Show Yourself Approved
This is an important time right now in which the Lord is sifting between the wheat & the tares or the sheep & the goats.
“Examine & test & evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith & showing the proper fruits of it. Test & prove yourselves [not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize & know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you-unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial & rejected?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
If you look at the previous verses stated prior to this one, there are some things Paul was speaking of about the difference between the carnal nature of fallen man & the new nature of the spiritual man in Christ. The difference WAS& IS the power of God or Christ in us – His Holy Spirit, or Wisdom (1Corinthians 1:24); that same power that was able to raise Jesus from the dead & overcome the fleshly nature or carnal nature of mankind (Romans 8:11); the same breath or Spirit or force that adorned the heavens (Job 26:13-14; Genesis 1:2-3); the same Spirit that judged Israel (Judges 3:10) & Jesus walked in (because the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit are One) to separate & judge between those who believe on Him & those who reject Him – to make the sightless see & to make those who see become blind (John 9:39).
In this latter part of John 9:39, this verse was admonishing or discussing the ways of the Pharisees and how they claimed to walk in the faith – the same faith Jesus walked in as an example, the Son of God. The Pharisees thought also, they too were sons of God the Father, but when Jesus came into the scene & acted different than them (in reality of it all- He showed Wisdom & Power, which they knew they didn’t have or were threatened by it because it took the focus off of them); they attacked Him – with words & in the end, also leading to His actual death on the cross as a result of their actions or responses to Him. So, those that actually claimed to know their God ended up rejecting Him, persecuting Him, & killing Him. This all could have been avoided. Why? Because these were individuals that knew & understood the Law of God very well but chose to continue on with their sinful thoughts, responses, & actions without examining themselves, according to the Law. This was very arrogant or prideful of them because here they knew better (they knew more than those around them because they studied the Law regularly & were to be examples) but when the opportunity came to be tested & tried before others in their stance of holding their faith – they failed. Many can say, “that’s human nature – we all fail.” Is that an excuse for these individuals that claimed to know & walk in their faith? No, they were held at a higher standard & were expected to act differently than any other person that did not know the Law as well around them. A lesson on humility was performed here.
This focal point of what Jesus was doing was showing that it is important to make sure you have come to full repentance in all the sinful ways in your life, especially to those that are teaching others because if you haven’t, the time will come where you will be tested by Him (whether it be by a believer or not, God sees everything & hears all things & uses it for His purposes however He chooses) & whatever area within you that has not been refined by Him through & through – it will be exposed. If it does not stand up according to His ways, meaning the way His Spirit is leading you in your response or actions, then it’s all in vain & you have stumbled over the Rock (Romans 9:32-33; Isaiah 28:16; Isaiah 8:14; 2Corinthians 3:6). True repentance in all things occurs when you have learned to be led by the Spirit in ALL things – meaning in your thoughts, your responses in conversation, your deeds & actions. And, those that are more mature in the Lord that understand that the Lord speaks & have learned to be led by His Spirit should know already that one does NOT just react in any situation without instruction of the Lord. If you have not learned this, than perhaps the Lord is still trying to show you that you have areas to examine within yourself. The more you know, the more you’re held accountable for. And once we have learned to master walking in the Spirit in all areas of our lives (by Him), only then have we truly overcome in Him & are not moved. What does He mean by saying ‘nothing shall offend them’ (Psalm 125:1; Psalm 119:165; Luke 7:23; Ephesians 5:5-11)? That means we will not be tripped up or respond in a fleshly nature to the wiles of the enemy when he shows up to tempt us. What is very dangerous here for those that know how to hear by the Spirit is this…if you know how to hear & you do not do it in everything or have not learned to walk in this matter, you have the ability to take advantage of God’s grace (2Corinthians 6:1; Jude 1:4; Philippians 3:15-19) & also sin against Him by denying the Spirit of God – therefore denying the Son & the Father – no different than one who doesn’t believe in Him & now are perverting the Gospel itself. This does not glorify the Lord; & it surely does not show the Lord you fear Him, trust Him, & respect His authority like you claim to in your faith (James 1:19-27). Being hearers of His Spirit but disobedient to His leading – showing you to be deceiving yourself through religiousness instead.
We have to remember that there are many growing at different levels in their walk with Christ (Romans 11:30-34) & in love (meaning those that truly can be led by the Spirit of God, are actually ministering by His leading & not their own), only then are we able to display & allow the Lord God Almighty to work through us to reveal Himself to others as He sees fit (as He only knows where they’re truly at in their walk). God does NOT need us to prove HIM. He is very capable of revealing His glory & power in Himself – however He chooses (Psalm 115:3). As you can see all through the Scriptures that God’s power was revealed in ways that we do not understand as humans but as children of God, we need to learn to trust Him & His power (by His Spirit’s leading) that He will do what is best for His kingdom purposes. Please allow the Holy Spirit to rule you & not the fleshly nature, as those who do not know Christ & those that are still learning to grow into this abiding Truth of the Gospel do at times. Come to the mature being that you are to be in Him, by His leading in all areas of your lives & claim that same power that He walked in on the earth to overcome the temptations of the enemy & be resurrected in after the cross. Do not allow yourselves to stumble in things that you should have submitted under God long ago, & you are allowing your own heart to deceive you in thinking that you have ‘taken care of the matter.’ There is full deliverance but it must be done as a full self-examination by the Spirit of the Lord & then once it’s accomplished, you are able to walk & talk as He guides you (John 3:3-8; Romans 3:13-15; John 5:25-34; John 12:49-50).
Some further points in all this:
* Those that know Him did not learn Him, they hear His voice. And, the Lord will test you to see if you do go to Him for the answers. (Ephesians 4:15-21)
* We do not get our power from the Scriptures, but from the Living God, His Living Spirit (John 5:39-47).
* Don’t fall into religion & deny the power of what Christ did – denying He Himself & the cross for your own boastings of what you know to defend yourself instead (2Timothy 3:1-5).
* To walk from glory to glory is to walk in obedience unto the Spirit of God, as His glory is who we are truly allowing to manifest in & through us – not our own (2Corinthians 3:16-18).
* Don’t quench the Holy Spirit, yield to Him, so that He may be all that He says that He is through the revealing of Himself in His true sons (1Thessalonians 5:18-24).
* Remember, Jesus came to save the lost, not His reputation – the Father glorified Him in the end for His obedience to Him. We are to honor God above all things & serve Him for His purposes alone (Luke 19:1-10).
* The good fruit is to do His will & not our own & through this, He is able to reveal Himself in & through us all of the time (Matthew 7:17-21). Use the power of God to accomplish this – His Holy Spirit.
* Show yourself approved to Him first & He will accomplish the rest in His timing (2Timothy 2:11-19).
Hear what the Spirit is saying and allow the Holy Spirit to give you a full, honest look in the mirror, so that you may grow to reflect Him for His glory and not yourself for your own glory (James 1:19-27).
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
God considers all these things a form of idolatry. Sometimes it’s not just an obvious outright worship of something religious in nature, but more so an expression of our own desires of pleasure over God’s. The above examples used are all forms of idolatry in God’s eyes. When desired with heart motives full of self-indulgence over what God desires in His goodness led by the pure Holy Spirit, we allow for unholy thoughts and deeds to grow in us and among those around us, destroying what is good in Truth.
If God is pressing you to examine, then be open and honest in doing so with Him and allow His Holy Spirit to do the work that brings you to true humility, purity, and holiness in Christ Jesus. God gives you the Power to accomplish this, and the plan or will to fulfill it through Himself.