Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Who God Can Use...Not Only Who We Think

From R.T. Kendall's God Gives Second Chances, R.T. Kendall writes:
The best antidote I know for conquering a lust for power is to embrace the implications of John 5:44: "How can you believe if you accept the praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?"...

The problem is that we suppose that our ambition to succeed is a love for God. Because we believe the Bible and the basic truths of the Christian faith, we tell ourselves that our quest for more influence is for God's gory. This is how we deceive ourselves. We justify our drive to be more successful by saying we can "reach more people," "save more souls," "get our message to the world." Such rationales are nothing but a camouflage for the foolish ego trip we are on...

...making an effort to obtain the praise of God means seeking the lower seat (Luke 14:7-11), refusing to vindicate ourselves, choosing total forgivenes, and the sheer waiting on God's timing. In a word, it is the way of the cross, the life of self-denial, and the participation of the sufferings of Christ... 
I don't always agree with R.T. Kendall. I have major issues with the neo-Pentecostal or Chrismatic movement of which he is a part. I take issue with some of the things Kendall writes in this book.

But the observation above is, I believe, right on target! God does give second chances to those who learn to subordinate their egos and themselves to Christ and the Word of God. I've seen it countless times in the Bible, in Christian history, and people I've known. Repent for sin and surrender to Christ and I am sure that "by the power [the power of the Holy Spirit Who comes to every believer in Christ] at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20).

But God can only do great and eternally lasting things in the lives of those who don't care how many great things the world may say about them. Their only concern is for what says about them. Today--and for a long time to come, I'll be asking God to help me ignore the approval of others and seek approval only from God!

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