Archive for the ‘sanctification’ Category

by Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest”

I now rejoice in my sufferings for you,
and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ,
for the sake of His body,
which is the church . . .
Colossians 1:24

We take our own spiritual consecration and try to make it into a call of God, but when we get right with Him He brushes all this aside. Then He gives us a tremendous, riveting pain to fasten our attention on something that we never even dreamed could be His call for us. And for one radiant, flashing moment we see His purpose, and we say, “Here am I! Send me” ( Isaiah 6:8 ).

This call has nothing to do with personal sanctification, but with being made broken bread and poured-out wine. Yet God can never make us into wine if we object to the fingers He chooses to use to crush us. We say, “If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way, then I wouldn’t object!” But when He uses someone we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, to crush us, then we object. Yet we must never try to choose the place of our own martyrdom. If we are ever going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed— you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.

I wonder what finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you? Have you been as hard as a marble and escaped? If you are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you anyway, the wine produced would have been remarkably bitter. To be a holy person means that the elements of our natural life experience the very presence of God as they are providentially broken in His service. We have to be placed into God and brought into agreement with Him before we can be broken bread in His hands. Stay right with God and let Him do as He likes, and you will find that He is producing the kind of bread and wine that will benefit His other children.


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20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for disposal of refuse. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Tim 2 (TNIV)

According to 2Tim 2:20-26- (Click here for a parallel view of several versions) we have the opportunity to become a transformed vessel! We can be transformed from a dirty pot full of “refuse”(TNIV), an “ignoble” (NIV) or “dishonorable” (NASB) vessel, to a “vessel fit for the master’s use”. Interesting how the master has both “in HIS house”. I think some people will choose to remain an unclean vessel their whole life and go to heaven that way. They are, after all, “in HIS house” according to the scriptures.

I have wondered if the unclean pot might be a bedpan or a chamber pot? Did they have those in NT times? “The Message” puts the pots in the kitchen:

“In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.” 2 Tim 2: 20-21 (the Message)

I’ve been in the process of having the uncleanness purged out of the vessel that is ME. The process is not easy, but it it GOOD!
Oh, LORD, please keep up the scrubbing until I am utterly and completely purged of all the garbage! I have an inkling that the junk is burned off too, through a process of fiery trials…

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

I found a wonderful Ray Stedman sermon “Fit to be Used” which quotes John Stott saying: 

If the promise is to be inherited (‘he will be a vessel for noble use’), the condition must be fulfilled (‘if anyone purifies himself from what is ignoble’).

and this is Ray Stedman:

The great question, however, is to what end, for what purpose is he using you? Here the apostle is pointing out to Timothy that it is for one of two purposes. “In every house,” he says, “there are vessels.” That is true of all homes — we have “vessels for honor,” i.e., dishes we eat from, pots and pans we cook in, decorated vases, etc., are all vessels unto honor. They are not only useful but they are preserved, they are permanent, we want to keep them. But every house also has “vessels for dishonor” — we have garbage cans, slop buckets, bedpans, trash barrels, wastebaskets, etc. We do not display them. They are useful, but they are not presentable. We may even intend to dispose of them, sometimes after only one use. Those are vessels of dishonor.

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If I want the “renewed mind” of Rom 12:1-2; if I want to really be able to love God with ALL heart, soul, mind, strength, then I believe I must submit to circumcision of the heart. I must invite GOD to remove the band of flesh, all the bitter roots, to tear them out. Only then can the Holy Spirit flow freely.

I must cleanse the clay vessel that is me, if I am to be used for anything noble: 2Ti 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

It is extremely painful, but constructive pain.

CS Lewis wrote a great word picture. Book 3 in the Chronicles of Narnia “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” tells of Eustace a tiresome, unpleasant boy, “perfectly beastly”. He turned into a dragon and was stuck in that condition for some time. Then he met Aslan and followed him to a well. The lion said he must undress to enter. Eustace peeled off three dragon skins but found himself yet a dragon.

Quote from the book:


“Then the lion said- but I don’t know if it spoke- You will have to let me undress you. I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat on my back to let him do it.The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt… Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off- just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt- and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly looking than the others had been.”

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This is a handout received at a missions class at Elim Bible
Characteristics of a proud unbroken spirit as compared to a humble broken spirit.

1. Proud people focus on the failures of others. Broken people are overwhelmed with the sense of their own spiritual need .

2. Proud people are self-righteous- have a critical, fault-finding spirit looking at everyone else’s faults with a microscopebut their own with a telescope. They look down on others. Broken people are compassionate. They can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven. They think the best of others and esteem all others better themselves.

3. Proud people have an independent, self-sufficient spirit. Broken people have a dependent spirit and recognize their need for others .

4. Proud people have to prove that they are right. Broken people are willing to yield the right to be right.

5. Proud people claim rights and have demanding spirit . Broken people yield their rights and have a meek spirit.

6. Proud people are self-protective of their time and their rights and their reputation.
Broken people are self-denying.

7. Proud people desire to be served. Broken people are motivated to serve others.

8. Proud people desire to be a success. Broken people are motivated to be faithful and make others successful.

9. Proud people desire for self-advancement. Broken people desire to promote others .

10. Proud people have a drive to be recognized and appreciated and are wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked. Broken people have a sense of their own unworthiness and are thrilled that God would use them at all in any ministry, they are eager to give others the credit and they rejoice when others are lifted up .

11. Proud people have a sub conscious feeling this ministry is privileged to have me and my gifts and they think of what they can do for God. Broken people have a heart attitude that says I don’t deserve to have any part in this ministry and they have nothing to offer to God, but the life of Jesus flowing through their broken lives.

12. Proud people feel confident in how much they know. Broken people are humbled by how very much they have to learn.

13. Proud people are self conscious. Broken people are not concerned with self at all.

14. Proud people keep others at arms length. Broken people are willing to risk getting close to others and loving intimately.

15. Proud people are quick to blame others. Broken people accept personal responsibility and can see where they were wrong in a situation.

16. Proud people are unapproachable. Broken people are easy to be entreated.

17. Proud people are defensive when criticized. Broken people receive criticism with an open, humble Spirit.

18. Proud people are concerned with being respectable and what others think and working to protect their own image and reputation. Broken people are concerned with being real what they care about is what God knows and are willing to die to their own reputation.

19. Proud people find it difficult to share their spiritual needs with others. Broken people are willing to be open and transparent with others as God directs.

20. Proud people want to be sure that no one knows they have sinned to cover up. Broken people are willing to be exposed because they have nothing to lose.

21. Proud people have a hard time In saying, “I was wrong, will you forgive me.”
Broken people are quick to admit their failures and seek forgiveness when necessary.

22. Proud people in confessing their sins, tend to deal in generalities. Broken people are able to deal with the specific conviction of God’s spirit.

23. Proud people fear consequences of their sin. Broken people are grieved over the cause the root of their sin.

24. Proud people are remorseful they got found out. Broken people are repentant over their sin which is evidenced by the fact they forsake them

25. Proud people when misunderstood in relationships, wait for the other one to come and ask for forgiveness. Broken people take the initiative to see if they can get to the Cross first no matter how wrong the other may have been.

26. Proud people compare themselves with others and feel worthy of honor. Broken people compare themselves with the holiness of God and feel a desperate need for mercy.

27. Proud people are blind to their real heart condition. Broken people walk in the light

28. Proud people think they have nothing to be repentant of. Broken people realize that they have a need of a continual heart attitude of repentance.

29. Proud people are unbroken and don’t think they need revival, but they are sure everyone else does. Broken people continually sense their need for a fresh encounter with God for a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit.

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