Process of Reduction
Recently, I was told that I am too strong. A few days later
I was asked if I were strong enough. At first, these two comments
seemed to be a contradiction, but actually they are not.
Acts 7:22 tells us that "Moses was learned in all the
wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and in deeds."
Zech 4:6 tells us that "it is not by might nor by power,
but by My Spirit saith the Lord."
This tells us that the strength we have is profitable, but
it must be submitted to the control of the Holy Spirit.
Moses, understanding the call of God upon his life and moved
by compassion, stepped out in his own strength to help a fellow
Israelite. As a result, he had to flee for his life.
After spending forty years in the wilderness, Moses was again
called by the Lord. His response after his dreadful experience
was "they will not believe me." Acts 7:25 tells
us that he "had supposed his brethren would have understood
how that God by his hand would deliver them."
This same Moses, who had been "mighty in word and in
deed," is now saying, "I am not eloquent, neither
heretofore nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant; but
I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue." In other words,
"I am unable to do it."
Moses's self-confidence had been shaken. It was no longer
within him to quickly move on the call that rested upon his
life. Therefore, the Lord revealed himself to Moses and made
His power known to him. He showed him that this time, he would
not be functioning in his own strength, but that the supernatural
power of God would flow through him.
In response, Moses not only brought the children of Israel
out of Egyptian bondage, he became that which the Lord desired
him to be, a mighty prophet and friend of God.
Deut 34:10-12 tells us there arose not a prophet since in
Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. Yet
the reduction that Moses had gone through was so intense that
it took a major visitation of God to restore him into the
call of God that rested upon his life.
The Lord was not seeking to restore his Egyptian strength,
as all of that had been taken out of him. But the Lord desired
the capacity within Moses which had been created by all of
that. The old had been emptied from him so God could then
fill that space with His enabling power.
John said in John 3:30, "He must increase but I must
decrease." John did not seek to maintain any position
or recognition that he had gained. Rather, he found his satisfaction
in the will of the Father being accomplished by his hearing
the voice of the Bridegroom. John was willing to get out of
the way that Jesus might become all the Father intended.
There is a "reduction" that each one of us must
go through. Though we may feel that we are rightly loving,
or serving the Lord, pressure will reveal our true heart intent.
If there are within us any wrong motives, or if we seek to
maintain a place of security or protect our self image, the
Lord will be faithful to deal with these, as He did with Moses.
Paul said "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless
I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" Gal 2:20a.
The more we are able to die to self, the more the life of
Christ will come forth in us.
"For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth and
scourgeth every son whom He receiveth" Heb 12:6.
Many of us welcome correction when we are wrong, thus, chastening
is acceptable. But scourging, which is to be punished when
we do not deserve it, is more difficult to accept. If we are
to be received into sonship, this deeper working of the cross
is necessary in our lives that our motives will be pure, and
our self life will have been put to its deepest death.
We are under "tutors and governors" (Gal 4:2) until
the time appointed of the Father. These tutors and governors
have "rods" that they use to teach and deal with
us. These hurt at times. Yet if we can avoid becoming bitter
or angry and choose the way of the cross, so that the spirit
of His Son, which has been placed in our hearts, can cry out
in utter trust to the Lord, we will be received as a son.
Sonship speaks of our being birthed into a place of responsibility
in the purposes of the Lord.
Jesus was baptized in the Jordan. "There came a voice
from heaven saying Thou art my beloved Son in whom I am well
pleased." Then, "Immediately the spirit driveth
him into the wilderness and He was there in the wilderness
forty days tempted of Satan and was with the wild beasts"
(Mark 1:11-13). We can expect no less.
Hebrews 5:8-9 tells us that "Though He were a son yet
learned He obedience by the things which He suffered and being
made perfect He became the author of eternal salvation unto
all them that obey Him."
Are you willing to receive scourging? Is your trust sufficient
enough in the Lord that you can lay down your life and simply
rejoice at His voice? Do you believe that He really loves
you, and that He has a plan for your life?
Let us understand the processings of God, that His intention
is to drain our strength, that He might fill that capacity
with His power. Knowing that He desires to do this, may we
always be found willing and available.