Category Archives: Andrew Murray

ABSOLUTE SURRENDER by Andrew Murray

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“And Ben=hadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it. And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Ben=hadad; Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine. And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine and all that I have.”—1 Kings 20:1-4.

What Ben hadad asked was absolute surrender; and what Ahab gave was what was asked of him— absolute surrender. I want to use these words: “My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have,” as the words of absolute surrender with which every child of God ought to yield himself to his Father. We have heard it before, but we need to hear it very definitely—the condition of God’s blessing is absolute surrender of all into His hands. Praise God! if our hearts are willing for that, there is no end to what God will do for us, and to the blessing God will bestow.

Absolute surrender—let me tell you where I got those words. I used them myself often, and you have heard them numberless times. But in Scotland once I was in a company where we were talking about the condition of Christ’s Church, and what the great need of the Church and of believers is; and there was in our company a godly worker who has much to do in training workers, and I asked him what he would say was the great need of the Church, and the message that ought to be preached. He answered very quietly and simply and determinedly:

Absolute surrender to God is the one thing.”

The words struck me as never before. And that man began to tell how, in the workers with whom he had to deal, he finds that if they are sound on that point, even though they be backward, they are willing to be taught and helped, and they always improve; whereas others who are not sound there very often go back and leave the work. The condition for obtaining God’s full blessing is absolute surrender to Him.

And now, I desire by God’s grace to give to you this message—that your God in heaven answers the prayers which you have offered for blessing on yourselves and for blessing on those around you by this one demand: Are you willing to surrender yourselves absolutely into His hands? What is our answer to be? God knows there are hundreds of hearts who have said it, and there are hundreds more who long to say it but hardly dare to do so. And there are hearts who have said it, but who have yet miserably failed, and who feel themselves condemned because they did not find the secret of the power to live that life. May God have a word for all!

Let me say, first of all,

GOD CLAIMS IT FROM US.

Yes, it has its foundation in the very nature of God. God cannot do otherwise. Who is God? He is the Fountain of life, the only Source of existence and power and goodness, and throughout the universe there is nothing good but what God works. God has created the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the flowers, and the trees, and the grass; and are they not all absolutely surrendered to God? Do they not allow God to work in them just what He pleases? When God clothes the lily with its beauty, is it not yielded up, surrendered, given over to God as He works in it its beauty? And God’s redeemed children, oh, can you think that God can work His work if there is only half or a part of them surrendered? God cannot do it. God is life, and love, and blessing, and power, and infinite beauty, and God delights to communicate Himself to every child who is prepared to receive Him; but ah! this one want of absolute surrender is just the thing that hinders God. And now He comes, and as God He claims it.

You know in daily life what absolute surrender is. You know that everything has to be given up to its special, definite object and service. I have a pen in my pocket, and that pen is absolutely surrendered to the one work of writing, and that pen must be absolutely surrendered to my hand if I am to write properly with it. If another holds it partly, I cannot write properly. This coat is absolutely given up to me to cover my body. This building is entirely given up to religious services. And now, do you expect that in your immortal being, in the divine nature that you have received by regeneration, God can work His work, every day and every hour, unless you are entirely given up to Him? God cannot. The temple of Solomon was absolutely surrendered to God when it was dedicated to Him. And every one of us is a temple of God, in which God will dwell and work mightily on one condition—absolute surrender to Him. God claims it, God is worthy of it, and without it God cannot work His blessed work in us.

But secondly, God not only claims it, but

GOD WILL WORK IT HIMSELF.

I am sure there is many a heart that says: “Ah, but that absolute surrender implies so much!” Someone says: “Oh, I have passed through so much trial and suffering, and there is so much of the self=life still remaining, and I dare not face the entire giving of it up, because I know it will cause so much trouble and agony.”

Alas! alas! that God’s children have such thoughts of Him, such cruel thoughts. Oh, I come to you with a message, fearful and anxious one. God does not ask you to give the perfect surrender in your strength, or by the power of your will; God is willing to work it in you. Do we not read: “It is God that worketh in us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure “? And that is what we should seek for—to go on our faces before God, until our hearts learn to believe that the everlasting God Himself will come in to turn out what is wrong, to conquer what is evil, and to work what is well-pleasing in His blessed sight. God Himself will work it in you.

Look at the men in the Old Testament, like Abraham. Do you think it was by accident that God found that man, the father of the faithful and the friend of God, and that it was Abraham himself, apart from God, who had such faith and such obedience and such devotion? You know it is Not so. God raised him up and prepared him as an instrument for His glory.

Did not God Bay to Pharaoh: “For this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power”?

And if God said that of him, will not God say it far more of every child of His?

Oh, I want to encourage you, and I want you to cast away every fear. Come with that feeble desire; and if there is the fear which says: “Oh, my desire is not strong enough, I am not willing for everything that may come, I do not feel bold enough to say I can conquer everything”—I pray you, learn to know and trust your God now. Say: “My God, I am willing that Thou shouldst make me willing.” If there is anything holding you back, or any sacrifice you are afraid of making, come to God now, and prove how gracious your God is, and be not afraid that He will command from you what He will not bestow.

God comes and offers to work this absolute surrender in you. All these searchings and hungerings and longings that are in your heart, I tell you they are the drawings of the divine magnet, Christ Jesus. He lived a life of absolute surrender, He has got possession of you, He is living in your heart by His Holy Spirit. You have hindered and hindered Him terribly, but He desires to help you to get hold of Him entirely. And He comes and draws you now by His message and words. Will you not come and trust God to work in you that absolute surrender to Himself? Yes, blessed be God, He can do it and He will do it.

The third ‘thought. God not only claims it and works it, but

GOD ACCEPTS IT WHEN WE BRING IT TO HIM.

God works it in the secret of our heart, God urges us by the hidden power of His Holy Spirit to come and speak it out, and we have to bring and to yield to Him that absolute surrender. But remember, when you come and bring God that absolute surrender, it may, as far as your feelings or your consciousness go, be a thing of great imperfection, and you may doubt and hesitate and say: “Is it absolute?”

But, oh, remember there was once a man to whom Christ had said: .

“If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

And his heart was afraid, and he cried out:

“Lord, I believe, help Thou mine unbelief.”

That was a faith that triumphed over the devil, and the evil spirit was cast out. And if you come and say: “Lord, I yield myself in absolute surrender to my God,” even though it be with a trembling heart and with the consciousness: “I do not feel the power, I do not feel the determination, I do not feel the assurance,” it will succeed. Be not afraid, but come just as you are, and even in the midst of your trembling the power of the Holy Ghost will work.

Have you never yet learned the lesson that the Holy Ghost works with mighty power while on the human side everything appears feeble? Look at the Lord Jesus Christ in Gethsemane. We read that He, “through the Eternal Spirit,” offered Himself a sacrifice unto God. The Almighty Spirit of God was enabling Him to do it. And yet what agony and fear and exceeding sorrow came over Him, and how He prayed! Externally you can see no sign of the mighty power of the Spirit, but the Spirit of God was there. And even so, while you are feeble and fighting and trembling, in faith in the hidden work of God’s Spirit do not fear, but yield yourself.

And when you do yield yourself in absolute surrender, let it be in the faith that God does now accept of it. That is the great point, and that is what we so often miss:—that believers should be thus occupied with God in this matter of surrender. I pray you, be occupied with God. We want to get help, every one of us, so that in our daily life God shall be clearer to us, God shall have the right place, and be “all in all.” And if we are to have that through life, let us begin now and look away from ourselves, and look up to God. Let each believe,—while I, a poor worm on earth and a trembling child of God, full of failure and sin and fear, bow here, and no one knows what passes through my heart, and while I in simplicity say, O God, I accept Thy terms; I have pleaded for blessing on myself and others, I have accepted Thy terms of absolute surrender—while your heart says that in deep silence, remember there is a God present that takes note of it, and writes it down in His book, and there is a God present who at that very moment takes possession of you. You may not feel it, you may not realize it, but God takes possession if you will trust Him.

A fourth thought. God not only claims it, and works it, and accepts it when I bring it, but

GOD MAINTAINS IT.

That is the great difficulty with many. People say: “I have often been stirred at a meeting, or at a convention, and I have consecrated myself to God, but it has passed away. I know it may last for a week or for a month, but away it fades, and after a time it is all gone.”

But listen! It is because you do not believe what I am now going to tell you and remind you of. When God has begun the work of absolute surrender in you, and when God has accepted your surrender, then God holds Himself bound to care for it and to keep it. Will you believe that?

In this matter of surrender there are two, God and I—I a worm, God the everlasting and omnipotent Jehovah. Worm, will you be afraid to trust yourself to this mighty God now? God is willing. Do you not believe that He can keep you continually, day by day, and moment by moment?

Moment by moment I’m kept in His love;
Moment by moment I’ve life from above.

If God allows the sun to shine upon you moment by moment, without intermission, will not God let His life shine upon you every moment? And why have you not experienced it? Because you have not trusted God for it, and you do not surrender yourself absolutely to God in that trust.

A life of absolute surrender has its difficulties. I do not deny that. Yea, it has something far more than difficulties; it is a life that with men is absolutely impossible. But by the grace of God, by the power of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, it is a life to which we are destined, and a life that is possible for us, praise God! Let us believe that God will maintain it.

Some of you read recently the words of that aged saint who, on his ninetieth birthday, told of all God’s goodness to him-I mean George Muller. What did he say he believed to be the secret of his happiness, and of all the blessing with which God had visited him? He said he believed there were two reasons. The one was that he had been enabled by grace to maintain a good conscience before God day by day; the other was, that he was a lover of God’s Word. Ah, yes, a good conscience in unfeigned obedience to God day by day, and fellowship with God every day in His Word, and prayer—that is a life of absolute surrender.

Such a life has two sides—on the one side, absolute surrender to work what God wants you to do on the other side, to let God work what He wants to do.

First, to do what God wants you to do.

Give up yourselves absolutely to the will of God. You know something of that will; not enough, far from all. But say absolutely to the Lord God: “By Thy grace I desire to do Thy will in everything, every moment of every day.” Say: “Lord God, not a word upon my tongue but for Thy glory, not a movement of my temper but for Thy glory, not anaffection of love or hate in my heart but for Thy glory, and according to Thy blessed will.”‘

Someone says: “Do you think that possible?”

I ask, What has God promised you, and what can God do to fill a vessel absolutely surrendered to Him? Oh, God wants to bless you in a way beyond what you expect. From the beginning ear hath not heard, neither hath the eye seen, what God hath prepared for them that wait for Him. God has prepared unheard=of things you never can think of; blessings much more wonderful than you can imagine, more mighty than you can conceive. They are divine blessings. Oh, say now:

“I give myself absolutely to God, to His will, to do only what God wants.”

It is God who will enable you to carry out the surrender.

And, on the other side, come and say: “I give myself absolutely to God, to let Him work in me to will and to do of His good pleasure, as He has promised to do.”

Yes, the living God wants to work in His children in a way that we cannot understand, but that God’s Word has revealed, and He wants to work in us every moment of the day. God is willing to maintain our life. Only let our absolute surrender be one of simple, childlike, and unbounded trust.

The last thought. This absolute surrender to God

WILL WONDERFULLY BLESS US.

What Ahab said to his enemy, King Ben=hadad,— “My lord, O king, according to thy word I am thine, and all that I have”—shall we not say to our God and loving Father? If we do say it, God’s blessing will come upon us. God wants us to be separate from the world; we are called to come out from the world that hates God. Come out for God, and say: “Lord, anything for Thee.” If you say that with prayer, and speak that into God’s ear, He will accept it, and He will teach you what it means.

I say again, God will bless you. You have been praying for blessing. But do remember, there must be absolute surrender. At every tea=table you see it. Why is tea poured into that cup? Because it is empty, and given up for the tea. But put ink, or vinegar, or wine into it, and will they pour the tea into the vessel? And can God fill you, can God bless you if you are not absolutely surrendered to Him? He cannot. Let us believe God has wonderful blessings for us, if we will but stand up for God, and say, be it with a trembling “will, yet with a believing heart:

“O God, I accept Thy demands. I am thine and all that I have. Absolute surrender is what my soul yields to Thee by divine grace.”

You may not have such strong and clear feelings of deliverance as you would desire to have, but humble yourselves in His sight, and acknowledge that you have grieved the Holy Spirit by your self=will, self=confidence, and self=effort. Bow humbly before Him in the confession of that, and ask him to break the heart and to bring you into the dust before Him. Then, as you bow before Him, just accept God’s teaching that in your flesh “there dwelleth no good thing,” and that nothing will help you except another life which must come in. You must deny selfonce for all. Denying self must every moment be the power of your life, and then Christ will come in and take possession of you.

When was Peter delivered? When was the change accomplished? The change began with Peter weeping, and the Holy Ghost came down and filled his heart.

God the Father loves to give us the power of the Spirit. We have the Spirit of God dwelling within us. We come to God confessing that, and praising God for it; and yet confessing how we have grieved the Spirit. And then we bow our knees to the Father to ask that He would strengthen us with all might by the Spirit in the inner man, and that He would fill us with His mighty power. And as the Spirit reveals Christ to us, Christ comes to live in our hearts for ever, and the self=life is cast out.

Let us bow before God in humiliation, and in that humiliation confess before Him the state of the whole Church. No words can tell the sad state of the Church of Christ on earth. I wish I had words to speak what I sometimes feel about it. Just think of the Christians around you. I do not speak of nominal Christians, or of professing Christians, but I speak of hundreds and thousands of honest, earnest Christians who are not living a life in the power of God or to His glory. So little power, so little devotion or consecration to God, so little conception of the truth that a Christian is a man utterly surrendered to God’s will! Oh, we want to confess the sins of God’s people around us, and to humble ourselves. We are members of that sickly body, and the sickliness of the body will hinder us, and break us down, unless we come to God, and in confession separate ourselves from partnership with worldliness, with coldness towards each other, unless we give up ourselves to be entirely and wholly for God.

How much Christian work is being done in the spirit of the flesh, and in the power of self! How much work, day by day, in which human energy— our will and our thoughts about the work—is continually manifested, and in which there is but little of waiting upon God, and upon the power of the Holy Ghost! Let us make confession. But as we confess the state of the Church and the feebleness and sinfulness of work for God among us, let us come back to ourselves. Who is there who truly longs to be delivered from the power of the self=life, who truly acknowledges that it is the power of self and the flesh, and who is willing to cast all at the feet of Christ? ‘There is deliverance.

I heard of one who had been an earnest Christian, and who spoke about the ” cruel ” thought of separation and death. But you do not think that, do you? What are we to think of separation and death? This:—Death was the path to glory for Christ. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross. The cross was the birthplace of His everlasting glory. Do you love Christ? Do you long to be in Christ, and not like Him? Let death be to you the most desirable thing on earth; death to self, and fellowship with Christ. Separation—do you think it a hard thing to be called to be entirely free from the world, and by that separation to be united to God and His love, by separation to become prepared for living and walking with God every day? Surely one ought to say:

“Anything to bring me to separation, to death, for a life of full fellowship with God and Christ.”

Oh! come and cast this self=life and flesh=life at the feet of Jesus. Then trust Him. Do not worry yourselves with trying to understand all about it, but come in the living faith that Christ will come into you with the power of His death and the power of His life; and then the Holy Spirit will bring the whole Christ—Christ crucified and Christ risen and living in glory—into your heart.

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The Branch Life

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I’m happy to post this article by my friend and guest blogger Deanne Loper.   Be blessed as you read this!

The Branch Life: A Vital Message of Rest and Faith Found in the Teachings of Andrew Murray  by Deanne Loper

The first Andrew Murray book I ever read was Reaching Your World for Christ. I stumbled across the book one day in a very unlikely place, while browsing through a downtown clothing boutique in Boone, North Carolina. The book was sitting in a small spindle rack with many other books that were all marked down to one dollar. Out of all the books on the rack, the title of this one caught my attention because of its theme on evangelism. I have always had a strong desire to reach others with the message of Salvation: God’s love, grace and forgiveness of sin through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ. I believe this passion to spread the “good news” was born from my past experience in the occult world and my brief glimpse into the true nature of Satan and the demonic realm. These deceiving spirits are evil beyond the comprehension of the natural man and for many years I was blinded to their deceptive tactics and the lengths to which the enemy will go to in order to keep an individual from seeing his or her need for salvation.

 

After purchasing Reaching Your World for Christ I laid it aside for a time with all my other books because I expected it to be like any other book on evangelism, focusing on the need of the individual to be saved while giving touching antidotes, formulas and programs for getting Christians “pumped up” and organized to hit the streets. When I finally got around to reading Murray’s book, I found that it was different than any other book I’d read on reaching the lost. The book (like every other book by Andrew Murray) had a continuous theme running through it that put the focus on the supernatural ability and willingness of God to “will and to do” all that His Word promises for the believer – and the Church – who will take God at His Word, lose his own life, and pray in faith according to the promises that are given. Murray calls it “the life that can pray*.” It is the life of one who is totally given over to the will of God and the mind of Christ, just as the branch exists for no other reason than to bring forth the fruit of the vine through the care and work of the vinedresser, who does it all.

With a passion and faith that is tangible, Murray brings to light the truth that “it is God who works in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).” Sadly, the power of these words remains hidden from most believers, as they strive in the natural, by their own strength, to bring about the vision God has placed in their hearts. Our God is a supernatural God. John 4:24 says, “God is a Spirit.” As believers we live in two worlds, the natural and the supernatural, or spiritual. All that we do in the kingdom of God must be by the Spirit, as demonstrated by Jesus. As soon as we are born again by the Spirit, we enter into a battle that is spiritual, according to Ephesians 6:12. It is a battle which can never be won in the natural through new methods or modern techniques.

Today we are told we must “engage” the culture where they are and “re-think” what the Gospel of the Kingdom really means. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to a compromise in our walk, not to mention a compromise of the Word of God. It is true that times change, that outward trends change with each generation. It is also true that technology and science are changing the way we think about the world we live in. But two things that will never change are the Word of God and the fallen condition of every soul born into this world of sin. Malachi 3:6 says, “I am the Lord, I change not.” The Gospel is still the Gospel and it must be presented in the power and demonstration of the Spirit of the living God, “not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6, John 6:63).”

It was in reading the anointed writings of Andrew Murray that I received from the Spirit of the Lord the truth and understanding that the same God who worked the miraculous in Moses and the prophets, in Christ Jesus and in the apostles, is the same God who is willing and able to do the miraculous through His children today. Moses was a man who saw his own weaknesses and inability to deliver his people from the slavery of a wicked ruler. He knew the call and vision God had put in his heart, but tried to accomplish it in his own strength. He was only able to do what the Lord had created him to do after he received this liberating revelation: that it was God – not man – who would deliver the Children of Israel from Pharaoh’s clenching grip. Only then could he say, “And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness (awesomeness), and with signs, and with wonders (Deuteronomy 26:8).

The lack of spiritual power in the Church today does not fall on God’s unwillingness to give us what is needed. Nor does it fall on the shoulders of those who are lost in an ever changing world system, blinded by an unseen force that all the technology in the universe will never detect: the god of this age, Lucifer, the fallen angel of light. The responsibility falls directly on believers, who themselves fail to see the truth that it is God, the Almighty, the same yesterday, today and forever, Who does it all, if we will only align our hearts and minds with His will; and even this is a gift of grace that must be sought after through intimate worship and the prayer of faith. In Psalm 40:7 it is written of Jesus Christ, “Behold, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do your will, O my God.” This was the purpose of our Lord and it is also our purpose. This was the secret to Jesus’ authority and it is the secret to ours.

“Open my eyes…” Psalm119:18

“Teach me…” Psalm 119:26

“Make me understand…” Psalm 119:27

“Strengthen me…” Psalm 119:28

“Enlarge my heart…” Psalm 119:32

“Give me understanding…” Psalm 119:34

“Make me walk in the path…” Psalm 119:35

“Incline my heart…” Psalm 119:36

“Revive me in Your way…” Psalm 119:37

“Establish Your word to Your servant…” Psalm 119:38

“Revive me in Your righteousness…” Psalm 119:40

Truly, as Andrew Murray said, “it is the life that can pray*.” To the one who is completely dependent on the promised power of the Holy Spirit, God will hold nothing back (Luke 11:9-13). Jesus said in John 16:8 of the promised Helper, “and when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” This is the true meaning of the words in Zechariah 4:6, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” This is the promise to the man or woman of faith who will put their trust in God, knowing that their only purpose in this life is to know Him and to do His will. As the branch is to the vine, receiving the life-giving sap that brings forth the fruit, so are we to be towards Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father in this life.

It is said that we are now living in a post-modern generation and that what worked for the Church in the past will no longer work today. If we are depending on programs, formulas, and man’s agenda for church growth to reach the lost, then this statement is true. But if we are depending on nothing but the supernatural delivering power of the Holy Spirit, the only One Who can destroy every yoke of bondage, then the above statement is the most subtle of lies from the enemy of our souls and an attempt to lead us from our true source of life and power, Jesus Christ. In timeless words of the Spirit, the Lord Jesus still says to us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you (Luke 11:9).” As our example and as our Lord, He assures us that when we enter into our closet and shut the door, praying to the Father in secret, then the Father Who sees in secret will surely reward us openly (Matthew 6:6). May our prayer be one of total surrender, complete consecration and faith that says:

Heavenly Father, Your Word is Truth. Just as You were the Deliverer in days of old, so are You still the Deliverer today and always. It is You who will break the chains of darkness off the lost. It is You Who will convict and convince the lost of their need for salvation through Your Son Jesus Christ. It is You Who will pour out and give the power of Your Holy Spirit to Your people to be a witness of Jesus Christ, whose Life is the Light of all who come into the world, and Who died as a sacrifice for all humanity. Thank you, that it is not by might, nor by power, but by Your Spirit that we shall claim all the promises of Your Word, because it is You Who works in us, both to will and to do of Your good pleasure. For Your glory we pray, in the name of Jesus, Amen.

*Andrew Murray, Prayer and the Coming Revival (Ambassador Publications, First published as The Ministry of Intercession, This edition 1999), p. 47

To read more about the inspiring life of Andrew Murray and the call of God on his life go to www.healingandrevival.com/BioAMurray.htm.

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Holy in Christ

A good word for today! From Andrew Murray’s book “Holy in Christ”

HOLY IN CHRIST.
By Andrew Murray

‘Like as He which called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living; because it is written, Ye shall be holy, for I am holy.’—1 Pet. i. 15, 16.

The call of God is the manifestation in time of the purpose of eternity: ‘Whom He predestinated, them He also called.’ Believers are ‘the called according to His purpose.’ In His call He reveals to us what His thoughts and His will concerning us are, and what the life to which He invites us. In His call He makes clear to us what the hope of our calling is; as we spiritually apprehend and enter into this, our life on earth will be the reflection of His purpose in eternity.

Holy Scripture uses more than one word to indicate the object or aim of our calling, but none more frequently than what Peter speaks of here—God has called us to be holy as He is holy. Paul addresses believers twice as ‘called to be holy’ (Rom. i. 7; 1 Cor. i. 2). ‘God called us’, he says, ‘not for uncleanness, but in sanctification’ (1 Thess. iv. 7). When he writes, ‘The God of peace sanctify you wholly,’ he adds, ‘Faithful is He which calleth you, who also will do it’ (1 Thess. v. 24). The calling itself is spoken of as ‘a holy calling.’ The eternal purpose of which the calling is the outcome, is continually also connected with holiness as its aim. ‘He hath chosen us in Him, that we should be holy and without blame’ (Eph. i. 4). ‘Whom God chose from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification’ (2 Thess. ii. 12). ‘Elect according to the foreknowledge of the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit’ (1 Pet. i. 2). The call is the unveiling of the purpose that the Father from eternity had set His heart upon: that we should be holy.

It needs no proof that it is of infinite importance to know aright what God has called us to. A misunderstanding here may have fatal results. You may have heard that God calls you to salvation or to happiness, to receive pardon or to obtain heaven, and never noticed that all these were subordinate. It was to ‘salvation in sanctification,’ it was to Holiness in the first place, as the element in which salvation and heaven are to be found. The complaints of many Christians as to lack of joy and strength, as to failure and want of growth, are simply owing to this—the place God gave Holiness in His call they have not given it in their response. God and they have never yet come to an agreement on this.

No wonder that Paul, in the chapter in which he had spoken to the Ephesians of their being ‘chosen to be holy’ prays for the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God to be given to believers, that they might know ‘the hope of their calling’ (i. 17, 18). Let all of us, who feel that we have too little realized that we are called to Holiness, pray this prayer. It is just what we need. Let us ask God to show us how, as He who hath called us is Himself holy, so we are to be holy too; our calling is a holy calling, a calling before and above everything, to Holiness. Let us ask Him to show us what Holiness is, His Holiness first, and then our Holiness; to show us how He has set His heart upon it as the one thing He wants to see in us, as being His own image and likeness; to show us too the unutterable blessedness and glory of sharing with Christ in His Holiness. Oh! that God by His Spirit would teach us what it means that we are called to be holy as He is holy. We can easily conceive what a mighty influence it would exert.

‘Like as He which called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy’. How this call of God shows us the true motive to Holiness. ‘Be ye holy, for I am holy.’ It is as if God said, Holiness is my blessedness and my glory: without this you cannot, in the very nature of things, see me or enjoy me. Holiness is my blessedness and my glory: there is nothing higher to be conceived; I invite you to share with me in it, I invite you to likeness to myself: ‘Be ye holy, for I am holy.’ Is it not enough, has it no attraction, does it not move and draw you mightily, the hope of being with me, partakers of my Holiness? I have nothing better to offer—I offer you myself: ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’ Shall we not cry earnestly to God to show us the glory of His Holiness, that our souls may be made willing to give everything in response to this wondrous call?
As we listen to the call, it shows also the nature of true Holiness. ‘Like as He is holy, so be ye also holy.’ To be holy is to be Godlike, to have a disposition, a will, a character like God. The thought almost looks like blasphemy, until we listen again, ‘He hath chosen us in Christ to be holy.’ In Christ the Holiness of God appeared in a human life: in Christ’s example, in His mind and Spirit, we have the Holiness of the Invisible One translated into the forms of human life and conduct. To be Christlike is to be Godlike; to be Christlike is to be holy as God is holy.

The call equally reveals the power of Holiness. ‘There is none holy but the Lord;’ there is no Holiness but what He has, or rather what He is, and gives. Holiness is not something we do or attain: it is the communication of the Divine life, the inbreathing of the Divine nature, the power of the Divine Presence resting on us. And our power to become holy is to be found in the call of God: the Holy One calls us to Himself, that He may make us holy in possessing Himself. He not only says ‘I am holy,’ but ‘I am the Lord, who make holy.’ It is because the call to Holiness comes from the God of infinite Power and Love that we may have the confidence: we can be holy.
The call no less reveals the standard of Holiness. ‘Like as He is holy, so ye also yourselves,’ or (as in margin, R.V.), ‘Like the Holy One, which calleth you, be ye yourselves also holy.’ There is not one standard of Holiness for God and another for man. The nature of light is the same, whether we see it in the sun or in a candle: the nature of Holiness remains unchanged, whether it be God or man in whom it dwells. The Lord Jesus could say nothing less than, ‘Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.’ When God calls us to Holiness, He calls us to Himself and His own life: the more carefully we listen to the voice, and let it sink into our hearts, the more will all human standards fall away, and only the words be heard, Holy, as I am holy.

And the call shows us the path to Holiness. The calling of God is one of mighty efficacy, an effectual calling. Oh! let us but listen to it, let us but listen to Him, and the call will with Divine power work what it offers. He calleth the things that are not as though they were: His call gives life to the dead, and holiness to those whom He has made alive. He calls us to listen as He speaks of His Holiness, and of our holiness like His. He calls us to Himself, to study, to fear, to love, to claim His Holiness. He calls us to Christ, in whom Divine Holiness became human Holiness, to see and admire, to desire and accept what is all for us. He calls us to the indwelling and the teaching of the Spirit of Holiness, to yield ourselves that He may bring home to us and breathe within us what is ours in Christ. Christian! listen to God calling thee to Holiness. Come and learn what His Holiness is, and what thine is and must be.
Yes, be very silent and listen. When God called Abraham, he answered, Here am I. When God called Moses from the bush, he answered, Here am I, and he hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. God is calling thee to Holiness, to Himself the Holy One, that He may make thee holy. Let thy whole soul answer, Here am I, Lord! Speak, Lord! Show Thyself, Lord! Here am I. As you listen, the voice will sound ever deeper and ever stiller: Be holy, as I am holy. Be holy, for I am holy. You will hear a voice coming out of the great eternity, from the council-chamber of redemption, and as you catch its distant whisper, it will be, Be holy, I am holy. You will hear a voice from Paradise, the Creator making the seventh day holy for man whom He had created, and saying, Be holy. You will hear the voice from Sinai, amid thunderings and lightnings, and still it is, Be holy, as I am holy. You will hear a voice from Calvary, and there above all it is, Be holy, for I am holy.

Child of God, have you ever realized it, our Father is calling us to Himself, to be holy as He is holy? Must we not confess that happiness has been to us more than holiness, salvation than sanctification? Oh! it is not too late to redeem the error. Let us now band ourselves together to listen to the voice that calls, to draw nigh, and find out and know what Holiness is, or rather, find out and know Himself the Holy One. And if the first approach to Him fill us with shame and confusion, make us fear and shrink back, let us still listen to the Voice and the Call, ‘Be holy, as I am holy.’ ‘Faithful is He which calleth, who also will do it.’ All our fears and questions will be met by the Holy One who has revealed His Holiness, with this one purpose in view, that we might share it with Him. As we yield ourselves in deep stillness of soul to listen to the Holy Voice that calls us, it will waken within us new desire and strong faith, and the most precious of all promises will be to us this word of Divine command:
Be holy, for I am holy.

O Lord! the alone Holy One, Thou hast called us to be holy, even as Thou art holy. Lord! how can we, unless Thou reveal to us Thy Holiness. Show us, we pray Thee, how Thou art holy, how holy Thou art, what Thy holiness is, that we may know how we are to be holy, how holy we are to be. And when the sight of Thy Holiness only shows us the more how unholy we are, teach us that Thou makest partakers of Thy own Holiness those who come to Thee for it.
O God! we come to Thee, the Holy One. It is in knowing and finding and having Thyself, that the soul finds Holiness. We do beseech Thee, as we now come to Thee, establish it in the thoughts of our heart, that the one object of Thy calling us, and of our coming to Thee, is Holiness. Thou wouldst have us like Thyself, partakers of Thy Holiness. If ever our heart becomes afraid, as if it were too high, or rests content with a salvation less than Holiness, Blessed God! let us hear Thy voice calling again, Be holy, I am holy. Let that call be our motive and our strength, because faithful is He that calleth, who also will do it. Let that call mark our standard and our path; oh! let our life be such as Thou art able to make it.
Holy Father! I bow in lowly worship and silence before Thee. Let now Thine own voice sound in the depths of my heart calling me, Be holy, as I am holy. Amen.

1. Let me press it upon every reader of this little book, that if it is to help him in the pursuit of Holiness, he must begin with God Himself. You must go to Him who calls you. It is only in the personal revelation of God to you, as He speaks, I am holy, that the command, Be ye holy, can have life or power.

2. Remember, as a believer, you have already accepted God’s call, even though you did not fully understand it. Let it be a settled matter, that whatever you see to be the meaning of the call, you will at once accept and carry out. If God calls me to be holy, holy I will be.

3. Take fast hold of the word: ‘The God of peace sanctify you wholly: faithful is He which calleth you, who also will do it.’ In that faith listen to God calling you.

4. Do be still now, and listen to your Father calling you. Ask for and count upon the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Holiness, to open your heart to understand this holy calling. And then speak out the answer you have to give to this call.

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