Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Master's Indwelling by Andrew Murray

Part 2 out of 2

Adobe PDF icon
Download The Master's Indwelling pdf
File size: 0.2 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

world will give, to comfort and make him happy; there is danger of his
using Christ Jesus in the same way. But oh, brethren, this is not right.
You are His house, and He has a right to dwell therein. Will you not come
and surrender all, and say, "Lord Jesus, I have made Thee overseer over

But now, secondly, the measure of that surrender. We read in the 4th verse:
"All that he had he put into his hands." Then in verse 5: "And it came to
pass from the time that he made him overseer over all that he had"--there
you have it the second time--"the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house, and
the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had"--there the third time.
Then in verse 6: "And he left all that he had"--there you have the words
the fourth time--"in Joseph's hand, and he knew not all he had, save the
bread which he did eat." What do I see here? That Potiphar actually gave
everything into Joseph's hands. He made him master over his slaves. All the
money was put into Joseph's hands, for we read that Potiphar had care of
nothing. When dinner was brought upon the table, he ate of it, and that
was all he knew of what was going on in his house. Is not this entire
surrender?--he gives up everything into the hands of Joseph. Ah, beloved
Christians, I want you to ask yourselves: "Have I done that?" You have
offered more than one consecration prayer, and you have more than once
said: "Jesus, all I have I give to Thee." You have said it, and meant it;
but very probably you did not realize fully what it meant.

With the word surrender there seems always to be a larger and more
comprehensive meaning. We do not succeed in carrying out our intentions,
and afterward we take back one thing and another until we have lost sight
of our original intention. Beloved Christians, let Christ Jesus have all.
Let Him have your whole heart, with its affections; He Himself loves, with
more than the love of Jonathan. Let Him have your whole heart, saying,
"Jesus, every fiber of my being, ever power of my soul, shall be devoted
to Thee." He will accept that surrender. He spoke a solemn word: "You must
hate father and mother." Say you to-day: "Lord Jesus, the love to father
and mother, to wife and child, to brother and sister, I give up to Thee.
Teach Thou me how to love Thee. I have only one desire, which is to love
Thee. I want to give my whole heart to be full of Thy love."

But when you have given your heart, there is yet more to give. There is the
head--the brain with its thoughts. I believe Christians do not know how
much they rob Christ of in reading so much of the literature of the world.
They are often so occupied with their newspapers that the Bible gets a very
small place. Oh, friends, I beseech you bring this noble power which God
has given you, the power of a mind that can think heavenly, eternal, and
infinite things, and lay it at the feet of Jesus, saying, "Lord Jesus,
every faculty of my being I want to surrender to Thee, that Thou shouldst
teach me what to think, and how to think, for Thee and Thy Kingdom." Bless
God, there are men who have given their intellect to Jesus, and it has been
accepted by Him. And in this connection there is my whole outer life. There
is my relation to society, my position among men, my intercourse in my own
home, with friends and family; there is my money, my time, my business; all
these should be put in the hands of Jesus. One cannot know beforehand the
blessedness of this surrender, but blessed it surely is. Come, because He
is worthy; come because you know you can not keep things right yourself,
and make Christ master over all you have. Give father and mother, wife and
child, house and land, and money, all to Jesus, and you will find that in
giving all you receive it back an hundred fold.

Thirdly, look at the blessing of the entire surrender. You have here the
remarkable words: "And it came to pass from the time that Potiphar made
Joseph overseer over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian's
house for Joseph's sake, and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he
had in the house, and in the field." I ask you Christians, If God did this
to that heathen man, because he honored Joseph; if God, for Joseph's sake,
blessed that Egyptian in this wonderful way, may a Christian not venture to
say: "If I put my life into the hands of Jesus, I am sure God will bless
all that I have?" Oh, dare to say it. Potiphar trusted Joseph implicitly
and absolutely, and there was prosperity everywhere, because God was with
Joseph. Beloved friends, if you but surrender everything, depend upon it,
the blessing from that time will be yours. There will be a blessing within
your own inner life, and a blessing in your outer life. He blessed Potiphar
in the house, in the field, everywhere.

Oh, Christian, what is that blessing you will get? I can not tell all, but
I can tell you this: if you will come to Christ Jesus and surrender all,
the blessing of God will be on all that you have. There will be a blessing
for your own soul. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is
stayed on Thee." Try that; trust Jesus for everything, and trust everything
to Him, and the blessing of God will come upon you--the sweet rest, the
rest of faith. It is all in the hands of Jesus; He will guide you; He will
teach you; He will work in you; He will keep you; He will be everything to
you. What a blessed rest and freedom from responsibility and from care,
because it is all in the hands of Jesus! I do not say trouble and trial
will never come; but in the midst of trial and trouble you will have the
all-sufficiency of the presence of Jesus to be your comfort, your help, and
your guide. Joseph was sold by his brethren, but he saw God in it, and he
was quite content. Christ was betrayed by Judas, condemned by Caiaphas, and
given over to execution by Pilate; but in all that, Christ saw God, and
He was content. Give over your life, in all its phases, into the hands of
Jesus; remembering that the very hairs of your head are numbered, and not a
sparrow falls to earth without the Father's notice. Consent now and say: "I
will give up everything into the hands of Jesus. Whatever happens is His
will regarding me. Whether He comes in the light or in the dark, in the
storm or on the troubled sea, I will rest in that blessed assurance. I give
up my whole life entirely to Him."

In reading the Book of Jonah, we find God's hand in each step of Jonah's
experience. It was God who sent the storm when Jonah went aboard the ship,
who appointed a whale to swallow him, who ordered the whale to cast him
out; and then afterwards it was God who caused the hot wind to blow when
the sun was sending down its scorching rays, until the soul of Jonah was
grieved, and made the gourd to grow, and sent the worm to kill the gourd,
and set a sea-wind to dry the gourd up quickly. Do we not thus see that
every circumstance of our living, every comfort and every trial, comes from
God in Christ? There is nothing can touch a hair of my head. Not a sharp
word comes against me; not an unexpected flurry surrounds me, but it is all
Jesus. With my life in His hands, I need care for nothing. I can be content
with what Jesus gives.

God blessed Potiphar in the field; in the visible life outside of his
house; and God will bless you, that, in your intercourse with men, you may
be a blessing; that by your holy, humble, respectful, quiet walk, you may
carry comfort; that by your loving readiness to be a servant and a helper
to all, you may prove what the Spirit of God has done within you. Oh, my
brother, my sister, you have no conception of it,--I have not--how God is
willing to bless the soul utterly given up to Jesus. God can delight in
nothing but Jesus. God delights infinitely in Jesus. God longs to see
nothing in us but Jesus, and if I give up my heart and life to Jesus, and
say, "My God, I want that Thou shouldst see in me nothing but Jesus," then
I bring to the Father the sacrifice that is the most acceptable of all.
Oh, believers, come to-day; come out of all your troubles, and all your
self-efforts and your self-confidence, and let the blessed Son of God
take possession.

Let me direct your thoughts, lastly, to the duration of this surrender. I
want to emphasize this--because in many cases the surrender does not last.
Some go away, and for a time have much gladness and joy, but it soon begins
to decrease, and in a few weeks or perhaps months is all gone. Others who
do not lose it entirely, complain sadly at times, that it goes away and
comes again. They say: "My life has been very much blessed since that
surrender I made to God, but it has not always been on the same level."
What did Potiphar do? We read in the 4th verse: "He made him overseer over
his house, and all that he had he left in Joseph's hands." What a simple
word! He left it there.

And oh, children of God, if you will only get to that point and say, "For
all eternity I leave it in the hands of Jesus," you will find what a
blessing it is. Potiphar found now that he could do the king's business
with two hands and an undivided heart. I might try to rescue a drowning man
by holding fast somewhere with one hand, while I reached out the other hand
to the man, but it is a grand thing for a person to be able to stretch out
both hands, and that person is the one who has left all with Jesus--all his
inner life, all his cares and troubles, and has given himself up entirely
to do the will of God. Will you leave it there? I must press this, because
I know temptations will come. One temptation will be that the feelings you
had in your act of surrender will pass away; they will not be so bright;
another, that circumstances will tempt you. Beloved, temptations will come;
God means it for your good. Every temptation brings you a blessing. Do
understand that. Learn the lesson of giving up everything to Jesus, and
letting Jesus take charge of everything. Leave all with Jesus. Do not think
that by a surrender to-day or on any day, however powerful, however mighty,
things will keep right themselves. You need every morning afresh, when
God wakes you up out of sleep, to put your heart, and your life, and your
house, and your business, into the hands of Jesus. Wait on Him, if need be,
in silence, or in prayer, until He gives you the assurance, "My child, for
to-day all is safe; I take charge." And morning by morning He will renew to
you the blessing, and morning by morning you will go out from your quiet
time in the consciousness, "To-day I have had fellowship with my King, and
it is all right." Jesus has taken charge. And so, day by day, you can have
grace to leave all in the hands of Jesus.

In conclusion let me speak to two classes. There are times when your heart
is restless; there are times when you are afraid to die.

There are some true believers who have perhaps never yet understood that it
was their duty to give up everything to Christ. Beloved fellow Christians,
I come with a message from your Father, to come and to-day take that word
into your hearts and upon your lips, even though you do not understand it.
"Jesus, I make Thee Master of everything and I will wait at Thy feet, that
Thou wilt show me what Thou wouldst have me be and do." Do it now. And
let me say to believers who have done it before, and who long with an
unutterable longing to do it fully and perfectly,--Child of God, you can
do it, for the Holy Spirit has been sent down from Heaven for this one
purpose, to glorify Jesus; to glorify Jesus in your heart, by letting you
see how perfectly Jesus can take possession of the whole heart; to glorify
Jesus by bringing Him into your very life, that your whole life may shine
out with the glory of Jesus. Depend upon it, the Father will give it to you
by the Holy Spirit, if you are ready. Oh, come, and let your intercourse
with God be summed up in a simple prayer and answer--"My God, as much as
Thou wilt have of me to fill with Christ, Thou shalt have to-day." "My
child, as much of Christ as thy heart longeth to have, thou shalt have; for
it is My delight that My Son be in the hearts of My children."



_Gal. 2: 20_.--_I am crucified with Christ_.

The Revised Version properly has the above text "I have been crucified
with Christ." In this connection, let us read the story of a man who was
literally crucified with Christ. We may use all the narrative of Christ's
work upon earth in the flesh as a type of His spiritual work. Let us take
in this instance the story of the penitent thief, Luke 23: 39-43, for I
think we may learn from him how to live as men who are crucified with
Christ. Paul says: "I have been crucified with Christ." And again: "God
forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom I have been crucified to the world, and the world to me." We
often ask earnestly: How can I be free from the self life? The answer is,
"Get another life." We often speak about the power of the Holy Spirit
coming upon us, but I doubt if we fully realize that the Holy Spirit is a
heavenly life come to expel the selfish, and fleshly, and the earthly life.
If we want, in very deed, to enjoy fully the rest that there is in Jesus,
we can only have it as He comes in, in the power of His death, to slay what
is in us of nature, and to take possession, and to live His own life in the
fullness of the Holy Ghost. God's Word takes us to the cross of Christ, and
it teaches us about that cross, two things. It tells us that Christ died
_for_ sin. We understand what that means, that in His atonement He died as
I never die, as I never can die, as I never need die; He died for sin and
for me. But what gave His death such power to atone? It was this: the
spirit in which He died, not the physical suffering, not the external act
of death, but the spirit in which He died. And what was that spirit? He
died _unto_ sin. Sin had tempted Him, and surrounded Him, and had brought
Him very nigh to saying, "I cannot die." In Gethsemane He cried: "Father,
is it not possible that the cup pass from me?" But God be praised, He gave
up His life rather than yield to sin. He died to sin, and in dying He
conquered. And now, I can not die for sin like Christ, but I can and I must
die to sin like Christ. Christ died for me. In that He stands alone. Christ
died to sin, and in that I have fellowship with Him. I have been crucified,
I am dead.

And here is the great subject to which I want to lead you.--What it is to
be dead with Christ, and how it is that I can practically enter into this
death with Christ. We know that the great characteristic of Christ is His
death. From eternity He came with the commandment of the Father that He
should lay down His life on earth. He gave Himself up to it, and He set His
face towards Jerusalem. He chose death, and He lived and walked upon earth
to prepare Himself to die. His death is the power of redemption; death gave
Him His victory over sin; death gave Him His resurrection, His new life,
His exaltation, and His everlasting glory. The great mark of Christ is His
death. Even in Heaven, upon the throne, He stands as the Lamb that was
slain, and through eternity they ever sing, "Thou art worthy, for Thou
wast slain." Beloved brother, your Boaz, your Christ, your all-sufficient
Saviour, is a Man of whom the chief mark and the greatest glory is this: He
died. And if the Bride is to live with her husband as His wife, then she
must enter into His state, and into His spirit, and into His disposition,
and ever be as He is. If we are to experience the full power of what Christ
can do for us, we must learn to die with Christ. I ought not, perhaps, to
use that expression, "We must learn to die with Christ;" I ought, rather,
to say, "We must learn that we _are dead_ with Christ." That is a glorious
thought in the 6th chapter of Romans; to every believer in the Church of
Rome--not to the select ones, or the advanced ones, but to every believer
in the Church of Rome, however feeble, Paul writes, "You _are dead_ with
Christ." On the strength of that he says, "Reckon yourselves dead unto
sin." What does that mean--You are dead to sin? We can not see it more
clearly than by referring to Adam. Christ was the second Adam. What
happened in the first Adam? I died, in the first Adam; I died to God; I
died in sin. When I was born, I had in me the life of Adam, which had all
the characteristics of the life of Adam after he had fallen. Adam died to
God, and Adam died in sin, and I inherit the life of Adam, and so I am dead
in sin as he was, and dead unto God. But at the very moment I begin to
believe in Jesus, I become united to Christ, the second Adam, and as really
as I am united by my birth to the first Adam, I am made partaker of the
life of Christ. What life? That life which died unto sin on Calvary, and
which rose again; therefore God by his apostle tells us: "Reckon yourselves
indeed dead unto sin and alive unto God in Christ Jesus." You are to reckon
it as true, because God says it--for your new nature is indeed, in virtue
of your vital union to Christ, actually and utterly dead to sin.

If we want to have the real Christ that God has given us, the real Christ
that died for us, in the power of His death and resurrection, we must take
our stand here. But many Christians do not understand what the 6th chapter
of the Epistle to the Romans teaches us. They do not know that they are
dead to sin. They do not know it, and therefore Paul instructs them: "Know
ye not that as many of you as are baptized into Christ Jesus, are baptized
into His death." How can we who are dead to sin in Christ live any longer
therein? We have indeed the death and the life of Christ working within
us. But, alas! most Christians do not know this, and therefore do not
experience or practice it. They need to be taught that their first need is
to be brought to the recognition, to the knowledge, of what has taken place
in Christ on Calvary, and what has taken place in their becoming united
to Christ. The man must begin to say, even before he understands it, "In
Christ I am dead to sin." It is a command: "Reckon ye yourselves indeed to
be dead unto sin." Get hold of your union to Christ; believe in the new
nature within you, that spiritual life which you have from Christ, a life
that has died and been raised again. A man's acts are always in accordance
with his idea of his state. A king acts like a king, otherwise we say,
"That man has forgotten his kingship," but if a man is conscious of being
a king, he behaves like a king. And so I cannot live the life of a true
believer unless I am filled with a consciousness of this every day: "I
thank God that I am dead in Christ. Christ died unto sin, and I am united
with Christ, and Christ lives in me and I am dead to sin." What is the life
Christ lives in me? Ask what is the life Adam lives in me? Adam lives in me
the death life, a life that has fallen under the power of sin and death,
death to God. That life Adam lives in me by nature as an unconverted man.
And Christ, the second Adam, has come to me with a new life, and I now live
in His life, the death-life of Christ. As long as I do not know it, I can
not act according to it, though it be in me. Praise God, when a man begins
to see what it is, and begins in obedience to say, "I will do what God's
Word says; I am dead, I reckon myself dead," he enters upon a new life. On
the strength of God's everlasting Word, and your union to Christ, and the
great fact of Calvary, reckon, know yourself as dead indeed unto sin. A man
must see this truth; this is the first step. The second is--he must accept
it in faith. And what then? When he accepts it in faith, then there comes
in him a struggle, and a painful experience, for that faith is still very
feeble, and he begins to ask, "But why, if I am dead to sin, do I commit so
much sin?" And the answer God's Word gives is simply this: You do not allow
the power of that death to be applied by the Holy Spirit. What we need is
to understand that the Holy Spirit came from Heaven, from the glorified
Jesus, to bring His death and His life into us. The two are inseparably
connected. That Christ died, He died unto sin, and that He liveth, He
liveth unto God. The death and the life in Him are inseparable; and even so
in us the life to God in Christ is inseparably connected with the death to
sin. And that is what the Holy Ghost will teach us and work in us. If I
have accepted Christ in faith by the Holy Ghost, and yield myself to
Him, Christ every day keeps possession, and reveals the full power of
my fellowship in His death and life in my heart. To some this comes
undoubtedly in one moment of supreme power and blessing; all at once they
see and accept it, and enter in, and there is death to sin as a Divine
experience. It is not that the tendency to evil is rooted out. No; but the
power of Christ's death keeps from sin, and destroys the power of sin; the
power of Christ's death can be manifested in the Holy Spirit's unceasingly
mortifying the deeds of the body.

Some one asks me if there is still growth needed. Undoubtedly. By the Holy
Spirit a man can now begin to live and grow, deeper and deeper, into the
fellowship of Christ's death. New things are discovered by him in spheres
of which he never thought. A man may at times be filled with the Holy
Ghost, and yet there may be great imperfections in him. Why? For this
reason: because his heart, perhaps, had not been fully prepared by a
complete discovery of sin. There may be pride, or self-consciousness, or
forwardness, or other qualities of this nature which he has never noticed.
The Holy Spirit does not always cast these out at once. No. There are
different ways of entering into the blessed life. One man enters into the
blessed life with the idea of power for service; another with the idea of
rest from worry and weariness; another with the idea of deliverance from
sin. In all these aspects there is something limited, and therefore every
believer is to give himself up after he knows the power of Christ's death,
and say continually: "Lord Jesus, let the power of Thy death work through,
let it penetrate my whole being." As the man gives himself unreservedly up,
he will begin to bear the marks of a crucified man. The apostle says: "I
have been crucified," and he lives like a crucified man.

What are the marks of a crucified man? The first is, deep, absolute
humility. Christ humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the
death of the cross. When the death to sin begins to work mightily, that is
one of its chief and most blessed proofs. It breaks a man down, down, and
the great longing of his heart is, "Oh, that I could get deeper down before
my God, and be nothing at all, that the life of Christ might be exalted. I
deserve nothing but the cursed cross; I give myself over to it." Humility
is one of the great marks of a crucified man.

Another mark is impotence, helplessness. When a man hangs
on the cross, he is utterly helpless, he can do nothing. As long as we
Christians are strong, and can work, or struggle, we do not get into the
blessed life of Christ; but when a man says, "I am a crucified man, I am
utterly helpless, every breath of life and strength must come from my
Jesus," then we learn what it is to sink into our own impotence, and say,
"I am nothing."

Still another mark of crucifixion is restfulness. Yes. Christ was
crucified, and went down into the grave, and we are crucified and buried
with Him. There is no place of rest like the grave; a man can do nothing
there, "My flesh shall rest in hope," said David, and said the Messiah.
Yes, and when a man goes down into the grave of Jesus, it means this: that
he just cries out, "I have nothing but God, I trust God; I am waiting upon
God; my flesh rests in Him; I have given up everything, that I may rest,
waiting upon what God is to do to me." Remember, the crucifixion, and the
death, and the burial are inseparably one. And remember the grave is the
place where the mighty resurrection power of God will be manifested.
And remember those precious words in the 11th of John: "Said I not unto
thee"--when did Christ say that? It was at the grave of Lazarus--"that if
thou believest, thou shalt see the glory of God?" Where shall I see the
glory of God most brightly? Beside the grave. Go down into death believing,
and the glory of God will come upon thee, and fill thy heart.

Dear friends, we want to die. If we are to live in the rest, and the peace,
and the blessedness of our great Boaz; if we are to live a life of joy and
of fruitfulness, of strength and of victory, we must go down into the grave
with Christ, and the language of our life must be: "I am a crucified
man. God be praised, though I have nothing but sin in myself, I have an
everlasting Jesus, with His death and His life, to be the life of my soul."

How can I enter into this fellowship of the cross? We find an illustration
in the story of the penitent thief. Thomas said, before Christ's death,
"Let us go and abide with Him." And Peter said, "Lord, I am ready to go
with Thee to prison, or to death." But the disciples all failed, and our
Lord took a man who was the offscouring of the earth, and he hung him upon
the cross of Calvary beside Himself, and He said to Peter, and to all: "I
will let you see what it is to die with Me." And He says that word to-day,
to the weakest and the humblest; if you are longing to know what it is to
enter into death with Jesus, come and look at the penitent thief. And what
do we see there? First of all, we see there the state of a heart prepared
to die with Christ. We see in that penitent thief, a humble, whole-hearted
confession of sin. There he hung upon the cursed tree, and the multitudes
were blaspheming that man beside him, but he was not ashamed publicly to
make confession: "I am dying a death that I have deserved; I am suffering
justly; this cross is what I have deserved." Here is one of the reasons why
the Church of Christ enters so little into the death of Christ; men do not
want to believe that the curse of God is upon everything in them that has
not died with Christ. People talk about the curse of sin, but they do not
understand that the whole nature has been infected by sin, and that the
curse is on everything. My intellect, has that been defiled by sin?
Terribly, and the curse of sin is on it, and therefore my intellect must go
down into the death. Ah, I believe that the Church of Christ suffers more
to-day from trusting in intellect, in sagacity, in culture, and in mental
refinement, than from almost anything else. The Spirit of the world comes
in, and men seek by their wisdom, and by their knowledge, to help the
Gospel, and they rob it of its crucifixion mark. Christ directed Paul to go
and preach the Gospel of the cross, but to do it not with wisdom of words.
The curse of sin is on all that is of nature. If there be a minister who
has delighted in preaching, who has done his very best, who has given his
very best in the way of talent and of thought, and who asks, "Must that
go down into the grave?" I say, "Yes, my brother, the whole man must be
crucified." And so with the heart's affection. What is more beautiful than
the love of a child to his mother? In that lovely nature there is something
unsanctified, and it must be given up to die. God will raise it from the
dead and give it back again, sanctified and made alive unto God. So I might
go through the whole of our life. People often say to me: "But has God made
all things so beautiful, and is it not right that we should enjoy them? Are
not His gifts all good?" I answer, yes, but remember what it says; they are
good, if sanctified by the Word of God and prayer. The curse of sin is on
them; the blight of sin is on everything most beautiful, and it takes much
of God's Word, and much of prayer to sanctify them. It is very hard to give
up a thing to the death, and it is hardest of all to give up my life to the
death, and I never will until I have learned that everything about that
life is stamped by sin, and let it go down into the death as the only way
to have it quickened and sanctified.

The penitent thief confessed his sin, and that he deserved death. Then,
next, he had faith in the almighty power of Christ. A wonderful faith. It
has no parallel in the Bible. There hangs the cursed malefactor with Jesus
of Nazareth, and he dares speak, and say: "I am dying here, under the just
curse of my sins, but I believe Thou canst take me into Thy heart, and
remember me when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom." Oh, that we might learn to
believe in the almighty power of Christ! That man believed that Christ was
a King, and had a Kingdom, and that He would take him up in His arms, and
in His heart, and remember him when He came into His Kingdom. He believed
that, and believing that, he died. Brother, you and I need to take time to
come to a much larger and deeper faith in the power of Christ, that the
almighty Christ will indeed take us in His arms and carry us through this
death life, revealing the power of His death in us. I cannot live it
without personal contact with Christ every hour of the day. Christ must do
it; Christ can do it. Come therefore and say: "Is He not the Almighty One;
did He not come from the throne of God; did He not prove His omnipotence,
and did the Father not prove it when He rose from the dead?" Would you be
afraid, now that Christ is on the throne, of doing what the malefactor did
when Christ was upon the cross, and entrusting yourself to Him to live as
one dead with Him? Christ will carry you through the very process He went
through; will make His death work in you every day of your life.

I note one thing more in the penitent thief--his prayer. There was his
conviction of sin, and his faith, but there was, further, the utterance of
his faith in prayer. He turned to Jesus. Remember that the whole world,
with perhaps the exception of Mary and the women, was turned against Christ
that day. Of the whole world of men as far as I know, there was but that
one praying to Christ. Do not wait to see what others do; if you wait for
that,--alas! I desire to say it in love and tenderness,--you will not find
much company in the Church of Christ. Pray incessantly: "Lord Christ, let
the power of Thy death come into me." For God's sake, pray the prayer. If
you want to live the life of Heaven, there must be death to sin in the
power of Jesus. There must be personal entrustment of the soul into His
death to sin, personal acceptance of Jesus to do the mighty work.

We have seen what the preparation is on the part of this man; let us look,
secondly, at how Christ met him. He met him, you know, with that wonderful
promise, with its three wonderful parts: "To-day shalt thou be with me in
Paradise." A promise of fellowship with Christ,--"Thou shalt be with me;"
a promise of rest in eternity, in the Paradise from which sin had cast man
out,--"With me in Paradise;" a promise of immediate blessing,--"To-day
shalt thou be with Me." With that three-fold blessing Jesus comes to you
and me, and He says: "Believer, are you longing to live the Paradise life,
where I give souls to eat of the Tree of Life, in the Paradise of God, day
by day? Are you longing for that uninterrupted communion with God that
there was in Paradise before Adam fell? Are you longing for perfect
fellowship with me, longing to live where I am living, in the love of the
Father? To-day, to-day; even as the Holy Ghost says: 'To-day shalt thou
be with me!' Longest thou for Me? I long more for thee. Longest thou for
fellowship? I long unceasingly for thy fellowship, for I need thy love,
my child, to satisfy my heart. Nothing can prevent My receiving thee into
fellowship. I have taken possession of Heaven for thee, as the Great High
Priest, that thou mightest live the Heavenly life, that thou mightest have
access into the holiest of all and an abiding dwelling place there. To-day,
if thou wilt, thou shalt be with me in Paradise." Thank God, the Jesus of
the penitent thief is my Jesus. Thank God, the cross of the penitent thief
is my cross. I must confess my sinfulness if I want to come into the
closest communion with my blessed Lord. There was not a man upon earth
during the thirty-three years of Christ's life that had such wonderful
fellowship with the Son of God, as the penitent thief, for with the Son of
God he entered the glory. What made him so separate from others? He was on
the cross with Jesus and entered Paradise with Him. And if I live upon the
cross with Jesus, the Paradise life shall be mine every day.

And now, if Jesus gives me that promise, what have I to do? Let go. When a
ship is moored alongside the dock, with everything ready for the start and
all standing on the quay, the last bell is rung and the order is given,
"Let go." Then the last rope is loosened, and the steamer moves. There are
things that tie us to the earth, to the flesh-life, and to the self-life;
but to-day the message comes: "If thou wouldst die with Jesus, let go."
Thou needst not understand all. It may not be perfectly clear; the heart
may appear dull, but never mind; Jesus carried that penitent thief through
death to life. The thief did not know where he was going, he did not know
what was to happen, but Jesus, the mighty conqueror, took him in His arms,
and landed him, in his ignorance, in Paradise. Oh, I have sometimes said
in my soul, bless God for the ignorance of that penitent thief. He knew
nothing about what was going to happen, but he trusted Christ; and if I can
not understand all about this crucifixion with Christ, and the death to
sin, and the life to God, and the glory that comes into the heart, never
mind, I trust my Lord's promise, I cast myself helpless into His arms, I
maintain my position on the cross. Given up to Jesus, to die with Him, I
can trust Him to carry me through.

Shall we not each one take the blessed opportunity of doing what Ruth did
when she, in obedience to the advice of her mother, just cast herself at
the feet of the great Boaz, the Redeemer, to be His? Shall we not come into
personal contact with Jesus, and shall not each one of us just speak before
the world these simple words: "Lord, here is this life; there is much in it
still of self, and sinfulness, and self-will, but I come to Thee; I long to
enter fully into Thy death; I long to know fully that I have been crucified
with Thee; I long to live Thy life every day." Then say: "Lord Jesus, I
have seen Thy glory, what Thou didst for the penitent one at Thy side on
the cross; I am trusting Thee, that Thou wilt do it for me. Lord, I cast
myself into Thy arms."



_Romans 14: 17._--_For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but
righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost._

In this text we have the earthly revelation of the work of the Trinity. The
Kingdom of God is righteousness; that represents the work of the Father.
The foundations of His throne are justice and judgment. Then comes the work
of the Son: He is our peace, our Shiloh, our rest. The Kingdom of God is
peace; not only the peace of pardon for the past, but the peace of perfect
assurance as to the future. Not only the work of atonement is finished, but
the work of sanctification is finished in Christ, and I may receive and
enjoy what is prepared for me. The new man has been created, and I may in
Him live out my life; if a kingdom is established in righteousness, if the
rule is perfect, there can be perfect rest. If there be peace, no war
from without, and no civil dissension within, a nation can be happy and
prosperous. And so there comes here, after righteousness and peace, the
joy, the blessed happiness in which a man can live; "The Kingdom of God is
righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." May we regard this joy
of the Holy Ghost, not only as a beautiful thing to admire, not only as a
thing to have beautiful thoughts about, but as a blessing that we are going
to claim.

We often see a fruiterer's or confectioner's shop, with beautiful fruit or
cake temptingly displayed in the window. There is a great pane of plate
glass before it, and the hungry little boys stand there and look, and long,
but they cannot reach it. If you were to say to one, "Now, little boy, take
that fruit," he would look at you in surprise. He has learned that there is
something between. If he had never known of glass he might attempt it. The
plate glass is sometimes so clear that even a grown man might for a moment
be deceived and stretch out his hand. But he soon finds there is something
invisible between him and the fruit. This represents exactly the life of
many Christians; they see, but they cannot take. And what now is this
invisible pane of plate glass, that hinders my taking the beautiful things
I see? It is nothing but the self-life; I see divine things but cannot
reach them, the self-life is the invisible plate glass. We are willing, we
are working, we are striving, and yet we are holding back something; we are
afraid to give up everything to God. We do not know what the consequences
may be. We have not yet comprehended that God and Christ Jesus are worth
everything. Whatever is told us of the blessed life of peace and joy, we
say, "Praise God; God's Word is true; I believe the Word;" and yet, day by
day, we stand back. When some one says, "Take it," we say, "I can't take
it; there is something between." Would we were willing to give up the
self-life; would we had the courage to give up to-day, and let the joy of
the Holy Ghost be our religion. That is the religion God has prepared for
us; that is the religion we can claim; not only righteousness, not only
peace, but the joy of the Holy Ghost. That is the Kingdom of God.

What is this joy? First of all, it is the joy of the presence of Jesus.
We are often inclined to speak most of two other things, the power for
sanctification, and the power for service. But I find there is a thing more
important than either of those two, and that is that the Holy Ghost came
from Heaven to be the abiding presence of Christ in His disciples, in the
Church, and in the heart of every believer. The Lord Jesus was going away,
and His disciples were very sad; their hearts was sorrowful; but He said to
them, "I will come back again, and I will come to you. Your hearts shall
rejoice, and your joy no man shall take from you." What took place with
them, may take place with us too. The Holy Spirit is given to make the
presence of Jesus an abiding reality, a continual experience. And what was
that joy that no man could ever touch? It was the joy of Pentecost. And
what was Pentecost? The coming of the Lord Jesus in the Holy Ghost to dwell
with His disciples. While Jesus was with His disciples on earth, He could
not get into their hearts in the right way. They loved Him, but they could
not take in His teaching, they could not partake of His disposition, and
they could not receive His very spirit into their being. But when He had
ascended to Heaven, He came back in the Spirit to dwell in their hearts.
It is this alone that will help us to go, the minister to his congregation
with its difficulties, the business man to his counter, the mother to her
large family with its care, the worker to her Bible class. It is this only
that will help us to feel, "I can conquer, I can live in the rest of God."
Why? "Because I have the almighty Jesus with me every day." With God's
people, there seems to be one hindrance, _they do not know their Saviour_.
They do not realize that this blessed Christ is an ever present,
all-pervading, in-dwelling Christ, who wants to take charge of their entire
lives. They do not know, they do not believe that He is an Almighty Christ,
and ready in the midst of any difficulties and any circumstances to be
their keeper and their God. This is absolutely true. Many Christians are
asked as to how one may have the joy unspeakable, the joy that nothing can
take away, the joy of the friendship and nearness and love of Jesus filling
his heart. We complain that the rush of competition is so terrible that we
can not get time for private prayer. Brother, the Lord Jesus Christ, if He
comes to you as a brother and a friend and an abiding guest, can give your
heart the joy of the Holy Ghost, so that business will take its right place
under your feet. Your heart is too holy to have it filled with business;
let the business be in the head and under the feet, but let Christ have
the whole heart, and He will keep the whole life. Our glorious, exalted,
almighty, ever present Christ! why is it that you and I can not trust Him
fully, perfectly to do His work? Shall we not say before God that we do
trust Him, that we will trust Christ to be to us every moment all that we
can desire? On the Cross of Calvary Christ was all alone, and you believe
He did a perfect and a blessed work; and Christ in Heaven is all alone, as
high priest and intercessor, and you trust Him for His work there. But,
praise God! it is equally true, Christ in the heart is able all alone to
keep it all the days. May it please God to reveal to His children the
nearness of Christ standing and knocking at the door of every heart, ready
to come in and rest forever there and to lead the soul into His rest.

We all know what the power of joy is; we know there is nothing so
attractive as joy, there is nothing can help a man to bear and endure so
much as joy; we know that the Lord Jesus Himself for the joy that was set
before Him endured the cross. One is not living aright if he is living a
sighing, trembling, doubting life. Come to-day and believe the joy of the
Holy Ghost is meant for you. Does not the Scripture say, "Whom not having
seen we love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing ye rejoice
with joy unspeakable and full of glory." Do you not believe that this
blessed, adorable, inconceivably beautiful Son of God, the delight of the
Father,--do you not believe that this Son of God could fill your heart with
delight day and night, if He were always present? And do you not believe
that He loves you more than a bridegroom loves his bride? Do you not
believe that, having bought you with His blood, Jesus is longing for you?
He needs you to satisfy His heart of love. Begin to believe with your
whole heart, "The joy of the Holy Ghost is my portion," for the Holy Ghost
secures to me without interruption the presence and the love of Jesus.

But secondly, there is the joy of deliverance from sin. The Holy Ghost
comes to sanctify us. Christ is our sanctification, and the Holy Ghost
comes to communicate Him to us, to work out all that is in Christ and to
reproduce it in us. Let us remember that in the sight of God there is
something more than work. There is Christlikeness--the likeness and the
life of Christ in us. That is what God wants; that will fit us for work.
God asks not that Christ should live in us as separate persons; temples
full of filthy, impure, foul creatures, with Christ hidden away somewhere
there,--that is not the intention of God, but He wants Christ so formed
in us that we are one with Christ, and that in our thinking, feeling and
living, the image of His blessed Son is manifest before Him. The Holy
Spirit is given to sanctify us. My brother, are you willing to be
sanctified from every sin, be that sin great or small? I am not asking, do
you feel that you have the power to conquer it? I am not even asking, do
you feel the power to cast it out? It may be that you feel no power; that
won't hinder if you are willing. I can not cast out sin, but I can get the
Almighty Christ by the Holy Spirit to do it, and it is my work to say to
Christ, "There is the sin, there is the evil thing, I lay it at Thy feet, I
cast it there, I cast it into Thy very bosom. Lord, I am ready to cut off
the right hand, anything, only deliver me from it." Then Christ will cast
out the evil spirit and give deliverance. The Spirit of God is a holy
spirit and His work is to make free from the power of sin and death. And if
you want to live in the joy of the Holy Ghost, the question comes: "Are
you willing to surrender everything that is sinful, even what appears
good,--but has the stain of sin on it?" You may be involved in
relationships that make your life very difficult. A pastor with his people
maybe brought into very difficult relationships; or a business man with his
partner or those with whom he has to associate, may be in an exceedingly
trying position. But is not the blessed Lamb of God worth it all? What is
the Christ worth to you? The question was once asked the disciples, "What
think ye of Christ?" I ask, "What is Christ worth to you?" And I beseech
you, whatever prospective difficulties there may be, and whatever
perplexities surround you, take the whole world to-day and cast it at His
feet. To have Him is worth any difficulty; to have Him will be the
solution of every difficulty. There are not only such external, manifest
difficulties and perplexities, there are a thousand little things that come
in our life and that often disturb us, temptations to unloving feelings,
and sharp words, and hasty judgments. Oh, come, and believe that the Holy
Spirit, the sanctifier, can come in and rule, and give grace to pass
through all without sinning, and you shall know what the joy of the Holy
Ghost is. Our body, we read in 1st Corinthians, is the temple of the Holy
Ghost. It is to be holy in things like eating and drinking. How often
a Christian comes to the consciousness that he takes or seeks too much
enjoyment in that eating, eating for pleasure, with no self-denial or
self-sacrifice in his feeding the body! How often we tempt one another to
eat, and how often the believer forgets that this body is the very secret
temple of the Holy Ghost and that every mouthful we eat and drink must be
for the glory of God in such a way as to be perfectly well pleasing to Him!
Beloved, I bring you a message: There is access for you into the rest of
God, and the Holy Spirit is given to bring you in, and the Holy Spirit will
fill your heart with the unutterable joy of Christ's presence; and with the
joy of deliverance from sin, of victory over sin; the unutterable joy of
knowing that you are doing God's will and are pleasing in His sight; the
unutterable joy of knowing that He is sanctifying and keeping the temple
for Christ to dwell in. Believers, the joy of the Holy Ghost, the joy of
that holiness of God, is His blessedness, His purity, His perfection, that
nothing can mar or stain or disturb. The Holy Ghost waits to bring and to
manifest it in our lives. He wants to come so into our hearts that we shall
live, as Holy Ghost men, the sanctified life, with the sanctifying power of
Jesus running through our whole beings.

My third thought is: the joy of the Holy Ghost is the joy of the love of
the saints. The Holy Ghost was not given to any man on the day of Pentecost
separate from the others; He came and filled the whole company. We know how
much division and separation and pride there had been among them, but
on that day the Holy Ghost so filled their hearts that we find it was
afterward said: "Behold how these men love one another." There was a love
in the primitive church that the very heathen noticed, and could not
understand. Why was that? The Holy Spirit is the bond of union between the
Father and Son; and that bond is love. The Holy Spirit is just the love of
God come to dwell in the heart. When He dwells with me and my brother we
learn to love each other. Though I be unloving naturally, and though I have
very little grace, if the heart of my brother is full of the Holy Spirit he
loves me through it all. You know love is a wonderful thing. As long as a
man tries to love it is not real love, but when real love comes, the more
opposition it meets the more it triumphs, for the more it can exercise
itself and perfect itself, the more it rejoices. Take a mother with a son
dishonoring her. How her love follows him! When she sees that he has fallen
deeper than ever before, how the dear mother heart only loves him the more
intensely through all the wretchedness! Does not the Scripture say, "If He
gave His life for us, we are bound to give our life for the brethren?" The
Holy Spirit comes as a spirit of love, and if you want to know the joy of
the Holy Ghost, and want Him to lead you into the rest of God and keep you
there, beware above everything on earth or in hell of being unloving. One
sharp word to your brother or sister brings a cloud upon you without your
knowing it. People are so accustomed to talk just as they like about each
other that they say sharp and unkind and unloving things, and when a cloud
comes in consequence they cannot understand it. If there is one thing that
grieves God, if there is one thing that hinders the Spirit--the fruit of
the Spirit is love--it is the want of lovingness. If you want to live in
the joy of the Holy Ghost make your covenant with God. "But," you say,
"there is a Christian man who makes me so impatient; he does trouble me and
vex me so with his stupidity. And there are those worldly men; how they
have tempted me in times past and done me harm! And there is that business
man who is trying to ruin me." Take them all, and your own wife and
children and every one around you and say, "I understand it, love is rest,
and rest is love. God resteth in His love. Love is rest and rest is love,
and where there is no love the rest must be disturbed." And let us say
to-day, "I see what the joy is; it is the joy of always loving, it is the
joy of losing my own life in love to others." In connection with humility,
some one asks, "How about that text, 'In honor preferring one another?'"
When a soul comes into perfect humility before God it becomes nothing, and
God becomes all in all. I am nothing. There is no self to be affronted; I
have said before God: "I am nothing; it is only Thy life and light that
shines. The honor is Thine, and nothing may touch me but what is against
the glory of my God."

Beloved, are you living in the joy of the Holy Ghost? Come and accept a
blessing and give yourself up to live a life of humility in which you are
nothing, and a life of love like Christ's in which you only live for your
fellow-men, for the kingdom of God is the joy of the Holy Ghost.

My last thought is that the joy of the Holy Ghost is the joy of working for
God. The joy of the presence of Jesus, the joy of deliverance from sin, the
joy of love for the brethren, and then the joy of working for God. Some
of us have at times felt what an incomprehensible thing it is that the
everlasting God should work through us; and we have said, "Lord, what is
this, that Thou the Almighty One dost work in me and through me, a vile
worm by nature?" It is a mystery that passeth knowledge, and yet it is so
true. The joy of the Holy Ghost comes when a man gives himself up to
the Christlike work of carrying the love of God to men. Let us seek the
perishing, let us live and die for souls, let us live and die that our
fellow-men may be reclaimed and brought back to their God. There is no joy
like hearing the joy-song of a new-born soul. But yes, there is another joy
that may be as deep. Even if God does not give me the blessing of hearing
the newborn soul sing its song, I may have the joy, the sympathy with Jesus
in His rejected life, and the assurance that the Father looks with good
pleasure on me. When I think of the thousands of believers in the Christian
world and then think of the heathen world, the cry comes up in my heart:
"What are we doing?" Ah, we need to be crying to God day and night, "Lord
God, wake us up. Lord God, let the Holy Spirit burn within us." Are we the
true successors of Jesus Christ? Are we indeed the followers and successors
of Christ who went all the way to Calvary to give His blood for men? Do
let us remember the joy of the Holy Ghost is the joy of working for God in
Christ. I believe that God has new ways and new leadings and new power for
His people, if they will only wait on Him. But what most of us do is this:
we thank God for all He has given, we look at all the ways of working we
have, and we say that we will try to do our work better. But oh, if we had
a sense of the need, if we had any sense, by the vision of the Holy Ghost,
of the state of the millions around us, I am sure we would fall on our
faces before God and say, "God help me to something new. Oh that every
fiber of my being may be taken possession of for this great work with God!"
The great need is that all Christians should consecrate themselves wholly
to God for His work. May God help us to know what is the joy of the Holy

Concluding, I ask again: "Do you believe that it is possible for the Lord
Jesus, our Shiloh, of whom Jacob prophesied, our Joshua, our glorious King
and High Priest,--do you believe it is possible for Christ Jesus to bring
you to-day into the rest of God?" Remember that word in Hebrews, "Even as
the Holy Ghost saith, to-day." To-day, summon up courage and take up your
ministry, and take up your business, and take up your surroundings, and
take up your natural temperament, and take up your home, and take up your
life for the days to come upon earth, and say, "I do not understand it,
I know not what will come, but one thing I know, I do absolutely give
everything into the hands of the crucified Lamb of God; He shall have me in
my entirety." And oh, remember, beloved, that Christ will be to you more
than you can think or understand, more than you can ask or desire.

Come, let us cast ourselves into those blessed, loving arms, and let us
believe even now that our Joshua leads us into the rest of God, the rest in
which we are saved from self-care and self-seeking and self-trusting and
self-loving, the rest in which we do not think of ourselves, but where He
who is almighty and omnipresent is always going to be with us and is always
going to work within us. And let us when we have done that, claim the
promise, that as we have sought first the kingdom and God's righteousness,
all things shall be added unto us. Beloved, the kingdom of God is within
you, and it is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Come, let
us claim it even now in simple, childlike, humble faith.



_John 4: 50_.--_And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto

Let me quote from the Gospel according to St. John, the 4th chapter,
beginning at the 46th verse: "So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee,
where He made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son
was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come up out of Judea
into Galilee, he went unto Him, and besought Him that He would come down
and heal his son; for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto
him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." There you have
the word "believe" the first time. "The nobleman saith unto Him, Sir, come
down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth.
And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went
his way." There you have that word the second time. "And as he was now
going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.
Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said
unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father
knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy
son liveth; and himself believed, and his whole house." There you have the
word "faith".

This story has often been used to illustrate the different steps of faith
in the spiritual life. It was this use made of it in an address that
brought the sainted Canon Battersby into the full enjoyment of rest. He had
been a most godly man, but had lived the life of failure. He saw in the
story what it was to rest on the Word and trust the saving power of Jesus,
and from that night he was a changed man. He went home to testify of it,
and under God, he was allowed to originate the Keswick Convention.

Let me point out to you the three aspects of faith which we have here:
first, faith seeking; then, faith finding; and then, faith enjoying. Or,
still better: faith struggling; faith resting; faith triumphing. First of
all, faith struggling. Here is a man, a heathen, a nobleman, who has heard
about Christ. He has a dying son at Capernaum, and in his extremity leaves
his home, and walks some six or seven hours away to Cana of Galilee. He
has heard of the Prophet, possibly, as one who has made water wine; he has
heard of His other miracles round Capernaum, and he has a certain trust
that Jesus will be able to help him. He goes to Him, and his prayer is that
the Lord will come down to Capernaum and heal his son. Christ said to him,
"Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." He saw that the
nobleman wanted Him to come and stand beside the child. This man had not
the faith of the centurion--"Only speak a word." He had faith. It was faith
that came from hearsay, and it was faith that did, to a certain extent,
hope in Christ; but it was not the faith in Christ's power such as Christ
desired. Still Christ accepted and met this faith. After the Lord had thus
told him what He wished--a faith that could fully trust Him--the nobleman
cried the second time, "Sir, come down ere my child die." Seeing his
earnestness and his trust, Christ said, "Go thy way; thy son liveth." And
then we read that the nobleman believed. He believed, and he went his way.
He believed the word that Jesus had spoken. In that he rested and was
content. And he went away without having any other pledge than the word of
Jesus. As he was walking homeward, the servants met him, to tell him his
son lived. He asked at what hour he began to amend. And when they told him,
he knew it was at the very hour that Jesus had been speaking to him. He
had at first a faith that was seeking, and struggling, and searching for
blessing; then he had a faith that accepted the blessing simply as it was
contained in the word of Jesus. When Christ said, "Thy son liveth," he was
content, and went home, and found the blessing--the son restored.

Then came the third step in his faith. He believed with his whole house.
That is to say, he did not only believe that Christ could do just this one
thing, the healing of his son; but he believed in Christ as his Lord. He
gave himself up entirely to be a disciple of Jesus. And that not only
alone, but with his whole house. Many Christians are like the nobleman.
They have heard about a better life. They have met certain individuals by
whose Christian lives they have been impressed, and consequently have felt
that Christ can do wonderful things for a man. Many Christians say in their
heart, "I am sure there is a better life for me to live; how I wish I could
be brought to that blessed state!" But they have not much hope about it.
They have read, and prayed, but they have found everything so difficult, If
you ask them, "Do you believe Jesus can help you to live this higher life?"
they say, "Yes; He is omnipotent." If you ask, "Do you believe Jesus wishes
to do it?" they say, "Yes, I know He is loving." And if you say, "Do you
believe that He will do it for you?" they at once say, "I know He is
willing, but whether He will actually do it for me I do not know. I am not
sure that I am prepared. I do not know if I am advanced enough. I do
not know if I have enough grace for that." And so they are hungering,
struggling, wrestling, and often remain unblessed. This state of things
sometimes goes on for years--they are expecting to see signs and wonders,
and hoping that God, by a miracle, will put them all right. They are just
like the Israelites; they limit the Holy One of Israel. Have you ever
noticed that it is the very people whom God has blessed so wonderfully
who do that? What did the Israelites say? "God hath provided water in the
wilderness. But can He provide the table in the wilderness? We do not think
He can." And so we find believers who say, "Yes, God has done wonders. The
whole of redemption is a wonder, and God has done wonders for some whom I
know. But will God take one so feeble as I, and put me entirely right?" The
struggling and wrestling and seeking are the beginnings of faith in you--a
faith that desires and hopes. But it must go on further. And how can that
faith advance? Look at the second step. There is the nobleman, and Christ
speaks to him this wonderful word: "Go thy way; thy son liveth;" and the
nobleman simply rests upon that word of the living Jesus. He rests on it,
and without any proof of what he is to get, and without one man in the
world to encourage him. He goes away home with the thought, "I have
received the blessing I sought; I have got life from the dead for my son.
The living Christ promised it me, and on that I rest." The struggling,
seeking faith has become a resting faith. The man has entered into rest
about his son.

And now, dear believers, this is the one thing God asks you to do: God has
said that in Christ you have eternal life, the more abundant life; Christ
has said to you, "I live, and ye shall live also." The Word says to us that
Christ is our Peace, our Victory over every enemy, who leads us into the
rest of God. These are the words of God, and His message has come to us
that Christ can do for us what Moses could not have done. Moses had no
Christ to live in him. But it is told you that you can have what Moses had
not; you can have a living Christ within you. And are you going to believe
that, apart from any experience, and apart from any consciousness of
strength? If the peace of God is to rule in your heart, it is the God of
peace Himself must be there to do it. The peace is inseparable from the
God. The light of the sun--can I separate that from the sun? Utterly
impossible. As long as I have the sun I have the light. If I lose the sun;
I lose the light. Take care! Do not seek the peace of God or the peace of
Christ apart from God and Christ. But how does Christ come to me? He comes
to me in this precious Word; and just as He said to the nobleman, "Go thy
way home; thy son liveth," so Christ comes to me to-day, and He says, "Go
thy way; thy Saviour liveth." "Lo, I am with you alway." "I live, and ye
shall live also." "I wait to take charge of your whole life. Will you have
me do this? Trust to me all that is evil and feeble; your whole sinful and
perverse nature--give it up to Me; that dying, sin-sick soul--give it up to
Me, and I will take care of it." Will you not listen and hear Him speak to
your soul? "Child, go forward into all the circumstances of life that have
tempted you; into all the difficulties that threaten you." Your soul lives
with the life of God; your soul lives in the power of God; your soul lives
in Christ Jesus. Will you not, like the nobleman, take the simple step of
faith, and believe the word Jesus hath spoken? Will you not say, "Lord
Jesus, Thou hast spoken: I can rest on Thy Word. I have seen that Christ
is willing to be more to me than I ever knew; I have seen that Christ is
willing to be my life in the most actual and intense meaning of the words."
All that we know about the Holy Ghost sums itself up in this one thing:
The Holy Ghost comes to make Christ an actual, indwelling, always-abiding

Lastly, comes the triumphant faith. The man went home holding fast the
promise. He had only one promise, but he held it fast. When God gives me
a promise, He is just as near me as when He fulfills it. That is a great
comfort. When I have the promise I have also the pledge of the fulfillment.
But the whole heart of God is in His promise, just as much as in the
fulfillment of it, and sometimes God, the promiser, is more precious
because I am compelled to cling more to Him, and to come closer, and to
live by simple faith, and to adore His love. Do not think this is a hard
life, to be living upon a promise. It means living upon the everlasting
God. Who is going to say that is hard? It means living upon the crucified,
the loving Christ. Be ashamed to say that is a difficult thing. It is a
blessed thing.

The nobleman went home and found the child living. And what happened then?
Two things. First: he gave up his whole life to be a believer in Jesus. If
there had been a division among the people of Capernaum, and thousands of
them had hated Christ, this man would still have stood on His side. He
believed in the Lord. This is what must take place with us. Let us go
forward with our trust in the living Christ, knowing that He will keep us.
Then we will get grace to carry the life of Christ into our whole conduct,
into all our walk and conversation. The faith that rests in Jesus, is the
faith that trusts all to Him, with all we have. Do we not read that when
God had finished His work, and rested, it was only to begin new work? Yes;
the great work was to be carried on--watching over and ruling His world and
His church. And is it not so with the Lord Jesus? When He had finished His
work, He sat upon the throne to do His work of perfecting the body, through
the Holy Spirit. And now, the Holy Spirit is carrying on that blessed work,
teaching us to rest in Christ, and in the strength of that rest to go on,
and to cover our whole life with the power, and the obedience, and the
will, and the likeness of the Lord Jesus. The nobleman gave up his whole
life to be a believer in Christ; and from that day it was a believer in
Jesus who walked about the streets of Capernaum; not only a man who could
say, "Once He helped me," but, "I believe in Him with my whole life." Let
that be so with us everywhere; let Christ be the one object of our trust.

One thought more,--he believed with his whole house. That was triumphant
faith. He took up his position as a believer in Christ; and his wife, his
children, his servants--he gathered them all together, and laid them at the
feet of Christ. And if you want power in your own house, if you want power
in your Bible-class, if you want power in your social circle, if you want
power to influence the nation and if you want power to influence the Church
of Christ, see where it begins. Come into contact with Jesus in this rest
of faith that accepts His life fully, that trusts Him fully, and the power
will come by faith to overcome the world; by faith to bless others; by
faith to live a life to the glory of God. Go thy way, thy soul liveth; for
it is Jesus Christ who liveth within you. Go thy way; be not trembling and
fearful, but _rest in the word and the power of the Son of God_. "Lo, I am
with you alway." Go thy way, with the heart open to welcome Him, and the
heart believing He has come in. Surely we have not prayed in vain. Christ
has listened to the yearnings of our hearts and has entered in. Let us
go our way quietly, restfully, full of praise, and joy, and trust; ever
hearing the words of our Master, "Go thy way, thy soul liveth;" and ever
saying, "I have trusted Christ to reveal His abundant life in my soul; by
His grace I will wait upon Him to fulfill His promise." Amen.



_Romans 8: 26-27_.--_Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for
we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself
maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he
that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because
he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God_.

Here we have the teaching of God regarding the help the Holy Spirit will
give us in prayer. The first half of this chapter is of much importance in
connection with the teaching of God's word regarding the Spirit. In Romans
vi. we read about being dead to sin and alive to God, and in Romans vii.,
about being dead to the law and married to Christ, and also about the
impotency of the unregenerate man to do God's will. This is only a
preparation to show us how helpless we are; and then in the eighth chapter
comes the blessed work of the Spirit, expressed chiefly in the following
words: "The Spirit hath made us free from the law of sin and death." The
Spirit makes us free from the power of sin, and teaches and leads us so
that we walk after the Spirit. In our inner disposition we may become
spiritually minded, and enabled to mortify the deeds of the body. The Holy
Spirit helps our infirmities. Prayer is the most necessary thing in the
spiritual life. Yet we do not know how to pray nor what to pray for as we
ought. The Spirit, Paul tells us, prays with groanings unutterable. And
again he tells us that we ourselves often do not know what the Spirit is
doing within us, but there is one, God, who searches the hearts. Words
often reveal my thought and my wishes, but not what is deep in my heart,
and God comes and searches my heart, and deep down, hidden, what I can not
see and what was to me an unutterable longing, God finds.

Powerful prayer! The confession of ignorance! Ah, friends, I am often
afraid for myself as a minister that I pray too easily. I have been praying
for these forty or fifty years and it becomes, as far as man is concerned,
an easy thing to pray. We all have been taught to pray, and when we are
called upon we can pray, but it gets far too easy, and I am afraid we think
we are praying often when there is little real prayer. Now if we are to
have the praying of the Holy Ghost in us one thing is needed; we must begin
by feeling, "I can not pray." When a man breaks down and can not pray, and
there is a fire burning in his heart, and a burden resting upon him, there
is something drawing him to God. "I know not what to pray,"--oh, blessed
ignorance! We are not ignorant enough. Abraham went out not knowing whither
he went; in that was an element of ignorance and also an element of faith.
Jesus said to His disciples when they came with their prayer for the throne,
"You know not what you ask." Paul says, "No man knoweth the things of God
but the Spirit of God." You say, "If I am not to pray the old prayers
I learned from my mother or from my professor in college or from my
experience yesterday and the day before, what am I to pray?" I answer, pray
new prayers, rise higher into the riches of God. You must begin to feel
your ignorance. You know what we think of a student who goes to college
fancying he knows everything. He will not learn much. Sir Isaac Newton
said, "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem
to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself
in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than
ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."
When I see a man who can not pray glibly and smoothly and readily, I say
that is a mark of the Holy Spirit. When he begins in his prayers to say,
"Oh, God, I want more, I want to be led deeper in. I have prayed for the
heathen, but I want to feel the burden of the heathen in a new way," it is
an indication of the presence of the Holy Spirit. I tell you, beloved, if
you will take time and let God lay the burden of the heathen heavier upon
you until you begin to feel, "I have never prayed," it will be the most
blessed thing in your life. And so with regard to the church: We want to
take up our position as members of the church of Christ in this land; and
as belonging to that great body, to say, "Lord God, is there nothing that
can be done to bless the church of this land and to revive it and bring it
out of its worldliness and out of its feebleness?" We may confer together
and conclude faithlessly, "No, we do not know what is to be done; we have
no influence and power over all these ministers and their churches." But on
the other hand, how blessed to come to God and say, "Lord, we know not what
to ask. Thou knowest what to grant." The Holy Spirit could pray a hundred
fold more in us if we were only conscious of our ignorance, because we
would then feel our dependence upon Him. May God teach us our ignorance in
prayer and our impotence, and may God bring us to say, "Lord, we can not
pray; we do not know what prayer is." Of course some of us do know in a
measure what prayer is, many of us, and we thank God for what he has been
to us in answer to prayer, but oh, it is only a little beginning compared
to what the Holy Spirit of God teaches.

There is the first thought: our ignorance. "We know not what we should pray
for as we ought;" but "the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with
groanings which cannot be uttered." We often hear about the work of God the
Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost in working out and completing the
great redemption, and we know that when God worked in the creation of the
world, He was not weary, and yet we read that wonderful expression in the
book of Exodus about the Sabbath day, "God rested and was refreshed." He
was refreshed, the Sabbath day was a refreshment to Him. God had to work
and Christ had to work, and now the Holy Spirit works, and His secret
working place, the place where all work must begin, is in the heart where
He comes to teach a man how to pray. When a man begins to get an insight
into that which is needed and that which is promised and that which God
waits to perform, he feels it to be beyond his conception; then is the time
he will be ready to say, "I can not limit the holy one of Israel by my
thoughts; I give myself up in the faith that the Holy Spirit can be praying
for me with groanings, with longings, that can not be expressed." Apply
that to your prayers.

There are different phases of prayer. There is worship, when a man just
bows down to adore the great God. We do not take time to worship. We
need to worship in secret, just to get ourselves face to face with the
everlasting God, that He may overshadow us and cover us and fill us with
His love and His glory. It is the Holy Spirit that can work in us such a
yearning that we will give up our pleasures and even part of our business,
that we may the oftener meet our God.

The next phase of prayer is fellowship. In prayer there is not only the
worship of a king, but fellowship as of a child with God. Christians take
far too little time in fellowship. They think prayer is just coming with
their petitions. If Christ is to make me what I am to be, I must tarry in
fellowship with God. If God is to let his love enter in and shine and burn
through my heart, I must take time to be with Him. The smith puts his rod
of iron into the fire. If he leaves it there but a short time it does not
become red hot. He may take it out to do something with it and after a time
put it back again for a few minutes, but this time it does not become red
hot. In the course of the day he may put the rod into the fire a great
many times and leave it there two or three minutes each time, but it never
becomes thoroughly heated. If he takes time and leaves the rod ten or
fifteen minutes in the fire the whole iron will become red hot with the
heat that is in the fire. So if we are to get the fire of God's holiness
and love and power we must take more time with God in fellowship. That was
what gave men like Abraham and Moses their strength. They were men who were
separated to a fellowship with God, and the living God made them strong.
Oh, if we did but realize what prayer can do!

Another, and a most important phase of prayer is intercession. What a work
God has set open for those who are His priests--intercessors! We find a
wonderful expression in the prophecy of Isaiah; God says, "Let him take
hold of me;" and again, "There is none that stirreth up himself to take
hold of thee." In other passages God refers to the intercessors for Israel.
Have you ever taken hold of God? Thank God, some of us have; but oh,
friends, representatives of the church of Christ in the United States,
if God were to show us how much there is of intense prayer for a revival
through the church, how much of sincere confession of the sins of the
church, how much of pleading with God and giving Him no rest till He make
Jerusalem a glory in the earth, I think we should all be ashamed. We need
to give up our hearts to the Holy Spirit, that He may pray for us and in us
with groanings that can not be uttered.

What am I to do if I am to have this Holy Spirit within me? The Spirit
wants time and room in the heart; He wants the whole being. He wants all
my interest and influence going out for the honor and the glory of God; He
wants me to give myself up. Beloved friend, you do not know what you could
do if you would give yourself up to intercession. It is a work that a sick
one lying on a bed year by year may do in power. It is a work that a poor
one who has hardly a penny to give to a missionary society can do day by
day. It is a work that a young girl who is in her father's house and has to
help in the housekeeping can do by the Holy Spirit. People often ask: What
does the Church of our day do to reach the masses? They ask, though they
ask it tremblingly, for they feel so helpless: What can we do against the
materialism and infidelity in places like London and Berlin and New York
and Paris? We have given it up as hopeless. Ah, if men and women could be
called out to band themselves together to take hold upon God! I am not
speaking of any prayer union or any prayer time statedly set apart, but if
the Spirit could find men and women who would give up their lives to cry to
God, the Spirit would most surely come. It is not selfishness and it is not
mere happiness that we seek when we talk about the peace and the rest and
the blessing Christ can give. God wants us, Christ wants us, because He has
to do a work; the work of Calvary is to be done in our hearts, we are
to sacrifice our lives to pleading with God for men. Oh, let us yield
ourselves day by day and ask God that it may please Him to let His Holy
Spirit work in us.

Then comes the last thought, that God Himself comes to look with
complacency upon the attitude of His child. Perhaps that poor man does not
know that he is praying; perhaps he is ashamed of his prayers. So much
the better. Perhaps he feels burdened and restless, but God hears, God
discovers what is the mind of the Spirit, and will answer. Oh, think of
this wonderful mystery, God the Father on the throne ready to grant unto
us His blessings according to the riches of His glory; Christ the almighty
high priest pleading day and night. His whole person is one intercession,
and there goes up from Him without ceasing the pleading to the Father,
"Bless thy church," and the answer comes from the Father to the Son, and
from the Son down to the church, and if it does not reach us, it is because
our hearts are closed. Let us open and enlarge our hearts and say to God,
"Oh that I might be a priest, to enter God's presence continually and to
take hold of God and to bring down a blessing to my perishing fellowmen!"
God longs to find the intercession of Jesus reflected in the hearts of His
children, and where He finds it, it is a delight. And He that searcheth the
hearts knoweth the mind of the Spirit, because he prayeth for the saints,
according to the will of God. Some one has spoken of that word, "for the
saints," as meaning the spirit of praise in the believer for the saints
throughout the world. God's word continually comes to us to pray for all
not to be content with ourselves. Think upon the hundreds of church members
in this land, multitudes unconverted, multitudes just converted, but
yet worldly and careless. Think of the thousands of nominal
Christians--Christians in name, but robbing God! and can we be happy? If
we bear the burden of souls, can we have this peace and joy? God gives you
peace and joy with no other object than that you should be strong to bear
the burden of souls in the joy of Christ's salvation.

We do not wish to say, "I am trying to be as holy as I can; what have I to
do with those worldly people about me?" If there is a terrible disease in
my hand, my body can not say, "I have nothing to do with it." When the
people had sinned Ezra rent his garments and bowed in the dust and made
confession. He repented on the part of the people. And Nehemiah, when the
nation sinned, made confession, and cast himself before God, deploring
their disobedience to the God of their fathers. Daniel did the very same.
And think you that we as believers have not a great work to do? Suppose we
were each, persons without a single sin; just suppose it; could we then
make confession? Look at Christ, without sin! He went down into the waters
of baptism with sinners; He made Himself one with them. God has spoken to
us to ask us if we realize what we are. He now asks us whether we belong to
the church of this land, whether we have borne the burden of sin around
us. Let us go to God and may He by the Holy Spirit fill our hearts with
unutterable sorrow at the state of the church, and may God give us grace to
mourn before Him. And when we begin to confess the sins of the church, we
will begin to feel our own sins as never before. In five of the epistles
to the seven churches in Asia the keynote was "Repent;" there was to be no
idea of overcoming and getting a blessing unless they repented. Let us on
behalf of the church of Christ repent, and God will give us courage to feel
that He will revive His work.



_1 Corinthians 15: 24-28_.--"_Then cometh the end, when He shall have
delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put
down all rule, and all authority and power. For He must reign till He hath
put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is
death. For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith, All
things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put
all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then
shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him, that God may be all in

This will be the grand conclusion of the great drama of the world's
history, and of Christ's redemption. There will come a day--the glory is
such we can form no conception of it, the mystery is so deep we can not
realize it, but there is a day coming, when the Son shall deliver up the
Kingdom that the Father gave Him, and that He won with His blood, and that
He hath established and perfected from the throne of His glory. "He shall
deliver up the Kingdom unto the Father." The Son Himself shall be subject
also unto the Father, "that God may be all in all." I cannot understand
it--the ever blessed Son equal with God, from eternity, and through
eternity; the ever blessed Son on the throne shall be subject unto the
Father; and in some way utterly beyond our comprehension, it shall then be
made manifest, as never before, that God is all in all. It is this that
Christ has been working for; it is this that He is working for to-day in
us; it is this that He thought it worth while to give His blood for; it is
this that His heart is longing for in each of us; this is the very essence
and glory of Christianity, "that God may be all in all." And now, if this
is what fills the heart of Christ; if this expresses the one end of the
work of Christ, then, if I want to have the spirit of Christ in me, the
motto of my life must be: Everything made subject, and swallowed up in Him,
"that God may be all in all." What a triumph it would be if the Church were
fighting really with that banner floating over her! What a life ours could
be if that were really our banner! To serve God fully, wholly, only, to
have Him all in all! How it would ennoble, and enlarge, and stimulate our
whole being! I am working, I am fighting, "that God may be all in all;"
that the day of glory may be hastened. I am praying, and the Holy Spirit
makes His wrestling in me with unutterable longing, "that God may be all
in all." Would that we Christians realized in connection with what a grand
cause we are working and praying; that we had some conception of what
a Kingdom we are partakers of, and what a manifestation of God we are
preparing for. To illustrate what a grand thing it is to belong to the
Kingdom of God, and to the glorious Church of Christ on earth, John McNeill
tells how when he was a boy twelve years of age, working on a railway line
and earning the grand wages of six shillings a week, he used to go home to
his mother and sisters, who thought no end of their little Johnnie, and
delight them by telling of the position he had. He would say with great
pride, "Oh, our company--it has so many thousands of pounds passing
through its hands every year; it carries so many hundreds of thousands of
passengers every year; and it has so many miles of railway, and so many
engines and carriages; and so many thousands in its employ!" And the mother
and the sisters had great pride in him, because he was a partner in such an
important business. Christians, if we would only rouse ourselves to believe
that we belong to the Kingdom that Christ is preparing to deliver up to the
Father, that God may be all in all, how the glory would fill our hearts,
and expel everything mean, and low, and earthly! How we should be borne
along in this blessed faith! I am living for this: that Christ may have the
Kingdom to deliver to the Father. I am living for this, and I will one day
see Him made subject to the Father, and then God all in all. I am living
for Him, and I shall be there not only as a witness, but I will have a part
in it all. The Kingdom delivered up, the Son made subject, and God all in
all! I shall have a part in it, and in adoring worship share the glory and
the blessedness.

Let us take this home to our hearts, that it may rule in our lives--this
one thought, this one faith, this one aim, this one joy: Christ lived, and
died, and reigns; I live and die and in His power I reign; only for this
one thing, "that God may be all in all." Let it possess our whole heart,
and life. How can we do this? It is a serious question, to which I wish to
give you a few simple answers. And I say, first of all: Allow God to take
His place in your heart and life. Luther often said to people, when they
came troubling him about difficulties, "Do let God be God." Oh, give God
His place. And what is that place? "That God may be all in all." Let God be
all in all every day, from morning to evening. God to rule and I to obey.
Ah, the blessedness of saying, "God and I!" What a privilege that I have
such a partner! God first, and then I! And yet there might be secret
self-exaltation in associating God with myself. And I find in the Bible a
more precious word still. It is, "God and not I." It is not, "God first,
and I second;" God is all, and I am nothing. Paul said, "I labored more
abundantly than they all; though I be nothing." Let us try to give God His
place--begin in our closet, in our worship, in our prayer. The power of
prayer depends almost entirely upon our apprehension of who it is with whom
I speak. It is of the greatest consequence, if we have but half an hour in
which to pray, that we take time to get a sight of this great God, in His
power, in His love, in His nearness, just waiting to bless us. This is
of far more consequence than spending the whole half hour in pouring out
numberless petitions, and pleading numberless promises. The great thing is
to feel that we are putting our supplications into the bosom of omnipotent
Love. Before and above everything, let us take time ere we pray to realize
the glory and presence of God. Give God His place in every prayer. I
say, allow God to have His place. I can not give God His place upon the
throne--in a certain sense I can, and I ought to try. The great thing,
however, is for me to feel that I can not realize what that place is, but
God will increasingly reveal Himself and the place He holds. How do I know
anything about the sun? Because the sun shines, and in its light I see what
the sun is. The sun is its own evidence. No philosopher could have told me
about the sun if the sun did not shine. No power of meditation and thought
can grasp the presence of God. Be quiet, and trusting, and resting, and the
everlasting God will shine into your heart, and will reveal Himself. And
then, just as naturally as I enjoy the light of the sun, and as naturally
as I look upon the pages of a book knowing that I can see the letters
because the light shines; just as naturally will God reveal Himself to the
waiting soul, and make His presence a reality. God will take His place as
God in the presence of His child, so that absolutely and actually the
chief thing in the child's heart shall be: "God is here, God makes Himself
known." Beloved, is not this what you long for--that God shall take a place
that He has never had; and that God shall come to you in a nearness that
you have never felt yet; and, above all, that God shall come to you in an
abiding and unbroken fellowship? God is able to take His place before you
all the day. I repeat what I have referred to before, because God has
taught me a lesson by it: As God made the light of the sun so soft, and
sweet, and bright, and universal, and unceasing, that it never costs me a
minute's trouble to enjoy it; even so, and far more real than the light
shining upon me, the nearness of my God can be revealed to me as my abiding
portion. Let us all pray "that God may be all in all," in our everyday

"That God may be all in all," I must not only allow Him to take His place,
but secondly, I must accept His will in everything. I must accept His will
in every providence. Whether it be a Judas that betrays, or whether it be
a Pilate in his indifference, who gives me up to the enemy; whatever the
trouble, or temptation, or vexation, or worry, that comes, I must see God
in it, and accept it as God's will to me. Trouble of any sort that comes to
me is God's will for me. It is not God's will that men should do the wrong,
but it is God's will that they should be in circumstances of trial. There
is never a trial that comes to us but it is God's will for us, and if we
learn to see God in it, then we bid it welcome.

Suppose away in South Africa there is a woman whose husband has gone on a
long journey into the interior. He is to be away for months from all posts.
The wife is anxious to receive news. In weeks she has had no letter or
tidings from him. One day, as she stands in her door, there comes a great,
savage Kafir. He is frightful in appearance, and carries his spears and
shield. The woman is alarmed and rushes into the house and closes the
door. He comes and knocks at the door, and she is in terror. She sends her
servant, who comes back and says, "The man says he must see you." She
goes, all affrighted. He takes out an old newspaper. He has come a month's
journey on foot from her husband, and inside the dirty newspaper is a
letter from her husband, telling her of his welfare. How that wife delights
in that letter! She forgets the face that has terrified her. And now as
weeks are passing away again, how she begins to long for that ugly Kafir
messenger! After long waiting he comes again, and this time she rushes
out to meet him because he is the messenger that comes from her beloved
husband, and she knows that with all his repelling exterior, he is
the bearer of a message of love. Beloved, have you learned to look at
tribulation, and vexation, and disappointment, as the dark, savage-looking
messenger with a spear in his hand, that comes straight from Jesus? Have
you learned to say, "There is never a trouble, and never a hurt by which
my heart is touched or even pierced, but it comes from Jesus, and brings
a message of love?" Will you not learn to say from to-day, "Welcome every
trial, for it comes from God?" If you want God to be all in all, you must
see and meet God in every providence. Oh, learn to accept God's will in
everything! Come learn to say of every trial, without exception, "It is my
Father who sent it. I accept it as His messenger," and nothing in earth or
hell can separate you from God.

If God is to be all in all in your heart and life, I say not only, Allow
Him to take His place, and accept all His will, but, thirdly, Trust in His
power. Dear friends, it is "God who _worketh to will and to do_ according
to His good pleasure." It is "the God of peace," according to another
passage, "who perfects you in every good thing to do His will, _working
in you_ what is well-pleasing in His sight." You complain of weakness, of
feebleness, of emptiness. Never mind; that is what you are made for--to be
an emptied vessel, in which God can put His fullness and His strength.
Do learn the lesson. I know it is not easy. Long after Paul had been an
apostle, the Lord Jesus had to come in a very special way to teach him to
say, "I do gladly glory in my infirmities." Paul was in danger of being
exalted, owing to the revelations from Heaven, and Jesus sent him a thorn
in the flesh--yes, Jesus sent it--a messenger of Satan--to buffet him. Paul
prayed, and struggled, and wanted to get rid of it. And Jesus came to him,
and said, "It is my doing that you may not be free from that. You need it.
I will bless you wonderfully in it." Paul's life was changed from that
moment in this one respect, and he said, "I never knew it so before,
from henceforth I glory in my infirmities; for when I am weak, then am I
strong." Do you indeed desire God to be all in all? Learn to glory in your
weakness. Take time to say every day as you bow before God, "The almighty
power of God that works in the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the
flowers, is working in me. It is as sure as that I live. The almighty power
of God is working in me. I only need to get down, and be quiet; I need
to be more submissive, and surrendered to His will; I need to be more
trustful, and to allow God to do with me what He will." Give God His
way with you, and let God work, and He will work mightily. The deepest
quietness has often been proved to be the inspiration for the highest
action. It has been seen in the experience of many of God's saints, and it
is just the experience we need,--that in the quietness of surrender and
faith, God's working has been made manifest.

Fourthly: If God is to be all in all, sacrifice everything for His kingdom
and glory. "That God may be all in all." This is such a noble, glorious,
holy aim that Christ said, "For this I will give my life. For this I will
give my all, even to the death of the cross. For this I will give myself."
If it was worth that to Christ, is it worth less to you? If one had asked
Jesus of Nazareth, "What is it Thou hast a body for; what is to Thee the
highest use of the body?" He would have said, "The use and the glory of my
body is that I can give it a sacrifice to God. That is every thing." What
is the use of having a mind; and what is the use of having money; and what
is the use of having children? That I can give them to God; for God must be
all in all in everything. I pray God that He may give us such a sight of
His kingdom, and His glory, that everything else may disappear. Then, if
you had ten thousand lives, you would say, "This is the beauty and the
worth of life, 'that God may be all in all' to me, and that I may prove to
men that God is more than everything, that life is only worth living as it
is given to God to fill." Do let us sacrifice everything for His kingdom
and glory. Begin to live day by day with the prayer, "My God, I am given up
to Thee. Be Thou my all in all." You say, "Am I able to realize that?" Yes,
in this way: Let the Holy Spirit dwell in you; let the Holy Spirit burn in
you as a fire, and burn in you with unutterable groanings, crying unto
God, Himself to reveal His presence and His will in you. In the eighth of
Romans, Paul spoke about the groanings of the whole creation. And what is
the whole creation groaning for? For the redemption, the glorious liberty
of the children of God. And I am persuaded that was what Paul meant when he
spoke of the groanings of the Holy Spirit--the unutterable groanings
for the coming time of glory when God should be all in all. Christians,
sacrifice your time; sacrifice your interests; sacrifice your heart's best
powers in praying, and desiring, and crying that "God may be all in all."

And lastly: if God is to be all in all, wait continually on Him all the
day. My first point had reference to giving God His place; but I want to
bring this out more pointedly in conclusion. Wait continually on God all
the day. If you are to do that, you must live always in His presence. That
is what we have been redeemed for. Do we not read in the Epistle to the
Hebrews, "Let us draw near within the veil, through the blood, where the
high priest is?" The holy place in which we are to live in the heavens is
the immediate presence of God. The abiding presence of God is certainly the
heritage of every child of God, as that the sun shines. The Father never
hides His face from His child. Sin hides it, and unbelief hides it, but the
Father lets His love shine all the day on the face of His children. The sun
is shining day and night. Your sun shall never go down. Begin to seek for
this. Come and live in the presence of God. There is indeed an abiding
place in His presence, in the secret of His pavilion, of which some one has
sung very beautifully:

With me, wheresoe'er I wander,
That great Presence goes;
That unutterable gladness,
Undisturbed repose.

Everywhere, the blessed stillness
Of that Holy Place;
Stillness of the love that worships,
Dumb before His face.

This is the portion of those to whom the prayer is granted--"One thing have
I desired of the Lord, and that will I seek after; that I may dwell all my
days in the house of the Lord; to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to
inquire in His temple." "In the secret of His pavilion He hideth me." God
Himself will take you up, and will keep you there, so that all your work
shall be done in God. Beloved, wait continually upon God. You can not do
this unless you are in His presence. You must live in His presence. Then
the blessed habit of waiting upon God will be learned. The real difficulty
of getting to the point of real waiting upon God, is because most
Christians have not sought to realize the nearness of God, and to give God
the first place. But let us strive after this, let us trust God to give it
to us by His grace, let us wait on God all the day. "My eyes," says one,
"are ever towards Thee." Wait upon God for guidance, and God, if you wait
much upon Him, will lead you up into new power for His service, into new
gladness in His fellowship. He will lead you out into a larger trust in
Him; He will prepare you to expect new things from Him. Beloved, there
is no knowing what God will do for a man who is utterly given up to Him.
Praise His name! Let each one of us say, "May my life be to live and die,
to labor and to pray continually for this one thing: that in me, and around
me, and in the church; that throughout the world '_God may be all in
all_.'" A little seed is the beginning of a great tree. A mustard seed
becomes a tree in which the birds of the air can nestle. That great day of
which the text speaks, when Christ Himself shall be subject to the Father,
and deliver up the Kingdom to the Father, and God shall be all in all--that
is the great tree of the Kingdom of God reaching its perfect consummation
and glory. Oh, let us take the seed of that glory into our hearts, and let
us bow in lowly surrender and submission, and say, "Amen, Lord; this be my
one thought. This be my life--to speak and to work, to pray and to exist
only that others may be brought to know Him too. This be my life--to yield
myself to the unutterable yearnings of the Holy Spirit, that I may not
rest, but ever keep my eye on that day--the day of glory, when in very deed
God shall be all in all."

God help every one of us. God help us all to yield ourselves to Him, and to
Christ, and to make it our every-day life; for His name's sake. Amen.


Facebook Google Reddit Twitter Pinterest