There is so much about which I would like to write, but I have learned that the majority of it comes from me and not the Lord and His Word. Consequently, I am trying to learn to quiet my own inner voice and wait on the Lord to tell me what I should say to those of you who are listening. I was temporarily successful at doing just that this morning, which is why, when I saw this picture in my Face Book feed today, I heard that small still voice tell me: “There, that is what you are supposed to write about this week!”
When I read Spurgeon’s words, and heard that still, small voice, I felt so ashamed. I had been struggling over what to write because I had been thinking for and in terms of myself and my own wisdom. In my mind, I was trying to find something to say that would edify others, but Spurgeon’s words cut me to the bone and laid bare my self-deception. They convicted me, and made me realize that I was not trying to do the Lord’s will, but my own. It left me feeling totally broken. I felt broken because I realized how far I have left to go in learning to make myself into an instrument the Lord can actually use. There is still so much of myself I have to let go of before I have truly made the Lord my Master. I wonder, how many other believers ever find themselves in this same position?
I follow a lot of other believers, and I read their Face Book posts and their blogs. I read what my mentors have to say about the Lord and His Word. All of them seem to be so sincere, and their words are so helpful. Thinking about them, I remembered that several of you have said similar things about what I write, and it forced me to wonder how my writing and that of the believers I admire might be connected to Spurgeon’s words. It made me wonder whether or not I am a hypocrite? Am I the only one who writes thinking they are doing the Lord’s work only to realize that I have been writing for myself? Or how about the way I live? Are my words and deeds a true witness for the Lord, or have I just been fooling myself into believing they are? And better still, am I the only one who worries about such things? Does worrying about it when so many others seem so sure of themselves mean I am not on solid ground after all? Or does it mean something else? Could it mean the exact opposite?
Am I supposed to constantly question myself, and to examine the true motivation behind the things I do and say? Do I speak and act for me, or for Him? Is that the mark of a true and faithful servant? If it is, then what of all those believers I admire so much who seem so sure of themselves? They never seem to question themselves. Is their self-confidence a sign of true faith, a faith stronger than my own? Or could it be an indication that they still have work to do in emptying themselves of themselves, as well? Is their confidence born of their reliance on the Lord, or on their reliance in themselves? And then, is this something about which I should even be thinking? After all, Christ told us not to judge the heart of others, so is it treading on dangerous ground even to wonder about such things?
Honestly, I worry about this sort of thing a great deal. I worry because I know my Scriptures, and those who know their Scriptures should also know that there are passages that clearly say the opposite of what so many modern believers are taught. For example, the Scriptures never say “Once saved, always saved.” That message simply isn’t in Scripture, yet so many believers are confident in this belief. What the Scriptures do say is that we are saved, being saved and will be saved, and that we are to work out our own salvation, and that we must stick to the narrow path until our race is finished. This suggests that our salvation is a continual, life-long process. Scripture also tells us that the saved will become sons and daughters of God, and brothers and sisters of Christ, but also that to be a son or daughter, brother or sister, we must follow the Lord’s Commands and do the will of the Father. But how many believers are aware of these passages, let alone wonder about what they mean? And what does it mean that they either do not know or do not wonder?
Ultimately, I don’t think we can know the answers to these questions while we are still in the flesh. All we can do is what Scripture pleads with us to do: obey the Father’s Commands as best we can until the day we die and trust in Christ’s sacrifice to save us in the end. But before we can do this, we have to know the Father’s Commands, and then we have to actually live them. That means we have to read the Scriptures and change the way we think, speak and act. Oh, how hard that is to do — mostly because we are all too filled with ourselves and not enough with the Father’s Holy Spirit. This is the struggle every believer must wrestle with: putting down their own desires and doing the will of their Master. You see, if our heart is too full of ourselves, then there isn’t enough room for the Holy Spirit, and without the Holy Spirit, we cannot do the Father’s work. At best, we pretend and put on false pretenses of doing His will, and just look at the mess we believers have made of this world in the process. But think of how different things would be if we were to truly make the Lord our Master. What could we accomplish if we were to empty the temple of ourselves and allow the Lord to take His rightful place in our heart? Then we would truly be filled with His glory, and share in Christ’s inheritance while still here on earth. The Apostles did this and they changed the world. Oh! Just imagine: what work we could do for our Master if we would but let Him guide us instead of trying to do it all our own way!