Spiritual formulas

11 06 2012

Jesus says to us, “I am the way.”  The way also means the method.  Jesus is saying to us  that He is the WAY by which we come to God the Father as well as the “METHOD” by which to reach God.  Having Him is having the WAY; and possessing Him is possessing the “METHOD”.  If you have been saved, you have trusted the Lord Jesus as your WAY to God for He is the WAY and without Him no one can come to the Father.  All truly saved Christians know this experience of Jesus being the WAY in salvation. Thank God, countless real believers have at least learnt this lesson, which is a coming to God by Jesus of Nazareth, the Father’s Son.

This WAY of salvation  is none other than Christ Himself.  It is not a “method” outside of Him.  We need to see that the Lord Jesus and not any other method is the only WAY by which we come to God initially at the time of salvation. We need to learn that the same applies to us at any other subsequent time in our walk in Christ.

Many Christians are seeking for spiritual methods and formulas.  We need to see that Victory is through the Lord and not by me or a method or formula.  The way is not outside of Him, for He Himself is the Way.  God has given His very own Son to us to be our Way.

Often you will hear Christians testifying of what the Lord has done for them. When we hear their testimony we feel its preciousness, but we see only a method instead of seeing the Lord whom the other person has touched.  Christians hear the testimony and seek to reproduce the victory by following a method and because of trying to duplicate the victory, they suffer defeat after defeat. The prime reason of these defeats is that we have not learned the Lord Jesus Christ as the Way.

Let us understand that to believe in the Lord himself, and to believe a formula, are actually two different motions.  Initially at salvation, by the Grace of God, a believing sinner has his eyes opened by the Lord to see what a wretched person he is and therefore lays himself down and believes in the Lord, trusting the Lord to do within him what he himself cannot do.  The result of his believing in the Lord is a full release from his wretchedness and he is fully satisfied before God.

A little while later another person hears the testimony of the first person and based on that testimony that he hears, he asks God also to enlighten him and to reveal to him what a wretched man he is. He too believes in God and he humbly abandons himself and yet it strangely turns out that he does not receive the deliverance which the first person experienced.  What is the reason for this?

The reason is because the first person has was enabled by the grace of God to believe which is called living faith.  This living faith enabled him to touch the Lord Himself.  The second person was not enabled by God to believe and tried to obtain what the first person had received. He had only a “copied faith formula” and therefore did not reach God.

In conclusion of this, what the second person obtained was merely a method or formula and not the Lord Himself.  Any method no matter how spiritual or even scriptural it may seem has absolutely no power or effectiveness, because it is not Christ, and it is simply a dead thing.

Some Christians ask themselves questions like:  “Why is it that some people get their prayers and I don’t? Why is God gracious to him and not to me?”  They even believe that God has favourites. What they do not realize is that they are believing in a method or in something, and that they are believing in a dead thing! Neither formulas nor methods work,  only Christ alive.

“I am the Way,” asserts the Lord Jesus.  Christ is the Way, Christ is the method. Ask yourself this question: “Is Christ your Way and is Christ your method?”  Or do you believe that there are many ways and methods as so many Christians practice?

Thank God that if Christ is our method, everything will be successful.  But if we run after just a method or a formula – however good and effective it has been experienced by someone else, it is still dead and has no spiritual value whatsoever. The reason for so many unanswered prayers and ineffective testimonies is found in the fact that we have merely copied the method of others and have not touched the Lord Himself who is the Way.

One believer, after hearing the message on Rom 6-8, said: “Today I understand the way of victory. I now am clear. I believe hereafter I will never be defeated as I was before.” Another believer came to the preacher and nodded his head a little.  When he was asked how he felt, he replied, “I do not know how to describe it. But the Lord has opened my eyes. Though I cannot say I have seen him, I dare not say I have not seen Him either.”

What the second person obtained was not a method but the Lord Himself.  Consequently, he firmly maintained the ground, while the first one failed again; for the first brother had only received a method and not the Lord Himself; and therefore what he obtained had no value.

Many times even the motive behind our hearing of a message is erroneous.  Instead of asking the Lord for revelation that we may see Him, we try with our brain to memorize a method to take back with us.  And even if we followed that method, we will get nowhere.  Sometimes, though, we seem to catch a glimpse, perhaps without having any great assurance to dare to say that we have seen the Lord. Nevertheless, we do see Him and such insight brings in real change. Thank the Lord that this is the way. Not that we have learned a method, but we have come to know the Lord. It is clearly shown to us that the Lord Himself is the method.

For this reason, then, we should, upon hearing a message or a testimony, examine ourselves as to whether we have encountered the Lord or merely understood a method.  There is no deliverance in knowing a method or formula as there is in knowing the Lord.  Listening to how He helps and has helped others will not save me. Our trusting in the Lord alone is effectual. The Lord is the Lord of Life and whoever touches Him touches Life.  When we touch the Lord we touch LIFE.



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