One of my brother’s favorite hashtags is #ReadOldDeadGuys. There is a lot of truth in that, as it is hard to find modern-day authors who hold to the truth of the Bible and challenge others to do the same. In the words of Rodney Griffin, I miss preachers who will “tell me like it is.”
I’m currently reading a devotional of old, dead guys, and this morning’s portion was excerpted from Andrew Murray’s book, The True Vine. The subtitle is “Proof of Friendship” and, in this excerpt he talked about obedience and surrender. The following jumped out at me, as he summed up well one of the problems with the church today:
The secret thought that it is impossible to do the things He commands us, and that therefore it cannot be expected of us, and a subtle and unconscious feeling that sinning is a necessity have frequently robbed both precepts and promises of their power. The whole relation to Christ has become clouded and lowered, the waiting on His teaching, the power to hear and obey His voice, and through obedience to enjoy His love and friendship, have been enfeebled by the terrible mistake.
If you are a parent, you know that, if you give a child a task, it can be accomplished. He may think that he will never be able to get his room clean but you know that, although it may be a mountain, it can be conquered and so you insist that he persevere anyway. In the same way, God does not ask us to do anything that can’t be done. Difficult maybe, but not impossible.
If it seems as though you will never be able to live a holy, Godly life, it is because your flesh does not want to surrender to the Spirit. God will not make you obey Him, but if you desire to do so, He will help you. It may take a lot of prayer and sometimes even fasting, but it can be done.
I’m sure everyone can relate to Paul when he talks about doing the things he doesn’t want to do and not doing the good that he wants to do. We should not stay here, however. I am continually asking God to show me the areas that I have not yet surrendered to Him and to help me to do so. I do not always want to see those things but I know that it is necessary if I want a close relationship with my Father. Hebrews 12:14 tells us to “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one may see the Lord.” I don’t want anything to keep me from seeing the Lord. That is the only hope I have to stand on. All other ground is sinking sand.