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By Ron Marr
Back to Basics
are the circumcision,
worship God in the Spirit,
in Christ Jesus,
have no confidence in the flesh.
For you readers who desire a condensed ver≠sion of this book
and for you who dili≠gently, prayer≠fully have been reading every
page, here is a summary of key aspects of a Christianity that really
works. We begin at the beginning, the start≠ing point which is the
basis for all the other principles which follow.
the Rest of Your Life to Seeking God!
That He draws us is true. Without His drawing, there could be
no genuine seeking on our part. We simply do not have it in us! Still,
no less true is the fact that we need to con≠sciously seek the Lord
as fully as He enables us in every way He enables every day of the
rest of our lives, regardless of distractions and disap≠pointments.
The wonderful verse with which we began this chapter tells us
how to walk with Him in a Christianity that really works. It seems to
me to divide our seeking into three simple elements: first, worshiping
God, seeking Him for Himself alone, rather than for any thing; second,
living contentedly in Him in receptive rest, peace, and freedom; and
third, dying to our independent selves, letting go of everything but
Him. Into these three elements, all those that follow merge.
Is a Relationship
Our whole pursuit is to know God as the Person He really is in
a personal relationship of growing harmony and intimacy. To do it we
must shed our religiosity, our pretense, and our faulty views of God
and what He is like. We must begin to see Him in His beauty, glory,
might, wonder, kindness, love, holiness, infinite perfection, and
absolute trustworthiness. He must become the center and focus of our
Much Time Alone With the Lord
Without this little hope of getting to know Him exists. Make it
first priority. Worship Him. Adore Him. Love Him. Seek Him for Himself
alone. Let go of everything to Him. Learn to be entirely open and
honest with Him. Listen to His Spiritís prompting. Confess and
forsake your sins. Know that no price is too great for the privilege
of knowing Him in loving intimacy and bringing Him pleasure and
praise. Relinquish everything into His loving care. Let Him give you
His quietness, peace, tenderness of heart, rest, and contentment.
with the Lord]
Make it your goal to ever more fully com≠mune with Him,
worship Him, confess your sin and need. Whet≠her in word, thought, or
silently looking to Him, whether at home, on the road, or in your
usual or extended times alone with Him, give Him your loving atten≠tion.
Donít push yourself. Let it be a restful response to the
Lord. Be less concerned with what you do or say in prayer than with
what He does or says. Trust His doing, saying, or silence. Be
relaxedly at home with Him.
Alone with Him, let Him empty you of your independent self.
Look to Him until He brings you to the end of your rebellion,
resistance, and resentment. Let Him break your heart that you would
dare want to be independent from your Creator and God. Let your
independence end, your dependence on Him be renewed. Let tears come if
they will. Gladly accept the broken heart and transformed spirit and
attitude He gives. Seek to carry it gently into the day.
God to Make You Humble, Needy, and Dependent on Him Alone
Donít expect these heart attitudes to come quickly and
easily. Recognize that they are opposite to attitudes youíve
maintained all your life, the opposite of your fleshly human nature.
Youíll spend the rest of your time on earth seeing them emerge, as
Godís grace works in you. Allow the Lord to teach you to be grateful
to Him for all He deprives you of, and all the discomfort He sends
your way to hum≠ble you and make you needy and dependent.
Desires to Work in Your Life
God is far more eager to reveal Himself to you, to commune with
you, and to transform you into His image than you ever could be to
have Him do it.
In your quiet times commune with Him in tender-hearted
receptivity more than seeking Him in excessive striving. Be less
concerned to do than to let Him do. Let God be God in directing your
devotional praying after His own pattern from moment to moment and day
to day. Also, donít judge the success of your prayer times on the
Your Proper Place of Submission
If you have never placed yourself in an over-all position of
willing submission and surrender to almighty God, your pursuit of the
God of love will be a farce. However far you are from it now, you need
to allow the Lord to bring you to that place of submission. However
stubborn≠ly resistant to Him your flesh may still be, you will know
that to agree with Him in every≠thing is your only proper stance.
Tell Him now that, however poorly you may want to have and maintain
this attitude, you really do need Him to work it in you.
Turn from Unacceptable, Destructive Responses
The Word shows negative reactions to be works of the old man,
the flesh, the ungodly, independent self. Responses of bitterness,
anger, hatred, strife, envy, jealousy, anxiety, and fear to people and
our environment are unacceptable. They reveal our lack of trust in God
to take care of us and displace the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
God asks that we turn our backs on them:
all bitterness, wrath, anger,
and evil speaking
put away from you, with all malice.
be kind to one another,
forgiving one another,
as God in Christ forgave you.
Whenever tempted to give way to such behaviors, recognize them
as destructive and sinful. In your spirit turn to the Lord. Seek
quickly to let Him turn you from resistance to non-resistance, from
discontent with Him and your circumstances to contentedness, peace,
and rest in Him. Let Him have control. Allow Him to replace your
negative response with the corresponding fruit of the Spirit.
However, we must not pretend we donít have such negative
responses, or that we will always be able to avoid them. We are not to
deny our emotions, but rather to face them for what they are. We are
responsible to quit justifying the negative and hurtful behaviors the
Word condemns as though they were ac≠ceptable. Then we can confess
and forsake our harboring of them as the sin it really is. We can be
delivered from the curse of being in subjection to them. We may not be
able always to avert the first surge of such harmful reactions, but we
can disapprove them and seek Godís empowering to turn from them.
No Place to Pretense
God is the all-pervasive Reality and Truth. He cannot stomach
any lie or pretense. Nothing is more destructive of our relationship
with the Lord than pretense or unreality. So let your heart long for
Him to reveal your true self and expose all dishonesty, cover-up, and
pretense. Seek His enabling to turn from it as quickly and fully as He
Him You Can Do Nothing
If something has any value at all, God originated and empowered
it. If He didnít, it doesnít. Do not be deceived for a second.
Seek His enabling to live in this truth.
at Home in Him and His Love
Live as God enables in the consciousness that He is your loving
Papa God, always on the lookout for your welfare. This frees you to
live at home in Him, trust Him, rejoice in Him, worship, honor,
praise, and thank Him.
Cast yourself on Him in every time of need. Reckon on the
reality that as you are in Him, so He is in you. Let His
all-sufficient life flow freely in yours as you trustingly rely on Him
to freely provide everything you need.
When your life is in His charge, you need not be perturbed or
anxious. He is caring for all your concerns, providing His own life to
meet all the needs of your life and being, so that you may always live
content in Him, His rest and peace, without fear and anxiety. Seek His
quiet confidence that He is in control of all your circumstances,
working them together for your good and His glory.
We may well doubt our love for Him, but we can never doubt His
love for us. It is in His love and tender care that we live and move
and have our being. Only in full assurance of His love do we have
hope, peace, and joy.
Return to the Place of Sensitivity of Heart to Him
Return to the chapel of your spirit when-ever you find yourself
malcontent, restless, stressful, or striving. Return in times of dis≠tress
or temptation to where the Lord resides and reigns in peace.
Relinquish your troubles and needs to Him, as well as your entire
life! Accept the peace you find there as His gift of love to you. Seek
to live in Him in peaceful non-resistance, not in self-striving. Recog≠nize
contentment or peace in the Lord as the moni≠tor of your responsive≠ness
the Awful Depravity of Your Heart
Until we know the deceitful treachery that lies in the heart
even of the redeemed soul, weíll continue to be unnecessarily
victimized by our flesh, our selves independent of God. Invite the
Lord to remove your mask and show you yourself as you really are so
you no longer need to pretend or defend. Acknowledging our sin, guilt,
failure and need goes a long way toward spiritual release, help, and
This will require confession and restitution to men
occasionally, as well as repentance toward God, but it must be in
recognition of our constant certain failure apart from Him, His mercy,
and His transforming power.
Your Spiritual Idolatry
Anything that is dearer to your heart than is the Lord is an
idol. Your love for it is spiritu≠al adultery. These idols need to be
put to the cross and gladly forsaken for Jesus= sake. Long-entrenched
habits may sometimes require the special grace of God for deliverance.
Start out by admitting your sinful bondage. Let Him teach you that you
donít have the power to deliver yourself. Give Him freedom to use
whatever means He will to effect deliverance. Wait in quiet
contentment in Him. Peacefully at rest, trust Him to work in your
heart the changes necessary to enable you to please Him.
Right Obedience Motives
Obey God because of the desire He works within to please Him,
not out of the lawís demand. As we mature, there should come times
by His grace that we long to die to all that self prefers over God and
His perfect will, just that we may give Him pleasure.
He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. Your
objective is to be united with Him in purpose and love, dependent on
Him for everything, independent of Him in nothing. Your great purpose
is to praise, honor, and glorify Him alone, to give Him pleasure.
Elevate Him in your heart to the glorious place of total
lordship in your life. Become enamored of your God to the extent that
no other goal is worthy of your best attention, time, and concern. Let
Him be your great life-interest. He should be the major concern of
your daily times alone with Him and increas≠ingly of your every
No failure to achieve this objective must be allowed to deter
you from continuing to seek always to keep Him as your life center.
the Lord to Be Absolutely Trustworthy
He has nothing ever in mind except your best good for all
eternity. To think anything less of Him is to malign Him and mistrust
His Word in Romans 8:28. We can depend on His loving omnipotence, and
on nothing else.
Not finding Him trustworthy incapacitates you for any other
spiritual response. Without trust in Him, your love, worship, praise,
and thanksgiving will be insincere and just empty words.
to Worship, Praise, and Thank Him
heart that sings praises, worships, and gives thanks to our loving
heavenly Father and almighty God in all things would be a heart to
which all things are possible. However, any attempt to work this up is
doomed to failure. We come to Him, and come again, and keep on coming,
simply seeking only Him. As we do, we find Him giving us a thankful
heart and every other good thing. Until He works this holy work
within, letís endeavor to be content with whatever He sends us.
Suffering and Distress as Gifts from God
Father love allows all the difficulties of life to come your
way. They are designed as His cutting tools to release you from the
things of the world and the flesh, and from the captiv≠ity of Satan
into Godís eternal love.
In our hearts we have a direction, an inclination toward God or
away from Him. We can be content in Christ or malcontent in ourselves.
When we resist or resent anything, we turn our hearts away from God by
rejecting His providential will for us. We must allow the Lord to
teach us more and more not to resist nor resent anything He sends us,
nor fear anything He might send us. We must, at the peril of our walk
with Him, be content with anything and everything He permits to come
into our lives.
To do otherwise is to turn our backs to Him and not our faces.
When we rush, we run ahead of Him, and our backs are to Him, not our
faces. We mistrust Him and His will in the timing, His competence to
see that everything that should be done can be done in peace. This
destroys not only the peace and the rest of heart, the contentment,
but also the freedom and joy. To live on the positive side of this
line with our faces to Jesus is to abide in Christ.
Your Position in Christ
Our position in Him and He in us gives us hope. In confident dependence on Him, abide, reside, and rest yourself in Him as constantly as possible. Abide in His righteousness, under His blood, in His life, at home in Him. There receive all He has for you of life and hope.
Quick to Confess When Wrong
Tremendous health, help, and healing is found in readily
admitting to God and man when you are wrong. Confess it equally
readily to both without pretense or defense. Some leave a trail of
trouble behind them just be≠cause they have never learned to admit
they were wrong.
To Act in Accord with Your Conscience
Enlightened by the Word and the Spirit, your conscience is a
gift from God. To act against it is self-destructive. However, for our
old selves independent of God to try to live up to the demands of our
consciences may be almost equally self-destructive, leading to
failure, bitterness, and bondage. Again, let the Lord be your guide,
teacher, and provider. Be patient with your own stupid stubbornness.
Seek not so much to chop off its evidences as to live in loving
harmony and unity with Him who is victor over all.
Principles Oppose the Worldís
Do not expect to live in harmony with this world or its
principles. Expect to have to under≠go a complete overhaul of your
way of thinking, feeling, and responding.
Die to Self
Let God enable you to be willing to die to your independent
desires so you can be free to live in Him and His will. In His love
for us, God will do nothing to strengthen our carnal flesh, even
our motives for our actions seem good and right. The best we can hope
for is to be cast more on our God. In our weakness is His strength. In
our death is His life made experientially real in its work in us.
We died with Him at the cross to any right to any kind of
independence from Him. Let us give Him and His loving, living presence
in us the preeminence in our thoughts as in our lives. To dwell on our
assertions of independence, even disapprovingly, may give them room
they do not deserve. To think and look to Him with a loving heart is
always to profit.
Feed the spirit. Starve the flesh. Especially guard the eyegate
and eargate to the soul. This is more crucial than we give credence.
We may say on the one hand we are giving God our heartís attention
and affection and seeking to live in constant communion with Him. But
if, on the other, we give unnecessary attention to the distractions of
TV, radio, or the newspaper for instance, we are deceiving ourselves.
We are robbing ourselves of the fellowship, peace, and joy the
Lord wants to give us. We are missing out on much that He would give
us, teach us, and show us that may be far more important than we
You dare not hold anything against any≠one. So long as you do,
you will not be fully able to believe God has forgiven and delivered
you. Start out by recognizing that you cannot forgive, not really. As
every other good thing, the ability to genuinely forgive our enemies
is only the Lordís.
Let everything go to Him including all your rights and all your
defenses. Let Him work the fruit of the Spirit in you, including love
for the unlovely and unlovable. You dare not pretend that those who
arenít good, or respectable, or lovable are so. See them as they are
in all their ugliness. Then remember that the Lord loved you and
forgave you fully and freely when there was nothing lovable about you,
when you were still in rebellion against Him. Accept His love, that
love He has for you, as enough for them, too.
That Only God Can Do the Work
I may suggest things that you can do to find a Christianity
that really works. But, in reality, it is He alone who instructs,
initiates, and empowers anything that is of spiritual benefit. To try
to do anything without coming to Him, looking to Him, depending on
Him, resting in Him, or receiving of Him is to turn that supposedly
beneficial activity into empti≠ness, vanity, frustration, and
In fact, there is no Christianity that works. God alone works.
In all things itís not so much what we do as what we let Him do.
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