Rick Joyner’s Word For the Week: Choices, Part 3

Some of the most esteemed things men have built for Him are the most void of His Spirit because they honor man’s works and services above God’s.

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As we continue this study of the times we are entering, we must be devoted to having the required character and authority to prepare the way for the Lord and His kingdom—the character and nature of the King Himself. He emptied Himself and lived a sacrificial life for us. Will we empty ourselves of our desires to live a sacrificial life for Him?

A most striking characteristic of Jesus’ earthly ministry is how He had unlimited mercy for sinners yet none for the self-righteous. It was the self-righteous who persecuted Him and had Him crucified. Yet the Pharisees were seemingly the most devoted to the Scriptures and to the prophecies of His coming. How could this be?

The self-righteous are also self-focused and therefore the most opposed to the grace and mercy of God, which challenges their self-righteousness. The modern “Christian Pharisees” are no different than those who challenged everything Jesus said and did. They also seem zealous for the Lord and for the Scriptures. They may be devoted to preaching the cross, but they do not preach Jesus’ cross they preach theirs. Of course, Jesus commanded us to take up our crosses and follow Him, and we are called to die daily for Him. However, the perversion takes place when we base our relationship to Him on our own works and sacrifices rather than His.

Once we have seen His cross and all He did to empty Himself of His divine nature, to become a man and live among a fallen, oppressed people, then endure torture and crucifixion for our redemption, how can we compare our sacrifices to His? The vilest profanity is to seek our own glory and recognition for what we have done instead of seeking His glory and recognition for what He has done. All we do is because of His strength, grace, and mercy.

When we seek to bring attention to our own sacrifices above His, we begin to worship other things more than God. Some worship and idolize the Scriptures above the One who gave them. We must highly esteem the Scriptures to build our faith on sound doctrine, but we must not seek to know the Book of the Lord above the Lord of the Book. If we keep Him as our goal, we will not be prone to distort Scriptures based on our own desires and prejudices.

Likewise, some worship the temple of the Lord more than the Lord of the temple. Even the most glorious temple is empty if God is not in it. Men can build impressive buildings, but none can compare to Him and the temple He is building through His own people. In Revelation 3:20, the Lord is knocking on the door of His church to see if any will let Him in. In this age, God will not go where He is not wanted. Some of the most esteemed things men have built for Him are the most void of His Spirit because they honor man’s works and services above God’s.

As Peter Lord used to say, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” The “main thing” is Jesus. We should honor and esteem all His great works and gifts, especially the Scriptures, through which He reveals His ways. But we must not let anything eclipse our love and devotion to do all things for Him and for His sake. Without question, the benefits of becoming true disciples and laying down our lives for Him are beyond imagination. However, to make those benefits or our honor a goal is to make idols in place of Him.

Conversely, to live completely focused on seeing Him receive the reward of His sacrifice without considering our own sacrifices is the greatest freedom and fulfillment we can know. This kind of life will deliver us from self-centeredness and self-seeking, which caused the first fall of man and can cause our own. Self-righteousness is the worst fall because we look like we are seeking God, yet we only seek what we can get for ourselves.

In all things, let us seek His glory, His fame, and the establishment of His kingdom.“And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?” (Luke 16:12).



© 2021 by Rick Joyner. All rights reserved.


This is an updated edition of a post originally published on MorningStar Ministries

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Rick and Julie Joyner founded MorningStar Ministries in 1985. It is a diverse and expanding international ministry that began with the biblical mandate of Matthew 24:45-46:

“Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.”

Rick has authored more than fifty books, including The Final Quest TrilogyThere Were Two Trees in the GardenThe Path, and Army of the Dawn. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of MorningStar Ministries, a multi-faceted mission organization that includes Heritage International MinistriesMorningStar UniversityMorningStar Fellowship of Churches and Ministries. Click here to take a look at Rick’s latest Rant #ricksrants

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About the Author

MorningStar Ministries is a Kingdom Winds Contributor. They are a diverse and expanding international ministry founded by Rick and Julie Joyner in 1985. MorningStar's goal is to help strengthen the church by helping believers become the strongest Christians possible, and therefore true light and salt in the earth.