Let No Man Usurp the Place of Christ, Part 2

Holy man

“All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men to do nothing.” ~ attributed to Edmond Burke

How many times have we heard this quoted that we might be stirred into political  or social action without giving the will of God for us (as individuals) a second thought? Now contrast this quote with the following one,

“Why do you call me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” ~ Jesus Christ

If Jesus, the Son of God, would not let men call Him “good” as if He was separate from His Father, what makes us think that any of us are good as individual Christians? As Jeremiah put it, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” You see, ALL goodness in the universe comes from our heavenly Father. We should never call one another good; “Oh, she (or He) is such a good Christian!”

With this in mind, along the theme of usurping the place of Christ, I would like to share today’s post (March 25th) from “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers.”

Maintaining the Proper Relationship

the friend of the bridegroom…John 3:29

Goodness and purity should never be traits that draw attention to themselves, but should simply be magnets that draw people to Jesus Christ. If my holiness is not drawing others to Him, it is not the right kind of holiness; it is only an influence which awakens undue emotions and evil desires in people and diverts them from heading in the right direction. A person who is a beautiful saint can be a hindrance in leading people to the Lord by presenting only what Christ has done for him, instead of presenting Jesus Christ Himself. Others will be left with this thought— “What a fine person that man is!” That is not being a true “friend of the bridegroom”— I am increasing all the time; He is not.

To maintain this friendship and faithfulness to the Bridegroom, we have to be more careful to have the moral and vital relationship to Him above everything else, including obedience. Sometimes there is nothing to obey and our only task is to maintain a vital connection with Jesus Christ, seeing that nothing interferes with it. Only occasionally is it a matter of obedience. At those times when a crisis arises, we have to find out what God’s will is. Yet most of our life is not spent in trying to be consciously obedient, but in maintaining this relationship— being the “friend of the bridegroom.” Christian work can actually be a means of diverting a person’s focus away from Jesus Christ. Instead of being friends “of the bridegroom,” we may become amateur providences of God to someone else, working against Him while we use His weapons.

Wow! Does that get right down to the deepest motivation in the hearts of many who walk in “holiness” (“Touch me not for I am holier than thou”) or that just want to be thought well of remember by other people? I have found that his whole principle of decreasing while Jesus increases is foreign to most Christians. I was at a small home meeting once and told the group that I wanted to be like John the Baptist and be found by God as a true “friend of the bridegroom,” to so decrease for His sake that I would not leave a mark on this earth, no website, no published books, not even a grave marker, but only leave people behind me that were looking to Jesus as their only desire. There was a man in the room that spoke up and said, “It doesn’t have to be that extreme does it?” I am sorry, but if we are to be HIS disciples, it does.

One time I was in a men’s meeting at my church and we were in a small room where there was a florescent light fixture that was giving off poor light, but was making a loud buzzing sound. The Lord said to me, “That is how most Christians are, a lot of noise and not much light.” Well, that gave me much to contemplate in my own life and finally repent of (sometimes daily).

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” We are not the Light of Life, but we can have it abiding in us as we surrender to the One who IS the Light of the world and let His cross deal with our carnal natures (that buzzing light fixture that gives off poor light).

For more on what it means to decrease while He increases and what it means to be a “friend of the Bridegroom” as John the Baptist was, follow this link http://awildernessvoice.com/ElijahCompany.pdf

 

17 comments on “Let No Man Usurp the Place of Christ, Part 2

  1. Your past blogs on this topic have resonated deeply within me, I am guessing that some hate this topic…I love you Brother. “Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Alan. It is good to hear from you again. How are you and your family surviving the winter up there? Today, it snowed again here in northern Idaho.

      That is a revealing and relevant verse you quoted. You are right about this topic not being very popular. I have received few comments on this one. I think that there are few true “friends of the Bridegroom” these days — those who love Christ so much that they are willing to become nothing so that Christ can become everything in the hearts of His bride — like Paul said, “yet not I but Christ who dwells in me.”

      At the very least we hold out for having a name or a title in exchange for our sacrifices for Him, “Billy Graham Ministries,” “Kenneth Copeland Ministries,” “John Hagee Ministries,” “John the Baptist Ministries” OOPS! NOT! What a contrast was this one who said, “He who has the bride is the Bridegroom and the friend of the Bridegroom rejoices when he hears His voice. I must decrease and He must increase [in the eyes of His bride].” But to fade into obscurity, that Christ might be ALL in all… THAT is a bit too much.

      How about “Paul and Silas International Ministries”? Paul wrote to the carnal and arrogant Corinthian church,

      “We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are honorable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure it: Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the trash of all things unto this day.” (1Cor 4:10-13, KJ2000)

      Sound familiar? It reminds me of Isaiah ch. 53 and Jesus’ words, “A servant is not greater than His master.”

      Bless you, my brother!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great comment, my brother! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

        Liked by 1 person

      • The snow is still quite deep here and I enjoy it so much…your comment could be another stand alone blog. We will be fools for the sake of Jesus…but only to the blind. God help us all to see. That is the message of the cross. Deny yourself, and take up His cross daily thinking nothing of your own reputation and follow Him. If they hated Him, they will hate you. Quite a pep talk the Lord gave…not the type of motivational speech you would here now-a-days. You are love dear Brother

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Ken Dawson says:

    Amen brother–If I am pointing to myself or some other person as the way,the light or whatever then I have not given them–Good News.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a great illustration that buzzing light fixture is! A lesson to us all, Michael. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Yes, Anna. When the Lord showed me this, I was struggling with my own “noise” as apposed to manifesting His light. This and many other poignant lessons during that time led me to surrender “my ministry” to Him and embrace the wilderness instead of the limelight of Christendom.

      May the Lord be your strength, dear sister.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Excellent blog, Michael! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are very welcome, my brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wishing you and yours a blessed Easter, Michael!

    With love, your sister in Christ,

    Anna ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Patricia Lelión says:

    Gracias Michael. Dijo Chambers “El trabajo cristiano puede ser realmente un medio para desviar el enfoque de una persona de Jesucristo” y lo triste es que esto lo vemos en toda la cristiandad de estos días, qué poco se ve de Cristo en las vidas de aquellos que tienen “grandes ministerios”.

    Si lo que hacemos no nos lleva a Cristo, pues de nada sirve lo que hagamos supuestamente para Dios.

    Un abrazo mi hermano.

    Patricia wrote:

    Thank you Michael. Chambers said, “Christian work can really be a means to divert a person’s focus from Jesus Christ” and the sad thing is that we see this in all of Christendom these days, how little Christ is seen in the lives of those who have “Great ministries”.

    If what we do does not lead us to [a deeper relationship with] Christ, even if we do it “for God” it is useless.

    A hug my brother.

    Liked by 1 person

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