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Accepting God's will for our lives

Accepting God's will for our lives

Accepting God's will for our lives

10 July 2016

Catherine Booth was co-founder of The Salvation Army, along with her husband William Booth. She was known as the “Mother of The Salvation Army”.

By Catherine Booth

How is it that so many people go to meetings and hear about this consecration and faith, and then fail in carrying it out in their lives? What is the hindrance? It seems to me that this is largely because they do not receive what God has revealed, as to what the life of his real followers ought to be.

They fritter away the teachings of the Bible and of the Holy Spirit on this question. I believe that the Spirit of God does show people how they ought to live, how they ought to labour, how they ought to sacrifice and suffer for the salvation of men; but instead of obeying his teaching and becoming co-workers with God, they say, “Oh, that is too high for me; it will cost me too much; it will be too much trouble; it involves too much sacrifice. I cannot do it; I cannot receive that way of putting it.” So they read books, or go to see those who are supposed to be leading Christians, in order to get a second opinion, after God has given them his opinion. They try and find excuses for themselves. They know sufficiently well what is God’s will concerning them; but they try to find an easier way.

I am told that I have a practical mind, and I am glad I have. I hope I shall keep it to the end. I believe that any other kind of mind will be found to have been a snare, when we get before the throne of God; because Jesus Christ is going to be intensely practical in that day. He is not going to say “Inasmuch as ye thought it”, or “Inasmuch as ye felt it”, or “Inasmuch as ye intended it”, or “Inasmuch as ye promised it”, but he is going to say “Inasmuch as ye did it”. I want to be among the doers, and I want you to be among the doers.

Now, dear friends, are you prepared to receive this life of absolute, practical bearing of the shame and the losses, the suffering and the crucifixion, involved in following the Christ? Are you willing to be cast out by fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, fathersin-law and mothers-in-law, aunts and cousins, from circles and society, and to be boycotted by those round about you, in order that you may thus follow Christ in the regeneration of the Spirit? Are you prepared to accept it? Do we all accept it?

Have you accepted God’s version of the life of a saint, or are you seeking all round for excuses to make it a little easier? If the latter, then that fly in the pot will make all your ointment to stink, that flaw in the foundation will topple over any edifice of your resolutions and determinations, your promises, or prayers, or faith; and you will be no better for these meetings, but worse.

What we have to come to is to accept God’s will for our lives; but in many cases people won’t do this. They won’t accept the hardship which following Jesus Christ involves; they like ease and comfort; but to follow Jesus Christ in the way he lays down involves a great deal of hard work. It involves the continual use of all our faculties, not allowing any of them to lie by to rust, not using any of them, either mental or physical, merely for our own gratification.

We are his servants, we are his children, we are his husbandmen, and he will demand the increase of all the faculties he has given us. Now, do we accept this? Are we willing to go and work hard for God? Are we willing to use our brains, making them think and plan and scheme for God, instead of for our own selfish interests? Are we willing to use our time, our influence, our money, for the promotion of his interests? Do you accept God’s plan for yourself, for your family, for your business, and for your money?

Now this is the point; it is all contained in that. You must accept God’s plan, you must choose it, and say, “Yes, Lord, I will have this one ambition, motive and desire to live for thee alone.” You must not only say it, but act it out. I affirm before you tonight, The Salvation Army, with its endless ramifications, its permanent results, and its influence upon the populations of the earth, is the result of the acceptance of this principle by two single individuals and their determination to act them out in their own lives, and to so train and inspire their children that they also should act them out.

If God can bring so much out of a couple of people embracing those principles and acting them out, without their knowing how he was going to do it, what could he not do with thousands of such people, if they would only put themselves in his hands? What could he not do with you? “Ah, but,” you say, “the circumstances are so different, we are such different individuals.” How do you know? It is not the quality of the instrument you place in the hands of God which determines its usefulness; it is the full surrender you make, of it; it is not thequality of the agent, but it is God’s having the full disposal, the undisputed sway, in using him.

Sometimes it pleases God to do more with the weak instruments than he does with the strong ones. Will you let him have you? What God wants is for you to put yourself thus practically into his hands. We want you to believe with that faith which produces action. Do you accept this plan? Are you willing to follow the teaching of the Holy Spirit? Will you say, “I accept Thy plan for myself, my time, my influence, my money, my children, my home, and my future; I accept it”?

If so you can take hold of his hand. You will be in perfect harmony, and may claim every promise made to the saints. You have then a victorious faith, a faith that dares to presume on the promises of God; a faith that dares to step out when there appears to be no possibility of God performing his word to you; the faith that dares to stand on the naked promise, and say, “Now, Lord, I am right with You, I have given up all, and I claim all. I open my mouth, it is empty, You will fill it. I take this step, I do not know where I am going any more than Abraham did, but you know; now I trust you to lead me forth.” Does your heart say that? If so, you may claim the blessing now.

 

 

Comments

  1. Edward Dawkins
    Edward Dawkins

    Catherine would be proud of this new foray into societal interaction.

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