Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Wigglesworthisms" on Obedience

I was on vacation last week, and I am swamped this week, but I wanted to post one more blog in November. My being pressed for time guarantees that this one will be quite brief (hurrah!).

For this post, I wanted to continue the theme of obedience by introducing you to another book, The Wigglesworth Standard, by Peter Madden. This book is based on a collection of previously unpublished messages by Smith Wigglesworth, and it is priceless for those of us who look to Smith W. as a mentor. Below are a few "Wigglesworthisms" on obedience from the chapter entitled, "Lord, what do you want me to do?"

The place of yieldedness is just where God wants us. People are saying, "I want the Baptism. I want healing. I would like to know of a certainty that I am a child of God." And I see nothing, absolutely nothing in the way except unyieldedness to the plan of God. (p. 54)

The main thing that God wants is obedience. Where you begin yielding and yielding to God, He has a plan for your life... (p. 55)

The baptism of Jesus must bring us to have a single eye for the glory of God; everything else is wasted time and wasted energy. Beloved, we can reach it; it is a high mark, but we can get to it. You ask how? "Lord, what do you want me to do?" (Acts 9:6) That is the plan. It means a perfect surrender to the call of God, and perfect obedience. (p. 60)

A dear young Russian came to England. he did not know the language but learned it quickly and was very much used and blessed of God. As the wonderful manifestations of the power of God were seen, people pressed upon him to know the secret of his power, but he felt it was so secret between him and God that he should not tell it. But they pressed so much that he said to them: "First, God called me, and His presence was so precious that I said to God at every call I would obey Him, and I yielded and yielded, and yielded, until I realized that I was simply clothed with another power altogether, and I realized that God took me, tongue, thoughts, and everything, and I was not myself but it was Christ working through me." (pp. 60-61)

Wow! My mentor challenges me today even as I write these words. May God become as precious to us as to that amazing, unknown Russian man whom Smith mentions, so that like him and Smith Wigglesworth, we may truly yield and yield until obedience becomes complete in us!

Stay lost in His love, embraced in His grace,

Tom, the least of Abba's children

Monday, November 5, 2007

More Thoughts on Obedience

    I realized after my last post that I need to be shorter in my posts. That I will attempt to do with this one. And since God has persistently continued to pursue the path of total obedience with me, I thought I would share with you some more discoveries. These are gleaned from my re-reading of Thomas Kelly's thoughts on the subject (see my post for May 22). In a remarkable chapter entitled Holy Obedience, Thomas Kelly writes the following challenging thoughts. Perhaps you will be as moved by them as I.
     Meister Eckhart wrote: "There are plenty to follow our Lord half-way, but not the other half. They will give up possessions, friend and honors, but it touches them too closely to disown themselves." It is just this astonishing life which is willing to follow Him the other half, sincerely to disown itself, this life which intends complete obedience, without any reservations, that I would propose to you in all humility, in all boldness, in all seriousness. I mean this literally, utterly, completely, and I mean it for you and for me--commit your lives in unreserved obedience to Him.
     If you don't realize the revolutionary explosiveness of this proposal you don't understand what I mean. Only now and then comes a man or woman who, like John Woolman or Francis of Assisi, is willing to be utterly obedient, to go the other half, to follow God's faintest whisper. But when such a commitment comes in a human life, God breaks through, miracles are wrought, world-renewing divine forces are released, history changes. (page 52, A Testament of Devotion)
     As I have read these words again and again, I have felt God's challenge to me more than ever. How many times have I told God I want to see His power change the world around me? How many times have I longed for God's people to awaken from their slumber? Yet I must confess that not until recently have I connected absolute obedience with the answer to these longings. Yet, Thomas Kelly is right, isn't He? The world has always been most impacted by those whose lives were most completely submitted to God!
     Do you feel a longing rising in your heart as you read this? I hope so. And may some of us, at least truly discover what Kelly writes about--make it so, Papa God! Do whatever it takes in me! Kelly writes later in the same essay what my heart longs for: "There is a degree of holy and complete obedience and of joyful self-renunciation and of sensitive listening that is breath-taking." (page 53). Abba, take us, all of us, to this level for your glory and for the good of our decaying world!

Broken before Him, crying out to Him.

Tom, the least of Abba's children.