Follow right manfully in your Master’s steps, for He has traversed this rough way before you. Better a brief warfare and eternal rest, than false peace and everlasting torment.
Image Credit: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos
“You look back at a certain moment which changed everything. But “moment” is too long a word; was it a period of time at all? There came a thunder clap. But no, thunder may rumble for two or three seconds. This was a lightening flash cleaving straight across the road on which you walked. You shut your eyes instinctively; when you opened them the road looked different. And it was different. Nothing will ever be again as it was before that lightening flash. This, and this, and this you will never do again. And the road will grow duller and darker with every mile you go–is that your thought?
A voice speaks within you:
‘Things will never be as they were before? This is true; for they will be better.
‘You will never do this and this again? That is true; for I have other things for you to do.
‘They are not what you would choose? But they are indeed the best that Love can choose for you to do. . . .’
‘You have nothing to do, now, but to please Me.’
~Amy Carmichael’s Gold by Moonlight
“There is a certain curious comfort in remembering that the Father depends upon His child not to give way. It is inspiring to be trusted with a hard thing. You never asked for summer breezes to blow upon your tree. It is enough that you are not alone upon the hill.”
“. . . but the big kind of courage is the cold-blooded kind, the kind that never lets go even when you’re feeling empty inside, and your blood’s thin, and there’s no kind of fun or profit to be had, and the trouble’s not over in an hour or two but lasts for months and years. One of the men here was speaking about that kind and he called it ‘Fortitude.’ I reckon fortitude’s the biggest thing a man can have–just to go on enduring, when there’s not guts or heart left in you.”
~From Amy Carmichael’s Gold by Moonlight
Begin to believe, and hold on to it steadfastly, that He has taken that which you have surrendered to Him. You positively must not wait to feel either that you have given yourself, or that God has taken you. You must simply believe it, and reckon it to be the case.
–Hannah Whitall Smith, “A Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life”
(quoted in “Grace for the Good Girl”)
“Joy is not gush; joy is not jolliness. Joy is simply perfect acquiescence in God’s will, because the soul delights itself in God Himself.”
Prebendary Webb-Peploe, quoted by Amy Carmichael.
God is so, so good, and so very kind. And patient. He’s been teaching me so many things–things He has tried to show me before, but things I still haven’t quite grasped yet. I’m just going to share a few little snippets here… they may not make particular sense to you, so my apologies in advance. But… then again, perhaps God will use them for you, in your own struggles. I am not going to explain all of the context–some of you will know without my telling you… but for the rest, it would simply take too long, and there is no need for you to take my burdens on top of yours.
“Not only is what is thus given up received back again to become doubly our own [speaking of spiritual gifts], but the forsaking all is followed by the receiving all. We abide in Christ more fully as we forsake all and follow Him. As I count all things loss for His sake, I am found in Him.“ Abide in Christ
“. . .from T. C. Upham’s Inward Divine Guidance: “The disposition. . . to leave the dearest objects of our hearts in the sublime keeping of the general and unspecific belief that God is now answering our prayers in His own time and way, and in the best manner, involves a process of inward crucifixion which is obviously unfavorable to the growth and even the existence of the life of self.“ Passion and Purity
“Think of the self God has given as an acorn. It is a marvelous little thing, a perfect shape, perfectly designed for its purpose, perfectly functional. Think of the grand glory of an oak tree. God’s intention when He made the acorn was the oak tree. His intention for us is “. . . the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Many deaths must go into our reaching that measure, many letting-goes. When you look at the oak tree, you don’t feel that the “loss” of the acorn is a very great loss. The more you perceive God’s purpose in your life, the less terrible will the losses seem.“ Passion and Purity
“What kind of a God is it who asks everything of us? The same God who ‘. . . did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all; and with this gift how can he fail to lavish upon us all He has to give?’
He gives all.
He asks all.” Passion and Purity
“Do you not know that flesh and blood cannot reveal it unto you, but only the Father in heaven? ‘Cease from thine own wisdom.’ (Prov. 23:4). You have but to bow in the confession of your own ignorance and helplessness; the Father will delight to give you the teaching of the Holy Spirit. If only your ears are open, your thoughts brought into subjection, and your heart prepared in silence to wait upon God and to hear what He speaks, He will reveal to you His secrets. And one of the first secrets will be the deeper insight into the truth, that as you sink low before Him in nothingness and helplessness, in a silence and a stillness of soul that seeks to catch the faintest whisper of His love, teachings will come to you that you had never heard before because of the rush and noise of your own thoughts and efforts.” Abide in Christ
“Abide in Christ! [I bet you can already guess which book this is from. Ahem.] This is indeed the Father’s object in sending the trial. In a storm, the tree strikes deeper roots in the soil; in a hurricane, the inhabitants of the house abide within and rejoice in its shelter. So, by suffering, the Father would lead us to enter more deeply into the love of Christ. . . . It is an unspeakable mercy that the Father comes with His chastisement, makes the world around us all dark and unattractive, and leads us to feel our sinfulness more deeply, and, for a time, lose our joy in what was becoming so dangerous. He does it in the hope that, when we have found our rest in Christ in time of trouble, we will learn to choose abiding in Him as our only portion; and so that when the affliction is removed, we will have so grown more firmly into Him, that in prosperity He will still be our only joy.” Abide in Christ.
Also, I am learning to think, when faced with some little or big trial, that this has come to me from a loving God, who is seeking to draw me to Himself and sanctify me. What can I learn from it? How would He have me respond? It makes so much difference.
Those are [just a few] thoughts that have stood out to me lately. There is so much to be learned at His feet! What has He been teaching you there recently?
Believer, when striving to find the way to abide in Christ from moment to moment, remember that the gateway is to abide in Him at this present moment. Instead of wasting effort in trying to get into a state that will last, just remember that it is Christ Himself, the living, loving Lord, who alone can keep you and is waiting to do so. Begin at once, and act by faith in Him for the present moment: this is the only way to be kept the next. To attain the life of permanent and perfect abiding is not ordinarily given at once as a possession for the future;it comes mostly step by step. Avail yourself, therefore, of every opportunity of exercising the trust of the present moment. Each time you bow in prayer, let there first be an act of simple devotion: “Father, I am in Christ; I now abide in Him.”
Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ.
From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain free,
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.
From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified,
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.
Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.