Immediately I Conferred Not With Flesh And Blood
“When it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen: immediately, I conferred not with flesh and blood.”—Galatians 1:15–16
Oh, what a wondrous landscape the Spirit can paint with one sweep of His matchless brush. Nowhere else can a few words hold the wealth of meaning that they hold in God’s Word.
Paul here tells us in a few words, drawn forth through the Spirit, of the whole method, purpose and result of God’s hand in his life. He says he was separated by God, called by His grace, had a soul in which Jesus was revealed, and to this purpose, that the heathen might know Jesus Christ. And he further states that when all this wondrous proposition came to him, he accepted it, without holding a conference where flesh and blood could argue about it. A little conference with flesh and blood will kill the best proposition the Holy Spirit ever put to a human soul.
What a rebuke these few closing words of our text are: “Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.” We had as well take the lovely California oranges to grow in Greenland’s icy mountains as to take a heaven-born vision to our flesh and blood for their consent.
What an indictment of our flesh and blood! They are enemies to anything proposed by God. Within us by nature dwells something contrary to the will of God. Here Paul lets us into a great secret of the life of Jesus, so wonderfully revealed in Him. Here it is: He consulted not with flesh and blood.
There is a splendid reason also for his saying “immediately.” There is no time to spend on the fence. God’s wishes must be obeyed at once. Take this word and hug it to your heart, you folks who do not lead victorious lives, and when the Spirit speaks again, do not debate the proposition of the Spirit with flesh and blood; do not even hesitate for an argument, but “immediately” say yes to His voice.
“When It Pleased God”
What a lovely putting of the act of God’s sovereign will! “When it pleased God to reveal His Son in me,” is the complete phrase. Is there anything that pleases God more than revealing His Son? How He loves the Son! “All things were made for Him.” All of God’s plans and purposes throughout eternity are wrapped up in His Son. “It pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell.” “In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” How foolish then for any human heart to draw back when nothing would please the Father more than that we should turn from flesh and blood and yield up this bodily tabernacle to His indwelling glory. “Herein is My Father glorified that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. As the Father hath loved Me so have I loved you.” What wonderful work has been wrought on the cross to bring us to the place where He can live in us and reveal Himself. “And you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unprovable in His sight.”
He hath made us clean and acceptable temples, His great reconciliation work has been done on the cross, that having paid the debt and removed the sin from these temples He might reveal Himself in us. Jesus said, “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him, but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” And Paul says this Spirit was revealing God’s Son in him. He was in Paul and may be in you, dear friend, in all His fullness revealing Jesus, if you will but stop drawing back, stop forever asking or consulting flesh and blood and see that it pleases the Father to reveal His Son in you.
“God, Who Separated Me”
God, who made me a personality, separate from every other human; gave me these eyes through which to see, these ears through which to hear. I, standing where the wonderful phenomena of life are presented to me, and I, a conscious being beholding the wonders around me! What shall I say to this wonderful present from Him? Out of nothingness into consciousness, oh, the wonder of it; but, oh, best of all, I may not only behold the earth, the sky, the sea, in all their changing beauty, but I may have Him in my soul, my own, forever my own, and Himself revealed in me, if immediately I consult not with flesh and blood.
“Called Me By His Grace”
Yes, by His grace. Only His overflowing, leaping, loving heart could take us into His great plan and call us. Who but this God of all grace could look upon us astray from Him, flying the devil’s flag, sunk in the squalor of sin, steeped in murmuring and madness, loving evil and doubt, drawing back from the light, hugging our sins to our weakened souls, never heeding His loving pleading; until one day by His grace the tender hands went underneath and He pulled us from the mud of sin’s awful night, washed us and hugged us to His own warm heart of love. Oh, for a thousand boxes of alabaster to break above His precious head, once bruised by thorns.
Our tears of joy can flow, blessed Jesus, as we look at the pit from which Thy grace dug up and called us, and we can and do let praises crowd our lips. Yes, it is Thy wondrous grace that has done it all. It is above all that we are able to ask or think. Dear baffled heart, if you are struggling, just see His grace, see that His highest pleasure is to lift the lowest to the highest, to show His strength in your weakness. You need but to see His bountiful love manifested in His Son and you will allow God to call you and reveal His Son in you. Then no power of Earth or hell can hold you from telling it out to the heathen in this and other lands.
“Have you failed in all your struggling,
Have you fallen in the race?
Cease from all your fruitless striving,
Simply take His grace.
Mercy for the sinner, help in hardest place;
Everything for nothing—this is grace!”