Last Sunday was Pentecost in both the Eastern and Western portions of the Church. On that occasion, almost 2000 years ago, the promised gift of the Holy Spirit was bestowed upon the disciples. By this gift, they were able to do the impossible: to know/participate in – be one with – the living truth; to witness to the living truth – Christ Jesus – throughout the world; and do the promised “greater things” spoken of by Jesus (see Lk. 1.34 & Jn. 14.12). Yesterday, in the Eastern Church, was “All Saints.” The feast includes both the celebration of the witness of those who have gone before us and surround us with the living record of their witness in the world and the greater things that the Holy Spirit accomplished through them; and the sober exhortation to “lead a life worthy of the calling” with which we too have been called (see Eph. 4.1; Phil. 1.27; Col. 1.10; 1 Thess. 2.12).
So, now the same question that was put to the disciples of the first century is put to us. The question is not about “how.” The how is the power of the Holy Spirit. The real question is not “Does Jesus will it?” because we know he does (Mk. 1.41).
The real question is “do you and I will it?” Are we willing?! Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America, years ago taught me the American adage, “You get out of it what you put into it,” is really true in the spiritual realm. God has put – invested – everything into our salvation. Are we willing to put everything into it also?! Are we willing to invest ourselves completely in our own salvation?
Oswald Chambers has something to say to us on this subject.
Wisdom, let us be attentive!
“Yes – But …!” – “Lord, I will follow Thee; but . . .” Luke 9:61
Supposing God tells you to do something which is an enormous test to your common sense, what are you going to do? Hang back? If you get into the habit of doing a thing in the physical domain, you will do it every time until you break the habit determinedly; and the same is true spiritually. Again and again you will get up to what Jesus Christ wants, and every time you will turn back when it comes to the point, until you abandon resolutely. “Yes, but – supposing I do obey God in this matter, what about . . . ?” “Yes, I will obey God if He will let me use my common sense, but don’t ask me to take a step in the dark.” Jesus Christ demands of the man who trusts Him the same reckless sporting spirit that the natural man exhibits. If a man is going to do anything worth while, there are times when he has to risk everything on his leap, and in the spiritual domain Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold by common sense and leap into what He says, and immediately you do, you find that what He says fits on as solidly as common sense. At the bar of common sense Jesus Christ’s statements may seem mad; but bring them to the bar of faith, and you begin to find with awestruck spirit that they are the words of God. Trust entirely in God, and when He brings you to the venture, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis, only one out of a crowd is daring enough to bank his faith in the character of God.
My Utmost for His Highest – May 30