Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Friday, September 7, 2012


THEME SONG: Lord, I Need You
Dear Father,
     The grass withers and the flowers fade but Your Word and the one who does Your will endure forever. Please help me to know the Truth about all things pertaining to Life and Godliness.
In Jesus Christ’s Name,
1.               Diversity exists among mankind with regard to traits that are inherently neither good nor evil. Some of these traits reflect what the world around you calls “personality characteristics”. These traits involve the natural strengths and temperaments of mankind (though you must be very cautious when using such terminology). For example, you have seen that the Strengths Finder tool did a meaningful job of determining some of these inherent characteristics within individuals that you know. You have realized that the Strengths Finder results that you were an intellection, connectedness, belief, strategic, input person and the Myer Briggs test results that you were an introverted, intuitive, feeling, judging person were, for the most part, in accordance with what you already knew to be true. It is clear that God has created diversity in such respects within people that are as inherent as physical attributes. Many of the 34 themes in Strengths Finder appear to be neither good nor evil without taking into account the condition of the heart of the individual who exercises them. At the very same time that each book of the Scriptures is perfectly and completely inspired, that is, brought forth from the heart and breathed-out from the Mouth, of God, He has chosen to work in the 40 men who wrote the Scriptures to allow them to be perfectly carried along by the Spirit as they wrote so that not an inkling of selfishness affected their inscription (2 Peter 1:21), and yet He allowed distinct and inherent attributes of their human personas to be evident (this reflects the power and love of God to indwell the mortal beings of His people; Rom 8:11).

 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ Acts 17:28
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”I Sam 16:7
2.               The goal of your existence is to live in subjection to the Spirit. At certain times God has chosen to use the strengths which He has given to His children. If you speak, you are to do so as speaking the Word of God and if you serve you are to do so with the strength that God provides so that in all things God will be praised (I Peter 4:11). Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, you are to do so for the glory of God (I Cor 10:31). At all times, God’s moral will is for His strength to be manifest in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9). Even when you are using your innate “strengths”, you will find that you are innately weak. For apart from the strength imparted by the Spirit, you are unable to subject your human strengths for the cause of His eternal goodness, that is, you are unable to exercise your human strengths in faith. And you know that anything that does not come from faith is sin (Rom 14:23). But when you are subjected to the Spirit, whether or not you are in a position of human strength or weakness, you will be walking in the righteousness that comes from His gift of faith to you. Thus, in your goal to please and obey Him, you will come across circumstances where you must use your natural God-given strengths and His Spirit will give you the true strength over the moral weakness of your flesh. You will also come across circumstances where you are naturally helpless and devoid of the innate strength required to do His will, and in this case, He is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things, at all times, having all you need you will abound in every good work (2 Cor 9:8).

3.               There is no strength apart from true subjection to the Spirit. Though the world has called these inherent traits as “strengths” you know that apart from the work of the Spirit to regenerate and continuously sanctify the believer, there is no strength at all in any of you. Because all of your righteousness was as filthy rags and because all of your inclinations were only evil all the time, even as your exercised your “top 5 themes” you were in a state of pitiful weakness. The world may have viewed you as strong, but because you walked in slavery to sin, you were weak even as you exercised your innate “strengths”. And even now, though you have been regenerated, if you are not walking with the Spirit, even if you exercise these themes, you are weak. True strength comes when the bodies of the believers are subjected to the Spirit, whether they are exercising their top 5 themes or whether they are in a state of overwhelming helpless incompetency.
E.g. Subjection to the Spirit while using inherent (God-given) strengths
 The Lord looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” Judges 6:14

E.g. Subjection to the Spirit in a state of overwhelming helpless incompetency

My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Ps 73:26

4.               Be warned of the temptations that can arise when you consider inherent traits. One temptation among mankind is the idolatry of the personal need to be understood. Remember as a teen you used to take personality tests for “fun”. The impetus for you was that as you read your results you received an inner satisfaction from feeling that some “thing” (i.e. test!) was able to understand you. Your heart rang with the expression, “yes, that perfectly describes me!” Secondly, there is the temptation to focus too much on self after receiving the results. You may begin to assess yourself in relation to the test results rather than the Word of God. You know that the Word of God is useful for instruction and training and righteousness and must be the “plumb line” for the motives of your heart and the deeds of your flesh (2 Tim 3:16). When you begin to focus on these tests and assess yourself by them, you may be neglecting the only saving refining Truth of the Word. Thirdly, you may begin to assess other people with these interpretations rather than by the status of their souls in the heavenly realms. As a teen, remember how you would think of other people and then wonder what their “personality type” was rather than to wonder how their walk with God was or how you were to deliver His Truth and love to them. The Word of God must always be the lens by which you view yourself, others, God, spirits, and circumstances. Fourthly, you have observed a subconscious and subtle tendency for others to use personality test results to ease the conviction of the conscience over the misdeeds of the flesh. For example, when faced with the conviction of your failure to communicate love to many believers, you could tell yourself, “I am in introvert” and feel free from the “obligation to love” that you rightly have (Rom 13:8). People may start to justify all of their habitual sins by attributing them to their inherent personas, forgetting that these personas could have been used otherwise had they been subjected to the Spirit.

5.               Though the Clifton Strengths Finder may reveal the inherent traits of people, they do not necessarily relate to the outpouring of the Spiritual gifts. You know that the Spiritual gifting are given according to the will and purpose of God to unify His people as they attain to the whole measure of the fullness of God (Eph 4:13). Sometimes the “top 5 strengths” are utilized in the process of exercising these gifts and other times they are not. You can find no reason for God to distribute gifts that are in accordance with the inherent traits of His people. Thus, do not expect an association between these traits and the potential Spiritual gifting of His people. But you have realized that it is possible for God’s will to be that some of His people utilize their top 5 strengths in subjection to the Spirit and in the true strength that God provides for the accomplishing of His will. Remember the “the most excellent way”. Just as faith, hope, and Spiritual gifts are only useful until we are perfected in seeing His Face, when love will be fully evident to us and remain forever, the “top 5 strengths”, even if He chooses to use them, are temporary and part of a complex Sovereign plan which culminates in the glorification of God and the satisfaction of His people in His love. 

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