How Could Someone So Persecute Jesus!

January 28th, 2014 by Dave Leave a reply »

Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? —Acts 26:14

Are you determined to have your own way in living for God? We will never be free from this trap until we are brought into the experience of the baptism of “the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). Stubbornness and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit. Whenever we are obstinate and self-willed and set on our own ambitions, we are hurting Jesus. Every time we stand on our own rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we are persecuting Him. Whenever we rely on self-respect, we systematically disturb and grieve His Spirit. And when we finally understand that it is Jesus we have been persecuting all this time, it is the most crushing revelation ever.

Is the Word of God tremendously penetrating and sharp in me as I hand it on to you, or does my life betray the things I profess to teach? I may teach sanctification and yet exhibit the spirit of Satan, the very spirit that persecutes Jesus Christ. The Spirit of Jesus is conscious of only one thing— a perfect oneness with the Father. And He tells us, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). All I do should be based on a perfect oneness with Him, not on a self-willed determination to be godly. This will mean that others may use me, go around me, or completely ignore me, but if I will submit to it for His sake, I will prevent Jesus Christ from being persecuted.

Journal DJR
Good morning Lord, The first paragraph mentions stubbornness and self will. Determination and perseverance fit in the same category. And it is rightly noted that these can lead us away from you and your best plan for us.
But we see the same characteristics in all the great Biblical leaders … after they got connected with you and then, with new direction, those same traits that had led astray became valuable. I think mainly of Paul (Saul) who was running hard, the wrong direction. When he got straightened out he ran just as hard … the right direction
Eugene Petersen has a good perspective on getting connected and coming from the right direction in the Message.

Matthew 11:28-30 The Message “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Prayer: Lord, Help me today, to stay connected and learn those “unforced rhythms of grace”


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