Characteristics of A Christ-Like Mind

Characteristics of A Christ-Like Mind

Characteristics of A Christ-Like Mind – Part III

Do No — Thing!

Philippians 2nd Chapter

Key Text: 3"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
but in humility consider others better than yourselves."

Study Text: 1 If you have any encouragement from being united with
Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness
and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having
the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of
selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of
others. 5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being
made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he
humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!

As we continue this series, we will focus on working together as the body of Christ to
complete the work of God. For those of us who have sat on boards, committees, panels or
even if we have been part of a team we should know this — ONE PERSON CAN REALLY MESS
IT UP FOR EVERYBODY!!!! Our key text warns us of this by saying, "Do nothing out of
selfish ambition or vain conceit." In other words, under these two conditions,
selfish ambition and vain conceit, you can really mess it up for everyone.

(1) Selfish Ambition

This is defined as a strong desire to achieve something for one’s own personal
gain with no regard for others. I’m sure that we have been in situations where one
person had his/her agenda and nothing else mattered except that agenda. And bless God, if
no one agreed to his/her agenda then NOTHING got done and he/she made sure of that. Then
what happens at the next meeting? Same thing. Nothing gets done and no one goes anywhere.
This is why coaches use that famous line, "There is no ‘I’ in TEAM."
For a team or group of people to have success, each individual has to stay focused on the
team goal and not personal ones. By doing this, the team will succeed and the individual
will succeed as well.

(2) Vain Conceit

Now the word "vain" means empty or fruitless. And the word conceit means an
overdeveloped opinion of one’s worth. So a combination of these words means: An
empty, fruitless, overdeveloped opinion of one’s worth. The King James Bible
translates vain conceit as vain glory. Now if there is vain (empty/fruitless) glory, then
whose glory is it? It surely isn’t the Glory of God because we know that His Glory is
NOT empty/fruitless. It isn’t even the glory of a man who is in good standing with
God. We should know this by looking at the glory man had before he sinned. During that
time God walked with him in the cool of the day and he didn’t even have to fear
death. So who is the rightful owner of this "vain glory" — the devil, who
else? It was because of his empty glory that he was kicked out of heaven. You see, empty
glory will cause people to run their mouths when they should be quiet. Empty glory will
cause people to think they know how to run the show when they should be running to get
coffee and doughnuts. Empty glory will make people think
they’ve "got it goin’ on" when they haven’t got a clue!

Now for those who are operating under these two conditions, our key text tells them
exactly what to do for the good of the team, "Do NOTHING." Another way of
putting it is when you feel like doing the wrong thing — Do — NO — THING!!! You know
what I’m talking about!!! That thing that you were about to do when you left home
thinking, "I’m going to get over on these suckers today!!!" It’s best
you Do — No — Thing instead!! And that thing you were going to do when you
decided, "Ooohhh, this mo-nin’ Sister Suzie has run pure out of grace and mercy
cause I’m going to cus’ her out Def Comedy Jam Style!!" Do — No —
Thing!!! Don’t fool yourself and say, "I’ll do it just one time and after
that, it won’t happen again." Submitting to your flesh this way is bad because
these types of actions don’t represent who we really
are.  We are a royal priesthood in Christ
Jesus (1 Peter 2:9). We are not the tail but the head. We are not beneath, but we are
above ONLY, so we should represent Christ in a manner worthy of Him. Also to tell the
truth, after you’ve cursed poor Suzie out or used her, you’re not going to get
to enjoy it anyway!!!

I know I lost some of you now, but hang on for the ride and trust me, "You’ll
understand it better by and by." Once you’ve cursed out Suzie and you’ve
gotten over like rover, you might think you feel real good, but guess what — the Holy
Spirit is on the case with only one purpose in mind: "to convict you of your wrong
doing." And believe me, this is a mighty, mighty, mighty, mighty good thing. I’ll
explain.

Last year, I was playing a basketball game where another player elbowed me in my ribs.
Because it hurt, I elbowed him back. Within a few seconds we were almost up to full blows.
Right then I heard the Lord say to me very loudly, "What are you doing!!!"  Immediately, I backed off the guy and then
apologized just as quickly. While driving home the Holy Spirit fell on me and I began to
cry. I couldn’t explain it. I even asked the Lord, "What’s going on? Lord,
why are you allowing this to happen? There are people killing other people, but I’m
getting all this conviction because I threw a few elbows?" He then spoke to me,
"But you’re mine, and I expect a lot more from you." What I want you to
understand is this. Making a spectacle of myself was not where God wanted me to be.
Instead of being humble, I chose to be proud. I just wasn’t going to take being
elbowed from anyone, even though I surely have elbowed more and few people in my day.

What if I would not have gone after the person who elbowed me? Maybe, just maybe God
would have made him apologize to me. Maybe he was a little frustrated at the referees just
like I was because they had truly been calling a terrible game. It is for reasons just
like these that the remainder of our text states, "but in humility consider others
better than yourselves." The Bible tells us that "[p]ride goeth before
destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18 ). If I would have
considered my brother rather than my pride, I wouldn’t have embarrassed myself and
misrepresented Christ, but I thank God for the conviction that put me back on track.

I can tell you from experience that there are many people who believe in God, but not
the God of Jesus Christ because His Spirit convicts. Instead, they choose to make for
themselves a God who says, "It’s O.K. to be gay, have abortions, cheat, steal,
lie, or fornicate with your boyfriend or girlfriend because it is a steady
relationship."  In every one of these
situations a person is planting bad seeds, and the only thing that can follow is a harvest
of catastrophic problems. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have the
conviction of the Holy Ghost than the self-made catastrophes of life. That’s the
reason God’s Spirit convicts us so that we won’t have to face a bad harvest that
we ourselves plant. So be humble before the Lord at all times so when pride wants to kick
in and make you "Do — The — Wrong — Thing" you will do "The — No
— Thing!"

Your humbleness can keep you from being humbled!