Part 7We are now called to consider a deeply practical point in our subject. It is contained in the clause, "To serve the living and true God." This is full of interest to every truly converted soul, every true Christian. We are called "to serve." Our whole life, from the moment of our conversion to the close of our earthly career, should be characterised by a spirit of true, earnest, intelligent service. This is our high privilege, not to say our hallowed duty. It matters not what our sphere of action may be, what our line of life, or what our calling; when we are converted, we have just got one thing to do, namely, to serve God. If there be anything in our calling which is contrary to the revealed will of God — contrary to the direct teaching of His Word — then we must at once abandon it, cost what it may. The very first step of an obedient servant is to step out of a false position.
Suppose for example the owner of a public house is converted to God. What is he to do? Can he go on with such a business? Can he abide in such a calling with God? Can he continue in the sale of that which entails ruin, misery, degradation, death and perdition on thousands and hundreds of thousands? Can he possibly serve the living and true God in the bar of a public house?
We cannot believe it. We may be deemed harsh, severe and narrow, in writing thus. We cannot help that. We must write what we believe to be the truth. We are persuaded that the very first act of a converted public house keeper should be to shut up his shop, and turn his back, with stern decision on such a Godless and horrible calling. To talk of serving God in such an occupation, is, in our judgement, a miserable delusion.
No doubt the same may be said about many other callings, and the reader may be disposed to ask, “What is a Christian supposed to do? How can he get on?” Our answer is simply this;
We are called to serve God, and everything must be tried by this standard. The Christian has to ask himself this one question, "Can I fulfil the duties of this situation to the glory of God?" If not, he must abandon it. If we cannot connect the name of God with our calling in life, then, assuredly, if we want to walk with God, if we aim at serving Him, if it be our one desire to be found well-pleasing in His sight, then we must give up that calling and look to Him to open some path for us in which we can walk to His praise.
This He will do, blessed be His name. He never fails a trusting soul. All we have to do is to cleave to Him with purpose of heart, and He will make the way plain before us. It may seem difficult at first. The path may appear narrow, rough, lonely; but our simple business is to stand for God, and not to continue for one hour in connection with anything contrary to His revealed will. A tender conscience, a single eye, a devoted heart, will settle many a question, solve many a difficulty, remove many a barrier. Indeed, the very instincts of the divine nature, if only they be allowed to act, will guide in many a perplexity. "The light of the body is the eye; therefore, when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light."
When the purpose of the heart is true to Christ, true to His name and cause, true to the service of God, the Holy Spirit opens up the precious treasures of divine revelation to the soul, and pours a flood of living light upon the understanding, so that we see the path of service as clear as a sunbeam before us, and we have only got to tread it with a firm step.
But we must never, for one moment, lose sight of the grand fact that we are converted to the service of God. The outcome of the life which we possess must ever take the form of service to the living and true God. In our unconverted days we worshipped idols, and served divers lusts and pleasures; now, on the contrary, we worship God in the Spirit, and we are called to serve Him with all our ransomed powers. We have turned to God, to find in Him our perfect rest and satisfaction. There is not a single thing in the entire range of a creature's necessities, for time and eternity, that we cannot find in our own most gracious God and Father. He has treasured up in Christ, the Son of His love, all that can satisfy the desires of the new life in us. It is our privilege to have Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith, and to be so rooted and grounded in love as to be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.
~C. H. Mackintosh~
(continued with # 14)