Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

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secured and increased to him personally, through tha blessed ministry of that Holy Spirit whom He has dwelling in Him, but whom he knows all too little.

'Phil. ii. 12, 13. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." We shall fear to disobey, because we are not in presence of human work or human persons, but in presence of the Holy Ghost; it is not we who are working in us, it is the Holy Ghost.

'When Moses came before the burning bush, the Lord said to him, "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." This is holy ground, for it is God the Holy Ghost who works the willing and the doing. In all questions of sanctification or service we are in presence not of ourselves, but of our God; on holy ground, not on human ground; not on ground of human persons, but on ground of the Holy Ghost; and for that reason, because it is God that works in us to will and to do, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. And what is it to work out our own salvation? The Apostle tells us in the same verse, "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed." I think that word "wherefore " brings us back to verse 8, to Christ's work. Christ had become obedient unto death. In verses 5-11 we have the work of Christ —abasement; and then, because He was abased, He was exalted so high; therefore ye also obey.

'In verses 12, 13 we have the work of the Holy Spirit, working on the work of Jesus. Jesus has been obedient unto death; death is contrary to our nature, we do all we can to keep our own life; but as Christ, through the Eternal Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God, and by His death brought to an end His work of immolation, so does the work of the Holy Ghost bring us into fellowship with a dying Christ. He makes us willing to die by the power of Christ; He makes us take the position in which the death of Christ has placed us. He died "that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, hut unto Him that died for them and rose again." Such a position as is given to us byChrist no man is willing toenter into; it is the HolyGhost who takes us by the hand, and brings us out of our own life, and makes us willing to like and seek the fellowship of the dead and of the risen Christ. "Now also in my absence," go on yiehiing to the Holy Ghost, who will teach you to follow the Lamb, making you willing to die with Christ, that you may serve, and love, and walk in newness of life; and all this in fear and trembling, because it is God who works. The only fear we want, is to follow the Holy Ghost in all His operations, flying from self and yielding to Him, that He may have us in His hand, that He may be able to work for God's glory, to leave all the matter in His hands; and so soon as our fears are concentrated on that point,—to grieve not the Saviour,—we have nothing more to fear; we can then seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other things shall be added unto us; because as a heaven surrounds our earth on all sides, so the work of the Holy Ghost leaves nothing out of its reach in our being, brings all under His action and transforming power.

'We must come back to our holy ground from widen we sprang. God ought to have what is His. We came from Him, and were made for Him; we must L arn to honour the Holy Ghost, and to consider His working the most precious thing we have, fearing to lose e\en one hint of His, because all that He works involves infinite labour, and in loving any work of the Holy Ghost we love more infinite labour than we know. It is a matter of experience that in measure as we know more of the love of God, we learn also more to fear Him; one involves the other and regulates the other j there is no opposition.

'In James iv. 1 we read of "lusts which war in your members," but in the same passage (ver. 5) we read of the lust of the Spirit, so you cannot put quite the sane signification on the word which we generally put upon it. The word here does not mean sinful lust, the Spirit of God cannot have sinful lust; we see here two tendencies, two powers, two worlds that have nothing in common, separated as completely as heaven from earth, —the flesh and the Spirit; and we are responsible moral beings, having our responsibility through the work of the Holy Spirit; responsibility as to which of these two adversaries we will give movement and action in our interior and exterior life.

'I know a position in which no rising from impure feeling can take place in the heart, or take form even as a flash in a second of time. Such a Christian has learned to let himself be kept by Christ from such risings, and they no more appear; and yet these same Christians have a consciousness of the tendency of the flesh to form such risings.

'There are infinite degrees from impurity to full purity; and only after we have been fully delivered from such impure risings can the Holy Ghost go deeper and deeper in His purifying work. This cannot be expressed, it must be realized; and we are not easily conscious how much our experience and the experience of others, the level of Christian life in the Church, influence our explanations of Scripture. Have you ever attended such meetings as those of Keswick and Oxford without experiencing that, in measure as God the Holy Ghost draws nearer and nearer, your interior atmosphere is modified, and there comes a moment in which you breathe the mountain air i And in measure as we come under the shadow of the Holy Ghost, the power of the Holy Ghost on our life is different to ordinary. When we come back to the first days of the Church at Jerusalem, then we shall fully experience the power of the Holy Ghost to keep us sheltered against the tendencies of our flesh. But we are a family, and we cannot experience individually the fulness of Jesus Christ our Head, without the rest following us; we want the life of the members in order to realize the life of the Holy Ghost. It is difficult to abide under the shadow of the Almighty when you are surrounded by siek Christians, slumbering Chrisi ians, Christians who do not fully trust their Saviour. Our daily life, our conversation, our very countenance, must testify that we have found life abundantly in our Good Shepherd. Oh, dear Christians, cease from keeping your own life, defending your own life, when the Holy Ghost works to bring to die every portion of your own life. Oh, beloved brethren, we are so woiidlike; our world-like life is the great hindrance to conversions, the great reason why the Gospel has so little success. Yet remember, every Christian has had a time Tvhen he has given up all to his Lord; then you were happy, and the very reason of your unhappiness now is that you have not given up all your life, and that in daily life, in daily conversation, in daily occurrences, sometimes you are hesitating between your will and God's will. Oh, my brethren, I would no more open my heart to any human wish or human desire, because it would hinder my seeing the countenance of my God; never would I take in my own hands an afternoon, an hour, because I know it would be an unhappy day, an unhappy hour. I am too happy not to put every day, every hour, in the hands of my Heavenly Father; too happy ever again to take into my hands the threads of my life.

'John xvi. 7-11. Then in Acts ii. 36 and following verses. we have the fulfilment of the promise. Now, dear brethren, there are in the text from the gospel of John, two distinct offices of the Holy Ghost, put forth by our Divine Master. His name lor the disciples is Comforter, and He has also the office of convincing the world. But before He may convince the world through the disciples, more disciples must be filled with the Holy Ghost. And so at Pentecost that promise was just fulfilled; the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost, and having the Comforter dwelling in them, they were the instruments in God's hands of convincing the world of the sin of unbelief. How few disciples there are who know the Holy Ghost in His office of Comforter! And what is His comfort? The Holy Ghost will bring into our hearts, above all, the consciousness that we are pleasing the Father by the power of the Son; that we are reconciled children, pleasing our Father. Oh, how long will Christians introvert the offices of the Holy Ghost, and oblige Him to be in their daily walk more convincing than comforting? For I have a deep feeling in these days, and I must tell it out in the presence of our God, that the Holy Ghost has to do among us, generally speaking, more the work of convincing than of comforting,—convincing of sin. What sin? The sin of unbelief. It is only the fruit of unbelief that so many Christians, looking back a day, or a week, or a year, have not the testimony in their souls that they have lived the life which pleased their God; and so again and again the Holy Ghost is obliged to take up His office of convincing of sin, and at last the children of God lose the very capacity to believe that they may come to a life which pleases their Father in heaven. Oh, the meetings at Keswick cannot have the approval of God unless they have this fruit, that a week after, a month after, a year after the meeting, there will be at least some Christians who have learned by faith to please their God; not coming back a year after, telling of the power of Jesus, and yet, when they are asked if they have proved the power of Christ in their lives, having to confess they have not habitually pleased God, and have not habitually the presence of the Holy Ghost as the Comforter.

'Remember, we are on holy ground, and we have no right to speak of the power of our God if we are not realizing if. Oh, I would not go forward one step if I could for one moment not know that I realize all things thai I believe.

'And now, one passage more in i Peter ii. 5 and 9. Oh, beloved friends, may you fulfil that glorious mission which our God has given us! Only after having been convinced of the sin of unbelief, and having left for ever the sin of unbelief, can we know the Holy Ghost acting in our souls as the Comforter. Those three thousand men on the day of Pentecost, how they saw their sins! "What shall we do?" "Repent;" that is to say, leave your sin, the sin of unbelief in regard to Jesus Christ. They did so; and in that very moment they received the Jesus they had crucified as Lord and Christ. So I would beseech you, leave that frightful sin of unbelief, that you may know Jesus as the Anointed Lord, who is waiting for children of God whom He may anoint as priests; and let us begin by believing that He is able to keep us trusting during our daily life, to keep us in faith, and in a walk that pleases our God. Can we go on any longer living a life that pleases not our Father?

'Phil. ii. 12, 13. I think if there is not a more practical realization of the glorious truth brought before us, it is because the children of God have a definite trust in the work of Jesus; a definite standing-place on Calvary before God. but they have not the same definite trust in the Holy Ghost, not as a power that will work in us some day, but which is working continually in the soul of every believer, to will and to do all that concerns our salvation. This moment I know that I have air to breathe, and that my God will continue to give it me every minute; so the Holy Ghost will not interrupt His work in the inmost parts of my soul. I am His temple, and He is working in me, for it is God the Holy Ghost "who worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure."

'Now, you are asking how to trust. How can I be sure, I am now trusting Jesus to keep me from sin, that this afternoon and this evening I shall be kept in communion with my God, that I shall abide in Jesus, that I shall go on trusting? Dear brother, the moment you put such a question, you are disbelieving the Holy Ghost; and so long as you ask it, you will never continue in communion with your God, because you are seeking in yourself the secret of going on trusting, and it is the Holy Ghost who "worketh in you both to will and to do."

'The reason so few Christians realize these things is that children of God have not the same definite trust in the work of the Holy Ghost that they have in the work of Christ. We must be Trinity believers, realizing all that Christ has provided for us by His work; but we are in the economy of the Holy Ghost, and so long as we do not honour the Holy Ghost we cannot be practical Christians.

'Let us come to the Holy Ghost in all the details of our daily life. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are all working together; the Father is working hand in hand with the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost has His work in my soul, and He can work freely in my soul only so long as I am looking to Jesus; the moment I begin to look at the work of the Holy Ghost, that moment I interrupt it; the beginning and the end of the work of the Holy Ghost is to make me look to Jesus. When I am looking to Jesus, I am in the true position in which the Holy Ghost can work in me. And the Father is working with the Holy Ghost from morning to evening; if He did not work, there would be temptation beyond my spiritual age. I could not remain under the state described in i Cor. x. 13. There can be no temptation beyond what we are able to bear, because the Father is preparing every evening the details of the following day for His child, and I know He will never permit a storm from without or from within beyond the spiritual strength I have by looking to Jesus. There are no hairs falling from your head without the permission of your Heavenly Father. A nd so the work of the Holy Ghost can go on in our souls freely, fully, gradually, by the watching power of the Father, who so arranges all details of the exterior life that it may work together hand in hand with the work of the HolyGho.-t.

'Question—For sanctification does the believer receive the Holy Ghost as spoken of in John vii. 37-39 and xiv. 16, 17, or is the Holy Ghost a distinct gift from sanctification?

'Beloved friends, What is Sanctification 1 In one word, I would say, by justification you are brought by the Holy Ghost into Jesus Christ. God takes away the burden of your sins, and He takes you, and places you in a new world in Jesus Christ; and sanctification is for me nothing else than to dwell in Jesus Christ, to remain in the place where the Holy Ghost has put me. From the moment we first receive the Holy Ghost, we have nothing else to do but respect the Holy Ghost within us. "Work, out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." And if so, many children of God are not truly living waters, and if the living waters are not flowing out from them, the reason is that they have not practically honoured the Holy Ghost in all things. "Work out"—because we must obey the Holy Ghost working within—"with fear and trembling," fearing to disobey the Holy Ghost in anything, and then we shall begin to become living waters to others. God will subdue our nature, and will act in us as the sap acts in the branches, from the moment we give up our being to the Holy Ghost working in us in all things.

'Question—How will this life of faith in Christ help us in common daily temptations, such, for instance, as the 2 B

difficulty of getting up in the morning so as to secure time for reading and prayer before breakfast?

'The secret of realizing in daily experience what we tea<,h here is just to learn to yield in all things to the hints of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is not working in us as a master with his slave, but He will make us become the spouse of Christ; and the true relation of husband and wife is that in which the wife is the equal of the husband; and in our relations with the Holy Ghost we must learn to yield to the slightest hints, to the "still small voice." Oh, that is a precious lesson to learn, during all our life to have our ears more and more open to that still small voice of our God. At first, for those Christians who have no appetite, there is much trouble, because the voice of bad example, of teaching not according to the Holy Spirit, and other voices, are filling the understanding and the soul; and they must learn to be deaf to all other voices, and to listen only to that still small voice. Oh, it is a holy thing to learn to distinguish that voice; and you will distinguish it as your soul, your imagination, your wishes, are on the side of your God. Trusting in the goodness and kindness and tenderness and delicacy of our Good Shepherd, we shall learn to listen: listening to other voices, we are sure to go wrong. In Rom. viii. 11, and 1 Thess. v. 23, you see the end of the ways of God is cvrporality,—the work of God must end by being manifested in our bodies. You may read in the faces of Christians, in the look of their eyes, that they are not young Christians, that they have long lived with God. And in proportion as you learn to listen to the still small voice, "the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead" will also begin to act in your mortal bodies and quicken them. There is a time when we are striving and struggling to rise early, to overcome our bodies, and we cannot; but, in measure as we learn to yield to the Holy Ghost, the quickening power of the Spirit of God will manifest itself also in our bodies, and

they will gain their primitive elasticity for all that is best for God's service. We shall learn to know from the voice of God what He would have us to do. The Spirit of God will never quicken our bodies for what our natural energies can perform; but I know, and I realize it daily, hour after hour, that my God quickens this mortal body for every service He gives me. My English may be very bad, but I could not speak five minutes if the Spirit of God did not give it me; and so for early rising, or anything else, the Holy Spirit will give every minute just the strength that is needed, and no more. The man who is living in this way cares no more whether he is tired or strong, if he feels healthy or sick; he has learnt to receive from his God hints for service, and in seeing he must rise early that it is the will of God, necessary in order that he may go safely through the day, he will, childlike, go to his Father, saying, "Give me from the moment I rise my daily bread," and that includes the Spirit of God working in the mortal body, so that body, soul, and spirit become, moment by moment, what the Lord wants them to be for His service.

'In Phil. ii. 8 you read that Jesus Christ "becamo obedient unto death;" and some verses farther down you find the apostle saying, "As ye have obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do." To will what, and to do what? To become likeminded with Jesus, who was obedient unto death. The Holy Ghost makes us willing to die, and to be in every respect, from morning to evening, a living sacrifice on the altar of our holy God, to go freely in the glorious law of the New Covenant—that we can only have life in measure as we forsake our own life.

'Oh, what glorious life Christ has brought us, and what glorious life the Holy Ghost works out in us, if ye believe that Jesus Christ's life is infinitely more precious than our own life.

'Why are so matiy Christians so often exhausted in their work for Christ 1 Because they are seeking their own life in their work. Our work can only be fruitful when we are not seeking our own life or our own pleasure in our work, but seeking the glory, the interest of Christ. We have resurrection life, as long as we remain buried with Christ and live only in His fife.

'In John V. 29 you read, "Search the Scriptures." Jesus showed the disciples of Emmaus that all Scripture was filled with the name of Jesus. Why So few fully trust Jesus is because so few know the real Jesus, as we find Him in the Bible. We must come out from a Christ of imagination, a Christ of feeling, and come back to the Ciirist given us in the Scriptures—a true, living Saviour, dying for our sins, and living that we may live His own life of righteousness.

'Oh, search the Scriptures, and let the Holy Ghost lift up before your eyes the person of Jesus, living, dying, risen; and in measure as the Holy Ghost, answering our prayer, brings new light on the person of Jesus, you will no more ask how to trust Him. Become better acquainted with this Friend, and you will no more ask, How shall I trust Him 1 You cannot do otherwise. Only remember this one thing: it is through faith. Jesus does not discover at the first step all His loveliness. He asks us to trust Him. "Can you believe that my life is more precious than all thy life? Then give me thy life, and I will give thee another life." Jesus is Waiting; the Holy Ghost is throwing light on the person of Jesus; you are so wicked to look back on yourself when the Holy Ghost has put Jesus in your sight. Oh, beloved, this is life abundant! To whom I To those who let the living Saviour guide them on the understanding of His work on. Calvary—that is, His work ol breaking the chains and the links by which we were entangled in our own life. We could not die; we shrank from the thought of going with our Dinne Shepherd, not only in the green pastures, but through the valley of the shadow of death. In the Gospels Jesus Christ says of Mary, "This also that this woman hath done shall be told for a memorial of her." "She hath done it for my burial." Mary accepted the dying Christ (woman is the receptive one). She received what Simon Peter could not accept, that Christ should go to the cross. She poured forth her best to anoint Christ for His burial. Oh, let us fully accept a dying Christ, no longer claiming to live ourselves. Jesus Christ died, and came to resurrection through death. Keep under the shadow of the life of Christ. You want rest, peace. Oh, don't seek it only in green pastures and by still waters: the deepest comfort is in the valley of the shadow of death. "I will fear no evil"—.where? In the "valley of the shadow of death." I preach life through death, life in death. I know no other life than that. If Jesus is all, my life must yield before His life. His life must have right over my whole life.

'Just go deeper in searching the Scriptures, follow Christ in all His steps, and remember, by death He has taken away the power and the fear of death, that we might be no longer in bondage. And now the dying to self is no longer dreadful: it is life, it is the only life that may satisfy all my being; to be nothing, and to have Christ. Oh, trust Jesus to bring you into full fellowship with His dying! Trust Him, Don't look to your nature, to your feelings. Behind the valley of death there is abundance of life, and the moment you give up all things, letting yourself go in the arms of Jesus, death will lose its terror. I have the experience, and every one who fully leaves himself to Jesus has the experience, that there is the ouly true life. If you want unity in your daily lite, don't seek life; never will you find life if you are seeking it . Life is only when you have your own life. We will always find power in Christ to die to ourselves, if that is the very thing Wh are seeking; and unless we have died we cannot bring forth fruit . You want me to say what I have seen and felt to be the result of this entire trust 1 It is just this. I let my Saviour, knowing Him better than before, bring me through every experience that He would. He brought me through deep waters; and there is no servant of God who will not be purified through fire. The Lord brings the sons of Levi through the fire, and there He is purifying them for service, because our Lord uses only pure vessels for fruitful service. God will not use habitually unclean vessels. I have also experienced that, in the deep valley of the shadow of death, I knew my Saviour, and He comforted me as never before. So, I assure you, never would I go to still waters or green pastures, when my Divine Shepherd chooses to lead me through deep waters and dark valleys. There are green valleys on one side, and dark valleys on the other, and He is just leading each sheep according to its special needs. Learn to look on Jesus, and in doing that, by and by, more and more, you will find that Jesus, by His look, is taking your wandering look under the direction of the Holy Ghost; and by and by it will become the very attitude of your soul, and you could do anything more easily than didtrust Jesus.

'Question—Is a life of practical holiness compatible with an earnest, active business life, a business life in which the mind is occupied with mercantile affairs six days in the week, from nine in the morning till seven in the evening; and say nine out of every ten transactions are made with unconverted men?

'Let me bring before you a business man. In the first verses of Dan. vi. you read that there were in the kingdom of Darius a hundred and twenty princes and three presidents, and there was one man, Daniel, who was preferred above all the princes. Now this man went, exposing his life, three times a day into his chamber, and opened his window towards heaven, to breathe heavenly air. The more business we have, the more we want heavenly air. Take a man in whom is incorporated the spirit of avarice, the spirit of covetousness; this man in every part of daily life will never lose out of sight the great bu-iness of his life—to get money.

'Now a child, a man, in whom is incorporated the Spirit of God, will never lose out of sight the great purpose of his daily life—to glorify his God; but you must be dead to self in order to live such a life. The Christian business man and father does not work for his children, but for his God, and God gives him bread for his children. Believe me, our Father in heaven can understand business, and will never let one of His children go through a day without the needed supply: only he must be ready to stop as soon as his Father gives him a hint —" Child, come to me, I have something to say to thee; there is some cloud overhanging thee; come aside with me, that I may prepare thee to meet it."

'" Go in peace;" you can go in rest, leaning on the arm of your Divine Shepherd. Do not ask how you may abide in rest. Remember, it is the Holy Ghost who will keep you trusting, every day and every hour, on one condition—that you seek the power of trusting, not in your own wicked heart, but in the Holy Ghost. So, guided by the mind and mighty hand of your Father, standing on the holy ground of the work of the Trinity —"Go in peace." Amen.

'In j' y about work and service, let us apply the great lesson of heavenly life—the lesson of love. Let us learn to rejoice in the work of others, and not in our own work Let us learn to "rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep," and not weep all our own tears of sorrow, nor rejoice only with our own personal joy; but let us come under the hand of our Lord, covered by His hand with only one purpose— to have all our work covered in the hand of our God. Oh, there, is thp secret of life. The Holy Ghost never

looked for His own glory, never spoke of His own: His only purpose is to glorify Christ. "This my joy ia fulfilled," that was heavenly joy. "He must increase, hut I must decrease." I must—it was not obligation, buA the yearning of the heart, this decrease.'

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