Written by :   Zac Poonen Categories :   Disciples Devotion to Christ
WFTW Body: 

We are commanded in 2 Corinthians 7:1 to perfect holiness in the fear of God. So, if our holiness is not more perfect today, than it was last year, it would prove that we have not feared God enough. We should help each other in this matter - because we are our brother's keepers. That is why God appoints more than one elder in each church. Hebrews 3:13 tells us to exhort one another daily, lest we become hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Thus, we can help each other to escape from being deceived.

We read in Isaiah 11:3 that the Spirit of God made Jesus "sensitive to the fear of God". The Holy Spirit can make us also sensitive to the fear of God - if we will allow Him. If we are really filled with the Holy Spirit, we will be filled with the fear of God. God is always on our side, and He is more than eager to fill us with the Holy Spirit than we are to be filled. He can do a great work through anyone of us, in spite of all our weaknesses. All we need to do is to humble ourselves and seek His face continually. God is always on our side against our flesh and against the devil.

We are living in a time when another Jesus (who does not demand discipleship) is being proclaimed among Christians, another spirit is being received (who gives counterfeit gifts but does not make people holy), and another gospel (of health and wealth) is being preached (2 Cor.11:4). So, we must be faithful in our time to uplift the Real Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the gospel of the grace of God.

Apologizing Without Justifying Oneself:

If we are not broken and contrite and poor in spirit, we will be reluctant (or hesitant) to apologize in all humility, as soon as we are aware that we have done something wrong.

The most difficult ten words for most human beings to say are: "I am sorry. That was my mistake. Please forgive me."

An unbroken spirit will also make us justify ourselves, when we apologize. But an apology is not an apology, if it contains any self-justification in it. If there is even a smell of self-justification in our apology, we can be certain that we are not broken. Justifying oneself, Jesus said, was the mark of a Pharisee (Luke 16:15). When we realize that something we did was wrong, we must acknowledge it immediately and set it right immediately. A broken man will have no problem doing this. An unbroken man however will delay in doing both of these. And when he does apologise, he will blame someone else as well. When Adam sinned, he admitted that he ate the forbidden fruit, but he justified himself saying that the woman whom God had given him was the one who offered it to him. Thereby, he blamed his wife; and he blamed God as well, for giving him such a wife! That is not the way to confess any sin or mistake.

Notice however, how David confessed his sin in Psalm 51. We don't sense even a smell of self-justification there. That is the mark of a truly broken man. I would recommend that you meditate on Psalm 51 at length and seek to understand from the Lord what brokenness really means and how you should confess your sins. Further, in order to justify yourself, you may even tell a lie. The lie may only be a small one - in the form of an exaggeration or a hiding of some of the events, in order to present ourselves in a good light. It is easy to tell one lie, but it is difficult to tell only one lie - because once we have told one lie, we will have to tell more lies to back up the first lie. We must hate lying and love the truth wholeheartedly. Otherwise, we will lose the anointing and the good-pleasure of God over our lives - and that is the greatest loss we can ever sustain.

When God sees some pride in us that needs to be exposed and destroyed, He will allow some little incident to happen in our lives that will make us stumble and fall in some way (See Ezekiel 3:20: "...when I place an obstacle before him...."). And when we fall, the Lord will test us to see if we (1) acknowledge our pride - that made us fall, (2) confess our sin, (3) humble ourselves before Him, and (4) set things right with men. If we judge ourselves and do these things, we will not be judged. But if we justify ourselves, we will remain unbroken and one day be condemned along with the world (1 Cor.11:31, 32).