Striving to Attain
If a person is to become an effective representative of Christ, he must give as much or even more time and dedication in preparation to his calling as is given in preparation of other professions and must esteem his calling with a much higher regard.
The minister that does not reflect perfect confidence in his call and experience and fails to portray a high self-respect will not and cannot command the essential respect of others regardless of how worthy he is of honor and respect.
By constructing a concrete achievement plan, which includes knowing ourselves and our weapons of war, to promote higher goals in personal character development, we can attain a higher self-esteem. But high self-esteem alone without awareness of the importance of one’s Christian vocation and its relationship to the Almighty, only promotes inflated egos and arrogance, which will successfully eliminate true Kingdom ministry.
For this reason, all character change must come through operation, wisdom, and the power of the Holy Spirit, not through natural reasoning of the carnal realm, which always leads one into the deceptive ministry of men-pleasers.
When Yasha warned his disciples against taking a high seat of honor without having been seated by the host of honor, he was warning against inflated egos in the ministry. We now witness some, having been uninvited to a higher position, being forced to take a lower position.
Development in Christ can be accomplished only through self-examination of character and a determination to commit oneself to Christ: not by justifying the deeds of the flesh, but rather mortifying them and remembering that the Holy Spirit is our guide, not our crutch. He leads, we follow. He supervises, and we are the workers. He never promised us a vacation while he does our work. Faith without works is dead.
If we truly desire higher goals in Christ, and we let our desires be known through prayer and fasting, Yasha will react to our travail and arrange a situation around us so that it will become a substantial weapon in our hand to slay our adamic nature. However, crucifixion is never a desirable experience; one can never endure the suffering and agony unless a lofty goal is continuously kept in view.
The Apostle Peter knew that Kingdom goal-setting was essential to our spiritual development when he penned the famous words, “Beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trials which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed; ye may be glad also with exceeding joy,” 1 Peter 4:12-13.
If it was essential for Christ to become a goal-setter, we know it is just as essential for us.
Often we are subjected to belittling circumstances created by the degenerates around us who dishonor, humiliate, and embarrass us. Because our garments always appear to be tarnished by them, and often, through innocence, we are brought under ridicule and condemnation. In these experiences we should be reminded to look to Yasha, who because of the joy set before him (the goal he envisioned) endured the cross (physical pain) despising the shame (i.e. forced to react to vile and corrupted individuals, by being dragged into circumstances involving them) and set down at the right hand of the throne of Yahweh (Heb. 12:2-3).
By holding the glory of his goal before his face and never losing sight of it, Yasha became the possessor of it. He learned obedience by the things he suffered and crucified the nature of the body that had been prepared for him by steadfastly setting his vision toward his goal.
Strong condescending spirits around Yahweh’s children continually strive to bring them under condemnation by reacting to them with contempt and disdain. Young Christian children and new converts are especially victimized by these spirit-forces, but their efforts can become thwarted by embracing proper goals.
If we will allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the nature of Yahweh’s call upon our lives, and the rewarding consequences of our obedience to it, we would be able to use this revelation as a weapon against our adversary, for the things they try to tempt us with would be less appealing to us, and, therefore, much less effective against us. No one is tempted with fool’s gold if they own a gold mine full of the real stuff.
It is impossible to endure severe pain and at the same time maintain a Christ-like attitude toward it if the suffering be only for the sake of suffering. For this reason a Kingdom goal is vital. If one is laboring for future rewards, or even to save himself, it will not produce crucifixion or mortification of the flesh. But if one labors to affect a consequence that brings about justice and liberty to all mankind and for honor and glory to our great Creator, the goal has the potential of completely destroying the old nature. A man’s spiritual strength can be no greater than his spiritual sight. If a man underestimates the value of his commission, he will only sacrifice to the extent of its estimated worth.
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in Yahweh. When Christ, our life, shall appear then shall you also appear with him in glory,” Colossians 3:4.