Getting To The Root Of It
By Lois J. Stucky
In a recent letter received at Herald of His Coming, the writer expressed desperation to be free from a particular sin that plagued him and caused him grave concern about his soul. How could he be freed, he asked in apparent agony of soul.
In his book, “The Master’s Indwelling,” Andrew Murray writes helpfully about this problem--the cause of grief and sorrow and struggle for multitudes of God’s people. Murray goes right to the root of the problem.
“The root of our sinful life is self,” he says. He brings to our attention the word of our Lord: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up the cross and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24). The secret of the Christian life is to deny self, writes Murray. We must choose. Will we live the self life or the Christ life? If we choose to deny our own life and take Christ’s life to be ours, He will come in and cast out self and keep it out.
Andrew Murray writes: “Jesus Christ can give us the victory over sin, and can keep us from actual transgression.... The Holy Spirit not only comes with His power for service as a gift, but He comes also in divine grace to fill the heart. When He does, there is victory over sin and power not to fulfill the desires of the sinful nature.”
It is right that God expects us to live victorious lives, Murray goes on to say, because He Himself has provided the way of victory through the indwelling Spirit’s enabling. Every minute of the day, moment by moment, we need His guidance and help and we may have it if we will pay the price.
But Andrew Murray warns us: “Do not think it is an easy thing to get rid of self. At a consecration meeting, it is easy to make a vow, and to offer a prayer, and to perform an act of surrender, but as solemn as the death of Christ was on Calvary--His giving up of His unsinning self life to God--just as solemn must it be between us and our God--the giving up of self to death. The power of the death of Christ must come to work in us every day.”
After God has forgiven us of our sins, He comes with conviction of our sinful nature. Our response must be to humble ourselves and repent, like Job, crying out, “I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6).
In Herald of His Coming office we have a bulletin board on which we fasten pictures of something that has touched us and which we want to share with the others. One now posted is a picture of a young lady on her knees with her head in the lap of the Lord, weeping her heart out. The Lord rests one hand in a kindly manner on her shoulder and the other is slightly lifted heavenward, perhaps indicating intercession. The picture portrays to me, “Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:17). Only the broken, contrite heart, greatly needing mercy, not deserving it but receiving it, can tell the gratitude and love that flow back to the Lord.
“Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:15).
“The Master’s Indwelling”--the title itself gives the key to the victory we need. Our precious Lord’s abiding in our heart by the Holy Spirit is our victory. It is a beautiful victory, for by His indwelling within us, we become partakers of His lovely nature. “Oh, what a salvation this, that Christ liveth in me!” exclaims the song writer.
The purpose of our Master’s Indwelling is not only that we live a holy, godly life but that we might be effective in the service of our Lord. It is that we might be those who pray the effectual fervent prayers of the righteous which avail much. It is that we might carry a prayer burden for a Church that is living below her high and holy calling, and for the unsaved millions of earth who die without hope.
The book, “The Master’s Indwelling” is available in magazine format at Herald of His Coming. Ask for it when you write us this month. We will so gladly share with you the wonderful truths set forth in its pages. It is a book that may be read and re-read with profit, if we want to live the exchanged life -- the Christ life for the self life.
Sowing Everywhere the Word of God
We express our gratitude to those of you who are joining with us to sow the Word of God. There are many, many voices clamoring to be heard in this hour. Some are false and corrupt and must be shunned altogether. Others may speak things that are true but not of much consequence, and they will pass away when heaven and earth pass away.
“But the Word of our God shall stand for ever!” (Isaiah 40:8). In a “crooked and perverse generation,” we are called to hold forth God’s “Word of Life.” What honor, what privilege, what responsibility God has given to us His people! Unworthy to do so, unable to adequately handle it ourselves, yet we are entrusted with that of eternal value to give to others. Let’s be true to our local sphere, starting with the home, reaching out to neighbors and communities, and as we unite together, we can extend our efforts to the uttermost parts of the earth.
George Bennard, author of the beloved hymn, “The Old Rugged Cross” has also written these soul-challenging words:
“Soon the time for reaping will be over; Soon we’ll gather for the harvest-home; May the Lord of harvest smile upon us, May we hear His blessed, ‘Child, well done.’”