| THE BLESSED LIFE by F. B. Meyer|
[b]THE BLESSED LIFE[/b]
[i]by F. B. Meyer[/i]
There is a Christian life which, on comparison with that experienced by the majority of Christians, is as summer to winter; or, as the mature fruitfulness of a golden autumn to the struggling promise of a cold and late spring. And the blessedness of this blessed life lies in this: that we trust the Lord to do in us and for us what we could not do. And we find that He does not belie His Word, but that, according to our faith, so it is done to us. The weary spirit, which has vainly sought to realize its ideal by its own strivings and efforts, now gives itself over to the strong and tender hands of the Lord Jesus, and He accepts the task, and at once begins to work in it to will and to do of His own good pleasure, delivering it from the tyranny of besetting sin, and fulfilling in it His own perfect ideal. The Blessed Life should be the normal life of every Christian in work and rest, in the building up of the inner life, and in the working out of the life-plan. It is God's thought not for a few, but for all His children. The youngest and weakest may lay claim to it equally with the strongest and oldest. We should step into it at the moment of conversion without wandering with blistered feet for forty years in the desert, or lying for thirty-eight years, with disappointed hopes, in the porch of the House of Mercy.
THE NEW BIRTH
The first chamber in the King's holy palace is the Chamber of the New Birth. By nature we are destitute of life- dead in trespasses and sins. We need, therefore, not a new creed, but a new life. The prophet's staff is well enough where there is life, but it is useless on the face of a dead babe. The first requisite is LIFE. This is what the Holy Spirit gives us at the moment of conversion.
We may remember the day and place of our new birth, or we may be as ignorant of them as of the circumstances of our natural birth. But what does it matter that a man cannot recall his birthday, so long as he knows that he is alive?
As an outstretched hand has two sides- the upper, called the back, the under, called the palm- so there are two sides and names for the act of entrance into the Chamber of the New Birth. Angels, looking at it from the heaven side, call it Being Born Again. Man, looking at it from the earth side, calls it Trusting Jesus. Those that believe in His name are born again; those that receive Him have the right to become the sons of God (John 1:12,13). If you are born again, you will trust. And if you are trusting Jesus, however many your doubts and fears, you are certainly born again and have entered the palace. If you go no further, you will be saved, but you will miss untold blessedness.
Jesus Christ has bought us with His blood, but, alas, He has not had His money's worth! He paid for ALL, and He has had but a fragment of our energy, time and earnings. By an act of consecration, let us ask Him to forgive the robbery of the past, and let us profess our desire to be henceforth utterly and only for Him- His slaves, owning no master other than Himself.
As soon as we say this He will test our sincerity, as He did the young ruler's, by asking something of us. He will lay His finger on something within us which He needs us to alter, obeying some command, or abstaining from some indulgence. If we instantly give up our will and way to Him, we pass the narrow doorway into the CHAMBER OF SURRENDER, which has a southern aspect and is ever warm and radiant with His presence because obedience is the condition of manifested love (John 14:23).
This doorway is very narrow, and entrance is only possible for those who will lay aside weights as well as sins. A weight is anything which, without being essentially wrong or hurtful to others, is yet a hindrance to ourselves. We may always know a weight by three signs: first, we are uneasy about it; second, we argue for it against our conscience; third, we go about asking people's advice whether we may not keep it without harm. All these things must be laid aside in the strength which Jesus waits to give. Ask Him to deal with them for you, that you may be set in joint in every good work to do His will (Hebrews 13:21).
That consecration is the stepping stone to blessedness is clearly established in the experience of God's children. For instance, Frances Havergal has left us this record: "It was on Sunday, December, 1873, that I first saw clearly the blessedness of true consecration. I saw it as a flash of electric light, and what you see you can never unsee. There must be full surrender before there can be full blessedness. God admits you by the one into the other. First, I was shown that the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses from all sin; and then it was made plain to me that He who had thus cleansed me had power to keep me clean; so I utterly yielded myself to Him and utterly trusted Him to keep me."
| 2009/1/12 0:24||Profile|
| Re: THE BLESSED LIFE by F. B. Meyer|
'This doorway is very narrow, and entrance is only possible for those who will lay aside weights as well as sins.
Frances Havergal has left us this record: "It was on Sunday, December, 1873, that I first saw clearly the blessedness of true consecration. I saw it as a flash of electric light, and what you see you can never unsee. There must be full surrender before there can be full blessedness. God admits you by the one into the other. First, I was shown that the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses from all sin; and then it was made plain to me that He who had thus cleansed me had power to keep me clean; so I utterly yielded myself to Him and utterly trusted Him to keep me."'
A hymn of her's comes to mind:
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee;
Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee;
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise;
Take my intellect and use
Every powr as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.
| 2009/1/12 8:17|
| Re: |
What a beautiful hymn! Thank you for posting it.
| 2009/1/13 2:45||Profile|
| Re: CONSECRATION|
[b]THE BLESSED LIFE[/b]
[i]by F. B. Meyer[/i] (continued)
The act of consecration is recognizing Christ's ownership and accepting it, saying to Him, with the whole heart, "Lord, I am Your by right, and I wish to be Your by choice." Of old the mighty men of Israel were willing to swim the flooded rivers to come to David, their uncrowned, but God-appointed king. And when they met him, they cried, "We are yours, and on your side, David, son of Jesse." They were his because God had given them to him, but they could not rest content until they were his also by their glad choice. Why then should we not say the same to Jesus Christ? "Lord Jesus, I am Your by right; forgive me that I have lived so long as if I were my own. And now I gladly recognize that You have a rightful claim on all I have and am. I want to live as Yours from henceforth, and I do solemnly at this hour give myself to You to be Yours in life and death, Yours absolutely and forever."
Do not try to make a covenant with God, lest you should break it and be discouraged. But quietly fall into your right attitude as one who belongs to Christ. Take as your motto the noble confession, "Whose I am and Whom I serve." Breathe the grand old simple lines:
Just as I am, Your love unknown
Has broken every barrier down,
Now to be Your, yes, Your alone,
O Lamb of God, I come.
| 2009/1/13 2:50||Profile|
| Re: AN ACT OF THE WILL|
[b]THE BLESSED LIFE[/b]
[i]by F. B. Meyer[/i] (continued)
AN ACT OF THE WILL
Consecration is not the act of our feelings but of our WILL. Do not try to feel anything; do not try to make yourself fit or good or earnest enough for Christ. God is working in you to will, whether you feel it or not. He is giving you power, at this moment, to will and do His good pleasure. Believe this, act upon it at once, and say, "Lord Jesus, I am willing to be Yours"; or, if you cannot say as much as that, say, "Lord Jesus, I am willing to be made willing to be Yours forevermore."
Consecration is only possible when we give up our will about EVERYTHING. As soon as we come to the point of giving ourselves to God, we are almost certain to become aware of the presence of one thing, if not of more, out of harmony with His will. And while we feel able to surrender ourselves in all other points, here we exercise reserve. Every room and cupboard in the house, with the exception of this, is thrown open to the new Occupant; every limb in the body, but one, submitted to the practiced hand of the Good Physician. But that small reserve spoils the whole. To give ninety-nine parts and to withhold the hundredth undoes the whole transaction. Jesus will have all or none. And He is wise. Who would live in a fever-stricken house, so long as one room was not exposed to disinfectants, air and sun? Who would undertake a case so long as the patient refused to submit one part of his body to examination? Who would become responsible for a bankruptcy so long as one ledger was kept back? The reason that so many fail to attain the Blessed Life is that there is some one point in which they hold back from God, and concerning which they prefer to have their own way and will rather than His. In this one thing they will not yield their will and accept God's; and this one little thing mars the whole, robs them of peace, and compels them to wander in the desert.
If you cannot GIVE all, ask the Lord Jesus to TAKE all, and especially that which seems so hard to give. Many have been helped by hearing it put thus. Tell them to GIVE, and they shake their heads despondently. They are like the little child who told her mother that she had been trying to give Jesus her heart, but it wouldn't go. But ask them if they are willing for Him to come into their hearts and TAKE all, and they will joyfully assent.
Tennyson says, "Our wills are ours to make them Yours." But sometimes it seems impossible to shape them out so as to match every corner and angle of the will of God. What a relief it is at such a moment to hand the will over to Christ, telling Him that we are willing to be made willing to have His will in all things, and asking Him to melt our stubborn waywardness, to fashion our wills upon His anvil, and to bring us into perfect accord with Himself.
| 2009/1/14 13:24||Profile|
| Re: |
Thank you Heartsong for this wonderful post by F.B. Meyer, and also for the beautiful hymn that was posted.
There are some very good points in this post that are essential in living a life that is wholly surrendered to God.
We know that God is requring that we make a total surrender, but how hard it is to surrender our families to Him, those that we really love.
How difficult it is to surrender our ministries to Him totally and completely. It is really not our ministry anyway, but it is His ministry that HE has given us, and that HE wants to work through us.
God is working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure, and if we are willing to be made willing, then God has a vessel that He can conform into His image and likeness.
| 2009/1/14 15:49||Profile|
| Re: |
We know that God is requiring that we make a total surrender, but how hard it is to surrender our families to Him, those that we really love.
How difficult it is to surrender our ministries to Him totally and completely.
If only we could see the blessedness of this complete surrender - that it far exceeds that which we think we have, but in reality have not.
| 2009/1/16 23:47||Profile|
| Re: AN ACT OF FAITH|
[b]THE BLESSED LIFE[/b]
[i]by F. B. Meyer[/i] (continued)
AN ACT OF FAITH
When we are willing that the Lord Jesus should take all, we must believe that He does take all. He does not wait for us to free ourselves from evil habits, or to make ourselves good, or to feel glad and happy. His one desire is that we should put our will on His side in everything. When this is done, He instantly enters the surrendered heart and begins His blessed work of renovation and renewal. From the very moment of consecration, though it be done in much feebleness and with slender appreciation of its entire meaning. The spirit may begin to say with new emphasis, "I am His, Glory to God, I am His!" As soon as the gift is laid on the altar, the fire falls.
It is well to make the act of consecration a definite one in our spiritual history. George Whitefield did it in the ordination service. "I can call heaven and earth to witness that when the Bishop laid his hand upon me, I gave myself up to be a martyr for Him who hung upon the cross for me. Known unto Him are all the future events and contingencies. I have thrown myself blindfolded and without reserve into His almighty hands."
Christmas Evans did it as he was climbing a lonely and mountainous road toward Cader Idris. "I was weary of a cold heart toward Christ, and began to pray, and soon felt the fetters loosening. Tears fell copiously, and I was constrained to cry out for the gracious visits of God. Then I resigned myself to Christ, body and soul, gifts and labors, all my life, every day and every hour that remained to me; and all my cares I committed to Christ."
The visit of Stanley Smith and C. T. Studd to Melbourne Hall will always mark an epoch in my own life. Before then my Christian life had been spasmodic and fitful, now flaming up with enthusiasm, and then pacing weariedly over leagues of gray ashes and cold cinders. I saw that these young men had something which I had not, but which was within them a constant source of rest and strength and joy. At seven a.m. on that gray November morning, daylight flickered into the bedroom, paling the dwindled candles which from a very early hour had been lighting up the page of Scripture, and revealed the figures of these devoted Bible students. The talk we held then was one of the formative influences of my life. Why should I not yield my whole nature to God, working out day by day that which He would will and work within? Why should not I be a vessel, though only of earthenware, meet for the Master's use, because purged and sanctified?
There was nothing new in what they told me. They said that a man must not only believe in Christ for final salvation, but must trust Him for victory over every sin and for deliverance from every care. They said that the Lord Jesus was willing to abide in the heart which was wholly yielded up to Him. They said that if there were some things in our lives that made it difficult for us to surrender our whole nature to Christ, yet if we were willing to be made willing to surrender them, He would make us not only willing but glad. They said that as soon as we give or attempt to give ourselves to Him, He takes us. All this was simple enough; I could have said it myself. But they urged me to take the definite step and I shall be forever thankful that they did.
Very memorable was the night when I came to close quarters with God. The Angel that wrestled with Jacob had found me, eager to make me a prince. There were things in my heart and life which I felt were questionable, if not worse. I knew that God had a controversy with respect to them. I saw that my very dislike to probe or touch them was a clear indication that there was mischief lurking beneath. It is the diseased joint that shrinks from the touch, the tender eye that shudders at the light. At the same time, I did not feel willing to give these things up. It was a long struggle. At last I said feebly, "Lord, I am willing to be made willing. I am desirous that Your will should be done in me and through me as thoroughly as it is done in heaven. Come and take me and break me and make me."
That was the hour of crisis; and when it had passed, I felt able at once to add, "And now I give myself to You: body, soul and spirit; in sorrow or in joy; in the dark or in the light; in life or in death; to be Yours only, wholly, and forever. Make the most of me that can be made for Your glory."
No rapture or rush of joy came to assure me that the gift was accepted. I left the place with almost a heavy heart. I simply assured myself that He must have taken that which I had given, and at the moment of my giving it. And to that belief I clung in all the days that followed, constantly repeating to myself the words, "I am His." And thus at last the joy and rest, victory and freedom from burdening care, entered my heart, and I found that He was molding my will and making it easy to do what I thought impossible. I felt that He was leading me into the paths of righteousness for His name's sake, but so gently as to be almost imperceptible to my weak sight.
Out of my own experience, I would suggest these seven rules to fellow Christians.
1. Make a definite consecration of yourselves to God.
Doddridge has left in his diary a very beautiful form of self-consecration. But you need not wait for anything so elaborate or minute as that. With most it would be sufficient to write out Miss Havergal's hymn, "Take my life, and let it be," and to sign your name at the bottom. But in any case it is well to write down some record of the act to keep for future reference. Of course, when we have really given ourselves once, we cannot give ourselves a second time. We may renew the consecration vows; we may review the deed or gift; we may insert any new clauses we like. And if we have gone astray, we may ask the Lord to forgive the foul wrong and robbery which we have done Him, and to restore our souls into the position from which we have fallen. Oh, how sweet the promise, "He restores my soul"! Dear Christian reader, seek some quiet spot, some still hour, and yield yourself to God.
2. Tell God that you are willing to be made willing about all.
A lady was once in great difficulties about certain things which she felt eager to keep under her own control. Her friend, wishful to press her into the better life of consecration, placed before her a blank sheet of paper, and pressed her to write her name at the foot and then to lay it before God in prayer. Are you willing to do this? Are you prepared to sign your name to a blank sheet of paper and then hand it over to God for Him to fill in as He pleases? If not, ask Him to make you willing and able to do this and all things else. You never will be happy until you let the Lord Jesus keep the house of your nature, closely scrutinizing every visitor and admitting only His friends. He must reign. He must have all or none. He must have the key of every closet, of every cupboard, and of every room. Do not try to make them fit for Him. Simply give Him the key, and He will cleanse and renovate and make beautiful.
3. Reckon on Christ to do His part perfectly.
As you give, He takes. As you open the door, He enters. As you roll back the floodgates, He pours in a glorious tide of fullness- fullness of spiritual wealth, of power, of joy. The clay has only to be plastic in the hand of a Palissy; the marble has only to be pliant to the chisel of a Michelangelo; the organ has only to be responsive to the slightest touch of a Handel; and there will be no failure in results. Oh, to be equally susceptible to the molding influences of Christ! We shall not fail in realizing the highest ideal of which we are capable if only we will let Him do His work unhindered.
4. Confess sin instantly.
If you allow acid to drop and remain on your steel fenders, it will corrode them; and if you allow sin to remain on your heart unconfessed, it will eat out all peace and rest. Do not wait for the evening to come, or until you can get alone, but there in the midst of the crowd, in the very rush of life, with the footprints of sin still fresh, lift up your heart to your merciful and ever-present Savior, and say, "Lord Jesus, wash me now from that sin, in Your precious blood, and I shall be whiter than snow." The blood of Jesus is ever at work, cleansing us from unconscious sin; but it is our part to apply for it to cleanse from conscious and known sins as soon as we are aware of their presence in our lives.
5. Hand over to Christ every temptation and care.
When you feel temptation approaching you, as a bird by some quick instinct is aware that the hawk is hovering near, then instantly lift your heart to Christ for deliverance. He cannot rebuff or fail you. He will gather you under His feathers, and under His wings shall you trust. And when any petty annoyance or heavier worry threatens to mar your peace, in the flash of a moment, hand it over to Jesus, saying, "Lord, I am oppressed; undertake this for me." "Ah," you sigh, "I wish indeed I could live like this, but in the moment of need I forget to look." Then do this. Trust in Christ to keep you trusting. Look to Him so to abide in you as to keep your abiding. In the early morning entrust to Him the keeping of your soul, and then, as hour succeeds hour, expect Him to keep that which you have committed unto Him.
6. Keep in touch with Christ.
Avoid the spirit of faultfinding, criticism, uncharitableness, and anything inconsistent with His perfect love. Go where He is most likely to be found, either where two or three of His children are gathered, or where the lost sheep is straying. Ask Him to wake you morning by morning for communion and Bible study. Make other times in the day, especially in the still hour of evening twilight, between the work of the day and the avocations of the evening, when you shall get alone with Him, telling Him all things, and reviewing the past under the gentle light which streams from His eyes.
7. Expect the Holy Spirit to work in, with, and for you.
When a man is right with God, God will freely use him. There will rise up within him impulses, inspirations, strong strivings, strange resolves. These must be tested by Scripture and prayer; and if evidently of God, they must be obeyed. But there is this perennial source of comfort: God's commands are His enablings. He will never give us a work to do without showing exactly how and when to do it, or without giving us the precise strength and wisdom we need. Do not dread to enter this life because you fear that God will ask you to do something you cannot do. He will never do that. If He lays anything on your heart, He will do so irresistibly; and as you pray about it, the impression will continue to grow, so that presently, as you look up to know what He wills you to say or do, the way will suddenly open, and you will probably have said the word or done the deed almost unconsciously. Rely on the Holy Spirit to go before you, to make the crooked places straight and the rough places smooth. Do not bring the legal spirit of "must" into God's free service. "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow." Let your life be as effortless as theirs, because your faith shall constantly hand over all difficulties and responsibilities to your ever-present Lord. There is no effort to the branch in putting forth the swelling clusters of grapes; the effort would be to keep them back.
SOMEONE says, "I have tried to live a consistent Christian life, and yet I am not what I wish." Perhaps you live too much in your feelings, too little in your will. We have no direct control over our feelings, but we have over our will. God does not hold us responsible for what we feel, but for what we will. Let us, therefore, not live in the summer house of emotion, but in the central citadel of the will, wholly yielded and devoted to the will of God.
At the table of the Lord the soul is often suffused with holy emotion; the tides rise high; the tumultuous torrents of joy knock loudly against the floodgates as if to beat them down, and every element in the nature joins in the choral hymn of rapturous praise. But the morrow comes and life has to be faced in the grim office, the dingy shop, the noisy factory, the godless workroom; and as the soul compares the joy of yesterday with the difficulty experienced in walking humbly with the Lord, it is inclined to question whether it is quite so devoted and consecrated as it was.
But at such a time, how fair a thing it is to remark that the will has not altered its position by a hair's breadth, and to look up and say, "My God, the springtide of emotion has passed away like a summer brook; but in my heart of hearts, in my will, You know I am as devoted, as loyal, as desirous to be only for You as in the blessed moment of unbroken retirement at Your feet." This is an offering with which God is well pleased. And thus we may live a calm, peaceful life.
| 2009/1/17 0:02||Profile|
| Re: DISOBEDIENCE|
[b]THE BLESSED LIFE[/b]
[i]by F. B. Meyer[/i] (continued)
Perhaps you have disobeyed some clear command. Sometimes a soul comes to its spiritual adviser, speaking thus:
"I have no conscious joy, and have had but little for years."
"Did you once have it?"
"Yes, for some time after my conversion to God."
"Are you conscious of having refused obedience to some distinct command which came into your life, but from which you shrank?"
Then the face is cast down, and the eyes film with tears, and the answer comes with difficulty.
"Yes, years ago I used to think that God required a certain thing of me; but I felt I could not do what He wished. I was uneasy for some time about it, but after a while it seemed to fade from my mind, and now it does not often trouble me."
"Ah, soul, that is where you have gone wrong, and you will never get right until you go right back through the weary years to the point where you dropped the thread of obedience, and perform that one thing which God demanded of you so long ago, but on account of which you did leave the narrow track of implicit obedience."
Is not this the cause of depression to thousands of Christian people? They are God's children, but they are disobedient children. The Bible rings with one long demand for obedience. The keyword of the book of Deuteronomy is observe and do. The theme of the Farewell Discourse is, If you love me, keep my commandments. We must not question or reply or excuse ourselves. We must not pick and choose our way. We must not take some commands and reject others. We must not think that obedience in other directions will compensate for disobedience in some one particular. God gives one command at a time, borne in upon us, not in one way only, but in many. By this He tests us. If we obey in this, He will flood our souls with blessing and lead us forward into new paths and pastures. But if we refuse in this, we shall remain stagnant and waterlogged, we shall make no progress in Christian experience, and we shall lack both power and joy.
| 2009/1/17 19:08||Profile|
| Re: Known Evil|
[b]THE BLESSED LIFE[/b]
[i]by F. B. Meyer[/i] (continued)
Perhaps you are permitting some known evil. When water is left to stand, the particles of silt betray themselves as they fall one by one to the bottom. So if you are quiet, you may become aware of the presence in your soul of permitted evil. Dare to consider it. Do not avoid the sight as the bankrupt man avoids his telltale ledgers, or as the consumptive patient the stethoscope. Compel yourself to consider quietly whatever evil the Spirit of God discovers in your soul. It may have lurked in the cupboards and cloisters of your being for years, suspected but unjudged. But whatever it be, whatever its history, be sure that it has brought the shadow over your life which is your daily sorrow.
Does your will refuse to relinquish a practice or habit which is alien to the will of God? Do you permit some secret sin to have its unhindered way in the house of your life? Do your affections roam unrestrained after forbidden objects? Do you cherish any resentment or hatred toward another, to whom you refuse to be reconciled? Is there some injustice which you refuse to forgive, some charge which you refuse to pay, some wrong which you refuse to confess? Are you allowing something in yourself which you would be the first to condemn in others, but which you argue may be permitted in your own case because of certain reasons with which you attempt to smother the remonstrances of conscience?
| 2009/1/19 14:27||Profile|