April 20, 2020
Spiritual Amputation? O what a hard
subject! But our Master taught there are
times when, to further our spiritual
life or ministry, something in our
natural life must be amputated. Cut off.
Eliminated. Done away with. Thrown out!
Jesus' words: "If thy right eye offend
thee [causes you to stumble
spiritually], pluck it out...if thy
right hand offend thee, cut it off"
(Matthew 5:29-30). Note our right eye
and hand represent good things, not sin
and vice, although He also clearly
alludes to sin in the context (v. 28).
But Jesus' point is if even the best
natural things pull us back or turn us
aside or cause us to fall into
carnality, they must go. Now.
These "right eyes" and "right hands" may
be unequal friendships we have forged
with those who have no spiritual desire
or even the remotest interest in knowing
Jesus. It may be something completely
innocuous, like clean entertainment or
hobbies or pastimes which pass too much
of our time.
It may be places we frequent too often
or things we give too much attention to
- like social media, the Internet,
television, movies, sports, politics, or
cable news. Or a thousand other things
known only to us and the Holy Spirit.
deeper, let's have a brief question and
Do you want to walk very closely with
Jesus through this life? If so, follow
Christ's instructions. Amputate the
things that incline you to not seek Him
. . . and consequently cause you to
become spiritually weak and stumble.
Do you want
to finish your course of ministry with
joy? Amputate the things that hinder or
weaken the fervor or regularity of your
Do you want to walk in the Spirit all
day long? Amputate your examination,
judging, and condemning of others that
keeps you from examining yourself
regularly and that causes, in Oswald
Chamber's words, "spiritual leakage."
Do you want
to be as pure in heart as the Holy
Spirit can make a Christian in this
life? Amputate all images, writings,
conversations, and associations that
defile your thoughts.
Do you want, like your Lord, to
selflessly "minister and give" to others
in need (Matthew 20:28)? Amputate the
selfish demands that usurp all your time
and energies, leaving none for your
inspired ministerial or charitable
Do you want to be ready for Jesus'
appearing whenever it occurs? Amputate
whatever prevents you from living every
day spiritually worthy, faithful, wise,
watching, and ready, every closer to
Jesus, and ever knowing Him more truly
and fully. And we could go on.
Each of us knows what is holding us back
from full throttle, abandoned,
Acts-like, burning-heart Christianity.
Or from being, in Paul's words, "Fervent
in spirit; serving the Lord" (Romans
12:11). May God give us the willingness
and grace for spiritual amputation - and
may we act on them!
If we do, the spiritual healing will be
immediate and dynamic. The Spirit will
rush into the void created by the
amputation and the spiritual fruit that
springs up in our life will amaze us:
enhanced closeness to Jesus, increased
faith and patience, quicker answers to
our prayers, more spiritual authority
and power in ministry, clearer insight
into Scripture, increased vigor of mind,
a new contentment, and an uprush of pure
Best of all, the Doctor who ordered our
amputation will be deeply pleased with
us and communicate to us His personal
delight over our successful spiritual
surgery: "Well done, thou good and
faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21)!
Going to surgery,