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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Triumph in Christ DECEMBER 7


Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory. Ps. 115:1.

The Laodicean church fails in understanding her true relation to God. She attaches glory to herself. "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing" (Rev. 3:17). She has the delusive idea that she is self-sufficient, self-contained. Consequently, there is much dependence on herself and too little on God.

The truth about Laodicea seems so obvious. It was the sin of ancient Israel who insisted on fighting under her own power too many times. The most serious problem of modern Laodicea is rooted in confidence in our own power and ability to do it ourselves. We stumble over our religious status and accomplishments. Consequently, we assume an impossible independence from God and the Holy Spirit. We are lifted up above our need for Jesus Christ and His righteousness, since we have now achieved so much of our own. Spiritual decline starts with the belief that we can center life in ourselves and succeed. To the degree that we magnify ourselves, we do not give glory to God.

Christ shows us the way. He is meek and lowly in heart. He did nothing of Himself. He lived in complete dependence on His Father. This is the life Christ came to communicate to us. The very essence of salvation is living by Christ alone. Our religion must not be directed toward our own exaltation and self-sufficiency.

This problem of Laodicea tends to visit especially those of us who come to occupy positions of respect, leadership, status, ability. Sure of our own superiority, we fail to see how adversely this affects our dependence on the Holy Spirit.

Our confidence is to be entirely in Christ. Whatever value we place upon each other is because we know that God has redeemed us.

Unless Christ lives His life in us we will never survive spiritually or even morally in the end. Waiting upon God means the end of self-esteem and self-serving. "The loftiness of man shall be bowed down . . . the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day" (Isa. 2: 17). God has given us one truth to live by: the absolute insufficiency of ourselves, the absolute sufficiency of God.

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