We have to be humbled in order to learn humility, dependence upon the Lord.
You notice that afterwards the Spirit makes perfectly clear the change. There were the marks of power, the marks of triumph. Where was the secret? In the Name of Jesus. It was all Christ, it was all in the exalted Lord that was the basis, and they had learned their lesson and knew that in themselves there was no power, no strength. There was a wonderful change after the emptying of those men by the cross, and then the bringing of them to the place where, not in themselves but in Him as exalted, it was possible to go on and to triumph.
not in themselves but in Him as exalted, it was possible to go on and to triumph.
The Name, with all its glory, and all its majesty, and all its power, is based upon humility. It derives its strength, its gain, on the very ground of humility, self-emptying. If you and I did know and realise it, humility is one of the greatest, if not the greatest and most important thing for any life that is going to be used by God as a witness to the power of Christ. Unless God has that basis it is a desperately dangerous thing for us to know power. There is all that in us which will use power and turn it to our own glory and our own exaltation. It is a terrible thing to taste of the heavenly gift unless there is a right foundation, and the only foundation which makes us safe is that of self-emptiness, humility. Let us seek from the Lord continually much humility, true humility, the meekness of Christ. This is the moral basis of power. The opposite of that was the pride of Satan, and the pride of Adam, and that was the moral (or the immoral) basis of the ruin.
The opposite of that was the pride of Satan, and the pride of Adam, and that was the moral (or the immoral) basis of the ruin.
When we talk about power we must not think of God just baptizing us with something we call power, or with the Holy Spirit for the purpose of power, but we must remember that God must have His foundation, and that foundation is provided by the cross, the cross which smites us, and smites all in us that would take hold of the things of God to use them for ourselves, unto our own ends. The cross must do that work and bring about a true humility. We must, therefore, ask the Lord to keep the cross operative continually in our life: “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus...”. “I die daily.” This cross of Christ was a continuous thing with Him. It operated by various means: “Lest by reason of the revelation I should be exalted above measure, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me...”. It is the work of the cross, the principle of the cross, to break that “I”, and to keep it down so that no pride should mar the vessel and destroy the power.
It is the work of the cross, the principle of the cross, to break that “I”, and to keep it down so that no pride should mar the vessel and destroy the power.
In the humility wrought by the cross we are brought into oneness with the exalted Christ, and oneness with the exalted Christ means that God is committed to man. That is a tremendous thing. Two or three, on the basis of the cross, on the moral basis of Christ’s exaltation, who are emptied, weak, but confident in Him, should mean that when they bring God into a situation, that situation encounters God, the men involved encounter God. It is a tremendous thing to realise God is committed to us. That is what union with Christ means, and the moral basis of union with Christ is death to self and the centre of self: that is, pride.
That is what union with Christ means, and the moral basis of union with Christ is death to self and the centre of self: that is, pride.
May the Lord teach our hearts anew with His Word.
I am quite sure that the emphasis is a very necessary one upon the matter of humility, as the way of exaltation, the basis of divine power. May the Lord speak it to our hearts.