“Come to the throne of grace in order to receive mercy and find grace” we are told (Hebrews 4:16).
What it doesn’t say, but is self evident, is that if you want to find grace, you must first seek it. This is the reason that Christianity today does not receive grace and has no power or witness to the world; it is not seeking grace but religious comfort, for to find grace you must first surrender to Christ, the Lord of all grace; but Christianity today stands apart from Christ, refusing to yield to His demands.
This is the pattern; God prospers a faithful people or nation; in their prosperity they forget God and stand apart from Him; in their apostasy they decline and perish. This is what happened to the Jews; they were “the chosen people” and what they were chosen for was to reveal God’s ways to the world; the Church, comprising Jews and gentiles, is the vessel chosen in the New Testament era to undertake the same work of demonstrating God’s ways to the world.
Whenever and wherever they have done this, they have prospered. But alas, Christianity has followed the path of apostasy as did Judaism, and thus, the nations once raised up in the name of Christ are in decline. We see this happening in Australia today as the witness of the true light goes out and the light within God’s people becomes darkness. “How great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:23).
Christianity today is powerless because it is disobedient; it is only submission to Christ that releases the husbandly blessings upon those who comprise His bride; it is submission that releases the blessing of true union; so the New Testament teaches.
Within powerless Christianity, there are those few who hear His voice and obey Him; the evidence of their faith is their faithfulness to Him and His Word; they are the true Church, made up of those of the true Body and the true Bride.
But the “self” sins – self-assurance, self-esteem, self-indulgence, self-righteousness, self-justification, self-ambition etc. – all hinder the receiving of grace and the filling of the Spirit for which so many Christians hunger in vain. The fact is, we must first empty ourselves of these self sins before we can be filled. The old man cannot be improved; he must be crucified. This is the best kept secret in Christianity!