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April 20, 2020

 

Spiritual Amputation

My Dear Friend,

     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!

     Here are 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. Completely. Permanently.

     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.

     To probe deeper, let's have a brief question and answer session:

     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 ministry.

     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 initiatives.

     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 joy.

     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,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261
1-336-882-1645