Victorious living and effective Christian service are not the by-product of our better selves and hard endeavors, but simply the fruit of a different life-style than our own. (Colossians 3:12-17)

When the eternal God chose to reveal Himself in His Son, He gave Him the name of the “Lamb”, which speaks of meekness; and when it was necessary for the Holy Spirit to come into the world, He was revealed under the emblem of the “Dove”, which speaks of gentleness. Is it not obvious, then, that the reason why we have to be humble in our walk with God, is not merely because He is so big and we so little, but because God is so humble! The main lesson of Jesus’ baptism-- when He was proclaimed by John to be the Lamb of God, and the Spirit lighted upon Him as a dove-- is that the Holy Spirit, as the Dove, could only come upon the Lord Jesus because He was the Lamb. Likewise, the Dove can only abide upon us as we are willing to be as the Lamb. How impossible that He should rest upon us while self is unbroken.

Read Galatians 5:22 and see the 9-fold fruit of the Spirit; it is the character of Jesus’ life-style. Now contrast this with the ugly works of our unbroken self in verse 19! It is the contrast of the snarling wolf with the gentle dove. No wonder the refusal to die to self makes one miserable. I have never seen a surrendered Christian miserable!

Reprinted February 12, 2012