Week 6 – Day 4

Matt. 19:25-26 And when the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, Who then can be saved? And looking upon them, Jesus said to them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Our disposition is expressed in many forms. One type is that of the “hero.” Brothers or sisters who have this type of disposition must do everything in an impressive, perfect, and complete way. If they are to speak, they must do it in an outstanding way, or they will not speak. They are also very strong and quick in doing things…. Another type, the “non-hero” does not do anything in a thorough or complete way. (CWWL, 1989, vol. 3, “The Experience and Growth in Life,” p. 144)

Today’s Reading

Second Kings 4 gives us the account of the Shunammite woman’s reception of Elisha. The Bible says…”there was a wealthy woman…, who compelled him to have a meal. So whenever he passed through, he would turn aside and have a meal there. And she said to her husband, Now I know that this man who continually passes through unto us is a holy man of God” (vv. 8-9). Elisha… did not give one message or perform one miracle. Every time he passed through, he turned aside and had a meal there. The woman identified him as a man of God by the way he took his meal.

Today we have to ask ourselves, “What is the impression that we give to others?”… If the outer man is not broken, the impression that others receive from us will be nothing but the outer man. Every time we contact others, we may give them an unpleasant feeling that we are self-loving, stubborn, and proud or…clever and extremely eloquent. Perhaps we give others a so-called good impression…. God is not satisfied, and the church has no need of our socalled good impressions.

Brothers, God requires that our spirit be released, and the church also requires that our spirit be released. We have a… crucial need: Our outer man must be broken. If the outer man is not broken, our spirit will not be released, and the impression we give to others will not be an impression of the spirit.

A brother once was speaking on the subject of the Holy Spirit, but all his words, attitude, and stories exposed him as a man full of the self. While others were listening, they were uncomfortable…. His words were on the Holy Spirit, but the impression he gave to others was of his self…. If our person is not dealt with, we will be of little use to God’s work. If the Lord breaks our outer man, we will no longer present others with our strong self when we touch them. Instead, our spirit will flow out whenever we touch men. (CWWN, vol. 54, “The Breaking of the Outer Man and the Release of the Spirit,” pp. 238-239, 244-245)

In the four Gospels Peter’s most difficult dealing before the Lord was related to his disposition. Even by the time of Galatians 2:11-21, Peter’s disposition had not yet been thoroughly dealt with…. According to the record of the whole New Testament, however, Peter eventually broke through. In Galatians 2 Paul rebuked Peter to his face because Peter still lived in his disposition to some degree, but in 2 Peter 3:15-16 Peter highly commended Paul. If Peter had been still living in his disposition, he would not have made such a strong commendation of the one who rebuked him. Rebuking offends people, but Peter was not offended. This may indicate that the “burl,” the troublemaking factor, had been removed from him.

By man’s hand there is no way to remove the factor of the disposition, but in the Lord’s hand there is a way. In Matthew 19:25 the disciples asked the Lord, “Who then can be saved?” The Lord replied, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (v. 26)…. It is impossible for us to break through the problem of our disposition, but it is possible for the Lord to do it. (CWWL, 1989, vol. 3, “The Experience and Growth in Life,” pp. 152-153)

Further Reading: CWWN, vol. 54, “The Breaking of the Outer Man and the Release of the Spirit,” chs. 6-8