If we are really to be the dwelling place of God, then we are to be nothing in ourselves. Do not look for reputation, do not try to make an impression, do not stand on your own dignity, do not do any of those things in any way whatever which will give you prominence with people and make them think something of you. It will not pass with the Lord.
So let us get rid of it, every bit of it, and recognize what we are in God’s sight. He is going to bring that about; so if we try to make people think we are other than we are in order to get an advantage, we are contradicting the principle of the house of God. All self-importance must go, and all desire for recognition. All that sort of thing has to be wiped out. The house of God is not founded on that. God will not have it. Man is abased, and all the other is the devil’s work. It comes from him in whose heart pride was found.
When young men and women have given up all the prospects of this world and laid their treasures in the dust and gone forth at the command of the Lord, they have laid everything in ashes so far as this world’s hopes and prospects are concerned. The Church has been built in that way. Even when it is not like that in great acts of life’s vocation, it is a daily thing, a letting go of our own interests in obedience to the Lord, in faith in the Lord. It is thus the building goes on. I could work that down to very fine points and show how often the house of God is delayed and arrested in its progress by the withholding of something on which the Lord has laid his finger and said ‘I want that’.
However there is the general principle, the triumph of faith through obedience when all is in the dust. Abraham believed God, and that great triumph provided God with the site for His temple, the great example and type of that spiritual house which is central to the fulfillment of all His purposes. God dwells in that sort of thing. But that central thing has to go through the depths. That which is the very heart of God’s presence to which He commits Himself, has to know stripping more than others. This involves a deep work where faith is brought to perfection through very deep testing.