The Quest For Godís Best
 
By Fred D. Jarvis

   Progress is the great law of life. Most of us have known better days, and all of us can be better than we are. Now is the time for us to take spiritual inventory of our lives, to select our priorities and put first things first. Most of us have only touched the border of our achievement. We know so little about the power of faith and prayer. We only realize a small percent of our full potentiality. We donít even enjoy Godís blessings, much less His miracles.

    Being a Christian is no part-time matter. It requires our best! How dangerous it is for us to be self-satisfied, to live without a purpose and without heavenís best. God wants to make us a productive, progressive people.

    Oh, the woe of an unsurrendered will and a useless life! A life is a terrible thing to waste. Fruitlessness, idleness, laziness and ignorance should have no place in a Christian life. Godís best can be ours! We do not need to be substandard, second-rate Christians. The dynamic power of God can pour through our lives to bless a needy world.

    God today is searching for people zealous of good works. The Spirit-filled, Spirit-ruled, Spirit-guided life is the norm for every Christian. The Bible is full of the stories of great men and women of God who pursued the path of spiritual progress, who paid the price of power and lived a full, overflowing, abundant life.

    God is looking for such men and women today through whom He can work wonders, move mountains and do exploits. God wants us to learn to drink deeply from the divine streams of spiritual power. He wants to raise up more men of miracle and destiny. God wants us to specialize in doing what we canít. The word "impossible" is not in Godís dictionary.

A Little Farther Costs, But a Little Farther Counts

    Poverty of purpose is worse than poverty of purse. The footprints in the sands of time are not made by sitting down. We should not have to search for opportunities; we should make them. The consciousness of our need is the first step to progress. We should be ashamed of our lack of ambition. God forbid that we should continue to go through our lives or into our graves without winning souls or accomplishing anything much for Christ.

    God wants to lift us up to a higher plane and a new spiritual dimension. He wants to give us power to conquer ourselves, cope with our conflicts, deal with our despair, fight our fears, and win over worry. Only then can we master our problems and live a useful, loving, victorious life. God wants us to be Bible-taught and Spirit-directed. Only the conquered can know true conquest. We donít have to be stiff, sterile, stale and silent saints.

    Soul-winning is at the very heart of the Gospel. God calls upon His children to fulfill their mission in the world. He wants us to witness and work. The idle laity must be put to work for God. We dare not be satisfied with a spark of blessing when we need a spiritual explosion. We have the truth that the world sadly needs; let us share it with all our hearts with all men everywhere.

    In our quest for Godís best, we must present our bodies a living sacrifice unto Christ (Rom. 12:1). Until this is done, there is nothing else that we can do. Consecration is our reasonable service. "The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2).

    We can live the abundant life, the transformed life, the exchanged life. We can be filled with the Holy Spirit and have a knowledge of His will. We can be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19). We can walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4), in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16), in love (Eph. 5:2). We can walk worthy of the Lord (Eph. 4:1). We can serve in the newness of spirit (Rom. 7:6).

    We are always to abound in the work of the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58). Rivers of living water can flow from our inmost being (John 7:37-38). We can abide in Christ and bear fruit (John 15:8). Our paths can shine brighter and brighter unto a perfect day (Prov. 4:18). God can do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (Eph. 3:20).

The Power of Faith and Prayer

    All of our blessings and benefits come through faith. May God give us more men of faith, action and enterprise, who are righteous as well as strong! Our faith determines our attitude and outcome. Let us make no little plans. Let us do what we can with what we have and where we are. Let us keep on going on. Everything that is worthwhile is the fruit of faith. There never will be miracles to the men who do not believe in them.

    The power of faith and prayer is more potent and powerful than a mountain of uranium. Prayer power is more important than hydrogen power. It is the highest form of power. It is the engine of achievement.

    When faith, prayer and obedience go out of style, so does civilization. Obedience is the key to the abundant life. It is the great lack in our lives. Like Jesus, we must say, "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to do His work" (John 4:34). We are to believe with our hearts (Rom. 10:10) and to obey from the heart (Rom. 6:17). "By faith Abraham obeyed" (Hebrews 11:8). Even Jesus learned obedience by the things which He suffered. If we love Christ, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15).

    The standards of Godís Word are high. God wants us to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). We are to love as He loves (John 13:34), forgive as He forgives (Eph. 4:32), walk as He walked (1 John 2:6). We are to be pure in heart (Matt. 5:8), to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44), be holy in all manner of conversation (1 Peter 1:15). We are to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17), be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord (Rom. 12:11). We are to be zealous of good works (Titus 2:14); we are to always abound in the work of the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58).

    We cannot live up to these ideals in our own strength, but with Godís help and grace we can. We can say with Paul, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4:13). Christ can live in and through us; He can be our all in all (Col. 3:11). We are complete in Him (Col. 2:10).

    The world today is in deep trouble, and there is no cure apart from a visitation from Christ and a real outpouring of power from on high. Only the Holy Spiritís moving can save us from the numbing unreality of powerless, Spiritless Christianity.

    Our churches are filled with Christians who live fruitless, instead of fruitful lives. Many are powerless, in spite of Godís promise of power. We know not that we are "wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked." How we need to cry out afresh, "Wilt Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?" (Psa. 85:6). Let us pray persistently until we experience "times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord."

Surrender Brings Power

    It is time to get alone with God, search our hearts, get rid of our sin, confess our spiritual deadness, and surrender ourselves afresh to the Saviour. Unconditional surrender will always bring unmistakable power. May God break the yoke of our bondage, restore the reality of our worship, and make us a going people for our coming Saviour!

    The quest for the best involves forsaking all and following Jesus. It involves abiding in Christ; it involves being filled with the Spirit: "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:8). This is the crying need of this hour!

Abridged from Herald of His Coming, October 1977. Fred D. Jarvis (1914-1990) was a frequent contributor of articles to Herald of His Coming during his active years as a missionary statesman, founder of New Life League and prolific speaker and writer.