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Consecrated Flesh – Gospel for Asia

December 28th, 2010

What are some sure signs that we are ministering in our own strength? When we seek to do the ministry dependent upon our own strength rather than ministering out of the abundance of a life lived in His presence, three things happen.

First, our service becomes self-willed. I see the needs. I make the plans. I have the agendas. I know better. It is ME!

Second, our service is by self-effort. It is my effort. It is my work. It is laborious and produces sweat. It is a pain in the neck.

Third, it is for self-glory. I get disappointed when people don’t recognize what I have done. It bothers me when people don’t appreciate me or when somebody else gets the appreciation for what I have done. Because my flesh did it, I want something out of it. We are full of our own ways.

Jessie Penn-Lewis was a godly woman greatly used in the Welsh revival. In the book, Molded by the Cross, she tells how God dealt with her on this issue.

Then came the climax, when one morning I awoke and saw before me a hand holding up in terrible light a handful of filthy rags, whilst a gentle voice said: “This is the outcome of all your past service for God.” “But Lord, I have been surrendered and consecrated to Thee all these years; it was consecrated work!” “Yes, My child, but all your service has been CONSECRATED FLESH; the outcome of your OWN ENERGY; your OWN PLANS for winning souls; your OWN DEVOTION. All for Me I grant you, but yourself, all the same.”

Our service can be just flesh that is consecrated to God. But God does not want flesh consecrated to Him. It is full of wrong motives, stress, worry and sweat.

For Isaiah, the answer to the problem was cleansing. He admitted his sin. He said, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5).

The answer is the same for us. No matter where we are in our journey, when we fail in our ministry, beginning to carry things out in our own flesh, we need to come before Him and repent. He is faithful to cleanse our ministry and purify us for service. For Isaiah there was the burning coal that the angel brought to touch his lips. The great ministry Isaiah had happened after that incident.

We must have a similar experience, to be cleansed of our own ways so that we may know Him and serve Him in a way that brings Him true honor and praise.

This entry was written by K.P Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.

 

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