and bringing us misery and torment?
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1. If there be no condemnation to us; then how can we give place to a condemning spirit towards others, and still imagine that we ourselves are in the Spirit? We do that quite easily, with the willing aid of our ‘supposed to’ taskmaster.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” Romans 12:2. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” Titus 3:5. The work in each one of us is not accomplished by following what we think we are supposed to do; or how we imagine that we are supposed to be. The following quotes shed more light on this:

T. Austin-Sparks from: On Knowing The Lord quote: We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him. (1 John 5:20 ESV)

It is of the greatest importance for the Lord’s children to recognize fully that, above all other things, His object is that they should know Him. This is the all-governing end of all His dealings with us. This is the greatest of all our needs….

Our minds are so often occupied with service and work; we think that doing things for the Lord is the chief object of life. We are concerned about our lifework, our ministry. We think of equipment for it in terms of study and knowledge of things. Soul-winning, or teaching believers, or setting people to work, are so much in the foreground. Bible study and knowledge of the Scriptures, with efficiency in the matter of leading in Christian service as the end in view, are matters of pressing importance with all. All well and good, for these are important matters; but, back of everything the Lord is more concerned about our knowing Him than about anything else. It is very possible to have a wonderful grasp of the Scriptures, a comprehensive and intimate familiarity with doctrine; to stand for cardinal verities of the faith; to be an unceasing worker in Christian service; to have a great devotion to the salvation of men, and yet, alas, to have a very inadequate and limited personal knowledge of God within. So often the Lord has to take away our work that we may discover Him. The ultimate value of everything is not the information which we give, not the soundness of our doctrine, not the amount of work that we do, not the measure of truth that we possess, but just the fact that we know the Lord in a deep and mighty way, [end quote].

Kriston Couchey FB quote: What I have come to know about offense is that you usually don’t even realize you have been taken captive by it. It is like a drug that changes how you think and feel about things. I have been taken captive by it too often. What really exposes it is the Love of God. Offended people offend, and love is replaced with reason and control that tends to offend others, and the “bitter root” corrupts many… Sorry for the times a bitter root has come from me in the name of truth…[end quote]. It should be acknowledged here, that ‘supposed to’ and ‘offended’ work in harmony together.

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalms 119:165. Offend in this verse means: stumblingblock.

For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” James 3:2. Offend in this verse means: to cause one to stumble or fall; to err, make a mistake, to sin; to fall into misery, become wretched. While Perfect means: brought to its end, finished; wanting nothing necessary to completeness; perfect; full grown, adult, of full age, mature.

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” Ephesians 4:13. Note, that Paul in no way said this could only happen after we leave this world! This is our goal; our objective; that we grow up in Christ now! And ‘supposed to’ is incapable of getting the job done. ‘Supposed to’ may look and sound good and admirable; but is really a sham, a cheap imitation, and a very effective stumblingblock to our growth. Why, because he presents himself as being ‘the Spirit,’ when he is not. He is full of reason and justification, but devoid of life. We can do everything we think we are ‘supposed to do,’ and never be changed. Our inner man is imprisoned, our light is feeble, and self still sits on the throne in our hearts. ‘Supposed to’ is a vicious taskmaster, never satisfied, always demanding more. He thrives on the very things we are warned against in Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

When we fall back on what we imagine we are ‘supposed to’ do, we are not ‘walking in the Spirit;’ we are walking in the flesh. We are called to be overcomers, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. We are called to glorify God in all things; in our living and if need be in our dying. To ‘follow Christ’ will take us out of our comfort zones; go contrary to reason; and utterly destroy our ‘supposed to taskmaster.’ Thank God, ‘whom the Son sets free, is free indeed”!!!

Amen & Amen
Cathy Morris
Postscript - I was reminded of an example of a woman doing what she thought she was supposed to do given by Art Katz in, “The Man in Whom The Spirit of God Is,” quoted here:
I believe that every man who met with Paul in the marketplace was on a divine collision course. God intended for them to have that meeting. Don’t you love divine encounter? Don’t you like it when God sets it up? Are you preparing yourself to be a sensitive instrument in whom His Spirit can grieve? How foolish would you think me if I reprimanded a woman, a precious saint whom I have known for years, because she picked up the check at the table in the café where eight of us had breakfast together? “What do you mean you reprimanded her? You should have applauded her. She did a good thing.” But,good things are exactly what will keep us from God’s perfect thing. Do you not hunger for that which is perfect? If we keep doing good things that have their origin in our skull, and we will be completely incapacitated for the Spirit of God when He would have us to be moved.
Any one of us could have picked up the check, but she picked it up. I turned to her without thinking, and said, “Did God have you to do that?” ”Oh, yes,” she said. Instead of resuming my conversation with the person on my right, I turned to her again and repeated a second time, “Did God have you to do that?” She giggled a little bit more nervously and said, “Yes.” But it was not quite as convincing this time. I turned a third time and said, “Did God have you to do that?” “Well,” she said, “I thought it would be a good thing.” Are we refraining from good things in order that we might be reserved unto Him for that which is perfect?” [end quote].