Monday, August 1, 2022

Thinking About Yourself

“Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself.  Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing” (Philippians 2:3 NLT).

“For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 2:21 NIV).

This week, the Lord is reminding us that we should not think about our own interests, but about His interest. Being born again means …"You are not your own; you were bought at a price…" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV).  This teaching runs through the entire Bible, and many of us are reading this and many other similar passages daily, yet we ignore to live according to these commands of Scripture. The Lord told us that when we purposely ignore obeying His Word, He will also ignore us (Mark 8:38). Many Christians think that if they selectively do the will of God they are pleasing Him; this act is an abomination to Him. We please the Lord when we say like Paul “...I consider my life worth nothing to me...” (Acts 20:24 NIV). These were not just vain confessions; the apostle Paul walked the talk as is evident in his epistles and the book of Acts. He lived a yielded life to Christ.

The Example of The Lord and Other Servants of God

The life of our Lord Jesus Christ is vividly portrayed in the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). In a compelling account, the witnesses testified how the Lord lived out His zeal in service to our Heavenly Father (John 4:34; John 9:4).  Many of us would say, “Yes, but that was Jesus Christ”; true, He set the pace for His followers and others followed (1 Corinthians 11:1).  In sharing His life with us, the Lord held nothing back.  He lived every moment of time for the will of the Father. 

Similarly, Daniel and his three friends took their stand and refused to live according to the dictates of the King and the pressure from their peers (Daniel 3:18). Today, many Christians bow to pressure and compromise their walk with Christ to please their worldly and God-denying friends. They don’t l live yielded to Christ all the time; they live selectively, picking and choosing what is acceptable to yield to at the moment. Are we not being hypocritical and sacrificing our salvation to please our peers?  Are we not hurting the Lord when we deny Him in front of others?  When we do so, He turns around and looks at us with pain in His heart (Luke 22:61).

Also, just as Moses the servant of the Lord was called by God to serve His purpose, and his life was not devoted to self-serving, we have likewise been called.   Moses gave up his life and followed the will of God (Exodus 33:13). So did Joshua who assisted Moses in the Presence of the Lord since he was a youth (Joshua 11:28). These men and many others did not live their lives for themselves; they had no personal achievements except what God has done through them for the benefit of others.  They can only say “this is what God has worked through me for His own glory”, not “this is what I achieved”.  If we work for the Lord, why do we credit ourselves for the work He brought about through us? Are we not owned by Christ? (1 Corinthians 6:20).

From the above examples, we can see the outworking of God through the lives of these devoted servants in service to Him for the benefit of others. The self-servicing will always put their interest first.  In our serving, is our motive to gratify some personal longing or craving, or is it to serve God?  I have come across many self-serving people who do things in the name of the Lord, but God is nowhere seen in the decisions they made. If God was present in their work, we would see the fruit of God.  That fruit is evident in the obedience of people towards God, not the big churches and numbers.  We, therefore, ask, what was the outworking of God in people’s lives? (Philippians 4:14-18).  How has the outworking of God in believers impacted communities? If there is no evidence, then the work we did reflected nothing but ourselves. We did not lead from the front; we were instead coaches that sit and give orders from the bench. In Christianity, Christ left us an example by doing/action (in leading and serving others), and so did those who followed His way of life (Hebrews 5:8; Acts 5:41).

Do We Serve God or Ourselves?

The Word of God (The Bible) is for all people and it is good for everyday living. We are commanded by the Lord to take our daily instructions for obedient living from the Word (1 Peter 2:20; Matthew 4:4). If we live by the carefully formulated formulas we received from our church leaders, then we are not following the Lord, but man. When we serve and follow man, our work will be evident through our fruit. Those fruits are reflected in our attitude and the "evidence" of God in our lives. God is seen in us through our humble and serving attitudes (Philippians 2:5-11; John 13:1-17).

Furthermore, it is not how much we know and talk about God; do we see the outworking of God in us into the lives of others? Or are we just idle talkers who only complain? Or are we just trying to impress others by the witty sayings about God? Remember our actions build and change lives more than just our clever sayings (James 2:14-26).

We recently experienced an incident where the Lord rebuked an individual for selfish living. When I shared the Lord’s message with him, he cited his feelings, considering what he feels is more important than the truth of God. He considered taking someone’s part more important than the Word of God. If we do so we disqualify ourselves from the truth of God. Also, I have shared many rebukes from the Lord with brothers and sisters who were convinced they are serving the Lord by the work they were doing in His name, but in the end, the Lord judged them by showing that they were serving themselves. What was wrong with their work? There was no God-fearing fruit in the lives of those they are ministering to. They try to impact people’s lives by pointing people to gifts and man, more than to Christ Jesus who alone is worthy of praise and thanksgiving.  Let me caution you here in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: when you point people to man in the name of the Lord, are you not promoting idolatry and expressing your will? We express the will of Christ if there is no evidence of our own self-interest.

Finally, the Word of God says that "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all" (Mark 9:35 NIV). Also, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever Amen” 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NIV). The Lord Jesus Christ loves people and He is their Judge and He always works through His servants for the good of people, not only for the material good of people but that they prosper spiritually, which is obedience to the Lord (Deuteronomy 4:40; Ephesians 5:21).

In conclusion, the Lord recently encouraged a brother saying he must continue work of service for His sake. This is your calling, your life, and your hope; unite with Christ to establish His Kingdom (Luke 11:23). Remember the Lord measures us by the outworking of God in others through obedient service to Him.

Below is a short vision God gave Charis (January 12, 2014) afternoon. The Lord does bring an end to our selfish ways. This person is very, very dear to me, but I must share to warn others. If we stand in the way of God because we restrain others to serve our interest and not His, and when He wants to save a soul we will face His wrath like Elymas the sorcerer (Acts 13:8-12). This vision is a warning and a Judgement of God against someone who opposed God.

Vision of a Self-Thinking Person

Given to Charis on January 12, 2014

“I went to bed with a headache and while sleeping I had a vision from the Lord this afternoon.  I saw myself, Jaydeen and my cousin Elzette in a very, very large house with many rooms.  While we were walking down the passage of this big house, I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “…Brother B’s days are numbered and you must pray for him”.  After these words, I saw a very long straight thin rope with no beginning or end and big scissors appeared cutting the rope in the middle. In the vision, I knew this was referring to the words the Lord had spoken”.

We pray that the Lord delays His Judgement until this person makes his life right with God. God gives life and He has the power to terminate our lives (Daniel 5:23; Acts 12:23). The God we serve is a God of Mighty Judgement, no one trying to oppose Him can succeed (Proverbs 21:30). Help us pray!
Have you been living selfishly, thinking only about yourself? Have you been neglecting to live in service to God for the benefit of others?  Here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance to get you started in victory through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Brother Glenn
You may read some of our visions here.