“I have WAITED for your salvation, O Lord.” This is our only proper posture as believers in Jesus. We wait not for death — but for God’s salvation. We have the plan of it in the Scriptures — to study, and we have the pledge of it in our hearts — to encourage us. It is for us therefore to wait for its full perfection, and to wait in God’s way, God’s time, until it arrives.
Let us wait praying, which is a preparation for it.
Let us wait pressing on, determined to reach it.
Let us wait particularly doing and enduring all that God requires or permits it.
Let us wait persuaded that it will come, and come soon. To some of us, it is just in sight. Soon, very soon, we shall be called from scenes of suffering and labor, and shall enter into the enjoyment of perfect, perpetual, and everlasting freedom!
Every saint waits and pants for perfect purity. This is the direct and invariable tendency of the new nature. Sin is an annoyance, a burden, a grief, a very hateful thing. Holiness is lovely, desirable, and precious. To be holy, perfectly holy — is the natural and constant desire of the regenerated soul.
FAITH lays hold on God’s promise. Which is the promise of salvation, for as John says, “This is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life.” This promise, as presented in the gospel, is apprehended, appreciated, and appropriated by faith. Faith believes it, is assured of it, and rests upon it.
PATIENCE waits God’s time. Human nature is often in a hurry, trials and troubles spur it on, and at times it becomes restive; but grace is willing to wait, yes, would rather wait, if God may thereby be glorified. “I have waited,” said Jacob: and “if we hope for that we see not,” says Paul, “then do we with patience wait for it.”
LOVE works in God’s vineyard. None wait so patiently, so comfortably, so consistently, as those who are diligently employed in God’s service. O how many evils are prevented, and how much good is obtained by diligent working for God!
HOPE expects full enjoyment.
As God has promised it — faith believes it; and as faith believes it — hope expects it; hopeexpecting it — we patiently wait for it; and while patiently waiting for it — we often enjoy the foretastes of it.
Reader, is your heart set upon salvation? Upon being saved from sin now — that you may be saved from all sorrow, sighing, and sadness forever?
Salvation may be had — but it must be sought. If you are willing to be damned, you need take no special effort — just go on and let things take their course, and you are lost. But, if you wish to be saved — you must strive to enter in at the strait gate, you must set your heart upon obtaining the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, you must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus.
Faith, the faith which saves us, comes from Christ, receives from Christ, trusts in Christ, has fellowship with Christ, nor will it allow the soul to rest until it realizes that we are one with Christ. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ — and you shall be saved!” But if you believe not — you must be damned, for “He who believes not the Son of God shall not see life — but the wrath of God abides on him.” We are saved by grace — but it is through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.
On this Christmas Day, my Father, I come to you with a glad heart. Help me to observe the day fitly, with loving remembrance of the lowly birth in Bethlehem and the sorrows of him who came to bring redemption, and with grateful thanks to you for your great mercy.
May this be a true Christmas in my heart. Take away all unbelief, all bitter thought and feeling, all resentment and unforgiveness, all unholy desire—and give me love—love that is patient and kind, that is not provoked, that thinks no evil, that seeks not its own. Save me from all selfishness. While I gratefully receive the Christmas blessings and enjoy them—may my heart be opened toward all the world in sympathy and kindly interest. Make my life a song, and may I go everywhere with joy on my face and on my lips.
I pray for all those to whom Christmas brings gladness, that their joy may be enriched by thoughts of your divine love. I pray for the multitudes of little children everywhere, to whom the day means so much, who have been waiting for it so long in eager expectancy, and who will be happy with their gifts and with the love that blesses them.
I pray also for those to whom the day brings little of joy—the very poor, the lonely and solitary; those far away from their homes, whose hearts will not be warmed by human love; prisoners in their prisons; sailors on the sea; and those who know not you. I pray for the sick in their homes and in the hospitals, that in their suffering they may be comforted by the remembrance of your divine compassion. I pray for the bereft and sorrowing, to whom Christmas brings painful memories, making more real their sense of loss. May they find comfort in the thought of Christ’s unfailing love.
May this glad Christmas leave my life richer and tenderer. May your divine love henceforth be more real to me. May I be sure of your divine care and guidance. May my heart be warmer toward my fellows, tenderer in its sympathy with human need and sorrow, and may I live a gentler, more kindly life—because of this day’s revealing of your wondrous love. Grant these favors through Jesus Christ. Amen.
My Father, I miss the gladness which many of your other children are enjoying today. They have their homes and friends and happy fellowships, while I am alone. Yet may I have a joyous Christmas even without these bright things. Let me not envy those who have the blessings which I do not have. Save me from all bitter feeling, all complaining, all homesickness, and all unhappiness because of my circumstances. Help me to remember the loneliness of Jesus, who was born in poverty and found no welcome in this world, and to be as contented in my condition, as he was in his.
I pray for others who are lonely like myself, away from their homes; for the very poor to whom the day will bring but little gladness; for the children whose dream of Christmas has been disappointed; for the sick, the sorrowing, and the weary. In the great wave of good feeling which spreads everywhere today, may some touch of human kindness reach everyone of these heart-hungry ones.
Grant me the privilege of carrying a little Christmas gladness to some who but for me, would go unblessed. Lead me to one, at least, to whom a kindly word will be a blessing. Let me give cheer to one who is discouraged. Give me the privilege of making real to someone, the sweetness and warmth of the love of Christ.
So I pray, my Father, that this wondrous day may not pass without leaving something of its glad, loving spirit in my heart—and something of its quickening in my life. May I get a new vision of your divine love. May I be cleansed of the sin which has left its sad blots, on all my old year’s pages. May I from today live more beautifully, less selfishly, less willfully, more helpfully—than ever before. May I find comfort hereafter for my loneliness, in closer companionship with Christ and in a life of love and service. Grant these blessings, I beseech you, in his precious name. Amen.
“Good-will toward men.” Good-will means kindness, sympathy, love. It means that we shall have no bitter feeling toward anyone, no unkind thought, no dislike. This man who jostled against me today—is my bother. Perhaps it was as much my fault—as his. I may have put myself obstinately in his way. Most likely at least he did it unintentionally. Let me then forgive him—or even ask his pardon for being in the way when he stumbled.
We may read the Gospels to see how Jesus showed good-will to men, for he gave us the pattern for every beautiful thing he would have us do. A frown never came upon his face—when someone had been rude or unkind to him. Nothing ever caused him to show annoyance, however many things you were to disturb and vex him. The people were selfish and ill-mannered in pressing about him. They gave him no time to rest or to eat. They even broke in upon him—when he was at his private devotions. But his patience and kindness never failed. Nothing ever ruffled or interrupted his composure or irritated him in the slightest way. They told him that the woman at his feet was evil, that her character was stained, and that he should not let her touch him. But he continued his gracious kindness to her—as if she had been the best woman in the land. They hated and persecuted him, hurt and insulted him, spitting in his face, at last nailing him on the cross; but he went on loving, never complaining, never resisting, showing no resentment!
That is what good-will to men means. Can we learn the lesson? That is part of what our Christmas-making means. On Christmas Day, we feel “kindly affectioned” toward all the world. We would not do harm to anyone. We let nothing annoy or vex us. We try to keep our spirit sweet, even amid the most irritating experiences. We forgive those who have wronged us. We give up grudges and resentments. We are glad of any opportunity to be kind to those who have been unkind to us. The problem is to keep up this good-will tomorrow, to take it out with us into the life of the days after Christmas, and to keep on making Christmas wherever we go all the days of the new year. If we do all this—it will not take long to bring in the reign of love.
A prayer has been suggested appropriate for those who are lonely at the Christmastide. It seems fitting to suggest also a prayer for those who are happy in their own homes or in circles of friends.
How did the world come to have a Christmas? God gave it to us. It was his gift. The story is told in the Now Testament. There is one great verse which tells how it came: “God so loved the world—that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish—but have everlasting life.” Christmas thus began in the heart of God. The world did not ask for it—it was God’s own thought. We love—because he first loved us. All the love that warms and brightens this old earth—was kindled from the one heavenly lamp that was lighted the first Christmas night. The Child that was born that first Christmas—was the Son of God. God so loved the world—that he gave his one and only Son.
Think of the beginning—how small it was. It was only a baby, a baby among the poor. Think where the baby was born—in a stable, with the cattle all about. Think where the baby slept its first sleep—in a little box, out of which the cattle ate their fodder. All the circumstances were lowly and humble on the earth side.
The first Christmas did not mean much in the world. Its influence did not reach out far. A little company of lowly shepherds, keeping their watch in the fields, were the only people outside who heard of the wonderful event, and came to look at the new-born Child. The first Christmas touched the shepherds with its wonder, and with its holy sentiment. But with this exception, the great world slept on that night—as if nothing was happening! The world does not know its greatest hours—nor mark its most stupendous events.
Within the lowly cattle-shed, where the Baby lay—there was nothing which at that time seemed unusual. There was no divine splendor, such as we would expect to see in the face of one who was the Son of God. The only light, was the shining of love in the peasant mother’s face. When the shepherds came in, all that they saw was a newborn baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger; and a quiet couple, Mary and Joseph, bending over it in tender love. Yet that was the beginning. It was a real Christmas.
By J. R. Miller who died in 1912. He wrote this piece about true religion. It is so true and so eloquently said that I had to share it with you all!
There were two artists, close friends, one of who excelled in landscape painting, and the other depicting the human body. The former had painted a picture in which wood and rock and sky were combined in the artist’s best manner. But the picture remained unsold—no one cared to buy it. It lacked something. The artist’s friend came and said, “Let me take your painting.” A few days later he brought it back. He had added a lovely human figure to the matchless landscape. Soon the picture was sold. It had lacked the interest of life.
There are some people whose religion seems to have a similar lack. It is very beautiful, faultless in its creed and its worship—but it lacks the human element. It is only landscape, and it needs life to make it complete. No religion is realizing its true mission—unless it touches life at its every point.
It seems to be the thought of many—that the religion of Christ is only for a little corner of their life. They fence off the Sabbath and try to make it holy by itself—while they devote the other days to secular life, without much effort to make them holy. In like manner, they have certain exercises of devotion each day, which they regard as religious—but which also they shut off in little closets, so that the noise from the great world outside cannot break in to disturb the quiet. These they regard as holy moments—but they do not think of the other long hours of the day as in any sense sacred.
That is, they try to get the religion of their life into little sections by itself, as if all God wants of his children is a certain amount of formal worship—in between the periods of business, struggle, care, and pleasure.
But this is an altogether mistaken thought, of the meaning of Christian life. True religion is not something which is merely to have its own little place among the occupations of our days, something separate from and having no relation to the other things we are doing. Religion that can thus be put into a corner of its own, large or small, and kept there, in holy isolation—is not true religion at all. It was said of Jesus in his life among the people—that he could not be hidden. This is always true of Christ, wherever he is. He cannot be hidden in any heart—he will soon reveal himself in the outer life.
The figures which are used in the Scriptures to illustrate divine grace, all suggest its pervasive quality. It is compared to leaven, which, hid in the heart of the dough—works its way out through the lump, until the whole mass is leavened. It is compared to a seed, which, though hid in the earth, and seeming to die—yet cannot be kept beneath the ground—but comes up in the form of a tree or a plant, and grows into strength and beauty. It is compared to light, which cannot be confined—but presses its way out into the world, until all the space surrounding it is brightened. It is called life—and life cannot be kept in a corner. Indeed, grace is life—a fragment of the life of God let down from heaven and making a lodgment in a human heart, where it grows until it fills all the being.
All the illustrations of the kingdom of heaven in this world, represent it as a branch of that kingdom, so to speak, set up in a man’s heart. “The kingdom of heaven is within you,” said the Master. It is not something that grows up by a man, alongside the man’s natural life, and apart from it—it is a new principle that is brought into his life, whose function it is to infuse itself into all parts of his nature, permeating all his being, expelling whatever is not beautiful or worthy, and itself becoming the man’s real life. “Christ lives in me,” said Paul, “and that life which I now live in the flesh—I live in faith.”
From all this, it is evident that the object of grace in a life is not merely to make one day in seven a holy day, and to hallow a few moments of each morning and evening—but to absorb and fill the man’s whole nature. The Sabbath has served its true purpose, only when it has spread its calm and quiet through all the other days. We worship God, especially on that one day—in order to gather strength and grace to live for God in the six days that follow. It is not worship for worship’s own sake, that we are to render—but worship to get more of God down into our life to prepare us for duty and struggle, for burden-bearing and toil, for service and sorrow.
It has been said by a distinguished English preacher, that direct worship is a small part of life, and that every human office needs to be made holy. True religion will manifest itself in every phase of life. We sit down in the quiet and read our Bible—and get our lesson. We know it now—but we have not as yet got it into our life—which is the thing we have really to do.
Knowing that we should love our enemies—is not the ultimate thing—actually loving our enemies is. Knowing that we should be patient is not all—we are to practice the lesson of patience until it has become a habit in our life.
Knowing that we should always submit our will to God’s, is to have a clear mental conception of our duty in this regard; but this is not true religion. There are many who know well this cardinal duty of Christian life—who yet continue to chafe whenever they cannot have their own way, and who struggle and resist and refuse to submit to the divine will, whenever it appears to be opposed to their own will. They know their lesson—but they have not learned to live it. It is living it, however, that is true religion.
Even the best of striving, will not get all the heavenly vision wrought into life. It is not possible that we with our clumsy hands, can ever put into act or word or carve into visible beauty—all that we dream when we kneel before Christ, or ponder his words. None of us live any day as we meant to live, when we set out in the morning.
Yet it is to be the aim of our striving—always to live our religion—to get the love of our heart, wrought out in a blessed ministry of kindness. Christ lives in us; and it is ours to manifest the life of Christ in our daily living.
It is evident therefore, that it is in the experiences of weekday life, far more than in the quiet of the Sunday worship and the closet, that the real tests of religion come. It is easy to assent with our mind to the commandments, when we sit in the church, enjoying the services. But the assent of the life itself can be obtained, only when we are out in the midst of temptation and duty, in contact with men. There it is, alone, that we can get the commandments wrought into ways of obedience and lines of character. And this is the final object of all Christian teaching and worship—the transforming of our life into the beauty of Christ!
In modern days, the thought of Christianity has been greatly widened. It is no longer supposed, by most Christians at least, that its sphere is confined to a small section of life. We claim all things now for Christ. Our belief is that the whole world belongs to our King. We claim heathen lands for him, and we are pushing the conquest into the heart of every country. We claim all occupations and trades, and all lines of activity for him. The vocation of the minister of the gospel, is in one sense no more holy than that of the carpenter or the merchant. We all are living unto the Lord, whatever we are doing, just as much in working at a trade as in preaching, and on Monday as on Sunday. Religion claims all our common life, and insists on dominating it. It asserts its power over the body, which is holy because it is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
In one of Paul’s letters is this counsel: “Let each man abide in that condition wherein he was called.” This would seem to teach that, as a rule, men are not to change their vocation when they acknowledge Christ as their Master—but are to be Christians where they are. The business man is not to become a minister, that he may serve Christ better—but is to serve him by being a Christian business man. The artist, when he accepts Christ, is to remain an artist, using his brush to honor Christ. The singer is to sing—but is to sing now for Christ, using her voice to start songs, in this world of sorrow and sin. They are most like Christ—who go everywhere in his name.
Enough has been said to show that religion is not meant to be merely an adjunct of life—but is to enter into the life itself, and to change it all into the quality of the life of Christ. We come together in our church services to give God something, to worship him; but we come also and chiefly to receive something from God, to have our strength renewed, our spirit quickened, that we may go out into the world to live more righteously and to be greater blessings to others.
Peter wished to make three tabernacles on the Mount of Transfiguration and to hold the blessed heavenly vision there. But his wish was a mistaken one. There was a ministry of love which the Master himself had yet to perform. At the foot of the mountain, at that very hour, a poor boy was waiting to be freed from demonic possession. A little farther on, Gethsemane and Calvary were waiting for Jesus. Think what the world would have lost of blessing—if Peter’s prayer had been answered, if Jesus had remained on the mount! Then, for Peter himself, and his companions, service was waiting. Think, also, what a loss it would have been if these apostles had not come down from the Transfiguration mount, to do the work which they afterwards did!
Hours of ecstasy are granted us here—to fit us for richer life and better service for Christ and our fellow men. We pray, and read our Bible, and sit at the Lord’s Table—that we may get new grace from God to prepare us for being God’s messengers to the world, and new gifts to carry in our hands to hearts that hunger
Horatius Bonar died on 31 May, 1889. His words that I included in this post, were true then, they are still true today because God never changed. Even us ‘Christians’, we can have our own little cults yet not being aware of it. At the end of the day, false worship of the true God is also our personal little cults. This is something God had to show me in my own life when he knocked religion out of me so that I could become spiritually real. Until then I was like a sponge absorbing all that I knew from my church. I was so proud thinking that I actually knew which religions were cults and I had no problem calling them on Him.
It was unthinkable to me that we too, in the mainstream Christianity could belong to the very same group we accuse with so much zeal. Like a dog with a bone, I joined all the training to know exactly what made me in mainstream Christianity, different from those we have designated as “cults”. In my training we went through each one of these groups with a toothcomb to make sure we know how to answer them and put them right back in their places. After my training, I was pumped up and ready, I knew I belonged to the category of Christians that had their act together. I was so sure I had the truth on my side.
When God got hold of me in the wilderness process to teach me properly, during the time that He knocked religion out of me so that He could get me to the point where I became spiritually real, He took pleasure showing me my hypocritical heart, from His point of view.
What was sad, was the fact that I learned from the leaders of the Church. I was so sure it was the right thing to do. I was so sure I was in God’s will. I was so sure my training to spot false Christianity meant that I was growing, learning, and being equipped to help others. I had no idea the people I looked up to had meager understanding devoid of spirituality. I had no idea that God had a different point of view. Suddenly I had such a spiritually healthy understanding of Matthew 7:3-5. God literally opened my spiritual eyes to see how while I consider myself qualified to talk about cults, through my training all I have learned to do is to notice the speck in my neighbor’s eyes while I have a log in mine yet, totally unaware of it.
Would you believe, this mild manner pastor who was in charge of teaching us in the Church went on to being a ‘big cheese’. He became one of the biggest guest speakers in mega conferences for his wealth of knowledge of the cults we consider counterfeit Christianity. After he left our Church, when I saw his picture on colorful brochures as guest speaker, I knew he deserved to be there because after all, you just had to name the cult and he would tell you exactly where they went wrong and how to answer them with the Scriptures.
That is until He got hold of me, He had to teach me to get rid of those notions and take His. You see, the problem was not the fact that what this pastor was teaching was wrong. The problem was the fact that we had no idea that we too in the Church we left our first love and we are building Christianity with so much zeal, without Him. We live our Christianity through finding loopholes in His Word and we think we can get away with them. This mentality will not change until we learn to see Salvation and the Christian life from His point of view. Right now all that we have is our point of view that we bring to Him.
Do you have any idea how humiliating it is to think you are so sure of what you know and God get hold of you all of the sudden He is more concerned with the log in your eyes than what you thought was a priority? One of my big surprises was the fact that He did not care about these people who actually are living in cults. As He moved in to help me get real, He told me my child you are in the same boat as far as I am concerned. But, it was not about them, it was about making me see my log first before I could be really useful to Him according to His will. Yet, I knew His goal was not to humiliate me, but to drill in my heart and soul that His thoughts are higher than my thoughts, and if I wanted the real McCoy, then I better stay close in the Spirit.
Horatius Bonar died on 31 May, 1889. These words of his were true then, they are still true today because God never changed.
(Horatius Bonar, “False Religion and Its Doom”)
“I will lay your corpses in front of your idols and scatter your bones around your altars.” Ezek. 6:5
There is such a thing as false religion.
It may be earnest and zealous, yet false.
No amount of sincerity or zeal will make that true, which is in itself false.
False religion is the worship of a false god, or the false worship of the true God.
We worship the true God untruly when we give him only half a heart, half a soul.
Do not think that the utterance of some true words, or the expression of a little sentimental devotion, is the true worship of the true God.
False religionis useless.
It profits nothing and nobody, either here or hereafter.
It is not acceptable to God.
It will not be counted a substitute for the true.
It does not satisfy the conscience.
It does not make the man happy.
It does not fill the heart.
It does not remove burdens.
It will not stand the fire.
It is but wood, and hay, and stubble.
The judgment will sweep it all away.
It is useless both for time nor eternity, both for earth nor heaven.
It is irksome and unprofitable, only cheating the poor worshiper into the belief that he has felt or performed something good and worthy.
God abhorsfalse religion.
It has not one feature that is pleasing to Him.
It is merely external.
It is untrue.
It is against His revelation.
It is dishonoring to Him.
It is self exalting.
It is pure mockery.
It is rottenness and death.
It is a mouthful of words, a handful of dust and ashes.
Therefore God abhors it.
“I will lay your corpses in front of your idols and scatter your bones around your altars.” Ezek. 6:5
Before God led me into the wilderness where I spent years learning at His feet, there was a period of time where He lead me to a place where I surrendered all with no reservation to Him. While my surrender was not perfect (I did not know it at the time) but, to the extend I knew Him, I was all His. Over the years I learned not only surrender is not a one shot deal, it is in fact a daily battle. This in itself is a subject for few posts. My point is the complete surrender was part of the months of preparation that He took me through so that I would not die in the wilderness. I guess because I was so well prepared by His grace to enter the wilderness with Him, I was able to wait in silence at His feet while learning.
Through the waiting process, I have gone through what He means by obedience through the eyes of the Father, He taught me sufferings to the highest degree my soul could take. I learned through Him what it means to be detached from the world, what it means to be a soldier in His court and the true meaning of taking up my cross and follow after Him. I was taught what it means to have faith until I became as strong as an oak tree. I have been given a great understanding of the true meaning of Salvation according to the Father’s definition. He stripped away religion from my soul and made the Holy Spirit my only religion. I was taught how to find His footsteps inwardly, He taught my soul what it means to reach the state where you can say like Paul “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”. He showered me with gifts that I never thought someone like me would possess. He taught me what He meant when He said our righteousness has to surpass the Pharisee’s. Through the wilderness process He also worked in me most of the Sermon on the Mount.
I am going to stop there because while I waited in suffering and silence upon Him, with Him, and for Him, I have learned so much that I need to put them in several books if I am to share what He has done in my life. While I am very well aware my book Apprehended & Apprehending along with the other books that I planned to write, will not appeal to everyone. But, if I learned anything from the spiritual growth series with J. C. Ryle that I just finished yesterday, as long as you are the type of Christian who finds comfort and satisfaction in comparing yourself to your neighbors, then you have no capacity to care about what I have to say. And, if through my writings God is able to touch one or two or ten people, to reach for a deeper Christianity in Him, even if it’s long after I passed away, then I would have accomplished His will and purpose for my life.
I already shared with you in one of my posts, where the Holy Spirit has shown me one day how the Word of God in the Bible is alive and each iota in the Word is a full Christ. That day I learned the truth that most Christians are spending so much time to uncover, is no less than Him in His fullness. I shared with you all the emotions I went through that day where all I could do after this revelation was to walk back and forth with no aim because the revelation was too much and my heart was ready to explode.
What I did not fully share with you, is that the day He showed me the Word of God was the truth, was really the end result of having spent years in the wilderness with Him where He was able to work out Himself in me. Then after that experience He showed me that I have found the truth, so now I am held at a higher standard for it. Following God is a relationship, but believe me there is a process behind it all. We repeat words like “God is a God of order” we miss out on the fact that the Christian life comes also with an order that God meant to work out in us.
We can spend a lifetime studying to uncover the truth when in reality what we are doing is not better than the Pharisees who studied so much they missed out on Christ. Sure, we need to search for the truth, we need to be alert, and most of all we need to share it with unbelievers in and outside the Church. But, the search takes on a whole new meaning when He actually dwells in His fullness in us. Because we no longer search for something that is outside of us, since He would have become part of us. But, to get there, we need to also walk with and in the truth, experience the truth, surrender to the truth, believing the truth, trust the truth, live out the truth, and be one with the truth.
We need to let the truth transform us, be willing to sacrifice all so the truth can move freely in us. We need to live out the truth so much that the unbelievers can see the truth in us. We need to be totally abandoned to the truth and live purposely for His will and His truth. Failing these things, we can study till He comes, and all of it will not amount to nothing unless we make the decision to let Him enter our lives and move freely as He sees fit. Understand what I am saying here, I am aware that there is nothing good in me, even at my best, when I am at my highest with Him and I offer up my utmost to Him, I am still nothing more than filthy rags. I do not deserve His grace, His cross, His suffering and even for Him to give me a second look. So, I would be a complete idiot to take credit for my wilderness walk with Him where I have seen Him who is invisible. It is all a work of His grace.
My wish for you who have been a Christian for decades, yet still feel you need one more study to uncover the truth, just because you are not prepared to find out what is underneath of it all. I pray instead of spending time searching for the truth, you would decide to open your heart and let Him in because He is at the door, waiting and willing to come in and teach you according to His Gospel what He meant by it all. I pray that you stop being afraid of the narrow gate, and enter it with Thanksgiving in your heart. As I explained in my book, the path that leads to the wilderness is exactly behind the narrow gate. He took my left hand in His right hand and led me there.
The hesitation you have that causes you to keep studying instead of truly receiving Him in His fullness, says that you are in the same place those foolish Galatians were which caused Paul to say in Galatians 4:19 “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.” Paul knew they were missing something, he knew they had to continue at a deeper level to apprehend what Christ had apprehended them for. Christ had a goal, He had a purpose and it was not for the Galatians or for you to keep living a half truth. He wants to give you His fullness; He wants you to keep apprehending the truth within you. You cannot keep apprehending the truth within, unless you learn to live in oneness with Him where you abide like a branch and be fed by Him like a helpless branch depending on the tree to remain alive.
All of it is wrapped up in one thing, “His grace” the grace to receive the obedient heart that Christ cultivated when He was here on earth. His obedience lead Him to the cross. Don’t be afraid to go like a defenseless and stupid sheep because this is exactly what it feels like. But, it is worth it. Go to Him with that attitude, because you want to uncover the truth. Let Him show you behind the veil.
I will leave you now with a few words that William Winslow wrote in 1849 about the truth.
What is Truth? Momentous question! The anxious inquiry of every age, of every Church, of every lip. Pilate knows it now. And he might have known it when the question first fell from his trembling lips- for ETERNAL and ESSENTIAL TRUTH stood as a criminal at his bar! But summon the witnesses, and they shall testify what is truth. Ask the devils who beheld His miracles and quailed beneath His power and they will answer- “It is Jesus, the Son of God Most High.” Ask the angels who beheld His advent and announced His birth, and they will answer- “It is the Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Ask His enemies who nailed Him to the tree, and they will answer- “Truly it is the Son of God!” Ask His disciples who were admitted to His confidence, and who leaned upon His bosom, and they will answer, “We believe and are sure that it is Christ, the Son of the living God.” Ask the Father, testifying from the ‘secret place of thunder,’ and He will answer- “It is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Summon witnesses from the inanimate world. Ask the water blushing into wine- ask the sea calmed by a word- ask the earth trembling upon its axis- ask the rocks rent asunder- ask the sun veiled in darkness- ask the heavens robed in mourning- ask all nature agonized and convulsed, as He hung upon the tree- and all, as with one voice, will exclaim- Jesus is TRUTH.
Happy are they, who, through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, receive Jesus into their hearts as the truth- believe in Him as the truth- walk in Him as the truth, and who, under the sanctifying influence of the truth, are employing their holiest energies in making Him known to others as “the way, the truth, and the life” -thus, like their Lord, “bearing witness unto the truth.”
In the Lord Jesus, then, as the head of the new-covenant dispensation, “Grace and Truth ” essentially and exclusively dwell; and sitting at His feet, each sincere, humble disciple may receive grace out of His fulness and be taught the truth from His lips. “The law was given by Moses, but GRACE and TRUTH came by Jesus Christ.”
To encourage the ‘house of Jacob to possess their possessions,’ is the lowly design of these pages. Should their perusal stimulate the Christian reader to seek an increase of grace from Christ, – impart to him clearer unfoldings of Jesus as the truth, or lead him into deeper, more comforting and sanctifying views of the ‘truth as it is in Jesus,’ -let him, in return, pray for the unworthy writer as greatly needing and desiring in his own soul a larger measure of these precious things. And all the glory shall be ascribed to the TRIUNE GOD, to whom exclusively and most justly it is due.
Please feel free to send an email to “obedience at intothyword.us” and you will receive a link right back to download Andrew Murray “The School Of Obedience”