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There is a form of self-righteousness which leads many believers to doubt their
acceptance with God
because of the imperfections which they find in
You may say, "But ought I not to have misgivings when I find my
spirit and the state of my mind so contrary to that which befits a Christian?" That
you ought to judge yourself, and be
humbled before your Father about these
things, is most true; but it is
not true that your righteousness and acceptance with
God depend upon yourself, or are measured by your condition or conduct. To
have such a thought in the mind is really to suppose that you could be in the favor
of your Father by being worthy of that favor in yourself. It is simply self-

Then there is the perennial
problem of self-improvement, which always results
in self-disappointment. But self-disappointment is a very different thing from self-
judgment. Indeed, if there were true self-judgment there would never be self-
disappointment. If in honesty and sobriety of soul I have judged
"that in me, that
is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing,"
I shall certainly not expect anything
from myself
, and it has been well said that where there is no expectation there
can be no disappointment.

But I feel sure that many young believers, and I dare say some older ones too, are
very familiar with the wretched depressing experience which I have spoken of as
self-disappointment. They have made many fresh starts; they have often been
stirred up, and have made up their minds to be more for Christ; they have
thought, "I shall do better now; I am more earnest about it than I was before," but
it has all ended in disappointment. They have no idea that
they are trying to
improve themselves; they would repudiate such a thought. They suppose that they
know better than to look for good in themselves; and yet their disappointment is
the plain proof that,
in spite of all their knowledge of Scripture, they have
expected to make themselves better, for they are disappointed because they
have not succeeded in doing so.

Probably the occupation most detrimental to Christian growth is self-
. Some minds are always attracted by what is experiential. They do
not know deliverance; and experiential truths seem to offer that which they are
They are not looking for an increased knowledge of the grace of God, or
deepened acquaintance with the Lord Jesus Christ; their object of desire is to
have a more satisfactory
experience. That is, the old man is still their center.

And such souls are constantly occupied either in bemoaning how little they have
got or attained, or in complacently assuming that they have reached a certain stage
of experience. It has often been observed that in the writings of those who
advocate "holiness by faith" [erroneous Pentecostal Holiness movement] that the
beauty and perfection of what the Lord Jesus is in Himself as an all-blessed
Object for the heart is
very little presented. Instead, He is [wrongly] set forth as
One who can bring about a
new experience in the believer, and it is easy to see
that the new experience has often a more prominent place in the mind
than the
Lord Jesus Christ.

You will find that when believers are engrossed with experience—whether it be
in connection with holiness, power for service, or spiritual attainment—
always have something before them less than the purpose of God.
They are
either pursuing, or are satisfied with, something less than that which divine love
purposes, and thus they are losers to an incalculable extent.

It is when the purpose of God in its greatness is before our hearts, and we are
attracted by it, that our experience becomes like that of the beloved servant who
could say,
"Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I
follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of
Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing
I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things
which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God
in Christ Jesus"
(Phil. 3:12-14). This is Christian experience—the experience of a
man who was
not thinking of his experience, but of the exceeding greatness of
the purpose of God.

Finally, a great hindering weight in the Christian life is self-occupation in service.
It is a sad thing when
service interferes with spiritual growth. Service may take
possession of the heart until it becomes the theme of conversation, the subject
matter of correspondence, and the center round which the thoughts continually
revolve. It is possible to be so engrossed with service that one's meditations are
colored by it, one's prayers are full of it, and the Word of God becomes simply a
quarry out of which material for sermons and addresses can be dug.
This is a
serious loss to the soul, and many are thereby hindered from making
spiritual progress.
[Editor's note: And what do most churches do today the
minute a person receives Jesus Christ? They throw him into service.]

Very often young believers who have not even peace with God
are encouraged
to take up service, and they become so occupied with what they are doing
that they are not at leisure to learn or to take their place in the favor of
their Father.
Hence, so long as the service prospers, and they get on well with it,
they are happy. The service is their life. But when there is no success, and the
whole thing seems to be a failure, their joy collapses; and they have to discover
how little they have really got, and in many cases to find that they are perfect
strangers to the liberty and joy of acceptance with their Father.
Anything which
occupies us so that we are diverted from our acceptance and growth is a  
hindrance, even if it be a thing apparently so excellent as service.

It is a wonderful moment for the believer when by faith he occupies his standing
in the favor of his Father—
when he knows that he is received by Him in all
the acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ. He does not then think of himself,
or of his worthiness, at all. He thinks of the Lord Jesus—His perfections,
His suitability to divine favor, His infinite acceptance with His Father—and
by faith he has access into the favor of which He is so worthy.

Edited for brevity and modified by CRM

CRM Additional Comments:
So much is covered in the message above and it is as important today as it was 80
years ago. The "holiness" people are still striving to "experience something new,"
having no real solid knowledge of biblical doctrine. A firm foundation is not found
in "experiences." The just shall live by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The
Christian must be grounded in the Word of God.

The modern churches and sadly even some Fundamental churches today are still
pushing new converts into "service" rather than teaching them God's Word--
equipping them-- to grow in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:15
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to
be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

There is such a need for missionaries today but these missionaries must be
called by God and
equipped to do the work. The task is great. One must be
grounded in the Word and trained for the mission field.

And too many Christians today feel a "guilt trip" by their pastors to be "purpose
driven" and they are burned out and tired. The Lord Jesus said,
"For my yoke is
easy, and my burden is light."
[Because He equips us and gives us the strength.]
The Christian is not to be purpose-driven but rather Spirit-led. Whatever the Lord
calls you to do,
He will empower you to do it.  Wherever God has placed you is
where He wants you to be, for the time being. And
He will lead you daily in the
way in which you should go. We are His hands and feet in this world and by His
Spirit, we can reach out to those in our pathway. We must keep our eyes upon
the Lord Jesus Christ-- looking to Him always. When we look to Him, we shall
not be occupied with things that do not matter.

Many Christians desire to travel half way around the world to convert a soul but
yet they won't even reach out to the person next door. We are His ambassadors,
not only to those abroad but to those near as well. It's like the rich Christian man
praying in his car, "Oh Lord given me a ministry." And as the road he is traveling
on up ahead is closed, and he is detoured through the ghetto, he does not see the
ministry before his own eyes but keeps on driving through, hoping he can travel
oversees to help "someone in need." May the Lord open our eyes to see His plan
and may we seek His face to know His will in all matters. It should never be "our"
ministry but His ministry.

And as it was a century ago, many Christians are still discouraged because they
are NOT taught to look unto Jesus for
His purpose in their lives but rather feel,
"I need to serve Him." We serve Him but not to feel "purpose" in ourselves.
must allow Him to work through us
-- keeping our eyes upon Him and the
"calling" will follow in
His timing. The Bible teaches that we serve Him with His
-- HE ENABLES US FOR THE SERVICE which He calls us to do. And
all is done for
His glory-- not for the purpose of feeling good about ourselves but
rather praising Him for the work
He is accomplishing through us. Though we be
weak, He is strong. Though we be imperfect, He is perfect... All praise goes to
Him alone.

The Christian walk is a
daily walk of yielding to God, praying, reading His Word,
being lead by His Spirit-- He provides strength for our journey. So many
Christians are discouraged because they look at themselves but when one looks to
Christ, there he finds that all that he needs. Happiness should not be found in
what we do but rather Whom we have received. The Lord Jesus is the center of
our joy. Whether you are a pastor or a factory worker,
your joy is centered in
Encouragement comes when we look to our Savior and see ourselves in
Ephesians 1:6 declared,  
"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath
made us accepted in the beloved."

Philippians 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a
good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Copyright © 2007 Cobblestone Road Ministries
All Rights Reserved

Further Reading:
FOUR IMPORTANT THINGS That Every Christian Should Know
Occupation With The Object
By C.A. Coates