May 7 – Against The Tide

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The oarsman, trusting in Me, does not lean on his oars and drift with the tide, trusting to the current.

Nay, more often – once I have shown the way – it is against the tide you must direct all your effort.  And even when difficulties come, it is by your effort that they will be surmounted.  But always strength and the Joy in the doing you can have through Me.

My fishermen-disciples did not find the fishes ready on the shore in their nets.  I take man’s efforts and bless that.  I need man’s effort – he needs My blessing. This partnership it is that means success.

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  Philippians 2:13

God At Eventide – May 6

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The Fertile Glade

Seek and you shall find.

As a mother hiding from her child puts herself in the way of being found, so with Me.  So the finding of Me and of the treasures of My Kingdom may not always depend upon ardent intent securing attainment, but upon the mere setting out on the quest.

Is this a comfort to you?

When you set out upon a time of seeking, I place Myself in your way, and the sometime arid path of prayer becomes a fertile glade in which you are surprised to find your search so soon over.  Thus mutual Joy.

May 6 – Sublime Audacity

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The way is long and weary. It is a weary world. So many today are weary. “Come unto Me, … and I will give you rest.”

My children, who range yourselves under My flag, you must see that on it are inscribed those words “The Son of Man.”

Whatever the world is feeling, I must feel, I – the son of Man. You are My followers – so the weariness of man today must be shared by you – the weary and heavy-laden must come to you, and find that rest that you found in Me.

My children, My followers must be prepared not to sit on My right hand and My left, but to drink of the cup that I drink of.

Poor world – teach it that there is only one cure for all its ills – Union with Me. Dare to suffer, dare to conquer, be filled with My sublime audacity.  Remember that. Claim the unclaimable.

Just what the world would think impossible can always be yours.  Remember, My children, sublime audacity.

And whosever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold 
water … verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.  Matthew 10:42

May 5 – Let Me Choose

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My loved ones. Yes, with the heart, not the head, men should think of Me, and then worship would be instinctive.

Breathe in My very Spirit in pure air and fervent desire.

Keep the eye of your spirit ever upon Me, the window of your soul open towards Me. You have ever to know that all things are yours – that what is lovely I delight to give you.

Empty your mind of all that limits. Whatever is beautiful you can have. Leave more and more the choice to Me. You will have no regrets.

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, 
and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; 
so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God.  Psalm 123:2

Absolute Surrender 8

Absolute Surrender – Part 8

by Andrew Murray

The Regenerate Man

There is much evidence of regeneration from the fourteenth verse of chapter seven on to the twenty-third verse. “It is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me” (Romans 7:17). That is the language of a regenerate man-a man who knows that his heart and nature have been renewed, and that sin is now a power in him that is not himself. “I delight in the law of God after the inward man” (Romans 7:22). That again is the language of a regenerate man. He dares to say when he does evil: “It is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth me.” It is of great importance to understand this,

In the first two great sections of the epistle, Paul deals with justification and sanctification. In dealing with justification, he lays the foundation of the doctrine in the teaching about sin. He does not speak of the singular sin, but of the plural, sins-the actual transgressions. In the second part of the fifth chapter, he begins to deal with sin, not as actual transgression, but as a power. Just imagine what a loss it would have been to us if we did not have this second half of the seventh chapter of the epistle to the Romans-if Paul had omitted in his teaching this vital question of the sinfulness of the believer. We should ‘have missed the question we all want answered as to sin in the believer. What is the answer? The regenerate man is one in whom the will has been renewed, and who can say: “I delight in the law of God after the inward man.”

The Weak Man

Here is the great mistake made by many Christian people-they think that when there is a renewed ,will, it is enough. But that is not the case. This regenerate man tells us: “I will to do what is good, but the power to perform I find not.” How often people tell us that if you set yourself determinedly, you can perform what you will! But this man was as determined as any man can be, and yet he made the confession: “To will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good, I find not” (Romans 7:18).

But, you ask: “How is it God makes a regenerate man utter such a confession? He being with a right will, with a heart that longs to do good, and longs to do its very utmost to love God?”

Let us look at this question. What has God given us our will for? Had the angels who fell, in their own will, the strength to stand? Surely, no. The will of man is nothing but an empty vessel in which the power of God is to be made manifest. Man must seek in God all that is to be. You have it in the second chapter of the epistle to the Philippians, and you have it here also, that God’s work is to work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Here is a man who appears to say: “God has not worked to do in me.” But we are taught that God works both to will and to do. How is the apparent contradiction to be reconciled?

You will find that in this passage (Romans 7:6-25), the name of the Holy Spirit does not occur once, nor does the name of Christ occur. The man is wrestling and struggling to fulfill God’s law. Instead of the Holy Spirit and of Christ, the law is mentioned nearly twenty times. In this chapter, it shows a believer doing his very best to obey the law of God with his regenerate will. Not only this; but you will find the little words, I, me, my, occur more than forty times. It is the regenerate I in its weakness seeking to obey the law without being filled with the Spirit. This is the experience of almost every saint. After conversion, a man begins to do his best, and he fails. But if we are brought into the full light, we no longer need to fail. Nor need we fail at all if we have received the Spirit in His fullness at conversion.

God allows that failure so that the regenerate man should be taught his own utter inability. It is in the course of this struggle that the sense of our utter sinfulness comes to us. It is God’s way of dealing with us. He allows man to strive to fulfill the law so that, as he strives and wrestles, he may be brought to this: “I am a regenerate child of God, but I am utterly helpless to obey His law.” See what strong words are used all through the chapter to describe this condition: “I am carnal, sold under sin” (Romans 7:14); “1 see another law in my members bringing me into captivity” (Romans 7:23); and last of all, “0 wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24). This believer who bows here in deep contrition is utterly unable to obey the law of God.

The Wretched Man

Not only is the man who makes this confession a regenerate and a weak man, but he is also a wretched man. He is utterly unhappy and miserable. What is it that makes him so utterly miserable? It is because God has given him a nature that loves Himself. He is deeply wretched because he feels he is not obeying his God. He says, with brokenness of heart: “It is not I that do it, but I am under the awful power of sin, which is holding me down. It is 1, and yet not 1: alas! alas! it is myself; so closely am I bound up with it, and so closely is it intertwined with my very nature.” Blessed be God when a man learns to say: “0 wretched man that I am!” from the depth of his heart. He is on the way to the eighth chapter of Romans.

There are many who make this confession a pillow for sin. They say that if Paul had to confess his weakness and helplessness in this way, who are they that they should try to do better? So the call to holiness is quietly set aside. Pray God that every one of us would learn to say these words in the very spirit in which they are written here! When we hear sin spoken of as the abominable thing that God hates, do not many of us wince before the word? If only all Christians who go on sinning and sinning would take this verse to heart. If ever you utter a sharp word say: “0 wretched man that I am!” And every time you lose your temper, kneel down and under stand that God never meant His child to remain in this state. If only we would take this word into our daily life, and say it every time we are touched about our own honor! If only we would take it into our hearts every time we say sharp things, and every time we sin against the Lord God, and against the Lord Jesus Christ in His humility and in His obedience and in His self-sacrifice! Pray God that we could forget everything else, and cry out: “0 wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

Why should you say this whenever you commit sin? Because it is when a man is brought to this confession that deliverance is at hand. And remember, it was not only the sense of being weak and taken captive that made him wretched. It was, above all, the sense of sinning against his God. The law was doing its work, making sin exceedingly sinful in his sight. The thought of continually grieving God became utterly unbearable. It was this that brought forth the piercing cry: “0 wretched man!” As long as we talk and reason about our inability and our failure, and only try to find out what Romans, chapter seven, means, it will profit us little. But once every sin gives new intensity to the sense of wretchedness, and we feel our whole state as one of not only helplessness, but actual, exceeding sinfulness, we will be pressed not only to ask: “Who shall deliver us?” but to cry: “I thank God through Jesus Christ my Lord.”

The Almost-Delivered Man

The man has tried to obey the beautiful law of God. He has loved it; he has wept over his sin; and he has tried to conquer. He has tried to overcome fault after fault, but every time he has ended in failure. What did he mean by “the body of this death”? Did he mean, my body when I die? Surely not. In the eighth chapter, you have the answer to this question in the words: “If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Romans 8:13). That is the body of death from which he is seeking deliverance.

And now he is on the brink of deliverance! In, the twenty-third verse of the seventh chapter, we have the words: “I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” It is a captive that cries: “0 wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body I of this death?” He is a man who feels himself bound. But look to the contrast in the second verse of the eighth chapter: “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” That is the deliverance through Jesus Christ our Lord, the liberty to the captive which the Spirit brings. Can you keep captive any longer a man made free by the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”?

But you say, the regenerate man did not have the Spirit of Jesus when he spoke in the sixth chapter. Yes, he did not know what the Holy Spirit could do for him.

God does not work by His Spirit as He works by a blind force in nature. He leads His people on as reasonable, intelligent beings. Therefore, when He wants to give us that Holy Spirit whom He has promised, He first brings us to the end of sel brings us to the conviction that though we have been striving to obey the law, we have failed. When we have come to the end of that, then He shows us that in the Holy Spirit we have the power of obedience, the power of victory, and the power of real holiness. God works to will, and He is ready to work to do, but many Christians misunderstand this. They think because they have the will, it is enough, and that now they are able to do. This is not so. The new will is a permanent gift, an attribute of the new nature. The power to do is not a permanent gift, but must be received each moment from the Holy Spirit. It is the man who is conscious of his own weakness as a believer who will learn that by the Holy Spirit he can live a holy life. This man is on the brink of that great deliverance; the way has been prepared for the glorious eighth chapter. I now ask this solemn question: Where are you living? With you, is it, “0 wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me? ” with now and then a little experience of the power of the Holy Spirit? Or is it, “I thank God through Jesus Christ! The law of the Spirit hath set me free from the law of sin and of death”?

What the Holy Spirit does is to give the victory. “If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Romans 8:13). It is the Holy Spirit who does this-the third Person of the Godhead. It is He who, when the heart is opened wide to receive Him, comes in and reigns there, and mortifies the deeds of the body, day by day, hour by hour, and moment by moment.

I want to bring this to a point. Remember, dear friend, what we need is to come to decision and action. There are in Scripture two very different sorts of Christians. The Bible speaks in Romans, Corinthians, and Galatians about yielding to the flesh; and that is the life of tens of thousands of believers. All their lack of joy in the Holy Spirit, and their lack of the liberty He gives, is just owing to the flesh. The Spirit is within them, but the flesh rules the life. To be led by the Spirit of God is what they need. If only I could make every child of His realize what it means that the everlasting God has given His dear Son, Christ Jesus, to watch over you every day, and that what you have to do is to trust. If only I could make His children understand that the work of the Holy Spirit is to enable you every moment to remember Jesus, and to trust Him! The Spirit has come to keep the link with Him unbroken every moment. Praise God for the Holy Spirit! We are so accustomed to thinking of the Holy Spirit as a luxury, for special times, or for special ministers and men. But the Holy Spirit is necessary for every believer, every moment of the day. Praise God you have Him, and that He gives you the full experience of the deliverance in Christ as He makes you free from the power of sin.

Who longs to have the power and the liberty of the Holy Spirit? Oh, brother, bow before God in one final cry of despair: “0 God, must I go on sinning this way forever? Who shall deliver me, 0 wretched man that I am! from the body of this death?”

Are you ready to sink before God in that cry and seek the power of Jesus to live and work in you? Are you ready to say: “I thank God through Jesus Christ”?

What good does it do that we go to church or attend conventions, ‘that we study our Bibles and pray, unless our lives are filled with the Holy Spirit? That is what God wants. Nothing else will enable us to live a life of power and peace. When a minister or parent is using the catechism, and a question is asked, an answer is expected. How sad that many Christians are content with the question put here: “0 wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” but never give the answer.

Instead of answering, they are silent. Instead of saying: “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord,” they are forever repeating the question without the answer. If you want the path to the full deliverance of Christ, and the liberty of the Spirit-the glorious liberty of the children of God-take it through the seventh chapter of Romans. Then say: “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Do not be content to remain ever groaning, but say: “I, a wretched man, thank God, through Jesus Christ. Even though I do not see it all, I am going to praise God. “

There is deliverance; there is the liberty of the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom of God is “joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

 

God At Eventide – May 4

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The Acceptable Gift

Rest in My Love.  Abide in Me.

Leave all to follow Me — your pride, your self-sufficiency, your fears of what others may think — All.

Have no fear.  Go forth into the unknown with Me, fearful of nothing with so sure a convoy.

Just as a flower, given as an offering to a loved one, so is your tribute of love to Me.

As Mary gave her Love-offering, spikenard very precious, so give to Me your love and understanding.


spike·nard
ˈspīknärd/
noun
noun: spikenard; plural noun: spikenards
  1. 1.
    historical
    a costly perfumed ointment much valued in ancient times.
  2. 2.
    the Himalayan plant of the valerian family that produces the rhizome from which this ointment was prepared.
    • a plant resembling spikenard in fragrance.

May 4 – Share With Me

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Delight in My Love. Try to live in the rapture of the Kingdom.

Claim big things. Claim great things. Claim Joy and Peace and freedom from care. Joy in Me.

I am your Lord, your Creator. Remember too that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever. Your Creator, when My thought about the world called it into being – your Creator as much, too, today, when I can, by loving thought for you, call into being all you need on the material plane.

Joy in Me, trust in Me, share all life with Me, see Me in everything, rejoice in me. Share all with Me as a child shares its pains and cuts and griefs and newfound treasures of joys and little work with its Mother.

And give Me the joy of sharing all with you.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment.  1 John 4:18

 

God At Eventide – May 3

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Useless Activity

Preparation time is so neglected by My followers.  Consequently there is lack of power in work for Me.

To alter the laws of a country is no real remedy for ill.  Men’s hearts must be altered by contact with Me.

Remember the lessons I have taught you about useless activity.  When most work cries out to be done, then it is truly the time — not to rush, but to Commune with Me and My Father.

Never feel strong in yourself.  Know that only in My Strength can you accomplish all.  No mountain of difficulty can then be insurmountable or immovable.

May 3 – Kill Self Now

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Self dethroned – that is the lesson, but in its place put Love for Me, knowledge of Me.

Self, not only dethroned, but dead. A dead self is not an imprisoned self.  An imprisoned self is more potent to harm. In all training – (in Mine of you, and in yours of others) – let self die.

But for each blow to the life of self you must at the same time embrace and hold fast the new Life, Life with Me.

It is not a dead self that men have to fear, but a thwarted, captive, imprisoned self.  That self is infinitely more self-centered than the self allowed full play.  But to you, My children, I teach a higher science-law than even freedom of the self.  I teach death to the self.  No repressions, just death.  Petty self-life exchanged for Divine Life

And now I can make more clear to you what I would say about forgiveness of injuries.

But what you do not see is that you, the self in you, can never forgive injuries.  The very thought of them means self in the foreground, then the injury, instead of appearing less, appears greater. It is one of My commands that as you seek My forgiveness, so you must forgive.

No, My children, as all true Love is of God and is God, so all true forgiveness is of God and is God. The self cannot forgive. Kill self.

Cease trying to forgive those who fretted or wronged you.  It is a mistake to think about it.  Aim at killing the self now – in your daily life, and then, and not until then, you will find there is nothing that even remembers injury, because the only one injured, the self, is dead.

As long as it recurs to your mind you deceive yourself if you think it forgiven.

Many deceive themselves in this.

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might
 be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  Romans 6:6