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Friday, July 27, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 19

Lying like John in His bosom, let us each reckon ourselves to be the disciple whom Jesus loved. Like Enoch, let us claim by faith the testimony that we please God, and looking up with confidence we shall find His responsive smile and benediction. The true secret of pleasing God is to trust Him, believe in His love for us, be artless children and count ourselves beloved of God.

Reasonable and Gentle Standard

Let us remember that God's will for us is not a hard and impossible task but a reasonable, practicable and gentle standard. He is not continually frowning upon us because we cannot reach some astonishing height, or imitate some prodigy of martyrdom and service, but He expects of us a simple, faithful life in the quiet sphere which He has assigned to us. We are truly blameless in His sight when we are following, moment by moment, His perfect will in life's duties as they meet us.

He adapts the standard of duty according to our circumstances and ability. The parent expects less of the lisping child than the teacher does of the older student or the employer does of the full grown man. God knows our strength, and His "yoke is easy and  His burden is light" (Matthew 11:30). Therefore, let us not reprove ourselves because we have not yet reached some ideal that, by and by, we shall have attained to. Are we meeting His will today and saying yes to His claims as the moments pass? Then, indeed, we are blameless in His sight.

At the same time, let us not allow this comfort to allure us to a false extreme. If, on the other hand, God is pressing us forward by His Spirit to higher reaches, let us not be content with less, for  we shall not be blameless unless we press forward that we may apprehend all for which we are apprehended of Christ Jesus. With many of us, God is not finding fault for actual disobedience, perhaps, but for shortcoming and a too easy contentment with past attainments. The great question is: Are we obedient to the voice of His Spirit as He calls us onward, step by step?

Implicit Obedience

Implicit obedience to every voice of God and every conviction of duty is essential to a blameless life.  One moment's hesitation to obey, one act of willful disobedience, will plunge us into darkness, cause withdrawal of His conscious presence from the heart, and leave the soul disarmed and exposed to temptation and sin. Those who have become wholly sanctified have given up the right of self-will and disobedience forever. It is not to be thought of even for a moment that we should hesitate to say yes to His every voice. True, we may not know His voice at all times, but in such cases He will always give us time. When w are convicted of His will and convinced of His way for us, there is no alternative but obedience or a fearful fall and a complete loss of the divine communion. 

We must preserve ceaseless communion with God, and abide in the spirit of prayer and fellowship through the Holy Spirit. The interruption of our communion for an hour might lose a step. That lost step might lead us from the pathway of His perfect will and the fellowship of His presence for days to come, or, at least, leave us a step behind, and therefore not blameless.

We must maintain a quiet spirit. It should be free from the turmoil and agitation of anxious care and inward strife, and still enough to always hear His voice. "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7). This is the soul's defense if we would be preserved blameless. Therefore let the peace of God rule in your hearts, and regard with apprehension and alarm even a moment's interruption of your quietness and inward rest.

We must jealously guard our hearts and thoughts. We should not feel ourselves at liberty to drift into the current of all the imaginations that are ever ready to sweep through the brain, and the idle words in which even Christian people are always ready to involve us. If you are walking closely with God and watching for His voice, you will be quickly conscious of a constraint, a weight upon your mind, a repression upon your heart, a deep tender sense of God's anxiety for His child - the mother calling her little birdlings to her soft wing from the place of peril. Truly "He that guards his lips guards his soul" (Proverbs 13:3). These outward gates are places of danger, and the path of safety is a hidden one.

~A. B. Simpson~

(continued with # 20)

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