Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Ruthless Absolute

Art Katz said, “Jesus answered the devil with ‘It is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.”’”  Focus on those two words Him only.  Let them burn into your spirit and consciousness—Him only, Him only, Him only.  The only way to resist this temptation is to completely divorce oneself from any necessity for self to be established, to be recognized and admired, and come to a place of Him only.  How many of us see the necessity for coming to that place?  How many of us are free from the enormous power of prestige and position to have our whole life predicated on Him only?  It should not matter to you whether you are a chimney sweep, or some obscure believer never seen, with your ministry concealed from men.  You should have no need for anything that brings recognition to yourself because your life is not predicated upon yourself but Him only.  This is A RUTHLESS ABSOLUTE [emphasis mine].”

I like the way Katz puts it.  It is an uncompromised and unalterable absolute that can only be maintained by an uncharitable lack of considering alternative ideas.  The word ruthless is most often seen in a negative light; it means “having or showing no pity or compassion for others,” and taken at face value that is definitely not a good thing.  But understood in the context in which Katz used it—juxtaposed as it is beside the word “absolute” (and used to define a resolute adherence to perfect Truth), it takes on a different and even positive meaning.
As Christians, we must show no deference to alternative ideas however much other misguided souls believe it.  The foundation for our faith is sure and even logical and scientific (regardless of how little we understand the details).  Human nature simply cannot support the superstructure of truth; “Him only” is indeed what life is predicated upon.

The self-esteem nonsense that permeates our culture today is not getting the job done.  In this verse of scripture note that the onus is on God not man: “Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His’” (2 Timothy 2:19 NASB).  You can’t fake this foundation; it stands firm (no other foundation has been laid except the Word of God made flesh.  Ultimately God is not against “self,” but He is against a self-center, so He must deconstruct us before He reconstructs us.  Christ alone must be our center and that involves a ruthless displacement!  We are commanded to lose ourselves that we might gain ourselves; only by losing self now in its inherently selfish bent will we gain our self back whole and Christ-like after His divine nature transforms us to His image from the center outwards.

The ruthless absolute is that He alone MUST be our center.  He is the Seed, and all life of like kind originates there inside the Seed.  If we build our lives on self we will only reproduce after our kind.  No matter how “good” someone is, it is ruthlessly and absolutely insufficient to effect eternal change.  But IF we cling to that Seed (like a dirt clings to seed) we will be watered and given light and we will be subsumed into Him and His nature.  Indeed, “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10 NASB).