Has it ever happened that people came to you uttering the following statements?
Let us do this and that.
Let us save the world.
Hey brother, we can't just stand here and watch. We've got to do something!
Hey! Why is it that you ain't seeing what we're seeing? Where is your zeal?
And it seems all you could do was watch their desires, passion, zeal, agitation, ambition, sympathy, sense of morality, etc with a cold reactionary stance. You've felt all they wanted you to feel yet, something in you wasn't snapping. You actually wished you could be aroused too — to be touched and won over to such persuasion—for in the past, your desires would have ascended to such lofty visions, but now it seems you just can't act on them. Something in you which was there before is no longer there. You have come to the end of yourself, you are broken.
''I cannot'', this was all you found yourself saying. For how could you explain to them you've come to a reality where you find no sufficiency in yourself? How would they understand you? How would you explain to them that you had once plunged wholly into the active life, hoping that the harder you tried, the more your achievements for God would be? How would you explain you had once gone off thinking you were strong enough, thinking your gifts and skills and talents were all you needed? How would it sound in their ears that you had once esteemed yourself so highly thinking if there was anyone on earth for the job ahead, definitely, it must be you.
You had been brave. You were ready to tackle the job. You thought it easy to deal with whatever would come. You were so full of yourself. But alas, something happened; all the efforts you ever put in, all the best strategies you ever brought to the table, all the brilliant ideas you ever moulded with your intelligence, all your greatest strengths, yes all, lay in a hip of rubbish — worthless and useless. And when you saw this, it dawned on you who you had been all along. You were nothing, simply nothing in every sense of the word! And since nothing only begets nothing, all you ever did amounted to nothing. Logic went further to tell you that what you would ever do from that point onwards would also be nothing. This reality was too much for you to bear and your knees buckled and you fell broken.
You are broken, yes, brought to emptiness. All eagerness to jump into activities has suddenly grown wings and flown off. This is the state the Lord all along has been trying to bring you. For until you die, you cannot live. Until you come to the end of yourself He cannot begin to live through you. All this while, you were so busy with yourself — busy pampering and acting on your emotions, your sympathy, your sense of morality, your desire, your ambition, your intelligence, your passion and your zeal. It had been you living. But now, that dispensation is past. It is for you now, a new day; a new era. An era you have to die for Christ to live. An era you stop finding sufficiency in yourself so that you can lean on His life in you and allow Him to live instead of you.
Brethren, all along, Christ has been trying to bring you to the I-cannot state. There is no skipping it, and no fast-forwarding it. You must get here and pitch your tent. Are you surprised you have to erect a tent here? Don't be! For on this ground is where the Christian life is lived. It is the place of emptiness. It is the place you find no sufficiency in yourself. It is where you rest and lean upon the Lord. So settle down. Erect your tent. Sit in its shade and embrace this permanent abode. If you have truly come here you will never says any of the lines that follow:
We were once there, brother.
Oh, we've seen it all and done it all.
Oh, see the memento I got from there.
Oh, we are over that and we've moved on.
No, anyone who comes here stays, never to leave.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me. (Gal 2:20).
There is no moving on. This is where you pitch your tent. This is where you rest permanently. Your profession changes when you get here. For all that comes from your mouth henceforth is:
I cannot or
Not I or
No longer I.
'I' has died. 'I' is broken. The ego-self is crushed. 'I' has come to the end of itself. Praise the Lord!
Oh! How many of us have had this experience? How many of us know true brokenness and emptiness? We have so many Christians who are full of themselves. Who still go about living by the fullness of the soul and its sufficiency. They are living through the power of the soul, yes they are living in the stead of Christ. May we all truly know brokenness. Whether it comes by revelation or experience —whichever the Lord may choose to employ — may we truly be brought to this state. And may we be willing to give ourselves to Him till He achieves this goal in us. Amen!
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