Submission to Christ
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Isaiah 57:l5)
More and more, I look for one particular evidence of God's Spirit working in the hearts and lives of men and women. I look for brokenness of spirit and heart. I look to see if proud sinners are bowed down and their mouths shut before God. I will not try to "out yell" their religious and self-righteous words nor meet them on their own low ground of debate and argument. When Christ fed the multitude, He first had them to sit down on the ground. It seems that spiritually He must do the same thing for sinners if they are ever to be fed of the Bread of Life. No preacher of the gospel can feed those who have no appetite for the gospel. No teacher of the Word can teach those who already know all that is to be known. No leader can lead those who in their self-will determine their own course based on their own wisdom. Human pride and self-righteousness must be dealt with by the only power that can...the power of Almighty God. I have often heard of children that were born with crooked limbs. Many times their bones must be broken and reset so that they will grow straight. The process is painful, but necessary, in order to accomplish the desired end. So it is with fallen men and women. We were born crooked and God must break us and bow us as He brings us to be conformed to the image of His Son. If He does not break us, He will destroy us with eternal destruction. We must be brought down before we can be brought up. We must be emptied before we can be filled. We must be abased before we can be exalted. All our filthy rags of self-righteousness must be stripped before we can be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. We must die before we can be resurrected. It has been rightly said, that the way up is down! God resisteth the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. He that walketh in pride, He is able to abase. If God were not able to break us and abase us, then He would not be able to save us. Thank God, He is able to do both! He lifts the beggar off the dunghill and makes him a prince by His GRACE.
Pastor Gary Shepard
God's elect worship and serve Him with willing hearts. We willingly believe, willingly worship, willingly give, and willingly do what we can for the glory of God. It is God who, by effectual grace, makes us willing; but we are willing servants of the Most High God! Any worship, service, or gift offered to God that is not done with a willing heart is an abomination to Him.
Pastor Scott Richardson
"We are but dust and ashes, Thou the Great God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! We are vile sinners, Thou art a Holy God! We are as poor, crawling worms, Thou art the omnipotent Creator! MAY OUR HEARTS BE WITHOUT WORDS, O LORD, RATHER THAN OUR WORDS WITHOUT HEART! Give us therefore the true spirit of prayer which is more precious than thousands of gold and silver."
It becomes us (believers) us to say, "It is not necessary for me to be rich, or what the world accounts wise; to be healthy, or admired by my fellow-worms; to pass through life in a state of prosperity and outward comfort"; these things may be, or they may be otherwise, as the Lord in His wisdom shall appoint: but it is necessary for me to be humble and spiritual, to seek communion with God, to adorn my profession of the Gospel, and to yield submissively to His disposal, in whatever way, whether of Him in the world. It is not necessary for me to live long, but highly expedient that whilst I do live I should live to Him. Here then I would bound my desires; and here, having His Word both for my rule and my warrant, I am secured from asking amiss. Let me have His presence and His Spirit, wisdom to know my calling, and opportunities and faithfulness to improve them; and as to the rest, Lord, help me to say, "What Thou wilt, when Thou wilt, and how Thou wilt.
John Newton in The Letters of John Newton