In the late 1800’s A.B. Simpson, founder of the Christian Missionary Alliance Church gave a timeless message titled “Himself”. Often I find myself at the truth this message so potently brings forth; the preeminence of knowing Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2). In italics are some excerpts from A.B.’s message and then some of my perspective.
“I often hear people say, “I wish I could get hold of Divine Healing, but I cannot.” Sometimes they say, “I have got it.” If I ask them, “What have you got?” the answer is sometimes, “I have got the blessing”, sometimes it is, “I have got the theory”; sometimes it is, “I have got the healing”; sometimes, “I have got the sanctification.” But I thank God we have been taught that it is not the blessing, it is not the healing, it is not the sanctification, it is not the thing, it is not the it that you want, but it is something better. It is “the Christ”; it is Himself.”
“I once saw a picture of the Constitution of the United States, very skillfully engraved in copper plate, so that when you looked at it closely it was nothing more than a piece of writing, but when you looked at it at a distance, it was the face of George Washington. The face shone out in the shading of the letters at a little distance, and I saw the person, not the words, nor the ideas; and I thought, “‘That is the way to look at the Scriptures and understand the thoughts of God, to see in them the face of love, shining through and through; not ideas, nor doctrines, but Jesus Himself as the Life and Source and sustaining Presence of all our life.”
I have experienced a season of pruning and refining in terms of doctrine, theology and understanding of the Scriptures. I asked for it because I came to see again what I thought I knew meant nothing. It is whose I am and who I know that counts most. I told God all my thoughts, beliefs and understandings, even the most fundamental and orthodox that hinder me from truly knowing Him were fair game (1 Cor. 13:11-12).
“There came a time when there was a little thing between me and Christ. I express it by a little conversation with a friend who said, “You were healed by faith.” “Oh, no,” I said, “I was healed by Christ.” What is the difference? There is a great difference. There came a time when even faith seemed to come between me and Jesus. I thought I should have to work up the faith, so I labored to get the faith. At last I thought I had it; that if I put my whole weight upon it, it would hold.”
A.B. had a preoccupation with his faith. He believed that if only he the right kind of faith he would receive his healing. He realized the real hindrance was his focus on his faith! The more we focus on faith, the more faith slips away. It is so true. The more we exalt anything above Christ and Him crucified the more we lose those things. If I exalt ministry – mine or other’s, money, things of this world, dreams, visions, doctrine, theology, revelations or even anointing above Him I slowly lose them. It is only in Him that we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).
Oh Lord! Help me to have the right focus on You and You alone!!!!