What are we to understand in this exposure that seems to only be intensifying?
Is God perverse? Is He capricious?
Herein lies the key to God's dealings with us. We must draw back from our tendency to see evil and the devil's purposes advancing against us. The Devil is God's devil; he can only accomplish God's purposes [Gen 50:24]. Seeing God in our circumstances requires an ability to see through our circumstances. We must become fixed in the conviction that all things work together for good for those who love God" [Roms 8:28] and see that the apparently negative "all-things" are the tools of the divine trade useful for conforming us into His image and likeness" [Roms 8:29]
I love how our Father is so good at bringing whomsoever to Himself, although the process and the ongoing being processed will never be at first, something we initially warm up to, until the miracle of His total unconditional love begins to address the lies that seem to bind us!
The following is a glorious living picture shared by my brother Paul, and in it I see an untold, unknown, army of sons and daughters likewise being released into the surpassing greatness of the Father's love.
Up until then, I had known at an intellectual level that I was one spirit with Him. I knew that Christ "was my life" but that summer I discovered the life of Christ. I had only understood salvation as my giving my life to Him - I had not realized that salvation was Him giving His life to me. Ironically, I had been developing a reputation for being an accomplished teacher of the Christian identity but, in truth, I was like Apollos who, though full of fervour and passion for God, a sound teacher who could explain freedom from the law and the divine exchange needed the way of God explained to me more accurately. In recent days, He has been gracious enough to send my Aquilla & Pricilla to me in the written form of Norman Grubb & Dan Stone and in the physical form of Dee Dee Winter & Linda Bunting.
That summer as never before the Lord began to apply His cross to me and as He did He began to reveal His life in me [Gal 1:16]. I began to see that I had been set apart from before I was born [for union] but, like Paul, in the absence of enlightenment I was deceived and sought to cultivate a righteousness of my own, a righteousness that I too now considered rubbish [Phil 3]. To my dismay I realized that what others thought was the model Christian life was actually a backslidden compromised existence. Having begun in the Spirit I was now trying to live the Christian life by self-effort.
I had reduced the Christian life to something I did rather than a Person who I now was. My successful church career had validated the deception. From the ashes of Brazil, the Lord was about to bring forth the real self, the unexpected -self the new creation. I was suffering from a condition that I have since diagnosed as false self-syndrome.
Recognition of your inability is the key to experiencing His ability. Man, saved or lost, must become conscious of his total inadequacy. Each one must have his Job moment and recognize his parlous condition.
Perhaps it would be appropriate for us to ask ourselves at this juncture whether we have any of the symptoms of this condition. A few simple diagnostic questions ought to be sufficient:
Do you have a tendency toward self-reliance?
Are you self-consciousness? Are you sin-consciousness?
Are you law-consciousness?
Are you right and wrong consciousness?
Are you good and bad consciousness?
Is your self worth based on what other people think of you?
Is there a cure?
Most of us, without fear of being branded hypochondriacs can recognize some or even all of the above. The question then is, can anything be done about it? Is there a cure? To that we answer emphatically "Yes there is." However, candidly one must also admit that God's prescription can taste rather unpleasant.
We must first see that the root problem is sin and we must see that the root of sin is independence. Much of the trouble with our modern day discipleship is that it is pre-occupied with sin and sinning, whereas discipleship is concerned with the invasion of life, not the intrusion of sin.
Moreover, if, as we suggest, the core problem is the independent self then the remedy is to know the Christ-dependent-self. The remedy gives rise to the core strategy, which is to convince us of our total need of Him. This He does by exposing us to the futility of self. It is imperative then that we fail and fail spectacularly in our attempts to live the Christian life. Failure and disillusionment create in us "a godly grief that leads to repentance that leads to salvation, without regret." [2 Cor 7:10] Once persuaded of our total inadequacy we are ready to be introduced to The Person who is our adequacy and "infinite supply."