“When the Lord Jesus Christ is at liberty to fill me and fill you and live in us His own life, His primary purpose is not to make us successful, not to make us notable, not to even bring us into outward peace or calm, for He promised frankly that it would send a sword and distress, and many difficulties and problems would confront us, and you have no reason to think you will have any more general acceptance in your day than He had in His day.
The idea that if you are filled with the Spirit you are immediately going to be an outstanding success is totally contradicted by our Lord.
The idea that if you are filled with the Spirit you are immediately going to be an outstanding success is totally contradicted by our Lord, and that you are immediately going to do this or that or some other preset prototype of thinking dictates. Oh, no. Not at all. Not necessarily. You may have… You see, it was not only Peter. It was also Stephen. Stephen was stoned. It was not only Peter delivered from the prison. It was James beheaded inside of the prison. And James was just as full of the Spirit as Peter was. Stephen was just as full of the Spirit as Peter was.
And so, being filled with the fullness of Christ simply insures that God’s longing from eternity past is going to be fulfilled in you. So, I would speak a word this morning for God, saying, He has interest in us. Let us not view Him as a means to anything, but the sublime, glorious, supreme end, and desire Him for His own sake, for what He will get out of us, and leave the matter of what we get out of Him entirely to His hands and to approach it entirely from the standpoint of almost indifference.
Really, what difference does it make whether He gives you this token or that token. If you have Him, you have all He is. And thus it behooves us to recognize that when David saw Him exalted and enthroned, he then could say In Thy presence is fullness of joy. And the fullness of joy that is going to come to you as a Christian is not from your achievement, from your success, from your prominence, from your being known, or used or accepted; the fullness of joy that will come to your heart will only be there when your realize that He has in you what He wants. And then you will rejoice, not because He has made you happy, but that somehow you, stained by sin, and ruined by the fall, have been instrumental in making Him happy.
Now there is a great price for this. He said, “My name is holy. I dwell in the high and holy place. With him that is of a broken and a contrite a spirit, to revive the hearts of the broken and to revive the spirits of the contrite ones.” (Isa. 57:15 )
And so it behooves us to recognize that the means whereby He is going to fill us with Himself is on the level of our brokenness. When we come to that place with the Apostle that we are broken by the Cross, I am crucified with Christ, then we have made it possible for Him. You see, He won’t force us to the Cross. He will present it to us, but it is our choice as to whether or not we will walk that extra step which is going to mean that we are pierced by the circumstances God has put in our way. We can avoid the circumstances, but if we avoid them, we avoid the Cross, and if we avoid the Cross we deprive the Lord Jesus of what He is after.
So when it comes to that point, we are prepared to say, Well at any expense, at any price, or cost, I want Him to be glorified in my life. Then it will be as John said, “He must increase; I must decrease.” (John 3:30) And it will be, with Paul, “The things I counted gain to me, I count loss to Christ.” (Phil. 3:7) And so we find that there is a tremendous price, but oh my there is such blessed fruit. For when He fills you with His own fullness He Himself becomes the supreme satisfaction of your heart. A human being is made for God, and the fulfillment of humanity is to be filled with the fullness of God. No one knows the dignity, the honor, the glory of being a human being until he has been filled with the fullness of God, and walks in that fullness.
Now this is not that we make God an instrument for anything, but that this is simply the purpose for our being, the reason for our being. And the great desire of my heart for us as a people today is this, that there is going to rise up within us a passionate longing that Jesus Christ will in us see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied, that He will get out of us that which He wants.
Do you know He died out of longing for you, and He longs to be longed for. He wants to be wanted, not for anything He will bring or give, but just for Himself. He made us for Himself.
Now I believe that when this becomes our unified and common desire that there is no limit to what He will do, for if we look at what we want Him to do for us, we have gotten our eyes off of the source. But when we say, O Lord, the only interest of our hearts is what you get out of us, then it is amazing what He can do. And so for the sake of those about us, around us, and on every side, let us desire above all else that we might enter into His presence and the fullness of what His presence means, for there and there only is the fullness of joy. This is a wonderful life, to be filled with the fullness of Christ, worth everything.
…Do you know He died out of longing for you, and He longs to be longed for. He wants to be wanted, not for anything He will bring or give, but just for Himself. He made us for Himself. Now He wants us to want Him just for Himself. Do you know Him at all? Have you had any beginning contact with Him? Oh, does not your heart hunger to know Him better? And with the apostle Paul, you can say, ‘All the things I counted gain to me, I count as refuse that I may know Him..’ “
— Paris Reidhead