The privilege of belonging to God's family brings with it rare blessings, and certain restrictions. Theirs is the delight and pleasure of being personally guided and jealously guarded by the Holy Spirit.
If God has called you to be really like Jesus, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands of obedience that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by other Christians. In many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.
Seemingly religious and useful men push themselves forward, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot do it. And if you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.
Others may boast themselves, of their work, of their success, of their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do it. If you begin it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.
Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or may have a legacy left to them. But it is likely God wants you to have something far better than gold—a helpless dependence upon Him, that He may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.
The Lord may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity, because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can be produced only in the shade. He may let others be great, but keep you small. He may let others do work for Him and get the credit for it, but He will make you work and toil without knowing how much you are doing. And then to make your work still more precious, He may let others get the credit for the work you have done, making your reward ten times greater when Jesus comes.
The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you with jealous love, and will rebuke you for little words and feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over. So, make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and has a right to do as He pleases with His own. He may not explain to you a thousand things which puzzle your reason in His dealings with you, but if you absolutely sell yourself to be His love-slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and bestow upon you many blessings which come only to those in the inner circle.
Settle it forever, then, that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or restraining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that He does not seem to use with others. Notice Jesus’ reply when Peter was more concerned with what John should do than with his own responsibility. “What is that to thee? Follow thou me” (John 21:22).
When you are so possessed with the living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this particular, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven.
“If ye then be risen with Christ, . . . Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3).
“And lest I should be exalted above measure. . .there was given to me a thorn in the flesh. . .For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
-G. D. Watson, adapted
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