Go To The Word
Of God; Take Nothing For Granted
Reprint from Herald of His Coming, July 1942. Author unknown.
I have been startled at the confessions from Godís people, how those who for years have been zealous Christians have confessed to pride, self-sufficiency, self-seeking, a censorious and critical spirit, a lack of love--all these things covered up in their hearts.
Sometimes I have been struck with real and actual alarm in my own soul lest I deceive myself as to my real state, and I have said, "O Lord! Arouse me if in any way I am coming short, if in any way there is unreality in my experience." And I have begged the Lord that He would use His sharpest instrument rather than let me be asleep or believe one thing which was not according to His Word.
We are too close to the coming of the Lord to gloss things over now. God demands reality in our experience, reality in our love to Him and in our love for each other.
"Shall Reign in Life"
Peter says the righteous will scarcely be saved (1 Peter 4:17-18). In 2 Peter 1:10 and 11, Peter speaks of an abundant entrance. There will be some who get inside the kingdom but there will be others who will gain an abundant entrance.
"For if by one manís offence death reigned by one: much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17).
"We shall reign in life." God wants us to see and to know whether we are overcoming or whether we are just approximating. God never averages anything. God never pronounces a false judgment. He is never going to say, "Come, thou good and faithful servant," only to those who are good and faithful.
In the Bible we read about a "full reward" (2 John 8). We read about "great reward" (Psalm 19:11; Luke 6:23). We read about "suffering loss, yet saved so as by fire." "Every manís work shall be made manifest" (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).
How we should pray, "Lord, go through our service, go through our profession, go through our experience NOW! For it will be tried by fire at last and we cannot afford to be building with wood, hay and stubble."
Have you ever noticed the awful unreality of our praying? People pray when they havenít the least idea God is going to answer. There is fearful unreality in our testimonies. We have learned pious phraseology and often there is no reality behind it in the life. Before we speak glibly about the Cross of Christ and about separation and consecration, we need to know if we have experience backing our words and if we are prepared to have God answer our prayers.
God Is Taking His People to
God is probing deep into the hearts of His people. "We shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17). The character necessary for reigning with Christ, God develops in a life of daily hardships, by attacks of the enemy, by misunderstandings. There is a teaching that because of the grace of our Lord, death will rectify everything in a moment. But, beloved, the grace of God cannot do in a minute that disciplining which takes time and training. The grace of God cannot make a mature Christian in five minutes.
If with the grace of God we cannot get along here with the people we meet and live with, we are not reigning with Christ. To reign means to overcome. Right where God puts us, God wants us to reign. Every day He provides us with opportunities to reign over hard and difficult things. If we cannot reign over the little things in this life how can we reign with Him on His Throne? If everyone around us has to be an angel, we are not very deep in God.
Repentance and faith in the blood of Jesus Christ puts us into the kingdom but it does not put a crown on our head. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). We are rewarded after we are saved, according to our works (Revelation 22:12; 1 Corinthians 3:8,15).
Paul, the chief apostle, wrote, "I press toward the mark [margin, goal]." If, in the life to come, we are to sit with Christ on His Throne, the Word of God teaches we are to reign in this life, reign over self, reign over Satan, reign over the world.
God Hates Garments
Christ died to make us holy. Love is jealous over the object of its love. It is love that is stern. It is love that is searching us through and through, seeking to make us in all things like Jesus. "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." Are we one with the Lord in everything? It would be a sad thing for us to have anything between us and our Lord and not know it. Has the Lord first place in our life?
The Spirit leads back to Calvary. In the Welsh Revival it was "Calvary." Evan Roberts writes of the conflict in his soul when he said, "Lord, bend me. Lord, bend me." He said the thing that alarmed him was that he was unmoved by the story of Calvary. Saved by it, but somehow his sensibilities unmoved by the sufferings of our Lord, when he cried out, "Lord, bend me. Lord, bend me."
He says this is what bent him: that the Spirit showed him, "God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us," and that love did not commend itself enough to Evan Roberts (Romans 5:8).
Does that love commend itself enough to us to constrain us to sacrifice everything for it? The Lord is calling upon us now to decide the question whether we are going to lay down our very lives for Christís sake and show that selfless love and devotion to Him and His that impelled Him, through the eternal Spirit to offer Himself without spot to God for us.