Any Old Bush Will Do

20140324-234302.jpgAmong some of my favorite authors/preachers, you would discover a precious brother by the name of Major Ian Thomas.

I’d like to submit this chapter from one of his books, The Saving Life of Christ.  All of his teachings and sermons have had a profound impact on my spiritual journey. I pray this little chapter will be a blessing to you!  —————–

We are tutored to live under hero worship. In every walk of life we become “fans.” This generally holds true of Christians. We are sometimes able to see someone whose life is clearly marked by the Spirit of God. They are transparently genuine. The hand of God is upon them. They speak with an authority that God honors. God is manifesting the glory of His life through them, and we admire them – but we stand back as though this were to be the monopoly of the few! We say in our hearts, “There is a bush that burns with the presence of God! I would like to be a bush like that, but I am just a heap of ashes!” – and that is as far as it gets.

It is unbelief that keeps God’s people from dying to self and entering His Sabbath-rest. We seem incapable of believing that God is able to manifest a supernatural work through someone who has rested from the worldly way of human effort.

The message of the Bible is that God has chosen “the weak” and those who are “nothing” in themselves to those who think they are something. (1 Cor. 1: 18-31) The only thing that God demands of a man is a recognition of his own helplessness and the offer of his body to be used exclusively as an instrument of Christ’s life and work.

Of course, this is where faith comes in. We are to give up our life to God in order to become inhabited by God – for His purposes. As a vessel of divine life, we are to show forth His spiritual image. We must manifest His glory. This is the mystery that has been hidden from the wisdom of this world – the real life of “Christ in you, the hope of glory.

”Human strength cannot produce anything other than the works of the flesh. This human activity is the source of all evil – “You have planted wickedness {through a life of self-sufficiency}, you have reaped evil {through a carnal nature}, you have eaten the fruit of {Satan’s} deception. Because you have depended on your own strength…” (Hosea 10: 13) And there is only one way out of this carnal life under the spirit of the world – “For it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers {heavenly} righteousness on you.” (Hosea 10: 12)

You read about the lives of men like Hudson Taylor, George Muller, Dwight Moody, A.B. Simpson – men whose lives have made spiritual history. You would like to have God working through you like He did through them, and yet, maybe you have never taken the trouble to find out why God blessed them. Instead, you mobilized your own fleshly resources to duplicate their life, and as a result you have been constantly buffeted by a sense of frustration. After all, the only thing that anyone will ever reap from human effort is a carnal nature.

What made Taylor and Muller different? Were they God’s favorites? Of course they were not! They were simply men who had recognized the weakness of the flesh-life and had qualified in the school of failure and despair. They were men who were brought to an end of themselves through the path of soul-suffering. They discovered that what they were apart from God’s divine life – was nothing!

Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves buton God, who raises the dead. (2 Cor. 1: 9)

Did you ever make this discovery? Have you ever come to the place where you realized that all you can produce, at your best, is ashes? Did you ever come to the place where you presented yourself for what you are – nothing – to be filled with what God is – everything

Since God has chosen to fill those who are nothing in self with His life, and then to perfect His divine power through the weakness that looks to Him in dependent faith, doesn’t it make spiritual sense to enter into God’s way of life within His Sabbath-rest? “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the {regenerate} people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work…” (Heb. 4: 9-10)

Remember, Jesus Christ is the only one who has the light of divine life. He is waiting to manifest His supernatural life and work through everyone who is willing to exchange their fallen nature for His divine nature. And never forget – any old bush will do!

————————–

Keep your peace!

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One thought on “Any Old Bush Will Do

  1. Ian Thomas is one who has also affected my life. “If I Perish, I Perish” was probably the first one of his books that I remember. Thanks! It’s good for authors to speak out of the past for what I call “safety checks”. As Paul said in Galatians 2:2 “…. lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain”. We don’t have to go up to Jerusalem (some call our head)–neither did Paul. He said in verse 5 that they didn’t give place to subjection even for one hour to them. We don’t want to run out before the Lord and teach our own revelation. The scripture teaches also “that they without us should not be made perfect”. Hebrews 11:40, There is only one gospel. It’s “checks and balances” that we not run in vain, and are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus being the chief corner stone.

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