The Blog of Rob Board – Author, speaker, pastor

Archive for May, 2014

What is the Problem With “ME”?

People all over the world have various definitions of the word “humility”, but I like to define it as “total dependence upon God to do in me and through me what I know I cannot do myself”. Humility is living the life of faith because faith is confidence that God will do exactly what He said He would do. It is a total dependence upon God. Humility knows who you really are and what you really are. There is no being puffed up with pride or arrogance in thinking you are something that you are really not. There is no need for titles or recognition for your position in some hierarchy of lording it over others. Jesus Himself was God in the flesh, but He humbled Himself as a servant and told us that if we wanted to be great in the kingdom of God learn to be a servant to all others.

Philippians 2:5-8“Have this attitude in yourself which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Matthew 20:25-28“But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

You are a vessel that carries the life of God within it. You are His dwelling place, or house, or abode. You are a branch that allows the life of God to flow through to produce the fruit and the power that are His. You are His servant, or His co-laborer, yoked together with Him in a blood-covenant. You can do nothing of any spiritual significance upon your own apart from yielding to Him to do the works through you. It is a life of total dependence upon Him.

Humility is actually the opposite nature of those who have the nature of the kingdom of darkness. The root nature of those in the darkness is pride, or the exaltation of the “self” nature. It is the nature that wants its own way and wants to do its own thing. It wants to make all the decisions as to what it believes is right or wrong and good or evil. It is the nature that was derived from eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that God warned His human creations named Adam and Eve not to eat from. It is the big “I” in our life.
Isn’t it amazing to you when you walk into a bookstore, even a “Christian” bookstore, how many books there are in what is called the “self-help” section of the store? Why do we in the kingdom of God want to help our “self” nature become stronger and more dominant? Shouldn’t we avoid that section and focus our attention on books that help us learn how to live in the kingdom of God and how to allow the Spirit of God within us to develop more of the nature of Jesus? Jesus told us in John 15:5, “…for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

For the majority of my life, including as a Christian, I had the attitude of “if it’s going to be, it’s up to me”. It was always about what I was going to do for God, what I was going to teach, what my goals were, what I wanted to accomplish in my life, who I wanted to be friends with, where I wanted to live, what people thought of me, what I wanted out of my various relationships, where I wanted to go on vacation, what programs I wanted to watch on TV or at the movies, how I wanted to spend my day off, etc. Can you see the problem here? Everything in my life was centered around “ME”. That, my friends, is the nature of the kingdom of darkness. God very clearly tells us in the Scriptures that when we become a Christian we “die” to that old life of being “me centered”. He says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Once we have come into the kingdom of God we are no longer our own. We have been purchased by the sacrificial shedding of the blood of Jesus. Yes, when we have become “born again” we become part of the family of God and we have a Father-son relationship with God the Father. Yes, when we have become “born again” we become brothers with the Lord Jesus. Yes, when we have become “born again” we receive the greatest gift of all into our lives, the Holy Spirit to enable us to “be” what God desires for us to be. We all want the glorious benefits of this new life and these new relationships, but I wonder if we have forgotten what God’s “immediate” purpose for bringing us into His kingdom really is? We all want to have the great blessings that are now available to us and we all want to go to heaven and avoid hell, but is that the purpose for God saving us from a life of destruction? If the whole reason for us coming into the kingdom of God was to get us to heaven and bless us, why didn’t He just take us there the day we were born again? He said we died to our old life; why didn’t He simply enable us to die peacefully and take us to that great retirement center in the sky? Could it be there is a lot more to being born again than what we want for our own “self-centered” lives?

Scripture tells us that we are no longer our own. We have been purchased from the kingdom of darkness by Jesus. He paid a very dear price to “redeem” us — His very life blood.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”

1 Corinthians 7:22-23…; likewise he who called while free is Christ’s slave. You were bought with a price, do not become slaves of men.”

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 – “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all die; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”

Have you ever wondered why Jesus is called “Lord” and that He is the “King” of all kings and that He has a “Kingdom”? A kingdom is the domain of a King; a place where a King reigns as the supreme authority; a place where the King’s will is done as the King has directed. If we have been redeemed, or purchased by blood, and transferred from the darkness into His kingdom, why do we think we can simply continue to do our own thing any way we want to live our lives? The word “Lord” comes from the Greek word “kurios” which means the supreme authority; that there is no one with more power or authority. Jesus was always referred to as “the Lord Jesus” and Scripture tells us that God gave Jesus a name that is above every name and that at His name every knee will bow and every tongue will declare that He is the Lord, not just our “personal Savior”. If this is true, then how do we get away with simply going to a meeting of the church and having some fellowship group meetings and continuing to live as though nothing has really changed in our lives except being more religious in our activities. God did not take us out of the domain of Satan in his kingdom of darkness and transfer us into the kingdom of God to continue to live as though nothing had changed and we could continue to live according to our own plans. He had a very specific purpose in calling us out of the darkness as His “ekklesia”.

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WHERE IS THE CHURCH IN OUR CULTURE?

It seems to me that we Christians in the churches in the western world are more concerned with what God can and will do for ME because He loves ME rather than what we are to be doing for Him. We want His blessings through His abundant grace, but we do not seem to want to give anything back in return. We want to be blessed, but it seems we do not want to obey His will or be about doing His works. These are not meant to say we “earn” our blessing. there is nothing we can do to be good enough to earn His blessings. They come to us because He does love us and it is by His grace that we receive them, but we are to be “CO-LABORERS WITH HIM” with a mission.

We have His commission to go into all the world (kingdom of darkness) and make disciples for Him.

The Church has been compared to salt, light, leaven, and seed. The common characteristic with all of these is that they are “PENETRATORS”. Salt penetrates and holds back corruption, light penetrates and drives back the darkness, leaven penetrates dough and causes its chemistry to change, and seed penetrates the soil and puts down roots that are able to support a huge stable plant that produces fruit. We are called to penetrate our culture and change it by holding back the corruption and filling it with the light of God’s righteousness.

I am convinced that the Church in our culture has not been effective because we have not heard the truth that we are to “repent and believe for the kingdom of God is at hand” and what it really means when we say that “Jesus Christ is Lord” over all. We have not been adequately confronted with the truth of the kingdoms that are in conflict and our roles in it. We don’t understand the real difference between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. We do not really believe and act like we are “new creations in Christ” because of the new covenant. These comments are accurate because I see them demonstrated throughout our culture and the church world. Here are some examples:

 

  • Our disunity
  • Our greed
  • Our pride
  • Our love of material possessions
  • Our love of pleasure
  • Our unwillingness to sacrifice
  • Our praylessness ( except for ourselves and our blessings)
  • Our simply not wanting to rock Satan’s boat
  • We demonstrate no real zeal for the power of God in our lives

IT is a tragedy, but very true.

MORE EXAMPLES OF AN INEFFECTIVE CHURCH:

 

  • As millions of unborn babies are slaughtered through abortion – almost 50,000,000 since 1973
  • As homosexuality and perversion are being thrust upon our country
  • As addictions are soaring to unprecedented magnitudes
  • As women are become more and more militant
  • As our culture is being stripped of all reminders of our Christian heritage
  • As our children’s minds are being polluted and programed by godless humanistic philosophies in our government controlled public schools
  • As godless Marxist and socialist government are being thrust upon us
  • As the Bible’s infallibility is challenged in many mainline denominations
  • As homosexuals are being ordained to lead mainline churches
  • As Eastern religions thrive in our culture
  • As Satanism and witchcraft are exploding by tremendous numbers
  • As our government leaders are becoming more and more unrighteous in their manner of governing
  • And as we are losing our children to the ways of the kingdom of darkness rather than leading them to Jesus

WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE OF GOD THAT CLAIM TO BE CHRISTIANS WHO ARE TO BE THE “SALT” THAT HOLDS BACK CORRUPTION, AND THE “LIGHT” THAT PENETRATES THE DARKNESS OF UNGODLY ACTIVITIES TO EXPOSE THEM?

WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE OF GOD THAT ARE ACTIVELY TEARING DOWN THE STRONGHOLDS OF UNGODLY CORRUPTION?

WHERE ARE THEY?????