The Great Destroyer
“But when his heart was lifted up,
and his mind hardened in pride,
he was deposed from his kingly throne,
and they took his glory from him”
Pride has been the downfall of many. From the lowest of men to one of the highest angelic creatures pride has corrupted and destroyed. We see it everywhere; in the halls of government, the justice systems, the corporate world of business, the world of sports, the dark corners of crime and even the pulpits and pews of the religious world. Pride is the contagion of the human heart. It lifts its head in the high thoughts of men and is the same power that causes men and women to wallow in discouragement and despair. It is a power that feeds on the selfishness of man. It is the “ME” that it thrives on. It fastens itself to the enlargement and gratification of the need for recognition and sympathy. It is insatiable in its desire for attention and acknowledgment. It cares little for the needs of others unless there is something to be gained by doing so; even its good is corrupted by the self-serving motive that lies behind its deeds. It will make men become whatever is necessary in the acquisition of its end. It will serve one master for a season until a more useful one comes along and then it will change as a chameleon in a new environment. It has no loyalty and hates truth though it will use it for its own ends. In the end, however, it will be the means of destruction for all who live by its sway. The only means of deliverance is through the power of TRUTH. Truth is the means by which humility is born. Truth is the tree upon which the fruit of the Spirit is produced.
Truth is not a fruit. It is the only means by which fruit can be produced. The Holy Spirit is never called the Spirit of love, for even love is the key fruit of truth.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law”
It is in the ministration of the Truth that the fruit of the Spirit is formed. For in the ministration of TRUTH we see the condition of our own hearts and of those around us. It is in seeing HIM that we truly know ourselves and, in seeing ourselves, we are no longer surprised by what we see in others. Truth is the leveler of all men. Truth is only known in the seeing of Him and in the seeing of Him we are transformed by HIS GLORY. There is no change, of any lasting value, wrought within the heart of man except by seeing HIM who alone is true.
“But we all, with open face
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image
from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord”
2 CORINTHIANS 3:18
Isaiah, a prophet of the Most High, had been commissioned by God to prophesy for some time in Israel but in chapter six we read…
“In the year that king Uzziah died
I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne,
high and lifted up …
Then said I, Woe is me!
for I am undone;
because I am a man of unclean lips,
and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips:
for mine eyes have seen the King,
the LORD of hosts”
One glimpse of the majesty of the Lord and Isaiah was undone. In the beholding of the Holy One he not only knew his own condition but he was made aware of the general condition of fallen man. A man who has touched that Holy Presence is no longer swayed by either the accolades or the criticisms of those around him for he has seen the One to whom he must give an answer. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the chorus of voices shouting Hosannas the scriptures declare that “Jesus did not entrust himself to them” for He well knew how fleeting were the praises of men. A short time later that same crowd was shouting “crucify Him”.
“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast,
many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.
But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them,
because he knew all people
and needed no one to bear witness about man,
for he himself knew what was in man”
“On the next day much people that were come to the feast,
when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
Took branches of palm trees,
and went forth to meet him, and cried,
Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel
that cometh in the name of the Lord”
God’s answer to all men is truth, living truth, that penetrating ministration of HIS LIFE that cuts asunder the heart of man, piercing us to the very separation of bone and marrow even to the dividing asunder of the thoughts and intents of our hearts. It is at the very core of who we are that our motives must be laid bare in order for mercy and grace to bring forth the fruit of His Spirit within us. Humility is the garment of all who would participate in the ministration of truth to others for it is the grace that frees us from the opinions of men to speak and do as HE leads. Meekness is the power to persevere under the most strenuous of ordeals with the patience and steadiness of Christ Himself. Joy is that inward sense of His approval that strengthens and encourages us with a power that is unconquerable and radiant. Joy is not to be confused with cheerfulness or happiness.
As we contemplate these and other aspects of the fruit of the Spirit, and realize the immensity of their power and glory, we are reduced to a singular pursuit of HIM in whom alone we have hope of their realization. They are never to be “our” fruit. They are, and always will be, the Fruit of the Spirit. For them to flourish we must live and abide in HIM.
“Abide in me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself,
unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you,
unless you abide in me”