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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : G.D. Watson ~ Soul Food

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crsschk
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 G.D. Watson ~ Soul Food

Hi Ed, how interesting to re-cross paths this way... Just found his understanding tremendous, a true blessing, still am gleaning from all this.


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Mike Balog

 2006/6/1 16:13Profile
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 G.D. Watson ~ Soul Food

[u]CHAPTER 9: "Little Things"[/u]

In the Kingdom of God, which is exactly the opposite to the kingdom of this world, things rank by the greatness of quality, and not by that of quantity. Our God proves His Divinity by the notice and emphasis He puts on small things. "Despise not the day of small things." --- "Because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities!"

There is no better way in the world to test every trait in a soul than by little things. Every Christian duty, every grace of the Spirit, every privilege of life, is being proved and manifested to the eyes of God and angels in things so small that we seldom take thought of them. It is the unpremeditated and instinctive actions and words that reveal the reality of what is in us, and not those large, conspicuous things for which we especially arm ourselves. The most essential grace for a human being is humility; God appreciates a soul in proportion to the depth of its humility more than all other things combined; but this very grace of lowliness of heart finds its appropriate home in small things. The sweetest things in the world --- the best prayers, the poorest self-denial, the tenderest words of sympathy --- by a delicate instinct of the Holy Spirit, hide themselves in little secret ways, as the turtle-dove will build its nest in the un-thought-of, lowly places on the ground. There are some great sorrows and sufferings that can be written out for the world to see; but the greater martyrs are those who have thousands of agonies in small and hide-away matters seen only by the Infinite eye. To suffer with a patient heart in things so common and small that people never think of noticing them is to glorify God in a high degree; for if we suffer in ways so concealed that no eyes but His can see it, then surely it is to please Him only. Fanatics and self-made martyrs like to show their sufferings to notice on a large scale, as a dog will make a loud howl over a small hurt; but a real lowly soul will suffer a hundred-fold more in silence and little things without advertising it, as the lamb will endure a great wound in silence.

There are times and places for great events and things, but in matters pertaining to perfect Christ-likeness of Spirit, the very greatness and splendor of large things hide God, and the creature is manifested more than the Lord. But in little things God has opportunity to show Himself; He is not smothered under so much magnitude and glitter, as electricity can show itself better at a small focus than by being spread over an immense cloud. There is no intrinsic harm in things being great, but we are so foolish that we let the greatness of things distract us from God. Just in the same proportion that all human things grow in size, they lose the Power of God. Great men, great learning, great churches, great sermons and fine music, great camp-meetings, even great holiness organizations --- anything great in the creatures --- soon absorbs so much attention that the sensitive Holy Ghost finds Himself slighted, and quietly hunts up little people and little opportunities, where God alone can get the glory. In every age of the world, the Holy Spirit has been traveling away from big things into the small, in order to find places where God alone shall be exalted. If we could always remain broken and contrite and little, God would always show Himself to us, and reveal His Personal Presence in the insignificant things of daily life, and the Holy Ghost would work marvelously through us in sweet and quiet ways, utterly incredible to the great and wise ones. God alone Knows when we are really little. Many will proclaim that they feel their utter nothingness, but in one hour after cannot peacefully and lovingly endure to be contradicted, or reproved, or slighted, or slandered. What we are in the sight of God, that we are, no more and no less, regardless of what men or saints or angels think of us, and regardless of what we think of ourselves. The Holy Ghost Knows when we are little, and His Abiding and wondrous Revealings will continue just so long as our infantile littleness continues.

In regard to our work, there is more real holy labor in the small than in the great things; for just see, in any great work there is human sympathy, man's praises, a field for enthusiasm and renown, a sphere for the display of gifts and zeal, and motive to arouse the natural heart; but in a little work wrought in obscurity, all these high things are weeded out. I do not say that a great work may not be done purely for God alone, but it furnishes a field for so much of the human; but in the hide-away and shut-in ways of life, our God gives us a walled-in garden to sow down with deeds and words and manners and looks, out of a loving, tender spirit, with no incentive but love, and no purpose but to please Him. A little work done for God to Know has in it a heavenly courage, a purity of intention, a sweetness of love, which is very difficult to put in a notable act.

We can show more self-sacrifice in little things than we can in great; because the occasions are more multiplied and the temptations to self-indulgence are greater. On the other hand, we should not be in scrupulous bondage to little things, for if we overmagnify little things, we put our souls in slavery, and the devil turns our flower-garden into a prison. Little things should serve two purposes for us --- to see how much of God's guidance and Presence we can FIND in them, and to see how much of Jesus-like love and service we can PUT in them. Every religious thing on earth will take rank in heaven just according to how much Christ is IN it!


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Mike Balog

 2006/6/1 16:14Profile
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 Re: G.D. Watson ~ Soul Food

[u]CHAPTER 10: "SIMPLICITY"[/u]

God's best gifts are the simplest, such as air and light and water and bread. So, in religion, the greatest things are unmixed love, pure humility, fixed obedience, a single eye to please God. A sunbeam refracted gives seven colors; that is complexity, which is the opposite of simplicity. The simple white light is infinitely more blessed and useful than the complex, colored rainbow. To be fond of complex things indicates childishness of taste. Complexity in religious life bespeaks a baby condition of moral nature. The more pure and advanced the mind is, the more it admires perfect simplicity in everything. Simplicity in the Christian Life is the state of transparency, unbiasedness; no mixedness in the desires or tempers or affections; oneness of motive, oneness of intention, where the conscience, desires, and will all flow one way in sweet agreement; where faith and hope and love exist without being mixed with their opposites of doubt and fear and hate.

But no definition of spiritual simplicity will satisfy the heart. The Holy Spirit, Who Is the God of simplicity, must reveal it to the eye of the soul. When the blessed Spirit softly unveils to all our inner perceptions the perfect simplicity of the Christ-life, the unmixedness, the unsullied transparency of God's Word and His inner Kingdom, there is a Holy charm and a sweet satisfaction to the mind beyond the expression of words. When all doubleness and tangled complexity of every sort is purged out of us, and when the Holy Spirit floods all our inner being with the same simplicity which is in Jesus, how it makes us love simplicity in everybody and in everything! We then have a keen appreciation of simplicity in character, manners, speech, worship, business. Anything extravagant, grand, pompous, puffy, stilted, far-fetched, loud, slangy, odd, smart, brilliant, or confused or complex, in experience, life, or expression, becomes very offensive. The soul that is living in sweet Oneness with Jesus will intuitively detect and recoil from everything that is mystical, shady, tricky or complicated. Such a soul abominates the secret lodges, the tricks of the trade, the keeping up of appearances, or anything subtle or selfish; it deals only with what is open, straightforward, and translucent. A person may have intellectual simplicity, which is the characteristic of all great minds, and yet, if he is not purified by the Holy Ghost, he will still be lacking in simplicity of moral nature. A person whose heart is rendered perfectly simple by the full indwelling of Christ will be inundated with simplicity in every other direction of mind, and manners and business.

Perfect simplicity of spirit is the heavenly shield against foolishness, fanciful forms of religious experience. When people fancy that they have found something startling and new, and profoundly hard to be understood, and transcendently fine in religion, it is always because they have left the old, eternal path of white simplicity and become tangled in Satanic fog. A soul that is possessed by the Holy Spirit seeks ever to live in an ocean of pure, tender love, and be full of good works; and it will instinctively avoid rush, unnatural, and over-strained views of religious life and duty. The Light the Holy Spirit pours into us is pure and white, not a red, startling aurora borealis; the visions of God He gives to us are lucid, wide calm, elevating, sweet, restful and loving, and not those complex, wild, and overstrained notions which are always indicative of fanaticism. The Holy Spirit will turn us into the simple, quiet, non-combative lamb, and not into some great, towering extraordinary giraffe. He will mold us into the lowly, uncomplaining, unostentatious dove, not into some enormous, far-famed albatross.

Thousands of people ruin their religious experience by forming fictitious and abnormal notions of advanced [extraordinary] experiences. They stretch and pray; strain after some unique, great, dazzling monstrosity of spiritual life, utterly outside of the mind that was in Jesus; and the devil is ever looking out to gratify such un-Scriptural desires with counterfeits of grace. They lose their dove-like simplicity, and are soon tangled up with all sorts of absurdities. The Bible reveals to us simplicity of desire --- "Thy face, Lord, will I seek..."; simplicity of the will --- "This one thing I do..."; simplicity of motive --- "Do all to the glory of God..."; simplicity of Guidance --- "Lead me in a plain path...", because the enemy is on the complex path. Let us ever seek a Jesus-like simplicity, not only in our experience, but also in work for Him; never attempting startling and brilliant things; never wittingly drawing notice to ourselves; never overtaxing ourselves with huge enterprises; never parading the feats we have done, or the extra things we are going to do.

Oh, for that perfect, guileless simplicity of heart and life which befits with equal grace an angel or an infant, and makes both of them feel at home with each other!


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Mike Balog

 2006/6/2 23:38Profile
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 Re: G.D. Watson ~ Soul Food

[i](A brief note here, this one had a particular practical application for this rambler ...)[/i]

[u]CHAPTER 11: "LOQUACITY" (Excessive Verbalism)[/u]

Talkativeness is utterly ruinous to deep spirituality. The very life of our spirits passes out in our speech, and hence all superfluous talk is a wast of the vital forces of the heart. In fruit- growing, it often happens that excessive blossoming prevents a good crop, and often prevents fruit altogether; and by so much loquacity the soul runs wild in word-bloom, and bears no fruit. I am not speaking of sinners, nor of legitimate testimony for Jesus, but of that incessant loquacity of spiritual persons, of the professors of purifying grace. It is one of the greatest hindrances to deep, solid union with God. Notice how people will tell the same thing over and over; how insignificant trifles are magnified by a word of words; how things that should be buried are dragged out into gossip; how a worthless, nonessential is argued and disputed over; how the solemn, deep things of the Holy Spirit are talked of in a light, rattling manner; until one who has the real baptism of divine silence in his heart feels he must unceremoniously tear himself away to some lonely room or forest, where one can gather up the fragments of his mind, and rest in God. Not only do we need cleansing from sin, but our natural human spirit needs a radical death to its noise and activity and wordiness. See the devil effects so much talk.

First, it dissipates the spiritual power. The thought and feelings of the soul are like powder and steam --- the more they are condensed, the greater their power. The steam that, if properly compressed, would drive a train forty miles an hour, if allowed too much expanse, would not move it an inch; and so the true unction of the heart, if expressed in a few Holy Ghost selected words, will sink into minds and remain forever, but if dissipated in any rambling conversation, is likely to be of no profit.

Second, it is a waste of time. If the hours spent in useless conversation were spent in secret prayer, or deep reading, we would soon reach a region of soul-life and divine Peace beyond our present dreams.

Third, loquacity will inevitably lead to saying unwise, or unpleasant, or unprofitable things. In religious conversation, we soon churn up all the cream our souls have in them, and the rest of our talk is pale skim milk, till we get alone with God and feed on His green pasture until the cream rises again. The Holy Spirit Warns us that, "in multitude of words there lacketh not sin!" It is impossible for even the best of saints to talk beyond a certain point without saying something unkind, or severe, or foolish, or erroneous. We must settle this personally. If others are noisy and gabby, I must determine to live in constant quietness and humility of heart; I must guard my speech as a sentinel does a fortress, and with all respect for others, I must many a time cease from conversation or withdraw from company to enter into deep Communion -WITH- my Precious Lord. The cure for loquacity must be from within; sometimes by an interior furnace of suffering that burns out the excessive effervescence of the mind, or by an overmastering Revelation to the soul of the awful majesties of God and eternity, which puts an everlasting hush upon the natural faculties. To Walk in the Spirit, we must avoid talking for talk's sake, or merely to entertain. To speak effectively, we must speak in God's appointed time and in harmony with the Indwelling Holy Spirit.


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Mike Balog

 2006/6/5 10:28Profile
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  G.D. Watson ~ Soul Food

[u]CHAPTER 12: "SORROW FOR SIN"[/u]

All true sorrow for sin must be imparted to us from God, for He alone knows just how we should feel toward evil. There is something so wretched, so inconceivably awful, in sin, that it destroys our very capacity for any correct feeling toward it; and the Holy Spirit must impart to us, from the pure sensibilities of God, that holy grief, that fierce principal of sorrow for sin, which is the spring and safeguard of true godliness.

There are a great many degrees of sorrow for actual sin committed which are mingled with feelings of remorse, dread, guilt, fear of wrath. this degree of sorrow may have a great outburst of manifestation, but it is not the deepest form of grief for sin.

When there is a sorrow for the deep, hidden sinfulness of the heart, the very existence of God's love in our hearts makes us to grieve and mourn over the corruptions of our fallen nature. It is by the light of pardoning grace shining in us that we see the vileness and stubbornness of secret depravity; and our grief for our hidden sinfulness is keener and deeper than ever for our horrible actions, because this degree of sorrow is touched more strongly with God's sensibilities to sin, and because we more sensitively feel the utter meanness and stubbornness of the essence of sin. It is out of this sorrow for heart-sin that there springs thirst for universal purity.

Then, after we are pardoned and purified, even though the sting of guilt and the inward motives of sin are removed, there is planted in us, by the Holy Spirit, a finer and continuous sorrow for the dreadful fact and effects of sin. After we have been washed in the precious Blood, there will be times in holy devotion when the spotless character and goodness and majesty and tenderness of our Lord will so open up to our view that the hot tears will burst from our eyes, and a deep, tender, melting sorrow for the sad fact of our sin will go all over us.

This is not a human, but divine kind of sorrow. In human sorrow over sin there is a chafing, fretting, recrimination, self-denunciation, which is in itself sinful; there is denouncing sin in such a severe, sinful spirit as to add to the very sin that is being denounced. And so there is a poor, human sort of grief over sin by which we lash and fret and call ourselves hard names, which is only a heathenish form of grief. When God takes us up into sweet, holy union -WITH- Himself, we will see that it is as great a sin to fret and rage at ourselves as at our fellows. This deep, fixed sorrow for sin I now speak of is God's sorrow for it --- the sorrow that Jesus had for the sinfulness of sin, from the hour He clothed Himself in our flesh and bones. This kind of sorrow is deep, quiet, melting; it can blend itself with holy joy and praise, just as you can see a purple tinge in the finest electric light. This highest and Christ-like form of sorrow for sin may not always push itself up into our distinct consciousness, but if the Spirit possesses us, it is always in us as the unrecognized tones in music, or the shaded back-ground to every picture of divine grace. The more thorough our sorrow over sin, the more persistent will be our progress in holiness.


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 2006/6/6 0:13Profile
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 G.D. Watson ~ Soul Food

[u]CHAPTER 13: "IN DEEPER DEGREES"[/u]

The same truths we learn or experience in the beginning of religious life can be so broadened and intensified to us by the Holy Spirit that they seem new to us; hence the same terms we used to express ourselves by are inadequate to convey the deeper meaning of our hearts. Suppose a young child, a grown person recently converted, a perfected and anointed believer, a disembodied saint in heaven, and one of the oldest angels, were all standing together, and should all repeat in concert the words, "God is love!" What an almost infinite difference there would be in the meaning of those words to each of the five persons respecting the words. While the words are the same, yet, in the apprehension of their significance, there is as great disparity as between a drop of water and the ocean.

There are very few enlargements of the heart in Divine things till the believer passes the Jordan of sanctification; and even then the great expansions and uplifts into the supernatural life of the Holy Ghost will depend on many conditions.

All the words of God are susceptible to innumerable degrees of meaning, so that the same passage can be fulfilled in us over and over, in a deeper measure, until it hardly seems the same Scripture it used to be; and even in the resurrection and glorified states, we will find the words of the Bible accomplished in us in a measure beyond all our present dreams of their meaning. This thought is eminently true when applied to the manifestation of Christ to our inner spirit.

Just suppose we could open every Christian mind on earth, and get a correct picture of what each one has of the Lord Jesus in his or her heart. What a picture gallery it would make! What the blessed Jesus is to us in our heart and mind, measures what we are to Him and for Him. It is the operation of the Holy Spirit upon our perceptions, mostly in secret prayer, by which Jesus grows on us, till all our early views of Him are eclipsed by deeper and sweeter visions of His person and character. Of this widening perception of Christ in the mind, Faber very sweetly sings:

"Thou broadenest out with every year,
Each breadth of life to meet,
I scarce can think Thou art the same,
Thou art so much more sweet.

"With age Thou growest more divine,
More glorious than before,
I fear Thee with a deeper fear,
Because I love Thee more.

"Changed and not changed, Thy present charms,
Thy past ones only prove,
Oh, make my heart more strong to bear
This newness of Thy love.

"Jesus! what hast Thou grown to now?
A joy, all joys above,
Something more sacred than a fear,
More tender than a love.

"With gentle swiftness lead me on,
Dear God! to see Thy face;
And meanwhile in my narrow heart,
Oh, make Thyself more space!"

The newness that Faber speaks of is not really in Jesus or His love, but in our newer apprehension of Him. Oh, what an unlimited field of work the Spirit has to open up all our capabilities to the perceiving and receiving of the riches of Christ!

It often happens that, just after coming through some great loss, or crushing sorrow, or dark trial, that the heart will get a broader, brighter, sweeter view of the Lord than ever in the past, as if the stretching of the soul by intense suffering has qualified it for an outlet into the depths of God.

There are riches in Jesus which can be opened to us in prayer, for which there are no corresponding words in our language; traits of His character, insights into His God-man personality, glimpses of glory, emotions imparted from Him, unutterable charms revealed to us, which work swift wonders and enlargement in us, but which we are unable to interpret to anyone else. Paul's vision into God may have been a thousand-fold deeper than anything I ever had, when he exclaimed, "Oh, the depth of the riches!" But after eighteen centuries in a sea of glory, what must be his vision of those riches to-day!

Inasmuch as every truth of Scripture is susceptible to being manifested to our souls in an almost unlimited degree of pungency, clearness and force, we should diligently seek for the Holy Spirit to continually increase these things in us. The depth and altitudes of Divine things can not be had by chance, or under the delusion that God will work them in us anyhow, if we only lie passive in His hand. There are many times and things in which our only true work is to lie passive in God's will, but in other things it requires thoughtfulness, constant, persevering co-operation -WITH- the Spirit, to reach the ever- widening fullness of His promises.

As our days go by, the feeling of repentance, of sorrow for sin, of self-nothingness, of gentleness of thought, of tenderness for others, of the vividness of Jesus and His coming, and the reality of all eternal things, should steadily grow in brighter colors and hotter emotions in our souls. Only see how dull and sluggish all our nature is toward Divine realities; that even after we have been converted and sanctified, the awful effect of the morphine of sin has left such a deposit of indolence and mental stupidity in us as to demand incessant zeal to realize the brightness and power of heavenly things.

Soon -- oh, soon! -- we are to stand right in the blazing realities of God and eternity, and all our faculties are hardly half awake. Do we often think of that inexpressible hour when we shall gaze on our precious Jesus for the first time? Have we seriously determined in union -WITH- the Holy Ghost that all spiritual things shall be more and more real to us? God looks at the determinations of our hearts, and if we want the Holy Spirit to make things powerful to us, we must determine that He shall.


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Mike Balog

 2006/6/7 10:05Profile
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 G.D. Watson ~ Soul Food

[u]CHAPTER 14: "BENEFITS OF TEMPTATION"[/u]

Grace has to work a great many miracles in us before we get far enough along to heartily sanction the words of St. James, to "count it all joy when we fall into divers temptations." But there is a place of such victory and union with Christ that the soul can really find a source of joy from every trial and temptation through which it has gone. It is almost impossible for us to see any benefits of being tempted while we are passing through them; the sensibilities are so pierced by fiery darts, the mind is so distracted by evil suggestions, the will is so beset with opposite motives, the rattle of spiritual musketry and smoke of battle obscures the vision from seeing any blessing likely to come out of it. Nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them who are properly exercised thereby. Among the benefits of being tried by temptation, we may mention the following:

1..... Resisting any given evil to which the soul is tempted will induce an increased hatred of that sin. The very habit of fighting any particular sin will form a habit of loathing for that sin. It is watched as an old and bitter foe. In long and bitter feuds between families there is not only hatred for the principal agents, but hatred for their children, their relatives, their property. So the persistent fight against some old ruling passion, some old besetting sin, arouses in the soul a universal revenge, not only against the old sin itself, but against all its family relatives, and a jealous hatred to all the insidious steps that lead to that sin. The holiest saints in all ages have been those who were the most sorely tempted. Surely it is a great blessing to loath sin, and a still greater blessing to loath that particular sin that has done us the most damage. It is God's design that we shall have the most perfect victory on the very points where we have been the weakest. This requires a limitless crucifixion of self and a complete possession by the Holy Ghost. But it can be done, and has been done, in thousands of cases. And such victory has been brought about by awful temptations to some sin which developed a boundless, unrelenting hatred for that sin.

2..... Temptation drives us to a deep, serious study of ourselves; it makes us take ourselves all to pieces, to analyze our affections, our wills, our motives, our propensities; it makes us search the quality of our actions, thoughts, words; it makes us scrutinize our real chances for heaven or hell; it makes us dig in solitude to the very secret foundation of our character. Temptation compels us to study the awful nature of sin; it makes us trace the danger of wrong-affections, of evil thoughts, of improper words; it opens our eyes to see the hell-fire that stealthily sleeps in so-called "little sins". To be thoroughly tempted is the pathway to a thorough knowledge of ourselves and of the malignity of sin.

3..... Temptation makes us see our true nothingness and weakness. It withers our cleverness, cauterizes our smartness, teaches us true humiliation and self-abasement. It clips the rattling talkativeness from our tongues, gives us a real, healthy hatred of ourselves, and shows us our demerit in a strong light. It leads us to patient endurance. When we are first tempted, we chafe and fret; when it comes back still stronger, we whimper and whine; the next time, we try to fight the devil with our fist, we bluster with our will-power against being so assaulted; at the next time, we break down and cry like a child whose Sunday clothes have been bespattered by a bad boy; then we wonder what we shall do; then we half despair of getting complete victory; at last we quiver long-sufferingly in the hand of God, and patiently look to Jesus as an afflicted child looks to its mother's face while its wound is being dressed. But for these sever temptations, the soul would go skipping along, gloating over its own pretty piety, full of self- admiration. As a sever case of small-pox will prevent a pretty face from standing before a mirror, so terrible temptations prevent holy souls from admiring their own graces.

4..... Temptation leads us into real heart-felt sympathy and compassion for others. It takes deep trials to soften and widen the sympathies. Every tree has it special parasites to attack it, and it does seem that severity is the special parasite that fastens itself onto religion in a human soul. If a cold, condemnatory saint is put through an unexplainable conflict of soul that makes him roll on the floor in agony for hours at a time, while his body is wet with perspiration, when he comes out of that sulphur bath, if he comes out on the Christian side, there will be a tenderness in his judgment and a broadness in his compassion which no camp-meeting hallelujahs could ever impart.

Blessed are they that endure temptation till not only sinful self is purged out, but till the last form of righteous self is gone, and the soul is taken out of it furnaces into a SuperNatural embrace of the Holy Spirit.


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Mike Balog

 2006/6/9 0:23Profile
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 G.D. Watson ~ Soul Food

[u]CHAPTER 15: "THE DAILY CROSS"[/u]

It is only after we have been crucified to the carnal nature that we can bear our daily cross in the true spirit of our Master. It is by the denial or death of sinful self that we enter the state of perfect obedience in which the daily trials and crosses can be borne in deep fellowship with Jesus. The very order of the words of our Savior seems to indicate the steps of experience. "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me." Here we have, first, crucifixion of the natural self-life; then the purified soul bearing its daily sufferings and hindrances, which brings it into constant walking and fellowship with Christ. It is this daily cross which leads the sanctified soul into a deeper death to self, according to its love and fervor of obedience. What is our daily cross? It is that one or more things which are unavoidable in our lives, and which produce suffering of body or mind or heart. It is that thing which in our poor judgment seems to hinder the easy flow of our religious life. Sometimes our cross may be composed of a combination of things, but as a general rule, it is some one instrument or cause of suffering to the soul. Were there no suffering of some kind involved, then there could be no cross at all, for the only thing in a cross is its pain. The outward form of the daily cross may change with years, or the same cross may continue till death; but in some form it abides. It is as impossible for the true saint not to have some cross as it is to walk in the sunshine without having shadow. The Holy Ghost gives us to understand plainly that the multitudes of jolly, ease-loving, and easy-going religionists, who bear no daily suffering with Jesus, are only sectarian-born religious bastards, and not really Kingdom-born souls. (see Heb 12:8) It is your daily cross that makes you weep more than any other thing; that sends you to frequent prayer; that leads you to ransack the promises; that makes you cry out, like Jesus, "Father why is this?"; that causes you to put both arms around the neck of your Savior in yearning love; that makes you sick of earth and self; that gives you wistful longings for heaven. Oh, precious old homely, daily cross, what deep, tender, far-reaching effects thou has wrought through all these prayer-paved years!

There is an hallucination about getting free from our daily cross which needs to be broken; it is a daydream worked up in our minds, a beautiful vision that hangs just ahead of us, that someday we will be rid of our cross, that we will have no painful annoyances, and that our feet can fly unimpeded toward heaven. Alas! that so many saints should get their eyes set on this will-o'-the-wisp dream. If you want deep union with Jesus, getting rid of your cross is the very thing to defeat it! There is a better victory than freedom from the daily instrument of pain, and that is to pass into the ocean-depth of the Christ-life where every trial can be borne in exactly the same spirit that Jesus bore. Boundless, tender love is the condition for triumphant bearing of our daily cross. When our cross has driven us so deep into the warm ocean-heart of Jesus that we are kept melted and flooded with quiet, lowly, tender, yearning love for God and His Kingdom, then the cross will have proved its own balsam, and then every trial will be fuel to the flame of love. To love the cross is understood by only a few Christians. People fancy it means loving the cross on which Christ died. No; it means loving that very cross in our lives that drives us into deep one- ness with Christ; it is to meekly, patiently, lovingly embrace to our inner heart the very principal of self-abnegation and self-nothingness. It is often the case that devout Romanists wear hair-cloth and iron or knotted cords next to their skin. All that is too superficial; it does not enter deep enough. Jesus did no such foolish thing. To bear our daily trial as Jesus did, we must take it into our very hearts love, and bear it meekly, quietly, lovingly, as unto God, and not to man.

How long it takes to accept our daily trial as a gift direct from the hands of our Lord! His eyes are on us; He notices our inner feelings, thoughts, and choices as to our cross. The spirit in which we bear our trials here will mark the grade of our standing in the world to come. It is persevering prayer that we get on the sunny side of every sorrow, and on the triumphant side of every trial.

It is the sharp grain of sand cutting its way into the oyster that is enveloped with the life- juices of the creature and turned into a pearl; so our daily cross, cutting its way into our life's core by being folded round and round with many tears and loving prayers, becomes in our souls the very pearl of Christ-likeness, and more valuable than all our chosen blessings. The Holy Ghost can reveal to us the very disposition in which Jesus bore His daily trials, and when we bear ours in the same spirit, then indeed do we have fellowship with Him!

If it does not please our Father to remove our trials, it is because He wants us to seek and receive an overflow of tender love that will bear us on over and through the trials and in spite of them. Pure, limitless love is the only true victory over trial. Intense love for Jesus is the only water that can make our thorny cross ripen its fruit; so do not cut down your cross, but water it with more love and prayer, and wait for its golden apples.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2006/6/9 10:11Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 G.D. Watson ~ Soul Food

[u]CHAPTER 16: "THE DOMINANT SOUL QUALITY"[/u]

Every human soul has been organized as to possess some one dominant trait, or some combination of traits, or some quality in a certain degree which is not duplicated in exactly the same proportion, perhaps, as in any other soul in creation. God is forever manifesting His exhaustless wisdom and power in producing creatures through all the ages which are unique and different in some respects from all the other myriads, that each soul may be a chosen vessel to show forth His gifts and glory and beauty and wisdom in a peculiar and individual manifestation. In our present condition, with our nature fallen and ignorant, and often, even in the highest state of grace, so hedged about with ignorance and short- sightedness and infirmities, we cannot begin to see the existing beauty and holy dignity and glory that God designs for each one of His loving and obedient children.

There are seven colors in the rainbow. Each of these colors can have ten thousand different shades, and each of these shades can be blended with the other colors and shades of color in untold millions of colors and shades of colors. So out of the element of spirit, soul, and body, which enters into the formation of man, and from the five senses of the soul add the intellectual faculties, and the grace of the Spirit operating in the heart, the Holy Spirit can combine these mental and spiritual qualities in an infinite number of forms and degrees, so that each saint shall possess some signal mark of divine favor, or some exhibition of divine beauty, or some form of love, which will distinguish him from all other creatures in the universe. This will make each one of the countless millions of heaven to have a special sacredness to God, and a special attraction for us. This truth is set forth in the different gems and precious stones which compose the twelve foundations of the city of God, as described in the twenty first chapter of Revelation. We shall find that each of these twelve precious stones, mentioned in that chapter, have a special virtue and quality of chemistry and beauty of its own, and when we learn the deep interior individuality of the twelve apostles, we shall find that each of those apostles had a unique quality --- some dominant trait of moral character --- which corresponds precisely with the quality of the various precious stones in the twelve foundations.

It is interesting and helpful to us to recognize this dominant soul quality in the Lord's people. Each person we meet makes a special impression upon our minds and sensibilities which no one else makes. The more thorough a person is saved and filled with the Spirit, and united with the divine Mind, the more perfectly will their deep inner personality be brought out and manifested by the Holy Spirit. Some of God's children impress us with love, others with illumination, others with great force, others with faith, others with conviction, others with sweetness of spirit, others with humility and resignation, others with authority and regnant power, others with quietness and retirement. Could our eyes be sufficiently open to see things in the full light of the Holy Spirit, and our keen spiritual sensibilities be perfectly open to the play of spirit-waves, or the detection of spiritual odors, we should find an unspeakable joy in the variety and fellowship of all God's saints. This will be one of the joys of heaven. The soul is larger than the body, and the spirit is larger than the soul. There is a spiritual atmosphere which surrounds us, as the air surrounds the world, and we can feel the touch of this soul-atmosphere.

This dominant quality of an immortal mind not only comes out in social contact, but even in books, the writer will put the dominant quality of his mind. In reading the writings of Wesley, I am always impressed with his will-power. Whatever I may read from his pen, in his journal, or sermons, I am always impressed with that firm, tireless, overmastering, persevering, conquering will-power which was in the man. This has always been the effect of his writing upon me, so much so that it tires me to read very much of his writings at a time. I believe Wesley had the strongest and purest will of any man in a thousand years.

When I read John Fletcher, I am impressed with an intense, burning eagerness for God, and of a consuming desire for the fullness of God, and tireless, incessant spirit of prayer for the heavenly filling. This is the dominant quality of his writings upon me.

When I read Madame Guyon, I feel the quality of utter self-abnegation, self-renunciation, and deep, fathomless abandonment to God. This quality pervades her poetry, her biography, her writings; in her domestic life, in prison, at all times, the reigning trait of her soul seems to be annihilation of self.

In reading Fenelon, I am impressed with great gentleness and sweetness of spirit, and a flexible, yielding, tender, compassionate thoughtfulness and heavenly sweetness. It seems to pervade, like a divine odor, everything he touches.

In reading Faber, I am aware of a great illumination and wonderful discernment unto God and the human spirit, and clearness, the white heat of devotion, the very poetry of light, the purity and gentle melody of sunbeams and stars and crystal fountains; such insights into God; such glowing visions of the Trinity; such cloudless perception of things in heaven. But it is the light of a hot sun flaming with devotion, and not the light of a winter moon.

The writings of George Muller predominately impressed me with patient prayer. He is known as a man of great faith, and yet the all-pervading quality in his writing to me is that of patient prayer --- the attitude of waiting on God and finding out His will before one step is taken. This is a very high type of faith, for there are thousands of different aspects and degrees of faith.

Dr. Cullis, with whom I had the pleasure of personal acquaintance, pre-eminently impressed me with a child-like, simple trust. I found it always easy to believe God in his presence. He seemed to carry an atmosphere of trust along with him. There was in Dr. Cullis a gentleness, sweet, child-like playfulness and infant-like trust which seemed to have nothing arduous in it.

Dr. Sheridan Baker had to me the dominant quality of well-poised accuracy and precision. His words, his behavior, his writings, his business transactions, his plans, his whole life and expression, seemed moulded in a beautiful, well-balanced precision; nothing redundant, or extravagant, or narrow, or little, or outlandish, or absurd. Everything in the man seemed as beautifully poised as the blue dome of heaven. Look at the way he managed his business; disbursed his money. Look at his writings; can you find one foolish, extravagant, or superfluous word? He was, in a very eminent degree, a man of wisdom and heavenly accuracy.

Inskip impressed me all the time as a warrior and leader, man of unbounded magnetism, a Bonaparte in the Holy Ghost. He could sway thousands of people as easily as a lion sways a cat. He could arouse a vast audience into a foaming sea of enthusiasm with waves of white-capped excitement breaking on the shore, and in a few moments could quell them to a placid lake, whose tiny ripples of low-breathed prayer were hardly audible on the beach.

I have met humble and saintly women, who spoke only a few words; but there was a faint quality of hid-away quietness in God which came out of them, and impressed me for days and months like the sweet minor strains of some delicate instrument in a great orchestra.

Every flower has its own perfume, every gem its own luster, every bird its own note, every eye its own peculiar luster, every heart its own regnant quality; and if we will give ourselves up utterly to the possession of the Holy Spirit, and seek constantly to be filled more and more with the Christ-life, God will make each one of us a chosen vessel of some precious gift or spiritual quality for the manifesting of His will to others. It is useless for any one to try to exert a good influence. All such is miserable machinery. It is our place to walk with God, live a continual prayer, be flooded with the gentle Spirit, seek to please God, and He will see to it that a subtle fire shall always proceed from us, which will burn itself indelibly into other souls in such a manner as to glorify God.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2006/6/10 1:01Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 G.D. Watson ~ Soul Food

[u]CHAPTER 17: "ALONE WITH GOD"[/u]

Over and over, deeper and deeper, do we have to learn the meaning of God's Words, until the faint perceptions we first had of them seem as dewdrops compared with the fathomless ocean we find in them at the last. "And he was left alone, and there wrestled a man with him till the break of day." All elect souls pass many times this station of aloneness with God, and they find that the wrestling always lasts till the breaking of day.

We have to be alone with God in finding personal salvation. Others may be used as instruments in bringing conviction, light, help in various ways; but there comes a crisis, both in the work of regeneration and of sanctification, in which the soul must be detached from others, and deal only with God. How utterly impertinent are human words in such a crisis! We must meet our Jesus singly; we must apprehend Him for ourself; He must speak to us with His own voice. In such an hour we gaze on the salvation promises, such as, "Thy sins will be forgiven thee," or, "I will, be thou clean;" but the words on paper need to be imparted into our consciousness, and to effect this, they must be respoken into us by the Holy Ghost. No true soul will be satisfied with an inference of salvation, or a dead legal imputation of holiness, or the opinions of others as to our state; nothing less than God alone pouring His assurance into our spirits will answer.

The dear Redeemer who loved us from eternity, and "formed us for Himself," will not leave the pining soul to the second-handed tinkering of others; He will closet us -WITH- Himself {"shut-up unto God!"}, and re-speak into us those living words out of His Book that have been spoken to seeking souls in every generation of the world. God longs to give each of us a perfect personal assurance of His perfect salvation. We must be alone with God in the matter of suffering. The One who loves us best fits the furnace to our frame, and never once duplicates the pattern for any other soul. There are innumerable degrees of suffering among God's chosen ones, yet in each case it is unique and personal. The ingredients of suffering are of infinite variety in kind and mixture, but the end to be accomplished is the same. God will not allow us to pick our crosses, or to exchange them with our neighbor. Oftentimes our chief cross is born with us into the world, and stays with us through all vicissitudes of life, and all the operations of grace, till we have washed it thousands of times with our tears, till at last, conquered and mellowed and sweetened into utter tenderness of spirit, we smile upon the rough old instrument, and praise God for all its painfulness to us. Some forms of suffering have the community feature in them, and can be shared by others; but our very choicest sufferings, those that accomplish God's individual purpose in us, those that most thoroughly test us and unite us to His will, these are private property, into which no other ever enters but our sympathizing Jesus. "I will lead the blind in a way they have not known." The Lord selects for each of us those crucifixions which will most perfectly mortify us, and reduce us to our lone nothingness. In the earlier stages of deep interior suffering we foolishly fly to some chosen creatures for sympathy and help; but in taking our soul-sorrows to earthly friends, we are apt to find one of three results --- either God permits them to be cold and uninterested in us, or we find them loaded with woes of their own, or else they do us more harm than good by superficial, or fanatical, or unheavenly words. Our sufferings should lead to four things --- to detach us from creature- comforts by driving us to bury our souls deep in the bosom of God; next, to take Jesus in as a partner of our pains, that "in all our afflictions He was afflicted;" next, recognize the presence of God in every step of our trials; and fourthly, that we be so thoroughly softened by our sufferings as to have an unlimited tenderness for all other sufferers of every kind. The very best and most fruitful of our mortifications are those in which God locks us in alone with Himself, and thereby saturates us with the Holy Spirit. In matters of divine guidance and spiritual understanding, God often hems us in alone with Himself, and deals with us and reveals His will to us in ways and things that our friends can have no comprehension of. When we are not in communion with God, He will lead us by secondary agents; but the closer we enter into union -WITH- Him, the more directly and exclusively He guides by His Spirit.

If we walk in constant fellowship -WITH- the Spirit, we will have illuminations into providence and duty for ourselves personally, which our best friends may not always see. "He knoweth the way that I take, and when I am tried I shall come forth as Gold." (Job 23:10) God always has some child passing through the experience of these words. How little other people understand of the real inner life we are living! Those who think they know us so well, and can give us volumes of advice, often know us very little. The best of saints misunderstand our faults, just as the ungodly misunderstand our graces. God will find a thousand ways to detach us from creatures and to wed us to Himself alone, for He is determined that no one else shall be our God! No human being on earth, even the best of saints, can be any real benefit to me in love or comfort or counsel, except as they are the channels of God to me; whatever they give me out of their own human nature will soon prove poison to my real well-being. There is not one atom of balm in the universe except from Jesus. When God truly leads along any given path, the outcome will evidence it to be of Him, however queer or wrong it may seem to many who are wise and prudent. As Faber sings:

"Ill that He blesses is most good,
And unblest good is ill,
And all is right that seems most wrong,
If it be His sweet Will."


_________________
Mike Balog

 2006/6/11 11:50Profile





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