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Do You Believe God or Are You Trusting Yourself?
by Heshimu Colar

Two members of a Sovereign Grace church went their separate ways to go pray. The one kneeled and pleaded for God's mercies upon the lost, and God's grace to overcome his sin. Yet, secretly in his heart he said, "Lord, look at me. I'm a sinner who has come so short of your glory. So, I'm going to present you my zeal, my tears, and my obedience. I ask you, Father, to look upon me and deal favorably with me because I pray to you in Jesus' name." This deceived soul prays to be seen by God, he has been seen, and in the Day of Judgment he shall receive the awful wages of sin. Everything sounds proper with the mouth, but the heart is far from trusting Christ. God told His prophet Ezekiel, "And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness" (Ezek 33:31). Meanwhile, the other worshipper went home, and he also prayed saying, "Lord, have mercy."- and his is heart was also examined by the Eyes of Fire. Yet in his inner man he said, "O Father, you know I'm a sinner. But Jesus Christ has fulfilled all righteousness, and He atoned all my sin. Hear me according to your word of promise for Christ sake. I know I'm unworthy, but through Christ I'm worthy and you're able." This blessed man was justified.

Can you see the difference, my brethren? Their words were the same, but one trusted Christ from the heart, and the other spoke correctly but his heart was far from God. How can we discern the difference between the two? One is legalism, self-justification, and bondage; the other is Christ and His gift of grace, liberty, and imputed righteousness. How can you discern is your own souls spiritual condition and the condition of the church where you worship? Well, is the majority of your preacher's message about what YOU do? Then, he is a legalist, a robber of true joy, and deceiving your soul. The Gospel has absolutely nothing to do with you (unless you understand it to be what Christ does for you). God does not love us because of anything we say, feel, or think. God loves us, whom He has predestinated unto salvation in Christ because the perfection and glory of the Lord Jesus has been given to us. God's elect shall have everything that Christ possesses in His glorious character except for His crown; and God's elect, in the mind and purpose of God are seen through the microscope of Christ perfect glory right now. "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thess 5:9), "Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (II Thess 2:14). "For whom he did foreknow love before time, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom 8:29).

The difference between the two? One trusts Christ, and the other does not. Believers despise religious hypocrisy, and we know that there is much unbelief and vain glory attached to our faith; and that's exactly why we do not trust ourselves, our deeds, our feelings, or anything we can see, say, or do. God has revealed His Son to us, and we don't want to hear about ourselves. We want to hear the Person and the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ because He is our glory. What is glory? It is the perfection's of God, as revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ, in the salvation of a hell-deserving sinner, through the righteous merits of His shed blood- as made know to us by the Gospel. What is glory? It is salvation by grace and not of works; it is righteousness and redemption through a Substitute; it is a salvation and love that has been 100% merited outside of us. And God has revealed His Son IN us (not by human reasoning and persuasive speech, which are powerless to change the heart and renew the mind). God has revealed His Son in us by the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven. Faith is the byproduct or fruit of sanctification. "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience." (II Pet 1:2). It is by seeing Christ from the heart that our heart goes out to Him.

We don't read the Scriptures and pray to present something unto God. Believers read and pray because we love Him, we want to spend time with Him, and because He is our joy. It is never me giving to Him, it is always Him giving to me. Saints recognize that according to the flesh we are as sinful as we could possibly be. God alone who restrains even the unbeliever by giving them a conscience that He convicts, so Adam's race, saved or lost, has nothing to glory in. "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another"(Rom 2:14-15)

Yet, we also know that Gideon and Samson were ordinary men such as we. They were fearful and lustful, but the Spirit of the Lord came upon them and they did mighty things. Gideon was afraid to go into battle, "But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet." Samson was met by a lion, "And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and had nothing in his hand..." (Judges 14:6). And this power of the Lord comes upon us freely- meaning without any merit in us. One of the hardest things to do spiritually is to seek the Lord with all your might, and not trust in any of your seeking. Do you believe God will freely quicken you by His Spirit? Then He will. because He is willing to give of Himself to a sinner through Jesus Christ. He is willing to raise up a person or a church to manifest His power. It isn't the most gifted who are always the most used, for the power is God's only. And as we learn that God is willing and able to give us Himself, then we'll trust Him to do exactly what He has promised. and then, according to God's perfect timing, we will experience Him. We seek Him because He is faithful.

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